THE INCREDIBLE ADVENTURES OF CAPTAIN TRAUMATIC – 509

“Where are you taking us?” Captain Traumatic asks.

“Prison,” T3 says.

“Travelling in the future, unless you are coming back to your present from the past which doesn’t count as future time, is forbidden.  Talking about it can land you in jail,” the Mud creature says.

“Tell me more,” Labaguette insists.

“We’ve got rights,” Captain Sunblast insists.

“Your very ignorance of the rules is a tell-tale sign of guilt.  No one can afford to ignore the rules nor pretend to being ignorant,” T3 continues, “judges may only deliberate about a case when reasonable doubt is present.”

“What proof do you need?”

“You’ve nothing to do with warped time travelling and besides, you came from Earth when it no longer exists.  You travelled to the future and right now, you are sealing your coffin even harder.”

“We might want to fix the past,” Labaguette says, a spark of intelligence zooming in and out of his eyes fast, perching on his new found mud friend’s shoulder.

“No one can predict the future.  Nothing is set in stone, nor should it be.”

“We did not predict how this place would be when we came here,” Captain Traumatic says.

“The news has it that coming in this very year 4,398, was an act that was intended: it is unforgivable by law.”

“What else?”

“We’re all electronically wired to the news: our brains register it without needing to spend time learning about it, we just know.  If you’re not wired to the news, you’re automatically dubbed an outcast, an ignorant, a transient and therefore an outlaw.

To be continued…

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THE INCREDIBLE ADVENTURES OF CAPTAIN TRAUMATIC – 505

“You’ve altered the rules and interfered with the possibilities offered by one capsule, tampering with time,” Captain Starcrusher says, “It is unforgivable.  We do not know what this future holds but we know of yours: it shall be as it is said.”

“Why not admit you did it?” Captain Clusterflame insists, looking at Captain Sunblast.

“I locked it.  I locked the capsule’s timing so it could not be interfered with.  But only after I found it in the wrong box,” Captain Sunblast maintains, “now, out with the truth, you,” he says, holding Captain Clusterflame’s tighter.

“I adjusted the capsule’s electronic handles to delay it by one earth second for every two intergalactic seconds that elapsed,” Captain Clusterflame admits, “for safety reasons.”

“What does that mean?”

“If my calculations are right, we should—”

“—There’s a chance you could be right?”

“This mist is thick beyond belief,” Captain Traumatic says, “where is it taking us?”

Then there is a thump and a clang.  The type of thump you hear when your ship and your shuttle dock in unison.

“Look, this isn’t bad as it seems,” Captain Clusterflame insists.  “We’re back on Earth, should be.”

In front of them, it looks like Earth, only busier they’ve known it to be: buildings of all sizes spread as far as they can see and behind them, the sea is covered by a thick blanket of impenetrable mist that lingers.  Each building has an unbuilt clock at its top and the sounds of ticking echoes all around them.  Only a few display the same time.

“What year is this?” Captain Starcrusher asks.

“The year time travel was made official and available to all, before the Great Time War.  Should be year 4,398.”

To be continued…

THE INCREDIBLE ADVENTURES OF CAPTAIN TRAUMATIC – 504

And before his next thought reaches the subsequent neuron in his brain, Birdseye catches the future capsule in his polished, flawless clawed feet as he flies up, up and up above the Insatiable Princess, forming loops, enjoying weightlessness effortlessly.

Labaguette, accompanies him.  “You can fly!?  How did—”

But Labaguette’s words are interrupted abruptly as one well-adjusted sling-shot hits Birdseye’s right foot at the speed of light: his claw releases the capsule in an instant which, under the mesmerised and dismayed eyes of all hits the Insatiable Princess’s deck, cracks open and releases its substance: a bright yellowish green vapour with a tinge of purple, a slimy ingredient that spreads, stretches and surrounds all within close proximity: ship, crew, shuttle and birds of a kind, in their flight.

“It all comes down to life and death,” Birdseye explains as Labaguette perches on his Captain’s shoulder croaking:

“We weren’t about to die.”

“We’re about to live,” Birdseye insists.

Meanwhile, as the contents of the capsule does what it does best and takes all of them into a new era, Captain Sunblast and Captain Starcrusher spring intrepidly upon Captain Clusterflame, seizing him.  Then, as Captain Clusterflame kneels with his hands tied behind his back, Captain Sunblast decrees:

“At the next port of entry, be it planet, asteroid or moon, you will be released of your duties and condemned to exile for as long as your life shall last.”

“I did not tamper with the capsule,” Captain Clusterflame exclaims, “I merely ended a situation.  Think about it: I am not smart enough to tamper with time.  Only you both are able to do so.”

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THE INCREDIBLE ADVENTURES OF CAPTAIN TRAUMATIC – 502

“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…

THE INCREDIBLE ADVENTURES OF CAPTAIN TRAUMATIC – 501

“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.”

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THE INCREDIBLE ADVENTURES OF CAPTAIN TRAUMATIC – 497

“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…

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…