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. â€œNo, I can… I… Damn it!â€
He stood up and stalked away from them. Instead of picking his way over the rocks, he just plowed right through them.
â€œWhere are you going?â€ Digger asked.
â€œAway from you,â€ he said. â€œOtherwise, I might hurt you.â€
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 Fanâ€™s body. He was no longer big, nor was he blue. He was, however, still naked.
â€œWhat happened to you?â€ Digger asked.
â€œPower wore off,â€ Twain said. â€œUsed it all up, I guess.â€
â€œThat never happened to me,â€ Bogdan said.
â€œYou were connected to the crystals,â€ Twain said. â€œThey probably kept you fueled up. But now theyâ€™re gone.â€
â€œYeah,â€ Bogdan said, and they heard the Ghost moaning faintly on the breeze. â€œAll gone. Pretty much.â€
They sat silently for a few moments until finally Digger said, â€œOkay, I canâ€™t stand this anymore. You guys need to put some pants on.â€
[blockquote type=”blockquote_quotes” align=”right”]â€œIâ€™ll get us all some pants,â€ Cole said. â€œPants will fix everything.â€ [/blockquote]â€œOh, well let me just step into the pants store and grab a pair!â€ Twain said. â€œOh, look. Everythingâ€™s blown up! And you should talk. The only thing holding your pants together is two strings and a prayer.â€
â€œYeah, I was kinda too busy getting blown through walls to notice!â€ Digger barked back. â€œCole, will you please fly to the palace and get these guys some pants.â€
Cole nodded and stood up, his own clothes barely holding together. â€œIâ€™ll get us all some pants,â€ Cole said. â€œPants will fix everything.â€
â€œNot nearly everything,â€ Digger said, â€œbut itâ€™s a start.â€
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 Czarâ€™s limousines whihc Cole had appropriated. After all, he argued, the Czar wasnâ€™t exactly going to be using it anymore.
â€œYou guys be careful on the way back to Shanghai,â€ Twain said. â€œYouâ€™re still fugitives.â€
â€œI know,â€ Digger said. â€œWhat about you? Youâ€™re not staying, are you?â€
â€œNot past the funeral,â€ Twain said. â€œOnce I’ve got Yi Fan taken care of properly, I’ll be following you. I wonâ€™t be far behind, donâ€™t worry.â€
â€œWell, I guess this is goodbye then,â€ Digger said. And then he did almost the last thing Twain expected.
See you tomorrow.
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