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A Lifelong Decision

April seventh, 1996. Sunset stretched across the city of Paris. Brian was standing near the pedestals located in the front of the cathedral. He watched as Michel, Esmeralda, and Mary woke up from their stone sleep.

The adventure that they all lived through still haunted their dreams and their waking thoughts. Especially Mary and Brian. Mary was still a little shell-shocked about how her life took a drastic change since Pierre shot her with that dart. As for Brian, he still couldn't get over the fact that he was now the only human out of all four of them.

Brian missed the days he and Mary spent together. Now he had to wait for nightfall to spend time with her. It seemed a little frustrating, but there was no choice. Maybe you didn't know, but Mary and Brian were street children. They had no parents, but they've managed to make some money to keep them alive by washing car windows, shoveling snow, and helpful jobs like that. When they discovered Michel back in 1993, they got a home to live in. From there on, they spent the best three years of their lives with Michel.

Michel, Esmeralda, Mary, and Brian went to the dinner table, where Brian had put the food he bought just ten minutes ago. They all sat down, complimented Brian on his choice for dinner, and began to eat.

As Brian sat there and ate, his thoughts turned to two possible futures for himself. One future was right in front of him: Purchasing dinner for him and his friends, waiting for sunset to talk to Mary, Michel, and Esmeralda. The second future was to be a gargoyle just like his other three friends. Brian never mentioned these thoughts with the others. Brian thoughts about this through dinner. He weighed the pros and cons for each side. He let his heart tell him what he felt was right. When dinner was over, Brian made his decision: he was going to be a gargoyle!

So, at about 1:30 a.m., Brian bid his friends good-bye who were going on patrol, then he made his way to Pierre's lab once his friends were out of sight. He reached the lab, approached the evil scientist, and asked him to make him a gargoyle. Pierre was surprised that Brian would actually ask to be a gargoyle. Especially after demanding that he cure his friend, that Mary. But he agreed. He got out his lab gun and shot Brian with one of the darts. Brian didn't even flinch. He let the formula sink into his skin, and then he took it out. and just walked calmly out of the lab with Pierre watching him, still trying figure out why Brian asked to be a gargoyle.

When Brian was about halfway to the manhole, the formula started to take effect. Brian dropped to his knees, and his transformation began. He grew a long tail and long, wide wings. He watched to wonder and amazement as his second and third fingers melded together and became claws. A few more minutes later and Brian was completely a gargoyle. He continued toward the manhole.

Brian soon reached the streets. He began heading toward the cathedral, walking through dark alleyways so no one saw him. Along the way, Brian stopped, the reality of what he had just done sunk in. 'What have I done?' he thought. 'What will my friends say? I can't go back. I didn't tell them what I was planning on doing. Now, I'm embarrassed. I better wait a few nights before telling them what I did.'

So, Brian selected an empty house to be his temporary home and went inside to wait for sunrise, thinking about how different his life was going to be now. He compared the pros and cons of this future again. The cons were his friends feeling betrayed when they find out. They would realize that they would have to get money somehow since Brian couldn't earn it. Then he would get kicked out of the cathedral, and never be friends with them again. The pros might be his friends being shocked, asking what happened, and living with his friends for the rest of his life.

Meanwhile, Pierre was plotting revenge. He had been plotting ever since Brian walked out of his lab. Pierre looked at the photograph of his father. His father had gone out one night when he was fifteen, dressed in body armor and a mask. He never came back. When he asked his mother where father was, she said, "Pierre, your father went out to hunt for gargoyles in another city in France. They killed him. Those monsters killed him!" Since then, Pierre was determined to kill any gargoyles to avenge his father's death. Now, his revenge would happen. He would hire the same mercenaries from before to capture Brian and hold him until the others surrendered. Then, he captured them and smash them at sunrise.

It took a few days for him to contact the mercenaries, but he found them. He described the job they were to do, telling them they would be paid half of the money, promising the rest of it would be ready the next morning. They agreed, gathered their equipment, and went looking for Brian.

They found him not too far away from the cathedral. Brian was contemplating exactly how to tell his friends about his situation. He was so deep in thought, he didn't hear an electrified net being shot. The net landed on him and shocked him unconscious. The mercenaries dragged their captive to Pierre's lab. One mercenary, however, left Pierre's note at the cathedral.

Esmeralda, Michel, and Mary have been worrying about Brian ever since he disappeared. It was Mary who discovered the noted stuck under the tower door. It said that Brian was Pierre's prisoner and it demanded that they surrender or Brian would be in terrible danger. She showed the note to the other two and Michel decided that they would rescue Brian, not surrender. The gargoyles glided to Pierre's lab to save Brian.

The reached the entrance, climbed down, raced toward the lab. Mary had a sense of deja vu coming on, except this time was different. When they reached the lab, they saw Brian in a cage as a gargoyle. Pierre's back was to them.

Esmeralda whispered, "I think we're too late!" Unfortunately, Pierre heard her and turned around.

"So," he said. "Come to surrender yourselves, have you?"

"I don't think so!" growled Michel.

Michel and Esmeralda leaped toward Pierre and tackled him. Mary, on the other hand, rescued Brian from the cage.

Michel lifted Pierre up into the air, the lab around them in shambles, and threw him against his lab desk. Pierre crashed into the desk. His lab gun's trigger was pulled back, and a dart injected itself into Pierre's arm. Jean-Pierre screamed and fell forward, temporarily unconscious. Michel, Mary, Esmeralda, and Brian decided to leave the lab before Pierre came to. The four friends returned to the Notre Dame Cathedral.

Pierre soon woke up, but as he stood up, he realized that he was a gargoyle too. The one thing he hated more than anything else in the world. And the sun was rising. Pierre turned to stone. Two hours later, the mercenaries showed up. They saw their promised money and a stone gargoyle, so they took the money and then...they smashed Pierre with a sledgehammer lying nearby.

As sunset covered the city, our four heroes woke up. Michel asked Brian how he was changed into a gargoyle.

Brian replied, "I asked Pierre to do it. I felt sad that I had to wait all day to talk with you."

Mary said, "Well, you won't have to wait anymore." And so, Mary, Michel, Brian, and Esmeralda lived a happy life together.

The End-for now

United for Freedom and Life

The Struggle to Survive

A Growing Friendship

Pierre's Last Attack

One Enemy, One Friend

A Change in Plans