Wed
Aug 24 2011 12:00pm

The Alloy of Law: Chapter Six

We are very excited to offer the 6th and final excerpt from Brandon Sanderson’s fourth Mistborn novel, The Alloy of Law, out November 8th from Tor Books!

 

 

This ends our preview of the novel, but come back to Tor.com for all your Alloy of Law coverage leading up to the fall release....

 

Read through all of the excerpts in order in the Alloy of Law index.

***

6

 

Wayne dropped the speed bubble.

First step, Waxillium thought as he took aim, draw their attention. He began gently Pushing away from himself in the way that created a steel bubble of force to interfere with bullets. It wouldn’t protect him completely, but it would help. Unless they fired aluminum bullets.

Best to be careful. And best to shoot first.

The robbers were eagerly raising their weapons. He could see the lust for destruction in their eyes. They had been armed to the teeth, but so far, their robberies had occurred without a single shot being fired.

Rather than kill a lot of people, most of them probably just wanted to shoot the place up a little, but such situations easily grew more violent than expected. If they weren’t stopped, the Vanishers would leave behind more than shattered windows and broken tables.

Waxillium quickly chose a bandit with a shotgun and dropped him with a bullet to the head. A second followed. Those shotguns were least dangerous to Waxillium, but they’d be deadly to the cowering bystanders.

His shots boomed in the cavernous chamber and the guests screamed. Some took the chance to run for the edges of the room. Most got down beside their tables. In the confusion, the bandits didn’t spot Waxillium at first.

He dropped another man with a bullet to the shoulder. The smart thing to do from here would have been to crouch down beside a table and continue to fire. It would take the bandits precious moments to discover who was attacking them in a room so large and crowded.

Unfortunately, the men behind him opened fire, whooping in delight. They hadn’t noticed what he was doing, though the men in front of him on the other side of the hall had seen their friends fall and were scattering for cover. In moments, the room would be a storm of lead and gunsmoke.

Taking a deep breath, Waxillium flared his steel and tapped his iron metalmind. Filling it made him lighter, but tapping it made him heavier—much heavier. He increased his weight a hundredfold. There was a proportional increase in the strength of his body, or so he’d guessed, as he didn’t crush himself with his own weight.

He raised his guns high over his head to keep them out of the radius, then Pushed outward from himself in a ring. He started carefully, gradually increasing its strength. When you Pushed, it was your weight against that of the object—in this case, the metal screws and bolts in the tables and chairs. They were swept away from him.

He became the epicenter of an expanding ring of force. Tables toppled, chairs scraped against the floor, and people screamed in surprise. Some were caught up in it, shoved away from him. Not so hard that they were hurt, he hoped, but it was better to suffer a few bruises than remain in the center of the room with what was coming.

Just to the side, he saw Wayne—who had been moving carefully toward the back of the room—leap up onto an overturned table, holding to its rim and grinning as he rode it in a rush toward the bandits back there.

Waxillium eased off on the Push. He stood alone in a large empty space at the center of the dining hall, surrounded by patches of spilled wine, food, and fallen dishes.

Then the firing started in earnest, the bandits in front of him letting loose with a barrage. He met the onslaught of bullets with another strong Push. The bullets stopped in the air, rebuffed in a wave. Given their speed, he could stop bullets that way only if he was expecting them.

He let the bullets fly back at their owners, but didn’t Push too hard, lest he strike an innocent partygoer. It was enough to send the bandits scrambling, however, and yelling that there was a Coinshot in the room.

He was in real danger now. Quick as an eyeblink, Waxillium switched from tapping his metalmind to filling it, making himself far lighter. He pointed his revolver down and shot a bullet into the floor just behind himself and Pushed off it, launching into the air. Wind rushed in his ears as he threw himself over the barricade of furniture he’d made, where some of the guests still huddled. Luckily, many were realizing that the perimeters of the room would be much safer, and were scrambling that way.

Waxillium dropped right in the middle of the bandits, who had started taking cover behind the pile of tables and chairs. Men cursed as he spread his arms, guns pointed in opposite directions, and started firing. He spun, dropping four men with a quick spray of bullets.

Some bandits fired on him, but the bullets were off aim, and swerved away from his steel bubble. “Aluminum bullets!” one of the bandits was yelling. “Get out your bloody aluminum!”

Wax spun and fired two shots into that man’s chest. Then he leaped to the side, rolling up next to a table that had been beyond his initial Push. A quick Push against the nails in the top overturned it, giving him cover as the bandits opened fire. He caught blue lines from some of the bullets, moving too quickly for him to Push out of the way.

Other bandits were reloading their guns. He was in luck; it seemed from the curses of the bandit leaders that the men were supposed to have aluminum bullets loaded already, at least in some of the chambers. Shooting aluminum was like shooting gold, however, and many of the bandits appeared to have kept the aluminum in their pockets rather than wanting to have it in the guns, where they might end up firing it by accident.

A bandit ducked around the side of his table, aiming a pistol. Waxillium reacted by reflex, Pushing on the gun, slapping it back into his face. Waxillium dropped him with a bullet to the chest.

Empty, he thought to himself, counting the bullets he’d shot. He had just two left in the other gun. He glanced over the edge of his shelter, noting the locations of two reloading bandits who had hidden behind overturned tables. He took aim quickly, increased his weight, then fired and Pushed with everything he had on the bullet leaving his gun.

The bullet cracked in the air, driving forward into the table shelter and drilling right through it, hitting the bandit on the other side. Waxillium repeated, taking down the other bandit, who was stupefied to see the thick oak table penetrated by a simple revolver bullet. Then Waxillium threw himself over the top of his own table, getting to the other side just as the men behind him got around the wounded and started firing at him.

Bullets snapped against his shelter, but it held. This time, none of them gave off blue lines. Aluminum. He breathed deeply, dropping his revolvers and pulling out the Terringul 27 he had strapped to the inside of his calf. Not the largest-caliber gun, but its long barrel made it precise.

He spared a glance for Wayne, and counted four Vanishers down. His friend was gleefully leaping off a table toward a man with a shotgun. The two became a blur as Wayne activated a speed bubble. In an instant he was in a different place—bullets zipping through the area he’d left—hiding behind an overturned table, the bandit with the shotgun limp on the ground.

Wayne’s favorite tactic was to get close, then catch one person in the speed bubble and fight them alone. He couldn’t move the speed bubble after putting it up, but he could move around inside of it. So when he released the bubble after fighting his chosen foe one-on-one, he’d be standing in a different place than expected. Foes found him incredibly difficult to track and aim at.

But in a long fight, they’d eventually catch on and hold their fire until just after Wayne dropped a bubble. It took a couple of seconds between dropping one and putting up another, the time when Wayne was most vulnerable. Of course, even when the bubble was up, Wayne wasn’t completely safe. It could be nerve-racking to know that his friend was fighting alone, enclosed by a bubble of accelerated time. If Wayne got into trouble while inside, Waxillium couldn’t help. Wayne would be shot and bleeding before the bubble collapsed.

Well, Waxillium had his own troubles. With those aluminum bullets, his own protective bubble was useless. He let it drop. More bullets pelted his table and the floor around him, the pops of gunfire echoing in the grand hall. Fortunately, he could still see blue lines pointing to the ordinary steel of the bandits’ guns, including those of a group of men attempting to flank him.

No time to deal with them, he thought. The bandit boss had sent Steris out with one of his men, but had paused by the door himself. He didn’t seem surprised by the resistance. Something about the way he stood there, imperious and in control . . . Something about the way his eyes—the only visible part of his masked face—found Wax, and locked on to him . . . Something about that voice . . .

Miles? The thought was a shock.

Screams. Marasi’s screams. Wax turned away from the bandit leader, feeling an unfamiliar sense of panic. Steris needed him, but Marasi did too, and she was closer. The koloss-blooded man named Tarson had her; he held her with one arm around the neck, towing her toward the door and cursing. His two companions looked about anxiously, as if expecting constables to come pouring in at any moment.

Marasi had gone limp. Tarson was shouting, and he jammed his revolver in her ear, but she had her eyes squeezed shut and refused to respond. She knew she wasn’t some simple hostage; they wanted her specifically, and therefore wouldn’t shoot her.

Good girl, Waxillium thought. It couldn’t be easy, hearing the Vanisher shout, feeling the barrel on her temple. A few guests hid nearby, a well-dressed woman and her husband holding their hands to their ears and whimpering. The gunfire was loud, chaotic, though he barely noticed these things any longer. He should have slipped his earplugs in, regardless. Too late now.

Waxillium ducked to the side and fired two shots into the wooden floor to cause those flanking him to duck for cover. The Terringul was loaded with hollow-point bullets specifically designed to lodge in wood, giving him a good anchor when he needed one. They also happened to lodge in flesh, reducing the chances of a through-and-through shot that could injure bystanders, which suited him just fine.

He dashed forward in a crouch and leaped onto a large serving platter. He pressed one foot against the lip of the platter, and Pushed on the bullets behind him. The maneuver threw him forward in a skid across the polished wooden floor. He broke out of the tables into open space just before the steps out of the room, then kicked the platter out from under him and increased his weight, hitting the ground and stopping.

The platter flipped out in front of him, and the startled bandits began firing. Metal pinged against metal as some of the bullets hit the platter; Waxillium responded, dropping the men on either side of Tarson with two quick shots. Then he flared his steel and Pushed toward Tarson’s gun to try knocking it away from Marasi.

Only then did Waxillium realize there was no blue line pointing to the man’s gun. Tarson grinned, his ashy face topped by Wayne’s hat. Then he whipped around, placing himself behind Marasi, whom he gripped by the neck with one hand, holding the gun steady against her head with the other.

No blue lines. Rust and Ruin . . . an entire gun made of aluminum?

Waxillium and Tarson both fell still. The bandits behind hadn’t noticed Waxillium’s floor-level escape on the platter; they were closing on the area where he’d been hiding. The boss still stood in the doorway, looking toward Waxillium. Wax had to be wrong about who he was. People could look alike, sound alike. That didn’t mean . . .

Marasi whimpered. And Waxillium found himself unable to move, unable to raise his hand to fire. The shot he’d made to save Lessie played again and again in his mind.

I can make a shot like that, he thought to himself, angry. I’ve done it a dozen times.

He’d only missed once.

He couldn’t move, couldn’t think. He kept seeing her die again and again. Blood in the air, a smiling face.

Tarson apparently realized that Waxillium wouldn’t fire. So he swung his gun away from Marasi’s head and toward Waxillium.

Marasi went rigid. She locked her legs and slammed her head upward into the Vanisher’s chin. Tarson’s shot went wild and he stumbled backward, holding his mouth.

With Marasi mostly out of the way, Waxillium’s mind cleared, and he found himself able to move again. He shot Tarson, though he couldn’t bring himself to aim for the chest, not with Marasi stumbling nearby. He settled on dropping Tarson with a shot to the arm. Marasi raised her hand to her mouth in horror, watching him fall.

“He’s over there!” Voices from behind, the three bandits he’d been fighting among the tables. An aluminum bullet split the air just beside him.

“Hold on,” Waxillium said to Marasi, leaping forward and grabbing her around the waist. He raised his gun and shot the last bullet in his gun toward the doorway, hitting the masked leader of the Vanishers in the head.

The man collapsed in a heap.

Well, there goes that theory, Waxillium thought. Miles wouldn’t have fallen to a mere bullet. He was a Twinborn of a particularly dangerous variety.

Tarson was rolling over, holding his arm and groaning. No time. Guns empty. Waxillium dropped the gun and Pushed on it while holding tightly to Marasi. The Push hurled the two of them into the air; a hail of bullets sprayed through the space where they’d been. Unfortunately, they missed Tarson, who was rolling on the floor.

Marasi cried out, clinging to him as they flew up toward the brilliant chandeliers. Waxillium pushed off one of them, causing it to rock back and forth. That Push threw him and Marasi toward the nearby balcony, which was occupied by a group of cowering musicians.

Waxillium landed hard on the balcony; he was off-balance from carrying Marasi, and hadn’t had time to judge the Push precisely. They rolled in a bundle of red and white fabric. When they came to a rest, Marasi clung to him, shaking and gasping for breath.

He sat up, and held her for a moment. “Thank you,” she whispered. “Thank you.”

“Don’t mention it,” he said. “That was very brave, stopping the bandit as you did.”

“Seven out of ten kidnappings can be foiled by appropriate resistance on the part of the target,” she said, words tumbling out of her mouth. She squeezed her eyes closed again. “Sorry. That was just very, very unsettling.”

“I—” He froze.

“What?” she asked, opening her eyes.

Waxillium didn’t respond. He rolled to the side, pulling loose from her grip as he noticed the blue lines moving to the left. Someone was coming up the steps to the balcony.

Waxillium came up beside a large harp as the balcony door burst open to reveal two Vanishers—one with a rifle, the other with a pair of pistols. Waxillium increased his weight by tapping his metalmind, then heaved with a desperate flare of steel, Pushing against the harp’s metal mountings, nails, and strings. The instrument crashed into the wooden doorway and smashed the men against the wall. They slumped down, dropping to the stairs under the broken harp.

Waxillium ran to check their vitals. Convinced they wouldn’t be dangerous any time soon, he grabbed the handguns and dashed back to the edge of the balcony, scanning the room below. The furniture he’d Pushed out of the way made a strange perfectly circular open space on the ballroom floor. Partygoers were making for the kitchens in increasingly large numbers. He looked for Wayne, but saw only the broken bodies of fallen bandits where he’d been.

“Steris?” Marasi asked, crawling up beside him.

“I’ll go after her right now,” Waxillium said. “Some men towed her outside, but they won’t have had time to . . .” He trailed off as he noticed a blur beside the far door. It stopped, and suddenly Wayne was lying on the ground, blood pooling around him. A bandit stood above him looking quite pleased with himself, holding a smoking pistol.

Damn! Waxillium thought, feeling a spike of fear. If Wayne had been hit in the head . . .

Steris or Wayne?

She’ll be safe, he thought. They took her for a reason; they need her.

“Oh no!” Marasi said, pointing at Wayne. “Lord Ladrian, is that—”

“He’ll be all right if I can get to him,” Waxillium said, hastily shoving a pistol into Marasi’s hands. “Can you use one of these?”

“I—”

“Just start firing it if someone threatens you. I’ll come.” He leaped up onto the balcony railing. His way was mostly blocked by the chandeliers; he couldn’t make a direct jump to Wayne. He’d have to jump down, then up again, and bound to—

No time. Wayne was dying.

Go!

Waxillium threw himself off the balcony. As soon as his feet were free, he tapped his metalmind and drew forth as much weight as he could. That didn’t tow him to the ground; an object fell at the same speed, no matter its weight. Only air resistance mattered.

However, weight did matter a great deal when Pushing—which Waxillium did, throwing everything he had against the chandeliers. They ripped apart in a line, the metal inside them twisting upon itself, crystal exploding outward in a shower. That gave him plenty of room along the upper portion of the room to jump in an arc toward Wayne.

In a heartbeat, Waxillium stopped tapping his metalmind and started filling it instead, decreasing his weight to almost nothing. He Pushed on the broken harp behind, and a simultaneous quick Push against the nails in the floor kept him high.

The result was that he soared across the room in a graceful arc, passing through the space the large chandeliers had occupied. The glittering smaller chandeliers continued to shine on either side of him while crystal showered beneath, each tiny piece splintering the light into a spray of colors. His suit coat flapped, and he lowered the single revolver in his hand as he fell, pointing it at the bandit standing over Wayne.

Waxillium emptied six chambers at the thief. He couldn’t afford to take chances.

The pistol was slick in Waxillium’s hand as he hit the ground, Pushing on the floor nails to keep from breaking his legs. The thief slumped back against the wall, dead.

Just as Waxillium reached Wayne, a speed bubble sprang up around them. Waxillium exhaled in relief as Wayne stirred; he knelt to turn his friend face upward. Wayne’s shirt was soaked with blood, a bullet hole visible in his belly. As Waxillium watched, it slowly closed up, healing itself.

“Damn,” Wayne said, groaning. “Gut wounds hurt.

Wayne couldn’t have kept the bubble up while the bandit was alive—that would have told him Wayne wasn’t dead. Outlaws and lawmen alike were accustomed to Metalborn; if the bubble had stayed up, the bandit would have quickly shot Wayne in the head.

So Wayne had been forced to drop the bubble and play dead. Luckily, the bandit hadn’t turned him over to check his vitals and noticed that the wound was healing. Wayne was a Bloodmaker, a type of Feruchemist who could store health in the way that Waxillium stored weight. If Wayne spent some time being sickly and weak—his body healing itself much more slowly than normal—he could store up the health and healing ability in a metalmind. Then, when he tapped it, he healed at a greatly increased rate.

“How much do you have left in your metalmind?” Waxillium asked.

“That was the second bullet wound of the night,” Wayne said. “I can maybe heal one more.” Wayne stood as Waxillium pulled him to his feet. “Took me a good two weeks in bed to store up that much. Hope that girl of yours is worth it.”

“Girl of mine?

“Oh, c’mon, mate. Don’t think I didn’t see how you were looking at her during dinner. You always did like ’em smart.” He grinned.

“Wayne,” Waxillium said. “Lessie hasn’t even been gone a year.”

“You have to move on eventually.”

“I’m done with this conversation,” Waxillium said, looking over the nearby tables. Vanisher bodies lay strewn about, bones broken by Wayne’s dueling canes. Waxillium spotted a few living ones hiding behind tables for cover, as if they hadn’t realized yet that Wayne didn’t carry guns.

“Five left?” Waxillium asked.

“Six,” Wayne said, picking up and spinning his dueling canes. “There’s another in the shadows over there. I brought down seven. You?”

“Sixteen, I think,” Waxillium said distractedly. “Haven’t been counting carefully.”

“Sixteen? Damn, Wax. I was hoping you’d have rusted a bit, was thinkin’ maybe I’d be able to catch you this time.”

Waxillium smiled. “It’s not a competition.” He hesitated. “Even if I am winning. Some men got out the door with Steris. I shot the guy who took your hat, though he lived. He’s probably gone by now.”

“You didn’t grab the hat for me?” Wayne asked, sounding offended.

“I was a little busy being shot at.”

“Busy? Aw, mate. It doesn’t take any effort at all to get shot at. I think you’re just makin’ excuses on account of being jealous of my lucky hat.”

“That’s it entirely,” Waxillium said, fishing in his pocket. “How much time you have left?”

“Not much,” Wayne said. “Bendalloy’s almost gone. Maybe twenty seconds.”

Waxillium took a deep breath. “I’m going for the three on the left. You go right. Get ready to jump.”

“Got it.”

“Go!”

Wayne ran forward and leaped onto a table in front of them. He dropped the speed bubble right as he launched himself off, and Waxillium braced himself by increasing his weight, then Pushed on Wayne’s metalminds, sending the man soaring through the air in an arc toward the bandits. Once Wayne was airborne, Waxillium flipped from tapping his metalmind to filling it, then Pushed on some nails, launching himself into the air in a slightly different trajectory.

Wayne hit first, probably landing so hard he had to heal himself as he rolled between a pair of hiding bandits. He came up to his feet and slammed his dueling canes down on one bandit’s arm. He then spun and smashed a cane into the second man’s neck.

Waxillium tossed his gun as he fell, Pushing it hard into the face of a startled thief. He landed, then tossed the empty cartridge that Wayne had given him earlier—the one that had contained the message—at a second man. Pushing on it, he turned the casing into an improvised bullet, slamming it into the man’s forehead and piercing his skull.

Waxillium shoved on the casing hard enough that it tossed him to the side. He plowed his shoulder into the chest of the man he’d thrown his gun at. The man stumbled back, and Waxillium slammed his forearm—and its metalmind bracer—into the man’s head, dropping him.

One more, he thought. Behind me to the right. It was going to be close. Waxillium kicked the gun he’d dropped, intending to Push it toward the final bandit.

A gunshot sounded.

Waxillium froze, anticipating the pain of a bullet hitting him. Nothing happened. He spun to find the final bandit slumped over a table, bleeding, a gun dropping from his fingers.

What by the Survivor’s scars . . . ?

He looked up. Marasi knelt on the balcony where he’d left her. She’d fetched the rifle from the bandit he’d crushed, and she obviously knew how to use it. Even as he watched, she fired again, dropping the bandit in the shadows Wayne had mentioned.

Wayne stood up from finishing off his two assailants. He looked confused until Waxillium pointed toward Marasi.

“Wow,” Wayne said, stepping up to him. “I’m liking her more and more. Definitely the one of the two I’d pick if I were you.”

The one of the two.

Steris!

Waxillium cursed and leaped forward, throwing himself in a Steelpush across the room toward the other exit. He hit the ground running, noting with concern that the boss’s body wasn’t where he’d dropped it. There was blood in the entryway. Had they dragged him away?

Unless . . . Maybe his theory wasn’t wrong after all. But damn it, he couldn’t be facing Miles. Miles was a lawman. One of the best.

Waxillium burst out into the night—this ballroom exit led directly to the street. Some horses stood here tied to a fence, and what looked like a group of grooms lay gagged and bound on the ground.

Steris, and the bandits who had carried her out, were gone. He did find a large group of constables riding into the courtyard, however.

“Great timing, chaps,” Waxillium said, sitting down on the steps, exhausted.

 

“I don’t care who you are or how much money you have,” Constable Brettin said. “This is a total mess you’ve created, sir.”

Waxillium sat on his stool, listening with only half an ear as he rested with his back against the wall. He was going to ache in the morning. He hadn’t pushed his body so hard in months. He was lucky he hadn’t twisted anything or thrown out a muscle.

“This isn’t the Roughs,” Brettin continued. “You think you can do anything you want? You think you can just pick up a gun and take the law into your own hands?”

They sat in the kitchens of Yomen Manor, in a side area that the constables had partitioned off for interviews. It hadn’t been long since the end of the fight. Just long enough for the trouble to begin.

Though his ears still rang from the noise of the gunfire, Waxillium could also hear moans and cries from the ballroom as the partygoers were seen to. Beyond that, he could hear the clopping of hooves and the racket of the occasional automobile out in the mansion courtyard as the city’s elite fled in groups as they were released. The constables would be speaking to each person, making certain they were well and checking their names off the guest list.

“Well?” Brettin demanded. He was the constable-general, head of the constabulary in their octant. He was probably feeling very threatened by the robberies happening under his watch. Waxillium could imagine what it would be like in his position, getting thunder each day from powers above him who were not pleased.

“I’m sorry, constable,” Waxillium said calmly. “Old habits make for strong steel. I should have restrained myself, but would you have done any different? Would you have watched women being kidnapped and done nothing?”

“I have a legal right and responsibility you do not.”

“I have a moral right and responsibility, constable.”

Brettin harrumphed, but the calm words mollified him somewhat. He glanced to the side as a brown-suited constable wearing one of their domelike hats entered and saluted.

“Well?” Brettin asked. “What’s the news, Reddi?”

“Twenty-five dead, Captain,” the man said.

Brettin groaned. “You see what you’ve caused, Ladrian? If you’d just kept your head down like everyone else, then those poor folks would still be alive. Ruination! This is a mess. I could hang for this—”

“Captain,” Reddi interrupted. He stepped in and spoke softly. “Excuse me, sir. But those were the bandit casualties. Twenty-five of them dead, sir. Six captured alive.”

“Oh. And how many civilians killed?”

“Just one, sir. Lord Peterus. He was shot before Lord Ladrian started fighting back. Sir.” Reddi was regarding Waxillium with a mixture of awe and respect.

Brettin glanced at Waxillium, then grabbed his lieutenant by the arm and towed him a little farther off. Waxillium closed his eyes, breathed softly, and caught some of the conversation.

“You mean . . . two men . . . thirty-one by themselves?

Yes, sir.”

“. . . else wounded . . . ?”

“. . . broken bones . . . not too serious . . . bruises and scrapes . . . going to open fire . . .”

There was silence, and Waxillium opened his eyes to find the constable-general staring at him. Brettin waved Reddi away, then walked back.

“Well?” Waxillium asked.

“You appear to be a lucky man.”

“My friend and I drew their attention,” Waxillium said. “And most of the partygoers already had their heads down when the shooting began.”

“You still broke bones with your Allomantic stunt,” the constable-general said. “There will be bruised egos and angry lords. They’ll come to me when they complain.”

Waxillium said nothing.

Brettin crouched down before Waxillium, getting in close. “I know about you,” he said softly. “I knew eventually I’d be having this talk with you. So let me be clear. This is my city, and I have the authority here.”

“Is that so?” Waxillium asked, feeling very tired.

“It is.”

“So where were you when the bandits started shooting people in the head?”

Brettin’s face grew red, but Waxillium held his eyes.

“I’m not threatened by you,” Brettin said.

“Good. I haven’t said anything threatening yet.”

Brettin hissed softly, then pointed at Waxillium, tapping a finger against his chest. “Keep your tongue civil. I’ve half a mind to toss you into jail for the night.”

“Then do it. Maybe by morning you’ll have found the other half of your mind, and we’ll be able to have a reasonable conversation.”

Brettin face grew even redder, but he knew—as Waxillium did— that he wouldn’t dare throw a house lord into jail without significant justification. Brettin finally broke away, waving a dismissive hand at Waxillium and stalking out of the kitchen.

Waxillium sighed, standing up and taking his bowler off the counter where he’d left it. Harmony protect us from small-minded men with too much power. He donned the hat and walked out into the ballroom.

The room had been mostly cleared of guests, the wedding party itself taken in Lord Yomen’s carriage to a place where they could recover from the ordeal. The ballroom swarmed with an almost equal number of constables and physicians. The wounded were sitting on the raised wooden floor just before the exit; there looked to be about twenty or thirty people there. Waxillium noticed Lord Harms sitting at a table off to the side, staring down with a morose expression, Marasi trying to comfort him. Wayne was at the table too, looking bored.

Waxillium walked over to them, removing his hat, and sat down. He found that he didn’t exactly know what to say to Lord Harms.

“Hey,” Wayne whispered. “Here.” He handed Waxillium something under the table. A revolver.

Waxillium looked at him, confused. It wasn’t his.

“Figured you’d want one of these.”

“Aluminum?”

Wayne smiled, eyes twinkling. “Snatched it out of the collection the constables made. Apparently there were ten of these. Figured you could sell it. I spent a lot of bendalloy fighting these gits. Need some money to replace it. But don’t worry, I left a real nice drawing I did in the gun’s place when I took it. Here.”

He handed over something else. A handful of bullets. “Grabbed these too.”

“Wayne,” Waxillium said, fingering the long, narrow cartridges, “you realize these are rifle rounds?”

“So?”

“So they won’t fit a revolver.”

“They won’t? Why not?”

“Because.”

“Kind of a dumb way to make bullets, innit?” He seemed baffled. Of course, most things about guns baffled Wayne, who was generally better off throwing a gun at someone than trying to fire it at them.

Waxillium shook his head in amusement, but didn’t turn the gun down. He had wanted one. He slipped the revolver into one of his shoulder holsters and turned to Lord Harms.

“My lord,” Waxillium said. “I have failed you.”

Harms dabbed his face with his handkerchief, looking pale. “Why would they take her? They’ll let her go, won’t they? They said they would.”

Waxillium fell silent.

“They won’t,” Lord Harms said, looking up. “They haven’t let any of the others go, have they?”

“No,” Waxillium said.

“You have to get her back.” Harms took Waxillium’s hand. “I care nothing for the money or jewelry they took from me. It can be replaced, and most of it was insured anyway. But I’ll pay any price for Steris. Please. She is to be your fiancée! You have to find her!”

Waxillium looked into the older man’s eyes, and saw fear there. Whatever bravado this man had shown in earlier meetings, it was an act.

Funny, how quickly someone can stop calling you a miscreant and a rogue when they want your help, Waxillium thought. But if there was something he couldn’t ignore, it was a sincere request for help.

“I’ll find her,” Waxillium said. “I promise it, Lord Harms.”

Harms nodded. Then, he slowly pushed himself to his feet.

“Let me help you to the carriage, my lord,” Marasi said.

“No,” Harms said, waving her down. “No. Just let me . . . just let me go and sit by myself. I won’t leave without you, but please give me some time alone.” He walked away, leaving Marasi standing with her hands clasped.

She sat back down, looking sick. “He wishes it were she you had rescued and not me,” she said softly.

“So, Wax,” Wayne butted in. “Where did you say that bloke was who had my hat?”

“I told you that he got away after I shot him.”

“I was hoping he’d dropped my hat, you know. Getting shot makes people drop stuff.”

Waxillium sighed. “He still had it on when he left, I’m afraid.”

Wayne started cursing.

“Wayne,” Marasi said. “It’s only a hat.”

“Only a hat?” he asked, aghast.

“Wayne’s a little attached to that hat,” Waxillium said. “He thinks it’s lucky.”

“It is lucky. I ain’t never died while wearing that hat.”

Marasi frowned. “I . . . I’m not sure I know how to respond.”

“That’s a common reaction to Wayne,” Waxillium said. “I did want to thank you for your timely intervention, by the way. Do you mind if I ask where you learned to shoot like that?”

Marasi blushed. “Ladies’ target club at the university. We’re quite well ranked against other clubs in the city.” She grimaced. “I don’t suppose . . . either of those fellows I shot pulled through?”

“Nah,” Wayne said. “You plugged them right good, you did. The one near me left brains all over the door!”

“Oh dear.” Marasi grew pale. “I never expected . . .”

“It’s what happens when you shoot someone,” Wayne pointed out. “At least, usually someone has the good sense to get dead when you go to all the trouble to shoot them. Unless you miss anything vital. That bloke what took my hat?”

“I hit him in the arm,” Waxillium said. “But it should have brought him down better than it did. He has koloss blood for sure. Might be a Pewterarm as well.”

That quieted Wayne. He was probably thinking the same thing as Waxillium—a band like this, with these numbers and such nice weapons, was likely to have at least a couple of Allomancers or Feruchemists among them.

“Marasi,” Waxillium said, as something occurred to him, “is Steris an Allomancer?”

“What? No. She isn’t.”

“You certain?” Waxillium asked. “She might have been hiding it.”

“She’s not an Allomancer,” Marasi said. “Nor a Feruchemist. I can promise it.”

“Well, there’s a theory rusted away,” Wayne said.

“I need to think,” Waxillium said, tapping the table with his fingernail. “Too much about these Vanishers doesn’t make sense.” He shook his head. “But, for now, I should bid you a good evening. I’m exhausted, and if I may be bold enough to say it, you look the same.”

“Yes, of course,” Marasi said.

They stood, walking toward the exit. The constables didn’t stop them, though some did shoot Waxillium hostile looks. Others seemed disbelieving. A few looked awed.

This night, like the four previous, lacked any mists. Waxillium and Wayne walked Marasi to her uncle’s carriage. Lord Harms sat inside, staring straight ahead.

As they arrived, Marasi took Waxillium’s arm. “You really should have gone for Steris first,” she said softly.

“You were closer. Logic dictated I save you first.”

“Well, whatever the reason,” she said, voice even more soft, “thank you for what you did. I just . . . Thank you.” She looked like she wanted to say more, staring up into his eyes, then went onto her tiptoes and kissed him on the cheek. Before he could react, she turned away and climbed into the carriage.

Wayne stepped up to him as the carriage moved off into the dark street, horses’ shoes clattering on the paving stones. “So,” Wayne said, “you’re going to marry her cousin?”

“Such is the plan.”

“Awkward.”

“She is an impulsive young woman half my age,” Waxillium said. An apparently brilliant, beautiful, intriguing young woman who also happens to be an excellent shot. Once, that combination would have left him completely smitten. Now, he barely gave it a passing thought.

He turned away from the carriage. “Where are you staying?”

“Not sure yet,” Wayne said. “I found this house where the folks who lives there is away, but I think they might be back tonight. Left ’em some bread as a thanks.”

Waxillium sighed. I should have guessed. “I’ll give you a room, assuming you promise not to steal too much.”

“What? I never steal, mate. Stealing’s bad.” He ran a hand through his hair and grinned. “Might need to trade you for a hat to wear till I get my other one back, though. Do you need any bread?”

Waxillium just shook his head, waving for his carriage to drive them back to Ladrian Mansion.

Mistborn: The Alloy of Law © Brandon Sanderson 2011

The Alloy of Law: ‹ previous | index | next ›
56 comments
Nicholas Marino
1. njm1492
Awesome! Can't wait to read the rest of Alloy of Law!
Kristoff Bergenholm
2. Magentawolf
I'm breathless just reading that fight scene.
John Skotnik
3. ShooneSprings
I believe that Wayne should actually be Waxillium in the following line:

“Sixteen, I think,” Wayne said distractedly. “Haven’t been counting carefully.”



Great preview!
Dave DeLong
4. Dave DeLong
Found a couple of typos; I hope they're not in the print edition and are just artifacts of transcription:

Then he whipped around, placing himself behind Maraci...
- that should be Marasi, not Maraci


“Sixteen, I think,” Wayne said distractedly.
- From the context, that should be "Wax said distractedly"
Dave DeLong
5. Dount Cooku
This fight scene was three parts awesome mixed with six parts incredible! November can't come soon enough!
Sim Tambem
6. Daedos
Nice work, Brandon. Made my morning. Thanks.
Dave DeLong
7. Markus Ambrose
Is it November yet? Or maybe April of next year yet? Maybe the beginning of 2013? No? ****! Brandon Sanderson you ruin me for anyone else... Thanks. :)
Peter Ahlstrom
8. PeterAhlstrom
Those two typos mentioned so far were already fixed in the hardcover.
Patrick Ransdell
9. pmrbluepat
Amazing fight scene Brandon! The two of them make for quite the duo. I really like Wayne's fighting tactics.. pretty cool. The possibilities for different twinborns makes me drool...

With that being said: Marasi seems extra sure that Steris is not an Allomancer or Feruchemist. There has to be something about her blood that is intriguing to these Vanishers.. but what?

Oh also, the line about the mist not being present sticks with me. Anyone think something is going on when the Mist are not present versus when they are present?
Josh Smith
10. Master_Moridin
@9-I does seem like there is supposed to be a hint towards something with the way the lack of mists keeps getting mentioned.
Daniel Goss
11. Beren
So . . . what ARE the mists now? Previously, didn't the mists have something to do with Preservation? Now that Harmony is in charge, what would the mists even represent? If they do still represent the Preservation half of Harmony, then their absence could indicate that Ruin is gaining some sort of ascendancy in the balance of power within Harmony.

Or not. Either way, I absolutely cannot wait to get my hands on this.
-Beren
Josh Smith
12. Master_Moridin
@11-Well, Ruin's gaseous form was a kind of black fog, so if the Ruin half of Harmony was gaining control and the powers were still seperate physically, you might expect the fog to be in place of the mists. I think that the powers of Ruin and Preservation are not just being held by one person, but are actually one thing now. In that case, the lack of mists might mean that Harmony is being distracted by something, and is no longer manifesting his power as the mists.
Daniel Goss
13. Beren
@12 Very possibly. However, I think the name "Harmony" is indicative of two entities acting in concert. If they had become one thing, we might expect the newly-formed power to take the name "Unity" or something similar. Harmony, though, does have the connotation of multiple independent forces working towards a single goal, rather than one.

That said, I like your idea that when the mists are not there it means that Harmony is distracted or working in another area.
-Beren
Josh Smith
14. Master_Moridin
@13-It is one entity. The question is whether the powers that entity holds maintain seperate existences, or whether the come together to form a new type of power. The name "Harmony" could also mean that the power contains within it the capabilities of two other, conflicting powers, and as such, is in harmony.
Joseph Armao
15. joeyesq
It just dawned on me that heroes are named Wax and Wayne. Think its significant, or is Brandon just being cute?
Dave DeLong
16. EC Spurlock
Thanks for this. You have got me completely hooked. I'll be tracking down the entirety of this series to prepare for this volume coming out.

BTW, I can't believe it took me this long to twig to the names. Wax and Wayne indeed. My kind of writer.
Sean Arthur
17. wsean
Yeah, noticed that earlier. Pretty sure Brandon's just being cute. ;)
Douglas Miller
19. douglas
I think Brandon mentioned in a Q&A on his forum (which is down atm due to hacking) that there are now two kinds of mists, one for Preservation and one for Ruin, and that the presence of each kind of mists makes it easier for Sazed to do certain kinds of things depending on which kind of mist is there.

I'm wondering if Steris is a duralumin "gnat". Pointless enough on its own that she'd plausibly never bother using it or mentioning it to anyone no matter how close, keeping it secret to anyone who doesn't find records from her Snapping when it was determined, but still a sign of a good allomantic bloodline and potentially useful to someone who's using hemalurgy.
Roy McCarty
20. kloud213
Did they previously mention what Miles twinborn powers were? What would allow you to get shot in the head and live? Twinborn combos bring a hole new level to the magic system.... freaking awesome.
Lauren W
21. laurene135
20. kloud213
I'm guessing Feruchemy Gold (healing) and Allomancy Pewter (extreme strength, resistance and durability). Such a combination would make someone quite difficult to kill.
Lauren W
22. laurene135
19. douglas
Her being a gnat would be interesting, but I'm curious what other uses they have for these women if truly not all (or non) are Allomancers or
Feruchemists...
Dave DeLong
23. Steel-n-Brass
who else is betting that Wax plus Steris is now a lost cause? And that Wayne's snarkiness on the suitability of one versus the other is going to leave Wax with - besides an overwhelming desire to throttle his loyal sidekick - very little of Steris on his mind by the time he actually catches up to her again?
Tate Thorpe
24. FearTheWiggum001
Has anyone ever concidered maybe an Ironeyes is the leader of the Vanishers? Taking allomancers, but never returning them? And only allomancers, possibly also Feruchemists? If you don't know what an Ironeyes is, look at the broadsheet. Also, Ironeyes existed in the other books too. Someone's making Inquisitors. >:)
Dave DeLong
25. jtmz
Miles could be a double gold twinborn. With the Lord Ruler´s trick he could survive anything.

Maybe Steris is no allomancer and they only captured her because she could be. Unless they have seekers following these women, they would not know if they really have any abillities.

And how can Marasi be so sure Steris is not an allomancer? Is Marasi a seeker?
Patrick Ransdell
26. pmrbluepat
Just curious, some of these post have got me thinking.

Is there a name for a twinborn whose Allomantic and Feruchemcial abilities use the same metal? In that way the twinborn could burn a metalmind that they have stored with a particular power.

Ex. If a "gnat" was also twinborn with a Feruchemical power derived from duraluminum. And lets say a Duraluminum metal mind stored, oh I don't know, lets say height. Could they burn some stored up height and become super duper tall? I am assuming Lord Ruler did something similiar to stay alive so long (burned stored up age in an atium metalmind?).

Ive gotten off topic and have forgotten why I started writing... good indication to stop.

I think I was going to say something about Steris might have no idea she is a duraluminum misting, becuase of no outward effect... or even cooler if she was a Nicrosil misting....
Dave DeLong
28. ChocolateRob
1 Ha Ha Ha Flashstep! Awesome.

2 I'm guessing that they want women with strong allomantic potential but not actual allomancers. Perhaps one of the newer metals can make a haemolurgic spike capable of harvesting potential (or using some non-haemolurgic method). Allomancers won't work because they are already set as mistings but combining the 'potential' from several donors with a strong bloodline could make a non-allomancer into a mistborn.
Robert Kittleson
29. Beowulf25
Possible typo.
If Wax is sitting in the kitchen at the end, why does the constable crouch down to talk to him?
Birgit
30. birgit
Maybe the women are potential allomancers who haven't snapped.
Dave DeLong
31. cherif
Thanks Tor and Brandon! I was afraid we wouldn't have a six excerpt to read.
I've already preordered my copy. If you treat your customers right, they will reward you with their wallet :)
Dave DeLong
32. Yinari
Could someone maybe explain to me why the names Wax and Wayne are significant? I've seen it mentioned here a few times and I'm feeling like I'm missing something here.
Dave DeLong
33. Wawawarawarawarwa
@28:Why would allomantic potential be better than actual allomancy?
Dave DeLong
34. FrancoP
@ 32

When the moon waxes it gets bigger. And when it wanes it gets smaller.
Dave DeLong
35. Doggode
It makes perfects sense if the goal of the robberies is hemalurgy: the metal is for the spikes, the kidnapees are for the powers. Many people are needed because that is the only way to become a mistborn. Does hemalurgy work with feruchemy? If it does, than this is even more dangerous. Even if Steris hasn't Snapped yet, she might be beat when she is in captivity, so she does Snap.

I like the idea of Marasi being a Seeker.
Lauren W
36. laurene135
35. Doggode

Yes, hemalurgy can steal feruchemy. This was seen in HOA throughout the book, starting from the very beginning. Yes, a person with full allomantic and feruchemic(?) powers. Haha, I was wondering what that would be like, but then I just remembered that was the Lord Ruler.
But as I've said before, that harkens too closely to what we've seen before and I don't think that's where this story is going.

I also like the idea of Maradi being a seeker, but can a seeker sense/feel someone using feruchemy? I don't recall.
Dave DeLong
37. jtmz
Who could have knowledge of Hemalurgy after 300 years? I think probably Marsh or one of the Yomens, which think ironeyes are gods.

If the vanishers want to create a Mistborn, maybe they would only succeed after 200 years. That could be the bad guy in the next trilogy.
Dave DeLong
38. jtmz
I was thinking about the Lord Ruler´s trick with gold. In chapter 15 of The Final Empire, Kelsier says: "... decapitation only annoys him".

I don´t remember, has it ever been explained how he can survive that? Did he have gold metalminds with his head and with his body? Could he simply take his head and put it back? Or was it just a legend?
Dave DeLong
39. ChocolateRob
@33 Once a person has snapped (in this time) they can only be a misting, not a mistborn. Once snapped their allomantic potential is focused on only one ability. So maybe weaker potential for all abilities is better than the definite abilty of one.

I admit though that it's not a great idea if I think about it too much, so here's a new one -
Miles has been replaced with a Kandra.

Wax clearly knows what Miles twin powers are so if one was healing Wax would have thought of it and not been surprised when he shot him. If Miles is a Kandra though he would not have the twin powers but being shot in the head would not be a problem. It could also explain why a lawman is suddenly a criminal.
Lauren W
40. laurene135
38. jtmz

As I recall, BS stated either in one of his annotations or in a forum post that this was a slight exaggeration. He stated the Lord Ruler's head was not completely severed, thus allowing him to heal himself (if it had been severed he wouldn't have been able to heal himself).

39. ChocolateRob
I like your idea of Miles possibly being a kandra. However, unless he went rogue, this possibility leads me to believe that what the Vanishers are doing isn't as heinous as we have been lead to believe. The kandra are good guys, so perhaps the Vanishers are just willing to bend thier ethics to fight a greater and more malevolent force that we do not know about as of yet.
But then again, the way they were so eager to shoot the place up kind of smacks in the face of my theory. Unless maybe the kandra Miles is some sort of double agent and the Vanishers themselves are simply criminals.
Lauren W
41. laurene135
@39. ChocolateRob
Despite being interested in Miles possibly being a kandra, I don't think we can dismiss is twinborn powers being focused around healing. Wax is surprised when he shoots the boss because of how easily he goes down:
"He raised his gun and shot the last bullet in his gun toward the doorway, hitting the masked leader of the Vanishers in the head. The man collapsed in a heap.
Well, there goes that theory, Waxillium thought. Miles wouldn’t have fallen to a mere bullet. He was a Twinborn of a particularly dangerous variety."
This statement suggests that Miles's powers are focused on healing, (I think allomantic pewter to help him withstand injury, and feruchemic gold allowing him to store up health) then he would have been able to withstand a simple bullet (unless of course he was faking, see below:)

"He hit the ground running, noting with concern that the boss’s body wasn’t where he’d dropped it. There was blood in the entryway. Had they dragged him away? Unless . . . Maybe his theory wasn’t wrong after all. But damn it, he couldn’t be facing Miles. Miles was a lawman. One of the best."

Initially Wax dismisses his theory of the boss being Miles because Miles's powers of healing would have allowed him to withstand the bullet wound; however, when the boss is no longer laying in the doorway, Wax realizes that he may have been to quick to dismiss his theory about Miles being the boss. Miles could have, as I stated, simply fiegned death (much like Wayne when he was shot) but have quietly been healing himself until he found an opportunity to slip out.
Dave DeLong
42. jtmz
Thanks laurene135!

@39. ChocolateRob
Miles being a Kandra is an interesting possibility. Could he work for Sazed? But when Wax was praying, he felt that Harmony wanted him to solve the vanishers problem...
karl oswald
43. Toster
@55 laurene.

if miles does have allomantic pewter and feruchemical gold than i think your explanation is the likelier. the kandra theory is not without strong points - there could be a kandra double agent leading the vanishers, or a kandra could be rogue somehow (though not likely, for to be out of sazed's power they'd have to remove their blessings and become mistwraiths.), but if miles is a... a... Bloodmaker Thug, then suddenly he could survive a lot. probably as much or more than a kandra.

miles could burn or flare pewter while filling his gold metalmind. he could store health, while not being any sicker.

that would make for a lot of stored health, and a lot of experience with flaring pewter.
Alice Arneson
44. Wetlandernw
Beowulf25 @29 - Depending on the height of the stool, it might make sense for the constable to crouch to get in Wax's face. We often think of a stool at "bar" height, but in a kitchen there's a good chance it would be a low stool.

@various - The idea of Miles as a kandra makes a certain amount of sense; particularly Miles as a kandra but the rest of them as simply criminals. On the other hand, we know very little about Miles, except that 1) he's a lawman who sometimes doesn't bother with little details like proof of guilt, 2) he keeps his town "clean" (not too much overt crime), and 3) he is a Twinborn of a particularly dangerous variety who wouldn't fall to a mere bullet. That's not much character development just yet, but it leaves some wide-open possibilities for what he might be doing with the Vanishers. He sounds to me like the kind of guy who just might feel that the ends justify the means; if someone gave him a proposition that by doing he would have a better way of maintaining order, he could decide it was worth the questionable methods.

Note the reason for the change in orders; when Lord Peterus called the leader a coward a second time, he shot him and then told the gang to "have some fun." He'd kept the violence to a minimum before that, but being called "chicken" brought out the Marty McFly in him, and he did something stupid. This could easily match what little we know of Miles so far.

By the way, the gang should be greatly depleted; twenty-five dead and six captured, out of the original thirty-seven. The leader got out with 5 grunts (including Tarson, who seems to actually grunt!) - and Steris.
Dave DeLong
45. Smartrose3
First, I have to say that fight scence was EPIC!!! Nothing can ever top Kelsier's last battle, but this came close. You have to love a man who has that much control in the heat of battle, and Wax deffinitely did. Using his wonderful twinborn powers he swept through those bandits so fast they barely saw them coming! Oh, and Wayne's fighting style was quite interesting as well. And no one got shot! Except for the bad guys (and Wayne of course, plus that foolish ex-constable, but that was before the fighting began) Anyway Im not usually so excited about fight scenes, but that was awsome!

Okay, now on to theories and anylasis. First, Marasi. I think theres more to her than meets the eye. It was hinted that her reason's for being in town might not be simply to go to the university, and it was also pointed out that she was feigning her shyness. There are several theories for this, the most likely being that she is an allomancer (possibly a seeker, as her comment about knowing for sure that Steris wasn't an allomancer hinted at, but that could just mean that if she was, Marasi would definately be in the know.) and that she was brought to the city to use her powers to Lord Harms benefit. Her shyness act could be a way of not drawing attention to herself so she can use her abilities without anyone knowing. Less likly theories could range from she is Lord Harms illegimate daughter he feels he has to look after but doesn't want anyone to know about, or that she was brought to the city specifially to study criminolgy which would indicate that Harms forsaw trouble, though considering she's in her last year at university it seems a little late in the coming.

As for Miles, I don't think a rouge kandra is impossible as I don't think Sazed would try to control them too much even "for their own good" as he learned from the Lord Ruler that good intentions don't always lead to good results. However, while him being a kandra would be an intriguing twist, I think that there was a little too much emphasis on him maybe being Miles for him not to be. This leads to the question: Why did he suddenly turn from lawman to criminal? Well, it was pointed out that he was harsh, eliminating all he felt were a threat whether he had evindence of their guilt or not. The leader said somthing that indicated that he thought the city responsible for the conditions out on the Roughs. Which raisies the question: Does he feel the city is a threat and the robberies are his way of eliminating it?

Well, heres a theory, would if the victims are kidnapped not because of their possible allomancer abilites, but because of who they're related to. Would if one of their relatives is doing a bussiness venture that is somehow hurting the roughs and the kidnappings are a convert message saying: Stop what your doing or else. Though that leads to the question: Why doesn't he just tell someone whats going on instead of being so secret about it? Then again I doubt Miles is one to ask for help, and the situation may be a rather complicated one.

As for the goons, I don't think they have the same motivation that their leader does. It is pointed out that they do really care about the money, so I think that while the leader wants the hostages, most of the other men simply are in it for the money. Which means that the goal of the kidnappings is probaly more personal and important to the leader than to the rest of the group, who just want to make money and possibly shoot things.

There are of course many other possible motives including religious sacrifice (they are all decendents of the mistborn) personal vengencence, or they could all be related to thus look like someone he loved who died causing him to snap, kidnapping her relatives to replace her, though I think the crimes are to organized for him to be crazy. Plus theres the already mentioned theories of helmagury and forced breeding. Though I don't think it is something that dark, not because I don't think Brandon is capable of it, but because I don't think it fits with the tone of the book. This story seems more about mystery than survival, like the trilogy was, and I think the ultimate answer will be more creative and interesting than brutal.

Plus, Steris has to be all right so that they can rescue her! Though, personally I like Marasi better and hopes she gets the chance to help solve the mystery. Can you imagine Steris as a prisoner though? She probaly has a twenty page document of complaints and suggestions written out by the second day!
Dave DeLong
46. JPC
To whomever said Kandras were Good Guys -- remember that all the Good Guy kandras committed suicide at the Reckoning. If there are any left (which is unlikely -- Wayne's "Rampaging Mistwraiths" seem pretty mythical) they're not going to be on the "good" side of the line.

One big question though: Koloss are hemalurgic creations -- how do they interbreed with humans?
Lauren W
47. laurene135
@ 46. JPC

The kandras' "suicide" was simply taking out their spikes and turning back into mistwraiths. They did not die, just simply lost the level of intelligence and selfawareness they previously had. They also were not killed at the end of MB3 as noted here in BS's annotation (chp 81 pt 2):
"TenSoon and the kandra were also inside, though they had been turned into mistwraiths. Hum . . . Wonder what happened to them. . . ."

All that would have to be done for them to turn back into kandra is for someone to replace their spikes, which could have been done by Sazed or by one of the human survivors with hemalurgic knowledge.

And why do you think they wont be on the side of "good"? It's possible and very likely that not all are, but I don't see what specifically would turn them destructive...

As to your question about koloss breeding with humans, somewhere BS stated that Sazed changed to koloss to "breed true" although I forget where exactly and so cannot show you specifically.
Harry Burger
48. Lightbringer
I must tip my hat to Brandon, that has got to be the single best described fight scene I have ever read.

There are metallurgical problems with just using aluminum instead of other metals. Aluminum bullets instead of lead would have much lower mass, thus less range, less stable long range ballistics, and poorer penetration of, say, a table. Some of this might be compensated for with a larger caliber or magnum round with extra powder behind it, but those would also require a special gun to fire.

Aluminum instead of steel in making a gun would not last a tenth as long, as it dents much more easily than hardened steel under impact and it's generally much weaker. You'd probably need to replace the firing pin and revolver cylinder often. Rifling on the inside of the barrel probably wouldn't hold up well either, especially if it's shooting aluminum bullets of the same hardness - real guns last because the lead bullet is so much softer than the steel of the barrel.

But it's a fantasy novel, and he's a writer not a mechanical engineer (like me), so that probably won't matter. Plus they probably won't be fired often enough for things to wear too much.
Dave DeLong
49. Chinedum Richard Ofoegbu
As you say, aluminum weapons are special purpose and thus wouldn't be fired enough for their overall inferiority to be a factor.
Dave DeLong
50. Saephin
I've just had an amazing thought. It was established that you could burn a feruchemical storage and get an extra HUGE boost. And it's already been discussed on this thread that the purpose of the kidnappings might be hemalurgy.... What happens if you burn a hemalugically charged peice of metal?!?

Also I love the parallels between the alluminium hats and what people used to do when paranoid about "alien mindcontrol"
Dave DeLong
51. Vinesdarkly
Just thinking here,
If, Feruchemically, you were to store up large amounts of mental speed in zinc and whatever trait in duralumin, then you Allomantically burned both of these enhanced metals, would you not be able to cause an aneurysm in whoever you're rioting?
Dave DeLong
52. jtmz
@ 51. Vinesdarkly

Try it with a large crowd.

Has it been confirmed if an alloy of Atium and Lerasium would grant someone feruchemical abilities?
Dave DeLong
53. Vortaan
My thought: Miles is some combination of Electum and Zinc. The ability to see into your own future plus the ability to think at speed seems like it would mimic Atium pretty well.
Dave DeLong
54. ChocolateRob
Are there any other metal minds where you get an advantage by both filling and tapping them as Wax does? Filling most of them requires the feruchemist be at a disadvantage for the duration by depleting health, strength, mental speed, senses or whatever, they are only useful when tapped for the atribute. With Wax's iron however he gets even more use filling it than draining it, but both are incredibly useful.

What would you like to store when inappropriate then tap when needed?
Anger?
hunger?
sex drive?
Dave DeLong
55. Lurker
@50 I don't think burning a hemalurgical spike would grant a boost of power. What the lord ruler was doing was burning his own metal minds. I seem to remember Vin trying this withSazed and it not helping her. but it's been a while since i read the books.
Dave DeLong
56. Esther
I have to say, I think I'm happier right now than I've been for the past few days. Wayne makes me laugh... and Brandon being cute with names makes me laugh, too! Haha, Brandon. :P

And come out soon, book!

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