There's no break in action between the cantos 24 & 25: to punctuate his hatred of good, a thief gives God the fig with both thumbs! His burst of blasphemy prefaces the darkest, most horrific episode of the entire Inferno. A six-legged serpent scurries up to another robber and latches itself to his torso. Then it melds with him, turning him into a hideous monster. A second lizard stabs another person in the belly. The dumbfounded soul and his reptilian torturer mingle essences till they resemble each other: two deformed hybrids scuttle off. Thus does sin deform the soul!