The Calm Before…
Greg Bishansky

October 22nd, 2056

The Hunter's Moon was almost upon them; tonight she would retrieve the Praying Gargoyle and then finalize her plans. Angela would not approve, she would probably even hate her for a long time. But Angela would thank her later. They would all thank her later.

Give humans a chance, Angela would plead. Things are slowly getting better, she would say. Maybe the United Nations will pass the Gargoyle Minority Protection Act. Well, after this was over, she would look Angela in the eye and say she gave the humans the chance to save themselves.

Dominique got out of her taxicab at Washington Square Park and approached a woman with dirty-blonde hair, probably in her mid-thirties, at a canvas painting. As she got closer, she saw the subject of the woman's work was a gargoyle.

"You are very talented," Dominique said as she looked over the woman's shoulder as her work. "But why waste your talents painting one of those… creatures?"

"Because they are beautiful," she said. "One of them saved my life once."

"Is this why you tolerate them?" Dominique asked. "Purely out of gratitude?"

"No, I was a fan even before I met her," the woman replied, she then extended her hand.. "My name is Andrea."

"Dominique," she replied, as she tentatively took it.

"Beautiful name," Andrea replied. "Do you mind if I call you 'Domi'?"

"That would be unacceptable," Dominique replied, rather curtly. "So, why were you 'a fan'?"

"It sounds like you've been reading too many Quarrymen pamphlets," Andrea said.

"On the contrary, I never cared for what they had to say." Dominique looked back at the painting. "But those wings, those claws, those glowing eyes… they've even killed people."

"You can't blame them all for the actions of a few," Andrea said. "Just like I shouldn't have insinuated that you were a Quarryman. I was out of line."

Dominique nodded.

"I have more paintings back at my apartment. Do you want to see?"

"I suppose I would be interested," Dominique said.

"Great!" Andrea replied. "Just let me get my things together and we can be on our way."

~ : ~ : ~ : ~ : ~ : ~ : ~ : ~ : ~

Andrea's apartment was about as messy as Dominique expected the domicile of any artist to be. Canvases and paintings all over the place, and Andrea herself had spent the better part of an hour showing her each and every piece. Dominique tried not to sound bored as she asked her questions.

"Have you sold any of them?" Dominique asked.

"Not yet," she said. "Maybe once the GMPA passes, there will be more of a market for them."

"It sounds to me like you're looking to profit off of current events," Dominique said as she smirked.

"I'm used to being a starving artist, Dominique," Andrea said, genuinely smiling. "It runs in the family. Right now, gargoyles are material for horror movies. Maybe once this passes and they can really walk openly among us, people will begin to see them for what they really are; for their grace, for their beauty. Maybe they'll want them in their homes."

"How did your ancestors feel about gargoyles?" Dominique asked.

"Ancestors?" Andrea giggled. "Can't say as we ever plotted out our family tree. But my mother has always thought we should be supportive of them. She is very open-minded, an attitude she received from her mother."

"And your grandmother?" Dominique asked. "Surely she was around when the existence of gargoyles was revealed to the world."

"No," Andrea said. "She wasn't. Well, maybe she was, but I don't know. My grandmother disappeared during the Lost Nights, back when my mom was still a little girl. It was just under a year before the world learned about the gargoyles. As mom tells it, she went out to do some shopping and never came home. Hundreds of people disappeared that night."

"I see," Dominique said, knowing exactly what she was referring to, and hiding her smirk. She looked out the window and saw that the sun was beginning to set. "I think I should be going."

"So soon?" Andrea asked. "I was hoping to tell you about the gargoyle who saved my life. She said her name was Angela."

Dominique stopped short. "Really?"

"She more than lived up to her name," Andrea said. "She was very beautiful."

"Tell me about her," Dominique said.

"It all happened so fast. The building I lived in was on fire, I lived near the top floor and no one could get to me or my neighbors." Andrea was suddenly lost in thought. "And then there they were. One by one, several gargoyles appeared and pulled my neighbors to safety. Angela came for me and when we landed, we chatted for a few minutes."

"What did she say?" Dominique asked.

"She told me how hard it can be to lose a home, how she was in the clocktower when it blew up in 1996, but more interesting than that…"

"Yes?" Dominique asked.

"She said that she thought of humans as her kin, that she was raised by humans, that one of her mothers was human." Andrea smiled. "If only the rest of the world could be so enlightened."

Dominique seethed on the inside and then looked out the window; there was no way she could leave this apartment in time. Not that it mattered; she was going to enjoy this. She reached into her pocket and produced her tiara, setting it on her forehead. Next she dropped the overcoat she was wearing, much to Andrea's surprise, revealing a loincloth and single-shouldered top as the sun sank beyond the horizon.

Her pale skin turned blue, as Andrea's paled in fear. Her feet extended into haunches as Andrea lost her footing. Wings and a tail exploded from her back as Andrea hit the floor. Finally she grabbed Andrea by the throat and lifted her up in the air.

"Why are you afraid, Andrea?" Demona said with a sinister smile. "I thought gargoyles didn't frighten you."

"I…." Andrea couldn't speak as Demona's grip tightened on her throat.

"Don't you find me beautiful?" Demona asked.

Andrea couldn't even breathe.

"Don't you want to paint me?"

Demona dropped Andrea on the floor and circled around her like a predator before asking "Do you think I'm an angel?"

"No…" Andrea wheezed between gasps for air, her hands covered in blood as she grasped the wound on her neck.

"Then what am I?" Demona asked as she continued to circle her prey.

"A…." Andrea continued to gasp.

"Say it!" Demona demanded.

"…. Demon," Andrea finally finished as she keeled over and vomited on the floor.

"And that is what you humans will always believe," Demona said. "Thank you for your honesty, Andrea."

"Wait," Andrea gasped. "I shouldn't have said that. If you had approached me differently, I wouldn't have…." But Andrea didn't finish the sentence. Demona grabbed her and snapped her neck, looking down into her lifeless eyes.

Demona took one last look around the apartment, her eyes lingering on the painting of Angela. "This is the only way, my daughter," she said before she opened a window and took off into the night.

~ : ~ : ~ : ~ : ~ : ~ : ~ : ~ : ~

Demona approached the cathedral; soon the Praying Gargoyle would be back in her hands. And tomorrow would be humanity's final night.

Afterward: Andrea is based on Andrea Calhoun, who is the property of the staff of "The Gargoyles Saga." This story is very loosely based on an idea I had for TGS that would have appeared in the fifth season, had the series continued that long.