Disclaimer: 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 my three remaining brain cells.

An Alternate Life

Prologue:

Location: Undisclosed

"Report number 60 of the Nightshade Project," a white coated woman said into her recorder. In front of her were her written notes, but since it was widely known that no one in the lab could decipher her shorthand except her, she was forced to use the voice recorder so that others could understand her work. With a put-upon sigh, and in what she thought of as a total waste of time, she continued. "It has been two months since we were given the specimen to experiment on. So far, all attempts at mind control have failed, as evidenced by last night's attempted raid on the Reynard Airship. The subject was given orders to retrieve a simple computer disc, but the operation failed horribly when it panicked and abandoned the mission early. The reason for the mind alterations not taking root is unknown, as the process has previously worked on the human subjects we have done similar experiments on, but I suspect it is something in its genetics that are allowing her immunity.

"I have hope that the project will eventually work, the more that we wear the subject down. We have discovered that because Gargoyles go into a stone hibernation during the day, our usual method of sleep deprivation will not work. However, now that the subject has been told that they are the only one left of their kind, every other gargoyle that may have existed at that location destroyed long ago, we may have achieved our goal. The subject has been more impressionable over the last forty eight hours, and this may be the opportunity we were looking for.

"If nothing else, the genetic testing alone will be beneficial. The speed, strength and rapid healing will be enough to begin the bidding war from governments all over the world as well as additional funding for further development. To be able to attempt DNA alterations within a human so that they would benefit from the Gargoyle's physical abilities is a dream for me.

"First, the strength and healing, then we could potentially move on to something more advanced. I am thinking more of the physical characteristics, such as the wings for flight and talons. While I have previously drawn some blood for typing and some minor Genetic testing, it was nowhere near enough to begin the kind of testing that we would need for a large scale test.

"The Gargoyle was hesitant to give me the little that I have, and has flatly refused to give me more of her own volition. I have sent my need of assistance to our benefactor, and he has assured us that he will aid us with this by using the tranquilizing mixture that we finally managed to adjust for her weight and size, but only if tonight's experiment is a failure.

"If failure to complete her assignment is once more the case tonight, then we will…" the woman trailed off as ear-piercing alarms and flashing lights invaded her thoughts.

Rushing to her feet, she opened the door of the lab to see waves of heavily armed, black clad security personnel running through the halls.

"What is going on?" She demanded.

"The damn thing got out," One of the men said as he ran by.

She reached out and grabbed the man's arm, jerking him to a halt. "Do not kill it," She ground out between her teeth.

"No ma'am," He said, shaking her hand off of his arm in irritation. "Orders are to be non-lethal. Only tranquilizers allowed unless absolutely unavoidable."

The man turned to make his way to the exit, where voices were beginning to raise and orders shouted.

The woman stormed back into the lab, slamming the door with an oath. In a fit of rage, she swept her arms across the counter, sending her notes sailing into the air in all directions.

Forgetting for a moment that she was still being recorded, she muttered, "I'll be damned if that… that… thing," She spit out, "gets away and ends my career like this."

She turned and stormed out of the laboratory, just as the batteries finished draining in the old Dictaphone that she'd been using.

There was a soft click, and the recording stopped.

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Modern Day Manhattan

"We're going to get caught," The dark haired girl laughed as her boyfriend led her under the bleachers. She had shoulder length dark hair and was dressed in a white and blue cheerleading uniform, her white shoes turning grey with the dirt and after-game debris. She looked down with a sigh, seeing that she would have to clean them later to avoid the wrath of Sherry, the head cheerleader.

"No, we won't" the boy chuckled. He leaned forward, gathering her to his chest in a hug. He was freshly showered, thank god, she thought. His blonde hair still damp from the cleaning, his body smelling of soap and deodorant. He wore a football jersey, a clean one that the team dictated that the players wear to school on game days, with blue jeans and well-worn sneakers. "We won't stay long, I promise."

"We'd better not," She said, glancing towards the parking lot. "My dad will be here any minute to pick me up."

The boy winced, and sent his own glance to the parking lot. "He's not here is he?"

She laughed, "I don't think so. You know how his schedule goes sometimes."

"Yeah," He said, still sounding weary. "Must be hard having a dad who's a detective."

She nods. "You have no idea. It is so hard to get anything by him."

"Maybe we should...Go wait in the parking lot." He said.

The girl sighed. "Yeah." She grabbed the front of the boy's uniform shirt. "But first…." She laughed as she pulled his down for a brief kiss.

They broke apart guiltily as the sound of squealing tires, and the flash of headlights swept over them.

The plain black van pulled up to the chain link fence, the only thing that separated them from the young couple being the high chain link fence that surrounded the football field. The van came to a rocking stop, a testament to how fast they had been going in the nearly deserted parking lot.

The couple watched, open mouthed as the side door opened with a metallic 'thunk' as it slammed into the end of its sliding track.

"Hey kids," came a vaguely threatening deep voice. "Come here."

The young couple gave each other a nervous look. The boy pushed his arm out, keeping his girl behind her.

"What?" He asked, his voice sounded rough and angry.

"You see a strange…girl run past here?" He asked.

The boy frowned. "No… Why?"

"Don't worry about it, kid," The man practically growled in frustration.

"What's going on?" The boy asked. "Who is it?"

The man's cold gaze met the boy's, and the boy fought the urge to shiver at the lack of emotion there. "Forget about it," The man said heavily before slamming the door back into place. A moment later, the van was speeding through the parking lot as it recklessly swerving around the few cars that remained in the parking lot.

"Jeeze," The boy said, shaking his head.

"What was that about?" The girl asked, eyes wide.

He shrugged. "Who knows?"

"Maybe we should…" The girl began, but paused. She tilted her head to the side and frowned. "Did you hear that?"

"Hear what?" He said, looking around.

"Shhh," She said, putting a hand over his mouth.

There was a rustle of leaves and a barely there whimper.

The boy swung his head in the direction, squinting to try to see into the dark.

While this part of the fence was open, except for a long skinny banner that announced the date of the Homecoming game, beginning a few feet over was a wooden fence that blocked the lights from the parking lot.

That's why this was such a popular place after the games for couples.

The boy moved forward a step, and his girlfriend grabbed at his elbow. "Don't, please. What if it's a rabid animal?"

The boy frowned back at her. "Just give me a minute."

The girl sighed, and reluctantly let go of his arm. She seemed to hesitate, but joined him.

"Hello?" He called out, as she rolled her eyes.

"There are horror movies that start like this," She pointed out. "Besides, if it's an animal, it's not going to answer…"

There was a small gasp, and more rustling.

The young couple stopped.

"Hello?" The boy tried again.

"Are they gone?" a quiet voice asked.

"Yeah," The girl answered. "They're gone." The girl, squinted into the darkness and could just barely make out a form in the back now that her own eyes were adjusting to the lack of light. "Do you need help?"

There was movement in the back, and finally the girl could make out the huddled form of a female.

The girl placed a hand on her boyfriend's arm, and moved in front of him. "It's okay," She said, bending down so that she could get more on the other female's level. Cautiously, she held out a hand towards the girl. "You can come out. We can help you."

The female seemed to hesitate before finally moving forward slowly.

"Do you need help?" The girl asked again.

"Yes," The female answered, her voice had a slightly husky tone to it. "I don't know where I am, but I would like to go home."

"Okay," The girl said. Heedless of her clean white cheerleading uniform, she knelt down on the ground and extended her hand. "Come on out and we can figure out how to get you home. My dad's a cop, and he'll know what to do."

"A cop?" the voice asked.

"Yeeeah," the girl said, slowly. "You know. A police officer. They help others."

After another, longer hesitation, a hand came out to take the hand of the cheerleader.

The cheerleader smiled encouragingly, and helped to pull the other girl forward. It was still dark enough that she could only make out the vague outline of the female… but she was tall, and looked to be wrapped in a blanket.

Maybe she was older than they had thought.

And her hand was huge.

"What's your name?" The cheerleader asked.

"I… I don't have one," The female said.

The girl blinked. "Surely, you have a name. Everyone has a name." She insisted.

"Not me," the female said softly.

"Ooookay," The cheerleader said, looking helplessly toward her boyfriend. "Well, we can deal with that later," She said with a smile.

"What's your name?" the nameless female asked.

The cheerleader smiled. "My name is Angela."