|DARLENE SAGA: PARTS 17 TO 22
Author: Storyseeker PM
The Venes make a new ally, one that causes a lot of problems for the clan, but is it really their enemy?Rated: Fiction K+ - English - Adventure/Supernatural - Chapters: 6 - Words: 39,277 - Reviews: 2 - Updated: 06-22-07 - Published: 06-09-07 - Status: Complete - id: 3584412
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
All the characters appearing in Gargoyles and Gargoyles: The Goliath Chronicles are copyright Buena Vista Television/The Walt Disney Company.
No infringement of these copyrights is intended, and is not authorized by the copyright holder.
All original characters are the property of Storyseeker.
Previously On Gargoyles: -
Goliath sighed, as there was nothing else he could do now until Xanatos contacted the other Illumaniti, and dawn was fast approaching. He would have to sleep soon, and then he would wake up tomorrow, healed and refreshed. Some of that gave him some comfort.
Goliath embraced his wife warmly, and Elisa gave in to his affection.
Goliath nodded in thanks. "Elisa, I'm more than grateful for your help, but you don't have to chase after your brother for us. I know this must be hard for you."
Elisa sighed. "I'd be lying if I said I wouldn't rather be doing something else other than that, but… I'm a police officer, Goliath. I took an oath to uphold the law, and protect the innocent. If I weren't to do everything in my power to find Brent, then that would mean my oath meant nothing."
Goliath embraced her, knowing how much this pained her. "I understand," he said knowingly. "Just know that you have my full support, as well as that of the whole clan, our understanding, and… my love."
Elisa kissed him. "That is all in the world that I want." She said gratefully.
"Goliath?" Owen's crisp voice suddenly sounded to them.
Goliath and Elisa turned to see the major-domo looking at him, with his almost emotionless stare. "What is it?" Goliath asked rather abruptly.
Owen raised an eyebrow. "I apologise for interrupting, but Mr Xanatos thought you might like to know that he has finally got in touch with his Illumaniti contact, who has given him the information you require for locating the thief known as Lightning, also known as Brent Maza."
And Now, The Continuation: -
The Eyrie; Sunset:
The sun's rays disappeared behind the tall skyscrapers, and Goliath's roar filled the sky, as he awoke from his slumber.
"Sleep well?" Elisa's voice greeted him.
Goliath smiled, as he turned to face his wife. "I will rest better, once I have information on the whereabouts of Lightning…" He stopped, as he quickly remembered that Lightning was also Elisa's brother, his brother-in-law.
"Elisa, I'm sorry," he said honestly.
"It's okay, Goliath." Elisa hurried to reassure him. "I told you. I love my brother, but… I can't condone what he's done, and what he's continuing to do. Xanatos told me that… Lightning, as he calls himself now, has done more thefts, and international burglaries than Broadway's had hot dinners."
Elisa wiped her eyes, supposedly from the wind, but Goliath knew better.
"If there's any chance to get through to him, to get him to stop what he's doing," she continued. "Then I'll do it in a heartbeat, but… If the worse comes to worse, I'll do what has to be done, and bring him in. I'm a cop, Goliath. I took an oath long ago to uphold the law… even if that means bringing in one of my own family."
Goliath nodded, stroking her face lovingly. He sometimes forgot how alike he and Elisa were. They were both sworn to honour and uphold the laws and traditions of their kinds, no matter what the cost.
"Come on," she finally said. "Xanatos is waiting for us in his office. He has information about Brent."
Goliath hopped down from his perch, and followed her.
"Yes, that is all the information I have." Brent sighed into the telephone. "I would tell you more if I had any, but at the time, I was more inclined to running for my life."
Sash listened to Brent's conversation on the phone, interested, while she pretended to read a magazine.
"Yes, it is all very detailed, but I can't promise that it will be effective for you," Brent continued. "Well, now that I went through most of their security measures, they're bound to upgrade them. Therefore, I can't promise you'll have it so easy, as I did." He added sarcastically.
After a few moments, Brent gave another exasperated sigh, said thank you, and hung up.
"Bosses weren't too happy, I'm guessing?" Sash asked him, as he sat down.
"About as happy as a cat in a dog pound," he replied, and took out a cigarette. "They didn't mind that I didn't rob them of anything, since they weren't going to keep it anyway. But they were pissed off that I didn't go through all of their security systems, to find their weak spot."
"Still, you got through most of them," Sash pointed out. "You got out without getting caught. That's got to count for something?"
"Yeah," Brent moaned. "No treasure, and only half of what they promised me."
"Damn! That's outrageous!" she nearly screeched, always angry at loosing money.
Brent gave her a sideways glance. "We've got more than enough for the moment," he pointed out. "I'm sure I'll be getting another client before the end of the week, if not today. In the meantime, I'm gonna play it cool, and try to stay out of the spotlight till the heat cools down."
Sash grumbled. "So, did they say what they're gonna do now? I mean your sister is living with those freaks up there, so… How do you feel about that?"
Brent gave her a hard look. "Like I told you before," he said quietly. "As far as I'm concerned, my family is all, but dead to me. What happens to them is no longer my concern."
Sash stayed quiet for a moment, but then just shrugged, and went back to reading her magazine.
"Damn idiot!" Cecile growled, as she slammed the phone down.
As she strode back to her room, she heard the roar of her 'lover', as he awoke from his stone sleep.
"CECILE!" Thailog's anger filled roar reached her ears.
Cecile smiled, and walked into her room, where Thailog was strapped to her bed, naked.
"How the hell did you get me into this position, when I was asleep?" he demanded.
Cecile grinned, as she watched how his tail and buttocks bobbed up and down, while he struggled to free himself. "I thought it would make a change to the way you usually wake up," she said casually.
Thailog glared at her, through his crimson red eyes.
"But we've got more important thing to worry about now," she said, and snapped her fingers. The second she did that, the cords that bound Thailog, snapped open and he fell back onto the floor, on his rump, with a bump.
"What is it this time?" Thailog asked. Cecile was beginning to become more open with him. Since he couldn't do anything directly to her, she saw no harm in revealing bits and pieces of her plans, assuming of course she ever had any to truly begin with.
"Lightning got the information" she explained, "but didn't manage to go through all of the security systems, like we asked. Something must have got in the way!"
"Why do you say that?" Thailog asked, as he searched for his clothes.
"Lightning's never gotten a job half or even remotely half wrong," Cecile speculated. "That means that he must have come face to face with something that he truly wasn't expecting?" She pondered this for a moment. "Maybe it's time I dive a little deeper into Lightning's past, find out if there's anything in Xanatos's fortress that's connected to him?"
"Don't you know anything about him?" Thailog said, slightly startled that the Venes would know nothing about one of their own agents.
Cecile shrugged. "My father found him living on the streets. He had had something done to him that was killing him. My father saw the potential he had, and wanted to use that potential for his own purposes. So we helped him, healed him, gave him abilities to further his own goals, and in turn do jobs for us. But before that, we know nothing else. We know absolutely nothing about where he came from, who his real identity is, or anything else!"
"Must be frustrating to not know something about your own employee?" Thailog snidely asked.
Cecile gave him a hard look. "It never held any purpose for us to know anything about him, before we met him." She replied. "But now, we have other issues. We know something about their security anyway, but not nearly enough to go through their entire building without them discovering us."
Cecile went over to a chest, at the foot of the bed, opened it, and began filtering through all the countless items that were stored up in it.
"Aha!" she exclaimed, as she pulled out a small tooth-like item, up in her hand. "Just the thing!"
"What is it?" Thailog peered at it curiously.
"A dragon's tooth." She revealed, as she began pulling up the carpet of the hotel room.
"Going to be summoning a dragon?" he asked, only half kidding.
"Actually, no," she replied. "I already did that, even if it was only an illusion."
Thailog blinked a few times, but said nothing.
"Actually," she continued, smiling, as she took a chalk and started drawing numerous symbols and drawings on the floor. "This time, I'm going to go visit one."
Lana moaned a little, in peace, as Gabriel worked out the knots in her shoulders and back, pressing down on them with his claws, massaging the pain away.
"Mmmm," she murmured.
"Do I take that's to your fancy?" he asked teasingly, as he applied more pressure to her back.
Lana smiled. "More than you could ever know," she replied, and before Gabriel could answer, he yelped, as Lana's tail swirled behind him, and whipped him on his backside.
"Everything all right here?" The voice of Lana's mother asked, from the doorway.
Lana jumped up, and Gabriel leapt back a few metres, as Darlene looked at them.
"Mom, I… !" Lana began surprised.
"We were just…" Gabriel explained.
"It's all right," Darlene attempted to calm them. "I don't have anything against massages… Depending on what you're massaging of course."
Lana blushed. "Mom!"
Darlene smiled. "Look, I'm not here to embarrass the two of you. I'm just here to tell you that I'm going out for the next couple of hours."
"Oh," Lana suddenly looked interested. "Where you going?"
Darlene lost her smile. "Griff has asked me to go gliding with him. Your grandmother's looking after Gem and Jarred."
Lana lost her smile for a second, but then put it back on again. "That's great. I hope you'll have a good time together."
Darlene looked at her daughter for some moments, then turned to look at Gabriel. "Gabriel, May I have a few moments alone with my daughter?" she asked him.
Gabriel nodded, and excused himself from the room.
"Lana?" Darlene began hesitantly. "Are you okay with this? With me seeing someone else?"
Lana sighed a little, and sat down. "Mom…" she started unsure. "I gotta be honest. When you first told me that Griff was putting the charms on you, I was hesitant to say the least. Even now, I can't think of you with anyone else besides dad."
Darlene nodded. "I know it's hard. But, honey… Please understand that it's been almost a year now since your dad… Since we lost him. I do still love him, and I always will, but… I can't close up my heart forever, Lana. I need to fill it with love."
Darlene then pranced over to her eldest, and wrapped her arms around her. "Know this, no matter who I date, no one can ever replace your father! He was one of a kind, one whom I was extremely proud to be mated with. I'm only sorry to have lost him so soon."
Lana hugged her mother back.
"I won't go out with Griff, if you don't want me to, Lana?" Darlene asked her honestly.
"No, mom." Lana pushed her back. "I do like Griff. I really do. Like I said, I wasn't exactly comfortable with the fact that you were dating someone, but… I know now I can't expect you to be a loner for the rest of your life. No one wants to stay barren forever."
Darlene blinked a little at her words, but thanked her still. "Thank you, Lana."
She looked at her daughter closely. Part of her didn't want to leave her alone, as she was still recovering from her ordeal from Thailog. The spell that Demona had placed on her, suppressing the nightmares she had been having, had done wonders. Since Lana had been getting a good day's sleep at last, she had slowly started getting her life back in order again.
Gabriel's constant visits were also having a positive effect. Despite her own mother's reservations about him, Darlene was happy that Lana had found someone. She hoped that having a Gargoyle boyfriend would also give her the incitement she needed to consider remaining a Gargoyle permanently.
"So you're really all right with me seeing Griff?" Darlene checked with her daughter again.
Lana looked exasperated at her. "Maybe not 100%, but… I'm close."
Darlene embraced her child again. "Thanks, Lana!"
Bedford Hotel; Broadway:
Cecile finished drawing the symbols on the floor, and stood back.
"Where are Damien and Nathan?" she enquired about her brothers.
Thailog shrugged. "Probably changing more of the hotel staff into animals." He said truthfully.
Cecile shrugged. "As long as they keep it to a minimum. For now, I got bigger fish to fry." She stepped into the circle, which she had drawn around the symbols, with the Dragon's Tooth in her hand, and signalled for him to do the same.
Thailog growled lowly, but did as he was told.
The second he stepped into the circle, Cecile began chanting. Only the language in which she spoke in, was not Latin, as she usually spoke in, when casting a spell. Thailog wasn't sure what it was. Despite all the vast knowledge that Xanatos had programmed him with, foreign languages were still a puzzle to him.
Cecile ended her chant, and threw the Dragon's Tooth to the floor.
There was a sort of cracking sound, making Thailog believe that the tooth had shattered upon impact. However, he never had the chance to look, as no sooner had the tooth hit the floor, a bright flash blinded him, and a strong wind filled the room. It didn't lift him or anything, but the wind seemed to pull him from side to side.
Thailog resisted the urge to dig his claws into the floor, to keep him from falling, as he was not willing to humiliate himself in front of the Vene girl.
Finally, the wind died down, and Thailog once more resisted the urge to heave a sigh of relief. Eventually, his sight started to return, as he blinked away the few spots from his eyes. But once he did, he got a shock when he saw where they were.
"What the…?" Thailog began, staring in amazement. The hotel penthouse, where they had once been, was now gone. In its place, they were inside what seemed like a huge cavern.
As Thailog took in his surroundings, he observed the cave walls, and noticed that they were decorated with bones. At first he grew uneasy, because the bones and skeletons that littered the place had wings, and he feared that they might have been Gargoyles. But upon closer inspection, he saw that the bones were far too large to have been Gargoyles.
Heaving another sigh of relief, he realised that these remains must be that of Dragons, seeing as that was what Cecile had apparently come to visit, as she said.
"Feel better?" Cecile asked, without looking at him, and without any genuine interest. After a mere second, without waiting for an answer from him, she quickly walked on ahead. "Well, come on! I haven't got all eternity."
Thailog frowned at her back, but walked after her. "Is this some sort of Dragon's graveyard?" he asked his warden.
Cecile gave him a sneer. "Gee, whatever made you think that?" she said sarcastically.
Thailog didn't react to that one, as he was becoming used to her antics now. "Do Dragon's just leave their dead lying around?" he asked, ignoring her insult.
Cecile shrugged. "Not usually, I believe. However, when all of them die out, and there's only one left, I guess he wouldn't have the strength to heave all these bodies away?"
Thailog looked mildly shocked. "There's only one Dragon left?" In truth, he wasn't really surprised, as it wasn't as if he had seen many Dragons in the real world, but then again, not many people had seen Gargoyles, yet he was one, and he knew full well that there were others.
Cecile smiled cruelly. "They served their time."
"Pardon?" he asked, not understanding. "What do you mean their time? Were they imprisoned here by someone?"
Cecile laughed. "Hardly, my lovely bitch. This is the Dragon's home dimension. It is their home, where they come from. Only a few of them have ever left here, over the centuries, and gone into our world. Some do it voluntarily, others are summoned by sorcerers or such."
"Is that why you're here then?" Thailog began to understand. "To summon a Dragon?"
Cecile snorted. "If I could, I would have just done it from my hotel room, but no! As I said, there's only one Dragon left now. He should've past his time long ago, but due to… unfortunate circumstances, he's been unable to rest."
"Rest?" Thailog enquired. "You mean die?"
Cecile nodded. "It's complicated, but to make a long story short… Well, how about I wait and let you figure it out, as we go along?"
Thailog was about to reply, but before he could, a loud shuddering shook the cavern.
Thailog and Cecile both stopped in their tracks. Only Cecile didn't seem afraid, which didn't bring much comfort to Thailog.
A second later, another shudder rocked the walls of the cave, but still Cecile did not waver, and stayed standing where she was.
With each shudder that grew closer and closer, Thailog swallowed the lump of fear that was forming in his throat, wondering what kind of Dragon he was going to meet.
He got his answer in less than another two seconds, when the Dragon in question came around the corner.
It was bigger than The Midguard Serpent, as high as the town hall, with a tail that swung like an electric cable, snapping at everything it came into contact with. Its scales were dark golden brown, with countless horns and spikes growing across its hide.
At first look, Thailog was inclined to flee, but as he observed the creature closer, he noticed its eyes. Although the creature had the aura of a malevolent and terrifying monster, its eyes were something different. Its eyes had a tired look that looked as if they hadn't slept in centuries, seemingly sad and depressed, as though the centuries had battered down its spirit.
"Draco!" Cecile addressed the Dragon. "I assume it is Draco, isn't it? Unless you Dragons have changed the name of your leaders since the last time your kind and mine interacted?"
The Dragon peered at the little human girl, seemingly sizing her up.
'Hopefully for dinner.' Thailog hoped.
"I am Draco the 7764th." The Dragon announced. Its voice was loud and clear, but like its eyes, it too had a strained sound to it.
Cecile took a few steps up to the Dragon lord. "Once the ceremony was complete, a new generation of Dragons would be born… or hatched, as that's the case. The first egg would one day be the future leader of your kind. Once he reached full maturity, you die, he gets your power, and the whole thing starts all over again."
Draco didn't say anything, and just continued to stare right at her.
"That is the way it's been, for as long as anyone can remember," Cecile got a cruel look in her eye. "But it's not anymore, is it?"
Thailog could definitely see a tear in the great beast's eyes now. Though, at the moment, he didn't know whether it was from despair, or from rage at Cecile, something which Thailog could understand all too well.
"You were the last Dragon leader," Cecile smirked. "The last chosen ones were supposed to have come to you, more than five hundred years ago. With one of them, you would have spawned the next generation, and when the time came for your firstborn to come of age, he would take your place, and you would rest. Only they didn't come, did they?"
Draco looked down at his feet. "We waited, and waited… " he spoke brokenly, his voice choked. "But they never came. As time past, each of our kind withered and died, but not me. I had to stand by and watch as my whole race was brought to extinction, and even now, now that they're all gone, I cannot even join them."
"Because one of the great powers that a Dragon lord has is immortality." Cecile grinned. "After all, a Dragon lord is the centre of the whole Dragon race, their life and power. Without him, they are literally nothing, so it makes sense that he has the most power, including eternal life. So nothing will happen to him, until the next lord comes to be, and takes it from him, and the same with that new lord. The Dragons never loose their leader, and everyone's happy."
Draco gave a small smile on his Dragon snout. "Your family must make great teachers?"
Cecile shrugged. "They have their moments." She walked back, and leaned against Thailog, as though he was a tree. While she did so, her hand made its way to his loincloth, caressing him.
Thailog growled, partly in pleasure, partly in rage at being humiliated once again. It bad enough she did this in the privacy of their Hotel quarters, but to do it in public was enough to make his blood boil.
"From what I hear, the people who served as your emissaries to the mortal world, were all killed when other Humans came to their land." She gave a short laugh. "Gotta love Human evolution, don't you? No matter what the history books say, Chris Columbus was no angel. Same thing goes to the Spaniards, and the English. Soon as they got whiff of some gold that the natives were keeping, they just had to have it, and were willing to do anything to get it."
Cecile inspected her nails. "Rest of the story, basically all your Human friends got slaughtered, or sold into slavery. None of them remained, hence no more chosen ones, no new generation for your people, and here you are, all alone."
Draco stared into the young Vene's eyes. "What… is it you have for me?" he asked.
Cecile turned serious then, as it was clear Draco was interested, and was tired on the games and history lesson. "As you can plainly see," she explained, "I have the power to bring myself and others to your world. Join with me, and I'll bring you your chosen ones."
Draco's eyes lit up. "You can do this?"
Cecile smiled, and nodded. "I'll pick the strongest ones I can find. With them, you can make your final judgements, and then do, whatever it is you Dragons do, with your final chosen one. In return, you give me your firstborn."
"What?" Draco looked horrified. "I can't do that! Even if you can bring me what you promise me, I could never give away the first egg of the new generation. For only he can succeed me, and only he, unless he were to die."
"I can assure you," Cecile added darkly. "If he fails us, you won't have a problem of finding another successor. Chances are he will either die serving us, or… "
Draco snarled viciously at her. "If this is your idea of trying to get me to co-operate with you, then you desperately need to work on your diplomacy!"
Cecile laughed. "Tell me, O great Dragon king! What other choice do you have? In case you've forgotten, aside from me, you haven't had that many visitors, no one knows of you in the outside world, no one that cares anyway. Face it! I'm your only chance." Cecile walked back up to him. "Without me, you'll be spending eternity in this empty world, with no hope, no future. Only an endless existence of having no one to commune with, but the walls."
Draco remained silent for a few minutes. Thailog began to wonder if he would ever answer, but Cecile didn't seem in any hurry to leave. Finally, he spoke.
"If you vow to me," Draco spoke quietly, but seriously, "once you are finished with my first hatched, if he still lives, you'll return him to me, then… we have a deal?"
Cecile turned her head for a moment, grinning at Thailog. "Deal!" she replied.
"But!" Draco suddenly said. "I don't trust you, Veneficus. I never will, so if you want this deal to take place, you must make the oath. The same one that your ancestors made to us long ago."
Cecile rolled her eyes. "Oh God, not the old sacred Veneficus oath. Powerful magic, honour… "
"And eternally binding words," Draco finished for her.
Cecile smiled slowly at her newfound partner in her war with the Manhattan Gargoyles. "You're good, Draco," she said truthfully. "I can see you're gonna be a hoot to work with."
Draco didn't answer, and just stood waiting for her.
"Oh, all right!" Cecile said exasperated, and drew out a short penknife from her pocket.
Thailog watched, as she slid out the blade, and made a small insertion on her right thumb.
"With the blood of my ancestors," Cecile spoke, as the blood welled up in her thumb. She spoke simply, yet in a commanding way, "by the magic of our family, all that runs through my veins. I take this oath to uphold that, which I swear to forever remain loyal to. In exchange for that, which I promise, the first son whom I shall take, I will return, once my war with those who threaten my existence, reaches its end."
Draco's eye ridges rose slightly, at Cecile's words, but he said nothing.
"Satisfied now?" Cecile asked the Dragon king.
Draco nodded. "When will you bring the chosen ones?"
Cecile shrugged. "I still have to choose who I'm going to bring. I already have at least one person in mind, but I have yet to decide on the other two. I will inform you when I have made my decision."
At Draco's unsure look, she added. "Don't worry, I'll make sure they're strong capably spirits. Just the way you Dragons like them, right?"
Draco nodded, but still looked unsure of what he had just done. "I need to go prepare things then," he said, and turned to leave.
As Cecile and Thailog watched him depart, his thunderous steps slowly diminishing into the darkness of the caves, Cecile sighed.
"Business transactions are always such a bitch," she said, and then looked to her love slave. "Wouldn't you agree, my bitch?"
Thailog didn't respond, but just looked at her, for once, more interested than angry. "I'm confused. You're making another deal with another mystical being… but what about the one you've already made with that goddess? Shouldn't she be enough?"
Cecile frowned. "Goddesses are highly tricky. They say they'll help you, and then you never hear from them again. Most times, they mean what they say, but Gods are immortal, and immortals have a hard time trying to keep to our concept of time. They might decide to put it off for a while, and when they finally get around to it, it's actually a thousand years later. So I'm not taking any chances."
Thailog nodded, but still had more questions. "You say Draco needs one of three people so that he can bring a new generation of Dragons forth. How exactly does that work? I mean, what precisely does he need the three for? I mean, does he want them for a sacrifice or something?"
Cecile laughed. "Hardly!" she gave Thailog a sympathetic look, unfitting for her. "You really don't know anything much about Dragons, do you?"
Thailog shrugged. "It wasn't in my programming."
Cecile smiled. "Dragons are an all male race… He requires three female humans. Does that answer your question?"
Thailog blanched at her.
To Be Continued…