Simple Kiss -- Part One"
by Lisette: Lisette_1@lycos.com
Revised on 5/03/01
All the usual legalese: nothing here is of my creation. Aladdin and the Aladdin crew belong to Disney while Goliath and his crew belong to Disney/Buena Vista. No profit will be made by me. Also the song that I use is the property of Alison Krauss.
Author's Note: In the Gargoyles Realm this can take place anytime after the "Hunter's Moon" incident and before "The Journey". As for Aladdin, we'll say anytime during the cartoon series, or after "The Return of Jafar" and before "The King of Thieves".
Additional Note: It has been brought to my attention that some browsers may not be able to carry the heavy load of these stories. In hopes of helping with that problem, please go to my homepage at: http://www.geocities.com/lisette865/talika_index.htm to see a listing of all of my fiction. I hope that this helps everyone to enjoy my work, and if you have additional viewing troubles, please contact me at the above address so that I can better help you. Thank you.
A Simple Kiss -- Part One
New York City, New York
Covering a yawn, Elisa Maza slowly shook her head, her long black hair swirling around her shoulders as she turned to look at her partner, Matt Bluestone, out of the corner of her eye, all the while keeping a steady grip on the steering wheel. As usual, he looked like he was ready to fall asleep. Then again, that wasn't surprising considering the uneventful night that they'd been having -- not that she was complaining. Smiling, Elisa quickly reached down and snagged the tiny microphone that was pinned to her jacket lapel. "Hey guys," she said quietly, her eyes remaining their sharp fix on the dark road.
"Yes," was Goliath's deep reply, whispering softly into her ear. She knew the large lavender gargoyle soared above them in the dark night sky, keeping a watchful eye on the red car with Brooklyn, his second-in-command.
"Matt and I are going to make one last sweep of... HOLY SHIT!!" she broke off, cussing as something flew in front of her car. Gasping, her hands tightening on the steering will, Elisa slammed on the brakes, the tires squealing loudly as she and Matt were sent slamming against their restraining seat belts.
"What in the hell was that?" Matt gasped, his face white as he quickly straightened, one hand positioned on the dash as he gently arched his sore shoulder, turning wide eyes to his partner, he pointed to the entrance to an old and run-down townhouse beside them -- the place where the thing disappeared, barely avoiding getting hit by the car.
"I don't know," Elisa admitted, a hard frown pulling at her lips, "but it looked like one of those things from Night of the Living Dead," she muttered as they climbed from the car, eyes trained on the dark building. The townhouse seemed a stark contrast to the other dilapidated buildings that lined both sides of the residential street that they stood on, the beautiful and luxuriant neighborhood having long ago given way to the grime of the city at its worst. But even the large townhouse had been affected by the decline in the neighborhood, its paint cracked and peeling, the windows boarded and shattered, its door looming open and promising nothing but darkness and despair.
Surprised, Elisa jumped slightly as Goliath pounded to the pavement behind them, his dark and worried eyes boring into her own as he quickly stepped forward and gripped her arms tightly. "What happened? Are you all right?" he demanded, his voice a low rumble.
"We're all right Goliath," she replied slowly, brushing away his concern as she turned to gaze back towards the dark townhouse that the thing had disappeared into.
"Well, what happened?" demanded Brooklyn as he landed next to Matt, his sharp eyes taking in the dark night.
"I was driving when all of a sudden this thing ran in front of the car!" Elisa quickly explained, her hands gesturing wildly as she shivered inwardly, hunching lower into her warm, red bomber jacket. "Didn't you guys see it?"
"We saw nothing," Goliath responded for them, a frown pulling at his lips. "What did it look like?" he asked, his curiosity finally burning his fear away, arching his brow ridges as he turned towards the direction that Elisa's eyes seemed to be directed.
"Man, from what I saw, it was hideous!" Matt broke in excitedly, capturing the attention of his gargoyle friends. "It looked like it had the body of a human, but all of the parts were sown on, like in Frankenstein!" he added, his excitement slowly dying away as he looked uneasily at the building -- this was even too weird for him.
"Where did it go?" Brooklyn asked, his curiosity getting the better of him as well as he looked at the dark and quiet street. As the night had progressed the two detectives had been called to check out a robbery over in the warehouse section of town. On their way back, the red fairlane had slowly angled until it was cruising through a dark and dilapidated section of Manhattan, with large, run-down buildings looming over the deserted street on either side.
"In there," Elisa murmured, nodding towards the largest of the buildings that stood off to their right, the front door left eerily open to the night. "Let's go check it out," she suggested, feeling a strange pull to the dark building.
"Why not?" Brooklyn quipped as the group slowly walked to the townhouse, unconcerned about being seen in broad moonlight as there appeared to be no one around to witness anything at all. "It sure doesn't look like anyone's home..." he trailed off as they reached the gaping door.
Wary, Goliath entered first, followed closely by Elisa and Matt, with Brooklyn bringing up the rear. Both detectives had their revolvers pulled and pointing towards the floor.
The townhouse was old and in an obvious state if disrepair with dust covering the wooden floor in thick layers, making each footstep a trip through a cloudy haze. The group entered into what appeared to be some kind of foyer with two dark hallways leading off to their left and right and a grand staircase directly in front of them, leading up to a balcony which divided into two more hallways.
"Now what?" Brooklyn asked quietly, unnerved by the eerie silence of the building.
"I guess we split up..." Matt whispered, shrugging his shoulders as he began walking away from the group, clicking the safety off his gun as he went. "I'll take the hallway to the left," he offered uneasily, nodding back at the others.
"I'll take this hallway," Brooklyn added as he slowly moved away towards the right.
"And I guess that leaves us upstairs, Big Guy," Elisa said, turning to Goliath with a small smile as she nodded at the stairs.
Sighing, Goliath slowly nodded in agreement. In truth, he didn't like the idea of the group splitting apart, alone with no one close by to help. Then again, with the townhouse being as large as it was, they had no choice but to go their separate ways in order to sweep through the house quickly. Before moving, he quickly turned towards the others. "If you find anything, just speak into your microphone and we will come to your aid," he ordered before leading the way up the dark staircase, cringing automatically as they creaked loudly with each of his heavy footsteps. When they reached the top, Elisa turned towards the right hallway and began moving away. "Elisa," Goliath called out softly, confused as he felt his heart clutch tightly in his chest at the sight of his friend moving off all on her own.
"What?" Elisa whispered back, clicking off the safety to her gun as she peered down the dark hallway.
Slightly surprised, Elisa stopped to give Goliath a quick and quirky smile before starting down the hallway -- they had been through so much together in the past that a smile was the only thing she needed to show in order to demonstrate her unflappable confidence. But as she walked, she silently cursed herself for not having a flashlight, the eerie darkness of the building beginning to gnaw at her nerves.
At the first door, she followed police procedure, calling Police, kicking the door in and then running in low while covering herself with her gun. Finding the room devoid of all signs of life and creepy monsters, she quickly continued on her way.
After about fifteen minutes, and many twists and turns later, she finally reached the last door. So far, she had found nothing at all and slowly her caution began to ebb as she became more and more convinced that what had ran before her car was really lurking behind the door of one of her friends and that she was missing all of the action. Oddly enough, that idea troubled her... she had always been one to partake in the action and be in the heat of an event -- the idea of sitting on the sidelines held no appeal to her. Which meant that she wanted to finish with this all the sooner and return to her friends.
Gathering her courage, she paused before the door and took a deep breath. "Police!" she cried out as she shoved the door open and ran in... and then stopped as the darkness consumed her. In all of the other rooms, the bright moonlight had crept through the boarded up windows of the old mansion... but in this room there was nothing but an all abiding darkness that seemed to eat its way into her very soul. Turning, Elisa was about to retreat back to the door, preferring the dark shadows of the hall to this darkness when she heard a sudden bang. Gasping in surprise, she moved in the direction of door, stumbling hard against its closed surface and jarring her shoulder.
Shaking away the stinging pain, the detective quickly pulled at the door handle, dismayed to find it locked and unmoving. Confused, she quickly struggled with the handle when the room began to lighten with an eerie light. Frightened, she turned around, her gun held tightly before her as she saw that the light was being given off by an old mirror that was attached to the far wall. Standing next to the old mirror were two of the things she had seen earlier, even uglier in the growing light. "What the-" she broke off as someone else stepped forth from the shadows.
The man was tall, wearing baggy pants that reminded her of the rapper, MC Hammer, from the early 90s, and a flowing robe that looked to be entirely from another time. He was handsome, with long black hair, a pale complexion, yet with eyes so cold and hard that they tore away any physical attraction that was possible. Looking down, her cop's eye caught all details, including the fact that on one hand he was wearing a big black glove, kind of like a plumbers?
Shaking the thoughts away, she grabbed her microphone and pulled it to her lips. "Um, guys... I think I have a problem here. I'm in a room with som-" was as far as she got before the man extended his hand, a bright bolt of energy shooting forth, pulling the microphone from its place on her jacket and ripping the earpiece from her in turn.
Gasping in surprise, Elisa watched as the microphone drifted towards the strange man until it landed in his grip. Without even glancing in her direction, he quickly looked down at the object in mild curiosity. "Now what is this?" he asked, his question quickly dying away as Goliath's tinny voice traveled from the earpiece, mixing together with Matt and Brooklyn's. "What sorcery is this?" he muttered as he quickly crushed the little device in his hand, obviously pleased when the voices died with his might.
Unperturbed, Elisa fought her growing anxiety and instead hid it behind a casual shrug. After all of the weird encounters that she'd had over the last few years, she had long ago learned that confidence was the key... either that or a stubborn pride that refused to allow her to openly demonstrate a weakness before an enemy. "Another child of Oberon, I suppose," was Elisa's sarcastic reply as she slowly straightened, her gun held firmly before her as the man turned his attention back towards her once again. "You would think that Lord Oberon would be able to keep a better handle on his children-"
"Oberon? Who is this Oberon?" the man asked quietly, his voice a soothing baritone as it filled the room, his head tilting to the side as his black hair tumbled around his shoulders. And then, before she could answer he quickly shook his head and continued. "Ah, it doesn't matter. I am Mozenrath, and I've traveled quite a distance to find you, Elisa."
Gasping in surprise, Elisa quickly shook her head. "How do you know my name?" she demanded, her eyes flashing angrily as she eyed him over, her grip tightening on the gun. If the goon wasn't with Oberon, that left plenty other enemies for him to work for: Demona, Sevarious... even Xanatos was a possibility, even though he swore that he had changed.
"Never mind that," Mozenrath quickly responded, "you must come with me now."
"Oh, I don't think so," she replied with her usual display of Maza stubbornness, tightening her hold on her gun defensively. Smiling, she cocked the weapon and nodded towards the monsters standing beside him. "I want either you or one of your.. goons, to unlock the door," she ordered. To her surprise, though, the man didn't even flinch at her weapon, but instead stared at it in confusion, as though he'd never seen one before. And then, before anything more could be said or done he quickly snapped his fingers as a strange mist formed around her hand. Quickly, her hands became numb with cold and gasping, she dropped her gun in shock.
"That's better," he replied. "Get her," he said nonchalantly to his ghoulish-looking friends.
As the two things moved towards her, a sudden pounding started on the door. "Elisa?!" she heard Goliath yell.
"Uh Goliath, get in here please, I could really use your assistance about now!" she cried, her voice rising as the things grabbed her arms tightly, pinching her soft skin beneath the thick layer of her jacket. Fighting against their grasps, she knocked one across the room, and used a roundhouse kick on the next. As they came at her again, not even stunned, she yanked on the arm of one who grabbed her. Yelling in disgust, she tried to pull him away. But that thought was quickly dismissed as she screamed in terror as the arm ripped out, dropping the moving limb to the floor.
"Elisa! Hold on, we're coming!" Matt yelled from the other side of the door.
"My, my," Mozenrath said as he watched the beautiful one he had been searching for, the one called Elisa Maza, quickly dispense of his zombies. "She's even more feisty than Jasmine. I didn't think they could come even worse," he mused before an evil grin lit up his face. "That's okay, I like feistiness in a woman," he laughed as he quickly turned to the mirror as more of his army stepped through the portal. With the gathered men, or the un-dead, they quickly overpowered her.
Screaming, Elisa fought with all of her might as the things grabbed her arms fiercely and pulled her towards the mirror. "Goliath!" she screamed as the one called Mozenrath stepped into the blinding light and disappeared. "NO!!" she cried one last time as she was shoved through the portal, only to be sucked up into a bright nothingness...
As Goliath searched the hallways, he kept his eyes peeled for the strange beings that had surprised Matt and Elisa -- an event that probably rarely happened. Suddenly, his microphone came to life as Elisa's quiet voice broke the silence, "Um, guys... I think I have a problem here. I'm in a room with som-" was all he caught before the mike went quiet. "Elisa?!" Goliath quickly growled into his tiny device. When there was no response, Goliath did a quick about-face and headed back towards the stairs, with Matt and Brooklyn's voices echoing in his ears.
When he reached the stairs many twists and turns later, he found a confused and worried Brooklyn and Matt waiting for him. "Goliath, what happened?" Brooklyn asked quickly.
"Where's Elisa?" Matt asked simultaneously.
"Down this way.. hurry!" Goliath called as he rushed down the hall in the direction that Elisa had run, knowing that the other two would follow as fast as they could. If anything happened to her... if anything happened to her Goliath didn't know what he would do. He never should have left her side.
The three hurried down the hall, looking for their lost friend as they were drawn by sounds of a struggle. Finally, they came to the last door in the hallway, the sounds from within reverberating in the wood. "Elisa?!" Goliath yelled as he started pounding at the door.
"Uh Goliath, get in here please, I could really use your assistance about now!" came the muffled reply from behind the door.
Needing no further encouragement, Goliath and Brooklyn quickly started pounding on the door, amazed that the simple wooden door could hold under their combined strength. "It must be some sort of magic," Brooklyn mumbled aloud, his face clouding in confusion.
"Quiet!" Matt hissed, shocking his friends into silence as he put his ear against the door. Too surprised to disobey, quiet quickly settled over the three as Goliath and Brooklyn glanced warily at the wooden barrier. As they listened they heard struggling from the other side of the door, and then the quiet was once more broken, only this time by a terrified scream from Elisa. "Elisa! Hold on, we're coming!" Matt yelled frantically at the door as their efforts to get inside were doubled. Elisa, the picture of calm fighting in the face of adversary, would never scream... which had them more worried then ever before.
Still, the door wouldn't budge and they could only listen helplessly as Elisa struggled against something that only Matt had glimpsed. Startled, Brooklyn stopped his pounding as he heard Elisa start to scream frantically.
Goliath growled low and his eyes lit up a fierce white as he heard Elisa yell, "Goliath! No!!" followed by a sudden silence. But the silence was worse, somehow, then the sounds of the struggle. Growling even lower, Goliath charged the door, only to fly right through it as it disintegrated beneath his weight. Unable to stop his momentum, Goliath flew forward and slid across the floor of the empty room..
"Where is she?" Matt cried frantically, finding a dark and empty room instead of the battle scene he expected to encounter. Except for an old mirror secured to the wall, the place was empty. "It's like she disappeared," he whispered, shaking his head in confusion.
Goliath looked around in amazement, seeing nothing but an empty room. Where could she be? She was right here, so close -- he had heard her... and now he had lost her. Suddenly, a flash of light caught his eye, swiveling him around so that he faced the mirror against the wall. Cautiously, he walked towards it as it started to glow a hazy green light.
"What on Earth?" Brooklyn said, backing away from the eerie light. "Is it one of Titania's mirrors?" he asked uncertainly, wanting to pull his leader away from the witch-light.
"I do not know," Goliath growled, "but I am going to find out," he vowed as tentatively, he reached his hand towards the glass, only to watch it pass right through. "I think we have found where Elisa was taken," he whispered, knowing instantly that he was right. And then, with no other thought on his mind but his missing friend, her screams echoing within him, Goliath jumped into the mirror, his eyes glowing a hot-white.
"Goliath!" Brooklyn shouted weakly, jumping forward as his leader disappeared in a flash of light.
"He just..." Matt trailed off, shaking his head in disbelief. It seemed so un-like the large, gargoyle leader to dash into such a situation with having no clue whatsoever what was going on.
"I know," Brooklyn sighed as he slowly shrugged his shoulders. "But what's a gargoyle to do?" he questioned before following his leader.
Looking around, Matt sighed, "Well, they're not going to leave me behind this time. All I can say is that we better end up in a nice warm climate, like Hawaii, otherwise this Avalon stuff is not worth it," he griped to the now-deserted room. With that, Matt jumped into the mirror and was sucked away...
The next thing Elisa knew, Elisa felt herself being catapulted from a mirror that was stuck to a stone wall. Crying out, Elisa felt dozens of arms cushion her fall and then quickly envelop her in their midst. Too confused to struggle, she felt a dozen different arms seize onto her from all sides before shoving her forward, moving her from within a tight circle of bodies. Blinking against the sudden bright sun, she looked at her new surroundings as she stumbled through a hot sand, kicking up clouds of dust as they went as a blinding heat seemed to squeeze the air from her lungs. They were in some kind of alley, she saw, surrounded on both sides by two-story buildings that were made out of a reddish clay or rock. Everywhere she looked was dirt and sand, which gleamed a bright yellowish red under the beating sun. Sun? she realized for the first time, jerking her head back to stare at the bright-yellow orb until spots of light danced in her vision. It was supposed to be in the middle of the night in the grime of New York City, yet here it looked like high noon in a desert town, unlike any she had ever seen before, with a bright sun beating down out of a blue cloudless sky.
Then, Elisa was quickly brought back to reality as her captors started pulling and yanking her roughly towards a crowded street. Looking around, she noticed that her captors were now all wearing plain brown robes, which completely hid their gruesome appearances. Struggling, the group entered the busy marketplace, just as a green flash appeared at their backs... none noticed.
As Goliath rushed through the portal, he quickly felt himself being propelled forward through the bright green light. As the green lifted, he found himself pushed forward into the middle of some alley. But this was as much as he noticed before the sun turned him to stone.
As Matt was thrown through the portal, bright light enveloped him and seared his vision -- which prevented him from seeing the massive rock that he was smashed into. Landing in a heap on the sandy ground, Matt dizzyingly looked up to see the massive stone forms of Goliath and Brooklyn before him, obvious surprise written on their craggy granite features. "Oh no," he groaned to himself, massaging his aching limbs. Sighing, he slowly began to pull his aching body off of the ground when he heard Elisa call out. Turning quickly, he saw a strand of her long, raven hair disappear around the corner of the alleyway, entering some kind of bustling street beyond.
Without a second thought to his bizarre surroundings, he quickly ran forward into the throng of people in the crowded street. As he pushed through the people, looking for Elisa, he was amazed by the sights and sounds that greeted his senses. He seemed to be in some kind of a marketplace, where everywhere he looked were people dressed in strange robes, selling items ranging from scarves, to jewelry, to fruit, to fish! As he scanned the crowd, he noticed the many looks he was drawing to himself. What a stir he must be making, he thought to himself, for instead of the traditional robes and baggy pants that he saw everywhere, he was wearing his traditional suit pants, white shirt, tie, with a billowing trench coat following in his wake. Instead of the tanned Indian faces he saw everywhere, his pale face was a stark comparison. Where everyone else had black hair, he had blondish red.
Just then, he noticed Elisa's dark head being pushed into an alley farther ahead. On all sides she was surrounded by robed figures. Struggling with the crowd, he pushed ahead.
Streets of Agrabah
As Aladdin sat on the roof of one of the many stands of the market, he lazily watched the crowd. Now where on earth could Jasmine be? he asked himself as his eyes roamed over the crowd of people. Shrugging his shoulders, he took another bite of his piece of fruit as he turned to his monkey friend Abu. "Do you see her anywhere?" he asked between a mouthful of food.
Abu turned to his friend and shook his head quickly before eyeing the wealth of food that was displayed at the different vendors before him. Aladdin could just see the gears turning in the monkey's head, trying to figure out a way to take just a bit of what he saw.
"Abu," he warned quietly, about to start into a lecture on stealing when his thoughts were interrupted by the sight of a woman with long, flowing black hair. Jasmine? No, can't be, he decided before turning to Carpet and Abu. "Hey guys!" Aladdin called out, nodding in the direction of the woman. "Is that her?" he questioned as the two turned and looked at where Aladdin was pointing. In response, Abu quickly shook his head and started to do a wolf whistle.
Laughing, Aladdin tapped his friend lightly on his hat. "You're right," he agreed with a smile, "she sure is beautiful -- and not Jasmine," he stated. But then, squinting, he looked closer as he noticed that she was surrounded by a group in hooded robes, being forced into an alley. Now what do you suppose is going on here?
Turning quickly, Aladdin grabbed Abu and jumped onto Carpet. "It seems that our lady friend might need our assistance," he explained as they soared towards the distant alley.
Being shoved and pulled in the middle of a crowded market place in only God knows where with the hot sun beating down on her dark head was really starting to wear on Elisa's nerves. This is really what I needed tonight, I mean today, she corrected herself as she was once more pushed, this time into another alley. As the strange things pulled her forward, the leader pulled his hood off, revealing the man who called himself Mozenrath.
"It's about time we should be getting out of Agrabah and back to my place. What do you think, Elisa Maza?" he asked as he threw a ball to the ground. As a bright light exploded up from the ground, Elisa gasped and covered her eyes from the brightness. When she opened them, she was faced once again with another portal.
"That's it!" she cried, surprising her captors. While she had been too surprised to do a whole lot of fighting up to this point, she had finally reached her breaking point as she shrugged against the monsters' restraining hands. "I've had enough of this," she cried as she elbowed her guards, clearing some space for fighting around her. "I am not going through another stupid portal," she stated matter of factly as she dropped low, her eyes glittering dangerously, her muscles tensed. Instantly, the stupid beings began to move clumsily towards her, causing her to launch into action. Within seconds, the guards began to fall as the body parts started to build up on the dusty ground around her, soft grunts the only sound besides the monsters' angry roars..
"Hey!" someone yelled from behind her, throwing her off guard. Startled, Elisa turned around to find a man standing firmly on a carpet that was floating off the ground at the far-side of the alley. To top it off, there was a little monkey wearing clothes standing next to him with his hands on his hips.
"What the-" Elisa broke off in confusion, the distraction being all that one of the Morlacs needed as she dropped her defensive posture for a moment. Moving quickly, it stepped forward and gripped her shoulders from behind, lifting her in the air and tossing her effortlessly towards a wall. Elisa could only watch helplessly as the wall rushed to meet her. Crying out, the contact brought a stinging explosion of pain as the world went dark.
Oops, Aladdin thought to himself as the startled woman was picked up by one of the Morlacs and tossed into a wall. Cringing, he watched as she smashed her head and body against its unforgiving, hard surface before slumping unconscious to the ground. Turning back, he felt a wave of amazement build within him as he noticed now that probably only a fourth of the army of Morlacs remained -- apparently he had interrupted the woman taking care of herself.
"Aladdin! What are you doing here?!" a familiar voice called out, surprising Aladdin as he looked towards the young man who stood by a glowing portal.
"Mozenrath!" Aladdin growled, his brows becoming hunched as he glared at his enemy.
"This is none of your concern!" Mozenrath warned, his arms crossing over his chest, meeting Aladdin's glare. "I'm not here to fight you or your precious princess, so just back off!" he added fiercely, a steely glint in his eye.
"I don't think so, Mozenrath! Whenever you're concerned, I make it my business!" Aladdin argued as Carpet surged forward. "Guards!" he yelled over his shoulder, knowing that it was his best defense.
Then, as if just waiting outside the mouth of the alley, a swarm of palace guards rushed in behind Aladdin. Growling, Mozenrath considered his situation. Most of his army was defeated due to the woman, and they were outnumbered due to the numerous guards getting ready to attack. Elisa Maza's sprawled form was laying behind the guards, with the burly men surrounding her prone body. With a snarl of frustration, Mozenrath knew that it didn't take a genius to figure out that he couldn't win this one.. not today. Quickly he turned towards his portal, stopping briefly to glare at his young rival. "This isn't over Aladdin!" he warned, his eyes like steel. "I've traveled a long ways to get her, and don't think that you're going to stop me now that I'm this close!" he hissed, and with a final dirty glance, he turned and stepped through the portal, followed by his men with the portal closing behind him.
Sighing in relief, Aladdin balanced himself as Carpet descended beside the unconscious woman. Curious, he and the guards studied her. She was a sight, he admitted to himself. Beside being exotically beautiful, the woman was dressed in pants that fit very close to her body, made of a strange material. On top she was wearing some sort of black shirt with shorter sleeves and a red coat of some sort. With guilt, he also noticed the small cut on her forehead which was partly covered by her long black hair.
"Now what do we do with her?" one of the guards asked, voicing everyone's concern.
Sighing, Aladdin made a decision as he reached down and lifted the stranger into his arms, noting that she was as light as Jasmine. Sighing once more, he turned to the leader of the guards, feeling somehow as though he was responsible for her position. "I'm taking her back to the palace with me," he stated as he glanced at her strange clothing once more. "She doesn't look like she's from around here, and if Mozenrath wants her, then the palace will be the safest place for her."
As the guard nodded in agreement and left with his troops, Aladdin hopped lightly onto Carpet, settling into a firm position on his knees, the woman cradled before him. "Back to the palace," he stated when he was sure that they weren't going to fall off, as Carpet slowly began lifting into the air. "I hope that Jasmine understands..."
Fretting silently to himself, Matt knew that he was taking too long. He couldn't help it though, as the people weren't letting him through fast enough -- constantly stopping to gape and chatter about him. "Move, MOVE!" he cried in frustration, pushing them aside until he finally reached the alley that he saw Elisa disappear into. But as he rounded the corner, he felt himself start at the sight before him.
It was empty. The alley was empty... save for several dozen body parts that looked like they were on the way to decomposing that were littered on the ground -- yet there was no blood to be seen anywhere. Suddenly, a slight rustle of wind in the stale heat caused him to look up from the gruesome sight. Gasping in amazement, he saw a man with longish black hair in baggy pants and a vest sitting on a carpet which was flying towards a distant castle. Cradled in his arms was an unconscious Elisa... and a monkey wearing a matching vest sitting before him. "What the hell?" he asked aloud, his eyes widening in disbelief. UFOs and aliens were one thing... but walking corpses and flying carpets?
Shaking his head, Matt slowly rubbed aching muscles. He knew that he couldn't help Elisa now which meant that he could do the only thing he did know how to do... he walked back to the alley where his stone friends were sleeping. He'd just have to wait for the reinforcements to awaken, and keep them safe in the meantime.
As Goliath slept, he dreamt of the night before. He had gone to Elisa's apartment before sunrise, wanting to talk with her before sleep would take him. As he had landed on her balcony, he had heard a strange sort of music float out from her open balcony door. Curious, he had entered quietly and found Elisa sitting before her stereo, her head tilted and eyes closed as she listened to the strange music. "What is this?" he had rumbled, startling his friend.
Elisa had quickly turned towards him, a small smile on her face. "Goliath!" she cried warmly, climbing to her feet. "I wasn't expecting you tonight."
"Yes, well I wanted to see you before dawn," Goliath had explained quietly as he stepped further into the room. "I can leave if you are busy-"
"Don't be silly Goliath," she had laughed as she walked towards him, setting her hand casually on his arm, "I'm glad you're here, I was just surprised."
Trying to ignore the tingles that her touch had ignited within him, Goliath had tilted his head as he asked curiously, "Elisa, what is this that you are listening to?"
"Oh, this?" she had asked, nodding her head at the stereo. "The singer's name is Alison Krauss -- she does a kind of mix between country and blue grass."
"Oh.." Goliath had trailed off, not knowing the difference between this 'country' music or this 'blue grass'.. but not wanting to admit to his ignorance. There were already far too many things in this new world that he was trying to adjust to.
"Here, I want you to listen to this one for me," she had said, interrupting his thoughts as she turned back to the stereo, a small smile on her face.
"Why?" he had asked, curious despite himself.
"Well, you'll see..." she had responded vaguely, a small blush staining her cheeks. Amused, Goliath had slowly nodded his head. It wasn't often that he saw Elisa blush. "Listen," she had whispered as she pushed play. Instantly, the music began to play forth from the stereo. Interested, Goliath had cocked his head to the side and listened.
amazing how you can speak right to my heart.
Without saying a word you can light up the dark.
Try as I may I could never explain
What I hear when you don't say a thing.
smile on your face lets me know that you need me.
There's a truth in your eyes saying you'll never leave me.
The touch of your hand says you'll catch me if ever I fall.
You say it best when you say nothing at all.
alone I can hear people talking about...
But when you hold me near you can drown out the crowd.
Oh Mister Webster could never define
What's being said between your heart and mine.
smile on your face lets me know that you need me.
There's a truth in your eyes saying you'll never leave me.
The touch of your hand says you'll catch me if ever I fall.
You say it best when you say nothing at all.
From here, Goliath's dream-time remembrance of that night changed into a nightmare. Instead of turning back to him with a smile and a short conversation before he returned to the Eyrie building, her apartment disappeared from view. In its place was a lonely cliff on a dark and windy night. Standing at the cliff's edge was Elisa, her long black hair tousling in the wind. Then, next to Elisa appeared Demona who turned towards Elisa with a ferocious growl. As the two fought, Goliath rushed towards them, but as most dreams go, he could never reach them.
"Now you will die human!" Demona screeched at Elisa.
"I don't think so, Demona," Elisa cried back, panting from the exertion of the fight.
"I want you to die before Goliath's eyes so that he will see you for the weak human that you are," Demona yelled, a smile lighting up her face as she pushed Elisa closer to the edge.
"Demona, no!" Goliath yelled desperately.
"Shut up Goliath!" Demona snarled back at him, "If you had never met this human, then she wouldn't have to die. Her death will be on your head forever!"
"No, I... I love her!!!" Goliath roared, realizing at that moment that he was speaking the truth that he had been keeping hidden within his heart for so long, not quite believing that it could be true.
But that one admission was the final straw for Demona. With a scream of rage, she gave one final push to the detective, sending Elisa flying over the edge of the cliff. Yet with that push, whatever force that was holding Goliath broke as he rushed to the edge of the cliff and dove over. Further down he could see Elisa falling closer and closer to the rocks lining the bottom of the gorge.
"Elisa, I cannot catch you, I cannot make it!" Goliath roared, knowing the truth even as he struggled to go faster down the fall then gravity would permit him.
Turning in a graceful arc before hitting the bottom, Elisa called up to him in a voice filled with anguish and accusation, tears glinting in her eyes, "Goliath, remember the song? I said that I knew you would 'catch me ever I fall'.... I guess I was wrong!"
And with her final breath she cursed him and herself for ever meeting him as her beautiful body was smashed against the unforgiving rocks.
"Noooooo!!" Goliath roared as the rock casing broke loose from around him, scattering in all directions as he woke from his stone sleep.
"Whoa!" Matt Bluestone cried out as he dodged the flying stone particles. "Take it easy big guy, we're all friends here!" he gasped, brushing the loose stone from his clothing
Concerned, Brooklyn watched as Goliath growled softly, his eyes unfocused and glowing white. Carefully, he edged up to his leader and put his hand on his shoulder. "Hey, Goliath? Are you all right?" he asked, watching as his the light slowly died from his eyes, sanity seeming to return once more.
Sighing, Goliath nodded his head slowly and muttered a promise under his breath, "I will catch you Elisa, always..." Confused, the two gave each other concerned glanced as Goliath shook his head once more to clear the nightmare before quickly turning to Matt. "What happened? Where is Elisa?"
Allowing the matter to go for the moment, Matt quickly scratched his head as he surveyed the now-dark alley. "When we came through the mirror, it was day here so you guys turned to stone," he explained, nodding towards the bright moon above them. "When I came through, I saw Elisa being pulled around the corner of the alley. I followed as fast as I could, but the street was crowded with people and I couldn't get to her in time..." he trailed off, shame filling him once more for letting his partner down.
"What happened?" Brooklyn asked, noticing that Goliath was getting impatient.
"I saw her being dragged into another alley by a group of people in robes. When I finally got there, I found body parts strewn all over the place-"
"Gross," Brooklyn interrupted, his beak scrunching up in disgust.
"Yeah, but the funny thing was there wasn't any blood," Matt added, mimicking Brooklyn's disgust and confusion.
But at the mention of body parts, Goliath's fist had clenched as his eyes returned to that same bright white. "Was Elisa...?"
"Oh, no -- no," Matt quickly cut in, knowing what Goliath was going to ask and shaking from the very thought. If he had found Elisa amongst the dead... no, that would have been too much. "No, Goliath, don't worry. They all looked really decomposed -- kind of like they belonged to one of those things that ran by Elisa's car last night."
"Oh yeah," Brooklyn agreed, rolling his eyes in disgust. "I almost forgot all about them. They're what got us into this mess in the first place," he added, his voice more subdued.
"It was a trap," Goliath added silently, feeling the confusion of the other two. "The monster that run in front of the car," he explained, feeling a deep-set feeling of dread build within him, "it was all just part of a trap set up for Elisa.
"But why" Matt asked, vocalizing the same question that had been plaguing him while he waited for the other two to awaken. "Why Elisa, why here, and why now? Where ARE we? 'Cause it sure ain't New York city or ANY part of the US that I've ever seen before..."
Sighing, Goliath slowly shook his head. He had no answers for his friend. "What else happened, where was Elisa?" he demanded, getting back to the matter at hand. They could figure out all of the whys and wherefores later.
Wincing, Matt slowly closed his eyes as he straightened his shoulders, like he was preparing himself for the worst. In a way, he was. Goliath was NOT going to take this news well. "Some guy took her... she didn't look conscious."
"What?!" Goliath growled, throwing his wings back in an angry gesture. "Why did you not go and get her back?"
"How could I?" Matt asked defensively, wincing at the gargoyle's words. He knew intellectually that there was no way he could have helped his partner, but that didn't stop the guilt that he was feeling. "The guy was sitting on a freaking magic carpet that was flying away!!"
"Magic carpet?" Brooklyn asked curiously, his calm voice a surprising difference in the heated argument.
"Well, that's the only way that I can think of to define the stupid thing," Matt hissed, crossing his arms defensively across his chest as he kicked angrily at the ground, scowling at the clouds of dust.
"No, I don't understand... what's a 'magic carpet'?" Brooklyn asked again, oblivious to the obvious tension of his comrades.
Surprised, Matt felt his anger ebb slightly as he sighed wearily once again. "Well, it looked like a normal rug, except that it was floating in the air," he explained quietly, his eyes darting occasionally to Goliath's stormy countenance. "But they're not supposed to exist -- they're fantasy."
"Like gargoyles and magic portals?" Brooklyn offered skeptically, finally managing a small smile from the detective.
"Touché," Matt acknowledged as Goliath finally seemed to get a hold of himself.
"From the looks of our surroundings," he rumbled softly, nodding apologetically at the man, "it seems that you are right that we are no longer in the United States."
"Or this continent," Matt agreed quietly. "Everyone around here is tan with dark hair. Also, they're all wearing strange clothing... really baggy pants, with robes or vests. And that's the guys. The women are all wearing robes or next to nothing," he added, trying to stop his wolfish smile in light of the situation. "And get this," he added, pulling Brooklyn's attention away from their desolate surroundings. At sunset, the place was deserted. "Well," he continued, "the guy who had Elisa had a monkey with him. A monkey wearing clothes," he deadpanned.
But before Brooklyn could respond, Goliath quickly cut in. "Never mind all of that. We can sort through this later," he ordered, his eyes turning to the human detective. "Matt, did you see where Elisa was taken," he asked impatiently.
"Yeah, that's why I waited for you guys," Matt nodded, getting down to business. "I don't think that we could get in there except to fly -- the place looks heavily fortified," he explained, nodding in the direction of the distant palace. "He took her to that big castle."
"Well then," Brooklyn said, accepting the news as it was handed to him as he started climbing the wall beside him, his talons crunching into the soft stone, "the monkey man is waiting for us."
With that, Goliath slung Matt over his back and started to climb. When they reached the roof, Brooklyn and Goliath soared into the night, Matt held firmly by Goliath. The palace was awaiting them.
The Palace, Agrabah
As the misty fog lifted from Elisa's mind, she stretched leisurely on her soft, silken sheets as she reached for Cagney -- and froze instantly. Silken sheets? Gasping, the memories of the past night's activities flooded Elisa's mind as her eyes bolted open, sitting up straight as she instantly took stock of her surroundings. Everywhere she looked she saw marble and silken veils. "What in the hell?" she muttered as she shifted, noting that she was lying in a bed with a thin, silken sheet tossed aside in her haste. The room was huge and spacious with columns everywhere and a ceiling that towered above her.
"Weird," she muttered to herself as she pulled back the covers and slid towards the edge of the bed, warily noting that she seemed to be alone in the cavernous room. But then, as her feet touched the cool marble floor, Elisa got her first good look at herself as her wary frown instead turned into a deep, burgundy blush. Instead of her usual jeans, tee shirt, and red jacket, she was now wearing some kind of silken and billowing dark blue pants with a top that was akin to a tank top. It was sleeveless, but more like a halter top in a matching dark blue color, her bare belly uncovered from right below her breasts to below her belly button. Hmm, can we say scanty? she asked herself as she arched her eyebrow at her bare midriff. Her feet were equally as bare, cool on the cold marble floor. Lovely, she sighed as she picked her way around the room, further exploring her surroundings.
Suddenly, a huge door to her right opened as two young people entered the room. Surprised, Elisa backed up a few paces as she took in the two. The woman was young was beautiful in the soft light, dressed in a similar but pink fashion with long black hair pulled back into some sort of long pony tail. Yet next to her, of even more interest, Elisa recognized the cute young man that had called out during the fight, dressed in a similar pair of billowing pants and a vest.
"Well, Aladdin, I see that our mystery woman has awakened," the woman said in a soft, musical voice to the man beside her, a soft smile on her face. With an ease and grace uncommon to most she walked up to Elisa and extended her hand. "Hello, I am Princess Jasmine of Agrabah. And this," she said, nudging the man beside her, "is Aladdin."
"Whoa," Elisa said, shaking her head as she ignored the woman's hand and backed up a few paces. While the smile seemed genuine, the memory of being hauled through an old mirror by a stranger was still all to fresh in her mind. "Princess? Agrabah?" she asked slowly, shaking free of her thoughts as she realized the woman's words, taking in the bizarre room once more. "Where in the heck am I?"
"You're in the palace," Aladdin quickly cut in, concern coloring his voice. "I brought you here after you were knocked unconscious during the fight..." he trailed off as a bright flush covered his features. "I'm sorry, but I don't even know your name," he added sheepishly.
Instantly, Elisa felt her eyes narrow as she glared at the two. "I'm Detective Elisa Maza, and where in the hell is Agrabah?" she coldly asked, knowing that her anger at the two was probably unfounded, but after all that she had been through, she felt that it was justified. "The last thing that I remember was that I was in New York City, in the state of New York in the United States of America, on the continent of North America on the planet Earth," she hissed sarcastically, "when I was dragged through a mirror by some jerk named Mozenrath in an abandoned townhouse!" she finished with a flourish. "I don't know where I am or where my friends are and they're probably going crazy looking for me!" she continued, feeling the headache that had been with her since awakening sharpen into a sharp flare of pain. Wincing, she closed her eyes briefly before turning to glare at the man, "And I was almost free when he," she bit out sarcastically, looking at Aladdin, "decided to show up."
"Wow," Aladdin breathed, stepping back a bit under her tirade of heated words. "I'm sorry," he apologized, "but it looked like you were in trouble, and I just wanted to help--"
"Wait, wait," Jasmine interrupted, holding her hands up in confusion as she looked at the woman curiously. "I've never heard of the places you've mentioned," she replied, sending Aladdin a worried glance.
Startled out of his apology, Aladdin slowly shook his head as he thought back to the woman's words. Then, as realization dawned upon him, he nodded in agreement before turning to his girlfriend. "Well, Mozenrath did say that he had traveled a long way to get her," he pointed out quietly.
"Oh boy," Elisa sighed before shaking her head curtly. "This doesn't really matter now, I have to go find my friends."
"Well, we'd like to help you out any way that we can," Jasmine broke in earnestly, smiling shyly at the stranger. "But if Mozenrath wants you," she continued, her voice dropping a note or two as a scowl twisted her beautiful face, "then he'll stop at nothing to get you back... trust me, I know from firsthand experience." she said, remembering all of his foiled attempts to bring her back to his palace.
"Thank you... Princess..." Elisa began, finally realizing that she was indeed in the presence of royalty -- or so it seemed.
"Please, don't call me Princess," Jasmine quickly interrupted. "If I can call you Elisa, then you may call me Jasmine," she instructed with a small smile. "And you may call my boyfriend," she said, turning to Aladdin with a sly glance, "Aladdin."
"So, then you're a prince?" Elisa asked skeptically, raising an eyebrow at Aladdin's clothing.
"Well, no..." Aladdin replied with a slight laugh as he smiled at Jasmine warmly, "but that's a long story."
Nodding her head, Elisa quickly continued. "But I'm not worried about him... I just need to find my friends. Goliath, Matt, and Brooklyn are going to be very mad about now, and trust me... you don't want to see Goliath or Brooklyn angry."
Nodding her head in understanding, Jasmine opened her hands wide. "If you can give me a description, I can pass it along to the palace guards..."
"Trust me," Elisa broke in with a knowing smile, "when you see my friends, you'll know."
"What do y--" was as far as Aladdin got before a shattering roar broke the tranquility of the palace.
"Elisa!!!" the voice screamed, causing Aladdin and Jasmine to jump back in surprise, their eyes growing wide.
"Goliath!" Elisa yelled, recognizing his cry anywhere as she hurried towards an balcony, the opening covered by a set of billowing veils. As she reached the balcony, Elisa felt Aladdin and Jasmine step beside her, all peering down below where they saw two giant winged creatures and a man dressed in a similar fashion to what Elisa had been wearing when she first arrived. The greater of the two creatures, a tall lavender creation, looked up at the sound of Elisa's voice.
"If those are her friends... I'd hate to see her enemies," Aladdin whispered to Jasmine, right before receiving a vicious elbow to his side.
Growling softly into the night, Goliath ignored the clamoring of guards, armed with pointed spears and swords, that began to gather around them. His mind's shouted warnings of caution were thrown to the side as he allowed his instinct and emotions to guide him, following the sound of Elisa's cry as looked up the great height of the tower before him, rewarded with seeing Elisa's beautiful face, framed by her billowing hair in the soft moonlight. Then, before the guards could advance, Goliath jumped to the wall with another roar and began to climb up the smooth surface, his claws puncturing the rock with ease.
In seconds Goliath reached the balcony, watching as Elisa edged away as he jumped over the banister and stood before her. "Elisa?" he murmured questioningly as she came to him, laying her head against his massive chest as he held her close against him, putting his wings around her in a gesture of protection and care, lost to the world... until he heard the ragged breathing of the two humans that stood with them on the balcony, one holding and sheltering the other. With a deep growl, he matched Matt's description of the man who took Elisa with the one holding on to the human woman. Quickly, he moved Elisa until she was standing, protected, behind him.
Elisa, understanding his protective gesture, quickly put two and two together. "Goliath," she called, pushing her way between him and the bewildered couple, "It's all right... they're friends," she explained, smiling up at the large gargoyle.
"Are you sure?" Goliath asked uncertainly, eying the young human. "Matt saw him taking you away from us," he growled softly before turning away from them, holding Elisa at arms length as he searched her face quickly. "Did he hurt you?" he asked, looking for injuries and ignoring her protests. When he found the cut on her forehead, his head jerked up to look at the two again as his eyes began to glow a bright white.
"Goliath! Listen to me!" Elisa commanded firmly, finally capturing the gargoyle's attention as his eyes returned to their normal dark shade. "Aladdin saved me," she said, throwing a wry glance at Aladdin, not entirely sure if what Aladdin did constituted as saving.
But just then, the two turned around as a loud thump echoed on the balcony from behind them. There before them stood a winded Brooklyn and a harried Matt.
"Matt! Brooklyn!" Elisa called out happily, pushing away from her protector to give each a hug.
"Elisa??" they both called out at the same time, looking her up and down in amazement.
It was then that Elisa's clothing finally registered in Goliath's mind. "It is.. very suiting towards you," Goliath stammered, amazed at her beauty in the skimpy garments.
Instnatly, Elisa blushed a deep red as Jasmine came to her rescue. "When Aladdin brought her back, her clothing was torn and dirty, so I gave her something of mine," she explained quickly, catching Elisa's thankful smile.
Surprised, Matt looked up at the woman's voice, not noticing the two others with them. "Hey!" he called instantly, locking eyes with Aladdin, "that's the guy that took Elisa!"
"No, hold it! It's all right!" Elisa called out quickly. "They're friends," she stressed again with an impatient sigh, feeling her headache beginning to pound once more.
"What?!" Matt cried out in disbelief, watching his partner carefully. "But I saw him fly away on his... flying rug with his little monkey!"
This time, it was Elisa's turn to carefully inspect her partner before turning her skeptic glance to Goliath. "Are we all sure that I'm the one who hit my head?" she asked with a small smirk as Aladdin broke in with a slight cough.
"I think," he said, a smile lighting up his handsome face, "that we have a lot of explaining to do. Why don't we head inside?"
"Um, before we do..." Matt broke in quietly, turning to Elisa with a worried frown, "do you suppose you could tell us where we are, or at least what continent we're on? 'Cause from the looks of things, I'd have to guess the middle east-"
"Matt," Elisa broke in slowly, turning to face the group as she chewed her lip thoughtfully, "I don't think that we're even in the right dimension," she stated quietly, her voice solemn as she turned away from her stunned friends and followed the group into the palace, where hopefully the answers they were looking for could be found.
Meanwhile, Mozenrath paced back and forth in front of his dark throne in his equally dark palace, his mouth a hard, thin line. "I can't believe that street rat interfered with my plans again!" he hissed, his eyes narrowing into pointed slits. "Elisa Maza has nothing to do with him, yet he has to involve himself," he grumbled angrily, looking for something, anything, to kick.
"Massster..." hissed Mozenrath's constant companion, the flying eel.
"What is it?" he answered impatiently, not even throwing the spineless creature a side glance.
"Are you going to get thisss human back?"
"Of course you fool," Mozenrath cut in, finally turning to glare at his companion. "What a stupid question! It took me months to finally locate her... don't think I'm going to let Aladdin stop me when I finally have her. With her body essence.."
"Body esssssence?" the eel hissed, its confusion painfully obvious.
"Body essence, soul, whatever," Mozenrath said, sending an impatient glance at the eel. "With it, I'll finally be the most powerful and will be able to conquer all of Agrabah!" he laughed, a maniacal smile gracing his handsome face. "And after Agrabah, the world!... and Aladdin won't be able to stop me!"
"Unlessssss Genie returnsssss early," the eel pointed out quietly, oblivious to his master's growing instability.
Quickly, Mozenrath's hand shot out and clenched the eel by the neck. "Quit trying to get smart with me..." he hissed, "you're starting to act like Genie, and that is a fatal mistake."
"I'm sssorry Massster," the eel hissed, writhing around in Mozenrath's grasp, "pleassse forgive me, I wasssn't thinking!"
"That's better," Mozenrath said as he released the eel and started pacing again.
"Why," the eel hissed curiously, obviously more tentative now in his questioning, "do you need thisss woman?"
"I don't know why exactly..." Mozenrath admitted quietly, "but my conjuring shows that she is immensely powerful somehow, and that I can only gain such power from her," Mozenrath answered quietly, his pacing finally stopped as he settled heavily into his throne, his gaze very distant. But then, a wolfish smile lifted his lips as he nodded at the eel. "Then again, her great beauty doesn't hurt the matter any either, although her feistiness is beginning to aggravate my nerves," he added darkly, his smile drifting into a frown. "Not even Princess Jasmine could put up such a fight."
"How are you going to get her back?"
"Well," Mozenrath said, an evil glint lighting up his eyes, "we will strike the castle two hours before sunset tomorrow night," he ordered, the faraway look entering his eye once again as he massaged his chin with his single hand. "That way, the palace will just be settling down, when they're least expecting it... And since Aladdin insists on getting involved, we'll show him how it feels to have someone taken from their grasp, someone they need," he laughed. "Tomorrow we'll reclaim Elisa Maza, and we'll take the Princess as well. After I gain immortal power, I'll kill Jasmine before Aladdin's eyes."
"Then what?" the eel hissed, already knowing the answer but knowing that it was expected of him when his master entered into these moods
Smiling evilly, Mozenrath slowly nodded his head. "After I take her soul from her with a simple kiss, it will become a part of me so that she'll forevermore be by my side..."
Royal Palace, Agrabah
Sighing, Elisa slowly settled further back against the pillow that she had been leaning on, her mind pouring over Aladdin and Jasmine's description of their world. It seemed so alien from what she knew. For the last hour, the group had been settled on the floor decorated with plump pillows in a room in the palace, asking and answering questions for each other. Now, Elisa had the one that all had been skirting around. "So this Mozenrath guy," she finally asked, breaking the comfortable and thoughtful silence that had fallen over the group, "what's the story on him?"
Aladdin's face darkened at the name, as he shifted on his pillow, throwing a glance at his girlfriend. "He's as bad as they get," he began slowly, slowly rubbing his hands together. "I guess you could say that he's our worst enemy... did you see the glove on his hand?" he asked suddenly, surprising the others with his question.
"The plumber glove?" Elisa asked quickly, arching an eyebrow in confusion.
"Plumber?" Aladdin asked curiously, "what's a plumber?"
"Oh, never mind. Yeah, I saw it," Elisa said, wanting to avoid another long explanation.
"Okay, so years ago he traded his hand for that glove, and it's the source of all of his magic."
"Magic?" Goliath asked, putting an arm around Elisa in a protective manner -- one that none missed.
"Is there something wrong?" Jasmine asked, noting Goliath's protectiveness of Elisa.
At this, Matt finally stopped his pacing as he turned towards the group. Shaking his head, he couldn't help but marvel over the picture of Elisa and Goliath almost snuggled up together. He always knew that the two were close, but seeing them like this, one would almost think that... shaking his head, Matt quickly decided not to go there. At least not yet with so many other, important things on his mind. "You could say," he quickly broke in, finally settling against a soft pillow, "that we've had numerous bad experiences with magic."
"Yeah, you could say that again," Brooklyn muttered, thinking of Avalon and Demona.
"But why would this Mozenrath travel all of that way to take Elisa?" Goliath demanded, finally asking the question that had been plaguing him as he looked straight into Aladdin's eyes.
"Um," Aladdin stuttered, unnerved at the massive gargoyle's direct gaze, "all I know is that it can't be good," he stated as a thick silence fell over the group.
"Okay, well what do you know?" Elisa asked, trying to get the conversation moving again as she smiled encouragingly at the couple. "What have been your dealings with him in the past?"
"He's the usual crook," Aladdin quickly explained, grateful to be back on familiar territory. "He wants to conquer Agrabah, and then the world. Usually, he goes for Jasmine and her father, but Genie, Carpet, Abu, and even Iago and I give him a run for his money."
"Who's Genie, Carpet, Iago and Abu?" Matt asked curiously.
"Oh, you haven't met them yet," Jasmine trailed off as she seemed to search the room around them. "They have been rather quiet tonight..." she trailed off as she bit her lip thoughtfully. "But Genie and Iago are on vacation right now, otherwise they would be of a great service. As for Carpet, and Abu..." she trailed off as the door opened and the magic rug that Matt had seen earlier glided in as though summoned, with the little monkey riding atop.
Instantly, Goliath and Brooklyn jumped to their feet in astonishment as Aladdin smiled broadly. "As you can see," he said, continuing for Jasmine, "Carpet is really a magic carpet and Abu is my monkey friend." And once more, as though they could understand, Abu first jumped to the floor before them and bowed, taking his hat off at the tip of his head as Carpet did likewise, folding his tassels before him, causing Elisa to laugh delightedly.
But abruptly, that laugh was cut short as she noticed the time. "Um, guys... I think we should find a safe place for you to rest. It's almost dawn," she pointed out as the two gargoyles nodded in agreement, heading back towards the balcony they first entered upon.
"What happens at dawn?" Jasmine asked cautiously as she and Aladdin followed the group.
"You'll see," was Elisa's quiet reply as Brooklyn hopped onto the balcony rail and took a defensive posture. Goliath, hesitating before joining his second in command, turned until he caught Elisa's arm and pulled her near, whispering softly to her. "We will leave for home when we awaken tonight... please be careful."
"Don't worry Goliath," Elisa said with a small smile, shrugging his worries away. "I'll be fine, sleep well!"
Unsatisfied, Goliath turned with a grim look on his face, knowing that he was leaving Elisa unprotected as he took his place on the wall. Before sleep overtook him, he called out over his shoulder, "Matt, Aladdin, take care of her!" he ordered. And with that, the two gargoyles turned to stone.
As Aladdin and Jasmine looked on in wonder, Elisa and Matt turned away, both yawning sleepily as the long night finally began to take its toll. "Let's get some sleep," he suggested as he tried to hide another wide yawn. And without another word, the group left the two statues to bask in the morning sunshine.
When the two detectives awoke from their peaceful slumber, they wandered groggily towards the main dining hall, where they found Aladdin and Jasmine waiting. "Hi!" Aladdin called out cheerfully, "sleep well?"
"Yeah!" Matt called out, "it was gre-" he broke off as a palace guard ran into the room.
"Princess, Aladdin," he cried out, his voice tinged with panic, "we're under attack!"
Now fully awake, the four ran down into the courtyard, their footsteps echoing hollowly on the polished stone floor. Gasping, they finally emerged into the bright sunshine of the courtyard where they were greeted by the sight of chaos. "Mozenrath!" Aladdin hissed, his fist clenching at his side as he watched the palace guards battle fiercely against an army of Morlacs. "Come on, we have to help them out!" he cried out before quickly diving into the fray.
Nodding grimly, Elisa slowly cracked her knuckles as she surveyed the scene. "Okay Matt, let's do-" she broke off as she turned towards her partner, surprise registering in her eyes.
Confused, Matt watched his partner as she suddenly reached forward and grabbed Matt's gun from him. "Elisa, what are you..." he trailed off as she cocked the gun and aimed it over his shoulder. Gasping, he ducked out of the way as the sharp retort of the gun echoed throughout the bright day. Turning quickly, Matt watched in amazement as a Morlac, evidently having been standing directly behind him, flipped backwards and onto the dusty ground -- only to get right back up again. "Man, what does it take to kill these things?" he cried in disgust.
"Rip them apart!" was Elisa's solemn reply as she tossed the gun back at her partner and flew at the Morlac with her foot extended in a powerful kick. Grunting, Elisa watched as her kick caught the strange monster in the neck, ripping his head as it rolled up to Matt's feet.
"Oh God," Matt groaned, his face beginning to turn a little green, "I think I'm going to be sick," he complained as Elisa turned away and disappeared off into the fight. Sighing, Matt slowly holstered his gun before turning to survey the scene once more. "Well, I always did want to see how I'd do in hand to hand combat," he reasoned as he, too, joined the fray.
And so the fight continued, each handling themselves against the inhuman army fairly well. Aladdin fought them off using tricks and his sword, while Princess Jasmine used surprise attacks to take out her query. Matt, on the other hand, resorted to bashing Morlacs with a piece of wood that seemed to be left over from the remainder of a table.
And like some of the others, Elisa preferred the direct approach as she used her judo skills to keep the Morlacs at bay. Panting, she looked up at the sky at one point and watched as the sun began to dip out over the horizon, marking the coming of the night. "Only an hour more," she guessed, nodding towards the setting sun as she yelled to Matt, who was swinging like a major leaguer nearby.
Suddenly, thoughts of the dawning night were torn from Elisa's mind as she was tackled from behind. Gasping as the breath fled her lungs, she was quickly hauled to her feet by a group of Morlacs. "Let... me... go!" she hissed, struggling against their grasps as she kicked and flailed -- all to no avail. In a matter of minutes, she was completely immobilized
"Elisa Maza," a familiar voice broke in quietly, instantly stopping her struggles as she turned wide eyes to the dark-haired man that stood before her. "so good to see you again," Mozenrath continued as he stepped before her, grinning from ear to ear. "I do hope you're enjoying our world."
"Stuff it Mozenrath, I'm not in the mood for playing games," Elisa called out, grim determination on her face as she renewed her struggles.
"Fine then," he shrugged, waving away her struggles as he turned away from her. "I think it's time we depart anyway," he added as he snapped a finger to his right. Instantly, two Morlacs stepped forth holding a struggling Jasmine between them.
Her eyes growing wide, Elisa quickly renewed her struggles. "What are you doing?" she hissed, her eyes boring into Mozenrath. "If it's me you want, let the princess go!"
"Oh, I don't think so," Mozenrath laughed in response, his eyes glinting under the bright sunshine. "If Aladdin wants to involve himself, then involved he will become," he said, his voice turning even colder as he glared at the struggling princess. "He can have the death of his beloved princess on his conscious...." he trailed off as he turned and smiled back at Elisa. "But first things first, of course. You're a bit too feisty for my taste," he observed as he watched his Morlacs strain against her. "I think that I'll have to tone you down a little," he added, stepping closer.
"Back off!" Elisa hissed through gritted teeth as the morlacs pinned her arms to her sides.
But her words seemed to have no effect on the villain as he stopped directly before her. "Sleep well," he whispered, his voice a low timber as Mozenrath put his hands on either side of her face, pulling her closer despite her struggles. But in the end, all she could do was stare helplessly into his dark eyes as he put his mouth to hers.
Gasping, at the touch of his soft lips against hers, she felt a strange energy course through her. Instantly, she began to tingle all over as the energy built within her and then began to slowly transfer from her lips into him. In seconds, Elisa's eyes began to droop as sleep finally stole over her.
As Mozenrath parted their brief kiss, the human, Elisa Maza, slumped in the Morlacs hands. Smiling, he gently picked her up and carried her towards a glowing portal. "Retreat my morlac friends," he called gleefully over his shoulder, "we have what we came for!"
Grunting, Matt looked up in confusion as the Morlac he was fighting abruptly turned away and started to run to a corner of the gardens they were in. It was then that Matt Bluestone saw his partner, once again unconscious in some guy's arms. "Elisa!" he cried out, starting to run forward even as he knew it was too late. And then, to his horror, he could only watch as the man, Mozenrath, he guessed from the plumber's glove, stepped through the portal and followed by the Morlacs, with Princess Jasmine struggling in their grasps.
"Aladdin!" she called out one last time before being pulled in, the portal closing behind her.
"No!!" Aladdin and Matt screamed at the same time, their eyes widening in disbelief. They were gone.
"We have to go to his kingdom, now!" Aladdin cried, his eyes filling with determination as he began to run towards the palace.
"No, we have to wait until sundown," Matt cried after him, trying to calm the frantic boyfriend.
"Why do you want to wait?" Aladdin asked in disbelief, stopping to stare as the man finally caught up to him. "I don't know how things work in your world, but they need us! Jasmine needs me!" he hissed, daring Matt to contradict him as his composure began to crumple. He couldn't live without Jasmine.. not again.
"In less than a half hour, my friends will awaken," Matt explained, placing his hand gently on the young man's shoulder. "And trust me, Goliath is going to be one very mad gargoyle, who will be more help than twenty of your best guards."
Sighing, Aladdin slowly contemplated the detective's words, closing his eyes against the sight of seeing Jasmine slip through his fingers like that. "Fine then," he finally agreed, hearing her last cry for him echo in his ears, "we'll wait for your friends. But it better not be too late."
The instant that Goliath awoke from his slumber that evening, he sensed that something was wrong... dead wrong. Turning, he jumped from his perch to the balcony, finding Aladdin and Matt waiting. "Where is Elisa?" he demanded quickly, a thick knot already beginning to form in his stomach.
"And Jasmine?" Brooklyn asked, echoing his leader's concern as he took in Aladdin's pinched and worried expression.
"Mozenrath attacked the palace a half hour ago and took Elisa and Jasmine," Matt began as Goliath quickly stepped forward, his eyes glowing a hot white.
"Where?" Goliath cut in quickly, his wings flaring unconsciously beside him.
"To his kingdom, I assume," Aladdin answered grimly, tapping his foot impatiently. In his mind, too much time had been allowed to pass already.
"Can you lead us there?" Goliath asked, his eyes locking onto Aladdin's with understanding.
"Yes, we were waiting for you," Aladdin explained as he turned on his heel and whistled back towards the palace. Not even a moment later, Carpet flew towards him. Without another word, Aladdin jumped on as the carpet lifted higher into the night sky. "Let's go," he urged as the Carpet turned and began to fly off in the distance.
Nodding quickly, Goliath quickly scooped Matt up into his arms and chased after Aladdin, with Brooklyn bringing up the rear. Elisa, Goliath thought to himself, hang in there. I am coming for you.
Humming softly to himself, Mozenrath cleared the portal gates and began walking towards down the dark hallway of his palace, his boot heels clicking off of the cold marble. Smiling, he nudged open a large wooden door that opened up into the special room that he had prepared for Elisa's arrival, the Morlacs holding Jasmine following close behind. The room was large and empty, painted in the dark colors of evil: black, dark blue, and blood red. The only furniture to be seen was a low bed that lay in the middle of the room. It was only a foot off the ground, in an oval shape, and covered in black satin. Perfect.
"Chain Princess Jasmine to the wall," Mozenrath called over his shoulder, knowing that his minions would do as they were commanded as he gently lowered Elisa onto the bed, still unconscious and as lovely as ever. As a warm breeze ruffled the silken veils dividing the balcony from the room, Mozenrath admired his catch. She looked so beautiful there, her silky black hair fanning out beneath her head while her body lay perfect and vulnerable. It was then that he finally noticed her change of clothing.
"My, my, my," Mozenrath muttered out loud, his eyes roaming over her every curve. "Jasmine, the clothes you lent her simply look marvelous," he complimented, riveted upon the dark beauty that lay before him. "The dark blue really suits her."
Jasmine sneered from her place on the wall as she struggled futilely against her chains. "Leave her alone, Mozenrath!" she called out, her voice haughty and full of regal power. "She has very powerful friends that are going to be furious at what you've done!"
"Do I look worried?" Mozenrath scoffed, finally tearing his eyes away from his capture to glare at the feisty young woman. To think that there was a time when he would have settled on royalty... now he was about to get so much more.
But then, all thoughts were thrown aside as he noticed that his dark beauty was awakening. Quickly, Mozenrath reached forward and chained her hands slightly above her head. But, from past experience he had learned not to underestimate his catch as he quickly reached down and snapped similar bindings around her ankles, effectively binding her in place. And just in time, so it seemed.
As Elisa finally threw off the lasts strands of her strange sleep, her eyes slowly fluttered open as she wearily took in her surroundings. Instantly, her eyes alighted upon Jasmine, chained to the wall before her and Mozenrath sitting beside her. Needing no more persuasion, she quickly began to struggle against her bonds.
"You might as well stop that, my dear," Mozenrath cut in quietly, his voice filled with smug satisfaction. "It won't do you any good for there's no way you're going to escape me now."
Frowning, Elisa fell back on what seemed to be her most useful weapon at the moment: blind indifference and cutting sarcasm. "What do you want with me Mozenrath?" she asked, almost making herself sound bored with what was happening while within, her heart pounded painfully against her chest. "What happened back at the palace?" she continued, hiding her fury at being so helpless before this monster.
Thrown off by her tone of voice, Mozenrath felt his smile slip into a dark frown as his anger began to ebb once more. "Oh fine, I suppose that you think that you deserve an explanation as well," he muttered, sending a glare a the struggling princess. "Well, all right," he concluded, quickly turning his frown right upside down as he smiled at Elisa in a way that chilled her heart. "You see, I want to conquer the world, and in order to do that, I need much more magical power than I have right now. When I asked my trusty dusty magic to show me what I needed to accomplish this, it showed me you."
"Me?" Elisa asked incredulously, forgetting her studied art of indifference for the moment. "But we're not even from the same world!"
"Same world, different dimension," Mozenrath corrected, waving away her words. "Although that did make getting to you a bit more complicated."
"Well, how am I supposed to give you all of this power?" Elisa asked sarcastically, arching an eyebrow at the man in a way that just showed how insane she thought the idiot was.
"A simple kiss," Mozenrath replied, ignoring her sarcasm as she openly blanched before him.
"You called that a kiss?" she asked, before laughing shrewdly.
But Mozenrath ignored her pointed barbs and instead turned away, his eyes focusing on something that she couldn't see. "I don't know why exactly, but somehow whenever I kiss you I take some of your body essence..."
"Body essence?" Jasmine asked in confusion, caught up in the man's words despite herself.
Sighing, this question quickly brought Mozenrath back to reality as he sighed impatiently once more at the princess. "Body essence, karma, energy, soul... it's all the same thing," he muttered, waving away her question -- her presence entirely, it seemed. In his mind, only he and Elisa existed. "You know what I'm talking about," he continued, locking eyes with Elisa, "because you experienced it too."
Unnerved, Elisa broke eye contact and shifted her eyes away, struggling to hold onto her indifference. "Okay, so what happens to me when you take it from me?" she asked quietly, remembering the darkness of sleep that came over her after she felt the tremendous energy coursing throughout her body and then being drained out.
"Your soul will stay with me, providing the power I need," Mozenrath explained with a quiet intensity that unnerved his captive. "And as for your body," he continued with a smug smile, "it will stay in a never ending deep sleep as long as your soul lives."
Despite the terror that she felt, Elisa instead struggled to calm her pounding heart. "Uh huh," she replied as caustically as she could, trying to make her face portray how much of a quack she hoped that he was. "And then what? What happens to my body?" she continued quickly, wanting to focus on anything but what he had said.
At this, Mozenrath grinned wolfishly at her, making Elisa instantly regret that she had asked the question. "Well..." he trailed off as he lowered his gaze to her barely concealed body, "I'm sure I can find some use for it."
"Oh, give me a break!" Elisa groaned, shifting her gaze uncomfortably. Against her control, she felt her face begin to warm with the tell-tale stain of a blush as she felt as though he was undressing her with his eyes -- not that there was a whole lot of undressing to do with what she wore.
Ignoring her words, Mozenrath slowly stood beside the bed as he began to undo the long cloak that he wore, letting the heavy material drop to the cold marble floor beside him. "But enough chitchat," he continued, his voice almost dream-like as he dropped to his knees on the bed beside her, the mattress dipping beneath his weight. "I'd like to begin."
Seeing the smile on his face, Elisa renewed her struggled as Mozenrath slid even closer until he lifted one leg and then settled it on the opposite side of her hips, straddling her and pinning her down with his weight. "Get off me!" she hissed, trying to buck him away only to cry out in pain as the unforgiving metal ceased that effort as it bit into her delicate skin.
But throughout her desperate struggles, Mozenrath ignored it all as his eyes filled with passion, his actions motivated by an intense desire as he bent forward. Lowering his mouth to her neck line, he kissed along the top of her halter, his cold hands moving down her breasts to her sides and flat stomach, exploring what was soon to be all his. Groaning, he then lowered his lips to hers, ready to take her power.
As their lips touched, Elisa felt the electric shock and the power building inside of her, and then slowly drain from her lips. This can't be happening! Goliath! she called out silently as a thick darkness began to overtake her.
Beneath him, Mozenrath felt Elisa stiffen as the energy began to course through her beautiful lips into his body. Tensing, he felt the energy lift him higher than he had ever gone before as he moaned in ecstasy, falling upon her as he hungrily took all that he could, his hands exploring every contour of her perfect body. Groaning softly, Mozenrath lifted his head from hers, taking a deep breath of air as Elisa looked up at him heavy lashes, moaning in protest as she no longer even had the energy to fight anymore. Then, her eyes flitted shut as he once more sealed his lips to hers.
Suddenly, his playtime was interrupted as a loud roar broke through his pleasure. Surprised, Mozenrath jerked his head away and and saw a great lavender beast with wings extended to either side, long flowing black hair, and eyes that glowed a fierce white enter the room by the balcony opening. "Guards!" he cried out in panic as he jumped up, summoning the morlacs as he watched another winged beast join the first, this one red with a beak, long white hair, and the same glowing white eyes. Behind them stepped two men, Aladdin and the one that was fighting along side of him earlier.
In that instant, Mozenrath watched all of his carefully laid plans disappear before his very eyes. "No!" he protested as he felt himself being dragged away from his unconscious dark beauty. It was evident that the strange beasts had an uncommon strength, his Morlacs being of no match against them. "No you fools, I can't leave with Elisa!" he hollered at his guards angrily, trying to stop their attempts to bring their master to safety.
But his protests were ignored as he was hauled from the room. With his last glance, he saw the greater of the two, the lavender beast, fight his way to Elisa and stroke her face gently. "NO!!" he yelled as the room disappeared from view down the many corridors of his palace.
The gargoyles and Aladdin slowly circled the dark palace, looking for the best place to enter the dark building. Suddenly, the group stopped in mid-air as they heard a female voice cry out angrily, her curses unrecognizable in the dark night.
Turning pale, Aladdin quickly turned to the others. "That's Jasmine!" he cried, his voice panicked as, without waiting for a reply, he zipped down on Carpet in the direction of the shouts. Without a second thought, Goliath and Brooklyn quickly followed. Then, after a few minutes of searching that seemed to drag on forever, the four followed the noise to a darkened balcony. As they landed, Aladdin jumped off Carpet and ran forward with Goliath, who had already set down Matt, and parted the vales.
But then, as Goliath looked at the scene below him he felt his eyes flare a bright white. The room was dark except for a few torches along one wall, on which was chained the Princess Jasmine. She was screaming and yelling frantically as she struggled with the chains that bound her to the wall. Following her gaze, he gasped as he noticed a large bed laying low to the ground in the middle of the room, Elisa strapped in the middle with a man, laying on top of her, kissing her greedily amongst his moans. Even more disturbing, an eerie green light filtered between their sealed lips. Unable to contain his anger at this sight, Goliath roared loudly, the echo seeming to shake the very building itself as the man looked up in surprise and quickly jumped back. Breaking his heart even more, Elisa just lay as the man left her, not moving with her eyes closed. But before he could reach her, some of the strangest beings that he had ever seen ran forth. The Morlacs, as Aladdin called them, were even more hideous than Matt's description.
The battle began, and the tide quickly turned in the fours' favor. Goliath and Brooklyn had no trouble tearing the strange things apart. As they fought, Aladdin saw an opening and ran to where his beloved Jasmine was held captive. "Jasmine!" he called, cupping her face in his hands. "Are you all right? Did he hurt you?"
"Aladdin," Jasmine murmured in relief, tilting her head forward so she could kiss the hand that was gently caressing her face. "I'm fine... Mozenrath had no interest in me, he only wanted Elisa. Go to her, she needs your help!"
"I will," he promised as he began tugging on her chains. "First let me get you free," he grunted, struggling against the massive metal. "They... won't... come.. loose," he panted, straining against her bonds. Just then, Aladdin was pushed gently away as Brooklyn stepped beside him.
"Let me," Brooklyn said, as he gently pried the chains loose from the wall with hardly a strain of his muscles. Then, without waiting for a thanks, he rushed back into battle.
"Wow!" Aladdin and Jasmine said simultaneously, turning towards each other before Aladdin quickly took her into his arms.
Pushing him away gently, Jasmine said, "Come on, they need our help." Nodding his head, Aladdin parted from his love and joined the fray.
As Goliath tore another Morlac apart, he finally found the opening that he was looking for as he rushed forward to the bed. Leaning down, he gently caressed Elisa's face. "Elisa?" he whispered hesitantly. At his words, Elisa's head turned slightly as she moaned quietly. Releasing an audible sigh of relief, thankful that she was alive, Goliath merely stood as still as stone. For a moment there, he had feared that he had lost her forever... he couldn't handle that thought. Taking his hand away, Goliath quickly shook away his thoughts as he used his talons and ripped all of the straps holding her apart. With great care, he then lifted her into his arms and walked towards the balcony. He could feel Elisa's soft breath enter and leave her body, gently fanning his skin, and that was all that mattered. He would deal with the man who dared to take her later. Turning, he quickly yelled over his shoulder, "Let's go!"
Brooklyn, looking up and seeing his leader holding Elisa's unconscious form in his arms, quickly dispensed of the Morlac he was fighting. Turning, he grabbed a startled Matt by the collar and flung him on his back.
Following suit, Aladdin finished off his Morlac and let out a low whistle. Carpet, hearing his call, flew towards him and waited patiently as Aladdin hopped aboard. As they flew towards the balcony, Aladdin leaned over the heads of the Morlacs and grabbed a hold of Jasmine's wrists. Grunting slightly, he slowly lifted her on the carpet and followed the others into the night sky, back towards Agrabah.
Royal Palace, Agrabah
Sighing, Matt wearily picked at the food that was laid out before him. This vacation royally sucks, he thought to himself before finally shoving away the uneaten platter. When they had returned to the palace, Goliath, carrying Elisa, along with Aladdin, Jasmine, and the palace physician had quickly entered a private chamber, closing the door behind them. When Brooklyn and Matt tried to follow, the guards just shook their heads and told them that they were under orders of the palace physician to allow no entrance. Which left them at the present time: both sitting around the table sulking.
"This sucks!" Matt cried angrily, finally breaking the stony silence as he jumped up from his chair and began to pace.
Sighing, Brooklyn looked up from his seat and nodded in agreement. "Goliath's not trying to keep up in the dark on purpose," he reasoned, scratching his beak thoughtfully, "he's probably just too worried about Elisa and forgot about us."
"Yeah, but we don't even know if Elisa's alive or what!" Matt cried angrily, finally voicing his frustrations. "She's my partner, and I can't even be there by her side... Goliath's not the only one who cares about her, you know!!" he finished heatedly, his face red as he paced even faster.
"I know," Brooklyn sighed wearily, "I care about Elisa too. You're not the only one who wants to know what's going on, but there's nothing we can do about it now. She's in good hands."
"How do we know that?" Matt laughed bitterly, stopping his pacing as he planted each hand firmly on the long, wooden table as he glared at the gargoyle. "How do we know if this place has advanced medical treatments or what?"
Any reply that Brooklyn was about to give was cut off as the door to the room opened, allowing quiet exit to the doctor, Jasmine, and Aladdin. Instantly Matt stopped pacing as he turned expectantly towards them. "Is she alright?" he asked breathlessly, a band of emotions squeezing tight around his chest like a vise.
Shrugging her delicate shoulders, Jasmine walked wearily towards the large table, half collapsing into one of the chairs as Aladdin quickly moved to her side, holding one hand gently.
Seeing this, Brooklyn nodded his head impatiently towards the ajar door. "Where's Goliath?" he asked, his voice coming out more sharp than he had intended. "Can we go see Elisa now?"
Clearing his throat, the elderly doctor took that as his cue as he stepped forth from the deep shadows of the room and said, "The patient is currently in a deep sleep... we have not yet been able to awaken her," he stated solemnly, his eyes heavy. "Alas, she is not physically harmed, but does seem to be in a weakened state."
"Goliath is still with her," Aladdin added quietly, briefly diverting his attention away from Jasmine to nod at the partially opened door. "You can go see her now, but when you're ready to go, bring Goliath with you," he continued quietly. "We have to talk."
Nodding his agreement, Matt moved quickly towards the door, as if afraid that the doctor would change his mind and forbid admittance. Then, as he cleared the doorway and stepped into the room, he saw Goliath kneeling beside a low bed, his head bent down.
"Goliath?" Brooklyn asked quietly, moving silently beside the human detective.
Hearing his friend, the large lavender gargoyle slowly lifted his head, turning towards the two. Then, taking this as his cue, Matt quickly edged forward until he saw Elisa lying in the bed, her arms laying unmoving on the top of the satin sheets. Stopping short, he sucked in a great lungful of breath as he took in her unmoving form. The only word he could think of to describe the way she looked was peaceful. There was not a line to be found anywhere on her beautiful face and for the first time since he had met this hard-core detective, she looked truly at peace.
Goliath, understanding what was needed, quietly moved out of the way and without any hesitation, Matt moved forward to kneel in Goliath's place. Very gently he reached forward and lifted her limp hand into his own, cradling it gently like an injured bird. While his other hand stroked her still face, he whispered quietly into her ear, "Come on partner, wake up! We all need you out here. Your family needs you, the clan needs you, the force and the city needs you... I need you!" he finished quietly as his eyes searched her still face, willing for her to respond in some way -- for her eyes to blink open and for her to punch him lightly in the arm, making fun of him for his concern. Instead, all he got was no response. Sighing shakily, he gently laid her hand back at her side and got slowly up from his knees.
Brooklyn looked on sadly from where he was standing and motioned for Matt and Goliath to follow him back in to the dining room where Aladdin and Jasmine waited, closing the door gently behind them.
As the five friends settled around the table, Brooklyn turned to Aladdin and Jasmine and asked, "What's wrong with her?"
Biting back his frustration, Aladdin shook his head angrily as he said, "That's the problem, we don't know what Mozenrath did to her!"
"Yes we do," Jasmine spoke up in a small voice that was so different from her usual strong timber.
Quickly all eyes turned to the withdrawn princess. From the shadows under her eyes, it was evident to all that the experience struck her in a frightening and shocking way.
"Jasmine?" Aladdin asked curiously, "what do you know? What happened to Elisa?"
Sighing wearily, Jasmine closed her eyes as the rest of the group drew closer to hear her better. Opening them, she looked down at her hands and inspected them, as though looking for something that wasn't there. "When I was grabbed by the Morlacs at the palace earlier, they drug me over to Elisa and Mozenrath. I tried to struggle and get free, but they were too strong. The morlacs had surrounded and over-powered Elisa, but she didn't give up and continued to struggle as well. When she saw me, she asked Mozenrath what he was doing -- told him to let me go. But Mozenrath said that he wouldn't let me go, and that if Aladdin wanted to get involved, then he'd take revenge on Aladdin by killing me," she whispered, her voice hollow as her hands began to shake slightly. "Then," she continued, "he leaned forward and began to kiss her," Jasmine continued, a look of wonder covering her features as a low growl began to emanate from Goliath's tightly sealed lips. But Jasmine seemed oblivious to this as she slowly turned each hand, inspecting their smooth surfaces. "But once his lips touched hers, I saw a strange glow come from between their lips. And then Elisa began to weaken. When he finally stepped back, she was unconscious."
By this point in the princess's recounting, Goliath's eyes were glowing a fierce white.
"Well," Jasmine continued, "after we stepped through the portal, we were taken to the bed chamber that you found us in. When Elisa woke up, she got him to explain what was going on. Mainly Mozenrath said that he wanted more power and that something indicated that he needed Elisa to gain this power."
"What?" Brooklyn broke in, mouth hanging open in shock. "But they're not even from the same planet!"
"Same planet, different dimension. I know, that's just what Elisa said," Jasmine continued, waving away his protest. "He said that she had some sort of power that he didn't even understand and that whenever he kissed her, he took some of her soul, or body essence, which would stay with Mozenrath, giving him unlimited power. Then, after all of the soul is taken then her body would remain in a never-ending sleep."
At this, Goliath's tightly controlled anger finally snapped. His own emotions didn't quite make sense to him. Elisa was supposed to be nothing more than a friend. Their first human friend that could truly be trusted and that would lay down her life for them. But these emotions.. they were far more intense than those that he should be feeling for a mere friend. Something was happening between them and it wasn't until now, in this situation, that Goliath was finally beginning to understand what it all meant. He thought that he really loved her. "NO!!" Goliath hissed, his fist clenching tightly as it pounded on the table with a hard echo. "Did he do it? Did he take everything?" he asked quickly, feeling as though his world was falling apart. "There has to be a way to help her, to reverse it!" he continued, not allowing a chance for the princess to intervene. He wished above all else that Lex was with them. With his knowledge of the modern world and it's medicine, he could probably help -- help more than he could there.
At this outbreak, everyone began talking at once, arguing loudly amongst themselves about ways to reverse it and bring Elisa back to them, while Jasmine patiently tried to draw their attention. Finally giving up, she jumped up from her seat and let out a fierce whistle. Instantly, the four men stopped their arguing and looked up, surprised by the tiny princess.
"Would you guys just shut up and listen?" she demanded, her eyes glinting angrily. "I'm not done yet!" she scolded as she waited for their meek nods of agreement. Once she had them, the princess returned to her chair gracefully. "What I was trying to say was that after our little talk, Mozenrath had begun to drain her, but I don't think that he drained her completely," she continued quickly before another argument could begin. "You interrupted him."
"So.. what's going on right now is that she's just tired? Drained?" Brooklyn asked, wincing at his own bad pun.
"I believe so," Jasmine shrugged, hoping that she was right.
"Then if that's the case," the doctor continued, reminding everyone that he was still present, "then there's nothing that can be done for her. We just need to let her rest and awaken when she's ready-"
"And then get her the hell out of here," Matt finished darkly, massaging his aching forehead.
"Exactly," Goliath confirmed, his voice grim as he slowly stood from the table. "And until then, I suggest that you three get some rest," he continued, indicating the humans that were gathered amongst them. "It has been a long day for you all."
"I can vouch for that one," Aladdin agreed, slowly climbing from his chair and stretching aching and sore muscles.
"But what about Elisa?" Matt asked quietly, a brief frown flickering across his face.
"I will stay with her, for now," Goliath decided before nodding at his second-in-command. "In an hour, Brooklyn can relieve me and we can take turns sitting with her.. making sure that all is as it should be," he growled softly, his eyes glowing at the thought of Mozenrath's return.
"And when she's better we hightail it outta here?" Matt asked, hope gleaming in his eyes.
"Once we figure out how to get out of here," Brooklyn sighed as he too stood and stretched slowly.
"Just get some rest," Goliath sighed as he turned away and started back towards the door to Elisa's chamber. "One hour," he called over his shoulder, reminding his second-in-command before gently, but firmly, closing the door behind him.
Sighing, Goliath realized that he was finally alone with his troubled thoughts as he slowly walked up to Elisa's bed, his heart warmed as he saw her eyes flicker open.
"Goliath?" she called out weakly, her voice a mere whisper but music to his ears.
"Yes, Elisa, I am here," Goliath quickly rumbled as he crossed the space between them in seconds, settling his massive frame on the bed beside her as he took her hand in his own. "Are you alright?"
"I... I think so," Elisa replied shakily, focusing on Goliath's worried countenance. "I guess I'm just really tired," she sighed as she fought off the dark sleep that strove to claim her. Then, as her memories flood back to her, her eyes grew wide as she tried to sit up. "Where's Mozenrath?"
"Gone," Goliath quickly insisted as he gently pushed her back to the bed, lifting the satin sheets and tucking them gently around her bared shoulders. "He is gone and you are safe with me in the palace," he continued reassuringly, running his claws gently through her silky raven locks.
"Oh Goliath," she sighed, her head tiredly rolling to the side as she pulled him close in a soft embrace, "it was horrible! I felt all tingly inside as energy started to build, and then it was all pulled from me. I tried to fight, but I just kept getting weaker and weaker -- more and more tired."
"It is alright... my love," Goliath soothed, the words sounding so foreign yet so right on his tongue. And then, as Elisa pulled back and met his eyes in wonderment, that peace was shattered.
"Not quite," someone hissed from the balcony.
Turning quickly in surprise, Goliath quickly stood in front of Elisa's bed in a defiant form of protection as his eyes burned a hot white color.
"My, my, my," Mozenrath murmured, jumping easily from the balcony divider to the marble floor. "Elisa does have some very powerful friends," he muttered, taking in the creature's massive frame. "Too bad they won't do her any good!"
"Mozenrath!" Elisa whispered while trying desperately to move away. Unfortunately, she was too weak and could do nothing but watch with mounting horror as the man advanced into the room.
Goliath, focusing on the evil one that stood so defiantly before him, unfurled his wings and roared his anger, his eyes blazing. "You!" he bellowed angrily, snapping his wings back to his side. "You are the one who has done this to Elisa? Oh, you shall pay for this!"
But instead of the customary fear that such an act usually inspired in his adversaries, Mozenrath merely laughed at the display the large winged being was putting on before him. "I don't think so," he replied coldly as green energy shot out of his hand and soared towards the monster.
"Goliath!" Elisa screamed, watching in horror as the magic circled around him in a tight band, holding him life a vise around his torso and carrying him away from his protective stance before the bed.
"Ah, poor Goliath," Mozenrath mocked, laughing as he watched.
Roaring, Goliath struggled in frustration, but could do nothing to free himself from the strange bands which held him like a vise. Through the cacophony of pounding at the door as Brooklyn tried to enter, he heard Elisa whimper softly as Mozenrath moved with an almost regal grace to stand beside her bed. "Elisa!" he roared, struggling against his magical binds as she turned her head towards him and locked eyes with his own. Then, as his heart caught in his throat, he watched her whisper the words that he had always been too frightened to speak aloud.
"I love you..."
As Mozenrath lowered himself to her, Goliath could do nothing but watch as he whispered back, "I am sorry." But it wasn't enough, and as Elisa nodded her understanding, tears sliding down her pale cheeks, Goliath twisted his head in denial. "No, no, NO!" he roared, tears burning at his eyes as Mozenrath lowered his lips to hers. Goliath could do nothing but watch as Mozenrath drained Elisa's remaining energy.
When the demon had finished, he turned to Goliath and smiled evilly. "Since you've been such a good sport and sat back and allowed me to finish my work...." he laughed, watching as the creature cringed from his words, "I'll leave you a temporary gift. You can have her body for awhile, but later, when I'm needing my pleasures from her, I'll be back."
At this, Goliath could do nothing but roar his fury as Mozenrath disappeared in a flash of light. Just as quickly, the vise around Goliath disappeared as he rushed toward his beloved. As Jasmine had earlier said, it looked as though she was in a deep sleep. But Goliath knew the truth as deep, racking sobs tore from his lips as he gently cradled her to his chest, barely aware of his friends gathering around him. "I'm sorry," he repeated over and over again, "I'm so sorry!" Then, with a mighty roar he stood up and faced the balcony. "I will have my revenge! Do you hear me? I will have my revenge!!!"
To Be Continued...