Razor's Edge

Written By: A Fan and Kathy Pogge

Story Concept by 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 Silver Falcon"

* * * * *

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?" she repeated.

"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 focused."

Matt took a couple of deep breaths and let them out slow. "You're right, partner. Sometimes it just all gets to me."

"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."

"Lucky us."

"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, then yawned.

"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. "Rough night."

"Some things never get easier," Matt added.

"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 them?"

"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 gravely.

"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 a present."

"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."

"I'll try."

"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 after waking.

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."

Goliath growled.


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 him.

"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 it, together."

"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 opening.

"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 her."

"The sun rose. You can't change biology."

"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."

"Goliath does."

"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."

"Thanks, Matt."

"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 isn't she?"

"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 him."

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 taking notes.


"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 minutes earlier..."

"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 on patrol."

"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 the city."

"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 Park."

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 Chavez's office.

"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."

"Anything else?"

"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. Move."

"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 the case."

"Talk, Matt." Elisa leaned forward listening intently.

"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 sunrise."

"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 to Goliath."

"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 asked.

"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 there are?"

"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 sheet."

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.

"Hello, Ricky."

The little man jumped and turned around but saw nothing but darkness.

"Who's there?" his voice quavered slightly.

"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 other?"


"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 in.

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 wakes up."

"Thanks," Elisa called over her shoulder as she left the bullpen.

The day watch detectives got back to work.


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 it."

"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 asked.

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."

Matt smiled.

"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 Movies'."

"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?"

"Yes, Lexington."

"Broadway keeps his transmitter in his belt pouch. Even if he isn't listening to us, we can track him through it."

"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, Goliath."

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 went dead.

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 his neck."

"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. "Who's there?"

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 louse."

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 of him."

"'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 asked.

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 look.

"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 time. Elisa?"

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 here."

"I'm also here, Elisa," Goliath's voice rumbled.

"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 later.

"He's stopped near there."

"Elisa, I shall rendezvous with you there."

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. "It's late."

"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 the pavement.

"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 lives."

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.

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 city.

"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.


The End