Week 34.4 – Belling the Cat

Previously: As Yi Fan was attempting to steal the Czar’s powers with the golden mask, Digger and Cole were trying to escape from the dungeon when one of the guards hit an alarm button. And now…

No alarm sounded. The guard gaped at the button he had just hit, then since Cole was almost on top of him, he drew his pistol. They struggled briefly over the gun, but between the loss of his powers and the drugs, Cole could not match the guard’s strength. The guard smiled grimly as he turned the barrel to press against Cole’s chest and pulled the trigger.

The gun did not fire. A moment later, Digger threw a punch at the guard’s jaw, and the guard, still fighting Cole for the pistol, was completely unable to block or to dodge. He fell to the floor, stunned.

Cole rubbed absently at the spot on his chest where a bullet hadn’t entered. “Wow, nothing seems to work around here. Was that you, or does the Czar just buy cheap?”

“That was me,” Digger said. His eyes wandered, fixed on things Cole couldn’t see. “I’m really starting to get the hang of this. I’ve got the feeling a lot of stuff is going to stop working around here pretty soon. Makes me wonder just what other Digger did with this power?”

“Who cares?” Cole said. “What matters is what you do with it. Let’s go.”


The Czar touched the mask to his face and looked up at Yi Fan. His face was so broad, she could only see the inner third of each eye. She held her breath as she waited for the change to occur.

[blockquote type=”blockquote_quotes” align=”left”]The Czar suddenly made a strangled, gasping noise in his throat…[/blockquote]The Czar suddenly made a strangled, gasping noise in his throat. Then he said, “Yi Fan, I am your father” in a pretty good approximation of the guy who’d done Darth Vader’s voice in the Russian version. Yi Fan waited  tensely to see if change might still occur. How long had it taken with her?

But no, a moment later when the Czar took the mask away from his face, he was still just as big and still just as blue. Something had gone wrong. “Did I give up any secrets?” he asked.

Yi Fan smiled. “Why no, just the usual.”

The Czar chuckled and regarded the mask in his hands. “So it isn’t magical, apparently, just art. Why would he think I was interested in art, I wonder? Oh well, I guess I could always have it melted down and use it to buy guns for the army.”

He tossed the mask carelessly onto a side table. Yi Fan bowed. “Well, I guess I should be going.”

“Stay for a drink,” said the Czar, heading toward the bar on one side of the room.

“No, thank you,” Yi Fan said. “My house has been destroyed. I need to commandeer a new place to live.”

“Wait,” called the Czar called out sharply as she turned to leave. She turned back toward him slowly, wondering if he had known all along about her ruse and only pretended to try the mask on, making her think she had messed up somehow until he sprang the trap on her.

Why didn’t the mask work? Will Digger and Twain be able to escape? Join us for our next exciting episode!

To read from the beginning, click here

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