Melchor’s liquid mass had split, and now both parts were moving independently of one another. The chaos and low visibility of the fight had been concealing it from Dimas.
Perhaps the split had only just occurred, because Shenado chose that moment to warn them. ‘There are three of him now! Be very careful!’
A surge of mercury blindsided him, throwing him off his feet while still clinging on to him, quickly consuming his whole body, no doubt wanting to crush him and prevent regeneration.
Every single one of his muscles flexed at once, and the gravity stopped him in mid-air. An invisible bubble exploded outward and tore the mercury off of him as he floated there.
Indeed, he could see all three hulking blobs looming in the darkness now. The one that had attacked him was already moving toward Joana and the children.
Dimas fired off a round of gravity bullets as he propelled himself closer. Joana pierced the liquid beast with a giant chromium spear, adding spiked branches to it and shredding mercury with each new growth. The clone writhed and squirmed away from her, only to immediately circle back around and try for her again. Dimas gathered enough force into his fist and barreled through the clone, expelling increased gravity upon the moment of impact.
Globs of mercury splattered everywhere but didn’t settle. Instead, they scuttled away like ants, retreating back into a pool nearer the other two clones. Dimas reversed gravity beneath them, wanting to keep every droplet suspended in the air and isolated from one another, but it didn’t matter. They didn’t need the floor. They could move under their own power, no doubt due to Melchor’s additional mastery of materialization’s velocity states.
A muffled explosion shook the chamber, pulling everyone’s attention back to Diego. While they’d been busy with a single clone, Diego had been dealing with two. And it was not going well, Dimas saw. He rushed to assist the man, but the mercury was already smothering him, and after another moment, Dimas heard the crunch. That wouldn’t be enough to truly stop Diego, of course, but Melchor also ripped Yangéra free of the man’s body, using the mercury as a physical filter through which to separate the two. And even while Melchor endured a storm of gravity bullets and chromium spikes, the liquid coffin tightened another time, ensuring that Diego remained dead.