Previously: Digger, Twain and Metalord were held prisoner in the Cobalt Czar’s dungeon when guards told Digger the Czar wanted to meet him. And now…
The room they brought Digger to was plush compared to what heâ€™d seen of Keuke Bator so far (which admittedly wasnâ€™t much). The guards tied him to a chair next to a long marble-topped conference table and left him alone. Digger stared at the oversized, high-backed chair upholstered in burgundy leather at the head of the table as if it might do something entertaining at any instant. Some time later, the door opened, and he walked in.
The Cobalt Czar was seven feet tall. His hair and long mustache were black, but the halogen lights overhead picked out blue highlights. He was wearing a charcoal-grey pinstriped suit of impeccable cut, which made even his football linesmanâ€™s body seem trim and stylish. He sat in the leather chair, which creaked under his considerable weight, and laced his fingers together on the table, watching Digger. The thick veins standing out from the backs of his huge hands shaded to deep midnight against the brighter blue of his skin. Even his eyes were blue in this country of brown-eyed men.
Digger felt the pressure of that silent stare, but didnâ€™t say anything. The temptation to break the uncomfortable silence was strong, but Digger was sure the Czar would take it as a sign of weakness if he did so. Digger couldnâ€™t afford to start off at any more of a disadvantage than he already had.
â€œThey tell me youâ€™re Digger, the hero who conquered Hell on Earth.â€ The Czarâ€™s voice was a deep rumble that Digger could feel vibrating through the chair he was chained to. â€œIf this is true, then where are the things that go on your arms?â€
â€œLong story,â€ Digger said. â€œThat is, if I am Digger.â€
â€œYouâ€™re not Digger?â€
[blockquote type=”blockquote_quotes” align=”left”]”If I were the Digger people saw around the world defeating Psicho, killing me would carry weight. But killing a norm without powers? Itâ€™s like sneezing. Nobodyâ€™s impressed.”[/blockquote]â€œThey tell me you hate Digger,â€ Digger said. â€œI certainly donâ€™t want to be someone you hate. On the other hand, Iâ€™m pretty sure you donâ€™t like being lied to. So Iâ€™d rather just not answer, if thatâ€™s okay with you.â€
The Czar smiled with one side of his mouth and chuckled. â€œIs not okay.â€
Digger shrugged as best he could with the zip-ties binding his hands to the chair. â€œWell, what I can guarantee you is that the Digger who stopped Hell on Earth is gone.â€
â€œSo tell me why I should not have you tortured and executed,â€ the Czar said.
â€œBecause that would suck,â€ Digger said. â€œPlus, it wouldnâ€™t accomplish anything. If I were the Digger people saw around the world defeating Psicho, killing me would carry weight. But killing a norm without powers? Itâ€™s like sneezing. Nobodyâ€™s impressed.â€
â€œI have seen some impressive sneezes,â€ the Czar said. â€œThis one time…â€
â€œNo, sneezing isnâ€™t the point,â€ Digger said. â€œThe point is, Iâ€™m not worth killing.â€
â€œIâ€™ll decide that,â€ the Czar said. He pulled a huge cigar from an inside pocket of his suit jacket, lit it, and blew smoke at the ceiling. â€œYouâ€™re not at all what I imagined. How does someone like you end up saving the world?â€
How does someone like Digger save the world? For the answer, go read Hero Go Home, and then come back here for the next episode!
To read from the beginning, click here…