- Separation Anxiety -
The Demon's Husband, Part I
by Earl T. Allison II
January 28, 1997
Summary: A stranger arrives in New York, and the secret he holds could
impact the Gargoyles and Elisa in ways they never thought possible. They learn
that Demona's hatred may have some grounds in the distant past.
Note: The Gargoyles and their supporting cast are the copyrighted properties
of Disney, Buena Vista Entertainment, and Nelvana 1997. Any characters seen
here that are not a part of the Gargoyles universe are the sole property and
creation of the author. Any similarity to persons living or dead is purely
coincidental. If you would like to use any of my characters, please ask and
let me know what you want to do, I'll probably say OK.
As has been the case with many stories I've seen, this should be rated
PG-13 for violence, language, and some sexual content that you won't
see on the TV show. Forewarned is forearmed, so read on!
For a frame of reference, this occurs slightly after "The Reckoning", but
before the events in "Hunter's Moon".
Special thanks to A Fan for having the patience to read this, to all the other
fanfic writers for giving me the confidence to do this, and all the folks in chat
(Hi!) for making me feel welcome. Well, here goes. All comments, criticisms,
and the like are welcome! I have two or three sequels in the works, let me know
if you'd like to see them, or if I'm wasting my time!
Mark Flyer settled back into his seat, relaxing as the plane prepared
for final descent. It had been several months since he had been in New York.
This would be an excellent time to relax and reflect on the real reasons he had
returned, two very beautiful ones.
It would come as no surprise to most to know that the main reason
Mark was coming back to Manhattan was a woman. His reputation as an
unparalleled test pilot, former secret agent, and highly decorated combat pilot
was eclipsed by his always being seen with a beautiful woman on his arm. The
shock would be just who these women were. Of course, this was nothing he
made public, he often jaunted around like this, so there was nothing unusual
in a trip to New York.
He was a striking figure, standing six feet tall with dark hair and an
athletic build. He was in prime physical condition, usually at ease with those
around him. He was fairly congenial, although he did seem to have some very
strong opinions that seemed to be uncharacteristic. Mark was a very likable
person, someone who tried to help anyone in need, and someone who would
rail against oppression. He had frequently offered his services to organizations
that couldn't afford his usual fees at cut rates because he liked their work. He
also donated heavily to many causes, largely to orphanages and schools,
having a great love of children.
Mark was wealthy, excessively so, but not in such an arrogant way
as a man like Xanatos. Because of his piloting skills and hazardous duty as
an agent, he had earned an impressive amount of money. With the help of
more than one lovely financial planner and accountant, he had turned that
money into a tremendous fortune, one he utilized frequently, but not
The sudden stop brought him back to reality, the plane had
landed. He sighed to himself, rising and exiting the plane, dreading
the inevitable moment when the press would descend. It came soon
enough. "Mister Flyer! Mister Flyer! Why have you returned to
Manhattan?" one shouted. Another more bold reporter, a redhead
with striking green eyes, pressed forward, holding a small tape recorder,
"Mister Flyer, who have you come to visit now? Are you going to continue
to bring suit against Xanatos Aeronautics?" she inquired in a heavy, almost
comical French accent.
Gods, but this woman was striking, he thought to himself. She was
drop-dead gorgeous, but somehow hauntingly familiar. Oh well, there was
no time for that now. He made a quick statement, mentioning his desire to
settle down and enjoy the retirement he had coming, that he had no intention
to renew hostilities over old wounds. At his age, to most this would seem
incredible, but it was well known how hard Mark had worked, and just how
prestigious he had become.
It was also common knowledge that Mark Flyer held a grudge
against Xanatos Aeronautics and its' owner, David Xanatos. Over three
years ago, while still working as a test pilot, Mark had tested the XA-917,
an all-terrain multipurpose fighter, and found it severely flawed. The
design was continued without the improvements he suggested, and a
younger, less skilled pilot was killed because of the flaws Mark had noted.
Xanatos had bought the family's silence, Mark's testimony was shelved,
and an unsafe fighter was produced for government usage. Xanatos was
never held liable for anything, and after the initial waves Mark created
died down, the issue was forgotten. Mark had never forgiven the
industrialist for that. In and of itself, the flaw was understandable,
but to ignore it despite expert testimony, and to allow others to be
killed by a completely preventable, inexpensive design flaw was not.
Even all this could have been forgiven, but for the arrogant, almost
smug attitude Xanatos seemed to hold, that with enough money, one
could do or own anything or anyone. Mark knew from painful experience
that some things were beyond anyone's control, despite the power they
He found the sleek red sports car in his reserved spot, just where
he had asked airport personnel to leave it. After loading on his gear, he
pulled out of the lot and headed for home. Home for Mark was the top
floor of the Manhattan Arms Hotel. He lived in a lavish penthouse
suite complete with open-air terrace, sliding glass doors, a small library,
working kitchen, master and guest bedrooms, luxurious living room and
a dining area. It was extremely spacious, with a commanding view of the
Upon entering the lobby he was met by a familiar sight, a balding
man in his mid-fifties in a spotless business suit approaching. The man's
name was Robert Cromwell, the manager of this hotel, and a dependable,
detail-oriented person. "Mister Flyer, everything has been cleaned and
your kitchen has been stocked as per your instructions. I hope everything
is to your liking, sir. As always, our staff is at your disposal.", Robert
reported. It was the same speech he always gave when Mark returned.
"Not to worry Robert," he replied, "I'm sure you've done the fine job you
always have. Please feel free to add in any additional expenses for the rush job.".
"O-Of course sir. Thank you.", stammered Robert. Mark chuckled to himself,
people are always uncomfortable around people like me, assuming I'll be an
ogre if things aren't just so. Well, he was never one for putting on airs. A
few decades ruling as lord of a medieval Scottish castle had taught him the
value of loyalty through trust and goodwill rather than social status and power.
He headed to the private elevator, which was, other than the stairs,
the only way, he corrected himself, the only human way, to enter his living
quarters. Of course, with over a hundred stories, the elevator was the only sane
way in. As the doors slid open, he walked down a short hallway to his door,
unlocked it, and entered. Robert had not lied, everything was immaculate.
Not a thing was out of place. The terrace doors were crystal-clear, the
kitchen not only stocked but neatly organized, the beds made, and
everything in its' place.
Mark made his way to the large bookcase in the library and
pulled out a worn text by William Shakespeare, containing drafts of many
of his plays, among them, the infamous MacBeth. A secret mechanism
was triggered, and the entire case slid away to reveal a large secret room.
After a quick scan to make sure nothing had been moved or taken, he
relaxed, picking up a small glass case with a single item, a solid gold
wedding band, with two hearts entwined. An antiques appraiser would
date the ring at the late 10th century, possibly the early 11th, and the value
would be staggering. It was one of the things he liked to look at often, and
remember happier times...
The year was 1057 AD. The location was Scotland, in the moors late
at night. Mark MacDonald trudged through the muck and mire, torch held high,
almost oblivious to the darkened terrain. He was a warrior seeking his fortunes,
as so many in this time were. Armed with only a sharp blade and his wits,
nothing about this scruffy, dark-haired man seemed to distinguish him from
any of his ilk. His status was negligible, and he had fought in no great wars.
The English had been driven off soon after the fall of Castle Moray, only to
return later in greater numbers to oppress his people once more.
The silence of the night was broken by a loud scream, more animal
than human. The cry was similar to one a wildcat would make, a piercing shriek.
Soon Mark heard another scream and the clash of weapons. He quickened his
pace, thoughts racing through his head. From the stories his mother told him
while he was a child, only one creature sounded like that, a gargoyle!
Mark crashed through the underbrush, swamp giving way to woods,
the unmistakable sound of battle becoming louder as he advanced. As he
finally arrived, a strange sight greeted him. In a small clearing he saw a blue-
skinned gargoyle female with flame-red hair facing off against three brigands.
Four more lay dead by the fire she must have set for her food, all showing
injuries from the wickedly spiked mace she was swinging. She turned to face
him, eyes a hellish red in the flickering firelight, and then she was struck down,
screaming her pain, looking more angry than before. She then collapsed to the
ground, dead. "Our thanks to ye, lad. We couldna ha' taken her without ye"
one said, reaching toward the fallen gargoyle, no doubt to strip her of her golden
The man never knew what hit him. He fell to the ground, dead. Mark's
sword had run him through, and now he was assuming a fighting stance to deal
with the remaining thieves. "You *murdered* her! The last of her kind, and you
butchered her! She will have VENGEANCE!!" he screamed, leaping forward.
The final brigands tried to defend themselves, but he cut through them like a
scythe cutting down wheat, striking them down in a matter of seconds.
Mark fell to his knees, as if injured himself. "Poor lass" he whispered,
running his hand against her cheek, still warm, from the fire, he guessed. "Ye're
the last, and now Ye're gone, o'er some golden baubles!". She was beautiful,
even in death, like some bizarre angel of the night. "Why did she have to die!!"
Mark cried to the uncaring sky. "I'd give anything to see her breathe again, for
her to live again." he said more quietly. "She was the *last* of her kind, and now
That moment was one of the most important in his life, as he would come
to realize later. A cold wind blew past him, and in its' wake stood three old, wrinkled
crones in robes. "What would you have to offer?" spoke one. "To seal this pact
we need something. What do you give?" another asked. "Nothing." he replied.
"I have naught but my life to give, and I would give it gladly to see her live again".
"The bargain is made, now let the pact be sealed" spoke the final witch.
Then all three encircled them, the warrior and the fallen gargoyle, and began to
chant in rhyme. Those words had been burned into his memories as if with a
OUR MYSTIC PACT WE DO AMEND
THAT THIS GARGOYLE'S LIFE SHALL NOT END
WE BIND YOUR LIFE UNTO HER OWN
NOW GO FORTH TO REAP WHAT YOU HAVE SOWN
The next verses were barely a whisper, something he didn't hear or recall until years later.
TO USE THIS MAN TO SERVE OUR NEEDS
IS OF NO CONSEQUENCE DESPITE HIS DEEDS
HE SHALL NOT FEEL THIS CHILD'S PAIN
TO DO SO WOULD REDUCE OUR GAIN
THE GARGOYLE'S LIFE MUST BE PRESERVED
AND THUS IS OUR VENGEANCE RESERVED
With the final word, there was a clap of thunder, bolts of lightning struck all
around them, and the three crones had disappeared. Then came a soft moan from the
gargoyle as she began to stir, her wounds totally healed. In an instant, she had
knocked him over, standing astride him with her mace high above her head, his
sword pinned under one of her great taloned feet.
"Give me one reason to let you live, human!" she spat, uttering the last word
as if it were a curse. As she spoke she raised the mace even higher, preparing for a death
Mark spoke softly, but with conviction "Come now lass, is that any way to talk
to someone who saved ye?".
"WHAT!" she screamed. "How dare you...".
"Look around you, gargoyle. Do you not see the last of your enemy dead at my
hand?" he replied, looking calmer than before.
She looked confused, lowering her weapon. "Why" she looked accusingly,
"would you fight your own kind over a gargoyle? Your kind slaughtered mine, hunted
us down, killed all my kind...". The last was barely a whisper as she turned away,
looking very alone.
Mark didn't know it, but as she turned, offering her back to him, she tensed,
tightening her grip on her weapon, anticipating an attack.
He rose slowly, reaching out hesitantly to touch her shoulder. He found it
smooth to the touch, smooth, supple, and soft, as soft as any human woman. To his
surprise, she pulled away, looking startled and surprised. "You did not attack?" she
questioned, scrutinizing him carefully.
"Of course not, why would I attack a woman as lovely as you?" Mark asked.
This confused her even more. What could this stupid human be talking about. He
sounded like he cared for her, but that was impossible. Humans hated her kind, didn't
they? It didn't matter, she thought. She did owe this one, the last few humans had
died at his hand, that much was clear to her. She owed him a debt, and knew she had
to honor it.
"Human, your kind calls me Demona. It ... seems I owe you a debt. I do not
like your kind, but name your payment and I shall depart." she spat. "I have gold, so
I am sure I can match your price, but do not attempt to cheat me, or you will join this
scum in death!".
"Do that," Mark replied, "and we both die. At least, that's what the witches
said. That we were bound together, while one lives, so does the other".
Demona whirled, her eyes wide. "They said WHAT! Why did they even
arrive, I would have recovered!'. She seemed nearly in a panic now, gripping his
shoulders in a vice-like hold, nearly crushing them.
"Demona, lass, you were dead, run through. I could nae help you, but the
witches came. They asked what I would give to see you live again. I had naught
but my life to offer, and I did!" Mark replied defensively.
"You human fool! Have you any idea what you have done?!" Demona
was livid now. "How can this be? I am linked to MacBeth! Human, what exactly
did these crones say to you?" she demanded.
"First, my name is Mark MacDonald. Second, how was I to know you would recover?"
He then told her the exact words used by the Weird Sisters (although he would not
know them by this name until centuries later).
He couldn't believe himself, Demona looked almost ... worried.
Demona then explained her confusion to him "Human ... er, Mark, I have
already been bewitched by these women. My life is linked to that of another human.
While one of us lives, both live. The only way to end the curse is for one to kill the
other. Now it seems you have been added to our link, but why? More importantly,
why did you help me?".
"I never much cared for brigands, but you were magnificent, the last of your
kind. My life seemed a fair price for the Queen of the Gargoyles to live again. Men are
plentiful, but you are the only gargoyle I have ever seen, lass, and a breathtaking sight
you are too!", Mark replied.
Demona settled visibly, it seemed this human was no real danger. He may be
foolish, but clearly not a threat. "You are right Mark, I am the last of my kind in this world,
and I thank you for your help. Now, what would you ask of me in turn?" she smiled, letting
her mace hang at the thong attached to her wide belt.
"Demona, lass, have you anywhere to go?" he asked, with a hint of concern.
"It'll be sunrise before long, and you'll be stone."
Alarmed, she looked toward the horizon. "Damn! I wasted too much time
with these fools! Speak human, what would you ask of me! I must find shelter soon!".
"This is my price for your life, Demona. By day I shall keep you safe, and
by night, we shall travel together. I have nowhere else to go, and you don't either,
do you?". This last comment had an undertone of concern to it, as if he really
cared about her safety.
"Agreed human, but betray me, and my vengeance will be terrible!' she
replied after careful thought. She thought to herself, this human can't hurt her,
and now, it would seem he too is entwined in her destiny. Besides, unlike MacBeth,
this human had helped her without cause. He had asked for nothing, and had more
than ample time to betray her if he wished. With that, she turned to stone.
Mark's phone rang, and a quick glance told him this was an outside call.
Unusual, only a few people had this private number, most had to call through the
front desk. He decided to take the call "Hello, Mark Flyer here."
"You dog, I didn't know you were in town until I saw it on TV! I have
half a mind not to come see you now."
"Elisa, how are you, you sound terrific!" Mark replied. It was Elisa Maza,
the second beautiful reason he had returned here. For a time, Mark and the
detective were very close, and were almost married. The biggest problem was
her job, he didn't want her to take the kinds of risks that were a part of her job.
Oh well, that was over two years ago, and the two were still good friends,
sometimes more than that. "Drop by about seven, and I'll have dinner
"Sounds great" came the reply, "I can't wait to see you again. You won't
believe what's been going on since you were here last."
Mark hung up the phone and thought to himself, oh yes, there had been
many changes. The biggest change had been to addition of Castle Wyvern to the
top of the Eyrie Building. That could only mean that Goliath and his clan would be
awake and aware here in the 20th century, in modern-day Manhattan.
He triggered the switch again, and went back into his room full of memories.
Exotic sculptures, painting, and jewelry were on the walls, in glass cases, and on
displays. Among the items was a fragment of stone shell, from a gargoyle egg, a
copy of the Grimorum Arcanorum, and even some very unusual looking weapons,
among them an exact duplicate of MacBeth's trademark gun. Mark called it a "lightning
gun", an apt name for a weapon that projects high voltage electricity. While designed
to incapacitate or kill a gargoyle, it had all sorts of uses. There were swords, maces, a
golden drinking cup encrusted with jewels, a "neural paralyzer" pistol (a high-powered
stun gun), tiny marble-like mini-bombs, and other exotic weapons. Around him were
carvings, paintings, and sculptures, all of Demona. From the different styles it was
clear she had been all over the world in the past millennium, and these pieces proved
it. All depicted his estranged wife in one fashion or another.
As he prepared dinner he watched the castle closely at sunset. After careful
scrutiny he saw ... nothing. The gargoyles were either not there or inside, he thought.
It wasn't likely Xanatos or his new bride would invite him over, and there was little to be
gained at this point by sneaking in. They were here, he had seen the newspapers and
heard the reports on television. He knew they were here, and with Demona's old mate
back, he felt she wouldn't be far behind.
Even after all these centuries, he felt a pang of loneliness when he thought of
Demona. She was unlike any woman he had ever known, passionate both in love and
war. Even Elisa, who he had loved with all his heart, paled in comparison to her.
Elisa was running late, she had to get to the gargoyles before they woke up.
If she didn't visit them, they might come looking for her, and she didn't want that.
Racing up the stairs to the clock tower, she arrived as the last rays of sun faded.
"Morning guys" she said cheerily as they burst forth from their stone skins, sending
"Elisa, how are you?" inquired Goliath. He was huge, and deserved his name.
He stood well over six feet and weighed at least a quarter-ton, all of it muscle and sinew.
For all that he was gentle and polite around her, with a hint of something more. "Are you
here for our patrol?"
"No Goliath" Elisa answered, "I'm seeing an old friend, Mark Flyer."
"Not THE Mark Flyer!!! The pilot and spy!" exclaimed Lexington
"Cool, really cool" added Brooklyn
"Who is he?" asked Angela.
"He broke up a smuggling ring in Europe, flies top-secret aircraft, and I hear he
cooks a mean fried chicken besides!" Broadway responded.
"Um, yeah guys, that Mark Flyer. We used to date. Almost got married, but he
got hung up over the badge thing. At least, that's what he said, I think he's afraid of
commitment" Elisa smiled. "I'll get you the recipe Broadway."
"He and Xanatos are not exactly friends, are they Elisa?" Goliath asked. "At least,
that is what the papers have said in the past of him. Something about a plane crash, I believe?"
"Yup, Mark took it really hard when that kid died. Actually, he blamed himself.
Anyway, I came by because he could be a big help for you guys." She pointed towards
a lighted rooftop some distance away. "He lives there, alone. With the things he's done,
I'm sure he'd be as trustworthy as anyone you've met so far. Mark is a man of his word.
I also didn't want you to panic and go looking for me while I was gone." Elisa fidgeted
a bit, "Goliath, I'd kinda like your permission, and the same from the others, to tell him
about you. Of all the people I know, I really think he could understand your
"Elisa, are you certain? You said yourself that it had been a long time." Goliath
was concerned, and with good reason, the last few humans he'd met or trusted had
betrayed him. Hell, he'd even been duped by one of his own, and trust was not an easy
thing for Goliath anymore. His expression softened, "If you feel this human is worthy
of out trust, by all means tell him, but please bring him here. We would all like to meet
such a man."
Elisa smiled, "Sure, I'll bring him by about midnight if I think things are going
well. 'Night, see you later" Elisa waved and descended back towards the street. It
had been a long time, she thought to herself. She hoped he wasn't going to try to
rekindle their relationship, she was having a difficult enough time trying to sort out
all her feelings for Goliath, and the last thing she needed was more complications.
Still, her family liked him well enough, and the two had remained good friends despite
their mutual parting. She tingled with excitement, she felt flattered that a man who
had been in the company of the world's most beautiful women always seemed to
come back to her, an ordinary detective.
Mark was hard at work, after scanning the skies until just after six, he had
determined that any gargoyles that may have been around were clever enough to
stay out of sight. Dinner needed to be ready by 7:30, Elisa was never on time,
even when her life depended on it. He smiled to himself, thinking of Elisa, and
just how much he had missed her. The last time he had even spoken with her
was over a year ago. By that time their romantic relationship had ended, but
they still did things together, dinner, dancing, long walks, and a lot of talking.
Mark would likely never admit it, but her still cared deeply for her.
Elisa rushed into the lobby of the Manhattan Arms. A guard standing
in front of a special elevator, marked 'FOR PRIVATE USE', smiled and stood to
one side as she advanced. "Evening, Ms. Maza" he said cheerily.
She was shocked, this man remembered her after a year! Thinking
quickly, she remembered his name, Scott, no, Alex, no, no, it was Peter. "Thanks
Peter, long time no see." Elisa said.
"Head right up, he's expecting you. Y'know, if you ask me, he's a fool to let
you get away. Maybe you'll have better luck tonight" he replied with a smile.
The doors hissed open, and Elisa stepped inside. There was only one
unmarked button, allowing the elevator to travel from the lobby to the penthouse
and back. She pressed it lightly, and the doors slid shut almost seamlessly. After
a speedy ascent, the doors opened again to reveal the hallway leading to his door.
Gathering her coat around her, she stepped out and knocked at the door.
Mark turned as he heard the knocking, only a quarter past seven? Elisa
was getting better. "Come in, door's open" he shouted. Oh well, at least dinner
was finished, and he had a surprise for dessert. Elisa loved chocolate, he hoped she'd
love the double chocolate cake he had brought. Besides, Elisa had been such a friend
to him, lover and confidant, maybe he should tell her...
"Ok, this is a bust" she said, coming in with a bottle under her arm. She
quickly placed it on the dining table and rushed to greet him, embracing him tightly.
"Oh, how I've missed you, Mark. How are you?"
He embraced her, pressing her tightly to his chest, fleeting memories of
what had once been flitting through his mind. "Hey pretty lady, still trying to get
yourself killed?" he jabbed playfully. He had long since come to terms with Elisa's
occupational hazards. Her father had been a cop, her brother had been a cop too,
although he had since disappeared. It seemed to be in her family's blood. She was
a warrior of the modern age.
"Ha-ha. Don't make me regret buying that champagne." she retorted.
Inwardly she sighed, seeing him again awakened a lot of old memories. More than
once marriage had come up, but Mark always shied away from the subject, something
she almost never saw him do. His hesitance was normal, she supposed. He had no
family of his own, being an orphan. Maybe the prospect of having roots after all his
life frightened him. She found that easier to believe than what he told her, that he felt
she wasn't safe as a cop. Smiling up at him, she asked "So, what did you make for me,
With Mark, the "usual" was fried chicken, a dish he made very well. In fact,
he was famous for serving it to someone for their first meal. "Correct, now, why isn't
there a ring on that lovely finger?" Mark teased.
"Oh, you know, this and that..." she replied. "Actually, there is someone,
but he's a little shy. I, I wanted to tell you before anything ... happened." she
added quickly, looking almost guilty.
Mark understood. Although a little jealous, he realized that they
could never be together. His only real choice was someone he hadn't seen
in centuries. Elisa deserved better than the lies he'd told her, she deserved
the truth. It was something he had wanted to do many times before. "Elisa,
there's something I always wanted to tell you, but I was afraid to. There was
another reason things didn't work out. I was..."
"Wait!" she interrupted. "Mark, please, I came to tell you something
too, and I really think you should hear it first. At first I wasn't sure if I could tell
you, but seeing you again, I know you can be trusted." Elisa then took a deep breath,
this sure wasn't going to be easy, she thought.
As the two sat down to eat, Mark listened attentively as Elisa told him of the
existence of real gargoyles in New York. His heart sank when she mentioned Demona's
betrayal of her clan at the castle, her continued vendetta against her old clan, and
against Elisa herself. The only bright spot, it seemed, was this child, Angela. Apparently
she and the rest of the rookery eggs had survived on the mystical isle of Avalon, growing
up in peace.
As Elisa talked, Mark reflected on her story. Gargoyles had changed quite a bit,
they had names, they had been evicted from their home, and Demona had turned on her
own kind. He could offer assistance, but would Goliath take it? Best to be completely
honest with Elisa first. She could relay the story to her friends, and he would let them
decide if they wanted to talk to him or not. "Elisa, all I can say right now is that I
suspected Goliath and his clan were here in New York. Please, let me tell you
everything tomorrow, and you can explain it to the gargoyles. If they want to
meet with me, bring them by at about midnight tomorrow night. If they feel
uncomfortable, feel free to pick a neutral site. Just don't forget to tell me about
"You're taking this awfully well. In fact, you don't seem surprised by anything
I've said here, except that last bit about Avalon. This story better be good. Well, I have
to be getting back to the others, I promised them I'd see them at midnight." She shrugged,
"I'll pass everything along. 'Bye." She kissed him quickly on the cheek and hurried out.
Mark cleared the table and glanced at his watch. 11:30, and she hadn't even had
any cake. The story was incredible. Elisa was right, if he hadn't expected most of this, he
would be stunned. The part that hurt the most was the news concerning Demona. How
could she turn on her former mate? She had always spoken highly of her clan, almost
with reverence. The easy answer would be to blame that bastard Xanatos, but in his
heart he knew she was corrupt long before she met him. Another unexpected portion
of her story involved Demona's daughter, Angela. This would be difficult to handle.
Being a parent is never easy, but being stepfather to a gargoyle? This would be
"Elisa, how did things go?" Goliath asked gently. "Was this friend deserving
of our trust?"
She sighed, "Goliath, somehow he knew, he wasn't shocked to hear any of it.
He wants to tell me something before he meets you, something he wants me to tell you.
I'm going to see him tomorrow, and I'll be here to pass it along when you wake up. He
has offered to meet you all tomorrow night, at midnight. He suggests his suite, but
added that anyplace you picked would be fine."
"This is really awesome. Just like James Bond! Hey, Elisa. Maybe he's got
some secret microfilm for you." Brooklyn said. Actually, part of his comment wasn't far off.
In the past few years, Mark had worked for several secret agencies. That was where he
got his interesting equipment, most of it not even available to the police.
"Aye, lass, the decision is yours." Hudson said. "Any enemy of Xanatos is
a friend to us. Besides, while you were away I paid a call on Robbins. He says Mark Flyer
is a good man."
Goliath looked pensive, finally he looked up, "Elisa, we will meet this man tomorrow
night. If what he tells you leads you to think it is a trap, we will deal with him ourselves." He
emphasized this last point by pounding his fist against the wall, cracking it and sending
cascades of dust billowing down from the support beams high above them.
Elisa headed home for a good night's sleep. She had the feeling she was going to
Mark prepared for bed. He checked the safety on his gun before setting it under
his pillow. Magical curses aside, you didn't live long in Mark's line of work without being
careful. He settled his head against the pillow and dozed off. Soon he began to dream...
It had been nearly a year since Mark and Demona had started traveling together.
It had taken Demona a long time to trust him. This wasn't surprising, since she had been
betrayed at every turn by humans. Mark had always been honest with her, and it did make
things easier for her, having someone to watch over her during the day. For the first time
in years, Demona began to relax, and to even look favorably at this human. The past few
weeks had seen their relationship grow even closer.
"Demona, " Mark asked, "Are ye sure that ye are the last?"
She replied, her voice barely a whisper "Yes, I am the last of my kind. Canmore
destroyed the last of us the night Castle Moray fell." She felt a shiver of rage, but it passed,
reminding her of how alone she was in this world.
"There's no need to be alone, lass." Mark' tone suggested he was serious.
"We have each other, now and forever. Gargoyle ye may be, but still a woman, and a
lovely one. Surely ye are still capable of love?" With that he placed a hand on her shoulder
Demona was caught totally off guard. Could this human be serious? She knew
him well, well enough to know he meant what he said. Could she love a human, even one
like Mark? While he had helped her, he was still human! Humans killed her kind, how
could she forgive them, or him? No, their crimes were not his, and she was so very lonely.
They were linked by sorcery, but that hadn't stopped MacBeth from betraying her. No,
Mark had never asked for anything from her in the year they had been together.
Almost without realizing it, the two embraced, Demona wrapping her wings
around them both in a sign of affection. The two kissed, at first hesitantly, but then with
more passion. Their tongues danced as they kissed, their mutual desire climbing to a fever
pitch. That night they made love in the moonlight, and for the first time in years, Demona
was no longer alone.
The next morning, Mark lay awake, keeping a watchful eye. Demona was painfully
vulnerable during the day, and he had to keep her safe. He thought about her often. Last
night had been incredible. Demona had put all women he knew to shame. She was more
beautiful than anyone he had ever seen, and her passion and skill was incredible, and the
thrill of loving a woman who was so ... powerful was intoxicating. He hoped she had no
regrets about their relationship, he certainly didn't. Last night had been wonderful, even
now, frozen in stone, she was beautiful. How could anyone hate her? He knew then just
how much he loved her, enough to be with her forever. Thanks to the intervention of the
witches, they could be eternally happy.
The year was now 1073. After years of travel and adventures, Mark and Demona
built a small keep. They had named it Unity Keep. It had attracted peasants over the years,
and was now a small, bustling farming community. Demona had finally agreed to honor
Mark' one request. She agreed to become his wife. The two were married in a large ceremony.
There he presented the ring to her, a solid gold band with two hearts entwined. It, and the
banner of their castle, a human hand and a gargoyle hand clasped together, was meant to
symbolize their love eternally.
These years had been some of the happiest in his life. Demona was magnificent,
both as a wife, and as his Lady of the keep. The only detraction was the attitude some of
the townspeople had, that she was an animal, a beast. She said she could see it in their eyes
and the way they looked at her, but she could tolerate it. She seemed at ease. The vicious
edge of her temper seemed to fade with the passing of time. Although things were wonderful,
fate had not yet stopped smiling on them. The best was yet to come.
Mark awoke with a start. My God! She had been right there! She had been close
enough to touch, and he hadn't recognized her! In the midst of her explanation, Elisa
mentioned that Demona was stone by day no more. Thanks to the impish Puck, she was
as human as he was during the day. The redhead, that reporter. It had been Demona!
He hadn't even noticed his own wife!
He got up out of bed, going through the usual routine absently. He did some
quick exercises, showered off, got dressed, and started on breakfast. His mind was not
on his work, but on Demona. Why had she been there? Was she keeping tabs on him,
or trying to attract his attention? Wait, she mentioned Xanatos specifically. Elisa mentioned
that they were occasional allies, maybe she was telling him where she was going to be!
Oh well, Mark resigned himself to this new twist. He would probably have had to
see David soon anyway. A sudden thought made him chuckle, David and Goliath..., he
wondered if either one appreciated the irony of it all. After eating a quick breakfast and
picking up a few easily concealed items from his vaults, he headed for the elevator.
Before long, Mark was entering the lobby of the Eyrie Building, now the tallest
building in the world due to the addition of the castle. As the elevator door slid open,
David's personal assistant, Owen Burnett, was waiting inside for him. "Hello Mister Flyer.
I'm sure that Mister Xanatos will be pleased to see you. It has been quite some time. Fox
should be happy to see you again as well. I see you are looking as well as ever."
The last comment would sound like pleasant conversation to anyone else, but
both new knew exactly what Owen meant. Owen was actually Puck, also known as Robin
Goodfellow, one of the Children of Oberon. His reasons for masquerading as a human
attache were his own, but Mark knew all about him, as much as Puck knew about Mark.
Mark would look 'as well as ever' until the day he died. Owen spoke up again "I assume
your relationship with your lovely wife is still, for lack of a better word, strained? Pity,
although you will be pleased to know she is no longer in Mister Xanatos' employ. Her
temper is alive and well also, if you are at all interested."
"Why, Puck?" Mark asked, "Why did you torment her by giving her human
form? It is the one thing she hates more than anything. Was whatever she asked of
you deserving of such a 'gift'?" He didn't even ask about the stone hand. If it was
important, he would hear about it later.
Owen smiled, an uncharacteristic thing for him, and replied, "Yes, quite
deserving. Besides, she has become rather used to it. I understand she paid you
a little visit at the airport." His face took on a more serious expression, "Mark, I
have been banished from Avalon, so I have some small idea of your loss of wife
and child. For what it is worth, you have my sympathy."
With that, the doors opened, and David Xanatos stood waiting, hand
extended. He had the same smug grin he always had, "Hello Mark. You're looking
well. Please come in. I'm sure you recognize my lovely wife Fox. Alexander is asleep
at the moment, but you can see him later. Besides, I assume you came to see me in
regards to a mutual ... associate?"
"Hello Mark" added Fox, giving him a quick kiss on the cheek.
"David, Janine, married life seems to agree with you." he answered.
Mark always called Fox by her given name. She was born Janine Reynard, but
had changed her name to Fox when she joined the Pack. Now she was Fox
Xanatos. He continued, "Yes, I'm looking for Demona. I understand she
worked with you on a few projects?"
"Mark, you must know I have no idea where she is. She never trusted
anyone, except you. I hate to admit it, but she outsmarted me. Despite the best
surveillance money could buy, she always dealt with me at arm's length."
"I assumed as much, but why drag her clan into it? They never harmed
you. You've taken their home, betrayed their trust, and hunted them like animals,
all for no real reason. Why?"
"The initial plot against Goliath and the others was Demona's idea. Like
it or not, your blushing bride has become worse than ever. Sometimes, I think I
never should have worked with her. Little items like her spell on Manhattan come
to mind. Of course I helped her, but if I didn't, she would just go to someone else.
Enough business, come in, sit down, we have so much to talk about." David smiled
again as they entered into a dining room. "Would you like something to drink?"
As they entered, a robot gargoyle stood at attention, a tray with china cups
and a pewter pot of coffee in its' hands. The robot bore a striking resemblance to
Demona. "My Mark VI Steel Clan robots. Do you like them?" Xanatos' grin looked
positively devilish. "I admit, they aren't as strong as the original models, but they
make up for that with superior speed and agility. They also seem to have an unusual ...
appeal. I do hope I haven't struck a nerve."
Mark winced. This was a deliberate shot, something Xanatos had concocted
to keep him off-balance, perhaps even to trick him into revealing some tidbit of information he needed. "All right Xanatos," Mark replied, spitting the name out like a curse, "You obviously know all about me. How? Was it the Illuminati? Puck, maybe?"
Now it was David's turn to be surprised. How could Mark know about Puck?
Then again, Mark had been around for some time, and an inquisitive mind could unearth
almost anything given enough time. Still, it was ironic that a man who had always been a
thorn in his side had the one thing he wanted more than anything else in this world. Mark
was immortal. Still, best to keep him in the dark as much as possible. "Is it really important
how I know? Doubtless you will offer aid to Goliath and his clan, but then what? Your
past behavior tells me that you are either unwilling or unable to directly oppose me.
What do you really want?" David asked. "If it's within my power, it is yours". Of
course, the price tag would be hefty indeed, but he merely thought this last part to
himself. Better not to burden Mark unnecessarily.
Mark's answer was quick, direct, and exactly what Xanatos had expected.
"I want Demona."
"Come on, Mark. Surely a separation of some eight-hundred years or
more is enough of a hint. Demona wants nothing to do with you. Still, I did promise
my help. An associate of mine, a Doctor Anton Sevarius, has had some incredible
breakthroughs in cloning gargoyles from DNA strands. You could have a different
Demona for every day of the week, all of them beautiful, affectionate, and best of all,
"That's the first bad play I've seen you make," Mark responded. "The robot
was actually a nice try, but then antagonizing me? What would you say if I made you
the same offer about your wife? If there's nothing else, I think I'll be going."
David sighed, "If I offended you, I'm sorry. But there is something else.
We would like you to see Alex. Y'know, looking down at your own child, it makes
you want to change the world. I really don't care what Goliath and his kind are doing
right now. Unfortunately, Demona is another story entirely. Her unstable personality
and murderous tendencies make her dangerous."
Xanatos and Fox, hand in hand, led the way to a gaily decorated nursery.
Asleep in the crib was little Alexander Xanatos, heir to the entire Xanatos legacy.
The child looked angelic in sleep, quite unlike the devilish characteristic smirk of his
Mark felt a brief sadness. Seeing this child, here, reminded him of his own
loss. Despite David's monumental ambitions, he had everything he really needed in
this room. "David, Janine, never forget what you have here now. No matter what you
think, immortality won't guarantee anything. Demona and I are both immortal. What
happiness do we have? The world we live in is gone, and no amount of power will
ever change that. Goodbye." With that, Mark turned and left. "I'll show myself out,
"Of course, Mister Flyer. Do come again." Owen responded.
Xanatos looked concerned. Moral lectures weren't Mark's style. In fact,
until Mark had entered this room, he had been responding exactly as planned. The
new Clan robots had infuriated him, and the offer of help regarding clones had made
him even more upset. What had gone wrong? Mark was so much easier to deal with
when he was angry. "Owen, what just happened?"
"I believe he saw some of himself in the three of you. Not so long ago, at least
not to someone like me, Mark and Demona suffered a loss. Their son was murdered." he
The year was 1090 and the egg was finally hatching. Mark and Demona waited
with anticipation. Demona had carried the egg for the better part of a year, almost 10
months. Since then, it had laid dormant here in their makeshift rookery, a root cellar, for
almost another ten years. Although Demona had explained that gargoyles eggs usually
take longer, neither knew what to expect of a hybrid. At least one of them had been with
their child at all times, guarding it and keeping it safe. Mark hadn't known, but Demona
had explained to him that gargoyle eggs need to be turned every night to ensure proper
The first cracks appeared, and then a tiny wing-claw appeared at the seam,
pushing against the shell. Demona rushed forward to help the hatchling, pulling away
shell fragments and lifting their child out of the egg.
"A son!" she proclaimed, tears in her eyes. "My love, we have a son."
Mark stepped forward to look down at his son. He was very much like his
mother in form, from the tiny spikes on the elbows to the little hand-like wing-claws.
However, his coloration was definitely that of his father. The hatchling had pale pink
skin, with dark hair and eyes.
The child looked up and gurgled lovingly at his parents, before grabbing at
one of Demona's earrings. Although he couldn't reach it, he continued to grab
enthusiastically, cooing with determination.
"Mark," Demona started, "I know you want to respect my customs, but
are you certain you won't be hurt?" She looked concerned, not certain of what he
"Of course, beloved. I understand, your kind generally have no names. I
wouldn't dream of asking you to compromise your beliefs." Mark smiled and
continued "Besides, with the both of you with me, I have everything I want."
The child seemed to be a gargoyle in almost all respects, he turned to stone
during the day, seemed to age at half the human norm, and was in all other ways a
gargoyle. His fingers and toes had tiny claws which would eventually become
wicked talons, his mouth already had miniature fangs, and his tail was like a fifth
limb. Although Mark saw very little of himself in the boy, he loved him unconditionally.
This was his son, his and Demona's, their legacy to the world. Even though the parents
were immortal, the child was not. This was perhaps the only thing about their child that
pained them. They would stay forever young and vital, while in a century or two, their
son would be old.
Demona was a wonderful mother to their son, doting and nurturing. It was
something Mark had never seen in Demona, and it was quite a contrast to the vicious
warrior he had first met over thirty years ago. So many things had changed in that time.
He had not aged a day since meeting her, and had become Lord of his own Keep. In
honor of his wedding to Demona he had named it Unity Keep, to symbolize the
cooperation between humans and gargoyles. Now he was a father, and that was
the most precious feeling in the world. He would have given anything to keep
things as they were today...
The year was 1115. For the most part, things were going well. The keep was
more prosperous than ever, and his son was growing up. The boy took after Mark much
more than Demona, with a far gentler temperament, and an incredible curiosity. The child
was a true melding of human and gargoyle, the ultimate expression of the value of
cooperation between the races. Unfortunately, no one could have predicted the tragedy
about to strike.
Just before sunset, Mark was preparing to greet his wife in his usual manner,
bringing her some wine in a jewel-encrusted golden cup. He heard a sound that made
his blood run cold, the smashing of stone! Rushing to the parapet, a horrible sight greeted
him. Four men in masks, one of them black with red streaks, were standing over the remains
of what had once been his son. The cup fell from senseless fingers as Mark looked on in
shock. Demona was still intact, but one of the men sought to remedy that, raising a mace
high, preparing to bring it down on her head.
At that precise moment, several things happened. The last of the sunlight faded
over the horizon, Demona's stone skin began to crack, the mace began its' decent, and Mark
drew his sword and attacked. As he struck down the man with the mace, the others turned
to face their new enemy. Demona then awakened fully from sleep. In a moment she took in
the entire scene, and all hell broke loose.
Mark had become an accomplished warrior over time, and dispatched his foe with
ease. Demona, however, tore into her prey with a savagery he had never seen, nor even
thought any living thing capable of. In a matter of seconds, the remaining three men had been
slaughtered, their corpses a tangle of severed limbs, torn flesh, and pools of blood. Her visage
was hellish, eyes still glowing like hot coals and the blood of her enemies covering her fangs,
talons, and clothing. Panting with her fury and exertion, she sank to her knees to cradle some
of the stones. After she calmed down, the situation overcame her, and the two sobbed quietly,
mourning the loss of their only child. Something they had treasured for over a quarter-century,
their son, was gone.
Things happened quickly after that. The mask could belong to only one man,
someone Demona referred to as "The Hunter". The identity was originally used by a
man Demona had scarred years ago. The mantle had since passed to MacBeth's cousin,
and then to his son. There wasn't enough left here to identify the man who wore it that
night, but both hoped the Hunter had finally died that night, never to return.
After she had stopped sobbing and calling for her son, her anger returned.
"YOUR kind did this! Humans always betray me!" Her eyes were a bright red and
brimming with tears as she turned, heading for the wall.
"Demona, where are you going?" pleaded Mark. His heart was breaking,
he had lost his son, must he lose his wife as well? "Please, I didn't know. I..I thought
you would be safe."
She leaped to the wall, preparing to take flight, "Goodbye, husband. I will not
be back.". Then, in a more angry voice "The humans will pay for this. All of them will!
I will have blood for blood, vengeance for my pain!" With that final oath, she soared
away from their home, screaming out in rage, and Mark never saw her again.
Eight hundred and eighty one years later...
It was always a painful thing for Mark to recall. In one day he had everything
taken from him, his wife, his son, his only real reason for living. Oh, there had been other
things, other causes, other women, but nothing ever replaced the pain and terrible sense
of loneliness her leaving had caused him. In all this time, the only woman he could spend
his life with was Demona, and she had left, swearing revenge on his entire race. He really
couldn't blame her for her anger. Hell, he blamed himself more than once. He had been
awake and aware, he should have stopped them!
Oh well, he thought to himself, no point in reopening old wounds yet. Filling
Elisa in would see to that, and then he would have to deal with Goliath. Hopefully he
could convince the gargoyles that he wanted to help them, but he had to prepare for the
worst. He had to be prepared for an attack. Xanatos could well have some plan in motion
to turn them against him, or to convince them that Mark was working for him.
Demona was never far from his thoughts. He had pursued her all over the world,
trying to find her, to get her to come back to him. It was always the same thing, she
managed to elude him. In all this time, he hadn't seen her face to face until yesterday
afternoon. Damn, but it had been frustrating! All he had to show for a centuries-long
quest was a room full of priceless art. He would have traded it all to hold Demona in
his arms again, to run his hands through her long, fiery hair, to kiss her just once, or
to feel the gentle prick of her fangs against his neck as they made love. For the first
time in centuries, he could have a real chance to find her.
From Elisa's story, Demona had stayed in this area for some time, and had
met up with the gargoyles several times. There were some distasteful things to ponder,
though. Demona had taken up with a clone of Goliath, and had even married MacBeth.
The marriage may have been merely a step in a plot, but it was a painful blow to Mark.
Demona had in essence nullified their vows by making new ones. Despite Mark's
numerous affairs, he had never married. He would remain faithful to Demona in
that regard until she came back to him.
It was the slimmest of hopes, but one he held tightly, as a drowning
man would to a life preserver. Without Demona, he would end up like MacBeth,
doing anything to end his life. That was something Mark could not live with. A
man without purpose is no longer a man, but a thing. No, no matter how bad things
became, he had to go on.
Elisa glanced at her watch, almost ten-o-clock. She would wait until eleven
or so to see Mark. What could he be hiding? He had been determined to tell her
something last night, something important, from the way he had acted. But his reaction
to her story was even more puzzling, he hadn't batted an eye when she told him about
Goliath and the others. In fact, the only subjects that got any discernible response from
him dealt with Angela or Demona. Mark had been in strange situations before,
he could have met Demona somewhere, but what about Angela? It would explain
his familiarity with gargoyles. Soon Mark would tell his great secret, that night he
would meet the gargoyles, and things would progress from there. She chuckled to
herself, smiling. What could Mark possibly tell her that would surprise her after all
she'd been through?
Dominique Destine was furious! She had been taking it out on her poor
receptionist all morning, although her mood had nothing to do with her employees,
or anything at Nightstone Unlimited. How could her damned husband be here?
Would he never leave her alone? She briefly considered throwing her desk out
the window to release some of her anger, but quickly decided against it. For one
thing, in this form, she couldn't budge the huge desk, and for another, it was rather
She was a human now, an attractive redhead with striking green eyes. She
was dressed in a red business suit complete with skirt. This was so much more
attractive than the clothes she had worn yesterday, posing as a reporter. She had
hoped to get more information from Mark, that maybe he would take a liking to her
new form and take her somewhere. Then she could have found out why he was
here now. Unfortunately, it hadn't worked, and her attempts to eavesdrop last night
had failed. That human bitch Elisa Maza had showed up, and told him everything!
She felt her temper, and her jealousy, flare up, but she managed to calm herself
down without breaking anything. Elisa had been involved with Mark a year ago,
and now the little minx was involved with Goliath. Damn that human! Why did
Elisa have to play with *her* leftovers?
For years, she had assumed that Mark had followed her to exact some
revenge against her for their son. Maybe if she had protected him better, or had
been less suspicious of the humans, things might have been different. Careful
observation had shown her that Mark didn't want revenge, not like MacBeth.
In fact, Mark and MacBeth had fought over her often. It seemed that MacBeth
couldn't accept the fact that they had parted. He assumed that she was still with
Mark, and that Mark was protecting her. However, Mark's true motives remained
a mystery. Could he still love her? No, she couldn't bear to let him see her like
this. She may have hated humanity, but she still remembered the life they had
together nearly nine centuries ago. She remembered his gentle touch, the passions
she felt when they made love, and the joy in his eyes when he was with her.
That brought a smile to her lips. She missed those sensations, and
thinking about her husband sent a thrill through her. It quickly faded, though.
Those things were gone now, dead and dust, like the rest of the things the damn
humans took from her.
She had lost everything she ever loved or cared about; Goliath had decided
to protect the humans rather than stay with her, the Vikings destroyed her first clan,
Canmore massacred the second one, MacBeth had betrayed her, Angela had sided
with Goliath against her, her son had been murdered, and she couldn't bear to face
her husband. Humans, she thought, always because of the humans! Finally, she lost
the battle to contain her temper, and shattered her coffee mug against the far wall,
tears streaming down her face. How could she have let everything go so *wrong*?
Mark prepared for the worst. This never went well. In all the centuries he
had been alive, he had entrusted his secret to no less than fifteen people, all close
to him. In every case, the person had severed all ties to him. Some thought he was
insane, some believed he was some sort of evil demon, and others, their psyches too
fragile for such concepts, were driven mad. He hoped Elisa would be different. She
was aware of the gargoyles, but she apparently hated Demona with a passion. After
all, Demona had tried to kill her more than once. There was a knock on the door, and
a hesitant voice greeted him.
"Mark, are you there?"
It was Elisa, as expected. "Come in, Elisa." Mark replied.
"If this is a bad time, I can come back later and..." she started, opening the
door and peering in.
"There won't ever be a good time, and you deserve the truth." Mark got
up and led her over to the couch. "Sit down, this is going to be a long story,
As she sat and listened, Mark told her everything that had happened to
him. He told her about the meeting in the forest, the Weird Sisters, his marriage to
Demona, the birth and death of their son, and his endless pursuit of his estranged
wife. He then led her into his secret room, letting her take in the displays.
Elisa was stunned. All this time, and Mark had been alive for nearly a
thousand years! She was even more surprised at what he had told her about
Demona. She almost couldn't believe that the blue gargoyle was even capable
of love, but both Mark and Goliath had loved her once. It sounded like Mark *still*
loved her. The more disturbing item was Mark's confirmation that gargoyles and
humans could cross-breed. It made her situation with Goliath more difficult, but also
offered some hope for the future. She felt hurt, hurt that he had never told her, but
she also realized why. Mark didn't want to lose her, and had learned a hard lesson
by telling others in the past.
"If you want to leave now, I'll understand."
"No. I'm glad you confided in me. That's what you wanted to tell me last
night, wasn't it?"
"Yes, after all we'd been through, I wanted to tell you everything. I'm glad
you met Goliath. From what Demona told me centuries ago, he could use a decent
friend like you." Mark smiled, and brought her some stone fragments, almost paper-thin.
"Do you know what these are?"
Elisa shook her head, turning the pieces over in her palm.
"Eggshells, pieces of my son's egg. That's all I have left of him." Mark looked
very distant, and for just a moment, Elisa saw just how much he was in pain.
Her heart went out to him. Her relationship with Goliath was difficult, but at
least they cared for each other. Demona obviously didn't care for Mark at all, and here
he was, still so alone without her. She couldn't even imagine the pain he felt at the loss
of a child. "Mark, I'm sure that the others will want to talk to you. I'll call you before
midnight, in case they want to pick a new site." She looked down at the floor, "Mark,
I'm sorry. For everything."
"Thanks. Elisa, you obviously care for Goliath. Don't waste any time. Life's
too short. Even an immortal can appreciate that. Demona and I had all of eternity, but
our love failed. Don't make the same mistakes we did." He then stood up, taking the
shells back to their glass case. "One more thing, be prepared for trouble. Xanatos is
up to something. He has already built some new robots, and I find it hard to believe
he did it just to annoy me." He then relayed the events of the morning to her.
"I'll pass it along. Hey, you take care of yourself, ok?"
"Sure, I'll survive. I always have." With that, he smiled and escorted her to
the door. Then, "Elisa, she was there yesterday. I didn't recognize her, but she was
there. What could she have wanted?"
"I dunno. Maybe she cares more than you think." She kissed him on the cheek.
She wondered to herself, what the hell could Demona want? She briefly considered telling
him Demona's human name, Dominique Destine, but had decided against it. Mark was
already hurt, and Demona was more than capable of making things far worse. The gargoyle
had a cruel streak unlike anyone Elisa had ever met. She must have been a very different
woman when Mark knew her, and that made Demona's current behavior all the more
"Elisa, she was a wonderful woman once. Please don't judge her too harshly."
"How can you defend her after everything she's done?!?" Elisa was suddenly
outraged. "Mark, she turned on her clan, she turned on you, she'll eventually turn on
anyone! You're sitting here looking like the world has ended, and it's because of her! "
"I love her. I always have, and I always will. If I had to, I'd march into Hell itself
for her. I'm sorry if you can't understand that. She's all I have." Seeing her shocked
expression, he tried to explain further. "I won't betray Goliath and the others, but I won't
reject Demona either. Please make sure your friends understand that. I will help them in
any way I can, but I will not turn my back on her."
"Mark, I'm sorry. I just hate seeing you like this. Especially over someone who
doesn't deserve you. I've gotta go. I'll see you at midnight."
When Elisa had left, Mark had time to think, and to prepare himself. It would be
foolish to meet with the gargoyles without a plan. He had to expect interference from
Xanatos, MacBeth, or any of the other enemies he had. While the gargoyles were here,
they were under his protection. He began to lay out weapons, and to plan as the sun
Soon Elisa was standing before the gargoyles, waiting for them to awaken.
No matter how many times she saw this, it always impressed her. In a few seconds,
they burst forth from their stone skin, sending bits scattering in all directions.
Goliath stepped down from the wall to embrace her. "Elisa, it is good to see
you. What did Mark Flyer have to tell you?"
As Elisa relayed the information she had gathered, the gargoyles stood there
in shocked silence. Even Bronx seemed to sense something. He merely sat at Hudson's
side, waiting patiently.
Brooklyn was outraged. "How could anyone trust her, or love her?!? It's gotta
be a trap. Your friend has flipped!" Brooklyn had never forgiven Demona for using him
in a plot to take over the clan. Any mention of Demona made him bitter.
Angela spoke up, "That's not fair Brooklyn. Mother saved all of us from Thailog,
and until Elisa mentioned Demona, you thought this man was interesting. I say we hear him
out. Besides, he could tell me more about Mother, since no one here will." Her voice dropped
to an annoyed tone with that last sentence. Goliath would avoid the subject of Demona
completely, and most of the others would say very little, none of it good. She hoped to
meet this human, her stepfather. He could tell her so much, and he might be happy to know
he still had a child, even a stepdaughter.
Whatever Hudson's opinion might have been, he kept it to himself, looking to Goliath
"It's your decision lad, you lead the clan."
Broadway and Lexington opted to bow out as well, looking up at Goliath, waiting for
Goliath sighed, he did not want discord in the clan, but he had a decision to make "We
will hear this man out. Brooklyn, we do not judge others by the company they keep. Our clan
does not have so many friends that we can afford to be so petty. We shall all go, Hudson,
bring Bronx along. He should be present at a meeting that has such an impact on the entire
clan. Elisa, please tell your friend that we shall meet him at his home."
"WHAT?!?" exclaimed Brooklyn, even angrier than before. "Bad enough this
human was mates with Demona, but now we're going to meet on his turf? Goliath, if this
is a trap, he'll have one hell of an advantage."
"I know that, but we must show this man that we trust him. Besides, is your faith
in Elisa's judgment so strained that you will not believe her? Elisa says this man can be
trusted, and any enemy of Xanatos should be a friend to us, despite his ... alleged reform.
What say you, old friend?" Goliath asked of Hudson, his mentor.
Hudson thought carefully before answering, fingering the blade of his sword.
"Aye, lad, I think you're right. From all I've heard on the picture box, and with what Elisa
tells us, he sounds like a decent man. Besides," he said, sheathing his weapon, "we'll be
ready for any treachery."
"Very well," rumbled Goliath. "Elisa, would you care to accompany us?"
"Goliath, I thought you'd never ask." Hopping into Goliath's arms, a wicked
smile crossed her face. "Just don't get jealous and drop me, ok?"
They all laughed, releasing some of the tension that had been present. It was
nearly midnight now.
Brooklyn looked visibly angry, but had no intention of disobeying Goliath.
Unity of clan meant a great deal to gargoyles, and this wasn't an important enough
issue to argue over. He quietly lined up behind the others, and took wing towards
Mark had prepared things as best he could. The large rooftop terrace would
easily accommodate seven gargoyles, and its' relative inaccessibility should assure a
fair amount of privacy. He had prepared some food, basing it on the things Demona liked
to eat. There was some wine, and roast pheasant, something that was difficult to get in
stores, but fairly simple to find in street-side markets. There were some other items as
well, the uneaten cake from last night, milk, some assorted vegetables, and some other
appetizers. Mark smiled to himself, with the general appearance of a gargoyle, people
assumed they were mainly meat-eaters. Actually, he had learned that, like humans,
gargoyles were omnivorous, and generally preferred fruits and vegetables. Food wasn't
the only thing he had prepared, though.
Mark was wearing black body armor very similar to that worn by MacBeth, and
the lightning gun was in a holster at his waist. Within easy reach was a particle beam rifle,
courtesy of Xanatos Industries, and several other small items secreted on his person and
around the terrace. If anyone decided to start a fight, he wanted to be certain he could finish
it, quickly and decisively.
Soon he saw winged shapes making their way toward him. Smiling, he stepped back,
allowing the gargoyles to land. They stood apart from him, trying to look at ease, but clearly
on edge. Finally the largest of the group stepped forward, extending his hand.
"I am Goliath. Elisa has told us a great deal about you."
Mark clasped his forearm, and Goliath did the same. He smiled up at the massive
creature. "I'm glad you came. I would have understood if you declined my invitation."
"This is my clan," Goliath started, gesturing to each in turn. "Elisa, whom you
know, Brooklyn, my second-in-command, Broadway, Lexington, Hudson, Bronx, and my
As each gargoyle was mentioned, they smiled or nodded in turn, except for
Bronx, who had been standing patiently at Hudson's side, and Brooklyn, who was clearly
not happy being here.
Mark was taken aback upon seeing Angela. But for her coloration and hair, she
looked a great deal like her mother, Demona. He was also startled to hear Goliath calling
her his daughter at all. He put it out of his mind, there would be time for questions later.
"I am honored by your presence. While you are here, think of this as your home. I've prepared
some refreshments, and I'm sure you have many questions". With that, he stood to the side
and gestured to the table.
Broadway and Lexington began to pepper him with questions all at once, before anyone
else could even move.
"Are you really immortal?"
"Do you know MacBeth?"
"Did you really have a son with Demona?"
"What's it like to be a secret agent? Is it like on TV?"
Mark smiled and gestured to them to stop. "Easy now, one at a time. Yes, I am
immortal, as much so as Demona. Yes, I know MacBeth." He stopped for a moment,
pondering something. "In happier times, we could have been friends, but we are enemies
now. As for being an agent," he smiled, "I could tell you, but then I'd have to kill you."
He laughed and looked to the others.
Goliath nodded subtly, and the clan moved forward, except for Brooklyn, who
stayed at the roof's edge, looking out over the city. Angela headed towards Mark, and
the others, clustered around Goliath, began to look over the food. Lexington seemed more
interested in peering inside at the main living quarters, but stayed close to the others.
Angela smiled at Mark, offering her hand, "I'm Angela. Elisa tells us you were
married to Mother. I guess that makes you my stepfather." With that, she embraced him.
"I'm so pleased to meet you. Father and the others don't talk about Mother much. Maybe
you could tell me something about her sometime?" Her pleasant expression was so genuine
that Mark couldn't help feeling sorry for her.
"Angela, I'm not sure I should be the one to ask. Besides, if Goliath hasn't told you
about her, it could be for a very good reason. I understand you met her twice already, once
in Paris, and once here in New York. I don't know what more I can add." Mark thought to
himself, just how much should Angela know? He didn't want to poison her mind against
her own mother, but neither did he want her thinking that Demona was the same loving,
doting woman he'd married centuries ago. He would have to tread carefully with this
subject. Ultimately, he would have to speak to Goliath first.
"Goliath, I think we should all talk, especially him." he said, nodding toward
"Yes, I agree." Goliath then gathered the clan together, "Please ask what you
will of us, and allow us to do the same with you."
"I'd rather put everyone's suspicions to rest first Goliath. Look, Demona is my
wife, that won't ever change, neither will my love for her. That doesn't mean I agree with
her, I don't. I want to help you, but I'll understand if you refuse. Considering the way
Demona betrayed you, I understand your concerns. But understand this, Demona has
been betrayed over and over again for centuries. She's been lied to or backstabbed by
MacBeth, Canmore, Thailog, and countless others. She genuinely believed she was
best suited to lead you. At least, that's the way I see it. As to why she turned on you,
I don't know, she's always had a vicious temper, but I can't believe she would turn on
her own kind."
Goliath looked to Elisa, and spoke "Her crimes are not yours, Mark Flyer. We
will judge you on what you alone have done. Our friends already speak highly of you,
and gargoyles choose their friends carefully. We will trust you for now, but I am sure
you will understand if we keep our home a secret?"
"Of course Goliath, but please feel free, all of you, to come here whenever you
need food, shelter, a place to sleep, or if you need my help."
Goliath nodded his agreement. Everyone, even Brooklyn, seemed put at ease
by their words, and they began to sample the food and talk among themselves.
"Goliath, I'd like to talk to you about something." He excused himself and
walked over to Mark.
"What is it?" He looked curious.
"It's about Angela. She wants to know about her mother. Do you want me
to tell her anything? I didn't want to put her off, but I felt you should know first."
"Tell her the truth, Mark Flyer. She has the right to know her mother, and
you seem more at ease talking about her than we do. I am glad we can be friends.
Brooklyn was deceived by Demona some time ago, and he is very angry, at her,
and at you too. He is young, he does not understand, not yet."
"I appreciate that. Angela reminds me of Demona. Does she have her
"No, thankfully she has a more stable disposition. But she is different,
she does not understand our ways. I believe it is because she was raised by humans.
One more thing, in some ways, she is as much your daughter as mine. I would not
stand in your way if you wish to treat her as your own, but do not betray the trust I
give you tonight." The last comment had the slightest hint of a threat to it. Goliath
was willing to assume the best of him, but would take no chances where his daughter
"I, I don't know what to say. Thank you Goliath, this means more to me than
you will ever know. Well, feel free to look around inside, I'll pass the invitation along
to the others. Goliath?"
The gargoyle looked back curiously.
"You've got one hell of a woman in Elisa, don't blow it." Mark chuckled.
"You two should start on a rookery of your own."
"I am not certain Elisa and I can have any future together, no matter how
"I see. I guess Demona and the others have already won."
Goliath's expression darkened. "What do you mean?"
"Don't assume that my failure with Demona will affect you. Humanity
may never fully accept gargoyles. Is it fair to deny yourself and Elisa the love
you feel if that is the case? Besides, Angela might want some step-siblings."
He chuckled quietly. "It would seem that my trust in you is well founded.
Perhaps you are right, perhaps someday..."
"No! Not someday! Every moment is precious. I treasure every second I
shared with Demona and our child, because no one can ever take that away from
me. No one lives forever, ultimately not even me. Don't spend your life looking to
tomorrow, and what might be. Concentrate on today, and what can be. Enough
preaching, I think I'll speak to Angela." With that, Mark smiled and headed toward
the crowd of gargoyles, leaving Goliath alone with his thoughts.
Mark clearly wasn't following his own advice. Elisa had told him how pained
the immortal human had looked when thinking of Demona or his son, but here he was
telling Goliath to seize the moment. Perhaps he was right. He had always hoped that
the day would come where his kind would be welcome among humans, but what Mark
was right and that day never came? Could he deny his feelings for Elisa? From what
Mark had said, the two could have a future together, but only if they did something
about it. He decided to talk to Elisa, later.
"Angela, if you're interested, I have something you might like to see."
She nodded excitedly and followed Mark inside. He led her into the secret
room behind the bookcase, letting her take everything in. She looked into some of
the cases, examined the various paintings and sculptures, and seemed especially
interested in the eggshell fragments.
Mark nodded quietly.
"I wish I could have met him, or seen Mother in happier times. All this ...
you miss her, don't you?"
Mark was taken aback, he had expected something about his son, and
even some questions about Demona, but he hadn't expected her to ask about his
feelings for Demona. It was a painful subject, but of all the gargoyles here, Angela
had the right to know everything he knew about her.
"Yes, very much. Despite your mother's faults, she means the world to me,
and I'd take her back in a second if she asked."
Angela nodded and continued. " Maybe there is still some good in her.
Why do you think she left you?"
"I suppose she blames me for the death of our son, and I'm not so sure she's
wrong. I should have protected him better, but I was fool enough to believe in the best
of humanity. I should have been prepared for the worst, and my son and wife paid the
price for that mistake."
"You aren't that kind of man, not from what Elisa and the others have said.
You have to believe in the best, or you'll end up like Mother, bitter and angry. Maybe
Demona won't come back because she's afraid."
"What would scare Demona?" Mark asked.
"You blame yourself for what happened. Did you ever think that she might
feel that you blame her? She might not be able to face you. I wish I'd known about
all this a few months ago. I could have asked her while she was imprisoned in the
Seeing her like this, Angela was so like her mother. Mark felt very lucky to
have this opportunity. He'd lost one child, he wasn't about to lose another. It was like
a second chance, a chance to correct the things he's done wrong. Maybe the girl was
right, maybe Demona was afraid. He had to find a way to get word to her.
"Angela, thanks. If you need anything, anything at all, please come to me.
If it is at all possible, I'll do it. I'll be here for you, no matter what."
She smiled at him, recognizing the look in his eyes. It was paternal love, she'd
seen it in Goliath's eyes ever since he finally admitted his biological parentage to her,
and it made her feel wonderful. Now she had a mother, a father, and a stepfather, and
she loved them all. She had only just met this human, but she felt that she could trust
him with her life. She only wished she knew why Demona had hurt him so much.
Maybe the two could be reunited somehow, and Mark could be as happy as she
Mark was now talking to the others, showing some piece of equipment to
an enthusiastic Lexington while the others looked on. Goliath and Elisa were deep
in conversation, away from the others. Angela wondered what they could be discussing.
She hoped they would admit their true feelings for each other, but she understood the
difficulties they could have. Maybe when Mark and Demona got back together (she
refused to accept the possibility that they could remain apart), they could help Goliath
and Elisa overcome their problems. She turned back to the wonderful collection of
things Mark had, and began to look them over in detail.
Xanatos was checking the seals on his armor, making sure everything was
operating properly. He paused for a moment to look out over the skyline. He liked
the commanding view from atop the castle, as if he were surveying his property. He
could see the lighted terrace in the distance. It was too far for him to see the gargoyles
without the enhancements in his helmet. He smiled to himself, they would never know
what hit them. "Owen, are the robots ready?"
"All robots are operating perfectly, Mister Xanatos." Owen responded. "Are
you certain that this is wise?" Owen's face and voice were devoid of emotion, but the
question was a valid one.
"It's too good an opportunity to pass up, Owen. Goliath and his clan have
been a thorn in my side for far too long, and no one, not even Mark Flyer, is going to
dictate my agenda. I could even eliminate the detective, if I choose. I'm only sorry
Demona isn't down there too." Xanatos put on the helmet, hearing the rush of air
as the armor sealed tight and the internal air systems activated. Heads-up displays
appeared, and all systems were at peak efficiency.
There were twelve Steel Clan robots assembled on the roof, six of the newest
Mark VI 'Demona' robots, and six of the older Mark V design. The Mark V was the
standard Clan robot, but these had been programmed to work in tandem with the faster
Mark VI designs. They would form into six pairs and overwhelm the gargoyles. At
least, that was the plan. Xanatos would take Goliath himself. Without Goliath's leadership,
the others should be easy prey, and Elisa and Bronx should be fairly well contained on the
roof of the hotel. He could deal with them at his leisure.
"Wish me luck, Owen." Xanatos said. With that, he and his robot army took to
the sky, propelled by their jets. Gathering in a formation, with his crimson armor taking
the lead position, the Steel Clan streaked towards their objective.
"Best of luck, sir." Owen stood back, watching the fading light from the rockets
as the group faded into the night sky. To himself, he whispered, "you'll need it."
While Lexington and Broadway looked over the newest piece of equipment Mark
had given them to see, Brooklyn had gone back over to the edge of the terrace. He was
so preoccupied with his thoughts that he didn't hear the footsteps behind him until the
"Brooklyn, won't you at least talk to him?"
It was Elisa. She and Goliath had been by themselves just a minute ago.
He turned to face her. "I don't trust him. He was mates with Demona! He even
said he'd take her back if he gets the chance. Demona betrayed us, how do we know he
"You seemed all right a few minutes ago. What changed your mind? It isn't
jealousy over Angela, is it?"
"She hardly knows him, and she's hanging on everything he says! He could
be making all this up, just to turn her against us, or to get her to tell him where we sleep."
Brooklyn shook his fist angrily, "I just don't know. How can he be such a friend to you,
and still care for someone who tries to kill us every chance she gets?"
"I know it isn't easy, but Goliath trusts him, and he's Angela's father. If he trusts
Mark with her, can't you?"
"I'll try, but I can't help thinking that something is about to happen, something
we could have avoided if we stayed away."
"I tell you what, go over and talk to him. Let him know how you feel and why.
Mark's a decent guy, he'll give you a straight answer." Elisa shrugged, "What'll it hurt to
talk to the man?"
He paused, thinking it over, "You really think he'll answer?"
"Only one way to find out. We'll all be here if you need us."
Brooklyn looked back at Elisa, smiled weakly, and headed toward Mark. "Uh, we
need to talk. Sorry to interrupt, guys." Broadway and Lexington nodded, and stepped
back as Mark and Brooklyn headed inside.
Hudson looked to the pair and spoke. "Not to worry, lads. Everything will be
fine. They just need to have a few words in private."
Angela looked back, "Are you sure, Hudson? Brooklyn seemed awfully upset
Goliath walked over to join them. "He will be fine, Angela. Brooklyn will lead
this clan someday. He must learn to trust, and to judge the words of others for himself.
I am certain he will accept Mark as a friend."
"What's on your mind, Brooklyn?" Mark asked, sitting down on the couch in
his living room.
Brooklyn stood by the sliding door to the terrace, trying to find a tactful way
to start. "Look, Mark, I just don't know what to make of you. You say you want to be
our friend, but then you say that you love Demona. She betrayed us, tried to kill us on
more than one occasion, and tries to murder Elisa on a regular basis! What sense should
we make of this?"
Mark thought for a moment, and said the last thing Brooklyn expected to hear.
"You're right, I can't give you a good reason to trust me, except that I have no reason to
betray you. I certainly don't need money, so why would I lie?"
"Maybe that's all true, but how can you care for a creature like Demona?"
"You're still young, so you might not understand. When someone is in love,
they will do almost anything for the object of their affection. They would rather be hurt
themselves than allow that person to suffer. No matter what Demona does, I will always
love her. As long as Demona was happy, I was happy. Don't misunderstand, some of the
things she's done are reprehensible, and although my mind knows they are wrong, my
heart will always belong to Demona.
Brooklyn nodded. "Ok, maybe that makes some sense, but what about us?"
"I don't have any easy answers for you. All I can ask for is a chance. I haven't
done anything to you or your clan. Let me prove my sincerity, and if you still think I plan
to turn on the clan, I will sever all ties with you willingly. Is that fair?"
The young gargoyle walked forward and smiled. "Yeah, I think that's fair. I
guess I can give you a chance." He reached out and shook Mark's hand firmly. "I'm
sorry. I just really don't like Demona at all, but Goliath says that's no reason to hold
"I'm glad. Is there anything else?"
"Yeah, I saw you letting Lex play with all that neat stuff and ..."
"And you'd like something?" Mark asked.
"Do you have an extra motorcycle I could borrow. My last one blew up."
The two laughed and headed back out to the others. When the small cluster
of gargoyles and Elisa saw their happy expressions, they all smiled as well.
"It seems we are all in agreement. Mark Flyer, we are glad to welcome you as
our friend." Goliath reached out to shake his hand, and all hell broke loose...
The attack was a complete surprise. An explosion sent humans and gargoyles
scrambling as the robots swooped down on them. Mark could hear the sharp reports
from Elisa's revolver, but he could also hear the bullets as they bounced harmlessly off
the armored forms. In a single, fluid motion he drew the lightning gun from its' holster,
lined up a target, and fired. A powerful streak of electricity shot forth, striking one of
the Demona 'bots in the chest. It convulsed in the stream of energy and exploded in a
fiery hail of debris. He could hear Lexington crying out, "It's the Steel Clan!"
Brooklyn replied, "Yeah, and some of them got a makeover!"
Goliath immediately took charge, roaring loudly as his eyes glowed a bright
white. He leapt off the roof to take the battle to his foes.
Over their initial shock, the other gargoyles took to the air, with Bronx running
to Elisa's side, presumably to protect her. Mark looked to the laser rifle, exactly where
he had left it. Breaking into a run, with a mated pair of the robots in dogged pursuit,
he grabbed the weapon and threw it to Elisa.
She turned and caught the gun, examined it quickly, and brought it to bear
on one of the robots that was beginning to line Mark up for a shot. She pulled the
trigger, and the particle beam sliced through the armor, destroying the delicate internal
circuitry and detonating it. The resulting explosion forced the surviving robot, one of
the Mark Vs, to veer off. "Cute toy. I don't suppose there's any kind of licence for
Mark quickly scanned the skies, there were eleven robots remaining. There
had been thirteen originally, and they had broken into pairs to harry the gargoyles,
with the exception of Goliath. A single crimson form pursued him through the sky,
trying to force the gargoyle down. Angela, Lexington, Broadway, Brooklyn, and
Hudson were also being attacked. Mark must have destroyed one of the robots that
was after Lexington, because he had only one attacker, while the others had two.
His thoughts were cut short as the surviving robot of the pair that had attacked
him circled back for another strafing run. Apparently Xanatos had decided that Mark,
Elisa and Bronx were less of a threat. That decision was going to cost him dearly, Mark
vowed silently. He then shouted to Elisa. "Try to give the others some cover, I'll handle
She nodded and ducked behind one of the buffet tables as the robot passed,
popping up to blast one of the Goliath robots that was pursuing Angela. As it exploded,
it obscured the young gargoyle from her second pursuer. Angela took full advantage,
gliding up, around, and behind it, rending one of the robot's wings with her talons. Deprived
of aerodynamic stability, the Clan robot careened headfirst into the side of the building,
Meanwhile, the others were using teamwork to disable their opponents. Broadway
by attacking a robot that was concentrating on Brooklyn, and Lexington by tricking his lone
pursuer into flying into the path of Brooklyn's other attacker.
Xanatos had lost six robots in as many minutes, and was no closer to grounding
Goliath. He had been unable to hit the lavender gargoyle despite taking several shots,
so he changed tactics. He sent a signal to the final robots, to engage any available
gargoyle. He then drew his wings close for increased speed, and slammed into Goliath's
side, sending them both crashing to the terrace.
Five of the robots fell prey to the combined attacks of the gargoyles and Elisa,
with no losses or serious injuries to any of Goliath's clan. Elisa managed to shoot two
more robots, while Hudson dispatched another with his sword, nearly cleaving it in two.
The other two were destroyed by the combined efforts of Broadway and Brooklyn,
tricking them into shooting each other.
Meanwhile, Xanatos and Goliath were locked in combat on the terrace.
Neither had a clear advantage, but Xanatos was seriously outnumbered. All of
the other gargoyles had surrounded him and were advancing slowly.
As if sensing his situation, Xanatos shoved Goliath back hard, forcing
him into Bronx and Elisa. The three tumbled in a heap, and Xanatos' laser popped
up from the armored forearm.
"Good bye, Goliath." he sneered.
With a shriek of rage, Angela leapt on him from behind, tearing the weapon
from its' housing. "I won't let you hurt him!" she screamed, eyes aglow with fury.
"That's fine Angela, he isn't my target tonight," Xanatos replied, as he
flipped her into the others with alarming ease. "You are."
At that moment, the final robot appeared, as if out of nowhere. In all the
confusion it had slipped below the level of the terrace and had been hiding. Before
anyone could react, it raised its' arm and fired. Goliath roared in fury, his
eyes like beacons in the night. "ANGELA!"
Elisa raised her gun, knowing she was too late, and the others began
to move in, trying to somehow protect Angela.
As the robot fired, Mark threw himself in the path of the beam, shielding
Angela from the blast. The smell of charred flesh assaulted their nostrils as the
force of the beam knocked him backwards into the female gargoyle. Elisa fired,
destroying the robot. She then turned her gun on Xanatos.
"Well, it seems I've overstayed my welcome. Nice to see you again,
Detective." Xanatos wasn't stupid, he knew that seven angry gargoyles and
one ticked off police detective were more than he was willing to handle. The
wings of the armor snapped into the position necessary for flight, and he took
off faster than any of them could follow. Elisa fired a few shots, but he was much
more agile than the robots they had fought. A sealed envelope fluttered to earth,
with the words 'TO MARK FLYER' written on it. Elisa picked it up and looked
down sadly at the fallen form of her friend.
As Xanatos quickly faded from sight, all eyes fell on Mark. He was
bleeding profusely from a large wound in his chest. The armor around the
wound had been totally disintegrated. Angela had his head in her lap, and
"Please don't die! I only just found you. I don't want you to go!"
She began to sob uncontrollably. She knew he should recover, but it didn't
make this any easier. It was the first time she had seen death firsthand.
"Angela..." began Goliath, placing a hand on her shoulder tenderly.
He looked to Elisa. She shook her head. She'd seen enough gunshot wounds
to know that Mark had very little time left. Goliath withdrew his hand. Better
to let her grieve.
"A-Angela? I-is she safe?" Mark croaked. He was in terrible pain,
but he knew it would be over soon. His concern, even now, was for his stepdaughter.
Soon, oblivion, and then, recovery. He had been killed many times before, and most
likely would die many more times.
"I'm here stepfather, everything's going to be ok." She was trying to convince
herself of this. The man was supposed to be immortal, but she wondered if the spell he
was under had limits, and if these wounds had surpassed them.
The others gathered around the fallen warrior. No one spoke, even Bronx whined
quietly. Animal he might be, but he knew death was near.
"Please don't cry, I'll be all right soon". It was Mark. His breath was shallow now,
his stare vacant. He died in Angela's arms a few moments later. The time was 2:37 AM.
"I trust things went as planned." It was Owen, waiting patiently as Xanatos
landed on the wall of Castle Wyvern.
"Everything went according to plan, down to the smallest detail. There should
be no question, Mark and Goliath will definitely join forces." Xanatos removed his helmet,
grinning from ear to ear.
"Forgive me for asking, but how does this help you, Mister Xanatos?" Owen
looked almost puzzled.
"Simple, Owen. Alone, Mark was a great threat. What possible leverage could
I use against him? Death is a minor inconvenience for him, and I can't apply any economic
pressures, he's nearly as wealthy as I am. However, Mark is very much like Goliath. He
believes in an outdated code of honor, and one of the tenets of that code is loyalty. He
won't dare try anything reckless, for fear of the potential reprisals against the gargoyles.
Besides, now he'll be sidetracked, like Detective Maza. He'll get involved in their lives,
and leave me alone."
"Very clever sir. It seems that you have thought of everything."
"There was something else, something you mentioned earlier. Mark lost his
son, and he seemed so serious with what he said to me and Fox earlier today. At least
this should leave no doubt for the gargoyles, Mark is definitely my enemy, and their friend."
He paused a moment, and continued. "I couldn't bring him Demona, but maybe her daughter
will do for now."
"A most generous gesture. But surely you could have devised something that was
less expensive. Your armor will need three days of repairs, and replacing the robots will be
"Perhaps, Owen. But it wouldn't have been as much fun. Oh, and speaking of the
robots, scrap the Mark VI model immediately."
"Of course, Mister Xanatos."
Both men headed inside. Whatever opinion Owen Burnett had of the evening
As Elisa and the gargoyles mourned Mark's death, they were joined by three
familiar-looking women. All were dressed in flowing white, one a platinum blonde, one a
golden blonde, and the last had raven tresses.
"The Weird Sisters!" exclaimed Goliath. They had met on Avalon, where he had
learned that they were originally the Guardians of the island. A petty quest for revenge
had set many events in motion, including Demona's and Mark's immortality.
"Peace, Goliath. We seek only to tend to our fallen child. Oberon has forbidden
us to interfere in the lives of mortals." Each spoke a sentence in turn.
Angela came forward. "Why did you do this to him? He wasn't a soldier for the
"We did nothing he did not ask. We merely granted his request."
"But why!?" exclaimed Angela. "Why are you tormenting him like this? He'll live
forever, his only crime being one of compassion!" Her eyes burned with anger, and she
tensed, anticipating an attack.
"No. You are wrong. Until this one and his wife understand their sin, they shall
remain forever apart. This torment you speak of is of their own creation, not ours."
"What possible crime could Mark be responsible for? Demona's thirst for
vengeance is her flaw, but what has Mark done?" asked Goliath. "We shall not let
you pass until we have answers."
The Sisters looked at each other a moment, as if weighing the veiled threat
Goliath had made to them. Finally they reached a decision, they would speak. "Very
well. Know this, the human you see was meant to serve as a balance between Demona
and MacBeth. When their alliance crumbled, we needed to ensure that both would
survive to serve the Archmage. To further ensure that our soldiers would survive, this
one does not feel the pain of the others. We required a guardian. This one chose to
fulfill that role. He wanted to spend all of eternity with the female, and we granted his
desire. It also happened to suit our needs as well."
This met with some grumbling from the gargoyles, but Elisa wanted more
information. "Even if that's true, what could he have done to deserve almost nine
hundred years of loneliness?"
"His flaw is the flaw of the gargoyle female. He blinds himself to the truth,
and sees only what he wishes to see. We have answered your questions, now we
must complete our task. Arise, child. We know your pain is great, but you must
wake up and complete your destiny."
Mark stirred, his chest rising and falling as his breathing strengthened.
His eyes fluttered open, and he sat up.
"What! What happened. Is Angela ok?"
"I'm fine, now that you're back" she said, hugging him. The others
gathered around him, clapping him on the back and helping him to his feet.
The sisters floated back, but did not leave.
"We greet you Mark MacDonald, Lord of Unity Keep. We greet
you Mark Flyer, pilot and soldier."
"What do you want. Have I not been punished enough?" Mark
was angry. "Why are you letting me see you as you truly are?" He stood
up, his hand falling to the lightning gun at his hip.
"Peace. Because, Mark Flyer, you deserve the truth. You know
how we created you, now you shall know why. We gave you the gift of
immortality to do as you asked, to protect Demona. That is all. We had no
other motives, save perhaps to preserve the others for our vengeance on the
Magus. Oberon has decreed that we shall interfere no more, and so we take
our leave of you. We are ... sorry, if we have caused you pain, but much of it
was of your own making. Farewell." The three disappeared as quickly as they
Brooklyn was the first to step forward. "Look, I don't know how to say
it, but I'm sorry. What you did for Angie, none of us can ever make it up to you,
but we'll sure try."
"Don't worry, any of you." Mark replied, shaking his head. "I just felt
it was the best option we had. I knew I wouldn't die, not permanently, and I swore
on my son's grave that I would never let another gargoyle die if I could prevent it."
Silently, he cursed the three Fae sisters. Those damned women had used him to
further their own ends. All his suffering and loneliness was to their benefit. Still,
he had more pressing matters at the moment.
Elisa stepped forward, holding the envelope. "I think Xanatos left it for
you. I can't imagine what it is. We all thought he had reformed."
Mark opened the envelope, pulling out a small piece of paper and reading
it. He then began to laugh heartily. This was met with looks of shock and concern
from those assembled.
Lexington spoke softly to Goliath. "Maybe he isn't fully recovered. Should
we get him to a hospital?"
Goliath shook his head. "No. There must be some explanation." He then
looked up. "Mark, what is it you find so amusing?"
Mark rubbed his eyes, still chuckling. "I'm sorry, but Xanatos must have
one hell of a twisted sense of humor. Here, take a look." He handed the paper to
The lavender gargoyle looked over the note, and a smile crossed his face.
He then passed the note to Elisa, who read it aloud;
COULDN'T FIND THE MOTHER, BUT HERE'S THE DAUGHTER
Elisa looked angry, crumpling the note in her hands. "All this just to make
sure you and the gargoyles got along? The man is insane!"
"What does it matter, Elisa?" Mark replied, "At least it answers the questions
about the attack, and I *have* gained a stepdaughter."
With that, Angela hugged him tightly. "I'll come back to visit you soon, if you'll
He smiled broadly. "Of course you can. Any of you can." Mark felt a great deal
better, for the first time in a long time, he belonged. He finally had a family of sorts.
"C'mon, we better go. All that shooting and exploding will bring the police. I'm
surprised they aren't here already."
Goliath replied. "You are right Elisa, we must go." He then clasped Mark's hand
firmly, "but we will we back, my friend. That is a promise." He smiled warmly. "I owe you
a debt for the life of my daughter. Please, do not hesitate to call us if you need us."
"Thanks Goliath." He waved as the gargoyles leaped off the roof and soared
home, wherever that was. Oh well, he'd better start thinking of a story for the press.
Weapons misfire, maybe? He'd sort it all out in the morning.
Elisa relaxed in Goliath's arms, enjoying the ride. "Do you think we should have
told him what the Sisters said? Maybe he really doesn't know what he's doing when it
comes to Demona."
"No Elisa, it is a path he must walk alone. He and Demona must see for themselves.
Insight is only possible when one wishes to find it. We cannot do it for him."
No one saw the female gargoyle crouched in shadow on the roof overlooking the
terrace. It was just as well, for Demona had come not to fight, but to gather information.
Her attempts to catch her husband's eye by day had failed, and she *had* to know why
he was here. The night's events had been most enlightening.
All this time, she had assumed that her human love had wanted revenge, as all
her former allies had. She was wrong. Mark still loved her, and that surprised her. That
surprise was eclipsed by the statements the Weird Sisters had made. She hadn't heard
everything (a deliberate act on their part, but Demona would never know that), but she
now knew that Mark's "creation" had been to maintain balance between her and MacBeth.
She had briefly considered aiding him when the robots attacked, but had decided
not to. Goliath and the others would have assumed she was involved. She *was* annoyed
that Xanatos had made robot likenesses of her, but that was something to deal with later.
All that expense and destruction, just to ensure that Goliath and Mark became allies. Demona
couldn't even conceive a reason for such an action, but she didn't really care, either.
She was glad that Mark and Angela were getting along. She had almost expected
Mark to be jealous, considering that Angela was a concrete reminder of the love she held
for Goliath. But, he had surprised her again, looking at the child like his own. She could at
least be certain that her daughter would be safe now. Mark could protect her better than an
entire clan of gargoyles.
Quietly, she soared off into the night. She had much to think about. If Mark would
really take her back, maybe she could abandon her quest for vengeance. Maybe ...
The next morning things were back to normal. The report the media got was one
of espionage. An as yet unnamed agency had tried to assassinate Mark Flyer, world renown
pilot and agent. They plot had failed, but the terrace of his suite had been badly damaged.
Mark had to admit that being rich and influential had its' advantages. Not only had
he obscured the truth about the gargoyles, but his terrace should be completely repaired by
sunset. He felt it was a wise precaution, in case any of Goliath's clan came to visit.