Chapter LII

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Gabriel flashed into the Archangel's Council Chamber and found Semyaza standing over the smoldering remains of Chamuel.

"You will pay for this," Gabriel said, watching the ashes scatter over the marble floor.

"Ah, Gabriel! You so wish to be like Michael, do you not?" the Watcher snarled as he spotted God's Sword of Wrath in the Archangel's hands. The wide, glowing blade pulsed as Gabriel moved it about. "You have to know that will not help you. Your powers are not enough to wield that weapon and use it to its full potential."

"Then why are you so nervous?" Gabriel said, inching toward the Watcher.

"Nervous, ha!" Semyaza exclaimed and spun the Staff of Ra around his body, the crimson point resting with its tip pointed at Heaven's messenger.

"For what I am about to do, I only need a small amount of power," Gabriel said as he lowered the blade. The Archangel then dashed forward at full speed.

"You underestimate me." Semyaza grinned and thrust Ra's weapon toward his oncoming enemy. Red energy tentacles blasted from its end and streaked toward Gabriel.

The Sword of Wrath radiated sparks and produced a brilliant ball of light that enveloped the Archangel, deflecting Semyaza's energy blast. The red energy bolts splashed harmlessly into the marble columns on each side of Gabriel as he vanished into nothing.

"What...!?!!"

Gabriel suddenly reappeared behind the perplexed Semyaza on the other side of the room. Taking advantage of this brief moment of confusion, Gabriel waved his hand over a part of the opalescent wall, revealing the Book of the Fallen.

"Stop!" Semyaza commanded, however it was too late. Gabriel was gone, clutching the book in one hand and the Sword of Wrath in the other.

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"Ahhh!!!" Michael suddenly fell to his knees, crying out in pain.

Carter and Louisa raced to the Archangel's side with their weapons ready.

Then the unconscious Azazel shuttered as Carter and Louisa collapsed, all three writhing in agony.

The Grigori army swarmed over and around the Original Souls' overturned SUV with their teeth bared and claws out. Danny floated up onto the vehicle's side and looked down at his former friends with hate in his golden eyes.

"What the hell is going on!?!! Guys, I need some help, here!" Jason shouted, quickly backing away from the oncoming enemy.

Dante sliced through a pair of Grigori and noticed the lightning artillery blasts had stopped. He looked over his shoulder at the golden horde beginning to encircle the teenage Shaman. "Shit!"

Jason pulled down two bolts of lightning, carefully directing their discharge away from his friends' twitching bodies. The blasts slowed the Grigori advance; unfortunately, the reprieve was only temporary.

"Let's go!" Dante said, suddenly appearing beside Jason. The Watcher grabbed the Native American warrior by the arms and the pair vanished just as the Grigori enveloped the Original Souls and the Fallen Archangels.

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Dustyn glided over the battlefield, destroying anything gold between him and Angel with balls of energy. He lowered his white hot, energy-filled eyes toward the ground where Angel and the Countess lay side-by-side in the desert sand. As he neared, he noticed Angel was jerking uncontrollably. "Bathory, you will die for this!"

The Grigori commander raised her golden head and smiled. "Not before I have had the satisfaction of killing her!" Countess Bathory quickly lifted Gadreel's knife above Angel's head and plunged it downward.

"NO!" Dustyn bellowed, his voice rumbling through the valley.

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"Are you good?" Dante asked Jason, releasing the young man. The pair stood on the cliff in front of the ruins that overlooked the red valley below.

"Oh yeah," Jason said with a grin. "I can do a heck of a lot of damage from up here!"

"Then do your thing, my friend! Let's finish this," Dante said patting Jason on the arm. With a grin, the Watcher vanished to help the Cherubum continue the fight.

"You got it!" Jason lifted his hands to the darkening skies once more and proceeded to surgically pound the Grigori battalions with lightning.

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Bloody Bill found himself backed into the intersection of two large sandstone rocks by a pair of massive bikers with spinning energy weapons. "I surrender, ya'll! I surrender!"

"Haven't we been here before back in the 1860's?" Verne asked as he glanced over at Shiloh and grinned.

Shiloh nodded in amusement.

"Wanna play rock, paper, scissors for this one?"

Without warning, Verne's expression changed from one of humor to one of surprise as the biker looked down to find the blade of a golden sword protruding through his chest.

"Verne!" Shiloh shouted.

Bloody Bill laughed aloud only to find himself quickly decapitated by a flying energy sword now embedded in the rock behind him. The Confederate Grigori's body fell to its knees and then tumbled to the side, his head resting vertically on top of the Cherubum's sword until the Grigori dissolved into flickering ash.

Shiloh screamed in rage as the biker ripped the head off of the Grigori officer that ran Verne through and then tossed the flaming body aside like a rag doll. "Verne? Stay with me!" Shiloh said falling to his knees next to his husband.

Verne coughed, blood erupting from his mouth. He weakly lifted a large hand to place it on Shiloh's face.

"Don't try to speak," Shiloh said, grabbing the outstretched hand, tears streaming down his cheeks. "Damn you, fool. Don't leave me again! Not yet...not here in the middle of all of these golden, soul-stealing bastards!"

Coughing again, Verne smiled as Shiloh felt his husband's grip weaken in his hand. "Not...the...end...find...you..."

"NO!!!"

Shiloh looked up to witness a squad of Grigori racing toward him as Verne's orb ejected from his body. He relaxed as he closed his eyes and waited for the inevitable.

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