Week 16.3 – Twain’s Real Story

Previously: With Digger arrested for the bank robbery, Twain headed for China in his pursuit of the secret to the City of the Moon. And now…

Ying Chan’s eyes widened in shock when she saw who had entered her little shop. The old woman waved Twain toward the back and then ushered him up the narrow stairway to the apartments on the second floor. “What are you doing here again so soon?” she chattered in Mandarin. “Didn’t you learn your lesson the last time?”

“Fate has led me on a great circuit, Aunt Ying” Twain said. “I came here to solve the mystery of a cup and found a cave.”

“A cave which almost got you killed,” Ying Chan said.

“Which is why I decided to go back home and pursue the cup,” Twain said. “But when I found it, it was just another clue to the cave.”

“You should stay away from that cave,” Ying Chan said. “I get a chill every time you mention it.”

“That cave is going to let me succeed where I have always failed,” Twain said.

“He wouldn’t want you to succeed that way,” Ying Chan said.

“He’s not here,” Twain said. “And his way never worked for me.”

“I know,” Ying Chan said as she opened the door to the attic. “Still… You can stay here, like last time. I’ll let you get unpacked.”

[blockquote type=”blockquote_quotes” align=”right”]Sharp pain jabbed deep in his head, and he had to lean on one of the duffels as his head swam for a moment…[/blockquote]The old woman turned to go, then paused. “My son… You haven’t…”

“No, I still haven’t heard from him,” Twain said. “I’m sorry.”

The old woman nodded and went back downstairs to attend to her shop, leaving Twain to haul his leather satchel into the cramped attic space. The small carry-on only held a few changes of clothing, completely inadequate for an excursion into the most dangerous country on Earth. He shoved the bag into the corner and sat on the thin sleeping mat on the floor. Time to really unpack.

He closed his eyes and activated the Toggle device in his brain. Once again, he felt the sensation of a switch being flipped, and suddenly he was a different person. The stench and fatigue of hours of jet travel were gone, and he suddenly had two more duffel bags full of weapons and equipment.

Sharp pain jabbed deep in his head, and he had to lean on one of the duffels as his head swam for a moment. The more extra mass he carried through a flip, the more it hurt. He had nearly passed out from the pain when he had flipped with his cell door in the dungeons under the Cobalt Czar’s palace, opening the way for his escape. The door had provided a handy surprise weapon against the guard he had stumbled across, but flipping back to his tortured, half-starved self while carrying a heavy door had nearly ended him right there.

The only thing more painful was what he had done to Invictus.

But that didn’t matter now. What mattered was his goal. He started unpacking the gear and weapons he would need for his next attempt to enter the City of the Moon. He would not fail this time.

Who is Ying Chan? And who is the mysterious man she and Twain were discussing? You will get absolutely no answers to those questions in tomorrow’s episode, but join us anyway!

To read from the beginning, click here

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