27 - "Future Echoes"
Originally Written: April 9th, 2000

December 1st, 2020
"Come on, slowpoke," Liberty Maza called to the gargoyle of a blanched cerise hue
behind her, "you're falling behind!"

"That's not fair, you're lighter than me!" Phoenix Hawkins yelled back, opening his
wings even further to increase his speed, and catching New York's rapturous ethered
currents beneath his unimpaired membrane folds.

"Hey, knock it off you two." Trinity Maza flew overhead and chastised her younger,
lavender sister of three years and her cousin of the same age. "Remember last week,
when you both ran into the Empire State building?"

"But that wasn't my fault, Phoenix caught my tail!!" Liberty answered snidely and rolled
her eyes at her sibling, yet acquiesced quickly when noticing her older sister's angry
expression. "Yes, oh mighty second in command."

"Just leave the lovebirds to their little game, nightangel." From beyond the howling of
wind, a voice broke through, catching the attention of the copper colored hybrid. "I
saved them last week, and I'll do it again if I have to."

Trinity perked up abruptly to see Alexander Xanatos floating above her, assuming a
relaxed position of folded arms, and easily matching her velocity. "That's the point," she
sighed, "they shouldn't have to be saved, especially from their own recklessness.
Hatchlings."

"We were both that age, and for you, it was only three years ago."

"I'm the second of this clan. I can't have other members flying around, acting like kids.
They should know better." Trinity chuffed, but was suddenly halted in mid-flight by
tendrils of emerald magic, grasping along her body and pulling it swiftly towards
Alexander.

The powerful sorcery erupted from Alex's fingertips, using his extraordinary abilities to
draw her towards him, and she relented to his talents, allowing him to wrap his arms
around her, holding her within the sky with the powers of the Fay. "You know, Trin,
ever since Broadway made you his second in command, you've a little on edge." he
joked, a familiar grin forming on his lips. The same grin his father got whenever poking
fun at Goliath.

"Yeah, remind me to thank uncle Lex for turning down his offer. Lucky for me, I was the
second choice." she sighed and turned to face the half human, half Fay twenty-something.
"It's just...it's more responsibility than I ever imagined. I had no idea how hard it would
be to boss the others around, especially people who are older than me, or people who are
of my very flesh and blood."

"That's the role of leadership. You were the best choice. The sheer will and
determination of Elisa and the strength and intelligence of Goliath. You were born for
this role...child of destiny."

Trinity went limp in his arms, with a slight shaking of her head. "Oh please, 'Xander.
Don't throw that prophecy in my face. I'm not the hero everybody thinks, I'm just a
normal twenty year old girl..."

"Who happens to have wings and a tail."

Trinity laughed and coiled her arms around Alex's neck, using her eyes of chocolate
grace to prevail against his haunting verdant stare. "What's your point?" she purred,
grazing her lips along his own, and drawing him in to her mesmerizing kiss. Her wings
shuddered and unwittingly moved around them, as they lingered among the expanse of
the heavens, embracing passionately over the highest buildings of Manhattan.

"Ah man, they're kissing again." Skye Maza stuck his tongue out and buzzed the couple,
as his dark lavender skinned, twin brother came up on the other side.

"You know, if you guys keep doing that, you'll stick that way." Storm Maza joked as he
joined his lighter colored brother in taunting their older sibling.

"Leave them alone guys," Jennifer Hawkins slipped up behind them and as she glided by,
delivered light smacks to the back of their heads, "or you'll have to worry about me."

"Oh big threat, Hawkins!" Storm replied, rubbing his head through the layers of his
ebony locks. "That hurt."

"Hey guys," another quiet voice called to the group, barely able to sustain itself on the
turbulent skyway, "wait for me." Zoe Hawkins, a small, diminutive gargess with her
blond hair falling on either side of her pink, heart shaped face, headed up the rear of the
group.

"How come we're always waiting for the runt?" Storm whispered to his brother.

"I'm only eleven!" Zoe defended herself. "Big jerks..." she muttered under her breath,
nearing her older sister Jennifer's left side.

"Knock it off, everyone." Trinity attempted her fruitless effort to get her troops in order,
as they all converged in the aura created by Alexander's magical abilities. "Is everybody
here?" She looked to the six hybrid gargoyles floating before her and snapped her
fingers. "Silhouette. Where'd she get off to?"

A whisper of contorted shadows from the towers and spires of the cityline, released a
dark figure from their grip, and a slender gargoyle swiftly took her place near the copper
second. "I'm here."

"AAAAHH!!!" Trinity whirled around to see the dark skinned girl swoop beside her, and
settle her ivory wings about her spiked shoulders. "Jeez, Sil, don't do that!"

The dark warrior cocked a brow ridge to her clan sister, and tilted her head slightly, with
her frosted tress falling over her right eye. "I'm sorry, but you asked." she answered
innocently.

"Hey, the samurai warrior made a funny." Phoenix quipped as Liberty, entwined around
his arm, covered her own smile with a lavender hand. "Is the world about to explode?"

Silhouette's eyes glowed her father's bleached sapphire rage and she reached to her tunic
belt, clasping the handles of her sai. Phoenix responded with a smirk and a hard-edged
stare of crimson, taking after his mother, and eagerly welcoming the ninja's challenge.

But a copper hand quickly shot in front of them, with Trinity effectively stopping the
fight that was about to break out. "All right. Has everyone completed their patrols?" she
demanded, acting true the role of second and watching seven gargoyles nod their heads.

"Quiet night, sis," Liberty answered back, rubbing her hands together and curling deeper
into Phoenix's body, "I guess everybody's inside, out of the cold."

"Well, Graeme and Arianna's patrol party has checked in as well, and they're going
home. So let's do the same, and get the hell out of this damned snow."

****************************************

She had always marveled at the sheer size of her ancient home, and now even with the
passage of twenty years, it still loomed large around her, an impressive architectural
masterpiece, created a thousand years before her birth and having sheltered her and her
siblings their entire lives. Towering ceilings, golden chandeliers in every room and hall,
and arches raising ten feet above the ground, leading into room after room of the
different members of the clan. As Trinity Hope Maza traveled the length of the grand
hallways of Wyvern, she refreshed great memories with every subtle nuance and abstruce
crook of the stones, especially the laughter of young children, their hyperactive screams
echoing among the corridors. And that remained true to this very day.

As Trinity neared a corner, she narrowly missed a blur of wing and colored hide.
"Whoa!!" Two hatchlings ripped past her, barely passing along a hello to their second.
"Hey!! Samson! Edison! Be careful!!" she yelled to them, catching their wide eyes as
they screeched to a halt and turned to face her, waiting for the usual ranting always
associated with the 'grown-ups'. "Oh, don't give me those puppy dog eyes, guys," she
barked teasingly, "I invented that. Now get outta here."

Samson, the burly, turquoise child, looked with glee to his smaller emerald colored,
web-winged brother with the large eyes. They took off in a mad rush, leaving Trinity to
laugh out loud at her ever so cute clan-siblings.

She continued on and soon came to the massive doors, leading into her parent's room. A
copper hand rapped three times on the solid wood, and a voice answered back to her
summons.

"Come in."

Trinity slipped in and stepped onto the plush carpet, scanning the impressive bedroom
before her. "Mom? Where are you?" she called out.

"Right here, Trini." Elisa emerged from her office, formerly the nursery, and approached
her firstborn. "I was just getting some work done." she answered, stretching the kinks
from her back and flopping down to the bed. Barely any indication of her true age was
presented forth to scrutinizing eyes, with hardly a line underneath sparkling eyes and
several strips of silver framing her lush black hair, tied up in the back, and leaving only a
few strands hanging by her face. Her curvaceous frame still remained it's ever youthful
guise, kept in shape with the castle's well equipped gym. Her dark navy suit hugged
upon every curve and contour, and her intentionally tight skirt released silky legs into the
gleam of the light.

Trinity admired her mother's awe-inspiring beauty, and secretly cursed the human for
keeping her looks well into middle age. 'She still looks damn good,' she thought,
hopping onto the bed beside her mother, 'especially for a woman who just celebrated her
fiftieth birthday and who's given birth to four half gargoyle children. God, she's aged
well. Of course, it's partly due to Alex's magic spell. If she only knew he has used his
powers to extend her lifespan and retain her beauty far longer than that of any human.
Man, she'd be pissed.'

"How was patrol tonight?" the slender woman asked.

"Boring, as usual. I guess criminals only like to commit crimes when it's warm out."
Trinity replied as Elisa smiled back. "So, captain Maza, since when do you do
paperwork outside of the precinct?"

"Since I'm behind because of my vacation. I lost three months due to the wedding
anniversary getaway with your father." Elisa leaned forward and moved a couple of
loose strands of hair away from Trinity's face. "I got a call from Chavez earlier."

"Really? How's aunt Maria taking retirement?"

"Frankly, I think she's bored. And a little lonely. Especially without Hudson's company
anymore."

"Yeah..." Trinity quietly agreed, shifting her gaze to the black belt around her waist, and
the long sword contained in it's leather sheath. On her sixteenth birthday, she had
received Hudson's sword as a gift and less than eight months later, he passed away due to
a fatal heart disease. She had lost her 'Grampa Hudson' to a silent, and deadly affliction
that could have been easily prevented. "I still miss him." she rasped.

Elisa pulled her daughter close to her chest, and rubbed her hands soothingly about her
shoulders and wings. "We all do, Trini. We all do." But their moment together was
disturbed when a massive shadow threatened over them, causing the women to stare up
into an imposing lavender form, having come quietly through the doors and hold himself
at the bed's end.

"Oh, hi daddy."

"Hello, my daughter," a low baritone rumbled throughout the room, "how was tonight's
patrol?"

"Rather peaceful."

"Good, the city has been quiet lately," Goliath responded, placing himself beside his
family on the bed, with Elisa and Trinity noticing the mattress sink considerably, "it will
give you and the younger generation time to yourselves." The lavender giant smiled
sweetly at his daughter, who in turn filled the extent of her vision with his noble
prominence. Even with the amulet that allowed him to resist his stone prison during the
day, he had less evidence of aging than Elisa, except for his hair. A beautiful sterling had
graced his temples, and continued the length of his locks, to the very tips. A very visible,
and handsome, gargoyle trait.

But her attention soon leveled to his hands, and the small brown pouch he carried within
his palms. "What's that?" she urged, motioning towards the pouch.

"It's nothing." he answered sharply, trying hard to sway his daughter's intense curiosity.

"Come on, dad. What is it?" Trinity pressed the issue and her father sighed in reluctance,
releasing from the pouch a small metal object, a deep red with a golden bird adorning the
front. "The phoenix gate..." she gasped, her eyes growing increasingly wide as she stared
at the talisman. "But I thought it was destroyed."

"It was. That was the original. This is an entirely new gate, forged from a combination
of magic and science." Goliath held the gate to his eyes, gleaming in the light of the
room's three chandeliers. "It was created by your aunt Dominique. It was a...hobby of
hers years ago. She never thought actually creating a new gate would be possible, but
when you were still a child, she succeeded."

"What did she use it for?" Trinity asked, and receiving in turn only sly smiles on the
faces of her parents.

"You mean you don't remember?" Goliath teased. "Hmmm...of course not, you were
very young. Dominique finally located the gate in the ruins of her mansion last week and
gave it to me for safekeeping. I intend to keep it in the castle's vault."

"So," she started, tending a cocky smile much like her mother's, "I couldn't use it?"

Goliath rose from the bed and started to walk away, leaving behind a simple answer,
"No."

"Why not?"

"Time travel is extremely dangerous." he remarked, returning the gate to it's pouch and
carefully placing it in Elisa's desk in her office.

"I can give you an order, you know. I am the second in command."

Goliath quickly snapped around, and swiftly tramped to his daughter's stead. "You may
be the second, and I may have retired from my role as leader of this clan, but I am still
your father," Goliath rose to his full height and extended his massive wings, his eyes
glowing white, "and I am much bigger than you."

His daughter smiled sheepishly and shied away. He had always intimidated her, even
though she knew he would never cause her any harm. He had always used that particular
look and stance when she was a small child, who had just committed a heinous crime.
And it always worked.

"Stay away from the gate, Trinity Hope, or I will be very, very angry." Goliath reached
for his wife and lifted her off the bed with a single hand. "We are going to have a late
dinner. Care to join us?"

"No thanks, I'm not hungry. We all got drive-thru tonight."

"Okay. But mind your father's wishes, Trini." Elisa added as the couple left the room
and closed the door behind them.

A malicious smile grew upon her heavenly features, and she instantly scrambled to the
small room, opened the drawer and grabbed the gate. "If this thing really works, I can
use it to save Grampa's life. The past can't be changed, my ass! How do you work this
thing? I hope it doesn't require a spell, my Latin and Egyptian are a little rusty." she
uttered, turning the talisman over and noticing a small screen and keypad, and the power
button. "Aunt Dominique, you are the greatest!"

She turned the gate on and the scarlet alloy gleamed with a combined energy of ancient
magic and modern technology. The small screen flashed the words 'ENTER DATE'
before her eyes and she did so very quickly, knowing exactly where she wanted to go.
Upon entering the last digit, the gate vibrated slightly in her open palms, and erupted
with a strange hum, growing increasingly louder, until the magical flames flared from the
tiny device and enveloped her form. With a bright flash, she disappeared, leaving only a
puff of smoke to drift into the air and fade away.

The bedroom doors opened and Goliath and Elisa peeked through. "Is she gone?" Elisa
queried softly, looking up to her husband.

"Right on schedule."

****************************************

December 1st, 2000
The residents of Wyvern had scattered themselves to all corners of the castle, removed
from the brusque climate and conditions, and perhaps never being able to imagine what
could be leaving upon their castle with the swirling inferno of the phoenix. The sphere
of flames erupted and literally spit out a solitary figure, dropping her abruptly on the hard
stone. "Ow!" Trinity shrieked. "Real smooth ride, aunt Dominique..." She rubbed her
backside and got to her feet. Perhaps expecting the castle to be somehow different in the
past, yet it was as exactly as she remembered, an almost precise similarity to her home
twenty years from now. She quickly fled to the archway leading inside, escaping the
snowfall of this era's weather conditions.

Having retreated to the castle's interior, the gargess continued her path to her intended
destination. "It's exactly the same." she said to herself, echoing her thoughts, as she
happened by the media room and just barely glimpsed inside. Brooklyn, Sata, the twins,
and Shadow, with Delilah resting soundly against his chest, gathered around the
television. So similar yet so different, especially Graeme and Arianna, having matured
into a fine young man and woman in her time.

But her target was not here, and she moved on. Passing by several doors, until stopping
by the entrance marked by the towering wooden barriers. Her eyes lit up, recognizing her
parent's room. She hesitantly reached for the doorknob and turned it slowly, the large
door swinging open with a creak, and she stepped in.

****************************************

Trinity Maza had just fallen asleep, submerged into her crib and the blankets piled about
her tiny form. Elisa and Goliath stood at the crib's edge, a pride of parentage
overwhelming them so, to the point where their gaze could not be forced from Trinity's
cherub face. So engrossed in their bliss, the sounds of footfalls would go well unnoticed
to the couple, with the shadows swathing over a slender form, moving into a nervous
position behind them.

With a breath of determination, the elder Trinity cleared her throat, and announced her
presence. "Hi...dad."

Thinking it was Angela, Goliath instinctively answered without even turning his head,
"Hello, Angela. I thought you were in the library."

"Uhm, I'm not Angela."

Both Goliath and Elisa turned slightly, to catch a winged teenager within the entrance to
the nursery. Elisa gasped at the unknown gargoyle, and Goliath immediately drew up
and stepped in front of his wife, flaring wings of lavender in an instinct of protection.
"Who...who are you?" Elisa asked.

The young woman placed forward barely a step, yet stopped when Goliath motioned
ahead slightly, still extremely wary. "Well, this is going to sound a little weird but, I'm
your daughter."

"Our daughter?" Goliath replied to the gargess' question. "What kind of trick are you
trying to..."

"Whoa there, Big Guy." Elisa cut in, holding back her enraged husband with a single
hand placed to his chest. "Now, young lady, just who are you and what are you doing in
our home?"

"Well, uhm..." Trinity didn't know where to start. She stared once more to her father's
doubtful expression and knew he didn't believe her. "Just take a look...mom." she
managed at last, as Elisa approached, her vision brimming over with the sight of her
daughter from twenty years hence.

They were almost the same height, Trinity being a little taller as she walked on her high
arched, four toed heels. Her hair, a void of raven strands, fell about her face, neck and
back in the same manner as Elisa's. Her features were the mirror image of her mother's,
with four bony spikes along her brow, pointed ears and fanged teeth. Her copper colored
wings sat in a resting position above her shoulders, the membranes a dark chocolate
brown, and almost a perfect match to her eyes. She was possessed of a long slender tail,
which dangled just above the floor. Stretched over her curves, a tight, black, long
sleeved shirt, complete with a white cryptic emblem, perhaps the symbol of a band from
the future, tailored for her wings and elbow spikes. A pair of blue jeans spread over her
powerful legs, completed with dark black shin coverings, running from the knees down
and wrapping around her feet, leaving her toes and heels exposed. From her belt, a
leather holster foundered to the left side, with the handle of a blade visible in the light.

Elisa moved even closer and looked directly into Trinity's eyes, and within lay the
innocence of a child born only a month ago. "Oh my god..." Elisa timidly touched the
young woman's face, her fingers dragging along skin of her own and the brow of her
mate. "Goliath...it's Trinity..."

At Elisa's revelation, Goliath came forward, his massive stature unnerving the traveler as
his unbelieving eyes roamed every inch of her body. Yet, when gazing upon what his
mate had discovered, and encountering eyes he had fallen in love with six years ago, he
let loose a gasp, and his brow lifted to his baby girl fully grown. "Trinity...but you are an
adult. How is this possible?"

The young gargoyle simply smiled to her father and pulled the gate from her pocket,
gingerly placing it into her mother's hand. "A new phoenix gate."

Goliath grumbled deep within his chest, knowing with great experience just how
dangerous this particular talisman could be.

"Don't worry, it's perfectly safe."

"Uh huh, tell that to Brooklyn and Sata." Elisa looked up to her daughter again. "So, uh,
just how far from the future do you come from?"

"Twenty years this very day."

"And why have you come back?" Goliath inquired.

"Is that me?" Trinity quickly trailed off, most transparently changing the subject and
verging upon the crib, with a light caress over the mahogany inlay. "I remember this."
Her stunned gape directed to the sleeping child on hearing her gurgle softly. "Oh my
god, it is me." Trinity reached in, and stroked her taloned hand over the tiny child's
hairline, brushing the delicate strands from her brow. "I was such a cute baby."

"Yes, you were...er, are." Elisa corrected herself, standing alongside the elder Trinity,
and watching her matured daughter with delight and cheer, having her very dreams of her
child's uncertain future and the fear associated forthwith, somehow drain away. "But,
you never answered Goliath's question. Why...why are you here?"

"I want to meet with the others first, then I'll tell you." Trinity answered, almost
solemnly. "They may not believe me initially, so I'll need you to convince them for me."

****************************************

"Bullshit!" Todd snarled, as the declaration of the timetraveler had brought out an
assemblage of disbelief and utter confusion in the gathered clan. "How do we know this
isn't some kind of trick?"

Hushed whispers raced through the crowd, with the clan having assembled in the library
and only just revealed to the future child of Goliath and Elisa. They threw skeptical
glances her way, as she placed herself within the middle of the room, and her excellent
hearing picking up on every suspicion and doubt passing between each gargoyle and
human.

She instead ignored them and walked forward to Todd, as he crossed his arms and
furrowed his brow. She sighed and clicked her eyes to the top of his head. "It's a pity,
you look so good with hair."

"WHAT?!!!"

"I'm only kidding, uncle Todd. You still have all your hair in the future, though it's
turned a few shades more gray, and you even still have that bad sense of humor."

"Oh good...hey!"

"She looks just like you, Elisa," came Angela's inquisitive voice, her eyes wide open to
her baby sister, "she must be telling the truth."

"I hope so." Todd muttered, staring self-consciously in the wall mounted mirror and
running his hands through his hair, drawing a smile from Trinity.

Lexington propped himself up on the arm of the couch, his intense curiosity taking quite
a hold. "So what's the future like?" he prompted his niece for a reply, hoping for at least
a preview of his life to come.

"Weeeellll," she started, intentionally trying desperately to hold back on spewing forth
twenty years of history, "let's just say it's a little better than the present, and a little
worse. There have been a lot of great times, and some horrible times. But I've spent my
life with friends and family, and lived adventures comparable to none, so I'm not
complaining. Just wait until you see Star Wars Episodes Two and Three, and the new
Trek flicks, uncle Lex. Man they rock!"

"Uhm, do you have...any other brothers and sisters?" Elisa asked with a coy smile.

"Yes. Liberty, my sister, and Skye and Storm, my twin brothers."

"Four children...another girl...twin boys..." Elisa wistfully repeated her words in a blessed
whisper, slowly raising her eyes to Goliath, who in return squeezed tighter about her
frame.

"Yup, and they're not the only hybrids around either." Trinity peered over her shoulder
to Todd and Annika, her shrewd smirk a clear sign of what she had just revealed.

Annika leaned forward from her position on the couch. "You mean, w-we have kids as
well?!" she exclaimed, instantly meeting her boyfriend's eyes with her own.

"Yeah. Phoenix, Jennifer, and Zoe."

With the initial shock wearing off some, Annika stumbled with her next question,
"W-What do they...look like?"

"They have your beautiful rose skin, your blond hair, your wings, brow ridges and tail.
They have uncle Todd's grayish blue eyes, his wonderful smile and his fearless attitude.
Your daughters possess your vigor and beauty and your oldest son has Todd's great looks
and, unfortunately," Trinity paused for a moment, grinning at her uncle, "his sense of
humor."

Todd drew back with a contented leer, appearing quite proud of himself. "Then the kid
must be a lady-killer."

"Yeah, he's dating Liberty right now." Trinity divulged even further, and watched her
very large and now very angry father snap his biting gaze towards the young human.
Todd moved behind Annika, concealing himself behind the guise of her wings and
averting his eyes. "And like his father, his roaming eye always gets him in trouble.
Especially when Libby catches him staring at Sil..."

"Sil?" Elisa asked.

"Silhouette. Shadow and Delilah's daughter."

"Huh?!!" Delilah instantaneously popped up in Shadow's lap, her cinnamon eyes wide
open to the world. "We have a baby?!" she cheered, as Shadow gasped.

"Yeah, a girl."

"We have...a baby..." Delilah managed quietly, catching from the corner of her eye,
Shadow's expression of fear spreading across his dark features, knowing now that this
newly born relationship had stepped up a couple notches onto a more serious level.

"Yup. She has Shadow's dark purple skin and spikes, and has wings and hair as white as
the snow. And of course, uncle Shadow took it upon himself to train her, so she now
could kick the collective ass of half the world."

"She sounds wonderful..." Delilah whispered.

Brooklyn raised his brow ridges in a lamenting groan, "Oh yeah, wonderful. Another
Shadow."

"And what about the rest of us?" Angela inquired hopefully.

"Uhm, I think I've said enough already..." Trinity conceded to her secret spilling, and let
the three couples silently stare at each other with peculiar looks, with the others using the
silence to digest the flood of information. She swiftly flashed Angela a wink and held up
two of her fingers.

Angela excitedly sucked in a breath and sat down beside Broadway, wrapping around his
arm and grinning wickedly from ear to ear.

"Jeez, I'll say," Lexington gibed, his eyes squinted into an unbelieving gawk, "aren't you
worried that of you reveal too much, you'll change the future?"

"The future can't be changed, neither can the past," Goliath added from the side of the
room, "or...so I thought."

"Well, yes...and no, daddy, this is where it really gets sticky. You see, the future I come
from is just one possible future, out of an infinite number where every possible situation
exists. With every decision that's made, the other possibilities are played out as well.
There could be a world out there where dad and the rest of the clan were never cursed
and never awakened a thousand years later. There could be a world where Goliath and
Elisa never fell in love, or a world where all gargoyles were killed off...or even a world
where uncle Todd is actually funny."

"Hey!!"

"Amazing," Elisa crooned, "I can't even imagine a world without you, Big Guy."

"Remember, dad, when you traveled back to 974, and met the younger Demona? Well,
after you returned to your time and your world, that younger Demona may have
prevented the massacre twenty years later, and her dimension was forever changed,
creating a new timeline that split off from your own. The era I hail from is just one in a
very long line, like the future that Brooklyn and Sata visited when they were
timedancing. As it stands now, your future still isn't written yet. It could very well turn
out differently than mine. Besides, in time, you'll probably forget all the little details
I've given you, like children's names, for instance. Well...maybe."

"But, if we do act differently," Desdemona asked, in her husky yet pleasant tone, "would
we change your future?"

"I don't think so. You'd probably just create another timeline, separate from mine."

Annika shook her head, and slumped her arms forward on her knees. "How the hell do
you know all of this?"

"My studies were...diverse. Along with math, English, history, and science, I learned
about magic, folklore, mythology, and of course, time travel. Owen did his job well."

Xanatos perked up, that same sly grin forming rapidly. "Owen taught you?"

"Yeah. All the children of Wyvern benefited from his knowledge, as well as Domin...er,
Demona's, MacBeth's and...Hudson's." With even the mention of her grandfather's
name, Trinity succumbed to the piercing pain in her chest, the loss of her treasured
relative always a source of constant sorrow. Yet her attention was forced from the
painful memory when the library doors opened wide and in walked the afore mentioned
Fay, with Alexander on his back. Her eyes were fixed on the small child as he hopped
down and ran to his parents. "...'Xander..." she whispered.

"I see we have a visitor. May I inquire who this new gargoyle is?" Owen asked in his
usual monotone, nonchalantly fixing the glasses on his face.

"Owen Burnett, meet Trinity Maza," Xanatos introduced the timedancer to his
majordomo, "twenty years from now."

"Interesting."

Alexander skipped to Xanatos' side and cupped his hands to his father's ear. "Is she the
Trini from the future, daddy?" he queried, an astute perception unusual for a four year
old.

"She sure is."

"You're Alexander..." said Trinity in a mawkish voice, kneeling to Alex's height, as he
too moved closer to examine her enticing chocolate stare. She brushed the shocking red
hair from his eyes and traced a finger down his cheek. "You are so cute."

Fox leaned back, noticing Trinity's instant emotional connection with the small child.
"You seem to know him well." she avowed coquettishly, cocking the eyebrow above her
tattoo.

"You could say that," Trinity replied, making sure she was speaking out of earshot of the
toddler, "in twenty years...we'll be engaged to be married."

"WHAT??!!!!!" Goliath nearly threw Elisa from her perch upon his seated form as he
pitched forward, eyes glowing a white hot furor. "My daughter will be involved...WITH
A XANATOS?!!!!"

David Xanatos could barely stop himself from smiling. "That's my boy." He grabbed
the small child and placed him on his lap.

"Wow...flashback to the engagement announcement..." Trinity chuckled. "Trinity Hope
Maza-Xanatos. Has a certain ring, doesn't it?"

Elisa frowned and crossed her arms. "Not really..." she huffed, eyeing Fox, as the
billionairess simply and impassively shrugged her shoulders.

"Man...maybe I shouldn't have told you. Don't worry, mom, dad, Alex is the one
Xanatos you do like, remember?" Trinity laughed with the others joining in, except of
course, for the Mazas.

"What be all th' racket?" a gruff Scottish accent erupted from the side door as Hudson
stepped through. "I go visit Maria, an' ye all be havin' a party wi'out me."

Trinity whirled around to the resonance of a voice lost to the ravages of time, watching as
the seasoned gargoyle locked his sight with hers.

"Who might you be, lassie?"

"Grampa Hudson...oh my god," she was paralyzed in her stead by both complete fear and
sheer joy, her wings quivering restlessly and she at last screamed her bliss to the heavens,
"GRAMPA!!!" Trinity ran over and jumped onto the old soldier. "I've missed you so
much!!"

"I think I be missin' somethin' 'ere..." Hudson labored as he struggled to maintain his
balance.

"Oh, sorry," the copper gargoyle dropped to her feet and smiled softly at the elder, "my
name is Trinity."

"Th' only Trinity I know is th' wee lass in her crib."

"And in twenty years, she'll be me."

"Jalepena. Is this bein' true, ladd?" Hudson directed his gaze at Goliath who simply
nodded. "Well," he acquiesced with a heavy sigh, "ye possess th' beauty of yuir mother.
I sure hope ye didna inherit yuir father's stubbornness."

"Well, I am a Maza. Stubbornness comes with the name." Trinity hugged her
grandfather again, invoking a troubled look from her parents, knowing her reaction to the
sight of Hudson may have unintentionally revealed a tragic destiny.

****************************************

Even with the passage of time, her city had remained virtually unchanged, the unbridled
conceit of man taking form in the highest structures known to man, packed suffocatively
tight into the shores of Manhattan island. Trinity leaned out onto the parapet's edge and
looked to the horizon, with the glare of the city lights stretching forth beyond the range of
her sight. She had excused herself and her parents from the rest of the clan, and led them
outside, and the Mazas now espied with amusement as their daughter refamiliarized
herself with the city of her birth.

"Does it look that different twenty years from now?" Elisa commented as she came up
from behind.

"Not really. Even with some of the new buildings, it pretty much looks exactly the same.
Just as beautiful."

"Yeah, I guess it can be. So," Elisa continued, standing shoulder to shoulder with the
young girl, "did you bring us out here to tell us why you're here? Or are we just going to
stare at the city all night?"

"Man, you're even more impatient in this time. But you're right, I do want to tell you,
but not in front of the others. There's two main reasons why I decided to risk dad's
wrath by coming here."

"Let's start with the first."

"Well, at this point in your lives, it's a little...uhm, what's the word?..."

"Shitty..." Elisa grumbled, looking to Goliath for agreement.

"Yeah, your near rape and the death of the clones. It seems a little dark right now,
doesn't it?"

"You could say that. Perhaps the only good thing right now, is well, you."

"That's why I came. I wanted to give my clan a gift they could carry with them for the
next two decades. I know the fears that you two live with every day. The risks you take
in loving somebody someone not of your kind, the risk in building a life with them, the
risk you take in conceiving and raising children with them. It may seem like your
children will never have the life you want for them."

"We have constantly thought about the future of our children ever since we got married,"
Goliath came forward and embraced his wife, "and wondered if they will ever get the
chance to live a normal life."

"They will. I will. My life with you and the clan has been twenty years of discovery,
adventure, excitement. I will grow up with my brothers and sisters and uncles and aunts.
I will see things no one else will ever get the chance to see and will experience wonders
beyond imagination. I have many human friends who have gotten past their prejudice
and have become trustful allies. They have joined the cause for human-gargoyle
relations and have opened the world to our kind." she finished, and formed a quirky
expression, mentally scolding herself for sounding like an old episode of Star Trek, but
the smiles on her parent's faces told her otherwise. "You don't have to worry about the
future of that small baby in her crib. She will grow up...and have one hell of a cool life."

"Well, that puts one of our greatest fears to rest." Elisa joked, taking hold of Goliath's
hands and brushing her lips to his sweetened hide. "And the second reason?"

"It's about someone," she conflicted against her impending anguish, and sternly forced it
back to the pit of her stomach, "someone who we all care for."

Goliath came forward. "Who?" he said softly.

"It...it's H-Hudson..."

Goliath placed a massive hand on her cheek, and Trinity burrowed deeper into his palm.
"He has died in your time, hasn't he?"

"It was so unfair," she choked painfully, "he lived for so long, fought so many battles,
and in the end..."

Elisa swiftly caught her shoulder in a maternal instinct. "What is it?"

"He died of heart failure. Goddamn heart failure." Her tears flowed freely as she
reached for the holster on her waist and grasped the handle. "We didn't know it at the
time, but he had a fatal heart disease, that couldn't be cured by his stone sleep." She
unsheathed a large blade, and the Maza couple recognized it as Hudson's own. "On my
sixteenth birthday, he gave me this sword. He said he wanted to pass it down to you,
daddy, but knew you wouldn't need it. So he gave it to me. And eight months later,
he...he passed away."

"I'm so sorry." Elisa remained close by her daughter's side and found herself unable to
fall back, sensing the pain flowing from Trinity's anguished spirit. "Is this why you came
back? To prevent this?"

"The doctor said his disease could have been prevented with simple medication. If he
starts on the medicine now, he has an eighty percent chance to live."

Goliath sighed, releasing his breath to the clutches of the flowing winds. "I don't mean
to sound callous, but...you could drastically damage your timeline. You may go back and
find your own time has not changed, and your grandfather will still be dead."

"Then at least one Trinity will have her grampa back!! She won't have to sit by his side
in that hospital and watch him wither to a shell of his former self! I have the power to
help him!! Why is it wrong to save my grandfather's life?!"

"It is not wrong, Trinity, but there are some things that shouldn't be trifled with, even if it
means saving a life. Time travel always has disastrous consequences. And just
maybe...he was fated to die."

Trinity ripped the phoenix gate from her pocket, and almost shoved it to Goliath's face.
"And I have the power to correct fate's mistakes, to save Hudson's life. The timestream,
and your whole fate crap can be damned!!" Her eyes flared with an ivory hatred, yet
when connecting with her father's soothing gaze, she calmed herself and her head fell
limp to her feet. "I'm sorry, daddy, you didn't deserve that. It's just...this little trinket
has the power to save his life. He shouldn't have to die in some hospital bed. If he dies,
it should be in battle, and doing what he's done for eleven hundred years, protecting the
innocent. He shouldn't have to fade away before our eyes...I was the last one to see him,
I was there when he died. And I don't want to live with that memory anymore."

"Then you won't," Elisa declared adamantly, grabbing Trinity's face with her slender
hands, "we'll get him to the doctor, and we'll get him healthy."

"Thank you." she managed a tattered rasp, and clung to her mother with all her strength,
with Goliath reaching out to nudge his fingers across her brow, having been pained so to
be the rational disputant to her far reaching hopes and desires.

But near the lavender giant's field of vision, came a bright flicker of light, streaking upon
the stones with a fury of fire, having erupted near the bottom of his turret. A familiar
memory now reappeared within the vista of his mind, and sending an electrifying twitch
flaring through his wings, to the very tips of his struts. "I think we may have visitors." he
drawled, calling in a quiet and knowing voice to the two women and they rushed over,
only to witness the flames once small, and now swelling into a massive globe.

"Oh no," Trinity swallowed hard, and closed her eyes, "it can't be."

"Who is it, Trinity Hope?" Goliath beckoned, growing slightly agitated, and perceiving
that his daughter had held back even more.

"I think my parents have found me."

****************************************

"It looks exactly the same, Big Guy," captain Elisa Maza declared excitedly, having been
released from the phoenix gate's portal and studying her surroundings, her home of
twenty long and cherished years, "a little over two decades and nothing's changed, even
with all those damn battles."

"Yes. It seems the humans who rebuilt this castle when David moved it from Scotland
did their job extremely well." her graying husband remarked, as he too examined his
surroundings, and approaching her side.

"Well, to business." Elisa muttered, pulling a small metal pad from her coat pocket.
"The tracker has located the gate, it's very near. In fact, it's moving towards us."

"Elisa." Goliath called to his wife of twenty years, as she turned around and discovered
her eldest daughter emerging from the stairway leading up to the highest tower's peak. "I
believe we've found her."

"Oh hi, mom, dad," Trinity prattled innocently, "uhm, how are you?"

"Don't get cute, Trinity Hope." Elisa warned, sending an angered frown towards her
daughter. "Now give me the gate."

Trinity hung her head like a scolded hatchling as she handed over the gate. "How'd you
find me?"

"Your aunt created this tracker as a precaution, in case the gate ever got lost. Once
activated, it pulls the user right to the gate's position, like us for instance." Goliath
explained as he caught sight of another couple emerging from the stairway. It was their
present counterparts.

"Oh my god!!" the present Elisa gasped with absolute shock, encroaching upon what
could be called a warped reflection, but instead remained her true and future self.
"You're me!"

Captain Maza leaned in seductively and modestly flicked a lock of hair away from her
face. "Yup. Pretty good looking for a fifty year old, huh?"

The present Goliath examined the future Elisa from head to toe. "You have aged
extremely well, my Elisa."

"Ever the flatterer, eh Big Guy?" captain Maza replied as her husband chuckled at his
present counterpart's purple blush. "But, getting back to the matter at hand," the future
Elisa turned her attention to Trinity, "you are in very big trouble, kiddo."

"Really?"

"Nah."

"What?! You mean, you're not mad?"

"How can we be mad?" Goliath answered his daughter. "We have clear memories of a
certain copper colored young girl arriving at the castle twenty years ago and announcing
she's our daughter from the future."

Trinity slapped her hand to her forehead. "Oh duh, a predestination paradox."

"A what?" the present Elisa quipped.

"We knew for twenty years that our daughter would steal the phoenix gate from Elisa's
desk drawer," the future Goliath continued, "as we went through exactly what you two
have gone through tonight."

"Of course." The present Goliath was beginning to understand. "You are us, and
therefore have our memories."

"Bingo. It had already happened and will happen again in the future, it's an unending
loop." the future Elisa clarified, as her counterpart listened in. "All you have to do is
wait twenty years, show your daughter the gate and place it in the upper left drawer of
your desk. And Trini's curiosity and determination to save her grandfather, despite her
being second to the clan and a supposed role model to her younger brothers and
sisters...will take care of the rest."

"Incredible..." Goliath commented lightly as he looked with utter fascination at his future
self. "So I do get gray hair..."

"We both do." Captain Elisa grabbed her own hair and held it between her slender
fingers.

"Who cares?! You look fantastic!" detective Elisa hollered with glee. "I'm sure going to
enjoy becoming you."

"I hate to intrude, my Elisa...er, my Elisas," said the future Goliath, "but I'm afraid we
need to be going. Our own future is waiting for us. And I do not want to spill anymore
information than our daughter probably already has."

Trinity turned to her father with pleading eyes, sheer disappointment contained within
her mahogany gaze. "Do we really have to? I wanted to visit more with Hudson."

"It will be harder to leave if you spend a lot of time with him. Hudson belongs to this
time period, and not ours."

"I suppose." Trinity shrugged. She immediately threw herself into the arms of the
present Goliath and Elisa. "I'll see you soon," she whispered, "remember, never fear the
future." She slowly moved towards her future parents with a reluctant stride, as captain
Elisa punched their time into the gate and suddenly, from the stones, a twisting pyre
wrapped over them, taking the traveler's by force from this timeline, and away from the
longing gaze of Goliath and Elisa.

The slender woman collapsed against her mate's chest, and barely found the strength to
shake her head in disbelief. "Can our lives get any weirder?" she mumbled within the
breadth of his arms.

"Please don't say that, it just might happen." Goliath answered back, wrapping his wings
around his wife and taking solace in what love she presented to him with a simple gesture
of her hand upon his cheek.

They gazed to the stars, left bare by the retreating clouds, and absorbed an entire
lifetime's worth of knowledge. Their daughter was grown, with younger brothers and
sisters, living their contented lives in a distant world beyond their grasp. Their clan had
multiplied in number, and increased in strength. An ultimate fear that had almost drove
the two lovers apart, of their extreme differences in form and culture, had lessened in
power. They now looked to the future with a hope unlike that for a long time, knowing
the best, and perchance the worst was still yet to come.

But they would prevail, for their children, for their clan, and for their very existence.

****************************************

December 1st, 2020
Expecting the usually smooth ride, the timedancers found themselves in a violent tempest
inside the now churning flames of the phoenix. They clung to each other, with Goliath
sheltering his family against the onslaught of turbulence. The gate finally released them,
and they were thrown brutally into their own time, appearing in mid air in the grand
quarters of Goliath and Elisa, falling to the carpet below with three distinct thuds.

As if the entire world blurred out and skipped a beat, it contorted, and soon reformed,
letting loose the traveler's into it's domain.

"What the hell was that?!" Elisa shrieked, rising shakily to her feet with the help of her
husband.

"Something has gone wrong," Goliath cursed, sensing a change in his environment,
"perhaps some damage has been done to the timestream." He glared to Trinity, who
shrunk back slightly.

"I...I only wanted to..." yet she conceded and fell quiet, turning to watch the falling snow
beyond the bay windows.

"I know, Trinity Hope," Goliath quickly soothed her, "it's all right. Your intentions were
in the right place. But my past self may have been correct. Perhaps your grandfather was
fated to die, regardless of what has happened to the timestream."

"Do I look dead to ye, laddie?" From the recliner near the fireplace, came a low, grating
brogue, as the elder Hudson stood, turned, and faced the Mazas.

"GRAMPA??!!! You're alive!!" Trinity shot like a bullet to her grandfather, and threw
herself into his awaiting arms.

"Aye? I be sittin' fer sometime in this chair waitin' for ye. Would ye mind explaining
why ye arrived in a giant ball o' flame?"

"...oh, what? Uh, no reason." Elisa stammered, plunging to the folds to her bed and
observing with a delighted merriment, her daughter bearhugging her grandfather come
miraculously to life.

"Lassie," Hudson wheezed, "ye be squeezin' th' life from me tired old bones."

Trinity freed the old soldier, and allowed him to regain his breath. "Oh sorry..."

"Now, if ye be lettin' me go, I be late fer dinner with me mate, Maria."

Trinity followed her grandfather as he moved toward the doors, and took one last look to
the three gawking stares directed towards him. "Hmphf...now wha' has gotten inta those
three?"

"It worked," Trinity gasped, turning back to her parents, "he's come back to life!!"

"But did he die in the first place?" Goliath placed forth an intriguing question, rubbing
his chin as he pondered what had happened. "Our timeline has been changed, and
merged with another. The flow of time was affected by your trip, damaged somehow,
and it perhaps mended itself in the best way possible..."

"Are the others affected?"

"I do not believe so. They never traveled through time, so they are not affected. They
only know one truth, that Hudson never died. My old friend never died..."

Trinity stumbled to the bedside near her mother. "But how is this possible? And what
about the loop? Now that Hudson survives in the past, than I won't be prompted to go
back in time."

"But you don't have to anymore, because Hudson lives."

"But doesn't that mean this timeline shouldn't exist?"

"This timeline is now a fusion of two," Goliath cut in, "it has become strengthened
through the bond, and now doesn't require that singular loop to exist."

"Don't try to figure it out, kiddo," Elisa grabbed her daughter and pulled her close,
becoming fatigued at yet another adventure thrown her way, "time travel's funny that
way. Just accept the fact that your grampa is alive and well. You saved his life, Trini.
And now, he'll be here with you for a very long time."

"I hope so, I hope so. Wait a minute...Maria...MATE?? Did he just say what I thought he
said?"

****************************************

"DAMN MAZAS!!!" an angered, masculine voice of the heavens erupted in a rant. "For
twenty six years we have watched them!! Fighting battles, going on magical trips, giving
birth to hell-raising children...and now your so called child of destiny is screwing with
the very fabric of time itself?!!"

"Calm yourself, brother." a serene, earthly, female voice answered.

"I WILL NOT!!! This is the last straw!! I will not allow them to..."

"Please, brother Eternity, shut up."

"But, sister Gaia..."

"Shut up, brother." she snapped, silencing her enraged sibling. "Trinity only followed
her heart, and in doing so, brought back her grandfather."

"She has single-handedly merged two timelines into one. It's a good thing the timelines
that were combined only had one small difference, the gargoyle Hudson's death, and
thank the cosmos...the damage was repaired before it could spread."

"Yes, and because of that, Hudson has started on his medicine in the past and will be
there in the future to continue to guide our child of hope, our child of destiny."

He sighed, and restrained his urge to destroy a random planet. "You mean YOUR child
of hope...if she could be only a little more...disciplined."

She laughed, almost to the point of splitting a side. "She's a Maza. Discipline does not
even exist in her vocabulary."

"Perhaps if you got out more, you would see that..."

"I am needed on my planet, brother. If human and gargoyle are ever to live in peace,
we'll need individuals like Trinity Hope Maza to guide my children into a new age. And
alongside the child's clan and friends, Infiniti will also be there to aid in her greatest
times of need."

"Oh yes...Infiniti. Your so called guardian spirit. You take a young, dying gargoyle from
four thousand years in the past, save her life and give her almost unlimited power. And
then, a mere millennium later, she's captured and imprisoned, and your planet goes to the
proverbial dogs for thirty centuries. War, racism, genocide...need I say more?"

"Yet now, because of the love existing between Goliath and Elisa, a human and a
gargoyle, she has been freed. My children are now on the long road back to true peace.
Even those who once endeavored to destroy out of anger and hatred."

He quirked a celestial brow to his little sister. "Not all your children." he announced
sarcastically.

"Yes," she replied painfully, causing her brother to take notice, almost pitying her agony
and regretting his spiteful words, "Thailog made his choice and died because of it. And
this new gargoyle, he will become their greatest enemy. I only hope the clan of Wyvern
is strong enough."

"Do you truthfully believe they can prevail, sister?"

"Yes...I do."