37 - "Third Strike...You're Out"
Originally Written: January 16th, 2001

February 10th, 2001
Where evil reigned and the darkness fell, a perfect place for those of purgatory's
province to revel in the absence of light, savoring the rapturous sensation of death forced
upon them. He was here, within his chambers, sealed from any an employee with too
much of an inquisitive disposition for their own good. His powerful hearing was both a
blessing and a curse, as he could make out every single wretched sound spewing from the
city he was forced to inhabit. But the smell, the smell was even worse, a pungent
malodor of the humans filled his senses to the point where he wished to retch. He could
detect the sweat, the body odor, the salty musk released into the atmosphere, drifting with
the currents until it washed through even the smallest of open windows. He could not, as
hard as he would try, rid himself of their continued presence in his sinuses.

They even went so far as to poison his skies with their toxins, their industrial waste,
flowing freely, virtually unchecked from their chemical plants and factories. They could
not even fathom how damaged the air they breathed even was. He could taste it, the
flavor of the slow demise they forced upon future generations of their demon spawn.

How dare the humans rule this place, this once unspoiled paradise, where his kind at one
time roamed freely...until they came. With their machines and technology and their
indulgence to rape the precious resources of the world around, exhausting them until
nothing but a barren landscape remained. The human's greed overwhelmed the winged
race, pushing them from their lands and forcing them to seek shelter from an onslaught of
attackers. His race dwindled, and are now on the verge of extinction.

"No more!!" he screamed, unable to keep the thoughts within the viscera of his mind any
longer. "I will not allow the human race to continue any farther. Their despicable lives,
and their foul stench, ends now!!" His breath became ragged and uncontrolled, and his
temper had risen to the peak of his throat. He clenched his fists and desperately tried to
calm himself, knowing that only a mind clear and free of the consuming anger would see
his plan's fruition. "Patience is a virtue, and what I've waited for will soon be mine
tonight. A power unlike any other to aid my quest of total domination."

His computers were running at full capacity, as he watched technology's greatest
achievements aid his twisted ends. The chip he had stolen from Nightstone Unlimited
had empowered his equipment to the utmost degree, allowing an unusually fast pace to
decipher and stabilize his newest weapon. The ferocious nerve toxin had now been
tamed by science, and had been molded to his wishes.

He leaned down, lowering his gaze to peer within a transparent canister, where the toxin
was being slowly converted from it's liquid state to a gaseous substance. "Tomorrow
night, will come my triumph and the last two final pieces of this particular puzzle with be
set in place. Demona, MacBeth, what you possess will soon be mine. What you perhaps
see as a curse, will become my ultimate advantage, my ultimate power. Then I can at last
leave this place, this...New York. Tomorrow night...the power shall be mine..."


February 11th, 2001. 8:00 p.m.
Where the towers of Manhattan could not reach and where the moon could shine without
fear of concealment by the floating drifts of suspended vapor, stood castle Wyvern. A
quiet night upon the snow covered cornices, where a family had remained in for the
night, relinquishing their patrols to the cold weather, and the absence of crime this frigid

Goliath and Elisa had gathered in the newly rebuilt media room, after the attack on the
last day of last year had practically demolished this favored place of the clan. The others
remained around them, taking full advantage of the recreational games and equipment.
Elisa held Trinity aloft her head, mother and daughter playing blissfully as Goliath
watched on with the highest of hopes for their future. Two weeks had passed since the
battle for his soul had been won, and he felt finally at peace with himself and the world.

Brooklyn and Broadway were busy battling it out on the pool table, a rousing game of
trick shots and impossible angles, and a chorus of boasts of each gargoyle's prowess.
Othello, with Desdemona in his lap and holding his cards, playing the student to his
teaching of the subtleties of poker, were surrounded by Lexington, Hudson, Annika and
Angela, attempting to best each other with the finest hand.

Sata had placed herself in a recliner, losing herself in the pages of a well written book,
and occasionally darting her glance to her children before her, eyes glued to the
television screen and engrossed in their favorite show.

Quiet, content, peaceful, even over Brooklyn's ranting and Broadway's complaints of his
rookery brother's fluke shots. But unexpectedly, the massive television flickered and lost
the picture to a roaring static.

"Hey," cried Arianna, turning to her mother, "the new T.V.'s all screwed up!" The
young hatchling whirled around to see only the fuzzy remains of the program once
gracing the screen, and found it was beginning to clear. She thought perhaps her show
was coming back, but found only the eyes of devastation and ruin staring directly into her
and her twin brother. "HOLY SHIT!!!"

"Arianna-chan!" Sata called out angrily, upon hearing her daughter swear.

"Mom! It's Sobek!!"

Sata's eyes, as did the rest of the clan's, snapped up swiftly to stare into the picture of
their newest foe, and his burning stare almost bursting through the screen. "Sobek..."

A head shot only, and as the Egyptian gargoyle's retched facade came into full view, the
static ultimately cleared and revealed in full the face of death itself. "Greetings, clan of
Wyvern," he started, the same grating voice they had all come to fear, echoing through
the speakers and surround sound, "it's your old, dear friend."

The rest of the clan immediately gathered around the television, with Elisa and Goliath in
the forefront, baring witness to the depravity and conceit, apparent even in just his eyes
and crooked smile.

"This is a pre-recorded message," he continued, "for benefit of those destined to die by
my hands. I have sent this as a warning, for you, the traitors who continue to protect that
which has scorned and despised you for your entire lives."

"Just what has this psychotic done now?" chuffed Sata, with an arm around Arianna's
shoulder, as the young gargoyle had curled to her body, fearful of this man who has
almost taken her life twice now.

"I have placed twenty canisters, full of the nerve toxin I stole from Demona's company,
around the city, set to release it into the city's very atmosphere from the highest
skyscrapers. The gas will settle into the clouds and fall onto Manhattan by dawn's light,
eleven hours from now. If you cannot find the cure and dissolve the toxin before the
morning hours, then you shall wake the next night to a dead island, a city littered with
human corpses, decaying in the sun."

"Bastard..." Elisa spat out silently, her scowl growing ever wider, and she pulled Trinity
close to her chest, purposely directing the infant's eyes away.

"You should begin soon, clan of Wyvern, or everyone you have strived so hard to protect
for so many years will be breathing the very scent of doom upon their waking to the sun."

"We'd better get going," started Brooklyn, "maybe we can find and stop these canisters
before they even go off."

"Oh, and by the way," continued the message, "the toxin was set to release at eight p.m.
And since this message has taken you five minutes to watch, the air is already filling with
the venom from your so called friend's very teeth. Good luck." The picture faded, and
abruptly returned to the regular broadcast program.

"Shit! That son of a..." Brooklyn roared, his wings flaring like his anger.

"Brooklyn, calm yourself." Goliath addressed his second, in a rather sedate tone. "We
were waiting for this to arise, and thankfully we have already taken proper actions to see
his plans do not follow through. We need to move quickly, and release the cure Demona
has worked so hard to synthesize for us." The lavender leader headed towards the exit,
and threw his last words over his shoulder. "Frankly, I am relieved, the waiting is over,
and now is the time to act. We need to talk to Xanato..."

"I'm right here, Goliath." The billionaire stepped directly into Goliath's path. "I saw the
same message. Imagine my surprise when trying to watch Friends, and receiving instead
a death threat from a lunatic hell bent on destroying my race."

"So you know what needs to be done?"

"The steel clan robots, that haven't been damaged in previous battles, have been brought
on line, loaded with the antitoxin. The remaining packs will be carried by your clan in a
predetermined flight path around the island. Just like old times, huh?"

"Yes, a most frightening comparison to that night."

"Come, we need to get ready." Xanatos turned his attention to Elisa. "Detective, you
can leave Trinity here with Fox. Perhaps you should head to the precinct and warn your
captain. The plans to evacuate Manhattan can then be made, if...we don't succeed."

"No." she answered simply.

"But detecti..."

"Your plan is sound, Xanatos, but with one flaw." Her eyes hardened, a chocolate swirl
becoming as solid as steel. "We won't fail."

Xanatos nodded, and slipped from the room. Goliath took Elisa aside and pressed her
close. "I will see you soon. We will all have our communications equipment so we can
speak with each other at any time." He caressed his daughter's forehead, and her wispy
raven hair, as she giggled and reached out for him in response. "I will see you soon, my
daughter, please be good for your aunt Fox."

"I'll head for the twenty-third as soon as I drop the squirt off with Fox, then I'll call in. I
want detailed and steady progress reports on how it's going up here. Got it?"

Goliath simply touched his mouth to hers, and dragged the display of his love for her over
her satiny bottom lip. "Yes, ma'am."


Destine Manor. 8:10 p.m.
The flickering of a single candle danced upon the walls, with it's eternal partner of the
shadows created from the burning flame, mimicking it's every movement with absolute
certainty. A tall ivory candle, with the scent of vanilla floating throughout the entire top
floor of Demona's mansion, had been lit and enjoyed by the occupant. But this tranquil
scene belied what actions where taking place, as Demona had heard mere moments
before from her daughter and their attempt to spread the toxin's cure throughout the
skies, and she was quickly dressing, preparing to join in their efforts.

But instantly, her video screen flashed with an incoming message, piercing the silence
with an incessant and somewhat annoying beeping. Only a certain few knew of this
particular way of communicating with her, and even fewer possessed knowledge of the
number to reach. She languidly approached the buzzing receiver, and flicked the switch
to power the monitor, bringing the machine to life. She suddenly drew back, as the
image cleared enough for her to ascertain her caller.

"Hello, dear Demona." the speaker hissed.

"Sobek!" she growled, her voice razing with her fury.

"Ah, it seems my reputation has caught even your ear."

She dispensed with the nagging question of how he found her, and learned of her identity,
and instead quickly snapped her hatred filled inquiry to him, regarding his presence on
her video screen. "What do you want?"

"I am merely extending an invitation for your illustrious presence to grace a gathering I
am holding tonight."

"I am aware of what you have done. You will not succeed in your efforts."

Sobek cocked his head, and intently studied her eyes. "Really? I thought you would
have been proud of me, in my efforts to destroy the humans infesting this city. I have
based this entire plan on one of yours. Call it...an homage to your greatness."

Demona culled her growing want to send her fist through the screen, and answered in a
voice of grinding steel, "I have given up those ways."

"Hmmm, how...disappointing. I thought perhaps you would join me, stand by my side,
reveling in what destruction we have wrought." His expression changed, as his smile fell
slightly, and his eyes erupted with their platinum glow. "Maybe when we meet face to
face, and when another chance befalls you, as I will give away my whereabouts, and
allow you access to what you want. Me."

"You would not be so careless, so foolish, as I will rip your heart from your chest as soon
as I lay my hands upon you, for what you have done to my daughter."

"Do you kiss your loved ones with that mouth, dear Demona?" he jested, taking pleasure
in seeing the immortal attempting to restrain her anger. "But enough foreplay.
Cleopatra's Needle. I shall be waiting. One chance for you to decide your future in this
world. One last chance." Sobek swiftly ended his transmission and the screen went
dark, leaving only the reflection of a seething Demona.

"I will come, bastard, and I will enjoy covering myself in your blood," she snarled, "no
one will ruin what I have tried so hard to create. A real life, with my daughter." She tore
for the exit, grabbing the mace from the wall, and careening through the balcony doors.
But one thought lingered, as the conversation, and especially his last words to her,
echoed another dialogue having taken place a year ago, with her daughter having swayed
her to attend the wedding of her former mate. His final words...one last chance.

She shook it off, and headed for the intended destination with breakneck speed, where
unknown to her, fate would decide a new path for her this night.


"Are we all ready?" Goliath asked of his clan, seeing them look to him and nod their
heads. Outfitted with packs of canisters, containing the vital cure needed desperately to
heal the broken skies. "Good, let's begin."

"Goliath?" a voice called out to him, before the placement of his gas mask could be
fitted. It was Sata. "My children...do we truly need their presence?"

Goliath sighed heavily, knowing her fears were justified of her young twins having to fly
into a swelling poisonous atmosphere. "I am sorry, Sata, but yes, they are needed. We
have to be absolutely sure the remedy is spread evenly, and we are short of Xanatos'
robots as it is. A few will be dispatched to hunt for the actual canisters, in hopes they can
be stopped before releasing all of their contents. I never would have placed your children
in this position unless they were absolutely needed."

"I see..." She looked down, playing numbly with her own gas mask in her emerald
talons, and turning her attention to the vision of her mate fitting their hatchlings with
their masks, specially designed for their beaks. "I am well aware of their warrior spirits,
and their own impressive skills, but this is...beyond what I could imagine protecting the
innocent could be."

"I assure you, Sata," Goliath placed his massive hands to her shoulders, "they will be all
right. They are to remain close to each other and will be gliding nearest to the castle. No
harm will come to them, I promise." The lavender giant left her side and approached the
young twins, and they strained their necks and vision to catch a glimpse of the mammoth
gargoyle. He knelt to their level and gazed into each of their dark onyx eyes. "Don't be
afraid, Graeme, Arianna. You are fine warriors, and valued parts of this clan, and I am
extremely proud of you both, at the way you have fought so hard for this family. I have
both of you to thank for helping to save my life."

The twins both brightened with a crimson hue and bashfully looked away, never
expecting Goliath to speak to them this way.

"You both know your flightpath. You both know just how important this plan is. Please,
take care of each other. We will beat this. I promise." The twins nodded slowly and
Goliath stood to his full height, looking to the clan and steel clan robots, with Xanatos in
his own scarlet battle armor, his own image cast in gleaming iron, and still after all these
years, a little disconcerting. "Is everyone prepared then? Let's go, and keep in constant
contact with your radios."

The clan lept from the ledge, drifting into the night sky, each with their own portion of
the synthesized cure strapped to their chests and their graceful features hidden by the
black metal and tinted plastic of a gasmask. They split up, knowing their conceived
paths about the city, and fading from view. Goliath watched as they all departed, and
Xanatos sent his robots out. Soon, all that remained were Goliath, Xanatos, and Angela.

"Father," she started, turning to him, "mother isn't here yet. I'm worried, she said she
would join us."

Goliath's grim guise expressed nothing but regret in Demona's failure to show. "I know
she would have come, Angela. Something may have come up."

"Something as important as this?"

"I don't know. But we cannot wait on her any longer. We all have a task to perform."
He placed his own mask on, and dove from the cornices, his wingspan catching the
Winter wind beneath the billowing leather membranes, and weaving through the layers of
cumulus striations, soon parting from Angela. He released the knob and opened the tanks
on his chest, and the slight hissing he could detect was the sound of the antidote slipping
into the very atmosphere. Goliath flew on, and soon disappeared into the sky.


She touched down with a screech of talon on the cement walkway, having been cleared a
while ago by the city workers. Demona studied closely her surroundings, darting her
gaze to the foliage beyond, and tempting her sense of smell to catch anyone's presence
nearby. The entire area had been cleared of humans, a perfect place, secluded and away
from prying eyes. She kept trying to locate anyone near, but nothing yet, as she now
perchance thought, she had been lured away into a trap of Sobek's design. Yet she had
come alone, unguarded, for she wanted this psychotic all to herself.

Her nostrils filled with the scent of something near, and even the simple sound of
footsteps upon the softest snow drifts were ignited in her ears. Something was near, a
familiar scent...behind her. As she whirled around with mace in hand, a dark figure
appeared behind the decorative needle and she lunged forth. They collided and Demona
grabbed the figure by the coat collar. "MacBeth?!!"

"Aye lassie, ye mind explainin' why ye are wrinkling m' coat?" he asked indifferently,
eyes of gray steel pouring into hers.

"I thought you were...someone else..." she answered, releasing her hold.


"How do you know of him?! If I learn you have anything to do with that bastard, I will
personally collapse your skull with my bare hands!!"

"Oh calm down, spitfire," called an echo around them, rebounding from the needle to the
trees and shrubbery beyond, "he was invited as well. I know, it's a small guest list, but I
assure you, it will be a very remarkable party. One you will remember for the rest of
your lives."

The immortals looked intently for the voice seeming to curl around them, as if
disembodied, and able to speak on it's own. From a far corner, the trees seemed to melt
away and release from their shadows a gnarled shape, a gargoyle shape.

Demona was visibly heaving now, and MacBeth took notice of her distressed body
language. He had only heard from Xanatos about this new enemy in mere hearsay, and
wondered why he brought so much anger, and what looked almost like fear, to his
comrade of the centuries.

Sobek continued his path towards his audience, those invited for a purpose known only to
him. "I invited Mr. 'Lennox MacDuff' to join us tonight, Demona my dear, for he
possesses something I want. As do you."

"You will have a hell of a time trying, little man." she hissed in his direction.

"Such hurtful words, a dagger through my heart. A pity, I thought being given the chance
to rule this world by my side would appeal to you, she who fought for a thousand years to
destroy the species who constantly destroy us."

"Rule...by your side?" she whispered, her tone softening slightly.

"Yes, we could remake this world to suit our own needs, and give back life to the
gargoyle race. So, my offer stands, but I shall only accept tonight, as this proposal dies
with the coming of the sun."

Demona stood silently, running his words through her deepest thoughts, and reliving
memories that would possibly drive any lesser of a being mad with grief and despair.
"You try to kill my daughter," she finally spoke "and now offer me a place by your side?"

"I do apologize for that, but if you accept my offer, I promise no harm will come to her."
Sobek sneered, hoping he had forced his way into her mind with his wicked tongue.
"Ruling the entire world may require some help, and I thought you would enjoy taking
your throne and becoming a literal goddess. Imagine, Demona, queen of the world..."

"Become queen...of the world. Seems almost...delightful."

"Demona, ye canna be seriously considering this?!" cried MacBeth, as he watched her
saunter to Sobek's stead. "Demona? Demona!!"

Sobek eyed her journey increasingly closer, hands placed demurely behind her back. "A
chance to build a new life for us all, in a world where humans no longer exist. A chance
to create a new family, and keep your precious daughter safe. The pain of seeing our
kind destroyed will end when you take your place."

Demona smiled craftily, placing her left hand upon his chiseled chest, below the golden
rimmed neck brace, running her talons down the expanse of muscle. "Why, Sobek, that
sounds..." WHAM!!! Upon the Egyptian's face, came the cold steel of Demona's mace,
held firmly in her right hand. "...like the stupidest thing I have ever heard!!"

Sobek was thrown back, landing in a heap in the snow, the side of his face practically
torn away, and bleeding profusely. He looked up with eyes of fire, furious at having
being tricked so easily, and having allowed his inflamed ego to blur his senses to her

"Five years ago, I might have joined with you. But I already have a family, a place in
Goliath's clan, in my clan, with my daughter and my friends, and I will protect them...to
the bitter end. Try to find your own personal whore somewhere else..."

"BITCH!!!!" he bellowed, rising to his feet, and flaring his wings in a triumphant scream.
"I will destroy you as well!!"

"Better men have tried, and failed. I am immortal, and cannot die."

"Not for long," he seethed, "the very purpose I dragged you out here, the very reason why
I have your precious clan flying the skies in a frantic chase of the poison released, a
poison you created, is so I can take what you perceive as your greatest power...your

"You canna do that, laddie," said MacBeth, taking a defensive position near Demona's
side, "th' spell is bonded to our very souls, and thus we are bonded to th' other. It canna
be removed."

"Not true." Sobek answered back. "I have spent years in researching the magic of the
Fay, and have found what you may call a loophole. The ancient Egyptians knew well the
third race, and provided a vast breadth of knowledge, left for any an avid researcher in
ancient enchantments. The magic spell cast upon you centuries ago can't be undone,
only replaced to another. Namely...me."

"You wish to be immortal?" Demona laughed her resentment. "You may not like what
you get. Living century by century, watching as friends age and die, knowing you will
never be able to live and love as a normal being. Knowing only pain and agony, torment
and rage as the world passes you by."

"A small price to pay for the guarantee that your race will flourish under your watchful

"As their king?" MacBeth started in, becoming better acquainted with the utter arrogance
and evil practically brimming over in this gargoyle.

"No...as their god. Once I steal your immortality, I will rule."

"No," whispered Demona, cursing his bigotry and want for destruction under her hoarse
breath, "you! Will!! NOT!!!" She ran screaming towards him, mace prepared for the
killing blow, yet Sobek countered with his metal gauntlet, and sparks flew from their

The battle had commenced, for Sobek's contemptible need to take from them their
immortality, and Demona and MacBeth's battle to keep from him what could ultimately
tip the scales in his favor. They fought on, with mace, sword, and laser weapon, as above
in the skies, the clan endeavored to save their city.


Goliath sailed on, his tanks clearing of the cure for his very domain, where the currents
flowed and ebbed in an ever continuing waltz. He had traveled nearly half the length of
the island, and the pain of holding his seven hundred pounds aloft had finally made it's
presence known in his wing struts.

From the corner of his mask, he noticed both Xanatos and Brooklyn nearing his side, and
he eyed his second's perplexing expression. "What brings you to my area?" he asked, his
voice slightly crackling through his transmitter.

"Something's not adding up," replied Brooklyn, "doesn't this seem...a little easy to you?"

Goliath simply said nothing, and directed himself to a building's ledge, where he landed
and turned to face Xanatos as he adjusted his boosters to angle and control his descent.
"Please, check the air."

Xanatos pulled a small pad from his suit, an analyzer he had been using to scan what
indications of poison, no matter how small, had been left in the atmosphere. "We're
almost finished. The traces are far below the danger level, and still decreasing. As
deadly as this nerve toxin is, it seems to be rather effortless to cure."

"Too effortless." echoed Brooklyn. "For something that seems as if we should be shitting
bricks over, it's rather easy to clean up."

"Yes, I was thinking the exact same thing." Goliath responded, noticing Xanatos holding
a hand to his ear, where the transmitter was placed in his helmet.

"Goliath," he started, "I have something that may interest you. Fox and Owen have
reported in, and the steel clan robots sent out to locate the canisters have found fifteen of
the twenty, fully discharged of course."

"That didn't take long." drawled Brooklyn.

"It seems the canisters were set in a three mile ring around the center of Manhattan's
financial district, on the southern tip, where we all seem to have drifted towards due to
the greatest amounts of poison present. The canisters are too close together to affect the
rest of the island. I suggest we call in the others and have them concentrate the last of
their contents in that area."

"But why? Why would Sobek purposely plant them so close together?"

"A distraction." answered Goliath in a infuriated tone. "This entire set-up, his theft of
the toxin and the microchip, his break-in to the chemical plant, was just to call our
attention elsewhere, so we wouldn't interfere with something he had planned, perhaps
from the very beginning. He didn't care about killing any humans, he just wanted us out
of the picture for some time..." He whirled around, his charcoal eyes searing through
even the thick Plexiglas of his mask, eyeing Xanatos. "The castle?"

"Not a peep. Owen has upped the security protocols, just in case. Your daughter is fine,
as is my son." said Xanatos. "And I've had hourly progress reports from the entire clan."

"Then what?..." Goliath was interrupted by a quiet beeping from his transmitter. "Yes?"
he asked, sending his voice into the tiny speaker in his mask.

"Big Guy," it was Elisa, calling from the police station, "we just got a call from an
anonymous source. There's a report of a big fight near Cleopatra's Needle, involving a
human and...two 'monsters'. One blue, and one yellow."

"Demona...and Sobek."

"Bingo. Captain Chavez intercepted the call and has left it to me. Or rather...to you.
You want to get even with what that jerk did to you? Then get your big, purple butt
down there, and show him who's the man..."

Goliath released a growl into the air and pulled off his mask, in complete surprise of
Brooklyn's and Xanatos' astonished eyes.

"Goliath?! The toxin!!"

"Is barely present." he snarled. "Xanatos, call the others and continue your efforts to
finish the job, then inform Elisa that she can cancel the plans to evacuate the island.
Brooklyn, come with me. We have to move fast, as we're quite far from Central Park,
perhaps by design."

"And just why are we going there?"

"Because Sobek is there, and we are going to finish what he has started."

The crimson gargoyle excitedly slapped his clenched fist into the other open palm,
reveling in the fact he would get to take his just revenge. "Oh...goodie."


"Flames of Anubis!!" Sobek howled, as a pillar of flames erupted between the immortals,
and they barely dodged the blast from Sobek's hands, their clothing slightly charring
from the intense heat.

They scrambled backwards, and found themselves side by side once more.

"This laddie's got a few tricks up his sleeve..." MacBeth joked harshly, regaining his

"Angela said he was a powerful magic user," Demona replied, "with no qualms in using
his spells against anyone he sees as a threat."

"Wonderful. What do we do?"

"Keep fighting, and perhaps we will get our chance to strike." Her words were bold, yet
fearful. An uneasy feeling crept through her body, for she knew that in the deepest
corners of her heart, she had arrived here as the hunter, and now played the part of the

MacBeth then chuffed his disbelief of their ability to win this battle, "Easy for you to

"You take left, and I'll bank right." Demona took off in a flash, and left MacBeth to
follow behind, as they closed in on Sobek and prepared their weapons for the ensuing

But Sobek drew back slightly and threw both arms into the air. An eerie energy of an
unknown source flowed through his very veins, empowered by an evil heart, and teeming
with his wishes of destruction upon his advancing enemies. "Winds of Shu!!" Upon his
words, even the forces of nature were as a puppet to his fingertips, creating a powerful
gust that hit the immortals head on, and knocking them back into the breadth of the park.

They slid backwards on the slick snow surface, finally coming to rest against a stone
barrier lining a small hill.

"Storms of Tefnut." came a quiet reply, and in the speed it took to even register the bolt
of pure energy surging towards them, they could only gasp a weak sigh in the face of the
oncoming blow. The electricity coursed through them, a higher charge than normal, as
they screamed with everything they held within their centuries old souls. "Storms of
Tefnut!!" Again, they were hit, as if the heavens had opened wide and encurred the
wrath of the master and lord of Elysium's domain. MacBeth passed out, taking the full
brunt of the powerful attack.

Demona felt her muscles contorting, twisting beneath her skin and they wracked with
spasms from the massive amounts of electricity. Yet her will, forged through numerous
battles and wars, empowered her injured being enough so to keep fighting back. "I...will
not...let you win..." She rose in a emaciated haunch, and straightened out, still clasping
the blood-soaked mace, as her hands had been forcefully clenched by the electric current.
"DIE!!!" She ran screaming towards him, and Sobek released another lightning blast, yet
Demona incredibly dodged the discharge, and found herself leaping into his chest. The
mace contacted with skin of a dulled yellow shade, soon marked with a sharp crimson
splash. She had split him open, and in her bloodlust, continued pounding away.

"...get...off..." He swatted her away, leaving a fresh mark of three distinct swipes across
her face. He rose and drew his massive curved sword, with his other hand clenched into
the skin of his torso, drawing the loose flaps of flesh together with his claws. "...so the
stakes...have been raised...that's fine by me..." Towards her he ran, and a wave of
shimmering, reflective steel clattered upon dulled Scottish metal, as the warriors fought a
bloodthirsty war for control of a curse to one, and a weapon to the other.

They were both skilled in their chosen weapons, as they landed rare blows between
numerous blocks. Sobek was faster, and his sword, though imposingly large, afforded
him more of an advantage as it sliced through anything in it's path, including the very air
itself. But Demona's magical healing ability was treating her injuries as fast as Sobek
could inflict them. So they kept fighting, the once pure ivory snowbanks becoming
drenched in the other's blood.

They fought on, until Sobek released his other hand from his wound and caught
Demona's mace, where her left hand had been placed on the spiked metal globe to brace
herself, bringing them to an abrupt standstill. They connected their eyes for a brief
moment, and the Egyptian found within her gaze a quiet strength, the very source of her
limitless resolution. "You know, metal is a very good conductor. Storms of Tefnut..."

Demona screamed in pain as the power of his spell streamed through her weapon and
into every sensitive nerve ending, opening a gaping wound in her very essence. She
dropped to the ground, and turned to her side, whimpering in pain.

Sobek once again placed his hand to her body, and breathed his enchantment into her ear,
his hot breath inflaming her blistering skin, "Storms of Tefnut." She was brutally
assaulted once more, and as he finished off his last charge, watched in animal lust and
loathsome gratification her writhing form, literally choking in her torment.

Yet she never gave him the satisfaction of hearing her scream, and she bit her bottom lip
in a desperate ploy to keep herself from crying out from the relentless pain. Her skin was
burned in several places, and even a slight waft of smoke rose from the charred flesh.
She hoped her healing factor would continue to amend her wounds, enough to allow her
to strike back.

"You could have saved yourself this pain, you know, my sweet Demona," he quipped, his
biting tongue like acid upon the immortal's ears, "but it seems you made your choice."

"...yes...I have..." A rake of claws across the face, as Demona retaliated with what last
strength remained in her battered body.

Sobek screamed in pain as his left eye was torn open, and he staggered backwards,
attempting to stop the flow of blood pouring from his face. "Grrraaaauughhh!! This
contest is becoming quite...annoying!"

"I...agree..." MacBeth had regained consciousness, and the Egyptian found the
Scotsman's weapon pointed directly at him. "Go back t' hell, laddie..." An equally
powered electrical charge erupted from his firearm, and Sobek, too wounded and moving
too sluggishly, now experienced in one painful rush what the immortals had been
subjected to.

All three now were laying silently on the ground, only the sound of breathing permeating
into the air, and the soft hue and cry of the city just beyond the ring of trees and foliage.
Yet the spell cast a millennia ago, was already healing the forms of Demona and
MacBeth, allowing a slight movement on their parts, and they found the strength to stand
up, and slowly trudge across the blood splattered, urban battlefield. They kept their pace
controlled, and cautious, wary of this enemy now huddling on the ground. For rarely had
an adversary of theirs possessed such great power, and virtually no uncertainties in using
his gifts for his own malicious gain.

Sobek could feel the stark contrast of the heated warmth flowing from his wounds, and
the numbingly cold surface he was laying on. His vision, from his one good eye, was
blurring and he could feel his torn lungs filling with fluid. And yet, he smiled, for this
battle had barely begun. He slowly fished from his belt, two small talismans, sparkling in
the bask of streetlight, and held them within each hand.

"Is he dead?" MacBeth asked his companion, as they both stood just a couple feet from
the fallen gargoyle, leaning over to inspect his still form.

"Not yet." replied an agitated Demona, having stopped cold and watching her fallen foe
gasp for breath. "But he will be very soon..."

"...no...not tonight..." Sobek's head snapped up, presenting his remaining eye to explode
with his savage glow, and he slapped each talisman to his enemy's foreheads, and as they
struggled to release them, only succumbed to the jewel's intoxicating effects. They lost
all sense of balance and both dropped to their knees, and Sobek rose up above them,
preparing himself for the ultimate power. "I will stand...triumphant, you wretched pieces
of shit...your power will be mine...for all of eternity..." He pulled a scroll from a pouch
attached to his belt, and opened the ancient scripture, scrawled with an ancient Egyptian
perhaps not spoken for thousands of years. "...I must work...quickly...I am losing too
much blood..."

The ground beneath him was now a puddle of gleaming vermilion, his own lifeblood
coursing through open holes in his body. The dawn was still hours away, he would not
make it until then. His only chance was this spell, and the two immortals lying nearly
comatose below him. His throat burned, and his words almost become lost, but he
endeavored, and released the spell into the still air with his abrasive rasp. "Fire and
wind, water and earth, life and death, resurrection and birth. Take this power, forged
from the shores of Avalon's gates, and impart it to me, grant me the magic over destiny
and fate. From hours to days, days into years, for eons will I rule, and death I will not
fear. Anubis, Naunet, Osiris, Ra, the gods of my country, make me immortal, and I shall
be the bane of humanity for century after century." He finished reading the parchment,
and added his own twisted flair. "Blood for blood, an eye for an eye, I shall take my just
revenge, and the humans...will die."

The sky split open, and the clouds swirled, a tempest had been released at this scroll's
translation into a foreign tongue. The bodies of his fallen foes were still, and soon
enveloped by an unearthly energy, centering the power on the talismans. Sobek peered
upon them with an evil eye, even sensing from his position the incredible power being
toyed with. But even more importantly, was the fact his spell was working, as the
talismans purged the magical energy from the immortals' bodies.

"It is time..." he whispered to himself, as he gingerly reached a hand to each the fallen
being's foreheads, and clamped tightly to the magical fetishes. Scalding hot, and burning
his skin as if a branding iron, yet he never let go. He forced himself to the talismans and
heeded his withering body to keep it's grasp. Soon, he would be healed, and soon, he
would be immortal.


"Goliath!" Brooklyn yelled to his leader, as he finally pulled the mask from his face.
"What the hell is that?!"

Goliath thinned his eyes as he streamlined his wings to increase his speed. "Sobek, and
he has Demona and MacBeth at his mercy."

"That's what he wanted...them...but what for?"

The answer Goliath already knew, for those two beings held in a shield of the purest
magical energy, possessed a singular power that Goliath had feared since discovering his
former mate had become an immortal, and now if Sobek gained that advantage... The
lavender giant shuddered violently at that thought, and he quickened his pace to intercept
the transference of energy taking place before his eyes.

Brooklyn did his best to keep up, but Goliath's momentum was too strong, and his leader
became a blurred streak of violet set against the white tides of snow lining the ground
below them, which was increasingly growing closer.

Sobek was screaming now, as the flow of energy filled every pore, and coursed through
him like a living flame. He was being filled with the power of the Weird Sister's spell,
engorging his body with the magic of an ancient race.

The wind howled around Goliath, screaming into his ears as he sliced through the
rippling currents, a killing blow, a suicidal run to attempt the termination of Sobek's
spell. But he would find very soon it would be a futile act, as he flew directly into the
very expanse of the power being released, and he was simply skipped away as if a rock
across the surface of a pond. His massive bulk was hurled away, and he rolled with the
fall, digging his talons through the snow and into the solid ground, bringing himself to an
expeditious halt.

Brooklyn, seeing even Goliath being thrown afar, decided to heed his irrational anger,
and land instead by his leader, and both gargoyles stood in a sickening awe of what was
transpiring out of their reach.

"Yeeesssss...YYEEEEEEESSSSSSSS!!!!" Sobek screamed his triumph, as he rose up
and a gargoyle growl was released into the swirling vortex about him, and the two
unconscious immortals. "I can feel it!! I am now immortal!!" His words rang true, as he
peered to his body, and before his very eyes, his grievous wounds were healing
themselves. The broken skin knitted back together, and his vision returned to his ravaged
eye. His muscles and sinew bulged with power, as the addicting rapture of purest energy
filling him was beyond even the most powerful of narcotics. Through the haze of the
aura surrounding him, he found Goliath and Brooklyn staring at him with a loathing gaze.
"Well, well, well," he aimed his spiteful tongue to the lavender giant, displaying almost a
shock in seeing him standing there, "you are looking quite...healthy, Goliath. It seems
you have survived my toxin, very surprising. I know, I know, it lacked my usual flair, but
it sure packed a punch, didn't it? I am impressed you are even here, I thought you would
be valiantly trying to save your city and curing the air around you."

"We have succeeded in amending your little distraction," Goliath growled back, "now,
step away from them."

Sobek stood his ground, allowing his hesitation to finish the energy transference between
him and his captors. "Or you will what?"

Goliath charged ahead, the ground and snow giving way to his powerful legs and feet,
and he lept directly at the Egyptian, who surprisingly bore no resistance, and crumpled
under his forceful blow. Sobek had been physically exhausted as the rush of power had
drained away, but he decided to allow Goliath to witness firsthand his newfound ability.
They slammed to the ground, and Goliath drove his fists home, connecting with Sobek's
face and chest. Through it all, Sobek only increased his laughter, even as the spray of
blood coated his body.

"You think this is amusing, psychotic?!" Goliath screeched, as he clamped each of his
hands to the Egyptian's face.

"No...this is. Watch..."

Goliath looked on in horror as his claw marks and the damaged skin from where he had
struck, was quickly healing itself. To Goliath's dread, the spell had worked.

"Look upon me, Goliath, and see your death." Sobek whispered, as he broke the lavender
giant's hold and impelled both arms into his chest, and Goliath was sent sprawling to the
ground. "I am now an immortal. I stole from them," he pointed to the still unconscious
forms of Demona and MacBeth, "their eternal life, and now I shall begin by cleansing
this planet of the human disease you hold so dear."

"I won't let you," Goliath replied, getting back to his feet, "I will stop you, as I have
many others before."

"An empty threat."

"Look into my eyes, and tell me if I am lying..."

Sobek and Goliath locked their gaze, and granite met fire. Sobek's smile lost it's edge as
his enemy's eyes held a passion unlike that he had seen before tonight. Through
adversity and the unending conflicts forced upon him, he had been strengthened and
fortified, and Sobek, even still reveling in the quickly fading euphoria of power
incarnate, found what fear lay within his dark heart. He desperately tried to shake off his
trepidation and stuttered back to the mammoth beast standing before him, "No matter, I
cannot die by your hands, or anyone else's for that matter."

"That remains to be seen..." Goliath lept at him, and they went down fighting once more,
though the lavender giant's great strength prevailed over Sobek's weakened form, and he
quickly gained the upper hand. The Egyptian's skull was close to caving in as Goliath
summoned all his rage into the powerful blows. The entire ground shook with each
thrust, and through it all, Sobek continued his eerie laughter, until his vocal cords were
crushed. "DIE, DAMN YOU!!!!" Goliath howled, and the frenzy overwhelmed him, the
bloodlust took control, until Brooklyn pulled him off.

"Jesus, Goliath! Calm down!!" he yelled, attempting to breach the anger flowing from
the lavender giant. "Don't you see?! This is exactly what he wants. To destroy you from
within. It's always been about you. He knows you to be the cornerstone of the clan, and
we need you to keep your head...if we are to survive."

Goliath slowed his breathing and looked back to the bloody mass of wings and still that
crooked smile. "Y-You're right. I will not descend to his level."

"...w-what?...the game is...done...already?..." Sobek wheezed. "You always end the
fun...just when it gets good..." He pulled his broken body into a haggard stance, and
found the spell was working still, yet at a substantially reduced rate, due to the
transference, and the amount of damage inflicted to his form. "You lack the balls to kill,
a pity. I do not face that problem...Flames of Anubis!!"

Goliath dodged from the weak blast of flames by pure instinct, and fell beside Sobek's
massive sword. He grabbed the blade and stood up, and prepared a preemptive strike
before the Egyptian could 'recharge' his fading magic. With all his strength, he hurled
the weapon towards Sobek, and the target was true. The razor sharp blade sliced into his
chest, and the golden gargoyle was forced back like a broken marionette, pinned to the

Goliath stood there, watching Sobek's frantic struggle to release himself, yet the blade
was too far buried within the concrete and steel of the decorative needle. Confident his
adversary was held for at least a short time, he sighed, releasing his anger with a heated
gust into the frigid environment, and severely repressing the urge to scream out at his
trapped prey, instead electing to check on the fallen quarry of Sobek's latest victory.

Brooklyn was by their sides, checking each limp body for damage. Goliath approached
as Brooklyn handed him the talismans, and forced to him a grim scowl.

"How are they?" he asked, a monotone voice intended to disguise his rage.

"Pretty beat up. Cuts, burns, scrapes, some broken bones..."

"Is there any indication of healing?"

"None. I think, Goliath, that they're...mortal...now."

Goliath leaned down and rubbed a talon across Demona's brow, a tender caress that
caused her to stir slightly, and moan to the unremitting pain still flowing through her
bruised body. "At least they are still alive. Come, let's..."

"Goliath..." Brooklyn whispered, pointing a brick red talon towards the needle. Goliath
turned and found a haze of energy building around Sobek's still form, and the Egyptian's
abhorrent smile was swelling with the reserves of his energy.

"We are not finished yet..." wheezed Sobek. "Walls of...Osiris..."

"Shit!" Brooklyn yelled, watching as a sheer wall of what magical energy Sobek had left
spilled out from his body and surged towards them, possessing enough power to instantly
evaporate the snow in it's path.

"Move!" Goliath commanded, scooping Demona into his arms, and she unconsciously
burrowed deeper into his chest. Brooklyn grabbed MacBeth, his face displaying the
brunt of the former king's weight with his thin body armor, and followed Goliath out of
the park.

"Don't leave now, Goliath..." Sobek growled, speaking through severed lungs, trying to
reform and heal around the steel lodged in his chest. "The game...has only begun."

His magical energy barrier distended out in a flash, almost catching Goliath and Brooklyn
as they grasped onto a large tree near them, climbed frantically for their lives and flew
off into the night sky, just before their launching pad was obliterated by Sobek's
powerful sorcery in a shower of fractured wood.

The Egyptian shook himself loose, and soon, the blade dislodged, and he fell to the
ground, only a smear of crimson left against the cryptic carvings and designs of the
needle. In a spray of his blood and the sound of contorting sinew and bone, the blade
was pulled from his chest. He fell silent as the magic spell healed his wounds enough to
quickly draw in the fresh Winter air. He scanned the sky, and found the gargoyles had
disappeared, most likely heading back to their castle in the sky. "Cowards" he whispered
maliciously, "...no matter. The pieces have been arranged at long last, and the first move
has been made. Cherish your life as it is, for I will soon be back when my strength
returns, as this little soiree has drained what energy has been left within me. I have taken
what I needed in this city, and now may return...home, for a much grander destiny awaits
me there. Take care of your clan, your pretty wife and your darling child, Goliath, for I
will destroy them one by one, and their lives will soon come to a gruesome end in front
of your very eyes. Then, when you are the last member standing...we will dance...and I
shall feast on your bones..."

He slipped away into the darkness from where he was birthed, left free to commit what
disgusting indulgence he could conceive of. Yet his path remained true, back to his
office, where his affairs would be cleared up, and he could return home. The land of
ancient pyramids and swallowing sand, awaiting his arrival, and on this night, the Earth
itself shuddered with fear.


"Well frankly, Goliath, besides the injuries sustained tonight, they seem completely
normal. I think you're right, they're just as mortal as you and I." Dr. Pierce whispered
his diagnosis to the lavender giant, as he stood at Demona's side, the azure-skinned
gargoyle tucked securely into her bed. "They'll heal one hundred percent from their
injuries, like any normal human and gargoyle. From what I can determine, their physical
ages have been left at approximately thirty to thirty-five years, give or take a couple

"Thank you, doctor." Goliath answered, his eyes never tearing from his former mate,
being tended to by their daughter. Her wounds had been bandaged, and her wondrous
cobalt skin was almost hidden from sight underneath the wrappings and gauzed
dressings. Angela slowly fed her a glass of water, and the now mortal gargoyle was
slowly savoring the cool liquid. MacBeth was beside her, bedridden as well, though not
as injured. A spare room in the castle, with two beds where the injured party were taken,
now housed the entire clan, watching over the convalescing pair.

Dr. Pierce walked to the table between the two beds, and made sure the intercom was
connected directly to his office. "If either of you two need me, just call. I'm going to be
down in the lab, studying your blood samples, and making sure that you both truly
are...just like the rest of us. Now I prescribe bedrest, as you're both as fragile as we are
now so," he quickly snapped his eyes to both patients, "stay...in...bed."

"Yes sir..." wheezed a fatigued Demona.

"My clan, our friends need their rest, so if you please..." A simple gesture to the doors
and the clan silently flooded out, leaving only Goliath, Angela, and Elisa with Trinity.

"Good," whispered Demona, "the doctor has left, and so can I." She attempted to throw
back the covers and escape her bed, but found it impossible to move when a massive pair
of lavender arms stopped her from doing so.

"No." said Goliath fiercely. "You have been seriously injured, and will rest."

"But my company..."

"Has been informed of your...'car accident', by your daughter. Angela has taken care of
everything, and has notified your assistant that you will be calling her in a few days,
when your strength has returned. And Dr. Pierce has become your primary caretaker
until you are well enough to return."

Demona conceded, and laid back into the comfort of her pillows. "So," she started,
almost melancholy, "I am now mortal. I can die."

"Both of us, lass." replied MacBeth, in a haggard response. "I suppose th' nightmare is
ov'r. Frankly, I be more than happy that Sobek monster took the magic from us. I can
live and die like a normal human being."

"He's right in a way, mother." Angela cut in. "You no longer have to fear being alone
for the rest of eternity."

"No," she replied, "you don't understand. Sobek is now immortal, and he possesses the
power of eternal life. We can't stop him now."

"We have stopped you on more than one occasion." jested Goliath, sitting by her side.

"No, it's not just the immortality. That spell was a curse. It magnified the rage and
despair inside of me. I now feel as if some of the relentless anger that plagued me is
gone, I feel almost...at peace. If someone like Sobek is affected, he could be pushed over
the very edge of sanity."

"He never seemed that sane t' me t' begin with, lass." drawled MacBeth, in his usual
Scottish brogue.

"We have fought against him, and won, Demona." Elisa responded. "However powerful
he may become, I know we will beat him. Because we're a family. All of us."

"Your place, mother, has been ensured in this clan. As is yours, MacBeth." said Angela.
"You're not alone, and we will protect all we love from people like Sobek."

"Thank you, daughter." replied Demona, seeing her very features come to life in only
child. "Now, if you please, I wish to speak with your father...alone."

Angela almost protested, yet yielded to her mother's emotion-filled eyes. She left with
Elisa behind her, and soon only Goliath remained, still at Demona's side.

"Goliath..." Demona wheezed, the slight smile having been worn for her daughter's
benefit falling away. "There's something else. Something I didn't want Angela, or even
Elisa, to know."

Goliath leaned in closer. "What?"

"Another effect of the spell, that linked myself to MacBeth. That link is gone as well. It
was most likely transferred to Sobek. Anyone of us, you, Brooklyn, me, Macbeth, could
be connected magically to Sobek. Or perhaps anybody in this entire city. His mixing of
magic, Egyptian and Fay, may have made the spell unsteady now. Any one person in this
clan, or any others you hold so dear, may be linked to that psychopath."

Goliath drew back, shaking his head, and rubbed his hand down weathered features.
"Perhaps. Perhaps not. But what we can't speculate on what we don't know. Sobek will
be dealt with in due time when either we find him or he resurfaces, and just maybe, his
fusion of two culture's magics will serve as another weakpoint, besides his limitless

Demona struggled to sit up, and sending her cries to all sides of the room. "But he must
be found, we must..."

Goliath swiftly captured her face with a gentle hand. "Right now, we must concentrate
on healing. We have all been through a lot these past few months, and now it is time we
need, until we all are back on our feet." He guided Demona back into her bed, and
secured the covers over her, brushing the stray flaming hairs from her face. "You need to
rest, for you are just as...human as everyone else, remember?"

"I find that insulting."

"And I find that amusing." replied MacBeth, eliciting a growl from his counterpart.

"Rest, Demona. When you awake, we will still be here. I promise." Goliath headed
towards the doors, and dimmed the lights, leaving the two injured, and formerly
immortal, beings to rest and heal. "Goodnight...my friend. Dream of friends long past,
and the future that love and friendship will bring."

Demona settled into her bed, pulling the covers around her, and relishing the comfort
brought by simple sheets and a firm mattress. The eternity she feared from living had
been forcefully taken from her, and given to an enemy, having forthrightly taken her
place as the clan's greatest foe. A chance indeed, to forget the woe and pain of the past,
and rebuild anew.

A single tear flowed, and came to rest on the pillow where she lay, a symbol of her
triumph to release herself from the bonds of hatred. Yet still the fear lingered, an
unusual feeling she would have trouble getting used to.

A torrent of emotion churned within her, as if she could hear his abrasive rasp still
cradled within her mind. Perhaps if anyone were to stand upon Wyvern's highest tower,
and allowed the wind to form itself about their bodies, and revel in the pirouette of the
infinite breath of mother nature, they could hear a distant sound. A resonance which
struck into the hearts of the innocent who dwelled within the towers of glass and iron. A
maniacal laughter that went unceasingly into the night...