Perchance To Dream
Story Concept by Todd Jensen.
Written by Nicole Biggers, Christi Smith Hayden, and Kathy Pogge.
Previously on Gargoyles....
Demona: "That's it. That's what I want. If you cannot
get rid of all the humans,
least rid me of THAT human - Elisa Maza!!"
~ The Mirror
* * *
Elisa: "Wouldn't you rather have me?" (gun clicks;
Demona: "Always." (throws down weapon; leaps at Elisa, talons
~ Avalon, Part 3
* * *
Demona: "I thought I'd rid myself of you long ago,
(approaches Elisa frozen as a stone statue, and raises studded mace)
~ City of Stone, Part 4
Sharp talons made short work of the leads on the burglar alarm attached
to the sliding glass door on the penthouse balcony. Hidden in shadows,
the intruder crept stealthily into the luxuriant apartment, with only
the barest whisper of footsteps against the plush carpeting. The open
door of the study beckoned.
A polished bronze mirror by the doorway caught the reflection of the
blue-skinned, red-headed gargoyle passing before it. Demona ignored it
as she ignored all the other valuables in the room. Her prize tonight
would not be kept in plain sight, it was far too important to take such
a risk. A brief search of the room turned up a wall safe hidden behind
a priceless eighteenth century oil painting, "Titania's Awakening"
according to the display label, by an artist named Fuseli. It was apparently
inspired by Shakespeare's "A Midsummer Night's Dream", the figures
painted in the plump, pale fashion of the Romantic period.
Demona snorted as she swung out the canvas out from the wall. "Bah!
Foolish humans know nothing of art! No member of the Third Race ever looked
soft and puffy like that!" She did, however, rather approve of the
imperious pose of the woman on horseback behind the main characters. Dark
images always appealed to her.
From the bag slung across her chest, Demona took a clever device she'd
borrowed from her Research and Development department and adapted for
her own uses. She attached it to the electronic lock plate of the safe
and watched the LED display numbers spin past as the compact random number
generator decoded the safe's opening sequence. Demona smiled coolly as
her sharp ears heard the tumblers fall into place and the door clicked
The sole item in the wall safe was a dark green velvet bag, sealed inside
a beveled Lucite box with a small lock. Demona carefully removed it and
placed it, bag, box, and all into her carrisack. She started out but a
splash of color on the desk caught her eye. The glossy cover of 'Antiquities
Today' was promoting the archeological dig that was prompting a clash
between Xanatos and some new business competitor in the media. Demona
smirked and took the magazine as well. She did so love hearing bad news
about her enemies.
She slipped out the sliding door and was across the balcony and airborne
in seconds. It was an cloud free night and the moon shone clear and bright
overhead. Demona canted into the wind and glided towards Central Park.
She had just the place picked out for the second part of her evening's
Tucked away from prying eyes by trees and ornamental shrubberies, the
water in the reflecting pool was as smooth as glass, its bubbling fountain
shut down for the night. Demona circled in for a landing, checking the
area carefully to make sure she would be undisturbed. She removed a rolled
up piece of antique vellum from a plastic tube and approached the still
water. Slowly, the gargoyle sorceress unrolled the scroll and carefully
aligned it between the moon and the water. She took a deep breath and
"Luce lunae et pulvere stellae id quod sit celatum aperturum!"
By moonlight and stardust, let that which is hidden be revealed!
Demona watched in smug satisfaction as gothic lettering began appearing
on the blank surface of the fine vellum. The writing appeared angular
and runic -- until one viewed the reflection, the words in plain English
floating on the surface of the water. It was true, she could have duplicated
the whole thing in one of her laboratories back at Nightstone Unlimited
but there were times when she preferred art to science. Magic needed to
"The powder of Queen Mab," Demona read softly, "brings
enchantment to the dreams of others. Like these words, the will of the
spellcaster is reflected upon the soul of the chosen. Guard well all thoughts
and emotions, for under Queen Mab's influence, the dreamer can lose all
sense of self, becoming a puppet to the dream."
The blue gargoyle pondered the words as she rolled up the parchment and
returned it to her bag. Demona had known of Queen Mab's powder for centuries,
a hint here and an old wives tale there. Only recently had the questing
runes she regularly cast for signs of magic led her to this small supply
of it. A number of possibilities came to mind and she mulled them over
as she climbed up a tall tree to glide home.
Demona was hidden in the foliage when she heard the quiet whoosh of a
downglide passing by. She moved through the branches to get a better view
and was rewarded with a lavender glimpse of Goliath's muscled back as
he landed up wind of her. He caped his wings and looked around, his noble
profile etched in moonlight, so much like the old days of their youth
at Castle Wyvern that Demona felt like weeping. So much time lost, so
many yesterdays never to return, no tomorrows to look forward to ... she
pursed her lips and took out the magic powder, regarding it thoughtfully.
A car door slammed nearby. "Hey, big guy."
Her head snapped up at the hated voice of the police detective, a swatch
of fire engine red hair falling across her eyes. Demona felt a silent
snarl curl her lip as she watched Goliath smile and step eagerly in Elisa's
direction, holding out his arms to scoop the pathetic human into his embrace.
"Elisa." His deep voice, even softened with love, reverberated
in the still night air. "I thought perhaps you would be too busy
to meet tonight."
"Mmmmm," the human said as she smiled and rubbed her head against
him like a cat. "Not a chance. For you, I'd make time."
"As I would for you." Goliath stroked her hair, watching it
cascade through his fingers like strands of black silk. "You and
I are one," he said simply, "Beloved."
Demona felt her eyes burn as she watched Goliath hold Elisa as he had
once held her, centuries ago when she had been content to be simply his
'angel of the night.' All her years of loneliness came pouring back on
her in a bitter, icy rush. She had been aware of the camaraderie between
Goliath and Elisa but romance? A gargoyle and a human? The thought of
it turned her stomach.
It took a great force of will to curb her first impulse to burst out
from hiding and kill Elisa on the spot. That would be too quick, too clean
and the detective didn't deserve it. She should suffer as Demona herself
had suffered, an unending cycle of heartbreak and betrayal. Elisa should
be cursed as Demona had, to live the nightmares of a thousand years....the
gargoyle sorceress narrowed her eyes.
In the meanwhile, Goliath and Elisa had finished their lover's chat and
the human was watching the big gargoyle scale a nearby wall to glide away.
She smiled and ran a hand through her hair, flipping it over her shoulder.
Her back was towards Demona as she walked back to her Ford Fairlane. There
would never be a better chance.
One high speed pass overhead and a fast disappearing act into the trees
and the deed was done. Demona tucked the empty velvet bag back in her
carrisack. Her lip curled scornfully as she watched Elisa sneeze once,
twice and get in her car without a second glance.
"Unpleasant dreams, Elisa," Demona said softly and cast herself
into the night sky.
* * * * *
Elisa was humming as she exited the all night diner. She couldn't help
herself. Seeing Goliath, even for a short time, always put her in good
mood. Especially lately. The aroma of pastrami wafted out of the bag setting
her mouth watering. She snuck a bite of the overstuffed sandwich as she
threw the car into gear. She always slept better on a full stomach. The
commute home was mercifully short and she yawned as she pulled into the
parking garage. The sandwich could wait. All she really wanted was to
climb into bed and catch a few z's.
Cagney greeted her warmly, putting his paws on her knees as he sniffed
the bag. He recoiled with a yowl.
"You have no taste, cat," she scolded. "Besides, who said
anything about sharing?"
She stuck the sandwich in the fridge, washed her face and climbed between
cool sheets, drifting off to sleep quickly.
* * * * *
Elisa stepped out of the shadows of the stone archway. As she emerged,
slowly and silently, warm afternoon sunlight washed over her body, revealing
to the glowing sky and all of creation the thing she held in her hand.
She felt it, almost as if for the first time, heavy on her palms. It shone
a dull silver, and she let go of the handle with one hand for a moment
to run her fingers tantalizingly up the handle to the boxy head. Carefully,
almost mesmerized, she traced the blue symbol:
A circle, with the outlined shadow of a hammer, at an angle. Like a Q.
The dark-haired woman drew her hand back, and gripped the handle once
again, tightly. Now, her sights raised, to a figure before her, motionless
on the battlements. A crouched figure, with wings. If one did not know
better, it looked to be a piece of stone statuary, and a finely crafted
one at that. The slender curves identified it as a female, and the face,
frozen in a fierce roar of anger, looked strangely angelic, despite its
expression. Yes, she thought. Angelic. Angela.
With a tight, sudden smile, Elisa hefted the hammer-like weapon she carried
into a position above her head. She took a step forward - and let it fall.
For a seemingly infinite moment, the hammer swung a downward arc, and,
strangely separated from herself, Elisa watched it, fascinated. At last,
a dull crack sounded in her ear, and she knew before the image reached
her eyes that the hammer had found its mark. Her smile widened as she
watched the shattered pieces of the female's upper body crumble, tumbling
in a small avalanche down the side of the castle. She watched them until
she could see them no longer, imagining the sound they would make against
the pavement below. Ashes to ashes, she thought. Stone to
Then, her stillness was broken, and she took up the weapon again. Eagerly,
she followed the circular path around the battlement to the next sleeping
figure: the small, green one. But no longer green. In the sunlight, just
as the others, it was slate gray. Without hesitation, she brought the
hammer upon his head. Now, even more quickly, she stepped to the next.
And the next, and the next. Each, in its turn, was rendered no more than
a pile of gravel. She heard a noise, and found that she was laughing.
At last, she completed the circle, and reached the pile that had been
the female. She stood for a moment, gazing at what she had done, feeling...
unsatisfied. For a moment, she looked around, a little bewildered. Then,
feeling a shadow, turned her face upward.
Yes. The mighty warrior by night, now merely a helpless slab of stone,
seemed to gaze down upon her with a contemplative stare, preventing the
sun's now dying light from reaching her face.
Almost fervently, she took the steps to the uppermost battlement, two
by two. At the top, she stopped, sucking her breath in sharply. The smile
returned to her face, and she raised the hammer above her head once again.
A shock of pure pleasure ran through her body, and she stepped forward.
The hammer fell.
With a terrified gasp, Elisa's eyes snapped open. She lay for a moment,
breathing heavily. The sheets were tangled about her body, and soaking
wet. Unclenching a fist, she put it to her sweaty forehead. At last, unfeeling
and dazed, Elisa got up mechanically and went into the bathroom, turning
on the lights. She shied from the brightness for a moment, her eyes unadjusted,
then looked into the mirror above the sink. "What is wrong
with you?" she asked the image, amazed that it could produce such
horrible thoughts. "How could you..." she trailed off, remembering
the elation she had felt at bringing the hammer down upon Goliath's head.
And then the reality of it all came flooding in, and she bent over the
toilet, her stomach churning. Tears stung her eyes. She retched once,
but managed at last to keep her inner workings where they belonged.
Elisa slept no more that day.
* * * * *
She spent the next several hours vacillating between frantic bursts of
activity, and bouts of lethargy. By late afternoon the apartment was spit-polished
and shining. She had even jogged to the corner market, restocked her first
aid kit, and bought Cagney a new squeaky toy when the need for motion
had exceeded the available dust motes. But from time to time the vivid
imagery of the nightmare flashed before her eyes, causing her to pause
and re-live the horror, and the pleasure.
Elisa flopped down on the couch, pulled her hair free of its pony tail
holder, and ran a hand across tired eyes. Should she go by the castle
to make sure everything was okay? What would she say to Goliath? "Hi
sweetie. Just popped by to make sure I hadn't actually reduced you to
a pile of rubble?" Jalapeña, now she was getting stupid. She
didn't need an excuse to see Goliath or any of the clan. She should just
go. If it relieved some of the doubt in her mind, well so much the better.
A quick shower and change of clothes and Elisa was ready to roll. She
keyed the alarm sequence, waved to Cagney who ignored her in favor of
pursuing his rubber mouse, and left to put her demons to rest.
She lucked out, traffic was uncharacteristically light and she made it
to the Eyrie building long before sunset. She parked around the corner
and was practically jogging by the time she reached the service entrance.
She paced in front of the elevator, willing it to hurry, then jabbed the
special sequence of buttons that would take her directly to the gargoyle's
wing of the castle. Moments later she burst out into the courtyard, where
they roosted, out of view of the public eye. They were all there, except
for Hudson and Bronx, who were still at sea. And they were fine. Elisa
exhaled the breath she hadn't realize she was holding and sagged against
Goliath's chest. So caught up in her relief she didn't notice that the
stone skin beneath her cheek was cracking and she was forced to seek hasty
cover as her lover awoke.
"Elisa!" Goliath stretched and caped his wings. "I had
not expected to see you until later. Is everything all right?"
"Fine." She tried to put some conviction into her voice. "I
had some extra time before I went to work. I wanted to spend it with you."
The rest of the clan gathered, said their hellos, and dispersed, leaving
their leader and detective alone in the courtyard. Elisa examined each
of them carefully, but could see no apparent damage. She shook her head,
clearing the afterimagery. It was just a dream.
"Hey, Angela!" Brooklyn called, passing by Broadway as he hurried
after the lavender female. "There's a great concert at Madison Square
Garden tonight. Wanna go?"
Angela smiled and raised her brow ridges. "Who's playing?"
"I love her music!" She beamed back at Broadway. "We'll
have to cut your reading lesson short tonight. I hope you don't mind."
Broadway flicked a sly look at his rookery brother. "No, I don't
mind at all. It sounds fun."
Brooklyn growled softly as he watched Angela walk arm-in-arm with Broadway
into the castle, laughing and talking to each other. He glowered and followed
Goliath watched Elisa closely. She was being overly cheerful, greeting
each of his clanmates in turn, as if she hadn't expected to see them at
all. But as they departed to their various pursuits, she seemed relieved
to see them go.
"Are you sure that you are all right?" He inquired again gently.
"Know that if there is anything wrong, my love, you can come to me."
"I told you I'm fine, Goliath." She turned and buried her head
against his chest, warm flesh, instead of cold stone, and listened to
the slow steady beat of his heart. "I just wanted to see you. Is
that a crime?"
Goliath caped his wing around her shoulders. He reconciled himself to
that fact that she would share her troubles with him when she was ready.
He tipped her chin up with a delicately placed talon, and smiled gently.
"You are the detective. You tell me."
Elisa kissed him instead.
They spent the next little while talking about general things. She updated
Goliath on the news coverage of Xanatos's latest adventure and speculated
about how Hudson and Bronx were getting along. Elisa was careful to keep
the conversation light, bantering to hide her guilty conscience. Soon
she found the pretense too difficult to maintain and she took her leave,
hoping to bury herself in her work.
She stared at her computer monitor some hours later and repeated to herself,
"It was just a dream. Let it go."
Sara looked up from across the desk. "What did you say Elisa?"
"What? Nothing, I was just thinking out loud. Was there anything
interesting in the F.B.I. Hotsheet tonight?" She inquired changing
"Depends. Does two museum break-ins count, where the object of the
thefts were alleged magical artifacts?" Sara replied.
"Probably not." Elisa sounded bored, but she made a mental
note to check the cases herself later. "Nothing that might pertain
to the industrial thefts we've been working on?"
Sara ran a finger down the print out. "Nope. I don't think the feds
are going to be much help this time."
"Figures." Elisa replied crossly. "That leaves just one
thing to do." She rose from her chair, grabbed her jacket and keys.
"Hit the street?" Sara was gathering her own things.
"Hit the street." Elisa confirmed. The two detectives went
to gather information the old fashion way. They bought a box of sandwiches
and went to bribe street people. By the end of the shift they were tired,
but had several leads.
* * * * *
Elisa dropped Sara at her apartment and headed for home. It was with
distinct pleasure that she shed her jacket, locked up her gun and finished
the sandwich from the night before. The dread didn't start until she walked
into the bedroom and folded back the blankets on her bed. She stared for
a moment, startled by the cold feeling that over took her.
Elisa slipped, almost cautiously, beneath the sheets of her bed. For
a moment, she considered moving to the couch for the day, but chastised
herself silently. Surely, last night's dream could be attributed to some
freak cause, perhaps some bad food. There was no reason to be afraid of
her bed. That was silly and childish. All the same, she found
herself leaning to look under the bed.
She laughed, nervously. "You're being ridiculous," she said
in the empty room. Not quite empty. Cagney jumped onto the bed,
purring happily. He sat, licked himself, then curled up into a ball on
the pillow next to her and went to sleep. As Elisa stroked his soft fur,
a small, slightly relaxed smile adorned her face, and she thought of Goliath's
last words: "Know that if ever anything is wrong, you can come to
me." Perhaps she would, in the evening, she thought as she drifted
* * * * *
Dawn, looming on the horizon, brought with it a bank of gray, rain-laden
clouds. The wetness was so close that Elisa could feel it in the air.
It was a day, she thought, that had she still been a child, would have
sent her scurrying home after school to the warm, comforting kitchen of
her mother. She looked out over the battlements, and on the streets below,
it seemed to her as if all were hurrying a little, bound for whatever
place of comfort they knew. Rain was always nicest from the inside.
A strong hand fell on her shoulder, and she turned to face Goliath. "My
love," he said, seriously, "Know that if ever anything is wrong,
you can come to me."
"Yes," she responded plainly. For a moment, they pressed their
bodies together, sharing warmth in the chill evening. Elisa broke the
embrace. "You must get to your post."
Goliath seemed to break from a pleasant daze, and attempted to peer through
the gray. "Must I?" he asked. "I could not tell."
He stepped backward, but did not make it to the edge of the battlement.
He froze, his eyes locked with hers, smiling faintly. A moment later,
his gray blended with the clouds.
Elisa looked away without effort. "Don't worry," she said aloud
to his stone form, quite calmly. "I have nothing to tell you, for
nothing is wrong - that I could ever tell you about. Everything is perfect."
Quickly, she ducked down the stairway and came up with a Quarryhammer
in hand. "Then again," she considered coldly, "Perhaps
you should be worried." raised the hammer, but did not bring it down
directly on Goliath's head. Instead, she chipped away at the edge of his
right wing, which was frozen in an half-extended posture. Once one wing
was reduced to a stump, she performed likewise on the other, afterwards
stepping behind him to destroy his tail. Little flakes, then bigger chunks
of stone made soft music at her feet, raining down on the stone beneath
her. As if to chorus, the clouds above boomed once, then released a healthy
Elisa's hair became a shiny black river, but she did not cease. At last,
Goliath was left with head, torso, feet, and arms. The woman cocked her
head. "You almost look human," she said, then added: "Not
as if it would have mattered. Did you honestly think I would be happier
if you were a human?" She laughed. "Really."
Now, she began to work in earnest. Soon, Goliath's arms were gone, and
his sides were wearing away. When she judged the balance to be right,
she gave one final swing, which knocked the gargoyle's head from his body.
Expertly, she dropped the hammer and caught his head in the same moment,
holding it up before her face. "Well," she said, "This
is satisfying." As she said it, she knew it to be true. This was
a day she would not long forget, and she savored it. "I've looked
forward to this for a long time."
Stepping to the ledge, she looked into his frozen eyes again, eyes that
somehow reflected hers, as if the last look she had given him had turned
to stone as well. How odd, she thought. Perhaps I'll try
this tomorrow night with his daughter.
With that, she sent the head of the mighty warrior flying out into the
air, where it tumbled down like some odd bowling ball. "Goodbye!"
she called after it. With that, she smiled, picked up the hammer, and
took her leave.
* * * * *
Elisa woke to Cagney's insistent wailing. Bending her focus downward,
she saw that the animal's tail was firmly locked into her double-handed
grasp. She broke her grip and tried to apologize with a friendly pat,
but immediately the cat jumped from the bed and ran from the room, terrified.
Her only comfort gone, Elisa cradled her head in her hands. "No,"
she told herself firmly. "This can't be happening again."
In her heart, she felt again the remembered joy at smashing Goliath. It
was so real, so tangible. This was no half-awake, foggy, delirious dream
of one under pressure. No, this was no fluke.
For a moment, she was still, considering. "Is it possible that I
subconsciously hate the gargoyles? Is this why I don't want to tell Goliath?"
Her voice echoed in the silent apartment True, she forced herself to admit,
many terrible things had happened to her since they had come into her
lives. From the very beginning, in fact; she had fallen off of the Eyrie
building. After that, there was no counting how many times she had narrowly
escaped death. Her brother had been seduced by Xanatos, turned into a
monster. Broadway had shot her. She had been whisked off to Avalon, and
then all over the world, for months. Castaway had kidnapped her, scarred
her for life. She had almost drowned, almost been blown up, almost shot,
almost... the list went on and on. There seemed now to be so many things
that had happened to her, she was beginning to lose track.
But, her reasoning mind countered - Goliath had caught her, and carried
her back up to the castle. Derek led a happy life among friends in the
labyrinth; Broadway had not meant to shoot her; the Avalon tour had tightened
her relationship with both Goliath and his daughter; she had escaped Castaway's
brutality; she had not drowned, not been blown up, not
been shot to death...
"Then WHY am I having these dreams?" Elisa demanded. The person
she played in them was not some irrational, bizarre form of herself; it
was, in fact, the person she might have been, had she not become friends
with the gargoyles, but instead fallen in with Castaway. And it frightened
She could not tell Goliath.
* * * * *
"Back off, pal!"
"Look, all I said was maybe she'd like to do something a little
more exciting tonight. Angela's been cooped up in the library with you
all week, she deserves a break!"
Lexington looked between his rookery brothers nervously. "Uh....guys?
I really don't think...."
"KEEP OUT OF IT!" both Broadway and Brooklyn bellowed.
"Okay," Lex said, eyes narrowing and looking past them. "But
I tried to give you guys an easy out here, remember that!" The green
gargoyle climbed up the nearest castle wall and glided away.
Brooklyn growled as he turned back to his larger brother. "Until
Angela has definitely made a choice, we should all get an equal chance
to court her. What's wrong with that?"
"Lots!" Broadway snorted. "Don't you get it? She spends
time with me because she wants to and it's driving you nuts because for
once, you're not winning."
The red gargoyle's eyes flared. "Well, maybe she'd want to be with
me if you'd stop with the 'Oh, Angela...come help me with my reading!'
sob story you've been feeding her! I saw you ripping through those detective
novels back at the clock tower. You read a lot better than you've been
letting on, you big faker!"
"So what?" They were nose to beak now, glowering at each other.
"I'll take any edge I can get. Besides it's Angela's choice who she
wants for a mate. You think just because you're Goliath's second-in-command
that you've got first dibs on her!"
A low growl curled Brooklyn's beak and was met by a deep rumble from
Broadway's barrel-shaped chest. Tails slashing, eyes burning, the two
young males began circling each other. Muscles tensed for the first strike...
"STOP!!" A lavender hand slapped against both of their chests
and pushed the combatants apart. "Stop this right now!"
Broadway looked at Angela contritely. "Uh, Angela, um...it's not
The lavender female glared at him with flashing scarlet eyes and the
big blue gargoyle backed up. Angela flipped her wings around her shoulders
and crossed her arms. "Well?" she said, tapping her taloned
foot against the flagstones. "I'm waiting. Do either one of you have
a GOOD reason for acting like hatchlings?"
Brooklyn cleared his throat. "Well, Angela--"
"You listen to me, Mr. Adventure!" Angela bit out, leaning
into his face. "Just because Father is training you to be leader
one day, that doesn't mean I'm part of the deal. It's up to me who I spend
my time with!"
"You tell him! Erg!" The rest of Broadway's retort was silenced
by a single finger pinning his lips shut.
"And you!" Angela fixed him with a flinty gaze. "Is this
true? You've been LYING to me all this time, PRETENDING you can't read?"
Broadway shuffled his feet, tail between his legs. "Um...yes, Angela.
I'm really sorry."
"Me, too." Brooklyn tried to meet her eyes but Angela wouldn't
look at either one of them. "Can't you understand where we're coming
"All I understand is that two so-called warriors and rookery brothers
are squabbling like a couple of children," Angela said in a huff.
She stalked to the castle's edge and jumped up on the wall. "Right
now, I'm so angry with both of you, I can hardly think. I'm going to get
some air and calm down." She leaped off and headed south towards
"Hoo boy." Brooklyn shook his head.
"Yeah, we're in the dog house now," Broadway agreed.
"In that case, it's a good thing Bronx doesn't have one," Brooklyn
said lightly, "Because you'd never fit in it."
Broadway narrowed his eyes and started to walk away but not before flipping
his rookery brother off his feet with one massive swipe of his tail.
* * * * *
She wasn't due at the Precinct for several hours, but Elisa clocked in
early. She felt guilty and defensive as she moved her marker to the "on
duty" slot on the call board. She was supposed to meet Goliath for
dinner in less than an hour. But paperwork was piling up, she argued with
herself. She couldn't leave it all to Sara. She picked up the phone, meaning
to cancel the date, but, like the other five times, she hung up before
she finished dialing. She couldn't bear to hear his voice. If she did,
she'd want to see him, to hold him, and how could she allow him to hold
her when she was betraying him in her heart?
She buried herself in case files and barely nodded at Sara when she came
in whistling some off-the-wall tune. Sara took one look at Elisa's grim
expression and decided it wasn't worth blowing her own good mood to find
out what was bugging her partner. She let it pass. They worked steadily
all evening, clearing out a back log of paperwork. At two, Elisa rose
from her desk and announced that she was calling it a night.
She left her car at the Precinct and took the subway instead, riding
a short distance before detraining at station several miles away. Fortunately
the platform was deserted and she didn't have to loiter, as she had on
several other occasions, before jumping down to the tracks and disappearing
into a maintenance tunnel cut into the side of the concrete wall.
She walked in darkness, following a well tread path until she was sure
that no one could see the beam from her small flashlight. She flipped
in on in time to see a large rat scurry passed her feet. She muffled a
scream and picked up her pace. A few moments later dim light began to
filter from the other end of the tunnel, She pulled away a heavy tarp
and found herself in her brother's home. CyberBiotics' secret research
facility was undergoing a facelift. Gone were the holding cages. In their
place was a shelter for those who were unable to ask for society's assistance,
like Derek. She crossed to the main living quarters and found Talon bent
over a set of blueprints. He looked uncommonly satisfied.
"Hey Furball!" Elisa greeted from the door way.
The man-panther looked up in surprise. "Sis! What a surprise!"
He rose to his feet. "Can I get you anything?"
Elisa shook her head. "Just company."
He shrugged. "You don't look so hot. Are you getting enough sleep?"
"I'm fine." She jumped a bit as Burbank shambled into the common
He smiled at her and she barely repressed a shudder. "Can you help
me with this word?"
"Will you." Talon corrected automatically.
Burbank placed a copy of "The Ugly Duckling" in front of her.
He pointed his talon. "This one."
Elisa looked at the page. "Sound it out: sss wu an, swan."
"What's a sswan? Burbank asked, still tripping slightly over the
"It's a beautiful bird with big wings and a bad temper." Elisa
answered politely. She fidgeted. Being in the clone's presence was reminding
her of Hudson, who she had talked into this literacy campaign. Thoughts
of Hudson naturally lead to the rest of the clan, and the satisfaction
that she gained as she swung the Quarryhammer high over her head. "I've
got to go." She leaped to her feet and quit the labyrinth as quickly
as she could.
Talon watched his sister's discomfort level increase higher and higher,
as Burbank waited patiently for Elisa to help him. She hadn't been bothered
by the clones before, except for Delilah, and considering the lone female
clone's "parentage" he couldn't hold that against her. She had
even made a deliberate effort to help them adjust, bringing small gifts
from time to time. He wished he could understand his big sister. But after
twenty odd years, he considered it unlikely. He helped Burbank with another
word and then went back to his blueprints.
* * * * *
Angela was waiting for her when she got home. The young gargoyle was
pacing her balcony oblivious to everything but her own thoughts.
"Angela, what are you doing here?" Elisa demanded.
"Did you not say I could come to you anytime?"
"Well...yes. It's just been kind of a long evening and I was going
to call it a night." She ignored the evident distress on the girl's
lovely features. Can't this wait until later?" Elisa wedged herself
between the French doors barring Angela's entrance to the apartment.
"But Elisa!" Angela protested. "It will only take a moment
of your time..."
"Not tonight Angie. If it doesn't kill you, it will make you stronger.
Good night." She shoved the door closed and threw the bolt home.
After a moment she drew the blinds as well.
A tear ran down Angela's cheek. "I only wanted to talk," She
said to the door. She flared her wings and caught an updraft back to the
Elisa leaned against the door in relief. She'd apologize to Angela later.
She had been deliberately cruel and she felt badly. But if being in the
same room as Burbank had been bad, then being next to Angela, on whom
she'd actually committed the dream violence, had been infinitely worse.
She held her head in her hands. It was time to call it a night. Maybe
tomorrow she'd feel better. She prayed fervently she was right.
* * * * *
They ran, eagerly, up the circular flight of stone stairs; together.
Excitedly, she pulled on his arm as she went, urging him to quicken his
step. Teasing her for a moment, he stopped, serious. In front of him,
she halted in alarm. Her long raven hair flew for a moment with momentum
before coming to rest. She cocked her head, questioningly, and hefted
the hammer in her hand, as if to remind him of their purpose. Then, his
mustached face broke into a wide grin, and he laughed wonderfully.
She smiled as well, but urged him on. He swung his own hammer over his
shoulder and bounded after her. At her excitement, she almost passed the
first landing, so eager was she to get to the top. He stopped her with
a word. "Elisa," he beckoned in his accented voice. She turned.
"Here," he motioned, gesturing a hand towards the stone arch.
His eyes flicked upward.
"We'll save him for last."
Elisa giggled and followed him to the second-highest battlement. "You
first, Jon," she said politely, although she could barely contain
her excitement. She willed him to take the first blow quickly, so that
she could join in immediately.
He shook his blonde head. "You first, my lady."
The woman bubbled over with pride. "I'm honored," she told
him genuinely. That he would let her go first! Without hesitation, she
swung, knocking the head off of the old one. "Now you, Jon!"
she urged, stepping back to watch.
The man stopped, in mock uncertainty. "You're sure," he said.
"They were your friends..."
Elisa threw her head back and guffawed. "C'mon, Jon, or I'll take
your turn for you."
He smiled crookedly. "If you insist."
Within minutes, the gargoyles were no more. Except-
"Now," announced the man. "The finale. All yours."
He pointed upwards, to the leader of the clan, resting above them.
In three bounds, Elisa was up the stairs. Below, Jon waited for her to
finish. She glanced over her shoulder to see the sun just dipping below
the horizon. "Perfect," she said with anticipation. In spite
of her urge to get it over with at that very moment, she forced herself
to hide the weapon behind her back. A crack that was not a hammer sounded,
and a moment later, a great roar echoed in the new night. The lavender
gargoyle stretched contentedly, his back to her, then froze suddenly,
as his eye caught the battlements below. Seeing the unpopulated roosts,
seeded with an unnatural amount of stone shards, his face froze in horror.
"No," he whispered, turning.
Elisa wiped the smile from her face. "Oh, Goliath," she whispered,
filling her voice with false tears. "I'm sorry..."
The gargoyle stepped towards her, his intent to envelope her in an embrace.
Instead, Elisa paced backwards, bringing the silver hammer out from behind
her back. Slowly, she cocked it, and raised it over her head.
So caught by surprise was he that Goliath made no move to defend himself.
The weapon slammed down upon his chest, electrifying his body with a numbing
blue light. He fell to his knees, looking up at Elisa in anguish. "My
love..." he said.
For the last time, the detective looked into the gargoyle's eyes. In
them was only a sadness; no anger, no malice, no thirst for revenge. His
heart had been broken, and he had no wish to live. A fool, she
thought. To think I loved him- at the idea, she laughed aloud,
throwing her head back. Once again, she raised the hammer and let it fall.
Goliath lay at her feet, still.
A hand fell on her shoulder, and she turned to face Jon. "Well done,"
he commended her, leaning forward. Elisa's heart pounded in her chest,
and her stomach filled with butterflies as she leaned into Jon Castaway's
embrace. And they kissed...
* * * * *
When Elisa awakened, she could still feel her stomach doing joyful flip-flops.
When, suddenly, her sleep-fogged mind cleared and she realized the reason
why, the joy turned horribly sour, sickening her. She ran for the bathroom,
and, this time, did not manage to hold her food down.
Later, after taking a cold shower, Elisa sat on her bed. Immediately,
tears began to flow, and even Cagney's innocent purrs could not comfort
What was wrong with her? Shaking, she ran her hands through her hair,
catching it at the end and pulling. The pain registered only dully in
her mind. It must be true. Somehow, in the back of her mind, she somehow
hated the gargoyles. And... Goliath...?
Violently, she shook her head. "No," she cried aloud to the
empty room. "Nooo..." her voice trailed away brokenly.
The phone rang, and she jumped. Hurriedly, she wiped away tears and cleared
her throat, attempting to gain control of herself. Two rings later, she
lifted the receiver. "Hello?" she said, hesitantly. She winced;
her voice still wavered.
The other end of the line remained silent. "Hello?" she said
again, more confidently.
"Elisa?" slowly questioned a slightly suspicious voice. A very
The woman glanced quickly towards the window to see that it was already
dark; she hadn't noticed. Her hand began to shake. "Goliath?"
she questioned in return. He had never called her before, she puzzled,
slightly panicked. To her knowledge, he had never even used a phone.
Elisa closed her eyes. Did he know? He had to; why else would he call?
No- she stopped herself. She was imagining things; the thought was ridiculous.
Goliath was not a mind-reader. Pull yourself together, Maza!
she ordered herself silently.
* * * * *
On the other end of the line, the gargoyle made a slightly relieved sound.
Had Elisa been in a better mood, she would have realized that he was unsure
about using the strange device he now held in his hand. At the moment,
he was trying to compare it with the small communication devices they
used when patrolling. But, his mind kept objecting, he could not see Elisa
in her car, below him. "Ah, Elisa," he rumbled again. He glanced
at Lexington, who motioned persuasively for him to continue. Goliath frowned,
but did so. The small green gargoyle had assured him that humans used
the telephone all the time, and that Elisa would be delighted. He had
decided to try it; perhaps it would distract her from whatever seemed
to weighing on her mind. "I was... wondering... if you might join
me for a meal tonight."
The detective's eyes widened, and she was forced to consciously stop
herself from sucking in her breath. She couldn't see Goliath. Not now.
Not after... She pushed the thoughts of the dream from her mind before
they could overwhelm her. Still, the vision of Goliath's still form swam
before her eyes. "Uh - well, uh," she stuttered frantically,
her mind racing for some excuse. "I - I can't, not tonight. I've
got a pile of paperwork at the precinct, I just don't have time. And I
promised Sara I'd help her with a few things-" She realized she was
babbling, and stopped.
Goliath answered with a low rumble-sigh. "This is your night off."
Elisa bit her lip. "Oh, yeah, I know, but Chavez called me in for
something special, and - well, it couldn't really be avoided. Call of
duty, you know."
"Very well. ...Another time, then?"
"Uh, yeah, sure. Well, 'bye."
* * * * *
Elisa hung up quickly. "What have you done?" She asked herself
harshly. She couldn't believe what she had done - plainly, outright, lied
to Goliath. But what else was there for her to do? She couldn't exactly
tell Goliath about her dreams, could she?
Elisa attempted to reason with herself, but the feeling of guilt persisted.
At last, she could bear it no longer, and threw herself across her bed,
* * * * *
Back at Castle Wyvern, Goliath handed the receiver to Lexington, who
put it back on its cradle. "Something is wrong with Elisa,"
Goliath announced, with no room for doubt.
It took an hour, but finally Elisa cried herself out. As she examined
herself in the bathroom mirror, she realized she was acting like a fool.
Why should she avoid Goliath over a couple of stupid dreams? She strode
resolutely to her telephone and dialed the Eyrie building. When the operator
came on line she asked for extension 66 and waited impatiently.
On the other end of the wire, the phone in the gargoyle's common room
rang for the first time. Broadway jumped, nearly spilling the snack plate
he was taking into the T.V. room. He juggled the tray and picked up the
"Broadway, it's Elisa. Can you put Goliath on?" She forced
herself to sound casual, but her heart was racing and her mouth was dry.
"Just a minute." The big blue gargoyle set the snacks down
and cupped a hand over the mouthpiece. "Goliath, phone's for you."
Goliath was at his side in a moment.
"It's Elisa." He announced around a mouthful of sandwich. He
picked up the tray and left Goliath to his call.
"Elisa, I..." He began before she cut him off.
"Look, Goliath, I'm sorry about earlier. You caught me at a bad
time. Of course I want to see you." Her words tumbled out in a rush.
If she saw him again, then everything would be all right, she told herself
firmly. "Meet me at the park in half an hour. The usual spot."
"Of course, beloved. Are you sure?" He was speaking to empty
air. He stared at the phone confused, as he replaced the receiver on the
Elisa picked up her hair brush and quickly ran it through her ebony mane.
She eyed herself critically in the mirror and with a snarl of disgust
pulled the black tee shirt over her head and stared at the meager selection
of clothes she kept in her closet. Selecting first, a blue chambray shirt,
and then, a muted green sweater, she held the garments before her, vacillating
between the two selections.
She finally discarded them both and yanked a long-sleeved peach Henley
off its hanger and tugged it over her head. She looked at her watch. Jalapeña!
She was supposed to be at the park ten minutes ago. Her resolve crumbled.
Goliath wouldn't wait for her if she was late. It wouldn't be safe. She
should have never called him. It was best if she kept her distance anyway.
She pulled the Henley off, picked up her bathrobe from the back of the
chair and tugged it on as she walked out of the bedroom to shut off the
lights and draw the blinds in the rest of the apartment.
It wasn't long afterward that she heard the distinctive tap of talons
on her balcony window. She bowed her head in shame and buried her face
in her pillow, so that Goliath couldn't hear her sobs.
* * * * *
Puzzled, Goliath tapped once more before departing, wondering what had
become of Elisa.
When he returned to the castle he picked up the telephone and dialed
Elisa's apartment, this time without Lexington's assistance.
"I'm either asleep or working. Leave a message after the tone. *BEEP*"
Goliath stared at the receiver, then did as he was instructed. "Elisa,
I must have misunderstood the place of our meeting. I am sorry. I would
like to still see you." The phone cut off before he could say more.
He hung up the receiver and went to the library to brood.
* * * * *
Elisa sat up suddenly all thoughts of sleep gone. She had the dream again.
She held her arms to her chest, hugging herself to warm a chill that was
generated from within as she recalled vividly standing above Goliath's
shattered remains, the comforting weight of the Quarryhammer cradled in
She staggered out of bed, alarming Cagney. She barely missed stepping
on the cat as he curled solicitously around her legs mewing his concern.
She pulled her nightshirt over her head and stepped under a cold shower
hoping that the shock would banish the dream images back to the nether
regions where they surely must have come. Elisa emerged from the shower
ten minutes later clean but not much more awake than she had been when
she entered. She dressed quickly, ignoring the blinking light on the answering
machine, knowing that it had to be Goliath. She had stood him up the previous
night, and the one before it, so consumed by the guilty satisfaction she
derived from the dream that she couldn't bear to see him in person. Rather
than stay in the apartment a moment longer, she gave Cagney a hasty pat
on the head and fled for the safety of the Fairlane.
She found herself driving by rote until she was in front of Magee's.
Elisa cursed herself as a fool the moment Dolly greeted her and several
blue uniformed persons turned and added their salutations. Why had she
come here to be surrounded by her friends and co-workers when all she
really wanted was to be alone? Escape was impossible. Sara Jasper was
waving her over to her table. Lacking a decent excuse, Elisa joined her.
Dolly brought coffee without asking, trained by years of waiting on cops.
Elisa smiled gratefully and started dumping sugar in to the mug. Sara
"What are you doing?" Elisa finally noticed the young woman's
steady gaze and looked at her irritated.
Elisa had been getting crankier and crankier for the last several nights
and Sara was determined to find out what was bugging her partner. She
leaned back in the booth and picked up a spoon. She pointed it at Elisa.
"Before me sits a woman. A woman who for the last week has come in
to work looking progressively worse each night. Now everybody has a bad
night now and again. Especially when they've had major life changes that
upset the chaos that we all call normal. But you. Now this is different.
I'd say it was that mysterious boyfriend of yours. He's giving you a hard
time about something again and he won't let go. That's it isn't it? You're
sleeping lousy. You've been getting strange messages at the precinct."
She looked at the tray that Dolly began to unload in front of Elisa. A
chocolate sundae was competing with scrambled eggs and sausage for attention.
"Your food choices are more bizarre than normal."
Sara was a strict believer in the food pyramid and gave gentle lectures
to Elisa whenever possible. "Q.E.D., it must be more guy problems.
Is he still pressuring you to intensify your relationship?"
"No that isn't it at all!" Elisa protested violently. She upset
the sundae barely catching it time to prevent her scrambled eggs from
becoming a la mode. "We're getting along fine. Just fine." She
began to dive into her meal, sprinkling everything in sight with Tabasco.
"Now can we please drop it?"
"Sure. Whatever you say. But if you ever want to talk, really talk,
you know where I am."
Elisa was stunned by the generosity of the offer. "Thanks. I mean
that. But I'm fine."
They finished there meals in silence, paid the check, and hit the street
to follow up the leads they had developed over the last several nights.
Later that evening at the station. Sara compiled reports as Elisa briefed
the Watch Commander. She was so deep in her case analysis that she didn't
notice Matt Bluestone sneak up behind her.
"Boo!" He waved his hand in front of her face. Sara jumped,
"Bluestone, that was a stupid thing to do to a woman that carries
a loaded gun!"
"Sorry," He grinned contritely. "I couldn't resist. You
looked like you could use a laugh."
Sara shoved the paperwork into a folder and stuffed it all into a desk
drawer. She rose and headed toward the hallway, indicating that Matt should
follow. In Captain Chavez's office, Elisa continued to debrief the Watch
The pair walked in silence for several minutes until they came to an
empty interrogation room. Sara keyed the combination on the door and stepped
"Sara, what's this about? If it's about the other night..."
Matt trailed off.
Sara ignored him, walking silently until she had organized her thoughts.
"It's Elisa. I'm worried about her. She claims everything is all
right but she looks terrible and she nearly crashed her car tonight when
she nodded off behind the wheel. I know we haven't worked together very
long but it doesn't seem like her."
Matt frowned as Sara continued to detail Elisa's strange behavior. It
could have been a post-stress reaction from the kidnapping, but something
made him think otherwise. Sara was looking at him expectantly. "Thanks
for clueing me in, Sara. I'll talk to Elisa's boyfriend. See if he's got
any idea what's bugging her."
Sara looked like she had more questions and Matt had run out of answers.
He rose to leave. "I've got a late meeting. But if you're around
at the shift change, I'd love to meet you for coffee. "
She smiled in return. "Thanks. That would be great." Matt smiled
and there was a bounce to his step as he headed down the hallway. Sara
watched him depart then returned to her desk and paperwork to find Elisa
punching keys on her computer, growing more frustrated with each failed
He dropped the bounce as soon as he rounded the corner and was out of
Sara's line of sight. If Elisa was acting strangely, again, then he needed
to tell the clan. Cops who didn't keep their minds on their jobs had a
lousy habit of ending up dead and Elisa was the closest thing to family
that he had. He didn't want to see anything happen to his friend and partner.
He left the precinct from a side exit and caught a cab uptown.
He rode in silence until he was a block from the Eyrie Building. Then
he paid the driver off and hoofed the rest of the way to Xanatos's castle
in the clouds.
The clan was startled but glad to see him all the same.
"Matt," Goliath rumbled as soon as Owen had withdrawn, "What
brings you to our home?"
Bluestone couldn't see any point in beating around the bush, and he really
did have a meeting to get back to. "It's Elisa. Have you seen her
recently? How has she seemed to you?"
Goliath frowned and Lexington and Angela discreetly withdrew from the
room. "Several days ago, when we met in the park, she seemed fine.
As though everything was as it should be. The next night she was troubled."
Goliath began to pace. He was light footed despite his bulk. "Angela
tried to talk to her a few nights later about some difficulties she was
having. She said she needed a feminine perspective. Elisa has always helped
her in the past. This time Angela said that she was nervous, and abrupt.
My daughter returned more upset than when she left."
Goliath looked upset himself. "I used the telephone and left messages
on her answering machine because she did not keep our meetings. She has
not called, has not visited. I fear that something is dreadfully wrong."
"I think you're right. The question is what?"
* * * * *
Matt departed the castle picking up a cab directly in front of the Eyrie
building. He waved his badge at the driver and made it back to the precinct
a bare five minutes before his Task Force meeting. He nearly ran Elisa
down as he barreled up the steps.
"Hey, buddy, watch it!" Elisa paused as she recognized her
would be assailant. "Matt! Where have you been? The Commissioner
has been looking for you."
"Working." He caught a look at his sometimes partner and was
shocked. She looked haggard. Far more than she had after the business
with Castaway and Dracon. He grabbed her hand and whistled at the same
time. His cab, which was just getting ready to pull away from the curb,
halted. He opened the door and shoved Elisa inside. He tossed some bills
at the driver and rattled off her address. "Don't stop until you
get there." He ordered. "I'll drop your car off later."
He assured Elisa as he slapped the fender. The driver peeled away from
Elisa sank back into the overstuffed cushion and crossed her arms in
disgust. Her friends were conspiring to help her again. How could she
let them when she continued to dream each night about slaying those who
were so close to her?
* * * * *
Goliath growled in frustration. He turned the events of the past week
over in his mind and could find no explanation for Elisa's odd behavior.
She had experienced many rough nights directly after the kidnapping. But
once she had moved into the new apartment they had begun to deal with
the fears and the feeling of violation that the experience had evoked.
She was coming to terms with the experience and it no longer troubled
her as mightily as it once had. It seemed like sorcery.
It was an irrational thought. Who beyond Demona wished his love ill?
He pondered. Demona was hardly a suspect. As far as the clan knew, she
hadn't been seen since that fateful night when Jon Canmore had gone screaming
from the church and she followed in his wake. But still... He came to
a decision and with great deliberation strode down the corridor until
he was standing in front of the office of Owen Burnett.
He knocked hesitantly, feeling something of the fool as he unburdened
himself to the major domo. Owen listened quietly, loosening his tie and
leaning back in his chair as Goliath reported the strange behavior of
Owen removed his glasses and removed an imaginary speck of dust from
the lens. He examined them closely before placing them carefully back
"I believe you may be correct, Goliath. Detective Maza's conduct
seems most aberrant and there is no normal explanation for the shift in
her behavior. You are quite certain that she has experienced no blow to
the head or has not ingested any foreign substance that might alter her
Goliath shook his head.
"I regret that I cannot assist you further. As Owen, I could enlist
doctors or psychiatrists to evaluate her behavior, but Puck may not assist
as long as Master Alexander is away and out of my care. I am truly sorry."
"Such a stickler for rules. You know, cuz, you haven't been nearly
as much fun since you took this gig."
Goliath whirled and Owen looked up startled to see that they were no
longer alone. A young man dressed in a fringed leather jacket and jeans
lolled against the door frame."
"Coyote!" The pair chorused.
"Accept no imitations or tin plated substitutes!" He glowered
at Owen who shrugged, accepting the barb for his master.
"Why have you come here? Shouldn't you be on Avalon with the other
"I'm running a little errand for the King and Queen. It seems your
ex got a hold of some magic powder. Very powerful stuff. She decided to
use it on your new lady." Goliath's wings flared involuntarily and
his eyes glowed white. Coyote ignored him, materialized a chair out of
the air and slouched into it. "Since Elisa is practically a member
of my family..." Owen's eyebrows shot up and he looked alarmed. "Relax,
cuz, the whole Maza family is special to me, has been for generations.
Anyway Titania sent me to straighten things out. But there's a problem."
"The non-interference directive." Owen supplied.
"You got it. I can't fix things outright. But I can kind of coach
Elisa and she can break the spell." He pulled a comb out of his pocket
and began to groom his hair. He materialized a mirror and once he was
satisfied he flicked the implements in to the air. They disappeared with
a pop. "Come on in. The more the merrier!" Coyote invited.
Angela appeared from behind the massive door frame. "I'm not disturbing,
am I? Coyote! Why have you come?"
"Sorry, babe, you missed the exposition. We're getting ready to
move this party. Want to join us?"
She nodded, uncertain of what was happening. Her father seemed relieved,
rather than alarmed, so she stepped further in to the room.
Coyote motioned for the two gargoyles to join him, flashed a peace symbol
at Owen, and the trio disappeared.
* * * * *
Elisa stood at the kitchen counter and prepared another pot of coffee.
As she shoveled grounds into the basket her eye lids drooped and she shook
herself awake. She couldn't bear the thought of sleep and another one
of those soul shattering dreams. Cagney meowed at her elbow. She looked
down at the cat, startled to find him disobeying the 'no counter rule'
and as she moved to shoo him away, she realized that she had filled the
basket to overflowing and coffee grounds were starting to pile up on the
"Nice going Maza." She grumbled to herself as she dumped the
coffee back into the can and swept the remaining coarse brown powder into
the sink. She moved to the stove, stared at the control panel for a moment
as her vision blurred and finally twisted a dial, lighting the burner
under the tea kettle, remembering at the last moment to check and see
if it contained any water.
The kettle had a satisfying heft to it, 'Not unlike a Quarryhammer' her
mind whispered viciously, and she nearly dropped the kettle as she recoiled
from the horrific thought. She squeezed her eyes shut tightly, willing
the dream fragments that hovered on the edges of her consciousness, to
Instead, fatigue overtook her, the imagery intensified, and Elisa collapsed
to the kitchen floor entangled in another nightmare.
* * * * *
Coyote, Angela and Goliath materialized on the balcony of Elisa's penthouse
apartment. The gargoyles quickly made their way to a pair of French doors.
Goliath tapped lightly on the glass while Angela paced nervously behind
"Strange," Goliath rumbled. "The lights are on but Elisa
does not answer."
"The key, Father." Angela prompted. She retrieved a house key
from behind a chink in the brickwork. It had been gimmicked to make it
easier for someone with over-sized hands to use. Goliath took it wordlessly
and unlocked the door.
"Elisa?" He called gently. Angela and Coyote followed him into
the living room. There was no sign of the detective. The tea kettle began
to whistle. In response a voice cried out in the kitchen.
"Don't think screaming is going to help you monster. I took your
father out a little at a time. You know he looks pretty good without that
Angela staggered a little in shock. The voice was Elisa's but she sounded
so different, so heartless.
Goliath bounded for the kitchen. Elisa was collapsed in a heap on the
floor. She was asleep, but dreaming vividly. She held her hands in front
of her, one on top of the other, as if she held a heavy, handled object.
The big lavender gargoyle swallowed, as he comprehended the meaning of
her pose, but knelt gently at his love's side and gathered her to him.
She struggled briefly and then her eyes flew open.
Pleasure and terror warred over her features as her rational mind reasserted
itself. Gradually, she realized that Goliath was holding her and she recoiled
out of his arms, cowering against the cabinetry.
"Get away from me, Goliath!" She raised her hands to ward off
"Elisa! It was a dream. Nothing more." He attempted to soothe,
keeping his voice low and gentle.
"Oh no, Goliath. It was much more than that." She hung her
head, ashamed as bits of her nightmare played before her eyes. "It
"Man, Demona must really have it in for you." Coyote spoke
Angela's eyes widened and she shot a horrified gaze out Elisa's window.
"Coyote!" Elisa's eyes went wide as she acknowledge the fay
"Why does everybody seem so surprised to see me?" The fay wondered
as he moved into view. He offered Elisa a hand up and she took it reluctantly.
"What did you say about Demona?" Elisa pushed her hair out
of her face and tried to wipe away some of the grit from her eyes. She
allowed Coyote to steer her toward the couch. She reluctantly accepted
a blanket from Goliath, cringing as he tucked it around her shoulders.
She realized she was trembling as she accepted a cup of tea from Angela,
but she could not look the young gargoyle in the eye as she mumbled her
Goliath was torn. He longed to hold Elisa in a protective embrace but
the very sight of him seemed to unnerve her. He moved to Angela's side
instead and placed a hand lightly on her shoulder. She turned and buried
her face in his wing. His gentle daughter wept in silent agony over her
mother's latest misdeed.
Coyote made himself comfortable before replying. "She really did
a number on you, didn't she? Cast a spell, turned your dreams into nightmares.
Nightmares so real that you couldn't stand to be around those that you
love, 'cause you were sure that could see what you'd been dreaming. The
guilt was driving you crazy. Wasn't it?"
Elisa blanched. "How did you know?" She whispered. "The
dreams. They felt so good. But I was doing unspeakable things, horrible
things to the clan. I murdered them, over and over again, and I loved
every minute of it." She looked up at Goliath and Angela, their faces
were taut, trying to hide the horror they felt at her revelation. "I
couldn't stand to face them." She looked up at Goliath. "I couldn't
let you love me, knowing that part of me wanted you destroyed."
"You can stop the dreams Elisa."
"I can?" She was bewildered. "But I thought you just said
I was under a spell."
"Poor choice of words. An enchantment, really. But now that you
know it exists you can fight it, cast it off."
"Nah, with a little help from your friends." Coyote gestured
for the gargoyles to join him. He levitated the coffee table out of the
way to make room. Goliath knelt at Elisa's feet, while Angela sat on the
couch opposite of Coyote. "First things first. You're awake right
now. In this realm do you know and trust those in this room?"
Elisa's eyes narrowed as she glanced at Coyote. He had never meant her
harm and he seemed to have a genuine love for her family. "Yes."
"Good." He turned to Goliath. "I can't act directly in
this and unfortunately neither can you. Any coaching has to be from the
sidelines. So tell Elisa how you really feel about her." He paused
for a moment. "But try not to get too mushy."
Goliath blushed purple despite himself. "I have trusted you from
the moment we met. You were my first friend in this new life. You have
grown to become much more." He said simply. "If I could fight
this battle for you I would gladly be your champion. If our positions
were reversed. I know that you would be mine. Use that knowledge to fortify
yourself. Fight the dream Elisa. Come back to me."
"You can do this." Angela added.
Coyote got up and motioned for Angela to do the same. Elisa looked puzzled.
He waved his hand over her. "Sleep." Commanded Coyote.
As Elisa's eyelids descended and her chin drooped, Goliath assisted her
into a more comfortable position. He tucked a pillow under her head and
covered her gently with the blanket. "Now what do we do?" He
asked the fay trickster.
"We watch." He replied. "And we wait."
* * * * *
Elisa spun around to see Jon Castaway pull a Quarryhammer from a duffel
bag and hand it to her. She took it.
"We haven't time," he told her efficiently, glancing at the
setting sun. His short, light hair whipped furiously in the howling wind.
"We'll go for the big one before the others - he's our first priority."
The woman eyed him. She anticipated crushing the gargoyles, yes - it
was the right thing to do. It was what she wanted to do. But
there was something else, something nagging at the back of her mind. She
followed him through a stone archway and up the stairwell.
Even as they reached the topmost level, Castaway looked worried, and
Elisa knew why: there was no time to dawdle, no time to slowly take apart
each stone figure. If they only managed to destroy the big one before
the sun set, they would have to hurry to escape the wrath of the others.
"Come on," he urged.
"Yes," answered Elisa mechanically, watching but not truly
seeing as the man raised the hammer over his head. For a moment, he glanced
at Elisa, seeming to weigh whether or not there was time to urge her to
do the same. The balances shifted, and he turned back, letting the hammer
"NO!" screamed Elisa, without knowing what she was doing. She
lunged. The hammer fell- she was too late. Her taut features sagged in
defeat, and she sank limply to the ground.
"What on earth do you think you're doing?" she heard Castaway's
irritated tones in her ear. "Give that to me. We haven't the time
for second thoughts."
Elisa didn't need to look up to see his angry face. "Yes,"
she whispered to herself bleakly, the joy suddenly, inexplicably gone.
"It's too late now. Goliath is no more. He lies in rubble. I've crossed
the line. What can I do but finish it?" She sighed, knowing that
now she would go down the stairs and crush Hudson, Lexington, Broadway,
Bronx, Brooklyn, and Angela; not that it mattered.
"Well? Give it to me!"
Shaking herself from her daze, Elisa brought her attention back to the
present. "What?" she queried, confused. She squinted up at Castaway's
face, what little that was left of the sun blinding her.
"Give me the hammer! Hurry!"
Elisa looked down. In her hand was a Quarryhammer. She turned around.
On the ground was the one Castaway had first handed her, where she had
dropped it. Slowly, on her knees, Elisa edged around Jon's stiffened form.
Like a waning eclipse, the frozen, gray, whole form of Goliath
slid into view.
Again, she looked in wonder at the hammer in her hand, and suddenly,
it dawned on her. She hadn't been too late! Goliath was not destroyed.
She breathed a sigh of relief, not knowing why. A moment ago, she had
been bent on destroying the whole clan. Why, then, had she just saved
the leader's life? Elisa shook her head. The only thing she knew was that
she was not lost. There was hope.
Behind her, she felt the dark presence of Castaway approach.
"Do it," he said ominously. "It's now or never."
Elisa stood suddenly. "You do it," she countered, shoving the
hammer at him. "You were about to."
He took the hammer, but offered it back to her, shaking his head. "If
you don't do it now, you'll never be able to do it again. You'll be lost
to us, Elisa, if you befriend these creatures. Alone."
Suddenly, things were coming back to Elisa - Lexington, laughing with
her as they attempted to figure out together how some mechanical device
worked. Reading detective novels with Broadway. Showing Brooklyn the coolest
new styles. Trading tales with Hudson. Giving romantic advice to Angela.
...Spending time, just talking, with Goliath. "I can never be alone
with friends like these," she told Castaway quietly, confidently.
Elisa took the Quarryhammer from his hand. Turning, she hurled the weapon
as far as she could out into the open air.
For a moment, Castaway watched it sail out of sight, then turned to Elisa
in disgust. "You are less than nothing," he said. He glanced
behind her, at Goliath, then looked at her down his nose, knowingly. "How
you can turn your back on your own race..." he trailed off, unable
to find words that were sufficiently demeaning. At last, he turned and
picked up the other hammer from the ground. "I'll tell you now, you
won't be able to come running back to me. You've willingly thrown in your
lot against your own kind -committed a crime that cannot be forgiven."
"I wasn't aware that love was a crime," countered Elisa. "Trust
me. I'm a cop." With that, she turned her back, and waited for the
last sliver of sun to disappear. When it melted from the horizon at last,
she smiled at the satisfying crack-roar emitting from her companion.
He turned, and her smile widened. "My love," he rumbled contentedly.
"It is done, then."
Elisa buried herself happily in his arms, feeling silent tears of relief
on her cheeks. "It is done, my love," she said.
* * * * *
Elisa's eyes flew open, but this time instead of consuming guilt she
was filled with joy. "I did it!" She yawned and smiled. "I
"I knew that you could." Goliath rumbled. He helped her to
her feet then swept her into a tight embrace. After several long moments
Coyote cleared his throat. Angela stared at a bit of intricate woodwork.
Elisa continued to lean against Goliath as she thanked Coyote.
"I think my work is done here." He looked at Elisa's family
portrait hung prominently on the living room wall. "Say 'Hi' to your
Pop, for me. Tell him I'm sorry I missed him." He turned to leave.
"Oh," He turned back and caught Elisa's gaze. "This is
important. Tell your sister to read up on the Qaletaqa." He raised
a hand in farewell and vanished.
"The what?" Angela asked puzzled.
Elisa shrugged. "I am so glad that this is over. Goliath, I don't
know how I can apologize for all the horrible things that I've said and
done over the last..." Purple talons gently covered her lips, preventing
her from completing the sentiment.
"You need not apologize for what happened. We know now that you
were trying to protect us from yourself."
"I'm glad that you are all right Elisa." Angela hugged her
friend briefly before heading for the balcony. "There is one more
thing I must take care of before dawn." She departed without another
word. The determined look on Angela's face was enough to forestall any
objections by Goliath. He let her go. They were alone. He picked Elisa
off the ground and carried her into her bedroom.
"Goliath!" Elisa protested.
"You, my love, must get some rest. I will watch over you to keep
you safe." He set her down gently and she gathered up her night clothes
and headed into the bathroom. When she returned. The bed was turned down.
She climbed in obediently and closed her eyes. Moments later she was asleep,
her fist curled in her hair. Goliath sighed, content.
* * * * *
There was a faint squeak as Demona underlined another passage in hot
pink highlighter in her purloined copy of 'Antiquities Today.' The current
news programs had shown that Xanatos had lost the race against the team
sponsored by Maddox Technologies but it had been his involvement that
had attracted her attention. She found the article about the search for
Circe's island fascinating and she had put her own resources to work,
discreetly inquiring as to the type artifacts being discovered there,
both public and private. She was cross-referencing with a copy of the
Odyssey when the French doors leading to her garden slammed open.
"Mother!!" Angela stood there in the doorway, eyes a fiery
crimson. "How could you?"
Demona half rose from her desk. "Angela? I-I don't know what you
mean, my child. What is wrong? Are you hurt?"
"Don't lie to me, Mother," Angela said, stalking across the
plush carpet towards her. "We know you used an enchantment on Elisa.
She nearly went mad from the nightmares you gave her. She actually started
to believe that she hated Father, hated all of us."
"All humans hate us," Demona said bluntly. "It is the
way of the world."
"Not in my world, Mother. Elisa is my friend and she is very, very
dear to me." Angela stopped in front of the desk and Demona could
see the tears shining in her daughter's eyes. "I don't know how you
could do such a horrible thing to Elisa and frankly, I don't want to hear
your reasons right now. Know this, Mother," she leaned forward with
an intense stare, "if you ever, ever hurt anyone I love again, I
swear that I will NEVER speak to you again for the rest of my life. As
much as I want to be a daughter to you, there is no way on Earth I'd ever
forgive you for such a thing."
Numbly, stunned by the cold anger in Angela's voice, Demona watched her
daughter turn and leave the way she came. She slowly sank into her chair.
When she had used the enchanted dream powder out of a fit of jealous vengeance,
Demona hadn't even considered how Angela would react to it. The immortal
gargoyle had never had anyone else to think about before. It was a curiously
The blood rushed from her face and Demona stared at the French doors.
Her relationship with Angela was the first serious attempt that she had
made at any kind of friendship in centuries. An unfamiliar emotion swept
over her and she swallowed hard to clear the sudden lump in her throat.
She realized at that moment that she would have to tread very, very carefully
with her daughter or risk being truly alone forever.
Demona sniffed and turned back to her work. A wet blot wrinkled the slick
magazine paper and as she stared at it, another drop joined it. She dabbed
at her cheek and looked at the moisture on her fingers in shock. Tears?
But she never cried. Not since that awful night when she found Goliath
and the others frozen in stone on the abandoned battlements of Castle
Wyvern and very rarely since in her dreams. Surely losing the affection
of one gargoyle wasn't worth crying over. Her lip trembled.
Alone, Demona wept.