Story Concept by Kathy Pogge.
Written by A Fan and Kathy Pogge.
Previously on Gargoyles...
Broadway (reciting along with actor
in an old black and white gumshoe film): "You made one mistake, Louie. You messed
with my partner. And when someone messes with your partner, you're supposed
to do something about it."
* * *
Broadway: "Elisa, I'm sorry about
the bomb. But that proves how dangerous this case is!"
Elisa: "Too dangerous for an amateur
detective playing out a movie fantasy."
The flash of a camera illuminated
the darkness of the side street. Police detectives and evidence technicians
carefully combed the dirty pavement looking for clues, hoping that evidence
wouldn't be destroyed by the slowly accumulating crowd of sightseers. Blue barricades
festooned with yellow crime scene tape had been erected to keep the curious
at bay, but the press was closing in, drawn by the grimness of the scene.
"What is it with the media?" Matt
Bluestone said in annoyance. "They think that getting a story is more important
than letting us do our jobs."
The police photographer nodded to
her assistant and the rookie tech moved the reflector, re-directing the light
so the photographer could shoot her subject from another angle. "That's their
job, Matt." She smiled at him sweetly, then took another series of shots. "Remember,
every once and a while they help us out. So don't growl about them too loud."
She lowered her voice. "At least not when they can hear you." She surveyed the
street. "I'm done here." She handed her camera to the tech and patted Matt on
the shoulder. "This is probably going to be one of those cases."
The evidence technicians took the
hint and moved in, collecting bits of paper and anything else that might turn
out to be critical evidence.
Matt followed the photographer to
the edge of the crime scene. "Sure, Elsie," he called after her. "But I don't
have to like it."
"Don't have to like what?" Elisa
joined her partner, moving to his side so quietly that he jumped when she spoke.
"Jeez, Elisa, don't do that!"
"Sorry. What don't you have to like?"
"Asking for help from the media
vultures." He pointed at Nicole St. John who was still broadcasting live on
the scene even though she had run out of facts shortly after beginning her remote.
"Yeah, well, they're not all that
bad. Nicole's just..."
"Face it Elisa, she's an opportunistic,
glory seeking..." Matt was starting to go red in the face.
"Take it easy, Matt. It's been a
long time since we've had to deal with something like this. Let's try and stay
Matt took a couple of deep breaths
and let them out slow. "You're right, partner. Sometimes it just all gets to
"I got a statement from the person
who found the body," Elisa said redirecting the conversation.
Matt looked up interested, dropping
easily back into his professional demeanor.
"The guy was an early morning jogger.
Runs to work, then showers and changes in the office gym."
"Must be nice," Matt commented acidly.
"Stockbroker, it's one of the perks.
Anyway this part of town is usually pretty quiet at 5:30. He was surprised when
he saw the body collapsed in the street. Poor guy thought the victim had had
a heart attack until he turned him over and saw his neck." Elisa looked up at
Matt. "Not much else to report. He called 911, who dispatched a patrol car,
and then they called us because we were late coming in off the street and day
watch wasn't in yet."
"Yeah, well..." Elisa dug her hands
into her pockets against the morning chill. "The M.E. suspects that Mr. Weber,
that's the witness, stumbled on to things right after the suspect left the crime
scene. And," she continued grimly, "it matches the pattern of the last three
incidents. Watch and wallet gone. Single knife wound to the neck with no hesitation
cuts. And the suspect was probably left handed."
"Heads up. Day Watch finally arrived."
Matt waved at two approaching detectives that looked like they'd both missed
their morning coffee.
"Morning, fellas," Elisa greeted,
"I hear that," the first member
of the Mutt and Jeff team greeted back. "You'd think that people would have
the courtesy to do these things at a respectable hour of the day."
"Quit griping, Murphy," his partner
chided. "We might have caught a break on this case. The crime scene hasn't been
tainted by a thousand morning commuters."
"True enough, Halloran," Murphy
agreed. "Well, we really only came out to get a feel for things. The Mayor was
screaming last night. I can imagine what he's going to say to the Commissioner
when they hand him the word we've got a definite serial wacko on the loose."
"Right," Matt agreed. "And when
the Commissioner isn't happy, the Captain's not happy. And it all rolls down
hill from there."
Elisa looked across the way at a
boarded up window, still un-repaired from the recent city riots. "Just when
I thought things were finally starting to calm down around here." She yawned
again. "We'll see you guys back at the bullpen at shift change. Hopefully Forensics
will have something more for us by then."
"Get some sleep, you two." Halloran
said as Matt and Elisa moved towards the Fairlane parked on the edge of the
crime scene. "You're going to need it."
Matt waved back absently as Elisa
dug in her pocket for the car keys. Matt nudged his partner. Leaning patiently
against the front fender was Jerry Pearson.
"Rough night?" There was genuine
sympathy in his greeting.
"Yeah, Jerry," Elisa acknowledged.
"Some things never get easier,"
"That's probably a good thing...
in a way," Jerry replied.
Matt looked at him with genuine
surprise. "Sorry, I keep forgetting that all reporters aren't jackals."
"No, just the ones that want their
names in bright lights. But I do have a story to write. I'd appreciate any additional
insight you'd care to share."
Elisa glanced at Matt and shrugged.
"All I can tell you is we're dealing with one sick puppy."
Matt nodded. "And you can quote
us on that."
* * * * *
Elisa rung the water out of her
hair and wrapped her long dark tresses absently in a towel. She took a sip of
her coffee, took a look at the shadows under her eyes, and growled. Cagney jumped
up on the sink and meowed curiously at his person, wondering why she was being
so negligent about filling his dinner bowl.
"Hi, Cagney. I know, cat, I'm late
and you're hungry. Give me two minutes, okay?"
She dumped the cat back on the carpet.
Coffee cup in hand, she returned to her bedroom to dress for work.
There was a tap at the patio door
just as Elisa set Cagney's dinner in front of him. She looked up and smiled
as she saw Goliath waiting patiently for her to answer.
Elisa gave Cagney a pat on the head,
dumped the cat food can in the trash, and unlocked the sliding glass door.
"Good evening, Elisa." He was holding
his left hand behind his back. "I saw these and thought of you." He held out
his hand and handed her a funnel-shaped bundle wrapped in paper.
"Thanks," she replied, puzzled,
as she unrolled the paper to reveal a bouquet of brightly colored flowers. "Oh,
Goliath, they're beautiful!"
"As are you."
Elisa smiled. "Where did you get
"The flowers in castle gardens have
blossomed. It is quite a sight. I wish you'd come and walk with me there." There
was a mild rebuke in his words and Elisa took the hint immediately.
"I'm sorry, Goliath. I know it seems
like ages since I've been to see you. But we've been working extra shifts trying
to get the city cleaned up after the Phoenix Rising riots. More than a few opportunists
have decided that the city is ripe for the picking."
"I agree. We have been extra vigilant
and still the number of miscreants we apprehend seems to multiply." He sighed
heavily. "It is most disturbing."
"Tell me about it," Elisa agreed
as she collapsed on to the couch and pulled Goliath down with her. She lay her
head on his chest and listened to the soothing rhythm of his heartbeat.
"What is wrong, my Elisa? You seem
greatly disturbed." He wrapped his arm around her and held her like a child.
Her shoulders were stiff with tension and he rubbed them gently.
Elisa relaxed a little under his
gentle touch willing the tension away from her. Finally she drew herself upright
and stared at the ceiling. "I'm all right...at least I will be when we solve
the case I'm working on. It's a string of robbery/homicides. Most of the press
is ripping us to shreds for not finding the guy fast enough, and the pressure
from the top to solve it quickly is huge. Matt and I aren't the only detectives
on the case, the perp has hit more than one precinct, but it's got to stop,
Goliath. Before he can take anyone else out, it's got to stop."
"You know the clan will do what
we can to assist you."
"I know." Elisa looked at her watch.
"I've got to go. I've got to pick up Matt and we're going to be late for roll
call as it is." She rose to walk Goliath to the balcony door. She hugged him
once more. "Thanks for the flowers, big guy. I'll try to see you soon."
"Be careful, Elisa," he cautioned
"I will be. You just watch yourself.
When this is over with I want you to take me for that walk in the garden."
Goliath smiled. "It is a... date."
He took to wing and Elisa watched him disappear before holstering her gun and
locking up the apartment for the night.
* * * * **
Broadway's stomach rumbled loudly
as he finished wrapping the steel girder around the latest of his quarry. "This
city is lousy with looters," he grumbled. "Hey, that rhymed!"
"Well, not exactly," Lex replied
as he dialed 911 and gave the dispatcher an anonymous tip about two would-be
burglars hanging from a telephone pole.
"I'm heading back to the castle,"
Lexington announced as he snapped the phone closed. "Are you coming?"
"Yeah, no. I want to see if I can
find something for Angela. She's been working awfully hard..."
"We all have," Lex grumbled.
"I know, but I want to give her
"Still trying to butter her up?
You know she's chosen you."
"Probably, but nothing's set in
stone," Broadway replied, the insecurity creeping into his voice.
"She should have never told you
that 'Angela Destine' was getting presents at Nightstone."
"Well, I'm glad she did," Broadway
defended automatically. "I don't ever want to wake up and realize that I've
taken anything about Angela for granted."
"Right. Well, dawn's not too far
off. You'd better get moving if you're gonna make the castle in time."
"See ya." Lex was gone as sirens
began to roar in the distance.
* * * * *
"It's amazing what people throw
away in this city," Broadway remarked to himself a little later. "A little polish
and this picture frame will be good as new."
He rubbed it against the sleeve
of a discarded designer shirt that had what appeared to be a wine stain on the
front. "There. It looks better already." Satisfied with his choice, he carefully
wrapped the frame in the shirt, then knotted the shirt around his belt. He looked
up at the fire escaped and noticed for the first time the slowly dying night.
"Uh, oh. Guess I'm not going to make it home tonight after all."
He shrugged and began to climb,
knowing he could roost out of harm's way on the rooftop.
The first scream made him jump.
He ran to the edge of the roof and looked down, eyes glowing white.
Below, a blonde-haired man knocked
a middle-aged woman dressed in a maid's uniform from her feet.
"Don't do that, we wouldn't want
to wake the neighbors, now would we?"
He waved a knife and the woman began
to whimper softly as the man bent down and reached for her purse.
Broadway tensed and prepared to
launch himself from the rooftop. He flared his wings and froze as the sun rose
over the horizon.
* * * * *
When he woke up the next evening
there was nothing but a chalk line on the pavement and a few remnants of yellow
crime scene tape. The bulky gargoyle stumbled, and the color drained from his
face. "Oh, no," he mumbled shocked. Then the rage overtook him. "This was my
fault. How could I have let this happen!" A reasonable voice in the back of
his head told him that there was nothing he could have done, but the rage and
the shame drowned it out as he hurtled himself off the building and returned
to the castle.
* * * * *
"Another victim was found this morning,"
Goliath told the clan grimly as they congregated in their living room shortly
Hudson joined them fresh from watching
the evening news. "Aye, it's a terrible thing. The police haven't got any real
clues to go by."
"They will get their evidence and
their suspect," Goliath growled. "And we will continue to do what we can to
help them." He looked at his clan mates and his eyes narrowed. "Where is Broadway?"
"I'm here Goliath." Broadway entered
the living room and answered, his voice subdued.
"Why did you not return to the castle
at daybreak? Lexington said you were right behind him."
"I was, but I had an errand to take
care of and..."
"That is no excuse. The rule is
that everyone must either be at their roost or check in before the sun rises.
You did neither. The city is still a dangerous place and you were irresponsible!"
"I know, Goliath. I tried. I did!"
Broadway's voice rose and fell as he remembered those grim moments before sunrise.
"I did," he repeated more softly.
He turned on his heel and fled.
"Broadway?" Angela cried. "Broadway!"
she ran after him.
"It seems that your words were more
than adequate to the task, Goliath-sama," Sata noted coolly.
"The lad did seem to take your scolding
rather hard," Hudson added mildly. "In fact, I'd say you might have gone just
a tad overboard seeing as he looked rather upset when he came in."
* * * * *
Graeme and Ariana were playing a
vicious game of badminton, knocking the birdie over an invisible net with zeal,
oblivious to the problems of the adults inside. Broadway hurtled past in his
quest for fresh air.
"Uncle Broadway, do you want to
play with us?" Ariana asked politely. "We promise not to knock the birdie over
the side of the castle again."
"No, thank you."
"Come on Uncle Broadway, we'll let
you win," Graeme added. Then, to seal the deal, the two used annoying persuasiveness
to the best of their ability.
"NO!!!!" Broadway shouted. He changed
directions and began to climb the nearest wall.
The twins shrugged and went inside
to find Sata.
"Uncle Broadway is awfully grumpy
tonight," Ariana said to Sata. Graeme nodded his head in agreement.
"Yes," she remarked mildly. "Your
uncle has much on his mind, this night. Come inside now. It is time for your
lessons. I think this evening, we shall discuss the philosophy of leadership."
Goliath ignored Sata's barb and
fled for the refuge of the library, wondering how his night had gotten so far
out of hand so quickly.
* * * * *
Broadway was sitting on roof of
the east wing, watching the city lights, when Angela finally caught up with
"Broadway?" Angela said, climbing
up and sitting down next to him. "Is there something wrong?"
Broadway looked up from the ground
and looked into Angela's concerned gaze.
"No, yes. I'm sorry Angela, I'd
rather not talk about it right now. In fact, I'd kind of like to be alone."
Angela put her hand on his shoulder.
"Are you sure you wouldn't rather talk? Whatever it is, I'm sure we can fix
"I don't think so, Angela. I've
got to work this one out for myself." He rose to his haunches and prepared to
launch himself from the building. "Tell Goliath that I'll be home by bed check,"
His features hardened. "Or not. But I will check in, just so that you don't
worry about me."
"I do, you know," she said quietly.
"Yeah, hon. I know you do." He pecked
her on the cheek. "See you soon." He flared his wings and disappeared into the
city. Angela went to rejoin the clan.
* * * * *
Goliath took another deep breath
and realized that he had over reacted. He could not protect them all any more;
they were warriors and must face the dangers that all warriors inevitably faced.
He left the sanctuary of the library
to find Broadway. He searched the aqua gargoyle's favorite spots. He wasn't
in the enclosed garden, nor the kitchen, or even in the entertainment room where
Lexington and Hudson were playing cards in front of an old movie. He went out
into the courtyard and found Angela sitting alone.
"Where is Broadway?" Goliath asked.
"I don't know, Father. He left and
asked me not to follow. He was upset about something, but he wouldn't confide
in me." She turned to Goliath. "Could he be angry at me?"
"No, Angela. If there is a fault
here, it is mine. I will tell him so when he returns."
* * * * *
Broadway squeezed his bulk onto
the narrow ledge and knocked gently at the glass pane. He waited a moment and
then knocked again. An angular face with a perplexed look on it peered out and
a moment later the window slid open.
"Broadway? What are you doing here?"
Matt pushed the window open further and Broadway squeezed through the narrow
"I needed to talk to someone and
Elisa wasn't home."
"It's nice to know that I'm needed,"
Matt almost kept the sarcasm from his voice.
"I know, I know, you've known Elisa
longer. Uh, can I get you something?"
"No I'm fine... well actually...
Can I talk to you?"
Matt gestured to the sofa and made
himself comfortable in an overstuffed easy chair. "Sure. Talk away."
"There was a murder last night,
just before dawn."
"I know. I saw the report. It's
part of the case Elisa and I are working on."
"I saw it happen. I was on the roof."
Broadway stared at his hands clasped in a fist in his lap.
"What?! Why didn't you do something?"
Matt replied stunned.
Broadway's face fell even further
and Matt had to strain to hear the gargoyle's strangled whisper. "I couldn't.
The sun rose."
"Uh boy," Matt whispered. "Could
you see anything? Did you see who did it?" Matt was unable to keep the hope
out of his voice.
"Yeah. I saw him. I should have
helped her. I was there, she was in trouble. I could have jumped down and saved
"The sun rose. You can't change
"Why not? You humans can change
your sleeping patterns whenever you want. Why can't we? Maybe the only reason
that we can't is not because we can't, but because we think we can't."
"Broadway, you did the best you
could. No one thinks less of you."
"No, he doesn't," Matt argued.
Broadway remained unconvinced. "Broadway
the buffoon. Lexington is good with machines, Brooklyn is the second-in-command.
What makes me special?"
"You care. Do you know how rare
that is? You care about the safety and well-being of others. Too often in this
city people just ignore the bad things that happen around them, hoping they
will go away. You don't. You make a difference."
"Do you know how many people have
gotten hurt because of us, because of me? The human I saw last night, I caught
him once and tied him up for the police."
"That's the fault of the system.
Not you. One of the first things that police officers have to learn is not to
blame themselves when there is nothing else they could have done. It's not an
easy lesson. Some cops never get it and it eats them up inside. Some cops go
overboard. They are so detached they stopped caring about anything and anybody.
You, Broadway, are a protector of those who need protecting. You do the best
you can, care about what you do, and try your best."
"What are friends for?" he replied,
with a nonchalant wave of his hand. "I was just about to have a snack. Are you
sure I can't get you something? I've got to leave for work soon."
"Sure," Broadway answered absently.
"I just wish that there was one of the clan I could tell this to."
"How about Angela? She's your girl
"I don't want Angela to see me like
this," Broadway said stubbornly.
"Macho, huh?" Matt shook his head
unbelieving. "Broadway, if you can't talk to her about how you feel, who can
you talk to? I wish that I had someone who cared about me that much."
The stocky gargoyle didn't respond.
"Okay, so much for advice to the lovelorn." He handed Broadway a sandwich. Matt
took a healthy bite out of his own, then continued. "You said you caught this
guy once before. Could you identify him?"
"I think so."
Matt grabbed a note pad. "Describe
Broadway closed his eyes and remembered.
A shadow crossed his features as he recalled the alley. "He was about six-two,
light blonde hair, and he was wearing a black leather jacket." He opened his
eyes. "Oh, and he had a tattoo on his neck, but I couldn't see what."
"Right or left side?" Matt said
"When did you tie him up and why?"
"About six months ago, he tried
to snatch a purse in Central Park." Broadway smiled grimly. "I got there before
he could get away. But I don't think anyone pressed charges. The lady ran away
too." He looked downcast again. "That happens a lot."
"Thanks, Broadway. That should narrow
down our search. It's a really solid lead."
Broadway looked at the detective.
"Matt, what can I do to help?"
"Keep your eyes open. Tell me if
you see him again." Matt pulled his gun and holster out of the closet. He didn't
notice Broadway turn away in automatic revulsion at the service revolver. He
slipped into his suit jacket and turned to his companion. "Stay out of it, Broadway.
I don't want you going off trying to find this guy. You've done your part, now
let the police do theirs."
"Matt, if I had gotten there a few
"Stop beating yourself up," Matt
admonished. "Go home, or go patrol. Call me tomorrow before I go on shift if
you want to talk some more."
"Maybe you're right..." Broadway
turned toward the window to leave. "Thanks, Matt."
"Anytime, pal, anytime." Matt latched
the window and headed for work with a smile for a change.
* * * * *
"Thank you, Elisa. Please contact
me if you see him." Goliath listened to the telephone for a moment and then
replied. "We will be careful. Are you sure about this stakeout? Would you like
us to provide some 'backup' for you?" He listened again. "Very well. If we see
anything, we will contact you via the transmitters." Goliath hung up the telephone
and went to gather the clan.
He found Lexington working at his
computer punching in calculations and muttering something inaudible.
"Lexington... Lexington," he repeated
louder, trying to get the younger gargoyle's attention. "Would you get the others?
I have news to share."
"Just a second, Goliath." Then in
a softer voice. "Just when I was starting to get somewhere." The resentment
was obvious. He punched in one more series of numbers and smiled. He closed
up whatever he was working on and stretched. "Here or the courtyard?"
"The courtyard. We're going out
"All right." Lexington left the
room to round up the clan. Goliath paused then stopped to examine whatever had
garnered the younger male's interest, but he had shut the computer down and
put away his papers and tools with a sweep of his hand before leaving the room.
The cursor blinked back mutely from the plain black screen, giving no answers
to the enigma that had become Lexington.
* * * * *
"I want you to be careful," Goliath
cautioned when the clan was gathered. "Stay to the air or rooftops unless you
are in an actual confrontation. Even though the humans have calmed down since
the rioting, caution would still be wise."
"No, duh." Lexington cracked.
Brooklyn tapped him on the back
of the head with his palm and shot him a warning glance.
Goliath ignored the exchange and
continued. "The animal that Elisa and the other police officers is stalking
is still at large. Even though it would seem that his pattern is to strike near
dawn, when we are unable to help, I want you to keep vigilant. You might spot
something that may assist the police track him down. He preys on the innocent,
the helpless. The last victim was a housemaid, the one before that, a man returning
from a late evening at the theater. There is no pattern to his victims, or the
neighborhoods he preys in. He takes whatever valuables the person carries and
then strikes them down." Goliath purpled with anger. "He must be stopped." He
paused a moment before continuing. "Due to the high profile attention that this
case has received, police officers are going to be going undercover all over
"Why?" Angela asked, perplexed.
"They are hoping that one of their
number will be next. They are desperate. The police will be working in pairs,
decoy and backup. Watch for them. I want everyone on patrol tonight." He smiled
at the twins who exchanged a high five. "Yes, even you, but lock up Bronx and
Nudnik. We cannot carry them with us. Pair up and be sure that your transmitters
are working." Goliath moved to the wall.
"Let's join the hunt." He nodded
to Angela and the pair glided off into the still of the night. Hudson and Lexington
followed, banking in the opposite direction.
Sata took Brooklyn by the elbow
and steered him away from the eager hatchlings. "Goliath seems most driven to
find this human hunter," she remarked quietly.
"It's Elisa's case," he explained.
"We learned a long time ago that when Elisa is unhappy, then Goliath gets unhappy."
He smiled at his mate. "Just like us. The only difference is when it's police
work that's making her unhappy, then we all go along for the ride." He shrugged.
"It goes with the territory."
"I see," replied Sata, though her
tone made it difficult to tell whether or not she approved. She changed the
subject. "I will take Ariana with me this evening and we will cover the Central
Brooklyn pecked her on the cheek.
"Graeme and I will see you later then." He raised his voice and gestured to
the hatchlings. "Ariana, you're with your mother, Graeme, you're with me."
"Bet we catch more bad guys then
you do," Ariana challenged her brother.
"Don't count on it." Graeme took
to the wall. "Come on, Dad, we've got a bet to win!"
"And tough competition." Brooklyn
smiled as he recalled similar competitions with his rookery brothers. "Let's
make some thug's life miserable."
The remaining gargoyles launched
themselves into the night.
* * * * *
Broadway sat on the roof of the
building across from Matt's, brooding. "Don't get involved, Broadway. Let us
handle it, Broadway." He dug his chin into the palm of his hand. "You can't
solve them all, Broadway." Stubborn determination flooded over his features.
"I took this punk out once. I can do it again." Broadway took to wing.
* * * * *
"We've had a break in the case,"
Matt announced triumphantly as he simultaneously knocked and entered Captain
"Give it to me slow, Bluestone."
Chavez demanded. "Who, what, where."
"A street informant saw part of
it go down. He ran when it looked like it was getting ugly. The suspect is a
male Caucasian, about six-two. Light blonde hair, don't know about eye color.
Distinguishing marks. He has some sort of tattoo on the left side of his neck.
Design unknown. When he was last seen he was wearing a black leather jacket."
"According to my snitch, the suspect
may have been arrested on a purse snatching charge about six months ago."
"Can your informant do a session
with the sketch artist? Could he I.D. him in a line up?"
Matt fabricated quickly. "He's done
all he feels comfortable doing, Captain. He's very elderly and frightened."
"Did you offer him protection?"
"Yeah, but you can only push so
hard," Matt answered quickly.
"Bluestone is there something you're
not telling me?" She raised a hand. "Skip it. Get this description to dispatch.
Scan the arrest records to see if you can't find something that might match
our guy. I'll pass this along to the crews already on stakeout." Captain Chavez
looked up, surprised that Bluestone was still standing there. "Tonight, detective.
"Yes, ma'am." Matt hustled out of
the captain's office and settled in at his own desk for a session with the computer.
* * * * *
Taking a lesson from the great detectives
of old, Broadway set out to find the man he had seen the previous night.
"To find scum," Broadway muttered,
quoting from an old movie, "you have to ask scum." He banked away from the neat
brick houses and towards the seedier part of town. "Time to find a few informants
of my own."
* * * * *
Matt slapped the side of his computer
as Elisa entered the squad room. She was wearing a ridiculously short skirt
and a tight jacket that made her "Salli" get up seem positively conservative.
"Trying to redefine 'office casual'?"
Matt asked, unable to keep the smirk out of his voice.
Elisa picked up a pencil off her
desk and threw it at her partner. "I got called in early for stakeout duty.
Seems kind of stupid," she said as she shed her platinum wig. "They know that
this guy strikes either late at night or early in the morning. Dinner hour is
not his M.O."
"I guess you didn't see the news
earlier. The mayor is being held personally accountable by the media."
"That would explain it then. Get
enough politicians and reporters involved and..."
"It's a wonder we have time to get
any real work done. Speaking of real work there's some good news. A break in
"Talk, Matt." Elisa leaned forward
"I ran into your snitch on 'Broadway',"
he emphasized the street name and Elisa nodded her understanding.
"He saw part of the action go down."
"Unfortunately it was dawn and the
sun got in his eyes."
"I see." Elisa nodded. Her sympathy
for her friend's plight was obvious. "How's he taking it?"
"Not well. But I think this must
be our guy. The M.E.'s reports say they all happened sometime between dawn and
two hours after. According to our friend, the attack started shortly before
"Did he get a description?"
"I already gave it to the captain
and she's passing it to the stakeout teams. But there's some information that
I couldn't pass along."
Matt dropped the pretense as the
detective behind him rose wearily to his feet and headed for the coffee pot.
He looked around quickly, made sure that no one was in earshot and continued.
"Broadway busted this guy about six months ago. He's sure of it."
Elisa frowned. "He's not taking
this personally is he?"
Matt nodded. "He's really down,
Elisa. I've never seen him so blue." He blushed at the unintentional joke. "Uh,
you know what I mean. He said he'd let us handle it, but I didn't believe him."
"Don't worry. I'm sure Goliath will
keep an eye on him."
"He didn't tell Goliath. I didn't
think that I should. Broadway knew I'd tell you and I was hoping you'd talk
"I talked to him a little while
ago, he didn't mention anything wrong, but he sounded funny. I wish I'd known."
"I'm sure they'll patch things up,"
Matt consoled. He squinted at the computer screen, his expression going hopeful
for a moment, then falling.
"What are you working on?" Elisa
"Good old fashion detective work.
I'm cross referencing gargoyle incident reports with Central Park muggings from
six months ago." Matt looked slightly amazed. "Do you know how many of them
"The guys do good work," Elisa said
the pride creeping into her voice.
Matt shook his head. "Mainly as
a deterrent. We don't have a lot of repeat offenders when the clan is involved,
but we also don't have a lot of convictions. Lawyers make mincemeat of cases
where procedure isn't followed to a 'T'."
That earned him a scowl from Elisa.
"Hey, as it happens I agree with
you. But it also means that our suspect is someplace in the pile of 'charges
dropped' files and not in the 'convicted' ones." He slapped his monitor again
in frustration, then handed Elisa a stack of folders. "Here, see if you don't
have better luck. The description and details of the C.P. bust are on the top
The two detectives got to work.
* * * * *
A short man with a large nose, black
hair, and mismatched clothes stepped out into the alley. He patted his pockets
and smiled when he ran his hand over the roll of bills hidden in the pouch tied
around his neck. He was unprepared for the voice that boomed in his ear.
The little man jumped and turned
around but saw nothing but darkness.
"Who's there?" his voice quavered
"You're a rat, Ricky. I know that
you sell information to the police."
"That's not true."
"Come on, Ricky. You're a rotten
snitch and you know it. I'm looking for someone."
"What do you think I am, a phonebook?"
he shot back.
"I'm looking for a mugger who likes
to float. Sometimes he does the park, sometimes the business district. He's
six-two, very light blonde hair, wears a black leather jacket and he has a tattoo
on his neck."
"Does he use a knife, a gun, or
"Does he work alone or with a group?"
"I might know where to find a guy
like that. For a price..."
"Ricky, Ricky, don't you know by
now that crime doesn't pay?"
"Crime may not pay, but informing
on crime does. You police are so desperate for info, you let a two-bit crook
like me take your money."
Broadway stepped out of the shadows.
"I'm not a police officer."
"You're a...You're a gargoyle."
Ricky quickly recovered his nonchalance. "You'll have to pay like anyone else."
"Ricky, Ricky," Broadway made soft
noises for effect, "you don't understand the rules. Don't you watch the news?
It's always gargoyles attacked this human, gargoyles attacked that human." He
lifted the lowlife off the ground by his coat. "So tell me, punk, you feel lucky?"
The snitch's bravado failed. "Fine.
A guy like that hangs out at Mother's. It's a bar on..."
"I know where it is." Broadway released
Ricky's collar suddenly and he dropped to the ground with a thud.
The little man got to his feet and
straightened his disheveled clothing with dignity. "Don't make a habit of asking
for freebies. I have a semi-respectable business to run. I'm sure even a freak
like you can understand that."
"It's a pleasure doing business
with you, Ricky." Broadway climbed up the side of the building and glided off
into the night.
"I think I'll retire to Miami,"
Ricky muttered with disgust.
* * * * *
"Do you want another cup?" Matt
asked Elisa as he headed for the coffee pot.
Elisa nodded and rubbed the grit
out of her eyes. "Yeah, that would be great." The computer beeped. "I've got
another possible," she added.
"Great, that makes twelve." Murphy,
their day watch counterpart responded.
"Well, twelve is better then none,
or a thousand," Halloran added.
"You're right, Dave," Matt replied
as he handed Elisa back her cup. "I can't tell you how much we appreciate you
guys pulling a double to help out with this."
Murphy replied with a rueful smile.
"We're not doing you any favors. We're just saving ourselves some time. If we
catch this slime tonight, then we won't have to deal with any reporters at another
crime scene tomorrow. It saves us the hassle."
"Amen to that," his partner chimed
Elisa's phone rang. "Maza," she
answered crisply. She listened for a moment. "Hi, Doc. Wait a second. Okay.
Say that again. Uh huh. You're sure?"
The other detectives gathered around,
listening to Elisa's one-sided conversation.
"Why didn't this come up before?
No, no, I didn't mean to imply... I know, we're all a little stressed right
now. No, honest, I appreciate it. That's great work. If you find anything else,
let us know. Bye, Doc."
Elisa looked up at the circle of
expectant faces. "Tissue analysis from the maid. She put up more of a fight
then the others. There was skin under her nails from two different suspects."
Elisa looked angry. "Our friend has a buddy."
"I'll tell the Captain to get the
word to the decoy teams." Matt set his coffee cup down and spread the news.
Elisa slid into her jacket. "Tell
Matt I'm going to change and then we're going to start running down suspects.
I'll meet him at the car in ten. You guys wrap things up here. Okay?"
Halloran protested. "Elisa you'll
just be chasing blind until the current arrest cross reference is complete."
"I know, but I need some air and
I think better in the car anyway," she replied.
Halloran caved. "I know better than
to argue with someone who's got your track record. I'll call you when the computer
"Thanks," Elisa called over her
shoulder as she left the bullpen.
The day watch detectives got back
* * * * *
In Central Park a mugger grabbed
a young woman's purse and ran. He was fast and the two gargoyles sitting in
the trees overhead tensed and waited. A jogger appeared from between a break
in the shrubbery and gave chase. The gargoyles relaxed.
"It would appear that the police
have this part of the park in good hands," Angela remarked to Goliath. "That
young woman was a...decoy." She stumbled slightly over the unfamiliar word.
"Yes, I believe that we might move
on." Goliath replied. The gargoyles took to wing.
* * * * *
"You see, son," Brooklyn demonstrated
to Graeme "Sometimes the plain and simple approach works much better than something
fancy." He picked up the pickpocket and hung him from a light post, using the
man's own belt to help secure him snuggly.
"Yeah, but flash is so much more
fun," Graeme protested.
"Just remember, out here, nobody
plays by the rules," Brooklyn chided as he straightened a poster recruiting
for "Volunteers for Community Safety". "They're not going to be impressed by
your technique. Just do what you have to do, and be careful while you're doing
"Yes, dad," Graeme agreed with a
slight roll of his eyes.
The slight impatience in Graeme's
voice was not lost on Brooklyn. He grinned at his son. "Lecture's over." He
moved away from the mugger towards the side of a building. "Come on. We've got
a contest to win, remember?"
Graeme nodded eagerly and they climbed
to gain altitude before gliding off into the night.
* * * * *
Lexington used his long range scanner
to survey the street below them. "Nothing."
"What did you say, lad?" Hudson
Lexington picked up a pair of binoculars
and pretended to look through them. "I said, there's nothing here. This part
of town is quiet." He surveyed the remains of the Wall Street office building
that had been flattened as part of Phoenix Rising's statement to the world.
"The humans are making good progress on the clean up. Look how much rubble they've
already cleared away."
Hudson stood, ready to move on to
their next patrol point. "Aye. In a few more months they'll have built a shiny
new building to take the place of the old one." He shook his craggy head in
wonder. "It's such a temporary world these humans live in. It's not like the
old days when it took years to build a castle and they expected it to last forever."
"No," Lexington replied sadly. "Nothing
last forever. Come on. Let's get moving."
The two gargoyles moved quietly
into the night.
* * * * *
Elisa pulled the Fairlane over to
the curb. The side street was quiet. The late night crowds had gone home early,
nervous over the wolf in their midst.
"Why are we stopping?" Matt asked.
Elisa pulled a small headset out
of the glove compartment. "I've got to check in with Goliath. He needs to know
about the second suspect. Besides, I want to know about Broadway."
"What?" Elisa said curiosity mixed
with irritation crept into her voice.
"I told Broadway that there wasn't
enough caring people in the world and when I look around me, I'm surrounded
by them. You worry about the clan, Murphy and Halloran pull a double to help
us out... It's enough to choke up a confirmed cynic like myself."
"And we all know what a hard case
you are 'Mr. Been Sneaking Down to the Labyrinth and Taking the Kids to the
"Talon said he wouldn't snitch!"
Matt protested. "Besides," he rationalized. "if we steer those kids right now,
we won't have to deal with them later, and you know what Psych says about positive
male role models and adolescent boys."
"Yeah, sure, right." Elisa thumbed
the call switch and began to transmit.
* * * * *
"Speak up, Elisa." Goliath adjusted
the tiny ear piece. "I can hear you now. No, Broadway has not yet checked in."
Goliath listened again. "He saw WHAT?!" then more calmly, "I see. Thank you
for telling me, Elisa. That explains a great deal. Did he tell Bluestone where
he was headed?"
Elisa answered. "No, Goliath."
Lexington cut in to the transmission.
"Goliath can you read me?"
"Broadway keeps his transmitter
in his belt pouch. Even if he isn't listening to us, we can track him through
"Very well. Return to the castle
and try to find Broadway. It's getting late. The rest of you return as well."
"Elisa, can you..."
Elisa cut him off. "Just a minute,
The gargoyle waited impatiently.
The transmitter came to life a few
minutes later. "Goliath. They got him. They got the perp, I mean the suspect,"
she corrected automatically. "I've got to go. I'll check in soon." The transmitter
Matt slammed the revolving blue
light on the roof of the Fairlane and the car roared to life, siren screaming.
* * * * *
Broadway peered over the edge of
the rooftop and scowled. The scene below him might have been straight out of
a 1950's film noir. Even though the hour was late and the bar should have been
closed, Mother's hummed with activity as it's lowlife clientele engaged in a
busy round of meet and greet. He ducked backwards automatically as a bar stool
flew out the door followed a moment later by what could have only been it's
previous occupant. A round of harsh laughter wafted on the breeze.
The bulky blue gargoyle put his
hand to his head to straighten his fedora, then realized he wasn't wearing it.
"Doesn't matter," he consoled himself.
"It's there in spirit." He checked to make sure that no more furniture was flying
out the door, then launched himself off the roof into the filthy alley below.
He looked around disgusted. "Someone needs to take out the trash." A feral smile
played around his lips and he clasped his meaty hands together, then flexed
his arms in front of him. "And it looks like it's gonna be me." He threw open
the door and strode inside.
The bar was dimly lit and cramped
despite its size. A huge carved walnut bar, left over from some more genteel
era lined one wall, a row of carved wood and Naugahide booths took up another.
In the back there was a small alcove, and a lively game of pool was in play.
The patrons, immersed in their own
concerns, ignored him. He strode up to the bar and did his best impression of
Humphrey Bogart. "I'm lookin' for a guy, see?" He sounded like James Cagney.
The bartender was unimpressed. "We
see lots of guys. The room's full of them."
Broadway tried again. "I'm lookin'
for a particular guy."
The bartender picked up a dirty
cloth and began to mop down the bar. "Can't help you."
Broadway got frustrated. He grabbed
the bartender by the collar and pulled him over the counter. A few of the patrons
behind him began to stir restlessly.
"All right! I'm listening!" the
bartender managed to gasp.
Broadway set him down. "That's better,"
he said amiably. "He's tall, 6'2", blonde, has a tattoo on the left side of
"Sounds dreamy," said a voice at
his elbow. Broadway swiveled his head to see the waitress listening in. "If
he has money, maybe you'll introduce him to me."
"You don't want to meet this joker,
especially in a dark alley. He carries a knife."
"Oh," the waitress said, disappointed.
"You mean Mitch. Been there, done that." She took the tray the bartender had
filled during the brief conversation and started to move off.
"Wait a minute." Broadway put his
hand on her arm. "You know this guy? Where is he? What's his last name?"
The waitress eyed him critically.
"You know, you're really not so scary looking close up. But you really do need
a better press agent. I know some people..."
"Later, I'm in a hurry."
"I don't know and I haven't seen
him for at least a week. I heard he got a legitimate gig on the other side of
town. Now if you'll kindly remove your hand from my arm I have drinks to deliver."
Broadway let go and the waitress moved off.
Broadway turned to the bartender.
"You give a message to this Mitch. You tell him I'm lookin' for him." He paused
trying to decide what else his detective heroes would say, but nothing came
to mind. "Just tell him I'm lookin' for him," he repeated louder as he strode
out the door.
* * * * *
The big aqua gargoyle ignored the
snickers that followed him out of the barroom. He climbed the fire escape then
paused unsure what to do next.
"Well it's not like you really expected
someone to turn him in did you?" he consoled himself glumly.
He shook off the gloom and stiffened
his spine. "I'll just have to keep looking."
He nearly missed the whispered call
from the fire escape. "Hey, gargoyle!"
Broadway raised his head startled.
The auburn head of the waitress
popped into view. "I remembered something."
He tried to keep the excitement
out of his voice. "Yeah, what?"
There was venom in the girl's voice.
"I hear Mitch's dating a bartender over at McCready's Tavern. You might look
for him there."
Broadway couldn't resist. "What's
in it for you if I find him?"
"Lean on him for me. The guy's a
Broadway smiled a small feral smile.
"You got it, sister." He dove off the rooftop and headed for McCready's Tavern.
* * * * *
There were lights and sirens everywhere
when Matt and Elisa arrived at the crime scene. A dozen cops were disbursed
at the perimeter keeping a growing crowd of sightseers out of trouble and the
reporters from setting their cameras up where they might shoot something that
the police weren't ready to reveal.
"It's the most amazing thing I've
seen in twenty years on the beat," a grizzled veteran remarked to the two younger
detectives. "And I thought I'd seen it all."
"What do you mean, Sarge?" Matt
asked the older man.
"It's like this. I was hiding in
the bushes over there." He pointed out a patch of thick shrubbery next to a
small pond. "Martinelli was playing pigeon, yonder." He indicated a fair haired,
plain clothes cop of about thirty who was busy giving her own statement to another
pair of detectives. "This jogger, he passes us running up the bridle path. Considering
the hour, a jogger seems kind of strange, so Martinelli goes into her act. He
doesn't buy it. He waves at her and keeps going, the guy's legit." He paused,
pushed his ball cap back on his head and scratched his thinning hair. "Not two
minutes later we hear a yell. We both run for it. It's the jogger. Suspect Number
One had come up along side of him and run him off the path. He threatened the
guy, grabbed his watch and wallet, and took off." He paused again and drew a
breath. "This is where it gets weird." He shook his head again in disbelief.
"Before the poor guy can get to his feet, Suspect Number Two comes out of nowhere,
puts a knife to his throat and gets ready to slice. If it hadn't been for Martinelli
throwing herself in a flying tackle at the sicko, we would have had a real mess
on our hands. Instead, 'Mr. Mercy'", he hooked a thumb back at the second suspect
who was now being escorted into a squad car, "got the wind knocked clean out
"'Mr. Mercy'?" Elisa asked perplexed.
"This wacko seems to think that
crime victims are wounded prey and that he was doing them a favor." He shrugged
uncomprehending. "Like I said, I thought I'd seen it all."
"What happened to the mugger?" Matt
The sergeant laughed. "We found
him hanging from a tree by his feet yelling about a pair of female gargoyles
in Japanese clothes. He said the little one seemed disappointed that the big
one wouldn't let her use him for 'boat' practice."
Elisa smirked, and covered her mouth,
barely concealing her amusement. "I think he meant 'bo' practice."
The sergeant gave her a strange
"It's a type of Japanese martial
arts involving a staff," she recovered quickly. I've taken a few lessons myself.
"Yeah," Matt put in smoothly. "I've
seen her practice. She's a real menace."
"Remember that the next time you
want me to do the end of shift paperwork and I've got a date." Elisa smiled
at her partner sweetly.
The sergeant, realizing that the
two partners had left the crime scene far behind, left them to go wrap up his
own loose ends.
"That was really smooth, Elisa,"
Matt chided as soon as the older detective moved away. "You almost slipped big
His partner's bemused expression
had given way to quiet panic. She was digging in her pocket, realized she was
looking in the wrong place, then sprinted back to her car."
"Elisa?" Matt called after her before
running to catch up. She was jamming the transmitter ear piece in place when
he got back to the car.
"I forgot about Broadway," she explained
quickly. "Lex, can you hear me?"
"Elisa?" he answered after a moment.
"I'm also here, Elisa," Goliath's
"Have you found Broadway yet?"
Lexington replied "Not yet, there's
been some interference with the transmitter, I've been boosting the signal and
I think I've got him now. He's on the move Elisa." There was a pause. "Goliath
are you still in Mid-Town?"
"Okay, Broadway's down by the docks.
He's moving north." There was another pause. "I'm overlaying his signal on an
area map.... Got him. Do you know that big hall, the one that burned down. It
used to be where the dock workers would go for jobs?"
"Yeah," Elisa acknowledged.
"Yes," Goliath replied a moment
"He's stopped near there."
"Elisa, I shall rendezvous with
She was already rolling when she
replied, "On my way."
Lights flashing and siren blaring,
Elisa and Matt roared away from the crime scene.
* * * * *
Another rooftop, another seedy dive.
Broadway peered into the dying night sky and whistled low. "Yet another argument
for urban renewal," he muttered sarcastically.
He waited impatiently as the bouncers
at McCready's Tavern, escorted the last of the patrons out of the dingy bar.
He held his breath as the crowd thinned and then a tall, blonde man with a dragon
tattooed up the left side of his neck sauntered out. The bouncer slammed the
door shut and the blonde man, hands dug deep in the pockets of his leather jacket
against the chill, sauntered down the narrow street. Broadway followed from
the rooftop growing angrier by the minute at his quarry's casual demeanor.
Broadway leapt of the roof, blocking
his path. "I've been looking for you, Mitch," he said casually.
Mitch was momentarily startled,
then he relaxed with a street fighter's poise.
"What do you want?" he sneered.
"You, scum," Broadway growled. "I
want you." He moved in to grab the pickpocket, but Mitch was fast. He ducked
and rolled out of Broadway's grasp.
"I said I'm tired and I don't want
to play," Mitch growled. A knife appeared out of nowhere, flickering in the
dim street light.
Broadway roared. The last of his
movie detective cool evaporated under the rage that had been boiling inside
him. He dove again and whipped his tail like a scythe. Mitch went down and the
knife clattered harmlessly away. The enraged gargoyle scooped the thug off of
"You feel real big when you wave
that knife, don't you Mitch. Real big man scaring defenseless humans, taking
their hard earned cash, then cutting them while they lay there begging for their
Broadway lifted him high in the
air. "I'm gonna make you pay. I saw you rob that maid. I saw you raise your
knife. I trusted human justice to take care of you the last time I caught you,
but it let me down. What did they give you? A slap on the wrist? Probation?
Not this time, Bucko."
Mitch gulped. "Last time? I don't
know what you're talking about," he lied. "I don't know what you're talking
about now!" he protested futilely. "I didn't rob no maid, I didn't cut anybody.
I'm not that wacko everyone's looking for!"
"LIAR!" Broadway shouted. The blood
roared in his ears. It blocked out the sound of the siren, the squeal of tires
and the rustle of Goliath's wings as he dropped to the pavement. He reared back
and prepared to hurl the pickpocket into the brick wall in front of them.
"Broadway, no!" Three voices cried
at once and the hammer clicked back on a service revolver.
"I got him, Matt. I know you told
me not to try, but I got the dirty..."
"You got a mugger, Broadway," Elisa
broke in. "Street trash, yeah, but he's not our guy. Detectives caught him in
Central Park a little while ago."
"I don't believe you!" Broadway
protested. "I know what I saw!"
"You only saw part of what happened,
Broadway," Goliath moved forward and Matt, realized that his gun was still trained
on the portly gargoyle. He sighted on the human in his grasp instead.
Broadway lowered his arm slightly,
allowing Mitch's feet to drag on the pavement. Elisa pulled out her handcuffs
and moved in. The big gargoyle was breathing heavily.
Elisa nodded to Goliath who relieved
his warrior of his burden. He turned the man to face him so that Elisa could
apply her cuffs, then dropped him to the ground. Matt moved in and half led,
half carried, the stunned bandit to the Fairlane before radioing for a black
and white unit.
"Better hurry things along, Elisa."
Matt called to his partner. "Their E.T.A. is two minutes."
"Thanks, Matt." Elisa turned to
Goliath. "Take him home, big guy. I'll be along in a few minutes."
Goliath nodded. "Come, Broadway.
We have much to talk about. And," he rumbled, "I believe I owe you an apology."
Broadway shook his head in protest,
but he didn't resist when Goliath gently took his arm and led him to the side
of the building. A moment later the gargoyles were aloft, winging their way
to the refuge of the castle.
* * * * *
It was very nearly dawn when Elisa
reached the castle. She climbed the final flight of steps that led to the courtyard,
feeling almost at peace with the world. A peal of child's laughter met her at
she stepped out onto the flagstones and she was nearly knocked flat as Graeme
and Ariana, still excited over the night's conquests, traded stories.
"You should have seen the man we
left in the tree, Graeme-chan. He looked so funny when I took my bo out and
twirled it in front of him!"
Elisa smiled as Sata came to gather
her children and take them to their perch. "The cops at the scene said Ariana
scared the daylights out of that mugger." She ruffled the young gargoyle's hair.
"Good work, kid."
Ariana beamed. "Thank you, Elisa-san."
She grinned evilly. "It was fun." She looked at her mother, smoothed her expression
and corrected herself. "I mean, it was a most rewarding endeavor."
Sata nodded her head with approval.
"A much more fitting attitude, Ariana-chan."
Brooklyn joined his mate and children.
"All in all, I'd say tonight was one for the good guys. He looked over at his
rookery brother and Angela, who were talking quietly away from the others. "At
least most of them."
Elisa followed his gaze. "Yeah,
I know what you mean." She left the small family to their pre-morning preparations
and went to join Goliath. She noticed that his eyes too were on Broadway and
Angela was opening a small cloth
wrapped bundle. She smiled as she beheld the ornate silver picture frame within
and held it up to catch the moonlight. Broadway smiled at last.
"I think he learned a valuable lesson
this night," Goliath rumbled as Elisa joined him at his post over-looking the
"I think we all did," Elisa smiled
as Goliath wrapped his wing around her. "I know I'll never look at a crime scene
again without wondering if I'm seeing the whole picture." She gave Goliath one
last hug, then slipped away from his embrace as the sun crept slowly over the
horizon. She looked up at the regret that was etched upon his features and stretched
to traced a slim hand along his cheek, then let it trail slowly to his shoulder.
"I'll bet you won't either," she said softly as the city came to life before
her. She tarried in the courtyard a few moments longer, realizing she was in
no hurry to find out what the new day would bring.