Stoker gathered strength in his legs and jumped, rocketing up toward Karkash.
He would bet it all on this. Not just his arms. His torso, too. Beneath his skin, there was an icy core, waiting to be released. It was so much hydrogen that if Karkash chose to detonate it with lightning at this range, the explosion would certainly blow both servants to pieces; and if Karkash chose otherwise, the freezing would take effect.
Karkash chose the latter. He caught Stoker with one arm, held by the neck. The arm froze immediately, and Stoker reached out, replacing his hand entirely with liquid hydrogen. Not even bone remained. The invisible hand scraped Karkash’s face, and Stoker saw it freeze instantly.
But that was as far as it went, because before the hydrogen could douse his skull completely, Karkash cut off his own arm--the arm which was holding Stoker in the air. And that decided everything.
Stoker fell. Both feet hit the pavement. He tried to flee, and a bolt of lightning cut through his right leg, lopping it clean off. Hydrogen escaped all around him, some of it liquid, some of it gas.
So much of his body was gone now. He lay on the road in a heap, half-bloody, half-frozen.
Karkash descended, peeling the icy flesh from his face and letting it regrow anew. The metal vortex slowed, and the objects therein all crashed into the ground and surrounding buildings, invoking civilian shrieks.
It was over, Stoker knew. He couldn’t even run anymore--not that it would have made much difference now that the fog had dissipated. And with so much of his body converted to hydrogen, Karkash could detonate him at any moment with a simple spark.
‘I found Nize,’ said Hoyohté.
Karkash deliberated a moment, and then forewent the explosive deathblow. Instead, he made his way toward the building Hoyohté pointed to. Through the large window, he saw Nize among the group of terrified people. He raised a hand.
Before the lightning could flash forth, however, a sudden spire appeared and drew the electricity to it, dispersing it harmlessly into the ground.
And Stoker saw the person responsible--a young black man staring down at them from the adjacent rooftop.
“If you two want to kill each other, that’s fine... but please leave other people out of it.”