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.
Thanks go to the following people: - Aesop for beta reading. Lily Maza, Adam Kitchin and Jenigoyle for their ideas and role-playing with me.
But special thanks go to Demona Taina and Silverbolt, especially Silverbolt who despite his extraordinary busy schedule has continued to chat and role-play with me! Thanks man, I owe you big time!
This fic is dedicated to Jenigoyle who gave me the idea for it and to Firebird!
Previously On Gargoyles: -
Jon Castaway, alias John Canmore, pondered what he should do next until he finally came to a realisation. He would have to face the demon on her turf.
It was a dangerous mission, but he had no choice. His kind and theirs had been fighting long enough and it was time to finally put an end to the hunt once and for all!
Castaway went to his telecom and activated it "Benson? Prepare the men for a full on collision! Red Alert!"
Lana walked in then and looked at the statue a bit more. "Do you think you could teach me how to use this thing? Maybe it would work for me?"
Demona laughed, "Sorry, child, but the magic of that statue was specifically created for gargoyles to use alone. Any other creature that attempted to use its power would be immediately incinerated! I have no idea what kind of affect it would have a hybrid like you. Considering that humans and gargoyles are not even supposed to be biologically compatible, so there were never supposed to be any hybrids like you about!"
"Huh! I wish there wasn't. Then I would never be in this mess!"
Demona clenched her fangs at Lana, but didn't say anything.
"Do you keep notes?"
Demona looked at her curiously "yes. Why do you ask?"
Lana just shrugged "just wondered." She was eyeing the small statue of the sire of one of her races with considerable interest.
Lana burned the herbs in the bowl while she spoke the incantation, silently praying that it would work!
The herbs burned and gave off a sickly sweet smell that filled the room, making her feel quite ill.
She planted the bowl in front of the statue and spoke the final words of the spell.
As she spoke the final word, she heard a loud explosion come from up above! "What the…"
All the while, she didn't notice the statue's eyes start to glow, as though it was watching Lana's every move
Castaway's mocking laugh could be heard, as he boarded his chopper and prepared to take off "there's something to remember me by! Until we meet again monsters!"
Darlene howled in despair for her daughter and vicious anger that would have made her mother proud, for Castaway! "You… you good for nothing, miserable… HATCHLING!"
She roared the last word out with as much anger and hate that she could master and didn't even notice the statue's eyes glow one more time before fading out.
Castaway laughed insanely, but stopped, as he felt a wave of dizziness, go over him and he slumped to the floor.
Castaway yawned and slowly awoke. He stretched his muscles and instantly felt something… different?
"No… " He whispered, unbelieving and fled to the bathroom that was adjoined to his room and rushed up to the mirror. He had to stand on a stool to see into it, but when he did, he wished that he hadn't!
There staring back at him was the face of a young, mischievous looking and rather cute little gargoyle child. It looked almost like he did when he had been five years old except that he had never had any large pointy ears, fangs, wings, tail and claws… etc.
Castaway screamed into the room and fled before anyone could see him. He screamed in horror and denial, as he fled from his room, his headquarters and his street until his running brought him all the way into Central Park. Still, he didn't stop and wouldn't stop until the moment came when his nightmare would end and he would wake up as his normal human self. But unfortunately, that moment was a long way away!
Castaway fled into the park, screaming and snarling until at last, the sun rose and encased him in a shell of stone for the day!
* * * * Be Careful What You Wish For * * * *
And Now, The Continuation: -
Somewhere Over New York; One Week Later:
Angela, Brooklyn, and Lexington patrolled the skies, conversing among themselves.
"Do you think we'll run into Lana anytime soon?" Brooklyn asked, hopefully.
"Yeah, I'm sure she and I will have plenty to talk about!" Lexington said.
"What do you mean, her and you?"
Angela sighed and watched, as the two rookery brothers acted like a couple of hatchlings and bickered among themselves. She hoped that Lana, her niece who was still taking some time getting used to, wouldn't visit much? Not that she wouldn't mind seeing her and the others again, especially her mother. But a visit from Lana would most likely cause a third world war at the castle between Brooklyn and Lexington.
Suddenly, a loud high-pitched roar of anger came from beneath them. The trio looked down in surprise because the roar had definitely been that of a gargoyle?
"What was that?" Angela exclaimed.
Lexington just shrugged "I haven't the foggiest?"
"We'd better investigate," she said.
Brooklyn nodded "I agree. C'mon, it came from that warehouse down there, lets go!"
The trio of young warriors glided down to the warehouse, where they could hear what sounded like a battle going on. They looked through one of the windows, into the abandoned building and received the biggest surprise of their lives since meeting Demona's second daughter and her family.
Inside, they saw a young male hatchling no more than five years old, in gargoyle years, wearing a pair of black shorts and literally tearing things apart in a fit of rage.
The three of them stared at him, in shock and disbelief until Angela finally broke the silence "what in the world?"
"That's what I was gonna say" Lexington exclaimed, still not believing his eyes "where the hell did he come from?"
Brooklyn shrugged, not taking his eyes off the youngster "dunno."
Suddenly, one of the piles of crates began tumbling over and was about to come crashing down on top of the unsuspecting hatchling.
Lexington blinked and jumped up, ready for action, "uh oh!"
Angela gasped in horror "we've got to save him!"
Lexington, being the fastest glider, sped off and rushed at the child. Slamming himself into the boy and away from the falling crates.
"OOOFFF!" The boy yelped, as Lexington crashed into him as the stack of crates came tumbling down.
Lexington got up and quickly examined him for any wounds "are you alright? Are you injured?"
The boy shook his head a few times and looked up at his saviours before roaring with rage and attacking Brooklyn.
Brooklyn yelled and clawed at the hatchlings arms that were around his throat "agggghhhhhh. Getitoffmegetitoffme!"
Lexington just stood and gaped at the sight before breaking into a small grin and laughing. It really was quite funny seeing Brooklyn prance about the room, slapping at the youngster that had its arms around him and refusing to let go.
Angela grabbed the child before he could do any harm and tried speaking, softly, to soothe him, but with very little affect.
Lexington continued watching the scene with interest, still smiling at Brooklyn before speaking "awww… I thought you two looked sweet together. Kind of like a father and son or big brother."
Brooklyn cradled his arm and glared, murderously, at the young hatchling. "That thing tried to kill me!"
The hatchling kicked and squirmed in Angela's arms despite her best efforts to calm him down "GET OFF OF ME MONSTER!"
"Tough little guy isn't he?" Lexington laughed.
Angela just looked at the infant with confusion. "Monster?"
"I wonder if he's related to Demona?"
The child screamed at them in a high-pitched voice that made them want to cover up their ears. "You did this to me! You miserable roaches, you and your sorcery!"
Now Lexington was looking quite confused. "What's he babbling on about?"
Brooklyn blinked. "Sorcery?" He gave the boy a good long hard look. Ever since finding him, he had felt an odd sense of familiarity overtake him. "Is it just me... or does he look familiar?"
Lexington's eyes widened a bit. "You know, I was just thinking that! But we haven't seen any other gargoyles here in Manhattan, let alone a hatchling. You'd think we would remember something like that."
Angela was having trouble holding onto the kid and every attempt that she made to calm him down was met with abuse. "Calm down!"
The child shrieked "DONT PRETEND YOU DON'T KNOW FREAK! IT'S ME!"
He glared at the others, and when they didn't appear to recognise him still, he screeched "CASTAWAY!"
The trio looked, uncomprehending, at him before they all simultaneously exclaimed "HUH? WHAT?"
The boy who turned out to be Jon Castaway, founder of the Quarrymen and the gargoyle's most dangerous enemy, continued glaring daggers at them. "This is your doing! After that night at the demon's house, she did something to me because after I returned home and awoke a few hours later… I was THIS!"
Lexington and Brooklyn both crept up to him, a little bit and looked closely at him.
"He does resemble Castaway a little," Lexington said, pointing out the slight resemblance in some of the facial features.
Brooklyn thought for a moment, trying to figure all this out, before remembering, "wait a sec! Remember that statue that Darlene was holding, back when the Quarrymen attacked Demona's place? Lana said she had been practising her magic on it and when Castaway was running off... Darlene was holding the thing and she said she might have used it?"
Angela gasped "you... you don't think that this really could be...?"
Lexington swallowed and took another look at him, started to giggle and then laughed out loud!
Brooklyn was also laughing loudly and slapping his knee "HA! How do you like dem apples Castaway?"
Castaway roared and tried to break out of Angela's steel grip, but she had a firm grip on him and wasn't easy to break free from.
Lexington smirked at the Quarryman-turned-infant. He inched a little further, cooed at him, "awwwww… isn't he sweet?" Then reached out his claw and tickled him under the chin.
Castaway bucked and twisted, furiously, threatening everyone. "LET ME GO NOW OR I SWEAR, I'LL MAKE YOU PAY!"
"Oooohhhhhh… " Brooklyn replied, sarcastically while waving his hands at him. "What are you going to do? Bite our kneecaps?"
Castaway didn't bite them on their kneecaps, but he did bite Angela's arm, hard.
Angela squealed in pain and dropped him in surprise. "Ouch!"
Castaway jumped out of her grip and made a run for it, but Brooklyn, having seen the attack, made a dive for him and grabbed his tail.
Castaway squealed in shock but more in anger than anything else. "OUCH! LET GO OF ME, YOU BEAK FACED FREAK!"
Brooklyn growled, menacingly at him, but said nothing and just held onto him while Lexington walked over and took him by the shoulders. "Well... he doesn't seem to be hurt much... Which is a pity."
"So what will we do now?" Angela asked, as she nursed her aching arm.
Lexington shrugged. "I'm wondering what we should do with him. Should we send him to prison... the quarrymen or…" Lexington suddenly grinned, "a day-care centre? Or in his case, a night care centre."
Brooklyn held back a snort of laughter and tried to look serious "well… Definitely not prison and certainly not a night-care centre and as for the Quarrymen, they would have him for breakfast."
A thoughtful expression came over Lexington's face, "you've gotta admit though. It is tempting."
Castaway snarled, as he tried to break free from Brooklyn's grip.
Brooklyn just ignored him and looked at his fellow gargoyles, "so now what?"
Lexington groaned "I guess we can only do one of two things… either A, leave him here."
A look of dread came over Brooklyn's face, as he looked at his rookery brother. "Why do I have the feeling that I'm going to be dreading the second option?"
Lexington grimaced and looked quite ill, "we take him home with us."
Brooklyn closed his eyes for a second and then opened them. "You've gotta be kidding me!"
"Yeah, I know. Personally, I vote for the first option, but you're the leader Brooklyn, so it's your decision." Lexington looked at Angela "what do you think Angela?"
Angela gazed thoughtfully at the struggling form in Brooklyn's embrace. "I have no great love for Castaway. But I believe the second option would be better. We don't know what he may get up to if we leave him out here."
Lexington looked back to his leader and friend. "It's your call Brook."
Brooklyn moaned in despair and then sighed. "I know I'm gonna regret this! But I'm gonna have to agree with Angela on this one. At least if he's with us then we can keep an eye on him."
Castaway roared, continuing his attempts to break free of Brooklyn's iron grip "I WILL NOT GO! I WON'T! I WON'T! WONT!"
Brooklyn just sighed and gave Castaway a hard stare. "Hey! You've got no choice pal and it's not as if we're glad about this arrangement either."
Lexington tried to hold back a smile, but was unsuccessful. "Oh well! I've always wanted a baby brother anyway," and laughed.
Angela couldn't keep a straight face either and giggled at Castaway's expense.
Castaway snarled and glared daggers at them, as they crept out of the warehouse.
Brooklyn cradled Castaway in his arms like a baby, much to his disgust, as they scaled the wall and glided back to the Eyrie.
Eyrie Building; Castle Courtyard:
Brooklyn, Lexington, and Angela landed in the castle courtyard with Castaway still wrapped up in Brooklyn's arms, furiously struggling to get away.
Brooklyn growled in annoyance, "will you STOP fidgeting!"
Hudson, who had spotted the three of them returning, came out to welcome them back when he heard all the noise. "What's all the commotion?" He then noticed the kid in Brooklyn's arms. "What in blazes? Who be this then?"
Castaway snarled, "the names Castaway old one! And don't forget it!"
Hudson's one good eye, blinked in surprise and looked at the others in surprise. "Ca… Castaway?"
Brooklyn nodded. "Yeah, I'm afraid so. We think a spell did this to him."
Hudson let loose a deep growl of annoyance and muttered "sorcery" under his breath. "And when did this occur?" He looked towards Castaway, "don't tell me that you've been playing around with magic, laddie? I knew you were a fool to begin with, but I dinna think you were that big of an idiot!"
Castaway yelled, "watch it gramps!" Hudson's eyes flared, a dazzling white at the word 'gramps.'
Lexington put his claws up in the air and pleaded, "can't we just chuck him off of the castle battlements? Pleeeeeeeeeaseeeee?"
Hudson gave him a sideways glance and rolled his eyes while Castaway tried even harder to escape Brooklyn's clutches. "I dinna think so lad."
Just then, Broadway and Goliath came out into the courtyard and caught sight of the trio and their *little* visitor.
Lexington smiled and waved at them "Goliath? You are never going to believe the night we have just had."
Goliath gave him a curious look and stared at the young hatchling "what happened, and who is this young one?"
Castaway did NOT appreciate being called little or young or anything that made fun of his current predicament. "I'M NOT A CHILD! I AM CASTAWAY! LEADER OF THE QUARRYMEN!"
Goliath's eyes almost popped out of his head, as he stared at him "I'm sorry… what?"
Brooklyn gave Goliath a half-grin and said, "fraid so, Goliath."
After the rest of the clan were finished blinking and getting a better look at Castaway, much to his disgust. Hudson smirked, "it would appear that Castaway got a taste of his own medicine. His hands... or talons, as it were... seem to have gotten a wee bit filthy with magic."
Hudson suddenly remembered what Goliath had told him about the night at Demona's mansion when the Quarrymen attacked. "I believe I know what must have happened lads. I think it must have something to do with the night when Demona, Darlene and lot were fighting the Quarrymen. You said they were holding onto that wee statue of theirs and Lana admitted she was using magic, earlier, on it and then Darlene got her talons on the accursed thing. It's possible she may have triggered something that caused Castaway his present predicament?"
Hudson smirked again. "Rather ironic really? To be turned into that, which he hates most."
Brooklyn groaned "would you stop with the ironies!"
Hudson grumbled, but didn't say anything.
Angela sighed, "well... what do you suppose we do now?"
Hudson thought for a moment and then waved at them "aye be off with ya!" He pointed to them "you two still have patrolling to do, so why don't you go off and freshen up and leave Castaway to us?"
The duo nodded vigorously, glad to be finally rid of him. Brooklyn quickly handed Castaway over to Broadway who was still looking at him with shock and couldn't believe that this cute little guy was their bitter enemy. "Good luck," Brooklyn said with a roll of his eyes and then left with Lexington.
Hudson sighed and walked over to where Broadway was standing with a fuming hatchling in his arms "well now... what are we to do here then?"
Goliath groaned and rubbed his temple "I don't know."
"Maybe he's hungry?" Broadway suggested.
Goliath took his paws off his face and gave him a half smile. Broadway had a good and caring heart, he was faithful to Angela and he had proved at times that he could be a fine warrior. But his obsession with food did prove to be a bit too much at times.
Hudson spoke "aye, I suppose we'd better get hold of Demona and Darlene, seeing as they're the ones that started all this. But what do we do with him in the meantime?"
Castaway wriggled about in Broadway's grip, as he held him tightly to his enormous gut. Angela came up beside him and it was then that Goliath noticed the cuts on her arm.
"Angela, what happened to your arm?"
Angela spared Castaway a glare and Goliath immediately picked up what had happened, but didn't say anything. If he were to do so, he and Castaway would just end up shouting at one another, and when it came to Castaway, Goliath didn't have much patience.
"You should go and have that wound attended to Angela," Goliath said.
Angela nodded, kissed Broadway on the cheek and left.
Broadway was holding Castaway a little too tightly since hearing that he had hurt his girlfriend. Fortunately, the kiss from Angela had calmed him down, much to the relief of Castaway, who found himself able to breathe again.
Goliath frowned and scratched his head. "Where exactly are we going to hold him for the time being?"
Hudson gave a frown of his own, as he pondered the possibilities. "Well, we can't keep him in any of the cells in the castle. Those aren't equipped to hold a wee hatchling. Castaway could easily slip through the bars."
When Xanatos had rebuilt the castle in Manhattan, Demona had wanted him to rebuild it exactly as it had been a thousand years ago. Since that was not possible, as Xanatos had no great desire to be living in a medieval castle in modern day America, he had remodelled much of it. But he had kept a lot of the castle's original designs and even merged some of them with modern amenities including the dungeon, which he thought would come in useful when dealing with the gargoyles.
The dungeons had alarms in them, along with additional weapons in case of escaped prisoners, but unfortunately all the cells had bars instead of doors like in the old days. They were more than adequate to hold an adult or teenager, but for a child of Castaway's present size; it would be easy slip through the bars and escape.
Just then, Hudson paused with a thoughtful expression over his face, and he smirked. "Wait a wee moment. There is one place where he shouldn't be able to escape from and it's a place where he should feel quite comfortable."
"Where Hudson?" Goliath asked, but was only answered by that never-ending smirk on Hudson's face.
"Bring Castaway and follow me lad," Hudson spoke to Broadway and walked inside the castle with his hands behind his back.
Broadway shrugged and followed him with Castaway still in his arms. "Where are we going?"
Castaway had finally stopped struggling since it had become clear to him that he would not be able to escape the oversized gargoyle's grip. But he kept his hand on the inside pocket of his shorts and didn't make eye contact with anyone.
Hudson led Broadway through the castle's corridors until they reached a double oak door, where Brooklyn was waiting for them.
Brooklyn just smiled. "I had a feeling you would be putting him in here, and there was no way in hell that I was going to miss this!"
Broadway looked at him, curiously, "but this is… " He stopped, as he got what Hudson was planning and grinned.
Hudson unlocked the doors. He found it strange that Xanatos would have a lock on such a room, but then he always was overcautious when it came to his son. "It's a good thing that Xanatos and his family are out of town for the moment," he said, "so I'm sure that he and little Alex won't object us to using this place for a while."
Hudson opened the doors and beckoned the others to come in… right into Alex's nursery.
Castaway did nothing but gape at the place where he was supposed to spend his time until they had worked out what was to be done about him. Xanatos had had all the castle re-fortified since the Quarrymen attack especially Alex's nursery, so this was one of the safest places in the entire Eyrie.
Hudson grinned, "he should be quite safe here and he's got plenty of toys to play with should he get bored." Hudson, Brooklyn, and Broadway guffawed.
Castaway, however, was not amused. "I'M NOT STAYING IN A STUPID FRIGGING NURSERY!"
To say that he was pissed would have been an understatement, as he lashed out with his feet and tail, striking Broadway in the stomach. Fortunately, the handy thing about having a large gut is that it can take a lot of hammering before it gets anywhere near damaged.
Castaway bellowed "LET GO OF ME YOU BIG FAT SLOB!"
Broadway mocked being angry "HEY language! And I'm not fat, I'm just big boned."
"Yeah and I founded the P.I.T. Group" Castaway shot back sarcastically.
Hudson sighed, "I better go and discuss this with Goliath. No doubt, he'll be getting ready to contact Demona soon, so I'd better be there when he does. Will you be all right here lad? I'll have Angela come and see to Castaway in a bit seeing as you have patrols later."
"Sure!" Broadway laughed and ruffled Castaway's hair. "We'll have a barrel of laughs together won't we junior?" Castaway's eyes flared brightly, but he didn't say anything. Hudson just sighed again and left followed by Brooklyn.
Broadway carried Castaway into the nursery and placed him down on a little red chair that was made in the shape of a dog. "There you go little fella!"
Brooklyn then called back into the nursery. "Oh and Broadway?"
"Just in case if he tries to make a run for it... sit on him!"
"Okay!" He stopped and thought about that last remark for a second. "Heeeeeeey! Wait a second…" Brooklyn laughed and hurried away before Broadway decided to give chase.
Castaway had looked as though he had been getting ready to run, but Brooklyn's words put some fear into his heart. Instead, he got up and paced the nursery floor in humiliation, thinking quietly to himself '...!'
Broadway looked at him in interest, as he sat down on the floor. "You know, you're going to get tired walking like that and you'll wear a hole in the floor."
Castaway just snarled and sat down on a pile of toys. While Broadway said nothing and just idly looked around the room, Castaway slipped his hand into his inside pocket and took out the item that he had been carrying around with him since before they had caught him at the warehouse and hid it in the toy pile. He decided to leave it there in case he needed it later.
Becoming fed up, Broadway decided to talk. "You want something to eat?"
Castaway gave him a cold smile. "Sure. How about your head and oversized belly on a platter?"
Broadway growled at him, "You know something? People would like you more if you were just a little bit nicer every once in a while." Castaway just gave him another cold glare and went back to his brooding. Broadway did the same, clearly bored out of his mind.
Castaway wondered if he could get away. This buffoon was very overweight so he would undoubtedly be slow, whereas he was smaller and faster, so he should be able to outrun him and escape. He wondered if he should take the knife with him, but decided against it in case the fool saw him.
He got up again and started pacing across the floor again, getting ready to run. "By the way, what's that?" He said, as he pointed to a small drawing on the wall that looked like a child's handiwork. Probably Xanatos's brat Adam, Andrew or whatever his name was?
"What?" Broadway looked up. "That? Oh, it's a drawing that little Alex did, you like it?" He got up to look at the drawing, in question, closer and that gave Castaway just the opportunity he needed. Castaway instantly made a run for it.
Fortunately Broadway's ears, being the size they were, had very keen hearing and heard the scramble of Castaway's feet on the floor and shouted, "hey! Come back here!"
Castaway managed to run up to the door, but that was as far as he got. Broadway may be overweight, but he was more in tune with his body than Castaway was. Plus, he had longer legs and was able to reach Castaway in a single leap. Broadway landed on the floor, in front of him and grabbed him by the tail, holding him upside down.
"PUT ME DOWN YOU FAT BLUBBER ASS!"
"Say the magic word," Broadway replied conversationally.
Castaway once more lost all sense of rationality and started kicking and screaming at him; his claws hooked. But Broadway held him at arm length, too far for him to reach. "YOU FILTHY CREATURE! I'LL HAVE YOUR HEART FOR A TROPHY!"
Broadway looked at him in the eye. "You really are rude, aren't you?"
He carried Castaway in front of him, like he would carry a filthy dishcloth and carried him to Alex's crib. "Perhaps a little nap might calm you down?"
Castaway roared again, but this time he got lucky and successfully swiped Broadway's arm, leaving four slash marks on it. Broadway cried out and dropped Castaway on his head, but Castaway was quick and tried running to the door again.
Broadway gave a loud roar himself and jumped halfway across the room and once more landed in Castaway's path. "HA! What are you gonna do now kid?"
Thoughts of the knife came springing to Castaway's head. "Don't… Call... Me… KID!"
Broadway just laughed at him while Castaway thought of any possible ways to escape. The only possible way, aside from the door, was the window, but he immediately dismissed that idea. He had tried gliding before getting captured, but his wings were just too damn small for him to use yet. If he tried then he'd just end up falling like a sack of stones.
Infuriated with his helplessness and this obscene oaf laughing at him. Castaway grabbed the nearest thing, which was a life-size doll of Mickey Mouse, and threw it at the insufferable gargoyle.
"HEY!" Broadway yelped in surprise.
Castaway started picking up everything that he could find and throwing it at him, but nothing that he seemed to throw did more than annoy and anger the big oaf. 'Is this guy's head made out of concrete or something?' He thought.
Finally, he ran out of things to throw and he had one very pissed off fat gargoyle coming towards him, his eyes flaring white as he looked like he was getting ready to pounce on him. Castaway gulped and was starting to wonder whether that had been such a good idea. Broadway's eyes glowed ever more brightly, "why you little… "
Thankfully, by the grace of God, there was a knock at the door. "Broadway? It's Angela, is everything all right?" Angela and Brooklyn both came in together and did a double take at the state of the nursery room.
Brooklyn was the first to exclaim, "whoa! What happened here?"
Broadway grumbled, "Castaway's entering the terrible twos."
"Pardon?" Angela cocked her head, questioningly.
Angela looked at the mess of the room. Some of it was real easy to clean up, as it was mostly just toys that had been thrown, but Castaway had alas got his hands on one of the small teddy bear tables and thrown it at the window. "Xanatos is not going to be pleased when he comes back from his work trip!" She said, matter-of-factly.
"Well it's Castaway's fault!" Broadway almost wailed, trying to defend himself.
"Well, why didn't you stop him?" She asked, calmly. "I mean, he's hardly an able warrior anymore is he, and he has no weapons?"
Castaway forced himself not to smile at Angela's last comment about the no weapons bit. Brooklyn, however, saw the beginnings of a smile on Castaway's face and growled at him in anger. He just assumed that Castaway was glad in getting Broadway in trouble with Angela, which to Broadway was a fate worse than death because even the slightest mishap that occurred between them was like driving a wooden stake through his heart.
Castaway wasn't saying anything, which made him feel uneasy. "Well, no matter whose fault it was, it's Angela's shift now, so we've got to go on patrol." He gave one more glare at the pre-adolescent adult in question "and I think I know who gets to clean up this mess!"
"Make me!" Castaway sneered.
"Fine!" Brooklyn paced up to him with his fist, pounding his paw "hey Broadway?" He pointed at Castaway. "Fancy some supper?"
Castaway's eyes widened in shock and then got as wide as saucers, as Broadway started to walk towards him "ALRIGHT! I'LL DO IT!" Castaway instantly started cleaning up.
Broadway had only taken a step forward in retaliation to Brooklyn's remark about his love of food, but Castaway had fortunately not known that.
Brooklyn chuckled and looked to his fellow clan mates. "See? Nothing like a bit of motivation. Should've have thought of that earlier. It would have saved all this mess."
The three of them laughed a little, while Castaway cleaned up the room, before Brooklyn spoke again. "Broadway? You and I have to go patrol now so Angela will take over, that okay?"
Broadway actually sighed in relief. "Anything to get away from THIS little terror!"
Brooklyn groaned, "tell me about it and I still have to do my shift with him!" He shuddered.
"Have Goliath and Hudson spoken to Demona yet?" Broadway asked, eager to get this bundle of misery off of their doorstep.
"Yeah" Brooklyn replied "apparently, she was splitting her sides laughing. Can't say that I blame her for that, but it was murder for Goliath to try and convince her to find a way to change Castaway back."
"How'd he manage that?"
Brooklyn shrugged. "He just reminded her that if Castaway wasn't found then all the Quarrymen would tear this city apart looking for him and would most likely blame us for it. And if that happened then there would undoubtedly be some more attacks on us and Angela or even Darlene and the kids might get caught in the crossfire?"
Brooklyn paused to spare Castaway a look. He was still tidying the room, but he had obviously been listening to their conversation, as he was holding the Mickey Mouse toy so hard that his knuckles had turned white. 'Mental note,' he thought to himself, 'never mention Demona around a Quarryman, especially Jon Castaway.'
"We'd better be off," he said to Broadway and then to Angela, "I'll be back in about one hour to take over Angela, okay?"
Angela nodded before she and Broadway had one quick kiss before parting.
"Catch ya later! And good luck."
Angela smiled and waved at the two, as they departed before turning back to Castaway who had now stopped cleaning since Broadway and Brooklyn had left.
"Taking a rest?" She asked.
"Filthy demon spawn," he hissed at her, not once taking his eyes off of her. The look in his eyes clearly said what he would like to do to her and it was not friendly.
Angela felt her mother's blood racing through her, as she glared at the former hunter. This was going to be a very long night!
Demona had been having a reasonably good night until Goliath had rung her. She, Darlene, and her children had been happily playing together on one of Jarred's board games called 'the game of life.' She hadn't hesitated more than once to express her remarks about how stupid the game was and that none of them had anything to do with a gargoyle's life.
Demona still had a long way to go when she would truly understand the meaning of the word 'fun,' but her family had patience. They would wait.
Then the phone had rung, which turned out to be Goliath. He had phoned to inform her of Castaway's fate, a result, apparently, of Darlene and two of her grandchildren going against her wishes using the magic of the statue of Lilith.
After she had finished laughing, uncontrollably, for the first few minutes, Goliath had explained to her why he had contacted her.
Needless to say, she hadn't been particularly pleased when Goliath had explained what he wanted her to do. She had almost hung up on him and would have if Darlene hadn't intervened and spoken to Goliath herself. Darlene hadn't been pleased either, but she said that she would do all that she could to help.
After she had hung up, Demona had spent the next hour shouting and bawling at her, asking her what the hell was she thinking? This was a golden opportunity for them to get rid of one of their race's greatest threats and, at the same time, get revenge on Castaway for the attack on their home.
Darlene had just sighed sadly and told her mom what Goliath had told her.
"Mother," Darlene had said, "what Goliath says is true! Most people think that what Castaway is doing is what's best for them and they consider him a hero for it. If he were to mysteriously disappear then people would blame us and there would be more Quarrymen hunts than ever before! Castaway would become a martyr (I'm fairly sure you don't mean monarch.) for humanity, and there would be no peace for any of us."
Demona had to admit that what Darlene said was true, but she just couldn't bring herself to actually help Castaway. He was the embodiment of all that she truly hated in the human race. But what Darlene said made her heart melt.
"With no peace," Darlene continued, "our kind will be hunted day and night until finally… some of us if not all will be killed including me, Angela and my children! And you will be left on your own once more mother. Is that what you want?"
Demona paused and swallowed. The thought of burying both of her children and her grandchildren was too much for her to bear. When she had thought that Darlene had died, it had taken away almost every bit of her sanity and turned her soul inside out. To lose her again, only this time, for real and permanently along with her own children and Angela… Demona would die! Not physically dead, but she might as well be because her soul would have no reason to continue.
Demona had clenched her fists and felt her own talons digging into her skin, causing her blood to flow down her hands and onto the carpet.
Darlene had moved forward and touched her mother's arm.
Darlene was truly beautiful. Her sapphire-like eyes stared into her mother like they were pleading with her soul.
Demona gave a sigh and looked at her, surrendering to the idea. "Alright, I'll do it."
Darlene smiled briefly before Demona spoke again, "but I swear! If I ever catch Castaway again then what I had been planning to do to the rest of his race will be nothing compared to what I will do to him!"
With that, Demona had turned and walked back into her study to avoid the shocked and hurt look in her daughter's eyes and to start looking for a way to reverse the spell of Lilith.
So far, she hadn't had much luck in the latter, but then the magic of Lilith was very complicated, so she hadn't expected it to be easy. She couldn't help wondering what Castaway looked like as a hatchling. She had to fight each time to keep herself from exploding with laughter at the thought of Castaway being trapped in his own nightmare.
Maybe she would get lucky and not be able to find a way to reverse the spell. But then, if she didn't, then Castaway would technically become one of her race and the thought of having that… hunter, as one of her species was more than she could bear.
Demona snarled, as she finished another book with again no results and started reading another one.
Brooklyn groaned, as he made his way to the nursery. His final patrol tonight had gone by fairly quickly, as he had been dreading his shift babysitting Castaway.
'Babysitting Castaway' he chuckled to himself, 'who would have thought it?'
He wondered how Angela had got on with the clan's newest addition. Despite her sweet nature and charming personality, Angela was just as much Demona's daughter as she was Goliath's. So she could be pretty well furious when she wanted to be.
As he walked down the last corridor before reaching the nursery, he heard screams coming from inside. Brooklyn paused for a second and listened.
"If you want to act like a hatchling then you'll get punished like a hatchling!"
"STOP THAT! LET GO OF ME YOU FILTHY BAT WINGED FREAK!"
Brooklyn jogged down to the door, swung it open and got the biggest laugh of his life.
Angela was sitting on the nursery's rocking chair with Castaway sprawled over her lap. One of her hands was holding his tail out of the way and pressing it down onto his back, which also kept him from escaping while she was using her other hand for… other uses.
"It seems that what I said about Angela's temper wasn't exaggerated," he snorted in laughter, unable to take his eyes off the funny sight.
Angela brought her hand down and smacked Castaway on the rear, hard. "Now! What do you say?"
Castaway roared in pain. "YOU... OW... MISERABLE… OWW... CREATURE... OUCH!"
'Well, this wasn't exactly what I was expecting,' Brooklyn thought to himself. 'Oh well, suppose I better come to the rescue. Only problem is… who am I supposed to be rescuing?' He chuckled and then called out, "hey! Hey Angela. What are you doing?"
Angela stopped and looked at him with a tiny red flare in her eyes. "This little boy was acting like a very naughty hatchling, so I punished him as such!"
Castaway squealed and struggled to get off her lap "GET HER OFF ME!"
Brooklyn attempted another unsuccessful try at keeping his laughter in check. "Okay Angie! I think you'd better let me take over."
The tiny red flare in her eyes had now grown into a flaming bush fire "DON'T… Call me... ANGIE!" She shoved Castaway off of her and stomped out of the room.
Castaway moaned in pain. "That... good for nothing... " He fought back tears of frustration and humiliation
Brooklyn just shrugged. "Hey! You probably earned it. Like you've earned everything else that's happened to you." Castaway glared up at him. Brooklyn just put on his best poker face and looked innocent. "What? You did." Castaway turned around and sat down on a pile of stuffed toys, mainly because it was the only place where he could sit at the moment.
"Aww... " Brooklyn said, mockingly, "isn't that sweet." He picked up a rubber duck and dangled it in front of Castaway's face "wanna play with Mister Ducky Wucky?" Castaway just snarled and swiped at the toy with his talons, taking off its head. Brooklyn looked at the beheaded toy and shrugged "uhh... guess not."
They both sat down and remained quiet for about a few minutes before Brooklyn couldn't take the silence anymore. "Sooo… while we're here, what do you want to do? Besides escaping."
Castaway gave him a funny look, but remained silent.
"Ooh… tough crowd."
"Don't you ever shut up?" Castaway moaned.
Brooklyn looked at him and then pointed at his beak. "With a mouth like this? Of course I don't."
Castaway turned his nose up at him and moved further away from him. "Has your devil spawn leader found the spell to turn me human again?"
Brooklyn kept his beak shut about the devil comment. "Not yet, it'll take some time, but trust me! When we do, you are gonna be out on your ass so fast... "
"That would suit me just fine!" Castaway shouted before Brooklyn could finish his sentence.
Brooklyn suddenly grinned. "I didn't say where we'd let you go." He pointed to the window.
Castaway snarled and jumped up. "Try it devil boy, and I'll rip your beak off!"
"You and what army kiddo?" Brooklyn retorted.
Castaway rushed at him with his small talons extended and hooked for clawing.
Brooklyn smirked and crossed his arms. "Ooh… we certainly ARE in a bad mood aren't we?" He cocked his head. "I think you need a time out mister."
Castaway leaped, and just as he was about to grab Brooklyn's beak and start clawing out his eyes, Brooklyn shot out his arms and grabbed him, holding him a distance away so he could do no damage. "Uh uh uhhh… no touchy!"
Brooklyn stood up, walked over to Alex's playpen, and abruptly dropped Castaway into it.
Castaway roared, snarled, growled and attempted to get back up to jump out the playpen.
Brooklyn just chucked a teddy bear at him and sat back down, keeping an ever-watchful eye on him.
Castaway leaped out of the playpen, his eyes blazing white silver, with his rage knowing no boundaries. "You fucking degenerate... drainpipe!"
"Ooh, a drain pipe! Well, aren't you full of insults you brainless Ku Klux Klan twat!"
Castaway rushed at him again, screaming murder, but ended up tripping over his own feet and landing, face first, on the floor.
Brooklyn laughed. "HA! Oh, how the dumbasses have fallen!" Castaway got up slowly. His nose was bleeding and he had a split lip. "Oh great!" Brooklyn growled when he saw the blood. "Now I've gotta get you a tissue, wait right there." Brooklyn got up and walked over to the other side of the room where Owen kept tissues and the first aid kit.
While he was busy, Castaway got up and walked over to the toy pile. He reached into the pile where he had been hiding the knife and hid it behind his back.
"And don't bother giving me that look either!" Brooklyn called behind him.
Brooklyn rummaged through the nursery desk for some tissues and plasters, before finally finding them in a drawer. "Ah, here we are!" Brooklyn said cheerfully, as he found them.
Castaway watched him, as Brooklyn began walking back to him, gripping the knife behind his back impatiently.
Brooklyn bent down to tend to his wounds, but Castaway stubbornly turned his head to the side. "Don't touch me beast!"
"Hey, I'm not the one bleeding here. Now hold still! I don't want you bleeding all over the carpet. Xanatos is gonna be pissed enough as it is when he finds most of the furniture in pieces."
Brooklyn made another attempt to dab at his nose, but just as he was about an inch away from it… Castaway roared and spun round, bringing the knife and slamming it into Brooklyn's shoulder.
Brooklyn screamed and dropped to the floor, clutching his shoulder in pain.
"I told you not to touch me!" Castaway smirked evilly and leapt up to escape. Brooklyn, helplessly, watched him run to the door, as he was in too much pain to even get up. "I'll be seeing you soon enough with my Quarrymen, beak face!"
Castaway opened the door and ran through… straight into a pair of very large and muscular lavender legs. 'Oh... shit' Castaway thought.
Brooklyn moaned in agony, as he attempted to get up. This time, successfully, as he got up to his knees and slowly sat up.
Goliath came bounding in with Castaway tucked under his arm. "Would you… Brooklyn! What happened to you?"
Brooklyn gave Goliath a sarcastic smile and looked up to the ceiling, as though he were pondering. "Well, let's see… he fell on his face... got a nose bleed and… oh yes, he STABBED ME IN THE SHOULDER!"
Goliath growled and glared at the little hatchling under his arm, but Castaway just stared at him with a hard glare, not saying anything. Goliath sighed, "where did he get the knife that he attacked you with?"
Brooklyn shrugged "he must have had it on him when he first got here. There's no other explanation."
"I was afraid of that. We should have searched him before we allowed anyone to watch over him."
"Yeah" Brooklyn rubbed his wound "I think that would have been a good idea."
Goliath walked over and looked over Brooklyn's knife wound "the wound isn't deep, thank heavens. It'll be fine until sunrise then sleep will heal it completely. As for you Castaway!"
Brooklyn grinned, despite his pain and said, "oooooooh. You're in trouble now!"
After sending Brooklyn to the Infirmary to have his wound tended to, Goliath literally dropped Castaway down on to a seat and then sat down himself at a nearby chair.
"Now listen carefully, Castaway," Goliath whispered, dangerously. "Whether you, or we for that matter, want you to be here or not is irrelevant. You are staying here until we find the means to change you back, and until then… you will behave yourself and stay out of trouble! Is that clear?"
Castaway just crossed his arms and simply answered, "no."
Goliath frowned, infuriated. "Well, if you want, we can always take you back to the Quarrymen.. I wonder how they would react to your new form?"
Castaway froze for a second at the mention of his creation. Although he wanted to very much return, he knew that in his present form, he'd be dead before he even touched the ground. He had trained all of his Quarrymen to hunt and kill all gargoyles and so far, they hadn't disappointed him… much.
Goliath smiled at his small victory over the infant Quarryman leader.
Castaway then smiled. "Damn you! Damn you and that filthy whore, detective Maza as well!"
Goliath's eyes went blazing white with rage, as he snarled at castaway, gripping the handles of his seat with such force that he almost tore them off.
Just then, Hudson came in and spoke "Brooklyn is a little sore, but he'll be alright after a day's rest."
Goliath breathed heavily, trying to calm himself. "Good!"
Castaway grumbled, "a shame that I didn't cut his heart out! Or at least cut off that enormous beak of his. People would probably thank me."
"Not us!" Goliath hissed.
Castaway shuffled, uncomfortably.
Hudson sighed, walked over and then gripped Castaway's ear, pulling him, painfully, over to the corner.
"OWW!" Castaway yelped and struggled to get away from the old warrior, but only resulting in causing more pain for himself.
Hudson and Goliath both smirked at his displeasure. "Now that's better," Hudson said, as Castaway sat down in the corner. "I had Broadway go down to the kitchen to prepare something for ye to eat. So no more heroic escapes, all right? Otherwise Goliath might not be so merciful the next time."
Castaway's eyes blazed, but he nodded. He would co-operate for now, but with God as his witness, he would have the last laugh even if it killed him.
"In the meantime," Hudson smirked again, "I've arranged for someone to keep you company… someone who absolutely adores hatchlings."
"Wha… " Castaway began.
"Don't worry," Goliath said, as he and Hudson walked out of the nursery while making room for something that was just coming in at the same time that they were leaving. "He'll play nice if YOU play nice."
"Who is... Oh… my God!" He stopped, as one of the largest and most frightening things that he had ever seen came bounding into the room.
Bronx stepped into the nursery, sniffing for Alexander, but to no avail. He did however smell a little hatchling, which was neither Jarred nor Gem. That meant that he was a new gargoyle, a little one for him to play with. Bronx barked with joy and began the chase.
Castaway shrieked and tried to run, but of course… there was nowhere to run to, as the only exit had been shut and locked by Goliath and his mentor. Castaway ran around the room in circles while the large mutt chased after him, panting happily, wanting very much to play with the new hatchling.
Darlene walked into her mother's study and, unsurprisingly, found her mother reading the latest news on the stock market instead of finding a way to reverse Castaway's transformation.
"Mother," She said sternly.
Demona looked up, but didn't put her newspaper down. "Yes?" She said, "is there anything you want?"
Darlene signed. "Mother, I thought you said you were going to help that idiot Castaway, and change him back?"
Demona growled. "I said, I would find a way to change him back. NOT to help him, but because I find that having him as a member of MY race is enough to make me nauseous."
"So why aren't you… Last time I left you, you were reading all you could on Lilith and now I find you sitting around and doing nothing?" She thought for a second and giggled "you haven't been spending too much time with Lana have you mom?"
"God forbid!" Demona almost cried out, but couldn't stop smiling. Lana was a good girl, but she had the tendency to slack off when she should be working.
"So what's up then?" Darlene enquired.
Demona shrugged. "I said I would get that bastard Castaway back to his hideously normal self… I just didn't say when." She smirked at the last words.
Darlene's eyes widened. "Mother! You really should… " But she was cut off.
"Oh hush child! It might do Castaway some good to spend a little time in his worst nightmare… I do it every day." Demona went back to her reading.
Darlene tried to speak to her again, but at that moment, she heard something break from not too far away.
"Jarred! You numbskull, can't you do anything right?"
"It wasn't my fault and don't call me a numbskull, pig-face!"
The screaming and yelling of her two older children were soon added on with a wail from her youngest, Gem. Darlene moaned. "Just once… one night, just one night. That's not so much to ask for is it?"
Darlene left the issue with her mother hang for a while. In the end, she thought that maybe she was right. Maybe spending some time as a gargoyle would be good for Castaway. He certainly couldn't get any worse than he already was.
Eyrie Building; A Few Minutes before Sunrise:
The clan took their roosting places upon the old castle's battlements and prepared for their long overdue good day's sleep. One night with Castaway was one night too many for any one clan.
Goliath turned to the voice of his beloved and gave what was the first genuinely happily smile that he had had all night. "Hello my Elisa. Did you have a good night?"
Elisa grinned. "Oh, you know the usual. Some paperwork, captured some bad guys, did some more paperwork. I'm always amazed by the amount of paperwork that my people need.""
Goliath laughed a little.
"But I really got my biggest laugh of the night when Lexington called me and told me what had happened to Castaway!" Elisa put her hand over her mouth to try and stop the roaring laughter that was threatening to implode from within her. "I literally burst out laughing at work! All the guys thought I was crazy because I couldn't stop laughing or even giggling for over an hour." She giggled some more, "so where is the little spaz then? I'm just dying to see him!"
Goliath lost his smile, "yes. We all thought it was… hilarious, as you would say… for the first hour anyway."
Elisa lost her grin and looked at him, curiously. "Something the matter big guy?"
Goliath looked at the approaching sun. "Lets just say that Castaway gives a whole new meaning to the blessing of children. In truth, he is trying all of our patience's. I'm finding it difficult myself, to hold on and not lash out at him."
Elisa slipped her arm around his, "don't! I know that it must be incredibly hard, but you've got to hold on! Because if you don't and you go off at him… then you'll be playing right into Castaway's hands by proving to him and everyone that everything, he's ever said about you being nothing more than monsters is true!"
Goliath sighed. "You're right of course. But Elisa… it is so incredibly hard to keep my nerve in tact with that…"
"I know," Elisa intervened, "where is he by the way?"
"We put him in Alex's nursery. Xanatos and his family are out of town at the moment, visiting his father and the nursery is more or less escape proof. He should be safe there and unable to escape, as I'm sure Bronx will make certain."
Goliath gave a broad smile, "Bronx, like all gargbeasts, reallllllllllly loves children!"
Elisa swallowed back a snort of laughter at the thought of Castaway being locked in a room full of baby toys, as well as a thousand-pound puppy. 'Maybe we should think about forcing him to watch Barney?' She thought and laughed.
Goliath looked at her curiously. "Who is Barney Elis…" Unfortunately, he never got to finish, as the sun came up and froze him in his majestic stone sleep.
Elisa didn't stop smiling, as she stood on tiptoe and kissed Goliath's cold stone lips. 'Maybe I'll go and take a peek at what Castaway was doing,' she thought, as she made her way down the tower.
She walked inside and soon reached the nursery. She had only been in there once since the clan had returned to the castle after the Hunter's Moon incident. She had gone to see Xanatos to see what kind of trick that he was up to. He had been in the nursery at the time, playing with Alexander before taking her up to Goliath.
She unlocked the door and took a look inside. The first thing she thought was 'boy, I sure hope Xanatos is insured!' The nursery looked as though it had been turned inside out. She looked around for a little statue that would be Castaway before she finally found him in the centre of the room.
Elisa did laugh then.
Castaway was stone of course, along with Bronx who was sitting on his back and looked as though he had been in the middle of giving him a licking.
The expression on Castaway's concrete face was difficult to interpret. She couldn't tell whether he had been scared, angry… or if he had just been laughing too much from Bronx's affectionate and slobbery kisses.
Elisa remembered from what Goliath had told her that gargoyles were very sensitive on the back, between the wings. And wouldn't you know it? That was just the place where Bronx's tongue was even now, frozen in stone.
Elisa laughed and laughed until her laughter was reduced into stifled giggles and she stood, smirking at the stone hatchling that was, supposedly, the clan's greatest enemy.
"My, how the mighty have fallen," she stated and hoped to God that she would be able to get back there tomorrow night before the clan woke up. She badly wanted to see how the Castaway and Bronx situation worked out.
The Next Night; About Two Hours after Sunset:
Castaway sat and pouted. His mind, full of rage for Goliath and his clan, but even more so for that demon and her unholy offspring. First, they had robbed him of his humanity, turned him into a filthy gargoyle and an infant at that! Then, they had to make him suffer every humiliation possible from sleeping in this nauseating nursery to getting babysat by that slobbering hellhound that they had named after a tourist location.
Castaway moaned and massaged his aching shoulders… Correction… His aching wings! That stupid beast had spent the day, sitting on him and once they had both awakened, he had picked up from where he had left off and continued his onslaught of licks on Castaway's person.
Castaway growled in annoyance and vowed that one-day, he would get his revenge, but for now he had to figure out on how to get comfortable with these damn blasted wings. Just then, the door to his makeshift *cell* opened and Goliath walked in. Castaway sneered "well, well! If it isn't Barney himself!"
Goliath blinked a few times "I could be wrong, but most prisoners do not mock their captors," he said, as he sat down in a chair and looked at their little prisoner.
Castaway grumbled. "So what do I owe to the pleasure of this visit then?"
Goliath shrugged. "I could not care less if you find my presence pleasurable or not. I am here simply to talk, though I doubt it will be possible to speak with you rationally. I am willing to try anything once."
That got Castaway's curiosity, as he looked up into the big gargoyle's eyes and asked, "why?"
Goliath stared back at him with a flat gaze. "Maybe… just hoping... " He then stopped and gave a half smirk, "or perhaps I really am as stupid as you say." Goliath sighed, "in either case... here I am."
"What do you want?" Castaway cocked his head.
Goliath continued. "Only to perhaps show you a different side to my kind? I understand that you have been raised to believe us evil. I do not expect you to abandon your upbringing anymore than I could abandon mine. But..." Goliath looked at him with a hopeful and thought filled gaze. "I am hoping that I can...open your mind to another viewpoint..."
"And why would you think that?" Castaway interrupted, as his interest in Goliath's conversation was lost.
"You can reason can you not?"
"Gargoyles are monsters," Castaway said "plain and simple. I'm a hunter. I hunt and kill your kind. That's it!"
Goliath gave a sad nod. "That is one viewpoint."
"It is the only viewpoint as far as I'm concerned!" Castaway spat.
Goliath ignored him, "but let me ask you...you used to be hesitant in hunting us...what changed your mind?"
Goliath's words stung Castaway, as he remembered how he had once defended this clan that had cost him so dearly. "I was an idiot! I truly believed that not all of your kind was bad. I even suggested to my brother that if we went to you instead of attacking then maybe we could have been allies against the demon…" Castaway paused at the mention of Demona, but mentally shrugged it off.
Goliath raised a brow ridge. "We could have been allies against her. She was our enemy as well at one time. I would not have aided her. It was only your attack of my clan that turned my anger towards you... that and," Goliath swallowed, as he remembered that terrible night when he had almost lost Elisa, "one... other thing."
Castaway smiled. "Really? Then why may I ask, did you work with her to escape and then just let her go so she could try and destroy the human race?"
Goliath cursed and leaned forward. "I suppose to get trust, I must start by giving it..." He thought carefully about what he was about to say. "I admit that letting Demona go was a mistake...one that I regret...but I wanted revenge as much as you. My daughter had nearly died that night and I was angry with your brother."
"So you threw my brother off that dam!" Castaway's eyes glowed white as he glared at the lavender giant.
Goliath nodded. "I freely admit that I had no guilt about your brother's death. He attacked me after all... and as I said, I was angry and wanted vengeance. I wasn't thinking too clearly."
Castaway smiled. "Indeed… I always wondered why you ended up throwing Miss Maza off that accursed dam after you threw my brother into her."
Goliath looked down with true guilt on his face. "What do you want me to say Canmore?"
Castaway actually jumped back with surprise when Goliath spoke that name.
"And yes!" Goliath said "I know who you really are Jon Canmore! You would have to be a fool not to realise who the founder of the Quarrymen really was. Who else would know more about a gargoyle's weakest points and how to attack them? Plus there were only two other people besides you who knew about Demona and referred to her as… the demon! And they are both in jail."
Castaway narrowed his eyes. "Pretty smart for a drainpipe."
Goliath stood up. "I told you that I wanted to show you a different side to gargoyles... But now I see that you are completely blind and refuse to listen to reason! It's as though you have ripped out your own eyes and ears to the truth… that maybe, just maybe, gargoyles are not all that you believe them to be! I would have thought that being one of us would make you realise that." From the moment that Goliath said those words, he knew that he had made a big mistake.
Castaway got up; his eyes now completely white with anger, glowing brighter than the sun. He snarled and stared at Goliath, straight in the eye. "I am human! That is what I was born and what I will always be, and if you ever think any differently then you're an even bigger fool than what I took you for!"
Goliath looked back at him with a touch of disappointment and sadness. "You are right. I am a fool. A fool for even wanting to reach a pathetic creature such as yourself, who cannot even accept the simple fact that he has gargoyle blood. You are without honour Jon Canmore and my clan is better for not having you as an ally."
"I AM HUMAN!" Castaway roared in rage, but didn't come at Goliath, as even Castaway knew that would be suicidal.
Goliath stood calmly. "Mores the pity...for the human race."
"At least I never threw the woman I supposedly loved off the top of a dam!"
Goliath winced, but kept his face straight so as not to display any emotion. Rule one in diplomacy; keep your face straight at all times. Otherwise, the other diplomats might see how you respond to certain things and try to use that against you.
"I did not throw Elisa." Goliath responded. "It was an accident, and my guilt over that incident will haunt me forever. But your scheme will not work, for I have made my peace with what happened, as has she. We trust and respect each other completely, and nothing you say can take that from us!" Goliath leaned forward, looked deeply into Castaway's troubled eyes and repeated, "nothing!"
If Castaway was scared, he didn't show it. "It doesn't matter what you say or do with me though. My Quarrymen will carry on with the good fight and won't rest until every single one of you vermin has been wiped off this planet's face!" Castaway said this, almost hungrily, as that wild look of desperation and madness that Goliath had come to associate him with, came back into his eyes.
Goliath began to understand a little bit more about Castaway. In many ways, he was just like Demona! He had been the one who had crippled his brother, and so he had to find someone else to blame so that he could escape the guilt. To admit the truth would mean acknowledging his own guilt and that would mean everything that he had done so far with the hunt and the Quarrymen would have all been for nothing!
Still, Goliath decided to try one final time. "Someone else in history said the same thing Castaway... A sick twisted soul that many followed and now many regret...his name is remembered not as a hero, but as someone to be detested... I believe you know him as Adolph Hitler."
Goliath turned away. "There are millions of human beings out there that he slaughtered that would tell you that you are no different from him."
Castaway looked at him in shock and started "I… Am… Nothing like that monster! He strode across Europe killing off hundreds of innocent people just because of their religion!"
"And is that any different from you?" Goliath inquired, looking at him curiously.
Castaway glared at him, murderously. "I don't go around killing members of my own species Gargoyle! Except for those who would betray their own kind to you and yours!"
Goliath had finally had enough and got up to leave, but not before he said one last thing. "Did your father say the same thing Canmore? He would still be able to hear you if he had not been so intent on destroying gargoyles. His hate and stupidity cost him dearly. What will it cost you?"
With that, Goliath stomped out of the nursery, slamming the door behind him, leaving behind the hunter with his thoughts, his dark, unhappy, and twisted thoughts.
Lana sat in her room, going through her old junk that she had managed to bring with her from L.A.
She smiled, as she looked at her old high school sweatshirt, remembering the pain she had gone through every time that she had worn it because the awful grey colour had looked terrible on her.
But the smile on her face didn't last, as the bad memory of the awful sweatshirt also brought back the memories of her friends' back home. She wondered what her best friend Tanya was up to right now. Probably hanging out with Teresa and Donna.
Tanya, Teresa, and Donna had been three of her best of friends while growing up in L.A. The four of them used to hang out all the time, and together, they had been known as the awesome foursome. The inseparable quartet that no one could drive a wedge in-between, no matter how hard they tried. They had often joked about how it would take a barrel load of dynamite before anyone could get them apart, as one of them was never without the other three.
"Guess neither of us expected that one of us would turn out to be a monster," she said out loud. She would give anything to be back home, eating pizza with her friends or even back at school, making fun of old Mr. Johnston, their algebra teacher with the long white moustache and a voice that would drone on for hours.
She shook off these thoughts and went back to brooding over her lost life. Then, her eyes came to rest upon a recent photograph that had been taken just a few months ago at her seventeenth birthday party.
Her eyes rested upon a man, in his early forties, who was wearing one of those funny looking aprons that had a comic picture embroider on it. This one had the pattern of a fat hairy man from the base of his neck, at the top of the apron, down to the bottom.
The man, who was wearing it, was handsome with brown hair that was slightly going grey at the side burns and big brown eyes that were lit up with joy. He had a bit of a round belly, but wasn't exactly overweight and he had strong arms with bulging muscles that came from years of working out. He was her father!
This photo had been taken at her birthday bash just one week before he had been killed. Two weeks after Gem had been born. A few months before her entire life had gone to hell.
Lana held the photo close to her heart and didn't even notice the tears that were streaming down her face before she started wailing.
Eyrie Building; Nursery; Three Hours Later:
Lexington sat in his chair, crouching on all fours, watching the hatchling as he had been assigned to. He knew that it was Castaway, even if he hadn't found out about the Quarrymen leader's transformation, he probably would have guessed it anyway considering his attitude. Castaway was even more an asshole as a hatchling than he was a human adult.
Lexington's eyes widened, as Castaway snapped one of Alex's favourite toys in half.
"HEY!" He yelled, "what you do that for?"
Castaway smirked. "Because I felt like it."
Lexington growled. Unlike his rookery brothers, he had an even shorter fuse when dealing with Quarrymen so he certainly wasn't okay with their leader and founder.
But then Goliath came in. He and Castaway had had a talk earlier on, but judging from the way Goliath had walked out of the nursery and the look upon his face, it was obvious that negotiations hadn't turned out all right.
Goliath noticed the broken toy on the floor and glared at Castaway. "I believe that was one of young Alex's toys?"
"It was one of his favourites!" Lexington perked up; hoping that Goliath would give him the okay to smash Castaway's nose in.
Instead, Goliath just had this strange look upon his face, as he stared at Castaway, making him feel uneasy.
Goliath looked back to Lexington and asked, "what is that baby food that Alex eats called?"
"What?" Lexington was confused.
"I think it was called… " Goliath frowned "Gerber or something?"
"Err yeah, I think so?" Lexington looked up at his leader with a questioning look on his face.
Goliath said "go and get some. We'll be here waiting."
Castaway couldn't take being silent anymore. "What? What are you talking about?"
Goliath didn't answer him and waited for Lexington to leave before leaving himself.
Castaway swore and ran to the door, but as always, it was locked.
A short time later, The door unlocked and Goliath came in, carrying something in his claw with a sheet wrapped around it.
"What's that?" Castaway demanded, but Goliath never said anything and just spared him a glance. The way he was looking at him was making Castaway feel more and more uneasy by the second.
Lexington came in, almost straight after Goliath, carrying a box that was filled with baby food jars, each of a different variety. "Here's your baby food Goliath!"
Goliath gave Castaway a not so nice look. It appeared that Goliath had had about all he could take from Castaway and looked as though he would take it out on anyone who got in his way.
Lexington gulped. "I have patrolling to do. Catch ya later!" Lexington turned and scampered away as fast as his four feet could carry him.
Castaway watched, as Goliath shut the door, but didn't lock it. "What's the matter? Aren't you afraid that I might do another runner?"
Goliath acted as though he hadn't heard him. He put the box of baby food on the floor by whatever it was that he had brought and looked Castaway dead in the eye. "I have long since past caring whether you escape or not Castaway. I thought that maybe this whole experience would teach you about our kind and that not all of us are evil as Demona was. But now I see that I was nothing but a fool to think that someone like you could ever hope to change." Goliath stopped and thought for a second "then again, Demona was like you once and yet now, she has a family of her own and one day… maybe she might even rejoin the clan."
Castaway eyes burned at the sound of Demona's name, but he didn't say anything either, as his fangs were too busy grinding.
Goliath continued. "Then again, maybe not. But that's not important now… As I said, I have long since stopped caring about what you think and how to get you to see past your petty beliefs and desires! Despite how you've treated us, I've always given you the benefit of the doubt and treated you honourably… That time is now over!"
Goliath reached out and pulled off the sheet that was covering the item that he had carried in. Castaway gasped in surprise. It was a baby's high chair. Suddenly, that uneasy feeling that Castaway had had was starting to become nausea.
Goliath looked at him, this time with a cold grin upon his face. "From this moment onward, you will be retreated in accordance with your behaviour... You are a hatchling and will therefore be treated like one!" Goliath reached out with his claw and grabbed Castaway around the arm.
Castaway snarled and furiously beat Goliath's hand, but to no avail. "Don't even think about it!" Goliath lifted Castaway as though he was nothing but air and carried him over to the highchair. Castaway kicked and screamed, but it was no use against a giant mountain of muscle like Goliath.
After a few attempts, Goliath finally managed to succeed in strapping Castaway into his chair and securing his arms by placing the chair's tray in place, thus trapping his arms inside.
"LET ME OOOOOUUUUTT!" Castaway bellowed loudly. The way he was screaming and yelling, Goliath half expected him to start crying like a hatchling.
"I'm not about to eat that... that... Mush!" Castaway spat at the jars of baby food on the floor.
"Would you rather starve?" Goliath said calmly, as he lifted up one of the jars and opened it. "These will be your meals from now on until we can see such evidence that you're… maturing. I fear that will be a long time from now, but in any case we have plenty of food available."
Goliath walked over to where the other chair was seated across the room and dragged it over to where Castaway was. He sat down and with a spoon he scooped out a spoonful of mashed peas and held it to Castaway's mouth. Goliath actually grinned, almost viciously, at him and said, "now open wide."
Goliath held the spoon closer to his face, but Castaway clamped his mouth tightly shut.
Goliath tried pushing the spoon through Castaway's lips, but to no avail. "Hmmm…" He frowned. "This is going to be difficult..." He thought for a second and then smiled.
Being that gargoyles are sensitive between the wings, Goliath tickled him there and happily listened to Castaway's muffled squeals, as he tried to hold back his laughter.
A few seconds later, he burst out laughing and before he had a chance to close his mouth again, Goliath quickly shoved the mashed peas into his mouth.
"Uuuurrrrggggghhhhhh!" Castaway groaned, with his mouth full and glared at the fully-grown gargoyle, his eyes burning like two white beacons.
Goliath just smiled innocently and was about to say something else when Castaway spat out all the food on his face.
Castaway grinned back at him.
Goliath didn't say anything, but the look of anger on his face was enough to give him away. He wiped the peas off of his face and said, "all right... maybe another one?" He leant over and picked up another jar at random.
A Few Hours and Many Jars Later:
Hudson walked down the hallway to take over from Goliath's shift from watching over the hatchling that was Castaway, and he was definitely NOT looking forward to it. From the reports of the others, Castaway was worse to baby-sit than young Alex was.
'Maybe I'll get lucky and the wee bastard will be fast asleep when I get there,' Hudson thought.
Suddenly, he heard Goliath's loud booming voice yell out, "YOU WILL OPEN YOUR MOUTH!"
'What on earth?' He rushed to the nursery and found one of the most bizarre sights that he had ever seen in his life. Castaway had been strapped into Alex's highchair and had what appeared to be globs of mashed up food sliding down his mouth, neck and chest. Goliath seemed to have the same stuff over him as well, and he did NOT look happy.
"What on earth be going on lad?" Hudson asked, stunned, but trying really hard to hide his sniggering.
Goliath snarled and got up, marching past Hudson and practically shoving the spoon that he'd been feeding Castaway with, into Hudson's hands. "I BELIEVE IT'S YOUR SHIFT!"
"Oh swell" Hudson muttered under his breath and sighed in defeat.
The cute little hatchling that was John Castaway squirmed under the tray of the highchair. "LET ME OUT!" He screeched as he spat out some more of the dribbling food in his mouth "YOU GOOD FOR NOTHING, FOUL DEMONS!"
Hudson sighed again, "well then… I suppose that I have to try and feed you now."
Castaway glared at him. "I've had more than my fair share thanks very much."
Hudson cocked an eye ridge at the mush that was streaming down his chest "seems you got more on you than in you."
Castaway struggled against his bonds "JUST LET ME OUT YOU OLD FART!"
Hudson glared at the kid fiercely. "Now that's no way to talk to your elders lad!"
Castaway snarled and went back to trying to escape from the blasted highchair.
Hudson smiled. His foolish attempts reminded him of the hatchlings back in the old days when they were young and trying to escape their confines. "It's no use lad," Hudson chuckled, "ye canna escape so you'll just have to stay here till we can cure ye."
Thankfully, Lexington walked in then and greeted Hudson. "Hey Hudson! How's it… " He noticed Castaway sitting in his chair and what was left of his dinner, all over him. Lexington blinked and blinked again before saying, "Enjoy your main course?"
Hudson barked out a booming laughter while Castaway grumbled under his breath, muttering obscenities at the two of them. "Good for nothing... "
Lexington smirked a little and handed Hudson a pot of yoghurt, "oh well, here you go Hudson."
Hudson eyed the pot curiously. "What's be this for?"
Lexington smiled and pointed at Castaway, "his dessert." Castaway groaned while Hudson just stared at Lexington with his one good eye. Lexington looked as though he was about to leave, but just at the last second, he remembered something. "Oh, I also thought you might need a clean spoon" He reached into his loincloth and pulled one out and handed it to Hudson before departing.
Hudson sighed again and looked at Castaway. "To think that I could be watching Jerry Springer instead right now.' He spoke out-loud. "I hope ye don't try spitting this out laddie. Ye have more food on ya enough as it is."
Castaway just sat still with that steel-eye glare of his and whispered, dangerously "I...HATE…YOGH…" Fortunately, the rest of his sentence was interrupted, as Hudson unsheathed his sword and held it up to Castaway's throat.
Hudson gave the boy a hard look and simply said, "you are going to eat it lad, and you will NOT spit it out. Understand?"
Castaway paused and gulped nervously at the aged gargoyle's large blade. "Well... Since you put it THAT way!" Castaway reluctantly opened his mouth, as Hudson scooped out a helping of the dessert and shoved it in.
"Ewwww... " Castaway moaned and made a face of disgust " and I HATE banana flavour!"
Jarred stomped down the hallway, in a bad mood. At first, he'd been thrilled to start learning magic as he thought it would be like Harry Potter at Hogwarts or something and that he'd grow up to be a powerful wizard like Merlin! But at the moment, it was more like being back at school with four of his worst and most hated teachers rolled into one!
Grandma Demona seemed nice enough, even though she did have one mean temper when she was mad. She was also plenty strict when teaching him and Lana how to use magic. It was also a lot tougher than he thought it would be. The incident with that small statue about a week ago had been a lucky shot, he doubted that he could do it again even if he tried.
Just then, he heard some quiet whimpering coming from one of the rooms. His ears pricked up, as he listened more closely before finally homing in on where the sounds were coming from. It turned out to be coming from Lana's room.
Jarred was always telling his sister that he hated her, but he didn't really in all honesty. He'd never let her know that of course!
Jarred stepped up to the door and thought, 'into the jaws of death rode the six hundred…' before silently knocking on his sister's door.
He heard some jumbling inside before the door finally opened and he saw his sister's tear-streaked face.
"What do you want jerk-face?" She hissed angrily.
Normally, Jarred would be offensive at that, but the sight of her face gave him pause. "Are you okay?" He asked, concerned.
"Why do you ask?" She sneered, "want me to be sick in bed so you can fool around with my things and outrun me whenever you act like a jerk again like when I had the flu?"
"NO" Jarred said abruptly and then added in more calmly "I meant why you've been crying?"
Lana looked shocked and wiped her face instantly. "Who says I've been crying? I'm fine!"
"Ohhh yeah" Jarred said snidely "then why have you got tear streaks all over your face? You look like Joan Collins with all her make-up wiped off!"
"OH SHUT UP YOU WHINY LITTLE WEASEL! GO AND BOTHER MOM OR SOMETHING!"
Lana made to slam the door in his face, but Jarred was too quick for her and slipped in. "HEY!" She shouted, "get out of here pipsqueak!"
"So what you hiding?" Jarred wasted no time in snooping, staying clear ahead of his sister's claws while he rummaged around in her room.
"I'm hiding nothing so GET OUT!" Lana bellowed "MOMMMM!"
Suddenly, Jarred noticed something sticking out from under her bed. There was really no need for a bed as they all turned to stone at dawn, but Lana being Lana had absolutely insisted on one. She said she would need one when she was human again.
Lana made a grab for him again, but Lana always leaped before she thought anything through and ended up crashing her head into the wall when Jarred jumped to the side.
"HA!" Jarred yelled in triumph and rushed over to the bed, grabbing the wooden thing that was poking out from under Lana's bed covers. "Now lets see what you were… "
His breath got caught in his throat, as he found himself looking at their last family portrait taken together before dad's accident. His father smiled back at him with that big broad smile that had always made him feel better whenever the chips were down as his dad used to say.
Jarred didn't hear his sister so he looked and found her standing right behind him, actually looking concerned. "You okay little bro?" She asked him.
Jarred could manage a feeble nod, as he went back to looking at his father's face again. "I… I didn't know you had a copy of this picture. I thought mom had the only one?"
Lana smiled a little "you kidding? Mom has about a million copies of them just in case anything should happen to this one."
Jarred sniffed and then sniffed again as he tried to hold back the tears that were threatening to start spilling.
Lana noticed this and knelt down "it's funny isn't it?"
"Just when you think you're over something. You find something as insignificant as this, and suddenly, you have Niagara Falls coming out of your eyes."
Jarred bit his lower lip and flung the picture on the bed. "I gotta go!"
"Jarred!" Lana said, as she grabbed his shoulder and spun him around so that she was looking directly into his eyes. It was true that she wanted him out of her room, but she couldn't let her baby brother run out all in tears. She was the eldest and therefore, she was responsible for the well being of her younger siblings… or so her mom said.
"I'm sorry I was mean to you okay? I just… didn't want you to see me crying like that, that's all. I don't like anyone seeing me cry."
Jarred nodded. "Is that why we hardly see you no more? Because you're crying all the time?"
Lana cupped his chin with her fingers and tilted his head up to her. "You miss him too huh?"
Jarred could only nod, as fresh tears started coming out. "It's not fair! We're only kids! We should have had dad all through our lives or at least through our childhood! Why did he have to go and get killed in that car accident?"
Lana didn't know what to say. In truth, she felt exactly the same way he did. Why did she have to lose her dad? Why did her little brother have to be the only man in the family? It just wasn't right!
Then suddenly, she thought of something that made her smile a little. "Hey! Remember what dad used to say?" Jarred looked at her with his dark crystal eyes, questioningly. Lana continued, "he said that life can be a bitch sometimes, but it's important that we never give in, but show her just how tough we are and that we can be total bitches too!"
Lana and Jarred both laughed at that.
"Dad always did have an unusual way of putting things." Jarred wiped his face "but he was always sooo damn good at it!" He still looked at the photograph, sadly.
Lana sighed, "how about you and me go for a little glide?"
Jarred perked up and looked at her, curiously. "You and me both together?"
Lana shrugged, "I'll probably regret it for the rest of my life, but what the hell! It won't do us any harm to have a little fun and I'm sure mom won't mind. She's been at me to get out and use my wings a bit more often."
Jarred grinned. "Alright! You wait and see Lana! My gliding skills have gotten waaaaay better since the last time we glided together, you'll see!"
'And if I don't then my aching sides will' Lana thought, as Jarred grabbed her hand and began leading her out of her room and down the corridor.
Eyrie Building; About Ten Minutes Later:
Hudson had finally finished feeding Castaway, much to Castaway's disgust. He even wiped off some of the food from Castaway's mouth with a napkin, as his arms were still tightly secured in the highchair.
Hudson stepped back and looked at the fed boy. He was almost completely covered in food from over a dozen different varieties. 'Aye, there be no choice' he thought to himself and then spoke out loud, "wait here lad, I'll be right back."
Castaway gave him a hard 'where do you think I'm gonna go' look while Hudson turned and left the nursery. Castaway immediately went back into action, to try and escape from the accursed chair that bound him, but, alas, it proved to be hopeless. A few minutes later, Hudson returned. He looked sternly at the former hunter, but with a bit of a smirk too. To John, that seemed a dangerous combination and one that did not bode well with him. Castaway gulped.
Hudson then stepped up to the highchair and released Castaway but kept his arm around his waist. Securely holding him, Hudson lifted the surprised hatchling and walked out of the nursery.
"What are you doing?" Castaway squealed. "Where are you taking me? Put me down!"
Hudson just ignored him and continued walking down a maze of corridors before he stopped at one of the doors and opened it.
Castaway struggled to turn his head around, as Hudson had been holding him facing backwards. He turned and saw that he was in the castle's bathroom (or one of them at least).
Castaway was about to ask why he was here when Hudson dropped him onto the floor and locked the door. Castaway was starting to get more and more uneasy by the second and was about to ask what he was up to when he noticed, for the first time, the heat in the room. He looked around and saw that the bathtub had been filled.
He looked back up at Hudson and watched him as he took off his sword and began rolling up his sleeves. "Alright lad! Let us be getting this over with shall we?"
Castaway squealed again and tried to scramble away, but Hudson caught a hold of his tail and began dragging him over to the tub. "Now no more of that lad! A little soap and water never hurt anyone!"
Hudson then grabbed a hold of his legs and hoisted him up. "Now then! Let us quarrel bout this no more and get you into the tub shall we."
Twenty Minutes Later:
"Do you think the clan will mind that we came here unannounced?" Jarred asked.
"Hey! You're the one who suggested coming here shrimp," Lana replied. "I was perfectly happy staying away from this place. I'm not exactly keen on the idea of having that devil guy with the big nose and the overgrown lizard gawking at me while I'm here."
Just as Jarred was about to say something, they heard a high-pitched roar followed by what sounded like a splash. Jarred and Lana looked at each other curiously. A second later, they heard the anguish cries of the old gargoyle that they had met the last time they had been here.
"Och, confound it! Stay down… Blast ya!"
Lana blinked and looked at her brother again, but he just shrugged, clearly as confused as she was. They tiptoed down the corridor until they came to a door with a light shining from beneath it.
"Hold still! Yuir only make this worse for yuirself!"
Another splash and another curse that soon had Jarred giggling under his breath and making Lana blush quickly followed.
A moment later, the door sprang open and a naked, infant boy gargoyle came running out, screaming his head off. Lana reacted and grabbed the fleeing youngster. The child looked up at them and blanched. "No… not more of them. Please, no more…"
Lana frowned in confusion, but before she could ask him what the hell he was talking about, she saw Hudson walk out of the bathroom and did her best to stop sniggering. Hudson was completely soaked from the head down; he looked as though he had been swimming with his clothes on.
"We interrupting something here?" Jarred asked, coyly while giggling at Hudson's wet clothes.
Hudson swore. "I'd like to see you give this one a bath," he pointed to the squirming child in Lana's arms, "and live to tell about it! They're a lot tougher at this age than little babes like your Gem!"
"Yes they are" Lana agreed, remembering how they used to chase Jarred all over the house when it was bath-time.
"I take it that this is Castaway then?" Jarred suddenly enquired.
"Yeah, I was thinking that myself too," Lana said as she looked into Castaway's eyes. "So, the shoe's on the other foot now, eh? Serves you right for trying to barge into people's homes, especially my grandmother's!"
"Grandmot… " Castaway began, but stopped when he looked into Lana's face and saw the resemblance between her and a certain demon that he and his family had been hunting for centuries!
"YOU!" He screamed. "You're the demon's offspring?"
Lana blinked and crossed her arms. "Actually, I'm the offspring's offspring, but that's not important."
Castaway recoiled, " get off of me you filthy demon spawn!" He kicked her in the stomach, which made her eyes flare red as she doubled over, but kept a firm grip on his shoulders.
"Biiiig mistake short stuff!" She hissed, trying to get her breath back and head butted him with her forehead, making him see stars for a second.
Jarred giggled "now you know why I always keep my distance from her."
Castaway hissed and tried to rub his head, but it was in vain as his arms were stuck to his sides, thanks to Lana.
"So what ye be doing here then?" Hudson suddenly inquired.
Lana took her menacing gaze from Castaway and shrugged at the old gargoyle. "Jarred and me were feeling a little bored, so we thought we might come and surprise you with a visit." Okay, it was a lie! But she wasn't about to tell him the truth.
Hudson smiled. "Well, I'm glad that you did! I could use some help here." He indicated Castaway.
Lana shrugged again. "Oh well, I lived through Jarred's bath times, so I guess it won't hurt to go through it with someone else just once." Lana followed Hudson into the bathroom with a vainly struggling Castaway.
"NO!" He screamed. "Not again! Not the ba…" Lana dropped him straight into the tub. Where Hudson advanced with the soap and scrubbing brush and began to, painfully, scrub his hide.
After all the scrubbing, rinsing and drying… Hudson was ready to call it a night. No hatchling had ever caused him as much trouble as Castaway had tonight. Who would have thought that a grown man in a child's body would cause so much trouble?
They quickly deposited Castaway back in the nursery with his clothes and then swooned down to the floor. "Now I remember why I never offered to bathe Jarred!" Lana complained.
"Yeah" Jarred sneered "and I bet you were the prize daughter growing up, I don't think!"
Hudson smiled, slightly, as the two started bickering again. They reminded him all too well of the hatchling back at the old castle in Scotland, before the massacre, before the deaths, before Demona had… Hudson shook those thoughts out of his head. It wouldn't do him any good to bring up the past now. Demona was the perfect example of why you shouldn't let your past consume you and he didn't want to risk becoming anything like that!
'Though' he thought 'she seems to have turned out a bit better than worse. Guess having Darlene and a few screeching kids has helped calm her down."
He paused and wondered just how crazy that sounded before putting a wing between Lana and Jarred. "Alright you two! That'll be enough. I already have one screeching little brat to take care of, I don't care for having three!" Just then, Goliath came round the corner, followed by Brooklyn and Lexington, who took one look at Lana and, instantly, rushed over. 'Here we go again' Hudson smirked.
"Lana!" Brooklyn and Lexington said simultaneously.
"Yeah, that's my name, don't wear it out!" Lana laughed, though there was a hint of nervousness in her voice. She would never admit, but these two freaked her out sometimes with their constant attention to her.
Brooklyn was the first to offer his hand to help her up, which she gratefully took, but started to feel otherwise when she saw the triumph look that he gave Lex.
"What brings you two here?" Goliath questioned, as he looked at Lana and Jarred, Demona's grandchildren.
'Demona's grandchildren.' No matter how many times he repeated that to himself, he still found it hard to accept.
Lana was about to reply when Jarred broke in. "We were out practising our gliding when we decided to come visit you and then we found Hudson giving that Castaway brat a bath, so we…"
"HUDSON? CASTAWAY? BATH?" Everyone cried out in astonishment, looking at Hudson in confusion.
Hudson shrugged. "He needed a bath. What else could I do? If we'd left him then he would've stank and dribbled all over the place."
The clan blinked and then blinked again before Jarred broke the silence.
"Grandma says you're a very good warrior!" Jarred asked Goliath "is that true?"
Goliath cocked his head. Demona had paid him a compliment?
Jarred continued, "she said you would have been an even better one if you didn't keep letting your love for humans get the better of you."
Goliath gave a thin smile. 'That sounds more like her,' he thought and then added, out loud "well… I do try my best. I just wish I didn't have to keep proving myself all the time."
"What do you mean?"
Goliath looked at the hatchling. "Being a warrior, doesn't mean you enjoy fighting. It means protecting the innocent and all those under your charge."
"Oh… Could you teach me how to be a warrior?"
Goliath blinked. "Wouldn't your grandmother mind?"
Lana broke off from the wave of hormones that Lex and Brook were emitting and said, "probably! But mom says that you're all right, so I don't think she'd mind. We'd have to ask first though."
"Yeah!" Jarred shouted, enthusiastically. "will you teach me? Huh… Will you? Pleasepleaseplease!"
Goliath had to keep himself from laughing at the young gargoyle's enthusiasm. He remembered, all too well, his constant begging to Hudson when he was a hatchling and wanted to learn more warrior tactics and fighting skills.
At first, he thought it might be best to say no. After all, he doubted that Demona would wholeheartedly agree to him teaching her grandchildren when she, herself, would probably want to do it.
But then, he thought that this could be a grand opportunity for them to keep an eye on Demona. Since Darlene's introduction to the clan, Angela had made some occasional few visits to her mother, half sister, nieces and nephew. Every time that she returned, she always spoke with fondness about her big sister and her children. She even said some good things about her mother too, which was hard to take as Goliath had given up on Demona ever being… nice.
Besides, just because Demona no longer considered herself a part of the clan, didn't mean that included her family as well. Darlene seemed like a lovely, caring woman and Goliath knew that there would be no objection from the clan to them spending time here at the Eyrie, especially if it meant that Brooklyn and Lexington would get to spend more time with Lana.
"If your mother has no objections then I see no problem with your request. I'd be happy to teach you."
Jarred gave a whoop of joy and ran. "Come on Lana," he called to his sister. "We gotta get home and ask mom now!" Lana, only too happy to get away from the insufferable duo, gladly obliged her younger sibling.
Hudson moved over to stand beside his former second and now leader. "Are ye sure about this Goliath? Something tells me that Demona won't be too happy 'bout this."
Goliath frowned. "Most likely not, but we can't waste an opportunity to get closer to Darlene and her children. Despite who their mother and grandmother are, they are clan… and clan should stick together. Now, more than ever."
"YOU DID WHAT?" Demona shouted throughout the mansion, her temper, out of control. Both Jarred and Lana cringed.
"I don't suppose it's too late to say that I was against this from the start?" Lana inclined, hopefully. Demona replied by giving her a hard glare. "Didn't think so."
"What were you thinking?" Demona yelled, "how could you? Don't you two remember who my enemies are? Goliath included!"
"Actually mother… " Darlene spoke up "I think it would be a very good idea for them to take warrior lessons from Goliath and the clan." Demona spun round and gave her daughter a hard look that bordered somewhere between surprise and anger. She opened her mouth to say something else further, but Darlene beat her to it. "Now don't look at me like that mom! I know what your feelings for the clan are and I respect that, but my kids and I are not you! Besides, what are we supposed to do here for the rest of our lives? It's not as if my children can go to school and hang out with the other kids is it?"
Darlene gently lifted Gem up from her crib. "We're alone out here! It's sad but true mother, and you know it. If we can't make peace with the clan then what kind of a future do we have, other than growing old, isolated and alone with no friends or allies? That's another thing… Remember when Castaway attacked us? If it hadn't have been for the clan then we would probably be dead right about now!" Demona hissed, but Darlene's words were getting through to her, much as she loathed to admit it. "I'm not saying that you start inviting them over for tea or to spend Christmas with them… But it would be nice for my kids to have someplace to go other than wasting their lives, locked in this house… Like I was!"
Demona looked up, sharply. A thousand accusations were on the tip of her tongue, waiting to be unleashed… but no, not while her grandchildren were present. "I could teach them!" Demona said.
"Mom, you're already teaching them sorcery, as well as helping them with their home school studies. It was different when it was just me, but with two hatchlings… "
"A-HEM!" Lana humphed, rather loudly.
Darlene rolled her eyes "excuse me… ONE hatchling and one young woman…" Lana nodded her head in approval. "Not to mention one baby. She'll be all right now, but what about when she gets older? Plus, you also have Nightstone to worry about now and you didn't even have that when I was a hatchling."
Demona growled in annoyance and frustration before waving her hands in the air in defeat, "fine! Get the clan to help, go live with them for all I care!"
"Mom, please don't be like this. You know it makes sense."
Demona sighed. "Alright, I admit that some of what you said does ring true. Just don't expect anything from me when the clan comes calling."
Darlene gave a small smile. "Thanks mom." Demona didn't smile back, but she didn't shout or snarl, which was a good sign.
Lana cut in, "by the way… How's the spell for Castaway coming?"
Now, Demona did smile and it wasn't a particularly friendly one either. "Oh, it's coming along… eventually!"
Three Days Later; Eyrie Building:
A few days had passed and Castaway was ever still, the whiny brat that he had become… At least in appearance anyway.
'Maybe the spell that changed him, didn't change him at all,' Broadway thought. 'Maybe it merely revealed his true nature… A spoilt, selfish and whiny brat!' Broadway chuckled to himself, as he pondered these thoughts.
Castaway sat pouting in the corner, looking, more and more like a spoilt hatchling every time that Broadway looked at him, which only confirmed his thoughts.
Suddenly, Castaway exploded. "WHEN IS THAT BLASTED DEMON GOING TO FIND THAT SPELL TO CHANGE ME BACK?"
"These things take time!" Broadway hotly responded. Like all the clan, Broadway had been slowly losing his patience and his cool with Castaway. He had been their *guest* for almost a week, and his constant whining, insults, temper tantrums and attempts to escape were slowly driving them out of their skulls.
Castaway sneered at him and started pacing the floor, as he had done for a week. The entire clan were all about an inch from wringing his neck.
Castaway glared at the enormous buffoon, as he pondered his situation. He wondered if he should try escaping again? So far, he hadn't had much luck and since being here, he had suffered one utter humiliation after another, and he'd be damned if he was going to stay here to suffer another one. Besides, this blubber butt didn't look like he had even a fraction of a brain, so he might be easy to trick.
But how was he going to get out? Castaway fumed and then thought of something. It was perhaps a little of an outdated plan, but maybe this oaf wouldn't know the difference.
"Sooo..." Castaway began, "eat any good cook books lately? Cos you seem to have eaten the entire recipe for every dish ever conceived!" Castaway laughed at his own bad joke. Broadway narrowed his eyes at him, but just shrugged it off and went back to reading his book. Castaway smiled "you know something? You want to help people right?"
Broadway looked up again, "yessssss?"
Castaway grinned, "how bout using that fat ass of yours to plug up the ozone layer? That'll really come in useful."
Broadway clenched his fist tightly and ended up tearing the book that he was reading "why you little…"
Castaway laughed. "You should try getting a job working on The Simpsons, cos you'd make an excellent Homer Simpson." Broadway snarled, but Castaway ignored him and just went straight on to the next topic. "What that dumb bitch Angela sees in you, I'll never understand."
"She sees more in me than what a thousand women have seen in you!" Broadway countered.
Castaway took on a mocking look "EVERYONE sees more of you than anyone else because there's more of you to go around!" Broadway growled. Something that made Castaway smile, as he saw that he was getting to him.
"I think I've found another good use for you too. A gargoyle with your massive hide should be more than enough to fit in my war room… and I've always wanted a new carpet!" Castaway then leered at Broadway and moved closer forward "and Angela would make a pretty throw rug, don't you think?"
"In case you hadn't noticed kid… We don't have any fur!"
Castaway shrugged. "Fine! I'll just use your skin as a rag-cloth then."
Broadway's eyes blazed with rage, "ALRIGHT! THAT'S IT!" Broadway threw the book, he had been holding, into a corner and raced at Castaway with his fangs bared and his talons out stretched.
Castaway jumped up and dashed around, looking for a place to run to or a weapon to use since they had taken his knife away. He cowered into the corner of the room and watched, as the huge and now, hideously angry and vengeful gargoyle came at him. He briefly thought about falling to his knees and begging for mercy, but stopped when he saw an awfully heavy and hard vase, standing next to the wall beside him.
'Doesn't seem original' Castaway thought 'but what can you do at a time like this?'
Broadway roared, as he came at him. "C'mere you little brat!"
Castaway wasted no time and grabbed the vase, held it over his shoulder and threw it, as hard as he could at the angry beast.
Broadway didn't have time to stop or even notice the approaching ornament, before it shattered on his head. Broadway didn't look seriously hurt, but it did make him stop in his tracks, and he looked very shaky on his feet.
"Ow, " he mumbled, as he quickly raised his hands to his head and rubbed the bump that was beginning to form there.
Castaway looked for an opening to escape, but Broadway had wedged him into the corner with his massive form, thoroughly filling the space in. He couldn't get out. Glancing around hurriedly, he saw only one way out. In the blink of an eye while Broadway was in a daze, Castaway dove and attempted to slide in-between Broadway's legs.
"Hey!" Broadway yelled, and instantly stuck out his hand to grab Castaway's tail, "come back here you little pip squeak!"
Broadway successfully grabbed Castaway, but the motion was too soon after his head injury, and unfortunately, Broadway was in too much of a daze and fell over backwards.
Castaway felt like laughing, as he made his escape, but soon stopped when Broadway grabbed hold of his tail "LET GO OF ME YOU... " That was the last thing he said before he saw something that he thought was the moon, come crashing down on him.
Brooklyn was on his way to the nursery to check in on Broadway and Castaway, wondering if either of them had killed the other yet. Out of the whole clan, Broadway was the one with the least patience when it came to Castaway, or as they had begun calling him, the demon child.
Brooklyn chuckled, and then heard a loud crash, followed by a sickening crack, as though something had been broken. "What in the world?" Brooklyn thought out loud and rushed the rest of the way to the nursery. He pushed the door open and looked in. Broadway was sitting near at a far corner of the room, looking quite dazed and light-headed. "Broadway?" Brooklyn asked, concerned, and then suddenly noticed something even more important. "Oh God! Where's Castaway?"
"Huh?" Broadway shook his head a few times and looked around. "Where… Oh no, he got away didn't he?" Broadway looked, as though he was going to be ill.
Brooklyn furiously shook his head in denial. "He can't have done! I was on my way here and he didn't pass by me!"
He began to search the room, frantically. 'Goliath isn't gonna like this if he is gone,' Brooklyn thought, fearfully.
Broadway stayed seated while Brooklyn searched the room, as he rubbed his head. "Ohhh… the miserable little shit," he moaned and shuffled about a bit.
Brooklyn looked up from his search. "You alright? You look a little..." He stopped, as he heard some rather desperate sounding and incredibly angry muffled words, coming from somewhere. "Huh? What's that?" Brooklyn asked Broadway.
"What's what?" Broadway replied and moved about a bit more.
"That noise. It sounds like it's..."
Suddenly, he noticed a pair of two little gargoyle feet, coming out from underneath Broadway, from where he was sitting, that were furiously kicking about.
"Holy...!" Brooklyn gaped.
"What?" Broadway asked "and what are you starring at?" He followed Brooklyn's gaze down between his legs and saw. "Oh… lord!"
Brooklyn gasped, his eyes as wide as saucers, and swallowed. "Broadway... I know that I said sit on him if he caused trouble, but... for Christ's sake! I WAS ONLY KIDDING!"
He ran over to help Broadway up, but when he was halfway up, he stopped and smirked. "Hmmm… on second thought," Brooklyn suddenly let go of Broadway's hand and watched as he slammed back onto the floor.
"HEY?" Broadway yelled and made to get up again, but stopped when Brooklyn held out his hand on his shoulder, signalling him to stay down.
Brooklyn knelt down and yelled at the floor "hey Castaway! How's the weather under there?"
Muffled furious cries screamed out in reply "gethimoffgethimoffgethimoff!"
Brooklyn laughed. "Broadway! I think you've given a whole new meaning to the word baby-sitting?" Brooklyn continued laughing and Broadway soon joined in while Castaway's feet jumped and kicked.
"I guess you're right," Broadway chuckled and started to move up, but Brooklyn still had his hand on his shoulder, stopping him. Broadway cocked an eye-ridge at him, questioningly.
Brooklyn moved his beak, lower to the floor and shouted to Castaway. "Okay Johnny! Here's the deal... from now on, you keep your trap shut and won't say another word... you refrain from trying to escape... you just sit down, keep your mouth closed and do absolutely nothing! Understand?"
Angry sounding words came out.
Brooklyn shrugged "oh well! Guess I'll have to take that as a no then. You comfortable sitting there, Broadway?"
Broadway grinned and said "sure," listening to Castaway's screams. "He's quite comfy actually."
Brooklyn clicked his talons. "Say! Why don't I get you something to eat? You must be starved after being stuck in here all night long?"
"Oh yeah!" Broadway nodded enthusiastically. "I'm so hungry, I could eat a whole elephant!"
"Hmmm… How about some baked beans? Or maybe some chilli… Hell, how about both?"
Broadway grinned widely. "Ohhh yeah" he licked his lips "that'll be heavenly, but do you think I should? I mean, you know how beans and chilli give me gas." He patted his belly and happily listened to more of Castaway's horror filled screams.
"Nah," Brooklyn shook his head. "It'll only be this one time and everyone will be out of the room then… Anyone important that is." He chuckled then paused, "oh and how about another book to read too? Something to pass the time because it's still such a long way till dawn, how about..." He shouted louder so that Castaway was sure to hear him "WAR AND PEACE?"
Castaway screamed "alrightalright! Justgethimoffgethimoff!"
Broadway grinned, "shall I get up?"
Brooklyn looked thoughtful. "Oh, I don't know. I would hate to deprive you of such a good seat Broadway." Castaway yelled in panic.
Brooklyn laughed. "Okay then, but be careful Castaway..." He helped Broadway up "you break your word and…" He pointed to Broadway who smirked and waved, "and Broadway's just found himself a new cushion for life."
Broadway giggled. "Suits me fine. Best cushion I ever had!"
Brooklyn smirked and looked down at Castaway. "Uh oh! Looks like we may have to do some minor surgery here."
Brooklyn pointed at the fallen Castaway "I think we're gonna need an air pump."
Broadway cringed, "ouch!"
Castaway groaned, as he slowly sat up and glared at them, hatefully, but didn't say a word.
Brooklyn shrugged. He felt that Castaway had got what he deserved, despite it being a rather unusual punishment, but he knew that Goliath wasn't going to be pleased. "Just one more question Broadway… Do you want me to tell Goliath about this or you?"
Any confidence that Broadway had soon evaporated "uh... me?"
Broadway grumbled, but knew that he wouldn't have been able to escape it anyway.
Castaway got up and walked over to the corner of the room, muttering under his breath.
Broadway watched him, ignoring Brooklyn as he joked about Castaway and how the night's patrolling had gone. Suddenly, he smiled.
"Brooklyn! I believe you had some things to do for the rest of the night. We'll be okay here from now on, but how's about you come take over from me in… say an hour?"
Brooklyn nodded. "Sure, but why…" He caught Broadway's glance. "Okay! I'm gone!" Brooklyn said and hurried out the door.
Broadway looked back to Castaway, this time with an eerie smile on his face. He walked up the bookshelf and after a few moments looking, he chose a book and came back over to him. Broadway yawned and stretched himself "you know something Johnny?" Castaway felt a cold sweat come over him. "I really meant it when I said you were the best seat I ever had! Guess that's something that your big head is good for." He stretched again and opened the book. "I reallllly need to practise my reading now, sooo… I guess I'd better find somewhere nice and comfy to sit."
"NOOOOOOO!" Castaway yelled and shrank into the corner, as Broadway advanced towards him, grinning all over.
Brooklyn made his way back to the nursery after being gone for nearly a full hour. He remembered Broadway's look of 'get out,' all too well from their hatchling days. And thus had taken the hint and left. He wondered what Broadway had been up to.
'If he's given Castaway another sitting lesson then we really will be needing that pump,' he thought.
He reached the door and listened, expecting to hear muffled cries again, but cocked his head when he heard Broadway's voice and the words he was speaking. And Barney said, "I love you. You love me. We're a happy fam-i-ly!"
Brooklyn opened the door and found Broadway sitting, NOT on Castaway, but on the sofa with Castaway, held securely, in his lap. He seemed to be fast asleep.
Broadway looked up and smiled. "Hey Brook! How's it hangin?"
"Ummm… fine! Absolutely fine, but err… what's been going on here?"
Broadway grinned and shoved Castaway over. "I've been practising my reading on Castaway by telling him a story. You should have seen the look on his face because when I told him I was gonna sit down and practise my reading, he thought I meant to use him as a sitting cushion again!" He laughed and tossed the book onto the table in front of him.
Brooklyn laughed too, but paled as Broadway was heading out. "Hey! Where you going?"
Broadway looked over his shoulder. "I've been taking care of the little shrimp all night Brook. Now… It's your turn!" Before Brooklyn could protest, Broadway ran out.
"Ohhh swell" Brooklyn muttered sarcastically and flopped down on the sofa, avoiding Castaway's head.
"I guess it can't get any worse than this. At least the brat is asleep."
Unfortunately for him, Castaway, as Brooklyn was about to discover, didn't have to be awake to cause the clan grief. It turned out that Castaway was a loud snorer as well.
Brooklyn groaned. "Oh for… "
The Following Night; Destine Manor:
Darlene started to pour some tea, as Demona walked in, yawning loudly.
"Any calls while I was asleep?" Demona asked.
"Where are the children?"
"Gem is taking a nap, Lana is doing her hair, and Jarred is practising his magic lessons again."
Demona grimaced. "I trust you have the fire extinguisher ready?" She remembered what had happened the last time when Jarred had been practising his spells. It had just been a simple mistake in the verb of the incantation… A simple, but ugly mistake, which had left the room he had been practising in, in flames and enough smoke to choke a giant.
Darlene nodded. "I always have the extinguisher ready now. I wonder why I never went through any of the problems that Jarred's causing when I was practising magic."
Demona smiled. "I never left you alone long enough to cause any. But when you've got two hatchlings for training, you need some time to yourself. It's when he ascends to the higher levels of magic that's got me worried." Demona and Darlene laughed.
"So, are you any closer to finding a counter spell?" Darlene asked her mother, as she was reading her newspaper and eating her evening breakfast.
"Hmmm?" Demona looked up from her honey and toast. "Oh that! I found the spell ages ago!" Darlene dropped the teacup that she had been holding and looked at her mother in astonishment. Demona smiled, "the answer was in front of us all along my dear. All we need to do is to either get you or Jarred to cast the spell that Lana cast and have you wish to undo Lana's wish!"
Darlene stuttered, "but… But I thought… I thought you said that the statue couldn't be used to break another's wish?"
Demona shrugged and stated, simply, "I lied."
Darlene groaned "do you have any idea of what the clan is going to say when they find out about this?"
Demona just shrugged again. "Pretty pissed off I'd say, but frankly, I couldn't care less for them aside from Angela! They have been living the easy life so far. I thought it would be a refreshing change for them to see the other side of things. Plus… " Demona grinned "Angela was saying how much she wanted to look after Gem and gain some experience in child handling. I can't think of a better opportunity than this."
Darlene groaned again, but couldn't help smiling at the situation. "Well, Angela sure got her wish! I doubt that, after taking care of Castaway, she nor any of the clan will be wanting any hatchlings."
Demona laughed, wholeheartedly, and Darlene soon followed. After a while, they calmed down and Darlene managed to stutter out. "We're going to have to tell them right now though you know?"
Demona went back to reading her paper. "Oh absolutely," she sipped her tea, "right after breakfast!"
Darlene opened her mouth to protest, but thought, 'oh well, a couple of more hours won't hurt them,' and went back to eating her own meal.
"HOLD STILL WILL YA!" Lexington snarled in frustration, as he tried to get Castaway to hand over his shorts.
"GET THE HELL AWAY FROM ME YOU PERVERT!" Castaway snarled back.
"Castaway," Lexington spoke in a more calm tone, "you have to give me your shorts, you've been wearing those things for nearly a week now ever since you've been here and who knows how long before then. You need to get them washed." Lexington held out his hands for them.
"And just what am I supposed to wear until then?" Castaway angrily replied.
"You can use one of the bed sheets or curtains to cover yourself until your laundry is done. OR…" Lexington smirked, "you could use one of Alex's diapers. You're small enough to wear them, and it's not as if anyone will notice, besides us."
Castaway glared daggers at him "I… Am NOT… Wearing… A freaking DIAPER!"
"Well you have no choice!" Lexington countered, "none of Alex's other clothes will fit you, and the only clothes that we've got are the ones we're wearing. Now… HAND THEM OVER!"
Castaway growled, menacingly, but all it did was make it harder for Lexington not to laugh. Coming from his present form, his attempt at making himself look or sound fearsome was outrageously funny.
"That's cute," Lexington said dryly. "Now no more stalling… Take them off now or am I going to have to do it myself?"
"Try it if you can you miserable flying squirrel!"
Lexington's eyes flared white, as he took on a fighting stance before stopping and thinking to himself, 'what the hell am I doing? He's a hatchling for crying out loud.'
Lexington slowly approached Castaway. In all honesty, he definitely did not want to be doing this! He knew he was going to be having nightmares now about stealing Castaway's pants. Lexington shuddered.
Fortunately, he was saved by the booming voice of Broadway. "Hey Lex! We just got word from Lana… She says Demona has found the spell to turn Castaway back. They'll be coming over in about half an hour."
'YEEESSSSSSSSSSSSSS!' Lexington thought, ecstatically, resisting the urge to dance in joy. 'No more babysitting for us!'
Lexington grinned at Castaway, who was also looking quite pleased. "Guess you're getting to keep your pants on after all Johnny."
Castaway snarled at him, but the smile never left his face. He was going to be human again soon and when that happened… He and his quarrymen would be all over this place like a swarm of locusts and devour everything in their path! Starting with the gargoyles! Castaway chuckled, evilly.
Half an Hour Later:
Demona soared through the sky with daughter behind her, carrying her youngest child Gem, who was followed by her other children, Lana and Jarred. They approached Castle Wyvern in all its glory and landed in the courtyard where all the clan was waiting for them.
Angela came forward, smiling at them all. "Hello… mother!" She stopped and gave Jarred a curious look, as he seemed to be wearing a full body of armour of some sort. It was actually some old football gear that he was wearing.
Lana noticed at what she was staring at and shrugged "its in case that Bronx creature decides to say hello again."
Angela smiled. "Ohhh… right," and gave Demona a hello kiss.
Demona smiled at her firstborn, yet youngest, child and accepted the small gentle kiss from her on her cheek. Angela then turned to Darlene and hugged her older sister and tickled baby Gem under the chin.
From behind the assorted clan, there came a loud growl and snarl. It didn't take a genius to know where the angry sound had come from, as Demona duly noted.
"Greetings hunter," Demona said icily.
Castaway shoved past Lexington and Brooklyn, taking care to avoid Bronx who had to be held back by Broadway and Hudson because he badly wanted to play with the two hatchlings, Castaway and Jarred.
"Well?" Castaway started, "where is it?"
Demona cocked her head and asked, innocently, "where's what?"
Castaway gritted his teeth together, "don't… push me demon! You know full well what I mean and what I want! Now WHERE IS IT?"
Demona began grinding her own fangs, as she glared at the little pipsqueak that dared to threaten her.
Fortunately, Darlene intervened and touched her mother's shoulder to calm her. "We have it right here. We can perform the ritual right now and be done with it."
"Fine," Castaway stated. "First, take me home or to my headquarters. Then you can…"
"Ho no!" Darlene held up her hand, "not gonna happen Castaway! If your precious quarrymen saw us there then we'd be lucky to escape with our lives… Yours included!"
Castaway grumbled, "my quarrymen won't be there! My headquarters also happens to be my home, they don't come unless I order a rally."
"Nonetheless, I'm not risking my kids health and safety for you of all people!" Darlene angrily pointed at him and Demona smiled, maybe there was hope for her daughter after all. Castaway grumbled again, but even he could see the determination in Darlene's eyes, and knew that he wouldn't be able to persuade her.
"So we'll perform the spell here then you can leave and… whatever!" Darlene turned to her mother, as she was beginning to unload the statue from the knapsack that she had been carrying with her.
Lana, on the other hand, was looking at Castaway with dread. It was true that she didn't exactly want to be close friends with the gargoyles, but she didn't want to see them dead. She didn't want them or her family harmed. She was more then certain that if this little squirt, that made her little brother look like a saint, got loose then he'd be sending his quarrymen to hunt them all down. There would be no peace for them.
Lana frowned, as she watched her grandmother prepare the statue for the spell casting and suddenly, it came to her. Castaway would, no doubt, send all his quarrymen after them, but what if he had no quarrymen? His quarrymen might end up losing respect for him for something and they might decide to leave his organisation.
But how on earth would they be able to accomplish that. Lana thought miserably, as she looked at the sky blue hatchling with the face of an angel, a cheeky faced angel, with the look of a murderer on him.
"If only he was something sick like a cross-dresser or something,' Lana thought. 'That would surely make his men think twice about joining his…' Suddenly, she thought of something. The idea of him being a cross-dresser might not be such a bad idea after all.
Lana grinned, grabbed Jarred around his arm and pulled him away to her.
"HEY! What are you…" Jarred complained.
"Shut up and listen!" Lana hissed and began whispering into her brother's ear.
Castaway was so busy keeping his eyes on the demon that he failed to notice what Jarred and Lana were up to. Most of the clan was the same except for Hudson who noticed the two youngsters chattering amongst themselves and trying, unsuccessfully, to stifle their giggling. Hudson had a feeling that something very interesting was going to happen very soon.
"Jarred!" Demona called to her grandson. "It's time!"
Jarred gave his sister a wink and ran over to his grandmother, carefully avoiding the big blue beast that was, even now, eyeing him almost hungrily with it's glowing white eyes and slobbering tongue.
"Are you sure you want to do this darling?" Darlene asked her son, concerned. "Would you rather if I did it this time?"
Jarred screwed up his face. "Awww mommmmm! I can handle it! Quit treating me like a baby will ya!" Darlene looked up and shook her head, as if saying 'kids!'
Jarred strode up to where Demona had placed the statue. "Now you know what you have to do?"
Jarred nodded. He had been looking forward to casting a big spell. To him, this was like playing with the big boys, playing with all of their big toys and at the same time, making his mom and grandma proud of him. He couldn't be happier!
Demona lit the herbs in the bowl and Jarred breathed in their fumes. 'Ewwww' he thought, 'Lana wasn't kidding. This stuff smells worse than grandma's cooking!' Jarred then looked into the eyes of the statue. There was nothing special about them at the moment, as they just looked like any other eyes of a statue, blank and lifeless. Jarred took a deep breath and began to recite the spell that he had been memorising for the past half-hour.
Castaway stood, watching while all of this was going on. He was eager to get back into his own skin; his own human adult skin, so that he could hurry up and get home… To his Quarrymen Headquarters and once there… make preparations… for a bloodbath!
The little monster, Jarred, had begun speaking though Castaway had no knowledge of Latin, so he could therefore understand none of it. Finally, the boy stopped speaking.
Jarred finishing the last verse of the spell, never taking his sight off the statue's eyes. At first, nothing happened and Jarred was beginning to worry if he had done something wrong. Then the eyes looked as though they were opening, revealing two green orbs, emitting an eerie glow. Jarred gulped, as he looked at the emerald green eyes. Just looking at them was making him feel nervous. For all he knew, they might very well be the eyes of Lilith, mother of the gargoyle race, herself.
"It's ready," Demona said, simply and picked up the statue before handing it over to him. "Make your wish and let us be done with this night."
Jarred smiled, part of which was because he was proud that his first big spell had worked out fine and the second was… because of the reason that would become apparent soon. He took the statue in his hands and whispered into its ear, just to make sure that Lilith heard him.
Castaway was on edge. His claws were sweating, his feet itching as he watched the boy whisper into the statue. He looked at his hands, hoping and praying that he would soon see his true human adult hands again.
A full minute past by and nothing happened. Castaway was ready to start yelling and screaming again when he felt his skin start to tingle. It was like having pins and needles, like he had that one time after that disastrous attack on the demon's domain, he had taken a nap and woke up as this.
With each passing second, the tingling grew all around his body and he felt his tail and wings start to go numb. He craned his neck to look behind him and he could just make out those damn wings shrink back into his body, his tail too.
"IT'S WORKING!" he shouted enthusiastically. Though no one around him cared very much if it did at all.
The clan watched, as their little bundle of misery went through his changes. "Say," Lexington nudged Broadway and Brooklyn, "shouldn't he be getting older right about now?"
No sooner had he said this, Castaway's first transformation was complete. Where once stood a gargoyle hatchling, now stood a human boy, but no man.
Castaway stared at his hands. At first he was thrilled to see human hands again, but when he realised that he should be looking at an adult humans hands instead of chubby little ones, he got angry again.
"WHAT IS THIS?" he shouted, "WHY HAVEN'T I… I… " His words choked for a second, as he looked on in horror as the world started to get larger around him and the pair of shorts, he was wearing, dropped down to his ankles, as they had suddenly grown too big for him.
Castaway screamed, as he lost most of the feeling in his hands and was finding it difficult to move them about or even open them. In fact, how whole body felt like jelly.
The clan watched with their mouths wide open, as Castaway seemed to shrink right before their eyes and he disappeared within the shorts that he had been wearing, as they were now too large for him.
A few moments past before the clan finally got over the initial surprise. Goliath raised his head, angrily, to Demona. "What is the meaning of this Demona? You said you had found a way to break the spell!"
Demona snarled back at him. "I did! I don't know why this has happened."
"Umm… " Brooklyn interrupted "what exactly has happened here?" The clan suddenly heard the cries and wails of a baby, but Gem was fast asleep in her mother's arms.
"What the…?" Lexington blinked and cautiously walked over to the moving bundle of clothes. He poked it with his tail and definitely felt something alive underneath the material, so he bent over, lifted them up… and got the second biggest surprise of his life since finding castaway a few days ago.
There, sprawled out on the castle courtyard floor, on top of the shorts… was a human baby! It was clear that it was Castaway and not just because they had seen him change, but also because they recognised those angry eyes and cheeky expression on his face anywhere.
Lexington's eyes bulged, as he stared at the crying baby before breaking out into a grin and laughing. "Looks like you will be needing that diaper after all Johnny!"
Pretty soon, all the clan was gathered around the toddler. Lexington lifted Castaway and cradled him, gently, in his arm while everyone tried to get a better look at him.
"Awww, he's sooo cute!" Brooklyn laughed and tickled Castaway's belly.
"Want us to burp you?" Broadway giggled.
Hudson and Goliath remained silent. Goliath just had a shocked look on his face while Hudson, although he was trying to remain as stoic as his leader, he was valiantly trying to hide a smirk.
Demona didn't know what to think, as she just looked at the hunter whose family had been hunting her and her kind for centuries. She looked up and stared at Jarred. "Jarred! What exactly did you wish for?"
Jarred immediately put his hands up. "Don't worry gran, it's only for the rest of this night! Castaway will be back to his normal human adult self when the sun comes up!"
"I don't care about that!" Demona snapped and pointed at the infant "I couldn't care less whether Castaway stays that way forever or even if he were to die right now! I just want to make sure I know what you wished for, in case there are any repercussions because of your choice."
"Mother!" Darlene and Angela both cried out.
Before Demona could reply, Goliath gave a loud roar to silence them all. He glared at Demona, but spoke to Lana instead. "Lana! I'm only guessing that you were somehow involved in this… tragic comedy?"
If Goliath unnerved Lana then she didn't show it. She just grinned and said, "it was my idea in the first place!"
Goliath growled impatiently. "Why, may I ask." It was clearly not meant as a question.
Lana smiled. "I have an idea for landing a critical blow to the quarrymen, one that won't involve us having to fight them or anything."
Goliath raised an eye-ridge. "Oh… and how do you plan to do this exactly?"
Lana gave another eerie little smile and twiddled her finger at Goliath, asking him to come closer. Goliath did so and Lana whispered into his ear. At first, Goliath looked shocked and then looked as though he was trying to hold back a bark of laughter that was threatening to erupt from him. Then his face went back to his usual stony expression and he regarded her seriously.
"I do appreciate what you were planning here Lana," Goliath said, "but I do not think that this will be appropriate. Heaven knows what Castaway will do for revenge after this has blown over."
"Assuming that it does," Lana countered. "Something like this can have serious repercussions on a person's social life, not to mention their reputation. Trust me, I know… I went to high school."
Goliath frowned. As far as pranks went, Lana's plan might be found highly amusing, but it was nevertheless dangerous. "I'm sorry Lana, but I cannot risk you…"
"Risk what?" Lana cried "there's no danger! All we have to do is break into the quarrymen's HQ and…"
"BREAK INTO THE WHAT?" Darlene and Demona both cried out in shock. They had both been listening to Lana, curious about what she was planning.
Lana turned and regarded her mother. "Mom, trust me. It'll be all right…"
"Alright?" Darlene screeched. "You call breaking into the home base of an organisation that is devoted to killing gargoyles, all right?"
Lana just waved her hands at them. "Just hear me out will ya? If we do it quickly and quietly then we have nothing to worry about."
"Do what?" Broadway asked, curiously, as he looked up from cuddling the baby Castaway and making faces at him.
Lana told them all her plan.
When she was finished, she observed all the clans' reactions. Brooklyn was grinning like the mad hatter, Angela was slowly blinking at her, Lexington was already thinking about how to bypass the quarrymen security systems and Broadway didn't seem too bothered, as he was busy still making faces at Castaway.
Hudson and Goliath both wore mixed expressions, somewhere between amusement and seriousness. Bronx had walked up to Broadway and was now trying to give a lick to the new baby that had popped up from nowhere. To which, Broadway happily complied by lowering the baby down to Bronx's height and watched as Bronx gave Castaway a full bath with his long tongue.
"Oh come on!" Brooklyn yelled. "It'll be great! What Lana says makes perfect sense!"
"How's that?" Darlene asked him.
Lana repeated, "he'll loose his reputation as a tough soulless killer and no one will ever take him seriously again… and without any quarrymen, he won't have an army to lead and we can finally have a bit of peace!"
Demona remained quiet and passive. Inside though, she was having a good laugh at Castaway's expense. As for Lana's plan, she suspected that Lana just wanted to do it to get back at him for the attack on their home. That was all right, she understood that as she had gone after many enemies for revenge countless times. She just didn't want to risk her granddaughter's life in the process.
However, what Lana said about Castaway's need to keep up his reputation was more or less correct. Castaway had rallied his band of human misfits by appealing to their bloodlust. Many of them had gone along with what he said because they had felt a certain kinship with him, him being as obsessed with hunting and killing as they were. If Lana's plan worked out then many of them would, no doubt, leave?
"I think we should go ahead with Lana's plan!" Demona declared abruptly. Everyone turned to look at her.
"Since when were you included in the clan's discussions?" Brooklyn sneered, angrily, at her.
Demona stiffened, but didn't grant Brooklyn a single word. Darlene however, did.. "Who says she was talking to you in the first place kid?"
Brooklyn bristled, but Goliath put a hand on his shoulder to stop him from making a spectacle of himself.
"Demona," Goliath began, "you would be willing to risk your own granddaughter's health and safety to insult Castaway?"
Demona's eyes flared. "I said I agreed with Lana's plan…. I didn't say I'd let her do it!"
Lana shouted, indignantly, "HEY! I can… " But she soon shut up when her grandmother gave her that 'watch it' look and if it was one thing that Lana had learned ever since coming to live with Demona, it was… Never, under any circumstances cross her.
Demona turned back to Goliath. "You send one of your little warriors to do the job. One of the least important ones… You doing anything tonight Brooklyn?" Demona smiled at the white silver glare that he threw at her.
"Yeah Goliath!" Lexington, also wanting to be apart of it, "there's no real danger. I can get us past the security alarms and everything, and I doubt that there will be many men there anyway since Castaway's been gone."
"And we'll be real careful too!" Brooklyn contributed.
Goliath looked as though he was still going to refuse them, but Hudson intervened. "Lad… they're not hatchlings anymore. They know the risks and I'm sure they'll be careful." He gave them a meaningful look, to which they all nodded vigorously.
Goliath sighed. It was true that he wanted the quarrymen to stop bothering them, but… he never would have imagined doing it this way.
"Very well," he relented and hoped he wouldn't be regretting his answer soon.
"YEEEEssssss!" Brooklyn cheered and slapped Lexington a high-five.
Lana grinned. "Mind if I help," she looked at her family, "just to get them ready for when they go… I promise I won't go with them." Darlene sighed and nodded. She had wanted her daughter to get on better with the clan, but this wasn't exactly what she had had in mind. Lana clapped her hands in joy and joined the others. "Okay, first… "She suddenly noticed that Castaway was covered in drool and she wrinkled her nose in disgust. "First… why don't you give the little drool-bag a bath?"
Five Hours later; Near Quarrymen Headquarters:
The trio and Angela glided through the sky until they saw the Quarrymen HQ building in sight.
Brooklyn and Angela settled down on the roof, carrying something between them, followed by Lexington who was also carrying a box load of stuff that he had got from the castle. Last but not least, Broadway landed with a thump on the ground and a bawling baby in his arms.
"Come on kid," Broadway pleaded with the baby, "shush, shush, shush!"
"Broadway," Lexington hissed at his rookery brother, "keep him quiet would ya?"
Broadway shot a glare at his smaller sibling "hey! If you think you can do better with him then be my guest!"
Lexington sighed, then remembered what he did with Alex whenever he was fussy. 'Can't hurt to give it a try,' he thought, walking over to Broadway and taking the baby quarryman from him.
He sat down on the roof, laid the infant on his lap and began to gently rub his belly while humming a nursery rhyme tune to him. At first, it didn't seem to have that much affect on him, but then he began to quiet down, his squalling reduced to hiccups and then he began to giggle when Lexington tickled him a bit.
"Theeeeerrreeee'ss a good boy," Lexington cooed and then lifted him back up to Broadway and grinned. "All it takes is a little know-how."
Broadway gaped at his brother, as he walked over to the roof entrance of the building and began fooling with the security alarms. He looked at the little Castaway, now even littler than usual, and wondered.
"Uhhh…. Coochy coochy coooo?" Broadway said, awkwardly, as he also tried tickling Castaway's belly and was rewarded by a fit of tiny giggles. Broadway smiled, relieved, and began making funny faces at him.
Lexington crossed and double-crossed the wires until at last, he went, "AHA!" And the door unlocked itself as if by magic. "Got it," he smiled in triumph and led the way inside.
As they all entered the building, Angela glanced nervously at the baby quarrymen leader, and whispered to the others "are you sure we should be doing this?"
Brooklyn looked at her and asked, "having second thoughts?"
Angela sighed, "I'm still not so sure if this is such a good idea. I mean, what if Castaway tries to get back at us somehow?"
Lexington smiled. "If all things go correctly tonight then... Chances are that when we're through with Castaway... NO one will ever take him seriously again!" He giggled and everyone, but Angela who just looked worried and Broadway who had his talons full with Castaway, rubbed his hands together gleefully.
"OR…" Brooklyn said "… we could just drop him off the building roof right now. It's your choice."
The baby screeched and wailed.
Lexington put his hands to his ears and grimaced. "I think he heard you."
Brooklyn growled in frustration. It was much easier to shut Castaway up when he was just a bratty kid, but as a baby… It was just plain impossible! "Shut him up Broadway," he hissed at his brother.
Broadway put his hand over the baby's mouth and tried humming to it again.
After making sure that the building was clear of all quarrymen and security, they found their way to Castaway's office.
Brooklyn snorted at the sight of quarry-hammers, old newspaper clippings that only portrayed them as monsters and even some small miniature gargoyles that were obviously used for target practise, as they had all been smashed into small pieces. "Still think we should just let him go?" he asked Angela.
Angela didn't say anything, but just looked at the miniature gargoyles until Lexington perked up and told them to get a move on. Angela and Brooklyn put the object that they had been carrying with them down. Lexington immediately went over and began rummaging through the pieces.
"You sure you can fix this thing Lex?"
Lexington gave Brooklyn a 'what do you think that I'm stupid or something' look. "Course I can," he replied. "Easy as pie." Broadway sighed and sat down with the infant in his lap and started humming all of the old rookery lullabies that he could think of.
An Hour Later:
Angela growled impatiently. "Lex! I thought you said you knew how to set this thing up?" She said, as they went through the bits and pieces on the floor.
Lex also growled in frustration. "It's not my damn fault that they made these things too damn hard to put together. Whoever invented this must have been a physicist or something because you'd have to be to fix this!"
Brooklyn smirked knowingly and confidently walked over to the pile of disembodied pieces on the floor. "Sure it is, you just need the brains." He put on a smug look as he started picking up a few of the bits and pieces.
Lexington and Angela both glared at him with slit eyes. "Okaaaay mister know it all, you try it!" Lexington walked over to the other side of the room and sat down, waiting for his leader to finish. Angela followed his example.
Brooklyn just gave them another smug look and went back to work after saying, "noooo problem."
Another Half An Hour Later:
Brooklyn snarled in frustration and threw the odd looking piece of wood across the room. "Okay, I give up!"
Lexington whistled quietly, as Brooklyn sat down, defeated. "I thought you said you just needed the brain," he sneered at Brooklyn, who just stuck one finger up at him and said, "shaddap!"
They worked together for another half an hour before finally fixing the item in question.
Lex gave a whoop of joy. "Finally! I thought we'd never get that stupid thing done. How the hell do humans expect to put these things together? They're nearly damn impossible."
Brooklyn wiped his forehead and said, "okay Broadway, we're ready for..." He stopped and looked blankly at Broadway who was bouncing baby Castaway on his knee, making faces and blowing funny noises at him.
"Boogle boogle…" Broadway cooed at the infant who wasn't smiling, but at least he wasn't crying anymore, as he bounced up and down on Broadway's knee.
"Whooooo's a smart and pretty wittle boy then?" Broadway continued, grinning and speaking baby talk to him.
Brooklyn blinked a few times before asking, "uhh Broadway… What… are you doing?"
Broadway jumped slightly and looked to his gathered audience, blushing brightly. "Umm…." He began "I was just… umm… err… entertaining him?" He finished sheepishly.
Castaway immediately started crying again and Broadway instinctually pulled another face at him, "boogaloogaloo!"
Brooklyn and Lexington just stared at the bizarre scene with blank looks, but Angela smiled and said, "Judging from this… it means that you're going to be a wonderful father someday."
Broadway blushed. "Do you really think so?"
Brooklyn rolled his eyes while Lexington just sighed and said, "umm… I hate to break up a heartfelt moment here, but... CAN WE GET ON WITH THIS PLEASE?"
With that, Lexington reached over and snatched the baby Castaway away from Broadway's embrace who actually looked a little sorry that he was going to have to say goodbye.
"Well…" Lexington began while holding Castaway at arm's length from him, "I'd like to say it's been fun having you Castaway... But I can't, so see ya!"
Lexington carefully dropped Castaway inside the project he and the others had been working on for nearly three hours and after securing him in it, he left through the door while Brooklyn went up to him next. "Don't come after us... Cos if you do then we'll do this again and… We'll send Bronx and Broadway over to play!" Brooklyn grinned and left after giving Castaway the one finger salute.
Angela didn't have anything sarcastic to say because that just wasn't her style. She looked at Broadway, as he made his way to follow her.
Broadway walked slowly forward and looked at the baby that he had actually grown quite fond of. It was amazing that a while ago, he had been ready to commit murder on this person and now all he wanted to do was pick him up and cuddle him.
Broadway sighed, "so long buddy." He turned back and watched Angela leave, she thought that he was right behind her. He then quickly raced back to the baby, tickled him under the chin and made another quick funny face at him, "boogaloogaloo!"
"Broadway?" Angela called.
"Coming!" He rushed out, leaving a baby quarryman squalling in his own office.
One Hour after Dawn:
A group of five Quarrymen walked up to the quarrymen headquarters, swiped their identity cards through the security system and made their way to Castaway's office.
One of the younger quarrymen yawned. "Why do you think Castaway asked us to meet up so early?"
The other three shrugged while the fourth just grumbled, "who knows? Miserable jerk disappears for nearly two weeks without a word and then suddenly he sends a message out to all of us to meet at his office in one hour… at 0530am!"
"John calm down," one of the others said, "you know Castaway… He doesn't care about what hour it is or how much work is involved, so long as it means the ultimate destruction of those hellish devil spawn monsters!" The last part was said in a mimic of Castaway, which the others laughed at heartily.
"Yeah maybe," the one called John said, "but I still would have preferred coming in at a later hour and getting a decent nights sleep."
"Wouldn't we all." The others agreed.
They reached Castaway's office door and knocked. A few seconds past and when no one answered they knocked again, but were still met with an eerie silence.
The quarryman called John was beginning to look angry. "If he called us all out here just for a joke then I'm gonna…"
"Hang on!" The youngest quarryman said, "listen to that."
"Listen to what?"
Everyone perked up their ears and heard a quiet, but definite sound coming from inside the room. It sounded like a cross between a grunt and a whimper.
John knocked again. "Sir! Are you in there?" A muffled sound that was definitely Castaway came out. It sounded like he was gagged. Thinking that their leader was in trouble, the quarrymen burst in.
"Sir! Are you…" The men stopped dead in their tracks and slowly took in the unbelievable scene in front of their eyes.
It was indeed Castaway who had spoken, but he hadn't been gagged or at least, not in the literal sense. His voice had been all muffled because he had had a large baby's dummy stuck in his mouth. And if that wasn't enough, he was also dressed in a small white frilly baby's top with a picture of Barney embroider on it, a frilly bonnet and a diaper that was stretched to capacity because of his adult size.
Castaway had also been tied into a baby's cot with his arms and legs hanging over the sides, which were waving about madly as he tried in vain to escape his prison. "GET ME OUT!" He tried to shout, but all that came out were muffled grunts.
The quarrymen stared at him in shock, and after a while, when the shock had passed, they started sniggering… sniggering that soon evolved into giggling and then into full out-burst laughter.
Castaway's eyes grew wide with shock at first and then into a ferocious rage, as he continued struggling to free himself while viciously grunting at his men to release him.
But his men were all too busy having the best laugh of their lives. One of them actually had to hold himself up against the wall, as he gasped for breath while the others began saying things like…
"Awww…ain't he cute!"
"Does the big baby need changing?"
"Want us to burp you?"
"Does baby want his bottle?"
They laughed hysterically at the awesomely funny sight, as Castaway went purple with rage. However, his purple complexion soon turned white when he heard the voices of more of his men arriving.
"HEY GUYS!" John cried out to the others. "SOMEONE LEFT US A BUNDLE IN CASTAWAY'S OFFICE! COME AND SEE!"
After that, more than a dozen men began filling into Castaway's office followed by even more as dozens of them arrived every minute and anyone who was even a mile away from the Quarrymen HQ, could hear the sounds of loud laughter.
Fifteen minutes past and Castaway was ready to commit murder. He had been laughed at, touched and prodded. Even one man had gone so far as to pinch his cheek, almost pulling it off his skull in the process, while saying, "coochy coochy coo!"
Finally the laughter was dying down and Castaway was sure that they would let him go now… He was wrong again!
John smirked, "oh man! I have GOT to tell somebody about this!" He reached into his pocket and pulled out a cell-phone, punching in a number and waiting for someone to pick up.
"Hello," he said "New York Times?"
Castaway, in spite of the large dummy in his mouth, screamed "NOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!"
One Week Later; Eyrie Building:
Xanatos sat down to breakfast and read the morning paper, smirking. "It's amazing what happens when you go out of town for a couple of weeks isn't it dear?" he asked Fox.
Fox looked up and smiled when she saw the front page of the New York Times. The newspaper article was showing the big news headline The Baby behind the Mask. On it was a photograph of Castaway lying in a cot that looked *remarkably* similar to Alex's, dressed in some baby clothes together with a bonnet and a dummy in his mouth. He definitely did NOT look happy, as he looked like he had been screaming at the time when the photo had been taken, which the theme would have worked well considering his attire.
Xanatos smiled, as he continued reading the story. Since the publishing of the story of Castaway's… Unique fashion sense. The public's support of the Quarrymen had dropped down at least a hundred points and a lot of the Quarrymen had long since grown sick of the way Castaway had treated them with disrespect and were glad of the opportunity to be rid of him.
It was highly unlikely that Castaway would ever get his organisation going again as everywhere he went, people kept cooing at him, offering him lollipops and asking him if he wanted to use the parents changing rooms. Some people were willing to listen to him, even join the Quarrymen, but most if not all of them were the kind of people who enjoyed wearing diapers and liked to play teddy in the hole. Definitely NOT the kind of people you'd want in a killer organisation.
Not only had the gargoyles publicly humiliated Castaway, but also his own men had taken the opportunity to add insult to injury and hadn't hesitated to call the media. There was no way he would ever live this one down. Every time he tried calling a Quarrymen rally, all he got for his trouble would be crowds full of laughing people and a lot of strange men asking him for a date.
Xanatos helped himself to another big laugh as he looked at the picture. When he had first seen it, he had cut it out of the paper and made a whole load of copies and kept them all in a drawer in his office in case he ever lost it. He couldn't have planned this any better if he had done it himself.
Xanatos chuckled. He had to admit that Lana had brains. Thanks to her, Castaway had been dealt a crushing blow to his reputation and his ego.
'So maybe now the gargoyles can go out in public without getting their heads blown off anymore,' he thought, but then scoffed at the idea. Humanity was a slow learner, they feared what they did not understand and they hated what they feared. These qualities did not bode well for a race of sentient, but frightening, creatures that wanted to live along side them in peace.
Xanatos sighed. It would probably be decades before Goliath and his kind would be truly welcomed by man, perhaps even longer. Seeing as humans were still trying to get used to their own kind… People were just getting used to women priests and the Ku Klax Klan was still about.
Xanatos sighed again, but then he took another look at the picture and laughed. 'Oh well,' he thought, 'one day at a time. And this is more than a good enough head start for now!'
"Something amusing husband?" Fox asked, conversationally.
Xanatos smirked. "What do you think?" And showed her the picture.
Despite having seen the photo a million times already, Fox burst into a fit of giggles and laughter.
A moment later, Owen came in with another pot of tea and offered them all a refill. "Forgive my tardiness Mr Xanatos. I was busy posting a package."
"Package?" Xanatos asked.
"Yes sir. Something that Brooklyn wanted to send off."
"What was it?" Fox asked, having finally calmed down.
Owen shrugged "I'm afraid I don't know Mrs Xanatos as Brooklyn never showed me nor told me the contents of it."
"Well, who was it for then?"
Owen answered and they looked at him, blankly, totally confused. What would Brooklyn send to him of all people and why?
Across New York:
Castaway slammed the paper down on the table, furious. When were they ever going to stop printing it?
His Quarrymen had betrayed, humiliated and deserted him. Now, all that was left of his once proud and feared society of righteous warriors was him and a few fat pimply men who wore bunny slippers and wanted to play houses with him. He would have thrown them right out on the street, but unfortunately they were all he had left now.
No one took him seriously anymore. He was a laughing stock everywhere he went and every time that he tried to appeal with some of the local thugs, assassins or anyone that would prove useful to him against the gargoyles, he was met with roars of laughter.
Suddenly, there was a knock at the door and Teddy, if that was really his name, came in.
"Hello Johnny" he said in a way too soft voice "this just came for you." He handed Castaway a boxed package and left, saying he had to do his nails.
Castaway gritted his teeth, but he didn't bother in correcting the fat oaf to address him as sir or at least MISTER Castaway, as it didn't seem to be getting through to him.
Castaway sighed and opened the box. 'I've been ridiculed as a pervert and can't go anywhere without being humiliated even further. I've got men who like to play houses, standing where warriors once stood and… The gargoyles are still loose and now it seems that there's no one around to stop them at all.' Castaway swore 'how can it possible get any worse?'
Castaway opened the box. Inside was a letter along with a rubber duck that had had its head tore off. Castaway recognised it instantly and read the letter: -
Sorry for leaving you like that, but it's not like we could have stuck around waiting for your men to find us. I hope they found you okay?
Here's Mister Ducky Wucky! I thought you might want him back as a souvenir, oh and you can keep the cot and the clothes in case you're wondering?
Broadway says if you ever need a babysitter (in more ways than one) then he'd be more than happy to help!
Got to go! Glad you're not here!
P.S. Alex will be starting Nursery school soon. You might wanna come and check it out. You might make some new friends?
Castaway screeched, tore up the letter into so many pieces that it looked like it was snowing in his office, threw the box across the room and then stomped on it until it was as flat as a pancake.
"I'LL GET THEM" he swore to himself "I'LL GET THEM ALL AND… "
The door knocked and Teddy poked his head back in "hey Johnny! I was just going to make a drink, want some? How about some nice warm milk?"
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