Chapter XXVIII

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The remaining Grigori landed behind Carter, who lay unmoving on the sidewalk. It holstered its pistol and grinned up at Bob.

"Good job there fella, but I still wouldn't get too close, he's a slippery one," Dozier commented, his pistols pointed squarely at the Original Soul's body. "I've been here once before and it didn't go well for me." He slowly floated around the motionless man, closely examining it for any signs of movement. Bob touched down and cautiously stepped up to poke the tip of his golden boot into Carter's side rocking it up and down a couple of inches. "I just can't believe it was that easy..."

"Step away from him, you have had your fun!" said a voice from behind the outlaw.

Bob turned and watched the bum slowly emerging from the dark alley once more.

"It's time you returned to your soul-addicted boss."

The outlaw floated over toward the shadowy, homeless man. "Exactly what do you think you are going to do about it, you drunken fool?" Bob asked, the pistol in his hand moving about carelessly, reacting to each word spoken. "I mean, really, are you one to speak to someone's addiction?" the bandit asked smartly.

"Haven't you ever heard the phrase, never judge a book by its cover?"

"I don't read," the outlaw said with a grin.

The old man blinked, the streetlight above revealing the annoyance slowly sweeping over his smudged face. He narrowed his eyes at the Grigori hovering above him only a few meters away. "Regardless, I am offering you and your friend there an opportunity to live and fight another day," the vagrant said in a raspy voice, pointing at Bob and then the other Grigori. "I would take it if I were you."

"How is it that you can you see us, mister? How do you know who Holok is?"

"This is your final chance," the old man said as he lowered his wrinkled brow, shadowing his eyes. "I won't offer you this opportunity again."

"Buddy, I ain't leavin' without ol' Bass over there. I gotta bounty to collect from Holok," Bob responded.

The old man closed his eyes and exhaled. "Very well, you were given a chance to save yourselves," he said and stretched his arms out, lifting his face to the stormy sky.

Bob Dozier raised a pistol and pointed it at the crazy old man. Staring straight down the barrel, he lined up the sights with the vagrant's heart and began to squeeze the trigger. "Time to go meet my boss, partner. He's going to find you real interesting..."

Two bolts of lightning abruptly flashed from the stormy heavens, flowing into the bums outstretched hands. They merged at the center of his body into a blinding brilliant ball of light that bathed the entire avenue and surrounding storefronts in pure white light.

The Grigori threw their hands in front of their faces to shield their eyes from the fantastic display of energy. It would be the last thing they ever experienced.

________________________________________

Carter woke to the echoing sounds of traffic, annoyed by the morning light streaming down on him from between the parallel rooftops. A pungent odor filled his nostrils. He found he was lying behind the same stinky, blue dumpster he landed next to the previous evening. Carter sat up, tossing back the dank military blanket, and reached around with his right hand to assess the damage to his back. "What the hell?" he muttered under his breath, patting as far back on his shoulder as he could, unable to locate any residual damage from the Grigori ambush.

"Grigori? Oh shit!" he thought, quickly surveying the scene, his eyes carefully searching for Bob Dozier, but the evil creature and his minions were nowhere to be found. Neither was the old man. Carter inhaled a nasty breath of garbage-scented air and shrugged. Glancing down at his feet stretched out in front of him, he noticed something shiny peeking from beneath the edge of the filthy olive drab blanket. He tossed the cloth aside to discover a golden gun belt fitted with two "God-Guns" as the outlaw had called them lying between his boots. "Well, I'll be," the sharpshooter thought. Carter stood holding the belt with both hands. He unbuckled the front buckle and attached the gun belt securely around his waist.

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