Monday, December 15, 2014

Page 909

Already, tendrils of mercury had made it up to the third floor. Hector leapt away from them with the aid of more platforms, scraping the broken ceiling with the back of his breastplate and jostling another boulder loose. It fell toward Melchor, who slapped it aside like a volleyball.

Meanwhile, Xuan was busy laughing. “That Darktide sure is a tough bastard, isn’t he?”

Hector landed with a metal thud and promptly launched himself away again. “Please stop distracting me, Lord Xuan.”

Midair, a tendril caught up to him and found his shield. Hector gripped the handle with all his might and wrenched it free, but the tendril settled for his bare leg instead. And when Hector landed again, a second tendril was already there, snaking around the other leg and crushing its armor.

He was in no position to run away this time, he knew, and in a moment, the mercury would surround him again, preventing even his ability to materialize iron. So he used it while he still could. He poured everything into adding spikes to his armor. Maximum volume.

The spikes exploded out, each one thick as a tree trunk, covering his armor and his shield and creating a small pocket at the center for Hector and his three passengers. The spikes also appeared on the back of his armor, lifting him off the floor and sending his giant cluster of iron needles over the third floor’s guardrail.

They fell, though Hector could hardly feel it from inside. He couldn’t see the fruits of his concentration, either, but it didn’t matter, because he just kept pushing for more. More spikes. More iron. More defense.

Hector’s work quickly filled the length of the chamber and caught on the second floor’s porous walls and crumbling staircase. They were stuck fast now, suspended above the first floor like some kind of grisly ornament, all while the iron spikes continued to grow, touching the ground and even reaching toward the ceiling.

Hector pressed his soul into the iron, hoping the shield’s passive enhancements would be carried along as well, but unfortunately, that did not seem the case. And with no light, he couldn’t see Xuan’s progress. He could only hear the muffled crack of iron above him and feel the fierce vibrations in his metal cocoon.

And then Darktide broke through. The foyer’s dim light poured in, along with a river of living mercury, searching and grasping for Xuan.

18 comments:

  1. Votes over at Top Web Fiction would be much appreciated.

    Thanks for reading, folks.

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  2. Did Hector achieved another emergence?
    all [the ]while the iron spikes continued to grow

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  3. Nope. No emergence. Just maximum volume like the text says.

    And I don't see an error there. I could just be blind, though.

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  4. i don't think so, while similar situations have achieved it before, he does not seem to be nearly desperate enough this time. I would love it if he did though, the problem is just what exactly did he gain from emergence if he did?

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  5. I feel like a cool think he could do in that situation is have one of the "tree trunks" be hollow and travel up it during its creation, would be an amazing escape technique. Soul empowerment would keep darktide from knowing exactly where he is. Maze techniques are one of his specialties after all

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  6. ...So a mega-hedgehog meets a Christmas star decoration? With a spray-paint job of silver?

    Yes, you can shoot me. ;)

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  7. I don't see one either. I for one didn't even consider that he might have achieved it again. Actually that is a downside of the shield isn't it? With that he's less likely to pull that hare out of the hat isn't he? It gives him more options. Now arguably, or certainly, he'd be dead right now without it even if he did emerge, but it's still a downside.

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  8. I think the point of emergence is that it gives you exactly what you need to survive. Of course, if you have poor judgement...

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  9. Wouldn't that be "with his backplate," or just "the back of his armor"?

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  10. Isn't emergence linked more to the feeling of desperation than the actual situation? Also, there was the hydrogen guy, early on, whose name I can't remember that died shortly after getting one. Downside being that the more you have them the less desperate you are since you're, on some level, expecting one.

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  11. Yeah, I suppose so - plus, there are some things you just can't fake with emergence. It seems to give you the skill and power you need RIGHT NOW, but without the subtlety and control that comes with practice. Also, it doesn't strengthen your soul.

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  12. Actually, it can give you subtlety and control. That's pretty much what Stoker got, it mentioned on 355 that he was pretty sure it was already possible to fly that way but he didn't have the control to actually do it.

    Emergence centers around knowing that it's impossible for you to win, but that you still have to. If you manage it, you get a new power that, at least in theory, does make it possible to win.

    Hector is very unlikely to achieve emergence here, since both the requirements are less than fulfilled. Not only is winning not impossible (all he has to do is get Xuan back in the fight, and the odds instantly tip in their favor), but the fact that the belligerents are trying to avoid killing means that losing is more acceptable here. Not only that, but since the problem is insufficient soul power, emergence can't help him much anyway.


    The giant spikes he's using actually are the result of an emergence, but it happened back in the Battle of Rathmore when he was trying to delay Harper.

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  13. that would be a-maze-ing. Sorry, couldn't resist. Or, at least, didn't.

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  14. I agree about the problem with getting more emergence, and the guy's name was Stoker.

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  15. Yeah, that's clearer. Edited, thank you.

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  16. Oh, you were talking about the top of the page. There was a different part of the page that also talked about his back, and I decided to edit that, haha.

    Nah, I think the top of the page is fine.

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  17. "that did not seem the case"
    that did not seem to be the case

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