Previously: Digger opened the door of Cole’s cell in the Czar’s dungeon to help him escape, while Yi Fan entered the palace, intent on stealing the Czar’s powers. And now…
“How did you get the door open?” Cole asked. “I didn’t know you could pick locks.”
“I can’t,” Digger said, casting an uneasy look at the only door out of the block of cells. He had a cut lip and a swelling bruise over one eye that made it squint almost shut. He looked like a slightly crazed Popeye. “I just sort of asked the lock to open for me and it did.”
“So your power doesn’t just work on cars?” Cole asked.
“Apparently not. Let’s get out of here.”
Cole stood up, still feeling a little woozy from the drugs they’d shot him up with. He bent over to get out the door, lost his equilibrium and stumbled across the narrow corridor to bang into the opposite wall.
“Dude, are you all right?” Digger asked, grabbing Cole’s upper arm to steady him.
“I’m better than all right,” Cole said. He blinked in slow motion. “Although it’s weird. Normally, I can’t get intoxicated, like at all. I guess by taking away my powers, they also lowered my tolerance.”
“Are you going to be okay trying to get out?” Digger asked. “If you need to wait longer to sober up a little, I could just lock us back in the cells until you’re ready. They’d be none the wiser.”
[blockquote type=”blockquote_quotes” align=”right”]He had a cut lip and a swelling bruise over one eye that made it squint almost shut. He looked like a slightly crazed Popeye…[/blockquote]“No, let’s do it now, before they jack me up worse,” Cole said. “Besides, maybe if we raise my heart rate enough, it’ll burn this stuff out of my system faster.”
Digger nodded and crept to the door. He turned back to Cole and fixed him with that crazy pirate squint. “We’ll probably run into a guard or two right away. Our only chance is to overwhelm them immediately, so charge straight at them, no matter what they do. Leave everything else to me. Got it?”
Cole nodded, though he had no idea what “everything else” could mean with a near-norm like Digger.
Digger yanked the door open as if it had never been locked at all. Ten yards away, a guard sat behind a desk, reading a Russian magazine. His eyes widened at the sight of the open door. As Cole charged forward, he saw the guard’s hand slap down on a button mounted to the top of his desk.
“Come in, come in,” the Czar said to Yi Fan. He stood across the vast living room of his suite of apartments in the palace. He was puffing on the nub of what had probably been an enormous cigar and unbuttoning his white dress shirt, which bore a discreet red splatter on the right sleeve.He’d just come from hurting someone. Yi Fan prayed it hadn’t been Twain. “You’re looking none the worse for almost dying yesterday. Still as lovely as ever.”
“Thank you,” Yi Fan said, accepting the compliment without comment. She never knew if he was actually flirting with her or simply manipulating her, although it didn’t really matter either way. She would still destroy him, no matter what.
Will Digger and Cole really be able to escape the palace without their powers once the alarm sounds? How will Yi Fan manage to get the mask on the Czar? Will it work? For some of the answers, don’t miss the next exciting episode!
To read from the beginning, click here…