DISCLAIMER: I DO NOT OWN GARGOYLES AND HERCULES CHARACTERS. THEY BELONG TO DISNEY AND RENAISSANCE PICTURES. I DO NOT OWN THE SONG "SHADOWS OF THE NIGHT". THAT BELONGS TO THE COMPOSER MENTIONED BELOW. ALL ORIGINAL CHARACTERS BELONG TO DENIGODDESS2001. I WRITE THIS FOR LOVE AND NOT MONEY. PLEASE DO NOT SUE.

07/04/01
DENIGODDESS2001@AOL.COM

Sojourner and Champion 1.0

SHADOWS OF THE NIGHT


We're running with the Shadows Of The Night
So baby take my hand, you'll be all right
Surrender all your dreams to me tonight
They'll come true in the end
You said - oh girl, it's a cold world
When you keep it all to yourself
I said you can't hide on the inside
All the pain you've ever felt
Ransom my heart, but baby don't look back
Cause we got nobody else

Chorus:

We're running with the Shadows of the Night
So baby take my hand, you'll be all right
Surrender all your dreams to me tonight
They'll come true in the end

You know that sometimes, it feels like
It's all moving way too fast
Use every alibi and words you deny
That love ain't meant to last
You can cry tough baby, it's all right
You can let me down easy, but not tonight

We're running with the Shadows of the Night
So baby take my hand, you'll be all right
Surrender all your dreams to me tonight
They'll come true in the end

We're running with the Shadows of the Night
So baby take my hand, you'll be all right
Surrender all your dreams to me tonight
They'll come true in the end

And now the hands of time are standin' still
Midnight angel, won't you say you will

(Repeat Chorus Three Times)

Song Written by: D. L. Byron

Sojourner And Champion 1.0
Shadows Of The Night

She stared at the ebony warrior standing proud and regal in front of her. His flowing white hair cascaded down his back. His lavender eyes looked down at her with their vibrant intensity of devotion and passion. They stood together on the front porch of the Victorian mansion and watched the sun rise.

"It's time." Demetrius watched the golden orb slowly rise above the horizon. "It has meant much to me that we shared this sunrise, Milady."

"I can't disagree." Wren rested her head on his broad, powerful chest. His arms came about her and held her closely. She heard the strong drumming of his heartbeat within his chest. She knew they had shared days and nights together for approximately two months in Greece. Yet, here in 2005, he needed to regenerate. He needed to assume the natural order.

"Until twilight descends, I shall dream of you." His hand came to rest upon the seashell necklace of Aphrodite. Given as a gift by Kevyn to Demetrius, Kevyn refused its return upon their arrival from Macedonia 500BC.

Wren took a step back and watched with melancholy as Demetrius launched into a defensive position with wings unfurled. She watched his face become fierce and primal with fangs showing. His talons curled as if ready to cut through stone like melted butter. He assumed the classic protector pose. He dropped the necklace from his hand and let it fall to the ground. Within seconds, his skin lightened from ebony slate. Green flecks sparkled in the morning sun. He became solid Kiarite, a rare metal alloy unlike anything else on the planet. It was invulnerable and unshatterable.

"Sleep well, Dem." She planted a kiss on the cheek of the stone Gargoyle. It seemed strange that he stood as stone at ten o'clock in the morning. She picked up the golden seashell from the ground and held it in her hand. It was still warm from being against his skin. She clasped it tightly and made her way into the house.

The back garden looked lovely with the colorful multitude of blooming flowers. Day lilies and wildflowers danced in the early morning breeze. Wren looked over the hills of her Summerlands estate and simply became one with the glorious moment. Sunlight brightened the meadow rolling behind her Victorian home. A creek flowed into a small lake in the middle of the glen below her. She considered it Divine Providence when she had found five acres of paradise.

[What do we do now, Dem?] Heart full of despair and eyes soulful, she returned her attention the ferocious warrior posed on her patio. [I never meant to fall for you or kiss you. I never thought you'd come to the States with me. Heaven only knows what happened to my good sense when we slept together.... Made love.] She corrected herself.

[Now what?] Summer was coming to a close and she knew that autumn would announce its appearance soon. She knew that there was a mating moon in October and Demetrius wanted to return to Caledon for it. All through their adventures in Ainran and Greece, she'd managed to put him off regarding the mate bonding ceremony. Reluctantly, he agreed to be her lover while she took the time she needed to consider the concept of being mated to him.

[So, we're back to square one...AGAIN.] She wanted him. She needed him. She loved Demetrius until she required a second heart to contain all the emotion that flowed from her. Yet, Wren, longed for things he never had the ability to give her; husband, children, homelife. He consumed her nights while work occupied her days.

[I'm perfectly happy with the way things are.] She dared to admit to herself. [We have a house, we have our time together. Why muck it up with a mating ceremony?]

She knew she wanted the marriage, the house, the 2.5 kids, the double-car garage and the family dog. Demetrius didn't fit into that plan. Yet, life without the ebony warrior and his romantic devotion seemed rather bland and desolate. The world wasn't ready for gargoyles.

[NOT THIS WORLD, ANYWAY.]

"Not this world..." She spoke the words aloud. "I can't change the world, but who says we can't CHANGE worlds..." Wren's eyes brightened with enlightenment as a new possibility made itself known to her. With that, she turned abruptly about and rushed into the mansion.

She ran through the kitchen at breakneck speed as a new possibility formed in her mind. Hope filled her heart as she hurried up the staircase to the second story of her mansion. She flung open the door to her room and headed with new determination to her closet. The door flew open and Wren pulled out a foot trunk purchased at Wal-Mart. With one quick green glowing snap of the fingers, the lock flew open. She pulled away the sweaters meticulously folded for storage and rummaged madly until she found her "Greek wares." She set the armor on the floor beside her along with her hunting dagger. Finally, she found the one thing that made her heart leap with hopeful joy.

"Okay, let's give this baby another examination." Her eyes gleamed in anticipation as her searching hands grasped the Annulus of Avalon. Wren had placed it in the trunk upon their return from Ancient Greece the month prior. She knew better than to read aloud the Latin incantation engraved upon the circlet's surface.

"I need a clue, any clue on how to use this thing more precisely." Hazel eyes scrutinized every square millimeter of the bladed ring. The dark gray metal gleamed brightly in the morning sunlight streaming through the window. The luminescent sapphires now mixed freely with a piece or two of green quartz because of Kevyn Xorbo, Wren's former employer. She ran her fingers carefully over the Celtic flourishes and the Latin script.

"Damn, damn, damn!" She muttered in pure frustration, there has to be something here. She knew getting answers from Atalanta would be next to impossible. Atalanta played the spurned female very well. Demtrius' rejection of her at the last mating mood had caused a coldness to ferment. Wren and the Dame finally had reached an understanding, but there was still no love lost in Atalanta's eyes.

"There must be a way to know how to use this damn thing more precisely." She racked her brain on what she knew of it. Atalanta crafted the Annulus for the Magus in 980. It was enchanted with his magick. The sapphires were said to be the tears of Tacitus. She knew the green stones to be two of the Chronos fragments given to her by Xorbo.

"I want to know more about the Annulus of Avalon." She said to the morning wind.

"What does your mind scheme, Wren Elizabeth Summers?" A familiar voice asked her.

Instinct overwhelmed her body as she crouched in a defensive position with weapon ready in hand. She let her eyes scan the room for the intruder and saw nothing. "Show yourself!"

A small gold and verdant dragon no longer than her arm curled comfortablely on her bed. Wren's anger melted away to joy as she recognized the diminutive version of the Dragon goddess of the Gargoyles. Her scowl became a smile as she watched two bright citrine eyes stared at her. "You look like my pet iguana I had as a child."

"You're mind is devising a plan, I can smell it." The warm, grandmotherly voice teased her.

"Lady Skylaris, it is good to see you." Wren fell to her knees beside her bed. "So much has happened since we saw each other last."

"I know. I have kept watch over you. You have made great strides, my daughter."

"Thank you." Wren felt a burst of joy as the sleek reptile flicked its tongue gently at her forehead.

"You've also made grave errors." Was the stern reply.

Her burst of joy died at those words. "I know. I shouldn't have slept with Demetrius, goddess. I never meant to... it's just that my wild and crazy hopes took over my good judgment and now-"

"That's not what I've meant." She reassured the young woman. "You've finally made yourself receptive to receive the love of a heart that beats in your name. However, you have made a powerful enemy in Ares, god of war. He hunts you now as we speak. He wants revenge and he wants your annulus."

"Oh no." Wren's worst nightmares had just come to life.

"Twenty-five hundred years he has looked for you and now he is close." The sleek dragon stood up on her hind legs. "My magick is much weaker in this realm. My blessing protects you but he will eventually find you."

"He'll hurt Demetrius." Her first thought became words. "He'll hurt me."

"Yes, and that is why I am here, daughter." Skylaris lept from the bed and landed near Wren. She effortlessly scurried up Wren's arms and wrapped herself around the young woman's neck. Wren couldn't help but giggle at the ticklish sensation of the dragon's feet scraping lightly against her skin. "You're thoughts about other realms where Gargoyles are accepted is quite close to fact."

"Really?"

"Aye, lass." The dragon's tongue flicked her ear. "You know what the Annulus can do, yet, you've no knowledge of how to harness its abilities. Only the Magus, Oberon and myself know how to make the annulus do it's possessor's bidding. This was never meant to be human knowledge."

"Then why are you telling me?"

"Because you are the first human to bloodbond to the annulus and my son loves you dearly." The dragon whispered.

"Demetrius is your son?" Wren recalled hearing Skylaris make references to him in conversations past. She thought it was merely a form of affection in the same way Skylaris addressed her as 'my daughter.'

"He is my very own hatchling." She confirmed Wren's suspicions. "That is another tale for another time. Now, we must contend with Ares and his potential ability to harm you. To use the annulus, you must know the incantations that go with it."

"I'm no sorcerer. Magick is not my forte."

"You are the descendant of Fortuna, goddess of luck. Serendipity will make it your forte." Skylaris told her.

"Ares mentioned Fortuna. He said that he could smell her on me."

"He can smell the magick of luck in your blood. But that's again another tale for another time. Do you remember how you arrived here from Greece?"

"Certainly." Wren nodded eagerly. "In sheer desperation, I just did like Dorothy from the Wizard of Oz and said 'there's no place like home.'"

"Visualization is the key in the operation of annulus. If you can imagine it, most likely there is a reflective realm that matches it. However, you may not find a dimension exactly as what your heart longed to see." The Dragon's tail wrapped around the annulus and held it eye-level before Wren. "Listen well, for time is short. I sense Ares is close to finding you before the sunsets. I shall teach you what I can about magick."

The rest of the morning was spent with Wren listening to the goddess explaining about the foundations of Magick. Rhyme and cadence were the essence of incantation. Gestures added focus to the ritual being cast. Components aided in manipulating the natural forces at work in the world. Certain days and times were more energy-laden for magick than others. Inherent magick was rare within humans, though not unknown

Inherent magick was usually reserved for immortals. With Wren's unique bloodlines, she was somewhat an exception. While she never would have the abilities of the Fae or the Kiari, she possessed the ability to minutely alter the reality around her. If harness wisely, it acted as a catalyst for magick and required no focal point other than her own thoughts and wishes.

"With concentration and probability manipulation, my dear, you can awaken the magick of the annulus to do your bidding." The dragon explained as noon approached. Her tail twitched nervously. "He's found the wormhole at the museum between ancient Greece and this time. Ares is following your trail. He'll be here within the hour."

"How can he find me?" Wren shrugged helplessly.

"Your particular energies have a very inimitable signature. Take only what you need, you have only a few minutes to ready yourself before he arrives."

"I have to leave now?" The shriek of realization filled the bedroom. "Now without Demetrius."

"No, you won't leave without him. Now, gather what you need, child and be quick about it."

Wren dashed to the jewelry box and grabbed the golden seashell that had been a gift from Kevyn. She rushed downstairs and returned shortly with her leather coat and her purse. She grabbed a chair and placed it under the ceiling fan in her room. She stood on it and reached for the very top and retrieved a rather large wad of cash. Wren then changed clothes. Donning comfortable jeans, shirt, and tennis shoes, she felt more prepared for the upcoming trip. On impulse, she grabbed her utility knife that her father had given her on her eleventh birthday.

She heard the wind howl outside her window. Wren peaked and screamed at the scene that met her eyes. Dark, gray clouds sped violently in the skies above her head. Trees whipped in the violent gust of wind. Rain pummeled the side of the house. Lightning crashed in the glen behind the house.

"He's close isn't he?" She managed to whisper hoarsely.

"Yes, Wren. I can't hide you much longer from his search. You must get to Demetrius." Skylaris urged her. Wren grabbed the figurine that Demetrius had given her recently. It was a small statuette of a Siamese cat with bat's wings.

"I'm ready." She nodded curtly to the goddess. She flew down the stairs and through the kitchen until she found her way to Demetrius' side. Rain plastered her chestnut locks to her wet skin. She felt the coldness' of Ares rage in every burst of wind. She knew that he meant to take her life that day if he found her.

"Go now!" Skylaris screamed above the howling of the wind. "I will distract him as best I can. He won't be able to follow once you've gone."

Wren knew that she didn't have the physical strength to make the trip with a statue. She slipped the golden seashell around the strong neck of the crouching gargoyle. She saw the fractures appear in the surface of the slate and emerald stone. She knew well enough to step back as fractures in the stone cause fragments to form. She saw him stretch and then roar as he shook himself free of the shards. The surprise on his face was evident as rain pelted his thick skin.

"Wren? What is wrong?" He bellowed as her fear touched his empathic senses.

"ARES IS COMING." She screamed above the thunder and wind. "We have to go."

He nodded in understanding. Armed only with her purse, it's contents, and her annulus, Wren hopped into the waiting embrace of her Gargoyle lover. She saw from the south the face of Ares forming in the clouds. He had found them. She stifled the urge to scream from utter fright. She forced herself to recite the incantation engraved upon the Annulus.

"Advent of a shadow realm
cast by my hand this weapon made
unloose this Magick unbolt this gate
to a reflective realm do lead the way.

"Take us to where Gargoyles be
similar in stock and demeanor as we
take us to where they are respected
to a dimension we shall be protected.

Annulus I call upon they ways
Take Demetrius and I to that special place
Where humans are not frightened night or day of
Talon, fang, tail, wing and exotic face."

A mist of mint and saffron rose from the ashes beneath the forge and swirled around Wren. The Annulus radiated brilliance akin to the glow of a Gargoyle's stare. A brilliant column of gold light brightened so much that she closed her eyes so not to be blinded. There was a loud clap of something as thunder and then they were met by blackness. She recognized a hoarse cry of defeat as the darkness surrounded them.

The Mutant and the Gargoyle had bested Ares again and he was not happy.

Wren smiled when she heard a deafening roar of a mother defending her son. Ares would find Skylaris a very formidable opponent. The young woman sent a prayer to her Divine Providence to look after Skylaris in her desire to protect them. She hoped that she would find victory without peril to herself.

The majestic gargoyle wrapped his tail securely around Wren's waist. His arms held her close to him while his large silver and jet wings enveloped them in a protective cocoon against the turmoil of the dimensional slipstream. It seemed akin to a ride in a tunnel or a roller coaster ride as they moved rapidly through the corridor of bright vibrant hues and images.

Wren cowered in Demetrius' arms as he navigated the wormhole that was the doorway between the reflective realms. She feared that her beloved warrior might suffer injury in the wild chaos of the tunnel as it tossed them about.
Her thoughts were abruptly jarred as he told her to tuck her head into his chest.

Wren felt them impact had and fast against an immovable surface. They had landed this way before in the parking lot of the Linoma Bluffs Museum just a month ago. This time, she knew to hold on to Demetrius and let him guide their fall. She let forth a burst of luckmagick to aid him in a safe landing. The emerald glow surrounded the entire form of the ebony warrior and seemed to almost cushion their impact.

For several seconds, Wren lay secure and unharmed in his triple embrace of tail, arms, and wings. She fought to catch her breath as she gripped the annulus inside her jacket. She felt Demetrius bring them into a sitting position and he folded his wings about him in a mantle of velvet.

"Demetrius, are you all right?" She asked urgently.

"I am well, Milady. And you?" His deep voice soothed her frazzled, disoriented nerves.

"Unhurt."

"Thank the Dragon." He planted a quick peck on her brow.

Wren looked around and surveyed the scenery. She saw a night skyline that seemed vaguely familiar. She saw the Empire state building, the Statue of Liberty, and the Xanatos Castle standing stark against the neon skyline.

[Xanatos castle?]


To be continued...