Name: Denigoddess2001
Date:4/8/02 10:47:05 PM
Episode: 18
Title: Ex Cathedra Rising
Rating: PG
Summary: Revelations come to life and decisions are made. A new clan is amongst those in the world. Together they must work together to halt the Escaton that awaits Humanity and Gargoyle alike.

Characters: Wren Summers-Nightkind, Skylaris, Demetrius Nightkind, Dominique Denise Destine, Lennox Moray MacBeth, Dr. Tina Stephenson, Daria Damson, Timron Nightkind of Avalon

DISCLAIMER: I don't own Gargoyles. They belong to Disney. X-Men belong to Marvel. No infringement intended. All original characters are property of Denigoddess2001.

[Bracketed words indicate private thought or psionic communication.]

April 17, 2006

Wren stared down at the endless rows of texts on the ancient parchment. Tears welled freely in hazel eyes as she read the words and then once again for confirmation. She covered her mouth, effectively stifling her sobs of anguish and disbelief. The young Fae shook her head in incredulity as the words revealed themselves to her.

[There were always parts of the book that were denied to me. How can She do this? How can Skylaris knowingly help take part in this Chrysalis?]

She scanned the ancient Draconic text. It was ambiguous at best and indecipherable at worst. It was the one tongue that eluded Wren's uncannily mystic ability of comprehending all languages. She knew the one weakness of her power lay in the fact that the language was humanoid in origin. Daria had been of immeasurable aid these past few weeks, but it made the translation of the ancient Tome no less daunting. Wren forced herself to take several deep breaths and she worked on translating the prose into Latin.

[I can't do it in English, the words are too alien and some just don't convert.] She ran her fingers through growing chestnut tresses. If anyone had seen Wren, one would have barely recognized her. The usually coifed honey brown tresses now fell well past her shoulders. Gone were the gold-rimmed wire spectacles. In their place, she wore contacts that brought out the vivid amber and jade of hazel eyes. Ten pounds had left her body in the past month. Size Eight in Misses became size six.

She had started taking part in the nightly patrols. Wren felt guilty that Timron, Demetrius, Dominique and MacBeth participated nightly in watching Linoma Bluffs metroplex while she remained at Summerlands. Lack of wings and fear of heights kept her securely anchored to the ground. She preferred the more subtle approach of gathering intelligence nightly at the local "Preter Critter" [PC] spots that Preternaturals normally frequented.

She established a slowly growing group of trustworthy contacts and informers. Word on the street wasn't good. Vampires held the Garou responsible for the Illumination that annihilated half of Linoma's "lifeless" population. The Sovereign's legions encroached upon the wilderness hunting grounds of the Garou and raided their camps. Some of the Garou were killed in scuffles around the perimeters of the city. Several Lifeless Ones found themselves staked to the ground come sunrise. More ways than one, everything was falling to ash.

Six campers had been caught in the supernatural crossfire at Holmes Lake. Since then, the Linoma clan had broadened their patrol peremeters to include all of Old Lincoln, Omaha and the suburbs of Denton, Beatrice, and Palmyra. There was just too much land and too few troops. [There's no way that we can be everywhere at once. It's getting worse.]

Preternaturals had yet to recognize that they were now able to walk in the daylight. Wren rued the day that vampires would become aware of this dreadful fact. She prayed that their ignorance to this recent transmutation would remain hidden for a very long time. She and Demetrius had called a clan meeting and Ex Cathedra had been formed. The six Preternatual creatures at Summerlands decided to band together and protect the city. They had taken a formalized approach to spearheading the problem.

Wren had assigned them each a codename and issued a comm. Badge. Every member of the group received a technomagickally-enhanced uniform that allowed special protection from heat and cold. She used every bit of knowledge from her X-Men days to equip and train the group in team combat missions. Demetrius instructed Dominique and Timron in the ways of Gargoyle combat. Wren learned as best she could yet felt incompetent without wings and a true combat tail.

Daria had recently been recruited to join their outlaw band. Her own powers diminished daily but she brought other valuables skills to the group. She was the daughter of the Goddess. She also knew several extraordinarily significant vampires in the city. Daria was the only member of the group to know Skylaris' native language. She used her feminine charm and her resourceful, clever nature to secure alliances and to garnish valuable information from inebriated clientele at the Athenaeum.

Wren knew that it wasn't enough. The group needed more finances that what her luckmagick could make at the casinos. They needed a doctor and had that in Tina. They needed a Mage so Armand had been called. She breathed easier knowing that her old friend was headed on an afternoon flight to Linoma. But, it was the haunting letter from the Tome of Tacitus that struck an ominous chord in her soul. The ancient letters were written to each of the clans in existence.

At first, Wren thought that all the clans had been mentioned. There had been mentioned the Londonium clan. There had been the Guatamalan clan that received its letter. The Apple Clan she recognized to belong to Goliath. The Rising Sun clan was obviously the one from Japan. The Avalon clan was mentioned, as was the Caledon clan. The final letter remained a mystery even as Wren labored arduously over the exotic, arcane script. The words came to her.


To the angels amongst the Simianites do I send these words of Greeting and Salutations.

You are cloaked in crimson and emblazoned with the white symbol of endurance. The Sower watches over you to see what you reaped from your conduct amongst the Children of the night. Now, these kindred stir and awaken prepared for the battle to bring about the Chrysalis.

The beaded grain grows tall around you, my children, and so the clan of the Corn and Stars shall know the distinctive blessings of the Dragon goddess. Bring forth my progeny: Champion and the Nereid of Babylon. Let Luck be with them and may my chosen one bring serenity to them. Let the warriors of old draw forth his sword; such is the right of kings. Let my oracle purified in the waters of redemption be my augur and sybil. Let all who are of wing and talon set aside their differences and bring peace and solidarity to the clan. Neither finger nor talon shall rise against clanmate in anger or spite. Let one who is a healer counsel them in times of trouble. Have any wing or nay, so shall they be more than blood or family, but the closest of clan.

These words fall fiery from the flames of My breath: hear me Children of Stone, kith of Magick and Children of Gaia. The lexis spoken by the Goddess is hallowed and faithful. Let my Chosen One bring forth My words and My love to you. When he speaks none close their ears and when he decides none will ignore him. You shall know him for you will see the coolness of the sea within his eyes and the dragon's own fire blazing upon his skin. The night skies shall adorn his brow as a crown of darkness yet his soul is of the brightest light. His heart shall be forged to one who frolics amongst wolves.

I know of your manner of Conduct, Clan of Corn and Stars. Before I have shown you an open aperture that is immune to Gargoyle strength and Fay Magick. I know that your strength is limited. You toil to keep my word and bring the Gargoyle Way to the lost children of Gaia. You have not denied Me. You have embraced me with arm, tail and wing. For that alone, you have my blessing.

The children of the Traitor's false light, they who are of the Order of Helios, will come and fall at your feet. They shall speak of my love for you. You shall keep my commandments to bear tolerantly the times of torment that come upon the world. I will also shield from the Day Of Reckoning when all Children of the Night and Children of Gaia shall know war and bloodshed. I will shield you, Clan of Corn and Stars, from the trial that will descend upon the face of Gaia and test all her children.

I shall venture forth from my true lair upon Avalon and come to you. Hold steadfast to the Gargoyle Way, my beloved Clan of Corn and Stars. Let no one purloin your good fortune. You shall be the fifth column that steadies my temple. You are the seat of authority, Ex Cathedra that shall bring the Gargoyle Way to the lost children of Gaia. With my Chosen One I send you my chariot and the name of my homeworld. I will give him my words and he shall share them with you.

I will reveal much to the one who sojourns diligently in my name. To that one I shall reveal my true agenda. She who has gifted hearing, let her hear what the Dragon's breath says to the clans.

Go forth now into the Realm of Humanity and seek out those who endure longer than the mountain stone. Venture to the Clan of the Rising Sun and to the Enchanted Isle. Bring for the Clan of Glass and Steel Orchard to me. Travel to the sacred forests of the World's cradle and find my lost ones. But, seek out the warrior of Londonium. Bring forth my warriors and the most High King.


The words came to her in Latin from a wellspring of inspiration. She felt the keyboard practically ignite between keystrokes beneath her fingertips. Parts of the manuscript remained nebulous to her as she translated the words. Wren's heart felt both elation and trepidation as the letters to the clans came to mind.

[Daughter of Gaia, come look out the window.] A rich, melodious alto filled the room. It was a womanly voice that brought feelings of serene joy and ecstatic bliss to Wren's soul. She rose from her chair and dashed to the window. In the skies above Linoma, the stars shone brighter that night. Each twinkled as if they were each a divine spark setting the cosmos ablaze with life. The Sojourner worked hurriedly to undo the latch and throw open the sash.

"Skylaris, where are you?" Wren called joyfully to the warm Spring air.

"Above you." A cheerful voice thundered in the heavens. The Fae looked up to see a magnificent creature hovering above her. Wren estimated that from tail to tongue, she must have been well over a hundred feet in length. Words failed her as she looked at Skylaris in her truest, primordial guise.

"You're really here, aren't you?" Hope dared raise it's head in Wren's heart. "This isn't just a vision, is it?"

"Oh, no. Wren, I am truly here." The voice filled the skies while it seemed to quiet and close to Wren's ears. "You are the first to whom I will speak."

"Why me?"

"Why not you?" Skylaris countered. "You are my son's mate. You're my daughter's friend. I think you're an absolute peach. Does everything need a grandiose meaning?"

"No, I suppose not." Wren said quietly. She wanted to believe she was just a bit special. The Dragon looked knowingly at the childlike faith reflected in the young woman's hazel eyes.

"You are special to me, Wren Elizabeth Summers-Nightkind." The Dragon roared. "Grab your laptop, some paper and a pen. You're coming with me.'

"I can't just leave, Skylaris." Wren shrugged helplessly.

"You'll be back by morning." Skylaris told her. "Each of you I need to bring about the proper ending. Nothing is written in stone. If All-Father had his way, my people would have been gone from the Earth long ago. But, my Mother has different ideas."

"Mother?" [Skylaris has a mother?]

"Curious that I actually have family?" The dragon teased. Wren mutely nodded. "Do you want to know the whole story?"

Wren nodded eagerly.

"Then, I need a new Scribe. Tacictus was to the Gargoyles what Moses was to the Jews. It'll look good on your resume. Grab your laptop and let's go."

"It's an offer that I can't refuse." Wren knew that time was of the essence. She quickly retrieved her laptop and micro-voice recorder.

The slender tip of Skylaris' tail gently wrapped around the young Fae and lifted her skywards. Wren let forth a small shriek of fright as she swiftly rose in the air and found herself placed on the dragon's back. Skylaris gave her a toothy draconic grin as she looked over her shoulder. "Come on, Wren. You've done this before now. You rode on Gordna's back."

"I HATE heights."

"I won't let you fall, I promise." The soothing tone was one of a mother to a frightened child. "I shall always be with you."

"I know."

Skylaris spread her wings so they unfurled their entire length. Wren found courage and opened her eyes. She saw a golden sea of stars and light beneath her as they soared over the Linoma Bluffs Metroplex. Dashes of neon melded with the halogens of highway lights. Moonlight refracted off of towers of glass and steel.


"Indeed, Wren." Skylaris agreed. "Tonight, you will write more than that which has come before me. You will record all that I tell you. At dawn's first light, take what you know and share it with all in your household. Then, the pieces of the mosaic will fall into place. Only then, will you all be able to stop the Chrysalis."

"All right."

With that, they flew to the second star and straight on until morning.

April 18, 2006

Wren returned with laptop and scrolls in hand. Her sabbatical with the goddess proved fruitful and prophetic. Skylaris revealed much to the young Fae through the course of the time spent together. She returned to her office to find Demetrius sitting in her chair with his handsome dark face buried in his hands.

"Demetrius, what's wrong?"

Dark onyx eyes filled with unshed anguish stared at her. She watched the Nubian warrior rise to his feet. Wren still marveled at the sheer power and prowess he possessed even while Human. He leapt over her desk with boundless ease and gathered her into his arms. "By the Dragon, Wren! Where have you been? We have patrolled the city without rest for almost two nights. There was no sign of you. I thought that some great harm had befallen you!"

His voice growled deeply with anger. Even in the daystar's light, amethyst fire flashed from behind onyx depths. Wren felt the steely grip of his fingers dig painfully into her golden skin. She squirmed uncomfortably in his grasp. "Demetrius, please let me go. You're hurting me."

He gave her a sound shake. "I have half a thought to take you over my knee and strike your backside soundly for disappearing without a word. Have you no understanding of how you worried us?"

"You're hurting me." Wren's eyes glowed with a fire that contacts couldn't hide. "Please let me go."

"Have you no heart in knowing how you vexed me thus? My heart feared for your well-being." His voice came out in a soft whisper as he drew her to his broad chest. "My Wren, how can I be your mate and protector if I know not thy whereabouts?"

Wren heard the Scottish dialect thicken with each spoken word. She heard his subtle shift into the archaic tongue that marked him as undeniably of the Highlands. Wren's pained cry brought the strong warrior to his senses. He looked aghast as he watched red indention brim crimson on his mate's fair skin. His grip loosened on her now-bruised upper arms. She laid a hand on his heart and felt the steady cadence of his lifeforce pounding against her palm.

"Oh, Sweetheart." She laid her head against his chest and wrapped her arms tightly around Demetrius' waist. "I 'm sorry. But, I received an unexpected visit from Skylaris. I didn't even think of telling anyone that I was with her."

"Mother visited?" He asked, somewhat relieved. Wren saw that his eyes also held hurt. "Without greeting us?"

"Without greeting you, I know." Wren empathized. "But, she has reverted to Dragon form because of the Illumination. Much of her veneer has been stripped away. All her powers manifest most strongly in her true form. And it's rather difficult to fit a hundred foot dragon through the front door."

"My Love, forgive my rash fury. I beg your forgiveness." He planted gentled kisses on her hands. His eyes slowly rose to meet her gaze. [He looks like a contrite little boy who just got in trouble and wants forgiven.] Wren thought he looked adorable.

"I surely would greet Death gladly before I wound you."

She gently framed his strong jaw in her hands. Her warm lips pressed a gentle kiss to his lips. Demetrius gasped sharply and a slight moan escaped him. Strong arms embraced his mate closely to him and he kissed Wren with abandon and without restraint. She managed to pull away from his ardent response and stare into onyx eyes. "You're forgiven, Lover. But, Skylaris has revealed a lot of information to me and we need to call the rest of the group together....NOW."

"Now?" His eyes widened in surprise. "At this very moment?"

"Not a second later." Wren placed her laptop on the desk. "Each day we draw closer to the time when Preternaturals will realize that sunlight doesn't affect them. When they beginning attacking Humans, the Rapture will occur. Once that happens, there is no turning back. If humans leave the planet too soon, then Gargoyles will face the All-Father's wrath. We have to stop this before it goes to far."

"I'll contact Tina at once." Demetrius said grimly.

"Are the others carrying the comm badges we issued?"

"I know not, Love. Some voiced concerns that it reminded them too much of your X-Men."

"That's, in essence, what we will be for awhile, Demetrius." Wren said with exasperation. "We have to protect Humans from predators more powerful than they." She marveled how through their link, his way with words became hers. "Call Tina. I'll get hold of the others."

10:30 AM April 18, 2006

They all sat gathered in the war room. Located in the caverns deep beneath the Summerlands estate, the War room served as a place of planning and strategy for the eclectic group of creatures calling themselves Ex Cathedra. It was an ancient Latin phrase that translated "from the Seat of Authority." It had been the name of Wyvern's twin castle on Caledon Isle. Now, the name was the embodiment of all that was the Greater Good and embraced the Gargoyle Way.

"I hope you know that I have a test I'm missing." Dominique drummed her manicured fingers on the table. "If I miss it, I get an F."

"Lass, it's with Professor McTaggert." MacBeth laid a gentle hand on her shoulder. "I'll speak to him and we'll rearrange the time for you to take it."

Her delicate hand rested on his. Green eyes glittering with annoyance softened at the gentle tone of his voice. "I suppose you're right."

"Domi," His chestnut beard softly grazed against her ear. His warm breath tickled her sensitive skin. His words caused shivers of delight to tremble throughout the young woman's being. "Patience, Love. Soon everything will be yours at the end of this semester: the grades you're working so hard to achieve...and myself as well."

"That's not fair." She grumbled as a warm kiss nipped her lobe. "You tell me to wait and then you come onto me."

"Only three more weeks." MacBeth's burr resounded in her ear. "Then, you'll wait no longer."

"All right." Dominique shivered at the torrid thoughts that filled her mind. Lately, MacBeth had been considerably open with his displays of affection amongst the group dynamic (as Dominique secretly called the lot of them.) Tina had raised her brows in question more than once as she saw her respected colleague almost devour the titian minx right in front of her.

"And then, you will be mine." MacBeth slowly pulled away from Dominique. His golden complexion darkened by the Spring sun appeared flushed from close contact with the redhead. Visibly shaken, he withdrew quietly into his seat, steepling his hands and focusing his attention on an empty space ahead of him.

"God help us both."


Wren walked to the front of the room and brought her laptop with her. She looked every inch the powerful corporate executive with her conservative coif, wired glasses and brown power suit. Demetrius came behind her and stood with legs at shoulder rest and hands clasped behind him. He was her nemesis in leather pants and white poet's shirt. Nubian skin contrasted against the white cotton of his garment. Long braids fell over his shoulders. Never had there been such an odd couple in Dominique's eyes: the essence of an African-American man mingling with a timid Caucasian paper jockey. She smiled at the picture they presented. [Love IS blind.]

"Thank you all for coming." Wren stood at the podium and surveyed the group each in turn. "I know you have lives to live, but we all know what's coming. That's why we're here -to deal with this possible crisis as best we can."

"Where have you been?" Tina raised her hand. "What's going on?"

"I'm glad you asked that." Wren cleared her throat. "I've spent the last two nights with Skylaris. She's came clean about a lot of things, Tina. And that's where we're going to start."

"I'm all ears."

"Good." Wren took a quick sip of water and proceeded. "Skylaris isn't Fae. We all know that. She comes from a binary star system that we'll call the Alpha Draconis systerm. She is truly a creature of supernatural origin. She is All-Father's and Barbello's daughter. Yeshua's sister and one of All-Father's archangels. Along with Mike, Gabe, Rafe, and Uri....there's Skylaris. She's Tiamet's mother. Talk about a very convoluted family tree."

Daria gasped at the words. Her rich bronzed skin paled ashen as the words filled the room. Her secret was known.

"Anyway, she came here with the DeMahri aeons ago...she wasn't sure exactly how long. She's guessing a million. But time passes differently for Fae. From what we can tell, it's closer to 100,000 years. All-Father is ready to cleanse the world of impurity that taints his beloved human race. That means all of us: Fae, Gargoyles, Sanguine, Vampires...and everyone else are getting an eviction notice from Heaven."

"We have as much right to live here as anybody else." Dominique scathed. "Since when does some invisible spirit have a right to tell us that we don't belong here?"

"I know. I always considered Earth my home." Wren agreed trying to soothe the angry redhead next to MacBeth. "But, there is a place meant for all of us. Skylaris created it long ago. It's a planet in the Alpha Draconis system, the seventh one, in fact. It's called Avalahaun. Demetrius and I have been there. It's a gorgeous place full of forests and mountains."

"So what does that have to do with us?" Dominique pressed Wren with hard questions.

"Humanity's time is reaching it's end. All-Father knows that the time of Preternaturals to reclaim Earth is at hand. If they do that, then this world will become a bloodbath. All-father needs to keep his worship base if he wishes to retain His Power. He wants to bring about a series of events that will plunged the world into such chaos that Preternaturals will be culled in the frey of things."

"He sounds horrible." Dominique muttered.

"He's not horrible...just misguided." Wren agreed. "His consort Barbello and his daughter Skylaris are more than a match for him. Yeshua has chosen to aid our cause if we are just. This is what we must do. We have to mobilize the clans. The battles all will begin in Linoma and we are the first and only line of defense. We protect the Humans from Preternatural attacks. If we stop it here, All-Father has agreed to let Gargoyles and their allies leave this planet unharmed. Then, he'll decided what he'll do with this place."

"It sounds confusing." Tina shrugged. "I say we cut and run."

"That isn't the Gargoyle Way." Demetrius growled from behind Wren.

"I'm not a Gargoyle."

"I am." His dark onyx eyes gleamed in the artificial florescent light. "There are humans who have found favor with Skylaris. We are allowed to bring them with us. If any choose to remain here, so be it. They will fall victim to the Humans' rapture and tribulation. There is no room in All-Father's afterlife for a non-Human soul."

"So, how are we going to keep the world from crashing and burning?" Tina crossed her arms. The skepticism showing on her face challenged Wren to give at least one viable solution.

"We are going to reach out to the other clans." Wren explained. "Demetrius has spoken to Goliath in New York. We have their undaunted support. They will be arriving in Linoma within three days. I've called David Xanatos on Caledon Isle. Clan leaders Veda and Angus have agreed to send many of their best warriors to aid in the good fight. Skylaris has assured me that the Avalon clan is with us as well. Some will be arriving within the week. However, we're waiting to hear back from Goliath on two other clans: Ishimura and the Guatemala clan. None of us here have had direct communication with either clan. That only leaves one remaining: Londonium."

"That's an old Roman term for London." Tina furrowed her brow in conclusion.

"That's right." Wren winked. She tapped her temple. "It took me awhile to figure it out. Skylaris gave our clan a isn't a request. She said, "Go forth now into the Realm of Humanity and seek out those who endure longer than the mountain stone. Venture to the Clan of the Rising Sun and to the Enchanted Isle. Bring for the Clan of Glass and Steel Orchard to me. Travel to the sacred forests of the World's cradle and find my lost ones. But, seek out the warrior of Londonium. Bring forth my warriors and the most High King."

"Sounds like a bunch of muck to me." Tina scoffed. "I'm all for fighting for the underdog. But, the mysticism is just way over the top, Wren."

"Hey, I understand, Tina. I really do. When I came to work on Caledon Isle just over a year ago, I didn't expect to meet gods, elves, or fall in love with a male from another species. I didn't plan to dimension hop, time travel and fight war deities. But, we all have the chance to be part of Destiny's grand design. This isn't my fate...this is my choice. I choose to be a part of the Greater Good. Providence is asking for your help and your gifts to make this world a better place. We get the chance to actually make a difference...because we can. Don't you want to be a part of that?"

Tina's jade eyes decided to study the table. "I don't believe in anything that I can't see or touch. I just have a hard time believing that this so-called dragon is a goddess. It sounds more like she's a space alien with kids scattered all over the planet. She's into some political war with some other super-powered megalomaniac and she expects us to do her dirty work."

'I'm sorry you feel that way." Wren's voice grew very quiet. The entire room filled with her disappointment at Tina's words.

"But, hey. I've always been one for crusades." Tina gave Wren a smile. "Bring it on. I like a challenge."

"You're on."

"So, what's the translation of that commandment?"

"I'll be happy to answer that for you, Tina." Wren turned to the writing board on the wall behind her. She picked up a black permanent marker and wrote furiously on the board. "To my understanding, we each have a role to play. The Champion refers to the Ainranic name for Demetrius. The Nereid of Babylon...that's Daria."

"Actually, I'm from Sardis." Daria grumbled.

"Babylon...Sardis...close enough." Wren moved to her next point. "Let Luck be with them. That's me. Warrior of old...such is the way of Kings she said, Skylaris means MacBeth. The Oracle purified in waters of redemption refers to Demon...I mean Dominique." Wren hastily coughed and cleared her throat.

Dominique cocked her head prettily and contemplated Wren's hasty amendment in her words. [Demon?]

"Tina, you're the healer. That's a given. Skylaris' chosen one is obviously Timron down to the detailed description. He must have words to share with us."

"I do, Wren." He said gravely. "The Great Lady has spoken to me."

"And we need to hear those for all our benefits." She agreed. She pointed to the last bit of writing on the board. "I spoke on the phone with Goliath shortly before this meeting. He helped me put the final pieces together. It's up to us -the Linoma Clan- to rally the London clan to our aid. They tend to be ones that shun involvement in human affairs. We need to present a strong unity to them and a convincing presentation. Therefore, we need to strengthen our own ranks first before we proceed further."

"How do we strengthen our own ranks?" Dominique asked. "We have warriors from other clans coming to join us."

"True." Wren acquiesced. "Linoma clan has no leadership and no hierarchy. Upon Goliath's suggestion, I think it's time we picked a clan leader, a second-in-command, and some lieutenants."

"But, we're not big enough." Demona shook her head. "We're only seven."

"Aye, Lass, but so is the New York clan." MacBeth stroked his beard in grudging agreement. "Clan is strongest when there is unity and leadership."

"Then, who's going to be clan leader?" She turned to him.

"We've been thinking about that." Wren spoke. "That's one of the reasons why we've gathered everyone here today we consider clan."

"Even me?" Daria asked quietly.

"Especially you." Wren laid a gentle hand on her shoulder. "I know you don't speak of it and you haven't had time to explore it to it's fullest depth, but we all know that you're Demetrius' older sister. You share the same mother. That alone makes you clan. You've also helped us in times of need. You always have a home and a clan here as long as we exist."

"I have...a home?" She felt tears of unanticipated elation well in her eyes. "Always? Just like that."

"Just like that." Wren squeezed the Djinni's hand. "And so does Timron if he wants it."

Timron said nothing but swallowed away a growing sentimental lump in his throat. He silently turned and looked at the young woman sitting beside him. Red talons interlaced with bronzed fingers. Strong arms drew Daria to his chest and he held her tightly to him. "She is my home, Wren. She is all that I need and you have all been like rookery mates to me. I gladly call this place home."

His thoughts drifted briefly to Avalon. Timron held fond memories of the Seelie Court and all its colorful members: Rysardis, Oberon, Puck...and lovely Titania. Then, he looked into velvet brown eyes and knew he held the other half of his soul in his arms. There was no truer, better destiny that life in Linoma with Daria and the clan.

"Then, we shall pick a clan leader according to the ancient ways." Timron released his ladylove. "We have no leader stepping down. So, we must look at the strengths of each warrior."

"Agreed." MacBeth steepled his hands and stroked his chestnut beard in contemplation. "My first choice is Demetrius. He's served as Lieutenant. He's a gifted warrior in battle. He is compassionate and lacks ego...except when it comes to his appearance."

A knowing chuckle reverberated from all in the room. It was well known that Demetrius often fell in love with a mirror. He also had maxxed out more than one credit card going shopping. Wren had quickly learned to give him his own account with a very low limit.

"What about you, MacBeth?" Tina asked. "You're a warrior with experience. You've been around for a thousand years, for Pete's sake."

"No, I don't want the job. My days of leader are long past and I'm enjoying my retirement." He smirked.

Dominique studied the group each in turn. "Demetrius is the perfect choice. He's experienced and he's levelheaded. I make the proposal to the clan that Demetrius be our clan leader."

The proud warrior's dark eyes fell to the ground in embarrassment.

Wren pursed her lips as she surveyed the situation. "All in favor of Demetrius as clan leader raise your right hand."

Six hands rose in unison.

"Congratulations, Dem. You're clan leader." Wren rose on her tiptoes and pressed a warm, passionate kiss on his lips. His wings flared in unrestrained response to his beloved mate's ardent affection. She quickly pulled away and took her seat. "Take the reins, Demetrius. Now is your time to unfurl your wings and prove your worth."

As human, Demetrius lacked much of the mystique he held as a Gargoyle. Still he was striking figure with black braids flowing down his back and onyx eyes observing the clan. He was a Nubian prince standing before his followers for the first time. He nodded in acceptance as he took it all in. "We need to choose a second-in-command."

"But, Demetrius, the Clan leader must do that." Timron reminded him.

"We are a clan and we work as one." Demetrius said with a new authority that fit him.

"You must choose."

"Then I choose, MacBeth."

"No, I'm honored but I don't want it. I've already stated my position." MacBeth turned to the Scarlet warrior not farm from him. "Timron is a better choice."

"I have never followed the way of the warrior. My heart belongs to my Goddess and I best serve her through study and contemplation. Yet, if you wish it, I will gladly serve." Timron said quietly.

"Hey, what about Wren?" Tina stood up. "She's battle-ready, she knows more about Gargoyles than anyone else here and she's has experience in being in command."

"Not on your life! It's too much!" Wren looked at her friend as if she'd surely lost her mind. "I'm slightly cracked."

Demetrius wrapped an arm around his mate. "Nay, Love. You have traveled through Hades and came for me when all thought me lost. You have battled the gods and have proven your prowess not only in physical battle, but also the war of wits. You are a competent mind that I want beside me. I choose you as my Second-In-Command. Do you agree, clan?"

All nodded. Wren knew there was no turning the tide. "Then, I'm your second-in-command. But I have no idea on how it works."

"You will lead when I am absent or unable. You will be my advisor and the one I consider the extension of my authority." Her mate pressed his human brow to hers. "Be my second."

"Okay. You win."

There was a silence that hung in the room. She sighed. "Now, what?"

"Since you are my second, I ask your counsel. Who shall be my lieutenants?"

"How many are there usually?" Wren remembered that Clan Wyvern of 994 had at least three. She studied each member in turn. "MacBeth, I know you don't want to lead, but you have a thousand years of life and experience under your belt. I think you would make a great lieutenant. Timron is in touch with Skylaris in a way I haven't seen anyone else be. He'd also make a good one."

"Agreed." The clan leader turned to MacBeth. "I humbly beseech you to be my Lieutenant."

MacBeth sighed. He was part of the clan whether he wanted to be or not. "I will be your lieutenant."

"Wellmet, then!" Demetrius nearly roared. "Timron?"


It was a new day for the Linoma clan. To the world, they were Ex Cathedra: the goddess' seat of Authority. Dark days of reckoning lay ahead for them, but the bond of love and unity that flowed through them gave them the strength to face whatever the future brought them. It was decided at that meeting that a delegation would be sent to London to speak with Griff, Leo, and Una of the Londonium clan. Their aid was essential to halting the Chysalis and bringing peace to Preternaturals and Humanity. It was a good day to be alive.


April 19, 2006

Timron, Daria, Dominique and MacBeth sat aboard Xanatos' corporate jet watching yet another sun rise. With new determination and focus, the delegation traveled across the Atlantic to meet with the Londonium clan to seek their aid. Only Skylaris knew what lie ahead and perhaps even she didn't know. Only time would let the scene unfold.