Monday, November 4, 2013

Page 340

Stoker could see the chunks missing from Nize’s elongated body. She simply floated in place, her snake eyes looking at him briefly before easing shut.

He couldn’t dawdle. There was no telling how long the ruse would last. He had to be the one to engage. He ran back outside.

Liquid hydrogen required more concentration than any other aspect of his ability. He held his hands up in front of him and flexed both arms hard enough to make them tremble. After a moment, his skin disappeared, and even though the hydrogen was invisible to the naked eye, he knew he had succeeded. That combination of freezing heat was unique: warmth against his face while his bones felt like ice.

The flash freezing element was the trump card here. If he could bathe Karkash’s head in this liquid hydrogen, the man’s brain function would cease, and Stoker would be instantly victorious. He would keep Karkash’s brain frozen indefinitely--something no amount of regeneration would fix. If he wasn’t able to kill Hoyohté at that point, it would make no difference.

The problem, of course, was getting close enough. His best hope was to catch Karkash from behind. As he drew close to the location Nize had specified, Stoker crouched as low as he could.

He had to stop abruptly as the cement truck from before passed right in front of his face. Then a bank vault. Then a refrigerator. And more, he saw. Cars, lamp posts, pipes, mailboxes, they all swirled together with increasing speed, and Stoker understood what Karkash was doing. It was a metal tornado. The vortex was pulling Stoker’s fog in and dispersing it elsewhere. Soon, there would be no hiding.

He took his chance and leapt through the moving wall of objects, landing safely. He looked up and saw Karkash directly above the tornado.

And Karkash saw him, as well.

Not the confrontation he had wanted. But it was too late to complain. Every object in the tornado was already sailing toward him. The moment was now.

23 comments:

  1. Hmm...I don't quite understand this. On the previous page, it says that liquid nitrogen burns upon contact with oxygen. If so, wouldn't bathing Karkash's head in the stuff just result in burning it up, thereby allowing his reaper to recreate him elsewhere?

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  2. I apologize for my excess of questions, by the way.

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  3. Nope. Bathing him in enough hydrogen would still cause the freezing effect. It's a matter of volume. Stoker has to make it faster than it can burn up or otherwise store it somewhere in his body that is not exposed to oxygen.



    Also, it's hydrogen. Not nitrogen.

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  4. Typo on my part. The previous page states (my knowledge of chemistry is unsufficient to tell whether or not this is true) that " and yet despite its temperature, hydrogen in this state was still incredibly reactive to oxygen. As soon as it touched the air, it would ignite with a colorless flame."


    So Stoker intends to keep manufacturing more and more liquid hydrogen pretty much forever, wrapping the new stuff around the inner (unburnt) layers to protect them? Or does he just plan to use a thick coat of liquid hydrogen temporarily while he gets Karkash's head somewhere really cold--like, say, the bottom of the sea, or Antarctica?

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  5. Once the flesh is frozen, it wouldn't suddenly defrost if Stoker left it alone for a while. He wouldn't need to keep it doused in hydrogen constantly--just at regular intervals. And yeah, keeping it in some kind of frozen storage would also serve as a long-term solution (though, even if Hoyohte couldn't regenerate Karkash at that point, she could still release his soul and find a new servant for herself--assuming she could reach Karkash).

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  6. Right, I thought about that when Stoker thought that even if he couldn't kill Hoyohte, it wouldn't matter. Why wouldn't she just rid herself of the now-useless Karkash and start over? The answer I came up with was that even if she did, her new servant would have to start again from nothing--no ability at first, no skill, no experience. It would be a long time, if ever, before he would be a threat similar to Karkash, and Stoker might have a chance to destroy him and Hoyohte in the meanwhile.

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  7. Colleen VanderlindenNovember 4, 2013 at 7:32 PM

    Wow. Just started reading TZK yesterday, and I am caught up now. This is amazing, and I can't wait to read more.

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  8. Dang. That was quick. And very flattering, thank you.

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  9. "All right, just *one* more page." X 340. Could. Not. Stop. Reading! :)

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  10. Told you it was good. ; )
    -Evan

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  11. You were right! Thanks again for telling me about it, even if I was totally unproductive for a couple of days. :)

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  12. "though, even if Hoyohte couldn't regenerate Karkash at that point, she
    could still release his soul and find a new servant for
    herself--assuming she could reach Karkash"

    Am I reading this right? Does that mean a reaper has to have physical contact to be able to release their servant (well, as physical as reapers can get)? I'm not sure if you've ever mentioned this before. I always assumed that releasing a servant can be done from everywhere.

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  13. That is correct. It's not been mentioned in the story 'cuz we've yet to see a reaper actually release a servant.

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  14. Wait... so the way it will work is the invisible flame will happen, which will actually freeze karkash?

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  15. No, the liquid hydrogen itself causes the freezing. The flames are just a reaction that occurs when liq hydrogen meets the air.

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  16. This fight shows just how crazy a fight between higher tiers can get. Yes I just brought tiers into this

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  17. Damn you! I still haven't slept and I STILL can't stop reading....lol

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  18. Very much so! Made it to page 398 before I could no longer keep my eyes open lol. This story of your is very addictive and the humour is just to die for...

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