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by even greater authors. Have a great 2001. Reviews and e-mails are always welcome.
Laters...The Barracuda

23 - "Retribution Part 1: Lure"
Originally Written: April 2nd, 2000

November 20th, 2000
Her bare, silken arms were seized above her head, as she struggled with all her passion
against her captor. Yet she couldn't move, she was pinned by her attacker's powerful
hands. Her legs and feet were useless to her, held down by his tremendous weight. Eyes
of a wondrous chocolate shade welled up with tears, as she directed her agonized gaze to
her captor's shadowed features. His face was dark and obscure in the absence of light,
yet his deep onyx eyes stood out, penetrating to her very ethereal essence, where her most
heartfelt emotions now lay uncovered to his sight. Elisa Maza was trapped, unable to
escape from a torture that would bring any human to their utmost breaking point.

"Stop!! Stop it, please!!" she cried in a quivering utterance, touched with the outset of
her emerging panic, yet went unanswered. She choked back her sobs and tried to squirm
from his entrapment of her smaller body, but failed miserably. She again felt his touch
on her delicate skin, an embrace of sheer electricity, inflaming her senses and wreaking
havoc with her sensitive nerve endings, moving down her bare stomach. She followed
his tail as it twitched and continued caressing her side, just above the waist. She couldn't
take it anymore, her captor had won. He had at last broken her spirit. "Okay, okay!! I
give up. Knock it off, Goliath!!"

Elisa's exhilarating laughter finally subsided as she watched her husband lean forward
and tenderly touch his lips upon her heated flesh. She quickly rolled on top and captured
his tail in her slender hand before it could escape her grasp. "Whew, you know, this
thing should be registered as a deadly weapon." she chuckled, as the tail suddenly
revived in her clutches and slipped down her side again. "Oh no, I don't think so." Elisa
whirled around and snatched the lavender appendage before glaring to Goliath and giving
him barely a sight of her malicious grin.

He raised his brow and gasped as she tightened her grip. "OUCH!!!" Goliath yelped and
jumped up, knocking Elisa back to the softened snare of the bed. He stood to his full
height and turned to face her.

She was too busy laughing to notice his approach. However, Elisa would at last discover
the large shadow cast by her husband and instantly ceased her laughing, slowly traveling
along the breadth of his muscular frame, ultimately reaching his eyes, glowing an ivory
ember. She sunk back slightly, now perhaps thinking she might have gone too far. "I
love you?" she whispered, trying desperately to sweet-talk her way out of an impending
tickle, but knew by Goliath's evil smile, that she was on the verge of the ultimate torment
he could ever give to her.

His massive form enshrouded above her as if a lavender storm front gathering within the
sky, with strikes of lightning taking form as enormous taloned hands, just inches away
from her bronze skin.

"WHHAAAAAAAAA!!!" A howling wail exploded from the small room adjoining the
couple's, saving Elisa from her husband's roaming hands. Little Trinity had effectively
made herself known in the unique language only a newborn could comprehend, and yet,
her parents completely understood.

Goliath and Elisa clicked knowing looks to each other and smiled. It seemed that Trinity
would interrupt her parents just at the worst moments, and now having been awakened by
her father's cry, she screamed with all the power her tiny lungs could bring forth,
desperate for attention.

Elisa slipped from underneath her husband and quickly entered the small room. Peering
into the crib, she spotted the small child within the mounds of blankets and toys. Her
large eyes staring intently to her mother and she flailed her limbs, attempting to reach for
her mother's drifting raven locks, almost flowing within range of her diminutive hands.
"Did we wake you, my angel?" Elisa whispered as she picked the child from the crib and
cradled her close.

Goliath came up behind her and wrapped his arms around them both, capturing his
family within the velvet folds of dark indigo wings. His dark gaze observed closely
Elisa's soothing touch, calming their child, and soon Trinity closed her eyes and fell back

"You shouldn't be so loud, Goliath." Elisa jokingly chided the large gargoyle as she
lowered the baby into the wooden crib. She stood up only to feel the rush of Goliath's
hot breath on her neck, released in a sardonic sigh, and she pushed herself deeper into his
stead, giggling out of earshot.


Decrepit were the walls of this new found domain, as the sorrowful lantern's light gave
birth to every flaw and crevice of the deteriorating plywood. The large office was
sparsely furnished, with only a desk and chair to distinguish it's actual purpose. A door
creaked open with a deathly lament, and in staggered slowly, a lone figure. A clatter of
talons and the clicking of a cane upon the peeling linoleum, the gnarled sound of a
pronounced limp in the figure's wretched stride. He hobbled his way to the desk, and
with great difficulty and pain, slumped into the chair's offering of leather comfort.

A drawer opened with a tug of talons and he pulled forth three envelopes, each with a
different name adorning the front. Dark eyes of scarlet scanned the paper containers, and
he wet his lips with a lecherous tongue. Blooming from his ruminating gaze, the blood
red glow grew even stronger as his thoughts converged on a single premise. A gruesome
excitement swelled in intensity as he leaned back in the overstuffed chair, baring his
teeth in a smile that would scare off even Satan himself.

"Three envelopes...for three beautiful women." he rasped in a voice as if spitting fire,
"but only one of whom will become my mate, and bear my children."


November 21st, 2000
Delilah excitedly snatched the envelope from Maggie's hand, before the mutate even had
the time to react to her presence. It had arrived in the daily shipment of mail to the
Labyrinth and was addressed solely to her. The others of the under dwellers were curious
of who would be sending the young clone mail, but respectively left her to her privacy.

Delilah slammed her door shut and flopped down into her lounge chair, a favorite place
to read for hours on end. Ripping open the envelope, she pulled out a letter and noticed a
silver chain clatter to the floor. She pulled the chain from the ground in her slender
hands and examined it closer with wide eyes.

It was a thin silver necklace, with a small symbol hanging from the front. She instantly
recognized it, as that emblem had haunted her daydreams and remained within her
thoughts since so many months ago. It was a perfect copy of a symbol tattooed on
Shadow's chest.

Smiling from ear to ear, she unfolded the message and noticed the cursive script, suiting
the dark warrior perfectly. She skimmed the passage and jumped to her feet, breathing
heavily and barely containing her excitement. "He wants to meet with me tomorrow
night...but he said...oh who cares, he wants to see me! Alone!!"


Destine Manor was shrouded in darkness and it's owner, preferring the Cimmerian
surroundings, had taken to the peace offered by the night, where she could hide away
from what a millennia of bloodshed had torn upon her tortured soul. Her corporation was
taking its toll, requiring of her more and more hours to spend within the confines of
Nightstone Unlimited's towering prominence of steel.

And with the recent theft more than two weeks ago, the resources at her disposal had
almost been exhausted, with the daunting task of locating this new gargoyle, a gargoyle
brazen enough to kill one of her employees and steal a powerful computer chip and a
deadly toxin, but her search had turned up nothing.

She had entered the sanctuary of her mansion just before dusk, and immediately took to
her bath, attempting to drown her aches and pains with a strawberry soap solution.
Retreating to her couch and the book that had so captivated her the past week, a welcome
escape from the turmoil of her job and life, she didn't bother to check her mail, dumped
in a haphazard pile on her coffee table. Her eyes drifted to the heap, and she sighed,
knowing most of the white envelopes were presumably bills.

But one stood out from the rest, a pale lavender, an exact resemblance to her daughter
and ex-mate's skin color. She slipped the envelope from the pile and dragged a single
talon across the top, releasing a letter and something else, a thin square wrapped in a dark
green cover, falling into her opened palm. Her favorite dessert, a chocolate covered
confection, that she often shared with her daughter. "Angela wants to meet with me..."
she whispered quietly upon peering at the letter, nibbling away at the sweetened fete.


A bright crimson-red disappeared under a concealment of denim material as Elisa pulled
her jeans on over her lace-detailed bikini panties, a favored gift from Goliath, and let out
a triumphant laugh. After three weeks of self imposed torture, she had finally fit into her
jeans after giving birth to Trinity barely a month ago. She and Fox were spending several
hours a day in the gym, as the former television star was helping Elisa get back into
shape. And it seems it was paying off faster than she had ever hoped.

She was ultimately lured from her mirror, and the image of her past figure drawn back to
life, by a brisk knock on her doors. Upon opening, her eyes met those of Owen Burnett's,
standing in his usual rigid mannerism before her.

"I hate to interrupt, detective, but the mail arrived some hours ago and this is addressed
to you." He handed her a lone envelope and simply walked away.

The envelope held in her slender hands was a gentle rose blush with her name on the
surface in a very familiar handwritten scrawl. Inside the envelope and the white folded
paper, she found a dried rose, but it's scent was as strong as ever, as she held it to her
nose, and enjoyed the saccharine scent. Her smile grew even larger on ruby lips as she
read the letter out loud to herself, "To my dear Elisa, I want to meet with you tomorrow
night. Our first night out after having our child. I have arranged for a baby-sitter, so do
not worry. And this is a surprise. Do not mention it to anyone, even me. I will see you
tomorrow night, at the address written on the back of the envelope. I shall be waiting for


The next night, the clouds had finally released their burden of frozen rain, and covered
the city with a blanket of light snow. This blustery night had officially signaled the onset
of Winter, and the white haze falling from the heavens reinforced it's domination over
the humans caught in it's icy grip. It was a cold night, a night for those who reveled the
darkness, who felt safe in the frigid embrace of the year's most unforgiving season.

A mansion of the elder days of old New York, remained alone on a far street, away from
the bustle of the city, yet it's enfeebled walls still holding back the icy winds. The third
floor, where a figure studied the dying flakes of snow rampaging against the windows
and melting away to oblivion. He smiled as the hands on his clock struck the intended
hour, it was almost time.

Through the endless swirling of the crystalline eddy, he caught sight of a pair of
headlights breaking through the darkness. A car was approaching, it's bright red paint
barely visible through the drifts of snow, yet the large figure recognized this particular
automobile. He watched it pull up to the curb, and a small occupant emerge from the
driver's side door. The figure melted back into the shadows of the darkened building and
waited for his visitor.

"This had better be good, Big Guy." Elisa chuffed through her scarf as she ran to the
protective cover just in front of the large Victorian double doors. She reached for the
door knob, and not surprisingly, it opened. She stepped through, kicking the snow from
her boots and shook her head, releasing the luxurious wafts of raven from the clumps of
snow. She studied her surroundings the best she could, in the unlit void of the manor,
deserted and emptied out of it's furnishings.

Yet something caught her eye, a flicker to the side directed her gaze to a small cluster of
candles, forming a trail up the metal cast steps of the spiraled staircase. She slowly
ascended the stairs, knowing a certain someone was awaiting her presence above.

As she reached the top, the glowing pathway of ignited flame led into a doorway at the
far end of the hall. She followed and peered within, empty, apart from a single candle
near a tall window. She quietly crept inside and approached the lone flame, burning
softly in the emptiness around her. Holding her bare hands to the tiny flicker of light, she
warmed her skin, and perhaps expected her admirer to show himself at last. And with a
sudden movement behind her, possibly that time was now. "Goliath? Is that you?"

"Elisa?" her own voice answered back. A winged shadow moved into the pale light, and
Elisa's eyebrows raised at the sight.

"Delilah?! What are you doing here?"

"I was going to ask you the same thing." the clone answered, moving near her mother.

"I was invited here by Goliath."

"And I was invited here by Shadow."

"And I was invited here by my daughter..." A new player in the conversation replied
from the direction of the window. The two women turned to see Demona stepping
through the opened pane. "And now I find the two of you here."

"Demona? What's going on?" Elisa asked, becoming even more confused.

"I believe I can answer that..." From the shadows and just outside the reach of the
candle's weak dominion, the three females whirled around to locate the source of the low
baritone rasp.

"Goliath?" Elisa hesitantly asked the shape looming before her.

"No." The room erupted in a flash of light as the entire floor became energized, catching
the three women in a field of electricity. It coursed through their bodies, engulfing them
in a pain that spread to every inch of their bones and reached to their very core. They
plunged to the floor and lost consciousness. The large figure threatened upon the fallen
protectors' limp forms, and smiled.


A veil of ebon dread, thin as a spider's satin web, yet dark enough to cast out all light,
had covered Elisa as she slept, her unconscious mind trying gravely to force her awake.
She was locked within her dreams, about Goliath, about her friends, her family, her

"Elisa?" Her own voice called to her, a desperate plea being scattered in the walls of her
mind. "Elisa?!"

The detective stirred and slowly opened her eyes, and gazed into what she thought was a

"Oh, Elisa," Delilah sighed, finally allowing herself to smile as her mother struggled to
awaken, "thank god."

Elisa groggily looked around her and noticed vertical steel bars coming into sharp focus
in front of her. Beside her, she turned to the young clone, staring at her with wide eyes,
her slender copper hands clamped tight to the bars separating them. They were trapped
in what seemed to be a massive cage, ensnaring them in a cell of unforgiving iron.
"Where...where are we?"

"In some kind of jail. We were hit with that charge of electricity and passed out. I woke
up a few minutes ago to find myself here."

"Where's Demona?" Elisa continued, surprised at her concern for the woman who had
tried on numerous occasions to take her life.

"RRRRAAAAAUUUUUUGGGHH!!!" The immortal's scream roared through the room
as she tried to rip the bars from their foundation. Her eyes glowing with an infuriated
wrath, she wailed away at the steel with her bare claws. "LET ME OUT!!! LET ME
OOOUUUUTT!!!" Demona stood in the center of her cage and clenched her fists, her
breath ragged and her entire body trembling with fury.

"It's all right," Delilah faced the gargoyle and tried to reassure her, "we'll get out of

Demona raced towards the bars and bored into Delilah's large brown eyes with her own
dark gaze. "Do not presume to tell me how to feel, clone! I will get out of here on my
own. Without your help."

"Calm down, Demona." Elisa defended her adopted daughter. "She had nothing to do
with this and doesn't deserve that tone of yours."

"Fine. I am...sorry, Delilah." Demona chuffed as she turned away, and filled her
attention by studying the room they were in. A large chamber, with the windows painted
over with black veneer, barely allowing the moonlight to flow through, and thus softly lit.
The plywood walls were concealed behind a deep red silk fabric, hanging from the walls
and disguising the wear suffered through age and overuse. She was not impressed,
especially to be so easily captured and contained. "I swear the one responsible for this
will pay dearly."

"The only question is, who did this?"

"That would be me." A whisper flowed upon the stale air, emerging from the other side
of the room. A large chair turned slowly and revealed the occupant.

"Oh my god..." Elisa rasped, her breath trembling with alarm, "Thailog."

Delilah immediately recoiled in absolute terror, scrambling to the back of her cage and
hiding herself away from Goliath's clone with her wings, mumbling sobbed pleas
beneath her breath.

"Yes, my dear, sweet detective Maza. It's me." Thailog turned his chair slightly to face
Demona. "It's good to see you too...nightangel."

His response was met by a scream as Demona lunged at the bars before her in a
thundering rage. "I WILL GUT YOU FOR THIS, BASTARD!!!"

"I think not." He rose shakily from his seat and grabbed the cane beside him. He limped
over to the cages and stood in full view of the captured threesome. His dark cerulean
hide was burned away with large seared patches of dead skin covering more than half of
his mangled body. His wings hung limply behind his back, utterly useless and the
remaining membranes dangling in tattered shreds. His eyes of crimson carnage stared at
the women before him. "I was the one who sent those letters to you, for I needed to bring
you me."

He watched with amusement as Demona lunged for him through the bars, yet stopped
short inches away from his neck, unable to reach any further. He moved on to Delilah,
who was huddling near the back of her cage, encased in the protective cocoon of her
wings, unwilling to even brave a glimpse at her former master.

Finally, he moved to the last cage, with Elisa locking her gaze with his. "You are as
beautiful as I remember," he beguiled her in her husband's voice, "no wonder my father
is smitten with you."

"Why are we here?" Elisa hissed through clenched teeth.

"It's simple, my lady. One of you will have the esteem honor...of becoming my mate."

Elisa stepped back in morbid shock as Demona started to laugh.

"You actually think I would come crawling back to you?" the immortal fumed.

"I have already made my choice. And you are not it." His eyes caught Delilah once
more. "My...failed experiment. I thought she would be a pinnacle of genetic
engineering. A perfect being created from two of this planet's most strong and willful
women, but she failed to meet my standards. She was less than the sum of her parts, as it
were. She's an abomination, and not fit to even be granted the precious gift of life."

He eventually stepped closer to Elisa's cage, roving his lascivious eyes upon her slender
frame and swallowing hard, causing a sickening dread to grow in the detective's
midsection. "You, Elisa Maza, will be my mate. You will be by my side for the rest of
your life."

Elisa sneered and slowly walked back. "I will never be your mate, you son of a bitch."

"I'm afraid you have no choice." He punched in a sequence of numbers on a small
keypad on the secluded side of the cell walls. The door to Elisa's cell opened, and
Thailog stepped in.

Elisa backed to the far wall, her mind racing for a solution. This behemoth coming
toward her possessed Goliath's strength and speed, but his body had been damaged by the
fire that she had thought had claimed his life almost four years ago. She let loose a spin
kick, aiming for his head.

But the clone was prepared, having studied her moves before. He effortlessly caught her
foot and threw her to the ground. In an instant, Thailog was upon her, pulling a syringe
from his loincloth. He plunged the needle into her neck and emptied it's yellowish
contents into her blood system. Elisa felt the world slip away and was engulfed in a hazy
gray. "This should stifle some of that defiant attitude." he spit into her ear, while picking
up her motionless form.

Delilah ran to the side of the cage but could do nothing as Thailog walked from her grasp
with Elisa in his arms.

He hobbled to the far side of the large chamber, and dumped the human on a massive
bed. She moaned softly and opened her heavy eyes, her vision blurring and distorting her
view of a hideous gaze, eating into her soul. "" She tried with all her might to
move but his large hands held her firmly in place.

"You should be happy, Elisa. You have been chosen. I never saw you as a mate until I
discovered the fact you were able to conceive a child with my father. You will now carry
my seed within you. You will bare me children, those who will carry on after me when I
am gone. Nature will succeed where science and cloning have faltered. I can raise our
children from the moment of their birth, and mold them throughout their childhood,
extinguishing any rebellious feelings they might have, like that traitorous bitch, Delilah.
Our children, born from human and gargoyle, will possess the best attributes of both, a
gargoyle's strength, wings and stamina, yet the human's ability to defy the sun. They
will serve my needs and heed my very wishes." Thailog peered over his shoulder to the
cages where Demona and Delilah were being held, staring on with helpless eyes. "Of
course, I will need to eliminate those two. They may cause problems in the future.
Delilah can be disposed of easily enough, but Demona will require some thought.
Perhaps I can use MacBeth and that magical link of theirs. Or, she will just have to rot in
that cell for the rest of time."

Elisa squirmed underneath him as his thoughts were turned back to the human on the
bed. He smiled at her defiant attitude, admiring her vigor and stamina, and filling his
libidinous thoughts with lust. "You will be mine for the rest of your life, Elisa Maza, and
there's nothing anybody can do about it."

To be continued...