Week 32.2 – Held

Previously: After the battle in the Foreign Ghetto, Digger awoke in a hospital room with a pretty Australian nurse. And now…

“What do you mean, ‘worry about what’s going to happen to me?’” Digger asked. “What is going to happen?”

“I honestly don’t know,” Janet said. “But you have the Czar’s personal attention, and that’s not good. The general goal around the Czar is to not be noticed.”

“Is that possible?” Digger asked.

“It’s important to have goals,” Janet said. “You’ve already failed the first one. So your goal now is to somehow convince the Czar not to kill you.”

“Is that possible?”

She smiled again, but now he could see the bitterness behind the dazzle. “I’m not dead yet.”

“What reason could he possibly have to kill you?” Digger asked.

“He doesn’t need a reason,” Janet said. “He says reasons are for lesser men.”

“Huh,” Digger said. “Almost makes me wish I hadn’t come.”

“Why did you?”

“To warn him,” Digger said. “There’s a man who wants to hurt him, I think.”

Janet burst out laughing. She held a hand over her cleavage to make sure she didn’t jiggle out of her half-buttoned top. “Warn the Czar? You don’t warn the Czar; the Czar warns you.”

“You sound like Yakov Smirnoff,” Digger said.

“Don’t know him,” Janet said. “Is he an ambassador or something?”

“No, he’s…”

“Well, at least he knows what he talking about,” Janet continued as if Digger hadn’t spoken. “Warn the Czar. Heh. But why’s he so interested in you?”

“Who says he’s interested in me?” Digger asked.

“You wouldn’t be here if he weren’t interested in you,” Janet said. “Who are you?”

[blockquote type=”blockquote_quotes” align=”left”]He looked up from the rough cot in the cramped cell to see Yi Fan standing there in a uniform of severe cut, like the late Biryukov…[/blockquote]“I’m Digger,” he said, and then seeing Janet’s look of confusion, added, “Yes, I know. I don’t have things on my hands. Long story.”

“Well, that explains it,” Janet said.

“Explains what?” Digger asked. “We’ve never met.”

“But he’s seen you,” Janet said. “Everyone in the world has seen you. It’s worse than I thought.”


“Because he’s jealous,” Janet said.

“Says who?”

“Says everyone who’s seen the way he’s acted since Hell on Earth,” Janet said. “It’s too bad, really. You seem like a nice enough guy…”

“You just haven’t known me long enough,” Digger said. “So look, could you untie me now? I need to pee something fierce.”

“Sorry, I’m not allowed,” Janet said. “But if you really need to pee, I can help you with that.”

She bent down under the bed and came up with a bedpan.

“You’ve got to be kidding me,” Digger said.

“Grow up. It’s not like I haven’t seen a million of these,” Janet said, moving the bedpan into position. She took another peek under Digger’s gown. “And better.”


The sound of the door opening roused Twain from his slumber. He looked up from the rough cot in the cramped cell to see Yi Fan standing there in a uniform of severe cut, like the late Biryukov. He sat up on the cot, and his head swam from the lingering effects of the Czar’s thump on his head.

“We have to talk,” Yi Fan said.

Those four words have never meant anything good. Find out why in our next episode!

To read from the beginning, click here

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