Previously: Twain was taken prisoner by the Cobalt Czar’s men. And now…
The men riding with him did their best to intimidate him with sly looks and muttered remarks followed by cruel laughter. He tried to make them think they were in control by staying quiet and looking nervous.
Which wasn’t too hard. The diesel fumes were mixing badly with the greasy aftertaste of the boiled lunch he’d just half-eaten, and combined with the headache, he was sure he was an interesting shade of pale-verging-on-green.
The headache was from the mask, he was thinking. It always hurt when he flipped a lot of mass, but once he’d done it, there was no lingering effect. However, the mask was a powerful object itself; when he flipped it, he could always feel its power hovering out there somewhere. It hadn’t been much of an issue on the flight over, but he’d started developing a killer headache on the drive.
Around ten minutes later, the truck pulled to a stop with a squeal of abused brakes. The men grabbed him and hustled him out into the fresh air. They were in a small town with narrow streets and relatively new buildings built too close together. The low concrete building they were parked in front of had the drab, utilitarian look of a jail or what passed for a police station in the Czar’s domain.
[blockquote type=”blockquote_quotes” align=”left”]Twain stumbled and seemed to twist his ankle, falling heavily against the man on his right. And then he threw his shoulder hard into the man’s hip…[/blockquote]There were two ways to play this. Usually, he would go willingly into a cell, because once he was locked up, their guard would be down, and he could escape more easily, either by using the tools and implements he carried in his other suit, or by simply flipping the door.
But he was carrying too much stuff on the other side to make either of those approaches feasible. So he really needed to make his escape before being taken into the building, like right now.
Three of the men walked in front of him, chattering and laughing. His arms were held by men on each side, and the last man brought up the rear. As they walked him around the side of the truck toward the front door, the man on his left let go of his arm to light a cigarette. Twain stumbled and seemed to twist his ankle, falling heavily against the man on his right. And then he threw his shoulder hard into the man’s hip.
They both fell down, and Twain rolled past him under the truck. It took the men a moment to realize something was wrong, and another moment to decide whether to chase him under the truck or go around to the other side, and by that time, Twain was on his feet and sprinting hard for the building on the other side of the street. He opened the door and scrambled inside as shots rang out behind him.
The building was a vet’s office. Dogs inside started to yap and bark as he vaulted the counter and zig-zagged through a few dirty exam rooms to a back door, followed by angry shouts.
Will Twain get away? Will this week’s illustration ever appear? Be here tomorrow for our next exciting episode!
To read from the beginning, click here…