Week 35.5 – Desperate Times

First, apologies for the late update. You can read a partial explanation here, which I think contains some exciting news (for me, anyway). Then come back for today’s episode. I’ll wait.

Previously: Yi Fan had taken Twain to a healer to tend his broken arm and the bullet wound on his other self. And now…

Yi Fan’s phone rang as Rada worked her power on Twain’s bullet wound. The screen showed the call coming from the Czar.

Yi  Fan stepped out of the apartment to get away from Twain’s moans of pain. She walked down a short corridor to an exit that led onto an alley. There was a broad flat step maybe two feet deep that someone had set a hibachi out on, as if to turn it into a couryard. She answered the phone. “Yes?”

“Yi Fan,” said the Czar. “There has been an escape. The American prisoners.”

“Which ones?” Yi Fan asked.

“All of them,” the Czar said. “I need you out searching right now. Bring them back or kill them, I don’t care which.”

“As you wish.” She closed the phone and sat, looking at a scatter of cigarette butts on the ground next to the step as she contemplated their next move.

What would they do now? The mask hadn’t worked on the Czar. He was immune, somehow. Which meant they had to get away. But though the Czar might let Twain get away, would he be as forgiving of Yi Fan, who had not only deserted his service, but also killed his pet Russian, Biryukov?

She didn’t think so.

The door opened behind her and Rada sat down next to her. She lit a cigarette with trembling hands. “It’s done. He’s resting, but he probably shouldn’t move for a couple of hours.”

“Should you be smoking?” Yi Fan asked.

[blockquote type=”blockquote_quotes” align=”right”] “You spend your days putting dying men back together just so that they can be brought back the next day in the same shape, and then maybe you can say something to me about smoking.”[/blockquote]Rada gave her a flat stare as she took a long draw, held the smoke curling in her open mouth for a moment, and then blew it out. “You spend your days putting dying men back together just so that they can be brought back the next day in the same shape, and then maybe you can say something to me about smoking.”

“I guess if you get sick, you can just heal yourself,” Yi Fan said.

“I hope not,” Rada said quietly and took another drag.


The pain was incredible, but worse than the pain was the fog. Twain was trying to come up with a good scenario to put the mask on the Czar, but then his mind would drift and he would see himself back in that pantry , tied to a chair, the bullet from Biryukov’s pistol thumping the breath from his lungs.

This wasn’t helping. He needed to focus on the future, not the past. And even though he no longer possessed the blue crystal, he felt a familiar tingle in his mind and set himself to meditating the pain away.


Rada was almost done with her second cigarette, and Yi Fan still had not figured out their next move, when the door opened behind them. Twain stepped out slowly. “What are you doing?” Yi Fan asked. “You should be resting.”

“I’m fine,” Twain said. “Let’s go.”

“Back to America?”

“Back to the palace,” Twain said. “To finish the Czar once and for all.”

Things are starting to come together now, but trust me when I say, if you think you know what’s going to happen next, you’re wrong. Two words: alien invasion. Not that they have any bearing on the story at hand, but they are in fact two words. See you in a week with the next exciting episode!

To read from the beginning, click here

This entry was posted in Run Digger Run. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *