Vengeance stood straighter. “We can banish you from this universe. Don’t think we can’t—”
He didn’t get to finish the sentence. In that moment, Alden’s head changed to that of The Thing That Eats. He wasn’t the only one. With a scream, the head of the woman that the elf had called Necromancer changed too.
Her hands continued to smoke, but she didn’t use them. The Thing’s mouth opened and swallowed the Graffiti Knight, weird, inscribed armor and all.
Amy swore as Alden blurred and disappeared from view as Latoya and Jillian, both glowing red and sporting giant Thing That Eats heads of their own, flew down from dePuit Hall’s roof.
With wide, open-mouthed smiles (the better to catch passing birds?) they aimed themselves toward the lawn where Vengeance emptied a magazine of ammunition at The Thing That Was Also Philo. Better, it seemed to be hurting him.
Philo backed away, shielding his head with his comparatively stubby arms.
Magic bullets? Silver bullets? Blessed bullets?
Whatever they were, they left streaks of red and bloody holes in The Thing’s face. Unfortunately, Vengeance didn’t have enough bullets.
He put his hand in a pouch on his belt to grab a clip except he also had to dodge a blast of red energy from above.
He stumbled, saved from being burned alive only because one of the Hangmen, noose flapping against the Hangman’s neck as it jumped in between Vengeance and the blast.
Meanwhile two of the Hangmen charged the Philo Thing, one of them trying to punch him, the other pulling off his noose and whirling it around his head like a lasso.
The fourth Hangman fought the Necromancer Thing, assisting Amothel who had grown gold-flecked, brown feathered wings and slashed at the Necromancer Thing with her sword.
“Shift,” Cassie shouted into her comm, “Air support, now!”
“They’re all together,” Marcus said, “I could hit our side.”
I tapped my palm. “Shoot Philo!”
“Right. They’re already dead,” Marcus gave a small laugh, and then thin beams of light rained down from the sky.
The Philo Thing screamed as one beam burned down the side of its head, jumping backward before more beams found their mark. It hit the waist high concrete wall that marked the edge of the nearest of the plazas in front of the Dykstra building, shattering that section of wall.
Let the property damage begin, I thought.
Between the eating and the blasts of light, Cassie had moved out of the front and over to the right side door. “We need to get them out of there.”
Her left hand grabbed the door handle while the right hung on to her gun.
“Okay,” I said, letting go of the steering wheel. “Give me a second… We’ve got to save them and—”
“Make sure they don’t spread the infection,” Amy added.
“We need someone in here,” I said. “Gravity Star stays. The rest attack. Cover us.”
Camille nodded, saying, “Got it,” as she moved to the front seat while the rest of us emptied from the van.
I jumped out of the van, hearing doors directly behind me and on the other side of the van open.
Even as I did it, I heard the crackle of energy in the air and a flash of red, followed by dual Thing screams and meteor-like descents from the sky to the ground.
Camille had yanked both Jillian Thing and Latoya Thing out of the air. Their red shields hit the ground in flashes of red power and big chunks of flying turf.
The good news for later when they presumably got cured was that they weren’t dead. The bad news for us right now was more or less the same thing.
Jillian Thing glowed brighter than the original and pushed herself off from the ground, aiming red beams at me while Latoya Thing struggled with gravity.
I felt the warmth, but the suit shrugged them off. For now it was repairable damage.
Even as I loaded goobots for my attack, I worried that Rod and Samita might be hit as they exited behind me. I shouldn’t have.
Rod the human had become Rod the troll even before his door shut. In my peripheral vision, I saw Rod in his black, leather duster and then he became two stories tall, considerably craggier in looks, more muscular, and well, much more likely to drool.
His blond beard stayed more or less the same from one form to the other.
As a troll though, his bellow had distinctly bowel-loosening qualities. It vibrated through my armor along with the thump of every one of his footsteps.
Lights came on all over dePuit Hall. Latoya Thing and Jillian Thing took to the sky—not quickly because Camille had them, but inevitably. Rod’s bellow gave anything living plenty of motivation to keep out of his way.
As they strained upward, they peppered Rod and I with weak energy blasts, but not for long.
Even as I realized that firing goobots at them would be stupid with Camille’s gravity in play, Samita stepped out from behind Rod and pointed her staff at them. In a flash of light and a crack of thunder, they both fell to the ground again.
Now that they were down though, goobots were a different story. I let a couple fly, giving them some extra height. They exploded high enough to contain them in a gooey mess.
Now I could finally concentrate on the fight between Necromancer Thing and Amothel.