The Nine Lives of Dr. Sevarius: Part 1

by Rahsaan Footman

Based on "Genesis Undone," TGC

Disclaimer: This story is based on characters from the television series
Gargoyles. The characters from Gargoyles are property of Disney/Buena
Vista Television. I write this not for profit, but for fun. I hope you all enjoy
a good what-if story. Enjoy.

Cast: For the new characters that pop up as the story progresses…
 Maxine Brown – Vanessa Williams
 Dr. Quintina Reilly – Gate McFadden

Previously on Gargoyles…
Bruno, Head Mercenary: Dr. Sevarius has more lives than an alley cat…
* * * * *
David Xanatos: You grew these from scratch so quickly.
Dr. Sevarius:  No, of course not that would have taken too long.  I used short cuts.
* * * * *
Sevarius grabbing an electric eel, shocking himself to death.
Xanatos: He's dead
* * * * *
"May I present the best genetists on the planet."
The doctor takes off his hat and coat revealling a younger looking Sevarius
Sevarius: I was particularly proud of my death scene.
Xanatos: Frankly, I think you overplayed the part.

 Part 1

New York City; March 3, 1997
     A late winter storm blanketed the East Coast. In Manhattan, while the gargoyles
spent a quiet evening indoors, Brooklyn wandered the halls with a bad case of castle
fever. He didn't know what he wanted, he just felt like he would crazy unless he found
it. He peeked into the library.  Goliath and Elisa were on the couch, enjoying a roaring
fire.  Neither talked, they just lounged in each other’s arms. Brooklyn quietly closed the
double doors and continued to roam.
     He took the elevator down to the hangers, where Lex was hanging out. Lately,
Lexington spent more time down here than on the computers.  Brooklyn found him under
the hood of their converted helicopter, banging away on something.
     “Lex,” Brooklyn called. No reply.
     “Hey Lex!” he shouted, finally getting his brother’s attention.
     Lex peered over his shoulder at Brooklyn. “Yeah! What?”
     “You want to do something?”
     Lex held up the hood, “I’m kinda in the middle of something right now.  Maybe later.”
Lex went back to work.
     “Yeah,” Brooklyn mumbled to himself, “Maybe later.”
     Brooklyn took the elevator down a couple of floors to the arboretum.  He found the
Xanatoses, Bronx and Hudson in the open brightness.  Alex was riding Bronx like a horse,
while Fox and Hudson walked on either side, steadying him.  David Xanatos watched with
fatherly affection, and Owen set out a blanket for a late night picnic for the adults.  Alex
patted Bronx on the head urging him to go faster.  Bronx gave a playful growl and
gamboled to a trot. Alexander burbled with glee. Before any noticed he was there,
Brooklyn hit the up button and watched the scene disappear behind closing doors.
     Brooklyn was in the Great Hall again, heading towards the TV room when he heard
laughter, Angela’s laughter.  Brooklyn poked his rust-colored beak into the room. He saw
her with Broadway.  A black and white video was playing, but the couple was more
interested in each other.  Another round of laughter came from the room, Broadway’s
mixed with Angela’s.  That was the last straw.
     Brooklyn left for the open courtyard and the battlements.  Brooklyn hopped off the
parapets into the night. He had no clear idea where he was going, but if he stayed inside
one more minute he’d go nuts.  Out of habit, he flew his usual patrol route. The cold
kept everyone in, even the criminal element.  He finished his circuit in half an hour, but
didn’t want to go home, so he flew around the Big Apple. The snow began coming down
in heavier drifts.  It was times like these, Brooklyn was glad gargoyles don’t feel cold’s bite.
     “Though, time like these, I can get behind the idea of pants and a jacket.” Brooklyn
muttered as rubbed his arms free of flakes.
     City lights bounced off the snow creating a glaring orange haze.  It made things harder
to see and the driving snow made staying out miserable.  He thought about going home,
but that was out.  Loneliness waited for him there. Broadway and Angela, Goliath and
Elisa, even the Xanatoses; reminders that he was lonely and alone. But where could
he go? The Labyrinth.
     Brooklyn fought a strong gust to reach the subway tunnels. He was coming in just
as a figure emerged: Talon.
     “Brooklyn, Thank goodness you’re here.” Talon sounded worried. "I was about to
go to the castle."
     “Why? What’s wrong?” Brooklyn landed.
     “It’s the clones. They’re dying.”

     Talon and Brooklyn hurried back to the Labyrinth. Talon explained what he
could, “The clones started getting sick three nights ago, but it didn’t get really bad until
tonight. I was on my way to see Goliath, when I ran into you.”
     They emerged into the subway station, the heart of the Labyrinth.
     “I just hope it isn’t too late.” Talon led Brooklyn to the infirmary.
     A side tunnel served as infirmary for the ailing gargoyles. Brooklyn saw three of
the gargoyles laying on cots and heard the other two behind screens sectioning off the
tunnel. The crimson gargoyle spotted his clone, Malibu.  The pale green gargoyle looked
emaciated. His ribs stuck out of his side. He was so thin, Brooklyn could see Malibu’s
lungs labor with each breath and his heart flutter beneath the ribcage.
     The other clones weren’t better off. Broadway’s double, Hollywood lay on his side.
Green foam dribbling from his mouth. Maggie placed a cool compress on Delilah. Her
white wings hung limply from her back in faded gray hues. The hybrid clone thrashed
her head from side to side. Maggie whispered soothing word to the semiconscious
Delilah. It was so heart-wrenching, Brooklyn moved to help them.
     “Stop! Don’t come any closer!” Maggie said imperiously.
      "We don't know what it is.  It could be contagious to gargoyles," Talon spoke
sensibly, a restraining arm on Brooklyn’s shoulder..
     "But whatever it is, mutates and humans aren’t effected." A woman, emerged from
behind the screen where Brooklyn could see Brentwood and Burbank lay on gurney beds.
     “How do you know?” Brooklyn asked.
     "Maggie and I have helped them since they got sick. Neither of us have shown signs
of illness." The woman checked something off on a clipboard.
     “Who are you?” Brooklyn challenged.
     "Brooklyn, this is our doctor, Maxine Brown," Talon introduced her.
     "Premed, actually, but I know enough to help when I can," Maxine smiled.  She
was a black woman with high cheek bones and jet black eyes, really quite fetching.
     "Thank you, for helping them." Brooklyn couldn’t help admiring her.
     "It's been an honor.” Maxine took off her medical gloves, “It gives me a chance to
study gargoyle physiology. How many can say that?"
     "Have you? Said so, I mean?" Brooklyn asked suddenly fearful.
     "No," Maxine sounded slightly downcast, "Talon reminded me that patient-client
confidentiality extends to one's species."
     "What do you know so far?" Talon asked.
     "Only the apparent symptoms," Maxine pointed to Hollywood, "He been foaming
at the mouth.  Malibu's body is emaciated, looks like his body’s eating the muscle
tissue. Delilah's eyes and skin are pale, possibly anemia. Brentwood suffers from black
outs. And Burbank’s skin remains stone in patches.
     “Since they all came down with these symptoms at the same, I suspect it’s the same
problem, but I all I have are guesses. Brooklyn, might I give you a physical?"
     Brooklyn was a little stunned, by her abrupt change in subject, "What? Why?"
     "No one's documented a gargoyle’s health before. I'm flying blind here. With a healthy
gargoyle’s life signs as a baseline, I’ll be able to measure what's happening with the others.
I promise I won’t be intrusive, just take a little blood."
     "If it will help the others, of course." Brooklyn agreed. “Just don’t ask me to turn my
head and cough.”
     Maxine left Maggie to take care of the clones. Maxine scrubbed up and changed
clothes, taking all the necessary precautions. She and Brooklyn went to a large utility
closet now converted for Labyrinth use. Maxine took a few blood samples, measured
his heart beat and blood pressure.
     "You know this is sort of spooky?" Maxine idly chattered as she labeled her fifth
vial of blood.
     "What? Working on a gargoyle?" Brooklyn asked. He had to keep the sneer out of
his voice. It still bugged him that humans didn’t accept them..
     "No, a clone. Haven’t you seen the news? Scientists in Scotland have cloned a sheep.
We have been debating the issue for a week in my Bioethics class. To them, it’s an
hypothetical dilemma. It’s quite a different feeling when you’re in the thick of it.”
     “So what have they been saying?” Brooklyn asked in a more congenial tone.
      “Most of it centered around using tissue from the clone to help the original, like
you and Malibu." Maxine wiped alcohol on Brooklyns arm. "You, two, are identical.
It might be possible to fix what's wrong with him with some of your tissue."
     Maxine was about to stick him with another syringe to draw blood when Brooklyn
reflexively pulled away.
     "Sorry, but I'd like to keep my insides inside, if you don't mind."
     Maxine shrugged, "First, let’s find out what's wrong with them. We can hold off on
the Dr. Frankenstein stuff for another day. That should be it."
     Maxine taped some gauze over where she drew blood.  Brooklyn flexed his arm. He
noticed she was checking him out. She must think he was trying to impress her.  Brooklyn
and Maxine’s eyes, they quickly looked away.  She immediately busied herself
labeling the vials of blood.
     "Will this turn to stone?" She asked in a clinical manner.
     Brooklyn had to think a moment, "I don’t know, never been around past sunrise to
see. I guess it would and probably stay stone, too. Then again, Thailog was able to clone
us using Goliath's blood. It had to remain real somehow."
     "I'll have to work fast. Can you stay? I may have some questions later."
     “Sure.” Brooklyn didn’t mention how much he wanted to stay. Finally, he had an
adventure. He'd have to tell Goliath about what was going on, but Brooklyn rationalized
that he need to know as much of what was going on to brief his leader. The premed
took the samples to the microscope and centrifuge in the back of the infirmary.
     Claw brought Brooklyn some dinner and they waited. Maxine came out only once
to take a blood sample from Malibu, then disappeared again. A couple hours passed,
before Maxine emerged from behind the curtain looking perplexed.
     "Brooklyn, how old are you?"
     "A thousand and forty, give or take a year," Brooklyn replied deadpan. He got shocked
glances from Maggie, Claw and Maxine. Talon knew the whole story. He wasn't surprised.
     "I know I don't look a day over one hundred." Brooklyn joked.
     "Seriously," Maxine rebuked him.
     "Minus a millennium in magic slumber, I'd say about forty human years."
     Maxine turned to Talon, "How old would you say the clones are?"
     "No older than a year, probably closer to six or seven months. Why?"
     "Odd. In comparison, Malibu's blood cells are twice as old as Brooklyn."
     "What?" They said in unison. “How?”
     "It has to do with the ratio of platelets, to red and white blood cells.  But if I didn't
know their ages, I'd say Malibu was the older gargoyle."
     "Is this why, they're sick?" Maggie asked.
     "I don't know. All I know is that it isn't a pathogen, neither a virus nor a bacteria. I
wish I knew more, but I'm reaching the edge of my medical expertise."
     Brooklyn rubbed his chin in thought, "I'll talk to Goliath, see what we can do."
     After a quick good-bye, the red gargoyle hurried out of the Labyrinth, into the snowy night.

* * * * *
The Cloud Forests of the Honduras Highlands, Honduras; March 4, 1997
     It was morning. Even this early, the day was oppressively hot. The sun beat down and
the moisture rose up creating a muggy atmosphere that irritated the gargoyles. Sapphiro
and Obsidiana scanned the forest from their mid-canopy perch.  They were far from the
Green, looking for danger.
     For weeks, they spotted bird and creature fleeing northward. It was far too early for
the migrations and definitely the wrong direction to avoid the clear cutting. Something in
the south terrified these creatures than men with buzzsaws and bulldozers.  Sapphiro decided
to assess this threat before it was at their home. Obsidiana went with him. Neither felt right
about leaving the Green unprotected. Old memories of their clan’s slaughter haunted them.
But they took the risk, to prevent a greater threat and neither would let the other go alone.
     “Augghhh,” a human screamed followed by an ear-piercing shriek.
     Sapphiro and Obsidiana looked at each other, then flew down from their trees.  They
searched until they found a campsite in ruins. Pots, provisions, and gear lay strewn about.
Sapphiro crouched to the ground, inspecting the site.
     “Something was dragged, a body,” he reported grimly.
     “Jaguar?” Obsidiana stood behind him.
     Sapphiro shook his head, “No. The tracks are two legged, upright.”
     Sapphiro shook his head again, “There’s something strange about the tracks,
something off. Anyway look around, men would take things of value, the canteens,
the food, the devices. If these are humans, they aren’t like any we’ve encountered.”
     “So what could it be?” Obsidiana asked, picked up a laptop computer, bewildered
before putting it back.
     “I wish I knew.” Sapphiro said gravely.

* * * * *
New York; March 4, 1997
     The following evening, the gargoyles awoke preparing to leave for the Labyrinth.
Owen asked them to come into the Great Hall where Xanatos and Elisa were waiting
with a guest.
     “Goliath, may I present Dr. Quintina Reilly.” Xanatos said with charm, “I understand
you have need for a geneticist.”
     “How did you find out about that?” Brooklyn asked.
     Xanatos pointed to the cameras inconspicuously placed in the dark corners and above
the doorways. Brooklyn spoke to the clan about the clones' problems here last night.
     “Same old Xanatos,” Brooklyn mumbled to Broadway and Lex.
     Xanatos ignored the jibe, “Dr. Reilly has been working on the mutates' problem
for some time.”
     “How long?” Hudson asked suspiciously.
     “Since your return to the castle.” Xanatos answered.
     “I understand that this isn’t about the mutates, but gargoyle clones?” Dr. Reilly spoke
with a slight English lilt. She was an imperious red-head in her mid to late forties. She
wore a light blue smock over a blouse and jeans. “Shall we go?”
     “Wait a minute,” Broadway interrupted, “Why should we trust you? What are your
credentials? There’s a lot we’ve got to get straight before we put the clones at her mercy.”
     “I’m sorry, I thought time was of the essence.” Dr. Reilly shot back. “Which will it
be? Twenty questions to prove my good intentions? Or shall we get to these patients
while they are still breathing?”
     Her brisk manner didn’t endear her to the clan, but her logic was razor sharp.  They
didn’t have time to argue. Goliath conceded her point, but all kept a wary eye on her.

     Talon greeted his friends warmly, but the stranger, he viewed with suspicion.  Goliath
was about to introduce her, but she took the initiative.
     "Dr. Quintina V. Reilly." She presented herself. "Mr. Xanatos said you had some
genetics problem. I'm here to solve them."
     “Genetics problems,” Talon growled, “That’s putting it mildly.”
     "Don’t I know you from somewhere?" Maggie eyed the young woman.
     "Unless you graduated magna cum laude at John Hopkins, I doubt it," Dr. Reilly
answered quickly, getting down to business. "Mr. Xanatos has told me about the situation.
I’d like to see the patients now.”
     If Talon was taken aback by her take-charge manner, he didn’t show it. He lead the
party to the infirmary, pulling back the curtain.
     All were stunned at the sight of the ailing clones. For the trio, it was like looking into
a gruesome mirror. Angela felt moved for all the clones, but more so for Delilah. Maxine,
Maggie and Claw tended the sick. Maggie gave a slight shake of the head.  Maxine helped
Burbank through a fit of convulsions. When Hudson's clone subsided from the seizure, she
came to the gargoyles waiting at the end of the tunnel.
     "It's all right. There's no sign of contagion. It isn't catching." Maxine reassured them.
     "Excuse me, miss. Who are you?" Quintina asked in her bossy manner.
     "I'm the physician tending these people," Maxine got defensive.
     "And what is your expertise in this matter?" Reilly persisted.
     "My expertise? I'm premed." Maxine looked to Talon for an explanation.
     "I don't have time to argue this. You can stay as my assistant provided you remain
useful." Reilly pushed Maxine aside, continuing to the ailing clones.
     "Oh no, YOU DO NOT!" Maxine moved in front of Quintina, standing in her face. In
a very calm, very low, very dangerous voice she told Quintina how it was going to be.
"These people are my patients, understand. Their care comes first. So, I'm going to be
here come hell or high water. My *expertise* is four days more with this ailment than
yours. That makes me the man in charge. You may stay as my assistant," Maxine
returned to her patients.  She looked over her shoulder, "Provide *you* remain useful,"
she added.
     Reilly was going to argue it, but Goliath cleared his through to get her attention.  "Right
now, the gargoyles are our main concern."
     Dr. Reilly nodded and followed Maxine. Talon turned to Elisa.
     "Charming lady, where did you find her?"
     "Ask Xanatos,” Elisa answered, “He swears she's the best geneticist aside from Sevarius."
     "When did you start believing Mr. Snidely Whiplash?" Derek asked coldly.
     "Since he saved Goliath and the others from being hunted down like animals." Elisa
faced her brother, "That doesn't erase what he's done, but right now we need his help
for them and for you."
     Hollywood flew into a coughing fit, spitting up more green foam and Brentwood
began shaking in his comatose state. The convulsions empahsised Elisa's point. The
account between Talon and Xanatos would be settled another time.  Right now, there
were those in deeper need.

* * * * *
Cloud Forest, Honduras; March 4, 1997
     Dark had fallen. So did the temperature, but not the moisture. The high humidity
broke in frequent showers in the highland rainforest. Obsidiana and Sapphiro waited
out the small deluge on the ground, avoiding most of the precipitation. After their
discovery, this morning, they searched the entire area, finding nothing. They debated
about returning to the Green.
     “Whatever it is could miss the Green,” Obsidiana argued, “One pryamid is easy to
miss in a vast jungle.”
     “And if it doesn’t?” Sapphiro returned.
     “We thought it was something big, like a fire or more cutting. We haven’t seen
anything. It’s not a threat to the Green.”
     Sapphiro shook his head, “I want to believe that to, but if we’re wrong we put
everything at risk.”
     “We put the Green at risk being this far away,” Obsidiana shot back, “The hills and
forest are vast, we can spend the next ten years searching and find nothing. Please
Sapphiro, lets go home.”
     The rain stopped and silence filled the forest.  That caught their attention. The
forest was always with sounds, especially at night.  Both gargoyles stood up. They
heard low, heavy breathing. It came from the brush just ahead of them.  A second
rumbling came from the left, then another off to the right. When the fifth rumbling
came from behind them, they saw the bushes shake.  Whatever it was, it had friends.
     The gargoyles didn’t want combat.  They sprang to the air, claws sinking into tree
trunks.  Sapphiro and Obsidiana climbed a little higher to a sturdy limb. Suddenly the
limb shook, whatever stalked them jumped the twenty feet in the air to this branch. They
heard a hiss, but saw nothing. Obsidiana and Sapphiro took wing, leaving the predators
behind. As they fled, Sapphiro’s question was mirrored in Obsidiana’s face: What, in the
world, was that?

* * * * *
New York City; March 4, 1997
     The gargoyles, mutates and Elisa waited in the subway station for the doctors’ return.
A couple of hours passed before Quintina and Maxine emerged from the infirmary.  Reilly
had a triumphant smile on her face, while Maxine looked troubled.
     "The clones are dying," Reilly made her diagnosis, like it was a stunning revelation.
     “We know that!” Broadway growled.
     "From what?" Goliath asked quickly.
     "Progressive systemic failure," Quintina answered.
     Quintina got blank stares all around. Maxine explained further.
     "Their bodies are shutting down system by system. Like in Delilah’s case, her
circulatory system is breaking down. With Hollywood, it’s his nervous system. And so on."
     "This looks like Sevarius' work," Reilly commented, "He's the only one with this kind
of success in cloning. The poor quality escapes me though…"
     "What do you mean?" Brooklyn asked before the others.
     "This a design flaw. That's causing the trouble. There are lingering e. coli counts that
shouldn't be, alterations to the p45 gene, and excess lysine production which I can't
account for."
     "Mind translating that into English," Elisa and Talon demanded.
     Reilly snorted, muttering under her breath, "Thintelligent louts."
     Maxine explained, "When you clone a cell, you make a copy, but that copy still
follows a life cycle.  If I cloned myself, the clone would take twenty-five years to get to
my point of maturity today. She would have to go through the same cycles of growth;
infancy, childhood, adolescence, that I went through. These clones are different. Barely
a year old, they’re biologically older than all of you."
     "Exactly," Dr. Reilly rejoined in the conversation, "Sevarius tinkered with genes to
coax a quicker growth rate, but the most successful methods would only halve the time.
He did something else to the cells, achieving adulthood in days and weeks instead of
years. But there is a price, a heavy price.  These alterations don’t correct themselves.
The clones are continuing to grow at an accelerated rate.”
     “That's why they're suffering,” Maxine concluded, “Their bodies are aging, racing
towards death."
     Everyone was silent for a moment, letting this news sink in. This was a lot of genetics
to cram into one night.
     "The shoddiness is a mystery to me.” Dr. Reilly said to herself, “At most, these clones
would live a year and that's overly optimistic. Why create something just to have it die?"
     "Thailog created them to get rid of us. After that he could care less about what
happened to them," Broadway answered.
     "But can it be fixed?" Lex persisted.
     "This not a computer, gargoyle," Reilly spoke condescendingly, "For me to do anything,
I'll need to know what method was used, everything Sevarius did  to 'enhance' them.
Otherwise, I might kill them. Right now, all I can guarantee is a couple of weeks for them."
     "What about injecting the clones with an extract of their DNA?" Maxine pointed at the
     Reilly thought about it for a minute, "Possible, but doubtful. The extract might slow
the disorder by rewriting the DNA. But it is so progressive those changes won’t hold. It
won't cure them.  What we need is Sevarius."
     Silence fell over the group again.
     "Some good news," Maxine interjected to stop the pall falling over them. "Their time
in stone doesn't count. The disease doesn’t progress while their statues. In fact, their stone
slumber might push the disease back a little bit. There is a good chance that they'll survive
whatever treatment we find for them."
     “If we find one,” Dr. Reilly mumbled.
     “Way to keep a positive attitude,” Maxine responded sarcastically. Sentiments shared
by Brooklyn.
     “I’m just being realistic,” Quintina argued, “Under ideal conditions, yes, we might be
able put something together in a year, but we don’t have the time. We can’t do a year’s
worth of research in two weeks.”
     Brooklyn’s head lifted up, "Unless?"
     "Unless what Brooklyn?" Angela prompted him.
     "Avalon," Brooklyn answered.  A look of hope and understanding lit Angela, Elisa
and Goliath's faces in a sea of bewilderment from the others.
     "What does California have to do with anything?" Reilly asked.
     "If they went to Avalon, two weeks would become a year," Brooklyn explained to
     "True, but how would we get word back and forth from there? Assuming Avalon
sends us straight back instead of around the world."
     "I'll go with them," Brooklyn offered impulsively.
     "No one's going anywhere!" Reilly ordered. "These clones aren't fit to travel any
     "I have to agree with her," Maxine backed her up, "The clones stay."
     "What about when they’re stone?  You said the illness doesn’t count then." Brooklyn
argued softly. He started to explain, but Goliath spoke first.
     "Right now, finding Sevarius comes first," Goliath took command of the situation,
"Lexington, Angela, go back to the castle. Tell Hudson what's happened and use the
computers to find Sevarius’ whereabouts. Brooklyn, Broadway take patrol tonight.  I
know you want to help the clones, but we can't abandoned our duties. Report with
Elisa every hour. You'll be on duty tonight?"
     "In 45 minutes," Elisa nodded.
     "Talon, feel like revisiting a crime scene?" Goliath asked.
     "The old amusement park?" Talon guessed, "Sounds interesting. Maggie, Claw, see
to the doctors' needs. We'll be back as soon as possible."
     Everyone knew what to do, they all crowded the tunnel to street level. Elisa tugged
Goliath's shoulder. "I'll see what Matt and I can dig up," she offered.
     "Thank you, Elisa," but Goliath still looked troubled.
     "What's wrong?" she asked.
     "I was wondering.  If this is happening to the clones, what about Thailog?"
     "What about him?" Elisa sounded rather cold-blooded, "You said he died in that
amusement park fire."
     "But we saw him die before on that oil rig fire, too. He survived. Remember, Thailog
always has a contingency."
     "Well if he's alive, he's probably sipping a cure even as we speak. Thailog's the least
of our worries."
     But Elisa knew that Goliath still harbored some hope for Thailog. That he can turn him
toward good. Just like he held out love for Demona. It was one of things that infuriated
her about him, but also made his love so enduring. Elisa knew Goliath would love her no
matter what. She felt incredibly lucky for that. Impulsively, she hugged him fiercely. Goliath
was a bit stunned, but he returned the embrace. All under Talon's watchful gaze.  Goliath
squirmed a bit, then gently untangled Elisa from him.
     "You'd better get to work?" Goliath whispered to her. With a fond smile, Elisa hurried
to join the clan facing the cold.

* * * * *
     Talon and Goliath flew in the crisp late winter air.  The snow stopped earlier around
midday and the sun melted all but the heavy drifts.  Talon glided close to Goliath.
     "I see you and my sister have become very close," he said casually. Goliath couldn't
gauge from his voice whether he approved of the match or not.
     "Yes, we are." Goliath returned in his own neutral tone.
     "Don't worry." Talon smiled. "I haven't known you long Goliath, but I do know
you're a good man, . . er . gargoyle, with a good heart. I know you'd never hurt Elisa."
     Goliath felt honored by the trust exhibited by Derek.  He vowed to himself to be
worthy of the trust.
     "Cause if you did…" Talon let an electrical charge dance across his fingers. Goliath
gave Talon a look before they both broke into smiles. Goliath pointed down as  they
approached the charred remains of the Oceanside amusement park.  The official story
was that vandals came into the park and torched it.  Little evidence of their battle
remained as they circled the park. The Fun house that served as Thailog's base of
operation was charcoal.
     "The tunnels underneath might still be intact." Goliath ventured.  They began digging,
soon finding an entrance.  Goliath's eyes lit up in the darkness and Talon lifted his hand.
The small charge dancing between his fingers added more light to the darkness.
     They followed the entrance to the torture chamber. Talon and Goliath took other
passages, but they all lead back to torture chamber.
     "I think this is a dead end," Talon grumbled, returning to the torture chamber a the
third time.
     Goliath sighed, "I think you're right." Goliath tapped on the walls, hoping like in
Broadway’s movies, a hidden passage would reveal itself from a hollow sound.
     Talon shook his head, "This was just a trap. We might as well head back."
     Goliath continued rapping,  “Not yet, Delilah emerged from a concealed passage.
It should be close by.”
     Finally, he found it. Not a hollow sound he expected, but a ringing of solid metal.
Not a problem for the massive gargoyle. Goliath dug his talons into the foot of the door.
He lifted the door, jamming it in the ceiling slot. True to Goliath’s suspicion, the passage
led to a control room. A bank of monitors lay dark.  Levers and buttons filled every
consol in the room. Many operated the lights, rides and traps. The only thing out of
place was a laptop computer. Talon picked it up and began searching through the files.
     "Nothing intriguing yet," he said absently, tapping away at the miniature keyboard,
"Thailog's also the CEO of Nightstone Industry, if that means anything to you.”
     "How do you know?" Goliath was impressed.
     Derek turned the laptop around showing the Nightstone logo and the name Alexander
Thailog, CEO emblazoned in gold in the lower corner. "I'm impressed," Goliath
commented, "You're as good a detective as Elisa."
     "Runs in the family," Derek smiled, "Hold on, there.  This is shows Sevarius working
for Thailog. He has him on the bankroll. Hardly news, but now we have proof.  I can't
find anything useful about the clones. He just marked the day he caught us as the 'Reckoning'."
     "Does it say where he'll be today?"
     "No, he only planned for that week." Talon shook his head. "I'll take it back to the
Labyrinth, go through it file by file, maybe I can find something else."
     "Do what you can.  I'll send Lexington when he's finished at the castle."  The two
leaders departed from Oceanside, one heading to a castle in the sky, the other to his in
the earth.

* * * * *
     "What do you mean, ‘he’s dead’?" Lex shouted in whispers, mindful of Alex playing
at Xanatos feet.
     "I mean Dr. Sevarius is dead.  I have the field report from Honduras right here. Two
rangers found the remains of his camp. The doctor met an untimely end from some jungle
predator," Xanatos explained calmly.
     Owen offered the report. Lex began leafing through it.
     "Why was he down there? I thought you had him working on a cure for the mutates?"
Hudson asked pointedly.
     "Dr. Sevarius is a temperamental sort. I have to keep him in a good mood or he might
whip up a batch of poison for the mutates instead of a cure." Xanatos brought that up to
convince Lex and Hudson of the working conditions of the geneticist.
     "I offered him help, but this time he refused the mercenaries. Rest assure, Dr. Quintina
Reilly is the best geneticists on the planet.  She'll find a cure."
     “Yeah, right,” Lexington muttered.
     “If you doubt my intentions, then ask Dr. Reilly to leave.” Xanatos challenged.
     “You know we can’t do that.” Lex argued.
     “Then take the help offered,” Xanatos looked to Owen, who opened the door.
     When Lexington and Hudson left, Xanatos turned to Owen who just entered the
room. "Call Dr. Reilly, tell her to keep with this case. It's her number one priority now."
     "I think she'll disagree with you, sir," Owen informed his employer.
     "Then tell her, that the gargoyles will lead her to Sevarius.  That should be all the
incentive she needs."
     "And what are her orders concerning these gargoyle clones?" Owen asked.
     "Treat them as best she can, but don't use any extreme measures to save them,"
Xanatos dictated his orders.
     Owen left the office to make his call.  Xanatos looked into Alex's shining face and
sighed. "It's time to draw this genetics business to a close."

To be Continued...