Consciousness hits me like a big bag of bricks, bashing into my brittle body so that my limbs are suddenly heavy and unresponsive.

Even as I comprehend, it’s hard to think straight. Frost’s cold eyes continue to stare, all the way into my brain matter, and I can see the calculation in his gaze, the way he’s assessing me. Like he’s capturing my reaction. Weighing my value.

I can do little else but mimic as I watch him retrieve yet another item from his impeccably-organized, seemingly endless archive of tools: this one much larger. I can’t bring myself to read its label, struggling with the basic task of dragging air into my lungs. He hauls it to the first H framework, standing straight and tall that he rivals it. The moment he brings it up to its bridge, I know I’m in for hell.

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