Week 12.2 – Frog Boy Redux

Previously: Instead of going back in time to stop the Cobalt Czar from taking his hostage, Digger has found himself in the Berkeley flea market where he encountered Frog Boy. He has just spotted Frog Boy’s mask in the crowded venue. And now…

The mask was not on a person. It was on a hat tree, a six-foot pole with rods sticking out from it all along its length. Each rod bore either a rubber mask or a silly hat. The next booth over had gardening and home improvement supplies, including painters’ jumpsuits and leather work gloves. And somewhere around here, he was sure, was a booth that had swim fins.

Frog Boy had never appeared again because he had only existed for the few short minutes they had fought on this day. Frog Boy was Digger.

It made sense. He didn’t want to reveal to his younger self that he was from the future, especially if it made him too confident in his assured success. There were a couple of times there when the cartel might have killed him if he hadn’t been especially paranoid about watching his back.

There was a crash and a shout from somewhere in the other direction. A distant voice shouted, “Hey, stop that guy!”

As people turned to look in the direction of the shout, Digger sprang forward, grabbed the frog mask, then sprinted to the table with the painters’ smocks. He grabbed a smock and a pair of gloves, and as angry shouts rose in his wake, he sprinted around a corner and almost ran into a booth full of cheap imported pool toys, including swim fins. He helped himself to a pair and leaped away.

Damn, he was turning into quite the thief, but then again, he couldn’t very well pay in cash that hadn’t been minted yet, could he? He silently promised to return the stuff after he was done.

[blockquote type=”blockquote_quotes” align=”left”]He pulled the mask on–it had a strong odor that reminded him vaguely of baby puke…[/blockquote]He sprinted at inhuman speed, using his heightened senses and reflexes to duck around and in between booths to confuse pursuers, and when he was far enough away, he slowed to a walk and hid the Drillers under the smock. He ducked behind a booth to change. He had to hurry. The guy his younger self was following–Desmond Smuts–would be exiting the building any minute now.

Then again, he thought as he pulled on the too-large suede work gloves–which barely managed to fit over the Drillers–he had all the time in the world. After all, he’d already experienced this from the other side; he knew that he would make it in time. He could stop for a cappuccino and still be assured of getting to his past self before it was too late.

Except that was bullshit. He had no idea whether his future self had hurried to get there in time, and besides, he didn’t really drink cappuccino.

He pulled the mask on–it had a strong odor that reminded him vaguely of baby puke–and dashed back out from between the booths. He leaped up to get a view over the booths to where the other Digger was. He was inspecting the hookah Smuts had been looking at. Any second now, he would take off in pursuit!

Will the fight turn out as Digger remembered? And what does this have to do with the Cobalt Czar’s hostage? Join us tomorrow for the next exciting episode!

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