Disclaimer: I don’t own Gargoyles. This story takes place shortly after “Hunter’s Moon Part Three” and continues through The Goliath Chronicles.”
Chapter One- The Aftermath
Elisa grimaced as she slid into the driver’s seat. As she drove away, she glared at her rearview mirror in which the demonstrators in front of her apartment building were reflected. She had woken up this mid-afternoon to chanting one associates with demonstrating. It wasn’t until she stepped outside that the full impact hit her.
The signs being held were gargoyle hate messages. She knew she wasn’t the target of the demonstration. No one except her family, Matt, and Xanatos knew of her connection to the gargoyles and only Xanatos knew of her love for Goliath.
She sighed softly. The castle was where she was going as the sun slowly sank below the horizon. It had been a few days since she boldly kissed the clan leader. It was felt that the clan needed to lay low for a while. Elisa herself had been kept busy at work and had been unable to visit her friends. She could hardly wait to see her friends…and him.
It’s hard to believe that only a few days have passed since the existence of gargoyles has been revealed. The hatred the people are showing is quite intense and I frankly find it hard to take. Most likely because I know what the gargoyles are really like.
She reached the Eyrie building, got out of her car, and headed inside toward the elevator that led to the castle. Once it reached the castle, Elisa got out and headed for the top of the tower where Goliath slept.
She made it before night fell with enough time to catch her breath and take in the beautiful scenery. She envied Xanatos and the clan for this spectacular view. It was as if the castle was in heaven, looking down at the earth below.
The sound of cracking stone brought her out of her thoughts. She stood back as the gargoyles awoke, stretching and roaring to the night. Goliath stretched one more time before turning to see Elisa behind him. He jumped off her perch, wrapped his arms around Elisa, and pulled her into a hug.
Elisa smiled as she leaned against Goliath’s chest. She always felt safe in his arms and she also knew that he had sorely missed her the last few days just as she had missed him.
As they pulled back, Goliath leaned down and kissed her before saying, “I missed you.”
“I missed you too, Big Guy.”
“I imagine the station needs cleaned up badly.”
“Yeah, but I’ve been mostly filling out paperwork and taking phone calls, most of which were people claiming they saw gargoyles near their homes,” Elisa said, injecting annoyance and disgust into her words.
Goliath sighed. “Ever since that false report, the humans are afraid and panic is sweeping through the city.”
“No kidding. All those calls were false alarms. I knew you guys were lying low. I think even Demona’s keeping a low profile, too.”
“Yes, so it would seem.”
Elisa was silent as she looked out at the clouds that hid the city below. Yes, the gargoyles of the city were keeping their heads down while panic reigned over the humans. She tried to imagine how she would feel if she never met the clan and then learned of their existence from the news, but she found it difficult to do so.
Goliath was also deep in thought, but he was looking at the floor. His hope for a peaceful co-existence between humans and gargoyles was fading, but he knew he wouldn’t give up on his dream. He would still protect the humans, even though they feared and hated his kind. Of course, there were humans that accepted his clan and even one human loved him.
I’d hate to think how Elisa would be viewed and treated if her people learned she was in love with a gargoyle.
Chapter Two- The Quarrymen
John Castaway, a.k.a. Canmore, sat at his desk, fingers steeple, and a dark look on his face. He was thinking about his revenge on the gargoyles. Now that the whole city knew about those monsters, he would be able to recruit some help to find and hunt those beasts down.
Yes. I could form an organization dedicated to exterminating gargoyles. I would call it…um…The Quarrymen! Yes, that’s perfect! Our main goal is to destroy gargoyles and our second and secret goal is to go after humans who protect and support them. Like that Detective Maza, for example. She’s befriended them and I think she even loves one. If I could get proof of that unnatural affection, I would expose it for the whole city to see. That would teach her the dangers of associating with those creatures. Castaway smiled, grabbed some papers and a pen, and began writing down his ideas.
It took Castaway only a few days to place surveillance cameras at strategic points though out the city. He chose points that the gargoyles were sure to frequent as they glided across the sky. It was his hope that he might catch Maza on one of those cameras.
He got lucky the night after he had set up the last camera. Maza was on the camera he had set near the ruined clocktower, along with Goliath. He couldn’t hear what the two of them were saying, but it didn’t matter because their actions were his concern.
“Why did we come here, Goliath?” Elisa asked, gazing at the clocktower.
“I wanted to find a spot no one would think to find us. Besides, this is where I started to have feelings for you.”
Elisa smiled as she leaned back against Goliath’s chest. “I remember that night, too.”
Goliath turned Elisa around to face him and wrapped his arms and wings around her. Elisa ran a hand along the edge of his jawline before pulling his head down and bringing their lips together. Both had their eyes closed, yet Elisa sensed Goliath stroking her hair, and Goliath felt Elisa’s hand on the back of his neck. They pulled back, opened their eyes, and simply smiled at each other. Goliath then scooped up the detective and glided off toward their private section of Central Park that no one else knew about.
Castaway grinned savagely. He had plenty of evidence that Maza was indeed in love with a gargoyle and it was Goliath, to boot. This was too perfect. Now he needed to collect his cameras and think on how to present the film to the city.
He looked at the large group in front of him a few weeks later. He had been so busy gathering people who wanted to join The Quarrymen that his tape had been pushed to the back of his mind until a week ago. That was when he had a brainstorm: He would hold a Quarrymen rally on the street where his group’s headquarters were located. Other people would surely stop to watch and once a large enough crowd had formed, he would make a speech that would lead up to the tape’s presentation. It was an excellent plan if he did say so himself.
Currently, only his quarrymen were grouped in front of the stage up which he stood. A podium with a jumbo television screen hanging behind it were also on the stage. He wasn’t worried about the lack of crowd. Curiosity was one humanity’s traits as well as contempt for something or someone different, particularly if it was something that was unnatural. It was this curiosity that eventually drew people to form the crowd that Castaway so desired. It’s show time, he thought.
He moved behind the podium, adjusted his tie, and cleared his throat. His presence behind the podium was enough to quiet the crowd. “Good evening my friends and welcome to the first Quarrymen rally. By now, everyone knows our purpose: To destroy gargoyles! They are evil, vicious monsters. They are abominations and they must be destroyed!”
A loud roar went up from his followers and, as he planned, more people were starting to gather and to his delight, there were a couple of TV cameras. This was wonderful. They would doubtlessly record every moment of the rally and then air it on TV, particularly the tape he would soon play. Maza’s life would be ruined. Excellent! This was better than he planned.
He flashed a winning smile as he continued, “The gargoyles are a poison in our society. They try to fool us into believing that they are harmless or our friends.” He allowed sounds of disgust and hate to be voice before saying, “Obviously, this doesn’t fool you. However, others have been tricked. I have proof on tape of one human who has been completely snowed. Observe.” He pointed a remote at the screen and thumbed it to life.
At first, there was only snow and then an image of the rooftop of the building across from the ruined police station appeared and on that rooftop were Goliath and Elisa. Again, no sound was present, but the picture was crystal clear and shocking to the crowd. There was dark muttering, but no distinguishing words could be made out.
Once the entire scene had played out, Castaway turned it off and faced the crowd. “Yes. The human, Detective Elisa Maza, is in love with one of those monsters! She has abandoned humanity for them! Do no follow her example! I think she needs to be made aware of her error!”
The crowd roared its agreement and the Quarrymen raised their hammers in support of their leader. Castaway grinned as he broke up the rally. The truth was out in the public now and Maza would soon face hate, disgust, and contempt from her fellow citizens. He could hardly wait to see how she handles it.
Elisa yawned as she stepped inside her apartment. It had been a long night. A few traffic violations and few false gargoyle sightings. She honestly was getting tired of the false sightings. She would have preferred keeping an eye on Castaway’s rally then entertain false sightings.
Angry shouting from the street was heard through her skylight. She went over to the skylight, opened it, stepped out to the edge and looked down. There were protesters outside the building again. She shook her head, headed back inside, and went to her bedroom to get some sleep.
Hours later, Elisa was riding the elevator down to the lobby. The protesting had made it hard to fall asleep at first, but eventually the shouting died away and she was able to sleep. Obviously the crowd had dispersed as demonstrations usually do.
She stepped outside and was immediately surrounded by a crowd of angry people shouting at her and waving signs in the air. Their actions confused and worried her. Why were they angry with her? Did they know of her connection to the gargoyles?
Chapter Three- The Secret’s Out
She arrived at her precinct’s temporary station feeling frazzled and relieved. She didn’t know exactly why those people were angry at her, but with any luck, they’ll be gone by the time she got home and wouldn’t show up anymore. She was about to get out when Matt opened the passenger door and got in.
“I’ve already punched you in,” he said. “Let’s go.”
“Matt, what’s going on?” she asked even as she turned on the car and pulled out.
“Haven’t you seen the news?” He looked at her, confused.
“Of course not. Why?”
“Well, uh, someone taped you and Goliath being romantic and the news stations got a hold of it,” Matt said in a rush.
Elisa slammed on the brakes. “What!?” she screamed as she whirled on him.
“Hey, don’t kill the messenger!”
“Matt, the film can ruin my life if it hasn’t already!”
“Yeah, I know. I wish there was a way I could help you.”
“I’ll be fine,” she assured him, stepping on the gas. “My relationship with Goliath won’t cost me my job. I just won’t be allowed to work on any cases involving gargoyles.”
“Well, of course. Any gargoyle related cases go to the Gargoyles Task Force of which I’m in charge.”
“No problem on that score. Let’s see. My personal life is already getting difficult.”
“What do you mean?”
“There was a hate group waiting for me when I was leaving for my shift.”
“They didn’t hurt you, did they?”
“No. Assaulting a cop is a crime. They wouldn’t want a mark like that on their record. At least I don’t think they would.”
“I wonder if Goliath’s seen the news report.”
“So do I, Matt.”
Goliath growled as Hudson clicked off the TV. There was no doubt in his mind who was behind all of this: Castaway. While this report didn’t seriously impact him, the damage this could bring to Elisa’s life was a different matter.
Would she lose her job? Her home? Would the humans shun her or even attack her? The questions raced through his mind with no definite answers presenting themselves.
The look on Goliath’s face must have worried Hudson because he said, “Calm down, lad. If Elisa was in trouble, she would call us with her communicator.”
Goliath nodded. Elisa could take care of herself. If she had seen the report, she could try to convince people that it wasn’t real, but he doubted they would believer her; they would believe the film, just as they believed the film that the clan was responsible for blowing up the clocktower.
“So, Matt, what did the news station say?” Elisa asked as Matt got in.
“They got the film while the crew was at Castaway’s rally last night.”
“Castaway! Of course! I should have known!” Elisa thumped the steering wheel in annoyance.
“You want to confront him?”
“You bet I do!” Elisa started the car and headed for Castaway’s headquarters.
Castaway smirked as Elisa stormed up to his desk. “All right, Castaway, why did you show that tape? It was no one’s business but Goliath’s and mine.”
“I feel the public has the right to know the truth about the people who are supposed to protect them from danger.”
“Do you? I think you would do anything to hurt anyone who would befriend or support the gargoyles.”
“You have no proof of that.”
“It’s only a matter of time until I have proof. I will say goodbye for now.” Elisa turned and exited the room.
Castaway’s smirk hadn’t wavered throughout the conversation. There was nothing Elisa could do to salvage her personal life. Everyone knew about her loving a gargoyle. He had glimpsed the protestors grouped outside her apartment building when he drove by that morning. Yes, a demonstration was a small thing but eventually someone would make a bigger strike against Elisa. Things would reach a point where Elisa might leave town or even move in with the gargoyles. The point was that Elisa would see where loving Goliath would get her: the loss of her comfortable life.
Elisa drove home, apprehensive of what she’ll find upon arrival. Would the demonstrators still be there? Perhaps. She had had some time during her shift to think and concluded that any hostile attitude toward her was not going to upset her.
She pulled up to her apartment building and was relieved to see no one outside it. It was possible that the landlord forced them to disperse. That would certainly allow her peace and quiet when trying to sleep. She went inside and headed for her apartment.
“Maza, could I talk to you?” Chavez called as Elisa punched in that evening.
“Sure, Captain.” Elisa stepped into the office and closed the door behind her. She had a feeling Chavez wanted to talk about the news report.
“I had a group of gargoyle haters outside the station, demanding you be fired. I even got a call from the assistant D.A. requesting the same. I informed her and the crowd that your personal life is hardly grounds for termination.”
Elisa nodded. Chavez was making clear to her that she didn’t support the gargoyles or the Quarrymen. She was completely neutral. Chavez knew Elisa was a good officer and her love with a gargoyle wasn’t going to affect her performance.
“All right, detective,” Chavez continued. “Get out there and start your shift.”
“Yes, Captain.” Elisa left the office pleased that she had been correct in her job being secure.
Chapter Four- The Eviction
Over the next two weeks, Elisa ignored the protestors that greeted her when she went out for the night, whether it was her shift or visiting the clan and Goliath, in particular. She was also noticing that her fellow tenets were giving her a wide berth as well as cold or disgusted looks. She also ignored their looks. She was completely unconcerned about their attitudes- at least on the outside.
Then one late afternoon, Elisa was writing a check for the next month’s rent when a knock sounded at her door. Elisa went over and opened it a crack to see her landlord, Mr. Whitehart. She fully opened the door and smiled. “Hi, Mr. Whitehart. Please come in.”
“Thank you.” He stepped in and sat in one of the armchairs.
“Can I get you anything?”
“No, thank you.”
“Well, I’ve got next month’s rent right here.” Elisa handed over the check and then noticed that he was holding a long sheet of paper that didn’t look like a list of paid tenets. “What’s that in your hand?”
“That’s why I’m here.” He handed her the paper which actually had a shorter paper stapled in front of it.
Elisa looked at the first page and paled. “E-eviction notice?” she choked. “But, sir why?”
“Look at the second page.”
Elisa did so and saw that it was a petition demanding her eviction. It was signed by almost all the tenets in the building. She read through the paragraph at the top and her face darkened.
She then inhaled slowly, knowing that getting angry would not help the situation. “I would like to point out that the gargoyles would never attack a building full of innocent people,” she stated calmly.
“They attacked your precinct. Besides, it is my duty as landlord to provide my tenets with a safe and secure environment. I’ll generously give you all of next month to find a new place.”
“I also plan to fight this petition and eviction notice.”
Mr. Whitehart stood up. “If you wish to do so, go ahead. Both documents are legal and the reasons I stated in the notice are reasonable. Goodnight Elisa and I am sorry.” Whitehart left the apartment, closing the door behind him.
Elisa sighed as she stared at the papers in her hand. She couldn’t believe she was being evicted for loving Goliath. Well, technically it was her connection to the gargoyles that was getting her evicted. She intended to spend most of next month fighting the eviction notice since she suspected Xanatos would be willing to give her shelter if she asked him. A knock on her window caught her attention.
She looked over and saw Goliath on the roof. She smiled in relief as she opened the window and waved him inside. She leaned against him, feeling his strong chest and warm body. She always felt safe in his embrace and some of her tension melted away.
Goliath stroked Elisa’s hair as he looked at her. He sensed something was troubling her. Her body had been tense when she first leaned against him. She was slightly relaxed now, but he knew it was only temporary.
“Elisa, what is wrong?” he asked gently.
She sighed as she replied. “I received an eviction notice today. My connection to the clan is the reason for the notice. I also got a petition for eviction signed by most of the other tenets.”
“Oh, Elisa. I’m sorry. This is my fault.”
“Don’t be silly. My feelings for you aren’t going to change no matter how people act toward me. Besides, I plan to fight the notice.”
“What if you lose?”
“Then I was thinking of asking Xanatos if I can move in with you guys.”
“I don’t want you to get kicked out but it would be nice if you lived with us.”
“I know. It would be nice.”
&&&& Goliath glided home a little while later. Elisa wanted to start her research on the notice. He still felt responsible for her current predicament. If only he hadn’t felt the need to be romantic away from the castle. Now one of his worries had come true: Elisa faced losing her home.
I shall speak with Xanatos about Elisa moving into the castle should she lose. It’s the least I can do for her.
“Of course, she can move in,” Xanatos answered thirty minutes later after Goliath arrived home and explained the situation.
Goliath was surprised by Xanatos’s immediate answer. He had expected an uncertain response and a promise to think about it.
Xanatos smiled at Goliath’s reaction. “Come now, Goliath. The detective’s part of your clan, correct? Well, your clan lives here. It only makes sense for her to live here as well.”
Elisa sighed as she closed another book. It was two weeks after receiving the notice and it was looking as ironclad and reasonable as her landlord had said. She had had her head buried in the books at City Hall as well as researching court files, but she found nothing to support her position.
I guess I should call Xanatos. I’ve only got two weeks to pack up and move. She headed home and as soon as she got in, her phone rang. She snatched it up. “Hello?”
“Xanatos. I was just about to call you.”
“Let me guess: You were going to ask if you could move to the castle.”
Elisa blinked and then she smiled softly. “Goliath told you, didn’t he?”
“Yes and I said you could certainly move in.”
“Is two weeks soon enough?”
“Absolutely. I’ll have to get change of address forms, boxes, packing tape, rent the moving van, and storage shed-,”
“Detective, leave the details to me. I can have my employees pack your things up except for clothes and hygiene essentials.”
“Among other things. We can talk later about this.”
“Of course. Shall I call the day after tomorrow?”
“Fine. Goodnight.” Elisa hung up and almost immediately the phone rang again. “Hello?”
There was heavy breathing for a moment before a rasping voice spoke. “Watch yourself, detective.” There was a click and nothing but a dial tone.
Chapter Five- The Move
Elisa wasn’t sure who the caller was, but she wasn’t too concerned. After all, she would soon be living in the castle. She coordinated with Xanatos so that the movers could pack while she was at work and she could clean the apartment in the afternoon after getting some sleep. She gave a spare key to the head mover so they wouldn’t have to wait for her to leave or return.
She received more threatening calls, but they appeared to be empty words and nothing more. She did get a call from her parents concerned about her safety. She assured them repeatedly that she was fine and that everything was under control.
One afternoon Elisa emerged from her room, dressed for cleaning. She caught movement out of the corner of her eyes and turned to her skylight to see her brother and Maggie there! She smiled as she opened the window and let them in.
“What are you guys doing here?” she asked.
“Goliath told us what’s been going on,” Talon replied. “We thought we’d offer to help in any way possible.”
“Well, all I’m doing is cleaning the place but if you want to do some packing, there’s extra boxes and tape against the wall.” She gestured to the wall near her bedroom door.
“I’ll do that,” Talon said.
“I’ll give you help with the cleaning,” Maggie added.
The three of them worked steadily for the rest of the afternoon until Elisa said she had to get ready for work. Talon and Maggie promised to come back the next day before leaving. After the mutates left, Elisa briefly admired their work. The kitchen floor was spotless as well as the counters and cabinets. Talon had packed her books and videos as well as pictures and awards. The movers will come with a moving van at some point to transport her belongings either to her new room or to a storage unit Xanatos had secured for her. She felt a pang as seeing her home being packed up. She had lived here for years and now she was being forced out because of her friendship with the clan. Of course, she wasn’t mad with the clan: Sooner or later her connection with them would have led to her eviction anyway. She turned away from the room to shower and get dressed for work.
Elisa returned to her apartment shortly after dawn to find a note on her door written by Xanatos. It stated that only her daily essentials, bed, clothes, and cleaning supplies remained. Everything else was in her new room or the storage unit. Elisa opened her door to see that the note spoke true.
Since tonight is my night off, the move will be completed tonight, she thought. I’ll get some sleep and then finish the cleaning and packing before calling Xanatos to pick up the rest of my stuff. His movers sure moved fast to get so much packed up and stored.
Elisa emerged from her bedroom hours later, dressed and ready to get to work. She froze at the threshold of her room and blinked several times. In her living room with her cleaning supplies were Maggie, Talon, and her parents!
“Guys!” she exclaimed, surprise evident in her voice.
“We told your parents that you were almost done and they wanted to help you finish,” Maggie explained.
Elisa was able to clean up her apartment, call Xanatos, and finish packing in no time thanks to the extra help. As she watched the movers take the last of her possessions out of the apartment, she felt a lump rise in her throat. The sight of the empty apartment finally struck home that she was leaving.
She swallowed back the tears that threatened to surface as she prepared for the final walkthrough with Mr. Whitehart. Everyone else was gone by the time the landlord arrived. He greeted Elisa warmly, an indication that he bared no ill will toward her. She followed Whitehart around the apartment watching him snap pictures and make comments on a clipboard. She knew the pictures were not only for the benefit of the next tenet(s), but for his own. At last they returned to the apartment door.
“Elisa, I’m impressed with how nice the place has been cleaned up. I anticipated this outcome, so I have your security deposit right here. Just hand over the keys and I’ll hand over the check.
“Here you go,” Elisa replied holding out a ring with two keys on it. Whitehart took the ring and held out the check. She took a hold, but Whitehart didn’t release immediately. She looked up at him.
“I’m really sorry about this, Elisa. You were a good tenet.”
“It’s not your fault. You were just doing your job.”
Whitehart nodded before releasing the check. Elisa walked out the door with Whitehart behind her, the latter closing the door behind him.
The sound of cracking stone and roars filled the night air as the clan awakened. Goliath turned to see Elisa there. Her presence filled him with joy. As he stepped down and embraced her, he felt absolutely no tension in her body. Did this mean…?
“Well Big Guy,” Elisa said. “Everything’s done. The apartment’s empty and my stuff is either in my room or the storage unit.”
“That’s wonderful,” he replied. He was relieved that Elisa was finally settled in the castle. She was safe now and he was determined that no one was going to harm her again.
Chapter Six- Attacks
“So, how’s your new place?” Matt asked one week after Elisa moved in with the clan.
“It’s good. Xanatos hasn’t asked for any money. I do plan to offer some, though. All things considered, I’m quite happy.”
Matt nodded. “I’m glad it all worked out.”
“Yeah, but I don’t think all my troubles are over yet.”
“I agree. The city’s not likely to let it go. At least not for a while.”
Matt rifled through the papers on his desk after his shift ended. The papers were related to his position of being head to the Gargoyles Task Force. He hated the idea of the police wanting to track the gargoyles in hopes of arresting the clan. He felt it was a lucky stroke that he was in charge of the task force: Any and all claims were brought to him and he could claim that he was looking into them when, in fact, he was not.
Once the papers were sorted, Matt sat down with a sigh. He started flipping through the claims that were on top. He immediately removed the ones that believed the gargoyles were living in the castle. These claims were true, but he wasn’t going to entertain them in order to protect the clan as well as Elisa. He knew why the police were tracking them: It was still believed that they blew up the clocktower.
He turned his attention to the reports once he had set the claims aside. He was merely glancing at them, not really reading them when Elisa’s name suddenly jumped out of him. He focused on the report in front of him. It alleged that Elisa had called on the gargoyles to swoop around an apartment and terrorize the people living there. He shook his head as he put it aside away from the other reports. He then carefully scanned the papers and removed the ones that mentioned Elisa. When he was done, there was a total of four false reports on his partner.
Matt stared at the papers in disbelief. I can’t believe people would file reports like this. Elisa would never ask the clan to terrorize people nor would the gargoyles do so. He stood up, put away the other papers, and left the station with the false reports in hand, planning to show them to Elisa before destroying them.
Matt returned to the station hours later to look for Elisa. He saw her car in the parking lot and knew she was here. He decided to ask Captain Chavez if she had seen Elisa. The door to her office opened as he approached it and Elisa was on the other side, apparently on her way out.
“Elisa, I was looking for you,” he said.
“What’s up, Matt?” Elisa asked as she closed the door.
“Let’s go to your car so we can talk in private.”
“So, what did you want to say?” Elisa asked once in the car.
“I found some false reports about you in my paperwork.”
“You mean your task force papers?”
“Yes. They alleged that you were consorting with the clan to terrorize the citizens.”
“Really? Captain Chavez told me she received false reports on me as well.”
“What did they say?”
“Only that I was threatening to have the clan attack them if they filed any false reports or threatened me in any way.”
“Captain Chavez has promptly dismissed these claims. She doesn’t believe a word of them.”
Matt pulled his reports out of his coat. “And I’ll destroy these,” he stated as he ripped them up before disposing of them in the car’s trash holder.
“Now that that’s taken care of, let’s start our shift.”
Elisa’s life was peaceful over the next two weeks. True more false reports were filed, but Chavez and Matt would promptly throw them out. She did offer Xanatos money and he accepted on the condition that it would only go toward food. It made sense to Elisa as she was another mouth to feed. Her relationship with Goliath just couldn’t get any better.
Actually, it could be better, she reflected as she drove around on her shift without Matt; he was Task Force duty this night. It would be better if people stopped harassing me about loving Goliath as well as my connection with the others.
She pulled up to an apartment building and headed inside to investigate a claim that a stalker was lurking around in the alleyway next to the building. She met up with the landlady and she questioned her about the tenets’ concerns and statements.
“Okay, Ms. Smith,” Elisa said, putting her pen and pad away. “I’ll check the alley and write up the report. I’ll put in a suggestion for security cameras to be positioned at the alley.”
“What if the stalker is actually the gargoyles?” Smith asked.
Elisa felt exasperated at the question, but pushed it down as she replied, “If it is, I’ll be putting the Gargoyles Task Force on the case.”
She left the building and entered the alley. It was only then that she let her inner feelings to come out. She was tired of people voicing the belief that the gargoyles were evil, dangerous beasts. She made notes about where cameras could be placed as she silently raged about the injustice of it all. She quickly looked around her as she made notes, convinced that she had heard someone else in the alley. At last she had finished, stepped out of the alley, stopped, and gasped.
Her car, her beautiful red car, had been damaged! The hood was dented, the car door windows and back window had been smashed, and the doors were scratched and marked with spray paint. She was still staring in shock when hands grabbed her from behind and pulled her into the alley.
She spun around to see two men wearing normal clothes but both sported the blue hoods of the Quarrymen! She wasted no time in pulling out her gun, but before she could aim it at her attackers, one of them knocked it out of her hand and it went clattering across the ground. Undeterred, Elisa crouched down and swept a leg out, knocking one of her attackers down. She leaned over and pulled off his hood. She didn’t recognize him, but she was going to find out if he was partly responsible for vandalizing her car.
Suddenly, the other man grabbed her arms and pinned them behind her back. Elisa mentally berated herself. She neglected the other guy and now she was in trouble. The unmasked guy got up and approached her, cracking his knuckles. She struggled in her captor’s grip for a moment before stomping on his foot. He released her to grab his foot and she seized his wrist and threw him over her shoulder toward his accomplice who avoided him. He charged at Elisa, avoided her punches, and threw one of his own which caught her in the stomach.
Elisa bent over, gasping, and the man landed a karate chop to her neck, sending her face-down into the ground. She groaned as she lay on the ground.
“You’ll pay for attacking us and for loving a monster,” the still masked man growled.
A loud battle cry followed by a piercing one cut through the air followed by two lavender colored gargoyles: Goliath and Angela. Father and daughter spooked the two assailants and they took off, screaming into the night.
“Elisa, are you all right?” Goliath asked as the detective got to her feet.
“Uh,” Elisa moaned as she rubbed her neck. “I think so. Thanks, you guys.”
“But-,” Angela began.
“We understand, Elisa,” Goliath interrupted. “but please be careful.”
Elisa nodded, picked up her gun, and waited until Goliath and Angela had climbed up high enough before heading for her car. She got into the driver’s seat, put the key into the ignition, and prayed the engine worked before turning the key. The engine roared to life and Elisa breathed a sigh of relief before pulling out onto the road.
At least tomorrow’s my night off, she thought as she parked her car outside the Eyrie Building. She knew it would take some time to repair the damage done to her car not to mention a lot of money. She was willing to drive a marked police car while her car was in the shop. She got out, locked it despite the broken windows, and put the keys in her jacket pocket before she felt a sharp prick in her neck. She gasped and brought her hand up to feel a dart before slumping to the ground unconscious. A pair of armed mercenaries came over to her, picked her up, and carted her off to their boss.
Chapter Seven- Servarius
Elisa moaned as she regained consciousness. She put a hand to her head as she slowly sat up. She saw that she was in a large compartment barred by a sheet of glass, not unlike the ones she had seen in Gen-U-Tech back when Derek worked for Xanatos. She reached for her gun only to find it and her holster gone as well as her red jacket. Whoever made off with her was good, she’ll give them that. But, who was it?
A door opened at the far end of the room and she heard footsteps before Servarius appeared in front of her cell. He looked at her and a sadistic grin came to his face. “Ah, you’re finally awake.”
“What do you want with me, Servarius?” Elisa demanded.
“Not do, my dear. I’ve already done it.”
“If you mean kidnapping a cop, which is a crime, you sure have.”
Servarius chuckled. “Oh no, that’s not what I meant. You see, I created a new formula and I needed a test subject.”
Elisa felt her blood run cold. Her, a test subject? “Why?” she said softly.
“Why? Because of your connection to the gargoyles, of course. Hardly anyone will care what happens to you.” He paused to look at his watch. “My, where does the time go? It’s sunset and my formula will soon kick in and I’d rather not be around when the screaming starts, but I will be back in the morning.” Servarius left the room, shutting off the light as he did so, leaving only the lights in Elisa’s compartment on.
Sunset? I’ve been out all day? What’s up with Servarius, anyway? You’d think he’d love to watch me writhe in pain.
Elisa suddenly collapsed to the floor of her cell as pain shot through her body. It felt like her skin was on fire. The formula itself felt like acid flowing through her veins, but what it was designed to do, she couldn’t say.
I swear this man will be arrested and charged with assaulting a police officer.
Another wave of pain crashed over her and she tried to grit her teeth, however her incisors felt longer and she could only guess that she had fangs now. She moaned at the overwhelming pain that she couldn’t suppress. She felt her shoes and socks tear apart and she craned her neck to see her feet had widened and were three-toed.
They look like gargoyle feet. Is that it? I’m becoming a gargoyle?
Her changes were occurring rapidly now. Her fingers went from five to four and became razor sharp claws. She let out a loud scream as a pair of wings and a tail ripped out of her back and jeans. She continued to groan as she felt her muscular system changing, some muscles getting smaller, others larger, but all stronger than before.
She pressed her lips together tightly as she felt changes occurring to her face. She raised one shaking hand to an ear to find it pointed. She brought her hand to eye level to see that the skin was now a deep caramel color, much darker than her skin had been before. The pain had ended, leaving her with a dull ache all over her new body and an exhaustion that lulled her to sleep.
Goliath paced Xanatos’s office, anxiousness written on his face. “She’s in trouble, Xanatos. I should have been watching over her.”
“Perhaps, I can help,” Xanatos said. “I thought the detective might be kidnapped at some point, so I placed a tracker in her jeans’ front pocket and with this receiver you’ll find her in no time.” Xanatos pulled a small receiver out of his jacket and handed it over.
Goliath stared at the device in his hand. Normally, he didn’t approve of Xanatos’s methods, especially with bugging, but this time he was glad Xanatos did it.
“Oh, one more thing,” Xanatos said. “When I was watching the cameras when she was being taken, I recognized the attackers as mercenaries of Servarius’s. He may have already experimented on the detective.”
Goliath growled, almost crushing the receiver. Servarius! He ran from the office and took to the air once outside, the device in his hand leading him to his love.
He landed on the roof several minutes later and examined the receiver. If he was reading it correctly, Elisa was right below him. He put the device in his belt and used his claws to put a hole in the roof before jumping into a room with a single lit glass compartment. Goliath peered inside and saw a dark caramel colored female inside. He just knew it was Elisa. Xanatos was right: Servarius had mutated Elisa into a gargoyle. A control panel was inset into the wall next to the cell and he slashed it off, causing the glass to slide open. He scooped up the unconscious female and cradled her as he leaped up through the hole and back to the castle.
Goliath landed in the courtyard, feeling grateful that the rest of the clan was patrolling despite their concern over Elisa missing and rushed for the infirmary where he met up with Xanatos and Owen. Xanatos had Owen take a blood sample so his doctors could try to find a cure. Goliath then placed Elisa on a bed and stood nearby to wait for her to wake up.
Elisa regained consciousness by the ache that still spread through her body. She also became aware that the surface she was on was soft and warm, not hard and cold.
I must have been rescued. Goliath! She opened her eyes to see lights above her. She moaned softly as the ache intensified.
“Elisa!” Goliath exclaimed, coming over to her bedside. There was deep concern in his eyes as well as love. “Xanatos said his doctors will find a cure,” he continued.
“And if they don’t, it wouldn’t be so bad. I mean, I’ll have to quit the force but at least we’ll be together.”
Her voice sounded weak and Goliath asked, “How are you feeling?”
“I ache all over, but I’ll feel better tomorrow night.”
Goliath knew she was referring to healing in stone sleep. She’s already given up on a cure, he thought sadly. Of course, he didn’t care if Elisa was human or gargoyle, he would love her just the same.
Goliath left the infirmary half an hour later. Elisa had fallen asleep again due to the pain she still felt. He went outside to see the clan landing and headed over to tell them the news.
“Father, any word on Elisa?” Angela asked.
“Yes. Servarius had kidnapped her. I rescued her, but Servarius had turned her into a gargoyle.”
“What!?” Angela gasped. She made to head inside but Goliath held out an arm.
“Let her rest. You’ll see her tomorrow.”
“Is there a cure?” Brooklyn asked.
“Xanatos has his doctors looking for one.” Goliath didn’t tell them that Elisa wasn’t thinking there was one.
Servarius opened the door and flipped on the light to see an empty compartment. “She escaped. No matter. I had planned on releasing her if she survived the change.” He looked up at the security camera in the compartment. It was still recording. He could review the tape to see Elisa’s transformation.
“I am sure she survived and she’ll adjust to her new form quickly enough since she’s pro-gargoyle. I wonder if an anti-gargoyle person could adjust at all and I believe I know who I want to test on.”
Elisa stretched and yawned as stone pieces hit the floor. She sat up and noted that she did feel better as she knew she would. She swung her legs over the edge before placing them on the floor and standing up. Her legs trembled and she landed on the bed with a small thump.
What did you expect? She mentally chided. You haven’t used your legs for at least twenty-four hours and your sense of balance is different now. Elisa pushed herself back up, using the bed rails for balance. Once she was stable, she released the rails and cautiously took a couple of steps. Her legs shook slightly, but she remained upright and took a few more steps.
The infirmary doors opened at that moment and the entire clan entered with Xanatos right behind them. The gargoyles paused in their tracks save for Goliath who continued forward and embraced Elisa. She returned the gesture and wrapped her wings around him.
Xanatos cleared his throat and waited until they had parted before saying, “My medical team has analyzed the sample and I’m afraid they couldn’t find a way to design a cure. The formula apparently did a complete genetic change.”
Elisa nodded. She had suspected there was no cure. Servarius had said that hardly anyone would care what happened to her, an indication that it was a permanent change. “You tried, Xanatos. I need to call Captain Chavez to tell her I’m quitting.”
Xanatos gestured for her to follow him to his office where he waited outside while she made her call.
“Hello?” Chavez said.
“Maza, where are you? Your shift started thirty minutes ago!”
“I’m afraid I have to quit the force. When I ended my last shift, I was kidnapped and permanently changed into a gargoyle.”
There was a pause and then, “Do you know who did this?”
“Yes. Anton Servarius. I don’t know where he lives or works, though. It’s likely he’s abandoned the location where he was holding me.”
“It’s all right, Maza. I’ll have Bluestone look into it and try to bring him in for kidnapping and assault.”
Elisa smiled slightly. “Thanks, Captain and I’m sorry.”
“I’m sorry too. You were a good officer.”
Both hung up and Elisa paused. I should make more calls. My parents for one and Derek for another. But, I need to practice gliding, too. I think I’ll practice and then drop by my parents’ place to tell them. After that, I’ll drop by the Labyrinth. Elisa rose and left the office, pleased with her plan.
Elisa smiled as she executed a perfect landing outside her parents’ apartment window. For some reason, gliding and landing was easier than I thought. Perhaps that night with Titania’s Mirror has something to do with it. She pushed these thoughts aside as she gently tapped on the window. She waited a few minutes before tapping again.
The curtains flew open and Diane’s face appeared. Her eyes went wide and a hand flew to her mouth before she opened the window to allow her daughter inside. Elisa noticed that her father was also in the room.
“Elisa,” Diane finally said as she embraced the former detective. “Your partner told us what happened, but it’s still a shock to see you like this.”
“Matt told you?” Elisa asked once her mother had released her.
“Yes,” Peter answered. “and we’ve already told Derek and he’ll want to see you too. Is it true? There’s no cure?”
Elisa nodded. “Xanatos had his doctors and scientists confirm it after they looked at a sample from every angle they could think of.” She took in her parents’ silence before adding, “Mom, Dad. It’s not so bad. I mean, I know there’s some loose ends to tie up, but all things considered I could be dead.”
Peter smiled grimly. “You have a point. I hope that they catch the one who did this and make him pay.”
“As do I, Dad and if I know Matt, he won’t stop until justice has been done.”
Matt sighed as he jotted down some notes before looking back at a map of Manhattan. Talk about a needle in a haystack. I have no idea where Servarius could be hiding, but maybe Xanatos does. If anything, he’ll have access to sources that’ll provide a location. He nodded before grabbing the phone and calling Xanatos’s private office number.
“Of course I’ll help,” Xanatos answered after Matt explained his problem. “I have some sources I can use to track down Servarius. It might take a day or two but I will get his location.”
“Okay. Thanks, Xanatos.’ Matt hung up and put his notes and map into a folder before putting it aside and turning to his task force papers. Xanatos was now looking for the scientist and all he could do now was wait.
Chapter Eight- Castaway
Elisa yawned and stretched as she awoke to her third night as a gargoyle. After leaving her parent’s last night, she stopped at the Labyrinth to see her brother, Claw, Maggie, and the clones. Derek vowed to track down Servarius and rip him limb from limb while Maggie was calm and stated that if Elisa was all right with no cure, they should just let the police deal with the doctor. Elisa admitted that she didn’t mind being stuck as a gargoyle and that was that.
Elisa, on her perch, looked over at Goliath who was next to her. When she had returned home, Goliath asked her to be his mate. She immediately accepted, seeing as she loved him already. Goliath offered to share the tower he slept on with her and she again accepted.
Goliath smiled at her before gliding for the courtyard and she followed. The clan was gathering for patrol duty there and Elisa was eager to go on patrol. It would be like when she patrolled on the police force.
Goliath began assigning pairs making sure he did so in a fair manner. He told Hudson to guard the castle with Bronx. He assigned Broadway and Lexington together, paired Angela with him, and finally Brooklyn with Elisa. Brooklyn watched Elisa as they left the castle. She had adapted quickly and she learned to glide so easily it was almost as if she had always been a gargoyle. He told her as much and she smiled at his comments.
“I think that night with the Mirror might have something to do with it,” she replied. Brooklyn simply nodded. He looked down as they passed an alley and saw a shadowy figure move in a way that was suspicious and it piqued his interest.
He looked at his partner and saw her expression: She saw the movement too. “Let’s go,” he said before taking the lead to check out the alley.
The two of them landed and spread out to check the space faster. Elisa swept her half carefully, her senses fully extended. Thus, she heard the charged hammer and ducked as it swung past where her head had been a moment ago. She heard a man’s voice curse that practically marked his location. She whipped her tail across the ground and heard the man’s body hit the ground beside the dumpster. She stepped over to that spot and saw the blue-hooded and clothed figure of a Quarryman. He was still conscious and Elisa wasted no time in delivering a double-fisted blow to the head to knock him out before turning to check on Brooklyn.
Brooklyn was likewise disposing of his own attacker. Elisa looked up in case more were lying in wait. No one was up there. So, it’s just these two. Some ambush plan.
Just then, siren lights flashed at the alley’s entrance before turning off. Both gargoyles tensed as a door opened and closed. They were prepared to flee at a moment’s notice. Their tension melted away when a familiar red-haired detective appeared in the entrance.
“Matt!” Elisa exclaimed in relief.
“Hi, guys. I got a call about a disturbance.” He looked down at the unconscious Quarrymen and nodded at them. “I’m guessing they’re the cause?”
“Right,” Brooklyn answered. “They sprung an ambush attack on us. Of course, it didn’t work.”
“I think these two were working on their own without Castaway’s approval,” Elisa added.
Matt nodded. “You’re right. Castaway’s holding a meeting at this very moment.”
“How do you know that?” Brooklyn asked.
“Hey, I’m head of the Gargoyles Task Force. I hear it all whether it’s gargoyle sightings or a Quarryman meeting.”
Castaway grinned as his group chanted, “Destroy Gargoyles!” over and over. It was the close of a satisfying, yet unproductive meeting. It was satisfying in that he was keeping anti-gargoyle attitude at a fever pitch, but unproductive in that no gargoyles had died. He had also heard reports of Detective Maza’s kidnapping as well as reports of a new gargoyle roaming the skies.
I wonder, he thought. Is that new monster actually Maza? Her disappearance does coincide with the new gargoyle’s arrival. Not that I care what happens to anyone who associates with those beasts.
Castaway raised his arms and the chanting died off. “Meeting is adjourned. Keep that hate burning inside and I’ll send word of the next meeting.”
Conversations broke out as the Quarrymen left the house. Almost all of them were about where the gargoyles were hiding and what they would do if they met one of those monsters face-to-face. Their talk pleased him and he knew that if he persisted in his efforts, the gargoyles would eventually be eliminated.
Suddenly, he was blindsided by a blow that hit a pressure point in the side of his head. He was unconscious before he hit the floor. A figure in a hood and uniform stood over him before removing the hood and grinning at his victim.
“That was too easy,” he said to the empty room. “The doc’s gonna be real pleased. He may even throw in a bonus because I succeeded earlier than he anticipated.” He bound Castaway and hauled his unconscious captive out of the house and into a car which he drove to his employer’s current hideout.
Castaway groaned as he regained consciousness. He felt like his head was going to fall off due to the splitting headache he was feeling. What happened? The last thing I remember was being hit by something that felt like one of the Quarrymen hammers. He groaned again and gently placed a hand to his temple. He looked around while his hand kept the pounding in his temple to a tolerable level. He was in a tall metal cage in a dimly lit room. The room itself looked run-down, yet there was evidence that someone was still using it. The only question was: Who was it?
Castaway waited only an hour for that question to be answered by which point his headache had diminished a little, yet still there and painful. He heard footsteps approach the room before the door opened and Servarius stepped inside. The Quarrymen leader glared at the scientist. He knew the man by reputation and suspected that Servarius had plans for him that he wasn’t going to like.
Servarius smiled upon seeing his captive was awake. Castaway didn’t know it yet, but he had already been injected with the formula. He had been pleased that it worked and that the subject survives but the process took too long. After Elisa’s escape, he examined the formula and found he could cut the time in half so instead of twelve hours, it would be six and Castaway was only several minutes away from transforming. This time, I will watch. This should be good.
“I warn you, monster lover. My men will hunt you down if anything happens to me,” Castaway warned.
Servarius chuckled. “Perhaps, they will. Perhaps they won’t.”
“Oh, they will.”
“Before or after they attack you?”
His question brought Castaway up short. What kind of question is that? he wondered. He thought back on Maza’s kidnapping and concluded that Servarius had to be behind it. Castaway suddenly paled at the conclusion he was drawing.
“You intend to experiment on me!?”
“I already have my boy. In fact, it should be taking effect any moment now.” Servarius looked at his watch as he talked.
“You’re free to you opinion, but it doesn’t change a thing. The formula is about to go to work on you and I have not created an antidote for I never reverse what I create.”
Castaway was about to respond when his head gave a very painful throb. He grabbed his head and gave a low groan. He fell forward and gritted his teeth as he felt something pushing its way out of his skull. One hand ventured to the object and found a pair of horns on his head. He lowered his hand, feeling a pointed ear as it passed.
He felt a sick feeling in his stomach that had nothing to do with the serum. It was the realization of what he was becoming that was sickening to him. He was becoming a gargoyle; one of those monsters, he was certain of it! He inhaled sharply as pain went through his fingers. He then gasped as a fire of agony shot through his spine. He clenched his fists as wings and a tail ripped their way out of his body. He opened his mouth to scream as a new round of pain occurred and was horrified when a roar came out. He heard cloth tearing around his legs and feet before the pain faded to a dull ache. Castaway took deep breaths to keep from passing out. He had his eyes closed to avoid seeing the gargoyle he was now.
“My, my, not bad. Not bad at all. You should see yourself, my boy.”
“I don’t care to, Servarius.”
“You’ll have to have your eyes open in order to eat and drink as well as to leave the building.”
Castaway’s eyes snapped open and focused on the doctor. “You’re letting me go?” he asked.
“Of course.” Servarius pulled a key out of his pocket and unlocked the door. “I have no reason to keep you here.”
Castaway struggled to his feet, swaying slightly. He stumbled to the door, pushed it open, and fled the room and building as quickly as he could. He didn’t stop until he had put some distance between himself and that horror house. He slipped into a deserted alley and leaned against the wall to collect his thoughts and consider his options.
I’m still leader of the Quarrymen no matter what I look like. Servarius will pay for this. I’ll send my men after him for his genetic creations. It is common knowledge that he’s turned innocent humans into monsters. Speaking of which, I admit, I am curious about how I look.
He looked at his hands to see four razor-sharp royal blue claws. He craned his neck to see long wings and a tail that look a lot like Goliath’s. He felt his horns and found they curved inward. He suspected they probably looked like devil horns which fit considering he thought of gargoyles as demons and monsters.
I still want the gargoyles destroyed. Once Goliath and the others are gone, I’ll probably allow myself to be killed in order to make sure I don’t start acting like one of them. But, for now, I’ll try to learn how to use my wings and claws to attack the gargoyles. I rather like the idea of bringing them down with the same wings and claws that they possess.
Matt looked at his surroundings as he drove. It was deserted and run-down, making it an ideal place for Servarius to hide. No one would think to look for him here. No one except Xanatos, that is. His sources had tracked Servarius after only one day just as the CEO promised Matt.
He pulled up outside a decrepit house the informant had described. As he got out of the car, he heard the unmistakable sound of gargoyle wings overheard. He looked up to see the silhouette of a male gargoyle gliding away and a bit unsteadily at that. He wondered why that was.
Matt shook his head and then pulled out his gun. He needed to focus on arresting Servarius. He crept cautiously into the building, looking around carefully. The last thing he needed was Servarius ambushing him and shooting him with the formula. Of course, becoming a gargoyle wouldn’t be so bad, but he would prefer to stay human.
He approached an open door and peered around the edge. Servarius was there at a desk that had a tall empty metal cage in front of it. The doctor was looking over some papers and was unaware that he had company. Matt stepped in, gun aimed, and said, “Freeze, Servarius. You’re under arrest for kidnapping and assault.”
Servarius looked up in surprise at Matt’s voice. Slowly, he stood and raised his hands to shoulder height. Matt stepped behind him, cuffed him, and led him out of the house and into the car. The doctor smiled slightly as Matt drove to the station. He had been concerned about Castaway’s threat to send his men after him. He knew that it could be done and he had wondered how he could avoid the Quarrymen when Matt showed up to arrest him for what he did to Elisa, no doubt. After all, he had just released Castaway. He didn’t like being arrested, but on the other hand he was protected from being attacked.
He looked out the window at the night sky and smirked to himself. Good luck, Castaway. You’ll need it.
Chapter Nine- Adjustment
Castaway wobbled slightly before readjusting his wings. The alley he had been in had a fire escape that he used to get to the roof instead of clawing his way up. Once on the roof, he looked at himself again. His skin was royal blue from head to toe. He was a little more muscular than before and his tail was long and powerful-looking. His wings provided more interest to him. They were long length-wise and looked more like a hanglider to him. They were also royal blue except for the insides which were a deep ebony. He walked to the edge closest to the road, spread his wings wide, leaped into the air, and successfully stayed airborne. Yes, his take-off was a bit shaky and he wobbled slightly just now, but at least he didn’t crash.
He could see Manhattan spread out before him from his aerial perspective. The sight was breath-taking and beautiful; he never saw a view like this from the hovercraft he and his siblings traveled in. He kept glancing down as he headed for home; he couldn’t get over the view. This view, to Castaway, made having wings worth it although the price of the wings was pretty high: The loss of his humanity. He arrived at his home, waited until the coast was clear before landing at the door, quickly unlocking it, and slipping inside.
He headed for a secure section of his house: namely a bomb shelter. Once secured inside it, the realization that he would be sleeping in stone caused a wave of disgust, rage, and a desire for vengeance on Servarius to wash over him. He was imagining horrible things happening to the scientist, including Servarius mutating into a gargoyle as well, when he turned to stone.
Matt sat across the interrogation table from Servarius who was un-cuffed and sporting a smug expression which was odd considering he had just been arrested. The detective ran a hand through his hair and exhaled. “Okay, Servarius. You know why I arrested you. What do you have to say about the charges?”
“Well, I’m certainly not going to deny them,” the doctor said, a hint of laughter and triumph in his voice.
“So you did kidnap Elisa Maza?”
“Well, I hired mercenaries to kidnap her for me. I suppose turning her into a gargoyle qualifies as an assault?”
“It does in my book and in my captain’s book as well.”
“In that case, I plead guilty to kidnap and assault. So, go ahead and lock me up.”
“Gladly, but why are you being so cooperative?” Matt asked as he re-cuffed the genetist.
“Self-preservation, my boy.”
“I’m concerned that The Quarrymen will come after me to harm or kill me. Given the choice between them or jail, I’ll take jail.”
Matt didn’t respond to this statement as he put Servarius in a holding cell. The Quarrymen probably viewed Servarius as pro-gargoyle and would plan to attack him. I think I’ll put some of my people to keep tabs on the Quarrymen and I’ll personally try to protect the pro-gargoyle citizens. I’ve been hearing talk of a pro-gargoyle group possibly being formed. I should look into that more.
Matt stood on the top tower of Castle Wyvern hours later staring at Elisa and Goliath’s stone forms waiting for night to fall. He had promised himself that he would tell Elisa of Servarius’s arrest as soon as possible. He had been unable to do so the night before because he had been busy with booking the doctor and his job as task force head. But now, he was free to come over and tell her the news. Of course, he thanked Xanatos for his help.
The sound of stone cracking brought Matt out of his thoughts and he watched as the clan stretched and greeted the night. Elisa turned and smiled at her ex-partner. “Hi, Matt. What’s up?” she asked, hopping off her spot.
“Great news, Elisa. Servarius has been arrested.”
“Yes! That is great news. So, he confessed?”
“Absolutely. Of course, he has to be officially charged at a hearing and since you’re the victim…”
“I’ll be there,” Elisa stated. “When?”
“Tomorrow night. I had to make a special request for a nighttime hearing.”
“Elisa, do you want to night off to prepare for this…hearing?” Goliath asked once Matt had left.
Elisa shook her head. “I’ve got a good idea of what to say and my appearance should provide enough evidence of assault.”
Goliath nodded. “Very well. I think you and I should pair up for patrol tonight.”
Elisa smiled. She had been looking forward to being Goliath’s partner. “I would like that.”
Thirty minutes later, the clan had their assignments and were heading out. Goliath and Elisa had decided to patrol the part of the city that housed the Quarrymen headquarters. After the unauthorized ambush, the clan had felt it was necessary to keep an eye on the vigilante group. However, all was quiet at headquarters which Elisa thought was a little odd. Surely, Castaway had another plot he was anxious to use against them?
Oh, well, she thought. He’ll strike eventually.
Castaway stretched, sending stone skin flying, and quickly stifled the roar that was halfway out. He strode toward the sealed door and paused to look at his reflection in the gleaming metal. He still had his blond hair and mustache, but his blue eyes had turned black. No one would recognize him until he spoke, thanks to his appearance.
He unlocked the door and peered out cautiously. No one was there. He stepped out and went over to a telephone where he dialed the number of the number one man in his group. When the man answered, Castaway said, “Contact numbers two and three for special assignment. Track down Anton Servarius and bring him here within three nights. I will not join the hunt and you are to leave after announcing your report. Good hunting.”
Castaway hung up and reviewed what he had said. There was no way he would have to show himself to his men. He could have ordered Servarius’s death, but the idea of killing the doctor himself was quite appealing. But, for now, he had to wait and in the meantime more gliding practice was in order and testing his strength and claws also seemed like a good idea.
His eyes fell on his hammer leaning against his podium. It takes one hand to lift it, but it was a bit heavy. He walked over to it, gripped it with one hand, and lifted it with almost no effort. Interesting. But then again, I know that gargoyles can lift a grown man over their heads, so a hammer like this is nothing.
He gripped the handle tighter and a scowl came to his face. Damn Servarius! Why did Servarius want to make him a gargoyle? He hated gargoyles! That man was going to pay! First, he’ll demand a cure and once he was cured, he’ll have the doctor killed. Yes, he had planned to kill him personally; however he came to the conclusion that wanting to kill Servarius himself had to be his new gargoyle nature trying to assert itself and he refused to allow that. Furthermore, the hope of a cure came to the forefront of his mind; he refused to believe there was no cure.
No doubt Servarius has moved to a new location by now, but my men will find him. Then, I’ll be cured and I will have my revenge. He flung the hammer across the room where it hit the hall and stuck there.
Elisa landed outside the only courthouse that was open. She was actually on the roof and she was a little surprised to see Captain Chavez there as though waiting for her.
“Captain!” Elisa exclaimed.
“Maza.” Chavez nodded. She quickly looked Elisa up and down before continuing to speak. “Bluestone and I felt you should have an escort into the room and since Bluestone is the arresting officer, I offered my services.”
Elisa nodded, understanding the reasoning. Even though she was forcibly changed into a gargoyle, fear and hatred would still be aimed at her and a police escort would insure her safety into the courtroom.
As they headed inside and down the stairs, Chavez said, “You don’t look too different.”
“True, but my skin is a bit darker,” Elisa pointed out.
“Yes, of course. So, you know what you want to say?”
“I do and I have a security tape showing my kidnapping.” She held up a tape Xanatos had given her before leaving the castle.
“That should help.” The pair reached the first floor and headed down the hall to the courtroom. They entered to find only the judge and several police officers. Elisa recognized Morgan among the officers.
The judge nodded at Chavez and Elisa as they took their places at the plaintiff table. Matt walked in ten minutes later with a handcuffed Servarius beside him in prison garb. Servarius had his head up and an air of smugness hung about him. It was clear that time in a holding cell hadn’t humbled him in the slightest. The judge banged his gavel to start the hearing and a silence fell over the room. “Doctor Anton Servarius, you have pled guilty to the charges of kidnapping and assault on a police officer.”
“I have,” Servarius answered. “So if you would just sentence me, we can close up for the night.”
“Not yet. The victim wishes to speak.” He nodded to Elisa, who stood.
“Several days ago, mercenaries hired by Servarius abducted me as I was completing my last shift. I have brought a security tape showing the kidnapping. The assault charge is self-evident. This man has stolen my humanity by using a formula to turn me into a gargoyle. I ask that the defendant be given the normal punishment these charges require. Thank you.” Elisa handed the tape to the bailiff before sitting down.
“This hearing is in recess while I review the tape,” the judge declared, rapping his gavel.
Morgan came over to Elisa and patted her shoulder. “Well spoken, girl. I think he’s on his way to jail.”
Elisa nodded before her sharp ears heard Servarius mutter, “Better jail than being in Castaway’s clutches.”
What would Castaway want with Servarius? Elisa wondered as she glided home thirty minutes later. She landed in the courtyard where the rest of the clan was waiting.
“How did it go?” Angela asked.
“Well, Servarius had pled guilty when Matt was booking him. I said what I wanted and presented the tape. The judge gave Servarius five to fifteen years in jail. But, Servarius said something strange while court was in recess.”
“What did he say?” Brooklyn asked.
“He said he rather be in jail than let Castaway get a hold of him.”
“Why would Castaway be after him?” Goliath wondered.
“Good question,” Elisa answered. “Maybe Matt or Captain Chavez can find out.” Elisa knew that no one else had heard the doctor’s comment and would have to tell one or both of them what she heard.
“Servarius said that, huh?” Matt said over the phone. He had been next to Servarius and had heard him muttering but didn’t know what he had said. Clearly Elisa did with her gargoyle hearing. “Yeah, that is interesting. I’ll be sure to ask him about that. Thanks, Elisa.” He hung up and leaned back to think about the night he arrested Servarius.
He did say he wanted protection from the Quarrymen. He’s probably thinking Castaway will track him down personally, but he usually doesn’t get involved unless it’s a gargoyle that’s nearby. I think I’ll pay Servarius a visit. Luckily, he’s still in the station’s holding cell.
Matt got up from his desk and crossed the station to the holding cells. Servarius was sitting on the bench, arms across his chest, and his eyes closed, but they opened when he heard footsteps. “Ah, Detective Bluestone. What can I do for you?” he asked with a smirk.
“I want to know about the comment you said in the courtroom during recess. Elisa said you’d rather be in jail than let Castaway get you. Castaway would rather hunt gargoyles and let his men go after pro-gargoyle people.”
“My, gargoyle hearing is sharper than I thought. Very well, since I’m heading to jail, I see no reason to keep it secret. I had Castaway kidnapped and changed as well.”
Oh, boy, Matt thought with a sharp inhale. Castaway’s a gargoyle, too? He’s probably furious and he would definitely want to get his claws on Servarius for what he did.
Castaway paced the upstairs floor of his home, waiting for his men to bring him Servarius. This was the second night since he issued his orders, but he had expected a quick completion. Perhaps, Servarius had hidden better than he had thought?
The front door opened and closed before the voice of his number one man answered, “Boss, I have my report. Servarius had been arrested two nights ago and had just been sentenced to prison tonight.”
“Very well. You may go now,” Castaway called without showing himself.
He heard the door open and close again before he hit an open palm with his fist and allowed a low growl to escape. Servarius had escaped him by getting arrested and just after he became a gargoyle based on his man’s report. Well, he was going to have to hang around the police station in hope that they’ll transfer Servarius to prison at night. If they do, then he’ll swoop down, snatch Servarius, and take off with him. He was not going to be robbed of his cure and left as a gargoyle for the rest of his life!
I need to let off some steam. A long glide might help. Castaway made his way to the roof and after checking that the coast was clear, he launched himself into the air.
He glided aimlessly, not sure where he was going or what to do. It seemed too soon to watch the police station; he would do that tomorrow night. As he passed a building labeled Nightstone Unlimited, he saw a shadowy winged figure up ahead. He braked and hovered as the figure glided away. He recognized the shape as the Demon! This was his chance to kill her!
But, I haven’t learned how to use my claws to fight or how to glide in order to avoid an attack. I need practice before taking on the Demon. Castaway wheeled around and glided away, not realizing that someone had turned to watch him leave.
Demona smiled as the shape of a male gargoyle glided away. Hmm. A new gargoyle and a male, too. I wonder how long he’s been in Manhattan. Hopefully, not too long. That way, Goliath and the others wouldn’t have told him about me. I could use someone to help me destroy humanity and maybe become my mate. I need to find out where he sleeps and plan when to introduce myself. She nodded to herself and glided home to plan on meeting her future accomplice and mate.
Chapter Ten- The Transfer
Castaway hung around the police station for the next couple of nights, waiting for Servarius to be transferred, but so far no sign. What Castaway didn’t know was that Chavez and Matt planned to move Servarius during the day. Matt made a backup plan with the clan. He wanted at least two of them nearby in case they had to move Servarius at night and the Quarrymen were lying in wait. He didn’t mention Castaway being a gargoyle and regretted not doing so. The clan had a right to know and he resolved to tell them after transferring Servarius.
“Bluestone,” Chavez called on the third night. “The prison’s ready to receive Servarius. We are to transfer him tonight in about thirty minutes.”
“All right, Captain.” Matt waited until Chavez was back in her office before activating his communicator. “Elisa? It’s Matt.”
“I’m here. What’s up?”
“We’re moving Servarius tonight in thirty minutes.”
“All right. Goliath, Angela, and I will be there.”
“Thanks.” Matt clicked off the communicator before preparing the paperwork for the transfer.
Elisa went to the living room where Hudson, Bronx, Goliath, and Angela were seated, watching TV. They looked over when she entered and Goliath could tell from her face the reason she came here.
“They’re moving him tonight,” Goliath stated. His mate nodded. “Very well. Angela, Elisa. Let’s go.” Goliath stood and left the room with the two females in tow.
The three of them arrived at the station five minutes before the transfer time. A group of four police cars were parked at the front doors. The gargoyles landed on the roof of a building across from the station. The station doors opened five minutes later with Servarius flanked with two officers in front and behind him. A sudden explosion of sound came from the alley beside the gargoyles just as the police opened the door of the lead car to put Servarius inside: It sounded like voices as well as charged hammers.
Goliath let out a battle cry before leaping down into the alley, eyes glowing. Elisa and Angela followed and found themselves facing at least a dozen Quarrymen ringed around the figure of an unconscious royal blue gargoyle! A fury seized Elisa at seeing a fellow gargoyle being attacked for no reason aside from his race. Elisa’s eyes glowed and low growl sounded.
The Quarrymen abandoned their current victim and charged the trio of gargoyles en masse. They yelled battle cries and swung at the gargoyles with their charged hammers. Elisa found two Quarrymen rushing at her from either side. She waited until the last moment and then leaped upward and the two men collided with each other, hit the ground, and then were shocked unconscious as their charged hammers touched each other.
Angela ducked the hammer of a Quarryman before sweeping him off his feet with her tail. Goliath was knocking Quarrymen into each other, rendering them unconscious. He looked across the road to see all the police cars gone. Despite his feelings for the doctor, Goliath was relieved that Servarius was unharmed- which was more than he could say for the new gargoyle. He scooped up the gargoyle and bounded up the fire escape with Elisa and Angela behind him.
He placed the body on the rooftop and looked at him. The most prominent feature was the pair of devil-like horns on his head as well as the mustache. The mustache intrigued Goliath. Gargoyles rarely sported mustaches; beards, yes but mustaches?
Elisa crouched beside Goliath and looked at the stranger. She tilted her head and said, “You know with his hair and mustache he looks like a gargoyle Castaway.”
“He does bear a resemblance to Castaway,” Angela said thoughtfully. Goliath had to agree, but surely it was just a coincidence. Just then, the gargoyle’s eyes fluttered open and focused on them.
Castaway crouched in an alley close to the police station. There seemed to be unusual activity tonight. Could this be the moment he had been waiting for? He narrowed his eyes in order to spot Servarius quickly and therefore be able to react just as quickly. His plan was to use the fire escape to access the roof from where he would glide toward Servarius and make off with him.
The sound of charging hammers from behind him made Castaway stiffen. No, it couldn’t be. Not an unauthorized attack and not directed at him! Slowly, he rose from his crouch and turned to see at least a dozen of his men all hooded and armed.
“Kill the monster!” one of them shouted.
“Now, wait a minute,” Castaway said, but his words were drowned out by the shouting of the Quarrymen. They charged at him and although Castaway tried to avoid the attacks, several of them landed blows to his head and back. He yelled in pain before hitting the ground and passing out.
He heard voices above him, but he couldn’t identify them. He fluttered his eyes open to see blurred figures. He blinked and they came into focus. He inwardly cursed- He had been saved by Goliath and two females. He recognized the lavender female as Goliath’s daughter. The other bore a resemblance to Maza and concluded that it had to be Maza.
He leaped to his feet and fired a look of intense hatred at them. “Get away from me, you monsters!” he spat.
A look of shocked recognition registered on all three of them. “Oh my God,” Elisa said. “Castaway!?”
Castaway nodded before saying, “What prison is Servarius going to?”
“We don’t know,” Elisa said. “Even if we did know, we wouldn’t tell you.”
“I must know! He needs to design a cure and pay for what he did!”
“There is no cure,” Elisa stated firmly. “A friend had his best doctors look over a blood sample, but they couldn’t find a way to reverse it.”
Castaway shook his head in denial which aggravated the pain in his head. No, she’s wrong. There has to be a cure! I don’t want to spend the rest of my life as a gargoyle! He ran to the roof’s edge and glided away from the scene.
The gargoyles stared after Castaway’s retreating form. Elisa felt sorry for him, despite the aggravation he caused for her and the clan. She wished there was something she could do to help him adjust, but she knew he wouldn’t accept her help and he would refuse to adjust.
He’s learned to glide. That’s something at least. You know, maybe there is a way to cure him.
“Come,” Goliath spoke up. “Let’s go home.” The three of them leaped skyward and headed for the castle.
Matt breathed a silent sigh of relief as he drove Servarius to prison. Getting Servarius into the car had been relatively smooth despite the sounds coming from the alley.
He glanced in his rearview mirror at his prisoner who was staring out the window. He cleared his throat to catch Servarius’s attention. “Doctor, is there truly no cure for Elisa or Castaway?”
“That’s correct. I usually don’t make formulas that could easily be reversed. Both Elisa and Castaway are gargoyles for the rest of their lives, but of course you knew that.”
“Yeah, I did. I thought I’d ask anyway.”
“Owen, I have a question,” Elisa said.
“Of course, Detective. How may I be of service?”
“Well, first, just call me Elisa.”
“As you wish, Det-uh, Elisa.”
“Goliath, Angela, and I found out that Servarius turned Castaway into a gargoyle. I was wondering if magic could be a cure.”
“I’m afraid not, Elisa. I too examined the blood sample myself. Doctor Servarius used a good deal of iron in his serum.”
“Oh,” Elisa said, comprehension in her voice. “Right. Well, it didn’t hurt to ask. Thanks, Owen.”
“You are quite welcome.”
Elisa walked away, deep in thought. So, a lot of iron was in the formula and since fay are vulnerable to iron, their magic wouldn’t reverse the change. So, the only option is to accept one’s new form and adapt. But, adapting is the last thing Castaway wants to do.
Perhaps the clan’s acceptance by the people could be helped by this development. If Castaway ends up learning that not all gargoyles are evil, he might disband the Quarrymen and maybe claim that gargoyles are harmless, save for Demona.
Castaway glided about aimlessly, his mind still reeling from what Maza had said to him. At the time, he flatly refused to accept what she said, but now he was starting to rethink his thoughts.
Is it really possible that there’s no cure? I have no reason to believe Maza. She fell in love with a gargoyle so she wouldn’t be bothered about being a gargoyle. I want to destroy them so obviously it bothers me that now I’m one of them.
He glared at his claws. He hated every inch of his body- except his wings. They were the only part he actually enjoyed. It was cool to be airborne without worrying about running out of fuel, but he didn’t consider losing his humanity to a worthwhile trade-off.
He landed on a rooftop to rest his wings and truly consider his options. He couldn’t hope to get a cure while Servarius was in jail and he didn’t know how long the prison sentence would last. If there truly was no cure, his only choice was to accept his new form, but he would never adapt to a gargoyle lifestyle. His body may be gargoyle, but his mind was still human.
“So, there you are my mysterious gargoyle,” a female voice spoke up, causing Castaway to stiffen at the voice: It was the Demon!”
Demona smiled when she spotted the new male on a rooftop. Here was her chance to introduce herself and persuade the male to join her cause. He’s quite handsome, she thought as she landed silently behind her quarry. She admired his deep blue skin, his pterodactyl wings, the muscular tail, and the horns on his head.
“So, there you are my mysterious gargoyle,” she said. She noticed that he stiffened which was curious.
The male turned to her with a look of pure hatred and disgust. Demona took a step back out of surprise. Was it possible he had already met up with Goliath and the others? The answer seemed to be yes, based on his expression.
She held up her hands, palms outstretched. “I mean you no harm. I thought we could be friends. My name’s Demona.”
“I know who you are, Demon,” the male hissed.
Demona’s mouth dropped. “Hunter?” she gasped.
“Aye, it’s me.”
Demona sized him up again, smirked, and then laughed-hard. “Oh,” she gasped between laughs. “This is too perfect.”
“Is it?” Castaway folded his arms across his chest with a sour look on his face.
Demona chuckled one last time before replying, “It is. You’ve become what you hate. I’m guessing Servarius did this.” The response was a nod. “In that case, you’re stuck as a gargoyle. I know for a fact that Servarius is in jail and that when he creates a formula, he never designs a cure.” With these words, Demona turned, headed to an edge of the roof, and launched herself into the sky.
Castaway growled softly as Demona glided away. That was the second gargoyle to tell him there was no cure. He truly had to accept that he was trapped as a gargoyle. There’s no choice left, but to walk, or rather glide the path before me, Castaway thought as he took to the air and headed home.
Chapter Eleven- Search for a Brother
Demona smirked as she watched Castaway glide away. It had been disappointing not having an accomplice in her quest to destroy humanity, but seeing the Hunter as a gargoyle had been very amusing. I won’t follow him to his home and smash him while he sleeps. It’s much more fitting for him to spend the rest of his life as a gargoyle. Perhaps he’ll learn that gargoyles are superior to humans. She smiled with satisfaction as she headed for her company.
“Why didn’t you tell us earlier?” Elisa demanded.
“I’m sorry, I know I should have told you about Castaway as soon as Servarius told me.”
“All right, Matt. I accept your apology. The question now is what do we do about this?”
“Well…seeing as he is a gargoyle, The Gargoyles Task Force will be watching him for “criminal intent.” I, however, will be watching out for him.”
“Watch out for someone who hates gargoyles!?”
“Elisa, please! He may hate your race, but I feel obligated to help every gargoyle in this city.”
“If she lands in trouble that she can’t get out of by herself, then yes.”
Elisa said nothing as she absorbed Matt’s words. She slowly exhaled. “You’re right. Even evil ones like Demona and Castaway deserve protection. Although the idea of protecting Demona is laughable.”
Matt chuckled. “You’ve got a point there.”
“Detective, you have visitors,” Chavez said to Matt two days later as he sorted his Task papers.
“Thanks, Captain. Send them in.”
Chavez stepped away from the door and two people entered. One was a blonde woman who pushed a wheelchair in which a dark-haired man was sitting. Matt recognized the man instantly: Jason Canmore. What the hell does he want? Matt had never quite forgive Jason for all the deception he had done on top of revealing the clan’s existence to the city.
Nevertheless, Matt decided to be civil. “What brings you here?”
The woman smiled. “My name’s Robyn Canmore and this is my brother Jason. We need help locating our other brother, Jon.”
“Your brother? Can you describe him?” Matt grabbed a pen and paper.
“Well, he’s got blond hair and blue eyes. He…kind of looks like that.” Robyn pointed at a photograph of Castaway lying on a pile of papers.
Matt picked up the picture and studied it. He’d always suspected that Castaway was a false identity, but wasn’t sure how to prove it. He could always ask Elisa but her answers wouldn’t convince anyone but him. He refocused on the picture and mentally erased the mustache and adjusted the smoothed-back hair. You know he would bear a resemblance to Robyn and Jason.
He slide the picture across the desk to Jason. “Do you agree with Robyn that this man looks like your brother?”
Jason studied the picture. “This doesn’t just look like Jon. It is Jon.”
“What?” Robyn leaned forward for a closer look. “You know, I think you’re right.”
Matt put the pen down and bit his lip briefly. Oh, boy. How do I tell them that their brother was genetically changed into a gargoyle? I can hardly be blunt about it.
“Detective, can you help us find him?” Robyn asked.
“I can help you. I can start by asking some people he’s acquainted with and hopefully they’ll have some answers. If you’ll leave me a number I can reach you at, I promise I’ll call as soon as I get answers.”
Robyn wrote down their contact info and thanked Matt for his time before leaving. Once outside the police station, Robyn said, “What do you think, Jason?”
“I think Detective Bluestone knows something about Jon that he’s not telling. Perhaps, Elisa will tell us. The landlord said she moved to the Eyrie Building. I think she’s living with Mr. Xanatos. Let’s pay him a visit.”
“Ah, Miss Canmore and Mr. Canmore. To what do I owe the honor?”
“We want to speak with Elisa,” Jason replied. “We were told she now lives here.”
“Indeed.” Xanatos glanced out his window and saw the sun starting to sink below the horizon. “Well, there’s something you need to know before talking to Elisa.”
“And what’s that?”
“An ex-employee of mine changed her into a gargoyle.”
Robyn gasped. “Oh, that’s terrible.”
“Not really. She already lived here. She just had to quit the police force. She’s actually happy, despite the change.
“In fact, she and the clan should be waking up soon. Why don’t we all go up to greet her?” Xanatos wanted to be sure that neither of the Canmores would try to harm the gargoyles in any way.
Xanatos led the duo to the courtyard where he pointed out Elisa’s stone form poised next to Goliath. Jason knew he would have recognized Elisa with no problem; she was virtually unchanged except for the obvious.
The sounds of cracking stone reached their ears and they watched as eight gargoyles awoke and roared to the night. Once the roars had faded, Xanatos called out, “Elisa, you have visitors!”
Elisa turned at Xanatos’s voice and her eyes widened at the sight of the Canmore siblings. She heard a low growl come from Goliath and she patted his arm reassuringly. Both Canmores weren’t armed and they seemed to have other matters on their minds. She spread her wings and glided over to the courtyard.
“Jason, Robyn. What a surprise,” Elisa greeted once she had landed.
Jason smiled. “Hello, Elisa and to you as well, Goliath,” he added as the clan leader joined them. His eyes were narrowed in suspicion and Jason couldn’t blame him. After all, most of their encounters were focused on destroying one another.
“So, what brings you here?” Elisa asked.
“It’s about our brother,” Robyn answered. “We’re hoping to talk him out of hunting gargoyles.”
“We spoke to Detective Bluestone who said he would try to locate Jon,” Jason added. “I believe he know something about Jon that he’s not telling.”
“And you think I may know what that something is?” Elisa inquired.
“Aye,” Jason said.
Elisa and Goliath exchanged looks before the leader nodded his head. The former detective turned back to Jason and Robyn and let out a slow breath. “Okay. First of all, he’s going by the name Jon Castaway. About a week ago, he was kidnapped by a genetist called Anton Servarius and changed into a gargoyle.”
“Oh, my,” Robyn gasped. “Jonny’s a gargoyle now?”
“Yeah,” Elisa said. “I’m guessing Matt didn’t tell you because he wasn’t sure how to tell you.”
“Do you have any idea of where he is?” Robyn asked.
“I do actually. There is an address for an organization called The Quarrymen. That’s his home as well as the group’s headquarters because he founded it.”
“I’ll provide them with the address and directions,” Xanatos spoke up.
“All right,” Jason said. “Thank you, Mr. Xanatos and thank you, Elisa.”
Elisa nodded. “You’re welcome.”
Robyn pulled up to the curb next to a door bearing the symbol of a sledgehammer. She got out, pulled out a wheelchair, and pushed it to the passenger’s side, and helped Jason into it. She managed to get her brother up the stairs and Jason grasped the doorknob and gave it an experimental turn: Locked.
He reached into his jacket pocket and pulled a key copy Xanatos had made for his own purposes but had surrendered it to them. Jason unlocked the door and Robyn pushed him inside before closing and locking the door behind her.
“Jon?” Jason called. “Jon, it’s us. Are you here?”
There was silence, but both could hear a slight rustling upstairs. They exchanged looks and Jason nodded that Robyn should speak. She cleared her throat. “Jon, come down here. We know what’s happened to you. We know you’re a gargoyle. Please come out so we can talk.”
There was more rustling and a shadowy winged figure appeared at the upstairs railing that was curved so that a balcony opened up to the first floor. The figure leaped over the railing and glided down to the floor. He stayed in the shadows.
“Come on, Jon, out of those shadows,” Robyn ordered.
Slowly, a royal blue foot slide into the light followed by another foot, a body covered by folded wings, and finally a head. A long tail curled beside his right leg. Silence dominated the room before Robyn broke it.
She circled Jon before facing him again. “You look good, Jonny. I mean it, really.”
“You think so?” Castaway asked. “I’m starting to think so, too.”
“Oh?” Jason said. “I thought you would be angry over what happened.”
“I was. I spent a few nights trying to find Servarius to get a cure. I learned he got arrested and sent to jail for changing Maza and I was told by two gargoyles that Servarius doesn’t design cures for his formulas.”
“Which gargoyles?” Jason asked.
“Maza and the Demon.”
“You met up with the Demon?” Robyn gasped.
Castaway dropped his English accent and let his Scottish one come out. “Aye. She laughed when she found out it was me. I’m surprised she didn’t follow me and smash me while I sleep. Perhaps she thought it fitting that I live as a gargoyle for the rest of my life. I find it hard to live like this, but I will eventually adapt.”
“Jon, why don’t you stay with us?” Robyn asked. “I mean, we’re family and we should stay together.”
“I…I don’t know.” Castaway had to admit that the offer was tempting, but would they really want to live with a monster like him? He had accepted his change, but he couldn’t helping thinking that he was a monster now.
The older siblings exchanged puzzled looks before Jason wheeled forward and put a hand on Jon’s forearm. “Jon…is something wrong?”
“Perhaps. I just don’t know what it is. I’ve accepted my change, but every time I look at myself, all I see is a monster. Would you really want me living with you looking the way I do?”
“Of course we do, Jon. You are not a monster. No gargoyle is a monster except for the Demon.”
“I suppose you’re right. I need to think more about living together.”
“Of course. Robyn and I will stay here until we have your answer.”
Chapter Twelve- Revelations
Castaway, at the urging of his brother and sister, explored his gargoyle abilities. He tested his claws’ strength against a variety of materials like stone, steel, and glass. He finally learned how to climb with his claws. He would venture to the junkyard to test the limits of his physical strength. He was properly impressed when he managed to lift or flip a full-size car.
He smirked as he watched a car he threw fly through the air and land with a satisfying crunch almost twenty feet away. You know, I think I’m beginning to like being a gargoyle. I’m stronger, faster, and able to glide. Yes, I turn to stone during the day, but I can live with it. Maybe I was right when we first came to Manhattan: Goliath and his clan are not evil. It’s ironic: I believed them to be peaceful while Jason believed they were evil. Then, one or two nights later, our views switched.
Castaway mused on what he had tested and what he hadn’t tested yet. He had seen the gargoyles destroy guns and bend metal with ease, but was it really as easy as they make it look? He was determined to find out. Plus, he needed to learn how to use his wings and tail in a fight. He had seen how such moves can change the course of a fight. He landed at his front door after checking the area, unlocked it, slipped in, and closed and locked it behind him.
“Is that you, Jon?” Jason called from the kitchen.
“Aye,” he answered. He went to the kitchen to see only Jason. “Where’s Robyn?”
“She went to buy some groceries. She should be back soon.”
Castaway sat down at the kitchen table. “Jason, I’ve been thinking about…about…that I was wrong about gargoyles being evil.”
Jason turned to look at him. “Really?”
“Yes. I’m a gargoyle and I don’t feel any desire to attack humans. Only the Demon attacks innocent people for no reason. But I’m different from her and the others are different from her.”
Jason could hardly believe his ears. His brother finally accepted that he was a gargoyle and that his kind weren’t evil. This is more than Robyn and I could have hoped for.
“That’s good to hear, Jon. Honestly.”
“I only wish I could tell Goliath and his clan how sorry I am.”
“There is a way to show them you’re sorry.”
“You could disband The Quarrymen.”
Castaway’s face lit up. “Yes, I could do that.” Then his face fell. “But that would require a public announcement. How can I do that? No one will believe that I’m the leader of The Quarrymen.”
“I think if you wore a hood, stood behind a podium, and Robyn and I film only your face, no one will know you’re a gargoyle.”
Castaway nodded. “That could work. I think we should film it tomorrow night. I want to write down what I’m going to say.”
Jason smiled. “All right. Tomorrow night it is.”
“I’m back, Jason,” Robyn announced thirty minutes later. She placed several plastic bags on the kitchen counter before starting to put the groceries away. Jason wheeled in from the living room and started helping her before saying, “Robyn, I’ve got great news.”
“Jon’s accepted that he’s a gargoyle and that they’re not evil, save for the Demon.”
“It gets better. Tomorrow, we’ll be filming Jon making a public announcement that he’s disbanding The Quarrymen.”
“How are we going to do that?”
“We’ll film only Jon’s face and he’ll be wearing a hood.”
Robyn nodded. “Makes sense.”
“We’ll also need to call Xanatos to make sure the gargoyles see the film.”
Castaway smiled as the camera light went dark and removed his hood. His speech went well and now the film needed to be edited before Robyn delivered it to the WVRN news station. The three siblings crowded around the camera to review the tape. They cropped the picture to eliminate any hint of blue skin and adjusted the quality of the picture and sound until they were satisfied that the film was perfect.
Robyn put the tape in a blank case and said, “If I hurry, this will air on the eleven o’ clock news.”
Jason nodded. “Then, go. I’ll phone Xanatos and inform him that the gargoyle should watch WVRN.”
“And I am going out for a glide,” Jon added. He was nervous about how the public and the gargoyles would take the announcement and needed to work off some of that nervous energy. At the same time, he was happy with the speech he had given. He had resolved to drop his alias of Castaway and go back to Canmore, but hadn’t said so in the speech. He did tell Robyn and Jason before the filming and both were happy to hear this news.
“Okay, Miss Canmore. We will put this on the eleven news.”
“Thank you, sir. Mr. Castaway will be very pleased.” Robyn left the station, smiling. Oh, yes. Jon would be pleased. That speech covered most of the loose ends Jon wanted to tie off concerning the Quarrymen and his new view on the gargoyles. Public opinion of gargoyles won’t change overnight, but hopefully it will take a step in the right direction.
The sound of rapid footsteps behind her reached her ears before someone pinned her arms behind her and yanked her into an alley. She saw a second man in front of her. She didn’t know if they planned to rob her, rape her, murder her, or all three, but she wasn’t going to stand there and wait to find out.
Acting fast, she kicked her leg behind her and connected with her captor’s knee. He released her as a reflex and she spun around and delivered a roundhouse kick to his face. He hit the ground stunned, but still conscious. Robyn clenched a fist, prepared to attack the other man, when a unbelievable shock shot through her body. She let out a loud scream before hitting the ground. The last thing she heard was a gargoyle battle cry before she passed out.
Jon practiced aerial maneuvers above the junkyard. He was good at basic moves, but a bit shaky with more advanced moves, however he was determined to master them. After an hour of practice, Jon decided to head home and practice later that night.
As he slowly passed an alley, he saw two men, one of which was holding a blonde woman. A very familiar blonde woman: Robyn. He braked to a halt and hovered above the scene. He saw Robyn quickly dispatch the man holding her and felt a swell of pride at her fighting skills. Robyn is not easily frightened or defeated.
Suddenly, he saw a flash of light followed by Robyn screaming. His eyes glowed and a low growl reverberated in his throat. His sister had just been attacked with a small stun gun and he wasn’t going to let those humans get away with it!
He let out a battle cry as he dove down on the scene. “Shit, it’s one of those gargoyle monsters!” one man cried. Jon flared his wings and let out a roar which sent the weaponless man running into the night, screaming; a sound that amused the blonde gargoyle. He then focused on the other man who held the stun gun and was clearly prepared to use it. He recalled seeing the other gargoyles use their tails to knock people off their feet, especially when surrounded, and decided to try it. He whipped around a full 180 degrees, his tail sliding across the ground and slapped it hard against the man’s ankles, sending him to the ground. There was a quick flash and the man screamed: He had zapped himself with the stun gun.
Jon scooped up Robyn, bounded up a fire escape, and up onto the roof. Jon gently cradled Robyn’s upper body and patted her cheek. “Robyn? Robyn, wake up. Come on, sister. Wake up.”
Robyn moaned before her eyes fluttered open, blinked, and focused on her brother. “Jon?”
“Are you all right?”
“I think so. I was attacked.”
“I know. I saw the whole thing.”
“You did? Wait, are you saying you fought those guys?”
“One of them. The other one ran off after I roared at them.”
“Yeah. I used my tail on the other and he accidentally shocked himself.”
Robyn was impressed with what she was hearing. Her brother had saved her in true gargoyle fashion. He was completely comfortable in making gargoyle sounds. She and Jason had heard Jon roar when he awoke in the evenings, she heard him sound a battle cry before passing out, and Jon admitted to roaring in order to scare one off.
“Let’s go, Robyn. It’s almost eleven.” Jon scooped up Robyn in his arms, spread his wings, and glided for home with his passenger.
“Good evening. “I’m Jon Castaway. Leader of the Quarrymen. I have a message for all my members: The Quarrymen are hereby disbanded. I repeat, the Quarrymen are disbanded. Over the last two weeks, I’ve come to some startling revelations. I now see that I was wrong about gargoyles and wrong to hunt them. They are not monsters nor are they evil. I apologize to the gargoyles of Manhattan for all the trouble that I and the Quarrymen have caused them. I can’t guarantee that no one will trouble you in the name of the Quarrymen. I do give the police the right to insure that all rogue members stop their vigilante activities.”
“Again, Jon Castaway has disbanded The Quarrymen and now supports gargoyles. Now, onto tonight’s weather-,”
Click. The TV screen goes blank, reflecting the faces of the clan. Shock and skepticism dominated every face.
Brooklyn finally broke the silence. “Can we believe him?”
“He hasn’t attacked us since his change,” Elisa pointed out. “and he hasn’t ordered any Quarrymen attacks on us.”
“Elisa is right,” Goliath said. “However, can we believe him? This could be a trick.”
“It’s not a trick,” Xanatos spoke up from the doorway. “I just got a call from Jason Canmore. The three of them are moving back to Scotland and Jon Canmore will be giving Detective Bluestone the addresses of now former Quarrymen.”
Elisa could hardly believe her ears. Castaway, or rather Canmore, had at last accepted his gargoyle form and decided to disband the Quarrymen. It’s just like I hoped. All that remains is to get the rest of the city to accept us. It’ll be a long hard road ahead of us, but we won’t give up.