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…

THE INCREDIBLE ADVENTURES OF CAPTAIN TRAUMATIC – 470

“I enjoy a state of nothingness in the vast emptiness.  It fulfils me and brings contentment,” the Fool says.

“Yet you travelled accompanied,” the King-of-all-Things remarks.

“It was accidental, a mere trick of fate.  Besides, it’s as I told you: I can’t bring my planet here.  It would be chaos.”

“An erroneous belief, you could try.”

“Your platform and my planet, they’d try and gobble each other up.”

“Hmm.  Your pride is coming in the way.”

“I don’t trust you.”

“You’re a fool, you should know that I am truthfully adaptable.  Collecting gives me a sense of belonging.”

“How can you belong when all that surrounds you is the homogenous, the multiplicity, the transmutable of everything and when nothing fits?”

“It prepares you to any eventuality.  It expands your mind.  You grow.”

“Collectable creatures are you prisoners.  You trap them in your platform and lock them there forever.”

“Call it destiny.  It’s their own doing.  They chose to come my way.  They chose to become collectables.”

“You don’t even play with them.”

“I can hear their voices.  I can hear them talking.  I understand.  It enlightens me.”

“You hear them, huh?  Like you hear me?”

“When I turn the volume up I do.  I don’t shut them up, ever.”

“What are you insinuating?”

“You’re a liar.  Your planet feeds itself of all that falls onto it.  Slowly munching, digesting and belching while you enjoy the show.”

“Not all.”

“Nearly all.”

“Rule of the jungles rules infinity.”

“Your loneliness is increased into infinity as you shut the voices down.”

“It’s not my doing.”

“It’s your ruling.”

To be continued…

THE INCREDIBLE ADVENTURES OF CAPTAIN TRAUMATIC – 449

“You fool!  Labaguette woke up by himself because the world he swallowed has been assimilated.”

“Ingested.”

“Assimilated.  His stomach is larger.  It will balloon when he stresses out and help him fly faster and just like for Labaguette, the others will wake up in their own time.”

“We’ve wasted enough time.”

“Where are you rushing off too?  Remind me.”

“We’ve travelled off course and in a direction we would have avoided, had we known the destination.”

“You were at the mercy of the winds and tides, were you not?”

“The Captain is always in charge of his ship.”

“It seems to me the Insatiable Princess may have been misled into forging her own path.”

“What would you know about it?”

“Well, for a start she’s a she and—”

“—She?” the Captain mumbles, “of course she’s a she,” he says louder and rising.  “Whims, winds and tides have nothing to do with it.  I’ve always known where we were going.  She and I have a long standing understanding.”

“Captain!” King-U exclaims.

“Si.  Esta muy bien, gracias,” the Captain answers.

Silence.

“CAAAPITAAIIINE !” Labaguette yells, fully awake, from his cell cloud.

“Was ist los?” the Captain continues.

“Je suis enfermé!” Labaguette screams.

“Radiowave transmissions,” The King-of-all-Things says, “your Captain has acquired the ability to speak in tongues.”

“He doesn’t know it.”

“확실히 내가 할”

“He’s confused.”

“Testing, testing, testing,” the Captain says, beaming, “and it works really well, doesn’t it?”

“Of what use is it Captain, we all speak the same—”

“—I might be able to converse with the Syck Monkey,” the Captain says.

To be continued…

THE INCREDIBLE ADVENTURES OF CAPTAIN TRAUMATIC – 445

“Shut up and dance some more!”

“Who are you to speak of good, evil and trespassing?”

“I am the King of all things.  This is my Kingdom. They belong to me.  You belong to me.  Worlds belong to me.  Universes belong to me.  You’ve released deadly sins into the air.”

“Beg your pardon you… King who?”

“King-of-here and King-of-now.”

“I too was a King.  I had a real name, I—”

“—You’ve no crown, You dance and you behave like a mad creature.  I must say, it is entertaining.  No king acts like you do.”

“My words are kingly.”

“You have said nothing of substance and you dance like any fool would.”

“My crown is large and wise.  It is precious and shines of a thousand fires.”

“I see no crown crowning you.”

“It is self-contained.  It is within.  It shines all of its own, with all its might, can’t you see?”

“Sure.  Look, I don’t know where you come from.  I don’t know what you want and I don’t care, but sure as I am long lived and as I live long, you’re no king.”

“I am not your prisoner.”

“I need entertained for I am lonely.”

“I too was once lonely on my planet.  They,” King U says pointing at the unconscious crew lining the Insatiable Princess’ planks, “are entertaining and as I lost my world, I care not to find it again.”

“You’re odd.  Dance for me!”

“Look what your worlds have done.  Look at them.  Are they sleeping or are they dead?”

“Dance!”

“Fix them first, wake them up!”

“Deal.”

“They’re not dead?”

“Depends.”

“King or fuckwit, I beg you, tell me if these copses are creatures or dust.”

To be continued…

THE INCREDIBLE ADVENTURES OF CAPTAIN TRAUMATIC – 441

Inside the boxes, each bubble grows larger, some with colours of blue, green and ochre, others with features, shapes and colours never seen before.  All have one thing in common: they are inside the original wombs of creation: they are the energised and energising future planets, stars and universes, all in gestation.

Once nurtured and pampered, they will burst out of their square wombs.

“This could get messy,” the Captain remarks, “we’d—”

“—C’mon Captain,” Labaguette says, “it looks like we could select and have a planet with the exact dimensions and intended precisely for us: one with a single ocean to roam and discover.”

“Where lies the interest in that?”

“A life spent roaming for eternity as the unconquered and unconquerable pirates of an entire ocean, planet and with Rum aplenty.”

“Pirates without combats?  Have you completely lost it?”

“I’ve roamed enough.  I deserve a rest.”

“You’re half my age, you’ve at least another three quarters to go and you wanna retire?  You’re yet to accomplish your lifelong and ultimate goal, Labaguette: will the hero within remain where it lays?”

“Tis’ self-made and it’s enough.”

“You sure haven’t made it yet.”

“There is wisdom in isolation,” King U remarks.

“We’d better make a move,” Birdseye interferes.

“What took you so long?” the Captain asks.

“Multiplication.  It’s their gift.”

“We can all see that.”

Then, a small black world bursts out of its box, as if its purpose and intent have misfired and out of it, a multiplicity of tiny black boxes come out, each in turn producing miniature size worlds that pop out, fly in all directions, threatening to infiltrate the Insatiable Princes and its residents through orifices of all kinds.

To be continued…

THE INCREDIBLE ADVENTURES OF CAPTAIN TRAUMATIC – 440

Influenced and stimulated by what they see, the next lot slide over the surface until they reach the platform’s edge at high speed and are projected far ahead before taking a slant and falling, falling, down, down, down into darkness.

Those that are left appear more resistant and are able to command a nesting place.  They settle on the surface and begin a process where buzzing, gurgling and lighting take place simultaneously until black pigments are lost and translucence and transparency are achieved.  Then, one by one, little by little, small individual bubbles pop up before being formed and born into round spheres, one in each box.

“Tis’ a miracle !” Labaguette exclaims.

“Science in the making,” Umbilicorberto confirms, looking at them with a long view.

“They know,” Birdseye says.

“Precisely, they know what you don’t,” the Captain remarks, looking at Birdseye, “we’d better be prepared, the boxes are of no use.  I suspect foul play.  Look at them!  Their newly found creativity is giving birth to hybrids.  We’d be better be on our way.”

“To where?” Labaguette enquires.

“We’ve within the confines of the original state!” Umbilicorberto remarks, climbing down from his observatory and then dancing on the deck with the three monkeys following him in his rhythmic footsteps, imitating him.

“There’s yet new life in this desolate area!” he continues.

“King U,” the Captain says, “you’ve seen this before?”

“It’s in your books, Captain.  The intrinsic generation of new organic matter that is born out of the never never.  The origins’ origins.”

“Tis’ a rien de rien,” Labaguette mutters, “nothing more and nothing less than a never never.”

To be continued…

THE INCREDIBLE ADVENTURES OF CAPTAIN TRAUMATIC – 433

“Whereto?” Labaguette asks, popping out of his pocket bedroom.  His golden feathers have grown and Birdseye lifts the parrot with one finger, admiringly.

“Outta here!” the Captain says, his eyes darker than ever.

“Fine bird,” Birdseye says, “fine bird,” as the two settle atop a mast facing winds of considerable speed and the Captain rolls his eyes in disgust.

“He’s back to normal,” the King remarks, “he deserves some admiring.”

“He’ll never be normal,” the Captain says.

“Let’s supposed you did remember your name,” the King recaps, “would it make you less different?”

“I wonder,” Birdseye says, taking advantage of this timely intervention to slide one of his more prominent feathers between thumb and index, smoothing it, “what a new breed of birds will do to the universe.”

“Stop talking and help us take some speed, can’t you see—”

Right then, Ash Mongers explodes.

“There she goes!” the King says, “butts and coffee going up in smoke.”

“FASTER!” the Captain yells at his ship, “FASTER!”

“Look at it!” the King insists, staring at the expanding debris approaching the ship.

“HUUUURRRYY FOR FUCK’S SAKE!” the Captain continues.

“We’re back in business,” Labaguette muses, smiling.

“Whatcha looking at, evil bird?” the Captain asks, “get working, now!”

“Danger ahead!” Birdseye signals calmly.

“I saw it coming from a distance, get the glue off your goggles birdman!” the Captain says, as the first caramelised pieces of coffee, foam, creatures, metal and cigarette butts reach the ship, sticking to everything solid it encounters, piercing the sails with their sharpness, their threat now a real and present danger.

To be continued…