Soul of Stone (Part Two)

by Robby "Mr. Noying" Bevard

Gargoyles and all the characters from the show still belong to Disney, much as I wish they were mine.  However,
Nikkie, Kelsi, and Vincent are original characters, so they belong to me and Margaret Demona May Stephens,
who drew them and created Kelsi.  You can’t see their pictures yet, but you will someday!  The continent of
Australia is not copyrighted to the best of my knowledge, so I don’t think I’ll get in any trouble for using it.  But
if somehow it is, I’m acknowledging it here.

A special thanks once again goes to Philip Jacobs for all the proofreading and editing he’s done to help this story out,
and for providing the inspiration to actually edit the darned thing into the better story it is now!

Previously on Gargoyles...

“So Goliath, when do we go on our world tour?” -Brooklyn
     -at the prospect of meeting female gargoyles in “Turf”

* * *

“So old enemy, it ends between us at last.  Almost a shame it was this easy.” Demona raised the brick into the air,
and brought it crashing down on Brooklyn’s left wing.

    “I don’t understand Brooklyn.  First you act upset because you can’t fly, and now you’re upset because you can?
I’m confused.”
    “It’s not that simple Lex.  It’s just that...  I don’t know.  It just doesn’t feel right.  It’s not flying naturally, and that’s
what I miss.  I thought it was just flight, but it’s not.  I just...  I can’t explain it.”
     “Well, okay Brooklyn.  Whatever.  The way I see it, you should be happy.  You can do stuff we could only hope
to do.  If you figure out what you don’t like, feel free to tell me.”
    Was there a hint of anger is Lexington’s voice?  Or perhaps disappointment?  Brooklyn let it slide.
     The lonely one actually knew why he did not like the suit, but there was no way he could tell anyone, not even Lex.
The reason being he knew how stupid he must look to everyone.  If Brooklyn had understood the others did not care
about how he was getting about, he would have realized they were all his friends, and more to the point, his family.

    But rather than stop on Avalon and meet all of Angela’s rookery brothers and sisters,  Brooklyn merely cast off,
and was sent to a place where his life would change drastically.
     -Soul of Stone:  Part One

* * *

     It was still very dark, and in the middle of the night.  Wherever Brooklyn was, it was nearly half a world away from Manhattan, since he had left shortly before sunrise.   He noted that he would gain more hours of night this way...
    The second thing he noticed was the wildlife.  To his left, he saw a nearly clear field, with kangaroos hopping about.
To his right, he saw strange and unusual creatures, ranging from Koalas to giant frilled lizards.  The area was almost
jungle like.  Brooklyn realized where he must be.
    "I'm in Australia...  That or a really big nature park somewhere.  So,  this is where I need to be huh?  Okay, so that
leaves the second question, WHY am I here?"  Brooklyn decided the best thing to do would be to explore. He  glanced
back to his right, and saw nothing but nearly clear field for miles.  The way Brooklyn figured it, there probably was
nothing there.  The jungle to  his left looked much more promising.  Almost as soon as Brooklyn thought of  this, he
was off the Avalon skiff and exploring.

     After nearly half an hour of fruitless exploration, Brooklyn started wondering if he had gone the right way.  As he
thought about how stupid his entire plan was, he realized complaining was pointless.  After all, it was he who had just
jumped across the world.  As he understood it, Avalon had no ability to set things up, it just sent you where you
needed to be.  Distracted by his thoughts, Brooklyn didn't notice that he was being followed.

     After an hour of aimless wondering, Brooklyn was about fed up.  Was there any point?  He was accomplishing as
little here as he did at home.  He started back to the skiff, when he heard a low rumbling growl.  The sound triggered a
reflexive response from his mind.  "Bronx?"  After his initial reaction, he realized it could not be Bronx.  But there was
only one creature he knew of that made that kind of sound.  And that was a gargoyle canine.  The snow haired gargoyle
started scanning for a large animal, or at least a place big enough to hide one.  But before he found the canine,
something large jumped on his back, knocking him to the ground.
     Brooklyn struggled to get up, but the weight of the creature was too much. As the watchbeast growled at him, a
plan popped into his head.  Brooklyn's hand went up, right under the canine's nose.  And the canine smelled it.
    Suddenly, the growling stopped, and the weight got off Brooklyn's back.
     "That actually worked?  Must be my lucky night..."  The canine was  convinced he was not an enemy, and that was
a relief to Brooklyn.  As he got  up, Brooklyn received his first clear look at the creature.  It was a female doggoyle,
with a reddish pink color.  The head was almost dragon like, with a small crest, and a neck somewhat longer than
Bronx's.  As Brooklyn stared at the canine, a smile crept accross his beak. He knew this was why he was here.
    A canine gargoyle meant other gargoyles to take care of it.  And since that was the case, Brooklyn decided to let
the canine lead the way to the other gargoyles.
     As he followed the canine, Brooklyn wondered what her name was, or if she even had a name.  He did not bother
saying any guesses out loud, he would know the answer soon enough.  After a short while, the canine started running.
Brooklyn's best guess at the sudden change of pace was that she had the scent of home.  After about five minutes of
running, the canine let out a loud howl.
    After the howl came a voice.  A female voice.
    "There you are Kelsi!  Where have you been?  I've been worried sick that..." She stopped talking as she stepped
out of the bushes and saw  Brooklyn.  Her jaw dropped, and she managed to stutter, "You're a gargoyle..."
     She was a fairly young gargoyle, about Brooklyn's age he guessed.   (Not counting his thousand year stone nap,
anyway.) Her  skin matched his own for hue, though her hair was a darker brown to his white.
      She wore a one piece yellow outfit with two stripes on each side.  She bore black arm and leg bracelets, as well
as the traditional female gold arm band. Her face was nearly human, and to Brooklyn, she was beautiful.
     However, at that point, anything that didn't look like five miles of bad road would have been beutiful to Brooklyn.
And in this case...  Perhaps a chance at female companionship?
     After this quick examination, Brooklyn noticed the look on her face was one of near amazement, and he knew he
had to do something to break the stunned silence.  He held out his right arm.
     "My name is Brooklyn."  She grabbed his wrist, and he grabbed hers.  The traditional greeting among gargoyles.
     "I’m Nikkie.  Besides Kelsi here, I'm the only  gargoyle here.   Where did you come from?"  Suddenly, Nikkie
noticed Brooklyn's handicap.  "And what happened to your wing?"
     "It's a long story.  Uh, Nikkie was it?  You might want to sit down for this, I'm not kidding, it's a really long story."
     Brooklyn spent hours recapping what had happened to him over the last few years.  Nikkie learned about the
curse that froze him and the others of his clan in stone for a thousand years.  She learned how a rich man named
Xanatos had gone from a friend to an enemy, and back to a friend.  She learned about Elisa Maza, and of Puck,
and the dozens of other adventures Brooklyn's life held.  She learned of how Demona smashed Brooklyn's wing,
and how he came to be here.
     "That is amazing.  But you left something out."
     "And how would you know?  You weren't there."  Brooklyn and Nikkie were already on good terms.  So much
so, that they were already capable of playfighting.
     "Well, there's one thing that stands out.  How you spoke of Maggie Reed."  A slight look of shock covered over
Brooklyn's face.  Nikkie knew this meant she was right.  "You were in love with her, weren't you?"
    What could Brooklyn do?  Nikkie had him pegged.  So he gave the only answer he could.  "Yes."
     "I feel sorry for you.  And it's the same deal for Angela isn't it?"
    This time, a look of complete shock swept over Brooklyn.  Never in the entire  year Angela was there, had his
friends and family seemed to notice his  feelings for her.  And Nikkie knew without ever even seeing Angela.
    "Don't  worry.  I won't hold it against you."  She smiled at this, as if she also knew the feelings Brooklyn was
already starting to develop for her.
     "Well Nikkie, knowing my story sure seems to have helped you figure me out. I'd say it's your turn."
     "Fair enough.  But not tonight.  Tomorrow.  If you didn't notice, the sun is about to rise."
     "Huh?  Hmm, time flies when..."  Brooklyn did not finish his thought as the sun rose, freezing all three gargoyles
in stone. If he had been able to look at her, he would have seen she was smiling.
     Three roaring yawns cried out into the night as the sun set.  The  gargoyles were awake once more.  However, both Brooklyn and Nikkie were a little surprised to see the other there, for last night could have just been a dream. But
clearly, it was not. They accepted the fact very quickly, and within a matter of seconds, they had both reoriented on
the truth.  Brooklyn  was there, and he was going to stay.  Brooklyn was the first to talk.
     He absently started up the note he had stopped on.  "You're having fun." He looked at the girl again, and grinned
with an almost sinister smile.  His friends would have known what that meant, but Nikkie had no clue.  "It's your
turn now.  I told you my story last night.  Now you get to tell me why you and Kelsi are the only gargoyles here."
     "Right.  Well, forgive me if I'm not too clear on this, I have never had  to actually tell this tale to anyone before.  If
I miss a few aspects, forgive me."  She smiled again.  Brooklyn noticed she smiled a lot.  Despite whatever sadness the impending tale would reveal, Nikkie had a bright spirit.  He liked that.  "Well, here it goes.  I guess I should start by
mentioning the problem."
     "As long as I've been alive, there has been this one gargoyle, and he is pure evil.  But no one ever seemed to notice
except me.  See, my clan used to be very large, nearly fifty gargoyles.  But this evil gargoyle, Vincent, well, besides
being evil, he has one trait that sets him apart from all other gargoyles."
     Brooklyn's interest was turned on.  "Wait a minute.  Fifty gargoyles?   What happened to them all?  What made
Vincent different?"
     "I'm getting to that.  You see, Vincent...  Well, he doesn't turn to stone during the day.  It's not like your...
Demona.  He doesn't turn human,  he simply doesn't turn to stone.  I don't know why.  He just never did, unless he
wanted to, to heal wounds or something.  Anyway, one night, our clan was just going about peacefully, when suddenly somebody upset Vincent.   I don't know what exactly, I haven't had anyone else to talk to.  Vincent got  real mad
that night.  And he killed the gargoyle that had upset him.  Her name... isn't important.  But what happened is, after he
killed her, he was banished from the clan.  What nobody thought of though, was the fact that he  didn't turn to stone."
     "And he smashed them all the next day?"  A silent nod told Brooklyn he was right.  "But how did you..."
     "I went wondering that night, looking for Kelsi when the sun rose.  The next night, when Kelsi and I returned, the
entire clan was destroyed.  Fifty gargoyles, for no reason...  And I know it was Vincent because we've met several
times since.  He brags about how he destroyed them all, but he claims to regret none of them was as fun as the first
one he killed."  At this point, Nikkie's eyes glowed a bright red.  She was clearly mad.
     "The first one he killed, that night, she was important to you wasn't she?"
     "She was my mother Brooklyn.  She was my mother."  Nikkie's eyes stopped glowing, and she was crying.  Nikkie
pressed up against Brooklyn and just cried.  The fact that Nikkie had known her parents and called them as much
signified to Brooklyn just one of the differences this Australian clan had from his own.  But he did not mention this, it
was not an appropriate moment.
    He let Nikkie cry, though it pained him a bit to watch her do so.
     Time had passed since Nikkie's tale, though neither was quite sure how  long. Brooklyn had stopped keeping track
after the first week.  Both Brooklyn and Nikkie knew they were falling in love.  They had so much in  common, they
could have been rookery brother and sister.  It was only a  matter of who admitted their love first, and when.  On this
day Brooklyn and  Nikkie were scavenging for berries.  They had to eat after all, and neither one felt like killing for food.
     While foraging, they played games, and  talked, and had fun overall. Brooklyn would occasionally regale Nikkie with
a story about his rookery brother Broadway and his constant quest for the perfect meal.  Nikkie told a few stories about
her own clan, while pointing out the high energy foodstuffs in the area needed to maintain a gargoyle’s high metabolism.
It was not the flavored food of Manhattan, but it tasted interesting to Brooklyn all the same.  But the food never held his attention for long.    Most of the time, his attention was focused solely on Nikkie.  She noticed how he looked at her
every now and then, and would blush a darker shade of red.  Brooklyn would in turn go a slightly redder hue, and then
they would both pretend it had not happened.
     Something neither one noticed was that Nikkie never flew.  She stayed landbound because of Brooklyn's wing, but
they simply didn't notice her imposed restriction.  It was while picking berries that a voice came from behind Brooklyn.
     "Can it be I actually missed one?  No.  After all this time Nikkie discovered another one.  Amazing."
    Brooklyn spun around to see a gargoyle  in front of him.  He had an almost horse-like head, but with some lizard
features too.  He wore an open vest, and the typical gargoyle loin cloth which was made to make way for a gargoyle's
tail.  He was big too, almost as big as Goliath.  But from what he said, he could only be one person.
    An odd look came into the white gargoyle's eye. "Well stranger, it appears you have me at a disadvantage.  You know who  I am, but I have never seen you before.  You don't look like an Australian gargoyle.  Scottish perhaps?"
     "How did you know I' m from Scotland?  I don't have an accent..."
     "Are you going to give me your name or not?"
     "The name is Brooklyn."
     "Brooklyn?"  A hint of recognition sparked at the mention of that name.
     "What do you want?"
     "Oh, absolutely nothing. From you.  Her however, I want dead."
     Nikkie was clearly upset about Vincent being there, though Kelsi made no move against him.  "Evil one, leave me be."  Nikkie's eyes glowed red as she said this.
     "Oh, but I haven't done anything to you now have I?"
     "You destroyed my clan!"
     "Yes, and it wasn't nearly as much fun as I thought it would be. A victim that isn't stone however....  that might be
fun.  Don't you think so Brooklyn?"
     Brooklyn's eyes took on their own white glow.  "Leave her alone!"
     "I'm on your bad side now as well?  Hmm...  Not my best day for making  new friends I suppose.  But then, you
aren't exactly new are you Brooklyn?"
     The puzzled look that crossed Brook's face showed a bit of confusion,  but not much.
    "Oh well, I'll be leaving now.  You, Brooklyn, are an  interesting addition I must admit, and one I was not ready for.
It's a shame really.  I would have destroyed Nikkie and Kelsi quickly, but you being here prolongs their wait.  Really is a shame.  Bye now!"  And with that,  Vincent took off.
     It was nearly an hour later into the night when Nikkie brought up her  idea.
    "Brooklyn, I know you were sent here because you need to be here, but could we leave?  Tonight?  Vincent is still
nearby, and he could destroy us come sunrise.  I mean, what if you were just sent here to get Kelsi and I?"
     "That's not a bad idea at all.  And this time we could just stop at Avalon, and then do whatever.  I don't like staying
here to die either, I've  already been lucky once."  Brooklyn looked at his shattered wing to make a  point.
    "So we're agreed?  Brooklyn, that's wonderful!"  Nikkie bent forward and hugged him.  They both smiled, and
Brooklyn hugged her back.
     "Well, the skiff should be off in that direction, because that IS where I left it.  Come on."
     The moon was a bit lower in the sky, and Brooklyn, Nikkie, and Kelsi were just a few minutes from the skiff.
However, someone else had found their transport.  Whoever it was, they were wearing a bright metallic silver armor
that almost shone with light.  The three gargoyles headed in that direction cautiously.  They all jumped back when the
stranger greeted them.
     "I was wondering how long it would be before you flyin' wombats showed up."
     Brooklyn could not believe it.  Could it actually be....  "Dingo?"
     "That's me all right mate.  I found your boat a few days back and  recognized it.  I decided to stick around, knowing
you had to come back sooner or later."
     "So what Goliath told me IS true.  You joined with that computer virus."
     "Well, it's not really a virus right enough.  It's more of a... Partner.” Dingo’s attention turned to the others.  “Say,
those two are new aren't they? And what are you doin' here anyway mate?"
     "And why would you be doing that?" Dingo questioned.
     "A piece of bad news on the loose named Vincent, and he's out to cause trouble," Brooklyn replied in monotone.
     "I see.   But still, what are you doing..." Then Dingo's attention was caught by something.  "Crikey!  Your wing!
What happened?"
     "It's a long story Dingo.  But before I tell you, let me introduce  Nikkie and Kelsi."
     Nikkie spoke for the first time.  "Hello."  Kelsi made a growl of  affection.
     "Well mates, I got the time.  Do you?"  They gave him Nikkie's story, and when he learned what had happened, he
agreed to take watch for the day.  It was about then that his computer Legion talked to him.  He listened intently, and then relayed the message.  "Brooklyn, my computer says it might be able to fix your wing.    DNA scanners and all that.  It
is after all, the most advanced computer on the bloody planet."
     Despite the danger of Vincent lurking about, this had the red gargoyle’s full attention.  "Really?  Let's give it a shot!"
     "All right, but it will have to be durin' the day while you blokes are sleeping in stone."
     "Not a problem, I'm not doing anything then anyway."  Brooklyn smiled at his bad joke.
     The night was almost over by the time they were ready.  A portion of Dingo's suit leapt off Dingo and surrounded
the problem area in Brooklyn's  wing, and filled it exactly.
     "Remember mate, I'm not guaranteeing anything, Legion is just going  to take it's best shot at it."
     "I know.  Sure you'll be okay in your regular armor?  I mean, if Vincent attacks?"
     "As I recall, I was able to handle your entire clan before I even got  this suit.  I think I can hold off one gargoyle for
a day in this.  Good luck mate, you'll probably need it."
     Brooklyn would have pointed out that wasn't entirely true, but he was in  too gracious a mood.  "Thanks."  Then
the sun rose, and three gargoyles turned to stone.
     Dingo watched, fascinated.  His computer was analyzing Brooklyn's right wing, and recreating the DNA to match
on the broken left wing.  It was a slow process, for even the most advanced computer on Earth had trouble copying
DNA while it was stone.  But it did.  And as the hours passed, the breaks in Brooklyn's wing grew smaller.  It looked
like the process was working.  It was then that Dingo heard a voice.
     "So you can fix a broken gargoyle eh?  There are quite a few others you could take a stab at."
     "Can I assume you're Vincent?"
     "My name seems to be getting around these days.  How odd.  But then, I suppose ANY friend of Brooklyn's would
know about me.  Still, your device had better work fast, since these three will really be in pieces in a moment."
     "Not while I'm on watch they won't be."
     "Do you really think you can handle me, human?"
     "I've taken down worse than you before."
     "Then I'd say you're willing to fight." The white gargoyle never raised  his voice.  It was an almost questioning tone,
as though he were only curious about the situation, or that it did not concern him.
     The armored man answered.  "Well, I'm certainly not going to stand by and let you harm these three.  You'll have to
kill me before I let ya."
     "Very well human.  You made your choice."  Vincent looked down, then up,  and leapt at Dingo.
    Dingo dodged  easily, he was used to this sort of thing.   The ex-Pack member took aim at Vincent with his arm gun,
and fired.  The shot missed.  Vincent let out a loud growl.  His eyes glowed briefly, then returned to normal.  He swung
at Dingo with his tail, and missed.  Dingo however, landed a punch to Vincent's jaw.  Vincent flew backwards, and
skidded in the dirt.
    "That hurt."
    "Serves you right you bloody flying wombat!"
     "Flying?  Oh, I had almost forgotten I could do that.  Thanks for the reminder."  Vincent quickly jumped to the top of
a tree, and shot downward at a blazing speed trying to hit Dingo.  He connected, and shot back up.  Dingo fell to the
ground, and then got up.
     "So that's the game you want to play eh?  Well I can do that too!"   Dingo's armor activated, and he took off.  He
shocked Vincent by flying, and  caught him by surprise.  Vincent was now in a hold.  "Well mate, the way I see it,
you can either go away, or you can deal with all four of us in about an  hour. What will it be?"
     "I don't give up easily human.  There is still an hour, and it only takes a few seconds to damage one of those statues.
I think I'll stay and take my chances."  With that, Vincent grabbed Dingo's arms, and flipped him over. Dingo didn't go
far as he was flying.  The move did throw Vincent off since he was relying on wind current.  But within seconds, he
regained control of his flight.  By the time he had however, he was in Dingo's sights again, and five shots were coming
at him.  Three blasts hit the horse-faced gargoyle, and he fell out of the sky.
     Dingo went to the ground, and saw Vincent was unconscious.  Almost instantly, the creature began turning to stone.
    "Crikey.  Can't wait 'till the others wake up."
     The sun set.  Brooklyn, Nikkie, and Kelsi awoke from their stone sleep  with their roaring yawns.  They immediately
saw Vincent, who was still in his stone state.
     "What happened?"
     "He attacked.  I beat him.  He got hurt and...  Turned to stone.  Is he dead?"  Dingo wondered.
     Brooklyn was a bit solemn.  "I don't know.  I've never had experience  with gargoyles who don't turn to stone
during the day other than Demona.  And this is... just different.  Since we heal when we're stone, he might do the same
thing whenever he's hurt."
     "Or knocked out?"
     "I guess.  Still, I think we should tie him up.  In chains or something. We can't take chances.  Despite the fact that
we're leaving, he could still  be a problem...."
     At that point, Nikkie piped up. "Brooklyn!"
     "Your wing!  It's fixed!"
     "Huh?"  Brooklyn looked to his wing.  It was healed.  A bit sore, and it felt strange, perhaps heavier than before,
but healed.  "I don't believe it! It worked!  But where is your computer?"
     "Right where it should be mate.  I was so busy fighting Vincent there I hadn't even noticed it had fallen off ya.  Now,
if I tell it to, it should return."  Even as Dingo spoke, the liquid metal surrounded him, returning his armor to the advanced
state it had been in the night before.  "So mates, what are you going to do now?  He's captured, and I can protect ya
during the day. You could stay in Australia.  For awhile at least.  Though I suppose you probably want to return to your
friends now that you're healed."
     Brooklyn looked at Nikkie.  "Is there anything left you want to finish before we try Avalon?"
     "As a matter of fact Brooklyn, there is."  They both looked at Dingo.
    "Oh, you go ahead mates. Me and your dog here will look after the stone horse here.  Do what you need to do."
     So Brooklyn followed Nikkie as they ran to a place Brooklyn had not yet been.
     "Where are we?" Brooklyn asked as he looked around.  The area was strewn with stones, and some oddly shaped
     "The place where my clan was smashed."
     "Oh, I'm sorry, I didn't mean...."
     "It's okay Brooklyn.  I just want to grab something before we leave...  I didn't get it before because I wasn't sure.
     "Sure about what?"
     "This!"  Nikkie bent over and moved a cluster of rocks.  She pulled out a metal head piece and some blue cloth.
"Put it on."
     "Just do it."  Brooklyn obeyed and slipped everything on.  He put the  metal headpiece above his brow but in front
of his horns.  The blue fabric he slipped his arms and wings through.  Then he tucked it into his loin cloth.
    "It looks good on you. Not quite the same as it did on dad though.  His skull wasn't quite as elongated."
     "But it DOES look good on you."
     "Yeah, it's nice.  But what is it?"  Brooklyn's now puzzled tone was understandable.
     "Well, you know the tradition where these bracelets are passed from mother to daughter when the daughter reaches
maturity?"  Nikkie pointed to the gold band on her right arm.
     "Um, no....  In my clan, we didn't focus much on parents.  We were  raised by the whole clan.  But we have something
similar.  The females of my  clan did get bands when they hit a certain age, but it wasn't specific  between parent and child."
     "Oh."  That killed the moment.  "Well, this is an Australian gargoyle tradition.  The male gargoyle takes the father's outfit
when his daughter chooses a mate...."
    Brooklyn didn't question how that would leave the parent without clothes, as a look of slight surprise swept over his face. Nikkie had finally said it out loud.  She wanted Brooklyn to be her mate.
     "Does this mean...."
     "But we've only known each other for...."
     "Don't you feel the same way?"  It was then Brooklyn realized it was a  moot point as to how long they had spent
    Nikkie leaned forward and kissed Brooklyn on the beak.  "You don't have to wear the outfit, but the head piece looks
good on you...."
     "No, I'll wear the entire thing.  What else can I do?  I love you...."   He kissed her.  It was somewhat awkward with
his beak, but they made it work.
     They finally got back to Dingo.  When they did, Vincent was completely  tied up in vines.
     "They're not chains mate, but they should hold him until you decide to leave. Like the look by the way."
     "Thanks.  So Nikkie, what are we going to do?"
    "Well, I'd still like to stay another night or two.  Vincent isn't a threat anymore, so we could just stay here.  But I
would like to go meet other gargoyles....  How about for one more night?  There's still one last place I'd like to show
       "Fine by me mates.  I'll be stayin' here either way.  I don't mind the company for another night."
       "Then we're agreed.  So Nikkie, where's this last place you want to show  me?"
        Before they even arrived Brooklyn could hear the water splashing.  And splashing water could mean only one thing.  "You're taking me to a waterfall aren't you?"  He looked at her affectionately, he knew wherever she was leading, it was
a special place to her.  And when they arrived, Brooklyn could see why.  It was jungle, just like everything else, but the
formations of stone and plants created a majestic waterfall that poured into a lake, like something from out of the Lion
King.   If the place had been described to him, he never would have understood how spectacular it was. "This is amazing.
Why doesn't the lake overflow?"
     "I don't know actually.  I think it drains at the bottom somewhere, at  about the same speed the water falls.  Does it
     "Yes actually."
     "I had to know if it was safe to do THIS!"  And without warning, Brooklyn pushed Nikkie into the water.  She gave
out a yell as a huge splash came up around her.  She came up, completely soaked, and stared at Brooklyn.
     "That wasn't very funny."
     "It wasn't supposed to be.  I just wanted you to get wet first."
     "Because then you wouldn't mind when I sprayed you while doing a triple  back flip cannonball."
     "Ah, forget it."  Brooklyn took of his new head piece and laid it down,  and then he jumped in, creating a huge spray
as promised.  Fun and games soon commenced.  But the place did seem to be magical, and full of love.  Time passed
quickly.  It was all too soon before the sun was only minutes away from rising.
     "Guess we should get out of the water huh?"
     "Before we sink to the bottom for a day?  Probably a good idea."  They  both got out of the lake, and Brooklyn put
his head piece back on.  They did  not mind being wet, they would dry out during the day.  For now, they just enjoyed
the moment.  Brooklyn stood tall, and folded his wings around Nikkie, and she pressed up against him.
     "I love you Brooklyn."
     "Same here.  And you were right.  It WAS worth staying an extra night for this.  But tomorrow night we'll try to head
back to Manhattan.  If we get lucky, you'll get to meet the others real quick."  Nikkie looked at him, and smiled.  Then
she laid her head across his shoulder, still surrounded by his wings and they turned to stone.
     As always, they did not notice the passage of day.  It was only a matter of seconds to them before they awoke.  It
was interesting for them when they broke out of stone, their shards hit each other.
     "We're going to have to remember to not do that too often," Brooklyn straight faced.
     "Right.  But we can worry about that in Manhattan."  Nikkie gave her usual smile.  Suddenly, her smile faded as a
piercing whine overpowered the  sound of the waterfall.  Brooklyn knew the sound, it was a laser blast.   Before he or
Nikkie realized what was happening, she had collapsed to the ground.  Then Vincent's voice covered the background splashing.
     "I could have just smashed you.  But I've learned that is no fun at all.  So I decided to wait and make you suffer.  She
should be dead well before sunrise."
     Brooklyn looked at Nikkie.  It was true, she was hardly breathing.  The shot had gone right through her left wing,
then it grazed her arm and went through her chest.  The damage was nothing serious for a gargoyle, Brooklyn had
taken similar blows before, and being stone would fix her up immediately. But sunrise was a full night away, and Nikkie
would lose far too much blood by then to be saved.  On top of that, there was nothing around to fix her wounds.
    To make things even worse, Vincent was right there.  Then Brooklyn looked closer and noticed Vincent was wearing
Dingo's glove.
     "What did you do to Dingo?"
     "Beat him senseless.  He was easy to defeat, he was tired after you kept  him up for two days.  And your dog was
stone.  The only real problem was that THING joined with him.  It did it's best.  But don't worry, I didn't kill him. And
I won't kill you either Brooklyn.  I need you to live for a while yet."
     "You should be very afraid of me right now."
     "And why is that?"
     "Because I am going to KILL YOU."  Brooklyn's eyes glowed with fury.
     "All right then, give me your best shot 'friend'."  Vincent flashed an  evil grin, filled with sharp teeth.
      And that was his mistake.  Brooklyn was  so filled with rage, he was upon Vincent faster than he normally could
have been. He punched Vincent rapidly, knocking him back nearly five times before  either of them knew what was
     "If she dies, I will tear you limb from limb.  And if she doesn't, you'll still pay for hurting her."  Brooklyn's eyes shone
so brightly, Vincent was almost blinded.  The red gargoyle grabbed the white by the throat and lifted him in the air with
one arm, and then threw him.  Vincent hit the ground and skidded.  "Don't bother turning to stone this time.  I will smash
you.  There is no way you will not pay for your crimes."
     "And what about your own crimes Brooklyn?"
     "I've never murdered another gargoyle."
     "Oh really?  I find THAT difficult to believe.  I think you have it in  you to kill me right now if I anger you enough."
     "I'm not a murderer, you are.  But I'm prepared to make an exception now."
     "Do your best.  Kill me, or I will kill you."  Vincent's eyes glowed now, he wasn't going to give up easily, especially
after a string of taunts like that.
    He lunged at Brooklyn, who easily dodged.  Brooklyn grabbed his  arm, pulled off Dingo's glove, and threw it away
from them.  Vincent might  well have been suicidal, as he could easily see the rage in Brooklyn's eyes. The white gargoyle
lunged for Brooklyn again, and tore at his cloth.  It ripped on one side, but the attack had put Vincent to Brooklyn's side.
The beaked gargoyle raised his arm, and slammed it against the back of Vincent's head. He had never been this violent
before, and in fact, few gargoyles had. But few had ever been this mad.
     Brooklyn grabbed Vincent again, and threw him.  Then he stomped on his  back. Vincent was losing terribly.  With a
final surge of energy, Vincent  threw the attacking gargoyle off his back, and hit him in the head.  Brooklyn  fell, dazed.
 Vincent got to Dingo's glove, and put it on.  Brooklyn had  gotten up, and was headed toward him, eyes at full glow.
Vincent took aim, and shot at Brooklyn's head.  The red gargoyle fell.
     Vincent went to see if his enemy was dead.  When he arrived, he saw the shot had only hit Brooklyn's headpiece.
There was now a large dent on the right side, but Brooklyn should be fine.  Vincent realized this too late. It was mere
moments before Brooklyn took him down permanently.
     "It's what you earned.  Murderer.  And I don't care if that is what I am now.  You didn't deserve to live."
     "That may well be true.  I knew you had it in you to kill me.  I saw the look in your eyes.  You are exactly as I
remember you old friend."
 "What are you talking about?"
     "YOU DON'T REMEMBER!  Well then, I suppose this only proves my point." Vincent began laughing a low chuckle,
and it kept going until his life ended.
    When Vincent stopped breathing, Brooklyn's eyes stopped glowing.  He wondered what Vincent was talking about.
WHAT did he not remember?  Had he met Vincent before?  But these questions were shoved aside as shock came over
    His burst of energy and anger suddenly faded as he went over to Nikkie.  She was dead.  He raised his head into the air,
and yelled, with tears streaking down his face.
     Dingo awoke to find a piece of his armor was missing.  He also saw  Brooklyn had removed his new wardrobe.  In
the distance, he saw Nikkie on the ground. "What happened mate?"
     "She's dead.  But justice was served."  Brooklyn walked over to Nikkie,  and placed his head piece on top of her.
"Dingo, could you bury her?  I  couldn't do it."
     "Of course, mate.  Are you going to leave now?"
     "Yes.  Come on Kelsi."  Kelsi followed him to the skiff and climbed it. Before Brooklyn took off, he said one last
thing to Dingo.  "Dingo, I can't thank you enough for what you've done.  You fixed my wing, saved my life, and now
you're doing the one thing I can't."
     "Don't mention it.  Maybe we'll get together again some time."  Dingo stopped for a moment.  "You flyin' wombat."
     It was some time after the two gargoyles had left that Dingo prepared to handle the job Brooklyn had asked of him.
But Nikkie was nowhere to be seen.
    And off in the distance, through the jungle, Dingo could swear he heard laughter...
     Brooklyn did not stop at Avalon as he had planned.  He just wanted to go wherever else Avalon decided he had to
go.  To his surprise, he saw Manhattan's skyline.
     "First time, I don't believe it."  He and Kelsi climbed to the top of a building.  He grabbed Kelsi, and glided in the
direction of the Erie building.
    He was silent when he got there.  Nobody had noticed him, but suddenly, Bronx seemed to pick up a scent.  He let
out a loud bark.  The others, Goliath, Hudson, Angela, Lexington and Broadway all looked in Bronx's direction to
see what the fuss was about.  When a red canine came from nowhere, they were all shocked.  Lexington was the first
to ask.
     "Well, where did you come from?"
     "Australia."  They all looked in Brooklyn's direction.  They saw his wing was healed, and he was home.  It was not
until later that they would  notice he was different.  Quieter, and sad somehow.  Brooklyn would not tell  them what
had happened for a long time, and they understood.
     It was nearly a week later, and Brooklyn was talking to Angela.
    "Have I apologized yet for the way I acted before I left?"
     "Too many times to count.  Why?"
     "Nothing."  As he looked at Angela, Brooklyn did not see her the way he had before he left.  His secret feelings for
Angela were gone, and he no longer resented Broadway in the least .  But later, when he was by himself,  he cried.
     For while he might turn to stone during the day, a soul of stone was one thing he did not possess.

The End ...