“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…



“Chloroph is a gardener we met travelling through the big out there.  He plants seeds, a wide range of seeds.  Wild seeds, mad seeds, dangerous seeds, seeds he collected, others that he engineered.”

“The seeds of time were discovered growing by the side of a well-known scientific establishment that disappeared in what is believed to be a time-warp.” Captain Clusterflame continues, “It also happened in the land where clocks where invented.  This is no coincidence.”

“We’re scientists, not historians,” Captain Sunblast adds.  Who knows?  We do not make the law, we follow the rules.”

“There are no rules.” Labaguette says.

“No rules,” Captain Traumatic says, throwing the capsule to Labaguette, an unusual and sudden spark in his eye, one that reminds Labaguette of his own youth, and how crumpling time up was fun because then tomorrow was just that: tomorrow.  And so, with that instant engraved into his needle size brain and that twinkle in the eye fully understood, Labaguette throws the future capsule into the air to better catch it and kick it with his foot, well away from the shuttle and the Insatiable Princess’ deck.  Down, down, down, all the way into oblivion.

“What have you done, you doom-shitting bird?” Captain Clusterflame bellows.  “What have you done?”

“You have the original,” Labaguette says.

“It doesn’t work that way.  If the copy exists, it must be used first.”

“I see a path forward,” Birdseye says.

“See?” Labaguette adds.

“No rules,” Captain Traumatic insists.

“Not using the copy first will alter the original’s future.”

“Not unless you tampered with the copy.”

“It’s impossible.”

To be continued…


“Circular,” Captain Traumatic retorts, “we are the living proof of it: we are from the past meeting you from the future, in the present: we are now aware of the future law and you are now aware of its non-existence.  Therefore, that law is annihilated through a state of consciousness that alters through time.”

“Are you done?” Captain Sunblast asks.

“This is the new reality,” Captain Traumatic say, unstoppable, “where past overtakes future, until a new cycle comes.”

“Well then, if what goes around comes around, you should have come across the law before and you should have been aware of it, I—,”

“—Imagine a tornado with a life of its own, one that can see,” Captain Traumatic asserts, unaffected, “the junk it captures from the ground becomes alive as it is pushed higher and higher towards the sky, to the front of the tornado, to the back, in a continuous spiral.  But, when that junk is caught in the tornado’s eye, the now, the present, the tornado becomes unaware of it and the junk ceases to exist, as it falls, all the while existing in a state of lifelessness as it lays onto the ground.”

“I’ve a headache,” Labaguette says, mimicking Captain Sunblast pinching his nose where it meets the eyes and tries to steady his step.

“I AM the sole inventor of the time Capsules,” Captain Starcrusher yells, “no one else can claim to understand the mechanism behind time travelling.”

“There are consequences for breaking the law when you should be aware of it,” Captain Clusterflame repeats, keen to become a respectful lawmaker in space, for where else should a failed law student sets its teeth into?

To be continued…



“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…



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.”


“He’s drunk.  We must act now.”

To be continued…



“The Insatiable Mermaid is no more.  She earned her title of Princess through hard work and enduring loyalty.”

“She’s a ship.”

“Note that the Captain forgot his name eons ago,” the Fool remarks, beaming, “he forgot it but he is now forgetting it on purpose.  As to the Insatiable Princes we—”

“—Suppose I did.  Suppose I forgot my name.  What do you want from me?” Captain Traumatic asks.

“We’ve orders to bring you back to Earth.”

“I’m a pirate.  I am the proud owner of the most indomitable, rebellious and nomadic soul there is.”

“Is it Moi?” Labaguette asks.

“Shut up fuckwit!” the Captain says.”

“Captain, we must be getting back on the road.  Time is precious when you travel afar.  Time storms abound and these can distract our compasses.  We need to get back to the year we left, give or take a few seconds or a few weeks.”

“And what year was that?” the Fool asks.


“We were there before you,” the Captain remarks, “your time doesn’t suit us.  If you want to take us back to Earth, you take us back to 1602.”

“It could be done but only once we’ve gotten back to our year first.”


“We must take you there with a more appropriate shuttle, one which travels unambiguously backwards in time and one which could contain your ship.”

“Prove you are from Earth,” the Captain says.

“Make me your Knight and let us guide you back to Earth.”

“Well then, first, take your armour or this ludicrous hat off.”

“We wouldn’t be able to survive without this attire, Sir Anectodick.”

“I’ve no such attire and I live.”

“Couldn’t breathe without it.”

“You poor sod, must be a terrible disease.”

To be continued…



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…