Previously: Digger used the Cup of Regret to travel back in time and prevent the Cobalt Czar from taking his hostage. However, the cup sent him back to the wrong time. On the trip, Digger discovered an almost invisible carving on the surface of the crystal used with the cup. And now…
Twain dumped out the small sack on the bed. A small box of childrenâ€™s crayons fell out. Twain opened the box and pulled out the black crayon. He peeled the paper off and took the crystal from Digger.
â€œWhat are you doing?â€ Digger asked.
â€œYouâ€™ll see,â€ Twain answered. He rubbed the side of the crayon back and forth across the surface of the crystal, and gradually, a dark shape appeared as the carving filled with black wax.
â€œDo you recognize the character?â€ Digger asked.
â€œYeah,â€ Twain said quietly.
â€œWell?â€ Digger asked after a moment. â€œWhatâ€™s wrong? Does it mean something important?â€
â€œUm, no. No, itâ€™s shi,â€ Twain said. â€œIt just means time.â€
â€œYeah,â€ Twain said. â€œNot so unusual since itâ€™s a crystal that makes you travel through time. The characterâ€™s a pictograph of a clock.â€
â€œDoesnâ€™t look like a clock to me,â€ Digger said. â€œWhereâ€™s the hands?â€
[blockquote type=”blockquote_quotes” align=”right”]â€œI didnâ€™t know there was a Plan B.â€ â€œThatâ€™s because you rarely even bother with Plan A,â€ Twain said. â€œA guy like me always has to have a Plan B.â€[/blockquote]â€œItâ€™s a Chinese clock,â€ Twain said. â€œSee, those legs represent a table, and the horizontal lines represent bowls with water. Water drips from the top bowl to the lower one.â€
â€œLike an hourglass, only not with sand,â€ Digger said.
â€œYeah.â€ Twain sighed. â€œThis doesnâ€™t help us, though. The cup works, but not in a way to solve your problem.â€
â€œSo what now?â€ Digger asked. â€œWe go back to Bayside and talk to the cops?â€
â€œNo way,â€ Twain said. â€œIâ€™m not going back there. If you want to get arrested, feel free.â€
â€œBut I wouldnâ€™t be getting arrested if it werenâ€™t for you roping me into doing those robberies,â€ Digger said. â€œWhen I go back, youâ€™re coming with me.â€
â€œWell letâ€™s keep that on the back burner, then,â€ Twain said. â€œWe still havenâ€™t tried Plan B.â€
â€œI didnâ€™t know there was a Plan B.â€
â€œThatâ€™s because you rarely even bother with Plan A,â€ Twain said. â€œA guy like me always has to have a Plan B.â€
â€œSo whatâ€™s Plan B?â€ Digger asked.
Twain slipped the crystal into his pocket. â€œDo you remember when we met in New Mexico? When you helped me steal the Mask of El Coco?â€
â€œOkay, number one, I didnâ€™t â€˜help youâ€™ steal it,â€ Digger said. â€œYou drugged and deceived me. And number two,Â please stop saying that name. It sounds stupid. What of it?â€
â€œThe mask is Plan B,â€ Twain said.
â€œHello, Ron,â€ said Everett Cornwall as he walked into Invictusâ€™s room in the private clinic.
Acheron Boniface was sitting up in bed, pale but in apparently good health, other than the bandaged stump where his right arm had been. Heâ€™d been bent over his bed tray, leaning over a bowl of soup, when Everett walked in, but he quickly straightened up. Still self-conscious about his bald spot, Everett mused, even when his missing arm should make it pale into insignificance. â€œEverett,â€ Ron acknowledged, â€œgood of you to come.â€
â€œYouâ€™re looking well,â€ Everett said. Ron glanced at his bandaged shoulder, and Everett added, â€œRelatively, I mean. But it does bring up the question: just what happened to you?â€
What did happen to Invictus? Find out tomorrow in our next exciting episode!
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