The Aftermath Academy - CH36 (Pyrrha)

Human corpse cannonballs slam into Emilio, jerking into him faster than I would have thought possible for such large objects. The impact pulverizes the flesh, sending a cloud of aerosolized blood through the street as dozens of bodies slam into Emilio’s position. I can’t see Emilio or our enemy through the haze of blood and bits of flesh floating through the air.

But I can feel that Emilio’s weathered the hits and is maintaining his concentration on crushing Bone and Chain to death. Then the bone shards of the shattered bodies shoot back out from him in a whirl so intense the air swirls around us as they rush back out.

Allie’s hiding behind a bubble barrier and I’m shut into my armor, but Genevieve realizes the trick and flies upwards out of reach. She’s realized Bone and Chain might be able to transfer his power through his victims’ bones and might be trying to get past her defenses through inserting shards into her respiratory system. Even failing that, he could just suffocate her through filling her throat and lungs with shards.

He’s certainly trying to choke me out, but my armor lets air through on a molecular level over my entire body. Trying to block my airflow with the remains of some poor man’s femur isn’t going to work, although it’s obscuring my view. Genevieve begins blasting the swirling bones with the energy projector embedded in her rod, burning away the remains. I know it hurts her pride to use the weapon, but the only one of us who can disintegrate the cloud of bones is Allie and she’s stuck in defense.

I think for a moment that maybe Bone and Chain overestimated his abilities, getting trapped by Emilio in a position he can’t extricate himself from, when he lashes out a finger.

Even though his entire body is now wrapped in a constricting twine, Bone and Chain can manipulate his extremities as if they’re laughy taffy. His finger stretches back and shoots out with a blinding speed. If Genevieve hadn’t been pushed back she might have been fast enough to block it. But as it is, the tip of the finger hits Emilio square in the head with the speed of a bullet and a modified density far greater than bone should have.

It’s more than that though. As Emilio is flung backwards, letting go of the twine that he didn’t leave enough slack in, I realize that Bone and Chain is using his bone telekinesis on himself. It’s nearly as strong as Emilio’s, and with the extra physical density and the slingshot technique he used to give himself extra power, Emilio wasn’t able to take the full force. The twine loses Emilio’s telekinetic energy and is shredded by jagged bone growths in an instant.

Genevieve is blasting Bone and Chain now with the energy projector to minimal effect. She isn’t sure whether it’s safe yet to fly down and wail on him more directly. I lash out with James and Samson and feel them cut through his flesh into the bone armor, where they both stop, stuck. Allie also shoots out a bubble of energy that is shrugged off.

The monster before us stirs, finally moving more than a finger, face twisted in a mocking laugh that is far too wide. “My turn,” he says, voice guttural, broken gravel barely rising above the level of a growl. His arms lash back and then out, crossing the difference between us almost as quickly as my swords.