Previously: While Yi Fan tried to stall the Czar outside, Twain and Digger had finally reached the City of the Moon. And now…
Twain and Digger stood in a narrow passageway with tiny glowing blue crystals dotting the walls and ceiling. â€œI knew it,â€ Twain said. â€œI knew they had to be here.â€
He closed his eyes and tried to sense the River the way Pat had taught him years ago. Unlike then, Twain could feel it now, an ebb and swell, like a pulse driven by a million heartbeats.
â€œHey,â€ Digger said, â€œit looks brighter through there.â€
Twain followed Digger down the narrow passageway and around a bend into another, wider chamber. There more crystals here, and bigger. The ones in the previous passage had been only two to three inches long. In here, some were as long as a foot. It was brighter in here as well, due in part to light shining through a small opening into another chamber. Twain got down on hands and knees and shrugged out of his backpack.
â€œWhat are you doing?â€ Digger asked.
â€œThereâ€™s more in here,â€ Twain said. He crawled through the narrow passageway.
And emerged into a gigantic chamber, hundreds of feet across, the ceiling soaring high above his head. The blue glow was intense in here, coming from thousands, maybe millions of crystals. Tiny ones covered the floor like fur, while larger ones dominated the middle of the chamber, many taller than a man.
â€œWow, thatâ€™s bright,â€ Digger said from beside him. â€œJeez, itâ€™s like a cathedral or something in here. Look, thereâ€™s even an altar.â€
[blockquote type=”blockquote_quotes” align=”right”]â€œBut thatâ€™s not a cathedral in there. Itâ€™s tar sands. Itâ€™s a reservoir just waiting to be tapped.”[/blockquote]Digger pointed at something toward the center of the vast chamber. It was hard to make out at first–just a different configuation of glowing blue crystals in a sea of them–but just in front of a cluster of tall crystals that reminded Twain vaguely of Stonehenge sat a smaller cluster of almost uniform height, about waist high. Something small and dark lay just to one side of the altar, but the pulse of the River in Twainâ€™s head made it hard to concentrate. Twain got down to crawl out of the chamber.
â€œWhere are you going?â€ Digger asked. â€œThis is what you came for. Twice. Shouldnâ€™t you, I donâ€™t know, bask in it or something?â€
â€œI didnâ€™t do it for the view,â€ Twain said as he crawled out.
â€œWhat does that mean?â€ Digger asked as he emerged into the smalled antechamber.
Twain was sitting on the floor, rooting through his pack. He pulled the Cup of Regret from his backpack and set it on the rock floor. â€œI came here to use this place, not gawk at it,â€ Twain said.
â€œBut that doesnâ€™t mean you canâ€™t…â€
â€œDonâ€™t get me wrong. I can see that itâ€™s beautiful,â€ Twain said. He pulled out a wineskin and poured juice into the cup. The golden juice looked green in the blue glow. â€œBut thatâ€™s not a cathedral in there. Itâ€™s tar sands. Itâ€™s a reservoir just waiting to be tapped. Thatâ€™s why…â€
He stopped as the earth rumbled beneath them, and far off, they heard a ghostly howl.
Hey, I think we’re getting close to a big confrontation, as heroes, villains, and whatever the hell Twain is fight over the City of the Moon. Don’t miss the next exciting chapter of Run, Digger, Run!
To read from the beginning, click here…