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 degress North,” Birdseye adds, tentativelys.

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…

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THE INCREDIBLE ADVENTURES OF CAPTAIN TRAUMATIC – 486

As the shuttle’s engines warm up and Captain Traumatic looks through its thick window, his suspicions are confirmed: Labaguette is flying erratically inside the shuttle, the King-Fool is skipping from one foot to the other, gesticulating, shaking his wand and Birdseye is looking at the door’s latch intently, perhaps in an attempt to open it with the power of his own thoughts, no doubt hoping someone will free the Insatiable Princess’ crew from that overwhelming claustrophobia, as if they were trapped in a small box in the middle of universes, for ever and ever and ever.

Within less than a second, the Captain is knocking that door with an iron bar with all his might, his Viking blood boiling up to the surface.  Outraged his ship could be damaged by a human in space who defies the laws of nature of all kinds, the shuttle’s commandant reluctantly opens the door and frees the strange, rebellious and indomitable crew until, eventually, the shuttles gains in speed, the Insatiable Princess secured to its flank, with a crew enjoying every minute of galactic space winds, drinking some, grateful they are on their way back to Earth, at last.

As they reach a speed that is all too comfortable, they find that seconds, minutes, hours, days and nights pass by unaltered, with the same routine and patterns: they sleep, wake up, drink, attend to the sails, to polishing and re-polishing the Insatiable Princess’ woods, then drink some more before getting back to their restless dreams, where battles, tirades and conflicts abound, where their blood run free and alive.

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 – 484

“What’s got into you Birdseye?” Captain Traumatic asks.

But Birdeye’s large wings close tight on his shoulders and sink on his back as his neck retreats within his shoulders.  His previously colourful feathers take on a darker hue and soon his silhouette is barely distinguishable from that of an old vulture.

“We must leave,” Captain Starcrusher insists.  “Thank you for the ceremony.  I vouch on my two subordinates’ loyalty and fairness.  There is nothing to fear.

Meanwhile, Labaguette whispers words of comfort into Birdseye’s ear:

“Fear not, I will protect you,” he says as Birdseye looks into the parrot’s eyes with sorrow and grief etched deep inside the lines at the corner of his mouth, his goggles now at their darkest.

“—Pardon me Bird, I am from where the croissants rise early, where liberty and equality bear some meaning.  What is it that you know that I should know?”

“It isn’t about you Labaguette.”

“I didn’t—”

“—A time capsule popped while we searched for the Insatiable Princess.”

“What?” Captain Traumatic asks.

“A great way to predict future events.  This is part of Captain Starcrusher’s work, the speeding, the time, the going back and forth.  He was able to identify time articles that could be caught in capsules. ”

“What are you talking about?”

“Correct,” Captain Starcrusher says.

“It won’t be in your books, Captain, because time shifts.  It can’t be caught on a page.  No one controls the capsules.  Yet, we were able to capture time cells and time cluster cells which, when released from their capsules – chose to tell about a significant event, be it half-a-second in advance, 2 or 600 billion years from now.”

“So it did see something about moi?” Labaguette insists.

To be continued…

THE INCREDIBLE ADVENTURES OF CAPTAIN TRAUMATIC – 483

“Precisely.  Relegated to the Junkyard Space Program for all those not fitting with the Purpose via minimisation: nano particles shall be reduced to nano size multiplied by itself to infinity.”

“Which country is this?”

“My country encompasses all, I shall help its border extensive extension’s propensity.”

“I was King.  Now I am Fool,” King Krackskull Fool says, “what category would I fit in?”

“Ha!” Labaguette exclaims.

“You’re the foolishest fool of them all!” Birdseye says, turning to Captain Clusterflame.

“There’s no time for debate,” Captain Traumatic says, all fine print and subtext will be discussed later.”

“But Captain, a fool such as this one cannot be knighted, much like King Krackskull’s status is no longer that of King.”

“What is it with you Birdseye?”  Are you scared?  Do you wish to be Knight of mine?”

“I do not speak for nothing.”

“Capitaine,” Labaguette says, “Birdseye may have a point, check your library, check your books.”

“We must be getting on.”

Upon these words, Captain Traumatic raises his sword, taps it three times onto Captain Custerflame’s helmet, saying:

“And, I, shall endeavour to promote thorough cleaning of space and its surroundings by means of inter-galactically mixed and organically grown Rum sprinkling and spraying so that crumbs and left overs of all such elements as you described shall disintegrate and space be purified.”

The cosmonaut’s helmet cracks, shatters onto the ship’s woo and he takes his first breath of airspace.

Birdseye turns to space, his goggles lit up and send two powerful laser beam deep into the darkness, illuminating the nothingness all around them, uncovering more depth of nothingness, forming displays of lit up pictures: helmets, barbed wires, Batman’s logo, nuclear explosions and crosses momentarily appear, thus closing the knighthood ritual.

To be continued…

THE INCREDIBLE ADVENTURES OF CAPTAIN TRAUMATIC – 482

“Yes.  Yes.  I’m alive,” Captain Sunblast utters, touching his head, arms and legs as if he expected to explode at any moment while Labaguette rolls his eyes under the relieved yet guarded watch of Captains Starcrusher and Clusterflame.

“I shall endeavour to make planet Earth great again to help spreading the word over the whole wide world and beyond, promote the benefits of my organic Rum trade and resolve timing issues, backward and forward, you have my word.”

“Juré, craché ” Labaguette mutters, spitting over the Captain’s shoulder.

“Your turn, Captain Starcrusher,” Captain Traumatic insists, “be brave, be courageous and you shall be Knight of Mine, a Knight of the Order.  Your speeding pledge is—”

“—not speeding but speeding gear if I may, I wish for the speed instruments to be the greatest, to allow travel through the time wall and beyond.”

Captain Traumatic’s swords once more descends softly on the cosmonaut’s helmet, cracking it open.

“—And I shall do all that is in my power to help you with speeding and all that it entails,” he says, “including defending you against universal roaming cops.  Time will no longer be a speeding factor and we shall not grow old while Rum will abound and flow for ever as I will prosper.”

“I,… I live,” Captain Starcrusher says, puzzled yet smiling.

“You Sir,” Captain Traumatic says turning to Captain Clusterflame, “wish to make your country great.  Which country have you got in mind?”

“Roamers, fools, colourful and imperfect creatures of all kinds shall be expunged from my country’s soil and re-directed to where they belong in order to protect the natural order of things and beyond.”

“Redirected to a space program?”

To be continued…

THE INCREDIBLE ADVENTURES OF CAPTAIN TRAUMATIC – 481

“Upon answering a question each, I shall make you my Knights and you will be the subjects of and be protected in return by the Order of the Pirates’ Pandemonium Resolutions.”

“I’m the commander in charge, they answer my orders, leave them aside.”

“It’s as I say.  You’re trespassing on my ship.  You submit to my Command if you want me back with you on planet Earth at your estimated year time of 2578.”

Then Captain Sunblast bends on one knee in front of the Captain who raises his sword above the Captain’s helmet.

“Well, well,” the Captain says, “tell me, aside bringing me and my consorts back to Earth, what is your mission?”

“To make planet Earth great again: it is in grave danger.  You can help resetting its clock.”

Then the Captain asks Captains Starcrusher and Clusterflame the same question.

“To make this shuttle’s time speeding gear to be the greatest,” Captain Starcrusher answers.

“To make my country great again,” Clusterflame says.

Then the Captain, in silence, gently lowers his sword on Captain’s Sunblast’s right shoulder before laying it on his helmet.  Labaguette following the blade’s movement at a short distance, takes up each of the sword’s position, eager to be once again part of this long lost ritual.  As the tip of the blade touches the helmet a second time, the helmet cracks open and shatters onto the planks of the Insatiable Princess.

“Breathe!” Captain Traumatic orders as Captain Sunblast opens his eyes wide revealing some state of panic, anticipating his imminent death before uttering a smile, realising he won’t die just yet.

To be continued…