Week 26.5 – Good Cop, Bad Cop

Previously: After learning of the golden mask’s ability to steal powers, Biryukov shot Twain. And now…

Twain’s chair fell back as the shots rang out, three of them. Yi Fan flinched back as something wet hit her face. Her head rang with feedback.

She barely heard herself cry out as she threw herself down beside Twain. His breathing was a labored wheeze and though his shirt was dark, her palm came away dripping red. “What have you done?” she yelled at Biryukov.

“Cleared away an obstacle,” Biryukov said calmly. “He had nothing useful left to offer, but knew enough to present a problem.”

“I should kill you,” Yi Fan said.

“Too bad the mask has robbed you of that chance,” Biryukov said, his voice quavering as if he were fighting not to laugh. “Give me the mask now.”

“Yi Fan,” Twain gasped.

She bent low over him. His cheek twitched as her tears fell close to his eye. “Yes?”

“M–mask,” he wheezed, then coughed a spray of red across the cement floor.

“Don’t talk,” she said, stroking his face. “I’ll get the healer. I’ll…”

[blockquote type=”blockquote_quotes” align=”right”]Yi Fan swung the heavy mask at Biryukov’s head, but he got an arm up to block it. His hand grabbed her throat and shoved her back against the wall of the narrow room…[/blockquote]She felt the hard barrel of Biryukov’s pistol press against the side of her head. “I told you to give me that mask.”


“Why don’t you kill me and take it, then?”

“Not gone…”

“Because I can think of much better uses for you, once I’m in power here,” Biryukov said.

“Put on… mask….” Twain coughed up more blood.

Biryukov stroked back a stray lock of hair with the barrel of the pistol. “You know, you look so much better without that scar.”

Yi Fan shieked and lunged up against Biryukov. The pistol fired, but the shot went wild. Yi Fan swung the heavy mask at Biryukov’s head, but he got an arm up to block it. His hand grabbed her throat and shoved her back against the wall of the narrow room, between two sets of shelves. And then he had the pistol aimed at her face.

“That’s the problem with mercy,” he said. “Nobody ever appreciates it.”

Yi Fan froze, terrified, looking at death: black, round and imminent. There was a muffled thump off to her left. Biryukov glanced back at Twain, and annoyance was replaced by confusion. Yi Fan followed his gaze. She couldn’t see clearly through the shelves, but Twain and the chair were gone, replaced by two olive-green duffel bags.


Twain felt the impacts, two of them like hard knuckle punches in his chest that left him breathless. He felt a third shot whiz past his face as he fell, and then he was on the floor, with blood filling his lungs and Yi Fan’s tears on his face. He tried to tell her that she could get her powers back, whatever they were, but he wasn’t sure she heard. Then there was a struggle, and while the bald man’s attention was turned away from him, Twain flipped.

He rolled easily to his feet, prepared to disarm the Russian, when there was a loud growl and a flying body slammed him across the room.

Okay, so Twain’s not quite dead yet. Whew! Meanwhile, Digger’s falling to his death from that exploded, flying ice cream truck! Watch Digger die (probably) in next week’s exciting chapter of Run, Digger, Run!

To read from the beginning, click here

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