The Little Things

Greg Bishansky

The Eyrie Pyramid, April 10th, 2198

Demona sat on the floor of her quarters, all the lights turned off, watching the monitor intently. The accommodations were small, but a veritable palace compared to the dungeon she had occupied for one-hundred forty-two years.

Samson had arranged for her quarters on the south-west wing of the pyramid. She had a beautiful view of the Hudson River and the Statue of Liberty. Or rather she would have, if she had not kept her curtains drawn. The quarters themselves were pretty spartan, save for a bed that she slept in during the day; a desk with a computer; and a monitor which she now could not take her eyes off of. There was a closet, with a few selections of clothing for her human form, as well as a weapons rack that Samson had provided her, and a bathroom.

Her life since she exited that cell had been interesting and dull at the same time. Word had spread fast among the Manhattan Clan that the infamous Demona, slayer of their great leader, scourge of humanity was alive. The few she encountered had no words for her, and even without making eye contact their gazes mixed from fear to utter contempt. Not that it mattered to her; she wasn't here to make friends.

When not being shunned by the Manhattan Clan, she and Brooklyn had "school" with LXM-1057. Samson had felt it necessary to give them both a crash course in modern ways of living. She rolled her eyes at the suggestion, as she had always been quick to adapt, but it amused her to watch Brooklyn struggle to learn and avoid learning at the same time. Back in the late twentieth and twenty-first centuries, his silence about his travels through time drove her to rage, even under threat of torture as well as actual torture; he would tell her nothing that could assist her plans. In a way, taunting him with knowledge of what would be his future was a small revenge. Sometimes it was the little things.

Right now, it was her alone time. She sat on the floor of her quarters, clad only in her loincloth, belt, and jewelry, as she studied the monitor. Her guns on their rack, her forearm braces with miniature cannons, and leather holsters discarded on the floor next to her gold breastplate and shoulder pads. She was drawn away from the monitor when she heard the door's buzzer. "Yes," she answered.

"It's Samson," said the voice of the leader of the Manhattan Clan.

"Enter," she said as she stood up and faced the door.

Samson stepped inside. "Demona, I thought we could discuss -" he paused. "Would you please turn on the lights?"

She clapped her hands and the room lit up. "Is this better?" she asked.

Samson was briefly surprised by the sight of her, standing in the middle of the room bare-breasted as if it were nothing. "Would you please cover up?" Samson asked, surprise turning to embarrassment.

"Your clan has spent too much time among humans." A sneering smile crossed Demona's lips. Obviously he would feel better if it was that Labyrinth female that he was obviously fond of. The one that looked am awful lot like… suddenly, she scowled. What was with his bloodline? It definitely wasn't her genes. "In my time, such things were insignificant."

Samson changed the subject. "LXM-1057 informed me you're a quick study."

"It was a waste of time," she said as she cloaked her wings around her shoulders. "I would be more useful out there, fighting the aliens."

"What you must understand is the delicate situation we are in." Samson began pacing back and forth. "On the surface, despite the Space-Spawn occupation, it appears to be peaceful out there. But things are simmering to a boil. Many in power have not only sided with the Space-Spawn, but have seen their power over the human populations expand to unprecedented levels all over the world. They've made a devil's agreement with them."

"The Illuminati," she said, rather than asked.

"We do not know," he answered. "Right now all we have are theories."

"Theories do not win wars, Samson."

"No, they don't." He stopped pacing. "Other humans are feeling powerless, scared. They need somebody to blame and nobody has profited off of that more than the Castaways. The Quarrymen are experiencing a recruitment surge not seen," he narrowed his eyes at her. "Not seen since the days after you murdered Goliath."

"It is as I've always said, Samson." She took a step closer to him. "Look at the humans now; they would rather live on their knees before the aliens than share this world with us."

"Perhaps, if we free the Earth from the Space-Spawn, they will finally…"

"No," Demona cut him off. "They won't. Peace between our kind and the humans is a lost cause. It was lost over a thousand years ago."

"You are a member of the resistance now, Demona," his voice grew stern and commanding. Not unlike Goliath's. "And you will remember and honor our deal."

"Yes, I help you drive the aliens off the Earth, and then I go free." She smiled again "But know this, I am not fighting for the humans. I am fighting for the eggs the aliens have taken and for the future of our race. When the aliens are defeated, that will not change."

"So you've told me," he said. "We're all going to have to make sacrifices to win this war. Soon my clan will be leaderless again."

Demona raised a brow ridge behind her tiara. "What do you mean?"

"In three days, we are leaving Manhattan. The clan… gargoyles the world over will be at greater risk now than they have been in generations. The Gargoyle Minority Protection Act might even be overturned by the Space-Spawn's puppets in the United Nations."

"Is your rather unfortunate display of idealism fading, Samson?" She smiled again. "Perhaps there is hope for you after all."

"No," he said. "Because in four days the world at large will learn you are alive, and we will have handed the Space-Spawn their biggest propaganda coup to turn against our resistance, and I want my clan safe for as long as possible."

"What happens in four days?" she asked. Suddenly, she was genuinely curious.

"We are going to hit a Space-Spawn military base," he answered. "We're going to show the world that the Space-Spawn are not invincible. We are going to show the world that there is hope that we can all unite and fight back."

"And you want me there for this symbolic attack?" she scoffed. "The most infamous terrorist in history, long thought dead."

"Zafiro told me he thought it was unwise."

"For what you wish to accomplish, it is downright foolish."

"As I told you, we are desperate." He looked her in the eyes. "And right now, you are our strongest warrior. They will try to discredit us, and in the short term even succeed, but in the long term…"

She cut him off again. "You are an even bigger fool than Goliath." She paused, an excited gleam appearing in her eyes. "But I do look forward to killing as many of the Space-Spawn and their human collaborators as I can."

"The humans are off limits," he warned. "Especially for you."

"Of course," she smirked.

Suddenly Samson's eyes blazed white, and he growled. "I will only say this once, Demona. I am not Angela. If you take any human life without my order, I will turn you over to the proper authorities and let them do with you as they will. Am I absolutely crystal clear?"

She scowled at him and nodded.

Samson turned and headed towards the door. "Use the next three days well. We're all going to lose the luxury of free time. I suggest you get reacquainted with your sorcery." He then stepped out and the door shut behind him.

Demona clapped her hands and the lights turned off. Once again she was in darkness. She sat back on the floor and turned on the monitor. A video of Angela reappeared on the screen, footage of her taken before she became leader of the Manhattan Clan, playing in the snow with the clan's hatchlings, including Gwenyvere. She tapped the screen, and video of an elderly Angela telling a new generation of hatchlings stories appeared. She smiled as she watched her daughter, happy and healthy even at that age. Sometimes it was the little things.