Week 22.5 – Hiding Out

Previously: Yi Fan hid Twain in a gardener’s shed with strict instructions that he not go out after dark. So after dark, Twain went out. And now…

Twain climbed to the top of the stone wall and looked out over the village, which fell away in gradual terraces. Twain wasn’t sure, but this looked like the Foreigners’ Ghetto.

After his failed conquest of Mongolia and northern China, the Cobalt Czar had decided to solidify control over the territory he still occupied. So he started on a program of economic development, with the aim of having his occupation recognized as a legitimate country. To that end, he had hired, bribed or kidnapped a number of foreign nationals with important skills or powers. The healer who had repeatedly healed Twain’s broken arm had been Bulgarian. And pretty much all of them lived in the same small village, where they shared nothing in common except their non-Mongolian-ness.

But though Twain thought of it as a ghetto, it was not poorer nor more restricted than the rest of the Czar’s domain. In fact, due to the high concentration of people with important professional skills, the village was actually more prosperous than the others in the region, which didn’t make them any more popular with their neighbors.

Twain sat on the fence, trying to decide what to do. On the one hand, there was no better place for him to blend in and disappear. But on the other hand, there might be no better place for him to learn what he needed to about the City of the Moon than the house of a highly-placed official in the Czar’s organization.

[blockquote type=”blockquote_quotes” align=”right”]..Her father was apparently highly placed enough that he would be above suspicion. But if he discovered Twain hiding out in the shed, it would not only be bad for Twain, but also bad for Yi Fan…[/blockquote]But Yi Fan was a problem. Twain now understood why she was so confident that no one would search for him here; her father was apparently highly placed enough that he would be above suspicion. But if he discovered Twain hiding out in the shed, it would not only be bad for Twain, but also bad for Yi Fan. He didn’t want her to get into trouble for helping him.

He froze as headlights appeared around a corner down the street. The headlights swept directly across him, but he was partially concealed by overhanging tree branches and his clothes were dark. As long as he didn’t move, they likely wouldn’t notice him. After all, they weren’t looking for him and he wasn’t in a place where they’d normally expect a person to be.

The car turned the corner just before reaching Twain. Twain recognized a streak of white hair sitting in the back seat. It must be Yi Fan. Curious, Twain dropped back inside the compound and made his way around to where he could see the front of the main house.

The car stopped and a beefy, dark-haired Caucasian got out of the passenger seat and opened the rear door for Yi Fan. She got out and snapped something in Russian at the man, who bowed and followed in her wake as the car pulled away toward the garage.

Twain was startled by her authoritative air. Yi Fan was obviously more than jsut a rebellious, privileged daughter. Who was she exactly?

What will Twain learn about the mysterious Yi Fan? And in the meantime, what’s going on with Digger and the crashing plane? For at least one answer to one question, join us Monday for the next exciting chapter of Run, Digger, Run!

To read from the beginning, click here

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