Challenge Results!

The Gargoyle Olympics!

The future of the Olympics.  The catagory we're going to focus on today is interspecies wrestling. 

   Essentially the rules are the same with a few added restictions for our winged friends to make it more of a challenge.  Instead of weight catagories for gargoyles only adolecent gargoyles under six feet in height may compete.  For heavier weights (200+) males or females may enter and for lighter weight (140 or less) only females or males under five feet tall. 
   The tail may be used for grappling, but not as a way to cause serious harm such as a whip or strangling. 
    Wings may be used for balance or counter balance only.  No flying, gliding, or assisted jumping.
    For both species all claws or nails must be filed smooth. 

Keep it clean and good luck.

-- by Revel

Macbeth Wins the Gold
a poem by James Birdsong

Macbeth could race. 
He may look middle aged 
but I assure you he could win first place. 
A college proffesor could win the gold. 
And I do mean Lennex MacDuff for 
Morgana Cornish is the one who is truly old. 
Laugh with me cheer for our favorite dude. 
Buy some hot dogs and get in the mood. 
Hooray Macbeth. 
Hip hip hooray. 
Let the festivites begin. 
Hip hip hooray.

The Inaguaral Gargoyle Olympics
by John C.

Ideally, this would be held during the Winter Solstice for maximum time allowed for events that gargoyles are participating in. Or a huge barge moving across timezones. Perhaps the Cyberbiotics airship?

New Events:

Competitors must lift a Buick overhead and throw it the furthest.
Winner: Wolf (USA). Gold then given to Goliath (USA) after Wolf fails the drug testing

Athletes must be the most well groomed and stylish James Bond wannabe.
Winner: David Xanatos (USA) with Thailog and MacBeth in a close second.

This event is open to anyone with flight capability.
Winner: Goliath (USA) tied with Demona (UK)

Winner: 1st Vinnie (USA) 2nd Griff (UK) 3rd The entire Ishamura Clan (JAPAN)

This is a team event
Winner: Elisa Maza and Goliath (USA)

Athletes compete to see who can do the least amount of fighting and slow down others as much as possible. Extra points for accumulated dust and soiled diapers.
Winner: Halcyon Renard(USA), taking a clear lead over Hudson (UK)

There are team and individual events. Competitors must burst to life, face rejection by paranoid mob, save infant from traffic, defeat international crime organization and learn a deep moral lesson to the same music over and over again.
Manhattan Clan (USA): 1st place, extra points for sappy catch phrases. 
Griff (UK): 2nd place, Nearly averted death 68 times. Stopped for tea.
Lexington (USA): 3rd place, faced severe loss of time after rescuing infant, tucking it into bed and reading a story.
Demona (UK): disqualified for use of nuclear weapons.
The Pack (USA): Forgot ID and could not get by lone security guard.
Puck (Avalon): Turned mob into matching Kitchen/Dining room sets. Sold them at auction and used money to buy multicoloured clown wigs which were glued to heads of other athletes and spectators. Did not complete relay and begged 
to try again.

Cartoon by Michael Heitz
by James Birdsong

(like sports announcer) 
Brooklyn has certainly won this year. He bested Lexington and Broadway at the discus throw. He defeated Goliath at the pole vault. He even defeated Demona in the kickboxing round. 

Greek Islands Clan Female Gymnastics Team
by Dirce
Nephele on the uneven bars
Iolanthe on the pommel horse
Dirce on the balance beam

A story by Wanderer

Brooklyn pulled his wings tight against his back as the ring approached, feeling the curve of the air around the plastic circle pass his body's
edge, trembling his wingtip slightly before his membranes spread wide on the other side of the obstacle.  Swooping left, he caught a thermal
from the hot lights below and spiraled upward, spinning a tight coil of air before exploding outward toward the next barrier.

Ahead of him, a series of rotating bars, all at different speeds, slashed vertically across his flight path.  His mind seemed to shrink, dwindle,
until his entire life seemed bound up in those spinning hurdles.  *Watch*, he reminded himself.  *Wait ... NOW!*

In a blur of motion, Brooklyn seemed to almost spin in place, his wings flexing rapidly as he banked left, right, up, down --

WHOP!  Seemingly from nowhere, a hurdle he had mistimed spun directly into his back, driving his right wing against his side with a spasm
of pain and protesting muscles.  Spiraling again, he plummeted toward the ground below ...

... and impacted on a large airbag, his pained grimace speaking volumes.  His growl sparked a fire within his eyes that glowed a fierce blue-
white as he silently cursed his clumsiness.

"You okay?", came Broadway's voice from outside the nylon canyon.  "Looked like that hurt."

"Yeah", snapped Brooklyn as he sat bolt upright, ignoring the pain in his wing, "it did!  Now back off!"  He threw himself from the airbag with
a motion that would have been fearful and impressive ... if his taloned feet hadn't snagged in the fabric, sending his beaked head crashing to
the ground.

Behind him, he could hear Broadway fighting the impulse to laugh.  If it had happened to someone else, Brooklyn knew, he'd find it just as
funny.  But right now, that didn't really seem to help.

"Are ye all right, lad?", came the querying voice and heavy tread of Hudson, approaching more slowly than had Broadway.  "Looked like that
great windmill knocked the wind outa ye."

"I'm fine", muttered Brooklyn, trying not to snap at the elder gargoyle.  "Thanks."

"Och", replied Hudson with an audible grin, " 'tis nothin', lad.  Now get yerself a drink, an' lets end this for t'night."

Brooklyn's head snapped up.  "Practice is ... over?"

"Aye", replied Hudson casually as he turned to go.  "Practice'll do ye no good with a hurt wing, an' we've Lexington t'go, yet.  Ye'll have time
t'work on yer timing t'morra, afore the demonstration games."

"But ... "

"He's right", called Matt Bluestone as he descended from the stands nearby.  "Besides, one good day's rest and your wing'll be as good as new.
Better to practice then."

Hudson studiously ignored Bluestone's support of his decision ... after all, since when did he need that kind of help?  But Matt idly noted the
sudden lightness in the elderly gargoyle's step.

Brooklyn fumed, but sat down quietly on the bench to watch Lexington's practice.  Here, on the field, his position as second in command held
less meaning.  He had to remember that Hudson, as his coach and his elder, was giving the commands.

But he didn't have to like it.  He ached from both the impact and the need to get back in the air, to *show* that he could do it!  Just because
he'd had a little bad luck ...

He caught himself and sighed.  No.  He'd overlooked a slower rotor and not bothered to figure when it would cross his path.  Prioritizing, he
decided, had certain limits when you were dealing with an obstacle course.

He looked up from his glum musings to see Lexington finish his climb to the starting platform.  Going into a deep crouch, the small green gargoyle
nodded once to Hudson, standing by an airhorn on the ground below.

Hudson winced in anticipation, then reached over and pressed the button.


At the first sound of the horn, Lexington leapt into action, his membranes spread wide.  As he easily passed the rings, Brooklyn nodded, busily
assessing him.  *Good shape for this*, he thought, *more streamlined.  Narrower profile, so less trouble with the rings.*

Lexington caught the same thermal above the bank of hot lights, and seemed to almost become a tornado as he whirled in midair.  *Of course*,
mused Brooklyn, now fascinated with the process from the outside.  *He's lighter and smaller, so he can get a tighter spiral.*

With the increase in speed, Lexington shot through the rotors like a bolt of green lightning, missing them all completely.  Brooklyn smirked wryly.
*Not like his clan's second in command.*

The next-to-last obstacle was a simple one, a wall with hot lights close to the base.  Brooklyn smiled as Lexington nearly skimmed the wall atop
the driving mass of hot air, then crested the top and dove to the other side, now a good ten feet higher than when he'd started.

The final obstacle was a series of rings set low to the ground, forcing any gargoyle entering them to make it through with only whatever momentum
he had at the enry point.  Lexington deftly zigged and zagged, Brooklyn noted, but was running out of momentum, since his mass produced less
than his larger rookery-brothers'.  Still, just as the last ounce of momentum slipped away, Lexington managed to scoot past the finish line, landing
in a tangle of tail as he plowed into the turf.

Brooklyn dutifully stood and clapped enthusiastically.  His rookery-brother had done a good job.  *Still needs a little tightening on that final dive*,
he thought, *but that's not much.*

"Not bad, lad, not bad", smiled Hudson as Lexington pulled himself erect, panting with exertion.  "Ye need a tighter angle on yer final swoop, but
ye've got a good eye fer the obstacles.  Och", he muttered as he straightened his creaking back, "But I'll be glad when these games are over.  These
olimps are gettin' on me nerves."

"Olympics", corrected Lexington as he stood, his hide fairly radiating heat.  "I think they're Greek or something."

"I'm sure they'll tell us all aboot it on the television, lad", Hudson replied as Broadway came tromping up.  "Now let's get back to th' castle ... er, I
mean th' Olympic Village ... an' get some rest."

Brooklyn shook his head wonderingly as he followed Hudson in the direction of the small, cavelike houses that the IOC called "dorms".  Gargoyles
in the Olympics ...


David Xanatos smiled as Goliath walked into his office.  "Good evening, Goliath.  What brings you here?"

Goliath frowned thoughtfully, glad that Xanatos had come to the point so quickly.  "I was wondering ... how the trio and Hudson were performing
in the Olympic Village."  He forebore from saying more.

Xanatos smiled more widely.  "So far, this plan of Fox's is coming along beautifully.  Not to mention", he added wryly, remembering the California
fiasco, "she actually bothered to bring me in on it this time."

"I still do not understand", the Gargoyle leader grated, "this ... de-mon-stra-tion game.  Are these part of the ... O-lym-pics?"

Xanatos buried a smile at the gargoyle's trouble with the modern and Greek words, remembering too well how intelligent Goliath truly was beneath
his primitive trappings.  "Yes and no.  You see", he continued, sitting down on the edge of his desk, "demonstration games are events which *could*
become part of the Olympic Games, but aren't, yet.  Oh, there's all the usual pomp and circumstance, gold medals and all that.  But it's only a
possibility."  He raised an eyebrow.  "You should see some of the previous demonstration games ... surfing, croquet, hackysack ... "

"Hacky ... sack?"

Xanatos cleared his throat, trying not to chuckle.  "Long story.  The important thing is, the International Olympic Committee is allowing gargoyles to
compete.  Consider it one small recognition of gargoyles as people ... rather than boogeymen."

Goliath nodded, though he did not care for Xanatos' flippant way of speaking of his clan's destiny.  Still, he reasoned, the O-lym-pics are human
games, and we are now in them.  Perhaps it is for the best.

Perhaps ...

"Thank you", he said to Xanatos as he turned to leave.  "I will be back shortly."

Xanatos smirked wryly, certain he already knew the answer to his next question.  "Mind if I ask where you're gong?"

Goliath turned and glared at him.



Demona flicked idly through Nightstone Unlimited's security monitors.  Much as she loathed waiting, there was little else to do until after the games.
Though it would bring so many humans together, there were some things even she would not risk ...

Her eyes stopped and focused on the figure of Goliath as he landed atop her building.  She seldom tired of the idea ... a gargoyle owning her own
castle, even one of steel and glass.  But here he was, on her property   Him.  The weak, spineless ... she quieted herself.  He might have news of
Angela.  She activated the rooftop tasers, then watched as Goliath was stunned into insensibility. Then, with the flip of a switch, she lowered him
to a holding cell. She decided not to restrain him ... leave it a friendly visit.

He was just beginning to awaken as she reached the holding area. "Hello, Goliath.", she intoned, glaring at him balefully.  "Come to tell me how
well your little Olympic game is going?"

Goliath shook his head clear and groaned.  "No ... just ... just wanted ... "

"Take your time, Goliath", she smirked.  "You are in *my* castle, now.  And I do so enjoy your visits."

Goliath accepted the barb.  Though he knew very well where her business was headquartered, he had never come to it before.  An error, he now
realized.  Better to have known of that rooftop trap before now.  He hauled himself upright.  "I came to ask you ... not to interfere with the Games."

Demona's eyes narrowed as Goliath gazed at her seriously.  He ... HE ...

"I always knew you were a fool, Goliath", she snarled, her eyes glowing red even in the well-lit holding area.  "but I never knew until now what an
idiot you could be."  She turned from him to control her anger.  "I already know that my daughter will -- "

"Our daughter", Goliath gently corrected.

"MY daughter, will be attending, to watch that lumbering oaf, Brodway, compete.  I give you my word, Goliath, and hear me well ... "  She turned
to him, eyes now blazing in a face that seemed almost stone even now.  " ... I will do nothing to interfere with the orderly progression of these games."
She released the rooftop trap above him.  "Now get out."

With one last long look at her, he threw himself to the roof and made his departure.

Demona smiled.  *On the other hand*, she mused, *perhaps a little game of my own is in order ... *


"Ladies and gentlemen", boomed the announcer's voice as the lights came on in the stadium, "welcome to one of the rare nighttime demonstration
games in Olympic history.  The first, of course, was night baseball, which sadly never caught on as an Olympic sport.  But here, ladies and gentlemen,
we have something new:  Gargoyles."

"That's right", rejoined his partner, "gargoyles.  Many of you have heard the legends and rumors coming out of New York regarding these strange
beings.  Alive by night, stone by day, their very existence has fostered a movement called the Quarrymen, noted in several devastating incidents in

"But as for gargoyles", returned his partner, "little has been known until now.  In a surprise move by the IOC -- "

(In the Aerie building, David Xanatos hugged his brilliant wife closer and smiled.  It was amazing what the right amount of Olympic funding could
do ... )

" -- a new demonstration game has been announced:  The Gargoyle Games!"

"That's right, Jim.  And here at the Olympic Stadium, we'll be bringing you every moment as these two teams square off in contests of strength,
speed, and skill."

(Down on the field and in the Aerie building, the atmosphere was suddenly electric.  Two!?)

"Our first event", continued the announcer, unaware of the sudden tension on the field, "will be Distance Gliding.  In this event, the competitors
begin from atop a high platform, and must carefully angle their wings in order to acheive maximum distance before landing."

"Tell me, Hal", asked his partner, "what's to keep a given gargoyle from simply flying in order to win?"

"Glad you asked, Jim", Hal smiled.  "To begin with, gargoyles don't really 'fly' in the way that birds and bats do.  Their wings enable them to catch
air currents and thermals, but are incapable of providing propulsion.  This means that a gargoyle's flight follows the same rule as a roller coaster --
you can never go higher than your
starting point without some source of thrust."

"In addition", Hal continued, "while gargoyles can ride the ground effect -- a small 'cushion' of air between their bodies and the ground -- the
rough surface of the cinder measuring surface, plus the aerial disturbance produced by our own hot lights, produces too much 'churn', or turbulence,
to allow that to be a very dependable source of thrust.  Thus, our competing gargoyles will be using only their initial velocity to power them through
this event, unless they want to risk being thrown to the cinder track below."

"Coming to the starting platform", Jim broke in, "is the first member of the American team, Broadway."  A graphic spun into view on the stadium
screens, along with a live shot of Broadway climbing into position.  "While he's a bit heavier than our other contestants, that may actually work to
his advantage in this event.  Because of his greater weight", he added as Broadway posed for the crowd, "he'll achieve a greater initial velocity
upon takeoff.  But he still has to keep all those pounds in the air long enough to outdistance the other members of the team."

"He's at the platform, and ... "

The starter's gun exploded, and Broadway launched himself away from the platform.  Pulling his wings tight, he dove for the track, pulling up just
six feet above the black surface.  Then, spreading his membranes, he began to coast.  10 meters ... 20 ... 30 ...

But as he moved forward, his speed began to drop.  He spread his wings wider, and wider still, until it seemed he was trying to overshadow the
entire track.  But all the drive in the world couldn't speed him up.  At 41 meters, the straining gargoyle dropped like a rock to the cinders.

"Oh!", crowed Jim, "That has GOT to hurt!  What would you say his problem was, Hal?"

"Well, Jim, his biggest problem is his overall build.  While his weight is a bonus for speed, it's a loss for distance as the drag builds up along his
lower edge.  But overall, an excellent first effort for the American team."

Brooklyn, Lexington, and even Broadway, still clambering to his feet, stared across the track, hoping for some sign of the "other team".

"Up next, for the Scottish team ... Demona!"

"WHAT!?", roared Brooklyn, rising from his seat on the bench ... only to be stopped cold by Hudson's hand on his shoulder.

"Leave it, lad", ordered the former clan leader.

"But she ... !"

"Leave it, I said!", Hudson blazed.  "Durin' the games, ye're not allowed t' interfere with another competitor, no matter what the reason!  Now,
are ye gonna compete, or are ye gonna take on Demona?  Because lad, ye canna have both."

Brooklyn subsided, growling under his breath.

"Demona seems to have caused quite a stir among the American gargoyles, Jim."

"Yes, Hal, I imagine she would.  Demona is the only female gargoyle competing in tonight's events, and has chosen to enter on behalf of her native
country of Scotland.  She admits, however, that she lives in the U.S., but refuses ... understandably, given the presence of a Quarrymen contingent
in the stands", Jim added over a shot of a rowdy section of the bleachers, "to give her exact address."

"She admits", Hal broke in, "to being quite a bit older than our other competitors, so experience may carry the day.  We'll have to wait and see.  But
she certainly seems poised, there atop the platform.  The starter is ready ... "

At the sound of the gun, Demona didn't so much explode as leap from the platform, almost langorously hanging in the air.  She seemed to be made
of dandelion fluff, or moonbeams, she hung in te air so long and delicately.  Finally, far down along the track, she lit ... at 71 meters!

Polite cheering rang from the stands as Demona coolly walked from the track.  "Amazing!", Hal cried over the speakers.  "Demona successfully
sacrificed speed for distance, and seems to have set the mark to beat!"

As he approached the ladder, Brooklyn grabbed the departing Demona's arm.  She whirled ... then smiled oddly at him.  "What are you up to,
witch?", he snarled at her.

"Ah, ah, ah", she wagged her finger at him.  "No interfering with the other competitors ... remember?"  With that, she turned and strolled away.

Brooklyn seethed, then stiffly turned and began to climb.

"Next on the platform is Brooklyn, of the American team.  This gargoyle may actually be able to beat Demona's mark *if* he can gain enough
distance.  His aerodynamic shape, clearly visible on the monitor, gives him extra maneuverability in the air ... but that may not be enough to
overcome that display of skill on the part of Demona.  He's at the platform ... "

Brooklyn exploded from the platform with the swiftness of a striking snake, his eyes fixed on an imagined Demona ahead of him. Smiling a feral
grin, he launched himself *upward*, away from the plank, gaining more altitude.

He quickly realized his mistake.  Already high atop the platform, the extra altitude brought him over the lip of the stadium's edge.  A strong sea
breeze almost tumbled him off the track before he dove beneath it.  He spread his wings as fast as he could, straining for every ... last ... inch ...

Far too soon, his talons touched the ground.  59 meters.

"Ouch!  Any idea what happened there, Hal?"

"Offhand, Jim, I'd say he was a little too tense.  That initial leap was a good idea, but he rose to far, too fast, bringing him into the turbulence coming
off the harbor.  His recovery dive saved him a disqualification, but probably cost him the medal."

Brooklyn groaned as his errors played out on the gigantic screen above the stands.  "Bad enough I fouled up", he muttered, "but doing it at 100
feet tall?"

"Don't let 'er get t'ya, lad", Hudson sighed from behind him.  "It's liable t'make ya take more foolish chances."

Brooklyn couldn't stop himself.  He turned to Hudson and snapped, "I can't let her just ... "

"Just what, lad?", answered Hudson mildly.  "She's done nothin', as yet.  An' if she does, ye're then allowed t'do whatever ye wish to her."  He
glared at Brooklyn.  "But not before."

"Got it", Brooklyn grumbled.  "But does she?"

"Our final competitor has now reached the platform, Lexington, of the American team.  The smallest of our competitors, he also has an unusual
sort of wing, similar in orientation to that of a flying squirrel.  It will be interesting to see how this affects his chances."

The answer was:  Badly  Unable to angle his wings in the same way as the others, Lexington stalled to a landing at 20 meters.


"Easy, big guy", soothed Elisa as Goliath's growl intensified, "we can't touch her until the games are over."

"I know", he responded in a tone like an angry cement mixer.  "But I do not like it.  Demona is always up to something.  I only wish that I could
understand what it was this time ... "



Demona turned, her face softening in shock as she saw Angela standing before her.  "My daughter ... "

The two embraced.  For a long moment, Demona forgot all that had been done to her, and simply reveled in her daughter's presence.

"Mother ... what are you up to?"

Demona's face fell.  Her embrace slackened.

"I do love you", Angela continued, "but ... "

"I know it is hard to understand", Demona sighed.  "It was hard for me, too, at first.  But it shall all become clear in time."

Angela gave a small, tentative smile, that trembled on her lips. "Oh, Mother ... "

"There, now", soothed Demona.  "Let us not argue today.  The humans", she said, her sarcastic tone showing through, "have declared this a day
of peace for longer than even I have been alive. Let us respect their wishes."

Angela nodded.  "Yes, Mother."  She turned.  "I must return to Broadway.  The medal ceremony is coming."

"I know, child", Demona smiled.  "I shall be there to accept the gold."

Angela smiled at her again ... and for one moment, Demona regretted what had to come, seeing her daughter proud of her, even for a human thing.
"I know."  She turned and leapt into the air, soaring back to the American side of the field.

*And Angela*, Demona thought, sadly, unable to say the words even to herself, *I love you.*


As the medal-awarding went smoothly on, even Demona standing still as the orchestra played, "Scotland the Brave", a single, shadowy figure
began opening a box in the storage room of the stadium ...

A heavy, metal-filled box marked, "Athletic Equipment" ...

... and began passing out the weapons inside.


The second event was only a demonstration, a gliding relay by the trio, and so went off smoothly.  Hudson, looking on, could only be glad Demona
had lost her clone clan.  He didn't think he could've stood seeing that fire-bright bogle of a clone gliding around the stadium.

Finally, the third event dawned.

The obstacle course.

Once the course had been set up, the four competitors were duly announced.

"For Scotland ... Demona!"

A ragged cheer went up from the small Scottish delegation in the UK team.

"For the United States ... Lexington!"

The cheers were much louder.  Everyone loved the underdog ... or at least who they *thought* was the underdog, Xanatos mused in the castle.
He'd seen the small gargoyle pull too many aerobatic feats to count anything against him now.


The cheers were even louder than before!  Brooklyn strutted out onto the field ... until he saw Demona waiting by the foot of the ladder.  Neither
spoke ... but his glower, and her mysterious grin, spoke well enough.

*What are you up to?*

*Wouldn't you like to know?*


The cheers weren't quite so loud.  Broadway blushed, remembering the crash in the first event.

Brooklyn turned to Lexington.  "Hey, Lex ... "


"If something happens during the race, Broadway and I'll take care of it.  You keep on racing."

"Why?", returned the smaller gargoyle.  "What's gonna happen?"

"I don't know", Brooklyn gritted through his beak.  "I've just got a ... a feeling, okay?  But no matter what happens, finish the race.  Got it?"

"Okay", Lexington shrugged.  "You're second in command."

"What?", came Demona's surprised snarl.  "You?  Why, you little ... "

"Ah, ah, ah", replied Brooklyn, echoing Demona's words back to her with a smile.  "No interfering with the competitors ... remember?"

"Competitors, to your places!"

Brooklyn stifled a chuckle as he began to climb.

"Our competitors for this event will be judged on both speed and accuracy in this event.  Starting from the platform, they must first negotiate a
set of narrow rings.  After a bank of spotlights gives them a thermal to rise on, they must then negotiate a series of spinning hurdles, with five
seconds counted off for impacts, as usual.  Then, dropping down low, they must approach a wall with more hot lights at its base, ride the thermal
over, then move in close to the ground for the final series of rings."

Brooklyn looked over at Demona, only to see her looking at the course with an expression he recognized from the days before she was named ...
before any of them were named.  A look that meant she'd found herself an unexpected challenge.

Brooklyn smiled.  He could tell Demona hadn't practiced. "Worried?"

Demona snapped her open mouth shut, and looked at him coolly. "Worried?  Ha."  Then she returned her gaze to the field.

*Yep*, Brooklyn mused, a smile tugging at his beak, *she's worried.*

The starter's gun almost caught them all by surprise, at that point. They were almost evenly matched through the rings, though Lexington came
out with a small lead over Demona's fluid turns. Brooklyn followed behind, with Broadway bringing up the rear. They all three circled for a few
moments above the hot lights.

Suddenly, they heard the sound of weapons fire!  Looking around, they could see the Quarrymen among the spectators had somehow gotten
hold of guns similar to those Demona had sometimes used, and had begun firing into the course!  The surrounding audience members were largely
huddled under their seats.

"I knew those humans couldn't keep their own traditions", smiled Demona.  Brooklyn ignored her.

"We'll handle it!", he cried.  "You finish the race!"

"But", stuttered Lex.

"That's an order!", roared Brooklyn as his eyes ignited and he launched himself at the attacking Quarrymen, Broadway close behind.

Lexington growled and turned ... to see Demona already zooming toward the rotors!  From his higher position in the thermal, he spilled altitude with
a twist of his wings, coming through only moments behind her.

Brooklyn piled into a Quarryman even as Goliath reached the fray. Far across the field, Brooklyn could see Angela emerging from the locker area
to join the battle.  He hoped she didn't, actually. Where Angela was involved, there was no telling what Demona might ...

A searing bolt of agony lanced through his left wing as a particle beam tore through the membrane!  With a roar of pain, Brooklyn went down to the
turf.  Looking up, he saw the Quarryman aiming his weapon for the killing shot ...

The report of a rifle arrived just as the Quarryman jerked away, struck by a high-velocity bullet.  Turning, Brooklyn could see a man running across
the field, firing as he went.

"Amazing, ladies and gentlmen!", the announcer was blathering. "That's John Phillips, medalist in the biathlon, who seems to have grabbed a rifle from
the locker rooms, and is defending the gargoyles!  And now", he added as further reports filled the air, "IOC security teams have surrounded the
remaining Quarrymen,
who are beginning to put down their weapons!  Truly, ladies and gentlemen, an amazing end to a terrible betrayal on the part of the Quarrymen!"

"That's right, Jim.  Never since the terrorist attack back in the '60's has a weapon been fired in anger at the Olympic games!  But this hasn't fazed
our competitors!  Look at them go!"

Indeed, Lexington had now closed the gap between himself and Demona, and was beginning to pull ahead as they swooped down the other side
of the wall toward the rings.  Behind him, he heard a scrape of stone and an angry curse as Demona was forced to drive her greater mass away
from the wall by physical force ... *5 seconds*, he automatically calculated.  *Now she'd have to beat me by 5 seconds.*

*And she won't.*

Remembering his practice, he skimmed the ground effect, sliding through the rings like water through a sieve as Demona's wings glanced from the
edges of several rings.  With only instants to spare, Lexington plosed into the ground beyind the finish line.

Lexington had won the medal!

The crowd went wild.


"Not bad, Demona."

Demona turned to see Brooklyn standing there, an odd smile on her face ... much, she reflected, like her own.  "Why, whatever do you mean?",
she replied smoothly, sipping her champagne at the winner's celebration.

"You knew the Quarrymen would show up, didn't you?"

Demona smirked.  "No, not really.  But it was likely."  She turned and took another cracker, then dipped it in the caviar.  "So, how many humans
did you have to rescue from their own kind?"


The cracher snapped in two.


"See, the other athletes actually saved *us*", Brooklyn continued, blithely ignoring Demona's shocked expression.  "Then security took over.  We
hardly did a thing."  He took a bite of a sandwich and swallowed.  "I should've stayed in the race", he mused aloud, looking at his bandaged wing.
"Would've saved me some pain."

"Yes", gritted Demona through a plastic smile.  "That might have been best."  She turned, her eyes flickering with her anger. Another missed
opportunity, ruined by some humans, to show Angela how much gargoyles didn't need them!  Of all the ...

"Oh, and Demona?"

Demona composed herself and turned back.  "Yes?"

"Good race."  Brooklyn held out his hand to be shaken.  Demona, after a moment, did so.  She'd already shaken Lexington's hand, after all.

Brooklyn held onto her for a moment, tightly.  "Just be gone before the closing ceremonies.  Okay?"

Demona considered pulling away ... but the look in his eyes warned against it.  "Of course", she replied.  "What makes you think I would stay
around here, with all these humans?"

Brooklyn released her hand.  "That's what I wanted to hear."

*Not a bad day*, he mused as she retreated into the crowd.  *I got a silver, Lex got a gold and a silver, Demona got a gold*, he snorted at that
thought, *and I do believe I've just ticked Demona off royally.*

*Life ... is good.*


Note: All images and stories presented here are used by permission of their creators and should not be re-posted
without like permission.