It's a moment of perfection. Charlotte hurls the contents of her coffee cup at the giant, writhing arm-of-arms. For a flash-instant, I wonder if her dirty chai is that hot, then realize she's doing one of her disturbing ghost-magic-possession things, as the coffee causes the limbs making up the massive arm and hand gripping Summer to -- I've seen ugly wounds. I've caused some. In this case, the only analog I can think of is a rifle shot driving along the length of an arm, shattering the bone, causing the flesh to explode outward. -- the arms dissolve into muck and mud in contact with the chai, peeling back away from the core, the bits spraying apart to stain the walls and floor at the hole torn through the outside of Has Beans , coating the dirty asphalt of the alley beyond, leaving a weaving, twisting tentaculed creature. Summer tumbles free, I note with a fraction of my brain, letting me redirect my attention to the arm as a whole. But instead of its breakup showing broken, shattered bone -- -- bones -- -- I see a skeleton within, old, ancient, yellowed and dusty -- The arm starts to reform, the melted constituent limbs reforming, swirling to cover and protect/hide the figure within. -- with the wrong number of ribs. Just like a denizen of the Sepiaverse. Or a Vyortovian. If only -- A moment of perfection. "Grenade!" The voice is old, harsh, unfamiliar, and my first thought is that it's a warning, but my brain is racing even as I turn toward the voice and I see the older man the fist was initially holding (87.6% the heretofore missing Lucius) tossing at me an oblong -- -- I smoothly snag the grenade on my right hand, flip the pin out with my thumb, and lob it into the mass before me, the skeleton, even as the arms re-envelope it -- -- a perfect moment -- -- and backflip-roll-roll-roll away ... WHUMPH The arms themselves suppress much of the explosion, in force and sound, but the reaction from the arm as a whole is instant, the constituent parts breaking down, tossed about, losing -- -- losing their form, collapsing, turning into something like massive leeches, lampreys, writhing aimlessly for a half-moment, then slithering away at speed in all directions, melting into cracks, sliding into gaps in the wall, the drains ... But even as everyone takes a step to intercept the ones they can, even as Lucius calls us back, it occurs to me: is it wrong that I haven't felt so alive in months?