Story Concept by Todd Jensen and Kathy Pogge.
Written by Nicholas Marchese, Rahsaan Footman, and A Fan.
Previously on Gargoyles...
Matt (to Elisa): They're called the Illuminati, and the
way I hear it, they run everything.
Even the President works for them.
~ The Edge
* * *
Matt: Just tell me what I have to do.
Mace Malone: Bring us a gargoyle.
Mace Malone: What a majestic beast.... The Illuminati
will be pleased, Mr. Bluestone.
Matt (to Hacker): You? You've been one of them all along?
Why, I ought to knock you flat!
Hacker: See you soon, Matthew!
Matt: Yes, you will! And that's a promise!
The strongest appeal of Central Park is its serenity. In the midst of
a city that is too big, too bright, too loud, there is a place of simple
beauty, a place where there are trees and a chance to see some sky. A
place where you can move without bumping into someone or stepping into
the path of a honking car. Even at night, one can almost see the stars
and take a deep breath without choking on steam or exhaust.
It is an appeal that drew the O'Hara couple as they strolled through
Central Park this evening. The transplanted Washingtonians were not foolish.
When they left Seattle, their friends had warned them about the muggers,
thieves, and all the other traditional New York hazards. But they'd been
here for six months, taken several trips through the park this time of
night, and nothing bad had happened. Until now.
Staring at the barrel of the gun embedded in the side of his wife, Mr.
O'Hara handed over his wallet and watch to a pasty-faced teen with a shaven
head and smoky sunglasses. Mrs. O'Hara was so frightened, she dropped
her purse. The mugger grinned evilly. It was so easy to be a mugger in
New York nowadays, if you got there before one of your colleagues took
advantage of your 'customers'.
There was a rush of air behind him. "I don't like guns," the
voice behind him said as a greenish colored hand to knocked the gun into
"Not this time," the youth said, quickly turning to the gargoyle,
struggling out of his grip. "After you freaks got me busted I took
a self-defense course. Gargoyles," the mugger snorted, "you
ain't so tough."
The gargoyle's eyes flared up and he charged the punk who had just broken
out of his grip and ran to the bushes in search of his gun.
He was trying to decide if muggers were getting tougher or just dumber.
He must have seen this guy or someone who looked a lot like him half a
dozen times. Before, they just ran for their lives, but now they wanted
to put up a fight. Castaway received some of that blame. He placed a bounty
on them: a million dollars, dead or alive, preferably dead. But this guy
didn't seem interested in that.
"Die, you ugly green freak," he said, quickly moving out of
the way of the charge, letting out a noise that would have made proud
the Neanderthal ancestors that he emulated as he crawled around in the
dirt in search of his shiny tool.
Another gargoyle, this one purple and female, landed in front of him.
"That isn't very nice," she said, quickly grabbing him by the
shirt. "I think you should apologize."
He squirmed defiantly in her grip, and would have kicked her had she
not been holding him away from her, like a foul object. "Who's gonna
make me? You, toots?"
Broadway got up, finally getting himself untangled from the bush that
he had run into. "Remember this, punk," he said, jabbing his
knuckle softly into the man's chest with each sentence. "Wherever
there's a crime, we'll be there. Wherever criminals are hurting innocents,
we'll be there. Whenever..."
"Broadway?" Angela said, gently nudging him and dropping the
punk to the ground. The young criminal sank into unconsciousness.
Angela picked up the purse from where it lay in the dirt, made a slight
attempt to brush the dirt off, and attempted to hand it to the couple,
who had stood, stunned, at the periphery of the fight. Regaining control
of their motor skills, they ran off into the night in blind terror, leaving
Angela holding Mrs. O'Hara's purse.
She frowned. "If I kept track of how many humans did that..."
"I know, Angela" Broadway said consolingly. They looked at
each other a moment before the big blue gargoyle spoke again. "We'd
better leave before the police come."
* * * * *
Martin Hacker sat uneasily in his chair, watching the tall gaunt man
standing in front of the fireplace, throwing one pamphlet after another
into the flames with a look of sour disgust upon his features.
He looked away from his superior to take in the furnishings of the study:
the leather-bound books filling the shelves, the faded tapestries upon
the oak-panel walls depicting medieval battles, hunts, and feasts, the
thick carpeting on the floor, anything other than Mr. Duval.
"Absolute rot," said Duval, the disgust clearly audible in
his voice. "The worst that I've seen in years."
Hacker turned his attention at once back to the head of the Illuminati
Society. "What is, sir?" he asked.
"The things that Jon Castaway has been saying in these tracts,"
said Duval, pointing to the booklets now rapidly being consumed in the
blaze on the hearth. "Have you read these?"
"No, sir," said Hacker.
"You haven't missed much," said Duval, walking over to his
chair, and seating himself in it, facing the FBI member straight across
the oaken desk. "The absurd tales that the man has been spinning
in them! I knew that he was unbalanced when Mr. Cohn first brought him
to my attention - after what happened to him in St. Damien's Cathedral,
it was almost inevitable - but this goes beyond my worst expectations!"
He was silent for a moment, fidgeting with the ring that he always wore
on the middle finger of his left hand, then continued, his voice a trifle
"Anything that you could think of to turn the public against gargoyles,
he's put in those pamphlets. Insinuations that they're aliens, the advance
party of a belligerent extra-terrestrial civilization bent on planetary
conquest. Or that they might be demons, who turn to stone in the daytime
because sunlight always counteracts black magic. He's found ways to blame
them for everything terrible that's taken place in Manhattan in the last
two years. If the stock market were to crash tomorrow, he'd find a way
to make them appear responsible."
"That does seem likely, Mr. Duval," agreed Hacker, nodding.
"Hacker, this cannot be permitted to continue," said Duval.
"The man is endangering our targets. Remember, we need them alive,
and if Mr. Castaway destroys the gargoyles, or spurs the public into destroying
them, then we will never be able to make use of them. Dead gargoyles are
of no value to us whatsoever."
"If I might take the liberty, sir, Mr. Xanatos managed to bring
a dead gargoyle back to life," offered Hacker. "We could try
the same thing."
Mr. Duval shook his head. "Mr. Xanatos had help then, help that
he no longer has. And I would prefer not to make the same alliance that
he did. There are too many risks in dealing with her. No, we have to bring
the gargoyles into our grasp alive, and we must do so quickly, while we
still can. They've survived the fury of the Quarrymen so far, but it can't
last forever. Sooner or later, Castaway's hammer-wielding followers are
going to destroy them, if they remain in Manhattan, and they are the only
gargoyle clan that we know of. Possibly the only gargoyle clan left in
the world. It's Goliath and his followers, or nothing."
Hacker nodded. "Whatever you think is best, sir," he said.
"We'll also have to deal with Castaway himself, in time," said
Duval. "I think that he is becoming more a liability than an asset.
He almost reminds me of Xanatos's former partner, such is his vengeful
intensity. Worst of all, he may leak some information about the Society
in his speeches and pamphlets - and I don't need to remind you that we
would be in considerable trouble if that were to take place. The one thing
that we cannot afford is public exposure. But that can wait. For now,
our first priority is to find some means of securing the gargoyles, and
securing them now."
"But how will we do that, sir?" asked Hacker.
"With some help from one of our newest members," replied Duval,
with a slight smile. "One whom you know very well. And one in a position
to easily assist us. Detective Matthew Bluestone, the head of the Gargoyle
Task Force. I believe that it is high time that you had a meeting with
* * * * *
"May you live in interesting times," Matt Bluestone said, reading
off the tiny slip of paper.
"That's a Chinese curse. What's it doing on a fortune cookie?"
Renee Hernandez pointed her chopsticks at remains of the cookie.
"Who knows? Maybe they ran out of blessings? Doesn't seem like a
good business move though." Bluestone shrugged as he tossed the broken
cookie into his mouth, "Anyway back to work. What's the latest news?"
The five members of the Gargoyle Task Force shared take-out while they
conducted their weekly meeting. This week it was Chinese.
"I took the statement of the latest victim attacked by the gargoyles."
Steve Maguire reported, "Right before he called a lawyer to sue the
"Another one?" Jay Smith asked, "What's his beef?"
"He thinks the city is responsible for the park being unsafe to
mug decent people." Maguire explained. "The DA can't even shut
him up with a felony charge, because the couple's too scared to come forward."
"Yeah, that is a real surprise. Anything we can do to change that?"
Bluestone finished a soda.
"Yeah, catch the gargoyles!" Maguire replied.
An uncomfortable silence passed between all the officers. Each was aware
that since the Task Force was created months ago, they'd made no headway
on the gargoyle problem. Actually catching a gargoyle seemed even less
likely. In the meantime, they were the scapegoats for all gargoyle-related
groups, from the Quarrymen to the press corps, even City Hall, the folks
that put them together in the first place. Bluestone changed the subject.
"How are we on that warrant for Xanatos' building?" Matt asked.
"Without probable cause? Nowhere." Jay Smith sifted through
the paper wrappings, finding the relevant folder.
"Hey!" Miko Tanaka sat up in his chair, "Xanatos served
some time at Rikers. 'Receiving stolen property', I think. Harboring fugitives
is enough of a felony for parole violation. We could get a warrant on
Bluestone shook his head. "No, that was nearly two years ago. His
probation ran out long ago. Anyway, he set up that Homeless Foundation
not that long ago. With something like that under his belt, we need something
darned good to justify a search."
"Besides, what fugitives?" Renee added. "We caught the
ones responsible for the bombing. It's hard to be fugitives if someone
else is convicted of the crime."
Tanaka sank back into his chair. He let out a breath, blowing the hair
over his eyes out of the way.
"What about the Feds?" Maguire asked, "When are we going
to get some help from them?"
"You know federal agencies," Smith answered, "They move
slower than molasses going up hill in the winter time. No offense, Matt."
"None taken. No one finds the federal government more funny than
the people who work for it." Bluestone smiled. "You have your
pick. Fish & Wildlife wants to tag them, INS wants to deport them,
and CDC wants to quarantine them. Half a dozen other agencies want to
do one thing or another with the gargoyles, but none wants to risk political
suicide getting involved. Catching the gargoyles is our problem."
"And that's not bloody likely is it?" Maguire complained.
"What's your problem, Steve?" Tanaka stared at him across the
table of empty containers.
"I'm just tired of these things getting away with vigilantism."
Maguire folded his arms across his chest. "Everyone makes heroes
out of these punks, while we take our lumps and no one notices."
"If someone wants to mix it up with the bad guys, hey, they can
knock themselves out." Miko returned.
"If they want to protect the city, then they can enroll in the Academy
like the rest of us." Hernandez sided with Maguire. "We don't
tolerate vigilantes for a reason. They put retribution above the safety
of innocents. Lives are endangered by such action."
"Their lives are already endangered by the perps. Besides, you can't
deny their effectiveness," Tanaka pointed out, "Crime has gone
down since the gargoyles were first reported. And I haven't heard anyone
dying in the episodes of 'night guarding'. And I'd like to see you send
a gargoyle to the Police Academy."
"So what do you want to do? Pin a medal on them?" Maguire argued.
"Be friendly, maybe?"
"All right," Bluestone steered the argument back on track.
"Right now, we're just looking to hold them for questioning?"
"Then why pussyfoot this thing? I know some pilots on air detail
and Renee's got some friends in SWAT. If when plan this right, we can
nail those gargoyles in a night, three nights at best. What do you say?"
"Sorry Maguire, but we have to do this clean."
"What do you mean clean? There's nothing dirty about it. We're just
calling in a few favors and saving ourselves a few headaches."
"And if it goes wrong?" Matt asked pointedly. "Our butts
will be served up to the City Council extra crispy. We do this with due
process and above-board. Last thing I want is the press questioning us
on a hidden agenda or some violation of civil rights. Is that understood?"
Matt talked to everyone, but his eyes were specifically on Steve Maguire.
Steve harumphed, "Yeah, whatever." The others nodded and gave
likewise gestures of agreement. That settled, Matt continued with the
* * * * *
Bluestone walked down the steps of the building, giving a little wave
to the familiar face who sat on the side of the steps, drinking a cup
of coffee. He would have raised his hand a letter higher above his waist,
but he was dead tired. "Hi, Morgan."
"Why are you waiting around out here in the cold instead of going
home to your family?" Bluestone pulled his trenchcoat a little tighter
around him. Winter was coming.
"Just finishing up my coffee. The last time I tried that in the
car, I hit a pothole and spilled hot coffee all over my pants. What about
"On my way home to reacquaint myself with an old friend whom I've
been neglecting lately. Mr. Bed."
"What about your partner? I usually run into her on her way out.
Didn't see her tonight."
"Elisa left early. She had a date."
"She's been spending a lot of time with this new boyfriend of hers.
I would have thought that after she got Xanatos arrested, she wouldn't
want anything to do with him and his company. Yet now she's dating one
of his top security men."
Matthew wondered exactly what Elisa had told Morgan and hoped he could
pull off a conversation without arousing suspicion. "Luckily, they
both work the night shift and they arranged it so that their nights off
"I saw her come into the precinct the other day with this odd little
smile on her face. She must really like this guy."
"I think she does."
"Has she taken him home to meet Peter and Diane yet?"
"I think so. She said something about her family and his and their
friends having dinner together last week. And they had Thanksgiving together."
"I have to be honest with you, I'm worried about her. As much as
I've seen her happy about this relationship she's having, I've seen her
come in here in all sorts of conditions."
"Morgan, you know how she is."
"Yeah. But I worry about her. I've been friends with the Mazas for
a long time. I'd hate to ever have to tell Peter that something happened
Matt yawned. "Sorry, Morgan, I'll have to talk to you later. I'm
going to drop." He started down the stairs and was not more then
ten steps out of the building before something stopped him.
"Matthew," a familiar voice said from behind him, "We
need to talk."
"Can't this wait? If I don't get into my car and get home soon I'll
probably fall asleep at the wheel."
Martin Hacker opened his trenchcoat and revealed the Illuminati pin that
was pinned on his lapel.
All of the sarcastic comments that Bluestone had been formulating vanished.
"You wanted to talk?" Bluestone prompted his former partner
as Hacker gestured him into Bluestone's car.
"The Illuminati want the gargoyles and you're going to deliver them."
Hacker spoke plainly.
"And I suppose I'll get the standard fee of thirty pieces of silver,"
Matt didn't disguise the sarcasm in his voice. "I didn't betray them
before. What makes you think I'd do it now?"
"Because I'm asking you," he replied, somehow managing to look
nothing more like a man who had done more dirty work for the Society then
a man with a toothbrush who had been hired to clean an outlet mall.
"As a friend?" Bluestone shook his head. "You ruined that,
keeping me in the dark for so long. As an Illuminatus? You know I want
to expose the society, not become one of its toadies. So I'll ask again,
what makes you think I'll sell out the gargoyles?"
"And I'll asked you again. Will you deliver the gargoyles?"
Matt wanted to think it over, but his heart spoke first. "No!"
he said firmly. "I don't care if it costs me my spot in the Illuminati,
or even my life. I don't betray my friends."
"All right," Hacker shrugged it off.
"That's it?" Bluestone looked mystified, "What's the catch?"
"No catch," Hacker brought up his hands, gesturing 'no tricks'.
"I asked you for your help and you said 'no', fair enough. The Illuminati
won't force one of its members to do something they don't want to do if
the goal can be accomplished in some other way. We just go to Plan B."
"That's not where you dress in a grass skirt and dance the hula,"
"Very funny. No, we use live bait: Detective Maza."
"Kidnapping her?" Matt laughed, "Been there! Done that!
Doesn't work! Next you'll be tying her to some railroad tracks."
"It's simple logic, Matt. Where she goes, the gargoyles are sure
"Leave her out of this," Bluestone's bravado covered concern
for his partner. He didn't want Elisa to go through that hell again.
His brave front didn't phase Hacker. "We won't touch her if we don't
need to. It's your choice." Hacker opened the door of the car.
"Wait a minute!" Bluestone stopped him. With a resigned sigh,
Bluestone conceded. "What do you need?"
"Go home, get some rest, Bluestone. You're of no use if you are
* * * * *
"Time?" a commanding female voice shouted over the warehouse
"Fifteen minutes," one of the personnel on the floor shouted
up to the catwalk.
"Do it in seven," her voice brooked no complaints from the
underlings. The blonde woman continued along the catwalk, inspecting the
The 'personnel', commando teams of three each, moved about the darkened
warehouse with night vision goggles and particle guns. The teams subdued
mock-ups of the gargoyles. Their performance so far hadn't satisfied Mandy.
"Number One, report," Bruno met her at the ladder.
"Fifteen minutes," she reported with disgust in her voice,
"It'd be easier if we did a dry run with live targets."
"It'd be a whole lot easier if the gargoyles just walked in and
lied down to be captured, but that's not likely either. I want every man
available, not laid up if a practice run goes too far."
"Commander!" another member of their mercenary team joined
them, "I got it." He popped open his briefcase and held it up
for inspection. Inside the foam lining were five green canisters labeled
with some cryptic scientific description.
"Good work, Henry," Bruno took one of the canisters out of
the case, "Have any trouble acquiring them?"
"Nah. You know how lax security was when we worked at Gen-U-Tech.
If those mutates can escape, I can break in. Access couldn't be easier.
This is the gas Sevarius developed for knocking out gargoyles. One whiff
of this and they'll be helpless."
"When do we pick up the 'bait'?" Mandy asked.
"We're not." Bruno returned the canister to the case. He nodded
for Henry to put the briefcase in a secure area. "Plan's been changed.
The gargoyles are being diverted to this area. All we have to do is look
"Disappointed?" She noticed her leader's interest in this policewoman.
It wasn't love and it wasn't hate. It was grudging respect. Bruno and
several of his team had several run-ins with the cop and the gargoyles.
Every time, the mercenaries came to regret the encounter. But Detective
Maza took out most of their team the first time they crossed paths. That's
something you don't forget.
"What's so special about this cop?" Mandy asked.
"She took you out, didn't she?"
Mandy showed no emotion, but beneath her sunglasses her eyes flashed.
She could never live it down, pulled into a lake by a cop. While she relived
that little blooper in her life, Bruno kept asking questions.
"Mandy?" Bruno brought her back. "Pay attention! Have
the teams become familiar with the Hunter's gear?"
"Yes," she rushed to his side. "Steel mesh grenades, stun
disks and flash boomerangs, all the non-lethal ordinance. I still think
this is foolhardy. We've been up against these things, before. Why are
we playing with kid gloves?"
"Because the 'employer' wants them alive," Bruno explained
for the umpteenth time.
"Give me a tranq-gun and I'll drop all six in three minutes."
Mandy followed Bruno down the ladder to the table where the weapons were
"There are eleven now and you had your chance with the big one,
remember? That sedative should have laid him out in thirty seconds, but
he kept on going. We don't know what will stun them and what will kill
them. That's why we have redundancy. Speaking of which what about the
"Jordan and Daryl 'liberated' them this morning. Daryl's almost
finished with the modifications. They might make proper replacements for
Sean and Andrew yet."
"Good. If all goes to plan, in sixteen hours we'll be eleven million
dollars richer." Bruno kept his eye on the prize, the bounty. "Keep
* * * * *
Steve Maguire searched the squad room for Bluestone. Instead he found
"Who are you looking for, Maguire?"
"Bluestone. You seen him?"
"What do you have planned to recommend for the gargoyles next? Declaring
"I don't understand you pro-gargoyle cops. Law enforcement belongs
to those with a badge. That is what the crooks are supposed to respect.
I don't have to like you, Tanaka." He pointed to the badge. "That
is what I have to like. As long as you wear that, you are a member of
"Really? And what do you want to talk to daddy about?"
Maguire scowled. "What I said at the meeting yesterday. I want him
to speak against vigilante justice, whether it is gargoyle or Quarrymen.
Am I that bad, Tanaka? Just because I think that a bunch of gargoyles
shouldn't be fighting crime. Hell, we don't even know what they are. Most
of the statements call them monsters, the rest of them seem to figure
them for guardian angels."
"Just accept they are doing something good and make the government
tell us what to do with them."
Maguire shook his head. "Anybody here seen Bluestone?" he shouted.
One of the clerks pointed Maguire to one of the empty offices. Steve
looked into an office through a slightly ajar door. Matt was sitting in
a chair. He couldn't see who he was talking to. Turning around to leave,
he heard a voice say, "We don't tolerate betrayal, once you commit
yourself to something, there is no turning back. You may not have any
family Matthew, but what about your Captain and her family? Your partner
knows the risks she took on by being the gargoyle's friend. But Chavez
is totally in the dark, isn't she?"
"Let's just hope that isn't necessary. Just have your friends patrol
the waterfront around 3 am. We'll take it from there. And don't worry,
everything is non-lethal. And don't tip them off." Maguire overheard
a soothing, unfamiliar voice talk with Bluestone.
"You don't ask for much, just betray a friend's trust." Bluestone
Maguire quickly hurried away from the door. Inside, Hacker paced the
floor in front of Matt's chair. "You betrayed the gargoyles once
before. Trust me, betrayal gets easier the more you do it."
"You can't hold them you know," Matt said confidently. "Better
villains than you have set up better schemes than this. You're going to
"You still don't get it," Hacker replied, "We aren't the
bad guys, although sometimes it seems that way. We're trying to insure
the gargoyles' safety."
"By ambushing them and keeping them prisoner? Somehow I doubt they'll
feel safer around you guys."
"Think what you will of us," Hacker started to leave his office,
"But we are your friends best allies."
"Then why don't you ask them what they want, instead of trapping
them like animals?" Matt growled.
Hacker didn't answer that question. He instead left the office, leaving
Bluestone alone. Matt put his hand to his forehead. He had to figure out
how to get the gargoyles out of this.
* * * * *
"I'm sorry Detective, but I can't do that," the clerk at dispatch
"This is important," Steve pleaded his case. For twenty minutes
he had argued with dispatch to get an open channel. He needed to know
if anything went down tonight.
"No authorization, no luck," the lady rebuffed him.
"There are problem?" Jay Smith joined his blue brethren at
the Dispatch desk.
"No problem, Jay." The clerk smiled. "Just a guy who's
a bit hard of hearing."
"All I need is tonight. Isn't the Gargoyles Task Force important
enough to this department to get whatever it needs" Maguire sounded
"What's up, Steve? You look troubled?"
The clerk had just received a call, and was focusing on the caller rather
than Maguire. Steve had to tell someone, but he didn't know who to trust.
"If I can help in any way?" Jay offered.
Steve took a deep breath. "I think the gargoyles are going to make
a move tonight. And you know Bluestone. He never moves fast enough."
"How do you know they'll make a move tonight?" Jay asked.
"Call it a hunch. I wanted to get an open channel to dispatch so
if anything goes down we can get there before the gargoyles bug out."
"All you have is a hunch?" Jay looked hard at Maguire. "Well,
Steve, it's your lucky day. It just so happens I believe in hunches. Linda?"
The clerk just got off the phone. She looked up. "Remember Calvin's
retirement last month?"
"You're calling that in?" Linda fumed, but relented, "Fine.
You'll get your open channel. I'll have the frequency on your desk in
an hour. But after that we're even."
"Deal," Jay smiled.
"There you go. I hope your hunch pans out."
"Jay, can I talk to you for a second...alone?"
"Of course." The two stepped into a corner.
"I think someone is blackmailing Bluestone."
"What?" Smith looked surprised.
"I think that is why he won't let us do more then take statements
instead of trying to capture the gargoyles."
"Can you prove it?"
"Not yet. Right now it doesn't quite hold up. Keep your eyes open,
"Sure. But why are you telling me this?"
"Because you never seem to leave either way on the gargoyles issue.
You're the closest thing the task force has to neutral."
* * * * *
Bluestone sat parked across the street from a warehouse. He'd staked
out the waterfront for three hours and seen only minimal movement. From
his blind behind a dumpster, Bluestone spied about a dozen people coming
and going from one warehouse, which had a newly installed sign on the
outside, Farsight Electronics Corporation. It seemed unlikely that the
gargoyles could be attracted to any of the nearby warehouses. People rarely
steal fish guts. No one he recognized, mercenaries most likely. There
were two loading bays, one wharfside and the other for trucks on the opposite
end. Both had their rolling garage doors down.
And as much as the side door opened with all this traffic, Bluestone
couldn't get a good look inside. He wanted to know what the Illuminati
had planned. Maybe he could figure out a weakness. He didn't have time
for that. He checked his watch, sunset was in a half-hour, and he had
to make it to the Eyrie building and play his part as traitor.
Matt was so absorbed in his own dilemma, he never noticed Maguire in
the car across another street, watching him through a pair of binoculars.
Matt's car pulled away from the curb and headed in one direction. Maguire
prepared to follow him, checking his own time and cursing. His shift started
in several minutes. He would have to hurry to get there on time. Bluestone
would have to wait.
* * * * *
"Matt, lad. We haven't seen ye in a while," Hudson smiled.
Matt smiled nervously. "Well, running interference for you guys
takes a lot of my night time. Tonight is sort of an emergency. I got an
anonymous tip that a warehouse near the waterfront is going to be hit.
I did a little checking and there is a high-tech electronics warehouse
down there. From what I was told, it may be the Yakuza again, or some
other group. As head of the Task Force, I can't get people down there
and I can't convince Organized Crime to take a look at it."
"So you want us to do it?" Broadway asked.
"Yeah. You know what I always say, who better?"
* * * * *
"Quiet as a church on a Saturday night," Broadway commented.
"Still hitting the detective novels." Brooklyn smiled.
"A seedy waterfront, a bust going down, an expectation of danger?
You tell me if it isn't a scene right out of Sam Spade or Dixon Hill."
"Any signs of activity?" Goliath asked Lex as he landed on
"I've spotted some guys entering that electronics warehouse through
the side entrance door. A truck's parked down the alley, could be how
they plan to move the stuff."
Goliath processed all this. He had brought the whole clan, save Bronx
and Nudnik, on this one. They waited for his command.
"Brooklyn, you, Sata and Hudson go in from above. Lexington, take
the twins and watch that truck. If it's the getaway vehicle, make sure
they have some engine trouble. Angela, Broadway and I will go in through
the loading bay and act as diversion." The gargoyles followed their
instruction and went their separate ways.
Broadway and Goliath's claws got under the loading bay doors, forcing
the rolling metal slats upward. They joined Angela walking down the corridor
made of boxes and crates. They moved cautiously through the quiet warehouse.
That's what put them at unease, the quiet. There was no shouting, nor
shooting, no sign of the thieves.
They reached an intersection. Broadway's tail had barely followed its
owner into the T-junction when large crate fell down, blocking the way
they'd come. Two bright lights came from opposite ends of the corridor
quickly sped towards them. Two forklifts mounted with halogen floodlamps
threatened to run them over. The gargoyles were temporarily blinded, but
quickly recovered. Goliath jumped for one, while Angela and Broadway attacked
the other. They made short work of them and discovered a surprise. The
forklifts were unmanned. From under the seats of the forklifts, a green
gas spewed forth.
They immediately saw as the trap it was. Goliath gestured for them to
get out of there. They tried climbing the boxes and crates, but they fell
to the ground, empty, at the slightest touch, revealing walls of steel
Angela tried the wall that formed the top of the T, but it was coated
with something. She kept slipping down. The gas was up to their hips.
Desperately, they dug their claws into the steel walls, but gaining each
foothold was time consuming. The gas rose faster than they could climb.
Within minutes, all three gargoyles were unconscious from the gas.
* * * * *
Sata and Hudson drew their swords. Brooklyn took his laser, setting it
on a narrow beam, and shot through the doorknob. Silently, he opened the
door. Sata took point with Brooklyn close behind her. Hudson brought up
the rear. They descended the stairs into the warehouse.
"My tail's twitching," Sata whispered.
"What does that mean, lass?" Hudson whispered back.
"It means something's up." Brooklyn explained. He turned to
his mate. "I know. I feel it, too."
The stairs opened into an empty section of the warehouse. Hudson felt
uneasy at being in the open. But they had to cross the floor to find the
thieves. They were halfway across the floor when Sata's ears picked up
a humming. It grew quickly. Brooklyn tracked it to the lamps above them.
The filaments grew red then white hot, but didn't produce light. Before,
they could get out of there. Electricity crackled down from the converted
lights, arcing into Sata's katana and Hudson's sword, electrifying both.
Sata and Hudson both howled in agony as the electricity coursed through
them on its way to ground. In a couple seconds, three more gargoyles were
* * * * *
Lexington, Graeme and Ariana had just closed the hood of the truck when
they heard the screams. Lex looked up and saw the flashes coming from
the warehouse's window. Ariana and Graeme looked frightened.
"Mother!" the twins cried.
"You, two, stay here!" Lex ordered as he sprinted on all fours
for the warehouse door. He only got in a few strides before, the door
opened and he felt a mosquito bite on his back. Lex's hand came back to
slap it and he felt the tranquilizer dart. Immediately, he felt its effects,
falling headlong into the ground.
"Uncle Lex!" the twins rushed to him.
Lexington wanted to warn them, tell them to get away, but his tongue
had already swelled to fill his mouth. He couldn't get a sound past it.
Then the world started spinning. Graeme and Ariana grew ten feet tall
and the world dimmed around him.
The twins felt the prick of tranq-darts as well, but that wouldn't stop
them. They continued toward the warehouse, to reach their parents. Finally,
the sedative took full effect. Both came to a crashing halt two steps
Ropes fell down from either side of the alley. The commandos slide down
them to inspect their prizes. Mandy flipped her blonde hair.
"Less than three minutes. We'll get a bonus for this," she
said with satisfaction.
* * * * *
Commando Team B entered the arena where the three gargoyles lay. They
raised the lights a bit to look at their trophies: an old brown male,
a red male, and a green female.
"Team B reporting. We've got 'em." Henry spoke into his headset.
He nudged Brooklyn, when the gargoyle grabbed his foot, tipping him over.
The red gargoyle came to his feet enraged. Eyes glowing and his white
hair flying, Brooklyn made a frightening figure. The other two commandos
fired an electrical discharge at Brooklyn. It was absorbed by Brooklyn's
Brooklyn reached for his own particle rifle, when Henry backflipped into
him. The red gargoyle stumbled back a bit. This gave Team B the second
they needed to switch weapons. Jordan threw a grenade that exploded in
mid-flight into a red steel-mesh.
The net wrapped itself around Brooklyn. The more he struggled, the tighter
it became. Brooklyn was brought to his knees by the constricting net.
Henry stepped up to the gargoyle as he donned a gas mask and opened a
canister in front Brooklyn. The whole room was thick with green mist,
before Brooklyn finally succumbed.
"Team B reporting. Now we've got 'em." Henry repeated through
his gas mask.
* * * * *
Maguire waited in his car, listening to the myriad of broadcasts coming
in. The only way to catch the gargoyles was to be where they were. That
wasn't going to happen if they kept picking up after them, taking statements.
And it definitely wasn't going to happen with Bluestone in charge. He
listened into the voices of the dispatchers actually receiving the calls.
Robberies, homicides, disturbances ran together as so much noise to the
point at which Maguire started mumbling summaries of the dispatches that
were sent out over the police band to the appropriate precincts.
"Disturbance reported. Weapons discharged...Yadda, yadda, ya..."
He stopped when the address was heard. The same place Bluestone had scoped
out this afternoon.
He broke into the channel. "This is Maguire of the Gargoyles Task
Force." While the Task Force was a constant source of joking from
the department, the higher-ups took it very seriously. "I want a
SWAT team and several helicopters on the scene of that warehouse disturbance
* * * * *
"Teams? Report? Time?" Bruno ordered.
"Eight minutes," Henry responded.
"It'll take use five minutes to bring in the gargoyles out here."
Mandy quickly followed. "They emptied the gas tank and removed several
Bruno grunted disapprovingly. "Fine," he growled, "Henry,
get your catch into the second truck. Then help Amanda bring in the others.
Jordan, Daryl, use the exosuits to load up the big ones. Let's move, people!"
* * * * *
Bluestone watched the warehouse from the docks. He had parked his car
inside an abandoned warehouse two blocks away. Matt waited and hoped.
He looked to the rooftops to see the gargoyles make an escape. When he
heard the screams and the flashes of electricity, his heart sank. Hacker
was right. They were ready for them. Now, it was up to him. Matt approached
Matt came to a halt when he saw two of the Hunter-style exosuits deposit
Goliath and Broadway into a truck, then returned to bring out Angela.
Motion from the alley caught his eye as three more commandos dragged Lex,
Ariana and Graeme. There was still hope that Brooklyn and the rest were
fighting. That hope expired when he saw them carry Brooklyn and Sata.
Matt stood up from behind the trashcan. He didn't stand a chance against
these commandos, but he wasn't going to let them get away with his friends
without a fight. He was about to step out of the shadows when he heard
"THIS IS THE POLICE! WE HAVE THE BUILDING SURROUNDED! DROP ANY WEAPONS
YOU MIGHT HAVE AND COME OUT WITH YOUR HANDS UP! THERE IS NO ESCAPE!"
Matt cursed. "What the heck is MAGUIRE doing here?" he muttered.
He donned an antique WWI gas mask he had bought at some garage sale a
few months back. It would double as a disguise and to keep him safe from
whatever gas they had been using.
The commandos turned as one towards the noise from the dockside entrance.
"Cops!" Bruno growled, "We don't need them mucking up everything.
We'll hold them off. Mandy, get these 'sleeping beauties' out of here."
Jordan and Daryl marched slowly, but purposefully in their exosuits.
The remaining commandos ranged themselves on the catwalks and by the loading
bay doors. Bruno signaled to open fire. They'd distract the cops with
a firefight in the front while Mandy made off from the back.
Maguire wasn't in a generous mood. He signaled for SWAT to gas them out.
They tossed smoking grenades in through the windows. It didn't slow the
commandos, as they donned the gas masks they had worn while subduing the
gargoyles. They opened fire at the police, but they only carried non-lethal
ordinance. The SWAT team was stunned and surprised by the flash boomerangs,
but no one was hurt.
Mandy turned just before Bluestone rushed her. Bluestone stood over her.
"Police. I'm taking this truck into custody."
"Not if I have anything to say about it, flatfoot," Mandy swept
her foot, knocking Bluestone down. She wasn't going to let another police
officer stop her.
The battle between them lasted several minutes. Amanda and Matt were
equally matched in fighting ability. Blows were blocked and kicks were
countered. She gave Matt a kick upside his head. He staggered, barely
avoiding her karate chop. He landed a punch in her midsection. With a
kick, Matt knocked her out long enough to tie her up and take her keys.
He checked the back of the truck. The gargoyles were all present and
Bluestone jammed the keys into the ignition. The truck rumbled to life.
"HO!!!!!" Bluestone whooped as he furiously drove the truck
out. The commandos looked behind them to see Mandy lying unconscious by
the wayside. Their quarry was getting away.
Matt was just starting to feel they were in the clear when bullets rained
down from above. It was the SWAT team. He was being shot at by his own
men. "'May you live in interesting times'" Matt muttered to
himself as he swerved to avoid the gunplay.
Two boomerangs flew ahead of him, bursting into great flashes of brilliance.
The commandos were trying to stop him. It proved the detective's salvation.
The flash blinded the snipers using night vision scopes. Matt kept the
truck going straight until his eyesight returned. With the shooters off
his back, Matt tore out of there like a dragon with its tail on fire.
All the commandos, save Daryl and Jordan, were on the rear loading bay
when a concussive boom knocked them all to their feet. There was one thing
neither the police nor the commandos figured on: the particularly volatile
combination tear gas smoke and the residual green created when mixed together.
A stray bullet struck the taser lamps above. The short-circuiting lamp
set off the gas with a thunderous boom. The exosuit armor spared their
operators the brunt of the damage. Likewise, Bruno and his people were
saved by their distance from the explosion.
"Everyone get out of here! We'll meet up at the rendezvous point!"
Using the explosion as cover, the commandos disappeared.
Steve Maguire tried unsuccessfully to bring this fiasco under control.
"Rodney, call dispatch and get the fire department down here, pronto.
And tell them to be on the lookout for that truck." He cursed under
his breath. This looked bad for him.
Meanwhile, Matt pulled the truck into the warehouse alongside his car
and put his old gas mask in his trunk. Opening the back, he gently shook
Goliath, unsure of what happens when you wake up a gassed gargoyle.
A few seconds later, Goliath opened his eyes. "Bluestone?"
"Where are we?"
"An abandoned warehouse on the waterfront. Someone went to a lot
of trouble to set up a trap for you guys. You're lucky that I was able
to get in there and get you guys out before they did."
"We are lucky to have you as an ally...and a friend."
"It was nothing, really."
"No, it was. Without your assistance, who knows what might have
become of us."
"Every single police officer in the state of New York is probably
looking for this truck right now," Matt said, attempting to change
Goliath took one look at the truck, where his clan was slowly awakening.
Everyone of course, thanked Matt, despite his attempts at 'modesty'.
The press arrived on the scene, as usual, before the fire department,
the ambulances, and the additional police to replace the SWAT.
Nicole St. John climbed out of the back of the WVRN news van and attempted
to look bright and energetic at four in the morning. "This is Nicole
St. John reporting from Manhattan where a warehouse is up in flames. Earlier
this morning around three AM, an apparent robbery was phoned in. We're
here with Officer Anderson. Officer, can you tell us what happened here?"
"Well, Steve Maguire, he's from that Gargoyle Task Force, ordered
SWAT here. We didn't know exactly what the warehouse had inside, but Maguire
ordered us to throw tear gas into the warehouse. A few minutes later,
the place went up in smoke."
"It appears that Officer Maguire's and the New York Police Department's
rash actions have caused yet another situation to become out of control."
Anderson frowned. "Hey!"
St. John ignored him. "We will have more information on this story
on the Evening News. We now return to the So Late It's Early Movie."
* * * * *
The Police Commissioner of the City of New York paced angrily in front
of the seated Steven Maguire. On the other side of the room, Matthew Bluestone
"Mr. Maguire, what do you think you were doing out there? Neither
the Mayor nor I appreciate being called out of bed at five in the morning.
The lawyers never sleep; they live to sue the government. You are just
lucky that the Farsight Corporation isn't asking the city to pay for the
damages you've caused or else I would personally take it out of your hide.
All they've asked for is your badge, which I would have taken away anyway.
Before I fire you, Maguire, do you have anything to say in your defense?"
"I admit that I should have called the owners to find out if there
was anything dangerous in that warehouse, but there was no time. I got
a tip that the gargoyles were going to be in the area. I heard the report
of a robbery at the warehouse and since wherever trouble is, they always
are, I organized SWAT."
"If you believed that the gargoyles were present at that warehouse,
then your duty was to alert the head of the Task Force, Detective Bluestone.
Bluestone, did you receive any calls from Mr. Maguire?"
"No, sir, I did not."
"There wasn't time."
"That is no excuse, Maguire. First, there is your unauthorized cowboy
action, which includes your destruction of private property with no justification,
your mobilization of forces without going through proper channels, the
fact that those forces were unnecessary, the list goes on. You are lucky
that no one has pressed charges. Maguire, your badge and your gun. I'd
tell you to turn it in downstairs like everyone else, but I don't trust
you to take one more step as an officer. Detective Bluestone, do you have
anything to add?"
"In the future, no member of the Task Force will be allowed to mobilize
SWAT or take other such extreme resources without your okay. That should
prevent something like this from happening again. Honestly, if you thought
we have headaches now... cripes, can you imagine if we ever caught a gargoyle?
I sure as heck don't want that responsibility."
"Of course, sir. That is why I was picked."
* * * * *
Bluestone had decided to walk home from work, hoping the fresh air would
take away the lingering smell of smoke and gas.
He vaguely became aware there was somebody deliberately in his way. "Need
a lift?" Hacker asked-didn't-ask, gesturing to the limousine by the
side of the road.
Bluestone briefly considered running.
Then he remembered three things. The first is that one does not escape
the Illuminati if they want you badly enough. The second is that they
don't even need him in person to make him suffer; his friends will do
nicely. The third is that they can't do anything to him that he doesn't
He got in and came face to face with a tall, gray-haired man he'd never
seen before, the Illuminati pin prominently placed on the man's lapel,
rather then in a place of concealment.
Hacker climbed in next to Mr. Unfamiliar and shut the door. The driver
pulled away from the curb.
Bluestone decided to go for one last quip. "Do I get a choice of
poison?" he remarked to the man.
"I was wondering why you were looking so resigned," the man
chuckled. "Don't worry. Disciplinary action is the furthest thing
from our mind. And as much as Mr. Hacker here may suggest it, such extreme
disciplinary actions are avoided as much as possible. The Illuminati's
purpose is to control, not to kill anyone who gets in our way."
"That doesn't mean we don't do it. So don't get too comfortable,"
Matt gaped, which only caused the man to laugh harder. Then almost delicately,
he reached a hand out and cupped Matt's jaw.
"Yes, but we have much more benevolent ways of removing obstacles.
Hmm...," he said thoughtfully. "Looks like you could use some
dental work. Fortunately, you'll have access to our dental plan now that
you've been promoted a grade."
"What?" Matt said intelligently.
The man leaned back into the cushy seat. "We have realized that,
in asking to you betray your friends, have made an impossible request.
We admire your tenacity. Not many people have the fortitude to defy the
Realization finally dawned on Matt that he wasn't about to die. "So,
you're not mad?"
"Mad?" The man said as if the word were in an unknown language.
"Why should we be mad? You showed extreme courage in extricating
yourself from a prickly situation. We're quite pleased, if you must know.
We were also quite disturbed in regards to your experience with the Quarrymen
several weeks ago. They have gotten dangerously out of control."
"How did you know...?"
Hacker smirked. "You should know by now that nothing of significance
escapes the attention of the Illuminati, Matthew. We know when you're
sleeping, we know when you're awake."
"Oh, great. Now you're singing Christmas songs"
The car stopped. "I believe this is where you get off. Pleasure
meeting you, Mr. Bluestone."
By this time the old Matt was back in form. "Does this mean I'll
get better cable reception?"
The man chuckled. "Sleep tight, Mr. Bluestone. We may have another
task for you to perform in the near future."
Hacker contained himself until he saw Matt enter his apartment building.
Then, he turned to the figure, who was busily lighting up an ornate pipe.
"So," he said, "that's it, then."
The man nodded wordlessly and puffed on his pipe.
"Bluestone manages to one-up the boys upstairs and gets away with
it, even gets promoted. Way I hear it, this was a major mission he just
The man looked at Hacker with a very easy grin. "Well...that depends."
Hacker had seen that kind of grin before. He felt his stomach sink into
his shoes but had too much momentum going to hold back his, "on?"
The grin got broader. "On what you think the mission objectives