Яппаньки вам,уважаем(ый)(ая)(ое)!


telepath would be able to feel him coming.

He took the next corner a little more cautiously, but he didn't want to slow up too much. Water was running into his eyes. Squinting, he did a slow pan of the street with the PPG, wishing he'd had time to stop and collect some night goggles. But of course, if he had, Bester would be gone.

If he wasn't already. He was nowhere to be seen. Had he had time to make the block? It didn't seem so, but adrenaline, pain, and the weird susurras of the rain were doing funny things to time.

Prickles crawled across his scalp. He was here someplace, wasn't he? Masking himself, screwing with his mind. An invisible man.

The hand holding the PPG was shaking. It might have been shock from his wound, it might have been that little voice in his head that reminded him that Bester always, always won. He's smarter than you, the voice said. He's always one step ahead.

Feeling like a blind man surrounded by snipers, he flattened against the wall, his heart hammering.



* * *



Bester, blinded by the downpour, didn't notice Garibaldi until he was a few feet away. Tightening his jaw, he stepped out from the door, found his target-a vague man shape in the dark and wet-and pulled the trigger.



* * *



Someone stepped quickly from a doorway. Garibaldi didn't think at all. His finger squeezed the contact of the PPG.

The result was spectacular, and not at all what he expected. A green ball of fire seemed to explode in front of him as the rain refracted the coherent plasma into sudden incoherence. Murderous heat singed his eyebrows, and a dragon's tongue licked his hand. He dropped the PPG and hurled himself to the side.

Rain. He knew the damn stuff was dangerous. He blinked his eyes, trying to clear them.



* * *



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