The Sorcerer's Apprentice
Story Concept by Kathy Pogge.
Written by Todd Jensen, Seth "IRC Goliath" Jackson, and Terrence
Previously on Gargoyles...
Puck: "You hurt him with that one! Uhh, do it again."
Titania: "How did you do that?"
Fox: "I don't know-I don't know! I just couldn't let him take my
~ The Gathering, Part 2
* * *
Oberon: "We hereby strip you of all your powers,
save when you are training or protecting the boy!
Such is your punishment! So speaks Oberon!"
~ The Gathering, Part 2
* * *
Owen: "Random magic at his age? How precocious! Still,
it explains why he fell asleep so quickly.
A major act of magic like that
drains a body's energy."
* * *
Lexington: "Well, Broadway, I guess our trio's down
to two, huh?"
(Sees Broadway helping Angela to her perch.) "And then there was
~ Out of Joint, Part 2
Lone footsteps echoed through the halls of Castle Wyvern. A troubled
Fox Xanatos veered around the corner and continued along the next set
of hallways. The events of the past few weeks had been troubling her greatly
and although, for the most part, she had managed to hide it well, but
the thoughts kept haunting her like a ghost... "A ghost," she
said under her breath, taking a moment to gather in her surroundings.
Even after living in the castle high atop the Eyrie Building all this
time, sometimes, as the sun began to set, her mind would take in the dark,
medieval surroundings and play tricks on her. "I wouldn't be surprised
if this place was haunted," she said finally, shaking her head.
Continuing her trek down the long, stone halls she once again felt insecure.
Again her mind began to wander over recent events; Specifically the capture
of Detective Matt Bluestone by the Quarrymen and the unexpected humanitarian
field trip, given to the trio and Angela by her baby son. "Well,
speak of my little angel," Fox thought as she came upon the open
door of the nursery. Alexander was just waking from his afternoon nap
and giggled happily at the sight of his mother.
"Ma! Ma!" He reached up towards her, grabbing at the air, signaling
that he wished to be picked up.
"Well, come over here!" Fox beckoned. Alexander cooed and then
clenched his fists and scrunched up his face. A light blue mist whirled
around him lifting him out of the crib and into Fox's waiting arms. "Your
lessons with Puck are going well," she said tickling his stomach,
"he's turned out to be quite the teac..." Fox stopped herself
in mid-sentence. Suddenly the solution to her problems was made clear.
"That's it!" she exclaimed, holding Alexander up so they met
eye level. Then Fox became serious again as she brought him down to rest
against her shoulder, sitting in her arms... "Now if we could just
convince your father." Alex had his index finger in his mouth and
looked up at his mother with questioning eyes. Fox quickly looked down
and as if to answer his question, she smirked and said, "You're right,
that's never stopped me before." Alex merely replied by squealing
while clapping his hands as they left the nursery.
* * * * *
The sun sank behind the Manhattan skyline, casting shadows the cold shadow
of night over the eleven gargoyles encircling the highest tower of Castle
Wyvern. Cracks began to form upon the statues, causing a chain reaction
until the entire outer shell was nothing but hundreds of brittle chips
of stone. Greeting the night, the eleven gargoyles shed their stone skin
and let out a thunderous roar as they awoke. Lexington stretched his wings
and quickly leapt off his perch to join the rest of the clan.
"All right, lad but take care of yourself," Hudson said addressing
Goliath. Lexington came up to just in time to catch Goliath leaping off
the edge of the castle wall and catching an air draft, gliding towards
the city below.
"Where's he going all alone?" Lexington asked.
"He's headed over to Elisa's," the old gargoyle replied.
"He's still worried about her after what happened to Matt,"
Broadway said standing behind Lex. "If you ask me, he's just oversensitive."
"I think it's sweet," Angela said quickly.
"So do I," Broadway quickly recovered. "But it happened
over a week ago." Lexington nodded in agreement and took this chance
to change the subject.
"Hey, I found this really cool webpage for the PIT crew last night!
I was wondering if any of you wanted to check it out with me"
"Ach!" Hudson, replied. "Thank you for the offer, lad,
but you know how lost I get trying to understand that blasted machine."
Lexington smirked as Hudson, Bronx, and Nudnik headed into the castle
and turned to Brooklyn.
"Ummm, not tonight Lex," Brooklyn said turning to Sata and
embracing her. "Sata and I were going to go out for a night on the
"Besides, Lexington-san," Sata said. "Somebody needs to
patrol the city tonight. Even though there hasn't been much activity recently,
it is, as you say, 'better safe than sorry.'" Lexington sighed a
bit but fully understood.
"Have a good time you two," Angela said waving. "We'll
look after the twins for you." Lexington frowned as Brooklyn and
Sata took off into the night hand in hand.
"So I guess you're busy, too?" Lex said turning to Broadway.
The twins came running up tugging on Broadway and Angela's arms.
"Come on, Uncle Broadway," Ariana said excitedly.
"Hudson is going to tell us another story of the Castle in the old
days," Graeme continued for her, while hopping up and down and still
"You coming Lex?" Broadway asked.
"Nah, you guys go ahead." Lexington smiled as the remaining
four gargoyles left. Now all alone, Lexington sighed, dropped his arms
by his side, hung his head, and slowly headed off by himself towards the
* * * * *
In the dining room of Castle Wyvern, David Xanatos and Fox were sitting
down for dinner. Fox, anxious about what she needed to tell her husband,
hadn't touched her food and merely stared down at her plate.
"What's wrong, my dear?" Xanatos had seen this troubled look
on his wife over the past few weeks and took the opportunity to confront
her about it now. "You haven't eaten anything."
Fox took a moment to look up at Xanatos, collected her thoughts, and
finally said "David, I want to hone my magical capabilities."
"Hmmm," was Xanatos' only reply.
"I was thinking about what happened to the Gargoyles the other night,
you know, their day out," Xanatos nodded recalling that only a few
weeks ago Alex had accidentally turned the trio and Angela into humans,
"and it frightened me, I guess. I mean, what if Alex doesn't like
the food we're feeding him and he does something like that again, or worse?"
"But you realize that..."
"And on top of that, David," Fox interrupted him, "I had
also been thinking about what happened to Detective Bluestone last week.
And although I trust all the staff here, what if Castaway writes one of
them a very big check and they become Quarrymen, or give out information
that the gargoyles are here. And if he could kidnap one of the NYPD...
I will *not* let them touch our son."
"But Puck can..."
"Protect him," she interrupted once again. "But the simple
fact is, he is mortal as Owen." Xanatos thought about what she had
said for a moment.
"You're right my dear, as usual. But how? Who would teach you?"
"I had been thinking about that too. Don't you think-"
"It would be plausible that you could sit in on one of Alexander's
lessons and have Puck teach you indirectly?" Fox nodded as Xanatos
completed the sentence.
"That's what I need to talk to Owen about and I'm glad you approve,"
Fox left her seat and kissed him. Xanatos was suddenly no longer hungry
as Fox headed off in the direction of the nursery. He sat back in his
chair, thought for a moment, and then picked up the phone.
"Fox is on her way over. Let's push back tonight's meeting even
later," he paused, "I want to monitor Fox's progress."
Without another word Xanatos hung up the phone.
* * * * *
Fox walked into the nursery and stood in the doorway watching Owen change
Alexander. "Owen," she said. Owen stopped and looked up at her.
"If you don't mind, I'd like to do this for a change. David and I
are so busy these days we rarely get the simple joy of changing our baby's
"As you wish, ma'am," Owen turned and started to clean up the
nursery as Fox went over to the changing table and continued where Owen
"This isn't the only reason I stopped by." Owen listened but
stayed attentive to his duty. Fox finished changing Alex and continued,
"I was hopping you could teach me to harness my dormant abilities."
Immediately after saying that, Fox saw a bright light fill the room and
heard something that sounded like a whirlwind. Fox spun around quickly
only to come face to fae with Puck.
"Finally," Puck said with a touch of sarcasm as he floated
to the other side of the room. "I thought you'd never ask."
"So you're willing to do it?"
"Well, I'm sure Queen Titania would be all for it but as for Oberon,"
Puck continued with a slight tone of anger in his voice. "Let's just
hope The Gathering is keeping him too busy to notice, I'll be teaching
you via review sessions with Alexander, but if he realizes what's going
on here... I'm up to the challenge though." Puck floated back over
to Fox and began to examine her. Fox got a slight chill as she felt Puck
was look through her. "A raw talent as dormant as yours will be interesting
to mold, not to mention fun!" Puck grinned, "So let's begin,
shall we?" Puck hovered over to the other side of the nursery and
stood on the ceiling. Waving a hand, Alex floated up next to him, and
Puck picked out a bedtime story to read to him. Alex immediately threw
up his chubby little fingers. The book fell to the floor and was followed
by the one he wanted read to him. "Little tike's getting better by
the minute. Can't wait to see what happens when he enters the 'Terrible
"That's what worries me. What if he craves some attention and turns
the entire castle into a bedtime time story?"
"How ironic that you say that." Fox looked up at Puck who turned
around the cover of the book Alex had chosen. "The Fox and the Hound,"
he continued, chuckling, "I just hope he would cast Hudson as Amos
"I wonder who would play Copper," Fox said under her breath.
"I said, when do we start?"
Puck smirked. "Right now." He waved his hand and the entire
room was filled with unlit candles. Fox, not sure what to do, took a moment
to look around the room before turning again to Puck with a confused look
on her face. "Use your imagination, Fox!" Puck said, sarcasm
rolling off every word. "Light the candles!"
"But..." She looked back up but Puck was no longer listening.
He, instead, began reviewing past lessons with Alex through his bedtime
story. Fox sighed and looked at one of the candles immediately in front
of her. She held her hands in front of her body, trying to mimic her blast
to Oberon, and concentrated on the candle... Nothing. She looked at Puck
for some sort of sign. Puck kept reading to Alex, who was now making the
visuals from the book float off the page by waving his hand. Fox turned
back to the candle, focused on it, and waved her hands similar to the
way she had just seen Alex... Again, nothing. "You'll have to do
better than that," Puck smirked, not even looking up from Alex's
bed time story. Fox concentrated on the wick this time with her mind...
her eyes... her finger tips...
"Argh! I-I can't do this," she cried in frustration.
"Yes you can," Puck finally took this moment of despair to
continue the lesson. "But you're still thinking like a mortal. Remember
when you blasted Lord Oberon, you didn't have to focus, you didn't have
to channel any energy, you didn't even have to think! As you said, you
couldn't let him take the kid here. But then when you tried to do it again
you began to think about what you were doing, like you are now, and produced
the same results: Na-da, zero, zip!"
"So what do I have to do?"
"Your powers are still too raw and faded. You can't just focus on
the candle and expect it to light, you have to want it. In fact, this
time, put your hands by your side, they'll just confuse you." Fox
let her hands rest by her side this time and instead of focusing on the
candle, she wanted light. Light for the dim room and a source of warmth
from somewhere near. Suddenly one of the candles to her left lit up. "Very
good... for a newborn of Oberon," Puck teased. Fox, while happy that
she had lit the candle, was still frustrated.
"But I wanted *that* candle to light up," she sighed pointing
to the one in front of her.
* * * * *
The soft glow of a computer monitor radiated off of Lexington's face
as he sat, bored and agitated, using his index finger to slowly pound
in each letter of the URL to the PIT page he had found the other night.
"At least there's somebody out there who appreciates me," Lexington
hinted to no one as the page's graphics loaded. As he scrolled over the
pages contents he thought to himself that it was unfortunate that Broadway
and Brooklyn failed to recover the disk with the list of PIT's fund-raiser
and meeting locations, "Maybe I could have been a guest speaker."
He noticed they didn't mention any of the special events on the net, assuming
this was in fear that the Quarrymen would crash them. He scrolled down
the list reading off some of the interesting titles. He followed one of
the links a bulletin- board-style posting room.
One of the comments read: "So when id Letterman going to get a gargoyle
on his show?"
"I'm sure Broadway would love to," Lexington mumbled, sarcastically.
"If he weren't so full of himself and Angela." Lexington eyed
down the list once again until one link caught his eye. It contained information
on a PIT chat server. Lex opened his chat program and logged on.
*** Now talking in #PIT
* Edusada waves
<Edusada> Hi Lex
<Cassio> I still say it's just a stunt for ratings. It worked for
the Daily Tattler, why not WVRN?
<Edusada> So where in Manhattan are you from Lex?
<GargFan> Cassio: Then why are you here?
<Lex> I live near the Xanatos skyscraper
<Cassio> It's still a free country isn't it? I can't speak my mind?
At least I'm not one of those blasted Quarrymen. I think they're more
of a threat than the gargoyles were ever portrayed to be
* Edusada nods
*** Eliminator (Lizn8r@ppp-206-171-178-40.nyc03.att.net) has joined #PIT
* * * * *
"How much longer do I have to keep doing this?" Fox asked a
bit frustrated as she lit yet another candle. Over a quarter of the candles
in the room were lit but the first few candles were already down to their
"Until they're all lit," Puck said as Alex began to dose off.
"And why do I have to do this?"
"Apprentice magicians *always* start with the lighting candles routine.
It's one of those cosmic laws," Puck paced back and forth on the
ceiling holding his hands out matter-of-factly. "Like how it always
rains when you leave your umbrella at home or how you'll always be missing
one sock from the dryer." Fox had enough of Puck's constant jokes
and teasing, and was feeling extremely frustrated. She cried out, held
up her hands, concentrated very hard, and suddenly all the candles in
the room lit up at once. Fox held her hands in front of her and looked
at them, feeling a trifle shocked. Puck nodded to himself and danced around
happily. Suddenly he appeared behind Fox and whispered into her ear "Congratulations!
First lesson passed with flying colors." A single applause was heard
from the nursery entrance and both Puck and Fox turned to see Xanatos
leaning against the door frame continuing to clap. He walked over to Fox
and kissed her.
"Congratulations, my dear. It would appear a celebration is in order."
"Hardly," Fox stopped him. "It was still out of anger,
David." Xanatos was about to say something to reassure her but she
put two fingers on his lips and continued, "A celebration won't feel
right until I learn how to control my powers fully." Xanatos changed
"Well, we have tonight's meeting. If you'd rather cancel and stay
here and practice, I can always make up some excuse for you."
"I'd like that."
"Very well, then, sir," Puck had reverted back to Owen but
not before removing all the candles from the room. "But I have duties
to attend to and cannot continue this lesson." Fox and Xanatos nodded,
understanding, as they looked over at Alexander who was asleep in Owen's
arms. Fox kissed Xanatos once more.
"Have fun without me," she teased.
"I'll try and manage," Xanatos smiled and headed out of the
* * * * *
Lexington was now in a private chat with Liz
<Eliminator> Wow! It's good to see you again
* Lex nods
<Lex> I was kinda hoping that we'd bump into each other on a Net-Quake
<Eliminator> Looking for that re-match?
<Lex> Maybe. But I am glad we had a chance to meet again! What are
you doing in the PIT chat room?
<Eliminator> I was just about to ask you the same thing! I'm fascinated
by the Gargoyles, plain and simple.
<Lex> Yeah, have you seen one yet?
<Eliminator> No... not yet :( I'm hoping I'll get to meet one tho.
<Lex> Maybe we could get-together one night and go sky watching
<Eliminator> I'd like that... In fact, if you wanna call it a date,
why don't we also check out that Maddox Technology public display when
<Lex> The what?
<Eliminator> You haven't heard?!?
* Lex shakes his head
<Eliminator> Maddox Tech., I assume you know who they are...
<Lex> Duh! I go to their web page all the time to see their latest
and greatest technological discoveries
<Eliminator> Well, anyway, they're having a trade show of their
latest VR equipment. I just thought a video game and techno wizard such
as yourself would be up to date on these things.
<Lex> Oh yeah! I knew about the trade show, but do they have any
information about it on their web page yet?
<Eliminator> Where else do you think I heard about it?
<Lex> So why haven't I seen it? When did it go up?
<Eliminator> This afternoon
<Lex> Oh... heh, I kinda slept in today
<Eliminator> lol! Well that explains it, here's the URL sleepy head.
Lexington brought his Internet browser back up and typed in the URL.
He followed the links around, reading over some of Maddox Technologies'
amazing studies involving the combination of virtual reality with artificial
intelligence in the such areas as video games, defense, space exploration,
and law enforcement. He also looked up the current information on the
trade show's dates and times. "It would have to be in the morning,
wouldn't it?" Lex said to himself in frustration. He looked at where
the convention was being held. "I wonder if I could convince one
of the guys to sneak in tonight with me. Check out the scene early."
He let this idea roll around in his head for a while as he switched back
of to his IRC session
<Eliminator> Hey Lex? You there?
<Eliminator> Hey listen, I gotta run. It was great seeing you again.
You want to meet here tomorrow night around the same time? We schedule
our date or you could challenge me to that rematch.
<Lex> Uh, Sure!
<Eliminator> Great! See you tomorrow!
* Eliminator huggles Lex
*** Session closed
Lex was still too caught up in all the excitement to realize that he'd
just planned an unofficial date with a human, much less that Liz had hugged
him. He quickly went back to his browser and looked over the items that
would be on display at the show. "I'm going for it!" he shouted
out loud. He quickly logged off and ran out of the room in a flash.
Broadway, Angela, and the twins were crowded around Hudson who was seated
on a bench in the courtyard. "Even after I warned them, they were
still determined to go with Brother Edmund to find the sword Galatine."
They all sat and listened to Hudson spin another yarn of Castle Wyvern
in the Dark Ages. Broadway sat attentively with his arm around Angela
and a miniature tape recorder, that Talon had given him, in his other
hand. Lex ran into the courtyard hopping around with excitement.
"Hey, guys, I just found thi-" he stopped himself realizing
that nobody was listening.
"Hey, Ariana," Graeme said. "Look at me! I'm Goliath and
I've recovered the sword from the cave!" He shouted triumphantly
as he took his sister's bo staff and held it up over his head.
"HEY! You better give that back or a magical blast of light will
hit you on the shoulder," she said diving after him. Graeme ran away
from his sister and stood atop one of his benches.
"No, it won't" he said, puffing his chest out and doing his
best to sound like Goliath. "For I am the mighty Goliath and no magics
can hurt me!"
"GIVE IT BACK!" Ariana shouted, running over to him.
"Hey! Settle down, you two," Angela's word came too late as
Ariana collided with her brother, knocking both of them into a confused
heap. Everybody got up and ran over to them. Fortunately, neither of the
twins were hurt. While Broadway and Hudson began to clean up the mess,
Angela scolded them for roughhousing. Lexington walked up to Broadway
and tapped him on the shoulder.
"Hey, Broadway, I was wondering if you'd like to accom-" Lex
was interrupted by an agitated Broadway.
"Not now, Lex," he snapped. "Can't you see we're busy?"
"That's the problem," Lex sighed, realizing it was hopeless.
"You're always busy." Lexington turned back to watch them before
leaving for another part of the castle. "They'd probably find it
boring anyway," he said under his breath sadly and walked out.
* * * * *
Lex sat on the edge of the tower, swinging his feet out into the open
air while sighing. "It's not fair," he said at last. "Nobody
has time for poor little Lexington any more," he continued, in an
agitated tone of voice. "Ever since Brooklyn got back from... Wherever
he got back from, I've felt so alone. In fact, it's been this way since
Goliath came back from Avalon. All of us drooling over Angela, fighting
over her, I guess it was inevitable the three of us would grow apart,"
he sighed. "Lucky them. I just don't fit in anymore.” He stood
up and looked out over the full moon and the night sky. He turned back
to look back down into the courtyard below and then leaped off, gliding
into the night air. "They won't even know I'm gone," he said
* * * * *
Fox walked through the darkened library, pulling one book after another
off the shelves, examining it, then replacing it. So far, no success.
Every single book that she had come across had been a perfectly ordinary
one, with nothing the slightest bit magical about it.
"You'd think that in a library this size, there'd have to be at
least one book of magic here," she muttered to herself, after several
minutes of fruitless searching. "Particularly given David's ambitions.
I guess that the Grimorum Arcanorum must have been the only one he ever
got his hands on."
She was starting to consider giving up, when one small leather-bound
work in a corner of the shelf next to her caught her eye. Gingerly, she
pulled it free and blew the dust off it. Then she looked over the title,
in faded gilt letters, and read it aloud.
"'The Lore of the Great Mages'', she said. "Well, that seems
promising enough. Doesn't look as if anybody's bothered looking at it
for quite some time, though. Even the gargoyles must have passed this
one up." She shrugged. "Well, let's see what's in it. It's probably
nothing worthwhile, but it's better than nothing."
She opened the book and slowly turned over the yellowing and brittle
pages, occasionally giving a guilty wince when a corner of one of the
leaves snapped off. Most of the book's contents seemed to be little more
than anecdotes about famous wizards of the past: Roger Bacon, Michael
Scot, Johann Faust, Cornelius Agrippa, even one or two about Merlin himself.
Fox wasted as little time on these as possible, rushing past them almost
disdainfully. "Now I know how Macbeth must have felt when he found
out what was really in the Scrolls of Merlin," she muttered under
She was just about to place the tome back where she had found it when
a verse on the lower half of the right-hand side of the page before her
caught her eye. At once, she turned her attention to it.
"'A Formula for Recalling Those That Have Departed,'" she read
aloud. "Now that sounds promising." She looked it over, and
then thought back to her earlier musings about the castle's past. "I
wonder...", she said to herself. "Maybe this thing really could
call up a ghost or two. Now that would definitely be interesting. Just
imagine what that would be like, actually talking to one of the people
who lived here. I might even catch Prince Malcolm himself. Now wouldn't
that be fun?"
And with that, she began to read the words on the page aloud. They were
in an odd form of Latin, and although she knew some of that language from
school, she was not entirely certain what this word or that in the incantation
meant. But she could get the general gist of it, something about summoning
up those who had dwelt here once. As she uttered the spell, a wind began
to stir in the library. It ruffled her hair, and picked up the loose papers
upon the tables, blowing them about. An odd bluish glow formed in the
center of the room, just a few feet away from where she stood. It was
much smaller than Fox had expected, however - about the same size as a
cat, in fact. And the shape that was forming within the glow did not look
quite human to her. For that matter, it did not seem much like a gargoyle,
As Fox spoke the final word, the form solidified, resolving itself into
a small hairless gray creature. It looked a bit like a smaller version
of Lexington, with its large domed head, huge yellow eyes, prehensile
tail, and long fingers - though it had five on each hand rather than four,
and they were distinctly less claw-like. But it had no wings, and the
look on its face was one more of mischief than of curiosity. In fact,
its expression reminded her a bit of Puck, on the occasions that she had
glimpsed him in his true form, but even more unruly than he had ever been.
She stared at it in nothing short of absolute astonishment.
The whatever-it-was looked about the room, sniffing the air intently
and inspecting its surroundings. Then it turned its head to stare straight
at her. "Yeesssss!", it cried, in a high-pitched and vaguely
grating voice. "I'm bacccckkkkk! It's been long enough, but here
Fox finally managed to recover her voice. "What are you?",
she cried, staring down at it.
"Boy, you don't know much, do you, lady?", replied the creature.
"I'm a boggart, that's what I am. Haven't you ever seen a boggart
before? No, of course you haven't," it continued, before Fox could
reply. "I'm a one-of-a-kind, and I've been away for quite a while.
Probably a thousand years - give or take a decade. And it's good to be
back!" It then looked at her again, much more closely. "Fashions
must have changed quite a bit while I was gone," it said. "Princess
Katharine and her ladies-in-waiting didn't dress like that, I know. Well,
it doesn't really matter, anyway. I've got a lot of catching up to do.
Be seeing you!"
And with that, it raced out of the library on all fours. Fox watched
it go, still speechless. Only when it was out of sight did she succeed
in breaking the silence.
"Just *what* have I done?"
* * * * *
Lexington landed softly on the roof of the building where the Maddox
trade show was to be held. He slowly crept over to the edge and peered
over. Night security was posted at each ground entrance and Lexington
quickly took advantage of this by entering through a window on a vacated
side. Making sure the window didn't make a sound while closing it, he
quickly scampered up to the rafters of the warehouse and made his way
around. Avoiding the security once more via ventilation ducts, he finally
found the room where the trade show would be held, or at least where they
were storing the Maddox Tech. devices until the day of the show. Oddly,
there was no security in the room so Lex took this to his advantage, glided
down into the room, and immediately began studying the devices in front
of him. "Wow!" he shouted under his breath. He ran over to one
of the gadgets that caught his eyes and ran a claw over the metallic surface
of the device. "I would love to have on of these on my re-modified
Pack helicopter. It's a state of the art VR topographical image renderer."
He ran his fingers over various parts of it. "It's supposed to link
up to a satellite and give a 100% accurate VR display of the surrounding
area, the replacement for Night Vision. I didn't even think the military
had perfected this technology yet. The guys don't know what they're missing."
He frowned as his own words bit back at him. He quickly distracted himself
with another device unaware of the constant whirring and clicking of video
cameras over head.
Security man Gary Bates had already fallen out of his chair upon seeing
the footage in the monitor. As he picked himself up off the floor he quickly
hit the auto-dial button that read: Nicholas Maddox Office. The blinking
light labeled "Warehouse Security" prompted Maddox to quickly
hit the intercom button.
Although a bit astonished security would call at this hour, Maddox remained
calm throughout the phone conversation. Gary, on the other hand, was far
"Yes?" Maddox said quickly. "Is there a problem?"
"E-eh, er, sir," Bates said shaken. "Y-you might wanna
take a look at Camera Three." Using a remote Maddox quickly tapped
into the security system via a giant monitor on the left side of his office.
He scrolled through the channels of security cameras until...
"Fascinating," he said whispering in awe. Good thing he had
chosen the intercom for he would surly have dropped the phone. He quickly
walked up to the monitor and stood there for a few minutes watching as
this humanoid creature, with wings attaching his arms to his hips, and
talons and claws for feet and hands was playing with his devices.
"Do you want it evicted, sir?" came the voice of the guard
once again. Maddox folded his hands together and placed his index fingers
on his lips.
"No," he said calmly. "I'll handle this myself."
After walking back over to his desk and hanging up the phone, Maddox took
one last look at the screen. After a pause, the screen went off and Maddox
quickly left the office.
* * * * *
Bronx walked into the television room and sprawled out in his usual "favorite
spot", next to Hudson's recliner. He gave a contented sigh, and stretched
himself out, so that he could be more comfortable.
He had only lain like this for a couple of minutes, however, when a series
of high-pitched yips broke the silence. Bronx raised his head, to see
Nudnik looking back at him, eagerly wagging his tail. The gargoyle beast
puppy yapped some more at him, half-dancing about.
Bronx moaned, and lowered his head again, closing his eyes. He opened
them again when Nudnik began tugging at one of his ears, stretching himself
out in an almost feline manner. Bronx stared at the younger beast for
a moment, then tried to bat him away, gently, with one front paw. Nudnik,
not the least bit discouraged, simply trotted over to start pulling on
Bronx's stub of a tail. Bronx moaned again. It was going to be a long
"Oh, boy, they've still got the big dumb gargoyle dogs living here,"
said an unfamiliar voice. It was a high-pitched, almost squeaky, and extremely
annoying one. Bronx raised his head, and turned in the direction of the
second pest. Then he rose to his feet and growled at the sight of the
small gray creature that had walked into the room silently, now staring
at him with huge yellow eyes.
"Lazy thing, aren't you?", it said. "As if it's not enough
that you sleep all day, you have to sleep all night as well. When you're
not eating, that is. You certainly look as if you enjoy your dog food."
Bronx walked slowly towards the newcomer, growling some more as he advanced.
"Well, maybe you do other things besides sleeping and eating,"
it said. "Though not too many, I imagine. Typical, you've got to
admit. Very little brain-power in there."
Nudnik also approached the odd little creature, sniffing at it curiously.
Then he licked it.
"Sheesh!", muttered the creature, shaking itself dry. "Now
I've got gargoyle dog drool all over me! Don't you have anything better
to do than get slobber all over everything?"
Nudnik sniffed some more at the creature, then yipped at it. "Oh,
so you want to play, do you?", it said. "Okay, then, let's play
'Turn the Tables on the Dumb Pet'." And with that, its form blurred,
and altered. A moment later, a large gray cat stood in its place, staring
at Nudnik and swishing its tail back and forth. The first cat that Nudnik
had ever seen.
The gargoyle beast puppy yipped at the unfamiliar animal, and thrust
its snout at it. The cat responded by batting at it with one front paw.
It connected with Nudnik's nose, and the young animal immediately recoiled,
"Lesson Number One," said the creature, returning to its original
form. "Kitty cats don't always have soft, velvety paws. Well, live
and learn - although, in your case" - he took in both beasts here
- "you just live."
Bronx charged at the intruder, snarling, his eyes blazing white. With
astonishing nimbleness, it dodged, leaping over the bewildered animal's
head onto the top of the armchair. "Nah nah nah nah nah nah, can't
catch me!", it cried, and then stuck out its tongue, while simultaneously
placing its hands to the side of its head, and waving its fingers up and
Bronx leaped at it in turn. The creature jumped off the recliner moments
before the large beast collided with it, knocking it over onto its side.
"Well, that was predictable," it commented, as Bronx pulled
himself to his feet. "Once you've met one gargoyle dog, you've met
Bronx and Nudnik both galloped towards the creature, which watched their
approach without a trace of concern. "Boy, you two are really hopeless,"
it said. "You couldn't catch me if I was a flea. Be seeing you!"
It raced out the doorway and into the corridor. Bronx and Nudnik followed
it out, only to find the floor turning slippery beneath their feet. Skidding
helplessly, they collided with a small table with a vase atop it, knocking
it over. The vase landed on the floor and shattered into countless fragments.
Righting themselves, the two gargoyle beasts looked about for any sign
of their tormentor. But it was nowhere to be seen.
* * * * *
Lexington was so immersed in the VR game that he was now playing that
he did not hear the footsteps stealthily approaching behind him. He was
too busy dodging the electronic lightning bolts whistling towards his
jet fighter, while marveling at the high quality of the graphics. At this
point, Jon Castaway could have been holding a noisy Quarryman rally only
a few feet behind him, and he would never have noticed it.
"Is that the best that you can do?", he cried out to the latest
blast of lightning to miss him. "Hah! Can't beat a pro, can you?"
It was just then that a ball of fire struck the nose of his plane head
on. There was a flare of white light, simulating the explosion, and then
the words "GAME OVER", in red letters, began to flash before
his eyes. Lexington sighed, and removed the headset, carefully placing
it back on the display table.
"Fascinating," said a voice from behind him, a cultivated one
with a slight British accent. "Simply fascinating."
Lexington spun around in shock, to see a man staring at him interestedly.
A tall thin man in a neatly-tailored business suit, probably some years
older than Xanatos, but without any trace of gray in his dark hair or
mustache. A wooden cane whose top had been carved into the shape of a
hawk's head rested in his left hand. He gazed down at Lexington with a
look of wonder in his light gray eyes.
Lexington shrank back against the display table, eyeing the open window
by which he had entered, so far from where he now stood. The man smiled
slightly, and said, "You needn't worry, little one. I'm not going
to harm you. You must forgive me for slipping up on you like that. I was
merely somewhat astonished. I didn't think that there really were beings
like you in this city. "
Lexington stared up at him. "Wh-who are you?", he asked.
"My name is Nicholas Maddox," replied the man.
"Nicholas Maddox?", repeated Lexington, staring at him in awe.
"The Nicholas Maddox of Maddox Technologies?"
"The same," answered the man, with a gentle nod. "So you
have heard of me."
"You bet I have!", Lexington replied, with considerable enthusiasm.
"I've been reading all about your company ever since it moved here
to New York! I've followed all the latest announcements about your breakthroughs
in the papers, I've visited your web site on the Internet, and - well,
everything! The stuff that you've come up with makes even Xanatos Enterprise's
gadgets look primitive! It's - it's - awesome!"
"I'm glad that you enjoy it," replied Mr. Maddox, still smiling.
"I must confess, to the best of my knowledge this is the first time
that a gargoyle has shown any appreciation of my company's products. It
seems that just when you think that nothing can startle you, something
happens that proves you wrong. And this is certainly one of those occasions.
Imagine that: a gargoyle with a keen understanding of state-of-the-art
"Well, I've always been interested in gadgets," said Lexington.
"Why, when I was a hatchling, one of my older rookery sisters used
to make such things all the time, and I liked to investigate them. And-"
He stopped short, and worriedly looked at the man.
"But I don't wish to harm you," said Mr. Maddox, in a reassuring
tone of voice. "I realize that you have good reason to be cautious
around humans. One can hardly blame you, given the number of Quarrymen
loose in New York these days. But I don't wish to harm you. Good gracious,
no! Destroying you would be a tragic waste of a clearly very intelligent
being, with a fine understanding of these modern-day sciences. The same
that will bring the world triumphantly into the twenty-first century."
"I know," said Lexington. "It's just that - well, two
years ago, when we first came here, I met up with some humans whom I thought
wanted to be friends with me. Then they tricked me into bringing Go -
our leader to meet them, so that they could hunt him for the fun of it.
I don't want to go through something like that again."
"Oh, no fear of that," replied the businessman. "I can
understand your caution. Being betrayed can be extremely painful, and
I can hardly blame you for not wishing to undergo such an experience again.
But I can assure you, I intend no harm for you or any other gargoyle in
this city." He chuckled. "Truth to tell, how can I? Until I
saw you tonight, I didn't even believe the stories about gargoyles living
in New York. Oh, I knew about the news reports, but I assumed that it
was nothing more than a hoax by WVRN to improve its ratings. Or something
similar to the 'War of the Worlds' scare in 1938. Of course, ever since
I moved here, I was pestered by reporters asking me what I thought about
the presence of gargoyles in my new home. You seem to have become something
of a cause celebre in Manhattan."
"Yes," said Lexington. "And most of the humans living
here want to kill us, or stuff us in cages, as if we were animals."
Maddox shook his head. "So I've heard," he said. "And
I'm sorry if you're hurt by it. Ignorance is so common in the world these
days. Humans fear the unknown, and their way of handling it is to destroy
it rather than to understand it. In every century, it's the same."
"We had problems like that before we - uh - moved here," said
Lexington. "The humans that we lived with hated us, and never mind
that we'd saved their bacon lots of times. They threw things at us and
called us monsters."
"Dear me, I have awakened unhappy memories, haven't I?", said
Maddox. "I'm sorry if I did so; I had no idea what it must have been
like for you. Perhaps we should speak of more pleasant matters, such as
these interests of yours. I can easily gather that you have a considerable
fondness for technology. Tell me, do any of the other gargoyles in this
city share your interest in it?"
Lexington shook his head. "I'm the only one," he said. "I
tried getting the others to come here, but they weren't interested. So
I had to come here alone."
"Really? I'm sorry to hear that." Maddox looked at him thoughtfully.
"Well, this is no place to discuss such matters. The foyer is a mite
too conspicuous. Perhaps we should repair to my office. We'll find much
more privacy there."
"Hmm...", said Lexington, frowning. Then he nodded. "Okay,"
he said. "Just show me the way."
"Nothing easier," replied Maddox, with a gentle smile. "Follow
me, my friend."
* * * * *
The boggart dashed out into the open air of the courtyard, still chuckling
to itself. "Boy, those critters don't change much, do they? I'm gonna
have a lot of fun with those two mutts. I wonder what I can do to them
Suddenly, it heard something, a voice speaking, off behind one of the
hedges. It pricked up its ears, and listened, then nodded. "Well,
well, well, fancy that," it said to itself. "I didn't think
that that old geezer would still be around. I think that I'll just go
and catch up with him. Maybe he's got some of those other winged things
with him. They're always a riot."
It crawled through the hedge, and emerged into a square around a marble
fountain, where five gargoyles were gathered. Two it recognized right
away: the white-bearded one who was doing the speaking, and the distinctly
overweight one who was in the audience. The other three, however - the
pretty dark-haired female, and the two children - were new ones.
"There've definitely been some changes here while I was away,"
it said to itself. "Well, it doesn't matter. A gargoyle's a gargoyle.
They're still a lot of fun to tease. Especially that fat stupid-looking
one." It chuckled a little, and crept forward silently.
In the courtyard, Hudson was finishing another story about Castle Wyvern.
"...Just how that creature got past the gates and into the castle,
I still dinna know," Hudson said. "It can only have been sorcery.
The lass said that it was something to do with that wandering minstrel
and his lyre, but I never did get the whole story out of her. At least
it vanished before it could do too much harm, and - "
"Hey, there, old-timer!", interrupted an unfamiliar voice.
"Didn't expect to run into you tonight!"
Hudson halted his narrative, and glanced down in the direction of the
heckler, somewhat annoyed. Then his eyes widened at it in disbelief, as
did those of the other gargoyles. The strange creature on the ground in
the midst of them stared back up at them, a sly look upon its features.
"What is that thing?", asked Graeme. "I've never seen
it around the castle before."
"Well, I've never seen you around the castle before either,"
replied the creature, looking straight at the gargoyle boy, "so that
makes us even." It then stared more intently at both Graeme and Ariana.
"Say, you two do look kind of familiar," it said. "I'd
know those beaks anywhere. You must be related to that wild and crazy
guy I once saw here. The one who was always getting in mischief with his
two friends. One of whom I'd know anywhere as well," it added, turning
now towards Broadway. "Put on weight, have you?", it asked,
jumping up on the bewildered gargoyle and poking him in his ample stomach.
"And don't tell me that it's just baby fat, either. Looks as if your
watchdog's got some competition in the face-stuffing business."
"Hey!", cried Broadway indignantly. He made a swipe at the
creature, which nimbly dodged him, and landed neatly on a startled Angela's
lap. "Soooo," it said, gazing up at her, "what're you doing
"I beg your pardon?", queried Angela sharply, looking at it
in such a way as to indicate that she was definitely not amused by its
"Oh, playing hard to get, are you?", asked the creature. "Well,
never mind. I'll check up on you another time. Later, toots!" And
with that, it jumped off her lap, and trotted back over to Broadway, who
was now glowering at it even more disapprovingly than before.
"And what do you think that you're doing?", the big gargoyle
asked the creature sharply.
"Gee, did I make you jealous?", the creature asked. "Didn't
even think that she was your girl-friend. Well, you've got good taste,
though I can't say the same about her. What she sees in you is anybody's
guess." It swelled up like a balloon to a fairly good imitation of
Broadway's girth, as if to accentuate its remark.
"Okay, that's it!", cried Broadway, making a lunge at it. He
grabbed it in both hands, then let out a cry of pain. The whatever-it-was
had suddenly metamorphosed into a hedgehog. Broadway dropped the animal,
a few of its quills still stuck in his hands. The hedgehog turned back
into the odd little creature again, laughed, and scuttled off.
As Angela began to help Broadway extract the quills from his hands, Graeme
and Ariana turned to look at Hudson. "What was that thing?",
Ariana asked, after a moment's silence.
"I have a pretty good idea, lass," Hudson replied, rising to
his feet. "And if it's what I think it is, then we'll be wanting
to have a wee chat with our friend Owen Burnett."
He walked back towards the part of the castle that housed the great hall,
a grim look upon his face. Angela, Broadway, and the twins followed close
In another part of the castle. "...And that's when the creature
appeared, Owen," Fox was saying in the great hall. "It was the
strangest thing that I've ever seen. Even the gargoyles can't compare
with it. I certainly hadn't expected something like it to appear."
Owen frowned as he listened. "I very much suspect, ma'am, with all
due respect, that you have done a possibly unwise thing. I would certainly
not have advised your making use of any spell created by a mortal wizard."
"Why's that, Owen?"
"Because your own magical powers come from your mother, and are
therefore natural to the Third Race. 'Gramarye' is the technical term
for it, I believe. But the spells written in books of magic are powered
by human sorcery. And when you mingle these two forms of magic together,
the results are potentially catastrophic. That's why your husband advised
me against using any spells from the Grimorum Arcanorum to break Demona's
curse upon Manhattan last year, you may recall. It was too great a risk,
even to save the entire human population of this city from almost certain
"So when I tried using that spell from the book," said Fox,
"I got this - boggart, I think it called itself - rather than a genuine
ghost, because of the clash between the two magical systems?"
"A boggart?", asked Owen, looking suddenly very much alarmed.
"It was a boggart that you conjured up?"
"That was the word I heard it use," said Fox.
"This is not good news," said Owen. "I know about that
creature. If it's loose in the castle, then..."
The doors were suddenly flung open, as Hudson stormed into the hall,
Broadway, Angela, and the twins close behind him. The old gargoyle stomped
straight up to Owen, who now turned to face him with something closer
to his usual impassive countenance. "Is anything the matter?",
the major-domo inquired.
"I'll say that there is!", Hudson retorted, his eyes starting
to glow. "Was that pest that bothered us in the courtyard part of
one of yer magic lessons with the wee bairn again?"
"So you've already come across it?", asked Owen.
"Indeed we have," Hudson replied. "And this had better
not be yer doing, this time. We've had more than enough of your tricks,
thank ye, and they were bad enough without bringin' the boggart back!"
"You actually know about it, Hudson?", Fox broke in.
Hudson turned to face her. "That I do, lass, and much to my grief.
That boggart came to the castle back in Princess Katharine's day, and
ran amuck in it, causin' all sorts of trouble. An' it would have still
been botherin' us by the time that the Vikings came, if the Magus hadn't
"Banished it?", inquired Fox.
"Sent it away somewhere," said Hudson. "I'm nae sure just
where. The less I have to do with magic, the better for me."
Owen nodded thoughtfully, having listened to the Scottish gargoyle's
account with considerable interest on his face. "I've heard about
something like that," he said. "So that was what became of the
boggart. I'd heard rumors, but hadn't been certain as to how accurate
they were until now."
"Rumors about what?", asked Fox. "And just what is a boggart
"Yes, we've never heard of one," put in Ariana. "Just
what is it?"
"Well, you might describe it as a sort of household pet that Oberon
once had on Avalon," said the manservant. "Unfortunately, the
creature quickly got out of hand. It roamed about the palace, making so
much mischief that before long, everyone wanted to see it gone, including
"Don't like gettin' a taste of yer own medicine, do ye?", Hudson
"There are some things that even Oberon's Children have to draw
the line at," replied Owen, with a slight cough. "And this was
one of them. Oberon hadn't been this angry since the rebellion of the
"Who were the Banished Ones?", interrupted Graeme.
"Trust me, Master Graeme, you do not want to know about them,"
said the bespectacled major-domo, suddenly looking a little apprehensive.
He glanced about him uncomfortably before continuing. "Hope that
you will never meet them."
"At any rate, Oberon had the boggart expelled from Avalon, permanently.
After that, it must have wandered about freely, presumably in Scotland,
annoying everyone that it came into contact with. Until it came to Castle
Wyvern. Judging from what Hudson has just told us, I assume that the Magus
must have magically banished it to some sort of pocket dimension, to completely
imprison it. Until it was accidentally released."
"By you?", asked Hudson sharply, fixing him with a baleful
stare from his one good eye.
"By me, actually," said Fox, speaking up. "It was an accident.
I'll explain later."
The gargoyles glanced at her for a moment. Then Angela spoke.
"So now we have a trickster running loose in the castle?",
"It is a prankster, not a trickster, Miss Angela," replied
Owen, with a slightly hurt look on his face, and a tone of pained dignity
in his voice. "There *is* a difference."
Bronx and Nudnik suddenly entered the hall, both looking somewhat out
of sorts. "What's up with you guys?", asked Graeme, turning
to them. "Did you meet the boggart too?"
"Judgin' from the looks of them, I'd say that they most definitely
have," said Hudson.
* * * * *
Lexington settled himself down in the armchair facing Mr. Maddox's seat
at the desk in his office. Thanks to his small size, he was only barely
able to see over the desk when seated like a human, so he finally had
to half-crouch on the seat. Mr. Maddox sat opposite him.
"So, tell me a little about yourself," he said.
"Well, as I said," Lex answered, "I've been fascinated
by devices for a long time. When we first came to Manhattan, there was
all this new magic stuff around, the stuff that the humans called technology.
Like motorcycles. I found one the first night that my rookery brothers
and I explored the city, and just had to try it out."
"And just how did it go?", asked Maddox.
"Not too well, actually," said Lexington, looking a little
sheepish. "I accidentally drove it into a wall. Oh, I got away safely,
but I can't say the same for the bike. The thing went up in flames."
Maddox shook his head. "I'm sorry to hear that."
"And after that, I just had to try building one myself," the
little olive-green gargoyle continued. "It took a while to build,
and the thing got broken before I ever got a chance to ride it. But it
was kind of fun."
Maddox nodded. "Very intriguing," he said. "I must admit,
I am impressed. I'd never even imagined that a gargoyle would have such
a grasp on these matters. Absolutely fascinating."
"I'm not sure that the others think so," muttered Lexington
sourly. "Oh, it's one thing when they need my help in bypassing security
alarms or handling a tracking device. But it's another thing when we're
just having a quiet night out. Well, it used to be different. My rookery
brothers and I used to go out and do things together whenever we could:
movies, rock concerts, that sort of thing. But then we started to break
up. They've got mates now and spend most of their time with them. They
barely even notice me any more. I'm just the lowly 'techno-geek'."
Maddox sighed, and shook his head. "So they exclude you, do they?",
"Kind of," said Lexington. "Maybe they don't intend to,
but that's what they do all the same. I tried to talk my clan-mates into
coming here. They weren't interested." He gave an indignant snort.
"They probably wouldn't be able to appreciate it, anyway. They just
don't understand these things." He heaved another sigh, and stared
down at the surface of the desk.
"I can understand how you feel," said Maddox, looking thoughtfully
"You do?", asked Lexington, looking up at the man's concerned
Maddox nodded. "It can be very painful when your family turns its
back on you," he said. "Extremely painful. Trust me, there is
nothing worse than being alone." He placed one hand on the small
gargoyle's shoulder, as he spoke, an almost tender look in his gray eyes.
"Thanks," said Lexington. Then a thought struck him. "Do
you have a family, Mr. Maddox?"
"Not exactly," the man replied. "I'm a widower - I've
been one for some time now. I've a son living in Europe, but we've drifted
apart. I haven't seen him in years." His face bore a troubled look
on it, as he spoke.
"I - I'm sorry, Mr. Maddox," said Lexington, after a moment's
silence. "I didn't know...".
"Well, better not to dwell on such things," the businessman
continued. "Lexington, listen to me. I know that your race has little
reason to trust humans. You've met with countless misfortunes at their
hands: the betrayals, the massacres, the crusades directed against you.
The Quarrymen now abroad in Manhattan are only the latest incarnation
of their hatred. And if you choose to suspect me as well, I can hardly
blame you. But I wish to be your friend, if you'll let me. There is so
much that we can share."
"Really?" asked Lexington, a look of keen interest now shining
in his enormous eyes.
"Quite so," said Maddox. "I keep to myself most of the
time, you see. My Executive Vice-President, Mavis O'Connor, handles my
company's public relations; she does all the interacting with the media.
I live alone, and while I don't mind it most of the time, there are occasions
when it does weigh upon me. It would make a pleasant change to have somebody
to discuss things with. The only thing that Ms. O'Connor and I ever seem
to talk about nowadays is our company strategy. With you, I can talk about
something else. And you can be the first to learn about many of our latest
products, the ones that we aren't ready to unveil before the public. I
think that you'd be surprised at what we can create here at Maddox Technologies."
"Such as the latest VR breakthroughs?" Lexington asked eagerly.
Maddox chuckled. "Trust me, my friend," he said. "Virtual
Reality is the least of what this company has to offer. We've got more
than that on the drawing-boards, much more. In fact, we've almost got
what you could call a revolution on the way. It's been delayed, but the
time is rapidly approaching when we can astonish the world by what we
"I can hardly wait to see it," said Lexington, almost breathless
now as he leaned forward. "You will show it to me, won't you, Mr.
"Call me Nicholas," replied Maddox, still smiling. "And
yes, when we're ready, you'll be the first person to enjoy it. I can promise
* * * * *
"So just how do we find this boggart, anyway?", asked Broadway.
"You don't find it," Owen replied. "It's more likely to
"You've got that right," said a familiar voice from the far
end of the hall. The boggart was now floating in mid-air there, looking
casually at them. "Hey, this is obviously where all the action is!
Where else would I be?"
"Okay, we've got you now!", cried Broadway eagerly. "Come
on, let's get him!" And with that, he charged straight towards the
creature, Bronx and Nudnik close behind him.
"Wait, lad!", cried a concerned Hudson. "That's not quite
the way to go about catching' a boggart!"
Broadway and the two gargoyle beasts showed no signs of having heard
him, however. They thundered straight towards the intruder, which, having
floated down to the tiled floor by now, watched them approach unconcernedly.
They were almost upon it when it finally leaped to one side. Unable to
stop because of their momentum, Broadway, Bronx, and Nudnik collided with
the wall, landing in a confused heap. The boggart looked at them for a
moment, then blew a raspberry at them and scuttled off towards one of
Broadway picked himself up, rubbing his head with a scowl. The other
gargoyles dashed up to him. "Broadway, are you all right?",
asked Angela concernedly.
"I will be, once I get my hands on him!", replied the large
gargoyle, glaring at the creature. It had now shinnied up the tapestry
in question, and was making faces at them. Broadway glowered back at it,
his eyes glowing white. "You come down from there!", he bellowed.
"Uh uh," answered the boggart, shaking its head. "I like
it up here. Gives me a great view of everything. Why would I want to come
"All right, then, we'll just have to make you come down!",
Broadway shouted. But Bronx and Nudnik were already acting. The two of
them had dashed up to the tapestry, and were now tugging on it, its bottom
clenched tightly in their jaws. The boggart glanced down at them, almost
bored for a moment, then shrugged its shoulders. "Okay, if you two
want it that much, then you can have it!", it said. And with that,
it loosened the top of the tapestry, then leaped across the room, to land
neatly on its feet on the other side. The tapestry fell down on top of
the two animals, enveloping them completely.
Owen frowned, and shook his head. "That tapestry was a very valuable
one," he said with a sigh. "Mr. Xanatos will not be pleased
with this when he returns. Somehow, these gargoyle beasts always seem
to wreak havoc with the decor."
Bronx and Nudnik quickly freed themselves from the tapestry, though not
without ripping it badly in the process. They and Broadway now charged
after the boggart, colliding with several pieces of furniture in the hall
in the process. The creature looked back every now and then, to give some
sort of taunting laugh, then raced on, gleefully ignoring the wreckage
that its pursuers were leaving in their wake. Angela sighed, and rolled
her eyes upwards at the spectacle. "Hatchlings," she commented.
Fox turned to Owen concernedly, after looking at the destruction. "Aren't
you going to do something about this?", she cried.
"Not by turning into Puck, if that is what you mean, ma'am,"
he replied. "Remember the strictures that your stepfather placed
upon me. I can only use my powers to protect or to train young Alexander.
And since he is currently asleep, and in no danger whatsoever from the
boggart, I am unable to intervene in that fashion."
"Thanks for telling me that!", came an all-too-familiar voice
from just to the left of Owen. He looked down, frowning, to see an aardvark
looking up at him, a sly twinkle in its eye, standing just underneath
an end table with a vase atop it.
"Might I ask why you have chosen to assume that particular form?",
Owen asked the aardvark sharply.
The boggart-turned-aardvark shrugged. "It seemed appropriate, somehow.
I'm not sure why; it just was." It changed back into its original
form. "At any rate, now I know whom not to bother in this castle.
The kid! I can tease everyone else here all I want, but not him! So you
can't use him to zap me back. So what d'you think of that, Puck?"
Broadway made another charge at it, seeing it there. "Uh-oh,"
said the creature, glancing in his direction. "Gotta go! Been nice
talking with you, Puck! Or is it Owen now? Oh, well, I'll have lots of
time to figure it out! Be seeing you!"
It leaped away from the table just moments before Broadway crashed into
it. Owen hurriedly snatched the vase in mid-air before it could land on
the floor, breathing a sigh of relief afterwards. Righting himself, Broadway
made another lunge at the boggart, this time colliding with a suit of
armor, knocking it apart with a loud metallic clamor.
Owen shook his head, and looked at Fox, Hudson, and Angela, all three
of whom were looking on with equal exasperation at the antics of the boggart's
pursuers, which now included the twins as well. "I very much fear
that this is going to be a long night," he said.
* * * * *
"I really must be on my way," said Lexington concernedly, glancing
at the clock on the office wall. "Dawn's less than hour away and
the others are probably wondering where I am." Or they would if they
even knew I was gone
"Hmm...", said Maddox, taking a look at the time himself. "Yes,
you're probably right. It is amazing how quickly the hours speed by when
you find yourself in the middle of a good conversation."
He rose from his chair, and walked over to one of the office windows,
raising it. Lexington hopped down from his own chair, and sped over to
it, climbing up onto the sill.
"You can glide safely back to your home from here, I presume?",
asked Mr. Maddox.
"Yes, Nicholas," said Lexington. "The air currents seem
just about right for that. Well, good-bye, then, and thanks for everything!"
"Wait!", cried Maddox. Lexington paused and turned around.
"I just wanted to tell you," the businessman said to him, "that
you are welcome to visit my office any time that you wish. I'm usually
here after sunset, and I generally don't get visitors at night. You'd
be good company. Maybe next time, I can give you a tour of the facilities,
and let you have a preview of some of our upcoming products. I'm sure
that you'd appreciate it, wouldn't you?"
Lexington nodded eagerly. "Oh, yes, I would!", he cried. "Thank
you very much, Nicholas!"
"Let me know of your visits ahead of time, so that I can prepare
for your arrival," Maddox continued. "Then I can plan things
accordingly so that I'm not likely to have other matters to attend to.
Making certain that a board meeting isn't scheduled for that night, or
a private conference with Mavis. Do you think that you can do that?"
"I certainly do," said Lexington. "Maybe some time next
"That sounds good enough for me," said Maddox. "We can
arrange the details later on."
Lexington sprang off the sill, and caught the nearest air current. Soon
he was gliding away from the Maddox Technologies building. Briefly he
turned around, to wave farewell to his new friend one last time. And then,
he made his way back towards the Eyrie Building.
Nicholas Maddox watched him go, then closed the window, and walked back
to his desk, still smiling.
* * * * *
The boggart walked into the kitchen, looking about and licking its chops.
"Well...," it said, after observing its surroundings in delighted
silence for a couple of minutes, "they've certainly made a lot of
improvements here. There must be enough food in here to feed a small army.
I could settle in quite nicely."
It strolled over to the refrigerator and snapped its fingers. The doors
to it opened of their own accord, and much of the food inside floated
out, alighting neatly on the table in the middle of the room. The boggart
nodded approvingly, and scurried up the nearest table leg to inspect the
feast, smacking its lips in anticipation.
"All right, you!" Broadway stood in the doorway of the kitchen,
flanked by Bronx on one side, Nudnik on the other. "What do you think
"Hullo there," said the boggart. "Care to join me for
dinner? There ought to be enough food here to satisfy even you three."
"You put that stuff back where you found it, you - you freeloader!",
cried Broadway, advancing towards the table.
"Aw, come on now, share, won't you?", protested the boggart.
"Can't I at least have some of the pie?" It pointed to a chocolate
cream pie just in front of it, while staring at the indignant gargoyle
with a "puppy-dog-eyes" look on its face.
"Definitely not!", Broadway retorted. "That's for Family
Night in the Sanctuary! Not for you!"
The boggart sighed. "All right, then, have it your way," it
said. "You want it that much, you can have it." And with that,
it picked up the pie, and hurled it straight into Broadway's face.
Broadway staggered back, trying to wipe the mess off himself. The boggart
laughed aloud, then grabbed hold of a head of lettuce and a few tomatoes,
clutching them in its hands. "Here, big guy!", it called to
him. "Catch!" And it threw the vegetables at him. As it did
so, it commented, "Now this is giving a whole new meaning to 'tossed
Most of the tomatoes missed Broadway, and landed on the floor, splattering
all over it. Bronx and Nudnik began to eat their remains eagerly, while
Broadway stumbled about. Finally, having cleared the pie out of his eyes,
he lunged again at the food-laden table and the boggart atop it. "Why,
you, you, you...", he bellowed.
"Moi?", replied the boggart innocently. It jumped from the
table onto the kitchen counter, just as Broadway crashed into the same
table hard, spilling most of the rest of the food on it onto the floor.
The resulting mess was even worse than before, but the two gargoyle beasts
hardly seemed to mind. They headed over to it and started cleaning it
up with considerable gusto.
"Oh, boy, this is even more fun than last time!", cried the
boggart, laughing hysterically. "I just know that I'm going to love
it here! I don't think that I ever want to leave - not that anybody could
ever make me, mind you." And it leaped down to the floor.
"You're not going to make me look like an idiot!", growled
Broadway, heading towards it. Then he suddenly slipped on a half-squashed
orange, and landed face forward on the floor, with a resounding thud.
The boggart rocked with laughter some more. "I don't have to!",
it said. "Mother Nature already beat me to it!" And with that,
it picked up a still-intact apple, walked over to Broadway, pulled his
mouth open, and thrust the apple into it. "Love the new look!",
it cried with delight. "Does it ever suit you!" And with that,
it tore out of the kitchen.
Broadway helped himself up, spitting the apple out of his mouth and growling.
"Why, you little - ", he began. Then he stopped short, as the
silence was broken by a disapproving cough. Owen was standing in the doorway
now, looking down at the devastation that now filled the kitchen, and
at Bronx and Nudnik who were still helping themselves to the food splattered
all over the floor.
"Hey, the boggart did it, not me!", Broadway protested. "You
should tell it to clean up this mess!"
"Judging from what I've seen so far tonight," the bespectacled
man replied, "you doubtless had a hand in creating this." He
glanced over at the two gargoyle beasts. "And you are not helping
that much, either," he said to them sharply. "I've had enough
experience already wiping your slobber up off the floor."
"The boggart was here?", asked Angela, as she, Fox, the twins,
and Hudson entered the kitchen.
Owen sighed. "What do you think?", he asked, indicating the
demolished kitchen. "At the rate that things are going here, Mr.
Xanatos will be extremely fortunate to come back to a recognizable home."
"Not if we can get that little pest first!", shouted Broadway,
his eyes blazing white.
"Um, lad, I dinna think that we can lay all the blame for this destruction
at the boggart's door," Hudson said quietly. "At least, not
"What do you mean by that, anyway?", asked Broadway.
"What he means is," said Angela gently, "most of the chaos
is due to your trying to catch the creature. You probably did more damage
than it did on its own."
"But I - ", Broadway began. Then he looked about him. "Maybe
you're right, Angela," he said, a sheepish look dawning on his face.
"I guess that I was a little clumsy while chasing it."
"So how are we going to catch it?", asked Ariana. "It's
too fast for us."
Angela was silent for a moment, a thoughtful expression in her eyes.
"Owen?", she asked. "Is the boggart one of Oberon's Children?"
"In a way, yes," he replied. "It's rather complicated,
but essentially, it is a member of the Third Race."
"So that means that it's vulnerable to iron?", she asked.
"I believe so," said Owen. "I don't know for certain,
but it's a reasonable assumption to make."
"Then I have an idea," said the young female gargoyle, looking
about her before speaking in a low voice.
* * * * *
Meanwhile, Lexington had just arrived on the scene. Being sure to avoid
the cameras this time he quickly made his way back into the castle. Unaware
of the chaos proceeding throughout the rest of Wyvern's walls he made
his way back to the computer room with stealth. Letting out a sigh of
relief that he didn't have to confront anybody on his way in, he logged
back onto the net. The computer dinged as his E-mail notification came
on the screen.
Subject: So where do you want to meet?
Date: Sun, 30 Nov 1996 5:01:15 EST
Hey Lex, it's Liz!
So which night and where in Manhattan do you wanna meet to go... Gargoyle
watching? Here's my phone number, why don't you give me a call sometime
if you ca-
Lex suddenly turned away from the computer upon hearing a loud crash.
After shutting down the computer Lex got up an ran out towards where the
sound was coming from.
* * * * *
The boggart had settled itself down again in the half-devastated great
hall, looking about at the shredded tapestries and broken furniture with
an amused gleam in its eyes. "Boy, what a mess," it said to
itself. "They obviously don't know how to take proper care of this
place. Oh, well, that's what comes of having gargoyles under your roof."
It chuckled to itself.
"Hello," said Angela, walking up to it just then, alone. She
looked down at the boggart, smiling at it in a coy manner. "You don't
mind my being here, do you?"
"Not at all, babe," the boggart replied cheerfully. "Feel
free to stay as long as you like. It's just fine with me."
"I was just wondering," said Angela, sitting down beside it,
still smiling pleasantly at it. "You really do seem to be very clever.
I mean, with everyone in the castle trying to capture you, you've managed
to elude them all. I really am impressed, too. Just how do you do it?"
"Oh, it's no problem at all, really," said the boggart, a slightly
fatuous look stealing over its features. "Particularly when the folks
trying to catch you are smarter during their stone sleep than when they're
awake. Hey, anybody could run rings around that boy-friend of yours any
day of the week! No offence, mind you."
"But it's not just Broadway," Angela continued. "You've
managed to elude everyone in the castle, including Owen. And Mr. Burnett
is ever so much more clever than Broadway. Why, I don't think that there's
anything in the world that you can't escape from! Except maybe a closed
"Uh-uh," the boggart replied, shaking its head. "No way,
toots. I can get out of a closed box, no problem at all."
"Such as this one?", asked Angela, holding out a small metal
box in one hand and setting it down on the floor.
"No problem at all, sweetie!", replied the boggart eagerly,
shaking its head. "Just stand back, and watch a professional at work!"
And with that, it hopped neatly into the box. "Close the lid, and
then you'll see some action!", it called out.
"Very well, then," said Angela. She closed the lid, and latched
it neatly, then waited.
"Okay, in just three seconds, I'll be out of here," said the
boggart's muffled voice from within. "You'll see. One, two, three!"
Then came some bumping sounds, as the box jumped about on the floor a
bit. "Hey!", cried the creature at last. "What's going
on here, anyway? Why aren't I out of here yet?"
"Surprise!", cried Angela gleefully. She rose up and turned
to face one of the doors. "It worked!", she called out.
"Oh, no!", cried the boggart. "You didn't, did you? Not
the old iron box trick! I can't believe that I fell for it!" The
box leaped about for a bit longer, as the other gargoyles, Fox, and Owen
entered the room. "Women," it finally muttered sourly. "You
just can't trust them, can you?"
"Clever thinking, lass," said Hudson to Angela appreciatively.
"I doubt that he'll be botherin' us for quite a while."
"Yeah, good job, Angela," put in Broadway. "Wish I'd remembered
that iron business."
"So what do we do with it now, Aunt Angela?", asked Graeme.
"We can't just keep it here, after all."
"I know!", cried Ariana. "Let's take it over to Quarryman
Central! We can leave it on their doorstep with a note saying that it's
an early Christmas present for Mr. Castaway!"
"Yeah!", cried Graeme eagerly. "That'll be fun!"
"Or we could take it over to Demona's house...", began Broadway,
then suddenly trailed off, as he noticed the sharp glance that Angela
was giving him. "Um, sorry," he said, looking embarrassed again.
"I'd kind of forgotten about her being your mother."
"I really don't think that it would be a good idea to send this
boggart to anybody, even the Quarrymen," said Angela. "It's
much too dangerous. We can't let this thing loose anywhere in Manhattan
at all - particularly not since we're supposed to be protecting this city."
"The lass is right," agreed Hudson. "We'd best keep this
thing locked away permanently."
"But not here," said Owen. "There are too many risks of
somebody opening that box by mistake, and releasing the boggart. The best
thing to do is to do what the Magus did a thousand years ago. Banish it
"But how do we do that, anyway?", asked Angela.
"That is where you come in, ma'am," said Owen, turning to Fox.
"Only the person who recalled the boggart from the pocket dimension
that the Magus imprisoned it in can send it back there. You will have
to re-banish it."
"But how, Owen?", Fox asked him. "I can't even manage
to light up a candle properly yet. And it sounds to me as if sending that
thing back is a lot more complicated."
"Not necessarily," said Owen. "You can reverse the spell,
"Reverse it?", cried Fox. "But isn't that spell precisely
what caused all the trouble in the first place?"
"Yes," said Owen. "But this is a unique situation. All
that you will do by reading the spell backwards is to undo the effects
of the original incantation, with no other result. This is the one occasion
in which it is perfectly safe."
"Well, if you say so, Owen," said Fox, taking the box from
Angela. "Then let's see about doing it right away."
A few minutes later, the gargoyles, Fox, and Owen were standing in the
library. Bronx and Nudnik were still in the kitchen, continuing to polish
off the spilled food on the floor, but their presence was hardly required.
Fox had handed the box to Owen, and now had the spell book open in her
hands to the same page.
"Just read it backwards, ma'am," said Owen. "That should
send the boggart back to that pocket dimension very effectively."
"Do I read the sentences backwards, or the words?", asked Fox,
looking over the incantation.
"The sentences will be sufficient, I believe," Owen replied.
"Hey!", protested the boggart from inside the box. "You're
not serious about sending me back there, are you? It's no fun there! Nobody
to tease, nobody to bother! Boo-rinnngggg! Come on, let me stay, pleeassseeee!"
"Out of the question," said Owen to it sharply. He signaled
to Fox, who began to read aloud.
"Come on, have a heart, people!", the boggart whined. "I
promise, I'll only pester you once every week! Or maybe once every month!
You can live with that, can't you?" Its voice was now growing fainter.
"I'll help in the kitchen! I'll dust the furniture! I'll scare the
pigeons away from you in the daytime! Just don't send me aw-"
And then, complete silence. Owen gingerly opened the box. All that remained
inside it was a flicker of blue light, which quickly vanished altogether.
"Is it gone for good?", asked Graeme.
"Yes," said Owen. "I don't think that it should be troubling
us any more." He closed the box again, and placed it on the table.
Fox replaced the book on the shelf. "And I'm keeping a safe distance
from anything like this from now on, Owen," she said. "The last
thing that this castle needs is another night like this one."
"So you're not going to make any more use of mortal magic?",
Owen asked her.
"Absolutely," said Fox. "I'll stick with my mother's legacy
from now on, if I'm going to do any magic at all."
"Thank you, ma'am," said Owen, a slight smile on his face.
"You've just passed Lesson Number Two."
"Lesson Number - ", Fox began, staring at her husband's aide
a trifle suspiciously. "Well, never mind. What are we going to do
about the mess in the great hall and the kitchen? I certainly don't want
it around when David gets back."
"Well, I'd say that we do have one volunteer for that," said
Hudson, looking sharply at an uneasy Broadway.
"At least Bronx and Nudnik must have cleaned up the kitchen floor,"
put in Ariana with a grin.
"There is always the possibility that young Alexander might awake
briefly before Mr. Xanatos returns," said Owen. "And if he does,
I can easily fit in a lesson with the child to help with the cleaning-up."
"Well, we're nae goin' to get anything done standin' around talkin',"
said Hudson. "Let's get a start on things, shall we?" Lexington
came running in at this point.
"Thank goodness I found you guys," he said quickly "What's
with all the noise? I leave you guys alone for the night and the entire
castle is an even bigger mess than when I left you in the courtyard."
All of them spoke up at once trying to tell the entire chaotic story of
what had just transpired.
"And where were you this whole time," Angela asked raising
her voice above all the others. Lexington quickly thought up an excuse.
"I guess I got carried away on the computer. You know me, you guys
probably forgot I was even here," Lex said quickly. Just then Goliath,
Brooklyn, and Sata walked in the room.
"What happened here?" Goliath and Brooklyn said at the same
time. Everybody burst into laughter leaving the two leaders in an awkward
* * * * *
"I'm going to have to make a new chocolate cream pie tomorrow night,"
commented Broadway as he climbed up onto his perch. "The boggart
ruined the one I was saving for Family Night."
"Really?" asked Brooklyn. "How did it do that?"
"It threw it right into my face," said Broadway. "Hey!"
he added, as the red gargoyle began to grin. "I don't see anything
the least bit funny about that!"
"Nor I," said Goliath, with a slightly pained tone of voice.
The way in which he said it made the other gargoyles stare at him bewilderedly,
except for Hudson, who was doing his best not to laugh.
"Don't worry," Xanatos said to Goliath who was getting ready
for the rising sun. "Fox and I will take care of the rest of the
mess, thank you for your help." Lexington quickly jumped up on his
perch and sighed, depressed.
"I was right," he thought to himself. "They don't even
know I exist... Now I am truly all alone," Lexington quickly reflected
over the nights events recalling his E-mail from Liz and his new friend
who appreciated his love for technology. And as the sun poured out over
the Manhattan rooftops and the gargoyles turned to stone and took on horrific
poses, except for Lexington. He had a little smile on his face and suddenly
no longer felt lonely.