Monday, May 19, 2014

Page 700

Dunstan charged him head on. Cisco sacrificed his right forearm to bathe the man in acid. Dunstan reached right through it and grabbed Cisco by the neck. Dunstan’s flesh was missing, but it wasn’t boiling. The acid had just splashed right off, as if by some invisible barrier.

Knowing that he could lose his head in an instant, Cisco had to respond quickly. He yanked himself back with a somersault, up and around Dunstan’s arm in order to leverage his whole body weight against his opponent and drag them both to the ground together. They tumbled, and Cisco ended up atop Dunstan’s arm. He tore it off and rolled away, giving himself some space to reevaluate the situation.

Dunstan was just as quick to return to his feet as Cisco, and the bloody gash on his shoulder closed itself before fresh bone and tissue began to grow out again. Curiously, the match had become one arm versus two and a half--soon to be three once Cisco’s wrist and hand regenerated.

He’s transfiguration, too,’ Dennex observed privately. ‘He’s using one of the noble gases, I’d wager. There are few elements that wouldn’t react with hydrofluoric acid or the air at room temperature.

Dunstan took the opportunity to attack again, but Dennex didn’t stop explaining. Cisco struggled to dodge and keep listening.

It seems acid won’t work on him so long as he’s paying attention. You’ll have to overpower him or catch him off guard.

Dunstan caught Cisco’s chest with two fingers’ worth of superheated gas, twin jets of searing pressure. Cisco swung for the man’s face, but Dunstan ducked under and then thrust his hand upward, burning through Cisco’s neck and head as if he were cutting through cardboard. Cisco barely pulled away in time to avoid having his skull split in two. Instead, he’d only earned a giant gash from sternum to ear, flesh and bone hanging loosely from his face as blood gushed forth.

Cisco tried to back off, but his opponent didn’t seem interested in letting up. ‘You might want to flee now,’ he told Dennex.

I’m not going anywhere without my servant. Chergoa and Emiliana can warn everyone else.’ The reaper sounded much too relaxed for Cisco’s liking.


  1. Seeing as it's the 700th page, I think this is a good place to comment on some stuff. First of all, thank you all for reading this far. You're kind of amazing. BUT ONLY KIND OF. DON'T GET A BIG HEAD ABOUT IT.

    Any votes over at Top Web Fiction would be greatly appreciated. Ratings over at Web Fiction Guide, even more so.

    I also wanna take this opportunity to plug some other web serials.
    Stone Burners by Syphax
    Symbiote by farmerbob1

    They very kindly provided links to TZK on their sites, and I've been meaning to return the favor for a while, so go give 'em a look if you're itching for something new to read.

    Also, I think I'm gonna reformat the site a little bit soon. Nothing too crazy. Just some tweaks.

  2. Who is telling Denex to flee? Both combatants are male.
    Not that it matters, given Denex's reply, but it may affect characterisation of whichever combatant said it.

    Heehee. I am already following Symbiote and being a pain in the butt there.

  3. The italics of the text denote thought, so it can only be Cisco telling Dennex. The scene is his POV, and Dunstan doesn't have a mental link with Dennex.

  4. So is dennex counting on emergence? That's why he isn't worried? Also, how does emergence work with other types of users? Creation and destruction users I get, they can make/break more at a time...but transfiguration users get what, more efficient changes, new elements to use?

  5. Hrm. No italics show on my screen, the entire post is devoid of them. I'm on an android phone, but italics work for other sites, not sure what's going on here!

  6. Hmm. That's very strange. I guess it's a good thing I also use single quotes to denote thought as well.

    Quick reference for you:
    "..." = normal speech
    '...' = thought
    <"..."> = normal speech over phone/speaker

  7. More efficient. Emergence let... was it Roman or Desmond? It let someone use his power to fly when he couldn't reliably do it before.

    Same thing with Hector, really. It's not just his upper limit that goes up, he gets faster and can do more complex stuff more easily.

  8. Roman got that one.

  9. That was Stoker, that hyrogen guy ho tried to quit Abolish. Desmond can't fly, and Roman acquired the power offscreen.

  10. That's who I was thinking of.

    Lots of characters in this story.

  11. they can do more complex things. do other stuff easier and/or more efficiently. certain limits increase. its basically a power-up in ALMOST everything. im not including any of the 'special' powers like pan-rozum etc. or soul empowering stuff

  12. Hmm. Considering how reliant on chemistry all transfiguration users we've seen have been, having a non-reactive gas seems a bit underwhelming as far as abilities go.

    Then again, I suppose that's added incentive to practice stuff like controlling the temperature.

  13. Considering how reliant on chemistry all transfiguration users we've seen have been, having a non-reactive gas seems like the ultimate trump card, as demonstrated here.

  14. Sure, right up until he runs into someone who can hit him with an air-free explosive or a metal fist or something.

  15. Gah! I keep forgetting to vote! OMG it's been...TOO LONG since I last voted! I'm sorry!

  16. Cisco is very competent in hand-to-hand combat. Impressive, even. And Dennex is a bro