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The Beginning of a New Friendship?

In a tall building of glass and brick, a young business man sat at his desk in his office. Looking at the contracts he signed with other companies, he sighed. Looking at contracts to make sure they were legal was boring. But he had nothing to do and besides it was business procedure. He wanted desperately to have something else to do.

"Mr. Erickson," a voice on the intercom on his desk buzzed.

"Yes, Ms. Farla?" he asked after pushing the talk button.

"The building blueprints have arrived."

"Send them in." Sitting back, Erickson smiled. The plans for the construction of the building for his expanding genetics and chemical department was finally here. Ms. Farla came in carrying a bunch of rolled up papers. She handed them to Erickson and was dismissed. Erickson eagerly pulled the rubber bands off the papers and unrolled a sheet of blue paper. On it was the plans for the building as well as a drawing of it. Erickson's smile abruptly turned into a frown.

"Drat! There's no way the day work crew can finish it in the time I anticipated. It will take twice as long. How am I going to solve this problem?" Erickson never accepted things like this. He always got what he wanted. It was getting close to quitting time, so he packed the contracts and blueprints into his briefcase and left the building.

Meanwhile, in Angel Castle, home of the gargoyles of Moscow, Katsuhiro (he was leader at this point) was assigning pairs to go on patrol that night. "Baska and Wisca you will take the north. Junip and Zackary you will take the west. Paseacha, you, Strom, and Kaameeleah will stay with our human friends and guard the castle. Kayka you're with me to take the east." Then the six gargoyles glided off to begin patrol.

Erickson walked down the sidewalk, enjoying the weather that was unusual for nighttime. September usually consisted of cool days and cold nights, but this year the days and nights were both on the cool side. Nighttime was a little cooler than daytime, but it was not as cold as it would be in a few months. It was best to enjoy this weather while it lasted.

Looking up, Erickson saw a clear sky with twinkling stars and a quarter moon that resembled a banana. After a couple of minutes of stargazing, he caught sight of two dark shapes crossing over the moon. Erickson gasped. "What was that?" he said aloud. He looked at the moon, waiting for the shapes to reappear. They didn't. "I must have thought I saw something," Erickson chided himself. Just then, the shapes appeared again.

Glancing around, he spied a building with roof access. Climbing up the fire escape, he reached the roof, and went as close to the edge as he dared. Looking up, he saw nothing. Down, however, he saw some men mugging a young woman. Then those shapes he saw earlier attacked the men. The woman ran away screaming something about..."monsters"? Leaning against the edge in hopes of seeing the shapes better, he was unaware of some bricks breaking loose. Still leaning on the edge, he heard the sound of loose bricks and he fell off the building and toward the ground.

Suddenly, his descent stopped. The ground was six feet below him and it seemed to be rushing away from him. Looking up at his rescuer, his eyes widened in surprise. It was a "monster". He had lavender skin and gray hair. Bat-like wings came from his back. At least he assumed it was male. Seeing this "monster" overwhelmed the Russian and he fainted dead away.

"Kayka," Katsuhiro called to his second. "This human has fainted. We better take him to the castle to make sure he's okay."

"Are you sure about that?" Kayka asked,worried.

"Yes, I am. We can not just leave him if his faint has caused any injury to him."

"Okay," Kayka replied. She was still uncertain. Worrying has always been one of her traits as second-in-command. She hoped this trait would leave when she was made leader.

Erickson eyesight was blurry at first, but a blink cleared everything up. He saw the one who rescued him with eight others like him and five humans. One of the creatures was supporting his head and holding a glass of water. This creature appeared to be a she with purple skin and white hair.

"Are you alright?" the lavender male asked.

"I-I think so," he answered still in shock, which was wearing off. "I'm Jeff Erickson. Who are you? What are you?"

"I am Katsuhiro. I am what the humans call a gargoyle. This is my clan. Kayka, my second-in-command. Baska, my third-in-command. Wisca, Strom, Paseacha, Junip, Zackary and the one supporting your head is Kaameeleah."

"Also," Katsuhiro continued. "these are our human friends. Amelia, Noel, Kurt, Todd, and Chris."

Erickson nodded a hello to the five of them who appeared to be in their late teens to early twenties. As a matter of fact, so did the gargoyles, with the exception of Katsuhiro.

"I think it will be best if you stay at the castle for a couple of days," Katsuhiro told Erickson. "Our friends will show you to one of the guest rooms."

With that Erickson stood up, picked up his briefcase (Kayka rescued it when Erickson fell off the building), and followed Noel and Amelia inside the castle. The interior of the castle made you feel at home right away. Beautiful tapestries hung from the ceiling, modern furniture sat on the floors contrasting with the medieval decorations.

Entering one the guest rooms, Erickson saw the room was similar with the rest of the castle. Tapestries with modern furniture. Placing his briefcase on the floor and sitting on the bed, he said, "Could you tell me more about the gargoyles?"

Surprised, Amelia said, "Why do you want to know more about them?"

"If I'm going to be friends with them, I don't want to be caught by surprise if they do something surprising."

"Well, you should, first of all, know that the gargoyles turn to stone at dawn everyday and become flesh and blood at sunset."

"Yes," Noel piped in. "They are also remarkably strong."

At that point, Erickson yawned. "I guess I better get some sleep. I'll see you all later."

"Have a nice sleep." Amelia and Noel left the room. Amelia closed the door behind them, and then headed for the Main Hall.

The two girls saw the boys in the Main Hall. Kurt and Todd were at the table. Chris was pacing the length of the floor.

"Chris, you're going to wear a rut in the floor if you don't stopping doing that," Kurt said gently.

"I think best if I pace."

"What are you thinking about?" Noel asked.

"The details for the dinner I'm giving Kayka. Her birthday is next month."

"Yeah, it's a romantic dinner for two," Todd teased. "Where are you going to have it, Chris? In a restaurant?"

Amelia swatted Todd on the arm. "Stop it Todd. Don't be so mean."

"Who's mean?" Todd grinned. "Not me."

Chris was too busy planning the dinner to care what went on around him. 'Some flowers in a vase would make a nice centerpiece. Red roses,' he thought. 'So many details, so little time.'

A few hours later, Erickson woke up to sunlight on his face. Getting out of bed, he freshened himself up and sat down at the desk in the room. Opening his briefcase, he looked at the blueprints from last night. A plan was starting to form. "Gargoyles are flesh and blood at night. Maybe I can enslave them and have them build the building at night thereby having it ready when I had originally planned it to be. But, first I have to gain their trust."

Two Months Later

Kayka had become the leader. Now the contract he had could be presented. All last month, he worked hard on how to phrase his words. This contract was also phase one of his plan. Now, he would present it to the gargoyles.

Approaching the castle, which the clan told him was called Angel Castle, he walked across the bridge and up the stairs to the battlements at the top of the castle.

"Good evening Erickson," Kayka greeted in her smooth, firm voice. Her worrying trait had, indeed, vanished when she accepted the role of leader.

"Hello Kayka. I would like you to sign this." He held out the contract.

"What is it?"

"It's a contract re-establishing the fact that this castle will always remain standing and that you'll always live here. All that remains is for you and I to sign it."

The gargoyle leader paused. "Should she sign it?" Looking at Katsuhiro for advice, she saw his eyes saying, 'It's your decision.' Turning to Erickson, she said, "Where do I sign?"

Erickson smiled. His plan was working. He handed her a pen and pointed to the first dotted line. Signing her name, she passed the pen to Erickson, who added his name on the second dotted line.

"How about we go inside to celebrate this occasion?" Katsuhiro suggested.

Everyone agreed to this. As the clan and the other five humans stepped inside, Erickson saw pieces of stone skin littering the stone ground.

Picking up a piece and putting it inside his business jacket, he mused, 'I'll take this to my genetics department. It might come in handy.'

The End

Friends and Foes.

Size Isn't Everything.

A Cute But Odd Couple.

Rite of Leadership.

The Circle Widens.

Return to airport.

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