Week 2.2 – Two Hours Ago (Give or Take)

Previously: Digger came to in a warehouse after a painful encounter with Judy Buckle, the Crime Clown.

“Look at the screen and tell me what you see,” said the Voice.

“A blur,” Digger said, “with a head.”

“People say you’re funny,” said the Voice.

“I try.” Pain knifed through Digger’s head as he tried to focus on the bright screen. His vision was clearing, though. It was a man sitting in a chair. It looked as if his hands were tied behind his back.

“I didn’t say I think you’re funny.”

“That’s why I didn’t say ‘thank you,’” Digger answered. Yes, definitely a guy tied to a chair, with a gag in his mouth and a really thick neck. “Your tastes run toward bondage, I see.”

“Shut up and listen carefully,” said the Voice. “You are to proceed to the MCP National Bank and rob the money from the tellers’ drawers within 24 minutes. Don’t bother to avoid alarms. I will be monitoring emergency channels, and if I don’t hear the police being dispatched to the bank within the allotted time, I will detonate the bomb strapped to this man’s neck.”

Digger rubbed at his eyes and looked at the monitor more closely. The guy didn’t have a thick neck; there was some sort of gray plastic box under the guy’s chin, secured to his neck with a plastic-sleeved cable like you’d use to secure a bike. The man’s chubby face strained around the gag, and his eyes were wide with terror.

“You wouldn’t… Wait a second,” Digger said, looking more closely. “Who the hell is that guy?”

“He’s nobody,” said the Voice. “Nobody you know, anyway. That’s the point. You’re the hero of the world after that Hell on Earth fiasco. Everybody loves you. But people are fickle. Would you dare to sully your reputation for the sake of some random stranger? And will people still love you enough to give you the benefit of the doubt if you commit a crime?”

“That’s… You’re a douchebag.”

“The douchebag who’s calling the shots,” said the Voice. “Do as you’re told and everything will be fine. Refuse and this gentleman loses 12 cubic inches of neck.”

The man in the chair flinched and whined at the words.

“How can I be sure you’re telling the truth? How do I know that’s really a bomb?”

“Put it to the test,” said the Voice. “Use your Driller Beam Generators to punch a hole in the wall, and see what happens.”

“My Drillers?” Digger looked down at his hands and the blinking devices strapped to the energy units on his forearms. “What are these things?”

“Seismometers,” said the Voice. “They detect sudden jolts. If you use your Drillers, they’ll send a signal to the bomb, setting it off.”

“What’s the point of that?”

“Challenge,” said the Voice, his amusement audible even through the electronic distortion. “They’re calibrated so that a regular punch won’t set them off, only a Driller blast.”

“You’re so generous,” Digger said.

“And you’re wasting time,” said the Voice. “You now have 22 minutes to rob the bank.”

Be here tomorrow for the next exciting episode!

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