Previously: Digger told Twain he needed to give up on time travel and let Yi Fan go. And now…
Twain gritted his teeth and thumped one huge blue fist against the ground, sending out vibrations for hundreds of feet. “No, I can… I… Damn it!”
He stood up and stalked away from them. Instead of picking his way over the rocks, he just plowed right through them.
“Where are you going?” Digger asked.
“Away from you,” he said. “Otherwise, I might hurt you.”
Bogdan, Cole and Digger sat looking at each other in silence. A couple of minutes later, they heard Twain scream, and the ground shook. After perhaps another minute of shouting and smashing, they saw a bright blue flash, and then all was still. Some time later, Twain walked back to where they still sat huddled around Yi Fan’s body. He was no longer big, nor was he blue. He was, however, still naked.
“What happened to you?” Digger asked.
“Power wore off,” Twain said. “Used it all up, I guess.”
“That never happened to me,” Bogdan said.
“You were connected to the crystals,” Twain said. “They probably kept you fueled up. But now they’re gone.”
“Yeah,” Bogdan said, and they heard the Ghost moaning faintly on the breeze. “All gone. Pretty much.”
They sat silently for a few moments until finally Digger said, “Okay, I can’t stand this anymore. You guys need to put some pants on.”
[blockquote type=”blockquote_quotes” align=”right”]“I’ll get us all some pants,” Cole said. “Pants will fix everything.” [/blockquote]“Oh, well let me just step into the pants store and grab a pair!” Twain said. “Oh, look. Everything’s blown up! And you should talk. The only thing holding your pants together is two strings and a prayer.”
“Yeah, I was kinda too busy getting blown through walls to notice!” Digger barked back. “Cole, will you please fly to the palace and get these guys some pants.”
Cole nodded and stood up, his own clothes barely holding together. “I’ll get us all some pants,” Cole said. “Pants will fix everything.”
“Not nearly everything,” Digger said, “but it’s a start.”
Digger and Cole discussed heading back for Shanghai the next day, but they ended up sleeping through most of it. So they did the next best thing and got drunk with Bogdan and Twain. At some point during the evening, Rada the healer joined them, and at some later point, she and Bogdan disappeared. Digger wondered if she knew exactly who Bogdan was.
Neither of them showed up to see Digger and Cole off the next morning, either. Twain stood with them next to one of the Czar’s limousines whihc Cole had appropriated. After all, he argued, the Czar wasn’t exactly going to be using it anymore.
“You guys be careful on the way back to Shanghai,” Twain said. “You’re still fugitives.”
“I know,” Digger said. “What about you? You’re not staying, are you?”
“Not past the funeral,” Twain said. “Once I’ve got Yi Fan taken care of properly, I’ll be following you. I won’t be far behind, don’t worry.”
“Well, I guess this is goodbye then,” Digger said. And then he did almost the last thing Twain expected.
See you tomorrow.
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