Story concept by Todd Jensen and Patrick Toman.
Written by A Fan and Patrick Toman.
Previously on Gargoyles...
Phoebe: You must give them the code.
Demona: I will have vengeance for the betrayal of my clan. Vengeance for
Selene: But who betrayed your clan?
Luna: And who caused this pain?
~ City of Stone
* * *
Angela: It's true, isn't it? Demona is my mother? Elisa,
I have to know.
Elisa: Yes. It's true.
* * *
Angela: Is she really gone?
Goliath: I... don't know.
Angela: The last thing I said to her was 'I hate you.' But she
herself for me. How can it end this way?
Goliath: She knew how you truly felt, and Demona's
love for you
was the first goodness
she has shown in a long, long time.
For her, it may have been a new beginning...a
new beginning for us all.
~ The Reckoning
* * *
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.
~ Perchance to Dream
* * *
"It is hard enough to make a difference, even over
a space of many years.
Can a word or two spoken really change the world?"
~ Diane Duane, "Dark Mirror"
Some of the more interesting things that happen to people seem to happen
on dark and stormy nights. Perhaps it is the atmosphere that such evenings
bring about. Even when it isn't raining, there is a sort of dark foreboding
It had rained late that afternoon, and the news was predicting that it
would rain again sometime that evening. Nevertheless, Demona was out gliding.
She found that such a simple activity allowed her to clear her head and
organize her thoughts. Her thoughts were in need of organization.
It would have been an uneventful evening if not for the violent and intense
electrical storm. Rarely were violent electrical storms present in New
York City, especially this late in the year. As she glided, it rose up
around her, and Demona quickly looked for a place to land and wait out
the storm. She chose a nearby office building and began gliding toward
it, fighting the growing winds which were rapidly threatening to knock
her from the sky.
Orange and purple lightning flashed around her, and it seemed as if several
large bolts had come within five inches of her. For a moment, the bright
light and psychedelic colors overwhelmed her and she lost all sense of
Thunder exploded around Demona as she smashed headfirst onto the roof
of an apartment complex that had come up out of nowhere. She tumbled head
over heels twice and bounced once before crashing into a satellite dish,
smacking her already injured head into the antenna's rim. Darkness quickly
enveloped her senses as the rain began to fall.
When she next opened her eyes, the rain had stopped and the wind had
faded to a light breeze which chilled her damp blue skin slightly as she
slowly pushed herself to a sitting position. She shook her head to clear
it, sending droplets of water flying in every direction from her rain-soaked
red hair. Carefully, she stood up, inspecting herself for any signs of
injury. Finding nothing other than the dull ache in her forehead, she
took only a moment to wonder how long she had been out before continuing
on her way. Stepping quickly to the rooftop edge, she spread her wings
and leapt off. Circling around on the strong air currents left in the
wake of the storm, she regained her bearings and steered herself back
on course to her destination. A few minutes later, Demona swooped down
and alighted gracefully in the empty courtyard of Castle Wyvern. As she
caped her wings and looked around, she briefly wondered where everyone
* * * * *
Brooklyn had been wandering restlessly about the castle ever since the
clan had returned from patrol an hour earlier. He walked past the TV room,
pausing to glance through the half-open door at Hudson and Bronx basking
contentedly in the glow of the television. A bit further down the hall,
he peered through another door to see Lexington typing away at the keyboard
of the outrageously expensive computer Xanatos had provided when they
had moved back in to the castle. For a moment, he contemplated disturbing
his rookery brother, but the zonked look in Lex's unblinking eyes as he
stared at the flickering images on the huge color monitor told him that
getting Lex's attention would be as futile an effort as prying Hudson
away from his remote control. Sighing, he continued on, turning down the
hall which led to the library.
Brooklyn's eyes darted up to the balcony as soon as he entered the massive
library. "Hmph. Romeo and Juliet must've found a new place to hang
out tonight," he muttered, a bit surprised to see nobody up there.
"What did you say, Brooklyn?" Goliath's deep, rumbling voice
made Brooklyn jump, and his stomach leapt up into his throat as he turned
to see the huge lavender gargoyle perched upon one of the ladders at the
far end of the room, a thick volume held in his talons.
"Goliath! I... uh," Brooklyn stammered.
"I did not hear what you said a moment ago," Goliath said.
"Were you looking for me?"
"No," Brooklyn blurted out a bit too quickly. An awkward second
ticked by, then he added, "Actually, I was looking for... Angela."
Goliath's brow furrowed as he regarded the brick-red gargoyle suspiciously
for a moment. "Angela and Broadway were here, but they left to get
something to eat shortly after I came in. They are probably in the kitchen."
"Thanks," Brooklyn said, "I'll just go... look for them
Goliath gave a low growling sigh. "Yes. You do that."
Brooklyn stepped back out of the room slowly, and once he was out of
Goliath's sight, he spun around to lean against the wall and let out a
long sigh of relief. "Well, at least now I know where not to go for
any more stilted conversations," he said to himself. Still in need
of something to do, however, he continued on, deciding to see if some
fresh air would improve his mood.
Brooklyn stepped out into the courtyard and sniffed the air, the scent
of moss and wet leaves greeting his nostrils. A few small puddles here
and there confirmed that it had just finished raining. "At least
something went right tonight. It didn't rain while we were out on patrol,"
he mumbled to himself as the wind blew his long white hair around behind
him. He shuffled across the courtyard and stared up at the departing clouds.
Then he sighed again when he realized that they were still too thick for
him to see the moon or the stars. He turned and kicked absently at a leaf
near his feet when out of the corner of his eye he saw something move.
Nearby, he noticed a feminine shape standing there, just enough in the
shadows that he couldn't make out any distinguishing features. "Angela?"
Brooklyn's eyes grew wide with shock and surprise and his caped wings
raised reflexively from his shoulders when the form stepped out of the
shadows. "No, it's Demona. But I would like to know where Angela
is," she asked.
Brooklyn took a defensive posture. "What do you want, Demona?"
She looked at him oddly. "I just told you. I want to know where
"I think she made it clear the last time you spoke that she doesn't
want to speak with you." Demona attempted to stride past him but
he moved to intercept her. "Where do you think you are going?"
"I am going to find my daughter. Remember what Goliath said, Brooklyn.
You haven't stopped following his orders, have you?"
Brooklyn frowned, puzzled. "Goliath's orders are what prevent me
from ripping out your wings and seeing if immortals can survive a plunge
into concrete off the tallest building in the world. And that's why I'm
giving you ten seconds to leave this castle before I attack. Ten...nine..."
"Why are you doing this?"
"After all the things you've done to us, you ask me why I won't
let you into our home? You're more insane then I thought."
"How many times do I have to apologize for all the things I've done?"
"How many times have you apologized for them? Eight...seven..."
"I've apologized to you so many times, I've lost count."
"What were you apologizing to, a stuffed doll? Because I sure wasn't
around to hear it. Six...five..."
"Brooklyn, I have no desire to fight with you."
"And that laser cannon you usually carry around really makes it
hard for me to notice your overtures of peace. I'm always to busy dodging
your, what would you like to claim they are, 'repeated misfires?' Four...three..."
"Enough! Brooklyn, I am going to find my daughter. Either come with
me or get out of my way."
"Two...one...zero." Brooklyn assumed an attack position. Demona
just stared at him. When he moved to attack her, she still didn't believe
what was going on, but simply put her hands up as if to fend off the blows.
Brooklyn's eyes flashed white and he let loose a growling roar as he
lunged at Demona. An instant later he had her in a bear hug, using his
momentum to tackle her to the ground. Demona landed on her back, the impact
knocking the wind from her, and Brooklyn landed astride her. He paused,
waiting for her to lash out at him, but all she did was raise her arms
to protect herself in what seemed more like an instinctual gesture then
a counter-attack. Brooklyn growled again and grabbed her by the shoulders,
shaking her violently several times, trying to get a reaction from her.
Instead, all he received was a look of shock and fear, which only enraged
him more. As he clenched his talons into fists, Demona only waited for
the battering to begin.
* * * * *
Hudson clicked the "channel" button on the remote again, landing
on a station showing late-night professional wrestling, a type of ritualized
combat that he had taken curious interest in ever since moving back in
to the castle and gaining access to several hundred new channels.
"I wonder if that lad in the kilt'll be fightin' t'night,"
he wondered aloud as he scratched Bronx behind the ear.
Suddenly, Bronx sat up and began to growl.
"Easy boy," Hudson said, "If ye don't like this show,
we can change the channel."
Bronx growled again and bolted from the room, barking menacingly as he
ran. Hudson needed nothing more to tell him something was wrong, and he
clicked of the TV and hurried after him. Lexington joined in the pursuit
almost immediately, and Broadway and Angela were returning from the kitchen
when Bronx barreled around the corner in front of them. They, too, followed
after the huge gargoyle beast, not needing to ask any questions to know
that something wasn't right. Goliath was the last to join in the chase
after hearing a sudden clattering of metal as Bronx led the others past
the library and, in the process, knocked over both of suits of armor which
stood on either side of the double doors. The only thing that finally
stopped Bronx was the heavy, closed doors leading to the courtyard, and
he had already began gouging claw marks into the wood in an attempt to
dig through them by the time Hudson, Goliath, and the others caught up.
"What is it, boy?" asked Hudson, out of breath. Bronx only
whimpered and continued to paw at the door.
"Wait a minute," interrupted Lexington, frowning. "Do
you hear that?" Everyone grew quiet, perked up their ears, and listened.
Though the sound was faint, they could distinctly hear cursing and screaming.
"It sounds like..." Broadway began.
"Brooklyn!" Goliath and Angela said together. Goliath immediately
grabbed the latch and threw open the door, and Bronx bounded impatiently
into the courtyard. The sound of Brooklyn's irrational and incoherent
screaming assailed the rest of the clan's ears as they all hurried to
find out what was going on. They didn't have to go very far, as Brooklyn
was attacking something right in the middle of the courtyard.
Goliath instantly appraised the situation. Brooklyn had thrown himself
on top of what appeared to be Demona, but there were several indications
that something was amiss. First, Demona was on the bottom. After a millennium
of fighting, she was a warrior to be reckoned with; even Goliath had never
been able to defeat her in single combat. Second, it appeared that she
was not fighting back. Instead, she was merely defending herself against
Brooklyn's blows. Third, she didn't have one of her hostile, murderous,
looks that usually permeated her features. It was fully evident that if
this was Demona, then there must be something terribly wrong with her.
"Broadway," Goliath said, trying to pull the enraged Brooklyn
off of Demona, "restrain Demona. Hudson," he said, gently, "Would
you please help me?"
It took the two of them to pry the struggling Brooklyn off of Demona.
As Brooklyn was lifted off of her, Demona wiggled further away from him
and began trying to get back up. She gasped in shock again, however, as
Broadway quickly pushed her back down with his foot. Her eyes registered
only fear and confusion as the bulky blue gargoyle took Brooklyn's place
straddling her, and she was powerless to stop him as he then simply sat
down on top of her. As Demona winced in pain from the pressure on her
arms and torso, Angela gave Broadway a questioning glance, which he responded
to with only a silent shrug. Angela could tell from the look in his eyes
that it hurt him somewhat that Goliath was using him as a giant paperweight,
but this was not the best time for either of them to question the clan
leader about it. All that was important at the moment was that Demona
was safely restrained, and with Broadway perched on top of her, it was
painfully obvious to both Demona and everyone else present that she would
have great difficulty moving until he chose to get off of her.
"Has everyone around here gone insane?" she yelled, squirming
around in a vain attempt to at least free her arms.
Brooklyn, his shoulder tightly clasped by Hudson to remind him that Goliath
wanted him to stay put and stop attempting to disembowel Demona, answered
her. "No, just you. But that's pretty much old news."
"Demona, what are you doing here?" Goliath demanded.
"Where else would I be?" Demona said, still trying to struggle
out from under Broadway. Tilting her head, she saw Angela standing at
Goliath's side. "Angela, would you tell your mate to please get off
of me? I may be immortal, but suffocating to death isn't fun."
"Mother, why did you come here? Especially after what you did to
While she wasn't in serious danger of suffocation, Broadway was making
it hard for her to breathe. Her speech was shaky. "What am I supposed
to have done to the Detective now?"
"Those nightmares you made her have."
"What are you talking about, child?"
Brooklyn frowned. "How many times this evening is someone going
to ask what someone else is talking about? This is Demona. We don't need
explanations. I know what she's doing here."
Demona strained her neck and looked at Brooklyn defiantly, and it was
clearly evident that both of them were wary of the other. "And what
am I doing here that I shouldn't be?"
"You never meet up with us just to exchange greetings or go out
to dinner. So just being here means you are up to one of your schemes."
"I don't understand any of you. I go out gliding and when I return
you act as if I don't have the right to be here, like you've suddenly
cast me out of the clan again."
"Again? When did we let you back in?"
Hudson leaned towards Brooklyn's ear and lowered his voice. "Lad,
ye aren't helping."
Angela looked at her mother's face. She knew that Demona was an excellent
actress, but she doubted that even she could fake the look of total confusion,
betrayal, and fear on her face or in her voice.
It was most definitely Demona. The face was unmistakable, and the vocal
inflections were also undeniable. But it seemed that Demona wasn't her
usual angry self. The only time Angela had seen the other, more emotional
side of her mother was when they had talked during her imprisonment in
the Labyrinth, and even then, there was a hint of anger in every word.
When she spoke now, while she was angry, the underlying tone was that
of self-pity and pain.
"Broadway," she said. "Let her go. I don't think she'll
"But, Angela..." the portly gargoyle protested. He wasn't as
furious at Demona as Brooklyn seemed to be, but he wasn't too happy with
her just the same.
Goliath turned and looked at Demona, seeing the same thing that Angela
had seen. He had never seen his former mate look so crushed and defeated.
"Broadway, release her. I do not think she will harm us."
"Sit on Demona, get off Demona, I don't understand you guys,"
he mumbled. But Broadway did as he was told.
"Thank you," Demona told him as she stood back up.
"We seem to have a problem," Goliath rumbled. "You do
not act like the Demona we all know and you seem to believe it is appropriate
for you to be here. Why is that?"
"Because it is appropriate for me to be here. After you let me back
in the clan, where else would I be?"
Hudson shook his head. "Perhaps ye'd better start at the beginning,
"Hudson is right. Tell us exactly what you remember, starting with
when Xanatos woke us up."
Demona sighed and then she began to speak. Her eyes turned inward, her
voice became far away, and the others strained to hear as she recalled
the encounter with the Weird Sisters that led her to confront centuries
* * * * *
"But who betrayed your clan?"
"And who caused this pain?"
"The Vikings destroyed my clan," Demona said, staring out into
space at something only she could see.
"Who betrayed the castle to the Vikings?"
"The Hunter hunted us down."
"Who created the Hunter?"
"Canmore destroyed the last of us."
"Who betrayed Macbeth to Canmore?"
"Your thirst for vengeance has only created more sorrow. End the
cycle, Demona. Give us the code."
"The access code is... alone."
Within minutes, Demona came out of her entranced state. She shook her
head and looked at Goliath, who stared back at her with sadness in his
eyes. "No," she gasped, almost in a whisper. "What have
I done?" Her voice began to crack from the emotions that suddenly
overcame her. "Castle Wyvern... the Hunters... Macbeth... it was
all my fault."
One tear turned to many as she collapsed to her knees with her head in
her hands, as she had once before, so many centuries ago. She barely felt
the delicate hands that touched her.
"You are tired. Sleep."
* * * * *
Goliath didn't know what to think. The reaction he remembered Demona
having had been completely the opposite. He tried to think of what could
have happened that didn't that would have made things turn out differently,
wondering if it could have even been something he said that might have
made the Demona he knew choose the path she did that night. The look in
his eyes became distant as he became lost in his own thoughts for a moment,
only half listening as Demona continued talking.
Hudson noticed the far away look on his face, understanding it instantly.
He gently placed his hand on the big gargoyle's shoulder, bringing him
back to reality as Demona began describing how she next found herself
* * * * *
While Goliath and Angela were fighting Thailog on the roof, Elisa had
slipped down into the villa and attempted to stop the battle between Macbeth
and Demona. When reasoning with them failed, she did the only thing she
could. She grabbed a blaster from the shattered display case and shot
"Oh, man," she sighed as Macbeth and Demona lay still on the
floor, "I hope this works."
A few seconds later, Macbeth began to stir. Elisa looked at the blaster
she still held in her hands, then tossed it away and went to help Macbeth.
"Very foolish, detective," Macbeth said, holding his head as
Elisa helped him to stand again. "The spell that links Demona and
myself makes it impossible for us to die by anyone else's hands but our
"I was counting on that," Elisa explained. "Killing Demona
temporarily was the only way to keep you two from doing yourselves in
"You should thank her, Macbeth," Goliath stated as he entered
the room with Bronx and Angela right behind him. "Elisa saved your
"A sad, endless existence," Macbeth replied, "I'm doomed
to face alone." He walked over and stood before the fire, closing
his eyes. Goliath and Elisa followed him, but Angela went instead to where
Demona lay, still unconscious, on the floor. She kneeled down and stared
at the motionless gargoyle, her blue skin and wild red hair contrasting
almost ludicrously with the torn, lace-trimmed wedding dress that she
still wore. A moment later, Demona came to, and Angela jumped back a bit,
unsure of what the female's reaction would be.
Demona rubbed her head and looked at Angela, her eyes registering mild
shock. "Who are you?"
"Forget them, Night Angel," Thailog interrupted, throwing open
the window. "The evening's a wash, but we still have each other."
Demona looked at Thailog, but then looked back at Angela and hesitated,
long enough for Goliath to step partially between her and the armor-clad
"Demona, I must speak to you," Goliath said. "No matter
what you think of us, you must listen. I was wrong about you. You aren't
going to betray Thailog. Thailog planned to betray you. He wanted you
to kill Macbeth."
Demona turned to Goliath. "Why would my love want me to die?"
"If both you and Macbeth were dead, Demona, who would your money
Demona turned and looked at Thailog. "It is as you have said, my
love. He is jealous," Thailog said smoothly.
"Demona, even with all of our battles, I have never lied to you.
Can you say the same of your new lover?"
Demona mentally went over her relationship with Thailog. When she thought
about it, he had taken an unnatural interest in her bank accounts and
it was he who had hatched the Macbeth scheme.
Although she flew off with Thailog, the relationship was broken within
the week. Newly formed Nightstone Unlimited became the sole property of
Mme. Dominique Destine, and Alexander Thailog left France a somewhat wealthier
* * * * *
Goliath tried to harden his heart as she recounted her version of their
encounter in France. This Demona had listened at least a little bit to
his plea to give up Thailog. He wondered if the other one had as well.
He found himself softening towards this forlorn creature, reliving those
nights as silent tears slipped down her cheeks. Angela, too, found her
feelings changing, and she listened in rapt attention as Demona continued
on, telling of her first meeting with the daughter she never knew she
* * * * *
Demona couldn't get the girl that had been with Goliath out of her head.
The resemblance to her and Goliath was unmistakable. But the only time
that she and Goliath had produced an egg was a thousand years ago. The
child, if the egg had survived and hatched, should have died centuries
ago. But as her own case indicated, there were always exceptions to the
problems of time.
Well, there had to be an explanation, and Demona had returned to New
York City to get it. She had spent the past few evenings gliding around
the city hoping to catch a glimpse of the girl but so far she had not
seen a trace of any gargoyle.
Tonight, however, was different. Angela was gliding along the eastern
edge of Manhattan Island and Demona had finally caught up with her. Surprisingly
enough, the young gargoyle didn't seem to be afraid of her. They both
landed on the same rooftop, and looked at each other for a moment or two
before Demona finally spoke. "Who are you and where are you from?
I know all of Goliath's clan and you are not one of them."
"My name is Angela... I'm your daughter."
"My daughter? That is impossible... I have no daughter."
"Yes you do. The clan's eggs survived. You and Goliath are my biological
parents. I'm told that there's a resemblance."
"My daughter... after so long. Can it really be?"
"I've been living on Avalon. Princess Katharine, the Magus, and
the Guardian brought all the eggs there after Castle Wyvern was attacked.
They raised us. They're part of my clan... as you are."
Demona smiled. "We have much to talk about."
* * * * *
Broadway slowly moved closer to Angela as Demona told of her first short
meeting with her daughter. He held no fondness for Demona and still had
trouble understanding why Angela still wanted anything to do with her
either, especially after what had happened at Coney Island and, more importantly,
just last night. Angela had been so upset when she had returned home that
she hadn't even wanted to talk to him about it. Even this evening, he
could tell she was still angry, and he had tried to avoid even bringing
it up as they patrolled together. All he knew for sure was that seeing
Angela upset made him upset, and right now the one person who always seemed
to be the cause of Angela's bad moods was standing just a few feet away.
He puffed up his chest and eyed Demona suspiciously for a few more seconds,
then looked at Angela, expecting to still see the pained look in her eyes
that had been present earlier. Instead, he saw a look of compassion and
understanding, and he relaxed and blushed slightly as Angela noticed him
watching her. Silently, she took his hand, and together they continued
to listen as Demona continued with her story...
* * * * *
Angela landed on the clocktower, followed a second later by Demona. "So
this is where the clan has been hiding. Above Elisa Maza's precinct."
Goliath came outside. "Angela has told us of your meetings over
the past weeks, and I trust her judgment. But I must warn you, Demona,
if you attempt to use the knowledge of where we sleep to capture us, then
I will forbid Angela to see you."
"I still think you are a fool for trusting humans, Goliath. But
our daughter is right, what do I have to gain from destroying gargoyles?
Even though they have corrupted you, perhaps others can be made to see
the truth. And there will be others. There are many years ahead of you
still; there will be future generations."
Goliath frowned. "I am pleased that you have changed some of your
views. It's a pity that you haven't changed all of them."
* * * * *
Lexington fidgeted uncomfortably, crouched on all fours, as he listened
to how Angela had trusted Demona enough to reveal the location of the
clan's home to her. Two years ago, he had given his trust to Fox and The
Pack and had come close to doing the same with them before they betrayed
him and tried to hunt him and Goliath for sport. If he had been in Goliath's
place, he would never have trusted Demona, no matter what Angela might
have said. He looked up at the big lavender gargoyle just then, wondering
if he was going to trust Demona at her word now, as well. He still wasn't
totally buying her story himself, though as she went on to describe things
that had just happened a few short weeks ago, the detail and emotion with
which she told her story was making it harder and harder to believe that
she was simply lying...
* * * * *
Demona entered the clocktower and gasped in horror. Her daughter was
lying on the floor, her body limp and her breathing nonexistent. Elisa
Maza was standing over her, preparing to bend down.
"Get away from her, murderer!" Demona screamed as she lunged
toward the detective before she could finish the job Demona believed she
had started. She had made it halfway across the room before Lexington,
Hudson, and a growling Bronx intercepted her.
"Stand back, Demona. If I don't get her breathing, she won't live
till sunrise," Elisa said. She kneeled down beside Angela and checked
for a pulse, then tilted the girl's head back, opened her mouth, and pinched
her nose shut. Demona stopped struggling against the two gargoyles' attempts
to restrain her, watching with wide, confused eyes as Elisa then sealed
her lips over Angela's open mouth and breathed a long, deep breath of
air into her. It wasn't until Elisa moved to give four quick chest compressions,
counting them aloud as she did them, that it finally clicked in Demona's
head that the woman was performing a medical ritual that the humans called
Demona could only watch, wide-eyed, as Elisa repeated the cycle of breaths
and chest compressions two more times. After what seemed like an eternity,
Angela coughed and took a breath for herself, then began to breathe without
assistance. Happy exclamations rose from the clan, and Goliath put his
hand on Elisa's shoulder. "She lives... thanks to you."
Elisa smiled. "CPR. The gift that keeps on giving."
Demona looked at the detective. The human who had thwarted her plans
time and time again had just saved her daughter. It perplexed her to no
end, but she concentrated on the problem at hand. She and Elisa asked
the same thing simultaneously. "Who did this to her?"
"You should know, it was obvious they were looking for you. And
we were only there because you were up to no good," Brooklyn snapped,
glaring at Demona.
"They call themselves 'Hunters,'" Goliath said, "but soon,
they will be the prey. My prey."
"So you have finally learned the truth, Goliath. Humans cannot be
trusted, especially not the Hunters. They have hunted me for over nine
hundred years and they have killed countless gargoyles."
"A human just saved your daughter's life," Brooklyn said.
"As I told you long ago, perhaps the Detective is the exception
that proves the rule." She looked at Elisa, who still kneeled by
Angela's side, checking her pulse. "I will be grateful to her until
she dies, but that doesn't change the fact that humans cannot be trusted.
They are a malignant cancer that should be removed from this planet."
Brooklyn stepped between Demona and Elisa and pointed his finger at the
red-haired female. "It's you who can't be trusted, you psychopathic..."
The argument was ended when the gargoyles turned to stone and Demona
screamed and transformed into a human. As Demona took a moment to recover
from her metamorphosis, Elisa wondered whether it was a good idea to let
her go out dressed as she was. But then she remembered that she had already
done it once before... and this was New York City.
"Come on," she said, reaching her hand out tentatively to the
human woman who now kneeled on the floor where a gargoyle had stood a
moment earlier, "let's get you out of here."
Demona looked at the detective for a moment before silently accepting
her offer of assistance and letting Elisa help her back to her feet. Without
a word more, Elisa led Demona down the stairs and through the building.
They got all the way to the front steps before running into Elisa's temporary
partner. He stopped in his tracks and looked at Demona oddly. "Elisa,
who's your friend?"
"She isn't my friend," Elisa said, more harshly then she would
have liked. "This is... Dominique Destine. She decided to walk home
in the wee hours of the morning and apparently got mugged. Since we have
a... mutual acquaintance, I decided to expedite the paperwork. Dominique,
this is Jason Conover."
Demona was also looking at Jason oddly. She didn't even notice that he
had extended his hand, and after a few awkward seconds, he drew back from
his attempt at a greeting.
"Well, Dominique, I'm on duty right now," said Elisa, trying
to be civil. "I'm sure you can find your own way from here."
She grabbed Jason's arm and headed towards her car. He started to object,
but she whispered, "Take my advice, you don't want to talk to her.
Neither of us want to be within a hundred light-years of her."
* * * * *
Angela quickly wiped at a tear that was beginning to form in her eye
and gazed sadly at Demona. She herself could barely remember anything
that had happened that night after the Hunters' electrified net had hit
her. She could recall falling, but then everything was a hazy blur save
for a few brief moments when she had heard her father's voice, urging
her to hold on until sunrise. Her next clear memory was of Elisa leaning
over her, checking her pulse, then Broadway holding her hand. Her mother
hadn't been there - no one even had been sure that she was still alive
until that night - but until just now, she had hoped that if Demona had
been there, her reaction would have been more than just another pointless
rail against humanity. And despite all that, Elisa had still seen Demona
safely out of the building.
Angela looked down and closed her eyes for a moment, picturing Demona
and Elisa in her mind and wondering which one she really cared about more,
and her heart suddenly filled with dread at the prospect of ever having
to make the choice. Then she felt Broadway squeeze her hand, and she reopened
her eyes and turned to him, blinking quickly several times to clear the
tears from her eyes. She gave him a half-hearted smile and received back
a look of understanding that turned it into a real one. Demona had reached
the night of the Hunter's Moon now, and Angela returned her attention
to the tale...
* * * * *
Demona poured the contents of the test tube into the vial, instantly
turning the liquid it contained from a pale green to a dark shade of violet.
Sitting on the Medici Tablet next to the vial, the Praying Gargoyle suddenly
began to glow.
"You'll thank me for this later," Demona stated calmly as she
tossed the empty test tube away.
"Don't hold your breath," replied Brooklyn, eyes glowing as
he held his injured shoulder and stared down the barrel of Demona's laser
"Demona!" growled Goliath as he and the others rushed into
the room. "What sorcery is this?"
"She's already cast a spell," Brooklyn said. "My Latin's
rusty, but it can't be good news."
Demona smiled slightly and chuckled as she turned toward the clan. "Oh,
but it is." She picked up the container of purple liquid in her talons
and turned, holding it up for them to see. "All I have to do is shatter
this vial and all of humanity will be destroyed," she declared. "Only
our kind will survive, thanks to the..." Demona swallowed the rest
of the sentence as her eyes fell upon Angela. The unspoken words settled
uncomfortably in the pit of her stomach, and she froze at seeing the look
of horror that covered the young girl's face.
Goliath stopped in his tracks, too, as he saw the look in Demona's eyes
suddenly change. He followed her gaze, turning to see his daughter standing
there silently just inside the doorway, staring back in shocked disbelief
at Demona and the vial she held in her talons.
"Angela, I..." Demona began weakly.
"You've been planning this all along?" Angela questioned sharply.
Brooklyn crept away and joined Lexington and Hudson as Demona all but
forgot about him. "I... I am doing this for you, Angela," she
said, trying to offer some explanation to the young female she had come
to care about so much over the past few months. "So you will be able
to grow old and raise your children in a world where you can walk down
the street without getting attacked. A world where you won't be hated
and hunted just because of what you are. Where you will never have to
fear being shattered in your sleep..."
Demona's voice trembled more and more with each word she spoke, but Angela
only looked at her coolly. "No," she said. "This isn't
about me, is it?"
"Angela," Demona said, a look of desperation beginning to cross
her features, "i-it's..."
"It's about revenge," Angela continued. "That's all you
care about, isn't it?"
Demona closed her eyes for a moment. "After all I have seen the
humans do to our kind... if this is revenge, then it is richly deserved."
She paused for a moment. "But you wouldn't understand, would you?"
Angela's features softened, and she said softly, "Actually, mother...I
Demona opened her eyes again and looked at Angela accusingly. "How
could you possibly know how I feel?"
Angela began to look almost ashamed. "The other night, I wanted
revenge on the Hunters. I wanted it more than anything else." She
bowed her head. "At least, I thought I did... until I lost my home...
and almost lost Elisa, too. I was so blinded by hate that I nearly lost
sight of the things that were truly important." She looked back at
Demona. "I never want to be like that again. And if you want to be
like that, I don't ever want to be like you."
Demona's eyes widened in shock at the last sentence. Angela slowly walked
over to the table, with Demona too stunned to offer any resistance. She
looked at the small gargoyle statue resting on the tablet. Looking back
at her mother, she pointed to it. "Is this what you're using to protect
Demona simply nodded.
As Angela turned back toward the statue, Demona tried one last time to
reason with her daughter. "Please, Angela. I just want to make a
world where our kind can be safe. Where we don't have to worry about things
like the Hunters. Where you and I can be together."
Angela closed her eyes and sighed sadly, shaking her head. "I want
a world like that, too, mother," she said softly, "but not if
it's made this way. Not like this." Then she raised her hand in a
fist, and prepared to bring it down on the Praying Gargoyle.
"Wait!" Demona screamed. Desperation and anguish filled her
voice and her laser cannon clattered to the floor as she extended her
arm towards Angela in a frantic gesture. Angela turned halfway around,
glaring at Demona, her clenched fist only inches away from the fragile
"I'll do it! I swear, mother, I'll do it! Then you can spread your
evil if you dare -- we can all die together, you, me, the whole clan!
Is that what you want?"
"Angela... you don't have to... you... I..." Demona looked
at Angela's steely expression and then back at the vial she held in her
talons, her eyes filling with confusion.
"Mother, please," she heard Angela say softly as she stared
at the purple liquid. "Don't do this."
"Demona," Goliath rumbled, "listen to our daughter. Give
us the vial."
"I can't, Goliath!" she cried despairingly. "This is the
only way! This is..." She trailed off, then continued in a voice
so low that it could barely be heard. "...this is all I have left."
Angela moved her hand away from the Praying Gargoyle and took a step
closer to Demona, who still held the vial in her talons. "You still
have us," she continued softly. "You can start a new life. You
don't have to be alone anymore."
Demona lowered her eyes and looked away from her daughter, sadness replacing
the anger in her voice. "I gave up any chance of such a life long
before you were hatched."
"You still have a chance at a real life, mother."
"Perhaps," Demona said, still not meeting Angela's gaze, "but
your clan would never trust me. No one will ever trust me."
Goliath shook his head. "Trust must be earned, Demona. It may take
some time, but if you try, eventually we will trust you again. Rejoin
the clan, give up your vengeance, and we will get through the times ahead
Angela looked at her pleadingly. "Please, mother? It doesn't have
to be this way."
"Goliath, you aren't actually thinking of letting her back into
the clan, are you? After all she's done," Brooklyn said.
"Lad, this is neither the place nor the time," Hudson said.
Demona sighed as she took one last look at the vial and then finally
looked into her daughter's eyes. Her voice was barely above a whisper
as she gently handed the canister to Angela. "I will try."
Angela handed the canister to Goliath, and then embraced Demona. Tears
rolled down her cheeks as she whispered, "Thank you, Mother."
* * * * *
Demona ended her story with a long sigh.
"She's lying, Goliath! The past can't be changed. History is immutable.
She admitted that herself." Brooklyn had barely been able to hold
his tongue while Demona was telling her story, and he was incensed even
more now that it looked like Goliath and Angela were starting to believe
her. "This is the kind of situation you see on television,"
he argued. "Bad guy pretends to reform, gets in good with the good
guys, then betrays them."
Lexington thought for a second. "She's not talking about a different
timeline - she's from a parallel universe... I think..."
At that point, Owen Burnett stepped out of the shadows where he had obviously
been standing for some time. "Perhaps I can explain..." he began.
* * * * *
Demona turned off the light and pulled up the covers, laying her head
back uneasily onto the overstuffed pillow and staring blankly at the canopy
which covered the bed. She was exhausted. She hadn't had more than a few
hours sleep each night for the past week and it was finally catching up
to her. Today, she, or rather, Ms. Dominique Destine had almost nodded
off during an important meeting. She couldn't even remember half of what
that consultant had been saying about Nightstone Unlimited's pending stock
offering despite the fact that the preparations for it had been occupying
most of her time ever since she came back to New York. And as if that
weren't enough, there was also a new competitor to deal with.
The blue gargoyle shifted restlessly under the covers, trying to find
a comfortable place for her tail, her eyes still wide open as the worries
about Nightstone's new rival paraded once again through her mind. Things
had been tough enough when Nightstone was trying to break into the market
and the only serious competition had been Xanatos Enterprises. Now there
was a new player in the game, and the sudden expansion of European giant
Maddox Technologies into the American market had Demona worried. She had
never been worried about competing with Xanatos. She knew him, she knew
his style, and she could anticipate his moves. Indeed, though she'd never
in a million years admit it, she had learned a thing or two from him,
as well. But Maddox Technologies was a whole new ballgame. She knew next
to nothing about the private lives of either of its owners, Nicholas Maddox
and Mavis O'Connor, or the way they did business. And while she was already
working to rectify that situation, doubt continued to creep into her mind
over whether or not Nightstone Unlimited would be able to hold its own
against two multinational corporations.
Which brought her back to thinking about the stock deal. She still had
doubts about that, too. Was it really wise to start selling small portions
of ownership of her company to human investors? Her financial consultants
all said it was. It would make Nightstone Unlimited stronger, and give
the company more working capital. Besides, she could decide how much stock
to sell and when it would be sold, and there'd be no real risk to her
as long as she always held a majority of the shares herself. Of course,
she didn't want to keep everything to herself forever. She hoped to be
able to share it one day. Demona closed her eyes as she thought of Angela.
Allowing the weariness to finally overtake her, she drifted off to sleep.
* * * * *
She was running, shielding her body with her wings as she crashed through
the underbrush, her laser cannon slung over her shoulder. She stumbled
slightly as she came into a grassy clearing, sore and out of breath. She
had lost her bearings several hundred feet earlier, when she had tripped
on a tree root and tumbled down a small embankment, but her sense of direction
returned as she looked up to see a man on horseback holding a crossed
pair of swords over his head. It took her only a moment to recognize the
bronze statue of King Wladislaw Jagiello of Poland and form a mental picture
of her position relative to the rest of Central Park.
"You're mine now, demon," growled an angry voice from behind
her. Spinning, Demona gasped at seeing the muscular, masked figure step
out of the shadows. His uniform was the dark blue of the Quarrymen, but
the red slashes of his mask identified him to her instantly.
"The Hunter!" Demona hissed. Her voice was an unsure mix of
shock and fury, but her glowing red eyes showed only pure hatred. She
raised her wings and took a step back, realizing as she spotted the man's
glowing hammer that her own weapon was still slung uselessly over her
The hooded man took another step towards her, bringing himself fully
into the circle of light that surrounded the statue. He held the humming
Quarryhammer in both hands, almost as if he wanted Demona to get a good
look at it. His eyes narrowed as he taunted her. "After I've finished
with you, demon, I think I'll wait until sunrise to pay a visit to your
Demona didn't even pause to think about how The Hunter could possibly
know about Angela. She was moving before he even finished speaking, crouching
and then leaping on the man like a jungle cat. Human and gargoyle went
down together, Demona's eyes glowing like hot coals as she slashed at
his chest with her talons. She dug her claws into his armor as he pressed
the electrified hammer to her bare midsection, screaming in agony as the
current raced through her body but refusing to let go. Still, the shock
dazed her, and the Hunter, still on his back, managed to raise one of
his legs and kick the weakened gargoyle off him. She landed in a heap
at the base of the statue, looking up to see the bronze horse seeming
to stare quizzically back at her.
The Hunter had regained his feet and cocked his hammer again. "You'll
have to do better than that, demon," he snarled as he advanced toward
the fallen gargoyle, hoisting the hammer high above his head. It was then
that Demona's head cleared enough to notice that her laser cannon had
slipped off her shoulder during her fall and was now lying within a few
inches of her right hand. The Hunter noticed this, too, but a moment too
late. Demona grabbed the weapon and fired one-handed at nearly point-blank
range. The shot hit the man in the left shoulder, knocking him backward
and making him lose his grip on the hammer, which bounced once on the
ground before coming to rest a good ten feet from his reach.
"I intend to, human," Demona replied wickedly. Slowly, she
pushed herself back to her feet, steadying herself against the statue
with one hand as she kept the laser gun trained on the Hunter with the
other. He was holding his injured arm, and, having realized that now he
was the one without a weapon, he started to step back. He had reached
the edge of the area where the lighting ended and the shadows began when
a blast from Demona's laser struck the ground just at his feet. "Take
off that mask, human," Demona ordered coldly, her eyes glowing dimly
as she adjusted her aim to the man's chest. "I want to see your face
as you die."
She was momentarily startled when the man laughed, but her aim never
wavered. "You mean, after all this time, demon, you don't know who
"I never cared," she replied. She repeated the order and adjusted
the laser to its highest setting, letting the hum of the weapon's capacitor
punctuate her words. The man said not a word more. Slowly, he reached
up to take hold of the top of his hood...
"Freeze! Police!" The sudden stream of light blinded Demona
and made her lose her target. Turning, she growled and moved her hand
to shield her eyes from the glare, squinting to confirm through glowing
eyes what her ears already told her. It was that blasted human, Elisa
Maza. She stood with her gun trained on Demona, crouched behind the open
driver's side door of her car.
"Lay down your weapon, Demona. It's over," shouted Elisa.
Demona quickly turned back to the Quarryman she had been about to unmask.
His hood was still in place, and while he still favored his injured shoulder,
he now held a wicked looking blaster of his own in his good hand. The
few brief moments she had turned her back to him had been plenty of time
for him to draw the weapon.
"Some other time, perhaps," he chuckled, holding Demona at
bay with the weapon as he backed away into the shadows from which he had
come. "The Hunt is not over." Then he was gone, as quickly as
he had appeared, leaving Demona alone in the light from the car's high
Demona's frustrated scream echoed through the air, and she turned quickly
back towards Elisa. "You fool! I had him! You let him escape!"
"I said lay down your weapon!" Elisa repeated. If she had heard
what Demona had just said, she didn't seem to care.
Demona's eyes narrowed as the frustration and rage washed through her.
She remembered all the previous times the human Elisa Maza had interfered
in her plans, and in an instant her next action was determined.
Elisa realized Demona's intentions just in time to dive for cover. She
hit the grass and rolled just as the blast from Demona's laser cannon
hit the front of her Fairlane. The resulting explosion was deafening,
and it raised the car several feet off the ground before engulfing it
in flames as gravity slammed it back down again. Broken glass flew everywhere,
and Elisa covered her head with her arms and tried her best to crawl further
away from the burning wreck that used to be her car.
She looked back up to see Demona casually step aside as a flaming tire
rolled past her, a thin trail of smoke curling from the barrel of her
gun. "You missed me, Demona," Elisa said as coolly as she could.
"I was aiming for the car," Demona lied as she raised the gun
again, "This time, however..." Demona forestalled any further
comment at seeing Elisa suddenly reach for something in the grass. She
started to pull the trigger, but a split second later something hard and
heavy struck her hand, sending pain shooting through her wrist and making
her shot go wild. Demona cried out at the sudden, sharp pain, and the
stray blast struck a nearby tree. Then she looked down in astonishment
at her feet to see the scorched hubcap that had struck her.
"Nice catch," shouted Elisa sarcastically.
Demona growled and her eyes glowed bright red again as she looked back
up and in the direction of the detective's voice. Elisa was back on her
feet now with nary a trace of damage on her save for some dirt on her
This time, Demona's scream was one of pure rage. For a moment, Elisa
didn't even move, so stunned was she by the angry gargoyle's primal cry.
She came back to her senses just in time to avoid the next shot as Demona
began firing wildly, strafing the area with laser fire. "What does
it take to kill you!" screamed Demona as Elisa ran, ducked, and dodged
for her life, Demona's shots missing her by inches.
"Mother, please! Stop this fighting!"
Demona heard Angela clearly over the din but did not see her until it
was too late. Angela glided out from behind the trees and into the clearing,
pulling her wings back as she prepared to land near the statue.
The last blast Demona had fired towards Elisa left the barrel of her
gun and sliced through the air, searching for a target, but although Elisa
was standing directly in its path, Demona suddenly knew that the blast
would never find her.
The young female gargoyle never even saw it coming, though to Demona,
everything seemed to be moving in slow motion. A numbness worse than anything
she had ever felt before overtook her, and she could only stare, horror-stricken,
at what was about to happen. The shot struck Angela head-on in the chest,
and the force of the blast threw her backward and slammed her into the
side of the statue's pedestal with a sickening "thud." Then
she toppled forward and crumpled limply to the cold hard pavement.
"Angela!" Elisa and Demona's horrified cries were sounded simultaneously.
Elisa was already running toward the fallen girl before she had even hit
the ground, but Demona didn't move at all. Her arms fell limply to her
sides, and the laser cannon clattered hollowly to the ground at her feet.
She could hear Angela sobbing from the pain and wanted to run to her -
to do anything she could to help her daughter - but her body would not
respond. It was as if her feet and legs were as lifeless as those of the
statue towering over the terrible scene before her. All she could do was
continue to watch and listen, and Angela's cries were the only thing she
could hear. Every other sound had faded away so that each labored gasp,
each tortured moan that Angela made, filled Demona's ears.
"Mother, help me!" cried Angela, fighting against the pain
to speak the words. As she spoke, she struggled to turn her head, then
reached out weakly with her hand. But it wasn't Demona to whom she was
speaking or who gently took her hand and softly answered, "I'm right
here, Angela." It was Elisa.
Demona stared in shocked disbelief at hearing this exchange. Still unable
to force her body to obey her brain and move, she watched with tears beginning
to form in her eyes as Elisa knelt down beside Angela and tried as best
she could to comfort her. Gently, Elisa rolled Angela onto her back, and
Demona could see the alarm flash in the human woman's eyes when she saw
the large, dark wound that the laser had left on the girl's chest. She
could see the pleading look in Angela's eyes as Elisa hurriedly removed
her red jacket, and the flash of intense pain in those same eyes as Elisa
pressed it against the wound in a desperate attempt to stop the blood
that was starting to flow. She could only watch as Elisa took Angela's
hand again, able to clearly hear the softly spoken words of encouragement
that the woman offered to the stricken girl, able to hear each and every
trembling breath Angela took, but completely unable herself to give any
comfort to her own daughter.
"It's going to be all right, Angela," Elisa said softly, "the
sun will heal you." She held back her tears and squeezed the young
female's hand as Demona looked on, trying to hold back tears of her own,
knowing that sunrise was hours away.
"Mother... the sun... I..." Angela's words came in shallow
gasps, till at last they were too faint for Demona to hear over the dull
roar that had begun to echo in her head. A few seconds later, Angela's
crying stopped and her body became still. Elisa held Angela's hand a moment
longer then gently leaned over her and closed her eyes. Then Elisa slowly
stood up and turned to face Demona, who was still watching, tears starting
to flow down her cheeks. Demona looked into Elisa's eyes again and saw
them change. All traces of emotion had disappeared, and look she gave
to Demona was hard and cold. "You just killed her," she stated
matter-of-factly, "You just killed your own daughter."
Demona did not reply. She wanted to say something, anything, but no words
would come. There were no words that she could speak; nothing that could
be said which would make any difference. All she could do was stare at
her daughter's body, then back at the steely look on Elisa's face. Her
ears were ringing with Elisa's words and her mind was screaming, "I
never wanted this to happen! I never wanted to kill her!" But she
couldn't say it. Even as Elisa began walking toward her, repeating in
that same cold voice, "You just killed your own daughter," she
couldn't say it. Her lips failed her now as her legs had done earlier,
and her head began to pound, her vision to blur from the tears. Soon,
Elisa was right in front of her, staring straight into her eyes with a
look so cold that it threatened to pierce her soul. But Demona couldn't
look away, and her vision was so blurred by tears that there now almost
seemed to be three Elisas speaking with one voice: "You just killed
your own daughter." And finally, Demona screamed...
* * * * *
Demona woke up with a start as her terrified cry echoed through the empty
house. A lightning flash lit the room for a split second, and for a moment
Demona thought she saw something standing at the foot of her bed. She
sat up and groped for the lamp on the table beside the bed, but when she
finally turned it on, there were only the curtains of the bed fluttering
lightly in the breeze coming through the open window. Thunder rumbled
in the distance as Demona rubbed her eyes and took a second look before
deciding it was all just in her head. "It was just a dream,"
she said, trying to reassure herself, "just a terrible dream,"
but the image of Angela's lifeless body still hung in her mind. She looked
down at her hands to see that they were trembling, and suddenly she felt
very cold. She grabbed for one of the blankets that she had thrown off
during her sleep and quickly drew herself up in it, trying to stop the
chills that suddenly overcame her, but blankets were an inadequate solution
for the kind of chills she possessed.
Demona closed her eyes again, telling herself one more time that it was
just a nightmare - that none of the things she had seen were real. But
then she inadvertently found herself wondering if this was what it had
been like for Elisa just a few short days ago, and the harsh words Angela
had spoken to her the previous night came right back to her.
"Know this, Mother, 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."
Demona had been so shocked by her daughter's reaction that she hadn't
even been able to reply. She hadn't even known how much the human woman
meant to her daughter. She had acted out of anger - acted without thinking
- and she had ended up hurting the one person she cared about most. She
had wounded Angela emotionally and hadn't been able to do a thing about
Demona shivered again and reopened her eyes, hoping that the light would
drive away these unpleasant thoughts. The similarity of reality to her
dream was even more terrifying to her than the dream itself, and she didn't
want to think about it any more. Especially the part where Angela had
addressed Elisa, rather than herself, as "Mother." Was it possible
that Angela really might think of Elisa in this way? It was a question
Demona wasn't sure she wanted to know the answer to. Nor was she certain
whether that or the fact that she had killed her own daughter was the
thing she found most disturbing about the dream, and she couldn't help
but wonder where Angela was at that moment, and if she was safe.
Demona suddenly cast off the blanket and got up from the bed. She'd had
enough of these thoughts. She needed to clear her head. A few steps brought
her to the open window and she placed her hands on the sill and leaned
out into the night. The crisp late autumn breeze on her face chased away
any lingering traces of sleep as she gazed off in the direction of Castle
Wyvern and the Eyrie Building. There was the faintest trace of rain in
the air and lightning still flickered in the clouds far to the east, so
far off now that the thunder could no longer be heard over the sounds
of the city. Behind the departing clouds, the sky was clear and the moon
glowed brightly, an irresistible sight to a gargoyle who had spent too
much time on the ground and not stretched her wings just for their own
sake in quite some time. She made up her mind then. She would take a nice
long glide over the city and try to forget about her dream... and maybe
pass by Castle Wyvern along the way, just to look in on her daughter.
Feeling better already, she placed a foot on the sill and leapt from the
window. Her wings unfurled and caught the breeze, and she headed off into
* * * * *
"...the nature of which can be found in the theories of Dr. Stephen
Hawking, among other people. For every action, there are an infinite number
of possible reactions. And those reactions cause other actions that also
have an infinite number of possible reactions. Let us take what Demona
has said. Where she comes from, she was reluctantly accepted back into
your clan after a reform. Here, she never made that reform and continues
to be a threat. There are an infinite number of Demonas out there, an
infinite number of Owens, Goliaths, Lexingtons, and so on in an infinite
number of universes where literally anything could happen, even things
you would think impossible. But contact between the different universes
is supposed to be impossible, or at least, only theoretically possible."
"This is all very fascinating," Demona said. "But how
do I get home?"
"I do not know how you got here, therefore I cannot yet theorize
a method of return. There are many theoretical ways of travel between
timelines, a great many of them postulated by science-fiction authors
with overactive imaginations."
"Who would have thought, Owen Burnett, a closet science-fiction
fan?" said Broadway.
"It is often beneficial in my line of work to have an intimate knowledge
of fiction. There is a grain of truth in a great many stories. I cite
as an example, Macbeth."
"Yeah, whatever," Brooklyn said. "You wouldn't happen
to have any theories that were created by people who knew what they are
"Of course. It is simply that the field of parallel dimensions is
a relatively unexplored field, and most of the advanced theoretical work
is fictional. But there are a few researchers working on this topic. I
do keep up on the latest research in various fields. The predominating
theory is that each quantum reality has a specific quantum frequency,
and some theories hypothesize that by altering the quantum frequency of
matter you can move matter into another quantum reality, parallel dimension,
parallel universe, alternate time-track, whatever you choose to call it.
The most likely method involves a quantum energy field tuned to the specific
quantum frequency of the dimension you intend to enter. However, harnessing
the energy required for such a field is not an easy task."
"Exactly how much energy does it take?" asked Lexington.
"Needless to say, the power required is substantial - and it would
need to be generated almost instantaneously. Too little energy could kill
a living subject as some molecules will make the transit and other will
not. You would discorporate. The only known event even capable of a sudden
burst of enough pure energy is a bolt of lightning."
"I almost got hit by lightning earlier this evening. I was gliding
along when suddenly the entire sky lit up. For a few moments, I couldn't
see a thing."
Owen's expression changed to one of concern, which wasn't much different
from his usual expression. It took a lot of observation for anyone to
even notice his emotions. "I see. This is most interesting. If you'll
excuse me, there are some matters that require my attention."
As his dark suit blended back into the shadows, Lexington thought he
saw someone else standing there, watching, but then he blinked and there
Goliath looked at Demona, the expression on his face an odd mixture of
contemplation and sadness. Demona met his gaze only for a moment before
diverting her eyes timidly. Hudson scratched Bronx idly behind the ear
and traded silent glances with Broadway and Lexington, while Brooklyn
mumbled under his breath and kicked absently at a small stone on the ground.
Finally, Angela dared to break the awkward silence.
"What exactly do I call you?" Angela asked. "You are and
aren't my mother."
"It doesn't matter."
"Okay. I just don't know what to say."
"Neither do I."
Brooklyn chimed in. "Exactly what do you say to a supposedly nice
counterpart of an enemy? What would you say if Thailog, assuming he wasn't
dead, showed up saying he was a reformed parallel version of himself?"
"Thailog is dead?" Demona asked, shocked.
"Thailog isn't dead? Oh, great. And I thought you were telling us
about a better world."
The conversation had hit a dip again, and Angela ushered Demona away
from the silent stares, leading her away from the courtyard and the clan.
"Doesn't this make you wonder what else might have been?" she
asked as the two of them ascended the steps leading up to the castle walls.
"I've made a lot mistakes and caused a lot of grief over the last
millennium, child, even where I come from. I would give my left arm, permanently,
if I could go back and change just one of them and save the life of one
person I've destroyed."
"I only wish that our Demona would realize that."
"For a long time, I was unwilling to accept that some of the things
that happened were my fault. When I realized that, I was able to admit
that both humans and gargoyles were people and that people aren't perfect."
"What kind of things would you change?"
"The massacre at Wyvern. Had I not betrayed the clan and encouraged
the Captain to betray the Princess, our descendents might still be alive
"Or the Vikings might have destroyed the castle two or three nights
later," Angela replied. "They were winning as you awoke that
"The only reason they got that far was because the Captain and I
were conspiring with Hakon. Only Hakon and his men didn't know that the
Captain was working with me."
"And if they had known?"
"Then we would have all been dead, regardless. If not, Goliath and
I would have still been together, and you would have lived out your life
at Castle Wyvern, assuming that the humans there continued to keep us
safe long enough for you to hatch and live out your life."
"Neither you nor my mother should continue to blame yourself for
events that happened a thousand years ago. You were wrong, but there's
nothing you can do about it now."
Demona sighed and stopped walking, turning away from Angela for the first
time since the conversation had begun. She placed her hands on the parapet
wall and looked out over the city. "I wish I could find a reality
where I never made any mistakes, and live there," she said after
a long pause.
"I never thought you were the type to run away from your problems."
"I've been running away from my problems since before you were conceived,"
Demona said, turning back to Angela. "I found ways of rationalizing
them, but the problems were always mine. The Captain may have been involved,
but we both planned Hakon's attack and ordered specific points to be undefended."
Feeling that the topic would only cause this distraught version of her
mother to sink further into the depths of self-pity which had built up
over the centuries, Angela switched gears. "What is the rest of the
clan like where you come from? Take Brooklyn, for example. Is he the same
in your universe?"
"Too much so, if what I saw tonight is any indication. The truth
is, I have feared a confrontation like that ever since I came back. He
was not pleased with the decision to readmit me to the clan. He's been
especially vocal about it."
"Perhaps the problem is that you and Brooklyn are more alike than
either of you would admit."
"Brooklyn and I? You must be joking."
"You both have such strong tempers," Angela explained, "but
you always try to hide them until you reach a point where you just..."
She paused, trying to think of the right word. "...explode,"
she said finally. "It really frightens me, sometimes," she added,
"Angela," Demona said gently, "perhaps you miss my counterpart
so much you are casting her personality on your clan."
Angela considered that statement for a moment, then another question
came out of the blue. "What am I like where you come from?"
Demona paused a moment before answering, wondering if, back in her world,
her Angela was getting worried about her whereabouts. "The same,
as far as I know," she answered. "It seems that the only difference
between our two worlds is me and all the things I did differently. That
changed everyone else."
"The thing that scares me about all this is the questions that it
brings up," Angela said. "There could be a universe out there
where I am an evil person."
"Someone once told me that there is no one truly evil, although
some come very close. Everyone is tossed onto their respective side by
their beliefs, desires, and perceptions." Angela smiled involuntarily
for the first time since the night had begun, knowing who that "someone"
was. Demona smiled, too, as she put her arm around her counterpart's daughter
and briefly wondered how that made them related.
* * * * *
Demona covered the distance between her home and the Eyrie Building quickly,
though she wasn't even consciously aware that she had flown straight there
until she looked up from the reflection of the moon in the reservoir in
Central Park to see Xanatos's tower rising in front of her. She had been
thinking about her dream the whole time, and about what Angela had said
to her the other night, and she wondered if she should try to speak with
Angela tonight if she saw her. Doubts and questions filled her mind. Was
it was too soon to try to approach her daughter? Would Angela still be
too angry to listen? And was she even ready, herself, to speak to Angela?
She had concluded after much thought that she wasn't. At least, not yet.
For now, she'd stick with her original plan. Right now all she wanted
to do was make sure Angela was safe.
She caught an updraft over Columbus Circle and rode it in a wide spiral
until she was several hundred feet higher than the top of the Castle's
tallest tower. Then, with only a slight motion of her wings, she brought
herself into a wide arc about the Eyrie Building. She knew Xanatos was
as paranoid as she was when it came to security, and she had no desire
to face off against Steel Clan robots tonight. Nor did she wish to be
spotted by the clan if she could help it. She would only approach as close
to Castle Wyvern as was necessary to spot Angela, and once she saw that
her daughter was alive and safe, she would move on. Nothing could have
prepared her, however, for what she saw as she made her first pass around
the Castle: it was herself, standing with her arm around Angela!
Demona's mind went into a spin of shock, anger, and jealousy, and only
one thought entered her mind: a clone. This time, however, the emotions
that swept over her were ten times more intense than they had been when
Thailog had first introduced her to Delilah. It was bad enough to think
of her gargoyle genes combined with Elisa Maza's human ones, but the clone
she saw now was even worse because it appeared to be a perfect duplicate
of herself. The clone's coloration was even the same as her own, and it
wore exact replicas of her clothing, as well! Without another thought
about the Steel Clan or any of Xanatos's other defenses, Demona dove toward
She pulled back her wings as she dove, turning her body into a virtual
missile as she picked up speed, and came at Angela and the imposter from
their blind side. The clone didn't have time to react. Demona hit her
like a linebacker, grabbing her with her talons as she impacted. The momentum
carried both of them off of the parapet and down into the courtyard below.
After hitting the ground, they rolled together for almost fifty feet,
a blurred, blue mass of wings, arms, legs, and tails, crashing through
the trunk of a tree before coming to rest. Only then did Demona let go,
but only so she could viciously throw the impostor off of her and into
the side of the fallen tree. Demona got back to her feet instantly, adrenaline
and rage racing high, but her duplicate was terribly dazed and barely
managed to stagger back to her feet. Talons at the ready and murder in
her glowing eyes, Demona prepared to lunge.
"Mother, please! Stop this fighting!" Angela cried out as she
glided down from the parapet. She landed in front of her mother, blocking
her path, but Demona had already stopped moving at hearing Angela's words.
For a moment, Angela was startled at how quickly her mother had backed
"What is going on out here, lass?" demanded Hudson as he raced
into the courtyard, sword drawn and Bronx by his side. The Trio was right
behind him, but all stopped in their tracks at seeing Angela standing
there, in the midst of the destruction, between the two Demonas. Bronx
crouched and growled at the new Demona, recognizing her instantly.
"Easy, boy," cautioned Hudson, laying his hand on the back
of the huge gargoyle beast.
"Whoa..." commented Brooklyn. He blinked and shook his head,
then stated the obvious. "There's two of them."
"I told you she was telling the truth," muttered Lexington,
elbowing Brooklyn in the side.
"Are you all right, Angela?" asked Broadway concernedly.
"I'm fine. Just..."
"Demona!" Goliath interrupted his daughter with his growled
observation as he came through the doorway and saw what was going on.
Had the mood not been so tense, it might have seemed funny when both blue
gargoyles turned simultaneously and looked at him. It was the new arrival
who spoke first.
"What is the meaning of this farce, Goliath?" Demona asked
angrily, still eyeing the double disdainfully over Angela's shoulder.
"Was it Xanatos's idea? Or did Thailog get more than his looks and
his temper from his 'father?'"
Goliath's face contorted in anger at Demona's insinuation and a growl
rose in his throat. This time, however, Angela interrupted him before
he could speak.
"No, mother," she said, stepping into Demona's line of sight.
She paused for a second until she was sure she had her mother's attention.
"She's not a clone. She's... she's you."
Demona stared blankly at Angela for a moment, trying to process what
she had just heard. Then she suddenly remembered the last time she had
met a double of herself, just over a year ago on the night of Xanatos's
wedding. "A time-traveler?" she asked hesitantly.
"Not exactly..." replied Angela, relieved that her mother,
for the moment, seemed to be more intent on listening than attacking.
"She's you, but from another universe - a parallel dimension. We...
we don't know how she got here yet... but Owen is trying to find a way
for her to go back."
Demona took in what her daughter had to say in silence. Despite how bizarre
the story sounded, she had no reason to think Angela would lie to her.
"It's the truth... as near as I can tell." The sound of her
own voice startled Demona, and she looked over to see her double standing
a dozen or so feet away, seemingly recovered from the skirmish but hesitant
to approach any closer. The double continued, timidly, "And I'll
leave as soon as I find out how. I know if I was in your place, I wouldn't
want me here, either."
Demona only stared and said nothing for a moment, then turned and looked
at the clan again. They had grown quiet, too, watching the scene play
out between the two Demonas with obvious interest. Angela could feel the
awkward tension mounting again, and she knew already that the silent staring
only was making both Demonas more ill at ease than they already were.
She looked again at her mother and then at her mother's double. It was
then that she noticed that the second gargoyle was holding her right hand
oddly over a spot on her left forearm.
Angela moved to her immediately. "You're injured," she said,
concerned. It was an observation, not a question.
"It's just a small scratch," her mother's double began, "it's
"Let me see," ordered Angela, gently taking her arm. The wince
she gave told Angela right away she was probably lying, and it only took
Angela a quick look at the wound to confirm it. "This should be cleaned
and bandaged," she stated as she gently but firmly pressed the blue
gargoyle's hand back over the cut, "so it doesn't get infected."
The other Demona looked on with mild interest as Angela examined the
injury she had evidently inflicted on her double during the scuffle. After
a few seconds, the same feelings of jealousy she felt earlier started
to return. It seemed almost ludicrous when she thought about it. How could
she be jealous of herself?
Angela stepped away from her mother's double and saw that the clan was
still watching. Then Broadway looked at her and seemed to read her mind.
"Why don't we all go back inside?" he suggested. "And help
Angela find the first aid kit," he added.
"And leave these two alone?" asked Brooklyn disapprovingly.
"Yes. My thoughts exactly," replied Angela plainly.
Brooklyn started to open his beak to amend his last statement, but Goliath
nodded in agreement. "Let them be, Brooklyn," he ordered, then
helped Angela to herd everyone back inside. He stood at the door as the
others filed slowly past, then took one last look over his shoulder at
the two Demonas, who were still standing there, silently staring at each
other, before disappearing back into the castle himself.
* * * * *
The two gargoyles stared quietly at each other for several long moments
before either of them spoke.
"My daughter certainly seems to have taken a liking to you,"
Demona said, realizing as she spoke that the statement had come out sounding
somewhat more bitter than she had intended it too.
"I'm not trying to win her affection away from you," replied
the other Demona quickly.
"I didn't mean it that way."
"Yes, you did. And I'd feel the same if our situations were reversed."
"Oh please," said Demona, shaking her head disgustedly, "you
can stop with this ridiculous 'I know exactly how you feel' garbage right
now. You are not me. You are nothing like me."
"Until last year I was you!" her double replied forcefully.
Her voice became tinged with sorrow as she continued. "So full of
hate and rage... angry, alone, and unloved. Even if I am no longer exactly
like you, I know you better than anyone."
Demona caped her wings and turned her back to her double as the gargoyle's
sadly spoken words sank deep into her soul, each one triggering old memories
and old pains. She closed her eyes for a moment. She didn't want to listen
to this anymore, and the fact that it was being said to her in her own
voice made her determination to get away from it even stronger. Opening
her eyes again, she saw the courtyard wall was only a few feet away. Quickly,
she stepped over to it, sank her claws into the stone with a "crunch,"
and began to climb.
The other Demona was startled by her counterpart's sudden actions. "Where
are you going?" she asked.
"Away from here," stated the gargoyle who was already halfway
up the wall. She paused in her climbing to turn and gaze back wickedly
at the gargoyle staring confusedly up at her and spat back, "Away
The first Demona reached the parapets first, but the second raced up
the steps and met her at the top just as she uncaped her wings in preparation
for flight. "You can't run away from yourself forever, Demona,"
she called out to her double, slightly out of breath from the running.
"You can keep trying, but in the end the pain will still be there
and the only thing you'll have left behind are the people you care about
- the people who care about you."
Demona threw open her wings and growled, spinning on her heel and glaring
at her double. Part of her wanted to attack, but another part of her wanted
to listen. "Angela still loves you," her double continued sadly.
"Why do you keep letting your hatreds push her away?"
The question hit Demona hard, and there was a moment of uneasy silence
before she spoke. "I... never wanted to hurt her," Demona said.
Her voice calmed some as she continued, "I love my daughter."
* * * * *
"I love my daughter."
Angela heard her mother's declaration clearly as she climbed the steps.
They were words she had wanted to hear for the longest time, and the forcefulness
and conviction with which they were said momentarily stunned her. She
stopped in her tracks and waited, afraid to disturb the two gargoyles
* * * * *
"Then give up your vengeful crusade," said the other Demona.
"It's already given both of you enough pain and enough suffering.
Isn't what happened to Angela last month proof enough? She nearly died
"Because of the humans!" Demona exploded, not liking the direction
the conversation was suddenly taking. "It was the humans' fault!
The Hunters attacked her!"
"Because they thought she was you!" her double screamed back
in frustration. The frustration turned into a mixture of anger and sadness
as she continued, but suddenly she wasn't addressing her words to her
double any more. "They attacked her because they thought she was
me! She nearly died for a feud I started a millennium ago!"
Demona was stunned. She had never thought about the possibility that
the Hunters had mistaken Angela for her. But she was even less prepared
for what she heard next, after her double had managed to compose herself
"You say that you hate all humans," she began, "but you
don't know what I know." She paused to make sure she had her counterpart's
full attention, and suddenly the mood became very ominous. Her voice was
calm and steady as she continued. "A human saved Angela's life that
night, and that human was Elisa Maza."
Demona's eyes went wide and her jaw dropped; she was so completely aghast
at this revelation that she couldn't even speak. An unsettling numbness,
not unlike that in her dream, washed over her, and she could only stare
dumbly at the expression on her counterpart's face. It seemed from her
expression that it had hurt her to say the words as much as it hurt Demona
to hear them. She was even more startled when Angela picked that moment
to reappear, coming up the stairs the rest of the way to join the two
gargoyles on the parapets. Although neither of the Demonas knew it, the
young female had overheard everything that had been said during the past
few minutes. For the moment, Angela thought it best to leave things at
that, so she said nothing as she approached her mother's double with the
iodine and bandages she had retrieved.
The young lavender-skinned female watched her mother out of the corner
of her eye as she cleaned and bandaged the cut on the other gargoyle's
forearm. Demona had turned away and was staring out over the city, her
emotions unreadable. Angela couldn't even begin to imagine the turmoil
that her mother's thoughts were in at that moment, though she knew no
hurricane could compare to the storm that must have been brewing inside
the blue gargoyle's head. She finished tying up the bandage in silence,
then stepped to the parapet wall, too, and stood a few feet away from
her mother, waiting, but not sure what she was waiting for.
The silence seemed to last for hours, and the voice that broke it was
unexpectedly calm. "Is it true, Angela?"
Angela continued staring out over the city, knowing that her mother was
still doing the same, and answered as simply as she could. "Yes,
mother. It is."
A few moments later, she quietly turned away and followed after the other
Demona to another part of the castle.
* * * * *
Both Demonas spent the short remainder of the night in quiet solitude.
Angela's mother did not move at all from her silent place on the parapets,
and her counterpart retreated to an equally quiet place on the opposite
side of the Castle. Angela spent her time circulating back and forth between
the two of them, checking on them, keeping other members of the clan away,
but not intruding into their privacy.
It was about an hour before dawn when everyone seemed to converge back
at the place where the evening's events had all began. Goliath had just
received word from Owen, who was notable in his absence for most of the
latter half of the evening, that he had found a possible solution to the
other Demona's problem. Curious as ever, the rest of the clan had gathered
while Angela went to fetch the Demona in question. Everyone was mildly
surprised, therefore, when she returned with both Demonas following. Naturally,
Owen was the first to step forward.
"Demona," Owen Burnett said, nodding his head in her direction.
"Demona," he said again, nodding his head in the other Demona's
direction. "I have spent an hour in discussion with an expert on
theories involving parallel dimensions. Together we have utilized experimental
Xanatos Enterprises equipment to determine the nature of this problem
and I have good news. Our universe is balanced precisely for the amount
of matter present at its creation. The spatial disturbance which brought
the second Demona here has not yet dissipated and is slowly sucking matter
in the form of air molecules into our universe."
"This is good news?" Brooklyn asked incredulously.
Owen silenced him with a glance and a raised eyebrow, then continued.
"The closest analogy to this would be a leaky faucet. Her universe
is slowly leaking into ours, thus throwing both of our systems out of
"I knew this universe was not big enough for the both of us,"
commented the first Demona, eyeing her counterpart with the same look
of contempt she had given her earlier in the evening.
"How do we get them back in balance?" the second Demona asked,
"You must return to your universe within the hour. Any further delay
would risk permanent damage."
"How do we go about that?"
Owen hoped that what he was about to say made sense to the gargoyles
listening. "The disturbance began as two congruent high-intensity
electrical storms in both our universes. Such storms are uncommon, but
they do occasionally happen. A coherent mass of matter, Demona, entered
the electrical field created by the storm, thus disrupting it and altering
its properties. It became a portal from her universe to our own. Usually
in such cases, the counterparts' actions mirror each other to such a degree
that they both create an anomaly and after they both make the transit,
they cancel each other out. There was such a case in 1970 involving a
small aircraft flying from the Bahamas to Palm Beach. The pilot claimed
to have completed a flight that should have taken seventy-five minutes
in just under forty-five after having passed through an unusual cloud
formation. Of course, this was never confirmed, and since data collected
from ground-based installations disagreed with the pilot's interpretation
of events, he and his passenger were assumed to have simply had some sort
of mass delusion. Demona must return to where she entered this universe
and enter the disturbance. It will return her to her own universe, taking
some matter, which should rebalance our systems, and the reverse thrust
should dissipate the disturbance and close the portal."
"Take us to this spot," Goliath said to Demona.
"She must go alone. Her return will seal the spatial disturbance.
Any other presence might be thrown into her universe with her with no
hope of return when the disturbance is sealed. I have no doubt that my
counterpart is just as intelligent and resourceful as myself, but it seems
unlikely that he will be able to locate your universe of origin."
The other Demona looked at her counterpart. "I hope you realize
what I realized. Trying to destroy the humans only gets the ones you love
killed. Better to try and protect the gargoyles who are left."
Demona, the one who belonged to this universe, hrumphed and said, "I
always believed the only one I could truly count on in life was myself.
Now I cannot even trust myself." She turned and left without another
word of explanation.
Angela moved to go after her, but the other Demona stopped her, grasping
her gently by the arm before she even made it to the steps. "Let
her go, Angela," she said softly.
Angela stopped, watching as her mother reached the parapets, spread her
wings, and glided off into the night.
"She'll learn, Angela," the double said, "but in her own
"I just wish I could help her," Angela whispered sorrowfully,
hanging her head as she turned back to Demona.
"You can," Demona replied. She took Angela's hand reassuringly,
waiting until the girl's questioning eyes met her own before continuing.
"Just be her daughter, Angela. She needs that more than anything.
Spend time with her and give her some pleasant memories. Be there for
her. Let her know she's not alone. And whatever happens, don't begrudge
her for who she is, because before all that, she is your mother."
"Do you really think that will help?"
"It helped me." She smiled. A moment later, Angela smiled,
too, and as the clan looked on silently, the two gargoyles embraced.
Goliath followed a few steps behind as his daughter escorted the double
up to the parapets, with the rest of the clan trailing along behind him.
Owen Burnett was the last to ascend the steps, arriving at the top just
as Demona bid a final good-bye to Angela and took off without delay. As
they watched her glide off into the pre-dawn darkness, there was a moment
of silence. "It would seem that everyone has to leave the darkness
sometime," Goliath said.
As Angela nodded in agreement, Owen smiled slightly. "Don't worry,
I have a feeling that she will be home before she knows it."
Angela sighed and shook her head slightly. "And where is my mother's
home?" They all knew she wasn't talking about where Demona lived.
Home is where the heart is, and Demona's heart was a total mystery.
Owen began to speak. "There is a saying that some cultures have.
The gods have two jars. From one they take good, from the other evil,
and so they make beings. And the never-ending conflict between the Two
is what makes us truly alive."
A brief period of silence followed as Goliath and Angela contemplated
"If you'll excuse me, I believe dawn is approaching," Owen
said. He turned away and headed back in to the castle as Goliath placed
his arm around his daughter. The two lavender gargoyles stared wistfully
over the city in the direction Demona had glided off in a moment longer,
watching as the orange hues of the coming sunrise began to blot out the
stars, before Goliath finally spoke.
"Come," he said, addressing the entire clan, "daybreak
will be here soon."
The crunching sounds of seven sets of claws filled the air as seven gargoyles
slowly scaled the tower walls and made their way to their perches. Goliath
was the last to take his place high atop the tower, and he turned and
looked down at the other members of the clan on the parapets below him.
His gaze settled at last on his daughter, and he smiled at seeing her
with her spirits so much higher than they had been just a few short hours
ago. A few seconds later, sunrise found him and froze him in a contemplative
pose much like the one he had been in the first time he awoke in the twentieth
century, except for the smile still on his face.
* * * * *
Owen's eyes narrowed as he entered the Great Hall and saw the three women
who waited for him there. As always, The Sisters were clad identically
to each other, but what annoyed Owen more than their mere presence was
the fact that the style of clothing they had chosen this time was an exact,
albeit feminine, duplication of his own. Their stiff, tailored suits were
impeccable, identical to Owen's in both color and texture of the fabric.
Perfectly pleated double-breasted jackets covered crisp white high-collared
blouses, and long matching skirts came to just below the knee. Their wire-rimmed
glasses matched his own down to the last detail, and in stark contrast
to their usual style, the Three Sisters wore their hair pulled back into
tight yet still identical buns. They looked like triplet substitute schoolteachers
from hell, and if Puck could have been there, he would have gladly told
But Puck couldn't be there. Alexander was miles away, safe with his parents
and grandfather in Maine, and The Sisters knew it. Their wry smiles said
as much, daring the Puck to show himself. Owen knew it, too, but he had
no intention of giving the Sisters the satisfaction of seeing him attempt
to defy Oberon's geas just to deliver a snappy critique of their wardrobe.
Still, he couldn't help betraying a little of the Puck in his voice when
he finally spoke to them.
"Are you three still here?" he inquired. The Puckish
sarcasm shone clearly through. Owen saw the Sisters' smiles broaden slightly
in anticipation of more and he quickly caught himself. It was purely Owen
Burnett who added dryly, "I had assumed that you would wish to return
to Avalon before Lord Oberon notices your absence."
The Sisters' smiles faded at what Owen's statement implied. No longer
amused, they replied together.
"We no longer answer to Oberon."
"It is his Queen who commands us now."
"It is she who gives us leave to travel to this realm."
"I see," said Owen flatly. "Shall I continue to assume,
then, that your presence here and the events of the past few hours are
not merely coincidental?"
"We will reveal not more of our purpose here tonight, dear brother,"
stated the raven-haired Selene.
"But we would not give you false hope on this strange and mournful
day," added the silver-haired Luna.
"Amends for the past will be made in time," concluded the blonde-haired
Phoebe, "New chapters shall be added to the stories we have written."
Owen didn't have a chance to say more. As Phoebe finished speaking, the
Three simply vanished in a flash of shimmering green light. Owen cocked
an eyebrow speculatively as he stood and stared at the place in the room
where the Weird Sisters had been only moments before - the same place
where they had first greeted him hours earlier. Why they had even chosen
to appear to him at all was still a question that remained unanswered.
Did they only wish to tempt him, hoping to get their "dear brother"
into even more trouble with "big daddy Oberon?" (If there was
such a thing a thing as more trouble then he was currently in.) Or was
it something more? He wondered what mission could be so great that Queen
Titania would defy Oberon's edict by sending the Sisters once again into
the mortal world.
He said his next thought out loud, knowing from experience that they
were still watching him. "Next time, I am not covering for you unless
you give me a satisfactory explanation." It hadn't been easy to construct
a plausible bit of science fiction to convince the gargoyles that the
other Demona's arrival was purely accidental. After he had spoken with
the Sisters, he had spent an hour in discussion with a scientist to come
up with enough technobabble, and another hour after that researching independently
to find a suitable example of the phenomenon in question.
After another silent moment, Owen shook his head at the empty space and
went off in pursuit of his duties.
* * * * *
Angela stood silently on the parapets, scanning the horizon with worried
eyes as the first hints of the coming sunrise began to appear in the eastern
sky. She turned at hearing the swooping of wings, but disappointment covered
her face as she watched only five gargoyles circle down and land around
her. She looked to her father as he deposited Elisa carefully back onto
her own two feet, but she could already tell by his grim expression that
he had no news to give her that would brighten her mood.
"There's still no sign of her?" the young female asked sadly.
"We searched all night," Goliath said. "I am sorry."
"We looked everywhere, Angela," Broadway said as he cloaked
his wings and took her into a comforting embrace.
"Aye, lass, and we've been over every inch of this concrete island,"
added Hudson as he set Bronx down. The gargoyle beast walked over to Angela
and whimpered as he rubbed against her side, trying to do his best to
comfort her, too. Angela managed a slight smile at the gesture and rewarded
him with small pat on the head.
"I don't understand it," Lexington said, frustrated, as he
took off the strange headset he was wearing and tossed it to the ground.
"Finding her should have been a piece of cake, but I couldn't pick
up a thing with this stuff Owen gave us. It's like she just vanished into
thin air." He looked up at Angela a second too late to realize from
the pained expression on her face that he probably shouldn't have said
that final thought aloud.
"Yeah? Well maybe she just doesn't want to be found,"
Brooklyn said coolly as he massaged a sore spot on his wing-arm. Everyone
turned to glare at him, except for Angela, who buried her face in Broadway's
"What's that supposed to mean?" demanded the big blue gargoyle.
"What do you think it means, mister..."
"Stop it!" yelled Elisa, stepping between them. "Angela,
I'm sorry," she continued softly, taking the girl's hand. "I'm
sure we'll find her," she said as Angela turned to look at her. "I'll
keep looking during the day. She's bound to turn up soon."
"I just don't know why she'd... after what I said to her... she
tries so hard... I never meant to..." Angela was on the verge of
"I know, Angela."
Everyone immediately turned and looked up at hearing the familiar female
voice. Angela began crying, but her tears were ones of joy as Demona landed
a few feet away. She drew her daughter into a happy embrace, and the two
of them held each other in silence for several long moments as the clan
exchanged glances of relief mixed with confusion.
"Mother, I'm so sorry... all those things I said to you..."
Angela said as she and her mother backed apart slightly, just far enough
to make eye contact.
"It's all right, my daughter," Demona said softly. "You
were angry. You had every right to be. I know I shouldn't have just taken
off like I did... I just need some time to think."
"Where did you go? You've been gone all night... I've been so worried
- we all have. Father and the others even went out looking for you."
"It's a long, long story," Demona sighed. "I promise I
will tell you all about it tonight."
A moment later, the first rays of the sun cleared the horizon. Elisa
stepped back as Angela, Goliath, and the others turned to stone, cringing
slightly as Demona gave a sharp scream of pain and began to transform.
Her wings and tail shrank away until they seemed to be absorbed into her
body. Her feet and hands sprouted extra digits as gargoyle claws and talons
turned to human fingers and toes. Her brilliant blue coloration faded
away, and only her wild red tresses remained unchanged. She collapsed
to her knees as the transformation ended, but this time, she wasn't surprised
at all when she looked up to see Elisa silently offering her hand.
Demona accepted the hand, and Elisa pulled her to her feet. "That
really looks like it hurts," Elisa commented idly.
"Believe me, it does," Demona confirmed. Then she took a moment
to look at the statue of Angela on the battlements. "Was I really
that harsh last night?"
"Well," Elisa admitted, "you did call Broadway a 'walking
garbage disposal.' That didn't exactly go over too well with Angela."
Demona sighed. "I did go a little too far, I guess,"
she said. "It's just that I want to make sure that my Angela is happy."
She shook her head ruefully, "I guess I'm just a little over-protective
Demona paused for a moment. "Elisa," she said suddenly, "I
want to... thank you."
Elisa was startled a little. "What?"
"I... want to thank you for saving my daughter those weeks ago,"
Demona said softly. She bowed her head. "She's the most important
thing in the world to me... I'm not sure what I would have done had she
"Probably wiped out humanity," Elisa said sarcastically.
Demona only nodded, which caused Elisa to regret her words. "Hey,
I'm... I'm sorry."
"Don't be, Detective," Demona said, regaining control of herself,
"I know what I was like back then, what I was capable of. But I'm
glad that that's over now; that the person I was is gone now."
"Speaking of 'gone'," Elisa asked, one eyebrow arched as she
tucked her hands into the pockets of her red jacket, "where were
you last night, anyway? Angela wasn't kidding - we spent all night trying
to find you."
Demona turned around and smiled, an ironic expression on her face. "Just
talking to myself," she said. She moved to the edge of the balcony
and stared out on to the rising sun before adding, "I would have
never thought that an immortal could regret wasted time."
A few moments later, she turned and withdrew into the castle, leaving
Elisa staring after her thoughtfully.