|December 25, 1996
“Brooklyn, I wanted to talk to you before you
left.” Rick said.
“If it’s about last night, well I did
sort of fly off the handle.” Brooklyn preempted Rick.
“That’s what I wanted to talk about.
I’m sorry for not telling you about Demona. I just wanted you to
know that I did what I did to look out for you. I hope there’s no
bad blood between use before you leave.” Rick said as he offered
“No, there’s no bad blood between us.
As for leaving tonight, well I gave it some thought, and I’m not going
to leave, at least no just yet. I’ve run away enough for now.”
Smiling Rick said, “Glad to hear that.
So what changed your mind?”
“A dream I had last night.”
“I didn’t know that gargoyles dreamed
while in stone.”
“I did not know that.”
“Have you seen Athena?” Brooklyn
asked as a way of changing subjects.
“Yeah, she’s in the mess hall eating
“Thanks.” Brooklyn said over his
shoulder as he headed in that direction.
“Mind if I join you?” Brooklyn
asked as he sat his tray down in front of Athena.
“No not at all. You seem to be
refreshed from last night.”
“Remember that I was in hibernation
all day as stone.”
“That’s right, I forgot that you real
gargoyles do that.”
“That’s what Rick calls you.”
“I’ll have to ask him about that.”
“Just don’t let him know that I told
“I don’t want him to be upset with me.
It’s hard to win his approval.”
“What do you mean, I get the impression
that he’s proud of all of you guys.”
“I don’t mean for doing a job well done,
I mean personally.”
Taking a sip of his coffee gave Brooklyn
the moment he needed to dig up the information he was looking for in his
“Is that what you meant when you said
that he rarely shows emotion. Every time I’ve seen him he’s been
emotional and interactive.”
“Yes, he is friendly and personable.
But that’s still not quite what I meant.”
“Oh, I see.” Said Brooklyn around
a mouth full of turkey sandwich as the light bulb over him that had been
flicker suddenly came on. “You like him a lot don’t you?”
“Yes. I have since the first day
we meet. He was different than the rest of the Roughwings; he’s smarter,
seen more and done more. Someone who seemed to accept me for being
a better learner than a fighter.”
“Does Rick know you feel this way about
“No. I have tried on several occasions,
but he always seems to dodge the issue. Its almost like he’s afraid
of getting involved with me.”
“Unless there are some rumors about
you that I don’t know about, then I can’t see why he would be afraid of
you.” Brooklyn said with a smirk.
Chuckling softly Athena said, “You’re
a bad one.”
“Well I never claimed to be a pure and
“After what you told me about Amanda
I would hope not.”
Scratching his head Brooklyn had a slightly
sheepish grin on his face. “Just how much did I spill my guts last
“Don’t worry, I promise not to tell
Meanwhile, in a different part of the training
complex that was used by Demona to train her “special agents” including
all the gargoyles, Aries angrily stomped down the hallway, his eyes alert
for the one person he was looking for. It was bad enough that Rick
had convinced Demona to spend so much money for that little party his Roughwings
had had last night, but then they didn’t even invite Aries, Ivan, or Genghis.
But that was a small issue compared to the
one that was in the forefront of his mind right now. Spotting his
target, Aries closed the distance between them in ten strides and was soon
confronting his rival.
“Rick! Just when where you going to
tell Demona about your visitor?” Aries asked harshly.
“Not before I thought the time was right.”
Rick responded with equal vigor.
“You should have told her immediately,
instead of letting me find out two days later.”
“Why should I have told her?”
“Because as our leader she should know.”
“She is your leader, not the Roughwings.”
“As long as you stay here and work for
her she is your leader.”
“No, she is our employer.”
“You still should have let her know.”
Aries said raising his voice.
“That would have been unwise, these
two have a history, and they hate each other.” Rick replied calmly.
“How do you know that?”
“Because I know she took his flower
before she took yours.” Rick said with venom.
Startled by what he had just heard,
Aries nonetheless pressed on. “Still you have no right to hide the
fact that you have someone here.”
“Perhaps not, but I will take that heat
from her, not you Sarge.”
Enraged by his lack of respect, Aries
struck at Rick, but soon found himself laying face first flat on the floor.
Punching him twice in the kidneys, Rick
said, “Do that again and I won’t just kick your ass, I’ll tear you apart.”
Standing up, Rick walked away from Aries
and began to consider that it was time for the Roughwings to end their
employment with Demona and to move on.
Picking himself up off the floor, Aries
began to storm down the hallway that Rick had just entered. However,
much to Aries dismay, after several minutes of searching he was not able
to find Rick. Swearing to himself, Aries decided that now was a good
time to let Demona know about Brooklyn.
Hurrying to Demona’s office Aries was
surprised to find that the doors were locked. Swearing in anger again
a small yellow piece of paper caught his attention. On the post it
note was a message saying that an issue had come up and that Demona would
be out of the office for the next day or so.
“So much the better.” Aries sneered
as a coarse of action formed in his head.
“Harper.” Rick called to his friend
and second in command from down the hallway.
Noting that Rick seemed just a bit agitated,
Harper had a suspicion that things were not well.
“Harper, where is Brooklyn?” Rick
“I don’t know right now. What’s
“My little secret is out, we need to
find Brooklyn and get him out of here ASAP. Send the first Roughwing
you see with him. Then the rest of the Roughwings need to be ready
to leave no later than one hour after that.”
“Are you sure things are that bad?
Remember the situation we were in before.” Harper counseled.
“Yes I’m sure that things are that bad.
Now hurry, we may not have much time.”
After Harper had left, Rick returned
to his quarters to retrieve his personal weapon, an M1911 45 caliber pistol.
He also retrieved a small pack filled with supplies. Fully aware
of what Harper had said earlier; Rick knew that there was only one place
for them to go, and that was on the other side of the country.
Twenty minutes later Rick meet Brooklyn
for what he hoped would not be the last time.
“Sorry about the abruptness of all this
Brooklyn, but I have got to get you out of here and to safety.” Rick
said as he handed a small pack to him.
“What’s going on Rick? If you
guys are in trouble then let me stay here and help defend you.” Brooklyn
“I’m afraid not. It seems that
Demona knows about you being here. I can’t chance her finding you
and capturing you. That’s why I need to get you out of here.”
“But what about the Roughwings?
Even if I am gone Demona’s going to be real PO’ed that you lied to her
and then helped me get away. You guys don’t intend to stay and fight
do you?” Brooklyn asked in alarm.
“Don’t worry, after we’re sure that
you’re safely away, then we’ll leave, and if need be we’ll fight our way
out of here. Hey, don’t worry, we’ll meet you at the castle in a
week or so.” Switching his attention from Brooklyn to Harper, Rick
asked who would be escorting Brooklyn.
“Athena is.” Harper said as he
helped her to strap on a small pack similar to the one given to Brooklyn.
Grabbing Athena’s hand, Rick placed
an M-9 Beretta and a single clip of 9mm ammunition in it.
Answering Athena’s questioning look,
Rick said, “Sorry, one clip is all we could get for you. Hopefully
you won’t need it. Now both of you get out of here, go. And
Just then a familiar person entered
the scene, a large gargoyle by the name of Aries.
“Roughwings,” He announced. “I
know that you are loyal to Rick, and that is fine, but why are you going
to follow his instructions when they do not make sense?” He wants
to leave this place, the one place that you have found safety and security.
I ask you what kind of leader wants you to do that? If any of you
want to join Demona and her clan, step forward now and we will accept you.”
“He has a point there Rick, we have
it pretty good here, so why are we throwing all this away?” Duke
“Yeah Duke’s right. Are you sure
you’ve thought this one all the way out?” Machiavelli asked.
“I don’t care what any one says, it’s time
for us to leave.” Rick said sternly to his clan.
“Fine then, go. But your going
with out me.” Mach said firmly.
“What do you mean by that?” Harper
“Just that, I intend to stay here with
Aries and Demona.” Mach said.
“You what?!” Rick shouted.
“Rick, calm down. Shouting isn’t
going to solve anything.” Brooklyn said as he attempted to defuse
“That’s right, Mach has made the right
decision. Demona is more than happy to welcome him in to her clan.”
Aries said as entered the conversation. “In fact she is willing to
extend that invitation to anyone else wishing to stay.”
“You stay out of this.” Rick shouted
with barely contained contempt.
“Too late Rick. I’ve already made
myself a part of this.” Aries returned with equal contempt.
Placing a hand on Rick’s shoulder, Harper
leaned over and whispered a few words in to Rick’s ear.
Seeing Rick’s hand balled in to a fist,
Brooklyn knew that trouble was not far away.
“Here is my offer Rick.” Aries said,
“You let Mach stay and I won’t tell Demona about Brooklyn.”
“Fine, we accept that offer.”
“WHAT?!” Screamed Rick.
“Harper, how dare you to make a decision like that with ….” The rest
of Rick’s sentence was cut off by Brooklyn.
“Rick, listen to yourself, you’re out
of control. You’re starting to sound as controlling as either Demona
or Aries. Harper is right, this is the best deal we can get out of
“Brooklyn, I can’t believe you’re saying
that.” Rick said sounding hurt.
“It’s the truth Rick. This is
the best we can get from this situation. It’s better to let Mach
stay here and walk away with out Demona knowing about Brooklyn than to
try and force him to come with us and have Demona hunt us down trying to
capture Brooklyn.” Athena said as she also laid a hand on one of
Rick stood there for a moment before
slowly turning around. As he began to walk away he folded his wings
around himself like a cape and didn’t utter a word.
“All right Roughwings lets go.”
Harper said. “Athena, your on point. Hannibal your trail.
Duke and I will be left and right flank.”
As the Roughwings moved to their assigned
positions, two gargoyles did not move. Both Harper and Brooklyn stood
there and watched as Aries and his clan turned and walked away.
“Thank you for helping to solve the
situation there.” Harper said to Brooklyn.
“No problem. But I am worried
about Rick, he seemed really hurt by Mach’s decision to stay here.”
“I know. But I also know that
he is in no mood to talk about it right now.”
“You are really are like family to stand
by him like that.” Brooklyn said.
“It is the least we can do. He
treated us like family first, and taught us how to live as people, not
just as soldiers.” Harper answered before assuming his position in
December 27, 1996
“Ok Rick, it’s been two days. Time
you leveled with me.” Brooklyn said as he confronted his friend.
“What do you mean?” Rick asked.
“I’m talking about your attitude lately.
Particularly in the last couple of days since we left Demona’s employment.”
“I don’t want to talk about it.”
“You may not want to, but I think you
“One against one, a draw.” Rick
“I’m not the only one. Harper,
Athena, Duke, and Hannibal all think you should tell us what’s on your
“You’re just saying that.”
“Rick, when have we ever lied to you?”
“Never that I know of.”
“So why are you lying to us now.”
“What do you mean?”
“Just that. We can all tell that
you were hurt when Mach decided to stay with Demona. But you have
been really cold and reclusive lately.”
“See Rick. Everyone has noticed
the change in you. Please open up and talk to us. We are your
friends and family.” Athena said.
Sitting there quietly for a moment as
he thought, Rick finally gave an answer.
“You’re right, I was hurt when Mach
decided to stay with Demona. But I was also disappointed.”
“Disappointed about what?” Hannibal
“About the decision Mach made.”
“But Rick, you’re the one who taught
us to think for our selves. To stand up and voice our opinions and
to chose our own fate.” Harper said.
“I know, and that’s what hurts the most.
Mach took what I taught him and made what I feel is a bad decision.
The worst part is that there is no way to convince him of it.”
“It may be a tough pill to swallow,
but remember, if you want someone to grow up, you have to let them leave
the nest.” Brooklyn said.
Looking at the gargoyle Rick smirked
a little as the irony of the statement and whom it had come from sank in.
“Spoken like someone who would know from experience.”
“Remember we’re all family, you’re
not the only one hurt by the fact that Mach stayed behind. We all
feel like we lost something.” Athena said as she sat down next to
“It’s nearly daylight, we should get
some rest before we continue on. Hannibal, relieve Duke from guard
duty in an hour.” Harper issued to the squad.
“Thanks guys.” Rick said to his
clan. “I guess the whole Mach issuing was bothering me more than
I realized. I didn’t even stop to think that the rest of you would
be hurt too.”
“That’s what family is for.” Brooklyn
It had taken Aries two days to get in
to position, but soon, very soon he would be able to get the drop on the
Roughwing clan and be able to carry out Demona’s objectives. Up to
this point she did not know that the Roughwing’s had left, and Aries had
every intention of keeping it that way by capturing them tonight.
Traveling through the ravine had been
a tactical mistake that made the Roughwings vulnerable to ambush, but what
they did next took Aries by surprise. Aries could not believe
what he saw, how could they be so foolish as to trap them selves like that
by entering a cave. Unless they did not know that they were being
followed. Smiling at the prospect of achieving complete surprise
against the Roughwings, Aries readied his strike force.
With in a short time, Aries had his
squad in position and awaiting his order to attack. Although any one of
the human squad members Aries had with him for this mission could have
attacked, they knew better than to do that. If Aries could sit there
waiting patiently then they all could. All they had to do was wait
until sunrise and there would be one less gargoyle to deal with.
Looking around at his squad, Aries noticed something for the first time;
the moon was setting behind him that meant the sun would rise in front
of his squad. That meant his squad would be at a disadvantage as
the sun shone in to their eyes, while the Roughwings remained hidden in
the darkness of the cave.
Growling in irritation, Aries decided to strike
before they lost all of their advantage. Squeezing the trigger, he
sent a smoke round that had been filled with knock out gas instead, flying
towards his prey. With in seconds the rest of his squad had also
sent gas grenades filled with knock out gas towards the enemy.
Cough, Cough, “It’s gas, Brooklyn, Athena,
get out of here.” Rick said as he choked on the gas that filled the
“But what about, cough, cough, you?”
“I’ll be fine, now go on and go!”
Rick shouted as he all but shoved both Brooklyn and Athena out of the gas
cloud and towards the small exit that was at the end of the cave.
Climbing out of the hole first, Brooklyn
then helped Athena out. Turning back towards the exit, Athena saw
Rick begin to climb out.
“What are you waiting for? Go on you
two, go to New York City.” Rick said before falling back in to the
The sounds of a struggle in side the cave
reminded Athena of the ambush they survived during the summer. Lunging
forward to try and help Rick, Athena had no intention of losing Rick like
they had lost Sergeant that day. Before she could even take more
than two steps Brooklyn grabbed her by the waist and stopped her short.
“What are you doing Athena? We’ve got
to go.” Brooklyn asked.
“I’m going to save Rick.”
Before he could respond Brooklyn heard two
gunshots and felt tiny chips of rock pelt his lower leg.
“Freeze.” Shouted a human clad in all
black while pointing a gun at the two gargoyles.
Shoving Athena in one direction as he jumped
in the opposite direction, Brooklyn used his tail to fling a rock at the
human. Taken by the surprise the human was slow in reacting and did
realize that he was in danger until the rock struck him between the eyes.
“Nice throw.” Athena said, picking her
self up off the ground.
“Well I was aiming for his gun, so not really.”
Athena quickly relieved the human of the burden
of his weapon and was about to relieve the human of the burden of his life
when Brooklyn stopped her.
“No need to kill him, he’s unarmed and unconscious.”
“Better safe than sorry.” Athena said.
“Killing someone unnecessarily is not the
“I’m not a gargoyle, I’m a Roughwing.”
“In that case then act like one and carry
out your orders.”
Looking at the sky as it began to turn from
black to gray, Athena realized that they had to get away from the area
before Brooklyn turned to stone and was vulnerable.
December 29, 1996
Lexington plopped down in front of his
computer and began to check his e-mail while opening an Internet browser
in the background. After a moment or two, Lexington closed the window
with his e-mail and was surprised to see that the Internet browser had
not automatically connected to his favorite web site.
“Hmmm, I wonder why it did that?”
Lexington asked half aloud and half to himself as he checked his computer
Pulling up the computer log, Lexington
saw that someone had been online that afternoon and that just before logging
off they went and deleted all the Internet sites that had been visited.
“That’s odd.” Lexington commented.
“What’s odd?” Broadway asked.
“Someone was on my computer this afternoon
and they deleted all the Internet sites that the computer archives.”
“Do you have any clues?” Broadway
asked as he entered amateur detective mode.
“Well I know it wasn’t you, me, Angela,
Goliath, or Hudson. But beyond that nothing.”
“Well you’re the computer geek, isn’t
there someway you can un-erase what was erased?”
“I don’t know, let me see.”
“Oh hi Lex.” Tammy said a short
time later as she walked in to the room. “I was wondering if you’re
going to be on the computer for while. If not can I use it?
There is an internet chat group I wanted to join.”
“Sorry Tammy, I think I’m going to be
here a while.” Lexington answered.
“Ok, no biggie, I’ll just wait till
you’re off it.”
As the conversation began to disappear
from his memory, Lexington finally succeeded in the task he had been working
on all evening. Printing out his results, Lexington went to the kitchen
to show his results to Broadway.
“This is what I was able to pull up.
Someone went to a website about child and partner abuse, another site about
emergency pregnancy prevention, and the last site was a rape survivors
“Hmm, we know that who ever it was is
female, and more than likely below the age of forty.” Broadway said
as he digested both the information and a ham sandwich.
“Great, that only narrows it down to
about a dozen people that would be in the castle that fits that description
on any given day.”
“Sorry Lex, but we don’t have a whole
lot to go on at the moment.”
“I guess your right. Besides,
its not like it’s a big deal. Someone just wanted some privacy is
Returning to the living room, Lexington
found Tammy typing away on his computer.
“Did you find the chat group you wanted?”
Startled by the voice suddenly appearing
behind her, Tammy sat up straight for a second and quickly turned around
to see who was talking.
“Oh Lexington, you scared me, it’s not
nice to sneak up on people like that.”
“Sorry. I was just wondering if
you had found the chat group you were looking for?” Lexington answered.
“Yeah I did. You know the nice
thing about the Internet is that it’s nameless and faceless. No body
knows I’m a gargoyle, they think I’m just a regular person.”
Grinning a little at the fact that someone
else had “finally” discovered what he already knew about the Internet,
“It’s been great, I’ve even managed
to meet some of my old friends. Granted they don’t remember me, but
I’ve been able to recreate some of my old friendships.” Tammy continued.
“Lexington, come on lad, if you don’t
hurry you’re going to be late for patrol.” Hudson said as he stuck
his head in to the room.
“Coming.” Lexington called.
“Well let me know if you meet any more of your friends. Maybe later
I can show you some of my preferred chat groups.”
“That would be nice.” Tammy said.
December 31, 1996
“Athena, lets just rest here for a while.”
“Why, we should keep going.” Athena
“Because you look as though you could
use some rest.”
“The circles under your eyes say differently.”
Brooklyn said with a hint of concern.
Far away, a church bell rang out the
time, as it spread across the fields the sound became faint and muffled.
“…nine, ten, eleven, twelve. Happy
New Years.” Brooklyn said as he counted off the chimes.
Sitting there as if she had not heard
her partner say anything, Athena continued to stare off toward the west.
“You know it’s a tradition to receive
a kiss at Midnight tonight.” Brooklyn said non-chalantly as he placed
a hand on her shoulder.
Wincing slightly as her wound was aggravated,
Athena finally told Brooklyn what was on her mind.
“Brooklyn, can I ask you a question?”
“You just did.” He snickered.
“Why are we waiting here? We’re
wasting time, we should be heading to New York.”
“We’re not wasting time.” Brooklyn
said. “You need time to rest. You’ve been getting hardly any
sleep for the past week plus your shoulder was injured when we made our
escape from that ambush.”
“I know, but I wouldn’t have been injured
if I had not try to go back for the Roughwings. I disobeyed orders.”
“That was not your fault Athena.
I wanted to help the Roughwings too, we just happen to pick a bad spot
to discuss it at that time.”
“But Rick said to make sure that you
got back to New York ok.”
“Which wouldn’t happen if you had gone
back to help the Roughwings, you might have been captured. The who
would protect me during the day?”
Just then a gust of wind swept across
the area and Athena shivered as it struck her.
“Aren’t you cold?” Athena asked
looking at Brooklyn’s bare chest.
“No, cold doesn’t affect us “real” gargoyles
much.” He said as he wrapped a wing around Athena. “Still if
you were cold, you should have said something.”
Feeling the warmth of both Brooklyn’s
body and his wing, Athena crept closer to him. “I’m sorry, I just
didn’t want to be a hindrance.” She said through a yawn.
“Don’t worry about it, you’re not a
hindrance. Besides from what I have seen you can more than hold your
own. Don’t you think so? Athena?”
Wondering why she was not answering
him, Brooklyn looked at his traveling companion and found her fast asleep
as she leaned against him.
I told her she needed to get some rest.
January 2, 1997
Meanwhile, back in New York City, most
people were doing one of three things. Some were sleeping, some were
working, and some were expressing terms of endearment to each other.
But that was what the human population was doing. In the middle of
the city, on the top of the tallest building in the world, one couple was
not expressing terms of endearment; if anything they were expressing terms
Walking in to the kitchen Angela was
not surprised to find Broadway there.
“Um hmm.” Angela coughed.
“Angela, what are you stressing out about
now?” Broadway asked as he shoved another greasy slice of pizza in
“Well for one thing this.” Angela
said picking up a slice of pizza and watching the double meat and grease
slide off on to the pizza box.
“What? It’s just a pizza.”
“With all that grease and meat it’s
going to give you a heart attack. You could eat a little healthier
“Here we go with the diet thing again.”
“Well you didn’t stay on your last one
“So? Its not like I’m trying to
be a model or anything.”
“No. But you can afford to lose
a few pounds. It would be better for you; you’d have more energy,
and probably fly faster too. Plus you would look better.”
“You never seemed to care this much
about my weight before.”
“I didn’t care before you started putting
on so much of it.”
“Come on, you know I’m big boned.
You said that was one of the things you liked about me, lots to cuddle.”
“I do, but it would be nice if you looked
a little more like Kenney or Brooklyn.” Even as she said the words,
Angela knew that she had made a terrible mistake.
Standing up, Broadway quickly
and quietly turned from Angela and walked out the door.
“Cool, who left a half finished pizza
on the table?” Tammy asked as she walked in a few moments later.
Looking up from the pizza, Tammy saw Angela still standing where she had
been when Broadway walked out.
“What’s wrong Angela?” Tammy asked.
“Nothing, just a disagreement between
me and Broadway.” Angela said weakly.
“Are you sure that’s all it was?
You seem pretty upset. He didn’t threaten you did he?” Tammy
asked her anger slowly starting to rise.
“No, he did nothing like that.”
Angela said defensively. “It’s just that this time the argument
was my fault, and it was all over some pizza.”
“Ok, well girlfriend, if you want to
talk about it just let me know. And if he ever does threaten you,
then you had better let me know.” As Tammy spoke, her voice took
on an edge to it.
“Ok, I will.” Angela promised.
Quickly reverting to her usually cheerful
self, Tammy said that she had to leave for patrol but that she would be
“Hey slow down a little.” Lexington
called out to his partner. Being the fastest in the clan, it was
unusual for Lexington to want someone to slow down, but this time something
seemed to be wrong.
“Hey Tammy, did you hear me?”
Lexington called out again.
“Sorry Lex, I was just still a little
hot is all.”
“I can see that, so what has you so
ticked off tonight?”
“Just before we left I ran in to Angela,
she was upset because she and Broadway had had a fight.”
“Another one?” Lexington groaned.
“Yeah, but this time she seemed really
shook up, like as if she had been threatened.”
“Threatened? By who?”
Looking at Lexington dumbfounded for
a moment, Tammy explained what she meant.
“Your kidding right?” Lexington
“No I’m not. Maybe gargoyles don’t
go around beating each other, but remember I was a human at one time, so
I know all to well how we think.”
“Man, how does the human race ever survive?”
Lexington asked in disbelief.
Just then a scream was heard and then
suddenly died. Looking at the ally way below them, both Lexington
and Tammy saw what was the cause of the disturbance. Four young men
were surrounding a woman who was clutching something very tightly to her.
Not even bothering to ask what they
should do, or to even see if Lexington was following, Tammy immediately
dove toward the scene below.
“Come on pretty mama, we just want to
party a little.” Said one of the young men.
“Yeah, we can give you a real warm place
to stay for the night.” Said another.
“Please, just leave me and my baby alone.
I only came here looking for some shelter, I didn’t know this was your
place.” The woman cried desperately.
“Sorry lady, but rent is due, and since
you have no money, guess we’ll have to have payment of another form.”
Said a third.
Eyes aglow with rage, Tammy came swooping
down the length of the ally and landed a power punch to one of the four
“What was that Jose?” Asked one.
“I don’t know Mitch.” Answered
Winging her way back around, Tammy landed
next to the unconscious thug she had just struck. “Leave the woman
alone, now!” Tammy yelled as she flung the unconscious thug at another
Seeing two of his buddies be taken out
in less then five seconds, the third thug turned and ran but was quickly
subdued by a green gargoyle that had snuck up on the fight. Looking
left and right in terror, the fourth thug knew that he needed some leverage,
some thing to bargain with if he was going to get out of this. Grabbing
the woman with the baby, the fourth thug brought a knife to her throat
and threatened to slit it.
At the mere mention of the threat, Tammy
became even more enraged, her eyes began to glow much brighter, her faced
carried a snarl that showed a lot of teeth, and her wings were out, making
her look bigger than she was. Lexington could only sit there in awe
for a moment as he recalled the last time he had seen Tammy like that.
Then like a ton of bricks, it clicked
in the gargoyles mind and all the pieces suddenly fell in to place.
“Listen buddy, you can either do this
the easy way and give up, or the hard way.” Lexington said as he
pointed towards the two unconscious men lying on the ground.
Taking one last look to his left and
to his right, the thug made a decision. Shoving the woman towards
the female gargoyle, the thug charged at Lexington with his knife.
Catching the woman before she fell to
the ground, Tammy instantly lost all interest in the thug and focused solely
on the woman before her.
“Are you hurt?” Tammy asked in
a cool and calm tone.
“No I’m not hurt, just shaken up a bit.”
The woman replied amazed at how quickly the creature in front of her had
“Do you have a place to stay?”
“No, I’ve been evicted, I was hopping
to find a steam vent or something to help keep my baby warm tonight.”
Reaching in to her pocket, Tammy removed
a business card. “Here, go to this address. They can give you
shelter for the night, they also have assault survivor counseling there
Looking at the gargoyle straight in
the eyes, the woman could read the message in them. It said that
she too had been an assault survivor.
“Time to go.” Lexington said as
he put a hand on Tammy’s shoulder.
Becoming aware of the sound of sirens
for the first time, Tammy nodded, helped the woman up, wished her good
luck and began to climb one of the walls to gain altitude before leaping
in to the air.
“Thank you.” The woman said as
she waved goodbye to her new friend.
Sitting on top of a building munching
on a couple of hotdogs that Lexington had somehow managed to acquire, Lexington
and Tammy sat in silence. Finally, after finishing his hotdog, Lexington
asked the question that had been on his mind for the past half hour.
“Tammy, why were you so secretive about
“What do you mean?” She asked.
“Well for one thing no one knew that
you were a victim of rape, you even went so far as to try to hide it when
you were on line.”
“I don’t know what you’re talking about.”
“Sure you do. You said it your
self, you were in a bad mood earlier this evening because you were worried
that Broadway had threatened Angela. You tried to delete all indications
that you were visiting rape and abuse sites on the Internet. You
had some ready made pamphlets for the woman we helped tonight. You
looked a she-devil when you attacked those thugs. The last time I
saw you look like that was when you attacked Kenny when he accidentally
walked in on you and you felt threatened.”
“It’s a part of my life I just don’t
like to talk about.” Tammy said flatly.
“Maybe you should talk about.
Look what it’s doing to you, it’s tearing you up on the inside.”
“Really Lex, I’m ok. I’ve been
dealing with this for a while now.”
“No your not ok Tammy.”
“Oh, and how do you know what’s in my
heart?” Tammy asked sternly.
“I know you haven’t smiled once this
whole evening, in fact your whole personality is changed.”
“That’s just your opinion, I’m still
the same person I’ve always been.”
“Would you listen to your self Tammy,
you’re lying to everyone, but mostly yourself.” Watching as she balled
one of her hands in to a fist, Lexington knew that what he was saying most
have been hitting home.
Placing a hand on her shoulder, Lexington
continued. “Tammy, I haven’t known you for a real long time, but
I do know what kind of person you are. You’re a kind- hearted person
that is happy and cheerful. I almost never see you with out a smile,
yet tonight I haven’t seen one at all. Worse yet I’ve seen you change
from a gentle caring person to an out of control monster.” Turning
Tammy’s head so he could look her in the eyes, Lexington saw tears streaming
down her face.
Wiping away one of her tears, Lexington
then continued. “Sooner or later in one of your rages you’re bound
to kill someone. Tammy, if you keep letting the hate eat at you like
this eventually there will be nothing left of the gargoyle we all know
As Lexington spoke, deep inside of Tammy
a vicious three-sided struggle was being waged. Two emotions were
attempting to escape, one was anger and bitterness, the second was sadness,
and they struggled against each other to become the dominant emotion.
As anger and sadness fought each other, they surged against a third emotion,
the one that Tammy wore most of the time and kept the other two in check,
Even deeper inside of Tammy, in her
heart of hearts, she could see the strength of her anger, the vastness
of her sadness, and how her happiness was being eaten away by the two and
becoming weaker and weaker all the time. She knew that what Lexington
had said was the truth that she had been afraid to face, that her soul
was being eaten alive. What scared her even more was something else
Lexington had said, she was becoming something else, she was becoming more
and more like the thing she hated most.
Breaking down in tears, Tammy let the
sadness and the hurt burst to the surface as she buried the hate and bitterness
down deep. Taken by surprise by her sudden change, Lexington put
an arm around Tammy and tried to comfort her as she sobbed.
January 6, 1997
Gliding through the night away from the city
was far more peaceful than flying through the city. The air was cleaner,
there were few bright lights, and most importantly there were almost no
obstacles to run in to. Brooklyn felt more peaceful now than he had
in a while. Over the past several days he and his partner had traveled
over a large part of the country during their journey to New York.
Brooklyn still had no idea what had set off the chain of events that had
lead to him and the Roughwings hastily leaving California. Worse
yet he still didn’t know what had become of the Roughwings. The only
thing he knew for sure was that he and Athena had waited a couple of days
for the Roughwings but had failed to find them, and there was little if
anything they could do about it.
Lost in thought Brooklyn’s attention
was suddenly snapped back to reality by a blur in front of him. Coming
up short he saw what had caused the disturbance.
“What is wrong my friend?” Athena asked.
“Nothing, I was just thinking.
Trying to figure out what we should do next.”
Sighing, Athena looked at Brooklyn and
said “Brooklyn, I don’t think there is much more that we can do.
We have spent more than a week looking for my squad and we have yet to
find any news. The best thing we can do is simply follow orders and
go to New York City.”
“You sure about that?”
“How long have you felt like this?”
“I had no idea.”
“Brooklyn, I don’t like the thought
that the Roughwings may have been hurt, captured or worse.” Looking
at Brooklyn, the female gargoyle continued. “But I also don’t like
the thought of failing my mission and not seeing you reunited with you
Thinking about what Athena had said,
Brooklyn was struck by the weight of her words and yet how at the same
time she did seem to be lighter of heart lately. Even her gliding
was more playful, either that or he was just now noticing it.
“Catch me if you can.” Athena
threw over her shoulder as she dove toward a pond below.
A smirk coming across his face, Brooklyn
decided to follow suit. Folding his wings he soon caught up then
passed Athena on their descent.
“Brooklyn what are you doing?”
Ignoring her, Brooklyn slowed at the
last moment before diving in to the water for a swim. Coming up for
air several yards from where he dove in, Brooklyn saw Athena looking down
“Why did you do that?” She asked
“Because it’s been quite a while since
I went for a swim. Come on in, the waters fine.”
Looking down at the water, Athena hesitated.
“What’s the matter? Do you not
know how to swim?”
“No I don’t. I’ve never had a
“Well come down here and I will show
Standing at the edge of the water for
a moment, Athena finally decided to join her friend.
Huh, focus here Brooklyn, think about
what you are saying, and keep your mind on the present. Brooklyn
thought to himself.
“So are you going to teach me or what?”
She asked after wading up to her waist.
“Sure. Now just do what I tell
you. Turn around and lean back in to the water. I’ll support
your head and teach you how to float on your back.”
“Floating, that’s not swimming.
Teach me how to swim.”
“I will, but first things first.
Besides I think you will like floating on your back.”
Trusting her friend, Athena turned around
and slowly leaned back in to the water. Then she felt a slight pressure
as Brooklyn used a single hand to keep her head above water.
“Now just relax and let your feet
float to the top of the water. Then spread your arms out like a T.
Good, now I’m going to let go of your head and you will be floating all
Wow, I’m floating. Athena thought
to herself. But the water wasn’t the only thing making her feel lighter
than she ever had before. Although the water did go a long ways toward
that. It was like gliding, but it took less effort.
I never would have found out about this
if it weren’t for Brooklyn. He really is a nice guy, and a great
friend, and someone I can trust. I wonder what I can do for him that
would be nice? A hand suddenly reaching out and grabbing her wrist
interrupted the rest of Athena’s thoughts. With her attention drawn
towards her wrist, Athena never saw the other hand that reached out to
her mid section and tickled her.
Letting out a shriek Athena found herself
starting to sink as her body began to tense up in anticipation of combat.
But then just as suddenly the attack stopped and she was being lifted out
of the water.
“Sorry Athena didn’t mean to scare you
like that. But at least I did find out that you are ticklish.”
Brooklyn said as he held a very irate gargoyle in his arms.
Looking up at him Athena yelled, “Brooklyn!
What was that for? I did not appreciate it!” as she struggled to
get away from him.
“Hey I’m sorry. I was just playing
“That’s not a funny joke. You
were being mean to me.” Said Athena, now standing a few feet from him and
up to her chest in water.
“How was I being mean to you?”
“You snuck up on me and then attacked
“I did not attack you, I tickled you.”
“Which all most made me drown.”
“No it didn’t. Besides I was there
to catch you before you even went under. You haven’t played a joke
on somebody before?”
“No I haven’t.”
“Man, you are such a bore. We
have got to work on those social skills of yours.”
Looking him in the eye she read the
real meaning of his words. Relaxing again Athena said, “I’m sorry
Brooklyn. You spent this time teaching me how to swim. I shouldn’t
be mad at you.”
Coming up to her Brooklyn put a hand
on her shoulder as he said “That’s ok, I guess I did scare you pretty good.”
“Yes you did.” As she said this
she noticed that the hand on her shoulder left Brooklyn’s mid section exposed.
Deciding to take advantage of the situation Athena lifted her own hand
and patted his.
“I forgive you.” As the words
came out of her mouth her hand flew to Brooklyn’s mid section and began
to tickle it. The reaction she got was just what she wanted.
“Hey!” Brooklyn shouted as he
began to squirm away, but found his escape route blocked by a tickle attack
to his other side.
“Well two can play that game.”
With that Brooklyn proceeded to tickle Athena in kind.
After several minutes of squirming,
thrusting, parrying, blocking and laughing Athena found herself hopelessly
out classed. Trying to catch her breath Athena tried to tell
Brooklyn to quite it, but she just couldn’t quite get the words out.
Leaning in closer Athena attempted to pound Brooklyn on his chest.
Just then Brooklyn stopped tickling her and caused Athena to lose her balance
and crash in to him.
Breathing heavily to catch her breath,
she finally got the words out “Stop it, I can’t breathe.”
“Sorry. Here, lets get you back
to dry land then.” Brooklyn said.
Shaking her head no as she said, “Just
give me a minute.”
Looking up, Athena saw that Brooklyn
was looking down at her.
“Better yet?” Brooklyn asked.
Man why is she still leaning against me? He thought.
“Some.” Athena replied.
But is it because of the air or because I feel… Like I haven’t felt before.
“No hurry, take as long as you need.”
Oh yeah sure, take advantage of the situation, way to use a friend, Brooklyn
Looking at him again, Athena said, “Brooklyn.”
“Yes?” he replied as he leaned closer
“I don’t feel like learning to swim
“Ok, we can do that some other time
then. For now lets head back to land.”
Leaning closer to him, Athena looked
in to Brooklyn’s eyes as she spoke. “Brooklyn, thank you for being
such a friend to me. I hope to repay you.” With that Athena
tilted her head and began to gently kiss Brooklyn.
Taken by surprise, Brooklyn was slow
to respond to Athena’s kiss. However, he soon began to respond in
kind, taking things slowly like she was. Is this for real? He thought.
I do feel some attraction to her, but to this extent? Or are we just
really good friends?
Meanwhile, back in New York City….
“Hey Lex, what are you going to teach me tonight?”
Tammy asked as she sat down in front of Lexington’s computer.
“I already showed you how to use HTML
to make a web page, so lets stick to something similar. Tonight I
will teach you how to program in basic.” Lexington answered eagerly.
“But isn’t writing programs hard?”
“It can be, but basic is an easy language.
Besides you seemed to pick up on computer stuff pretty easily. Remember
just a few weeks ago you knew next to nothing, so you’ve come pretty far
pretty fast their pretty lady.”
“You’re just saying that.” Tammy
said as she blushed just a little at the compliment.
Watching the two younger gargoyles from
a short distance away, Hudson was glad to see that Lexington had finally
found someone who he could share his hobby with. Broadway had Angela,
although the two of them had been having quite a bit of problems of late.
Goliath had a relationship with Elisa, even though he would never admit
it out loud to the clan. Even Brooklyn had found some peace, although
he had to leave the clan to achieve it. But with a little luck he
would return to the clan once he had tamed what was running wild in his
Hudson felt at peaceful and at ease,
things were going well for the clan. Sighing a little, Hudson also
felt a little worried, for he knew that good times could not last, and
they never did.
January 7, 1997
As the sun shone down on the two gargoyles, one of
them stone; the other flesh, it warmed them nicely after the night’s swimming.
Lying on her back, Athena wondered just what had happened that night.
In fact she was trying to figure out what had happened over the past week.
She had just meet Brooklyn about three weeks ago, and now they were partners
trying to get back to New York City.
Well they had started out as that, and she
figured that they still were, and they had become friends. This was
nothing new for Brooklyn she figured; he had had friends all his life.
But as for Athena, she didn’t have any outside of the Roughwings.
This was a new experience for her.
Sighing, Athena finally let her mind
grasp the next thought that was trying to surface. They were becoming
a third category, they were more than friends.
“There, I just admitted it to myself.”
Athena said out loud. But what about Brooklyn, how does he feel about
me? Athena wondered.
Awaking from his sleep, Brooklyn found
Athena lying next to him. Not only was she laying next to him, but
most of her arm was touching his too. Now Brooklyn was not the type
of guy to lose his composure around females, but this time he was coming
Oh man, I wish she wouldn’t do that.
It makes me start to thing think of things I would rather not think about.
Brooklyn thought as fought to dismiss the image that had appeared in his
mind while he inched away from Athena.
“Brooklyn, is that you?” Athena
asked sleepily as she awoke.
“Yeah it’s just me.” Brooklyn
“Is it nighttime already?”
“Been that way for a good half hour
Quickly sitting up, Athena softly cursed
at the time that they had wasted. Staggering slightly as she stood
up, Brooklyn quickly came to her side.
“Hey are you ok?” He asked.
“Yes, I’m fine, I just stood up to quickly
that’s all. Come on, let’s get going.” Athena said as she began
to climb a tree from which to start her glide.
“Ok.” Brooklyn said.
A short time later, Brooklyn began to
worry about traveling companion.
Is it just me; or does it look like
Athena is flying all over the place tonight? Brooklyn thought as
he watched Athena swerve left and then right for no apparent reason.
Then suddenly Athena’s wings seemed to fold in on themselves and she rapidly
Diving after her as quickly as he could,
Brooklyn was able to catch her and come to cushion the impact of their
“Athena, are you ok?” Brooklyn
Her eyes fluttering slightly before
opening, Athena asked what happened.
“I don’t know, you seemed to lose concision
all of a sudden and almost crashed into the ground.” Brooklyn said
as he noticed that Athena was shivering.
Placing his hand against her forehead,
Brooklyn realized that Athena had a fever, and a high one at that.
“You’re burning up, why didn’t you say
you were sick? We could have waited a day or two for you to get better.”
“I couldn’t put you in danger like that.”
Athena said weakly.
“That’s not excuse.” Brooklyn
said more sharply than he intended too. “We need to find some shelter
so you can rest.”
Looking around, Brooklyn quickly spotted
a near by cave that would due nicely. Picking Athena up in his arms,
Brooklyn quickly made his way to the entrance of the cave. After
taking just a few steps inside he froze were he stood.
“What’s wrong?” Athena asked weakly.
Swallowing hard, Brooklyn managed to
croak out an answer from his throat.
“Nothing. Just need to make sure
the place was safe.”
Walking to the far corner of the room,
Brooklyn gently placed Athena on the pile of sheets and blankets that looked
as though it had passed as a bed at one time. After that he proceeded
to the make shift cabinet on the opposite wall and dug through it for a
few moments until he found what he was looking for, a small bowl and a
rag. Pouring a canteen in to the bowl and dipping the rag in it,
Brooklyn wrung it out and placed the rag on Athena’s forehead to try and
reduce her fever.
After a few more moments Athena finally
dozed off and her shivering seemed to lessen. Sighing a little, Brooklyn
looked around the cave and couldn’t help but to feel the bitter irony of
him finding this place. Checking on Athena one last time to make
sure she was ok, Brooklyn stood up and walked towards the cave’s entrance.
Standing in front of a small pile of
rocks, Brooklyn knelt down and placed a hand on the center of the pile.
“Hi Amanda, it’s me Brooklyn.
I’ve missed you this past month. I’ve tried not to let it bother
me too much; to try and get on with my life, but it’s been hard.
I still have the photo of you.” Swallowing hard, Brooklyn hesitated
a moment before continuing.
“Amanda, I don’t know if you can hear
me, or if you could even help me, but if you can I could sure use some
help right now. Athena is really sick, I don’t know if she will make
it or not, but if you can please help her. She’s young still; she
has a family who cares about her. And I, I couldn’t stand the thought
of losing her in our home, she deserves better then that.”
Wiping the tears from his eyes as he
stood up, Brooklyn promised that he would come and visit her again tomorrow
Making his way back to the cave that
he and Amanda had at one time shared, Brooklyn staggered towards the bed
where Athena lay. His body still shook with sobs as he knelt down
to check on his friend.
“Brooklyn, don’t worry about me.”
Athena mumbled in her sleep. “You’re doing the right thing.”
“But I am worried about you.”
Brooklyn replied. “Heavens knows I didn’t want to feel close to anyone
so soon, but for some reason you came in to my life.”
“Amanda would understand. I understand.”
Athena continued to mumble as if she could hear Brooklyn speak.
“Maybe, but I would still feel guilty.”
“Let go of the guilt to free your heart.”
“Yeah right, easier said than done.”
“Show unconditional love, like you did
to me, like she has done to you.”
“What the….” Brooklyn sat up straight
as if an electric current had passed through him. What had he just
heard? Had that been Athena talking to him through some fever induced
dream, or had it been Amanda?
The voice had sort of sounded like Amanda’s,
but had that been because he has thinking about her? He was sure
that he had seen Athena’s mouth move, so she must have spoken those words.
But the grammar used, especially that last sentence sounded as though someone
else was speaking about Athena.
“Brooklyn my sweet, always caring.
That is what I like best about you.” Athena continued, but in her
own voice this time.
“That’s the last thing Amanda said to
me.” Brooklyn said as he staggered back.
Suddenly Athena began to cough wildly
and to choke. This brought Brooklyn back to reality as he rushed
to Athena’s side and helped her to trash can so she could vomit in to it.
Laying Athena back down in the bed, Brooklyn decided that he would do what
he always did, protect, and right now he would protect Athena.
After the sun had set, two gargoyles
awoke from their sleep. The first was a red skinned, white haired
male, while the other was a greenish-gray skinned, blonde haired female.
Looking at each other in surprise, neither one was able to say a word,
instead they simply let actions speak for them as they simply held and
comforted each other in an embrace that lasted a long time.
“Athena, you’re ok.” Brooklyn
“Yeah, I guess I just needed some rest
is all. But Brooklyn are you ok? You sound as if I was about
to die.” Athena said sounding concerned.
“For a while there I thought you were
January 13, 1997
“Broadway, can we talk?” Angela asked.
“About us. What’s happening to
us? I know we don’t get along as well as we used to.”
“I don’t know Angela. All I know
is that it just seems like we always end up hurting each other lately.”
“I know, but why? What has changed
between us?” Angela asked.
“A lot has happened over the past few
months. We found some new gargoyles, Brooklyn left the clan, and
Lexington was made second in command.”
“Is that part of it Broadway?
You feel hurt because Lexington was chosen instead of you?”
Broadway fell quite a moment as though
this simple yes or no question had just now entered his mind.
“It was kind of a let down, Angela.”
Broadway finally answered.
Looking at him for a moment, Angela
knew he was lying to her, that he had been more hurt than he was letting
“What about you Angela? You’ve
been on edge a lot lately. Is something bothering you?”
Now it was Angela’s turn to be quite
for a moment.
“Yes, I’ve been having this terrible
sense of dread that things are happening and I have no control over the
matter. Like when Brooklyn left, he just up and left with barely
any warning, and there was nothing I could do but just watch him go.”
“You’re worried about him aren’t you?”
“Of coarse I am.” Angela said
defensively, then as an after thought added. “Aren’t you?”
“Yeah.” But at least I realize
how much I miss him. Broadway thought.
Sitting down next to him, Angela asked.
“Broadway, one of the things I like about you is that you’re easy going
and don’t let things bother you. But lately it seems like you’ve
been really cynical and moody. Is there something else bothering
“I don’t know.” Broadway answered.
That is a good question, he thought.
There have been a lot of little things that have been getting under my
skin lately. I guess the whole Lexington thing had been bothering
me more than I cared to admit. That and the fact that Brooklyn has
been getting a lot of attention, and he’s not even here anymore.
“Angela, I care about you.” Broadway
said as he broke the silence. “I don’t want to hurt you. Yet
that’s what we seem to do half the time anymore. Maybe we need a
little time apart to sort things out?”
Looking up at Angela, Broadway could
see the hurt look in her eyes.
“I don’t want to hurt you but….” Broadway
started before Angela placed a finger to his lips.
“I know Broadway. I know this
is for the best.” Seeing the hurt that was also in his eyes, Angela
leaned forward and hugged Broadway.
“Just promise me you’ll let me know
what’s on you mind when you get things straightened out, ok?” Angela
said as she rose and walked away.
Sitting there for a moment, Broadway
finally walked to a near by bathroom so that no one would see him cry.
“Angela, are you ok?” Lexington
asked as he saw her walking down the hallway crying.
“Do you want to talk about it?”
“Do you want to talk to Broadway?”
“Do you want to talk to Goliath?”
“Do you want to talk to anyone?”
January 20, 1997
Strolling along one of the outer walls
of the castle Angela was surprised to see Goliath standing there.
He had a distant look about him, as though he was unaware of his surroundings
and instead his attention was totally focused at some distant point towards
“Father, what is bothering you?” Angela
“I am worried.” Goliath answered without
“What are you worried about?”
“Nothing you need to worry about. As
the clan’s leader I will deal with them.”
“Father, don’t treat me like a hatchling,
if its something concerning the clan then maybe you should talk to us about
“Not everything I am worried about concerns
the clan.” Looking at his daughter for the first time during the
conversation, Goliath continued.
“I am worried about you.
I know it has been almost a week since you and Broadway broke up, but I
can still see the hurt in your eyes.”
Lowering her head as if in guilt, Angela knew
that her father was right.
“Yes father, I won’t lie to you. It
still hurts. But the rest of the clan doesn’t need to worry about
“That is where you are wrong my daughter.
Clan will always look out of its own, even though they may be far removed
Lifting her head again Angela now understood
why Goliath had been standing there, staring off towards the west.
“You’re concerned about Brooklyn aren’t you?”
“Yes. He has been gone for several months
now and we have not heard from him in the past month.”
“Maybe he just got real busy.” Angela
“Maybe, but Brooklyn had either called or
written once every week, then they just suddenly stopped. I’m afraid
something may have happened to him.”
“Oh father, don’t say such terrible things.”
Angela said as she pushed aside the images that had formed in her mind.
“It is a thought we must consider, even if
it is unpleasant.” Goliath said as he wrapped an arm around Angela
in an uncharacteristic display of fatherly concern.
“I know, but I refuse to believe something
could happen to Brooklyn. He’s to smart and tough for…BROOKLYN!”
Angela shouted at the end.
Looking up to see what had Angela so excited,
Goliath was surprised himself at the sight that he saw. Flying towards
them was a gargoyle with red skin and white hair; the very one they had
been talking about, Brooklyn. But something was wrong; he was not
alone as he approached.
Wiping a tear from her eye, Angela looked
at Goliath and said, “See father all you need to do is to think positively
Grinning from ear to ear as he landed Brooklyn
was surprised to find he had an audience waiting for him.
“Well I never would have expected my fan club
to be here waiting for me.” Brooklyn said as Angela all but plowed
him over as she rushed to hug him.
“Brooklyn, we were so worried about you.”
Angela whispered as Brooklyn attempted to disentangle himself from her.
“Yes the whole clan will be glad to know that
you have made it back safely.” Goliath said as he shook hands with
the younger gargoyle.
Turning to towards the female gargoyle who
had stood silently behind him, Brooklyn indicated towards Athena.
“Goliath, Angela, this is Athena. She
is part of Rick’s clan.”
Surprised at the information that Brooklyn
had just provided, Goliath proceeded to give the new comer a once over.
She was shorter than Angela, in fact almost shorter than Brooklyn.
Her hair was blonde and in a pony tail that came to just past her shoulders
and looked as though it had not been cleaned in a couple of weeks.
Her skin and eye coloring were identical to that of Rick’s. Despite
the skin coloring, it did not hide the dark circles under her eyes, which
lead Goliath to guess skin and eye color weren’t the only traits she shared
in common with Rick.
Her uniform had seen better days as the gray
and black strips on it were covered in mud, blood, sweat, and had several
tears on it.
Nodding numbly at the introduction, Athena finally made a sound, “Mission
accomplished.” Was all she said as her knees buckled and she fell
to the ground.
“Athena!” Brooklyn shouted in alarm
as the three gargoyles rushed to her side.
Checking her pulse, Brooklyn found it to be
rapid and weak, her skin was flushed and felt dry, her breathing was rapid
“What’s wrong is she injured?” Goliath
“No, just dehydrated, and probably exhausted
too.” Brooklyn said as he picked her up. “We had better get
her to the infirmary.”
Meanwhile, in a different part of the castle,
Lexington sat down at his computer terminal and began to type in a set
“Hello, what’s this?” Lexington asked
half to himself.
“What is it?” Tammy asked as she peered
over his shoulder at the computer screen.
“I hacked in to the castle’s central computer
and accessed the infirmary section to see how hard of a test it would make
for you. But I didn’t expect to find this.” As Lexington pointed
to the read out coming up on his screen.
“What’s so special about this?” Tammy
“This.” Lexington said as he pulled
up an X-ray picture reveling the skeleton of a gargoyle.
“Are you sure that’s not just archived data?”
“Nope, its real time. Hmm, want to go
take a look?” Lexington asked.
“Why Lex, are you asking me out on a date?”
“Yes pretty lady, I am.” Lexington chuckled.
“Then lets go you mad romantic you.”
As the two of them left, neither one noticed
the look of disgust that crossed Broadway’s face as he watched the two
Seeing Angela standing in one of the corridors
leading to the castle’s infirmary, the curiosity of both Lexington and
Tammy’s became peaked.
“Hi Angela, what’s going on?” Tammy
Turning to face her addresser, Angela looked
right past Tammy and spoke to Lexington as though she wasn’t there.
“Brooklyn has finally come home. He’s
in their now with Goliath.” Angela said as she indicated to the room
at the end of the hallway.
“Oh no.” Lexington said as the image
of the x-ray flashed in his head. Not even waiting to hear the rest
of Angela’s explanation.
“What’s wrong that would have Lexington so
worried?” Angela asked.
“Because Brooklyn is hurt.” Tammy said.
“Why does Lex think that?”
“Because he saw the medical readout.”
“Brooklyn? Hey, are you all right?”
Lexington said as he entered the room that Angela had pointed to.
“Lex, good to see you bro.” Brooklyn
said as a large grin came across his face.
“Angela said that you were in here, so I thought
that you might have been hurt. But you look like your ok.”
“I am. But unfortunately Athena isn’t.”
Brooklyn said as he indicated towards the female gargoyle lying on the
bed on the other side of the room.
Just then another gargoyle entered the
“Who’s your friend there?” Brooklyn
“Brooklyn, meet Tammy.” Lexington said
as he made the introductions.
Brooklyn noted that the change of expression
on Lexington’s face as he spoke implied that Tammy was at the least a very
“She joined our clan after you left.”
“Nice to meet you.” Tammy said.
“So who’s your lady friend there?” Lexington
“Her name is Athena, she is a Roughwing, a
member of Rick’s clan.”
“Rick has a clan now?” Lexington asked.
“Yep, couldn’t believe it my self either.”
“What’s wrong with her?” Tammy asked
as she slowly approached the sleeping Athena.
“Dehydration, and probably exhaustion.”
“Dehydration, exhaustion? What did you
two do, travel across country?” Lexington asked.
“As a matter of fact yes.” Brooklyn
“Who is Rick?” Tammy asked.
“A gargoyle like you Tammy. We met him
before we meet you and Kenny.” Lexington explained.
“Kenny?” Brooklyn asked.
“Another gargoyle that joined our clan.
We met him about the same time as we met Tammy.” Goliath explained.
February 4, 1997
“Your bid.” Brooklyn said to Lexington.
“Keep your shirt on. I’ll see
your five and raise you five.” Lexington answered after looking at
“This is nice guys. It’s been
a while since we’ve had a chance to play cards like this.” Broadway
said as he finished off his beer.
“Yeah, I didn’t like playing the with
the Roughwings, other than Rick and Athena the rest of them were lousy.
I would always win.”
“Speaking of Athena. Seems like
you two have been getting kind of close their guy.” Lexington commented
“Yeah, she’s a nice girl. Just
to bad something so bad had to happen to her.”
“Oh, and I suppose your something good
then.” Broadway sarcastically replied.
“Hey ouch, that was uncharacteristically
harsh of you there.” Brooklyn said in mock injury.
“Just stating the obvious.”
“Well the obvious is that if you ever
get her in bed, you’ll find out I did work the old Brooklyn charm on her.”
“No way, you mean you actually did it?”
“Glad to know there are no virgins at
this table then.”
Both Broadway and Brooklyn choked on
their beers at that point.
“What do you mean no virgins?
When did you do it Lex?” Brooklyn asked.
“And how did you know that Angela and
I did it?” Broadway asked just as quickly.
“It was before you got back Brooklyn,
about a week or so after New Years. Tammy had been sort of depressed
lately, so I took her out and showed her a good time. We got a little
caught up in the moment, one thing lead to another, and the rest as they
say is history.” Lexington answered.
“So I guess the mean you two went and
consummated the relationship then.” Brooklyn said.
“Yeah I guess they did. But still,
how did you know about me and Angela?” Broadway asked.
“You would be amazed at all the places
that the security cameras will cover around this place.”
“What?! You caught us on tape?”
Broadway exclaimed as Brooklyn broke in to a fit of laughter.
“Fear not rookery brother, I destroyed
all evidence of it.”
Walking past the trio as they played their
card game, drank their beer, and told their lewd tales, all Elisa could
do was to shake her head in awe that guys would be guys regardless of the
Stepping in to the large living room that
the gargoyles shared, Elisa spotted Hudson sitting all alone in his favorite
“Hi Hudson, why aren’t you in there playing
cards with the boys tonight?”
“Ach, that in there is a young man’s game.
I’m better off staying out here.”
“Are you sure?” Elisa asked.
“Elisa lass, I am an old soldier, and all
I want to do right now is to enjoy the quiet.”
“Suit your self then.” She said as she
headed towards the castle’s library, and its most frequent visitor.
“Hey Goliath, you in here?” Elisa
“That is a silly question, who else
come in here?” Goliath asked.
“I don’t know, there is a first time
for everything you know.”
“Perhaps. What brings you down
here looking for me?”
“I just thought I would come and see
you is all. Do I need a good reason?”
“No, it is just that I thought perhaps
you needed the clans assistance with something is all.”
“Is that all you think I ever come here
“No, you also come on occasion to keep
an eye on Xanatos.”
Darn it Goliath, Elisa thought, Stop
playing games and take the bait. What do you want me to do, spell
it out for you?
“Well that’s not on the agenda for tonight.”
“Then what is on the agenda?”
“I don’t know, maybe a stroll through
the park, catch a movie, or just a quite flight over the city.”
“I’m sorry Elisa, but I have to go on
patrol this evening. Perhaps another time.”
“Ok, I’ll catch you later then.”
Elisa said as she did her best to hide the crushed look she felt.
What’s changed between us Goliath?
Elisa thought. Why do you seem remote and distant lately? Its
like you don’t want to be more than just friends with me.
Watching Elisa leave, Goliath slowly
uncurled his tail from around the stool he had been sitting on. It
hurt him to deny himself his feelings he felt for Elisa, but things just
would not work out. She was human, he was gargoyle, they were of
two different to be together in this world. Oh he knew they had talked
about it a hundred times before, but the more he thought about the more
Goliath was convinced that a relationship between him and Elisa would not
That was why he wouldn’t even try; he
valued her way too much as a friend to risk losing that friendship to both
him and the clan because of just him. Besides there was a city full
of men that would make a good mate for Elisa.
February 28, 1997
Athena stood at the top of one of the towers
of castle Wyvern and waited. She had been doing this more and more
often over the past couple of weeks. Sometimes the other gargoyle
would come and wait with her, to talk to her, to try to comfort her.
Always Brooklyn would come and spend time with her to make sure she was
ok, but neither he nor they could make her feel completely better.
“Athena, why don’t you just tell the rest
of the clan that you are worried about the Roughwings?” Brooklyn
asked as he joined his very close friend.
“Because they are your family, the Roughwings
are mine, and I do not want to burden them with my problems.”
“Who said you would be?”
“So why are you worried about that?”
“Because they are your family, the Roughwings
are my family.”
Wrapping an arm around Athena, Brooklyn gently
pulled her towards him and gently spoke to her.
“You want to go and look for them don’t you?”
Nodding her head, Athena softly said yes.
“I figured as much.” Brooklyn answered.
“Brooklyn, you know I care about and don’t
want to hurt you. But I have to leave for a while, I need to find
out what happened to my squad.” Athena said as she laid a hand on
top of Brooklyn’s.
“I know, that is why I have been getting ready
for this moment.” Brooklyn said.
“What do you mean?” Athena asked.
“If you plan on leaving, then you’re not leaving
alone. I will go with you.”
“Brooklyn, I couldn’t ask you to leave your
family again, not for me.”
“It’s ok Athena, my clan knows that I plan
on leaving if you were to leave. Besides, I’m not the only one who
wants to go, Broadway said he would like to go too.”
“You mean the two of you would be willing
to leave your home for me?” Athena asked in surprise.
“Yes, for you, for Rick, for the other gargoyles,
and for each other. Besides Athena there is one thing you still don’t
seem to understand.”
“What is that?”
Turning Athena around so that she faced him,
Brooklyn looked straight in to her eyes and told her the simple truth.
“Athena, for whatever reason you may feel
as though you do not belong to our clan, but we don’t feel that way.
We accept you in to our clan, as much as we accepted Rick, Tammy, Angela,
“Thank you.” Athena said while wiping
a tear from her eye and pulling Brooklyn close to her.