Author: Denigoddess2001
Address: Denigoddess2001@yahoo.com
Story Arc/ Saga: The Fifth Column
Episode: 5.0
Title: The Dogs Of War
Genre: Fantasy/ Drama

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Salutations, gentle readers! If this is your first excursion into the Deniverse, then let me welcome you to my humble realm. This storyline takes place not in the canon Gargoyles universe that we all know and love. Think of this as an alternate timeline in an alternate universe. Many of the characters that seem familiar might have different guises and faces.
If you have any questions, please email at Denigoddess2001@yahoo.com. Remember that this is purely fiction and that any similarity to situations in real life or real people are purely coincidental.

[Any words in brackets are thoughts or psionic communication.]

"Gargoyles" is the property of Disney. No infringement is intended. All characters that are original are property of Denigoddess2001.

Rated PG-13 for strong language.

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04/10/2007 12:01 AM
Department of Metasapien Affairs - Conference Room
Linoma, NE

Colonel Hawke Summers stared at the bizarre gathering sitting at the conference table. To his left sat his sister, Wren Summers-Nightkind dressed in her trademark brown tailored business suit. It had taken him several months to accustom his mindset to the fact she possessed (after sunset) small horns upon her brow, talons rather than fingers. delicate fangs, and a slender prehensile tail that held her water glass as she sipped from it. Behind her gold-rimmed spectacles, her hazel eyes gave him a reassuring glance that gave him some comfort in this very uncomfortable situation.

Next to Wren was the strapping warrior that was, for lack of a better term, his brother-in-law. Seven and one-half feet of wing and tail sat his ebony-skinned kin named Demetrius. Hawke inwardly shuddered as he watched the dark defender's lavender eyes burn with a bright silver fire. With chirpoteran wings wrapped around him, he seemed garbed in a dark cloak of plum, silver and jet. Long, frost-white braids fell down the guardians back. A subtle growl rumbled through the room and Hawke noticed how Demetrius' tail lashed with growing impatience.

Hawke knew that these two embraced a fantastic lifestyle being members of what they called a clan. That strange grouping consisted of other freakish preternatural creatures consisting of two sanguine (bloodsucking monstrosities in the Colonel's summation), a winged demoness with scarlet braids much like Demetrius, a man who claimed to be the ancient Scottish monarch MacBeth of Shakespearean legend and a heliotrope-hued woman dressed in a skimpy version of Barbara Eden's 'Jeannie' outfit. Hawke felt some relief knowing that Agent Elisa Maza-Wyvern was another true human sitting in the room. She seemingly ignored him as she browsed through paperwork sitting before her. The gargantuan purple behemoth beside her sent chill's down the Colonel's spine. Even moreso than Demetrius, the Gargoyle called Goliath caused a mixture of fascination and fear in him.

"Wren, when do the other...uh...people get here?" He muttered quietly to his sister.

"They'll be here shortly." She smiled at him. She took her brother's larger hand in hers and gave it a tight squeeze. "I know that this is hard for you, but you're doing just fine. I'm not asking you to put aside everything you've been taught and believed in for so many years."

"I've been taught to hate these ...things...all my life."

"Dad pulled a number on all of us. None of us here wish death and destruction on anyone -be they human or otherwise. But, these damned dragons have destroyed three quarters of Linoma and they've been tracked heading east toward old Omaha. We've been sitting on this for months while the morons in Washington have been trying to decide what they want to do with us."

"Took them long enough." Hawke admitted grudgingly. He took another swig of his water wishing to would magickally become Scotch. The purple woman only a few seats away stared knowingly at the glass and bobbed her head. As she blinked, the clear liquid deepened to a rich amber hue.

"Drink up, Dude." Daria smirked. "A little liquid courage never hurts."

"I don't drink while I'm on duty, Ms. Damson." His blue eyes stared coldly at the Djinn.

"Hey, I was just trying to be nice." She shrugged. "Get that lump of coal out of your a-"

"Daria..." A growl of warning came from Demetrius. "Still your tongue."

"Big brother, I have had it up to the points of my little lavender ears with this jackass trying to tell us what to do and how to do things since we brought him in on this -"

"And we are grateful for his assistance in this matter." Demetrius held up his hand to still any further words from his impertinent sibling. "Not all see courage from spirits. Honor the Colonel's adherence to duty and obligation."

Hawke listened to this exchange with curiosity. Demetrius was everything he couldn't understand, yet the clan leader's adherence to discipline and protocol won his reluctant approbation. "No, Demetrius, that's fine. Maybe, we all need to just kick back, relax and keep things in perspective."

He took a large swallow of the Scotch he had so desperately wanted. It burned going down his throat and a smooth feeling remained. He held up his glass to Daria and nodded. "Thanks."

Daria's head pulled back in astonishment. Cinnamon eyes widened at his best attempt of reconciliation. She glanced back at Demetrius who simply sat there staring at her while his chin rested upon steepled hands. She cleared her throat and nodded in return to the Colonel. "Hey, I was out of line with those last few remarks. I ..apologize and I hope that you accept my apology."

Hawke had only encountered the Djinn on a few occasions. She was brash, insolent, and temperamental. He realized that she had unwavering loyalty to her brother and to Wren. [There won't be another opportunity like this...better take advantage of it.] "Ms. Damson, no harm done. Just ask next time and I just might take you up on that liquid courage."

Daria's eyes narrowed in suspicion at the sudden change in the Colonel's demeanor. One brow arched sardonically as she silently contemplated the sincerity of his words. The tenseness in the room at the moment became tangible that it nearly suffocated her. She felt all eyes rest on her as the gathering awaited her response. "Not a problem, Colonel. Maybe....just maybe...we can all get along from this point on for everyone's sake. I'll give it an honest shot if you will."

"Understood."

Elisa leaned over so that her mouth was only an inch away from Goliath's ear. "Big Guy, we just might get out of this in one piece."

"Agreed, my Love." He spoke so only that she could hear his words.

There was a knock on the door and Daria blinked. Several more people entered the room. A tall man with long dark hair falling past his shoulders came and took a place beside Daria. Hawke remembered reading the personnel files on him and recognized him as David Xanatos, one of the premiere defense contractors of the US army. The other man that came behind him Hawke had only met once. With gleaming eyes, one brown and one emerald, he remembered the enigmatic person to be Ian McCaine. Wren had once called him "ForAn D'rende ManEulv."

Hawke remembered coughing on his scotch that night when she had come forth with the information that the cheerful man only a few feet away was far from human. "Huh?" Had been his first reaction after he had stumbled over the exotic syllables twisting his tongue into knots. Wren told him that it was Draconic, the ancient tongue of the DeMahri people. His sister took great glee in the literal translation which meant "Changing moon wolf?"

He remembered her confused reaction to his perplexed expression. She buckled and said, "It means werewolf in my mate's language."

[Werewolf. Great. Just what we need.] It was getting more unbelievable with each addition to the group. [So where's the resident space alien and the Swamp thing?]
Drakiel entered the room. [Is everyone in this group purple?]

Hawke looked wordlessly toward the heavens and asked his God, [Why me, Lord?]

Protocol demanded that he begin this meeting. He surveyed the odd lot of creatures in the room with him. Wren, Demetrius, Dominique and Lennox MacBeth, Daria Damsen, Goliath and Elisa Maza-Wyvern, and Ian McCaine. He turned to Demetrius. "Anyone else we should be expecting?"

"Just us Sanguine." A bright voice came through the door as Dorian, Tina, and Gehenna made their way and took the final three seats at the conference table. Dr. Tina Stephenson carried a laptop under one arm and a massive amount of paperwork in the other. "Been awhile, Hawke."

"Good to see you, Doc." At least one friendly face greeted him, the Colonel breathed a mental sigh of relief. Once everyone was seated, he rose to stand at the head of the table. "I want to thank everyone for coming on such short notice."

"This is nothing more than a council of war." Gehenna's inhuman voice cut the Colonel short. "Speak your mind and then let us let loose the dogs of war."

"Not so fast, Rambo!" Daria shot the ancient Sanguine a sharp look. "I want to hear what Colonel Summers has to say before we go off half-cocked."

Colonel Summers touched a button on the laptop in front of him on the podium. On the large screen behind him a map of the area appeared. With a pointer in hand, he made his way to the screen. "Let's get down to brass tacks, people. We're fighting an invisible enemy that my staff can't track. In the past eight months, over 130 sitings have been reported. Nightly onslaughts by these dragons have destroyed most of Linoma and the surrounding area in a ten mile radius. My best scientists have been to each of the attack sites and have secured samples from the remaining ash and residue. We know these creatures attack in tightly formed flying formations of ten to twenty dragons. They follow a systematic agenda of assault which implies these creatures possess high intelligence. Forensic evidence based upon Dr. Stephenson's research suggests that these creatures use a combination of fire and acid and then ingest the residue left behind.

"All current satellite, sonar, radar and psionic technology can't track down these freaks." [Damn, I need a smoke.] Hawke cast a silent plea in Daria's direction. Next thing he knew, a lit Marlboro graced his other hand. "Thanks, Ms. Damsen. As I was saying, no known technology can predict where there creatures come from and where they'll strike next. The one specimen we secured remained corporeal for six hours and then vanished in a steaming vapor of hydrochloric acid. Bullets, lasers, ground-to-air missiles pass right through these things and we haven't found their home base of operation. The Army is helpless."

"Wren, the floor's yours." He motioned to the podium.

"Thank you, Hawke." She nodded and took her place. "Through the efforts of the Preternatural community, we know that these creatures are not of this world or this dimension. They come from another dimension we affectionately call the Abyss. The black dragons are the direct spawn of a supernatural entity known as Tiamet...if any of you remember your ancient history, she was the dragon goddess known for destroying the world."

"These creatures serve one purpose: do Tiamet's bidding. However, with her banishment, they are left without leadership and direction. Here in the physical plane, they are left to their own devices. We believe that they have developed free-will and have their own agenda; primarily survival. We estimate, based upon the pattern of attacks that they have a central location not on the surface, but deep beneath the Omaha mountains to the north. Because they are aquatic creatures of supernatural origin, we have surmised that they are near the earth's crust in a natural aqueduct comprised of several inhospitable chemicals including water, hydrochloric acid, hydrogen and Goddess only knows what else."

"No psychic can track them because Dragons are reptilian and not mammalian. Thus, their entire physiology is alien to any remote sensor trying to track them. However, after consulting with other Preternaturals in the Community, we may have found a way to find them and to track their movements."

"Why wasn't I told about this earlier?" Hawke exclaimed.

"Because it only came to us within the past few nights." Wren motioned for her brother to remain calm. "We have to protect our own. Your military has just recently ended martial law with the Metasapien Asylum Act. It was just signed by President Selleck only last night and we chose to do nothing until our people were guaranteed the same rights under law as are Human citizens."

"I can see that, but I had a right to know about this so that I could consult with my staff." Hawke reposted.

"The majority of humans right now blame anything Metasapien and preternatural for the destruction of Linoma." Wren reminded him. "The shelters are full. The hospitals are overran with people who survived the Dragon attacks. The ones who are finding themselves becoming preternatural blame it on us rather than the rift caused by Tiamet's arrival in this world. It's in our best interest to keep low and work behind the scenes."

"We are getting off the subject." Dominique spoke for the first time. "I have two children at home awaiting their feeding. Let's keep on task and consolidate our resources or end this meeting now."

"Agreed." Hawke returned his attention to Wren. "How do we track them?"

"Through Ian."

"He's a werewolf."

"And an empath."

"What can he do that our remote sensors haven't already tried?"

Ian rose from his chair and walked to the podium. "Well, Colonel, for starters, we're tracking them through the wrong mediums. Instead of trying a psychic approach, let's try another avenue."

"And what do you recommend?"

"My kind can enter a spiritual realm we call the Adumbration. Think of it as a place akin to purgatory."

"A place for the dead."

"No, a place where extra-planear creatures exist. There are many gateways that lead to other dimensions from there. Some of my pack have passed into the Adumbration and have stumbled onto the dragons in their own lair. Our Grand Shien, Jack, barely made it back alive. We know that there are about three hundred of these things and they are breeding."

"Oh shit." Daria whispered. "You didn't tell us that."

"We have a plan to stop them on two fronts." Ian continued. "Some of us go to their lair and get them there. Some will escape and come to this world. We need your people to be ready to neutralize them when they come to Linoma."

"How?"

"That's your department." Ian's brow furrowed in contemplation. "In their lair, we can battle them with Magick and our gifts and win. But, we can't get all of them, they're too many. I'm no scientist, Colonel. There has to be something that will neutralize them so that they can't use their natural defenses of fire and acid."

"Why not just give them a huge dose of baking soda?" Daria quipped.

"Bay King Sew Duh?" Drakiel mouthed the words.

"I was being sarcastic." She glared at the purple DeMahri eagerly slurping his triple-thick vanilla shake from MacDonalds.

"Hey, who said you could drink on the job?"

"Isn't that the skillet imprinting the saucepan the same hue as itself?"

"Huh?"

"Isn't that the pot calling the kettle black." Wren chuckled. "You have to remember, Drakiel's command of our language is somewhat impaired. McDonald's food tends to have a rather intoxicating effect on him."

"Yeah, he's about as bright as a burnt-out light bulb." Daria sneered.

"Enough of this incessant bickering." Demetrius bellowed.

"Wait a minute!" Tina held up one hand to quiet everyone while the other furiously typed on her laptop. "Daria just might be on to something. Dominique, you were a chemist at one time."

"Among other things." Was the cryptic reply.

Tina turned her laptop toward her and motioned the Dame to move closer. "If my calculations are correct, this particular combination of sodium, calcium and potassium with other substances might be just what we need."

Dominique motioned David to come and compare the notes. The trio stared at the long columns of chemical equations for several minutes. David stroked his beard as he considered the data on the screen. "Between Nightstone Industries and Xanatos Enterprises, we could manufacture enough of this substance in twenty-four hours to take care of the problem."

"But it hasn't been tested. We don't even know if it will work." Elisa peered between Dominique and David at the screen.

"We are running out of time and options." Hawke nodded grimly. "You think that this would work, Tina?"

"The prognosis according to the computer is that it would have a 92.7 percent success rate. If the dragons breathe in this mixture, it'll neutralize their natural weaponry. For how long it would do that I just don't know."

"But it might give us the opportunity we need to take them out."

"Precisely."

"And so we cry havoc and let slip forth the dogs of war." Gehenna finally found his voice.

"All right -here's the plan. David and Dominique, you get on the horn to your companies and you have them manufacture enough of this....

"Sodium Calcium Dicarbonate." Tina supplied for him.

"Sodium Calcium Dicarbonate....about sixty tons worth. I'll get on the horn to the people at SAC air force base and we'll have our people drop this stuff when Ian gives the word. Ian, you pick the best of your best, get your asses into that Dragon's lair and do your thing...whatever it is that you do. Take out as many as you can there."

"Daria, Demetrius, Goliath and Wren -you're with me." Ian motioned them to him. "David, Dominique, MacBeth and Goliath -go with Colonel Summers and brief him on WHATEVER he needs. Gehenna, Dorian, Tina -use your powers to evacuate the area in whatever you see fit."

"And me?" Drakiel asked.

"Are you not the Emissary from a large and galactic empire?" Wren asked.

"I am."

"Couldn't they help us with technology of their own?"

"It is not our way to interfere in the affairs of lesser-developed civilizations."

"Screw the fucking Prime Directive, Barney." Daria blasted. "You have enough starships in your fleet to zap a few of these things. Your people have already interfered by sending you here in the first place. Talk to planetary council and have them send the entire squadron here. If you need Hawke's phone number to work with him, I'm sure he'll be more than happy to give it to you."

"I will endeavor to do as you desire." He beamed.

"Oh, stuff it."

"Daria!" Demetrius reprimanded her.

"And so it begins....." Gehenna spoke as the meeting came to a close.