Previously: Digger, Twain and Yi Fan were making their way down into the cave that serves as the entrance to the City of the Moon. And now…
“How do you ‘accidentally’ have brain surgery?” Digger asked.
“How isn’t the important part of the story,” Twain said. “The important part is that it put the device in my head that let me flip over a year before the First String event that gave everyone else their powers.”
“Wait, you had your powers before?” Digger asked.
“Yeah,” Twain said. “ And while I was getting all that sorted out, this guy hunts me down, name of Pat. Old guy. Never could get a straight answer on exactly how old. And he heads this secret society called the League of Dragons.”
“You’re shitting me,” Digger said.
“Hey, learn Chinese and ask her,” Twain said, swinging the flashlight beam at Yi Fan. “Anyway, this Pat tells me the thing in my head allows me to tap into this power that he called the River, and if I let him teach me, I could learn how to do a hell of a lot more with it than change clothes.”
“Like what you used to be able to do,” Twain said. “Be faster and stronger and tougher than anyone else. Channel it to heal or to defend. Pretty much anything.”
“But you never had those kinds of powers,” Digger asked. “So why did you turn him down? Or was he just a fraud?”
[blockquote type=”blockquote_quotes” align=”right”]”…suddenly the amazing things I’d been seeing Pat and the others do were small potatoes. You made us obsolete in like a day…”[/blockquote]“Neither,” Twain said. “While I was his student in China, I saw people do incredible things. But I could never get it to work. Maybe the device in my head was blocking me, or maybe I was just subconsciously unable to accept the fact that I could do that kind of stuff, too. All I know is, I spent two years banging my head against the wall with no results, and by that time, guys like you were starting to pop up all over the place. And suddenly the amazing things I’d been seeing Pat and the others do were small potatoes. You made us obsolete in like a day.”
“So you quit.”
“Yeah,” Twain said. “I came back home and learned how to make the most of what I could do. How to make it pay.”
“So what does that have to do with what’s going on now?” Digger asked.
He saw Twain’s face crinkle in the darkness in what looked like a smile. “All that stuff I could never do? I could do it when I had that crystal.”
Cole sat on a flat rock near the cave entrance and concentrated on the inner fence surrounding the cave. His perceptions were coming clearer with every passing minute. He could feel the entire periphery of the inner fence, and most of the outer fence as well, although he still barely had enough strength to lift a rifle.
He still had one weapon he could use against the Czar, although he wasn’t sure if he could bring himself to use it. He had only ever done it once before, and the devastation it had wreaked had been terrifying.
What could Cole’s secret weapon possibly be? Don’t miss our next exciting episode!
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