THE INCREDIBLE ADVENTURES OF CAPTAIN TRAUMATIC – 508

“Welcome to iEarth, transients.  C’mon, shove off to the back!”

“We’re from Earth too,” Captain Sunblasts insists.  We’re human, not transients.  Loosen that rope!”

“You’re transients.  You’re criminals.  This is iEarth.  Earth is no longer.”

“Earth or iEarth what’s the difference?”

“Ignorance adds to your criminality: no one, you hear me?  No one can ignore the law.”

“But if we don’t know the rules, how can we know about the law?”

“Precisely, HA! HA! HA!… HAAAHAHAHAHA…  I am the law and time is the only commodity here.  It’s your gold, your cash, your life.  It’s everything.  If you haven’t got no time, then you’re wasting mine.”

“We don’t have your type of change.  If that makes us criminals, then we’ve rights for a lawyer I—”

“—See the Ute you’re sitting in?  It’s the ancient remnant left of Earth before the ‘i’ because it’s still road worthy and it ain’t wasting government resources, nor its time, like you are.  Besides, there are no lawyers no more.”

“Suppose we’re transients and we don’t go about cash in time value.”

“Suppose you’re just that.  You’re still criminals.”

Then, a stranger emerges from the back of the Ute, a creature, part human, part mud.  It says:

“Man.  You’ve got some way to go.  Over here, and this needs crammed into your pea size brains, time is cash, a commodity, your life, like T3 said.  It’s contained in the electronic hour glass that everyone wears around their neck: the finer the time particle contained within it, the better the quality of time travel and the more expensive, because time travel can span from a few seconds, minutes, hours in the past, to days, weeks, years, centuries or even millions of years if you chose to and can afford it.  Are you really from Earth?”

“You don’t travel in the future?”

To be continued…

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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…

THE INCREDIBLE ADVENTURES OF CAPTAIN TRAUMATIC – 506

“Should be?  This uncertainty at your level is beyond belief.”

“Mathematical probabilities and time are what I specialise in.”

“How could you know we’d get at that particular time of the planet’s scientific progress?”

“I added an inbuilt memory of the future inside the capsule, a circuit that projects itself in the history of future and stores itself.  It can be viewed as an electronic future history book on any computer.”

“But—”

“—Shut up!” Captain Starcrusher says, “we shall get to this bottom of it when the time is right, back home and in a space agency court”, as he follows the others eager to discover this new world and to mingle: Birdseye, Labaguette, Captain Traumatic have left the Insatiable Princess and are finally stepping onto solid grounds.  They join an eclectic crowd comprising creatures of all kinds and, it seems, they fit because most creatures they cross path with barely lift an eyelash: creatures of all shapes, sizes and colours who are concentrating on their portable electronic mini-hour glass that combines the limited technology of an era when time gazing was an art form, and each and every grain of sand that could be seen falling felt as if eternity was real, with the innovative and available expedient time travel of year 4,398.

But Labaguette and Birdseye, in a way, stand out: all of the flying objects and vehicles are manmade.  There are no birds.

They enter a bar.  There too, you would think that when three cosmonauts, a king-fool, a tall man-bird, a parrot and a pirate from the past step in, they would inevitably attract attention but, except a bar tender with a single suspicious eye and mind, more concerned about the contents of his till, not a single creature raises an eyebrow.

To be continued…

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.”

To be continued…

THE INCREDIBLE ADVENTURES OF CAPTAIN TRAUMATIC – 503

“It’s in the science lab!” Captain Clusterflame yells, his face crimson.

When Captain Starcrusher reappears, he carries the capsule in a small, transparent, indestructible box.

“You could have told me where it was instead of letting me look for it.  Why—”

“—That’s where it was supposed to be.  You forgot.”

“I never forget.”

“All too convenient.  I never forget.” Captain Sunblast adds.

“Why did you put it there?” Captain Starcrusher insists, “you know the least about the capsules.”

“I thought it safer.”

“He lies!” Labaguette yells, grinning.

“He’s lying,” Captain Traumatic acknowledges.

“That’s a lie,” the King-Fool emphasises.

“Lies and more lies,” Birdseye continues.

“In space, there is no such thing as biased democratic consultations or witch-hunts!” Captain Sunblast blasts.

“No rules,” Captain Traumatic reiterates, “Gimme that damned bloody future capsule and I’ll show you how we can still have choices.”

“Stay out of this!” Captain Sunblast orders, “we’ve seen what you and your parrot are capable of.”

“The capsule is useless.  It’s been tampered with.”

“He tampered with it,” Labaguette says, pointing his wing at Captain Sunblast.

“He did!” The King-Fool says.

“The future belongs to me,” Birdseye says, looking intently below him, his goggles lighting up, their beams focussing on the capsule.

“You can’t possibly…” Captain Traumatic says, “you can’t fly!”

“Only I can fly,” Labaguette remarks.  “STOOOOOOP!” he yells at his comrade about to take a potentially deadly leap of faith.

“I can do what I want.  I can create my own future,” Birdseye insists.  Then, he raises his neck to the starless sky, deploys his wings and plunges towards the capsule, his future and Captain Starcrusher, mesmerised at the sight of this man-creature’s majestic and reckless, kamikaze style approach.

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…