Week 31.5 – Crushed

Previously: Metalord had finally realized he could not beat the Cobalt Czar. And now…

Twain’s arms and back ached from the strain of pulling the heavy cables bound together by magnetic force. But he was slowly, bit by bit, getting Yi Fan free. Even better, the cable he had already peeled away seemed to have relieved the pressure somewhat, so that Yi Fan could breathe again. If the Czar could keep the Chinese guy busy a few minutes longer, Twain would have her free.


“Fine, time for Plan…” Metalord paused and tried to remember what letter he was up to. “Plan Hell With This.”

He reached back toward Ghost Dragon and swung his arm around in a big arc toward the Czar.


Twain felt a jerk against the cable, and then the length he had already unpeeled began to zip away, like rope attached to a harpoon embedded in a fleeing whale. Suddenly the cable sprang taut, and Yi Fan was jerked from his grasp. The energy membrane that was Ghost Dragon slipped through him, and then Twain was warm and alone, his ears ringing from the absence of the howling winds.

He saw Yi Fan’s limp body whipped around in an arc, Ghost Dragon howling in outrage as he was dragged along with her. They both slammed into the Cobalt Czar.

[blockquote type=”blockquote_quotes” align=”right”]She felt so frail and light in his arms, looked so helpless and innocent. She wasn’t, he knew. She had deliberately killed Biryukov…[/blockquote]Everything became confused. The Czar, suddenly disoriented inside the whirling maelstrom of Ghost Dragon’s body, was made even more so when the length of cable Twain had worked so hard to free up now wrapped around his limbs. He roared in outrage, more insulted than incapacitated, and snapped the cables easily.

By that time, Metalord had taken to the sky and was flying away. The Czar loosed his blue beams from inside Ghost Dragon, whose howl turned into a screech as he dissipated. The beams hit the force field around Metalord, which flickered. He went limp and fell toward the ground.

Twain turned anxiously to check on Yi Fan. Had the Czar’s attack killed her? Was that why the ghost had disappeared?

The Czar barely spared her a glance before leaping off after the fallen Metalord. Twain rushed to Yi Fan’s side and once again grabbed the cable engulfing her. This time it was simply cable–still heavy, but no longer held in place. Twain unwrapped her as quickly as he could, checked her pulse and breathing. Her breathing was shallow, but her pulse was strong under the soft, smooth skin of her neck.

She felt so frail and light in his arms, looked so helpless and innocent. She wasn’t, he knew. She had deliberately killed Biryukov, and he was sure there were other deaths to her name that couldn’t entirely be blamed on the Ghost Dragon. And yet, looking at her face now, relaxed and sleeping, he found he was unable to be afraid of her. He wanted instead to protect and comfort her.

He smoothed back the white streak of hair from her forehead and bent to kiss her.

“What do you think you’re doing?” shouted the Cobalt Czar.

Wow, everything looks pretty bad for everybody at this point, huh? Except for the Czar, I guess. But this surely can’t be the end, can it? Find out next week, in the next exciting chapter of Run, Digger, Run!

To read from the beginning, click here

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