Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Page 1348

((The Wednesday Triple: page 3 of 3))
That might’ve also explained why the cubes flew so wildly off course. The non-growing sections of the cube would have gained their own, genuine momentum while being pushed along at such a speed by the still-growing sections. Not to mention, they would have begun to bear the affects of gravity--and possibly other environmental conditions? He wasn’t sure.

Hmm.

This was not a minor discovery, Hector felt. Clearly. With it, he would be able to, in effect, manipulate his iron after its initial creation--even to attack. Sure, it wouldn’t be easy and would probably require shitloads more practice, but...

With this, he could evolve his entire fighting style.

He wondered if Zeff and Asad had been intending to teach him this soon. Maybe they didn’t think he would’ve been able to do it. He wouldn’t have thought he could do it, either.

Heh. He wanted see their faces when he showed it to them later. Garovel’s, too, of course.

But first, it needed refinement. He had to practice more.

Abruptly, however, it occurred to him that he’d stopped keeping an eye on the captives. He annihilated his work and then briskly returned where he’d been sitting before. Thankfully, no one seemed to have noticed. He counted the number of captives, just to be sure none were missing.

Rather than sitting back down, though, he remained standing as he set to work again. Now that he knew not to add an accelerative force to the cube’s orbit, he found that it was almost trivial to sustain, almost as if he were keeping it to its path with one of his hands.

He tried out different centers of orbit, around his torso, around his arm, his hand, his leg. They were more difficult but not terribly so. He tried out different angles as well, and found a similar result. Then he tried walking while trying to maintain the diagonal orbit around his torso, and he began struggling again, but not for long. After pacing back and forth a few times, he was starting to get the hang of it.

Page 1347

((The Wednesday Triple: page 2 of 3))
Another question was forming in Hector’s head, but he wasn’t quite able to articulate it to himself yet.

He decided to do one more test. He formed another hovering cube, but this time, he purposely made it float into the wall.

Nothing happened. But perhaps that wasn’t strange. Perhaps it needed to float faster. He swung the cube around and increased the speed.

Again, nothing happened. He tried one more time, increasing the speed even further, and sure enough, nothing happened. Not even a sound.

Which seemed strange to him. At that speed, the cube definitely should have made a noise when it collided with the wall. Moreover, the previous two cubes certainly had made noises.

So what was going on here?

Well, there was only one discernible difference that he could see. The first two cubes were distorted, while the third was not. They’d both changed into long, vaguely conical shapes--not identical to each other but still similar enough that it didn’t seem coincidental.

Hector blinked as he realized what had been bothering him. Yes. The reason that third cube hadn’t made a noise when it collided with the wall was because it hadn’t actually collided with it.

That was the way that “growing” his iron was supposed to work. Materialization could not occur within a solid object. He’d learned that very early on. So the cubes shouldn’t have been able to grow into the walls and thereby pierce, because he had been using this growing technique in order to make them move. Regardless of their speed, they should have simply reached the wall and stopped, not even colliding with it or make any noise, which was what the third cube did.

And yet they had.

Because their shape had changed. Because he’d lost control over their growth. The part of the distorted cubes which ended up colliding with the walls must have not been “growing” anymore. They must’ve simply been regular iron at that point.

Page 1346

((The Wednesday Triple: page 1 of 3))
For a time, Hector merely sat there, mulling over what he’d just done. He supposed the only explanation was that his degree of control over iron was simply higher than he’d realized. Granted, he had lost control there at the end, but the point of interest was how fast the cubes had gotten before escaping him, not to mention how many revolutions around him that they had made.

It was true that he hadn’t tested the limits of his materialization in a while. And had he achieved emergence recently? He didn’t think so, but as he thought about it, he realized that he wasn’t actually sure--a thought which he found slightly worrisome. Shouldn’t that have been something he could be certain about? Maybe this was all just the result of meditation. Or Rasalased’s “tempering,” perhaps.

Or both?

Agh. He couldn’t help feeling like he was losing himself, somehow. He wished he had more time to practice, to fully understand his current limits. He hated this feeling of unpreparedness. And he’d been feeling it all too often, lately.

He stood. If nothing else, he wanted to use what time he did have as efficiently as possible, and it occurred to him that he should perhaps locate the iron cubes and see what kind of state they were in before trying to draw any further conclusions.

It took a bit of searching, but he found them on the ground in front of an apparent sleeping quarters, having penetrated a second wall beyond the first and left a pair of cracked dents in a third.

He was surprised, however, to find that the cubes were no longer cubes at all. But after thinking about it more, he supposed that only made sense. When he’d lost control, they’d become distorted, because his control was the only thing making them hold their shape.

...And perhaps that was important to know. He squinted as he eyed the dents in the wall before him another time.

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Page 1345

Hector took a deep breath, found his focus, and put a new cube into orbit.

When it came down to it, it was just a pattern. A fairly complex pattern, sure, but a pattern nonetheless. And if he thought about it like that, then it didn’t seem so difficult to memorize.

Two instances of creation, two instances of annihilation. Top and right, bottom and left. These were the constants. The easiest parts. The real difficulty of it stemmed from the shifting angles at which he had to maintain said constants.

But maybe he could think of the two instances of creation as just one. Two instances of adding to his iron. If he applied the same force to both of them, then...

The cube swung past his vision sooner than he’d expected, then swirled around again, quick as a curving arrow shot, and then again, so fast that it cut audibly through the air, and then several more times at such a speed that he wasn’t sure he was even doing it himself anymore.

Then it flew completely off course and punched a hole through the wall next to him.

Hector stared with an open mouth, not quite sure what had just happened.

He looked around, wondering if someone had taken control of his iron or something, but no one was paying any attention to him--well, aside from a few of the captive Hun’Kui, who were looking worriedly in his direction.

Hmm.

Whatever just happened, he needed to replicate it.

He started over, taking the same steps, trying to repeat his same thought process, and then--

Yep. The second cube did the same thing, making a new hole only a half-meter or so away from the first one.

Oh, wait.

That constant rate of growth he’d applied on the right side... that was equivalent to gravity, wasn’t it? And gravity was accelerative. As in, increasing. So... since there was no counter-force being applied by actual gravity like there was on the top side of the cube... then he’d essentially made the cube grow faster and faster... until his concentration could not keep up and he simply lost control of it.

Huh.

He scratched his head.

That was... almost worryingly easy, Hector felt. He would’ve thought that he’d have more trouble making the annihilation on the left and bottom keep pace with the accelerated growth on the right, but apparently not. It was like he’d barely even needed to think about it.