THE INCREDIBLE ADVENTURES OF CAPTAIN TRAUMATIC – 507

This, because their attention is entirely devoted to one thing and one only: working on and with their time, trading time, watching it go by, retrieving it, discussing it, buying it, selling it, all the while eating, drinking and readjusting their mini hourglass, so as not to waste time, as if their lives depended on it.

When the bar tender brings their order and asks for his cash, Captain Traumatic hands him over one of his most treasured and most famous brew.

“Won’t do” the bartender says, rolling his eyes.

“Two bottle, here, two!” ventures the Captain while Labaguette sees it as appropriate to pluck one of his very own golden feathers to add weight to the bargain.

“Time.  You pay in time,” the bartender insists with thunder rumbling in his voice.  And, as green fumes escape from his ears, nose and mouth, he whistles so loud time appears suspended, silence falls into the room like a concrete wall until a two creatures’ military formation, part men, part robots mingling blood vessels and wires steps in:

“IDs!”

“I’m Labaguette.  This is Birdseye, the King-Fool, Captain…”

“IDs or cash in time!”

“Captain Sunblast” says this cosmonaut, attempting his NASA’s identity card.

“Time squad. T3 Lieutenant.  What do you take me for?  Round them up!” he orders.  Then, a metallic rope circles the seven crew before tightening its grip around them, securing their hands, feet and waists.  Then it forces them out of the bar, onto the back of an old Ute that contrasts with the rest of this ultra-modern, mega-futuristic world.

To be continued…

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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.”

To be continued…

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 – 498

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…

THE INCREDIBLE ADVENTURES OF CAPTAIN TRAUMATIC – 492

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…

THE INCREDIBLE ADVENTURES OF CAPTAIN TRAUMATIC – 490

“We’ve experienced a technical glitch,” Captain Sunblast says.

“Already?” Captain Traumatic asks, in a daze.

“Our instruments display time zone -2,417,498,557,393,619”

“There were no zeroes then, right?” the King-Fool snarls.

“The instruments are unlikely to be wrong but, to be sure, we’re simply going to reset the clock and refresh the Wi-Fi, that should do it.  But for this, you must all come inside and this includes you Captain Anectodick.  We’ve no choice.  Such time travelling will leave your bodies’ particles disintegrated and hanging in space.  Reconstitution will become impossible.”

“Some science, huh?” Labaguette remarks, “It can only be your instruments’ mistake.  How would you explain us four to be alive otherwise?”

“For safety’s sake, you’ve no choice but to come inside.”

“Suppose we did get back all that time and we made it as you see us?” the King-Fool suggests.

“We’re heroes,” Birdseye says, “our particles are malleable, flexible, transformable and transformed.  We can sustain—”

“—Gobbledygook.  You’re artists, the whole lot of you.”

“We’re in the past as per your instruments point out,” Captain Traumatic insists, “I know and that is all there is to it.”

A single but heavy pearl of sweat finds its way down a line on the side of the Captain’s Sunblast nose as he walks, exasperated, towards Labaguette, determined to lead by example.  If the crew isn’t coming, the crew shall come to me,” Captain Sunblast thinks, adamant he should get hold of that stupid parrot and strangle it if circumstances allow it.

As it is, Labaguette stands awkwardly, as if in a balancing act, switching his weight from one leg to the other.

To be continued…

THE INCREDIBLE ADVENTURES OF CAPTAIN TRAUMATIC – 489

“Don’t drop them” Birdseye commands, concerned, “they’ll open up and we can’t risk them all opening at the same time.”

“Huh?” Labaguette asks as he looks with horror at the King-Fool juggling the three objects higher and higher.

“Or else it would create a distorted time warp of unpredictable and dire consequences,” Birdseye insists.

As life in the universe has it, the timing of irresponsible acts coincides with fate’s surreal coincidences sometimes called serendipity, while at other times these are called a perfect storm in which the timing of poor timing demonstrates the existence of the right conditions being present simultaneously to create a moment in time when everything and nothing conspires to enhance and maximise the perfection of chaos.  Thus, poor timing, in essence, is equal to good timing, regardless of consequences.  Or in other words…, as Zadie Smith once said: “The principles of Christianity and Sod’s Law (also known as Murphy’s law) are the same…” (White Teeth, page 44).

In this case, the timing of time falling onto the Insatiable Princess’ deck and bursting open creates an instant and gigantic wave of nano-seconds, seconds, minutes, hours, days, weeks, months, years, decades, centuries, millennium, all jumbled up in the flash of an instant or the passing of an era which saw diplodocuses rise and die, depending on how you look at it, which the ship and shuttle traverse before landing somewhere back in time while the King-Fool catches the remaining capsules in… good time before they reach the floor.

“Who beat the drums?” the Captain asks, rising from his slumber as the shuttle’s latch opens and the three cosmonauts appear, puzzled looks on their faces.

To be continued…