Just like yesterday there won’t be much for preamble; were going to get right into the action. And this one is going to be a little different than the first two phases, because anything goes as far as my kids are concerned.
And as for going to see, that may be true for the zombies as well:
(The following excerpts from The Foundation Chronicles, Book Three: C For Continuing, copyright 2016, 2017 by Cassidy Frazee)
He stepped away from the mess he had created and cast a glance at Annie as Ramona’s voice boomed out again. “Third Phase: all attacks allowed.”
As is happened the last two times the homunculi crossed the white line at the same time, but rather than run at them this time all six seem to mill about as if considering their options. Kerry wondered if they were trying to run out the clock and press them for time: he knew Relax pretty well and figured there was perhaps a little more than a minute until the end of the song, so the possibility existed that these were programmed to put a lot of pressure upon Annie and he in the last thirty to forty seconds.
Annie was considering another possibility, however. In the previous two phases the homunculi attacked three on one and were always defeated. With the likelihood that the test was winding down if there was any possibility of them failing the test, it would occur now. And the best way for that to happen was—
Five of the pseudo-zombies broke for Annie while the remaining one ran at Kerry.
Besides the fact these homunculus are fast, this is the first indication we get that they could be working together, which means it’s likely they’re something more than just simple homunculus. And they’ve decided to going to gang up on Annie, because if they can take her out the kids fail the test.
The only problem with this plan is they have to take out Annie…
It didn’t take a genius to figure out what could happen—and Kerry certainly didn’t consider himself a genius. While Annie could handle herself, there was always the possibility that in a five-on-one battle one of the homunculi could get lucky and bite Annie, which would knock her out of the test and cause them to fail. At this point their odds of winning were far better if they worked together…
Kerry decided not to mess around. As soon as his attacker was close enough he sidestepped the attack and pushed hard on the homunculus’ back, driving it toward the safety barrier a few meters behind him. The creature hit it hard and was momentarily disoriented, but before it could determine the boy’s location Kerry threw a fireball and engulfed it, then follow that up with a Air Hammer that slammed it back into the safety enchantment once again. He figured between the damage it had taken from the combined attacks it was either out of commission or disoriented enough that it would be unable to continue.
He sprinted toward Annie.
Annie was prepared for the multiple attacks heading her way. She positioned herself near line of shadow and immediately cut a shadow ribbon long enough to be used as a whip. She twirled it around her head and encircled the neck of the first homunculus to approach her. With it firmly in position she gave the shadow whip a hard jerk. Blood sprayed everywhere as the shadow ribbon sliced into the zombie’s neck as it stumbled forward beyond Annie. She whipped her left arm around and blocked a grab from a second homunculus before slamming it in the chest as hard as she could with a flat palm strike that she felt crack its sternum. She swept it aside with her right arm as she blocked an attack from another homunculus with her left.
Keep in mind Kerry’s only a few meters from Annie so for him to sprinted over to her takes a matter of three or four seconds seconds. And Annie, as well as Kerry, are actually moving about a bit trying to avoid attacks. It seems like their standing in one place, but as was indicated in the second phase, Annie was having to adjust the grip on her sword because of all the blood that was coming off of the different attacks, and this would lead one to believe that she’s moving about as she setting up for strikes.
But the truth is is hand-to-hand stuff goes quickly and can be over in a matter of seconds. And in that last paragraph above we got to see Annie perform the moves she did in the trailer I wrote for this novel–said moves including blood squirting from the neck and broken bones. Yes, Annie is a vicious little girl and no one should trifle with her. Then again, Kerry through a homunculus at the safety enchantment and inflamed it with a fireball–and if you’re paying attention, that means he did both in the direction of the students, as they are standing directly behind the safety enchantment. I hope they had a good show.
So let’s wrap this sucker up–
Kerry caught one of Annie’s homunculus from behind and got his left arm around its neck, then planted himself and forced it to the floor with a cross body throw. He stomped its left knee, breaking it, then turned to the fake zombie on his left and threw a right fist/left palm smash/right elbow smash into its right eye socket and skull, staggering it badly. He stomped down on the right ankle, smashing it, and threw it on top of the last homunculus he’d disabled.
Out of the corner of her eye Annie saw the second homunculus she repelled beginning to recover, which meant she didn’t have much time to deal with the third one. She drew back her right arm and thrust it forward, extending her index and middle fingers. She and drove them as hard as she could into the homunculus’ eyes, hoping she’d pierced the fore brain. The creature staggered away, damaged and unable to see, giving Annie time to craft Exsanguination and toss it at the second zombie. It bled out explosively and Annie managed to catch two sprays in the face and chest before it went down.
Seeing that Annie had her situation under control Kerry did a quick sweep of the room. The burning homunculus was still on its feet and staggering in his direction. He fired a couple of Air Hammers at the two on the ground at his feet, killing them, then crafted an Air Hammer using dark energy and fired it off at the burning zombie. The creature came apart when the sorcery attack hit, throwing a half dozen pieces in various directions. He turned around in time to see Annie kick her last homunculus to its knees, come up from behind, and snapped its neck with a head twist.
Covered in blood and winded, they were both catching their breath when fifteen seconds later music stopped and silence fell upon the test surface.
So there you have it: exploding burning zombies and Annie snapping some poor homunculus’ neck by hand. Neither of these kids are playin’ and they finished their tests successfully just in the nick of time.
Which means everything following is going to be nice and sweet, yeah?