The Trouble With Garg-Girls
a story by ARTWerks, Inc./ Written by Stephen R. Sobotka, Jr.

Author's Disclaimer:

This is a original fan-fiction. The plot and story are my own, based on characters and situations from Disney's Animated TV series
"Gargoyles". This has been written solely for other fans of the show to enjoy, not to gain profit for the author. All characters, with
exception of one's I created, are TM and Copyrighted by Buena Vista Television and Walt Disney Entertainment, and are used
without their knowledge. Please don't sue, since this was done as a tribute to the spirit of the original show.

Author's Note :

This story germinated after I wrote "Concrete & Steel", after I realized then that there were a few last stories before "Generations
Quest" that had to be told. Thus, I wanted to show a little more of life around the castle, especially where the kids were concerned
and mostly about Deliah. She is one of my original characters that I haven't had a chance to fully develop yet, so this was a perfect
excuse to do so.

I would like to thank Alison "Al=)" Wilgus for her permission to use one of her drawings as the basis for a new character. Also, I
would like to thank Conna J. Stevenson and Don "Coyote The Bando" Martinez for the permission to use their characters from their

Also, I would like to take this time to thank one special fan who lives in my family's ancestral home of Czechoslovakia. I apologize that
I don't recall her name, but she has spoken to my good friend Christine Morgan and told her that she considers my fics to be "the best".
I would like to get back in touch with her to personally thank her for her praise, and hope that she continues to read my works - both
in fan-fiction and whenever I get professionally published.

Last note, this is part of my continuum in "The DeGuy Saga" before "Generations Quest". Enjoy!


~ A Brownstone Apartment in Manhattan, Sunset ~

The manager of the Southside Arms brownstone apartments made her usual rounds, talking to a few random tenants about the usual
day-to-day troubles: not enough heat, #22 had problems with their water pipes, some rooms on the 4th floor needed painting. She was
about to head back down to her office, after prowling the tenth floor, when Winifred Combs - the spinster in 10-G - lurched from her
doorway on her walker, looking like some vengeful harpy in need of a good ironing.

"Lucy! Lucy I know you can hear me!"

Sighing and getting a smile out, the manager tried to act half way civil. The old woman had been extremely needling of late, and it was all
the rest of the residents could do to keep from exploding around her. Running one hand through her graying, ash-blond hair, Lucy
Stonewall turned around and said, "Yes, Winnie? What can I do you for?"

Ignoring the dig on her name, the old woman pulled her Icelandic sweater tighter around her stooped frame. "I heard them again!" One
bony finger jabbed upwards. "Right over my soaps!"

Lucy sighed. That again. "Oh, that . . ."

"Yes, That! I know all about your excuses, but I know cats when I hear cats! And I expect you to do something about it once and for
all!" Winifred glared with emphasis at the brownstone owner. "You wrote the rules-!"

"I know, Winnie, I know! Look, I talked to him about it six times . . . since last week, already," Lucy replied, crossing her arms over her
chest. "Look, if it will make you feel any better I'll go up and speak to him today."

Shaking her blue-white hared head, the old woman all but shouted, "You'll speak to him now! Or, I'm going to call the SPCA on him
AND you!"

Throwing up her hands, Lucy turned around and stalked off towards the stairwell.

"You hear me, girl!? Either you do something, or I will!!"

Lucy slapped the door to the stairwell open, quickly pounding up the stairs to get out of earshot of that woman's scratchy, almost whining
voice. Just as she got to the landing of the 11th, she stopped to let out a forced breath of exasperation.

In her nearly forty-nine years of living, Lucy Stonewall had seen it all, nearly done it all, and now lived the past 4 years as a manager of an
apartment complex. She leaned against the wall of the stairwell, her 5' 7" frame sagging a bit as she felt drained from having to deal with her
most aggravating guest . . . over her most interesting one, to boot. Rubbing her steel blue eyes with the heel of one hand, she blinked, then
gave the wall next to her a slap before she continued on at a more relaxed pace.

Exiting the stairs and emerging on the semi-private rooftop floor that held the sole tenant that rated such an honor. It was still a shock to her
when work crews came by - from Xanatos Enterprises, no less! - and started converting one of the old rooftop storerooms into a single
penthouse suite. Inquiries as to whom was footing the bill, much less moving in, were deflected at first, until the construction was nearly
complete. It was then that she was told it was a "personal gift" from the high-mucky-muck David Xanatos himself to someone that had
performed some invaluable services for Xanatos.

It was even more of a shock to learn just who that person was when he moved in. And that's when things really got interesting for Lucy

She made it across the hall to Suite-11, waiting for nearly 3 seconds before she knocked on the door jam. There was a short rustle of
movement inside, then the door opened to reveal the red-hared visage of Lt. Matthew Bluestone.

"Hi there Lucy," he greeted, picking up on her ebbing frustration in that uncanny manner of his. "Care to come in?"

"Hi, Champ. Sure, anything to get out of the way of Winnie-the-Poo!" Lucy had a habit of assigning nicknames to people. Usually, the
good ones meant that she thought highly of you. Silly or absurd ones tagged you on the low end of her popularity meter.

Stepping inside, she followed Matt into the large living area. For someone drawing a Lieutenant's pay, Matt tried to keep his home on the
more Spartan side. Only a few major items - the large couch, his corner-fitting computer desk, a wall-to-wall bookshelf that was 2/3rds
of the way filled, and a sem-large TV and stereo - filled the room. The large bay windows were accented with light, lace-accented linen
curtains, showing the view of a privacy-walled terrace and it's small garden and concrete pond.

"Let me guess," Matt said with a half smile, going around the far side of the couch to pick up a basket full of cross-stitching materials, "she
was complaining about the noise again?"

A grimace pinched the age-lined features of Lucy's face. "What else? Not that I have any complaints myself, but it's getting harder and
harder to keep the old biddy off the hunt... err not meaning anything against you, Matt."

Matt smiled tolerantly. "None taken."

Lucy looked around the room expectantly. "Y'know, I hardly come up here with an escort anymore."

Matt shrugged with a smile. "Force of habit. Even after all this time we still have a lot people that come by that don't know." He turned to
face the arched doorway to the back quarter of the house. "Elektra! It's okay. It's just Lucy."

A slim figure with brown hair cautiously emerged from around the jam, her light-blue eyes revealing her relief after a quick look around. "Ach,
I know I should stop fretting, but we can't let our guard down," Elektra explained.

Lucy nodded amiably, replying with a smile, "Hey, I can understand! How are things with you, honey?"

"Oh, as well as things can be. How has your day been, Miss Stonewall?"

"Considering my usual run-in with the Wicked Witch of the floor below, things have been just fine." Seeing the worry in Elektra's eyes, she
quickly added, "Oh, she's not a real witch, honey! That's just an expression."

"Oh! Well, that is a relief to hear," the brown-haired hybrid replied.

Lucy glanced around again. "Say, where's the little one? She's usually up and around by now."

Chuckling, Matt answered, "She's outside. Our elder, Hudson, wanted her to come by for a book reading session, and she can't wait to
get started."

"I can see why," Lucy remarked, nodding to where a low shelf - crammed with books of every type and size - lay against the one wall. "You
know, for as many books I can scrounge from the discards from the public library, they think I'm trying to start up one of my own."

Both Elektra and Matt grinned. "Well, they are certainly getting a lot of use here, Ms. Stonewall," Matt's hybrid wife replied.

"Please, hon! Call me Lucy. At least your fine, upstanding husband calls me that." Seeing Matt's ears turn red, she laughed and waved off
Elektra's reply. "Anyway, I just wanted to check on you three while I made my rounds. Is there anything you need up here?"

"Nothing for now, but thank you," Elektra said, slipping a small satchel on to settle in between her wings, leaving a collection of straps to
dangle in front of her. She crossed over to Matt and placed a kiss on his cheek. "I'd better get Deliah and be on our way. We don't want
to keep the others waiting."

He hugged her briefly before putting on his habitual overcoat. "I'll see you when my shift is up, then. Be careful on the flight over, okay?"

Nodding, the brown-tressed hybrid returned the hug and nodded in parting to Lucy. "We shall. Just you be careful, Matthew. Until this
dawning." With that, she slipped out onto the private roof to join their ward.

Lucy gave an exaggerated sigh. "Ah... young love."

Matt gave her a half-smile. "I'm not that young, you know."

"Pft! Love is young, no matter how old you are."

Matt reached over and picked up his keys, double-checking to make sure his service piece was secure in its holster. "Well, it can keep you
feeling young."

Smiling, Lucy nodded at the door. "Care to join me on the way down? Got to make sure it appears to Mrs. Combs that I've finally come down
on you about your 'noisy cats'."


~ The Aerie Building, R&D Labs ~

"You really are a big kid when you start rummaging in your 'toy-box', aren't you?"

Watching from the sidelines, Elisa Maza-DeGuy couldn't help but grin as Owen and one of the senior robotics technicians labored around a
rather odd-looking assembly. After the technician finished attaching a final piece to the assembly, he dismissed the man, before nodding to
Xanatos, who was observing the proceedings from a control board, with his son Alexander at his side.

Watching the multi-colored readouts, Xanatos stated, "All men are kids at heart, Elisa. Besides, when my son first came up with the idea for
your improved set of wheels, I decided that a little bit of additional hardware was necessary."

The Chief of Detectives grinned. "You just can't take it that Alex did something you never thought of?"

That familiar Xanatos-look slid into place. "Well... maybe. Since the streets are starting to get a bit tougher out there-that piece of heavy armor
those Quarrymen were using is a prime example-it was high time we got you a back up that you can really count on."

Elisa cocked her head. "And I couldn't count on Matt? Or Goliath?"

Alex piped up, "Dad means that you need someone that can take more punishment than Uncle Matt or Goliath ever could." Tapping a few
keys, the young heir to the Xanatos Empire grinned. "Good thing is, we didn't have to go far to find a fitting volunteer!"

Standing off to one side, with the hood and several other access plates open, was Elisa's modified Fairlane. From inside, a globe of holographic
energy hovered above the dash, projecting an eerily-accurate copy of Elisa's face. "'Volunteer' nothing! Being a car is fine, but I still want to
stretch my legs a bit... so to speak."

"Not to worry, Katt," Xanatos reassured her, "because, if this works, you'll be stretching more than a pair of legs." Looking to Owen, he
asked, "Is everything prepared?"

The blonde majordomo looked up from finishing with a linkage on the assembly. "Everything is set, Mr. Xanatos. We have only to activate the
fail-safes, and we can begin."

"Excellent. Katt, are you all set?"

The holo-image cocked one eyebrow. "Just throw the switch, Dr. Frankenstein..."

Chuckling, Elisa mentally crossed her fingers. "There's your answer."

"I wouldn't have expected any other. And that's Fraunkestine to you, Katt!" The tan-skinned billionaire motioned to his son. "Alexander? Will
you do us the honors?"

Alex's finger hovered for a moment over a bright green button on the console. "Beginning system-operation download... now!" Stabbing
downward, the switch tripped the command to the assembly, which started to hum and glow. At once, several of the appendages on the
assembly came to life, swiveling and whirling as they began to take a series of parts and pieces, putting them together amid a shower of sparks
and metallic thumps and clanks.

Alex and his father watched the progress meters on the readout in front of them. "Primary substructure assembly complete... beginning motive
array assimilation..." Xanatos reported.

"Looking good so far," Alex echoed.

The bulky armatures moved aside to allow some smaller arms to start more delicate work on the object taking shape underneath. The larger
arms reached for some more components nearby, fitting them in where the smaller arms made space. More sparks, much subdued than before,
made connections as the object slowly became more defined.

"Main assembly nearly complete. We can begin tissue generation and epidermal layer foundation in a moment." Xanatos looked over at the
Fairlane. "Once the welders move back, we can begin core matrix installation."

Abruptly, the armatures withdrew from the object, leaving it exposed on the surface of the assembly.

"And that's time." Xanatos nodded to Katt. "Ready when you are."

"Here goes nothing, then," the digitized entity said, as her holo-display winked out, leaving the interior of the car dark.

A second later, the cables leading from the car to the assembly began to hum, as hundreds of gigabits of data flowed through the insulated wire.
A series of metal plates closed over the object, followed by more humming as a series of pumps sprang into motion, filling the inside of the now-
sealed shell with liquid chemicals and polymers.

"How is she doing, son?"

"Almost fifty-percent of her core matrix is in place, Pop. Tissue generation will be complete in just a minute," Alex stated. "Now at sixty... seventy..."

Elisa looked at the moving ballet of machinery. "I just hope this works."

"It will, Elisa. Has anything I've done lately ever failed?" Xanatos asked. Before she could give him her trademark smirk, he quickly added, "Don't
answer that."

"Core matrix is at 100 percent! Tissue Generation is complete. Creating temporary thermal covering." A few seconds later, Alex proudly stated,
"Processes complete... chassis formatting, finished!"

"All right then. Let's open up the oven and see what's cooking," David said.

With a whirl of gears and servos, the assembly and the plates folded away, leaving the object they uncovered for all to see. For a moment, no
one dared to breathe when it didn't move. Then, one of its arms slowly rose upward, the five-fingered hand slowly turning in the glare of the
overhead lights.

"It's alive!" Alex crowed, suddenly looking around at the adults with a sheepish grin. Elisa only smiled, but Xanatos and Owen shared a private

"Like father, like son," Owen stated, one eyebrow arched.

"At least Demona isn't here," Xanatos quipped. Coming around to the other side of the console, Xanatos peered at the prone figure on the
assembly surface. "Katt? Are you all right?"

In a moment, he was answered by a voice that sounded a little like Elisa's-just a touch huskier-as the body on the table sat up. "I.... I think....
I think so."

"How does it feel?" Elisa asked.

Katt looked down at her new body, covered in creamy tan skin, clothed in a slightly-skintight one piece. "It's... well, a little strange. I mean,
I still have your memories, and my own from being part of her car. I dunno, it's... just a bit of a switch I never expected." Raising one foot,
she wiggled the toes experimentally. "But, it feels good."

"It might take a moment for your matrix to become used to the sensory input from the android shell around you," Owen stated evenly. "The
transfer should have buffered you from the worst of it."

"I'm glad," Elisa replied. "But what gave you the idea to use my old 'Sally' wig?"

Katt reached up to touch the bright blonde locks framing her face and smiled, , jerking a thumb over at Xanatos. "Actually, it was his idea."

Elisa looked hard at her benefactor. "What!?"

Raising both hands as if in surrender, David Xanatos replied, "She came up with a stray memory of one of your undercover disguises when
we were working on the body's final design. It fit with what we were looking for, and it seemed the best way to be able to set the two of you

Elisa sighed. "Ah well. I don't use that disguise anymore, since I don't do a lot of field work, being Capt. Chavez's second-in-command."
Looking over Katt's new form once more, she added. "Besides... it really does suit her."

"Well, she should be pleased with it. And some of dad's clients will be as well, " Alex beamed. "'Cause the Vixen chassis is going to be the
next step in android mechanics."

Katt shot the red-headed youth a look. "Vixen?!?"

"It's the name of the next generation of humanoid androids, after the C.O.Y.O.T.I. models," Alex said with pride. "I came up with the name

Katt looked down at herself, then back at the others quizzically. "Just... what is this body supposed to do?"

"I'm glad you asked," David said. "If we can head down to the gymnasium, we can run you through a few demonstrations."


~ Evening Sky Approach, Castle Wyvern ~

Laughter rolled through a bank of clouds, emanating from the small gray-skinned bundle that Elektra had strapped to her chest. Secured in a
safety rig modeled after the tandem-harnesses that skydivers used when training others, Deliah was too young to start flying on her own, but
thanks to Lexington's ingenuity, she could at least feel what instinct would later guide her into doing.

"Higher! Higher! HIGHER!"

Elektra smiled at her foster daughter. "We are as high as we should be going, Deliah!"

"Aw, we never go as high as the others," the gray-skinned youth said sourly.

"Now, just you be patient, daughter-mine," Elektra said firmly, but in a warm tone. "In a few more years, you will be strong enough to try your
first glide on your own."

This made Deliah grin. "Yeah! Then I can join the others on patrol!"

Laughing again, the brown-tressed hybrid said, "We will see. We will see... in the meantime, just be ready to enjoy yourself at the reading tonight."

This reminder made Deliah frown a bit. "Will the others be there?"

"I'm sure they will. It's not been too hectic for the clan as of late. So, I don't see any reason for David and the others not to be there."

"Not unless they've got other plans," Deliah humphed.

Sensing her mood shift, Elektra reached up to ruffle Deliah's orange locks. "Now, don't be so sour! True, the young ones have plenty to hold
their interest, but they still spend plenty of time with you."

Deliah shrugged. "Well, I hope they'll listen to Hudson's stories tonight. It's fun to listen to him tell them, it's much more fun when the others are
around too!"

Shortly, they emerged from the clouds over Manhattan, with the lights from the castle straight ahead. Flaring slightly, Elektra altered their path
to take them over to where the courtyard entrance to the caste was, rather than her usual landing place on the battlements.

Below them, the figures of Broadway, Angela, and Lexington were lined up on the battlement, preparing to head off on a nightly patrol. As the
two cleared the near wall, the trio waved in greeting. "Hey, Elektra! How are you doing?"

"Fine!" she called, just seconds before touching down. As soon as her talons touched the stones, she released the lock on the harness to allow
Deliah to jump free. Facing the wall, she asked, "Where is Brooklyn?"

Lexington replied, "He's with Elisa and Xanatos. They're testing out something with Katt in the gym."

"Good. I need to speak to him concerning clan matters," she replied. "Be safe on your patrol, my friends."

"We will," Angela replied. With that, she and the other two spread their wings and pushed off into the night.

With a smile, Elektra turned back towards the entrance. "Well, then. Let's be about our business then. You head for the library, and I'll see
about getting Hudson to come along shortly," she told Deliah.

"Will David and Jessica be there too?" her ward asked eagerly.

"That depends on what they have planned for today. Move yourself, now." With that, Elektra led the way inside, turning down the long corridor
towards the Gargoyles' Wing.

They didn't get too far, when Jessica DeGuy and Dominique Macduff came jogging around the corner, both dressed in street clothes and jackets,
and carrying the access card to the private garage.

"Oh! Hi Aunt Elektra!" Jessica beamed.

"Hello, and good evening to you, Dominique," the older hybrid replied.

"'Lo, Elektra!"

"Hi Jessica! I'm going to listen to Hudson tell a story," Deliah said in greeting. "Are you gonna join us?"

With a rueful smile, Jessica shook her head. "Sorry, 'Liah, but 'Monique promised me I could come over to visit with her at the mansion. We'll
have to join the storytelling another time."

The gray gargoyle's face fell slightly. "Aww."

"C'mon, Jess! Mother's got a swell dinner planed for us! Bye 'Liah! Bye Elektra!" Dominique said, pulling the younger DeGuy twin along eagerly
as they disappeared down the hall.

Seeing the disappointed look in her ward's face, Elektra placed a hand on her shoulder. "Och, now don't you worry. Just because the others
don't want to, that does not mean Hudson won't be any less willing to tell you his stories."

"I know," Deliah sighed. "But, it's more fun when the others are listening, too."

"Be that as it may, you need to get along to the library to wait. I'll fetch our elder along shortly, so get along my child."

"Yes, mother."


Shoving the heavy doors open, Deliah poked her head inside with a curious, "Hell-looo? Anyone in here?"
Nothing but racks of old books answered her query. "Great... guess Hudson forgot what today is too." Stepping into the room, she closed the
door and slowly walked along the room's circumference, idly tracing the exposed spines of the books with one talon.

"I dunno why everyone seems ignores me," she told herself, "and I mean when it comes to times like this. Alex, Davie and Jessie used to race
here to listen to Hudson's stories. Now it seems like they don't care anymore." Absently, she pulled out one book to flip through its pages. "It's
like... they're growing up too fast, and I'm not."

Dropping the book, she shuffled over to the center of the room, where an old, round oak table rested. With a heart-felt sigh, she propped her
elbows on the table and stared off into space. "Just once, it would be nice if they'd go back to the way they used to be; when we all listened to
stories, played games we all could enjoy... "

Dropping her gaze to the table, she noticed for the first time that it wasn't empty. Lying in the center of a square of silk cloth was a round, flat
stone of pure white color, etched with funny looking symbols on it.

"Hm? What's this?" Picking it up, she examined it with a half-curious eye, turning it over in her hand several times. "Looks like some kind of
paperweight or something." She sighed again, holding the stone before her as she slouched down to the floor. "Aw, I shouldn't be so selfish.
It's not just me... it's Mother too. She misses her family on Avalon, and even though she never says so, she wants to meet other gargoyles too."
Closing her eyes, Deliah breathed in heavily, letting go with a gusty sigh. "I wish..."

Unnoticed by her, the stone in her hands began to shimmer softly.

"I wish, that I could have a few new friends, other gargoyles from other places that could visit here, and that Mother could visit other gargoyles
just like her." Suddenly, a breeze began to stir the young females hair. Opening her eyes, she looked around, thinking someone had turned on
one of the rooms ventilation fans. It was then that she noticed a shining light before her. Looking down, she gasped at the sight of the stone, now
glowing with a radiant, eerie light.

"By the Dragon..." she breathed, just before the stone slowly began to float away from her talons...


Elektra and Brooklyn, with Hudson in tow being lead by Owen. were on their way down the hall back from the gym. After gathering the old
soldier, Elektra had paused briefly to get Brooklyn who was still marveling over the talents of Katt's new form. They were halfway between
the main hall and the library, when that first inking that something was very wrong hit the pale hybrid. Stiffening, she turned to look back down
the hallway.

"Elektra?" Brooklyn asked.

"Something... is not right! Leader, go get help!" With that, she bolted back down the way they came.

Brooklyn stared back at her. "What!? What's wrong!?" When she didn't answer, he let his training as clan leader take over. "Owen, get Hudson
to a safe place, then get Xanatos and Fox!"

Hudson grumped, looking sightlessly towards the young leader. "I'll not be kept from danger, lad! Even blind, I can handle meself!"

"We don't have time to argue, Hudson! I'm going to get Elisa!" With that he hurried off in the opposite direction.


Elektra's sense of dread grew tenfold as she rounded the corner, coming up to the library doors, which were rattling on their hinges as if gripped
in a huge wind. Pale smoke seeped from the keyhole and from around the edges of the door.

"Great Mercy!" She cried. Seizing the handles, she almost screamed out from the sensation of heat on the metal; not a thermal heat, but a magical
one. Steeling herself, she grabbed them again and flung them wide, darting through just as the pressure from within yanked them closed again. On
the other side, she found herself in face of a blinding, whirling light show, forcing her to shield her eyes as best as she could.

"Deliah!? Where are you?!?"

"Mother!?" the young one's voice cried, from some where over by the old sofa.

"Stay where you are!" Elektra ordered. "I'll get you out of here!" Somehow, she silently amended. Facing the maelstrom, she tried to probe it
with an applied sensory spell. It was human magic, that much she could see right away, but as to what its purpose was...

Suddenly, two tendrils of light snaked out from the heart of the magic storm. They arced towards her and, before she could raise a defensive
ward to protect herself, they wrapped around her body like twin pythons. Coiling around her arms and legs, she was immobilized in a matter
of heartbeats.

Deliah watched in horror. "Mother???" Half raising from her hiding place, she made to go to her foster mother's aid.

Elektra's eyes met hers, giving her a look filled with worry, but at the same time commanding. "Stay put!" Those were the last words she spoke
before the tendrils quickly withdrew into the storm, taking the hybrid with them. As Elektra vanished from sight, the storm suddenly pulsed with
bright, white light. Once. Twice. Then a third time. The third flash was so intense, it filled the entire castle with the surge, shooting out through
any open or sealed window an doorway, turning the castle into a pincushion of searchlight beams.

Then, a cracking sound briefly filled the air, and the light vanished altogether...


Just down the hall from the library, Brooklyn and Elisa looked up from where the light had caught them, unawares.

"What the hell was that?!?" Brooklyn said, shaking his head to clear the afterimage on his eyes.

Elisa replied, "Don't know. But let's find out." She quickly moved to where one of the castle's hidden arms lockers was stowed in the wall.
Removing two laser pistols-one for her and for the Manhattan leader-she nodded towards the direction of the library. "My gut tells me it
came from there."

Brooklyn motioned for her to lead the way. "Never question the gut of a police officer," he said under his breath.


Blinking, Deliah looked up slowly from where she ended up behind the couch. Expecting to see herself as a frog or something just as slimy,
relief swept through her when she spied her own two hands, then the rest of her when she made a quick inspection.

"I... guess that... didn't do too much damage," she told herself, even though she fell worried about her foster mother's disappearance. Her eyes
swept over to where the light had vanished, spying a small pile of white, glittering objects. Shuffling forward, she peered at the jumble of white
material on the floor, recognizing some of them as being part of the white stone.

"Oh, mice! Now what do I do?" She started to reach for the stones, hoping to make sense of what just happened... when something cold
pressed up against the side of her head.

"Don't move!" a voice snarled, followed by the unmistakable sound of a gun hammer being cocked. "What are you doing in my castle?"

Gulping, Deliah stiffened, backing slightly away from the broken stones. "Muh-My clan lives h-here!"

The coldness dug slightly deeper into the young one's skin. "One clan lives here, and I've never seen you here before." The speaker paused.
"Who are you, sorceress!? What kind of spell were you trying to cast in here!?"

Heart jammed in her throat, the young gargoyle slowly turned her head, keeping the rest of her rock-still. "M-My name's Deliah... b-but I
d-d-didn't cast any s-spells!" When she could see behind her, the first thing she saw was the muzzle of a old, standard-issue Police revolver,
clutched in a hand that had three dusky, purple fingers.

"That's bullshit," the voice stated. "The last thing I remember was standing on the castle walls, then that light... appeared. Now, I'm in the library
with you, so you have to be the one to have brought me here!"

Deliah shook her head. "No! It wasn't! I-I was just holding something Alex had made, when I-!"

"Alex!?" The gun never wavered, but the owner of the voice was now showing some doubt. "Made something? Not likely! He's still gathering
energy to help us get more allies to fight the Rokkans!"

Just then, the doors to the library burst open, followed in by Brooklyn and Elisa with weapons drawn. "Elektra!? Deliah!?"

The gun whipped away from Deliah's head, and she scrambled away from the armed stranger. At that point, the young female got a good look
at her assailant: it was a female gargoyle, tall, with stocky muscles under purple skin, wearing a blue tunic dress with sleeves. She had sable hair,
and one onyx eye. The other eye gleamed red from a half-mask of metal that seemed fused to her face.

Across the way, Brooklyn and Elisa both trained their weapons on the intruder. "Freeze! Put down the weapon and get your hands up!"

For a moment, the stranger held its gun level against them, then... it lowered its arms, the one natural eye in its face widening with shock. With
a clatter, the pistol dropped from her nerveless fingers.

"M-Mom!?" she uttered.

Elisa never dropped her guard, but she looked at the female quizzically. "What did you say?"

In reply, the female staggered forward, nearly dropping to both knees as she continued to look at Elisa with awe and a little fear. "Mom, what
are you doing here? I thought I'd never see you again!" The female suddenly caught herself. "Wait... this has got to be a dream. But it can't! I
was awake on the battlements just a while ago!"

Elisa shot Brooklyn a look, who responded by clearing his throat to ask, "Um, Miss... who in the world are you?"

Now the female turned her gaze to the crimson leader. "Brooklyn? What's happened? Did the Phoenix Gate mess your memory up again!?"

"Phoenix Gate?" Elisa asked.

"I don't know anything about the Phoenix Gate, other than what Goliath told me, but my head's as clear as a bell. The only one that seems
confused around here is you," he said with a scowl.

"Now look, Brooklyn--!" the stranger said sharply.

"No, you look!" the beaked leader said, silencing her, "What you're saying doesn't make sense! Now, you can either tell me who you are
and where you came from, or you can do that from the inside of a security cell!"

"Take it easy, Brooklyn," Elisa admonished.. "Look... we really don't know who you are, but you seem to know us. Are you from the future
or something?"

A realization of some sort seemed to come to the female. "Well... if there's magic involved, that's not entirely a wrong idea to assume." She
stood up to her full height, towering over the both of them. It was then that Elisa spied the buckle on the stranger's belt: a police badge. A
very familiar police badge.

"Wha--? Where did you get that?!?" Elisa asked, pointing to it.

The female looked down at her middle, replying, "It belonged to you. I... kept it after... your..."

"Go on," Elisa prompted. "After my...?"

Her features twisted with memory-pain, the gargoyle replied, "After your funeral."

The thunderbolt of those words hit home, making Elisa reel backwards. "My... funeral?"

Just then, David appeared at the doorway. "Mom! You're not going to believe what just happened!"

Both Elisa and the stranger turned to face her son, the bigger shock now appearing on the tall female's face. "D-Did... he just... call you--?"

Elisa replied, "Yes. He's my son, David. Honey? What just happened?"

David took in the stranger for a second, before he remembered the reason for his being there. "Mom, I was practicing my katas in the gym,
and... well, there was a flash of light, and, well she appeared." Making a come-forward motion with his hand, David ushered in a new stranger.

Another gargoyle, this one looking not much older than Deliah, with mustard-yellow skin and cotton-candy pink hair, dressed in a oriental style
tunic and skirt. Everyone goggled at the new arrival, who made a low bow before speaking. "Konbanwa. Can you tell me where I am, please?"

"Japanese?" Elisa breathed. "You are in Manhattan. In America. Are you from Ishimura?"

"Hai." Looking around nervously, she started to explain, "I was by the gardens in Sendai Castle. Our leader, Kai, was supposed to bring the
other younger clan members there for a reading of our history, when a strange light appeared. The next thing I knew, I was in a large room
with him," she explained, nodding towards David. "Can you please explain why I am here?"

"That's something we'd like to know ourselves," Elisa muttered.

"She popped in during my exercise routine. I was about to call Da when I heard you shouting from down here," David added, "so, I brought
her here to see what was going on."

Brooklyn sighed, "Sounds like the same weirdness that affected our friend here did the same for her."

"In that case, we might as well include another into this little gathering," the voice of David Xanatos said, coming up to the group with Alex a
nd another body in tow behind him.

"Xanatos!?" The purple female gawped. "What happened!? How did you get so young?"

"Careful living," he replied off-handily, before turning aside to admit the person behind him access to the entrance. "Miss? If you would be so
kind to join us?"

The person stepped forward, revealing itself to be yet another gargoyle, only this time it had a striking combination of bright green skin and
deep purple hair. It wore a torn shirt that barely kept her breasts in check, and a pair of denim shorts that were this shy of being what young
people used to call "daisy-dukes".

Her brown eyes took in the gathered number before her, before she turned to Brooklyn with a look of partial relief.

"Brooklyn! What is going on?" she asked, her voice touched with a Italian accent.

"That's what we'd all like to know, um...?" Elisa prompted.

The green female blinked, answering automatically, "Rissa. Rissa Tenelli... but, why ask that? Don't you remember me, Ms. Maza?"

"To be truthful, this is the first time I've seen you, Ms. Tenelli."

"Same here," Brooklyn added. "Wait a minute! Something's not right around here. Three gargoyles just appearing out of nowhere? That's got
to be one for the daily Weird-O-Meter around here."

"You're telling me! Just what is going on here, Mom?" the purple female asked, coming closer to Elisa. "I though I was an only child?"

Blinking, Rissa stared hard at the first arrival. "Angela?"

With a half-smirk that was Elisa's trademark, the stranger replied, "No, but you're not far off from the family tree. I'm Rosanna. And, until
recently it seems, I thought I was the only child of Goliath and Elisa Maza."

Elisa and David shared a look of confusion. "Oh-kay, there's a good explanation for all of this!"

Alexander suddenly piped up, having left his father's side to examine the shattered remains of the talisman on the library floor. "There is!
Someone's been tampering with my Wishing Stone!"

"Wishing Stone!?" Xanatos asked.

"It was an experiment Uncle Puck and I were working on," the red-headed youth explained. "Someone made a wish on it that it almost
couldn't handle."

A small sound came from behind the couch. All eyes turned towards it, as a meek-looking Deliah slid into view. With a sigh, she hung her
head and said, "I-I-It was... me."


A half hour later, after the sudden tempers of both Rissa and Rosanna had been reigned in, Deliah's account of what had happened when
she inadvertently used the Wishing Stone came out. Sitting in a huddled ball in the middle of the circle of adults, the orange-haired youth felt
her life was over for certain, due to the sour looks on the faces of the others.

Alex, however, became her champion. "It's really not her fault. She didn't know that the stone was magic." He took a moment to regard each
of the three females in turn. "What every she did, it must have made some sort of rip between dimensions of space. From what I can see, these
two-Rosanna and Rissa-are from two very different dimensions."

"What about her?" Elisa asked, pointing to Akari.

Alex said, "Truth be told, she's from our world. That much I can tell."

Rosanna glared at the younger human. "That doesn't matter to me! What does matter is whether you can send me home or not!"

"And me as well," Rissa seconded. "Everything here is familiar, but at the same time, it isn't."

Alex held up one hand. "Before we can do that, I have to determine where exactly the two of you came from. And, if at all possible, where
Elektra went to as well. That's the linchpin of this whole affair. Unless that can be determined, I don't think I could successfully send any of
you back."

Owen coughed lightly. "Perhaps we should get a second expert's opinion on this matter, Alexander? Aside from Ms. Ferguson, who is out
for the evening, there is only one other that we might trust..."

Xanatos nodded. "I was thinking the same thing."

"Okay. It might take some time, though," the younger Xanatos admitted. "Perhaps our guests should wait elsewhere while we wait for their
arrival? It's not going to take too long to work this out, but I'm sure everyone doesn't want to go through the gory details."

Nodding in agreement, Brooklyn took charge. "In that case, perhaps the three of you would care to come to our suite?" he asked, indicating
the new arrivals. "It's more comfortable than waiting in the halls."

"Thanks," Rosanna said, "but I'll wait outside. It's... kind of weird but, I want to see Manhattan without all the depravations from the war."

Rissa accepted the offer. "I could use some tea or something to calm my nerves. This whole affair has been as bad as when I first became a

That comment raised a few eyebrows. "Okay. Akari-chan?"

Durning all of this, the mustard-colored female had left her eyes on Deliah. "Domo, Brooklyn-sama. I think I would like to see more of your
castle instead." She walked over to where the gray-skinned youth was still crouched in misery. "Del-chan? Would you like to show me around
your home?"

Deliah looked up at the Ishimuran female, quickly wiping some stray tears from her eyes. "S-Sure. I don't mind."

"Well, since that's settled," Alex said, "if everyone would be so kind as to leave me and Owen to things, we'll get started." As the others filed
out of the library, Alex motioned to his father to wait. "Pop? I think we'd better get Demona's help on this."

"Are you sure, son?"

Alex pursed his lips. "As for sending those three home, that's something Owen and I can handle with little to no fuss. To get Elektra back from
wherever the stone sent her... that's going to take the help of someone with a little more experience that I have in human magic..."


Standing on the watchtower, Rosanna caped her wings around hers shaking form, even though she wasn't feeling the chill through her skin. A
coldness from inside her was making her shiver as she looked out over the lights of Manhattan below her.

"It... it looks just like... like it did before," she whispered to herself. "Geez."

Coming up through the access way behind the changeling, Elisa watched her in silence for a bit. "I take it... the Manhattan you know is...
different from this?"

Rosanna barely nodded. "Nearly the entire island is a wasteland, thanks to the Rokkans. In fact, the Eyrie is one of the few structures still
standing more-or-less intact."

Coming up beside her, Elisa asked, "Just who are the Rokkans?"

Rosanna sighed, shuddering under her wings again. "The Rokkans are invaders from space. Or, as Nokkar told us, they are the 'Space-Spawn'
that his people have been at war with for centuries. They came to Earth nearly 2 years ago, to conquer the human race and turn the planet into
a resource depot for their war machines. They bombed Manhattan into rubble, and several other major cities around the world. They even wiped
out nearly every other gargoyle clan outside of Manhattan, save the one on Avalon."

Elisa was aghast. "Didn't the countries of the world fight back?"

"They tried, but the Rokkan's have superior technology," Rosanna admitted. "Still, several humans banded with my clan to stop the invasion."
Looking at Elisa, she smiled wanly. "When I became leader, I swore that the Rokkans would pay dearly for trying to take the Earth. It's been
a uphill battle, but we're managing to win back little by little."

Elisa tried to absorb this, before asking a question that had been nagging at her since she first met this young female. "You looked like you were
about to burst into tears when you first saw me. Why?"

A pained look flashed over Rosanna's face. "My mother and father are Goliath and Elisa Maza... a different pair than you and Goliath here, it
seems." She looked away for a moment. "My mother was killed when I was younger, and the loss nearly drove my father to an early grave. When
he could no longer function as Leader, I forced my way into becoming the new Leader."

Elisa's eyes clouded a bit, as she wondered just what her Goliath would do if she had died. Shaking her head, she asked, "So, is that all you do?
Fight the Rokkans, night after night?"

"Well," Rosanna said wryly, "Not until recently. We made a big offensive pay off, but it's only a matter of time before the Rokkans recover to
strike back. Alex... the one I know, he was preparing some big magic spell to get us some reinforcements. I was waiting on the walls when that
little light show brought me here." She brought up her hands, making them into fists that could turn stone to gravel. "I _have_ to get back! The
others are counting on me... Rain, Lex, Arianna, Liberty! Without me, the entire defense of the island could fall apart!" With a savage motion,
she smashed her fists onto the stone ledge of the watchtower, making it crack.

"Whoa! Calm down!" Elisa reached out and took hold of Rosanna's hands, stilling them. "Look, we're going to do everything we can to get
you back home! Just don't fall to pieces on account of your being here. It wasn't something you could control."

Letting her muscles unclench, Rosanna turned her head slightly away from Elisa. "You know... you may not be my Mom, but you're doing exactly
what I know she would do if she was here." Looking back, the young hybrid's eyes glimmered with tears. "When she died, it tore Father and I
apart. I never got to see her again... except under an unusual set of circumstances... but, she told me that she would always be there with me."
With a heavy sigh, the young female slowly sank to her knees. "But... she's not where I am now. And... and, I really need her!" she said, sobbing

Elisa gently turned Rosanna towards her, wrapping her up in a two-armed hug. "Hey... My mom always told me that it doesn't matter where
you go, or where you end up. The people you keep close to your heart will always be there for you." With a soft chuckle, she added, "I wouldn't
be surprised if she's watching out for you right now."

The lavender female looked up at Elisa. "D-Do you think so?"

"I know so," Elisa replied. "It's what I tell my kids, all the time."


Making a pot of tea in the kitchen, Rissa stopped in the middle of getting some sugar to gape at Brooklyn. "You can't be serious? Demona?!?"

The young leader nodded. "It's true."

Swearing a bit in Italian, she jerked the sugar bowl down from one of the cupboards. "I cannot believe that Demona could be considered an ally,
much less a member of your clan!"

"Well, Demona has had some added benefits to help her along," Brooklyn admitted. "She's had a daughter and a husband to calm her down for
the past few years."

Rissa turned to give Brooklyn a hard look. "And you trust her!?"

"Not as often as I'd like," he admitted. "But, she's come a long way since her 'she-bitch' days. She and Elisa worked together one time to save
her daughter from Sevarius, and since then, Elisa and the entire clan have been cutting her some slack. But that doesn't mean we don't keep our
guards up when she's around." He gave Rissa a mock-conspiratorial wink. "We're just a little more civil when we do."

Feeling the need to laugh at that, Rissa continued making the tea.

"So," Brooklyn prompted, "You mentioned something earlier about becoming a gargoyle?"

The green-skinned female nodded, her purple curls bobbing. "Si. I used to be just an ordinary human. A high-school student." She set the kettle
on the stove to boil before turning around to face Brooklyn. "My brother and I ran a small restaurant left to us when our parents died. He handled
most of the day to day work, while I studied and practiced ice-skating."

"Sounds like fun."

A ghost of a memory flickered across Rissa's face. "But it was Demona that changed all that." Even though the event was long since past, Brooklyn
could see it was something that Rissa wasn't altogether ready to forget, or to forgive. "My class had been given an opportunity to visit the Eyrie
Building, and a friend and I were separated from the main tour, no thanks to a mishap with the elevators. It was then my friend, Jimmy, decided
we should take a look at the castle at the top.

"It was there that Demona was... planing to do something, what I can't say. But when she saw Jimmy and me, she decided to cast a transformation
spell over us."

Brooklyn nodded. "Sounds like something she would pull. So she turned the two of you into gargoyles... but for what purpose?"

Rissa frowned, just as the kettle began to whistle on the burner. "She wanted to make us believe it was Goliath and his clan that had cast the
spell." Reaching over to remove the kettle, she continued, "She hoped to get Jimmy and I to join her in her fight against the others, with a promise
to restore us as soon as Goliath was defeated." Making the tea, she formed a wry smile as she added, "But I was found by you-I mean by the
Brooklyn I know. He convinced me to go to Goliath first, and that's where I learned about the clan, and about their battle with Demona. After
we confronted her and rescued Jimmy from her mercies, the two of us decided that we would have to stay with the clan, until either we were
restored or not..."

The crimson gargoyle nodded in sympathy. "I can see where it must have been hard on you."

Rissa replied, "It was a shock, to tell the truth... but, ever since it happened, I've become more and more used to living as a gargoyle than as
a human." She gave a small laugh. "Actually, it's been a change for the good, for both me and Jimmy. A weird change, but still, a good one."

Chuckling, Brooklyn remarked, "Weirdness runs hand in hand with gargoyles, or hadn't you noticed?"

Rissa joined him in laughter, before a thought made her turn pensive. "Can Alexander find a way to send me and the others home? After all...
the stone was broken."

Brooklyn picked up on her concerns. "Look, if anyone has the means to get you home, it's Alex. That kid has proven to be a real miracle
worker in the past. Don't worry! I'm sure that before this night is over, we'll have you back home in no time."

Rissa relaxed for a moment, before a glance to the side made her suddenly open her eyes wide. "E-Elisa?"

Brooklyn turned around in time to see Katt step into the kitchen, wearing a rather abbreviated skirt and halter top, as well as a pair of thong
sandals. "Hi. You must be one of the 'wandering threesome'. Alex and Xanatos just told me about you." The former AI extended a hand out
towards the shocked female. "I'm not Elisa, but the resemblance is telling...or so I've been told," she said, shooting Brooklyn with a smirk.
"The name's Katt. What's yours?"

The purple-tressed gargoyle pressed a limp handshake, replying, "I...I'm Rissa...Tenelli. Zuta! She looks just like Elisa!"

Katt grinned tolerantly, but before she could reply, a familiar form burst into the kitchen: it was Matt, all in a huff after running down the hall
from the elevators.

"Brooklyn?! What's going on!? I just got a call from Elisa that--!" He was panting and red in the face, his words colored with worry.

The crimson-hued leader held up both hands, keeping Matt from falling over himself while bracing him for the news ahead. "Calm down,
Matt...take it easy. I'll try to explain everything to you." He shot an apologetic look at Rissa, before trying to decide whether to tell Matt that
his wife was gone, or that they weren't sure they could bring her back...


Standing in the middle of the Arboretum, Deliah and David watched as Akari looked with wonder at all of the varied flowering plants and
trees around them. The two escorted the Ishimuran through a major portion of the castle: the suite, the kitchen, the common room that doubled
as a den for everyone living in the castle. When they suggested the Arboretum, they could see that it was something that fractionated the young
female immensely.

"Amazing! Xanatos-san must be very wealthy to have placed an entire garden in this place!"

"Well, he does have a little pocket money to throw around," David grinned. "My mother told me this was one of the few things Fox asked to
have built in after Xanatos drew up the initial plans for putting the castle up here... or so I was told."

Akari commented wistfully. "It reminds me a lot of Castle Sendai, but our garden was never like this."

The trio walked along the narrow stone path that wound it's way around through the taller trees and plants, eventually ending up by the stone
pond near the center. There Akari smiled at the sight of a school full of coi and multi-colored carp, swimming just below the surface, but her
expression changed when she saw the sad look on Deliah's face. The younger female was kneeling at the side of the pond, looking listlessly
into the ripples on the water's surface.

"You have a wonderful place to live in," Akari commented to David, her eyes reflecting her confusion over Deliah's lack of speech. "Your
clan must be very happy here."

"We get by pretty well," David replied. "Alex and I are good friends, and Jessica couldn't have a better friend in Dominique."

Nodding, the Ishimuran looked at Deliah. "And do you have a friend as well?"

The orange-haired female shrugged.

"Of course she has friends," David said, trying not to sound angry at the forthright question. "She has all of us to count on."

"Not really," came Deliah's whispered reply.

Akari saw that her question netted unexpected results. "Please, forgive me. I didn't mean to say--."

"Don't worry about it. It's perfectly all right," the elder DeGuy twin replied.

"No, it's not!" Deliah turned away from the pond, facing David with a hurtful look. "How can you say that!? you don't know me, or even
what happens around you!"

The dark-haired youth stared back at his clan mate. "What?"

"You and Jessie and everyone else have been so wrapped up in what you want to do! Sparing, going to the park, to movies, concerts... nothing
that I can easily join you on, unless it's something we really plan out in advance." She was on her feet now, staring hotly at David and ignoring
Akari for the moment. "You never do the things we used to do together in the castle, and that always leaves me the odd one out, and I hate it!"

Blinking, David took an involuntary step back from the normally cheerful gargoyle. "But, you, well... you never told us!"

"I did! I did too! But, you've all been so wrapped up in other things," she shot back. Her lower lip trembling with emotion, she continued, "All I
wanted was to spend time with my old friends, but tonight everyone went off to do their own thing again! So, I made a stupid wish for new friends,
and in the process I've lost my mother, and, and, and..." She suddenly buried her face in her hands, unable to stop the sobs coming up from within.

David felt upset, and also very guilty. There was a lot of truth in Deliah's rant; all of her clan mates, hybrid and human had been pursuing other
interests. He himself had thought she was content with stuff of her own liking, and now he suspected Jessica and the others had been thinking
the same thing.

Akari saw his distress, and the indecision as to what to do. Stepping closer to Deliah, who was obviously torn over her admission and recent
events, she said softly, "Del-chan... there is no need to be so sad."

Deliah's cries slowed, and she looked at the candy-pink haired female, sniffing.

With a reassuring smile, Akari offered, "You should not be thinking you are alone. Even though your friends have other things that interest them,
they still remain your friends." Placing a hand on Deliah's arm, the older female added, "People change as they grow, Del-chan... we all can't
stay children forever."

"I-I know... I just wish sometimes, y'know," Deliah replied.

"I know."

David nodded. "I know, too. And I want to say I'm sorry, Deliah. The rest of us should have been paying better attention to you." With a self-
effacing shrug, he added, "I guess for all that we're trying to grow up so fast, me and the others still have a lot to learn. Especially when we
ignore our closest friends." He then knelt by Deliah's side. "Can you forgive us?"

With a sob, the young female threw her arms around David. "Oh, yes! Yes, I do!" She pulled back to pull herself together enough to smile at
her friend. "I'm just sorry it had to happen like this."

David hugged her tighter. "We're all clan, Deliah. No matter what happens to one of us or all of us, we stick by one another."

For a while, the two clan mates embraced while Akari looked on and smiled. Then, something made a shrill, chirping sound in the pocket of
David's shirt. Pulling back, the halfling pulled out a small cel-phone and flicked the "RECEIVE" switch. "I'm here."

"David, it's Mom," Elisa's voice said over the small speaker. "Demona's about to land in the main courtyard. We're rounding up our trio of visitors,
so you'd better get Akari into the library again."

"Right, we're on our way." Switching the unit off, he looked at the two females. "Demona's here...looks like we'll know soon enough if we can
send everyone back to where they belong."

"And get my mother back," Deliah said, a touch of her former worry coloring her words. Before they got up, Akari reached over and placed a
comforting hand on her new friend's shoulder.

"If there is a way, Del-chan...we will find it," she said firmly.


Before long, everyone gathered back inside the library, where Elisa had guided Rosanna and their new arrival.  Matt had joined them as well,
and as soon as he saw Deliah, he stepped over to pull her close in a comforting embrace.

Demona looked up from where she and Alex were bent over the Wishing Stone. Her eyes arched upward at the hostile look Rissa gave her -
it was a pale comparison to the outright anger she could feel from Rosanna - but she shrugged it aside as she peered at the fragments a moment

"Well, Demona? What's the verdict?" Brooklyn prompted.

Demona looked over to where Brooklyn and the rest of the clan stood waiting. "As far as I can tell, it was the volume of the wish that shattered
this talisman. It had the means to grant the total request, but at the cost of sacrificing itself." holding up the fragments of the artifact, she said, "There
is a way to restore this. In doing so, I think I can reverse part of the spell; the part that sent Elektra away."

"You can bring Mom back?" Hope burst from Deliah's heart like a wellspring.

Demona nodded, then frowned. "As for sending your guests back to their own worlds... that will take some doing."

Rosanna rumbled, her eyes starting to glow slightly.

"But, it's not impossible!" Alex quickly stated, hoping to stave off Rosanna's ire.

"No, it's not," Demona agreed. "However, such an effort will take a lot of energy. And, I might add, that sum may be all that most of us here can

Looking over at the trio, Elisa asked, "Can't we wait until Aiden gets back? If this is going to take a lot of magic, shouldn't we have all the help we
can get?"

"It isn't that simple, Captain." Owen explained. "The Wishing Stone was made by human magic; specifically, that of Alexander's. Demona has
extensive expertise in such matters, but Ms. Ferguson was trained by myself in the matters of Fey magics."

"And Fey and mortal-made magic doesn't mix well together," Demona said pointedly.

Rissa blinked. "So, what are you saying exactly? Can you send us home?"

"Oh, they can send us home, all right," Rosanna growled. "It's just that they might not have enough power to survive the attempt! Typical... even
in another universe, you find ways to ruin my life, Demona!"

"I can think of ways to ruin in further, child!" Demona snarled, taking a step towards the other-dimensional daughter of Goliath threateningly.
Rosanna reached for her sidearm, hissing like an overactive alley cat.

Brooklyn stepped in between the azure female and the hot-headed younger one. "All right, let's not go splitting hairs here!" Rosanna backed
down. "Now...if the problem is lack of power, is there anything we could do to give either of you two a boost in power?" he asked.

Demona calmed herself. "Additional power has to be present to use the stone to send these three back to where they belong."

"So, we just need to get more power from somewhere. Like another magical artifact or something." Elisa commented.

"Swell. Just pop down to the local Black Magic shop," Brooklyn scowled.

The red-headed youth shook his head. "I wish it was that simple."

David suggested, "Can't you draw electrical power and use that instead?"

Demona snorted. "We can't just jack into the Aerie's power generators, can we?"

David Xanatos tapped his chin thoughtfully. "Or can we, indeed..."

Elisa caught the inflection in his voice. "What's cooking in that head of yours, David?"

The industrialist looked pointedly at Owen. "Something I remember from a while back. Something I was told before our confrontation with
Oberon..." As he thought back, he echoed the words his majordomo once told him. "Energy is energy--."

"No matter if it comes from science or from magic," Owen finished, a smile tugging at the corner of his mouth. "I'd almost forgotten that night."

"What does he mean?" young David asked.

Alex made the mental leap, snapping his fingers. "That the building's generators CAN give us all the power we need to send our new friends
home, as well as get Elektra back! We just need a means to convert electrical energy into magical energy!"

Demona made the same connection, pacing along the edge of the table in thought. "It's perfect! But who will facilitate the change-over? We
both need to be concentrating on restoring the stone, and putting everyone back where they belong."

Alex looked over at his mentor. "Owen?" Before the question had been spoken, Owen had already removed his glasses and, in a swirling flash
of eldrich-green light, the form of Oberon's trickster appeared.

Demona couldn't help the slight-reflexive sneer that formed on her lips. "Puck...I should have guessed."

"You know, Motherhood hasn't totally toned your temper down, dearie," the white-haired Fey grinned, hovering above the carpeted floor. "I rather
like you that way!"

"Puck," Alex prompted. "We've got a situation here..."

Puck zipped over to stand between the youth and the older sorceress. "Yes, yes, I know...and it's a good thing for you that I never taught you
everything I know, or you'd all be in a pickle!"

"Can he do it, though?" Rosanna blurted.

Cracking his knuckles, Puck gave her a half-grin. "Dear lady, I've never been know to fail...when it didn't suit me, that is." He looked at Alex
and Demona for a second to say, "Considering I'm doing this to protect Alex from spending his energy, I can bend around Daddy Oberon's
rules a bit. Just get ready to put the whammy on, 'cause if you're going to need the power, I need to get close to the source!"

"When will we be able to tell that you've started?" Demona asked with the feeling that something wasn't going to be pleasant by the time this
was over.

Puck just winked at her. "Believe me, Demmie, you'll back in a bit!" With that, the Fey snapped his fingers and vanished.

Demona looked at Alex. "We'd better prepare ourselves, and I recommend that you watch me closely."

Alex nodded. "In case something...right." With that, they both turned to face the shattered remains of the stone, their faces drawing vacant as
they concentrated on marshaling the forces inside themselves.

Across the way, the three displaced gargoyles were speaking to the rest. Rosanna was having an especially hard time speaking to Elisa, since
it appeared that she might be going just when she needed Elisa's support.

"Don't worry," Elisa told Rosanna. "I'm sure you'll be fine, and everything will work out in the end in your world."

"I...I just wish you were coming with me," Rosanna said. The iron shell that she usually had over her emotions had broken down a bit, and her
eyes were glittering as she looked at Elisa and David. "I...we could really use all the help we can get!"

"I know. But I can't leave," Elisa explained. "I have my family here, have your family to look after back there." Reaching out, Elisa
took the young female's hands into her own, squeezing them meaningfully. "Be brave, Rosanna. And don't forget that you're not alone any more."

Forcing back her tears, Rosanna smiled weakly. "I know...and mo-I mean, Elisa... thank you. For everything."

Across the way, Akari was speaking to Matt and Deliah. The young Japanese female had made quite and impression on Matt who - while still
edgy over concern for Elektra - was impressed that Deliah had made such a good friend with her.

"I promise that when I get back, I shall have Kai contact your leader here," Akari was saying to Deliah. She smiled at Matt and added, "If it is
permitted, we might even have you come visit Ishimura, as well."

The orange-haired youngling looked up at her foster father. "Can I, dad?"

Matt forced a smile. "Let's...just see if we can get your mother back, kiddo. Then we'll see, okay?"

Deliah nodded, about to say something more when there was a crackle in the air above Demona's head. At that, everyone turned to face her
and Alex, just as something akin to a glowing ball of plasma materialized over the table at the two magic-users.

"Wow! That's something!" David commented over the sizzle of barely contained energy.

Demona hazarded a glance at the spheroid, then nodded to Alex. "Let's begin." With that, the elder gargoyle and the young sorcerer reached
out with both hands, placing them just barely an inch over the shattered Wishing Stone. While Alex was there to monitor the progress of the spell,
Demona started to murmur something under her breath in Latin.

At that, the trio of displaced gargoyles moved to the fore, waiting just in front of the others with nervous anticipation.

Brooklyn spoke out softly, though everyone could hear him: "Safe journey, you three." A sentiment that everyone silently agreed with.

At that moment, the plasma ball suddenly discharged an arc of lighting, stabbing down into Demona's chest. Her hair flew outwards on-end as her
body absorbed the transformed charge of energy, and even her tail and wings flared out like someone had jerked them out to full extension. Alex
looked startled, as did several of the others, but Demona's body relaxed after a moment, and she quickly shook her head to ward off their concerns.
Before her, the shattered pieces of the stone slowly started to pull together, floating in mid air between her outstretched hands as they began to slip
together to form a single, solid form once more.

Finally, she turned her eyes down to the Wishing Stone, and in a clear voice she began to chant:

  "From other places, worlds and time...if their purpose true, their needs sublime...
    Return these three to where they their proper place and time!"

As she spoke, the air inside the chamber started moving again, while the restored Stone lit up with the same glow that Deliah had seen before.

"Ooooh, mice!" Deliah buried her face into Matt's side reflexively, clutching at his coat in fear. Matt held her within the circle of his arms, whispering
words of comfort to her.

The wind and light grew stronger and larger, as the Wishing Stone itself rose away from Alex and Demona to hover high over the library floor. This
time, instead of generating a swirling maelstrom, the magic released from the spell lanced out in three, blazing spears of brilliance. Each one struck
the far wall of the library, where they formed a large pool of ivory energy...three separate doorways!

Rosanna turned to look at Rissa and Akari. "Looks like this is it!"

"But, can we be sure these will take us home?" Rissa asked.

"If I may say so," Akari stated, "to quote someone I saw on television: 'what have we got to lose?', neh?" Striding forward, the mustard-colored
female paused to smile at Deliah and Matt, before she looked into each portal before her.

"Do not waste time! We cannot be sure how long these will stay open," Demona cautioned, her eyes still fixed on the hovering talisman.

Akari nodded, moving towards the middle gateway. She peered inside, frowned, then looked into the one on the left. Her eyes grew wide, which
were followed by a smile as she turned back to face the others. "It's Mt. Zao! And the Castle! This portal will take me home," she beamed. Bowing
low, she said, "Thank you for your care and hospitality, Brooklyn-sama. And thank you for being a friend, Del-chan!" With that said, she turned
back to the gateway and, with a backwards wave, she leaped through in a flash.

All of a sudden, the gate flared up like a strobe light...and then it folded onto itself and disappeared.

"What happened!?" David asked aloud.

"It appears that the portals close up after the correct occupant steps through," Alex reasoned aloud, trying not to deviate too much of his focus
from Demona or the talisman.

Looking at one another, Rissa and Rosanna absorbed this news for a split second. Then, the green-and-purple female rushed towards the
remaining gateways, her head swiveling from one to the other before she settled on the portal to the right.

"Rissa?" Brooklyn called out. "What's wrong!?"

"Nothing!" The former human-turned-gargoyle peered over her shoulder at the Manhattan leader with a look of utter relief. "I can see the castle...
and Jimmy! He and the others must be looking for me...they look so worried!" Steeling herself, she said at last, "I have to get back to them!
Good bye!" The last word had barely left her lips before she hurled herself with all her strength through the portal, an involuntary cry following
after her.

Like the first one, the gate flashed white-hot then collapsed, leaving the middle portal all alone.

"Two down," Elisa prompted, looking to where the last displaced gargoyle stood. "That leaves you the last one to go, Rosanna."

But the other-worldly female stayed rooted to the spot.

"Rosanna? What's wrong?" Brooklyn came up to stand beside her, concern on his beaked face. "This is your ticket home."

"I...," Rosanna stuttered, her hands clenching and unclenching at her sides as she looked considerably paler than she had before. "I...I don't...I
don't think I can do this!"

"Why? Why can't you do this?"

Demona started to show some strain on her face, since she was using her own power to hold the stone together. "H-Hurry! I-I-I can't keep
this u-up forever!"

Rosanna bit her lower lip. "I just can't! Can't you understand!?" She looked at Brooklyn pleadingly, lowering her voice as she explained, "It's
Demona! I just...I just can't trust her!"

Elisa quickly moved up to Rosanna's other side, seeing her hesitate to enter the gate. She caught what the young female had said, and the bleak
look Brooklyn had given her in return. Thinking fast, she reached out and turned Rosanna towards her. "Look, Rosanna...listen to me! You trusted
your mom...your real mother, right?"

Not understanding, the taller female nodded slowly. "Y-yes..."

"Then you can trust me," Elisa said sharply. "Look, I know what you told me about Demona in your world. And I'll be the first to agree that I'd
no sooner trust her that anyone else...but," she scowled, pointing towards the azure gargoyle standing nearby, "you can trust her! Rosanna, this
might be your only way to get back to your world! People are depending on you to help them...lead them against those that threaten your home
and your clan." Fixing Rosanna's eyes with her own, Elisa stated firmly, "You can not allow yourself to not trust others. Especially those that want
to help you."

Rosanna started to protest. "B-But, I..."

Elisa placed a hand on the young female's cheek gently. "Rose...please. For the sake of your real mother, I'm telling you to trust me and Demona."
Looking to where the portal stood swirling and glowing, Elisa urged, "Please, Rosanna. Go. Now...before you're trapped here forever!"

Elisa's words had a calming effect on Rosanna. With a visible effort, she shored herself up and turned to face the portal once more. Reaching out,
she took Elisa's hands into her own, squeezing them for emphasis. "Thank're right. I can't let distrust stop me...there's a whole world
depending on my clan." With that, she released Elisa from her grip and moved towards the last gateway. Stopping before it, she looked at
Demona - who was starting to tremble from the strain of maintaining the spell - and said quickly, "Thank you...for everything!"

Demona nodded, her brow dotted with sweat. "Go!"

Facing the portal finally, Rosanna pulled out her sidearm and cocked it; her look of relief forming into a look of pure iron. "The castle... it's under
attack again! Hang on, people! I'm coming!" With that, and a strident battlecry, Rosanna threw herself through the last gate, vanishing with her
cry fading in everyone's ears.

"That's all three," Xanatos said as the last portal popped out of exsistance.

"But...what about Elektra!? Where's mom?!?" Deliah wailed, hoping that once the others had left, her foster mother would return in an instant.

Alex looked at Demona. "Should I take over? You're not looking too well!"

Demona managed despite the terrific strain to smile slightly. "I started the spell...I...I can...finish it." Taking a deep breath, she shored herself up
and then spoke the last part of the spell:

  "One who's traveled far away...I command you now, return this day.
    This young one's wish I now undo...come back to the place that is true to you!"

The Stone flashed again...only this time, instead of a portal or a magical windstorm, it lowered itself from above until it nearly touched to polished
wood of the chamber floor. Once there, it proceeded to spin; faster, faster, faster and faster still. Its light also grew in intensity, filling the entire
library with an amazing show of radiance.

As everyone covered their eyes, Brooklyn quipped aloud, "Here we go again!" The light was so bright, everyone personally felt they would go
blind before it was over. Then, like someone flipping off a switch, the light snapped out of existence.

And, with the spell finished, Demona collapsed over the table, her energies spent.


Opening their eyes, Matt and Deliah looked at one another in unspoken fear. "Did it work?" she asked timidly, unwilling to look and see that it didn't. Her answer came in the form of a universal gasp from everyone else...and the relieved sob that sounded all to familiar to her ears:

"By the Magus!" There, crouched on the floor of the library as she looked around in fear-mixed wonder was Elektra.

Turning around in her father's arms, Deliah couldn't stop the shriek that forced its way out of her lips. She burst away from Matt, flinging herself at her foster mother's feet, throwing her arms around the taller hybrid's body with a cry. "Mother! Oh, Mother, thank the DRAGON!" Tears flowed down her cheeks as she nearly crushed Elektra in her grip.

Returning the hug as best as she could, Elektra gasped and replied, "Och, Deliah! My child!" She looked up to see Matt and the others standing around her, looking as relieved as she felt. "Oh, Magus! That...I was...I nearly can't believe it...I'm...really home?"

Kneeling down by his mate, the auburn-haired detective gently gathered his family close. "You _are_ home, dear...God! When they told me what happened--!"

"It was all my fault," Deliah interrupted, trying not to cry again as she looked into Elektra's face. "I didn't know I was using a wishing talisman when you were sent away! Please...don't be mad at me..."

Elektra hugged Deliah closer, reaching up with a five-fingered hand to stroke her head. "Hush now...oh, my wee one! I'm not mad at you! 'Twas not your fault, not knowing what you were any account, I wasn't in any danger, where I ended up." She pulled back and smiled softly. "Nae, more dwelling on mistakes! I'm home... and that's all that counts."

"But, where did you go exactly, Elektra?" Matt asked.

Alex came over from helping Demona recover, saying, "That's what I'd like to know, considering it was my talisman that caused all of this trouble."

Elektra started, looking at everyone before she broke into a helpless grin. "Believe it or not... I never left the castle." Seeing their puzzled expressions, she explained, "I ended up in another place, only it was just like our world, with its own Castle Wyvern and it's own clan of gargoyles...but, they were much, _MUCH_ different than ours!" She looked at Matt, almost apologetically. "I found out there is one that exists there that is much like me."

"Another Elektra?" Elisa asked.

" that I...she, that is, was mated to Broadway."

Matt pulled back with a look of shocked amusement. "Broadway!?"

Brooklyn couldn't help but say, "You mean he didn't marry Angela?"

Turning around, Elektra fixed the Manhattan leader with a wry look. "That honor was taken by _your_ counterpart, Leader." Seeing his sudden look of sheer terror, she giggled and added, "But, that I believe we'd better keep from my rookery sister here."

Xanatos' curiosity was piqued. "Just how many of us existed in this alternate world, Elektra."

Elektra laughed, then sighed. "What does it matter? They were all good people in that world, and while I got to know them for a while, what mattered to me was that I could come home." Turning back to her daughter and mate, she hugged them close and smiled all the more. "And now that I am, I couldn't be any more happier..."


The End