Saga: Angels Amongst Us
Title: Day Of Reckoning
Episode: 16
Rating: PG-13 (strong language)

Characters: Daria Damson -a Djinni, Lysander -The Vampiric owner of the Athenaeum Nightclub, Wren Summers-Nightkind...a genetically confused lifeform, Demetrius Nightkind -her devoted mate, Dr. Tina Hansen-Stephenson; a Sanguine, Lennox MacBeth ~an Immortal Warrior King turned Scholar, Dominique- everyone's favorite college co-ed

Summary: A time foretold in ancient holy texts has come to pass. Who will be the heroes during this time of adversity?

Disclaimer: Gargoyles don't belong to me. They belong to Disney. All original characters belong to their goddess. No infringement intended. Please do not sue.


April 1, 2006

Daria packed her bottle in the carrying bag supplied to her by Lord Oberon. She exchanged her soiled, wet clothing for attire more becoming a Child of Oberon. Glancing down at her wrists, she found it incredulous that the Mithral bonds no longer graced her arms. Gone were the damson velvet garments and lavender silk. She decided that as a Djinni, she needed a much more modern appearance. She donned purple velvet flare slacks and a white turtleneck sweater.

Avalon held nothing for the young Child of Oberon. The Djinni had been born long before the Dark Wars. The Fae had settled Avalon shortly before her imprisonment in the amethyst flask. [It's not like it's my home or anything.] She had watched Timron traipse off into the night with Lady Titania.

She hadn't mentioned to anyone that she had seen Timron asleep later that night with Titania in his arms. Daria had left him a note yet she was certain Titania had found it first. She had spent days in limbo waiting for Timron to communicate along their psionic bond...yet no word came. She left the magickal isle without a word.

Pride was all the woman possessed. Daria's faith in Timron deepened by degrees as she remembered his promises of love. She refused in her innermost heart to give up on the Scarlet Gargoyle that had captured her love with little more than innate kindness and brave words. [Brave lies.]

Daria felt like a walking dichotomy. Part of her wished to remain on Avalon whilst the other portion of her knew that he was his own Gargoyle and that she needed faith in his ability to be faithful. As each day passed, no word came from her beloved warrior, protector, and mate.

She decided to return to the Realm of Humanity and simply wait for him.

An aching, hollow emptiness filled Daria. She had no home, no love, and no master. Isolation was her companion and solitude was her guide. She had nowhere to go and no place she had to be. The Djinni had some freedom. It was a pleasant way of saying that she had nothing left to lose. [So why does it hurt so damn much?]

The spell was cast and found that she stood by a familiar stretch of Highway near the corner of 70th and O'Kault streets. The neon sign for the Athenaeum shone brightly even in the daylight. Daria marveled that the snow she remembered had melted and the air was warmer. The fresh fragrance of blooming blossoms filled the air. Intuition told her it was Spring.

[How long was I gone?!]

She knew Time spent on Avalon passed exceedingly quick compared to time in the World of Humanity. She estimated that she spent a day and a half on Avalon. She saw a paper vending machine and hurriedly sprinted across the parking lot. She had neither bills nor silver in her pockets. Three quick glances told her no one was around at that point. With arms folded in front and an exaggerated blink, the vending machine door fell open revealing several copies of the Linoma Sentinel.

Daria quickly surveyed the area and found no eyes upon her. She reached in and pulled out a copy of the paper. The date on front page caused her to stagger and sit on a nearby park bench. It read April 1, 2006. A month had passed since she had been in the outside world. She counted on her fingers the hours spent on Avalon. It came to 31.

"Lysander's going to wonder where the hell I've been." She muttered. She scanned the headlines and read that the "Sunlight Syndrome" of February 26 had killed an estimated 657 vampires. Crimes in Sam Hain had dramatically decreased. Other stories included how a Preternatural Task force formed to deal with the growing Supernatural population.

Daria's stomach growled loudly demanding food.

She looked at the Big Ben clock facsimile that stood in the center of Clocktower plaza. It was high noon. Daria shook her head in desolation. "I have no place to live. No money in my pockets and no friends. What do I do now?"

She turned her attention to the Athenaeum. It was a place to start. Lysander held several possible answers. Daria knew that while they weren't the best of friends, he had always looked after her in a strangely patronizing fashion. She rolled the paper and stuck it under her arm as she made her way to the Nightclub.

It was no surprise to her that they locked the doors. "Like that's going to stop me."

Had anyone been looking, his or her eyes would have been met with a stunning display of Magick. Daria's form became a sifting column of lavender smoke and wafted through the space between the building and the locked door. It reappeared inside the Athenaeum in the middle of the Dance floor. The straight tower of smoke formed curves and contours and darkened to rich damson.

Daria straightened the duffel bag hanging heavily on her shoulder. Brown eyes stared around the club. She saw the broken window where had hit her head had been fixed. The windows of the club were now tinted so dark that it appeared to be night. She barely saw through the heavy film that blocked out the sunlight. The smell of cigarette smoke hung heavily in the air.

She treaded carefully across the nightclub. [It's a BAAADDD thing rousing a sleeping vampire. I have no desire to be considered a bedtime snack.]

"Well, Pretty..." A voice with a British lilt drawled. Daria looked over her shoulder to see Lysander at the end of the bar partaking a snifter of "Vintage." She knew that "Vintage" was synonymous with "BLOOD.' Her stomach lurched at the thought. "I see you've returned to the fold."

"Pretty much." The duffel bag landed effortlessly on the surface of the wicker bar. Daria sat on a stool only a few inches from him. "I'm back."

"Where have you been?" One penciled brow rose in question. "You've not been seen in over a month."

"Long story or abridged version?" She quipped.

"Oh, I have all day." He dismissed the time with a simple gesture. He patted a high-setting white wicker stool. "I love long, melodramatic sob stories."

"You asked for it." She warned him. Daria told her tale of how her life entwined with Timron's when he found her bottle. She recalled her love for the contemplative young Gargoyle and, how just as quickly, he had broken her heart. He sat silently and occasionally nodded. Steepled hands supported his aristocratic chin. "By the way, I don't have to serve a master anymore. On the down side, I'm imprisoned in this damned bottle until September 1st."

"You mean you must keep it near you?"

"Basically, yeah." Her head hung low. "Nevertheless, I don't know anyone here in Linoma other than you, Lysander. What am I going to do?"

"You will be strong, Daria. Remember, never give up and never give in."

"I'm not going to spend 24/7 in that damned bottle. I want something of a life." The lamentation was barely audible even for Vampiric ears. "I'm not doing so well."

"You look as though you've lost a bit of weight."

"I thought we Immortal types couldn't die." She chuckled darkly.

He went behind the bar and pulled out several colorful spirit decanters. He made a spectacular show of juggling and sleight-of-hand as he poured libations into an ornately carved crystal goblet. Somehow, it slid effortlessly down the smooth white marble surface of the bar so that it stopped right in front of her.

"What's this?" She tentatively picked up the goblet and gave the sparkling liquid a gentle swirl. She carefully sniffed the contents.

"You need it, dear girl." Lysander pulled out a silver cigarette case. "You look horrible. Circles under your eyes, your clothes are practically hanging on you. By Jupiter, you're paler than me at sunset. You can't let your broken heart get the best of you."

"Hey, can't seem to help it." She sighed and gingerly sipped the wine.

"You're a bright soul, Daria." Lysander gently stroked her cheek. "You're eyes have lost their fire. You look like a corpse waiting to die. You haven't been in love before, have you?"

"Not in a very long time." The admission was a painful one. She took a larger swallow of the dry vintage. "Then, he showed up."

She gave a bitter laugh. "I didn't think that loving again would hurt so much."

Lysander playfully pulled on one of those errant curls spilling over onto her brow. He patted her hand. She turned her head away. He wiped away a single black streak. "None of that. You're eyeliner is running. The heavy look went out with Cleopatra. I know. Mark Anthony threw away her kohl. Remember, you haven't lived three thousand years without gaining some inner strength."

More tears fell. Lysander's historical commentary did little for Daria's comfort.

"Then, I have an offer for you." Lysander offered Daria his arm. He handed her a hanky with great disdain. "Now, now, Pretty. Dry your tears. You'll ruin your mascara. He isn't worth the tears you're shedding for him."

"Yes, he is." She said sternly. "He captured my heart and I won't get it back anytime soon. I love him with everything I have and it's making me heartsick."

"Then, deal with it as it comes." Lysander chided her. He walked over toward the sound system of the Nightclub. The ascended the stage and he faced the DJ booth. "Dionysia met an untimely demise in all the chaos of the Sunlight Syndrome. I've been without a Disc Jockey and Entertainment Hostess for almost a month. If you want a normal life, then you might consider earning a living."

Daria snickered at the absurdity. "Lysander, I can have anything I want with just a blink. Why would I want to have a job?"

"You wanted a life, my little Genie." He tweaked her chin. "There's something to be said for finding solace in routine. Your heart is breaking and you need a distraction. Lose yourself in the routine of work. I'll make it worth your time. Get paid for getting on with your life."

Lysander was a ruthless, Machiavellian individual that caused Daria's blood to run cold. She studied the Vampire as he proposed his plan. Still, his logic was irrefutable. What few times she had been at the Athenaeum, Daria had enjoyed the ambiance of the club. Spinning discs was hardly a way to purge the heart of heartbreak, but there might be some entertainment listening to others embarrass themselves. It was a novel concept: A Child of Oberon earning a paycheck.

"I'll do it." She held out her hand. Lysander gently shook it. He went on to have her fill out paperwork. There were several snags regarding her identity.

"Don't worry, I have many ways around these minor inconveniences." He gave her a sly wink. He took out a note pad and scrutinized the young Fae. "You need a life and we shall give you one."

"I have one."

"You have a life. What you NEED is an identity." He wiggled the pencil between tapered fingers. He scribbled furious. "Name -Daria Delaney Damson, age 35."

"Thirty-five!" She shrieked in protest. Dark brown eyes burned with amber fire. Her fury was met by a dark chuckle from Lysander.

"My Dear, we can't all be eighteen." He clicked his tongue. "Your vanity is still your downfall. I don't understand it. You're a ravishing creature with a glorious body and you cringe about your age. Women, Fae or otherwise, haven't changed in three thousand years."

"I never said that I wanted to be eighteen." She scowled as he erased several lines from his notepad. "Let's say that I'm 25."

"No, you have too much experience to be 25. Let's say...oh, 33."

"No! That's too old, Lysander." Daria attempted to snatch his pencil. "How about 28?"

"30?" He countered.

"Done!" She agreed.

"Tomorrow, return here and you'll have a driver's license, a social security card, educational transcripts and birth certificate." He nodded. "Where are you going to live?"

"I haven't a clue." Daria shrugged. "I hadn't given that much thought yet."

"You can't stay here. I have no room."

"I understand." She poured another glass of wine. "Apartment hunting?"

"Since you haven't been on your own in almost two millennia, I think you need a transition point." Lysander chewed thoughtfully on the end of his pencil. "Hmmm....give me one moment."

Lysander pulled away and went to a dark corner of the Athenaeum. He remained there for several minutes and spoke in low tones. Daria watched the Vampire intently as he nodded every so often and then abruptly clicked shut his phone. He returned to where she stood and nodded. "I've settled the matter for you. You have a place to stay."

"I do? Just like that?"

"Just like that." He laid a hand on her shoulder. "Do you remember Dr. Tina Stephenson?"

"Timron's friend?"

"Yes." Lysander placed the chewed pencil on the bar and sat down beside Daria. "She has a very...shall we say... idiosyncratic household. You've been there. You'll be living with three Nightkind, a Sanguine, and an Immortal. Tina says that Timron's room is free for you if you choose to take it. They would be happy to welcome you with open arms."

"Really?" Daria scowled at him. "I don't think that's such a good idea..."

"Beggers can't be choosers." Lysander gave her a smile. "Unless you want to specialize in bag lady chic, then I suggest you take advantage of the is cathartic opportunity. If you live with your ghosts long enough, they become old friends rather than painful adversaries. It's a place to rest your weary head."

"I just feel so alone." Daria was in no mood for callous counsel. "Will it always be like this?"

"Your best resource is your resiliency. That is why you have lasted, Daria, while lesser beings have perished." Lysander's index finger beckoned her closer. "This is life we Preternaturals must bear. It isn't an existence for the weak or the feeble. We cannot marry nor love for it weakens us. Death is the staple of our survival. We see those dear to us leave or perish with the ravages of time. You are blessed that your heart beats and your lungs still breathe. A broken heart won't kill you, Daria. I know you too well. You will be stronger for it. Survive and flourish."

"Gee, thanks for the pep talk."

"Ah, ah, ah!" He wagged a finger in front of her. "My Pretty, I've not yet finished. You are alone. He is a mortal, not of your kind, and unable to love you NOW. So, what of it? He is also one of valor. His heart will not so easily forget you. He will return to you. But, you are Immortal and thus, you know that time is irrelevant. What is a day, a moment, a year to those who are best friends with Eternity? From what I know of this young warrior, he is a true Gargoyle. He also knows how to wait. Once you are free of that bottle, he will descend upon you as an angel from heaven."

"Underneath that heartless exterior lies a hopeless romantic." Daria scoffed. "I knew I shouldn't have blinked you a copy of 'Kate And Leopold' for Christmas."

"I've seen many things, Daria." Lysander's pale blue eyes grew dark with a Vampire's fury. "This young buck is of better ilk than many of those who pass through the Athenaeum's doors. He will not desert you. Yet, you must give him time to think. He hasn't quit loving you, has he?"

"I don't think so."

"You maintain your ability to see into souls." Lysander reminded her. "Look there and you'll know the truth."

"You're right. He's as much told me that he's in love with me up to his eyeballs."

"Hardly eloquent, but, honest. Then, have faith in your goddess...if you must have faith in such a relic." Lysander pushed the goblet in front of her. "He has run to his home to serve his goddess. Just remember, you are one of her children. You are her mouthpiece. She binds you both in your heart and souls. He knows this simple truth. No mortal or immortal coil can undo Providence's abiding bond that flows between you."

"I wouldn't be so sure." Daria ran her finger along the frosted rim of the ornate chalice. "He may never return to....the outside me."

"Then, you do him insult." Lysander crossed his arms. Frigid blue eyes narrowed with consternation. "You underestimate his ability to make choice. You do yourself a disservice, Daria, thinking you are not of worth for his love."


"He loves you, I'm sure." He nods. "After all, you are the daughter of a goddess."

"And, your point being?" Daria's words hang heavily in the air.

"Trust in the love that you two share. Have faith in your Creatorix to bring you together with love and honor. She may well have had you cross paths before your time so that his love would gather strength to you."

"And Titania?" She dared posed the question to the Vampire.

"If he chooses her, then they deserve each other. You were a Blessing sent to show him his worth. If he casts you aside, then he is truly a fool."

"Enough!" Daria held up her hand to stop the soliloquy. "First things first, I need a place to live. You said that Tina had made arrangements for me?"


Those words rang loudly in her ears. She had exchanged the very same words with Timron not so long before this moment. "Okay, it's a done deal. How do I get there?"

"Well..." He tossed her a set of keys. "There was a motorcycle left in the parking lot. I do believe it belonged to your Gargoyle friend. I doubt that he'll be having need of it since he has chosen to remain on Avalon. It's such a shame to see such fine machinery go to waste. It's a 2006 Harley V Rod. I kept it safe. It's yours if you want it."

"It beats walking." She caught the keys in midair. "I know how to get to Summerlands. Thanks."

"Best of luck to you, Daria." Lysander stretched and yawned. "If you'll excuse me, I really must get some sleep. Can you let yourself out?"

"Not a problem." She gave him the thumbs-up sign. "I'll leave the same way that I came in: in a puff of smoke."


The cool spring air cut through Daria's turtleneck as she rode along the curves of the Highway. Sentimental tears formed in her eyes as she passed the billboard where she and Timron clumsily crashed. The motorcycle seemed like an alien entity to her without the Crimson Gargoyle riding it. Daria did her best to remember the way to the Summerlands Estate. [These people barely know me? How are they going to welcome me?]

She found herself before the closed wrought-iron gates of the estate. With great reservation, Daria buzzed the call box at the front of the gate. "Hi, I'm Daria...Damson. Tina Stephenson is expecting me."

"Come on in." A friendly voice greeted her. "The door's open. Just walk inside and turn immediately to the right."

Lysander noticed that Daria's brows furrowed in confusion. "Whom am I speaking with?"


"Ahhh." She nodded in understanding. Tina was a Sanguine. From what the Djinni knew, Sanguine were akin to vampires. Rather than being undead, these were Mutants who were very much alive! She also knew that the "Sunlight Syndrome" had a dramatic effect on Linoma's "nighttime" populace.

The gates opened and Daria brought the V Rod through them. She parked the bike near the front and made her way up the pillared porch. She studied the gothic architecture that mingled with neo-classical. She thought it was a strange mishmash of idea and building style. Tentatively, her hand made its way to the front door and slowly turned the knob. The door swung open and the young Djinni warily made her way inside.

She turned immediately to the right.

Daria found herself in darkened room with heavy curtains drawn across the windows. The darkness required her to slow her step and peer into the blackness with eyes squinted. "Tina?"

"Here." A voice came from the shadows. Daria saw a silhouette motioning her forward. "Close the door. You're letting in too much light."

"Of course." Daria hastily closed the door behind her. She wasn't accustomed to total darkness. A bright flicker broke the blackness as a candle flared to light. The golden light softly illuminated a young woman sitting behind a large oak desk. She remembered the red hair and the bright green eyes.

She noticed the bandages wrapped around the woman's arms.

"I got singed that day." Tina explained. "Wren and Demetrius covered me in a blanket, but the sun got to me. I'm almost healed by the scars are taking longer to fade than I thought. My guess is another month and I'll look normal again."

"I'm...sorry." Daria's contrition brought a wash of shame over her. "I should have considered the consequences."

"No worries." Tina rose from the chair and moved from behind the antique desk. She used a cane to make her way to the bookshelf several feet away. She reached above her and withdrew a rather large volume bound in black leather with pages trimmed in gold leaf. Daria noticed that on the front were two dragons entwined.

"Do you recognize this?" Tina asked.

"No, not at all." Daria slowly pulled the work toward her. "Should I?"

"Perhaps. Have you ever heard of the Tome of Tacitius?"

"Just in passing. Timron had a copy in his room."

"Do you know the story behind it?"

"Some." Daria confirmed. She bit her tongue trying to remember. "Tacitus was a favorite sibyl and oracle of my mother. He spread her teachings from Britannica to Phrygia, from Carthage to Dalmatia."

"You're right."

"He's a major figure in Gargoyle spirituality." Daria flipped open the Tome and read the finely detailed script on the page. "After that, it's a blank."

"Wren and Demetrius think that you might have brought around something prophesied by him." Tina walked slowly toward the office doors. "I think its hocus pocus, but I'm keeping an open mind. That burst of sunlight is supposedly prophesied in that latter part of the Tome."

"Oh, just great." Daria rolled her eyes. "Just what I need."

"Hey, you got rid of some vampires. That burst of sunlight you caused is being called the "Sunlight Syndrome." It's great. There are five clans of Vampire in Linoma. Most were young upstarts thinking there were hot shit on a silver platter. The Shire didn't want to call A Convocation to rid the city of them. You don't kill your own kind, you know. But, because of your blink, you stopped two feuds and got rid of some the city's seediest underworld criminals."

"I'm glad I could be of service." Daria wryly retorted.

"There's the flip side. Now, there's brewing tensions between the Vampires and the Garou. Each side is blaming the other thinking that one of species' is behind the Sunlight Syndrome. You, Lysander, your clan and me are the only ones that know the truth and we're going to keep it that way. Here's the bad news ~some are putting two and two together. Word on the street is that Gargoyles are connected to it somehow. So, a few have been thinking about starting a hunt."

"Oh-oh." Daria felt a sickening chill along her skin.

"Yeah, it's spreading nationwide." Tina knelt beside Daria. "A group called the Order of Helios had formed to combat what it is calling the "preternatural" menace. In the past month, two chapters have sprung up in Kansas City and Linoma Bluffs. They're not just hunting Gargoyles anymore. They're going after Garou, Vampires, Obi's kids, Mutants...anything that isn't human and anything that goes "Bump" in the night."

"Oh, goddess." Daria shivered at the horrors she heard. "Please tell me you're joking."

"No, I'm not." Tina grasped her hand and gave it a firm squeeze. "It's very real, Daria. I will admit, that's one of the reasons I asked you here."

"Why? Because I helped bring about a hate group indirectly?" She flinched. "Eeek! I don't like that idea."

"No, because we can use you."

"I don't understand." Daria shook her head. "My Magick caused all this shit to fall down."

"Correction. You granted a wish and it just had unforeseen results." Tina stood up and motioned her to follow. "There's more. You're under no obligation. I just want you to hear what a friend of mine has to say."

"I'm game."

Tina nodded and led Daria from the darkened library. She made her way down the corridor until she came into the parlor of the Summerlands mansion. Tina made her way to a large Gargoyle statue standing by a spiral staircase. Daria's face furrowed in silent question.

"No," Tina told her. "Not the real thing. Just a statue."

She deftly pushed the statue aside and several black Italian marble tiles slid back revealing a descending staircase underneath the floor. "It's not the Bat cave but it will do. Summerlands used to be an old monastery. Monks here hid Preternaturals, slaves and who know who else."

Daria thought she had been catapulted into the Twilight Zone. "Isn't this where we slide down a couple of bat-poles?"

"Nothing that dramatic." Tina started down the stairs. "Just come with me."

Daria said nothing and followed the Sanguine down the dark corridor. She marveled at the stealth that Tina possessed. NO sound came from Tina's footsteps while Daria's made light taps along the stone beneath her. "I can't see."

"Sorry. Most of us can see in the dark."

"Let me." Daria held up her hand and it glowed a very bright ultra-violet.

Tina shielded her eyes. "Oy! Dim that thing."

"Sorry." The glimmer around Daria's hand dimmed.

"Nice trick."

"One of several."

They made their way down the spiraling stairwell until they stood in a large cavern. Daria's mouth fell agape when she saw that the ceiling of the cave rose several hundred feet in the air. "Wow."

"This place is just full of secrets." Tina walked across the wide space to an elevator. "This is just the beginning."

Daria felt trepidation growing within her. Just where was the Sanguine taking her? She stepped into the cool metal confines of the elevator and watched silently as Tina stood before a wall panel. She watched the Sanguine stand motionless for several seconds. A pleasant feminine voice spoke quietly. An aquamarine-hued laser scanned her and then shot a solid beam into Tina's eye.

"Hansen-Stephenson, Christina Marie, Species: Sanguine. Retinal Scan confirmed."

"Thank you Synergy."

"Please confirm voice pattern imprint by speaking your codeword."

"Bloodstone." Tina spoke clearly into the panel.

"Voice pattern imprint confirmed. Welcome Tina Stephenson and enter."

"By the way, the newbie's with me." Tina gave the computer a few punches on the keypad. "Bypass standard security procedures. Engage security override. Bloodstone clearance."

Daria said nothing as she followed the redhead into the next room. There sat a few familiar faces around a conference table. There she recognized Wren Summers who had translated for her on the night she and Timron had met. The others looked unfamiliar to her. At Wren's right sat a Handsome Nubian garbed in long black braids and a Mithral chain mail shirt. To his right sat a young man only somewhat older than she; he had chestnut hair and a full, trimmed beard. Next to him sat a young woman no older than twenty-five. She had full scarlet hair and haunting green eyes.

"You already know Wren."


"Daria, the gorgeous guy next to Wren is Demetrius, her ...fiancé'. Next to him looking like a very young Sean Connery is our resident scholar and official bad-ass...his name is Lennox MacBeth. To the right of him, that's Dominique Destine."

They didn't seem like such an unusual group of people. "It's a pleasure."

Tina smirked when she saw Daria's disappointment. "Ah, I see the problem. You're wondering what the entire hullabaloo was about. Wren, Demetrius and Dominique appear human by day. However, once the sun goes down, Demetrius and Dominique become Gargoyles. Wren, here ~well, her case is special. Suffice it to say that she grows horns and a tail. All she needs is a pitchfork."

"She's a demon?" Daria's harsh whisper caught the attention of the entire group.

"No, she's....Nightkind." Tina bit her lip. "How do I explain this? She's has some fairly mixed bloodlines that make her family tree a bit complicated. Mix in a bit of Magick from a trickster from an alternate dimension, add one mutant gene and bingo! You have a very genetically confused lifeform."

"Thanks for clearing that up for me, Tina." Daria wanted to find the nearest door and make a hasty exit.

"Please, Daria, have a seat." Wren motioned her to the table. "Please hear us out. If you're not interested then fine. But I think that we can offer you something that you'll find interesting."

Watching the others warily, Daria took a place across from them. Wren rose from her chair and pushed the gold-rimmed spectacles up the bridge of her nose. "Tina has informed you, I'm sure, of the anti-supernatural sentiment rising in the city since the events of 2-26."

"Two Twenty-six?"

"February Twenty-Six, the day Linoma lost 45% of it's Vampire and Preternatural population to the Sunlight Syndrome. Since then, turf wars have erupted between the Vampire Community and the Garou. Elves have aligned themselves with the Garou, but many are blaming Gargoyles for the Sunlight Syndrome."

"Why?" Daria wanted another glass of Lysander's wine. "Gargoyles are stone by day."

"Yes, but the trouble began once our clan began making appearances at the Athenaeum which is a primarily Vampiric/ Garou club. We've kept a low profile the last month and a half. But, I'm sure that the revelation of our Community to Humans has sent them into a panic. The Order is just looking for an excuse to start a hunt. We're not going to give them."

Daria closed her eyes to block out the horror she was hearing. "There's more, isn't there?"

"We think so." Demetrius rose from his spot. She had seen him briefly in Gargoyle form the first night she had met Timron. He had looked so much like their father, Zandrezain with ebony skin, violet eyes, and flowing mane of argent hair. His voice carried the Scottish lilt from his homeland. His quiet continence reminded her of the Duende warrior that enraptured Skylaris' heart.

She forced her attention from her family to the man standing before her. Daria leaned forward and bit her lip in contemplation. "Tina said that you think that there might be some kind of religious connection?"

"Yes, good lady. 'Tis my heartfelt belief that ye have brought about Illumination."

"The WHAT?" Daria shook her head in complete confusion. "I haven't a clue what you're talking about, Demetrius. Can you fill me in?"

"Fill me in?" He turned to his mate and cocked his head in typical Gargoyle fashion.

"She means to divulge all relevant information, Sweetheart." Wren gently explained.

"Ah, it is clear." He nodded. He took the Tome and opened it to a latter section. Daria studied the blank pages and found that swirling black marks swam along the pages. They reminded her of minnows darting about in shallow waters. The marks slowed and took formation. The wriggled until they became what looked like script. Daria squinted to better make out the writing. She realized it wasn't English. She knew it not to be the languages she knew -Latin or Farsi. She recognized the words to be written in a strange series of marks and slashes.

She knew those marks well. Skylaris made them often when she engraved her beliefs upon hard granite. Only a dragon's claws could make deep slashes in solid rock. Now, they were before Daria upon the written page. The language was

"DRACONIC." She exclaimed. "This is in Draconic."

"Then, you recognize it?" Wren asked. "It's a dialect of DeMahri that I had difficulty translating."

"Oh, I recognize it." She spat. "The spell that was cast on me was done in Draconic. Wren, trust me on this one. Don't read it aloud unless you want to bring the house down. It's a language of Magick and only fools and Dragons are crazy enough to use it."

"I see." Wren's head dipped in discouragement. "I had been hoping that you could translate it for me. I wanted confirmation of what I had deciphered."

"Better me reading it than some yahoo who doesn't have a clue what he's doing."

"I agree." Wren smiled wryly.

"It's going to sound very guttural and harsh." Daria warned her. "I can read it far more easily than I can speak it. But, I'll give it my best shot."

"That's all we can ask."

Daria cleared her throat and diligently studied the words on the ancient page.

From Tacitus of Clan Septimus
The Plains Of Gaul.

To the Londinium Clan of Britannia

1 Lastly, beloved clan of Londinium, I humbly adjure and entreat thee in the name of the Dragon, that as you glide in wing and embrace the Gargoyle way, continue this path that your clan has chosen.

2 For thou knowest what counsel was bestowed upon thee by means of talon and wing, flame and scale.

3 For the goddess knows thy heart and thy needs. Choose not mateplay without a cherished One of your heart.

4 that all Sires and Dames to take to the a mate worthy of cherishment, adoration and honor...

5 not merely in the light of the Mating moon like humans who do not embrace The Way.

6 For it is the Way of natures to love fiercely and well without hesitation or reservation. It is Our Way, beloved clan-brethren and sisters, that we guard our protectorates and serve those in need of champions.

7 For goddess has charged us with this duty and honor.

8 But see not the things of this world, Londinium. Look beyond the sunrise and find that one is coming with Dragon's blood.

10 She shall bring forth the end of an age.

11 In such times, many will feel the warmth of Helios upon their skin. Stone shall give way to flesh and darkened glass shall reflect away the blindness.

12 No longer shall it be an age of Darkness for those who are of the night: yet it will be your charge and that of your descendants, to bear witness to this Illumination.

14As the warmth spreads across the face of the keep, so many shall meet Thanatos in eternal slumber. Those who are Sanguine shall know burning flesh. Their lifeless kin shall become little more than ash upon the night wind.

15 The Family of the Wild shall know neither peace nor providence. Their natures revealed be as they are ensnared between Helios and Diana. Their howls of lamenting shall usher in the time of Chrysalis. Those who walk the Bright Life shall no longer know the protection of Helios. In rage, so shall the Lifeless, the ones of the Appled Isle, and of the Wolves know that the Earth is now their own and that the Humans shall not be alone in Helio's path.

16 But we would not have thee unprepared concerning those who are in eternal slumber.
For when the Dragon's Blood is freed from bondage, so shall the Great Illumination begin. The Nocturnes shall walk in the day and inherit the Earth from the meek and the mundane.

17 So mote it be that upon the day of the Chrysalis, so shall all DeMahri be freed from stone slumber. They shall know the warmth of Helio's blessing. They shall protect under his chariot all those who may be prey for the Lifeless and the Wild Ones who seek to avenge the wrongs done to their clans by Humanity.

18 For this is the word of the goddess. Skylaris. When the time of Chrysalis comes, so shall it be of the Gargoyle Way to protect the Simianites and the Humans we hold dear.

19 For the Dragon's Blood will burst forth into the world from deepest prison, with a dragon's roar and DeMahri stridency, so shall the statues awaken and the earth shall tremble. The sky will darken to pitch and Helios shall know an aura of scarlet.

20 then we shall faithfully and devotedly defend with talon, tail, and wing. We shall protect those who were All-Father's Chosen Ones and Skylaris' beloved progeny.

21 The Dragon's blood is kept in an amethyst flask within the unknown. So, shall it be undone by a Scarlet Warrior. He shall let forth the world the Gargoyle Way. From Ex Cathedra shall he flow with the Dragon's blood and bring forth my wrath upon those who harm Skylaris' cherished protectorates.

Daria gingerly put down the massive black tome. "You've got to be kidding, right? This sounds really cracked."

"The truth sometimes is stranger than fiction, Lass." MacBeth took the Tome. "We've conversed with Adrienne on Avalon and she's certain that it means the same thing."

"Why not just ask Skylaris straight up?" Daria posed the question. "You guys practically seem to have a hot line to her."

"She is not a tame dragon, fair lady." Demetrius ran his fingers along the Tome. "She comes and goes as she pleases. It is not her way to simply reveal all that she knows."

"Okay, I'm a bit confused." Daria shook her head. "Let me get this straight. The spell Timron received is actually the beginning of some huge fiasco that going to allow Preternatural creatures to walk in the daylight."

"Correct." Wren scribbled hastily on a notepad.

"Okay, I'm with you so far. Now, that means that they'll be these screaming meanies will be calling open season on Humans."

"Again, correct."

"Gargoyles will be awakening by day and protecting Humans." Daria's mind began piecing the horrific puzzle together. It became a very bloody mosaic. "That isn't a good thing."

"We understand this." Wren tapped her pencil against the notepad. "We estimate that citywide there are approximately 660 vampires divided amongst the five house. There are almost three hundred werewolves under Grand Shien Roger's command. There are almost one hundred elves in the city. We think we might have as many as ten Fae. That's a thousand creatures that might seek vengeance on a Human populace."

"Wren, I don't think so." Daria sighed. "I know Lysander, he's a lieutenant to the Vampire Sovereign. He wouldn't want that kind of bloodshed, it would be bad for business. Grand Shien Roger works for him. From what I know of Vampires and Werewolves, they can't be in the same city much less work together and yet they do. I think that you they'll be able to control their people."

"Perhaps, but we don't know that for certain." Wren pushed the gold-rimmed spectacles on the bridge of her nose. "Who will protect the humans?"

"Why would you want to?" Daria shrugged. "They hate anything that goes bump-in-the-night."

"I have a human family that I love." Wren stated. "During the day, there are innocent people at risk. During sunlight hours, Dominique and Demetrius are helpless. They have none of their Gargoyle abilities to protect themselves."

"You have a point." Daria begrudged the other woman. "Why me?"

"You seem to have a connection to Lysander." Tina broke in on the dialogue. "I know that Lysander offered you a job."

The picture began to clear for Daria. The Athenaeum was the center of Preternatuaral activity in the city. It was the neutral ground where the Lifeless and the Garou mingled freely. She had readily accepted the job as Hostess on at Lysander's request. If she worked there, then she might be privy to information that could help stop this potential bloodshed.

Daria couldn't live with blood on her hands: not even Human blood. It was one thing to kill in self-defense or the heat of battle. It was quite another to let innocent men, women and children be culled to settle the blood vendetta held by some bloodsuckers and feral poodles.

"Let me think about it." She told them. "I need some time."

"We understand." Wren agreed.

"I just have some questions."

"Please, by all means, ask." Wren encouraged the Djinni.

"Where do all of you fit into this?"

"We come an island called Caledon in the North Sea just off the coast of Scotland." Wren handed her a photograph of a mountainous horizon. "It is the new homeland of the Wyvern clan destroyed in 994."

"Doesn't ring a bell, sorry."

"Upon that island is a castle built in the Fifth Century by the descendants of Romans. They called it Ex Cathedra. In 2005, the remnants of the Wyvern clan claimed the island as their new home. We believe that it is charge of those from Caledon to defend the innocent Humans in this world."

"Gargoyle instinct on acid and steroids." Daria shook her head in disbelief. "You're NUTS. Uh-uh. It's one thing to try and prevent a war. It's another to get in the bloody middle of it. You want me to put my ass on the line for this?"


"Why? Give me one good reason, Wren!" The challenge stood between the two women.

"Sister," A deep voice cut through the duo's tension. "Humans are without champions in this world. There are those Preternaturals who have been our benefactors and friends. I have little wish to see innocent individuals fall victim to a senseless culling."

She thought of Lysander. He could handle himself just fine. But what about Jack Mera? Or her brother, Demetrius, during the day? She looked at the redhead sitting near him. By day, Dominique was a mere human without any Gargoyle abilities. While she was immortal, she was still prone to severe injury. Daria thought of the myriad of human masters that she had served throughout the centuries: some avaricious and others altruistic.

"I'll do this for six months." Daria shuffled her feet uncomfortably. [Damn Gargoyles and their damned honor!] A certain pair of misty green eyes came to mind and so did the question, [What would Timron do? Family is everything...I barely know this man before me. But, Demetrius is about the only family I have left. [Besides, I need something to keep my mind busy.]

"I'll try it for awhile, but don't think I'm some kind of hero." She warned him.

Dominique nodded silently to MacBeth. She leaned over to her professor. "I think that Demetrius' charm could bring a smile even to Goliath's face."

"Aye, and I've seen him do it." The warrior king chuckled.