((The Wednesday Triple: page 3 of 3))
Hector and Zeff found an empty side street and put some distance between themselves and everyone else.
Hector wasn’t entirely sure why this was necessary, and moreover, he was beginning to worry that he’d been suddenly drafted as Zeff’s practice dummy.
‘Would you mind explaining your work to Hector as you go?’ said Garovel, who Hector noticed was observing from a distance. ‘Truth to be told, I’ve been hoping that he would get an opportunity to learn from a fellow materializer.’
Zeff rubbed his hands together. “Very well.”
‘And don’t leave anything out,’ Garovel added. ‘Pretend he’s a total idiot who doesn’t know the most basic stuff.’
Hector frowned. He might’ve protested more, but he was starting to feel woozy and having trouble even just standing here.
Qorvass decided to chime in. ‘Alternatively, pretend he’s Asad and that he’s forgotten everything he’s ever learned.’
“I understand,” said Zeff.
Hector tried simultaneously to both listen carefully and also brace himself for whatever was about to happen.
“For this to work,” Zeff began, “I cannot simply douse you in freezing waters, because the extreme heat here would cause it to flash boil and explode. Which would probably kill you.”
“Oh,” Hector mumbled exhaustedly.
“Enhancing the water with soul power is a possible solution, but if I were to make a mistake, it might still flash boil and simply create an even deadlier explosion.”
“Instead, I will begin with a cloud of steam.”
And sure enough, steam appeared all around him.
“Next, I will add a layer of water around you.”
Hector was immediately engulfed. An unsupported batch of water suspended itself in midair all around him.
And that certainly grabbed his attention. How was Zeff holding it in place? From everything Hector knew about materialization, Zeff shouldn’t have been able to control the water once it was created, and yet here it was now, holding an impossible shape and remaining almost perfectly still.