by Lisette- all comments to: Lisette_1@lycos.com
All the usual legalese: nothing here is of my own creation. Goliath and his crew belong to Buena Vista and Disney. It's a really great show and I am just showing my enthusiasm by writing about it. In no way will a profit be made from this.
Brief Description: Sometimes, family is not held as dear as one would think during the holidays. The time for one individual to seek revenge against their family is at hand. The time for revenge is now.
WARNING!! May not be suitable for younger readers. Another WARNING in the fact that this has nothing to do with my other fics... this is not apart of the Talika line. You have been warned! :p Also, this fic will be placed sometime after "Hunter's Moon."
The time was near. The time for his ultimate revenge was at hand. The only step left to be taken was to collect and gather the players of his little game. Then, and only then, could the fun begin and his ultimate revenge be paid. What better time than on the human holiday of Christmas.. how ironic, the time for peace and goodwill would be their undoing. His family would pay.
Central Park - 1:05pm
The sun shown gently through the bare branches of the trees and onto the white snow below. Everywhere was the sound of laughing children as they played in the sun and snow with each other. It was Christmas Eve day today, what reason did they not have to be happy? The next day would be filled with the joy and fun of tearing open presents. Nearby, mothers and baby-sitters sat on the worn benches, carrying on conversations with each other while keeping a careful eye on their wards. Birds fluttered through the bare branches, sending soft flutters of snow to the already snow covered ground. Overall, it was a beautiful afternoon before Christmas in Central Park.
Fox Xanatos noted all this with a hidden smile. For once she wasn't just an outsider to these women. Because Fox was busy pushing a stroller on the cleared sidewalks with a gurgling Alexander within, she was automatically accepted into their little circle. Still, that thought was quickly dismissed as she thought of David working hard at home. "Who would want to be apart of their circle when instead they could be married to a rich and handsome man, adventure and excitement around every turn?" Fox asked Alexander as she reached down to tighten his hood and make sure he was warm and protected from the cold weather. Fox straightened and began pushing Alex out of the park. Standing with the door to the limo open was Owen, just where she knew he'd be, dressed in his warm winter chauffeur's outfit.
"I assume your walk with Alexander was uneventful?" Owen asked in his emotionally bland voice.
"Of course. I think we're ready to return to the Aerie now," Fox said as she pushed the stroller beside the car. As Fox bent over to pick up Alex, she heard the distinct sound of a car squealing around a corner. Standing straight, Fox looked around quickly for the source of the sound. To her great dismay, Fox watched as a large black van pulled onto the curve beside the limo. As people dressed in commando uniforms and black hoods poured out of the van, Owen quickly stepped between the strangers and Fox.
Just as quick, Fox pulled Alex to her chest, holding him protectively as only a mother could. At the same time, Owen reached for a small handgun he kept inside his bulky jacket. He wasn't quick enough.
Before Owen could draw his gun, one of the advancing mercenaries aimed a gun at Owen and fired twice. Both shots hit their mark as Owen fell to the ground, bright red welling up in two spots on his chest, staining the white snow below him.
"Oh my God, Owen!" Fox shouted, all the while slowly backing away from the hooded people.
"Iron," Owen moaned, his eyes fluttering shut as he slipped into unconsciousness.
Shaking her head, Fox continued backing away. Looking from side to side, she noticed that the sound of the gun had drawn quite a few spectators. Yet, one look at them was all Fox needed to see that she would get no help from them. Like the norm, they were following New York City's motto: Don't get involved.. you know, it was similar to their old motto of: If you ignore it, maybe it will go away.
"Listen lady, just hop in the van with us and neither you or the baby will be hurt," called a hard male voice from the mercenaries.
Swiveling around, Fox saw that the guns were now trained on her. If Alex wasn't with her at that moment, Fox would have tried to escape. Still, she couldn't risk her baby's safety. "Fine," Fox said, her voice steady as she met the leader's gaze boldly, "first let me put my baby down." Without another word, Fox began to walk slowly to the stroller sitting next to the very still Owen.
"No!" the leader yelled viciously. "The baby comes too."
"But.." Fox stuttered, the first shard of fear beginning to show in her green eyes.
"Listen, either you get in the van with the baby now or we shoot you both where you stand," the leader said, a steel edge to his voice.
Slowly, Fox nodded her head and walked towards the van. Deep down, Fox didn't think that they would actually kill them.. they obviously needed her and her baby for something, but it wasn't worth the risk. She wouldn't let anything harm her baby. "David, you better find us," Fox muttered under her breath as she looked once more at Owen's still form before climbing into the black van.
Quickly the mercenaries hopped into the vehicle and squealed back into traffic. In no time at all, the curious bystanders lost sight of the dark van.
Castle Wyvern - sunset
The sky turned dark as the large golden sun dipped below the horizon. As many of the citizens of New York began getting their children ready for bed, telling tales of Santa Claus's imminent arrival, one group just awoke..
As Goliath woke from his daily slumber, he stretched to his full height, sending stone shards flying in every direction, and breathed in the cool air that came only at this time of year. Opening his eyes, Goliath greeted the beautiful night with a rare smile. Tonight was Christmas Eve, a holiday that would be spent with his clan and Elisa.. a time of rejoicing, peace and good will. Turning, Goliath's smile quickly turned into a small frown. "Xanatos, what is wrong?"
"How did you.." David Xanatos started in surprise. Quickly he regained his composure and said, "Never mind, I'm sure it's all too obvious by my facial expression.
"What has happened? Is Elisa all right?" Goliath asked in a rush, panic showing on his face. He remembered all to well when Owen greeted him with news of Elisa being shot last year.
"Yes, she's fine... but I need your help."
"With what?" Goliath asked suspiciously.
"Fox and Alex have been kidnapped," Xanatos said quietly, a mix of anger and worry on his face.
"What?" Goliath asked. "Why don't you have Puck help? Certainly this falls within Oberon's decree?"
"Yes it would," Xanatos sighed quietly, "but during the abduction in Central Park this afternoon, Owen was shot twice in the chest with iron bullets. Right now he's in critical condition.. we don't know if he'll survive the night."
"I see. What will you have us do?" Goliath asked sincerely.
"The Detective is working from her front, and asked that you meet her at her apartment at 10pm, when her shift is over. Until then, the most you could do is patrol the city. I know it's Christmas Eve and that you had plans.. and even though it may be farfetched and wishful thinking..."
"We shall patrol. We will check in at the castle at 10:30," Goliath said, interrupting Xanatos.
Nodding his head at Xanatos, Goliath then turned and glided down to the lower battlements. He arrived just in time, for the clan was breaking into groups and heading into the castle. "Wait, we have work to do."
At the sound of his voice, the group stopped in their tracks and faced their leader. "Father, what is wrong?" Angela asked as she noticed the worry lines etched in his face.
"Fox and Alex have been kidnapped and Puck cannot lend any assistance due to being wounded with iron bullets," Goliath answered gravely, his eyes betraying his worry. "We need to patrol the city. Angela, I want you with Brooklyn, Hudson with Broadway, and Lexington is with me." As Goliath started handing out instructions, the group quickly recovered the composure they had lost at hearing the devastating news. "Be careful and meet back here at 10:30pm."
As soon as Goliath finished, the clan split into their designated pairs and soared into the night sky. From a dark corner of that level, Xanatos emerged from the shadows. In place of his usual smirk, Xanatos now had a look of complete sadness. "All in a matter of five minutes, I lost everything dear to me: my wife, my son, my best friend. I'll take care of Owen, but Goliath, please bring me back my wife and son. For the first time in my life, I don't know what to do..." Xanatos said quietly as he watched Goliath's departing back.
Somewhere in Manhattan - 8:30pm
As Brooklyn and Angela soared through the night sky, their eyes roamed the streets below. When Brooklyn couldn't stand the silence any longer he tipped his wing and soared next to Angela. "Does anything strike you as funny about this whole kidnapping?"
"Brooklyn, I am sure that Xanatos didn't arrange to have his family kidnapped," Angela snapped, making the tension she felt plain to see.
"That's not what I was going to say," Brooklyn said quietly, sending his friend a hurt look.
"I'm sorry Brooklyn," Angela sighed, "What were you going to say?"
Shaking off his hurt, Brooklyn refocused his thoughts and said, "Well, doesn't it seem odd to you that Owen was hit with iron bullets, his only weakness?"
"Well, I have been wondering about that," Angela admitted slowly.
"Think about it Angie..."
"Angela," she automatically corrected.
"Whatever. Anyway, for a person to know Owen's only weakness, they'd have to be someone close to us. They know Owen's secret. Angela, we must know this kidnapper," Brooklyn insisted, his voice unconsciously stressing the word know.
"I know Brooklyn, I know. But who could it be? Not my mother..."
"We just don't know."
"Angela, Brooklyn, down here!" Goliath's voice called up to them.
Startled, Brooklyn looked down and saw Goliath's form cloaked in shadows on a snowy rooftop below. "Goliath?" Brooklyn called out as they glided down and landed smoothly nearby.
"What are you doing here Father? Where is Lexington?" Angela asked as she scanned the roof.
"He's waiting at the castle.. I went to fetch you."
"Did you find Alex and Fox?" Angela asked excitedly.
"And since when did you start hiding in the shadows on deserted roof tops?" Brooklyn asked in a teasing voice as he stepped closer to his leader's dark form.
"I haven't," Goliath said as he stepped into the moonlight.
"Thailog!" Brooklyn cried out in surprise.
Before he could move, Thailog reached forward and grabbed Brooklyn. Like tossing a fly, Thailog easily picked up Brooklyn and threw him through the air.
While Angela watched in stunned horror, Brooklyn's small form collided with a brick wall, rendering him unconscious. "Brooklyn!" Angela gasped, breaking out of her stupor.
Like Brooklyn, before she could move, Thailog's hands pinned her arms to her sides like steel bars. "What do you want?!" Angela ground out, her eyes red with fury.
"You. Hmm, since Goliath is my twin, I guess that would make you my niece!"
"You could never be the twin to my father. You're just a poor imitation- a bad copy! Now, LET ME GO!" Angela roared in anger.
"If you insist," Thailog replied, his own eyes glowing in anger at the insult. With a roar, Thailog easily lifted Angela into the air and tossed her into the same offending brick wall. With a grunt of pain, Angela crumpled beside Brooklyn in the snow, both unconscious. Smiling in satisfaction, Thailog walked up to the unconscious gargoyles and picked up Angela roughly, not caring in the slightest about Brooklyn, who was laying beside her. Laughing, Thailog then launched himself into the air, Angela held firmly in his arms.
The plan was almost ready to be put into action. Only one more pawn was to be collected- the one that Thailog would find the most pleasure in collecting. Then, his revenge would be set.
Rooftop - 9:30pm
Groaning, Brooklyn slowly picked himself off of the ground. "Jalepeno, what a headache!" Brooklyn muttered as he cradled his pounding head in his hands. "Hey Angie, you alright?" he called out quietly. "Angela?" he called out again, lifting his head up and looking around in concern. Everywhere he looked, Brooklyn saw footprints in the snow, but no Angela. In shock, Brooklyn realized that he was alone on the roof. "Angela!" When he received no answer, Brooklyn realized that Thailog must have taken her. "No, I have to tell Goliath!" Running, Brooklyn jumped off the roof and glided in the general direction of the Aerie building.
Elisa's apartment - 9:30pm
As the door slid open, the light from the hallway spilled into the dark apartment. Walking in the door, Elisa quickly searched for the light switch. Smiling triumphantly, Elisa blinked at the sudden rush of light and fully entered her cozy apartment. Out of the corner of her eye, Elisa saw a ball of gray fur dart into her bedroom.
"You and me both, Cagney," Elisa muttered. Sighing, she took off her jacket and slung it over a nearby chair. "At least Captain let me get out early. Now I can devote my full attention to helping the guys get Fox and Alex back." Even though Elisa hadn't fully forgiven Xanatos for everything or trusted him completely, she was going to give him all the help she could. No one deserved to have their family taken from them.. not even David Xanatos.
Shaking herself, Elisa quickly broke herself out of her reverie. Sighing, Elisa laid her badge on the counter, walked into her tiny kitchen, and opened up one of the drawers. As it had been her custom for the last two years since the fateful night when she was accidentally shot, Elisa took out the metal box and locked her gun within. After laying her empty holster on the counter, Elisa then walked down the hallway towards her bedroom.
As Elisa walked, she ran her hands through her dark hair. Goliath would be there in about twenty minutes and she wanted to look normal and not so windblown. Elisa stopped suddenly as she heard a soft tapping from her living room.
"Goliath must be early," Elisa murmured as she turned around and headed back into the living room. Sure enough, Elisa spotted Goliath's massive form outlined by the shady moonlight which was hidden by a thin cloud covering; still, the moon light was bright enough to reflect off of the snow on the other side of her skylight. Smiling the smile that she reserved for the winged leader, Elisa stepped forward into her living room. Just as she reached the glass latch, the moon came out from behind the clouds they had been hiding behind and illuminated his form. "Thailog!" Elisa gasped in amazement and horror. Going purely on instinct, Elisa turned and started running for the front door.
Unfortunately, Elisa didn't make it far for Thailog quickly jumped through the glass barrier, sending long shards of glass everywhere, as well as letting the frigid night air in. He had planned his jump well, for he landed on Elisa, both of them falling to the ground. In their fall, Thailog's tail lashed out, knocking lamps and tables over in the process, leaving the room in darkness. Both groaned as their bodies hit the floor, Elisa's arm hitting painfully against the nearby step. As she tried to regain the breath she had lost in the attack, Elisa quickly reached her hand out and grabbed a really long shard of glass. Just as her hand grabbed a hold of it, Thailog roughly flipped her over onto her back. Lashing out, Elisa brought the glass up quickly and slashed it along Thailog's arm. Roaring in pain, Thailog jumped back in surprise, giving Elisa just the opportunity she needed. With a grunt, Elisa quickly brought her leg up and kicked him hard in the chest. As Thailog flew back against the glass, cracking it even more, Elisa turned and scrambled up the small steps, heading once more for the door. Just as her feet cleared the short steps, Elisa felt strong arms wrap around her middle and drag her once more to the ground. Once again the wind was knocked out of her, and as Elisa tried to get her breath back, Thailog flipped her over onto her back and straddled her middle. Leaning forward, Thailog laughed his deep laugh, always tinged with evil. Suddenly, his laughter was cut short as the detective's exotic beauty hit him full force. Reacting fully on impulse, Thailog lunged forward, aiming to kiss her full lips.
Elisa, seeing what was about to happen, quickly jerked her head to one side. "Fuck off!" Elisa bit out angrily.
At this display of feistiness, Thailog merely tilted back his head and laughed. Still laughing, Thailog jumped up and pulled Elisa to her feet roughly. Before she had a chance to fight back as he knew she would, Thailog shoved Elisa against the wall and pinned her arms to her side.
Glaring at her enemy, Elisa said, "So, you are alive?"
"Alive and kicking, no thanks to Demona!" Thailog spit out, his eyes glowing white.
"What do you want?" Elisa asked, trying to take on a calm, almost bored tone of voice.
"Revenge," Thailog ground out.
"My father and brother dearest.. Xanatos and Goliath."
"Whatever happened for your thing with Sevarious?"
"He's already been taken care of," Thailog said cryptically.
Arching her eyebrow skeptically, Elisa decided to change the subject. "And what do I have to do with your revenge against Goliath and Xanatos?" Despite the pain she was in, Elisa was trying her best to keep her voice light and free of the fear she felt.
Ignoring her question, Thailog boldly let his eyes travel up and down her body, taking in her tight blue jeans and form fitting black long sleeved shirt. "I can see why Goliath desires you as a companion. It seems as though my 'brother' has good taste.. maybe I inherited it from him. In any case, Delilah really was no comparison to the real thing."
"Fuck you!" Elisa said, her gaze and voice icy.
"If Goliath plays his cards right, then maybe later." Before Elisa could reply, Thailog changed his hold on her by grabbing her tightly by the neck. As her air began to cut off, Elisa moved both hands to her neck in panic, trying desperately to loosen his talons. As soon as her hands were clear, Thailog reached into a pouch on his side and withdrew a needle. Before Elisa could retaliate, he quickly emptied the contents into her thigh. Gasping in shock, Elisa slowly looked at Thailog before darkness overcame her. As Elisa slumped in his arms, Thailog smiled. Quickly he lifted his sleeping beauty into his arms and ran towards the broken window. As he jumped off the building, he quickly stole another glance at the woman in his arms. "Beautiful... just beautiful."
Elisa's apartment - 10:00pm
As Goliath and Lex glided closer to Elisa's apartment, a knot in Goliath's stomach tightened.
"Goliath, why is Elisa's apartment so dark? I thought she was supposed to be waiting for us," Lex said quietly.
"She was," Goliath rumbled in agreement.
As they drew closer, their eyes widened as they saw the trampled snow on her balcony, right before the large hole where smooth glass should have been. Landing on the small balcony, Goliath rushed forward and jumped through the rather large hole. When his eyes adjusted to the darkness, Goliath was shocked to see the apartment in shambles. Everywhere he looked he saw glass, broken lamps, and pieces of furniture. Then his fear heightened as he saw a small pool of blood with a really long shard of glass in the middle. As Lex bumped into him from behind, Goliath finally broke out of his stupor. "Elisa?... Elisa!" Goliath roared, panic squeezing his heart like a vise.
"What do we do?" Lexington asked quietly.
"Go back to the castle and get the others," Goliath said.
Nodding his head quietly, Lexington followed his leader back out the glass hole, stealing one final glance at the dark apartment. "This is going to be a long night," Lex sighed wearily as he launched himself into the dark night.
Castle Wyvern - 10:30pm
Goliath and Lexington landed quickly with a rustle of wings on the lower battlements - right beside the doors to the Great hall - where the rest of the clan was gathered. As soon as they landed, they were rushed by the clan.
"Goliath!" Brooklyn called out urgently.
"What has happened?" Goliath asked, his frown deepening with worry as he saw the purplish bruise that was growing on his second's forehead. "Where's Angela?" he asked in alarm as he noticed she was missing from the sea of worried and scared faces.
"Thailog ambushed us and took her!" Brooklyn said urgently.
"What?" Goliath roared, flaring his wings out to their full length. "He's supposed to be dead!"
"Well, that obviously ain't so lad," Hudson broke in calmly. "Now, where is Elisa? I thought you were getting th' lass... we'll certainly be needin' her help now."
"Elisa has been taken as well," Goliath said grimly in reply to his mentor's question.
"No, not Elisa too," Broadway mumbled, his face falling even more.
Before anyone else could comment, the large wooden doors behind them burst open. Turning in surprise, the clan watched as Xanatos stormed through, a brown package in one hand. "Goliath, this was just dropped off at the door... it's addressed to the both of us."
"What?" Goliath rumbled in surprise. "Are you sure it's not a bomb of some sort?"
"We had it checked out already, it's clear."
"Well, open it!" Lex urged, his curiosity peaked.
Nodding his head in agreement, Xanatos quickly ripped into the package. Underneath the brown paper he found an unmarked black video cassette. "This should prove interesting," Xanatos muttered as he led the clan back into the castle and into the TV room. Without saying a word, he turned on the appropriate machinery and popped in the tape. Almost immediately Thailog's face filled the screen. "Thailog," Xanatos growled, his expression dark with hatred.
"I can just imagine the expressions on your faces right now," Thailog began, an eerie smirk on his face. "My family gathered round.. my father and brother worried about their loved ones. Not to worry, they're fine- for now. Their continued safety all depends on you. Xanatos, if you ever want to see Fox or Alexander again and Goliath, if you ever want to see Angela or Elisa again, do as I say. I want you both to report to the oil rig on the bay at midnight. If I see anyone else, they all die painful deaths.. unless I can find a more interesting use for them!" Thailog laughed. "You know Goliath, your precious Elisa is a very beautiful woman!" From the video, it was obvious that Thailog enjoyed making his point very clear. "Be there- alone, midnight- neither early or late. It's time for a family reunion on Christmas Eve. Unfortunately, my other father, Sevarious, had an unfortunate accident and won't be able to join us."
Thailog's laughter rang through the room as Xanatos quickly turned off the tape. With a grim look on his face, he quickly turned to Goliath. Mildly surprised, the billionaire noted Goliath's glowing eyes, clenched fists, and tight expression. Xanatos knew exactly how he was feeling, but he knew that the remark about Elisa must have really hit home. "Thailog's taken Angela and the Detective?"
"Yes," Goliath agreed, letting his eyes go back to their normal color.
"He sure knew where to hit us... Well, I'm going to get into my exo suit... we'll have to leave now if we want to get there on time... I'm getting my wife and child back," Xanatos said firmly as he left the room.
"Yuir not goin' alone now, are ya lad?" Hudson asked as he scratched his chin in thought.
"Xanatos and I will go alone... we cannot risk their safety," Goliath said as he walked out of the room.
"But..." Broadway began.
"No buts," Goliath broke in as he led his way into the night air. They didn't have to wait long, for in a matter of minutes, Xanatos in his red battle armor joined them. Before Goliath could join Xanatos in the sky, Brooklyn laid a restraining hand on Goliath. Turning, Goliath faced his second in command.
"Goliath, what ever you do, bring her back to me," Brooklyn said urgently, a quiet intensity in his voice.
"I'll bring them both back," Goliath said quietly as he flew off into the night sky.
Oil tanker - 11:30pm
Slowly, the fog began to lift from Elisa's mind as she once more came into the land of the living. Groaning, Elisa opened her eyes. To her shock, she realized she was laying on a hard and cold metallic floor, a thick glass like casing in a circle around her... she was in a tube similar to the one the pack held her in. Groaning as all the memories flooded back, Elisa raised her hands to her aching head.
"Elisa, you're awake."
At the mention of her name, Elisa's head snapped up. "Angela?" Elisa gasped.
"And Fox and Alexander Xanatos as well," Angela said.
Squinting in the bright light, Elisa waited until her eyes had adjusted. When that was done, Elisa saw Angela trapped in a similar tube right beside hers. Looking further along the wall, Elisa saw Alex sleeping on the floor of the tube beside Angela's, and Fox in the one next to her son's. Looking around in curiosity, Elisa saw that they were in a large rectangular room, completely empty except for their tubes which were lying in the center. As far as she could see, there was only one entrance: a silver door that didn't have any handles that was set into the wall facing them. Turning her attention back to her friends, Elisa saw that all looked unharmed except for a purplish bump forming on Angela's forehead. "Merry Christmas," Elisa said sarcastically.
"I had almost forgotten that it was Christmas Eve," Angela said quietly, her thoughts on what the clan had planned for the night.
"Well, it's almost Christmas Day by now.. In any case, what happened?"
"Fox was taken in the park today and Brooklyn and I were ambushed by Thailog. I woke up in this tube. A while later Thailog came in with you and put you in that tube," Angela explained.
"Did you try breaking it?" Elisa asked quickly as she climbed very slowly to her feet, grimacing at the pain she was feeling all over from her little fight with Thailog.
"Yes," Angela said as she climbed up to stand and face Elisa. "I've been trying for the last hour or two, but it's not ordinary glass.. it's not breaking."
"That's okay Angela.. at least you tried..."
"Are you alright?" Angela asked suddenly.
"What?" Elisa asked, totally missing the sudden change of subject.
"You have some blood on your black shirt.. are you hurt?" Angela asked, concern entering her voice as she noted the blood on her friend.
"Oh, it's not mine," Elisa said absently.
"That's Thailog's?" Angela asked in amazement.
"Yeah, he had an enforced run-in with a shard of glass," Elisa said with a small grin.
"Hmm, I thought I saw a bandage on his arm," Fox spoke up, finally joining the conversation.
"Hey Fox, are you and Alex okay?" Elisa called across the room.
"Yeah.. Alex was crying earlier, but I think he cried himself to sleep... I just hope he stays that way.. it's so hard to hear him cry and know that I can't take him into my arms and make it better," Fox murmured.
"Don't worry, Goliath and Xanatos will get us out of here," Elisa said confidently.
"Speaking of which, does anyone know why he has us locked up in here?" Angela asked.
"Revenge," Elisa answered in a matter of fact tone of voice.
"What for?" Angela asked, the perfect model of naiveté.
"Think about it Angela," Fox replied patiently. "Thailog hates David and Goliath.. the best way to get revenge on his 'family' is through their loved ones- us."
"But..." Angela began.
Whatever she was about to say was cut of as the smooth metal door slid open. All eyes quickly turned to the door and watched in silence as Thailog entered the room. Without saying a word he moved till he was standing in front of Elisa's tube. Slowly he reached out a taloned hand and rubbed it against the smooth glass. "I see that my sleeping beauty has awakened," Thailog said quietly.
"Fuck off!" Elisa hissed fiercely as she glared at him through the glass.
Thailog glared back at her and said, "Elisa, we really need to work on this. In any case, Goliath and Xanatos will be here soon to decide all of your fate," he continued as he left the room.
"Elisa, are you alright?" Fox asked hesitantly, breaking the silence that had settled once more over the room.
"Yeah, fine," Elisa sighed wearily.
"Elisa, I do not like the way he was looking at you," Angela said, concern touching her face as she watched Elisa slide down the side of the tube till she was sitting on the hard floor, knees drawn up to her chest, and her head laying in her arms.
"Neither did I Angela, neither did I," Elisa muttered as she stared at the closed door.
Oil rig - midnight
With a rustle of wings and the whine of engines, Goliath and Xanatos landed on the snowy oil rig. To Goliath, the rig looked decrepit and abandoned- in short, it looked exactly like the last oil rig Thailog had used.
"I'm disappointed... he's not very original, is he?" Xanatos said in his digitally enhanced voice.
"I was thinking the same thing," Goliath agreed.
"Ah, Merry Christmas.. I see that my 'family' has finally arrived," Thailog's voice said as it rang in the frigid night air. Quickly Goliath and Xanatos looked around, trying to locate the source. "Don't bother trying to find me. This rig may look old and run down, but you'd be amazed at the changes I've made. Right now I'm watching you via cameras that are placed all over. Right now I..."
"Where are they Thailog?" Goliath demanded, his patience long since used up.
"My my.. a little impatient, aren't we Goliath?"
"Where are they?" Xanatos demanded, ever bit as impatient as Goliath.
"Fine then.. enter the room directly in front of you and go down the ladder and enter the first room on the left.
Without wasting any time, Goliath and Xanatos quickly followed the directions. When they reached the final door, they burst into the room quickly. What Goliath saw as the door slid open made him stop in his tracks. Before him was a large, rectangular room made of metal. It was completely empty except for four large glass canisters that extended from the floor to the top of the ceiling. The glass tubes were lighted from the floor as well as the top, making them very bright. From left to right, Goliath saw Elisa in the first one, sitting down dejectedly with her knees drawn up tight against her chest in a defensive posture, her head laying on her arms until she heard the door opened... when that happened, her head jerked up and Goliath saw the fear within her eyes, which quickly changed to one of relief; in the next tube to the right he saw Angela who was quickly pacing the small confines of the cylinder, which was no more that two steps across; in the next tube to the right was Alexander fast asleep on the floor with Fox in the tube to his right, in much the same position of Elisa. "Angela! Elisa!" Goliath rumbled as he ran to their tubes while Xanatos did much the same thing with Fox and Alexander, an audible note of relief in his voice. Putting one taloned hand on each of the glass containers of his loved ones, Goliath said, "Are you both alright?" Worry lined his face as he saw Elisa get to her feet very slowly, a small frown flitting across her face, maybe in pain.
Once on her feet, Elisa matched up her hand with Goliath's, only the glass-like substance separating them, while Angela did the same on her side, a big smile on her face. "We're okay Goliath, just ready to go home," Elisa said with a small smile.
"Stand back," Goliath commanded, his eyes glowing.
"But.." Elisa began. Before she could finish her warning, Goliath charged the glass at full speed- only to bounce right off. "What I was going to say was that Angela's been trying that for the last hour."
"And not with very much success," Angela agreed as she indicated her unmarked glass enclosure.
"I see," Goliath said as he regained his footing.
"My turn," Xanatos said. Carefully, he raised his built in laser to the top of the glass on his son's tube. Checking quick, Xanatos noted that Alex was still sleeping peacefully on the floor of the tube. Pressing the trigger, Xanatos was astonished to see the red beam be absorbed by the glass.
"I wouldn't bother if I were you... the only they get out of the containers is if I let them out. Their lives are in my hand, and at the touch of a button, some very lethal gas will be introduced into their environment," Thailog said evilly.
"What do you want Thailog? More money?" Xanatos asked, a hard edge in his voice.
"I don't need your money! I want you both to suffer... which won't happen if I kill you quickly. Instead, I want you to choose."
"Choose what?" Goliath asked slowly.
"I want you to choose who will live and who will die."
"What?!" was the general response to that startling statement.
Thailog sighed audibly and said, "It's quite simple really. Goliath, you must pick either your daughter, Angela, or your... companion, Elisa. Whoever you pick will accompany you home.. the one you don't choose shall die. Xanatos, you must choose your wife or your son..."
"What?!" was once again the general response in the room. "Thailog, you can't possibly expect us to pick who will die!" Goliath roared, his eyes glowing a fierce white.
"I can and I do. Xanatos, you're first. Make your choice."
"But I can't," Xanatos whispered as he put a hand on each of the glass containers. A loud beep sounded in the room and with a hiss of air, Xanatos removed his helmet. With it off, many in the room were amazed to see tears in his eyes. Slowly he looked into his wife's eyes and then looked down at his baby, and was surprised to see Alex looking back at him.
"Da da," Alex gurgled as he put his tiny baby hand on the glass. "Ma ma."
"Alex, you're awake," Xanatos said quietly.
"Oh Alex," Fox said, silent tears falling.
"Da da, up!" Alex demanded as he hit his little fists against the glass.
"Oh Alex, Daddy can't pick you up right now," Xanatos said, a tear blazing a trail down his cheek.
"Da da!" Alex screamed, tears pouring down his little baby face as he became frightened, too young to understand.
"Alex, it's okay," Fox tried to soothe through the glass barrier as silent sobs wracked her body.
"How can you make someone choose between their wife and child?!" Xanatos yelled.
"Easily. Now pick one or they both die!" Thailog said in an emotionless voice.
"Fox," Xanatos said quietly. "I love you with all of my heart," he cried, the person who was usually so unemotional, his feelings always under wrap, the one people usually thought wasn't capable of love. The one person who always had his feelings hidden behind his trademark smirk.
"I know David... I love you more than I have ever loved another, but we both know what you have to do," Fox said quietly as she stared deep into her husband's eyes. "You have to get Alex out of here... save our son."
"Well Xanatos?" Thailog asked impatiently. "What's your decision?"
Sighing, Xanatos knew that his wife was right. He couldn't let their baby die down here... but he didn't want to leave his wife behind either. Not Fox. "Alex," he finally whispered, his eyes locked on his wife's.
"Who?" Thailog asked, enjoying the pain he was causing.
"I said Alex, I choose Alex!" Xanatos roared into the room, shaking from the intense emotions he was feeling.
"Very well... your wife shall die and your son will live," Thailog's voice boomed. If they could see his face, all in the room knew he would be smiling.
Suddenly the glass tubing around Alexander started lowering into the ground. As soon as it was low enough, Xanatos quickly scooped his crying son into his arms, careful of his metal exo-frame. To make matters worse, Alex shifted in his arms and began reaching desperately for Fox.
"Mama!" Alex screamed.
"Shh," Fox tried to whisper as tears streamed down her face. This was the hardest thing she ever had to do: seal her own fate and say goodbye to her husband and son all at once, not to mention being unable to comfort her son now. Her heart was not merely broken, but shattered in millions of pieces.
"Now Goliath... it's your turn to pick. Who will live and who will die?" Thailog spoke up, his words echoing throughout the room.
Turning away from the heartbreaking scene he just witnessed, Goliath faced the two most important people in his life. In the tube to his left stood his human friend, Detective Elisa Maza. Looking into her eyes, Goliath saw a deep wisdom that surpassed her years, and a saddened understanding in her expression. As he stared into her large, liquid eyes, Goliath realized that he loved this person... he had for quite some time now. He couldn't help but notice how beautiful she looked in her form fitting outfit, bronze skin, and her black hair tumbling down her back. This was the human he had known for the last two years... his first human friend.. the one who protected him day and night.. the one that had given up so much already for him. How could he possibly give her up?
"Father," Angela pleaded quietly, tears in her eyes and a frightened expression on her young face.
Breaking his gaze away from Elisa, Goliath shifted his attention to the next tube. "Angela," Goliath sighed quickly. She looked positively terrified, like a caged rabbit. Even though he had only known her for less than a year, she had already stolen his heart. Angela was of his blood, and more of a daughter he could ever had wished for. How could he make a decision that would end her life before it even had a chance to begin? Brooklyn's words came back to him, "Goliath, what ever you do, bring her back to me." How could he give up either of them?
"Goliath, quit wasting time! I want you to choose... you have five seconds... five," Thailog boomed impatiently into his mike.
"But... I," Goliath said, fear bubbling in his chest as he glanced from face to face. This couldn't be real.. something had to happen, some miracle to prevent him from choosing.. this couldn't be real!
"Four," Thailog warned.
"I can't decide this!" Goliath roared in anger.
"If you don't decide, they both die. I'm giving you the chance to save one. Three."
"Father," Angela mumbled, trying to hold back her tears like a warrior, running her talon over the cool glass.
"Goliath, pick Angela," Elisa instructed firmly.
"But I can't let you die," Goliath protested, tears in his eyes at the thought of losing his love.
"And you can't let Angela die either... get her out of here," Elisa argued.
"Two," Thailog spoke over their heated conversation.
"Goliath, you know I'm right," Elisa said with a sad smile.
Sighing, Goliath's shoulders slumped in defeat. Looking back up, Goliath stared into her large eyes, and said, "I love you."
"I love you too," Elisa replied with tears in her eyes as Thailog said, "One."
"Well Goliath, who do you choose?"
"Angela," Goliath said, his eyes fixed on Elisa.
"Ah, I was hoping you'd say that," Thailog said quietly.
Before Goliath could comment on that puzzling comment, Elisa spoke up from within her glass cage. "What are you going to do with me?"
"Kill you, of course," Thailog answered quickly.
"At the same time as Fox?"
"Why does it matter to you?"
"I want to know what you're really going to do with me," Elisa said coldly, staring defiantly around the room, ignoring the looks on her friend's faces.
"I'll kill Fox right away, yes.. but with you..."
"You realize that I'd fight you the whole way?" Elisa asked as she arched her eyebrow and crossed her arms in front of her, leaning against the cool glass; never loosing her cool veneer.
All around her though, pandemonium was breaking loose. Fox and Xanatos were staring at Elisa in shocked silence as they realized the implications behind their words. Since Elisa had seen the mad look in Thailog's eyes at her apartment, the look on his face as he tried to kiss her and as she fought back, Elisa knew what was going to happen to her sooner or later. After Thailog's little visit, some had suspected it.. but overall, none of them really had to face the truth. All knew right then and there that it would happen.. in the few times that Thailog and Elisa had met, it was plain to see his attractions for her.
Angela, on the other hand, was sobbing brokenly as she realized what was going to happen to Elisa before she was killed... just so she could live. Goliath was a completely different story. ~How could Thailog do this? Elisa can't even die with dignity! Because of my decision, my decision, Elisa will be.. by him!~ As Goliath's eyes began to glow and his body tensed up, everyone knew how he felt about the whole situation.
Then again, Elisa wasn't the best herself. Even though she appeared calm and collected, on the inside she was falling apart. What was she doing? In reality she only had two choices. Elisa quickly realized that if she left things as they were, she would only have to suffer one or two indiscretions before she could take her eternal cat nap. It no longer mattered that she didn't want those indiscretions and would rather die first, or the fact that she wasn't ready yet for her eternal rest. None of it mattered anymore considering that she wasn't willing to let Angela die. Then again, was she willing to let another person die when she knew she could save her, even though she would be securing herself a sentence worse than the first choice? Yet another point.. bringing up what she did only caused more pain for her friends. If she wouldn't have said anything, then they wouldn't have known what really would happen to her.. they wouldn't have had to live with that knowledge. Still, the only way to have that second option was to go about it this way. Was all the pain she was causing and the sentence she was putting on herself worth it? Slowly Elisa turned her head and looked to her left. One look at the heartbroken look on Xanatos' face, the love on Fox's, and the tears on Alex's baby face and her resolve was renewed. She couldn't let this family be broken apart.
"Yes, I do realize that you will fight the whole way.. an inconvenience, but one that won't save you from your fate," Thailog said in a devilish and threatening manner.
"Thailog, if I were to stay with you willingly.. no fighting- would you let Fox go with the others?" Elisa asked slowly, trying to maintain her cool appearance and slow her beating heart. Half of her, the cop and real Elisa waited for the yes that she knew would come, while the part of her that was controlled by primal instincts and fear was desperate for a no.
"What?" Goliath roared, looking at her in shock. Thank god it was shock, because if Goliath looked at her in disgust.. Elisa would have fallen right there and then.
"No Elisa!" Angela yelled, beating her fists on the glass.
"But..." Fox stuttered in a mixture of horror and hope. She wanted to be set free- to be spared more than anything.. so she could go back to life with her husband and child.. but she didn't want it this way. Fox nearly gagged in horror at the thought of what Elisa was offering.. all so she could go home.. so one could live. At that point, Fox got her first good look into the character of Elisa Maza.. a person that was willing to go that far to save a life... one of a person she didn't particularly even like.
"Hmm.. this is an interesting proposition.." Thailog mused slowly.
"It's like you said, Thailog, the copy is no comparison to the real thing," Elisa said in a low, seductive voice. How could she be doing this, talking like this, almost begging him to take her away from her loved ones forever so he could do unspeakable things to her... to save one person... but even to save one life, wasn't that worth it?
Ignoring the assorted gasps, Thailog's voice rang through the room as he said, "I will accept this proposal on two conditions.. it must be completely willing and forever."
"I accept," Elisa said, swallowing the lump in her throat and trying her best not to think about what she was actually saying yes to.
"Good, then I'll just..."
"WAIT!" Goliath roared in anger.
"What do you want?" Thailog asked in a bored voice.
"I can't let this..."
"Goliath!" At the sound of Elisa's voice, Goliath faced her tube. "Goliath, what are you doing?"
"I can't let you do this!" Goliath said firmly as he once more matched up his large taloned hands with her small ones.
"Hey, it's all a part of the serve and protect thing.. it's comes with the badge," Elisa said automatically.
"This goes way above and beyond the call of duty!" Goliath hissed quietly.
Switching to another strategy, Elisa said, "Goliath, there's no way you can save us all. If I don't do this, I'll be dead anyway."
"Don't you think I know this?!" Goliath said urgently, a tear slipping down his cheek, "but the fate you're asking for is even worse than death."
"I know Goliath, but if I don't do this, Fox is dead. I can't let that happen, not when I know that I could have saved her."
"I know but..."
"Goliath, there are no 'buts' in this situation.. there's no way to get around this... it's the only way."
"I don't want to loose you."
"Me either Big Guy," Elisa whispered as her heart crumbled, a tear streaking down her cheek.
"Are you finished yet?" Thailog boomed through the mike system.
"No," Goliath roared like a stubborn child. "Before I let this happen, I want a chance to say goodbye.. without a barrier of glass between us."
"What?" Thailog asked, suspicion entering his deep bass voice.
"Come Thailog.. you have nothing to worry about. Even if I did get Elisa out of here, you'd just turn around and kill Angela and Fox," Goliath snapped as his eyes focused on his beloved daughter.
"Fine.. but be quick," Thailog's voice boomed in obvious displeasure.
With a loud beeping noise, Elisa's tube quickly disappeared into the steel floor of the room. With no hesitation, Elisa quickly stepped into the room and Goliath's arms. Knowing that this may very well be the last time Goliath could hold her, he quickly pulled her close while wrapping his wings tight around her. Bending his head low, Goliath breathed in the heady scent of her hair before whispering, "I love you Elisa... I always have. Don't give up, for I won't rest until I find you and get you back."
"Oh Goliath," Elisa sighed as she tilted back her head to stare into his dark eyes. "The selfish part of me wants nothing more, but we both know that can't happen. Thailog's going to take me as far away from here as he can. I'm as good as dead to you guys.. which is what I want you to tell Matt and my family..."
"No, Goliath... it'll be easier for them if they don't know the truth. You need to get on with your lives..."
"I can't without you at my side..."
"You have too... for me, you, and the clan."
"But I love you too much," Goliath started, stopping as Elisa gently put her small fingers over his lips.
"I know.. and I you..."
Before Elisa could finish, Goliath lifted her gently into his arms and kissed her deeply on her soft lips. Startled, at first Elisa tried to pull back, but as the kiss became more passionate, Elisa leaned forward and wrapped her arms around Goliath's neck. As Elisa twined her hands through his dark locks, tears streamed down her face, realizing that this would be their first and last 'real' kiss.
"Time's up!" Thailog boomed.
Breaking apart, Elisa
smiled a sad smile at her love before climbing back on the platform.
Seeing the look in his eyes, she could see that Goliath was barely restraining
himself from charging the rising glass and taking her right back out.
When the glass was sealed once more, Elisa once more placed her hands on
the glass opposite of Goliath's. Suddenly a quiet hissing noise caught
her attention. Turning quickly, Elisa saw a white gas pouring into
her glass tube from a small vent in the ceiling. Unexpectedly, the
gas entered her lungs, causing a coughing fit. To her great dismay,
Elisa noted that her legs were becoming weak as she slid down to the floor.
Peering through eyes that were rapidly becoming dim, Elisa saw that pandemonium
had once more broken out around her; Goliath and Xanatos were pounding
on her glass tube, worry and anger on their faces, yelling stuff that she
could no longer hear, while Angela was pounding on her glass container
while tears were streaming down her face. Elisa wanted to tell them
that she loved them and not to worry about her. She couldn't.
Instead, Elisa slumped the rest of the way to the floor and oblivion.
"What did you do?!" Goliath roared, his eyes blazing white as he stared at the still body of his love.
"No! Elisa!" Angela sobbed brokenly into her hands.
"She isn't dead, not that it's a concern to you any longer. I just gave her something to keep her calm for travel," Thailog spoke up.
"Oh quit your sniveling Goliath! You're getting what you want and I am most definitely getting what I want," Thailog said.
Before Goliath could respond, Fox and Angela's tubes began to lower into the ground while Elisa's whole tube with Elisa in it quickly disappeared into the floor.
"Father!" Angela yelled as she ran and embraced him tightly, while Fox did pretty much the same thing with her husband and baby.
Still, as Goliath clutched his only daughter to him, he couldn't keep the tears from falling as he looked in shock at the place his love just occupied. After all the time spent avoiding the subject, when Goliath finally told Elisa of his love and her of her love, she was forced from his life for what may be forever.
"You have two minutes to vacate the premises," Thailog said in a monotone voice, breaking into the family reunions.
"Why?" Xanatos asked quickly, suspicion and worry written all over his face as he held Fox and Alex tighter.
"Boom," was the only reply.
"Oh my god, David... he's got the place rigged," Fox said as she grabbed her husband's arm.
"Goliath, we have to go... NOW!" Xanatos said as he scooped Fox into his arms, with Alex cradled in hers and hurried out the door.
"He's right Angela, we must go!" Goliath said as he began dragging her from the room.
"But we can't leave without Elisa!" Angela protested.
"I don't like it either, but we don't have time to search the ship for her... don't worry Angela, we'll get her back," Goliath reassured, as much to himself as to her.
"Yeah, but will we get to her in time to really save her from what Thailog wants from her?" Angela muttered under her breath as Goliath pulled her along. Luckily Goliath didn't hear and soon they were soaring through the bitter night sky, following Xanatos's exhaust. Suddenly, a loud boom sounded behind them. Relying on instinct, all three flew low over the water to avoid the scorching shock wave. Goliath stole one last look at the burning ruin and whispered a short prayer Elisa had taught him before heading towards the castle.
As the group landed on the snowy ramparts of the castle, they were quickly surrounded by the clan.
"Angela! You're alright!" Brooklyn and Broadway exclaimed, completely missing her downcast expression.
"Alex, Fox!" Lexington called out happily.
It seemed as though Hudson was the only one who noticed that they were missing one, with his eyesight honed with age when he said, "Where's th' lass?"
A sudden silence filled the area as all eyes turned to Goliath. "Where's Elisa?" Broadway asked, a knot tightening in his stomach as he saw the look of loss and the tears pooled in his mighty leader's eyes.
"She is still with Thailog..." Goliath said slowly.
"What?!" everyone exclaimed in disbelief.
"David and Goliath were told to pick which of us would live and die," Fox explained to the group. "I would have died, but Elisa saved my life."
"Th' lass be dead?" Husdon asked, sorrow and grief pulling at him.
"Even worse," Goliath muttered as a single tear blazed a trail down his cheek.
"No..." Fox said quietly. "She made a deal with Thailog. If he let all of us go, she would willingly stay with him.. forever."
"What?!" was once more the general acknowledgment.
"Goliath?" Brooklyn asked in a hesitant voice. Although he didn't ask aloud, everyone knew what the unspoken question was.
As all eyes turned to their leader, they saw his fist clench, his jaw line tighten, his look of grief be replaced by one of determination, and his eyes begin to glow a bright white. "We will get her back... no matter what, we will get Elisa back!" Goliath roared into the still Christmas night.
Somewhere in New York state-
Very carefully Thailog lowered his cargo onto the high bed. Stepping back, Thailog admired the view before quietly exiting the room, locking the door tightly behind him.
Humming, Thailog moved down his dark hallways, with thoughts of his dark haired beauty dancing in his head. He had just received the best gift imaginable for Christmas, and peace and good will had nothing to do with it. Plus, there was no way in hell that he was going to let his 'brother', let alone ANYONE take that gift away. Elisa was finally his... forever...
The End.. for now