Previously: Twain was released from the Ghost’s possession when Cole cut off his hand. And now…
â€œSon of a bitch!â€ Twain shouted. The fallen rocks all around him rumbled in sympathy. â€œYouâ€™ve got to find a different way of doing that.â€
A howl arose from the crystal at Twainâ€™s feet, but Digger destroyed the shard with a small Driller blast. The tiny rush of power felt to Twain like eating a wafer-thin mint after a huge meal. The energy was pulsing in his head like the worldâ€™s worst migraine, and in his chest, making it hard to breathe.
â€œWelcome to the club,â€ said Bogdan. He slowly sat up and rubbed his head. â€œI have a healer in the town. She can grow you a new hand in a few weeks.â€
â€œNo need,â€ said Twain, remembering the way his muscles had grown and his wounds had closed just a couple of minutes ago. He let go of his stump and snatched his hand off the ground. Bright red blood spurted out of his arm, but Twain held his severed hand to the stump, and within a few seconds, the bleeding had slowed to a dribble as the cells rejoined.
Twain let go with his other hand. The formerly severed hand stayed in place. He flexed his fingers experimentally. They moved, but slowly. The sensation felt vague and distant, as if he were moving the fingers by remote control, or perhaps making them move by telekinesis rather than through nerves and muscles.
â€œNeat trick,â€ said Digger.
â€œSee? No harm done,â€ Cole added.
[blockquote type=”blockquote_quotes” align=”right”]The sensation felt vague and distant, as if he were moving the fingers by remote control, or perhaps making them move by telekinesis rather than through nerves and muscles…[/blockquote]â€œNo!â€ said the Ghostâ€™s voice. It was tinny and attentuated, as if heard through a telephone handset from the other end of the room. Twain saw the image of the Ghost forming from watery vapor above the few glowing crystal shards that still remained. â€œYou havenâ€™t beaten me yet. I still have the power of my hate, just like when I was in Yi Fan.â€
â€œDo you?â€ asked Twain. â€œBecause you donâ€™t look so strong anymore. Maybe you lost it when crystalsâ€™ power was released.â€
â€œNo, believe me, I…â€ Whatever else he said was drowned out by a boom as Digger destroyed another fragment.
Twain felt another tiny trickle of new power. As Digger turned toward the next fragment, Twain held up his hand and said, â€œWait. Donâ€™t destroy them all.â€
â€œWhy not?â€ Digger asked.
â€œBecause heâ€™s weak now,â€ Twain said. â€œBut if you destroy all the crystals, you might release his spirit to possess one of us. Better to leave him trapped in his teeny-tiny little prisons.â€
â€œMaybe youâ€™re right,â€ Digger said. He looked up at Twainâ€™s massive form. â€œJeez, youâ€™re huge. Looks like youâ€™re the new Czar now. What are you going to do with all that power?â€
â€œI donâ€™t know,â€ Twain said, rubbing at his aching head. â€œFeels like I could do just about anything. Anything I could imagine.â€
He looked at the hand he had just willed to reattach itself and flexed his fingers again. What had the Ghost said? Control life and death itself…
Twain whirled and began to dig frantically through the piles of fallen rock.
This is it. Starting tomorrow – THE FINAL WEEK! Don’t miss Week 44!
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