Week 37.3 – City of the Moon

Previously: As Twain and Digger descended toward the City of the Moon, Yi fan got a call ordering her to meet the Cobalt Czar there.

“What are you doing?” Yi Fan asked.

“Working on a way to beat the Czar,” Cole said. “I don’t want to kill him, but if it comes down to it…”

“There’s a better way,” Yi Fan said. “Can you fly?”

Cole sucked air through his teeth as he considered. “Could be difficult. I’m getting stronger, but I’m not sure I’m there yet.”

“Then find out,” Yi Fan said.


“The mask…” Yi Fan began.

“The mask that Digger’s after?” Cole interrupted. “The one that took away his powers?”

“Yes,” Yi Fan said. “It will work on the Czar also, I’m sure of it.”

“I don’t know,” Cole said. “We kind of decided that taking away his powers would be bad.”

[blockquote type=”blockquote_quotes” align=”right”]“What’s important is that you get the mask, quickly! Can’t you hear? He’s almost upon us!”[/blockquote]“He’s coming here to confront you, and he’s not happy. How do you propose to beat him? Like that?” She pointed at the sliced rock on the ground. “The Czar’s skin is considerably tougher than that rock. And maiming him won’t stop him. He destroyed his own arm during the Pestilence from Heaven without hesitation and kept fighting.”

“How many arms did he have?” Cole asked. “Because he had two when I fought him.”

“He has a healer who helped him grow a new one,” Yi Fan said. “So if the mask doesn’t work, we can use your idea as a ‘Plan B.’”

“Oh no, it’s not Plan B,” Cole said. “It’s more like Plan, um, L or something.”

“The letter’s not important!” Yi Fan snapped above the sound of distant engines laboring up the hillside. “What’s important is that you get the mask, quickly! Can’t you hear? He’s almost upon us!”

“Okay, lady, keep your shirt on,” Cole said. Then he looked her up and down and smiled. “Although later, if you wanted to take it off…”

Yi Fan’s eyes clouded with white, and Cole dimly heard the howl of unearthly winds. “Go!” Yi Fan said in a voice that was not entirely hers.

“Okay, fine,” Cole said. He gestured at the fence. Steel wire unraveled from it and wrapped itself around Cole’s waist, under the crotch and over each shoulder several times, like a climbing harness. “Here goes.”

He concentrated and lifted slowly from the ground. “Hey, what do you know? This crazy gizmo really works!” he said in English.

“What?” Yi Fan asked as her ghostly aspect faded. The engine noises grew louder.

“Never mind,” Cole said in Chinese. “Where’s the mask?”

“In the Czar’s personal chambers,” Yi Fan said. She handed him the canvas messenger bag she wore over her shoulder. “Put it in this. I’ll stall until you get back.”

“Are you going to be okay with that?”

“Don’t worry about me,” she said. “He still thinks I’m working for him. Go quickly, but don’t let yourself be seen.”

“Right. I’ll be right back.” He soared out over the trees and disappeared.

Yi Fan walked toward the gate to the compound and looked down the dirt road to the short convoy of vehicles laboring up toward her.

Will Cole make it back in time? And what’s happening underground? Don’t miss the next episode!

To read from the beginning, click here

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