Previously: Digger took the money from the bank to an abandoned service station, where the mysterious Voice told him he would be ordered to kill a foreign leader in seven days. And now…
The red button was almost certainly some kind of memory wipe or self-destruct. If Digger didnâ€™t push it, he might have the phone analyzed and divine some clue to the Voiceâ€™s identity.
No. For all he knew, the phone was programmed to send a signal that the button had been pushed. If the Voice didnâ€™t receive that signal, he might kill the hostage, whoever he was. Digger shook his head and pushed the button. As heâ€™d figured, the screen told him that a message had been sent, then the phone began to reformat itself, erasing everything.
Who was the hostage, anyway? Surely he couldnâ€™t just be someone picked off the street entirely at random. He had to have some connection to the Voice, somehow. If Digger could figure out a way to identify the hostage, it might lead him to the kidnapper. Except that he had no clues at all.
The screen blanked as the phone finished its work and wiped out the rest of the memory.Â Digger briefly considered popping the back off the phone and pulling the SIM card–maybe Dr. Jolt could get some usable information off of it–but dismissed the idea. If the Voice checked the phone and found the SIM card missing, it could put the hostage in danger. Digger dropped the phone in the bag with the money and dropped the bag into the dumpster out back.
Digger would have to find another way to track down the Voice. In the meantime, he decided to pay a visit to Buddy Buckle,or Twain, or whatever his name was. If he couldnâ€™t save the hostage today, he could at least get a little payback. He took to the rooftops for another trip downtown. Jeez, downtown again. Would he spend the next seven days just running back and forth between downtown and the airport? He was already tired of it, and not smelling great.
That could work to his advantage, though. If he wanted to get close to Buckle without tipping him off, Digger would need a disguise, a way to keep people from looking at him too closely. And the best way to keep people from looking too closely was to become someone they didnâ€™t want to look at.
He paused in his trip downtown to steal a tarp covering some lumber at a construction site. He ripped a hole in it so he could wear it like a poncho, hiding the Drillers. Between his body odor, the moldy tarp, and the limp he affected, people assumed he was homeless or a nut and averted their eyes as he walked through the bus station. Televisions around the station were showing footage of him shooting the pistol in the bank along with a graphic that said, â€œFormer Hero Robs Bank.â€
Suddenly a loud alarm sounded, like a thousand giant baby birds tweeting. Digger turned, saw a cloud of smoke coming from a locker. And there was Buckle. His eyes met Diggerâ€™s, and he turned to flee.
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