Impossible! How dare he!? An angry wail rumbled through the house. Rue, reduced to a berzerker fury, forgot every scheme of reducing Kyle's soul to mulch. The impudent boy must die!
Forked arcs of lightning twisted and surged from Rue's body, flanked by seething rips between worlds, throbbing with hate and despair. Here, a purple lance of gory malfeasance, oozing tainted light in acidic drips against life's tapestry. There, a pulsating heat, searing the very air to ionized smoke. And a deliberate crackle of silver spun 'round, wrapping everything in a neat package of terrifying purpose. All sought to rend Kyle, caress and flay the skin and meat from his bones, shred organs to soupy pulp, eradicate every trace of his worthless carcass.
How impotent was Rue's rage, when those killing strokes never fell. How indignant his unearthly roar, when each wave of molten power seemingly passed through Kyle, as if he wasn't even there. Rue's fury ended about a foot from Kyle's prone body, and reappeared a similar distance beyond.
Again and again, Rue battered Kyle from different angles, yielding nothing but failure with each attempt. The energy around Kyle was now so constant, the bubble protecting him was tangible.
Rue redoubled his efforts.
The rabbit had no way of knowing the true extent of Kyle's power. Until then, neither did the boy. As it was, Kyle wilted under the assault. The concentration was demanding, and it drained him terribly. Though no direct blasts stabbed into him, occasionally Kyle would neglect to properly redirect the barrage. Just as during Sal's crash-course on physics, boils grew on his body where misplaced energy dissipated.
And Rue never relented. Kyle's skin glowed with mounting heat, peeling away from itself as he cooked from within. Every slip in concentration brought a new affliction: a cut, a broken bone, or another boil erupting from his abused skin. He shook with effort, nearing outright convulsions of shock, and it wasn't enough. Whatever domain spawned Rue, however old the creature might be, its reserves were enormous, and Kyle couldn't withstand much more. A few more minutes, and Kyle knew he'd be a smoking smear on Adriana's polished floor.
Face nearly cooked away, crying with effort, Kyle took a deep breath and focused not on protecting himself, but on Rue. Kyle didn't know what manner of monster Rue might be, but he knew the rabbit was dead, dry as dust—perfect tinder. Compared to staving off Rue's bombardment, replacing the air around the accursed thing with fresh lava, struck Kyle as laughably easy.
Encased in scorching magama, Rue rumbled a startled howl. Treachery!
If there was ever a thinking being within Rue, Kyle's innovative offensive dashed that suckling babe against the rocks. No more.
The house shook tremendously, vibrating at a pronounced crescendo until chunks of Adriana's walls were torn away, separated into jagged slats and individual nails. The floor shared a similar fate; all around Kyle, boards cracked and launched skyward, circling him like hungry teeth. From various far-flung alcoves of the house, knives, heirlooms, broken pottery, piano-wire—anything sharp or dangerous—hovered over Kyle awaiting Rue's final gesture.
Kyle couldn't help but laugh at the spectacle. Laying on his back cooked like a roast turkey, lacerated by a thousand serious cuts, several bones broken or crushed to powder, surrounded by a pool of his own blood, and Rue was about to stab him with the entire house. Even though he was about to die, the ridiculous overkill called to the child in Kyle that once asked Frank to kill a spider by throwing it into a campfire after smashing it with a shoe. Karma is a bitch, he thought with a chuckle.
Then the wait was over. All at once, every board, slat, and sharp item lunged forward. Kyle closed his eyes and sighed, almost eager to escape his tortured body.
"Rue! No!" screamed Adriana.
Her voice forced Kyle's eyes open; it sounded too close, too clear. He saw her and his heart broke. No! Somehow in the tumult, she'd placed herself between Rue and his objective, and with her arms spread wide, commanded Rue to cease.
She might as well have ordered an arrow from the sky.
Too late. The weapons were already moving, and she was in their way.
Kyle turned his head away and winced, knowing what came next. Thousands of sharp chunks of wood, metal, and glass lanced into Adriana—some with a dull thunk. Her eyes—what remained of them—were open, but there was no life flickering within.
Adriana was dead.