From Last Issue's "Writer's Challenge"
Shogun Raptor sent in this unseen excerpt from "Upgrade" --
(Pack Media Studios)
Diretor: Okay Fox, whenever you're ready
Fox: I'm ready
Director: aaaand ACTION!
Fox:Tired of traffic backed up from here to the red one with the beak?
Director: CUT! Fox, bubelah, why do you keep saying that?
Fox: I never could keep their names straight
Director: okay, try it again
Fox: tired of traffic from here to Brooklyn, fed up with the jams on the
short green one with the funny wings Blvd?
Fox: this isn't working, Somebody get me a copy of the script!
Ordeysia (Jacqi McKinney) sent in this missing scene from "The Price" --
"I would say he's all most out for your job Owen." Said Mr. Xanatos
as he looked Hudson over. I was practically appalled by what I heard.
I had just about two years left before the Gathering and I wasn't going
to spend it bumming off of boring mortals. What was I to do though?
The cauldron!, If he truly was going to dunk himself in, that later he'd
turn to stone. I saw another man try it about a few centuries' back.
It would risk my mortal body but like I said the Gathering was in two
years. As much as I loved the mortal world I wasn't about to stay
I watched as Hudson and Xanatos battled it out. Then it was time for
Owen to step in. I couldn't surely let Davey get hit by the statue. I
was about to attack when the gargoyle thew the sword in my face and I
stepped back. The sword was all most all iron and I, great Puck,
servant to Oberon, wasn't about to be killed. Hudson ran out and it
seemed like all was well. David would thank me for risking my neck and
I wouldn't lose my job. Then it happened,
I tested out the cauldron just before Dave put his hand in. I felt
the potion take over my hand and I unwound the strands of magic so it
wouldn't mix with my real form. My left wrist was in stone.
"Thank you Owen. That'll be all." Said David leaving. <I>That'll be
all?</I> That will be all?! No way! I decided enough was enough so I
transferred into my real form and popped up in front of this guy.
"All right! My mortal form has just risked his left arm for you,
battled a gargoyle and tried once again to help you be immortal. All
for a, 'Thanks. That'll be all.' Nuh unh! You owe me! Big time!" I
tried to keep my voice from screaming. Sure I was furious but that
didn't mean I couldn't act civilized.
"What do you want?" he asked. I thought for a moment.
"Well, you can either have one wish from me, the immortal trickster
Puck, or a life time of service," I popped up a small image of my mortal
form, Owen Burnett.
"From Owen." I finished. He smiled at this. As if it were funny. He
became serious once more and looked me in the eye.
"I want Owen." I was amazed. I could've given him immortality, all the
riches in the world, babes!, and he chose Owen. I transferred back into
my mortal form.
Man did I wish I knew what I was getting into.
Obsidian sent in the following:
1. From "The Hound of Ulster" --
-Elisa ignores the Banshee's screaming-
Angela: (covering her ears) (Shouting) Why isn't it bothering you???
Elisa: Once you've heard Roseanne sing the national anthem, you become
pretty much immune to everything else.
2. From any generic Mutates episode, with Sevarius...
Sevarius: (Singing, while working on some chemical things) In just
seven days, I can make you a maaaan.....
3. From "Midsummer Night's Dream, Part 2" --
Oberon: (Godzilla form) What Oberon commands, Oberon gets! So says the
will of Oberon!
Owen/Puck: (inside the building, looking out the window) (Grumbling)
Oberon this, Oberon that, nag nag nag... I really wish 'Tania would keep a
tighter leash on that guy.
4. From "The New Olympians" --
(Before Angela, Goliath, Elisa and Bronx get to the Island.)
(a strange, almost humanlike warrioress Olympian in leather armor shouts
a warrior cry and backflips over the streets)
Tauris: (Shakes head and sighs) There she goes again...
Helios: I REALLY wish that bard friend of hers at least TRIED to keep
her under control.
Tauris: (Sighs and starts back towards the security complex) I'll get
the guards to at least get her to calm down.
Helios: Does that EVER work?
Winn and J.T. sent in these missing scenes --
City of Stone Part 3 --
EXTERIOR CITY STREET
(Xanatos is seen walking towards Pack Media Studios which is
pictured at the end of the block. He has his gun in one hand and is
talking on his cell phone.)
XANATOS: ...that’s where I left the chopper. Send a dozen XCG
there, fully armed and armored. Surround the chopper, guard it ‘til
dawn, and _no one_ looks inside.
City of Stone Part 4 --
INTERIOR XANATOS’ OFFICE
Xanatos and Owen enter returning from Pack Media Studios.
OWEN: ...we’ll need to have the modifications completed by -
(Pan to Fox who is sitting in David’s chair, with her feet up on
the desk, drumming her fingers.)
FOX: I was wondering when you’d get here. Mind telling me why I
found myself alone in the helicopter, in the middle of a street,
surrounded by XCG at dawn? What happened last night, and why don’t
I remember it?
XANATOS: Nothing to worry about, dear. We’re taking care of it.
And I did tell you not to watch the Demona broadcast.
FOX: And you knew that would pique my curiosity.
XANATOS: Ah, but you know what they say about curiosity. It killed
the cat. It would seem you were lucky!
He turns to leave but pauses at the door and looks back.
XANATOS: Don’t get too upset. Even Owen was turned to stone.
(He exits and Owen follows. Pan back to Fox who has a very
puzzed expression on her face. Fade to black.)
Missing Scene from (prologue to) “The Gathering” --
EXTERIOR 23RD PRECINCT MORNING
(Elisa is walking up the steps as Officer Morgan is coming down.)
MORGAN: Hey, Maza! Where ya been? Every cop in the precinct’s been looking for
you. It’s great to see you back safe. I hope you’ve got
a good explanation for the captain. You’ve been gone a long time-
ELISA: It’s a long story.
(Elisa enters the Precinct, Morgan is in the foreground shaking
MORGAN: Man, is she in for it.
INTERIOR CAPTAIN CHAVEZ’S OFFICE
(The Captain is sitting behind her desk reading a file as Elisa
CAPTAIN: Do you have that update I requested?
ELISA: If the update is about my whereabouts, then yes.
(Captain Chavez stands up.)
CAPTAIN: MAZA --!
ELISA: I know what you’re going to say, just give me a minute to
expain, and I think you’ll --
CAPTAIN: You have no idea what I’m about to say. You have been
gone for months with no word. What happened to you? Where have
you been? What have you been doing? Why didn’t you contact
anyone? How did --
ELISA: I can explain everything if you’ll just give me a chance to - -
CAPTAIN: What’s it going to be this time? Wait, let me guess. You
were abducted by aliens. No, I’ve got it. You had amnesia. Or maybe
it was Ghosts. Some of your excuses are as inconceivable as
Shakespeare’s “A Midsummer Night’s Dream”.
ELISA: But Captain --
CAPTAIN: I don’t want to hear any more outlandish stories or wild
excuses. Do you realize the time, manpower and taxpayer’s money that
has been wasted searching for you? And here you are acting like you
just got back late from lunch. When you can come up with a plausable
reason for your disappearance, file it with the report in Missing
Persons. Until then, get to work. Bluestone could use the help.
(The Captain turns her back to Elisa who looks like she wants
to say something more, but then decides she’s better off not opening her
mouth at this point. She leaves muttering under her breath.)
ELISA: Jalapena! You don’t know the half of it Captain!
(Matt spots her coming out of the Captain’s office and walks
BLUESTONE: Elisa! You’re finally back! Did you enjoy your world
tour? Went on a little long didn’t it? How did things go with the
ELISA: Could have been worse. But it would have gone better if you’d
erase the messages on your answering machine more often than once a
(Elisa stalks past him and enters the broom closet to go talk to
Goliath leaving Matt with a puzzled expression on his face.)
BLUESTONE: Huh? Wait, Elisa where are you going? We’ve got to
get to work, you have to fill me in on everything you know about this
Tomas Brod --
(Door Slams. Fade to Black.)
And last but not least, a lengthy excerpt from "Deadly Force" by Royce Day --
Once, when she was in fifth grade, Elisa had gotten into a fight
with Mary Ellen Madison. The blond haired girl had been taunting her
all day, calling her "Tonto's Sister" and other, worse, things, until Elisa
had just gotten sick of it and told Mary off. She ended up using a lot of
Dad's words (the ones he saved for after a particularly bad day on the
beat) and the blond-haired twit of a girl had stalked off, her face
burning . She had forgotten about the whole incident until the next day,
when Mary snuck up behind her at recess and rabbit punched her from
behind, laying a good one in Elisa's kidney that dropped her to the
basketball court's asphalt pavement.
That's how she felt now, except she was sure she hadn't said
anything nasty to Broadway recently, and before she hadn't felt anything
warm and wet pouring from the back of her shirt.
"Sorry! My fault," she heard Broadway call out from the
living room of her apartment. "I was playing with the gun. Stupid of
me. Hope I didn't break anything."
I need to get up. The pan is going to burn. She willed herself
to move, but her legs didn't respond. Or her arms. Or anything.
Broadway's steak was crackling in the pan, while she lay on the kitchen
floor's smooth tiles. She really needed to flip it over, before it was
Staring straight up at the bright kitchen light was burning her
eyes. She closed them against the pain.
"Sorry! Sorry!" she heard Broadway call out. He stepped next
to her and she opened her eyes to look into his worried face.
"Turn off the stove," she tried to say, but for some reason no
sound came from her mouth. Another part of her mind dwelled on the
fact that her back was really starting to hurt. She closed her eyes again
to block out the light. She felt Broadway's arms cradle her, lifting her
into the air.
I've been shot, some dim part of her mind slowly realized.
Broadway shot me…
* * *
She blanked out after that. Some time later she felt air rushing
around her, then a thump as Broadway landed and laid her gently down
on. Then some strange men started shouted and she felt herself rushing
forward, into a bright building where people starting cutting away her
clothes, sticking needles in her arms and shoving a of tube down her
The people talking around her were getting annoying, and she
resolved to get up and leave the room. To her surprise, she succeeded.
Elisa stood up from the table where she lay and blinked her
eyes open. She was in a tiled room, filled with blinking and beeping
machines. At the room's center was a table, surrounded by men and
women in green hospital scrubs. Laying on the table itself was a
woman's body, almost unrecognizable from all the tubes and wires
strung about it.
That's me, she thought with wonder. Strangely, she didn't feel
frightened, or even concerned. Obviously some sort of mistake had
been made. All she had to do was get back to her body and everything
would be all right. She hoped Broadway wasn't too upset by all of this.
"God," one of them said, an oriental man with wide glasses.
"Where are those x-rays? I can't find the damned thing! It bounced all
over the place in there."
"Here," a woman said, rushing up with the plastic flimsies in
her hand. She mounted them on a light board, and the doctor let out a
"It's lodged in her spine, between the ninth and tenth vertebra,"
he concluded. "Okay, lets take this slow and easy. Marge, get some
suction around her spinal collumn. I want to get this bullet out first,
then we can patch the rest."
No, they were busy, and she didn't want to shove around them
right now. Elisa left them to their work, allowing her feet to wander
where they would.
* * *
He couldn't get it off. He had scraped his hands against the
brick wall of the alley until his own palms were raw, but he just couldn't
get the blood off…
From his perch on the roof of the building, Broadway could
just see the lights of the hospital. The place where the healers, doctors
they called them these days, treated their patients. If he turned to the
right, he could see the light from Elisa's apartment building. There
were men in there now, looking for clues. The detectives always came
to look for clues, after somebody was… was…
"Sorry… I'm sorry, Elisa," he sobbed. But she wasn't there to
listen. Elisa was with the doctors. The doctors would fix her right up.
They always did in the movies…
In the movies the guns always just killed the bad guys. In the
movies people just fell down when they were shot. They didn't bleed
like from a sword wound, spilling red life-blood all over the kitchen
until their backs were soaked with it and the floors were so slick it was
hard to keep your balance.
Maybe the doctors wouldn't be able to fix her after all.
Broadway let out a roar of despair. Elisa might die. She might
already be dead, and it was all his fault.
"Stupid. Shouldn't have been playing with the gun," he told
himself. Stupid, stupid, stupid. That's what Lexington and Brooklyn
would call him. Why did you do that to Elisa? Couldn't just come
home to the castle. Had to see our friend and beg for some food for
your fat stomach, didn't you? Had to play other people's stuff. Had to
pull the trigger like they do in the movies…
That's what they would tell him. Then Goliath would…
Broadway shivered, wrapping his arms around himself. He
didn't know what Goliath would do. In all the time he had lived, in all
the years before the Massacre, he had never heard of a gargoyle killing
a human, except in battle. This wasn't like when they had scared the
peasants, and Goliath had sent them into the rookery, or when another
gargoyle had stolen some food from the humans, and had been shunned
for a fortnight. This was different. Elisa wasn't an enemy in a battle,
and he hadn't just stolen something from her. What would the leader of
the clan do, if a gargoyle murdered?
He was going to be sick. There was a knife in his gut, twisting
away, though surely not as painful as the bullet that had hurt Elisa.
Goliath would have to do something. Cast him out at least, or worse.
I can't go back. I can't. They won't accept me. He wished he
hadn't gone to see that awful movie. He wished he had gone straight
back to the castle. He wished he had been smart enough to leave well
enough alone. He wished that he could have shot himself, instead of
Elisa. He wished there was some way to get this blood off his hands.
The sun rose while he kneeled there on the rooftop, weeping.
Wishing for so many impossible things.
* * *
Home was a little tract house on Long Island, where Mom and
Dad had raised her, Derek, and Beth. It was in one of those cookie
cutter developments that had sprung up after World War II, to give all
the returning GI's a little piece of the American Dream. Fifty years later
the cookie had sprinkles on it, as subsequent owners had planted trees
around the yard for shade and privacy, and someone added on a garage
and a little workshop around the back. She remembered how Derek and
Dad had driven Mom nuts for months, taking over the garage to
refurbish the wreck they had bought for a hundred dollars. They had
put the final layer of glossy paint on the Fairlane's body just a day
before she had been promoted to Detective, 2nd Class. It had been their
gift to her, the first Maza to make out of the uniformed ranks.
With the promotion had come enough money to let her lease a
rent controlled apartment in the city. The building's residents board had
been more than happy to give a rooftop apartment with huge windows
to a cop. The downside was she lived too far for the family dinner now,
except when she had a night off.
Elisa wasn't sure how she had walked all the from the hospital
to home. She didn't even remember opening the door and walking in.
But she found herself standing in the small foyer, looking straight in to
the living room. Derek was still here, playing Life with Beth and Dad,
and losing badly. Mom was at the kitchen table looking over her
students' papers, red pen in hand and frowning slightly.
"I don't why I bother playing this with you two, Sis," Derek
shaking his head.
"Because you're such a good loser," Beth said. "Besides, if
Elisa was here, she'd be doing even worse."
"Hey, guys," Elisa said. "There's a problem." They all
"Got that right," Derek agreed. He moved his little car four
spaces on the road and read the box. "Great, I just got audited!"
Elisa walked up her brother and leaned towards his ear.
"Derek! Hey, I got shot!" she shouted. "Officer down!" He ignored
They were all ignoring her.
"Oh, boy," she said aloud. Suddenly, she remembered the
body on the table. Her body. Am I dead? she wondered. No, the
doctors wouldn't have been trying to save a corpse. She was alive, but
wandering around like she was a ghost. Near death experience, they
called it on the tabloid shows. She hadn't seen Grandfather warning her
to go back, but maybe that was coming.
The phone on the endtable rang at the same moment that
Derek's pager went off in his pocket. Dad was the first to grab the
phone. "Maza Residence," he said crisply, while Mom and her siblings
looked over towards him. "Hello, Captain. Do you need to speak with
Derek?" he said. There was silence for a long moment, and then Dad's
coppery face got very, very pale.
"Peter?" Mom asked, looking up at him from the table. Dad
waved her silent, snagging a pencil and a pad of paper from the
"Manhattan General…" he repeated. "No, no, we'll be all
right. We're all here. You don't need to send a car… Yes, we'll be
there as soon as we can."
"Dad, what's happening?" Beth asked. Derek and Mom were
silent. They know. It was The Call. The one that every cop family
"Yes, thank you, Captain Chavez. Goodbye." Dad hung up
the phone and looked up at them. He took in a breath to calm himself,
and finally said the words they feared.
"Elisa's been shot."
Silence filled the room, and Elisa could only watch the
expressions that crossed her family's face. Beth was confused, thinking
only of her big sister, not the police officer that constantly put her life
on the line. Derek's face was hard, holding back, trying to match Dad's
stoic expression. Mom's eyes were bright with welling tears, but her
face was empty. The sword that had hung over her husband and two
eldest childern had finally fallen, and there was nothing she could do to
change that fact.
When no one said anything further, Dad licked his lips and
went on. "She's been in surgery for the past two hours. She was off
duty, but Captain Chavez says it might be related to a case she was
"Do they know who?" Derek said, his voice tight with anger.
I do. He didn't mean it, Derek.
"Chavez couldn't say over the phone," Dad told him. "She'll
give us a briefing as soon as Elisa is out of surgery."
"How bad is it, Peter?" Mom asked softly.
"Bad," was the only thing Dad could say. "They don't
know…" His voice cracked, and he hung is head down, his fists
Beth let out a gasp and stood up, her chair falling to the floor
with a crash. She stumbled across the room into Mom's arms, sobbing.
Dad regained control and went to the closet to get his coat, followed by
"Shh," her mother cooed, letting her youngest daughter cry in
her shoulder. It was either that, or cry herself. "Shh. Elisa will be fine.
Liar," Elisa said softly. "You don't know that" But that's what
Mom had to say. They had to keep it together, to be strong.
The compulsion to move came over her again. She took one
more look at her family, then walked onward.
* * *
The Aerie Building. One hundred and fifty stories of ego trip,
topped off by a thousand year old castle that was moved stone by stone
solely on the word of an ancient legend. Elisa stood on the battlements,
the trip from her parent's house another confused blur. She couldn't
define what was tugging her along, but there seemed to be some definite
purpose behind the whole thing. Who's purpose, and what purpose she
still didn't know.
Her feet moved forward on their own violition, leading her
through the main hall, down the access stairs to the modern offices that
occupied the upper stories of the building. Most were darkened, but a
light was visible from underneath one door. The plaque beside it
proclaimed it to belong to OWEN BURNETT, EXECUTIVE
ASSISTANT. Evidently Xanatos' majordomo had no need for more
impressive titles. If you wanted to get close to Xanatos you first had to
go through Burnett, and God help you if you didn't know who he was.
She stepped through the door, literally, and stood before Owen
Burnett in all his glory. Five thirty in the morning and he was still
dressed impeccably, his tie neat and straight, his jacket buttoned, his
hair combed. He was seated at his desk, working his way through the e-
mail on his computer terminal. Given the massive theft his boss's
company had just suffered, the late night was understandable. But
couldn't the man relax?
Owen closed the mail window on his computer screen, then
picked up the phone and hit the speed dial. After a brief wait, he said,
"This is Owen Burnett, of Xanatos Enterprises. I was inquiring as to
whether there had been any progress in your investigation into the theft
at the docks yesterday." He paused briefly. "The investigation was
suspended? May I inquire as to the reason? Those weapons are
Another pause, longer this time. Elisa could hear the faint
sound of Captain Chavez's voice on the other end, her words
incomprehensible, but clipped.
"I understand," Owen said, his expression unchanging.
"Please convey my concern to Detective Maza's family. And I would
appreciate it if you let me know when any further progress has been
made, in either investigation. Good morning." He hung up the phone
and then stood up from his desk, brushing away some imagined hair
from his suit jacket. Elisa followed as he made his way to the elevator,
standing silent and emotionless as it brought him up to the great hall of
the castle. He made his way up the winding stairs of the castle's highest
tower, emerging into the rosy pink of the near dawn sky.
Goliath stood there, perched on the battlement, awaiting the
arrival of the sun and the stone sleep that it would bring. The
expression on his face was troubled, no doubt from Broadway's news.
Elisa hoped that he hadn't been to hard on the young gargoyle. It had
been damned stupid accident, not a deliberate attempt to harm her.
"Goliath, there is something you should know," Owen began.
"What is it? Speak quickly, the sun has almost arisen," Goliath said,
irritation evident in his voice and face. Xanatos' lackey
was not one of his favorite people.
"Detective Maza has been shot," Owen said coolly. "They
don't know whether she'll live."
The sun rose above the waters of New York's harbor, freezing
the expression of shock on Goliath's face. Owen merely turned away,
his errand done.
* * *
Following Owen was starting to get tedious. In the back of her
mind Elisa had always suspected that somewhere underneath that
unfathomable blandness laid a personality that came out when he wasn't
in the presence of his boss or strangers. Maybe a repressed product of
the seventies that liked to secretly listen to ABBA 8-tracks or the
Electric Light Orchestra in his spare time. From what she was seeing so
far she had been sadly mistaken.
Right now she was sitting invisibly beside him in what she
supposed was his personal car. It was an utterly sensible, 2-year old
Volvo sedan with a dark blue paint job that matched his double-
breasted blazer perfectly. Owen drove exactly the speed limit, signaled
every time he made a lane change, maintained the recommended
distance between himself and the cars ahead of him, and kept the radio
tuned to "All Things Considered" on the local NPR station. By the time
he pulled into the parking lot of Riker's Island's minimun security
facility she was ready to scream.
She followed him on through the prison's security lobby,
watching as he signed himself in and was escorted to the visitor's
gallery. It was a thoroughly modern prison for non-violent, white collar
felons; clean, secured with the latest in electronic survellance and door
controls, and looking more like a high school than a center to
rehabilitate convicted criminals. Just the sort of place that Xanatos
would get locked up in.
Owen waited patiently while Xanatos was escorted to the chair
on the opposite side of the bulletproof glass. The guard went outside to
wait, which was probably safe enough but strictly against procedure.
Elisa wondered idly how much he had been bribed.
"I heard about the weapons shipment being stolen on the
news," Xanatos said when he had sat down. "I hope you're taking
measures to recover them." He leaned back in his chair, his hands
clasped behind his neck, as if losing several million dollars in advanced
weaponry was merely a minor inconvience.
"Of course, sir," Owen answered. "Do you wish me to outline
them for you?"
"I trust your judgement, Owen," Xanatos reassured him.
Which meant that whatever Owen was going to do was strictly illegal,
and therefore Xanatos didn't want to run risk of their conversation being
Owen adjusted his glasses carefully. "There is another matter
that I thought should be brought to your attention, sir, related to the
recovery of the weapons. Elisa Maza was assigned to the case."
"Ah, the redoubtable Detective Maza. No doubt she'll put in
her full effort to recover my company's property." Did she see a flicker
of irritation cross Xanatos' face? If she had, it was gone in a
"I'm afraid that won't be possible, Sir," his majordomo told
him. "Shortly after being given the case, Detective Maza confronted
Tony Dracon and as much accused him of being responsible for the
theft. Later that night, someone broke into her apartment and shot her
with her own weapon. She's in the Manhattan General ICU right now.
It's not yet known whether she'll live."
Xanatos frowned, unclasped his hands, and let the front legs of
his chair drop down to the concrete floor.
"Is that a fact?" he asked coolly, leaning forward. "Do the
police have any leads?"
"Not at this time. I'm afraid they're somewhat baffled at the
moment. It seems that after being shot, someone moved here from her
kitchen to a stretcher outside the hospital, all without being seen by any
witnesses. Two paramedics found her shortly thereafter and rushed her
There was something strange about Xanatos' face. Elisa
watched him, fascinated by the subtle play of emotions crossing it.
Anger, it almost looked like, for her being wounded. And something
else she hadn't expected: Shock. As if Owen's little bombshell had just
turned the events from a pleasant diversion into something far more
"I wonder," Xanatos said slowly, "If the detective's friends
could shed some light on how she was moved so mysteriously. Do you
think one of them came by just after she was shot?"
"I'd judge that to be unlikely, Sir," Owen told him. "When I
informed Goliath of what had happened, he reacted with surprise. He
hadn't known, and I don't believe any of the others had either."
"They were all there?"
"All except Broadway. From the security camera recordings,
he was the only one of them to leave the castle that evening, and he had
not yet returned when the sun arose."
Xanatos rubbed his beard carefully. "I think it would be
interesting to speak with Broadway, once this is all settled. In the
meantime, if the worst happens, see about setting up a scholarship fund
in Detective Maza's name. I think it would a proper concilitory gesture
towards the person who had originally arrested me."
"I'll see to it, sir." Owen tapped something into his pocket
organizer. "Will there be anything else?"
"No," Xanatos said, the disturbed expression staying on his
face. "Take care of what needs to be done."
"Yes, sir." Owen stood up and gave his incarcerated employer
a single nod, then turned away and left. Elisa followed, only glancing
back once to see Xanatos still sitting in the middle of the visiting room,
quiet and alone.
* * *