Character Spotlight -- Aiden Ferguson

by Christine Morgan
art by Ebony and Christi Smith-Hayden

Full Name: Aiden Morag Ferguson
Nickname: Fergs (from Birdie only)
Birthdate: March 3, 1979

Father: Kenneth Ferguson, professor of medieval studies, University of California at Irvine
Mother: Lady Finella, one-time betrothee of King Kenneth, foolish over Constantine
Other Family: "Aunt" Mary Bywell, Tom's mother
Grandmother: Morag, deceased.

Human -- Aiden is a petite thing, about 5' and 100 pounds soaking wet. She has fair skin, shoulder-length beige-blond hair, pale blue 
eyes, and a vaguely pixie/mousy cast to her features.
Gargoyle -- much the same, petite and slim, except that her skin color is light grey, she has webbed wings, and a pterodactylian crest sweeps back from the crown of her head.
Other: Aiden is never without a filigree heart-shaped necklace on a silver chain, a gift from Lex. She also often carries a "I (heart) NY" tote bag.

     When Mary and Finella bid farewell to Princess Katherine, the Magus, and Tom, their goal
was to keep the Grimorum away from Constantine. Avalon's interpretive answer to this was to send them forward in time, to the year 1976. They washed up by Castle Wyvern, where they
met Kenneth Ferguson, who was doing a research project on the castle.
     Aiden was born to Kenneth and Finella a few years later, after they sold the Grimorum to David Xanatos. A good student with an interest in history, Aiden eventually discovered the Internet and became pen-pals with Lexington (author's note -- this is an almost universal
thing in fanfic; just about everyone hooks Lex up with a girl via the 'Net <g>).
     In November of 1996, Kenneth Ferguson had the opportunity to speak at a seminar in
New York, and took the whole family along. Aiden wanted to meet Lex, arranging a time
and place in Central Park. This meeting changed her life forever.

     Aiden is quiet and shy, easily embarrassed, and quick to take any actual or perceived
blame for things that go wrong. She is convinced that she has the worst luck in the
universe and that she will never be as competent a sorceress as everyone expects. Low
self-esteem, nervous, wistful, and eager to please are all terms that suit her quite well. She
doesn't give herself enough credit, and isn't half the failure she thinks she is.

The Stories
Where You Need to Be --
    "Gosh, you don't look anything like I pictured you."
     When she arrives in Central Park, Aiden makes the mistake of letting a creep convince
her that he is Lex, but luckily for Aiden, the genuine article shows up and rescues her.
She overcomes her shock at finding out her friend is a gargoyle, but gets a new shock when
it turns out that Aunt Mary recognizes Lex, and vice versa.
     Eventually, everything is revealed about her mother's past. Aiden also finds out, thanks
to Owen, that a combination of factors including Finella's exposure to both the Magus'
magic and Avalon's have given her an innate sorcerous talent. Xanatos promptly makes
her an offer she can't refuse -- tuition and the chance to study magic in exchange for her

Sterling Silver --
    "I don't know what I just did, but I've got a bad  feeling!"
     Aiden is enrolled in the exclusive Sterling Academy, where she makes the acquaintance
of Birdie Yale and Professor Lennox MacDuff.
     On Aiden's 18th birthday, Owen gifts her with Hecate's Wand, a powerful magic item
that can only be used by a human sorceress. Much to Owen's concern, the first thing Aiden
does is to accidentally cast a love spell upon him and the dean of the Sterling Academy,
Cordelia St. John.

Double Date --
    "Um ... just stand there, and think about being a gargoyle."
     Aiden and Birdie go on a double-date with Lex and Broadway, attending the Scarlet
Angel Blue Moon Concert. For the occasion, Aiden uses Hecate's Wand to turn herself
and Birdie into gargoyles. The night goes well, letting them meet the band (including
Ebon, the amnesiac reformed Thailog) and battle some Quarrymen.

Future Imperfect --
    "It's not like I could just raise it overhead and cry *invoco*!"
     A scroll sends Aiden and Lex into a possible future, where they become caught up in
a conflict between Janine Xanatos (daughter of Alexander and Patricia) and Moray
MacLachlan (son of Demona and MacBeth). Aiden is given several terrifying glimpses
of things that may come to pass, including Elisa and Hudson's deaths at the hand of a
rogue Avalon gargoyle, Lex's maiming and subsequent cybernization, and the theft and
destruction of Angela's egg.

Lead Me Not ... --
     "Oh, boy, talk about rotten timing!"
     When Aiden is abducted and then rescued by Demona, she finds herself tempted by
Demona's knowledge of magic. But when the spell they're casting requires a virgin to
control the summoned unicorns ... the night _after_ Aiden and Lex become lovers, chaos
results and it takes the help of Lex, Birdie, and Broadway to set things right.

Menagerie --
    "I have the worst luck in the known universe."
     Aiden goofs again, this time using Hecate's Wand to accidentally transform everybody
else in the castle into animals. The situation is worsened when Petros Xanatos shows up
with his fiancee Lydia. To break the spell, Aiden, Birdie, and Lex wind up taking a trip
to Una and Leo's shop in London.

Xantasia --
    He snapped it open and showed her a silver ring set with a small but sparkly diamond.
"Will you marry me and be my mate? Now and forever?"
     A combination of science and sorcery let Aiden and Lex create the ultimate video
game; to celebrate, they go to Disneyland and are surprised by a visit from skiff-travelers Broadway and Elektra. Aboard the sailing ship Columbia, Lex finally pops the question.

Dear Diary --
     "One thing I'm not looking forward to is getting my wings pierced."
      From Aiden's point of view, this story chronicles her thoughts before, during, and
after she takes the big plunge and becomes a gargoyle.

Breeding Season --
     "Aiden looked like a top view of an opened umbrella, the poor lass barely able to get
her arms to her sides on account of how round her middle had gotten."
     Despite getting interrupted by Xanatos when he catches them on the ledge outside his
office window, Aiden and Lex produce two eggs which will eventually hatch into a male
and a female. She also rings in the New Year by dumping a huge amount of water on a mob attempting to storm the castle, although she immediately feels horribly guilty about it.

A sampling of other appearances:
     A Gargoyles Christmas Special -- Aiden joins Lex, Angela, and Brooklyn on a Christmas caroling expedition that takes them to visit both Demona and MacBeth.
     Mother's Day -- Aiden and Owen confront Demona and Titania on the grounds of the
Sterling Academy, where a mystical plant known as Lady's Veil grows.
     Black Roses -- Aiden's brush with an incubus gives her a naughty dream about playing "professor, I really need an A" with MacBeth.
     Love Machine -- Aiden is reluctantly dragged along to Elisa's wild bachelorette party.
     The Wedding -- Aiden showers the newlyweds with twinkling magic light instead of rice.
     Hotwire -- Aiden's enchanted writstwatches give Lex and Brooklyn disguises that let
them go barhopping, but she gets scolded by Xanatos later because the illusions don't
show up on film.

Upcoming appearances:
     At the moment, the author's plans around Aiden are fairly vague. She will most likely
have a role to play in the upcoming story Damien,  she may develop healing spells to
bring Claw out of his coma, and she will probably appear in the Guardians spin-off (a
series of stories set in the future, with Amber as an adult and the hatchlings as youngsters).

Random notes and thoughts:
     Aiden is one of my more borrowed characters. She has turned up in guest appearances
in several other authors' universes, usually with my foreknowledge and blessing (there have
been a couple of occasions when, upon hearing what another author had in mind for the
poor girl, I had to turn down the request).
    When Aiden first appeared, a lot of readers wondered if she was my Mary-Sue (translation: character strongly and often deliberately based on the author to allow vicarious wish-
fulfillment; said characters usually being just fantastic at everything but usually horribly
annoying to the reader; I've also heard this called "Kirk's Daughter" based on the large
number of suggestions and submissions the Trek people would get).
     Is Aiden my Mary-Sue? I seriously doubt it. Sure, she reminds me of my own insecure
teenage past, but that's more because I draw upon it to fuel her, not because I'm basing
her on me. Besides, Aiden hardly meets the other qualifications. Her success comes mostly through blind luck and the intervention of others.

Birdie Yale
    No mention of Aiden would be complete without something about her roommate,
best pal, bad influence, and all-around sassbox Birdie (who, for the record, is the first
one I think of whenever the Mary-Sue issue arises).

Name: Roberta Louise Yale
Nickname: Birdie

Father: Charles Winthrop Yale II
Mother: Lois Yale
Brother: Charles Winthrop Yale III, known as Chas (originally created by Christi
Smith-Hayden, along with his partner Eric).
Aunt: Margot Yale
Uncle by marriage: Brendan Vandermere

Human: Birdie is about 5'6 and full-figured, on the fine line between plump and fat, most
of her weight in her hips, tush, and chest. She has short black hair worn curly with a dyed burgundy blaze in the front. Her ears are multiply pierced, she has a ring in her navel, and
a tattoo of a rose where a low neckline can showcaseit. She favors and punk/Goth clothing,
mostly because it gets under her family's skin.
Gargoyle: when Aiden transformed her, Birdie became a rose-colored, bat-winged she-garg
(and as gargoyles don't have navels, one might wonder what became of that particular item
of jewelry).

Background and Personality:
     "Growing up in the shadow of my valedictorian prep-school golden boy big brother was
what did it."
     Birdie comes from a wealthy, blue-blooded family, and has devoted her life to not living
that way. Always a rebel, but smart enough never to do anything self-destructive, she thrives
on making her relatives crazy. The only ones she gets along with are Chas and Brendan (and
him not until after his adventures on the skiff and subsequent change of heart).
     She graduated from the Sterling Academy with a major in drama, after trying and
rejecting or being rejected by several other haughty/snotty schools. While there, she became
fast chums with Aiden and also developed a lusty crush on MacBeth.
     Birdie is flamboyant, mouthy, brash, brassy, disrespectful of authority, and rarely takes anything seriously. She is also fiercely loyal to her friends, an extremely talented voice
mimic, and very resilient -- no weirdness can stun her for long.
     Her car is an outward extension of herself, being a wild 70's Pepto-Bismal-pink Mustang;
she probably has a noddy dog in the back but this has never firmly been decided.
     Birdie dated Broadway for a while but broke off with him for fear of corrupting him and ruining him for the eventual nice lady-garg that was bound to come along. She's also been interested in 23rd Precinct heartthrob Rick Alvarez. She is currently sharing an apartment
with T.J. Lawton (Fox's illegitimate son), but their relationship has yet to be decisively

     Most of the time, Birdie appears alongside Aiden. Some exceptions would include:
     1.) Her finest moment, off-screen in The Pure and the Profane when Chas reported to
the clan how Birdie wound up getting arrested after knocking Aunt Margot into a
glass-topped table during an argument over gargoyles.
     2.) Hotwire, in which Birdie and T.J. Lawton steal a Quarryman van after kicking
up some dickens in a bar with Brooklyn and Lex.
     3.) Again with T.J. (and Chas), a rooftop confrontation with Jon Canmore and her
smartass revenge involving a photo of him with a Snidely Whiplash moustache and a word-balloon reading "Curses! Foiled again!"

Upcoming appearances:
     At the moment, the author is wrestling with the horrible temptation to make Birdie
even more Mary-Sue-like by letting her indulge one of the author's personal fantasies
involving the author's runner-up Gargoyles universe hunk, MacBeth. If so, this will take
place in The Scottish Rogue, a story due to be written in January of 1999.
     The author is also toying with an idea that would have T.J. use his technomagic
powers to bring Godiva back online, and then Birdie would use the Xantasia program
to remote-control her and they could go crime-fighting together. But this is silly, and
will never happen ... probably ... maybe ... well ... we'll see.

Random notes and thoughts:
     Of all my characters, I think Birdie and Gustav Sevarius get the best lines (with a few memorable exceptions, like Jericho and Brooklyn's "as above, so below" exchange).
     I used Birdie to shamelessly promote my own book once, in Lead Me Not ... when she refers to elves' ears <g>.
     More Mary-Sue things can be found in Birdie's liking of Red Dwarf. Mostly, though,
I did that just so I would have somebody to make the "smoke me a kipper" remark
about Griff in The Wedding.