Week 36.4 – Hole Cards

Previously: Digger and Cole made their way to the military base protecting the City of the Moon, only to find Twain and Yi Fan already there. And now…

Twain turned and fixed Digger with a mocking smile. He wore a backpack for hiking, but otherwise seemed unarmed and unprepared, which seemed strange to Cole. According to Digger, Twain was always prepared. “What are you doing here? Did you decide to follow another one of my plans after all?”

“No,” said Digger. “I just want the mask.”

“What did he say?” asked Yi Fan in Mandarin.

“He said he wants the mask,” Cole translated.

“Why?” Yi Fan asked. “The mask doesn’t work anymore.”

“What?” Twain asked.

“I already tried putting it on the Czar, and it didn’t work,” Yi Fan explained.

“What are they saying?” Digger asked Cole.

“The mask is broken,” Cole answered.

“Was the amulet still attached?” Twain asked.


“There was something taped to the forehead,” Twain said.

“Oh, yeah,” Yi Fan said. “The tape was coming loose and it looked ugly, so the Czar pulled it off.”

“That’s the control,” Twain said. “The mask doesn’t work unless the amulet touches the forehead. Doesn’t matter. I’ve come up with a better plan.”

“What are they saying now?” Digger asked.

“The mask may not be broken,” Cole said.

“Well, damn it, pick one!” Digger yelled at Twain.

“Shut up!” Twain yelled back. “What are you even doing here?”

“We were going to hole up here until Cole got his powers back, then come rescue you,” Digger said.

“I don’t need rescuing,” Twain countered.

“I see that,” Digger said. “So why are you here? You really think you can destroy the Czar’s powers here?”

Twain smiled and pulled the Cup of Regret from his backpack.

[blockquote type=”blockquote_quotes” align=”left”]“Oh, God no, seriously?” Digger asked. “I’ve already told you. Time travel never helps. I’ve made the trip three times already, and nothing good has come of it.”[/blockquote]“Oh, God no, seriously?” Digger asked. “I’ve already told you. Time travel never helps. I’ve made the trip three times already, and nothing good has come of it.”

“Perhaps you’re doing it wrong,” Twain said. He turned and walked away toward an inner fenced enclosure.

“What was he saying?” Yi Fan asked.

Twain shrugged. “The Cup didn’t work well for him, so he thinks it won’t work for anyone else.”

“”What does it do?” Yi Fan asked.

“Remember when you first met me? When I said I had come from the future?” Twain hefted the cup. “This is what will send me back.”

“What good will that do?” Yi Fan asked.

“All the good in the world,” Twain said. “It’s the key to defeating the Czar.”

“What are you telling her?” Digger asked in English.

“How much you suck,” Twain said. “You want to see how the Cup really ought to work? Just follow me.”

“You’re awfully confident,” Cole said. “You really think you can do whatever it is you plan to do before the Czar gets here to stop you?”

Twain stopped and looked at Cole like he was an idiot. “Why would the Czar even come here?”

“Because of that soldier who escaped and called for help?” Cole said.

Twain looked startled. He turned to Yi Fan and said in Mandarin, “I thought you killed everyone before they could summon help!”

Weekly conclusion coming tomorrow, and then I need to get on the stick and write the first episode of week 37 the same day to get back on schedule. Can I do it? Oh, and what happens next in the story? Don’t miss the next episode!

To read from the beginning, click here

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