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The Struggle to Survive

In the city of London, England, a man was sitting at his desk reading a stack of papers in front of him. His name was Robert Smith. He was born in 1971 which made him around twenty-five with brown hair and green eyes.

The papers in front of him was given to him personally by armored men with French accents. They just gave him an envelope then left without saying a word. Robert took the envelope with him to his study and opened it. Inside he found the papers that he was now reading.

The pages informed him that he had a long lost French cousin named Jean-Pierre who was a scientist. He learned that Pierre was about to get revenge on four gargoyles when the leader called Michel threw him against a lab desk, causing a dart to turn Pierre into gargoyle. Pierre died the following morning when the same mercenaries that brought him the papers smashed him with a sledgehammer. When the mercenaries realized their mistake, they wrote up the account and located Robert. Then they delivered the papers.

Robert put the papers back down on the desk. "I can't believe that my cousin is dead and I didn't even get to meet him." Suddenly his eyes lit up. "Wait a minute. I almost forgot. I'm a magician. I can bring my cousin back to life and help him fulfill his revenge. The only thing is that I can't restore him to human form, but better alive than dead." So Robert packed his clothes, magic book with notes, a few other necessities and boarded a plane bound for Paris. The date was April 20th, 1996.

Meanwhile in Paris, our four gargoyles friends were doing their usual routine. They've been doing it for two weeks now. They would select the evening's meal, count the money, and then leave the money on the counter while they took the food they decided on. They earned money by having a Save The Cathedral Foundation placed out in the front entrance. That night Michel, Mary, Esmeralda, and Brian decided on croissants, bagels, water, tea, and milk for dinner. They bought their food, took it back to the cathedral, and began to eat.

Hours later, sunrise came. The gargoyles turned to stone. At nine AM, Robert arrived in Paris. He tried to remember where his cousin lived. Then he recalled the papers saying that Pierre lived in an underground lab accessible through a sewer manhole. He searched every secluded manhole in Paris. At last, he found the entrance. He lowered himself down and headed for the lab.

When he got there, he saw a destroyed lab and a smashed gargoyle. "That has to be my cousin." He opened his suitcase, got out his book, and opened it to the appropriate spell. He began to recite it. When he was finished, Pierre was a whole stone statue, asleep and alive. Now, all Robert could do was wait.

The hours passed quickly and sunset soon came. The stone surrounding Pierre began to crack. Soon, the stone flew in all directions and Pierre yawned. He looked around in surprise, unaware of Robert standing behind him. Wasn't he dead? He could have sworn he turned to stone and then there was oblivion. Turning around, he saw Robert. His eyes glowing white, he growled, "Who are you? What are you doing here?"

I-Im your cousin, Robert, replied the young man, feeling scared.

"My cousin!" Pierre exclaimed, crossing his arms. "That's impossible!"

"It's true. I have these papers telling me that you're my cousin," Robert insisted suddenly feeling braver. He held the papers out to Pierre who took them and read quickly through the papers. When he was finished, he looked at Robert and passed the papers back. "I guess you are my cousin," he admitted his tone a lot nicer.

"How long has it been since April 7th?" Pierre asked. "

It's been about two weeks," Robert told him.

Pierre considers this for a moment, then said, "Would you like to help me get revenge on those gargoyle you've been informed about?"

"Sure. Especially the one called Michel."

"My feelings exactly."

Back at the cathedral Mary, Michel, Brian and Esmeralda decided to go out gliding for the evening. Patrol had been over for a while and everything seemed peaceful. They took flight. They glided over the city, each building looked like a dot from where they were. The stars glittered in the sky like gems.

Suddenly something swooped out of the sky and landed on Michel. It was Pierre! Esmeralda, Mary and Brian were astonished. They knew, from one of their visits to the lab that he was stone dust and yet he was alive. Michel and Pierre landed on the street where they rolled over each other. When it ended, Pierre was on top of Michel.

Michel struggled to get up but it was no use. "You can't be alive! It's impossible!" the clan leader exclaimed.

"It's not when you have a magician for a cousin," Pierre said to him. The members of Michel's clan landed and headed to the two gargoyles nearby intending to release their leader. Just then, a laser beam struck the ground, causing them to halt all movement. The blast was caused by Robert. Unfortunately the blast caught Pierre's attention and his grip loosened. Michel took advantage of this, pushed Pierre off with his legs.

Pierre landed near his cousin. As he got up, Robert whispered to him, "This direct attack isn't going too well. We better retreat."

"You're right," his cousin agreed. The two villains turned and disappeared into the dark shadows.

The clan watched as they ran off. Michel said, "Let's head home."

In the lab, Pierre and Robert argued. Robert said that an unplanned attack is never a way to win a battle. Pierre insisted that it did if the moment's right.

While they argued, Robert idly flipped through his magic book. Then he came to two pages stuck together. He pried the pages apart and there right in front of him was a spell to make Pierre human again. Robert never saw this spell because it had been stuck to another page. He called his cousin over and they read the spell together silently.

Pierre said, "Robert, I don't wish to be human anymore."

"What?! Why?" Robert exclaimed.

"I found that being a gargoyle is better," Pierre answered. Then silently added to himself, "Even if I did vow to destroy all gargoyles. But I can be human after my goal has succeeded."

"Then I'll use it on those gargoyles," Robert said gleefully.

"Wait," Pierre replied. "Two of those gargoyles were human before. I'll lure the two gargoyle born ones to you and you change them into humans."

"Great idea." Robert smiled evilly as he and his cousin headed out of the lab to set the plan into motion.

At the cathedral, the clan was sitting together trying to make sense of how and why this human cousin has come into their lives. Just then, they got the sense of being looked at. Turning around, they saw Pierre standing nearby looking at them. Then, he glided away.

"Let's go get him," Brian said.

"No, you and Mary stay here. Esmeralda and I will go after him. We'll be back." The leader and Esmeralda took off after their adversary.

Pierre had a few meters lead but was being closely ganged on. Which was the plan. Seeing the alley that had been picked for their designated spot, Pierre glided down and into the alley. The two gargoyles followed him.

Robert stepped out of the shadows and began to recite the spell. "Michel, it's a trap," Esmeralda exclaimed. But it was too late. Michel and Esmeralda crashed to the ground, blinded by the spell's effects. Pierre and Robert laughed triumphantly.

Meanwhile, Brian and Mary began to worry. Michel and Esmeralda were not back and it was almost sunrise. Mary said hopefully as they went to the pedestals, "Maybe they found a place to roost for the day." Brian replied, "I hope so, too." They turned to stone.

Back in the alley, Michel and Esmeralda woke up. They looked around and noticed that Pierre and Robert were nowhere in sight. As they got to their feet, they realized that Robert's spell had turned them into humans. That was why they didn't turn to stone. For the first time in their lives, they got to see and feel the bright, warm sun.

Sunset arrived. Mary and Brian awoke from their stone sleep and immediately looked out at the sky. No sign of the leader or Esmeralda. Mary said, "That's it. Brian, we better go look for them."

"Okay," Brian answered.

The two gargoyles glided over the city and began their search. As they approached the alley, they saw two humans. Mary wondered what they were doing in an alley. Were they homeless, like Brian and she used to be? She called to her friend, "Brian, maybe we could stop searching and see if we can find a way to help those homeless humans."

"Are you sure that's a good idea?" Brian questioned.

"Positive," Mary told him. The two of them watched the two humans. They listened as the woman asked the man what they were going to do. They heard the man say that he didn't know. Brian noticed that they sounded familiar and dressed kind of weird for humans. He mentioned this to Mary, who agreed. After looking at them for a few more minutes, Brian got a shock of recognition.

When he told Mary who he thought they were, Mary shot a 'Are you crazy?' look. She said, "No way. How could they be human?"

"I bet you Pierre's cousin did it. I'm going down." Brian glided down into the alley and landed. The two humans had already gotten up from where they were sitting and were standing before Brian, unafraid. Mary realized that Brian must be right because if they were really humans, they would have run away screaming into the night.

Brian said, "Don't worry Michel. Mary and I will help you and Esmeralda get back to normal." He noticed that they didnt ask how he recognized them. They must have figured out how Brian knew. He then looked up and called, "Come on down Mary."

Mary came down and immediately was all business. "We've got to figure out how to get Robert to reverse the spell."

"Maybe we could capture Pierre and hold him until Robert agrees to our terms," Esmeralda suggested.

"That's a great idea, but let Brian and me do it. You two should go back to the cathedral. We'll be there soon. With Pierre."

Mary and Brian reached the underground lab and saw Robert asleep with Pierre standing guard over him. Pierre may be an evil scientist but he couldn't escape a gargoyle's need to protect. The two friends quickly and quietly captured the evil gargoyle and as Brian dragged him out of the lab, Mary wrote a note to Robert, telling him their demands.

When Robert awoke, there was no one else in the lab. He was surprised. He thought Pierre would stay in the lab for the rest of the night and not go anywhere until tomorrow night after Robert had smashed the other two gargoyles to dust at sunrise before he awoke. A slip of white paper near his book caught his attention and he looked at the writing on it. His eyes widened. His cousin had been kidnapped and he had to reverse the human spell if he wanted to get his cousin back. Realizing that he had no choice without risking Pierre's life, he grabbed his magic book and headed for the cathedral.

Meanwhile at the cathedral, Pierre was in a titanium cage with Brian guarding him. After about half an hour, they heard Robert's voice calling, "Hello?" Mary went to lead the way to the top of the tower.

Once Robert had reached the top, he said, "I'm doing as you asked. I've brought the spell." He cast the spell and Michel and Esmeralda began gargoyles again. Pierre was released and the two of them left.

Upon getting back to the lab, Robert suggested that they leave France and go to England, Robert's homeland. There, Robert would give Pierre some space in his house for him to use for a lab. Pierre decided that he could use some place secret where he could plan his next attack on the gargoyles. Even if it took months. So, as Robert boarded a plane to England, Pierre perched himself securely onto the plane.

At our heroes' home, Michel and Esmeralda told of their first and hopefully last day as humans. Mary and Brian told them some of the things they did as humans, such as clothes shopping, the different types of food and the wonderful theatre shows and movies they saw. As they finished telling their human experiences, they went to the front of the cathedral and turned to stone.

The End

United for Freedom and Life

A Lifelong Decision

A Growing Friendship

Pierre's Last Attack

One Enemy, One Friend

A Change in Plans