“Hey partner, what’s new in the world?
Marvin the Martian or the Loch Ness monster come by yet?” Elisa Maza
asked Matt Bluestone
as they ascended the steps of the police office where they worked.
“Sure poke fun at me, see if I care.” Matt replied in that calm and cool tone of his. “But did you hear about what happened downtown
“Nope, spent most of the day napping, so tell me.”
“Don’t tell me you spent all night out with your friends again?”
“Not all night.”
“You’re worse than some college girls I know.”
“Know?” Elisa said with a raised eyebrow and a smirk.
“What? Just because I’m in my thirties you think I don’t get the women anymore? But anyway there are reports of a monster in the area,
a winged one at that. It was on a wild rampage earlier today. They say it looked like a gargoyle.”
“Ha ha, you had me going for a minute there, but a gargoyle, come on, in the middle of daylight?”
Meanwhile, as the two police officers were
talking, across the city a different exchange was going on.
The good thing about drug addicts is that as long as they get a few dollars they don’t ask questions, Rick thought as he waited in
After all the excitement that he had caused earlier it was probably best if he laid low for a while.
Just then the addict that Rick had hired came around the corner.
“Well where is the money?” Rick asked.
“It didn’t work.”
“What didn’t work?”
“Your numbers man, they didn’t work, said no such customer.”
At that Rick grabbed the addict and started tearing through his clothes, searching to see if he had taken the money from his account and
then decided to lie to Rick. No such luck all he found was the ATM card he had given him.
Flinging him down Rick stormed off all the while yelling and muttering.
How could this be happening? He thought. Am I losing my mind? How the hell is it that all evidence of me being human is
“At first I didn’t believe it myself, but we
had some pretty credible witnesses and some blurry photos that do look
like a gargoyle was
part of that disturbance downtown today.” Elisa said as she briefed the rest of the clan on the day’s events.
“That is interesting.” Growled Goliath.
“I don’t think he is a real gargoyle, he is probably a mutant like my brother Talon.”
“That wouldn’t be possible.” Interrupted David Xantos.
“What makes you so sure?” Shot back Goliath.
“Because I know exactly how many mutants were created.”
“Or you know exactly how many you're willing to tell us you created.” Shot Elisa.
“Please detective, you act as though you don’t trust me.” Xanatos replied in his usual sarcastic way.
“Let's just say your track record is less than perfect.” Elisa replied.
“At any rate it appears that no one knows who this new gargoyle is, assuming he is a gargoyle. What I propose is this, I will send out some
of my steel clan to do a recon of the city. Once they find this new gargoyle then will alert you Goliath and allow your clan to deal with him.”
“Deal with him, you make it sound as though we are to clean up some kind of mess.” Replied Goliath.
“Not in the least Goliath, all I’m implying is that who else is best suited for first contact with a new gargoyle than fellow gargoyles.”
“Hmmmm, I suppose you are right Xanatos. We will fly in pairs and spread out. Remember how the mutants first reacted.”
“On one hand they were just spoiling for a fight.” Said Lexington.
“And on the other they were scared half to death.” Added Brooklyn.
“Exactly my point,” Interrupted Goliath. “Who knows how they may react, so be careful and be ready for anything.”
The night was warm and clear, a rarity in New
York City, but a welcome change just the same. His wings fully outstretched
to make use of the thermal updrafts to stay aloft. He was still trying to get the hang of this flight thing. Although he was parachute qualified
and had taken some lessons in hang gliding and para-sailing, this was quite different. Catching the updraft from a building Rick was lost in
thought and almost didn’t see the object coming in his direction until it was on top of him.
“Oh &^%$," Rick muttered as he broke hard left to avoid a collision. Having folded his wings in for a tighter turn radius Rick found that
he had lost all his lift and momentum and was now falling.
Flaring his wings he managed to bring himself to a semi-controlled landing on a near by building.
“Nice landing, about as good as you’re flying.”
“Who asked you smartass?” Rick shot back.
Stepping out from the shadows a gargoyle approached Rick.
“I’m Brooklyn, we’ve been looking for you the past couple of days.”
“We who, and why?”
“My clan. We heard the news reports about the little rampage you made downtown. That was a surprise to us, we thought we knew all
the gargoyles in New York.”
“I don’t know what you’re talking about, and I’m not a gargoyle.”
“Umm, have you looked in a mirror lately?”
“I know what I look like, but I tell you I’m not a gargoyle.”
Just then another figure came swooping down to join them.
“Good work lad, you found our missing gargoyle.”
“This is Hudson” Brooklyn said, “But I didn’t catch your name.”
“I didn’t give it.”
“Then may I ask what it is?”
“My name is Rick”
“Well Rick” said Hudson “now that we have all been introduced, would you be liking to join us at the castle, the rest of the clan would be
interested in meeting you.”
“That’s all right, but I’d rather not,” replied Rick
“Lad you're out here by yourself, I think it would be better if you came and spent the day with us. Just so you can get some rest, you look
Meanwhile, four stories below, a different
situation was forming. A hostage situation that had an entire city
block holding its breath.
“So you want to evict me do? Do you?! Well I just dare you to try it.” Shouted a man in the middle of the street.
Using his car as cover, Sgt Harris of the NYPD crouched down as he reached for his radio to make contact with his headquarters element.
“Headquarters, this is Sgt Harris, how long until my back up gets here?”
“Back up was dispatched ten minutes ago, they should be arriving any minute.”
“Roger, I have them in sight now.”
Having parked their van around the corner to avoid being spotted by the perpetrator, three men piled out and began to work their way through
the media and onlookers. Two minutes later they finally made their way through the last of the crowd in the streets and came across the on scene
commander crouched behind his car.
“Sgt. Harris, I’m Sgt. Shoemaker from the SWAT team. What’s the situation?”
“Glad you guys are here. The city is evicting everyone from the apartment that it condemned last week. Our friend out there is less than happy
about it. Right now he’s holding half the block hostage with that hand grenade in his hand.”
“Alright. I’ll get a sniper in position, once he’s set I’ll try to negotiate with the man.”
“What’s the matter coppers, had to call for back up, can’t finish what you started. Well I can!”
With that the man pulled the pin from the grenade and held it for a second before tossing it aside. With his other hand still holding the grenade
so that all his fingers held down the secondary safety he began to slowly approach the crowd.
“Ah crud, we can’t shoot him now, he’ll just drop the grenade and it will go off. Any ideas Sgt. Shoemaker?” Asked Sgt. Harris.
“Yeah this.” Shouted Sgt. Shoemaker as he sprinted to the deranged man. Grabbing the hands that held the grenade, Sgt. Shoemaker was
able to wrestle it away from the man. But when Sgt. Shoemaker looked at the grenade now in his hands, he saw a terrifying sight. Both the pin
had been pulled, and the secondary safety called the spoon had popped up.
With a sudden rush of adrenaline, he brought his arm back and hurled the device to the top of an abandoned building.
Even if Sgt. Shoemaker had known that the grenade he threw was pushing fifty years in age, he would not have known that over the years
moisture had seeped in to it and made not only the fuse inoperable, but the explosives inside had become unstable. Thus instead of detonating
in the air like they were supposed to, they instead detonated as soon as they hit the roof. Which just happened to be occupied by three gargoyles.
“You don’t know anything about tired” said Rick, “and this from a gargoyle who sleeps during the day…..”
The explosion of the grenade cut off the rest of Rick’s statement. The blast succeeded in not only peppering his back with shrapnel, but the
blast propelled him forward towards the other two gargoyles.
Running to where Rick lay face down Hudson and Brooklyn were meet by a worrisome site. Rick was barely moving, and his back was
“Its hours until day, we’ve got to get him back to the castle,” Hudson shouted to Brooklyn. “Here, give me a hand lad.”
With that each gargoyle wrapped an arm around their shoulder and jumped off the edge of the building and headed towards the castle.
7:00am May 16th 1998, read the clock on David
Xanatos' computer. Good as time as any to go visit the doctor
about our visitor, he
thought to himself. With that Xanatos stood up form his desk and began to walk down one of the many hallways of the castle. Then it hit him,
right in the nose, an odor he hadn’t smelled in years, but one that brought back a lot of memories. Taking a detour toward the kitchen, David had
every intention of finding out what was cause of it. Rounding the corner he came face to face with a scene that was absolutely comical.
Sitting there at the table was his son Alexander arms waving wildly in the air as he attempted to feed him self some oatmeal. Unfortunately
more of it than not was landing out side of his mouth. His attempts at drinking juice was apparently not much more successful.
Standing only a few feet away was his wife, trying to cook eggs, toast, oatmeal, and take care of her son all at once. Smiling wide, David
thought she sure did look cute with her apron on, her hair a mess, and constantly trying to keep an eye on Alexander.
“Good morning dear. What’s for breakfast?”
Taken by surprise, Fox twirled and tried to present a warm smile.
“Why David, how nice of you to join us this morning. As for breakfast, if you want to find out than you had better help your son with his there.”
“You had but only to ask.” David said in that charmingly sarcastic way of his. But he did take a mental note to spend most of the morning
with his family. He could check up on his visitor later. Not like he was going anywhere.
“How is our patient doing?” asked Xanatos as he idly
spied the time, eleven o’clock.
“Incredible, I’ve never seen anything like it. Here it is the middle of the day and he hasn’t turned to stone.” Replied the doctor.
“Now that is interesting.” Admitted Xanatos. “Any ideas?”
“Well Brooklyn said he kept claiming not to be a gargoyle.”
“Yes for a while he was muttering something, most of it was unintelligible, but I was able to make out the words Rainbow 6, Hathcock,
gook, and America’s school.”
“Hmmm, I’ll have Owen look in to it. Other than that how is he?”
“He’s stable, and looks like the first real sleep he’s had in a few days.”
“Curiouser and curiouser, to quote Alice” Xanatos threw over his shoulder as he walked out of the room.
Seeing that his employer had returned from lunch, Owens picked up the small pile of paper on his desk as he prepared to brief his boss.
“I have the information you requested Mr. Xanatos.” Owen said in his usually prim and proper way.
“What do you have for me then?”
“Gook is a slang term for North Vietnamese communist during the Vietnam war, Hathcock was the most successful sniper during the war.
Rainbow 6 is an elite commando unit in the United States Army; most of what they do are considered black ops. As for America school, the
closest thing I came up with was the school of the Americas, used to help train elite units of South and Central American militaries.”
“I see.” Putting his hands together to from a pyramid David asked “your opinion?”
“They are all references to the military, he may have been in the military. But that is hard to do as a gargoyle, especially in the 1960’s and
“As a gargoyle yes, perhaps there is something to his claiming not to be.”
“Sir?” Owen asked in that way that was both statement and question at the same time.
“I’ll need to speak to Hudson and Brooklyn when they awake.”
“Of course sir.”
Awaking with a start, Rick looked around
as he took in his surroundings. Not knowing where he was, or how
he had even gotten there,
made him feel quite uncomfortable. Sitting up slowly, so as too ease the grogginess in his head, something caught his attention. Looking down
at his arm, it had some IV tubes in it, along with some other devices attached to other parts of his body.
Removing these proved easier than finding his clothing, after looking for several minutes, Rick gave up and slowly walked out in to the hallway.
Turning to the right, he began to wander further down the hallway, looking for an exit of some kind, any kind. And then he found one.
Staggering in to a large room that looked like a kitchen, Rick was suddenly aware of how hungry he was. Deciding to sit for a moment until
his dizziness passed, he almost didn’t notice the figure in front of him with its back turned.
Humming softly as she prepared a salad, Angela had heard the sound of someone sitting down behind her. Figuring it was probably Broadway,
she ignored him while placing the last few pieces of pineapple on the salad. Over the past few months he had been putting on some weight, so
diet time. There, pretty as a picture, she thought.
“Glad to see you came to have breakfast…..” The rest of her sentence died on her lips as she turned around and saw who had come to breakfast.
“You’re that gargoyle that Hudson and Brooklyn brought in last night. What are you doing here? Hey are you all right? You don’t look so good.”
Weakly holding up a hand to stop her stream of questions, Rick managed to get only a few words out before passing out and nose diving to the
“Goliath we have a problem.” Xanatos
announced as he interrupted the gargoyle’s reading of All Quiet on the
“Our guest from last night is missing. The external security system hasn’t been tripped yet, so he must be somewhere in the castle.”
“Why should that be a concern to us?”
“Because unlike you, he didn’t turn to stone and heal completely.”
“How is that possible?” Asked Brooklyn.
“It's sorcery.” Added Hudson.
“Regardless of the cause, he must find him. We will need to split up.”
“Angela was headed for the kitchen, I’ll check there.” Broadway said as he took off for the kitchen.
“I’m sure that’s the only reason he’s going there.” Brooklyn whispered to Lexington.
“Hudson, you and Lexington start from the top and work down, Brooklyn, you and I will start at the bottom and work up.”
Oh my goodness, Angela thought as she
looked down at Rick. His backside was a large red spot where blood
had seeped through the white
bandages. Sitting him up in the chair, Rick’s eyes fluttered a little before his head slumped forward. Hesitating for a moment, Angela finally made
Struggling with the dead weight of his body, Angela attempted to carry Rick back to the castles medical center. Stopping for a moment to
catch her breath, the sight of Broadway running down the hallway towards did wonders to motivate her.
“Angela, are you ok?” Broadway urgently asked.
“Broadway, you’ve got to help him. Please. He’s dying.” Angela almost pleaded.
Looking at the unmoving face on the stranger, and the amount of blood that was on both him and Angela, Broadway did not doubt her words.
“Put an arm over your shoulder, we’ll be able to move faster if we both carry him.”
Two hours later, the clan was gathered in the
courtyard of the castle as they discussed the events of the evening.
Xanatos and Goliath were
trading almost accusing remarks while Hudson and Lexington debated whether science or sorcery was the cause. As for Angela, she had been
able to get cleaned up and put on a fresh set of clothing, but inside she was still shook up.
“It was so scary. He just fell over and, and his back was covered in blood.” She said as Broadway sat with an arm around her, trying to
“I’ve never seen a gargoyle die before. I was so sure he was going to die, right there in my arms.”
“Angela, its ok, you helped to save him. If you had just left him he might not have survived.”
“I know, but I can’t put it out of my mind. All that blood, it felt so warm, so sticky. I can still feel it on me.” As Angela rubbed a hand down
her arm as if to remove the imaginary blood.
“Like blood is the only sticky thing she’s ever had on her.” Brooklyn muttered to himself.
“I thank you for helping me while I am recovering
from my wounds for the past month.” Rick said to Goliath as the two
walked around one
of the walls of the castle. The fact that Goliath had chosen to walk on the outside near the ledge so that Risk was on the inside had not gone
unnoticed by him.
“You are more than welcome to stay here as long as you like.” Goliath said in a somber tone.
“I’m sorry but I have already made up my mind about it, as soon as I am fully healed I intend to take my leave. Unless some of the ladies here
have been begging you to twist my arm to stay.” Rick said with a smirk that not for the first time reminded Goliath of Xantos.
“I assure you that is not the case.”
“I didn’t think so. Then just why is it you keep trying to convince me to stay?”
“It is in your best interest. Whether or not you know it or even like it, you’re a gargoyle now, and that means the world will treat you like one.
A gargoyle alone against the world is a sad sight, trust me. Besides, even though you have been with us for the past few weeks, we know little
“It may be, but I keep telling you, I am not a gargoyle. Sooner or later I will find proof that I was a person. Who or what ever is trying to
erase me can’t make every record disappear.”
“And just what makes you think that someone or thing is trying to remove all records of you as a human?”
“Because I have seen it. It is a very disturbing thing when you see information about you disappear before you eyes.”
“What do you mean?”
“Just that, my bank accounts are gone, social security number someone else has, even my drivers license card is blank. All the spaces where
my personal info would go is empty.”
As they spoke, Rick dug in too his pocket and produced his wallet. Opening it up, he removed a piece of plastic and handed it to Goliath.
“This is, or was my drivers license, depending on how you look at it. As you can see, all of the information about me is gone, it’s a driver’s
license from Texas, but there is no information about me as a person it. Only blanks.”
Placing his drivers license back into his wallet, Rick looked Goliath square in the face.
“Say or think what you want, but I will not be deterred from my quest.”
“I still say it is a foolish quest, but I will wish you luck.”
“Goliath, every morning, or night in your case, you wake up and know who you are. You know who your friends are, who cares about you,
and who doesn’t. Now imagine of all that has been taken from you in a single night. What would you do?”
With out even waiting for an answer, Rick turned from Goliath and walked down a set of stairs to the courtyard below. As Rick walked through
the courtyard a familiar voice filled his ears from his left.
“Rick lad, Xanatos tells me that you’ve had some combat experience. I thought there was something about you that seemed like a solider.”
“Yeah, he’s right Hudson. But I haven’t been a soldier in some time, close to fifteen years now.”
“That doesn’t change what’s inside a warrior's heart. Where all have you been in combat?”
“Lets see, my first action was during Operation Market Garden. I still wonder how I survived that one. I also saw action at both Pusan and
Inchon in Korea. Did a few tours of duty in Vietnam.”
“My friend Robbie was in that conflict, maybe you two could trade stories.”
“That sounds good. Lets see, I also did some covert work in Europe, Asia, Africa, and South America. So I guess really I’ve been all over
“Covert work? What do you mean by that lad? Didn’t you fight any battles there?”
“Ahh Hudson, you are truly an old soldier at heart. I did my covert work when I worked for the CIA. They do all their missions in secrecy.
Little things like assassinations, kidnapping, and insurgency. All the things you dislike about fighting in the modern world.”
A couple of nights later, Rick was watching tv with
Angela, Lexington, Broadway, and Bronx.
“Not a bad episode of ER, now who wants to watch Jerry Springer?” Rick asked.
“No way.” Lexington said.
“Gag, not on your life.” Angela added as she tossed an empty soda can at Rick.
Soon Rick found himself being pelted with pillows, soda cans, pretezels, and other various items.
“All right you guys win.” Rick said as he surrendered the remote and his spot on the couch. Deciding to work out a little, Rick began to make
his way towards the gym when he ran into Brooklyn.
“Hey Rick”, Brooklyn called out.
“Whether or not you stay here is up to you, and I’m not going to try and convince you one way or another. But as long as you’re here you
should practice defending yourself, especially now that you’re a gargoyle and you're not used to it.”
“That does sound like a good idea.”
“Great, follow me and I’ll show you our training room.”
Ten minutest later Rick and Brooklyn were standing in side a large windowless room deep inside the castle.
“We’ll start with something easy, just you and me sparring on the ground.”
“That should be easy enough.,” Rick said, sort of smiling for the first time in weeks at the thought of some hand to hand combat.
Walking about ten paces away Brooklyn turned to face Rick.
“Anytime you're ready.”
With that Rick quickly covered the distance between them and managed to catch Brooklyn off guard, allowing him to land a punch that actually
did more to hurt Brooklyn’s ego than this face. Putting up his left arm as a shield Brooklyn fended off several more blows and managed to land
a couple of blows himself.
Undeterred by this, Rick pressed his attack and soon had Brooklyn in a headlock. Twisting his body, Brooklyn began to slip out of his
opponent’s grasp but then found himself with an arm wrapped around his stomach. Rick used his free arm to grab one of Brooklyn’s arms
and pin him to the floor.
“I win.” Rick said in triumph.
Whipping his tail around Rick’s neck gave Brooklyn the chance to break free. He then ran to a wall, jumped on it, then pushed off to glide
back the way he came from to land a powerful punch. After landing Brooklyn looked at the unmoving body of his opponent.
“You ok, Rick. Yo man, you with me?”
Hearing nothing Brooklyn got closer. To close he realized as an arm shot out and grabbed his foot and yanked it out from under him. In an
instant Rick was on top of him landing blow after blow. With a howl Brooklyn shoved Rick off of him with brute force and charged him. Dodging
several blows Rick finally counter attacked and landed a foot to Brooklyn’s mid section, followed by a sharp blow to the head.
“Like I said, I win.”
Rolling on his back, Brooklyn decided not to force the issue this time and just sat up slowly instead.
“That was some pretty mean stuff you did there, I’m going to be sore for a while. But you’ve got to get better at using your wings.”
“Look if I wanted to go airborne I would have stayed in the 82nd airborne division.”
“You sure seem determined not let the issue of you being human die.”
“No I’m not.”
“Are you sure that you can even prove that you had a life before?”
“Why do you sound so doubtful, you’re starting to sound like Goliath.”
“Well we have see something like this before, someone determined to reclaim what was never there. And in the end all it did was make her a
shell full of hate.”
“What do you mean?”
“Well there is a gargoyle somewhere out there in the world. She lives alone because she can’t accept a simply truth, the good old days never
“Wait, I don’t follow where you’re going with this. I mean sure we all sometimes look to the past with rose colored glasses, but you make it
sound like this person is totally out of touch with reality. Like they are living a fantasy past.”
“You're more right than you know, her name is Demona, and she is Angela’s mother and was Goliath’s mate.”
“Mate? You mean wife?”
“If that’s what you want to call it, but in the old days we didn’t practice marriage ceremonies in quite the same way humans did, or do for that
matter. But that’s beside the point. Unfortunately, Demona thinks that everything good in her life was been stolen away from her. And she means
to have her revenge. In fact that’s about all she lives for.”
“Yeah, I see how that can be a problem, and why you say she is just an empty shell full of anger. But by the way you're talking about her it sounds
like you have some mixed feelings about her.”
“We have our differences.” Brooklyn’s voice going extremely cold.
Whoa, judging by how quickly and completely his mask fell, there is obviously a lot more to that story than he’s telling me, Rick thought.
“Well, regardless of what ever problems she may have caused its still sad that she would spend her life on revenge instead of creating a new life
for herself. But then again revenge doesn’t hurt as much.” Said Rick.
“What do you mean revenge doesn’t hurt as much? What do you know about revenge being empty?” asked Brooklyn, his mask sliding back
“Trust me, I know from experience. I suspect you’ve had a taste of it too.”
“Well think what ever you want to, but at least I don’t go around trying to kill people because I’m angry.”
“Yeah it is sad that’s what she carries in her heart. But its what she feels she has to do, sort of like me.”
Deciding to change topics since this line of arguments wasn’t working, Brooklyn pressed on.
“So have you swapped any war stories with Hudson yet?”
“Actually yes I have, and with his friend Robbie to. Seems both of us were near Saigon during the Tet offensive."
Making their way to the kitchen, Brooklyn and Rick continued their conversation as they reached for a couple of cold drinks. As they sat to
enjoy their sodas, Brooklyn turned on the radio. As they chatted a familiar song drifted from the radio.
Here I go again on my own, going down the only road I’ve ever known. Like a drifter I was born to walk alone.
“Look Rick, tell me truthfully, is there really any chance of you staying with the clan.”
“No there really isn’t. It isn’t that I don’t appreciate what you guys have done for me. But I just don’t feel like staying here and settling down.”
Cause I know what it means, to walk along the lonely street of dreams.
Here I go again on my own, going down the only road I’ve know, like a drifter I was born to walk alone.
Looking out over New York City Rick figured now was as good a time as any. At least with it being daylight he didn’t have to listen to Goliath
or the rest of the clan try to convince him to stay. Although he would miss some of them, Brooklyn has kind of fun to hang out with, Lexington was
good conversation, as was Angela, Broadway was a decent cook, and Hudson sort of reminded him of his own grandfather, plus the smartass antics
of Xanatos were amusing. But Rick knew he had to leave, he didn’t fit in here, didn’t want to.
I may not find the answers I look for, but I have to try, he thought to himself as he mentally reread the letter he had left for the clan. If nothing
else they deserved that, they did really care about him, and it would be wrong to just leave them hanging by taking off with out saying goodbye.
Standing at the ledge of the battlement, Rick hesitated for a moment in thought before stepping back down. Instead he walked up to the highest
battlement where Goliath slept.
“I don’t know if you can hear me or not Goliath, but thank you for all your clan has done to try to help me. I appreciate it, I really do. But I must
find out what happened to me. Don’t worry, I explained it all in my letter, but I couldn’t leave with out saying goodbye, that would just be bad
With that Rick jumped off the ledge and glided out over the city following the sun.