Gargoyles are mysterious creatures. At night, they are flesh and blood like all other creatures. And when the sun is up during the day, they are not much more than stone statues. No one knows why this is so, or how this happens. It simply does. Some scientists say that it is because their skin reacts to the sunlight and turns the entire body to stone. However, this does not explain how gargoyles can turn to stone underground where there is no sunlight. The most popular explanation is that they are simply beings of magic, destined to guard over wherever it is that they happen to live. You may find this hard to believe today, but once they were thought to be nothing more than an urban myth. There were so few gargoyles in the world that those that did know about them, even the gargoyles themselves, feared that they would soon become extinct.
In this day and age, of course, the existence of gargoyles is very much common knowledge. It is now no stranger than the existence of cats and dogs. The year 2050, the half-point of the century, brought promise for the future. People were slowly starting to realize the myth to be reality. Later in the century, gargoyles were acknowledged as an intelligent race. There was even an amendment to the United States Constitution allowing gargoyles to have the same equal rights as humans, which included things like education, free speech, and the right to work a minimum wage job like every other American.
(Of Science and Sorcery…)
As the century passed, the art of sorcery had come back into existence. Some used it for selfish reasons, often involving criminal activities. Others used it to perform magic shows, rendering the old-fashioned illusionist obsolete. But the primary reason for the resurrection of this arcane art was to meld it with scientific study to better the survival of both human and gargoyle alike.
Such studies have brought forth great new inventions, such as a new metal alloy that allows gargoyles to remain flesh during the day. Unfortunately, this alloy is extremely difficult and expensive to manufacture, so it is strictly limited to the production of badges for gargoyles in emergency units, such as fire fighters and police, as it would be convenient for the hero to not turn to stone in the middle of rescuing a civilian or pursuing a criminal. And as far as police forces, this is not limited to just the local cops that patrol the streets, but also up to the forces of the FBI and Interpol.
Many of the job-seeking gargoyles sought positions such as these, not only to get a chance to see the sun for the first time, but also because it is in their nature to "serve and protect". Therefore a gargoyle cop is more often than not a good and honest cop.
At this point in the world's view of history, the United States had become so populated, that they needed more nation to fit their people, and their neighbors to the north and south were not interested in selling any of their land for some strange reason. They ended up making a deal with Russia, who was having population problems of their own. Russia's economy at this point was so poor, that the people just couldn't live there anymore. The people who could afford to packed up what they had saved up and left the country. The US and Russia would both benefit from making this deal. The US would get new land, and Russia would have more money. And so the United States purchased the bottom half of European Russia. This newly purchased country became the fifty-third state. It was called New Liberty. Thousands of people, human and gargoyle alike, from all over the United States (as well as some parts of Europe) immigrated to their new state. Any Russians that were already living there (from being too poor to move out of Russia) were made into US citizens and given the needed support to begin living a comfortable life. Everyone benefited from this change.
After a decade or so, New Liberty decided that it wanted to become its own nation, independent from the United States. Remembering what happened to the British when America wanted Independence, the U.S. allowed them to become their own nation. In honor of their newfound liberty, they kept the state's name for their new nation.
Although New Liberty already had an established government, it was a government answering to the United States, which they were no longer a part of. The former governor of New Liberty then decided to step up and take his place as the Prime Ruler of New Liberty. The history books know him as Goldari Macaro Bethovich.
At the start of Prime Ruler Bethovich's rule, the people of New Liberty never suffered, for there was always plenty of food, water, shelter, and money. As far as the citizenry was concerned, nothing has changed in their way of life.
"It was like living in America," They said, "but with a prime ruler instead of a president. And there's a lot more Russians, too."
The only other difference they noticed was that the gargoyle population was mysteriously decreasing, and very rapidly. Unbeknownst to the citizenry (mainly the most ignorant), Prime Ruler Bethovich had declared a law stating that it was illegal to be a gargoyle, punishable by death. To enforce this new law, he created a secret service force to seek out and exterminate any gargoyle clan they find living in the country. He called these men and women the Hunters.
Given the most advanced technology, these Hunters were able to track down and kill many gargoyle clans, usually by going into their homes and smashing them to pieces during the day, when gargoyles are in their stone state and thus most vulnerable. And since gargoyle clans normally preferred outdoor locations for their sleep, such as caves or the tops of large buildings, hunting them was not all that difficult, even without the latest technology. And they were able to kill these clans with very little damage to the surrounding area or cost of cleanup.
After Bethovich made public (though only to New Liberty) his decree against the gargoyles, it was soon discovered that much of the New Liberty population shared the same opinion. Apparently much of the anti-gargoyle community that was in the United States flocked to New Liberty upon its statehood, hoping to find kindred spirits sharing their hatred for the "demonic winged beasts". The few people that didn't share this opinion either fled the country or protested and were immediately arrested and killed for insubordination.
After this, Bethovich decided to lock down the entire border, making sure no one crossed it without his approval, trapping any and all gargoyles and preventing them from escaping. With every clan killed, hope dwindles for the gargoyles in this nation known as New Liberty.
A young woman in her twenties, Vaala Xanatos, descendant of the multibillionaire David Xanatos, was living in her family's castle atop the Eyrie Building in the middle of the grand city of New York on the island of Manhattan. She had heard from a reliable source about the horrific acts going on in New Liberty. Thanks to Bethovich's closing of the border, much of the world is still oblivious to these gargoyle massacres.
The Xanatos family, leading back to David, was a family sworn to protect gargoyles. Being a Xanatos, Vaala could not take this information lying down. Since the U.S. has accepted gargoyles as people, she was more than certain that she could trust her clan to defend itself while she goes to help the gargoyles in New Liberty who desperately needed her more.
(Just outside the border of New Liberty…)
I waited on the bus for the guards to come back in with my passport. They had to stop every bus that went through the border and check every passport for approval from Prime Ruler Bethovich.
It was late at night, almost midnight, and I was bored. I watched trough the window as they passed each passport one by one.
When the guards finally came back in and handed all of us our passports back, they stopped at the front of the bus, saluted and said "Welcome to New Liberty."
They then left the bus and opened the gates. After we got to our stop and were let off I took the next bus to Paradigm City.
(Later… In Paradigm City…)
I wandered around the city looking everywhere for the person my grandfather told me about. He instructed me to find someone named Goldie Mona, though he never told me what she looked like.
The city of Paradigm itself looked pretty similar to New York. Tall buildings and people everywhere, except the buildings weren't nearly as tall. They were however all scrunched together. I half expected to see a gargoyle gliding overhead, but then I remembered where I was.
"Kinda hard to imagine that this used to be part of Russia," I thought to myself, "Looks like another major American city."
This made me a little more comfortable. At least it was a place I could ease myself into. If only I could find Goldie.
"Of all the things they prepared me for," I said to myself, "They never told me what this Goldie person looks like."
I asked around. But nobody seemed to know where I could find Goldie.
It was almost five thirty in the morning, and I was getting tired. I sat down next to the corner of a building, right by an alleyway. I looked up as the dark sky started lightening up. I knew then that the sun was rising.
"Maybe I'll find 'er in the morning," I thought as I yawned. "I'm so tired, I don't even feel like getting up to find a hotel."
I jumped as I heard a sound coming from behind me.
"What was that?!" I shrieked.
"SHHHH! Don't react so loud!" said a quiet voice behind me, "They'll hear you."
"Who are you?" I whispered to the voice behind me.
"You're Vaala Marsaille, right?"
"…Right." I hesitated.
"Hang on just a few minutes. I'll be right there."
I looked up and watched the sky turn from indigo to light blue. And the whole time, there were grinding, popping and groaning sounds coming from the alley behind me. When the noise finally stopped there was suddenly a figure standing behind me.
"Ok, I'm done," she said.
I looked up and saw a human girl slightly taller than me with reddish colored eyes and poofy golden blonde hair. She wore a brown hooded cloak with the hood down, and underneath she wore some torn up clothing.
"Hey, I'm Goldie," she greeted and held out her hand.
"Uh, hi," I hesitated and took her hand.
"Who the hell is this weirdo?!" I thought. "This can't be her, can it?!"
"I'm sorry about the mess I'm in," she said softly and then leaned closer to whisper, "I was out too late and ended up stuck in that alley all night."
"Oh…" I replied, not really understanding.
"I'll explain in better detail when we get to my place. Come on."
I followed her to a building that seemed somewhat taller than the others. At least forty stories high. We went inside and stepped in the elevator. She hit the button for the top floor.
As we waited, she said nothing.
"So…" I started.
"Not yet," she said before I could say anything. "Not here."
When we finally got to the top floor and the doors opened, I followed her to one of the apartments.
"Nobody lives on this floor but me," she said as she unlocked the door and stepped in, "So you don't have to worry about anything here."
I stepped inside and looked around. It was a simple two-bedroom apartment condo. There was a kitchen and a bathroom. There was a balcony with a view of the Black Sea and a living room… with a big screen TV entertainment system.
"Holy shit!" I yelled out. "You have the latest Master-View Laser TV. These things aren't even on the market yet!"
"Geez, I didn't think it'd be that big a deal for a Xanatos."
I suddenly snapped back to reality and turned to her upon hearing my real name.
"My name is Gold Demona," she introduced. "But you can call me Gold. The reason why we had to wait until sunrise to come back here was because by night I'm a gargoyle."
"And that's why you were hiding in the alley," I concluded out loud.
"Exactly," she replied, "Your grandpa gave that entire entertainment system to me so that you'd be more comfortable while we do this mission thing. We have to look as much as possible like we're living normal lives while our refugee gargoyles stay hidden in the secret base he said you'd be building."
"Uh, yeah. But I have to call him first and tell him I'm here."
Then the phone rang. Gold went over and picked it up.
"Hello," She said and then paused. "Yes sir, she's right here."
She then pointed the phone at me, "It's for you."
I took it and held it to my ear.
"Hello?" I greeted.
"I see you found Gold Demona," My grandpa Alex said from the other side of the line, "Good work."
"You neglected to tell me she was a gargoyle, er… garg-human… whatever."
"Didn't want to blow her cover. Or yours. You'd be looking in the skies for her. No gargoyle in their right mind would glide in the open over there."
"Right, ok. So now what?"
"Now I'll send the build team over and they'll build the home base to your specifications. However you want it."
"Alright. Thanks Grandpa."
"No, Vaala. Thank you. Just remember that this will be the last contact I'll have with you. I won't be sending you any money, so you'll have to get a job and earn your own living. After the build team leaves you're on your own."
"I understand, Grandpa."
"Good luck, Vaala. Oh, and make sure you make the one room to the exact dimensions I gave you."
"Uh, sure Grandpa. But what's this empty room for?"
"You'll find out soon enough. Just make sure it gets done. Love you."
"Love you too, Grandpa. Bye."
We clicked and the conversation was over.
I ended up buying the entire floor to build our base in. Since there was nobody living on that floor anyway, there wasn't any problem. I had the build team make it so all of the balconies and windows still looked like they were for normal apartments, even though the inside was actually not. They built a statue room to be the sleeping place for our hiding gargoyles. A large dining room for them to eat in. And of course the one empty room my grandpa requested, exact to the specific metric units that he gave me. I wondered why he gave it to me in metric units and not in feet and inches, but didn't think it was important enough to ask about.
The entrance to this secret penthouse was by a secret door behind the big Master-View Laser TV, which could be opened by a combination of buttons pressed on the TV's remote control.
"Alright," Gold said, impressed by our secret penthouse disguised as a humble two-bedroom apartment. "This will work. This will definitely work. I think you and I are going to be good roommates."
"Let's hope so," I replied, admiring the handiwork.
"Now we just have to get you a job," she said.
"Yeah," I said. "But let's worry about that tomorrow, it's almost night. And I'm tired anyways."
"Ok. Till tomorrow."
She then went into her room and I went into the other. I then unpacked, sorting all my clothes into the empty drawers of the dresser in front of my bed. After that I put on my PJs, brushed my teeth and went to sleep.
"Finally, some help," I thought to myself as I lay on my bed, looking up at the ceiling. "Maybe now we'll actually stand a chance."