All the characters appearing in Gargoyles and Gargoyles: The Goliath Chronicles are copyright Buena Vista Television/The Walt Disney Company.
No infringement of these copyrights is intended, and is not authorized by the copyright holder.
All original characters are the property of Storyseeker.

0000000000

Previously on Gargoyles: -

Elisa felt a wave of pity for the poor boy, but she couldn't condone on what he was doing by breaking into the gargoyle's home, and apparently been making a living out of thieving.

As she neared the young boy, she finally got a good look at his face… and she stopped.

Elisa's eyes widened, her breath caught in her throat, as she gazed down at a face she had not seen in years, but knew as clearly as she knew her own.

"Bre… Brent?" she stuttered.

0000000000

Broadway knew something was up and got off from the intruder, looking at him while he did so. Elisa could tell from the look on his face that he too saw the resemblance between them. Broadway always was the good detective, so Elisa didn't doubt he would soon figure it out.

"Goliath," she sighed. "Broadway, everyone. This is Brent… my brother

0000000000

Elisa sighed. "It all started when Brent was about eleven." Elisa seemed to be troubled, as she spoke. "He met this girl in his class, her name was Sally O'Brien. They became good friends after a while, always hung out together… But… " Elisa paused again, looking slightly distressed.

Elisa swallowed the lump that was forming in her throat. "Goliath… Sally was… After Brent met her, after a few months, he discovered that she… She was being abused."

Elisa looked down for a minute. "It was… her parents."

"Brent never forgave us when they came and took Sally away," Elisa continued. "He had trusted dad to help her… but we were not as well prepared, as we thought we were. We severely underestimated Mr. O'Brien's lawyer techniques, or for him to be so sneaky. Also, we don't know for sure, but we think that he may have been bribing some of the jury, but we could never prove it. He got everyone to believe that his daughter had been making things up, simply for the attention, and that she needed therapy. He got everyone to believe him, and the judge agreed that Sally was just a disturbed child, needing psychiatrist treatment! We couldn't even say goodbye to her, when social services came and dragged Sally back to her parents!"

0000000000

And now, the continuation: -

Brent's Apartment:

Brent, aka Lightning, stomped into his penthouse apartment, flinging his coat on the hat-stand.

"That you, B?" His roommate's voice called out.

"It's a burglar!" he called back.

"Ah, so it is you then," the voice laughed.

Brent didn't smile or laugh this time, as he usually did. "Sash!" he called out. "We need to talk!"

"Gimme a few minutes!" she answered. "Unless you wanna help with the dishes?"

Brent didn't answer, and he heard grumbling coming from the kitchen.

As he walked into the living room, he sat down in his favourite chair, the Lazyboy, and took out a cigarette. Using his fingertip, he lit the cigarette, and took a long puff from it.

"You can run, but you can't hide." He mused quietly. His father had told him long ago that no matter how hard you try, you could never run from your problems for too long. It was good advice, but since his… departure from his family, oh so long ago, he had done his very best to wash out every bit of memory he could of his family, particularly his father.

Brent took another smoke, and as Sash kept busy in the kitchen, he slowly started to remember…

0000000000

Manhattan; 8 Years Ago:

"Now, Brent," Diane Maza called from her car. "Remember to be home on time today for once. Your grandma is coming to visit for dinner, okay?"

Ten-year-old Brent Maza sighed, and gave his mother a forced smile. "Sure, mom! I'll be there!" He then gave her a quick wave, and hurried into school.

'I wonder if you can buy steel cheek plates?' he thought, wincing, remembering the last time his grandmother had come to visit. His cheeks were still hurting from where she had pinched them. It wouldn't hurt so much, if only she would just get those damn nails of hers clipped.

"Being the youngest sucks." He said to himself. Every time she visited, it was always 'My, Brent how you've grown,' or 'Come here and give your granny a kiss', followed by a skin-piercing pinch on the cheek.

Derek and Beth never lost the opportunity to make fun of his dilemma. The fact that he was the youngest, or the baby of the family, as they liked to say, was the reason for his problem. Their gran had done the same to them when they were the youngest, so now it was naturally Brent's turn.

"Hey, loser!" a snide voice yelled, pulling Brent from his reverie.

The voice wasn't directed at him, but it was close by. He looked up to see a large boy, about 15, together with two others, surrounding a young girl about his age. She had blonde hair, done up in curls, blue eyes, and was wearing a pink dress.

He didn't recognise her, so she was obviously not in his class, but he did a double take when he got a better look at her. The girl's face had a split lip, and a black eye. He couldn't tell for sure, but he thought he could see bruises along her arm as well.

The older boys stood around her, sneering and poking at her injuries.

"What's up?" one of them said. "Missed your appointment at the beauty clinic?" They all laughed.

Brent snarled, and ran up to the three bullies.

"What's your problem, nigger?" One of the other two lads said, as Brent came between them and the girl.

"Nigger and Injun!" the second one said amused. "Didn't you know, this kid's mixed up?"

That did it!

Brent, like all his siblings, had been taught not to let the words of others antagonise him so, but patience had never been his strong suit.

Brent jumped up, and landed a solid kick to the first bully's groin, like his sister Elisa had shown him, from her first defence lesson at the police academy. The boy winced, as the air left his lungs, while the other two just looked flabbergasted at the young kid.

"Hey!" The second one yelled. "Who the hell do you think you are, Indiana Jones?"

"Someone with a higher IQ than you'll ever have!" Brent retorted.

The boy roared and came at him, but Brent was ready, and was quick on his feet. As the boy raced at him, Brent grabbed his arm and used the force of his attack to throw him over his shoulder.

'Thank you for all those defence lessons.' He mentally thanked his dad and sister.

The third and final bully didn't seem all too intent on following his friend's exampled, and chose to back away. The other two started to get back, but the sound of footsteps caught their ears, and they looked up to see the principal making his way toward them.

Before the principal could even see them though, the boys jumped up and fled out of the corridor, outside.

Brent heaved a sigh of relief, and looked back to the young girl. "You all right?" he asked concerned.

The girl just nodded meekly at him, her hands clutching her books tightly.

"Hey, it's okay." He said reassuringly. "Look, just come with me to the principal. He'll make sure those guys don't bother you again."

The girl looked shocked at him. "No!" she began almost hysterically. "No, it's all right. They were only teasing m, nothing else."

"But what about all these?" he pointed at her black eye, cuts and bruises. "Look, I know what it's like to be afraid, but you can't let them get away with…"

"They didn't do this to me." She interrupted.

Brent looked at her curiously. "Oh… I just assumed that… " He stared at her injuries, wondering where she could have gotten so many painful wounds. "What in the world happened to you?" he asked finally.

The girl looked uncomfortably, and fiddled with her books some more. "I… fell down." She finally said.

Brent gave her a curious look, knowing full well she was lying, as no one could possibly get those kinds of injuries from simply falling down. He thought about questioning her further, but he knew from experience that the more he kept at her, the more guarded she would become and wouldn't tell him anything. So he decided on another approach.

"My name's Brent, Brent Maza," he introduced himself. "What's yours?"

The girl looked at him quietly for a while, then smiled. "Sally. Sally O'Brien."

0000000000

Brent smiled, as he remembered the day he first met Sally, the young girl who would forever change his life, though not in a romantic way.

He had known that she had been lying about where she had gotten her injuries from, but knew that he couldn't force the answer from her. So he decided on a simpler approach… In other words, he would be her friend, try to be there for her whenever she needed him, and when the time was right, she would tell him what was wrong.

It hadn't been a hard task, as Sally was easy to like. Although, like most boys his age, he had found the idea of hanging out with a girl to be revolting, to say the least, but in the end he had found a kindred spirit in his new friend. Sally only seemed like a girl on the outside, what with her pink dresses and golden locks, but underneath, she was a regular tomboy. She could play soccer better than any other boy on the playground.

They had hung out together for more than a month. It would have almost been fun, had it not been for the constant bruises that he found on her arms, and the occasional black eye. He felt sure that those older boys he had first seen with her, had been the cause, but as it turned out, all three boys had been on detention for three weeks, during which they had been nowhere near Sally. Yet she still came to school with fresh bruises almost every day.

Finally, one day as they were walking home from school, Brent decided to take a chance, and ask her.

0000000000

"Sally?" Brent started, as they made their way out through the school gates.

Sally looked to him questioningly.

"Who is giving you those bruises, and the black eyes?" he demanded. "And don't tell me you fell down again, because no one is that clumsy, least of all you!"

Sally looked frightened. "I… I'm sorry, but… "

"Sally!" a loud angry voice shouted at them.

Brent turned and saw a large man, with a big blonde beard almost down to his neck, and harsh brown eyes. He had a vicious scowl about him too that Brent couldn't quite put his finger on, but knew instantly that he did not like.

The man marched over to them smartly, and grabbed Sally around the arm.

"I thought I told you to wait for me after school!" he bellowed into her ear.

Sally shook her head madly. "No, I… "

"Never mind! I… " Suddenly, the man stopped, seemingly noticing him for the first time. He instantly lost his scowl, and smiled at him, although the smile seemed stretched. "Who's this?" he asked.

Sally glanced nervously at Brent. "My… friend. His name's Brent."

"Very nice to meet you, Brent." Sally's father stretched out his hand, and grasped his in a strong grip. Brent suspected that he had the strength to break his arm if he so wished.

"Forgive my rude outburst," Sally's father continued, "but we are having friends over for dinner this evening." He turned back to his daughter. "Sally, let's go."

He didn't shout at her again, but there was an undeniable threat that seemed to loom in his voice. He took her hand and led her over to a red car, with a lady inside that was waiting for them. She had blonde hair too, and big blue eyes like Sally, but unlike Sally's, hers had an icy look to them.

Brent just stood where he was, staring, as the family started the car up and drove away.

Just before Sally had hurried off, Brent had gotten a good look on her arm, where apparently her father had grabbed her. He had gripped her so hard that he had left red marks all along her arm. The marks had been the exact same size, as most of the bruises on Sally's arms.

Brent suddenly felt like an idiot. All this time he had been thinking that Sally was being bullied by older kids, when all the time, she had suffering something far worse.

He stayed where he was standing for a few minutes, pondering over what he had just learned, and what he should do next. If it had been kids bullying her, he would have either told the principal, or simply sorted them out himself, but this… this was something far more extreme than even he could imagine.

As hordes of other children past by him, paying him no attention, as most were just eager to get home, do their homework, and settle down for a nice relaxing afternoon of playing or watching television, Brent finally decided. This was indeed too big for him to handle, but he knew someone who could.

Grabbing his bag, Brent raced home to his father. He couldn't do anything against Sally's parents, but he knew his dad could.

0000000000

Brent sat, twiddling his fingers, flicking the burnt out cigarette in his hand. He wiped the sleep out of his eyes. He hadn't had sleep now for almost 20 hours, but he knew he couldn't rest, not just yet, not until he told Sash what he knew.

"Okay, what's the big deal?" his friend asked, as she came into the living room. She pinched a cigarette from Brent, lighting it quickly, and began puffing away.

Brent sighed. "Sash," he slowly started. "Sash, we may have a problem."

Just then, one of the doors opened, gaining Brent and Sash's attention.

0000000000

Eyrie Building:

Goliath rose from the infirmary bed, despite the doctor's orders. They warned him to allow his ribs time to heal, but Goliath chose to ignore them. To continue lying down while someone, who had attacked their home, was still free, would be considered an act of weakness on his part, something he wasn't willing to accept.

Elisa knew better than to try and convince him otherwise, so she just stood to his side, in case if he needed her assistance.

As Goliath rose to his full height, breathing deeply. His ribs still ached, but he was able to suppress the pain. Just at that moment, Brooklyn entered the infirmary, with Angela at his side.

Angela stared at her father in shock, wondering what he was doing out of bed, but a look from Elisa told her to keep her distance. She knew her father could be terribly proud and stubborn at times, so she stayed away.

"Brooklyn, have you found anything?" Goliath questioned his second-in-command.

Brooklyn shook his head. "Nothing. Guy sure knows how to do a disappearing act. I bet he could Puck lessons."

At Goliath's slow growing growl, Angela quickly intervened. "All may not be lost, father." She said. "Xanatos has been looking into all his contacts at the Illumaniti and such, to see if they can find anything about the thie… Brent." She corrected herself quickly, taking notice of Elisa's discomfort. "He's even contacted Sevarius to see what he knows."

Elisa scowled at the mention of Sevarius's name, but she knew he would be one of the best people to know her brother's location.

"And is Sevarius helping us out of his goodness of his heart?" Goliath asked rather sarcastically.

Brooklyn grinned. "Actually, Xanatos threatened that if he didn't tell him all that he knew, he'd send us out to convince him to tell us."

Goliath grinned a little, for the first time in a long while. "And what did he have to say?"

Brooklyn lost his grin. "Nothing that we didn't know already, I'm sorry to say. He said that he had no idea that Brent, or Lightning as he calls himself now, was actually Elisa's brother. In fact, he doesn't even know for certain, which one out of all the test subjects he used, was Brent. He went through so many, and none of them chose to give their names. They were just in it for the money he promised them. And by all accounts, each one of them should be dead by now, as the experimental gene splicing he did on them, did too much cell damage."

Goliath nodded, remembering what Xanatos had told them, and wondered how anyone could allow themselves to be used as a lab rat, just for worthless pieces of metal and paper called money.

Humanity was a strange and, what he often thought, a crazy race.

"But Xanatos says he's found some members of the Illumaniti, who have used Brent's services in the past." Angela reassured them. "Some of them are out of town, but Xanatos says he'll be in touch with them soon. He assured us that if anyone knows where to find Brent, they will."

Goliath snarled slightly, angered at not knowing where his enemy was. But even more so at the fact that someone so young could have penetrated his protectorate so easily, and escaped.

Elisa touched his arm, and Goliath felt some of his anxieties melt away, as he pondered his wife's feelings. He knew this must be hard for her, as finding out her brother was a common thief, one of the things that she had devoted her life to fighting against, had to be like a blow to her stomach.

Goliath sighed, as there was nothing else he could do now until Xanatos contacted the other Illumaniti, and dawn was fast approaching. He would have to sleep soon, and then he would wake up tomorrow, healed and refreshed. Some of that gave him some comfort.

Goliath embraced his wife warmly, and Elisa gave in to his affection.

0000000000

Sash walked back into the living room. "She's asleep," she said, as she sat down beside her roommate.

Brent just nodded, as he looked out the window, at the countless lights of the city. No matter how many times he looked out this window, he never got tired of the view. New York may seem just like one big city during the day, but at night, it was like living amongst the stars.

"You know, you could have gone in to see her?" Sash suddenly asked. "It's not as though you have anything better to do?"

"Actually I do," Brent interrupted her. "Remember, I have something to tell you?"

Sash frowned at him. "What is it?"

Brent breathed deeply, and started to tell her, while in his mind, his thoughts took him back to a time long ago.

0000000000

"Are you sure about this, Brent?" his father questioned him seriously.

Brent had pulled his father into his study urgently, informing of what he had learnt earlier that day, about Sally and her family.

"I'm positive!" Brent said, slightly agitated. "I know what I saw, dad. She always has bruises down all along her arm. I thought it was one of the kids at school, but… Dad, you should have seen her dad. Before he noticed me, he was so hostile to her. I swear he was gonna beat her."

Peter Maza frowned. "If this is true, then I'll have to make a report at headquarters, but, Brent… Before I do any of this, I want you to go to your friend, and ask her to come forward. Even if I get the whole police in on this, it won't make any difference, unless Sally confirms what you've told me."

"You mean you'll just let her stay with them?" Brent asked aghast.

Peter sighed. "Not if I can help it, but son… If Sally insists that her family aren't doing anything to her, then there's nothing I, nor the police, can do. We have to have her confirmation, or at least some evidence that she's being mistreated."

Brent frowned deeply. He knew his father was right, but he knew that Sally was easily frightened. He knew that getting her to admit that what her dad, and possibly her mom, was doing was wrong.

"I'll try," he said finally.

Peter nodded and touched his son's shoulder. "That's all I ask." He said. "I'll have the report ready tomorrow, and call social services to start an investigation into the O'Brien's."

Brent nodded, and hugged his dad fiercely. Peter hugged him back. He would get a friend of his in child division, to start looking into the O'Brien family tomorrow. If anyone could get any dirt on them, he would.

0000000000

"Sally?" Brent began carefully, as he approached his friend in the morning.

Sally turned and looked at him, and Brent reeled back at the sight of her face.

Her face had once more got a split lip, and a fresh black eye.

"I fell down again," she smiled weakly.

Brent grabbed her arm suddenly, eliciting a small cry from her, as he gripped the place where her bruises were.

"Don't play dumb with me, Sally!" he told her sharply. "I saw the way your dad was with you yesterday! He's the one who's been doing this to you, isn't he?"

Sally looked at him shocked. "I don't know what... "

"Sally, please!" Brent almost pleaded with her. "Look at what he's done to you! You can't go on like this. How long do you think it'll be before your dad breaks your neck or something? You've gotta tell somebody!"

Sally's eyes widened in fear. "You can't tell anybody!" she shrieked. "You mustn't!"

Brent didn't release her, and just continued looking into her wide frightened eyes. "Why? Why are you protecting them? If you tell someone, you can get help. My dad can help you."

"No one can help," she finally said, her voice barely a whisper.

Brent cupped her chin, and raised her head to look at him. "I said my dad can help you." He repeated. "He's a police officer, and he has friends everywhere. If anyone can help you, he can. Just tell him what's been happening, and he'll sort everything out."

Sally's eyes started to emit tears, but she didn't take her gaze from him. She looked so tired, as though she had been holding onto a thin wire forever, and now that wire was beginning to break.

"They'll kill me if I tell." She blubbered.

"They?" Brent asked. "Does your mom hit you too?"

Sally just nodded. "They only do it when I'm bad," she tried to defend them. "Only when I do bad things, I… "

"Sally!" Brent held her still. "No matter what kinds of bad stuff you did. Nobody deserves to get beaten up like a dog, nobody."

Sally stared at him for a moment, and then she just seemed to break down, as she let loose all the tears that she had been holding back.

Brent didn't know what to do, and just stood there for a while, as she cried. Then he thought of what his mother would do at a time like this, and slowly he circled his arms around her, and held her.

Sally continued crying for a few minutes, all the while, Brent simply told her. "It's gonna be all right, Sally. My dad'll fix everything."

0000000000

The first rays of sunlight were beginning to peak out from over the skyscrapers, as Goliath and his clan took their positions.

Goliath hissed a little, as his rips still had not fully recovered, while he got up onto his perch.

"Goliath?" Elisa spoke behind him, and he turned to give her a small smile.

Elisa smiled back, and kissed him full on the mouth. "I'll be here, waiting for you to wake up, tomorrow." She promised. "I'll see if I can find out anything about Brent, or what the Venes are up to."

Goliath nodded in thanks. "Elisa, I'm more than grateful for your help, but you don't have to chase after your brother for us. I know this must be hard for you."

Elisa sighed. "I'd be lying if I said I wouldn't rather be doing something else other than that, but… I'm a police officer, Goliath. I took an oath to uphold the law, and protect the innocent. If I weren't to do everything in my power to find Brent, then that would mean my oath meant nothing."

Goliath embraced her, knowing how much this pained her. "I understand," he said knowingly. "Just know that you have my full support, as well as that of the whole clan, our understanding, and… my love."

Elisa kissed him. "That is all in the world that I want." She said gratefully.

"Goliath?" Owen's crisp voice suddenly sounded to them.

Goliath and Elisa turned to see the major-domo looking at him, with his almost emotionless stare. "What is it?" Goliath asked rather abruptly.

Owen raised an eyebrow. "I apologise for interrupting, but Mr Xanatos thought you might like to know that he has finally got in touch with his Illumaniti contact, who has given him the information you require for locating the thief known as Lightning, also known as Brent Maza."

Goliath's eyes widened, and looked as though he was about to speak, but before he could… Sunlight suddenly streamed down on him, and Goliath's face and body became granite.

Elisa smirked a little at the expression on her husband's face. "I must say, Owen," she spoke to the Fay-turned-Human. "You have a knack for getting Goliath to fall asleep with the oddest of expressions on him."

0000000000

Sash sat there for a few moments, occasionally taking the odd puff of her cigarette, until finally she spoke.

"So what you gonna do?" she asked.

Brent shrugged. "What can I do? I knew there was a great possibility that my path would one day cross with theirs. I mean, we all live in the same freakin city, for crying out loud."

Sash nodded. "You gonna quit the B business?"

"No. Why?" he looked at her curiously.

Sash shrugged. "Just wondered. I mean, now they know who you are, and what you do."

"Just because my family are aware of me, and my business, doesn't mean I'm gonna quit it, Sash." Brent took a swig of brandy. Although only 18, he had grown into quite the drinker. "This business may not be what my folks call honourable, but it's what's kept us in the lap of luxury all these years. You want it to stop?"

Sash shook her head. "Personally, no. I'm just wondering what you're gonna do, when you meet up with your folks, face to face. What you gonna tell them?"

Brent frowned. "I told my sister that… "

"I said your folks, B." Sash retorted. "Not your sister."

Brent got up and walked to the window, staring out at the endless lights. "Exactly what I told my sister. Nothing's changed. I do what I gotta do, to survive."

"You'll get no argument from me there," she agreed. "I was just checking."

Brent nodded, and sat back down again.

After a few longer moments of silence, Sash spoke up again.

"Sooo… Whatever happened to this Sally girl then?" she asked interested. "Did your dad ever got her dad in jail?"

Brent shot her a look that gave her a chill.

"Hardly… " He replied.

0000000000

"WHAT DO YOU MEAN SHE HAS TO GO BACK WITH THEM?" Brent shouted at his father.

His father had returned home that night with grave news. For the past three weeks, Sally had been living with them, while the social services had been investigating her parents. His father had assured him that everything would be all right, that her parents would soon be charged, and Sally would never have to go back to them… He had been wrong.

"Brent, I'm sorry." Peter Maza tried to calm his youngest son. "Social services investigated, but they could find no evidence of foul play. Sally's parents have witnesses who claim that many of Sally's injuries were self-inflicted. They say that Sally has been suffering from cases of mental illnesses since she was little."

"They're lying!" Brent could not believe what he was hearing. His father had sworn that Sally would be all right, and now he was being told that her folks were getting off scot-free, and worse… Sally would be returning home to them.

"Brent! I promise you, we will fight this all the way." Peter tried to comfort his son, knowing all too well what he was feeling. He too was feeling betrayed by the service that he had dedicated his life to. He suspected that O'Brien had bribed some of the so-called witnesses that he had brought forward, maybe even had a friend or two inside the police, but he couldn't prove a damn thing.

"But until we do," Peter said gravely, "we have no choice, but to give Sally back to her parents…"

"WHAT?" Brent screamed.

"We don't have any choice," Peter replied. "Unless we can find undeniable proof that Sally's parents have indeed been abusing her, then by law we are obligated to give them back their daughter."

"Law?" Brent hissed back. "It's your stupid law that's got her into this mess! She'll die if she goes back to them, can't you see?"

"Brent, I… "

"NO!" Brent shouted at him. "Don't give me any of your law biding bullshit! I've believed in what you've been saying all my life, about the law and stuff, and where has it gotten Sally?… Straight to hell! Do you have any idea of what they're gonna do to her once they get alone in that house of theirs?"

"If they do anything whatsoever," Peter tried to reassure him, "then we'll have them! If she has even the slightest cut or bruise on her, then we'll… "

"She shouldn't have any in the first place!" Brent yelled, and ran upstairs to his room.

Peter stood, watching his son as he fled up to his room. He didn't want to give Sally back to those people, but if he didn't, then he could be risking a court-martial, or worse. In the end, she would still be handed back over to the O'Brien's, and he would loose everything.

Peter Maza sighed. "Maybe I should have listened to dad and stayed at the tribal village?" he thought out loud.

0000000000

Sash had excused herself, after listening to the rest of Brent's tale. Despite her tough girl attitude, she had a weak heart.

Brent's eyes glistened a little, as he remembered the day when Sally had been forced to go back home.

He hadn't had the courage to tell her himself, so he had let his parents do it. He had tried to go in and see her later that night, but she wouldn't talk to anybody.

The next day, when social services had come to take her back home, she had just carried her bags to the car, got in, and left without saying goodbye, or even looking at any of them.

Brent tried to visit her, or at least call her, but every time when he did, her parents would put the phone down on him, and they even took Sally out of school. The social workers had sworn that Sally was doing fine, and there were no signs of mistreatment any longer.

A few weeks later, they received word that Sally's parents had decided to leave the state, and find a new home somewhere in Washington D.C. Because of all the media, which had severely damaged their reputations, they were unable to stay in New York anymore.

Brent had pleaded with his parents to get them to stop taking Sally with them, but once again, there was no evidence, hence no case. Sally's parents were well within their rights to leave, and were free to their daughter with them.

Brent had never even gotten the chance to say goodbye to her. By the time he even managed to find out where their house was, as he had never been there, they had already gone.

He hadn't said a word to any of his family after that. In his mind, they had all betrayed him. His father worse of all, as all his life he had been filling his head with thoughts and beliefs, convincing him that 'the system' worked, and that in the end, justice prevailed. When in truth, it had all been a croc. Sally's parents had not only escaped scot-free, but they had taken Sally with them as well.

After about three weeks, he decided that he couldn't take it anymore, and left home. He had just packed his bags one night, and managed to get a seat on a bus, leaving the city. He had spent months going from one bus to another, trains and hitchhiking, until he finally reached his destination. But by the time he got there, it was too late.

He remembered… He had just gotten off the train, which had brought him the last few miles into Washington D.C., when he noticed a newspaper stand with the latest headline.

YOUNG GIRL BRUTALLY BEATEN TO DEATH! PARENTS CHARGED WITH FIRST DEGREE MURDER!

He had gotten there too late. Her parents had killed Sally, several days earlier.

This time, her parents hadn't been able to bribe their way out, and were officially charged, but that was of little comfort to Brent.

Sally had trusted her life to him, and he had placed that trust in his parents, and 'the system'. As a result, Sally had probably spent the last few months terrified for her life, getting God knows what treatment from her family, only to have them end it so violently.

Brent had learned a valuable lesson that day. He realised that no matter what people said, there was no real justice in this world, only the kind that they made for themselves. The only people who could make any kind of difference were the ones at the top, with the most power, and the only way to get way up there, was to resort to the most extreme methods.

It was the law of the jungle, survival of the fittest, only the strong survive. There was no real good or evil in the world, except for that what was already in human kind. The only way that anyone had any chance of making it in this world, was to accept the simple truth… It wasn't about good or evil, honour and truth, or even protecting and serving the innocent. It was about power, plain and simple, and whoever has the most power has the most control, and can make a difference.

Brent had made his decision right there and then. He had once trusted in his father's beliefs in the law, and it had cost him dearly. He wouldn't make that same mistake twice.

To make it in this world, he would do all he had to, no matter what it took. And as far as morals were concerned, he no longer had any.

To Be Continued…