I do not own these characters or profit from them. I did however recently buy the first season of the show and the first half of the second season (man I hope the rest comes out soon) and the comic that was recently published and takes place after the show ended.
Gargoyles: Eternal Warriors
By, Clayton Overstreet
Goliath and the other gargoyles awoke at sunset, roaring and stretching as their stone covering shattered around their bodies and fell to the ground. They shook to relieve the last few shards. Oddly, to anyone who knew the gargoyles, two of their members were not present. Lexington and Brooklyn were gone. They had left with Elisa's brother Derek… Talon and his girlfriend Maggie in a private plane owned by Xanatos. They were doing a tour of some of the other gargoyle clans Goliath and Elisa had discovered while on their trip to Avalon. They claimed it was just to get to know other gargoyles, but everyone knew that the two of them were really after finding mates.
Up on their perches Angela and Broadway waved to the others and then took off. Xanatos had arranged for a recording deal for Angela and she had been recording her own songs for the last month. Broadway went with her for support and to keep an eye out for dangers.
Goliath leapt down and landed by Hudson's side. "You know, you could have gone with them."
Hudson chuckled and reached down to scratch Bronx's head. "Now lad ye know I'm too old for such foolishness. Besides, Gargoyles mate for life. And I already had a mate." They shared a look.
Goliath looked away. "You know Hudson, I never asked the rest of you how you feel about me and Elisa."
"And ye shouldn't have to lad. You're our leader. You make the decisions." Goliath raised an eyebrow and the old gargoyle sighed. "Well lad, she's a human and none too good looking by gargoyle standards. But Elisa is definitely part of the clan and I have to admit she looked pretty good the time she was turned into a gargoyle." He chuckled.
"I was just thinking. You did mate with one gargoyle. Considering how that worked out I doubt anyone could blame ye for choosing Elisa." Goliath frowned and looked out over the city. "Now lad don't be like that. Demona just turned out to be… what is the phrase they use these days?"
"I think you're going for 'psycho hose beast'." Goliath said with a grin.
"Aye lad, that would be the one." Hudson looked up at him. "Anyway if ye are looking for someone to judge ye, forget it. Things have changed for all gargoyles too much from my time for me to have any opinion on the matter. We've got names now. We live on top of human buildings full of wonders that work without magic. And I'm beginning to see gargoyles looking for more from life than just protecting the castle."
"You almost sound disappointed."
"Nay lad, just a bit overwhelmed. Things change." Hudson looked up at the sky. "Most things anyway."
The old gargoyle had a point. Gargoyles had definitely changed over the years. Avalon was one thing, where the gargoyles had been raised by humans. But the clans from South America, England, Japan, etcetera all had names now. And not all the members of a clan were as noble and just as Goliath had always assumed his kind to be.
"Do you blame the humans for changing us?" Goliath asked.
"Nah," Hudson said. "You've said it yourself often enough. There's good and evil inside all hearts, be they human, gargoyle, or other. I think the humans just beat us to many ideas. It's easy to be a group of noble protectors when ye live in a cliff and your wants consist of good hunting and a mate.
"But then we began to learn about things like wants and greed. Property." Hudson ran a claw along the edge of a rock. "And servants. And I can't rightly blame the gargoyles who enjoy that sort of thing. After all, I spend many nights up here watching television and eating food from Xanatos's kitchen." He nodded to Broadway and Angela's spots. "And then ye have the way we have lives now. Living at night and protecting the castle… fine things for a gargoyle. But for a person… well it can get a bit dull."
"Is that why you let your friend Robbins write that book about your life?"
Hudson shrugged. "He called is a biography. Just me life before we came to Manhattan. We did not have as many secrets back then. I hear tell that Disney may be wanting to make our battle with the archmage into a movie. I just hope they don't try turning us into some silly cartoon."
Goliath touched his old mentor's shoulder. "Well, it is nice that we have a couple of friends who did not start out trying to kill us." In fact, out of all the people they considered friends, only Elisa and Robbins fit into that category. They both shared a laugh at that.
Hudson looked around. "Xanatos and his family still seem to be off to Avalon."
"Oberon and Titania wished to visit with Alexander," Goliath said. "So we have the castle to ourselves for a while yet."
Hudson grinned. "As if ye plan to spend the night here in the castle." Goliath smiled back and Hudson slapped his arm. "Go on with ye lad. Don't keep Elisa waiting."
Goliath nodded. "Until later then old friend." He turned and patted Bronx on the head before spreading his wings and jumping from the turret.
Hudson smiled and looked at Bronx. "Between Goliath and Angela there's definitely love in the air." Bronx smiled smugly and barked. "Oh yes, I'd forgotten. You have a girl on Avalon don't ye?" Bronx barked happily. "Come on boy. Let's go see what's on television tonight."
Elisa smiled and checked herself out in the mirror. She wore a silky white dress that was see through enough to show just a hint of the lingerie she was wearing underneath. She was not planning on wearing it long. She had known Goliath for three years and while their occasional make-out sessions on rooftops had been fun, tonight she was going to take it to the next level since Goliath clearly had no clue how to do that with a human.
She suspected that Demona had not been a very inventive lover. Back in their time French kissing had not even been introduced yet. Goliath had picked that up quick enough. Besides, Demona was obviously the type who used the bare minimum of sex and even then mostly just to control a man. Goliath may not have been able to see it, but from his stories it was fairly clear that Demona had considered him a stepping stone to gaining control of the clan.
So in Elisa's estimation, while Goliath had made love and even had children, he was practically a virgin. She grinned, thinking about some of the things she planned to do with him. It had been almost four years since she had even had a date with anyone else. Her job had always been very demanding. She was more than ready for this.
Outside she heard the sound of leathery wings and felt a shiver down her back. She had considered dressing up a bit, making herself look more like a gargoyle. There were costume shops around town where she could have bought contacts, fake fangs, pointed ears… in fact since the gargoyles had been revealed to the public there were full costumes she could have got. But in the end she had decided to just be herself. Prosthetics would have gotten in the way and it was difficult enough dating outside her species.
As Goliath landed on her patio she saw his silhouette against the lights of the city. His eyes glowed in the dark. Then he stepped through the door and into the light of her apartment, his wings wrapping around his body like a cape. As always it made her breath catch in her throat to see him. Her heart beat against her ribs and she smiled brightly.
Elisa hated to admit it about herself, but a bit of why she was attracted to the gargoyle was because he scared her just a little. It was outdated medieval garbage, but knowing that he was so much stronger than her and could tear her to pieces without trying made her heart race. Like the kind of girls in those old movies that ditched their geeky boyfriend when the big bully on the beach kicked sand in their face and flexed his muscles.
"Good evening Elisa," he said in that deep rumbling voice of his.
She walked over to him and said, "Nice to see you Goliath." She walked over and leaned against him, her hands pressed against his literally rock-hard muscles. Standing on her toes she kissed him and felt a thrill as her wrapped her in powerful arms and felt the tips of his claws gently touching her back.
When they broke apart Goliath took in her outfit. "That is a very nice dress Elisa."
"You like it?" She stepped back and twirled around, letting the hem float around her along with her hair. She stopped and grinned over her shoulder at him.
"You look lovely."
She smiled at his nervousness. He knew something was up. He just did not know what. "It's a special dress. Not much use for keeping the chill off in the night air."
"Then what is it's purpose?"
"To be taken off," she said.
He looked blank. It was a look she was familiar with. Goliath had learned a lot about the modern world, but he had still spent a lifetime in the middle ages. Some concepts took him a minute. "Why would you wear a dress that you are not meant to wear?"
Elisa laughed and stepped back towards hi, throwing her arms around his neck and hanging there. "Goliath, it's not meant for me to take off myself. It's meant for you to take off of me."
Realization dawned (or was that set, since he was a gargoyle?). Elisa liked how powerful Goliath was, but at the moment he had this dumbstruck look on his face like a teenager. He clearly had no idea what to do or say or even if he should be happy or afraid or embarrassed. He had gotten that same look the first time she kissed him. She liked that look on him. For all his power it meant that she was in control. And pressing herself against him she could feel his body reacting in ways that his overloaded brain could not.
Goliath felt it too. His heartbeat and breathing increased. He could feel Elisa's body heat pressed against him, her breath coming against his face in sharp warm gasps. "Elisa…"
"Sh, Goliath. Please. Just trust me," she said softly.
Okay, but first one thing." He moved back away from her. Elisa watched, puzzled. Then Goliath clapped and began bobbing his head from side to side. He moved to the left and then to the right.
Elisa laughed. "What are you doing?"
Goliath stopped and looked a little hurt. "A mating dance."
Moving back to him Elisa put her arms back around his neck and stood on her toes to kiss him. "It's cute Goliath, but let me show you how humans do it."
(Incredibly graphic scene removed from fic for online publishing reasons. To see full fic, contact the author.)
Later the two of them lay on the floor. Elisa had pulled the blankets off her bed. They were both glowing and tired, drained beyond belief. It had been a long time for them both, Elisa mused. A thousand years for Goliath.
"Goliath, it's almost dawn. You have to move."
He grumbled. "Don't want to. Tired."
"Yeah, but unless I want to be trapped here until sunset I need you to let me up." Although it was tempting to stay in his arms all day Elisa had enough aches and pains already. They were good, but they were going to make her stiff and hard to move. She did not need twelve hours trapped between the floor and a granite statue.
Reluctantly Goliath rolled over to let her up just as the sun was coming up. She started to move away when suddenly the door crashed open. Goliath and Elisa both looked up and saw something like a grenade land in her apartment. Elisa did not have time to react. Goliath did. He grabbed her and wrapped around Elisa, protecting her when the sudden wave of fire washed over them.
Elisa felt the heat and held her breath, knowing that if she breathed in it would probably kill her. The incendiary would damage her lung. When the wave of light went out she looked around. There was no damage to her apartment. "Goliath we have to…" She looked up. Goliath was a statue. "Damn it!" Outside she heard footsteps.
Squirming out of the gargoyle's stone grip Elisa ran to the drawer where she stashed her gun and grabbed her robe from the hook by the door. She wrapped herself up as she ran and came to the street. "Freeze! Police!"
It was a short bald man. He turned, gun in hand. Elisa fired before she could think. The man dropped. Around her people were watching. One lady screamed. Elisa moved towards him, gun still aimed at the downed man. He was gripping his shoulder and smirking up at her. Elisa kicked the gun away and noticed that it was plastic. Looking closely she saw that it was a squirt gun. "What's this?"
The man smirked up at her through gritted teeth. "Got ya gargoyle lover." Elisa frowned and looked around the neighborhood. It was dawn. There were an awful lot of people standing around for this time of year. Looking up she thought she saw something on the roof of the building across from hers. Then she heard sirens. Around her several of the "witnesses" almost seemed to smirk for a moment. None of them seemed to be going anywhere or interested in avoiding being interrogated by the cops.
Cursing Elisa ran back up to her apartment and arrived just in time to find a blue masked figure standing over Goliath with a sledgehammer. Elisa did not hesitate. She raised her gun and shot the man in the leg. He fell screaming to the ground dropping his weapon. Elisa moved forward and kicked it away, though it did not go far. She kept her gun aimed at the Quarryman and edged over to the phone to call for backup.
The police had already been on their way and were interviewing the "witnesses" downstairs. Elisa told the other cops her version of things and her suspicions about the people waiting outside. They probably believed her, but officially they had to take in everyone's version of events. And the people outside were claiming that Elisa had run screaming out of her apartment to shoot a man walking by in the street. As for the Quarryman he claimed to be working alone and nobody else knew anything about him.
"One more thing detective," the officer interviewing her asked. Elisa followed his gaze to where Goliath crouched in stone in the middle of her living room. On top of her blankets and the remains of her underwear.
When everyone else had cleared out Elisa suddenly got a call. She picked up the phone and David Xanatos was on the other end. "So you're back."
"Well we couldn't be too late," Xanatos said. "Tomorrow night is a very special occasion."
"I know. I got my invitation. Is that why you called me?" Elisa asked.
Xanatos pretended to be hurt. "You don't just want to chat?" Elisa remained quiet. "Okay. To tell the truth you seem to be in a bit of trouble. About thirty minutes ago three of my newspapers received anonymous packages containing personal information about you and photos of you and Goliath together." He cleared his throat. "Rather intimate pictures. And video tape."
"You heard me. And I've got reports that these are just three of a dozen. And that's not counting what is already circulating on the net."
Elisa groaned and put a hand to her forehead. "Crud."
"So what do you want to do? I can claim the pictures are faked. Or if you'd prefer to give an official statement I can arrange that too."
Elisa sighed. "I don't know. I should probably talk to Goliath about it before we decide anything. Unfortunately he's currently a two ton slab of rock in the middle of my living room."
"I'll send some movers," Xanatos said. Elisa hung up.
Talon, Maggie, and the two gargoyles were flying over Greece. They had agreed to take the long way, since it was not as if Brooklyn, Lexington or the mutates had much chance to see the world.
"Never thought I'd be flying one of Xanatos's choppers again," Talon growled.
Maggie smiled and put her arm around him. "Derek, if Goliath and the gargoyles can give him another chance…"
"I know," he said and calmed down. "But still."
Lex leaned over the back seat. "Hey, we think you look good."
Talon laughed. "Next to you?" Before Lex could reply he got a signal on his radio. "Say again?"
A female voice with a Greek accent said, "I said, I'd appreciate it if you would land Derek. I have things to speak of with your passengers."
"Miss this is a transport chopper. I am picking up artifacts for…. How did you know my name?"
"Look outside the window." Talon turned and so did Maggie and Lex. A shape was flying next to the chopper in the dark. It tapped on the window and then turned away before they got a good look. "Please, follow me."
"Was that a gargoyle?" Maggie asked.
"What else?" Lex asked excitedly. Derek shot him a look. "Okay it could be a few things. But let's give it a shot! I'll go in the back and tell Brooklyn."
Derek reluctantly followed the flying shape until they were over an out of the way airfield on one of the islands. It was well lit. Before they got out Maggie asked, "Are you sure about this?"
"No," he admitted. She nodded and they headed into the back with the others to disembark.
When the doors opened they all saw the same thing as they stepped down. A female gargoyle waiting patiently near the bottom of the stairs. She was pink with long green hair and a pair of thin horns sticking back out of her forehead like an antelope. On her top half she wore a white top that tied around her neck and draped over her front. From the waist down she was a snake, stretching out a good fifteen feet behind her bat-wings. In one hand she held a small crystal ball.
"Welcome friends," she said in a sultry voice, eyes narrow. "I've been expecting you."
"How?" Brooklyn asked.
She grinned flashing sharp teeth. "My name is Delphi. And this…" she held up the crystal. "Is the stone of Apollo, god of prophecies." The crystal glowed. Inside they could see shapes moving. "I have been watching your adventures for some time and awaiting your arrival." She slithered forward. When she got to them she leaned forward and gave Brooklyn a kiss. He was too shocked to respond. Everyone else was gaping at her.
When she pulled back he said, "Whu?"
She giggled. "You are cute."
Derek cleared his throat. "I don't mean to be rude but maybe we shouldn't be out here in the open like this."
"You're right. Though it's perfectly safe here. After all, I own the island. We should get back on the helicopter. We have a long journey ahead of us."
"Us?" Brooklyn asked.
Lex frowned. "Where do you think you're going?"
"With you?" She reached out and ran a hand through Brooklyn's hair. He grinned. "We have to get to Romania."
"Why?" Maggie asked.
Absently Delphi looked at her crystal. "Two words: Anton Sevarius." The gargoyles and mutates all growled at the mention of the evil scientist's name. "If you want I can explain on the way."
Talon glanced at the gargoyles and Maggie who all nodded. Then he turned and glared at Delphi. "If this is some kind of trap…" She smiled back confidently. Behind her a fuel truck came forward. He sighed. Something the last few years had taught him was to take the weird in stride. "Fine, lets go."
Elisa stood on top of the castle, the wind whipping her hair as the sun set and the gargoyles awoke. Xanatos, Fox, and Owen had left her there alone. Goliath looked around panicked until he saw Elisa. "You're safe."
She smiled and moved to hug him. "Yeah, I'm fine. Physically anyway."
He frowned and the others quickly joined them. "What do you mean?"
"It's complicated. Maybe it would be best if we went inside and turned on the television." The gargoyles shared a look, but followed as Elisa led them inside.
Xanatos and the others were already there waiting silently. Alex laughed and said, "Doggy!" when he saw Bronx who stood on his hind legs and gave the baby in Fox's arms a bit wet lick. Without a word Xanatos turned on the television.
The announcer was already talking, "…analyzed by experts and the video is real. Due to its graphic nature we cannot show it all." Behind him a picture of Elisa kissing Goliath appeared. "The woman on the tape making love to the gargoyles has been identified as Detective Elisa Maza, head of the police's gargoyle taskforce, who has yet to be reached for comment."
Xanatos hit mute. "I think you've got the idea. People have been calling in saying everything from how proud they are of you for getting past the species barrier to others calling you a depraved whore."
Elisa nodded. "I expected as much."
"Elisa…" Hudson began. Angela put a hand on her shoulder.
Broadway asked, "What are you going to do?"
Elisa shrugged. "Beats me. I'll probably be lucky not to go to jail. My career is definitely finished."
"You won't be going to jail," Xanatos said. "Most of the major movers and shakers have been coming to my 'costume' parties and have met the gargoyles on good terms. You'll probably keep your job too, at least officially. 'Profiling' is frowned on."
Elisa smiled. "Right. Maybe I can squeak by on that."
"Profiling?" Hudson asked.
"Like is a black man commits a crime and then someone thinks that all black people are the same way," Elisa explained. Hudson nodded in understanding. She looked back at Xanatos, "But the truth is I'll be lucky to be a meter maid after this."
"True," he said sadly. "Which is a shame, considering all the times you have helped save this city."
"But I can only bring that up by explaining to the public how close to doom and destruction they've been. The city would panic."
Goliath frowned. "So you're saying that because of me you are going to lose everything you care about."
"Goliath, no," Elisa said firmly. "Everything I care about is right here in this room." She heard a small meow and turned startled. "Including my cat. What is Cagney doing here?"
Xanatos said, "One of my men brought him. Your apartment has had… visitors. It might be best if you stayed here in the castle, at least until this whole thing blows over."
"Indefinitely you mean," Elisa said, watching her cat rub against Bronx and purr. "What happened?"
Fox said, "Let's just say it involved fire." Elisa groaned and seemed to sink in on herself. "Elisa you look tired. We know you did not get much sleep last night. Let Owen show you to a room and you rest. You can deal with everything else tomorrow."
Elisa was going to argue, but Goliath said, "Elisa, I think she's right. You've lost much and you need to rest."
"Trust us lass," Hudson said sadly. "We know what we're talking about."
Elisa looked at the gargoyles. Angela smiled and Broadway tried to but failed. Bending down she pet Bronx and Cagney. "You guys are right. I need to rest. But I just want you guys to know, whatever happens, I'm going to be fine." She looked up at Goliath. "We've been through so much. Trust me, this is nothing."
Goliath reached out and touched her cheek. "You're so strong Elisa. Rest now." She nodded and let Owen lead her into the castle. When she was gone Goliath frowned deeply. "Xanatos, there are things Elisa will not tell us for fear of worrying us. What exactly does this mean for her?"
Xanatos looked away. "To tell the truth Goliath, it's bad. Even if she does get out of this without any legal trouble public opinion on your very existence is divided at best. But considering how long it took the civil right's movement to come through I doubt they'll accept a human dating a gargoyle easily."
"Why not? Fox is only half human," Angela said.
"And if I told anyone that," Fox said. "There are people around the world that would gladly burn me and everyone I know at the stake." She tickled her son's belly.
Hudson smirked. "Angela you were raised by humans. Trust me when I tell you that most gargoyles, at least back in our time, would have been a lot less understanding of Elisa and Goliath too."
Broadway said, "He's got a point."
"I just don't understand. People are people…"
"And a lot of them will agree with you," Xanatos said. "The world isn't nearly as bad as it was even thirty years ago. But new things are never easy for some to accept."
"So what can we do?" Broadway asked.
"Nothing for now. Maybe stay indoors. We have to wait for this to die down. In the mean time we have a party to get to tomorrow night."
"Is that really a good idea?" Fox asked him.
"Elisa could use something to take her mind off this."
"Yes," Goliath agreed. "We should let her adjust. There is little we can do about this… unless of course you can tell us who did this to her."
"Sorry," Xanatos told them. "No such luck."
Owen came back a little later. "Mr. Xanatos on my way back I found that we have an unexpected guest."
"Someone got in here?" Xanatos asked. "How?"
"Apparently sir, he appeared in the swimming pool."
Goliath stepped forward. "Who is it?"
A figure stepped through the doorway behind Owen. "Good to see you again my friend."
The rest of the night and most of the day involved Talon flying the chopped through the mountains of Romania. Delphi had given very specific directions on where they were to go, but very little on what they would actually be doing. Only that Sevarius was there and that someone needed their help.
Delphi had explained, "The crystal is both a blessing and a curse. It allows me access to possible futures, but the future can change is not played out exactly right. And then I would have to spend long hours tracing the new possibilities, during which I am essentially blind. And the new futures often contain outcomes that are unpleasant."
Maggie explained it better. "Remember 'Back to the Future'?"
"Oh," Derek said. "So basically it's like time travel. That whole butterfly effect thing."
Finally he landed where he was told, on a flat mountain some miles away from the place Sevarius was supposedly holed up. But it was still daylight so he and Maggie had decided to get some sleep themselves, curled up together in the front seat. Their DNA had been mixed with tropical cats, a jaguar and a lion. "Too bad Claw isn't here. Tigers are good with cold."
Talon grinned at Maggie. "Have I mentioned how much I hate magic?"
"Really? Because personally I hate science," she said looking ay her paws and flexing her wings. "Quite a lot."
They woke up at sunset to the sound of breaking stone and gargoyle roars. Talon stretched and then opened the back of the helicopter to look inside. Lex was already opening the side doors. "Ready to go?"
"As I'll ever be," Talon said. He glanced at Maggie. "You should stay here and guard-"
She growled at him. "Forget it. I'm coming. If the helicopter gets blown up…" She grinned. "It belongs to Xanatos."
Talon sighed. "Fine." He looked at Delphi. "You're the fortune teller. Lead the way."
Elisa woke up at eight in a strange bed and Cagney curled up on her belly. From the height of the sun she guessed it was around noon. It took a second for her to remember where she was. "I never imagined living under the same roof as Xanatos." Though admittedly she did spend a lot of time in the castle anyway. She waited a while, until she finally had to use the bathroom and reluctantly brushed the cat off. He went to eat from a gold dish of what looked like caviar.
Elisa cleaned up and got into her clothes. Xanatos had taken everything from her apartment and moved it into the room. Including her thirty identical black t-shirts.
Out in the hall she passed Owen. "On your way out detective?"
"I have to talk to. I still have the day off, but something tells me my boss is going to want to talk to me. Besides, I really need to tell my family where I'm staying."
"They may indeed be worried."
Elisa smiled. "Actually I was thinking of it as a precaution incase I disappear. Keep in mind except for the gargoyles nobody under this roof has my complete trust."
Elisa looked around. "This place is quiet during the day."
"Mr. Xanatos and his family have always been night people. The last few years especially."
'I feel sorry for Alex when he gets older. School is going to be hard."
"Would you like something to eat before you go?"
She shook her head. "I'll swing by a drive through."
"Before you go there is someone here who wishes to speak with you."
Elisa sighed. "Who?"
Someone stepped into the room. "I was going to wait until you were properly taken care of."
Elisa looked at the figure. It took her a moment to recognize him. When she did she dropped to one knee. "King Arthur. It's been a while." She looked him over. "Nice suit."
"Please Elisa, rise," he said. She did. Arthur was dressed in what looked like a very expensive suit. Xanatos had probably had it made for him.
"I don't mean to be rude," Elisa said. "But in the past you've only shown up with bad news."
"That depends," Arthur said. "This time I come with more of an offer." He glanced at Owen who nodded and left the room. "Elisa you know my situation. I am the immortal king bound to Avalon to quest and protect the world. I was chosen for the great deeds I accomplished."
Elisa nodded and grinned. "I've heard. Searched for the grail, united England, fought your evil sorceress sister…"
"Well much of it was exaggerated and changed by the French," he said. "But the point is that I am now in a position to give up my title. If I wish it Avalon is willing to release me from my obligations and allow me to live out the rest of my life as a normal man."
"That's great… right?"
He nodded. "Yes. But there are requirements. First of all I must truly desire my freedom and be willing to give up my immortality and duty to the world." He looked down at himself in the shiny floor. "After fifteen hundred years I find that I am finally willing to lay down my sword."
Elisa reached out and touched his shoulder. "If anyone has earned it your majesty, it's you."
He sighed. "It is my choice regardless. And that of my knights. In their dreams they have told me that they wish to be free along with me. Free from the sleep of Avalon where they have waited since times long gone to protect the world. But that brings me to the second requirement. I have to pass on my duty to new heroes. People touched by the power of Avalon and whose exploits exceed my own." He looked Elisa in the eyes. "I wish to pass it on to you and Goliath."
Elisa's heart jumped in her chest. "Us? But… why?"
He raised an eyebrow. "Elisa, I united a single kingdom. You and Goliath have repeatedly saved this city and at times the entire world. You've faced down evil sorcerers, gods, and monsters. The last time you traveled the world with Avalon's magic you went to kingdoms far beyond my experience and performed deeds which have put mine to shame."
Elisa said, "Come on that's not…" She stopped under his gaze. Instead she looked away. "So what? You want us to take your place?"
"Yes," he said. "I can not and will not force you. But you and Goliath are the only ones I know who could set me and my people free."
Elisa flinched. "Ooo, right in the guilt." She looked up at him. "I don't… I can't think about this now."
"Goliath said something similar. That he would have to talk to you before he said anything." He bowed to her. "And for tonight I believe you have plans." He yawned. "I am tired, I think I should sleep now." He chuckled. "Fifteen hundred years and I am still capable of being tired." He turned and walked out of the room.
"Jalapeno." Elisa ran her hand through her hair. "Don't think about this now Elisa. Just take care of your current problems. Goliath and I can talk later." She headed for the front door.
"There she is!"
Elisa looked up and saw a dozen people currently spray painting and keying the side of her car. They looked to be different people from different walks of life. All they had in common was the look of pure hatred on their faces.
"Gargoyle loving freak!" They started throwing things at her.
Elisa ducked. "Hey cut it out! I'm a police officer!"
"Slut!" They started towards her. A glass bottle glanced off her shoulder.
Suddenly a limo drove up and the back door opened. "Detective, quick, in here!"
Elisa did not have time to think. Several of the people had knives out. She turned and jumped into the car. It took off while she was sitting up in the seat. When she saw who was sitting across from her she stiffened up. "Oh no…"
Demona, in human form, smiled broadly. "Afternoon Elisa." Elisa started reaching for her gun. "Please. There's no need for that and we both know it would not work anyway."
Elisa let the gun go. "What do you want Demona? Something tells me you aren't helping me out of the goodness of your heart."
"Of course not," she said. "I'm merely dragging this whole thing out." Her eyes narrowed. "I despise you Elisa. So I think I'll enjoy watching your life crumble around you."
Elisa smirked. "Another plan down the drain huh?" She leaned forward. "So I lost a crummy apartment and a fifty year old car. So what? I have a great boyfriend…" Demona flinched. "And even if I lose my job, at least I did the best I could. If I cared what other people thought I would not be with Goliath in the first place."
"You say that now," Demona said. "But keep in mind that I was there during the last few hundred years. Your own parents can tell you about times when different kinds of humans were not allowed to date each other. You think this won't eventually break you?"
"Never," Elisa said. She shouted. "Hey driver, drop me off at the police station!"
Demona shrugged. "Maybe it will or won't."
"Demona incase you haven't noticed you are never right. And you never seem to learn from your mistakes." She shook her head. "Everything you do always blows up in your face."
Demona snarled, "So what?" A nasty grin spread across her face. "I can fail a hundred thousand times and still in the end I'll win Elisa. You know why? Because you're mortal. Even if I don't kill you, you'll age and die. And you'll do it years before Goliath. But either way I'll have the pleasure of watching your skin wrinkle, your joints swell, and your mind go as you slip deeper and deeper into senility." The limo stopped and Demona opened the door. "Have a nice day Detective."
Elisa got out and the car drove off. She was outside the precinct where she worked. Eyes forward she walked inside.
Talon and the gargoyles arrived at Sevarius's lab and looked around carefully. "Strange."
"What?" Brooklyn asked.
"Well usually Sevarius set's himself up with major security systems. Lasers, minefields, and security doors."
Lexington nodded. "You have a point." The old abandoned castle was obviously hooked up with electricity, phones, and satellite TV.
Delphi said, "It is not his lab. He stole it from the rightful owner."
Maggie said, "When?"
"About a week ago. And most of his work since then has been on the lab's rightful owner."
"Is he mutating them?" Talon asked.
"Not yet," she said.
"Only a matter of time." They all froze. None of them had spoken that last sentence. "So nice to have visitors." They turned and saw Thailog standing there, a large laser rifle in his hand. "Don't move-" He was interrupted by a whip-like crack and Delphi's tail lashed across his face cutting it open. "Gah!"
The gargoyles and mutates jumped up and scattered, then each jumped at Thailog. Delphi took out the gun but Thailog jumped into the air and landed with his claws in the rock above them.
"Scum," Lex muttered.
"True," he admitted, licking the blood off his face. "And who is this pretty lady?"
Delphi sneered at him. "None of your business."
"For a two year old," Talon snarled. "You are a pain in the butt. I take it you're working with Sevarius?"
"Precocious little scamp, aren't I? Daddy Anton is actually working for me again," Thailog said. "We have a new little friend and I don't need you interfering." He jumped directly at Brooklyn. Which was when Delphi coldly brought a rock down on his head.
She smiled at the others. "Now that this annoyance is taken care of, let us be on our way." She slithered right past them.
"She's scary," Maggie whispered.
Brooklyn smiled. "Yeah." Lex rolled his eyes and they followed behind.
Captain Chavez looked over her desk at Elisa. Elisa looked back steadily. "Anything to say for yourself?"
"What do you want to hear?"
Chavez sighed and sat back in her chair. "So far today I've had a thousand calls come in asking for your badge, mine, and half this precinct."
"They can't do that," Elisa said calmly. "I haven't done anything wrong."
"Not wrong?" She threw a newspaper on the table. It showed Elisa and Goliath through her living room window kissing. "What do you call that? Elisa you and Bluestone are in charge of the gargoyle taskforce!"
"So now we're profiling?" Elisa asked.
"My job, as it was outlined to me, involves public safety from gargoyles. Goliath, who has been through the system if you recall, is not a threat. His clan are not threats. In fact I know every dangerous gargoyle on Earth and have been doing my best to catch them."
"You honestly think that'll save your job?"
Elisa shook her head. "Probably not. But it should be good for the rest of you."
Chavez frowned. "This is going to open up a whole can of worms either way." She leaned across her desk. "You seem pretty calm about all this Elisa. I thought this job meant something to you."
"It does. You know that." She smiled and picked up the paper. "Some things are just more important. Trust me, compared to what I've been through the last three years this is not anywhere near the top of my list of things to worry about. In fact it's kind of a relief to have it out in the open."
Chavez said, "Elisa, just tell me what's really been going on."
"I'm not sure I should," Elisa said. "Not if you ever want to sleep again." Chavez waited patiently. "Look Captain, in the last three years I've been in fights with things out of nightmares and helped save this city and the rest of the world a few times. You have no clue."
"So tell me."
Elisa said, "Fine. But I warned you." She paused and looked around. Outside the office there seemed to be an awful lot of cops close to the door. "Actually, on second thought why don't we do this somewhere a little more private?" She stood up and said, "Meet me at five at Xanatos's castle. Bring Morgan too. We're having a party and you'll need a date."
"Maza," Chavez said. "Stop! Get back here."
"Sorry boss," she said. "It's still my day off."
Talon and the others landed on the roof and made their way inside quickly. As Delphi said there was no sign of a security system. They moved silently, only the occasional click of claws on the stone floor. Delphi led them through a maze of ancient rooms and hallways.
"This place is big," Talon said.
Delphi said, "It used to belong to a king hundreds of years ago, but he built it too far into the mountains. He was so concerned with protection that he forgot to think of supply lines. The castle was abandoned shortly after."
"I hear something," Brooklyn said.
"Sounds like electrical equipment," Lex whispered. They eased forward quietly and quickly until Delphi told them to stop and they peeked around the corner.
Anton Sevarius was indeed in the room. He was working on a computer panel in a room full of high tech equipment. He was talking to himself. "Amazing. This genetic information is amazing my dear. You are possibly my greatest specimen ever."
A roar that shook the castle answered him. The gargoyles and mutates turned and goggled at Sevarius's "specimen". She was a gargoyle. At least that was Talon's best guess. She was orange with two huge bull-like horns coming out of the side of her head. She was at least twice the size of Goliath, almost sixteen feet tall and covered with thick scales and no hair. She had the body of a female bodybuilder and claws. She was definitely female. It looked like she had dressed herself by cutting a hole in a sheet and sticking her head through so that it hung down over her front and was held in place by a huge belt. She was chained inside a cage, her feet and hands manacled to the floor with what looked like the kind of chains used for boat anchors. She was also wrapped in more chains to hold down her wings and tail.
"Wow…" Lex said.
Maggie asked, "Is anyone else flashing back to Night on Bald Mountain?"
Sevarius looked up. "Who is there?" He turned, pulling out a huge gun. Without warning Lexington threw himself into the room, running across the floor like a lizard. Sevarius recognized him and raised the gun. "You! How did you find me?"
Brooklyn let out a horrible cry and leapt across the room. Sevarius was distracted enough to miss with his first shot. They were almost on him when Thailog burst through the window. "I don't like being hit." He jumped on Brooklyn, pushing him to the ground. Talon and Maggie jumped forward. Lex was frozen in Sevarius's sights.
Suddenly there was a loud beeping sound like someone dialing a phone. Everyone turned towards the cage where Delphi was entering the pass code to open it up. As the door clicked open she looked at them innocently. "Sorry, was I not supposed to do that?"
"How could you possibly know the pass-" Sevarius began. But Lex took advantage of his distraction and jumped him, slicing through the gun with his claws. Talon and Maggie grabbed Thailog, pulling him off Brooklyn who kicked the larger gargoyle in the stomach.
"Sevarius what is going on?" Thailog snarled, his wings spreading wide and knocking Talon and Maggie back. He turned and sneered at them. "Filthy mutates!" Then he ducked as both of them shot lightning from their claws at him. "So if you're here where is my father?"
"Goliath is too busy to deal with you," Brooklyn said, jumping at him.
Thailog snarled as the smaller gargoyle's claws cut his stomach, but brought his fists down on Brooklyn's back, knocking him to the floor. Then he raised his foot. "I'll crush your skull." Then he rose up into the air, a claw big enough to palm a car wrapped around his head.
"I think not," said a deeply accented female voice. And then he went flying back out of the window. "Get out of my castle!"
Sevarius, trapped under Lexington, said, "I won't lose to you again! Self destruct code seven nine three, activate!" On the screens around them a countdown began.
"I suggest we leave," Delphi said. She picked up Brooklyn who was groaning. "Come on hot shot."
"But my home…" the giant gargoyle began.
Lexington landed on her shoulder, looking like a parrot. "Come on, we have to go." They noticed Sevarius running out of the room too.
Reluctantly she nodded and followed the rest of them out of the castle. Three seconds later there was an explosion which sent rock and electrical equipment flying. She and Lex, the last ones to leave, were both pummeled by flying rubble and tumbled out of the sky together, landing in the snow.
Brooklyn and the others turned around and landed nearby. "Lex! Are you alright?"
"Fine," the little gargoyle mumbled into the snow. "Not like we've never been blown up before." He got shakily up to his hands and feet. "How's she doing?"
"Am fine," the giant mumbled. She sat up, wincing as she did so. "Broken wing and a couple of ribs. Not a problem. Will heal."
"Wish we had those healing abilities," Maggie said.
Talon shrugged. "At least we aren't lawn sculptures half the day." He looked at the giant gargoyle. "Are you sure you're okay."
She was looking at them strangely. "Yes. But one thing. Who are you?" She looked around and then her eyes focused on Lex. "Wait I know you. You are the gargoyles from Manhattan." She smiled at him, showing off a lot of big pointed teeth. He smiled nervously back. "And you are being the cute one. Am big fan."
"You.. you are?"
"Oh yes," she purred, leaning towards him. "Very much so. I am Olga. And you are?" Lex blushed, told her his name, and noticed the others grinning at him. She noticed too and stood up, towering over them. "So what you doing all here?"
"We uh… we came to…"
"We're inviting you to a party," Delphi said. She looked at Derek. "And if we hurry, we might still make it to New York before the night ends."
Derek frowned at her. "First Romania and now back to Manhattan. Man you're pushy."
"Deal with it," she said. Reaching out she put a hand on Brooklyn's shoulder. "Unless of course you think you still need to go to Japan."
He smiled and said, "Uh, not really…" He looked at Lex who was still focused on Olga.
"Party?" Olga said. She bent down and picked Lex up. "I need date, yes?"
"Uh…" Lex began. He decided to change the subject. "Was.. .was that really your lab?"
Olga sighed and looked back at the smoking crater. "Was yes. Built it myself."
"It looked pretty good," Lex said.
She smiled. "You really think so?"
"What was it for?" Maggie asked.
Delphi said, "Olga here is from an ancient clan of gargoyles, from before mankind. One day as a child while she was asleep she was trapped in a glacier. She woke up some years ago in this new world with no idea what she was."
"How you know that?" Olga asked, looking shocked.
Delphi ignored her. "The equipment was because she grew up alone and wanted to find out why she never seemed to be awake during the day. When she read online about you and the clan in Manhattan she began investigating you. Her constant searches into gargoyles and her obvious power uses led Sevarius and Thailog right to her."
Olga stepped forward and asked in a low growling voice, "Are you with them? How do you know this?"
"Magic," Delphi said.
Olga suddenly laughed. "That funny. You believe in tooth fairy too?"
"You don't believe in magic?" Brooklyn asked.
"Of course not. Superstitious mumbo gumbo," she said waving it off.
Talon said, "I get it. You believe there's a logical scientific explanation for everything." Olga nodded. "Boy are you in for a surprise."
"What do you mean?"
"I think we should let Lex explain it on the way back to the helicopter," Maggie said, looking at the Eastern sky.
Derek nodded and rubbed his arms. "Good point. It's way too cold out here and I don't want to have to try dragging four stone statues through the snow." He looked up at Olga. "And since we're starting low it's going to be a long walk back to the chopper."
Olga frowned. "No, I need to look over lab. See if any can be saved."
"We need to go," Delphi said.
"You telling me what to do little twinkle fairy monster?" Olga asked, looking down at her with a sneer.
Derek reached out and touched her shoulder, zapping her. She yelled out as her arm went numb. "We have to go!"
"What did you do to…"
"Olga," Lex interrupted. "Listen. If we stick around here Thailog will heal up the same as us and he's probably got more weapons." Lex shook his head. "He and Sevarius did not get out here by accident and if he's still alive chances are Sevarius will be waiting for us to turn to stone so he can come back and finish us off easily."
"But my…" She looked back at the castle.
Lexington said, "If it helps, I have access to a really advanced robotics and genetics lab back in New York."
Her eyes twinkled. "Really?" He nodded. She grinned. "Okay then, let us be going."
Brooklyn grinned at Lex. "You have a heck of a way with the ladies."
"It's a skill."
Elisa was waiting for Chavez and Morgan when they showed up at Xanatos's skyscraper. Of course they had arrived just after another guest who was being greeted by Owen. Morgan said, "Isn't that Lennox Mac Duff, the man from television who is always defending the gargoyles?"
Mac Beth smiled and turned to them. "Elisa, I take it these are some friends of yours?"
"Yes," Elisa said. "Officer Morgan, Captain Chavez, allow me to introduce you."
"A pleasure," he said kissing Chavez's hand. Despite herself the detective blushed.
"What are you doing here?" She asked.
"I am here visiting with friends tonight." He glanced at Owen and grinned. "Owen and I for example used to have a mutual acquaintance."
"They're both in Shakespeare," Elisa said.
"Really?" Morgan asked. "What parts did you play?"
Owen and Mac Beth shared a grin. He said, "I was in the Scottish play and Owen played Puck."
Chavez looked at Owen's unmoving face. "You played Puck?"
"I have a very Puckish side," he said seriously. Chavez and Morgan were confused when Elisa and Mac Beth laughed at that.
"Elisa, you said you would explain things if we came here."
Morgan said, "Yeah Elisa, what's up? The things they're saying on the news…"
"If you'll all follow me. The other guests are upstairs." Elisa and Mac Beth did and the others had no choice but to follow them to the elevator.
When they got off Chavez felt under dressed. Xanatos was in a suit. A smaller one had been specially tailored for his son who rested in Fox's arms. Around them were other friends of theirs. Elisa's parents and her sister Beth. King Arthur, though Chavez and Morgan obviously had no idea who he was. Arthur was talking with Xanatos's father.
But Chavez's attention was immediately drawn to the group of homeless people and the giant bat-winged tiger-man standing in their center talking to Hudson's blind friend Robbins. She gasped, "Oh my god… is that a gargoyle?"
Elisa looked. "No, that's a mutate. Long story, but basically he used to be human."
'Like that Wolf guy from the Pack?" Morgan asked. Elisa nodded remembering that they had arrested him several times.
"Yeah. Weird world we live in," Elisa said.
"No kidding," Morgan said.
Chavez cleared her throat. "Elisa you said you were going to explain things to me. I've been more than patient."
She was interrupted as Xanatos arrived with Owen. "Elisa I see your guests are here. I have some good news." He reached into his pocket and pulled out a small hand held television set. "I've managed to get some help for your situation." He turned up the volume. It was on a news program.
"Isn't that Dingo?" Elisa asked. Xanatos shushed her and she listened as the announcer interviewed him. He was still wearing the high tech silver armor that was the Matrix.
"Yeah well the gargoyles and I had our problems as everyone knows. But we put all that behind us."
The screen chanced to a scene from Japan and an American man in a suit just called Vinnie. "Yeah well I've met a few gargoyles you know? And they're all like, you know, regular people. Just with wings and things."
The scene switched to Ireland and a familiar young man. "Goliath and Miss Maza helped me fight a banshee…"
"Stopped Anubis the god of death from killing everyone on the planet…"
It kept going on like that. Scenes from around the world. People Elisa and Goliath had helped all giving interviews. Xanatos turned it off and said, "When they heard you were in trouble a lot of people came forward to take your side."
Elisa smiled. "Something tells me it isn't doing that much good."
"Not yet," he admitted, "But it's a start." He glanced at the other guests. "Mac Beth, good to see you."
"Xanatos," Mac Beth said and nodded.
"And you must be Elisa's guests Chavez and Morgan." He shook their hands. "Welcome to my home."
"Uh, thanks," Chavez said.
"Nice place," Morgan said. "At least the parts that haven't crashed down to the street level over the last few years."
"It is a bit of a hassle," Xanatos said. He looked at Elisa. "By the way, I brought up a few friends from down below." He pointed to the strange statues ringing the tower.
Elisa noticed there were more than she was expecting. "Delilah and the clones?"
"Well they are family," Xanatos said. Suddenly his watch beeped. "Oops! Only five more minutes until sunset." He moved towards the middle of the turret.
Elisa's family came over. Her mother said, "Elisa are you okay?"
"My friends at the department told me what happened to your place," her father said.
Beth added, "If you need someplace to crash there's always my place."
Elisa smiled and hugged them. "Thanks guys, but I'm fine." She looked at her parents. "You aren't angry are you?"
Her father said, "You know better than that. We've always supported your decisions Elisa."
"And this is no different," her mother added.
"Thanks mom," Elisa said.
Before Chavez could ask any more questions Xanatos raised his voice. "The rest of our guests will be arriving soon. I just wanted to take this opportunity to thank you all for coming on behalf of myself, my son, and my wife." Fox stood next to him with the baby looking proud. "I know we've all had our differences…" Elisa snorted loudly. "but I'm glad to say that thanks to our friends we've put them all behind us and started what you could call a family. Or a clan. And to that end we have all met here." He raised a glass. "To our clan!"
"Our clan," everyone said, even those without drinks. Chavez and Morgan looked lost.
"And now…" He nodded to Owen who hit a button on a large stereo. It began playing a song, "When the sun goes down…" And then the sun set.
A loud cracking filled the air. Chavez and Morgan both turned, gasping as the gargoyle statues around the area began to break apart, pieces falling off. The gargoyles exploded around them, roaring to the heavens. Both cops reached for their guns. Elisa reached out and stopped them, shaking her head. Slowly they both released their weapons at the gargoyles stretched and shook the last bits of stone off their bodies.
Morgan noticed Bronx and said, "Am I the only one getting flashbacks from Ghostbusters?"
"Are you the Gatekeeper?" Elisa asked. Morgan, over the initial shock, laughed.
Chavez looked around as the gargoyles hopped from their perches and landed among the people. "Oh my god." Elisa walked over to Goliath and jumped up to put her arms around his neck and kissed him. Chavez's jaw hung open.
Morgan looked at Elisa's father. "So you guys knew about this?"
"Nope," he said seriously.
"Complete shock," his wife added.
Beth said, "No clue at all." Then they all laughed.
Chavez rubbed her head, "I'm getting a headache."
"Hey guys," Broadway and Angela said, walking over. Broadway smiled and said, "I haven't seen you in a while." He looked at the two cops. "Who are your friends?"
"You… you really can talk?" Chavez said.
Hudson came up behind her. When he spoke she jumped. "Nay lass. We can't speak of word."
Chavez blushed red. "Sorry." Elisa and Goliath had come over now too. "So Elisa, these are your friends?"
"Family," Xanatos said, joining them.
"No," Elisa said.
"Actually yes, we are." Everyone looked at Xanatos. "See that gargoyle over there?" They turned and saw Delilah talking with Mac Beth.
"She looks like you," Morgan said to Elisa.
"She should," Elisa said. "She's kind of… my little sister?"
"Something like that," Xanatos said. "See she's a clone of Elisa here and Angela's mother."
Angela shrugged. "We're both just glad insanity isn't genetic."
"And since Angela is also Goliath's daughter…" Xanatos continued. "And since he and I are related through our clone Thailog…"
"I get it," Elisa said.
"Clones?" Chavez pressed.
"Among other things," Elisa said. "Notice how Broadway and Hudson here both look like those two?" She motioned to where the other clones were eating by shoving food in their mouths. Then she paused. "So does that mean I'm related to Oberon too?"
"Technically," Xanatos said.
"Makes me wonder how his promise to the clan stands," Elisa said.
Goliath said, "It does raise certain points."
Xanatos said, "The way Owen tells it, Oberon's decrees are usually open to interpretation. His kind honor the letter of a promise not the spirit."
"Oberon?" Morgan asked.
"King of the elves," Elisa said. "More or less."
Chavez blinked. "Elves?"
"Remember a few months back when everyone in the city suddenly went to sleep?" Xanatos asked. "I know you've seen the security footage. Anyway Oberon was in the middle of trying to take my son, his step-grandson, from us."
"That's nothing," Elisa said. "Remember the time Puck turned everyone in the city into gargoyles?"
"That was Demona's doing, technically," Owen said.
"And she's also the one who turned all the humans to stone at night," Broadway added.
Suddenly a scream filled the air and a dark shape flew overhead. "Did somebody call me?" They all turned and saw Demona flying over their heads. She was wielding a bazooka.
"Demona, what are you doing here?" Elisa asked.
"All my favorite people in one place at the same time?" She began flying backwards, taking aim with the bazooka. "How could I resist?"
Elisa began reaching for her gun. Goliath and the gargoyles spread their wings. But then they noticed a loud beeping sound from Xanatos's pocket. Like when you activate the alarm on a car. They hesitated and Demona fired.
The missile from the bazooka exploded in her face and she screamed, tumbling under the blast of fire. Elisa and the gargoyles rushed to the edge of the roof to watch her fall. Xanatos said to Morgan, "Well we still have the force field from Oberon's attack. I also included a laser grid to vaporize falling rubble."
"This happen a lot?" Morgan asked, noticing that nobody was really responding to Demona's attack.
"Every time we throw a party," Xanatos said. "At least this time my wife isn't turning into a werewolf…"
"This man's having a heart attack!" Chavez said. Everyone turned and saw her bent over Mac Beth who was groaning on the floor.
"Xanatos," he managed to groan out, clearly in pain. "How tall is this building?"
"It's one of the tallest in the city," Fox said.
"Then this is going to hurt-" Suddenly his body tensed up and he fell silent.
Chavez looked around. "Call an ambulance!" She waited. "Why are you all just standing around?"
Suddenly Mac Beth gasped, light shining out of his eyes and mouth. He sat up, hand on his head. He blinked and the light vanished. Then he looked at Goliath. "Why didn't you finish me off?"
Goliath reached out to help him stand up. "Because you are our friend."
"What just happened?" Chavez asked.
"That's another long story," Elisa began. "Let's just say that Shakespeare was not so much a playwright as a biographer."
"And a rather crummy one at that," Mac Beth added.
"What about that… girl?" Morgan asked. "Shouldn't we go after her?"
"No point," Elisa said. She smiled. Her family was over talking to Delilah. Beth and her mom hugged her. Her father shook the gargoyle's hand. She obviously looked shocked with the way Elisa's family was accepting her as one of theirs. She even heard Beth call her, "My new baby sister." They had not had a chance to actually meet before, though both Elisa and Derek had told them about her. Then she turned back to Chavez and Morgan. "She'll be long gone by now. Besides, we'd never be able to hold her."
"Well she's a gargoyle so she could tear out of a jail cell like it was made of paper. Plus when the sun rises she'll turn into a human who happens to be incredibly rich and have a lot of lawyers. On top of that she knows magic and she's immortal."
"Magic?" Morgan asked.
"Immortal?" Chavez asked.
Elisa pointed to Mac Beth. "Ask him. He knows her better than anybody. Right Mac Beth."
"Sad to say, I do," he responded.
Then Owen came forward, "Mr. Xanatos, Talon and the others are arriving. You may want to turn off the force field." The beeping sounded again.
A helicopter came out of the sky, landing on a nearby rooftop on the other end of the castle. It opened and six winged shapes flew out and across to where the party was. They landed nearby. While everyone on the roof was staring in shock at Olga, Lexington riding on her shoulder, Maggie went to say hello to Claw and Talon landed near Elisa. "Hey sis!"
"Derek! How's it going? We're you supposed to be gone a while longer?"
"Things came up," he said and nodded towards the two new female gargoyles being introduced to Angela by Goliath.
"Derek?" Chavez asked.
The mutate turned in surprise. "Hey Captain!"
"What happened to you?"
"Mad scientist," he said simply. "It's a…"
"Long story," Chavez finished for him. "I've been hearing that a lot tonight. I'm in the mood for a long story." She looked at Elisa. "Starting now please."
Elisa smiled and said, "Okay. But remember you asked for it." Goliath came up behind her. "Hey big guy, you mind starting this?" She winked at Derek. "He always tells it better than me."
Goliath cleared his throat and the rest of the guests gathered around to listen. "One thousand years ago superstition and the sword ruled…"
Matt Bluestone stepped out of the elevator. "Sorry I'm late… chief? Uh oh…"
A few hours later Elisa and Goliath were alone, looking out over the city. Her father was telling Morgan about his encounter with Coyote and Chavez was talking to Derek about the Labyrinth. Bronx was sitting near them.
"It's a nice view, isn't it?" Elisa asked.
"Yes. It is," Goliath said. "I remember the first time we saw it. Just after the spell was broken. Suddenly our view from the castle included a finer city than any we could have ever imagined."
"A city we've saved," Elisa said. "And that hates us. Not that I really blame them. Different things scare people."
"I don't regret a minute of it," she said.
They sat quietly for a while. Then she asked, "So, did Arthur tell you what he wants?"
He looked at her. "I have been ripped from my home time and again Elisa. I understand the loneliness that brings. For you this is a first. Your home and things have been taken from you."
"Not really," she said. "Everything I care about is here, just like I told you." She leaned on his arm.
She looked up at him. "What do you think?" Bronx whined.
Suddenly they heard steps behind them. They turned and saw Hudson, Broadway, Angela, Lexington, and Brooklyn standing there. Brooklyn said, "Arthur told us about his offer to you."
"And?" Elisa asked quietly.
Lexington said, "You should take it."
"You think so?" Goliath asked.
"Sure," Brooklyn said. "You know we got along fine without you the last time. Frankly I make a much better leader anyway."
"And it's so creepy, the way you two are dating," Broadway said. "It's enough to put me off my lunch."
"I was fine without a father for a thousand years," Angela said. "I don't really need you now."
All of them had tears in their eyes. Goliath and Elisa smiled. Elisa said, "Well if that's the way you feel…"
"Just get going lad," Hudson said. "We'll see ye again soon enough. I mean how long do ye expect us to stay out of trouble."
"Good point," Goliath said.
Elisa looked down to where Demona had fallen before. "You know we don't want to leave. But… we have responsibilities. We have a few enemies who, if we just stick around, will just wait for us to die. That Viking ghost, Demona, Proteus, the Coyote robot, a few of Oberon's children… and what if next time we're not there to save the world?"
"It's alright Elisa," Angela said. "We understand." Angela moved forward and hugged her. "You'll always be a sister to me."
"Take care of Delilah," Elisa said, hugging her back. "Remember, she's only a kid." All the gargoyles gathered in. When they broke up Elisa and Goliath walked to Arthur. "We're ready to go now."
He nodded. "Right. Oh and I have this for you. A message from a friend." He pulled a piece of wood out of his pocket and handed it to them. It was a carving showing three familiar figures. Gabriel, one of the gargoyles on Avalon. On either side of him stood Coldstone and Coldfire. "They're waiting to see you."
"Steel gargoyles on Avalon," Goliath said.
Elisa said, "I'd love to see what Oberon thinks about that. Lets go." They headed towards the door. Everyone else was too busy talking to notice them leave.
As they walked down the steps towards the pool where Goliath knew the boat was waiting he asked, "Are you sure we shouldn't say goodbye to everyone else?"
"Like they said, we'll see them again," Elisa said. During their last trip they had run into Elisa's entire family.
When they reached the pool there was mist filling the whole room. They could not see the other end. The small wooden boat was waiting for them. Elisa stared at it. Goliath asked, "Are you sure?"
"I'm sure," she said. Behind them something scraped on the floor. They turned and saw Bronx. "So, you coming?" He barked and jumped into the boat. Elisa and Goliath laughed and followed him.
Beth, Elisa's sister, peeked around the corner in time to see the boat disappear into the mist at the other end of the room. She took a deep breath and smiled. "Later sis."
One Thousand Years Ago
The gargoyle who would once be named Demona sat on a rock and frowned. She was just a child, barely a teenager by gargoyle standards. Down below the gargoyle not yet named Goliath was reading a book from the castle library. She looked up at the older gargoyle with her. "Why him? Why not me?"
"Because he is strong and smart," the gargoyle who would be Hudson said. "He is my choice to train to take my place as head of the clan one day."
"But he's a loser! He talks with the humans and acts as if we were equals. We lived here thousands of years before they built this stinking castle. I should be in charge. I would chase the humans away and lead our people as a gargoyle should."
"A gargoyle protects," the old gargoyle said. "And this is why you will never lead this clan." He walked away.
She watched the other young gargoyle and growled. She knew he did not deserve to lead the clan, ever. It was her right.
But… if she could not be chosen, there were other ways. Maybe if she could not lead the clan she could lead him. She had seen how males would make fools of themselves for a female. Human or gargoyle that was the same. So why not use it? He could control the clan and she would control him.
Putting on her nicest smile she spread her wings and flew over to him.
Present Day, ten years after Goliath and Elisa's departure
Hudson's stone body was set up in the park. In the same spot along the jogging trail where Elisa and Goliath had once spent a day avoiding Xanatos's minions. Only Hudson was on a pedestal. It was night and the park was surprisingly full of people and other things all wearing black.
Hudson had turned to stone one day and just… never woken up. It was not a spell this time. Hudson was dead.
Elisa and Goliath were there, standing back from the group. Some of their friends and family had come up to see them. Lex had mentioned that Goliath's left eye was now blue and Elisa's right arm looked surprisingly like Hyena's. She had explained, "It is. But in fairness she took mine first." Lex had not asked any more questions.
"Couldn't I just bring him back?" Alexander, now a young boy, asked. Xanatos looked at Owen.
"Sir, I think this is something a father should explain."
Xanatos put a hand on his son's shoulder. "You knew Hudson son. Do you really think he would want you to?"
"No…" He had tears in his eye. "It's just…"
Fox hugged him, moving his baby sister to another arm. "It's okay son. We know."
Burbank, Hudson's clone, touched the statue. Hudson was in his most ferocious pase, still holding his sword. "Bye dad."
Xanatos had moved the gargoyle here. He would have liked to have kept him in the castle, but that had been destroyed three years before. The gargoyles had moved into the Labyrinth after that.
Chavez and Morgan were there. They were the city's official contacts to the gargoyles. Them and the rest of the former members of the gargoyle taskforce. Nearbye almost a dozen child gargoyles of varying ages stood together along with Beth Maza's sons and a few other children. Their mothers were not far away.
One by one people stood up to say a few words about the deceased.
When they were done people milled around and then slowly began to leave. Daylight was coming and many of them needed to get home. Bronx, Elisa and Goliath had been back several times. They said a quick hello to their friends and then headed back to the lake where their boat waited. Elisa said, "I thought it would take longer. It just seemed so short."
When the last mourner left a figure came out of the trees. It was only a few moments before dawn. Demona walked towards the stone form and looked up at it. "You old fool." She smiled and touched his arm. "If you had just chosen me to lead this clan we all would have been dead long ago. And so much happier." She shook her head. Absently she reached out a claw and scratched a mystical rune into the stone of his arm. It glowed for a moment and then faded. The rune was one of protection. Nothing would ever be able to destroy Hudson's stone form, no matter how many hammers or tools someone took to it. And no other magic would be able to touch him either.
The sun rose. Demona screamed in pain as the transformation took her, leaving her gasping and human in front of the statue. When she had regained her composure she stood up and planeted a small kiss on Hudson's forehead. "Goodbye father." Then she turned and walked away.
What can I say? I'm sentimental. Loved this series and the idea of Goliath and Elisa growing old while their immortal enemies just keep on going doesn't appeal to me. Besides, they saved the world so often away from the city; having them just stay around New York seems to be a waste of talent. Tell me what you think.
Also if you like my writing style, please buy a copy of one of my books.