Week 19.5 – Cortex’s Theory

Previously: Cole Chen, alias the superhero Metalord, offered to take Digger to China. And now…

“Wait, how did you get Digger a passport?” Katrina asked.

“I didn’t say I was putting him on a plane to China,” Cole said. “I said I’m taking him. We don’t need passports, because we’re not going through Customs. We just get on the plane and go.”

“I’m pretty sure that’s illegal,” Katrina said.

“I’m pretty sure they can’t stop me,” Cole said.

“And how will you get into China?” Katrina asked.

“I have a plan,” Cole said. “Why are you so concerned? You want to come?”

“No, I don’t want to come,” Katrina answered. “And I’m concerned because I’m Digger’s friend. You’re not seriously considering this, are you?”

Digger jumped as he realized she had spoken that last to him. “Um, I don’t know. It does sound risky.”

“Of course it’s risky,” Cole said. “That’s not the point. The point is, do you seriously think you’re going to be able to get to China through legitimate channels in less than six weeks? I got the impression that you were in a hurry to catch up to this guy.”

[blockquote type=”blockquote_quotes” align=”right”]“Crazy I can handle,” Digger said. “It’s when things start making too much sense that I start to worry.”[/blockquote]“I am,” Digger said. “And he’s right, Katrina. I came without a plan, but I knew an opportunity would present itself. Here’s the opportunity. I’ve got to take it.”

“It’s crazy,” Katrina said, and added in a lower voice, “He’s crazy.”

“Crazy I can handle,” Digger said. “It’s when things start making too much sense that I start to worry.”


The rusty Tianjin wheezed to a stop at a yurt on the outskirts of Batsumber, on the fringes of the Czar’s territory at the border between Mongolia and Siberia. Twain got out of the car and stretched, then limped toward the door. Hours of driving across bumps and potholes had left him stiff and sore.

And starving, he realized as he caught the smell of boiled mutton coming from inside. He opened the door and stepped inside. The five men in the room stared at him distrustfully. He bowed to them, and one of them spooned him out a bowl of meat from the iron pot over the fire. He accepted the bowl and settled down to eat on the opposite side of the round tent-like dome from the men, who resumed chattering in a mix of Mongolian and Russian, with the odd English word thrown in every now and then.

There wasn’t much flavor to the food, but it was warm and fatty and very filling. As he ate, Twain considered his options. He could go up into the mountains to find a remote place to camp while he scouted the City of the Moon more thoroughly than last time. Or he could pose as a missionary or something, ask around for information they would surely be afraid to give.

He was interrupted by the sound of a clattering diesel pulling up and stopping with the scream of worn brake drums. The other men in the tent tensed. Twain heard several voices shouting, and heavy footfalls approached the door.

What will happen to Twain? Will Digger really need to stop him, or merely scrape what’s left of him off the floor? Be here next week for the next exciting chapter!

To read from the beginning, click here

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One Response to Week 19.5 – Cortex’s Theory

  1. Tony Frazier says:

    Broken link from front page fixed.

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