Disclaimer: I do not own the series Gargoyles, it is the property of Disney and Greg Weissman.
Authors Note: While I am no stranger to fanfiction, this is my first forray into the world of Gargoyles, so any constructive criticism will be very much appreciated, especially in making the characters feel distinct and like they do on the show. I'm always willing to hear suggestions on anything, whether they'll actually be something I'll use or not, so any and all suggestions would be greatly appreciated. Something I could use suggestions on right now would be on finding a new name for Demona, or a reason for her to choose that name in the future once they've all re-awakened in 1994. In future all further author's notes will be appearing at the bottom of the chapters as opposed to the top, that way if you don't want to be bothered with them they're far easier to ignore if you so choose to do so :)
And I profusely apologize in advance for any times the story might be delayed, unfortunately my writing process is a very slow one, so it may take a while with future updates, though currently I already have the second chapter of this written, just needs uploading. Of one thing you can always be sure though...I will never, ever, ever abandon any of my fanfics, no matter how long it might take to get back to them, barring unforeseen complications that physically keep me from writing...no fanfiction of mine will ever be prematurely ended or abandoned, on that you have my word.
The space filling the gap between time and space howled around the small, shield shaped object known as the Phoenix Gate as it tumbled and was slapped about by the swirling energies of the vortex. It had drifted, uncontrolled and unguided through this space none knew how long, ever since the Gargoyle known as Goliath had hurled it into the time-stream after nearly being tricked into handing it over to the member of the Third Race known as Puck. Time had no meaning here, no existence…there simply, was.
And here the Phoenix Gate had been since, but now, things were changing, the very laws of reality. Never before had the Gate been thrust into the void between times and space without guidance, without a being to control and direct its flow and power; and that had changed everything, the Phoenix Gate had come to possess a mind of its own…the residual energies and thoughts left over from the time of its forging on Avalon. Now, it could do anything, change any point in time it wished, direct the universe onto a whole new course with a single act. This freedom however, came at a price, the Gate was slowly burning itself out, soon it would be completely destroyed, consumed by its own powers and energies and those of the vortex of time swirling around it. What did one do with the power to rewrite history, what would one change? Should one act at all? The only way to know for sure was to peer into the time-stream from the very beginning of the world to its inevitable end, see what the fate of the world would come to be through the course of events the currently unchanged path had set.
The years flew by in a blur, to any mere mortal being attempting to view the same thing, it would have been all but incomprehensible. But for the Phoenix, as it had come to view itself for through its own death time's path and the very fate of the world would be reborn much like the mythic phoenix in human beliefs was perpetually reborn from its own ashes, it was perfectly understandable. The being watched as time ran its course, empires rising and then crumbling, civilizations and people being birthed and dying…any other being would have gone mad from attempting to contain it all. The focus of the Phoenix grew more intense as it came upon the time when the Gargoyle known as Goliath had been born into the world…it felt drawn to this particular clan, a burning desire and almost a compulsion to see their fates resolves.
This feeling, it knew that its purpose was to be fulfilled somewhere within the morass of the Wyvern Clan's line within the time-stream, somewhere along that line it was to insert itself and change the fate of the whole world. Out of the whole clan within the whole of their entire existence, past, present, and future, the Phoenix found itself being drawn into focus on one particular female. A blue-skinned Gargoyle with a wild shock of red hair…the one who would come to be known in the future as Demona, what could its purpose possibly be with her? Time and again her schemes for the destruction of humanity were thwarted by her former clan after she had been disowned and disavowed by them, there had to be something that drew the being to this particular clan of Gargoyles out of all beings that had ever lived and this one female in particular.
Focusing its energies and zeroing its attention in on her, the Phoenix began to watch Demona's story unfold. How her betrayal of her clan led to its destruction at the hands of the Vikings, how her betrayal of the Scottish king Macbeth led to destruction of her clan once more, her growing hatred of humanity and determination to wipe them from the face of the earth, and the Gargoyle's refusal to learn from every single one of her many mistakes leading to her own suffering. What could there possibly be to change there, if ever there was a lost cause, the Phoenix knew that Demona would be the poster child for it…but nevertheless, everyone, even the most hopeless seeming of causes deserved a chance of renewal. But why would it be drawn to her? Turning from its thoughts the being returned to gazing at Demona's lifetime, until it came to the year 1996 and the aftermath of the incident on the Hunter's Moon with rediscovery of the Gargoyle species by humanity. Instantly the Phoenix knew that this was what it had been born to avert, but the question was why. It watched the rise of the Quarrymen led by one of the former Hunters and their efforts to bring down the survivors of the Wyvern Clan, how they ultimately turned the majority of the public against the Gargoyles and as their efforts led to humanity hunting the Gargoyles down…Goliath's clan being some of the first to go. Demona's own self-destructive hate and her current path that was set on would inevitably lead to the very destruction of her whole entire species, until she alone remained, a bitter, battered, broken, and hollow shell of her former self.
The Phoenix knew what it must do, somehow it must alter the destiny of this one Gargoyle and guide her onto a different path. Its time was almost up, there were very few options where it could insert itself into this Gargoyle's lifespan and save her from herself. There was only one option available where it could act…the night before the Wyvern Massacre and the destruction of Demona's clan. It would be too late to save her clan, but if she herself could be saved from her own self-destruction, then perhaps the future would be better place It couldn't force her into anything, but it could plant the seeds and hope that they would come to fruition. Mustering its energies one final time, the Phoenix Gate let loose a blast of its power and tore a hole in this dimension it had been trapped in so long and forced its way out into the timeline once more, the year 994 AD.
The second watched sadly and longingly as Goliath, the clan's leader and her mate flew off into the night with the clan's mentor and their old leader. This was not the way it was supposed to be! She snarled and her eyes glowed crimson with rage, the plan was failing, the whole of the clan was supposed to be out pursuing the decoy force of the Vikings so that the Viking chieftain Hakon and his men could remove the people of Castle Wyvern unopposed and the clan could reclaim their rightful, ancestral home. The humans had no place here, they hated her kind, they couldn't be trusted with keeping them safe, especially not that brat of a princess.
The second in command smashed her fist against the battlements in her fury…she thought back to that year when those people had come from the future, among them a future version of herself and Goliath…she had to keep that future she had been shown from coming to pass! She couldn't let her clan be destroyed and her love and the remaining few survivors frozen in stone, there had to be some way. She sighed wistfully, wishing that she had never torn the Phoenix Gate in two and given the other half to Goliath, with the Gate she would have the power to save her people, but she had foolishly given half of it away, and now she had to make do. The captain of the guard had sworn that he would look after her clan during that coming day, but she didn't trust him, he had ever been a staunch friend to the Gargoyles, and she had no doubt that he would try to keep his word to her, but what could one man do against a whole armed force? No, her people's future and continued survival rested in her own hands.
The Gargoyle was broken from her reverie as a small twinkle off over the battlements and outside the castle caught her eye. At first she thought that it might have been Hakon and the Vikings moving into position to attack the castle come dawn that morning, but no, it was something else…something vaguely familiar, and it was in the wrong place to be the Vikings, it hung low above the cliffs down by the sea. She squinted her eyes and peered intently out into the darkness, the glow was beginning to flare brighter and grow in size. It could be nothing other than magic.
"What is going on here," she wondered quietly, the second let out a gasp as she suddenly figured out what it was. It was unmistakable; it could be nothing other than someone arriving via the Phoenix Gate. Jumping from the wall she soared through the air eagerly toward where she knew whoever it was would be appearing, perhaps if she could manage to steal it from this traveler, whoever it may be, then she could use it to ensure her clan's safety! She deftly folded her wings and dove toward the ground in a steep dive, snapping them open at the last few seconds and landing heavily on the ground. The glow had reach its peak now and the orb of light and heat that surrounded the user of the gate had appeared, but there was something different. Something had changed since she had last seen the gate used. The fire and heat vanished just as suddenly as they appeared and the Gate clattered to the ground. She had not expected that, somehow, the Phoenix Gate had wound up here all on its own! The second stooped down and gingerly scooped up the metal object. It looked the same as ever, gold phoenix laid over a blue background and outlined in the gold around the edges that it had been constructed from. Though it looked just as it had when last she had laid eyes on it, there was something different about that she couldn't put her finger on…it suddenly grew hot within her hands and she dropped it with a small cry of pain as it burned her hands. The magical artifact never touched the ground, it remained floating at the height she had dropped it at, and seemingly coming out from it was a being seemingly made of fire and wreathed in black smoke, the being bore a vague semblance to a phoenix.
"Demona of clan Wyvern?" its voice was scarcely above a hoarse whisper, it spoke as one that had existed millennia. Why would it name here, like all of her Rookery brothers and sisters she had no name, such had been the Gargoyle way since time immemorial. It was true that her mate had been given a name, but that was one bestowed by the humans and did not truly apply amongst the clan, though some might call him that on occasion, like all the rest though, he had no name.
"I am of clan that dwells within Wyvern, spirit," she replied, "But I have no name, I am not this "Demona" of which you speak, you must seek elsewhere for this individual, for I am not she. What is your purpose here, are you, perchance one of Third Race, Oberon's Children?" Her eyes narrowed as she studied it, every muscle in her body tensing, preparing itself for fighting or fleeing from this strange creature. She could feel the magic and energy roiling from it, this being was one of the most powerful she had ever seen.
"Nay," it replied, "I am the spirit of the artifact that has come to be known as the Phoenix Gate, I am the Phoenix, time is at my beck and call and under my dominion, I have come seeking you, you are indeed the one I seek. Though your name may not be Demona in this day and age, there would have been time in the future when you would have been called such…I seek to avoid that same path occurring once again. My time grows short, I have not long left, and I will see this future I have observed changed, you, and this moment are the keys. The world will be reborn from my ashes and my sacrifice this night."
Before she could even react the Phoenix, as it had called itself had seized her and placed its hands on her temples. The second's eyes rolled back into her head as the visions began flooding through her mind…her own life playing out right before her! She saw herself becoming that twisted and vengeful creature wearing her form that had come through time almost 30 years ago. 'No, how could I become that,' she howled as she thrashed in the Phoenix's grip, 'I would never do such things, never. I will not be her!' All of her long and bitter years stretched before her eyes, how could any of this have happened, how could anyone become so twisted and maimed in their very soul itself? She saw her many clans that she had tried to form and protect over the years slowly die off, even the few survivors of her own clan when they reawakened 1,000 years later, even her own daughter, until she was all that remained of her once proud race, her own deeds had wound up killing them all…finally, just when she thought she would be driven mad, the grip of the Phoenix slacked, and she found herself collapsing to the ground in sobs, she couldn't let any of this happen, it had to be changed, stopped, there had to be something that could be done.
"Do something, please," she heard herself pleading, "I will do anything to prevent this future coming to pass, anything, just please, tell me."
"I already have, by coming here and showing you this, that future will no longer be as it was, the shadows of it remains and could, perhaps, still come to pass," the being replied sorrowfully, "I have done what I can, planted the seeds, but only you can change your fate. Your future lies within your own hands. The future is not set in stone, what has not yet come to pass may yet be stopped, but come what may, you must own up to your actions and your own part in history…or history will yet again repeat itself. Learn from your history, child, or you shall be doomed to repeat it once more!"
The Phoenix placed its hands on the miserable Gargoyle before it, both in comfort and in the final use of its power and last act of its brief life. It could not truly leave her with knowledge of this future, she had to make the decision on her own, it would remain within her subconscious surfacing at times in her dreams or a vague sense of deja-vu in her waking moments, but she could not be left with conscious memory of this incident. What remained would be enough to leave her the option of choosing a different path for herself. They would be nothing more than a vague guide, a small voice at the back of her mind urging her away from the path of self-destruction, coaxing her toward an inevitably brighter future. The Phoenix warped itself and the Gargoyle to the walls of the castle, "Sleep now, child, I pray you safe journey upon whatever road your path will lead." Its life force was quickly ebbing, the Phoenix could feel itself dying, with the last of its energy it looked into the future as far as it could, a small smile graced its face and a sigh of contentment at what it saw as it faded away into nothing, blowing on the sea breeze into the vast nothingness of death. The now powerless Phoenix Gate clattered to the stones of the wall near the unconscious second in command and slowly it too began to disintegrate and vanish from existence. The future lay in the Gargoyle's hands now, only she could now choose her road to follow.
How long she had been unconscious, she didn't know, but her mind had been filled with troubling dreams, nightmares of being the only Gargoyle left in the world and herself as the cause. Dimly she became aware of hands shaking her, attempting to wake her up and voices calling out to her. The second sluggishly forced her eyes open and dragged herself into a sitting position.
"My Rookery sister, are you all right?" the deep voice was that of one of Goliath's closest Rookery brother. A concerned look spread across his normally serious face, his golden skinned mate looking equally concerned for their leader's mate.
"What happened to you, sister?" the other one asked.
"I'll be fine," the second muttered quietly as she got to her feet, she couldn't shake the unmistakable feeling of something being wrong, "I do not know, I remember thinking I saw something off over the battlements…and then you were waking me." She looked up toward the sky slightly in shock, it was already almost dawn, more time had passed than she had originally thought, "It is nearly dawn, we should go to our places."
"But, should we not investigate this possible disturbance you saw?" the male asked.
"No, if it were a danger, it would have struck by now," the second replied, "Though you are right, it should be investigated, I will go myself." It was true, if it had been a danger, then it would have attacked the castle long ago when she had first seen it, but it did give her the perfect excuse to leave the castle, she would not trust her fate to the captain's hands. Leaping from the wall she soared down toward the sea just as the first light of dawn began to climb over the horizon. She alighted on the ground and crouched down in the shadows of the cliff just as day broke. Her muscles and skin tightened as the familiar feeling of stone sleep crept over her and her skin hardened as she turned to stone, her final thoughts before darkness taking her being of how she would return to a castle empty of humans and her clan could resume its rightful place and dwelling around Wyvern Hill.
The sun finally sank beneath the horizon, plunging the world into the darkness of night once more. Down by the shore at the foot of the cliff, the stone encasing the Gargoyle began to crack and splinter, finally coming apart in flying shards as it shattered and the second let out a roar as she awoke. Her eyes were instantly drawn up toward the castle, the smell of smoke filled her nostrils and the dull glow of dying fires still barely hanging on to life dimly lit the silhouetted stone fortress.
"It worked!" she exclaimed with joy drinking in the site for a moment before digging her talons into the stone of the cliff face and starting to climb toward her now liberated home. Despite her tentative joy she couldn't shake the feeling of something wrong, there was something in the air, a weight bearing down on her very soul itself. Looking up she couldn't see the sights she expected to see, surely her clan would be awake by now, the roars that often accompanied the awakening of Gargoyles was strangely absent and none of her brothers or sisters could be seen gliding through the air as many were accustomed to do just after they had awakened. She refused to believe what her heart feared and told her was true, they couldn't have perished, the captain had given her his word that he would keep her clan safe. Doubt still gnawed at her, she'd have to see for herself. The female Gargoyle hoisted herself up over the walls of the castle and leapt from the wall down into the courtyard. Silence filled the air around her, fires still burning amongst piles of rubble and smoke curling and wafting skyward. Not a soul, human or Gargoyle, was around to be seen. Still refusing to believe what her heart was practically shouting at her, the second entered the doorway that would take her back up to the battlements.
"Where are they?" she whispered quietly to herself. Coming up to the top of the walls surrounding the keep she called out in hopes her clan would answer, "Brothers! Sisters!" But no answering call was forthcoming. She came to a stop as her taloned foot ran into a small piece of loose stone. Her curiosity getting the best of her, the second bent down to examine the stone and gingerly picked it up, turning it over to reveal a Gargoyle's face, one of the remains of her clan! "No…" her voice was hoarse, barely above a whisper, almost unwilling to believe what her own eyes were telling her. Then, noticing as if for the first time, she beheld all of the rubble scattered near and around the walls…her clan, her family…her people, all dead, the shattered stones strewn about being all that remained of them.
All of them dead and it was all her fault, her own doing, her own scheming to save her clan leading to their destruction. The Gargoyle let out a strangled howl of anger and grief before collapsing to her knees amongst the rubble of her brothers and sisters and weeping. She cursed the captain for his treachery, for letting this happen, she cursed all the humans she could think of, living and dead…but most of all, she cursed herself, this was all her fault, the captain never would have come up with the plan or even if he did have, followed through with it without her encouragement and help in arranging it. She didn't deserve to be alive, could she but trade her own life in for that of her clan, she would gladly do so without hesitation.
How long she had lain there sobbing amongst the rubble of her clan and feeling sick with grief over her own actions, she didn't know, the sound of air rushing over wings overhead brought her back to her senses and broke her from her thoughts. A familiar shape alighted on the tower where she and her mate usually roosted during the day. "Goliath?" her sobs died in her throat, he was still alive, he had survived, but she suddenly stopped herself short before she could rush to the tower and to him, "No, I can't face him, not yet. Not now, after what I've done. He mustn't know…not yet, not ever, it would destroy him, I couldn't live with it."
Before she could make it down the stair to the courtyard though and escape, hiding in order to return again later, the second was brought up short by her mate's anguished roar that shattered the stillness of the night. She turned and looked back toward the tower, Goliath stood where she usually roosted for the day while stone, he thought that she had perished! Much as her fear was telling her that she should run, to come back to the castle later and meet with her mate and love then…there was one other small voice seemingly whispering in the back of her mind, urging her to go to him, show him that she yet lived and he was not the only one to have survived the massacre. Her indecision lasted only moments, she couldn't leave him alone like this, no, she would own up to her mistake, her part in this slaughter, at least in part and to herself alone for now, she would stay with whatever remained of her clan and face whatever consequences might come. It was the least she could do to begin trying to make things right, but this kind of treason, what could ever redeem her from this stain? She sighed quietly and doing her best to compose herself before leaping over the wall and gliding toward where she could see the old leader stooping down and examining something amongst the rubble.
"These bowstrings have been cut," the old one murmured quietly as she alighted softly on the ground behind him, "There was betrayal here." Guilt welled up once more and she briefly reconsidered her notion of flight, but her mind was made up for as the old leader turned around to face her, having felt the air currents from her passing over him, "Lass? Ye live? How can this be?" The two of them were interrupted by the clatter and squeal of old metal as the doors to the Rookery opened, followed by horrified gasps as those within saw the devastation of what was once their home lying before them. She remembered now the three young Gargoyles from the night before and the Gargoyle beast they had had with them that Goliath had sent down to the Rookery as a punishment…evidently leading to their survival of this atrocity.
"Were there any others down in the Rookery," the second asked, maintaining the briefest of hopes that more had possibly survived.
"No," the red, beaked Gargoyle replied despondently, "It was just us…and the eggs." It was a small reassurance, their clan would survive through her own offspring and those of the rest of her brothers and sisters…but it did nothing to dull the pain all of them felt.
"All of the humans are gone too," the former leader remarked, "Though I do nah see many bodies…the Vikings must have taken them captive."
Goliath landed behind them all with a massive thump, his eyes glowing white with his barely contained fury, his thirst for vengeance evident in his every action right now, it was not often that the second saw her mate get like this, "Then we will go and find them," he snarled, "We will save the humans…and we shall have our revenge!" Goliath was brought short suddenly as he finally noticed his second standing there with the others, "My, Angel of the Night?" An expression of bewildered joy at finding her alive lighting his face, yet still tainted by the sorrow of what they had all found, "But how? How can this be, how did you survive?"
She gulped quietly and guiltily avoided her mate's gaze, how could she possibly tell him of what she had done? She scrambled to hastily come up with some story before the others could notice her pause and become suspicious that she knew any more than they did, a half-truth would be the best possible answer, "I thought that I saw something, out over the battlements, just before dawn. I saw that the Vikings had returned, and that you would be being misled, you would not arrive back at the castle in time to help until it was too late. I left to warn you, hoping to find you before the two of you had gone too far…but I wasn't thinking straight…dawn caught me before I could find you, and when I awoke this night I returned…to, this." She could feel the guilt overflowing again and leading to a renewed round of tears, not only had she been the cause of this tragedy, now she was lying about it to the one person in her life who mattered most to her. She only felt worse as Goliath wrapped his wings around her and ran his large hand through her unruly shock of hair as he tried to comfort her. The sound of the old one clearing his throat brought the moment to an end.
"As stirring as this scene is and moves me old heart," he remarked, "We've work needs doing. If we are to save the humans and avenge our brothers and sisters, then we had better leave now."