Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Page 894

Hector observed the fight with grim wonder, trying to keep an eye on everyone. Dimas and Salvador appeared to have their situation well in hand, with Dimas occasionally boring enormous holes in the rock, earning more aerial space for himself. Hector watched the man fly into a tunnel of his own making, only to return a moment later, exploding through a wall behind one of the Blackburns.

Meanwhile, Xuan and Melchor were still a thunderous mess of scarcely understandable chaos. Pillars of white smoke and whiter flames slammed against sheets of flexing metal, making both burst apart each time.

What are they doing?’ Hector asked.

Trying to overwhelm one another,’ said Garovel. ‘They’ve both mastered pan-rozum, so there aren’t many ways they can subdue each other. Hyper states can be forcibly undone by tearing the reaper out of the user’s brain. But in pan-rozum, the user can melt their brain mass down into something incredibly small without losing any of its functionality--and on top of that, it can be MOVED, too. So right now, they’re both attempting to surround and destroy enough of one another that they can locate their opponent’s brain and end the fight.

Hector understood. ‘Process of elimination...

Exactly. The less original mass the user possesses, the fewer places the brain can be located.

Every now and again, Hector could see the smoke take on a vaguely human shape, sometimes with too many arms, all grasping at Darktide’s only slightly more humanoid form. Javelins of white flame punctured the mercury in multiple places, looking almost like fiery claws as they tore through the liquid body. Xuan’s own body expanded and contracted as he pleased, billowing one way and then the other, and not being particularly bothered by Melchor’s smothering walls. Even when Darktide actually succeeded in boxing some of the smoke in and compressing it, the Seadevil simply cut himself free with fire or acid.

What is Xuan’s element?’ said Hector. ‘Do you know?

No one told me,’ said Garovel, ‘because I guess they like to keep their trump card secret when they can, but seeing it now--it’s almost definitely phosphorus. The sheer volume of smoke is somewhat telling--though I’m a little surprised he can control the product of his chemical reactions so well. To make the smoke an extension of his body... well, I am quite impressed.

They did say he was 106...

Yes, they did.

19 comments:

  1. It's interesting that Hector has time to stand around and observe this fight, mostly without being attacked. He doesn't have the frantic desperation of most of his other fights. I can't wait to see where this goes!

    Small typo in the first paragraph:
    "only to return a moment later, exploding through a wall behind one of the Blackburns a moment later."
    You've got "a moment later" in there twice. Either position works, just not both.

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  2. Ah, thanks for the catch. Fixed now. Oh, and thanks for the catch, too.

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  3. Well, Garovel specifically told him to just watch for a moment, to wait to see if there is an opening where he could be helpful.

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  4. Okay, so I was wrong. I'd never thought of the smoke from that as being significantly toxic, though. And why were his flames green before?

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  5. Kensei Seraph - 6 more daysDecember 4, 2014 at 9:36 AM

    Didn't one of the hyper-states give someone access to an additional element?

    Phosphorous burns white, but I think copper burns green so maybe he's mixing something else into his flames to create the toxic fumes.

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  6. Pretty sure not. Pan-rozum gives access to different abilities (all the pan-rozum states so far have used a combination of transfiguration and integration), but aside from servants with native collision abilities, I don't think it's possible to use more than one substance.

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  7. Integration users have a hyper state that can be used to increase the number of elements they can use.

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  8. Oh yeah, forgot that pan-wzrost was a hyper state. That's a form of growth, though, I don't think it's an ability in and of itself.

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  9. I theorize that his additional element is tellurium due to the smell of his flames.

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  10. The flames were never green. Phosphorus burns white, but it glows green in the dark (which Xuan manipulates as he pleases). The smoke isn't necessarily toxic, but certain allotropes and compound are, Duvoss was more worried about Xuan bridging that gap with his clumsiness.

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  11. Ah, that explains it. None of those effects are things the element would normally do, but Xuan could make them happen with his peculiar mix of showmanship, doofiness and sheer power.

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  12. As well tellurium burns greenish blue and is poisonous, and these smell like garlic.

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  13. I have to say, I've learned more element trivia from this story than any alien science class. Thank you for encouraging class participation Doctor Professor Frost Sir.

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  14. Yah, I've been looking up elements to see what transfig users could do with them, and I've been learning a tin about chemistry. I hadn't even known what methyl groups were before.

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  15. Not sure if typo:
    "they’re both attempting to surround and destroy enough of one [an]other"

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  16. Xuan is actually more impressive than that even. Given how phosphorus smoke works, he's actually manipulating a mist OF an aqueous solution OF a compound OF his (normally solid) element.

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