Last week: Superhero Digger was in hot pursuit of small-time crook Jeff Twain, while fellow superhero Flexo Thompson was after Digger. Digger stood accused of robbing a bank, but claimed he was set up. Was he? Two hours ago…
Digger came to in a cool, dark room. Dust tickled his nose, along with the oily reek of the Army surplus cot he lay on. He sat up and put a hand to his aching head. A red LED winked at him from the ceiling in the corner.
What the hell had happened?
The last thing he remembered was… what? Getting zapped in an alley. No, before that, he was at the Travelerâ€™s Tavern having a beer. The guy next to him got up to leave, and a moment later, Digger saw a flash of color in the mirror over the bar.
When he looked more closely, he saw that it was a clown woman–rainbow wig, whiteface make-up, ginormous balloon boobs under a minidress made up of alternating purple and yellow diamonds, fishnet stockings, outrageously tall platform shoes. Their eyes met once again in the mirror as he realized who she was: Judy Buckle, the Crime Clown.
Except that â€œsheâ€ wasnâ€™t a she, really. The first time theyâ€™d run into each other, he had called himself Alien Nate, and the last time, he was a guy named Buddy Buckle. Both times, he had stolen valuable treasures with Diggerâ€™s inadvertent help. His only power was the ability to change clothes–or switch between alternate bodies, each with its own set of clothes, which amounted to the same thing–but he made up for his lack of power with cleverness and careful planning.
If he was here, taunting Digger, it could only mean that he had some new job he was planning, but Digger wouldnâ€™t fall for it this time. He wouldnâ€™t let himself be fast-talked. Buckle was going straight to jail or to the hospital.
Buckle tottered out the door on his stripper heels as Digger got up to go after him. Digger swayed for a moment and caught himself against the bar stool. Heâ€™d stood up too fast, apparently, although he didnâ€™t think heâ€™d had that many beers. How many had it been?
Didnâ€™t matter. Buckle mattered. He stumbled to the door, ignoring Jillâ€™s voice behind him. The door was the important thing, the only thing, as his vision narrowed to see only that. He went out the door, heard the clack of heels going around the corner into the alley beside the bar. He lurched after the sound, stumbled around the corner, and got zapped by a Â ridiculously large stun gun. Everything went black, and now here he was.
Which was where, exactly? Some kind of warehouse or…
He blinked as bright light hit him from the right. He flinched away from the sudden glare, then turned toward it, squinting. It was some kind of video screen, but he couldnâ€™t tell more; his eyes, well adapted for the darkness of tunnels, had trouble adjusting to bright light.
â€œFinally awake, I see,â€ said a distorted voice over a speaker. â€œItâ€™s about time.â€
â€œWho are you?â€ Digger asked.
â€œThe man whoâ€™s giving the orders,â€ said the voice. â€œShut up and pay attention.â€
Come back tomorrow for the next exciting episode!
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