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Saga:  The Hades Wave

Story:  Dreams of Future Imperfect 1.0

Fandom: Gargoyles

Genre: Supernatural/ Drama

Rating: PG-13.  Some strong language and adult situations.

Characters:  Wren, Demetrius, Elisa Maza, Fox Xanatos, Goliath

10/23/01 2:53:48 AM

 

[Bracketed words indicate thought or psionic communication.]

 

DISCLAIMER:  I DO NOT OWN GARGOYLES.  THEY BELONG TO DISNEY. NO PROFIT WANTED

FOR THIS FICTION.  NO INFRINGEMENT INTENDED.  ALL ORIGINAL CHARACTERS IN THIS

FICTION ARE PROPERTY OF DENIGODDESS2OO1.

 

Late October 2005

Linoma Bluffs Metroplex, Nebraska

Summerlands Estate

 

Demetrius felt relaxed and sated in his comfortable position on the porch

string. One muscular slung over the back of the porch swing and his legs

leisurely crossed, he seemed an emperor surveying his vast domain.  Contentedly,

he watched his mate planting flower bulbs along the walkway that led to the

front porch of their home. Steepled hands and tapered fingers provided a rest

for him as he watchfully observed his betrothed.  With disheveled hair and

patches of dirt adorning her cheeks, he realized that she felt peace for the

first time in many weeks.  Her tender devotion to the delicate plants was a

manifestation became a meditative exercise.  Gardening became her means of

distraction from the anarchic pandemonium of their recent lives.  He realized

that a calm autumn eve such as this was a precious rarity they required quite

desperately.

 

The year had been one of marvels and wonders.  So many bright blessings bestowed

upon him made the Nightkind Warrior marvel at the sheer magnitude of his good

fortune.  He found his lifemate, his heart's completion, in a shy bluestocking

that touched him in ways that made him roar with resounding joy.  Yet, the epic

escapades recurrently left him breathless.

 

She had given him a merry chase and refuted his attempts at courtship.  She had

brought him along on spectacular adventures leading to other worlds and

dimensions.  Together they had battled deities and villains and came out

victors.  Yet, only recently had she truly revealed herself to him.  He had once

thought her plain and lackluster, yet now she was arresting and complex. He some

time ago thought of Wren Summers as shy and timid and now she dazzled him with

her intrepid spirit.  He had assumed her passionless and aloof.  He knew her to

be passionate in his arms and welcoming of his devotion.

 

Yet, their grand adventures had not been without a price.  Wren's recent

flashback of her experiences with Remy LeBeau and Avalon brought on unexpected

ramifications.  It began with chronic insomnia followed by agitation and

irrational fears of leaving their Summerlands estate.  Since that night, when

Wren managed to sleep, she dreamt horrid nightmares of apocalyptic times and

genocide.  At his urging, she sought professional help.  Wren's diagnosis was a

blow to her fragile esteem: post-traumatic stress disorder and chronic

depression.  Dr. Christina Hansen-Stephenson prescribed anti-depressant

medication to give Wren some peace.

 

Now, she struggled to find her equilibrium.  She toiled daily to restore peace

to her troubled mind.  She sought her way towards reality.  Demetrius thanked

the powers that be that he carried the ability to separate himself from their

empathic link.  He found it himself delving into her psyche and her perceptions

melding with his insight.   He forcefully pushed away the guilt that danced on

the fringes of his heart.  They both needed his strength.  He heard her hum a

quiet tune as she patted the soil gently over the bulbs.

 

[Had I known what Providence premeditated for me, would I have chosen this path? 

I know that nothing is without cost.  How can I remain constant and forever

steadfast as tragedy follows tragedy?  I waver in times of trepidation while

Wren battles on with her illness and her inner demons.  Wren, forgive me?]

 

Daily Demetrius found himself walking through the orchards and forests of

Summerlands pondering these questions.  Many nights he pondered the words of

Tacitus in his quest for resolution of these obstacles.  He ate autumn's fruit

and spent various evenings reciting scripture and verse from the Tome Of

Tacitus.  Skylaris' edicts fortified his heart and provided the inspiration he

earnestly needed.

 

 

A Gargoyle is a creature of courage.

A Gargoyle's heart embraces boldness

In the face of adversity.

 

It may be tempted by fear

But never shall the Gargoyle heart know

The taste of cowardice.

 

When the probability of defeat shadows the battle,

So is it the Gargoyle way to take up the cause

And protect that which is right and good.

 

His essence comprises integrity.

Her talons protect the innocent.

A Gargoyle looks for truthfulness.

 

A Gargoyle's eyes see only faith when engaging others.

She is a Dame of honor and he is a Sire of virtue.

The Gargoyle way is succumbing to heart's calling for righteousness.

 

A Gargoyle's heart embraces the clan

And yields not to the temptations of self.

Life becomes corrupt, meaningless, and empty without benevolence.

 

A Gargoyle despises mercilessness.

And stands ready as guardian and sentinel

For those without hope or champions.

 

His valor defends those who are frail and fragile.

Her heart loves fiercely and well.

His essence extends kindness and compassion to all

 

It matters not to the Gargoyle heart that her charges

Be without wing or talon and know the light of the sun.

A Gargoyle Warrior defends all the defenseless.

 

Her tongue articulates simply verity.

A Gargoyle's fury quashes cruelty.

A Gargoyle's roar sends forth the message of justice.

 

Justice knows no death

Provided that a Gargoyle's heart

Never betrays it's nature.

 

It is our way to protect.

It is our nature to serve.

It is our true, best destiny to love Fiercely and well.

 

The Gargoyle Way is our conscience

When we are without clan

And alone in this world.

 

The Gargoyle Way eternally shines

When the heart burns brightest with the

Fire of love and the valor of honor.

 

That is the Gargoyle Way.

 

Upon occasion, Wren's various means of dealing with her disorder baffled him. 

Her methods drove Demetrius to temper.  Wren obsessed with work; relaxation was

not her forte.  She spent long nights at the office and rarely returned home

until late in the evening. Wren found respite from her ghosts in work and

warfare.  She sparred relentlessly with him in the exercise room for hours upon

end.  He found that aggressive combat channeled her untamed energies and forced

her total concentration.  The release and respite Wren found in melee brought

order to her fractured mind. Yet, she denied Demetrius access to her inner mind

and deepest psyche.  She withdrew into her mind and often seemed distracted.

 

Demetrius' contentment progressively became despondency.  He brought himself

forward as he watched his beloved tend to her planting.   [Milady, I beg you to

return to me in mind and spirit.  Sweet Wren with broken wings, have faith in us

and in me.  I shan't turn away from troubled times nor desert you when doubt

runs rampant.  Where you go, I go.  Where you lead, I follow.  Where you are I

shall be.  What you are I willingly become.]

 

Demetrius refused to allow new tears to fall.  He turned his attention to the

west and saw the last rays of coral and cadmium dip below the horizon.  He

welcomed the tingling sensation pulsing beneath his skin.  He felt the sun's ray

die away as wings burst majestically from his back.  He knew a powerful tail

made its way from him and lashed triumphantly when set free.  Tapered fingers

became indestructible talons.  He was no longer Demetrius Nightkind; human. 

Standing on the front porch was Demetrius of Clan Caledon; devoted mate of Wren

Summers.

 

His eyes glowed dimly: partially in anger and somewhat in despondency. 

Demetrius cloaked his wings about him as he rose to his feet.  He watched as the

first shadows of Twilight brought on the change in his mate.  He watched a

slender prehensile tail snake from underneath her soiled shirt.  He imagined

that delicate horns crested her brow.  He knew gone were the slender fingers he

suckled so readily and that ten tapered talons sunk deeply into the cool dark

soil as she planted each bulb. 

 

[Wren will not know peace until this infirmity is removed from her mind?  I am

at a loss.  How can I battle an enemy I cannot see?  How can I combat a foe

without form or substance?  Damnation of the seven hells!  Neither talon nor

tail can thrash this enemy into defeat.]

 

 "Demetrius. ...Earth to Demetrius."  Wren's voice interrupted his introspective

musing.

 

"Milady?"  He arched his wing about her and drew her close.  "Are ye finished

with your planting?"

 

"All done.  Besides, I really can't do much in the dark."  She smiled up at him. 

His empathic link noticed her immense satisfaction with her diligent work. 

"We're going to have some beautiful irises and tulips next Spring."

 

"I am certain of it."  Demetrius agreed. A growl erupted between them that

demanded immediate attention.  He gave a knowing look at Wren's abdomen.

"Hungry?"

 

"Famished!"  Wren smacked her lips.  "I'm thinking ordering pizza sounds

wonderful."

 

"Milady, I think it not wise to distress the delivery person." He playfully

snaked his tail around her waist.  "Even in a city such as Linoma, I believe

that Gargoyles and Mutants are still considered oddities at best and monsters at

worst."

 

"I know."  A heavy sigh escaped her.  "That's the downside of being something

other than human. 

 

"I have a chicken thawing in the refrigerator.  Give me but an hour, Milady, and

I shall have a wondrous Chicken Pasta Alfredo with steamed vegetable gracing our

table and filling our bellies."  He touched his brow to hers.  "You have yet to

disdain my cooking."

 

"This is true."  She murmured appreciatively.  "I can whip up a salad and find

some wine from the rack.  I'm thinking a white zinfandel."

 

"Plying me with wine shall make me your most humble servant."  The purr is his

voice let her know that he wanted to play.  "Dinner and delight sound quite

wonderful this night."

 

"I couldn't agree with you more."  Wren wrapped her arms around the strong

column of the warrior's neck.  She nuzzled him affectionately with a soft kiss

to a particular pulse point.  His playful purr deepened into a low growl.  "Then

maybe a night flight if it's not too chilly?"

 

"If I love you fiercely and well, Milady, we'll have neither the strength nor

vigor for such merriment."

 

"Promises, promises."  She teased.

 

[Tonight, I vow that I shall have you entreating me to love you and wed before

the year's end.] Demetrius decided with focused Gargoyle tenacity. 

 

He longed to know the human custom of marriage.  Instinct screamed their union

brought with it serenity to her distressed heart and anguished mind.  He longed

to give her that certainty of love and devotion.  He wanted his signature on

paper for her to know that he belonged to her body and soul.  He ached for a

simple band of gold to bond him eternally to the quiet woman in his arms.  He

yearned to give himself completely to this woman in true union.  He pleasured

her with his body.  He worshipped her with his heart.  He sought to give her the

one gift the she refused to accept: his name.

 

 

 

>>>>>>>>>>

 

Demetrius cleared the last of the dishes from the table and brought them to the

sink.  Wren rinsed each dish and carefully placed each neatly in the dishwasher. 

[How do I broach the question that she reflect on alternatives to combat her

inner demons?]

 

"Demetrius, what's on your mind?"  Wren turned off the water and wiped her hands

on the dishtowel.  Her brow creased in worry.  "You've been unusually quiet all

night."

 

"Nothing, Milady."  He quickly reassured her.  "I knew not that I seemed

pensive."

 

"Pensive?"  She scoffed.  "Try brooding and contemplative.  That is typical

Gargoyle behavior.  You're                                     cheerful and

spontaneous.  So, why have you suddenly gone 'Goliath" on me?

 

"Goliath?"  He repeated not understanding her reference.

 

"You know, Goliath.  Deep, pensive, brooding Gargoyle."  She poked him lightly

in the chest.  "Definitely, that's NOT you.  So, 'fess up, Demetrius.  What is

going on that's making you so....aloof?"

 

Demetrius knew that he could deny his Songbird nothing.  Soulful eyes met her

hazel gaze.  His wings and tail seemed to droop somewhat when she asked her

question.  "Milady, for days I have watched you endure the anguish of

heartrending reminiscences.  I wish you only peace and resolution.  Yet, I am

powerless to aid you in your crusade against these phantoms that haunt your

mind.  The healer, Christina Stephenson gives you potions and remedies to bring

you sleep and still your thoughts.  That does not bring true healing.  It only

conceals the quandary besieging you."

 

"Those potions and remedies let me sleep and calm me down."  Her defensive

reaction was not unexpected.  "For the first time in six months, my mind isn't a

dark scary place that I'd rather not be."

 

"Milady, what of other means to quell these furies inside your mind?"  Demetrius

persisted.

 

"Other means?"  Wren broke free of his embrace and stepped away from him.  With

hands on hips she confronted him.  "My mental health isn't the best right now. 

Some days, I think I'm half-insane and other days are infuriatingly lucid.  I

can't live with those extremes, Demetrius.  I need normalcy in my life.  And

those pills and prescriptions give me what I need."

 

"What of Avalon?"  Demetrius refused to let go of the topic.  "Perchance Puck or

Oberon might restore balance to you?"

 

"Their understanding of the human heart and mind is limited.  Magick isn't going

to make this all go away."

 

"What of the one called Professor Xavier?"

 

"Xavier?"  Wren froze.  Her eyes blazed in silent warning for Demetrius to

retreat from the harsh questioning.

 

"Aye, Milady; Xavier."  The warrior refused to relent.  "Might he have the means

with his mental talents to bring you the repose and closure you need?"

 

Wren folded her arms as if to ward off the autumn chill or her lover's inquiry. 

She turned from him.  Her voice was soft and quiet.  "I've thought about that,

actually?"

 

Demetrius stepped behind his ladylove and wrapped wings and arms around her

slender form.  He rested his head upon her right shoulder and murmured gently

into her ear.  "He is a man of great wisdom and compassion.  Goliath speaks

highly of this scholar.  He finds him of impeccable integrity.  I beseech you,

Milady!  Contemplate returning to the Xavier Institute and seek his aid."

 

"Demetrius, I know that you're worried."  Her small palm cupped his ebony cheek. 

"Would it truly make you feel better if I actually returned there?  Do you

really think that Professor Xavier could help me?"

 

"All things are possible."  Demetrius's resonating baritone carried the first

notes of optimism she had heard since the beginning of the debate.  "Would we be

for worse if attempted such a course?"

 

"I'll consider it."  She promised.  "If I go back to the Xavier Institute, I'll

do it on one condition."

 

"Name it."

 

"Come with me."

 

"You have my word.  I shall not leave your side until I draw my last breath."

 

"Not on my watch you won't."  She whispered.

 

**************

The cool autumn air chilled their bedchamber.  Sleep eluded Wren Summers even

with the aid of tranquilizers.  Relentlessly she tossed and turned in the king-

sized bed. The sheets felt rough and coarse against her skin.  Cool autumn air

seemed a frigid chill as it passed over her body.  Demetrius' normally

protective embrace became an imprisoning hold that restricted her movement. 

Torrid thoughts of regret and doubt flashed through her mind.  Her heart's

rhythm surged wildly in her chest.  Sleep again eluded her.

 

She closed her eyes and forced herself to focus solely on breathing techniques. 

With each breath she forced the chaotic thoughts from her mind.  Wren

concentrated on the slowing of her pulse and the calming of her anxiety.  She

visualized the sweet heather-covered moors and tors of Caledon.  She envisioned

ebony and plum wings surrounding her with their gentle warmth.  She imagined

bright lavender eyes gazing at her.

 

Wren brought herself from her reverie and noticed the stillness in the air. 

With help from Dr. Hansen, she mastered the rudiments of lucid dreaming.  Wren

awed at this newfound technique to bring on rest.  Wren mutely took in the scene

around her.  It stunned her how her senses came alive while in this altered

state of mind.  She drank in each sense and sensation with childlike wonder.

 

Wren found herself standing on a deserted street somewhere in Linoma Bluffs.  A

thick, heavy haze blanketed the area in a veil that made vision impossible.  She

smelled the scent of rain and dead leaves in the air.  What troubled her most

was the eerie silence that met her ears.  She saw no cars and no people.  A

cool, wet breeze chilled her skin.  This place reeked of desertion and

abandonment.  She knew she was alone in this dark, surrealistic realm. 

 

Wren immediately recognized the urban scene.  Many nights she visited this same

desolate street in her dreams.  It was always the same:  the thick, dense fog

and the smell of rain.  She knew no one was around and that she was utterly

alone.  Panic grew within her as she realized that there was no escape from the

dream until morning.  [Think, Wren, damn it!  This is just a dream.  It's only a

dream.  Nothing happens here.  Dr. Stephenson said that it's just my fears of

being alone manifesting in subconscious.]

 

"Everything isn't what it seems, Wren."  A voice spoke behind her.

 

Wren screamed and turned to face the stranger behind her.  She saw a silhouette

shrouded by the fog.  "Step into the light so that I can see you."

 

"You don't want to see me."  The form called through the mist.

 

"I don't think so."  Wren riposted.  "This is MY dream.  I call the shots."

 

"Do you?"

 

"Yeah, I do."  Wren walked forward towards the figure.  "You haven't been in my

dreams before now.  Who the hell are you?"

 

"Certainly not from hell."  The voice sounded amused.  It was low and melodious. 

The voice was undeniably feminine.  "Just think of me as your spirit guide."

 

"Spirit guide?"  Wren scoffed.  "You sound familiar.  Who are you?"

 

"Are you sure you want to know?"

 

"I have more courage in my dreams than I do in real life."  Wren took another

step forward.  The figure seemed to move backwards as she moved.

 

"Not true."  The voice called to her. 

 

"Who in the hell are you?!"

 

The shape deftly floated through the mist toward her.  The fog parted to reveal

a woman of bronzed complexion and dark almond eyes.  Dressed in jeans, black tee

shirt and a red leather bomber jacket, the woman appeared not to be a threat. 

"You don't look like a monster from a nightmare."

 

"Trust me, I'm not."  The woman laughed.  "But, I've been sent to help you,

Wren."

 

"Okay, I'll bite.  If you're my spirit guide, then where are the trumpets and

the fireworks?  Where are the hoopla and the fanfare?"

 

"If you want hoopla and fanfare, go to Las Vegas.  I'm an apparition with a

mission."

 

"And really dry humor."   Wren raised a sardonic brow at the sarcasm and bad

poetry.

 

"That too."  The wraith agreed.  "Now, listen up, Wren.  Things are getting

nasty in the world and the Hades Wave is about to hit."

 

"The Hades Wave?"  Wren studied the woman before her.  "Look, before we go any

farther, what do I call you?"

 

"Elisa."  The reply seemed friendly.

 

[Elisa....Elisa....]  The name brought with it an uncanny sense of familiarity. 

[Elisa...where have I heard that name? ]

 

The face seemed memorable.  Wren knew that she recognized this woman standing

before her in the mist.  "Do you have a last name?"

 

"Maza."

 

Wren stumbled backward as if hit by a thundering blow.  [Goliath's last name is

Maza.  He was married to a human named-]

 

"Elisa Maza."  She spoke aloud.  "You're Goliath's wife."

 

"Was."  Elisa said with regret.

 

"Saints preserve me."  She whispered and instinctively made the sign of the

cross in front of her bosom.  "Aren't you ...dead?"

 

"I have been for quite a while."  Elisa smiled at the absurdly obvious.

 

[This is a dream.  This could be someone like Puck playing with my mind or the

some telepath thinking that I'm easy picking.]  "Okay, if you're Elisa Maza,

prove it."

 

"You want me to prove my identity?"  The apparition appeared confused by Wren's

request.

 

"Yes.  Prove it.  Prove to me that you are truly Elisa Maza."  Wren challenged

the wraith.

 

"Okay."  The shade conceded.  "I was a Detective 2nd class at the 23rd precinct

for the NYPD."

 

"Common knowledge.  Try again."

 

"I married Goliath on Samhein 2000."

 

"Again, common knowledge."  Wren huffed.  "Give me something only Elisa and

Goliath would know."

 

"Shortly after Goliath and I met, Xanatos' goons were chasing us through Central

Park.  He was hit with a tranquilizer dart that had enough serum to bring down

an elephant.  He couldn't make it back to the castle and we turned to stone

under some pretty thick foliage.  I stayed the entire day with him."

 

"That's one thing.... Give me something else." Wren remained skeptical of the

spirit's snippet of proof.

 

"When Goliath and I first me, he saved me from becoming street pizza."  Elisa

remembered.  "Formal introductions were made on the narrow ledge of a

skyscraper."

 

"Not good enough.  I want something personal."  Wren persisted. 

 

"Our mating flight almost became a disaster."  Elisa chuckled.

 

"Why?"

 

"Goliath was so hot and bother that we crashed into a tree on the Xanatos

estate.  His pride never let him tell a soul.  How's that for personal?"

 

"That's- uh, well..." Wren nervously cleared her throat as she remembered her

own fear of heights.  "er, good.  That works for what I need."

 

"Now, that we have that out of the way, let's get down to business."  Elisa's

for

 

"I don't believe in Spirit Guides, crystals, beyond death experiences or any of

that other New Age mumbo jumbo."  Wren's declaration cut through the night air. 

"Why me?  Why not appear to your late husband?"

 

"Trust me, my being here is nothing like that."  Elisa answered. "Listen to me,

Wren.  I can't get through to anyone in the clan.  Goliath's blocked off his

mind and Adrienne's mind is resistant to my calls.  You were the only one that's

receptive to me on the unconscious level."

 

"Great, I really am going insane."  Wren cried in pure frustration.

 

"No, you're not!"  Elisa stepped forward.  "I've been trying for almost two

weeks to get you to listen to me."

 

"Is that what's causing my headaches, my nausea and my nightmares?"

 

"Bingo!"  Elisa nodded.  "You haven't been much more receptive than your warrior

friend.  He has a way of blocking me from your dreams."

 

"Demetrius is very protective."

 

"I've noticed.  Gargoyles usually are."

 

"Okay, I'm not going crazy then?"  Wren craved confirmation of that simple

query.

 

"No, you're not going crazy."  Elisa laid a hand on your shoulder.  "You have

problems, Wren.  But, the symptoms you've been having have nothing to do with

your disorder."

 

"Thank God."  Wren remembered to breathe.  She looked at the shorter woman. 

"You've got my attention.   What is going on?  Why have you been trying to reach

me?"

 

"I don't know everything and I don't understand it all.  I do know it has to do

with Gargoyles and Mutants.  You've made some powerful enemies and they want you

out of the way."

 

"Tell me something I don't already know."  Wren shrugged nonchalantly.   "No

disrespect, Elisa, but that isn't anything unusual."

 

"No, but I know that the Hades Wave is going to bring more death and destruction

to innocent lives that you can imagine."  Elisa spoke harshly.

 

"What is the Hades Wave?'

 

"I'm not exactly sure.  I haven't been told all of the details."  Elisa

admitted.  "Things get hazy and I lose a lot of the information between

purgatory and the dreamscape. 

 

"You've been sent here to tell me horrid things are going to happen but you

don't remember what you're supposed to tell me?"  Wren felt her confoundment

become anger.

 

 "Hey! I'm in-between life and death.  My body doesn't exist but it wasn't my

time to die. The info gets lost in transit.  I know I'm supposed to deliver the

info from the Great Beyond.  So, I guess that makes me the local Oracle."

 

"An Oracle?"

 

"I don't remember."  Elisa threw up her arms in frustration.  "I know that I'm

supposed to guide you through this and I know what to tell you as the time

comes.  I know that you've been denying some of your abilities and that's

causing you a lot of trouble."

 

"I know what I can do."

 

'And what you refuse to do."  Elisa confronted Wren.  She pointed to the West.

"Watch and see what I see."

 

Wren watched the mist part and reveal a dark, starless sky.  A blazing streak of

light made a path across the sky.  Elisa silently took Wren's hand and led her

through the fog.  They found themselves walking through mud and leaving the

pavement behind them.  Wren saw that she stood on the bank of a very large

river.

 

"Where are we?"  Wren turned to Elisa.  "No river runs like this in Nebraska."

 

"I'm not sure, but watch.  You need to see this.  That's all I know."  Elisa

turned her attention in the direction of the blazing mass falling from the sky. 

Wren nodded in understanding and watched the blazing sphere plunge into the

murky waters of the unnamed river.  She saw debris falling from the sky like

rain.  A rather large piece landed only a few yards from her.  Wren glanced the

side to further study the piece.  What met her eyes brought shock to her system.

 

The piece of debris was metal. Wren knelt beside it for further study.  She

noticed black letters that were partially covered by the char caused from the

burning descent.  Wren took the edge of her jacket and wrapped it around the

edge of the metal.  She rushed to the river and dunked the large metal scrap

into the cooling waters of the river.  She heard the hissing sound of cold water

chilling searing metal.  She pulled it out and used her coat sleeve to wipe away

the last residuals of the black char.

 

[V-E-N-T-U-R-E]

 

"Venture?"  She asked aloud.  "What does that mean?"

 

She noticed another piece of metal floating along the bank of the river where

she stood.  She discarded the first piece and bent over to quickly retrieve the

second from the strong current the second piece was about the size of a

briefcase and bore an emblem and letters.  Wren felt somewhat queasy when she

recognized the emblem to be the American Flag.   Wren felt abject horror as she

spotted the black letters underneath it.

 

"NASA."

 

She returned her gaze to the murky waters of the river.  She spotted broken

vials and large canisters floating along with the current.  The black cloudiness

of the water seemed to shimmer oddly in the moonlight that broke through the

haze.  The darkness gave way to a strange mustard color.  Things began bobbing

to the surface.  Shoes... tires... fish... so many fish.... Deformed and

misshapen.    Deformed and seemingly burned.

 

"What in the world?"  Wren remarked as the stench of decay reached her nostrils. 

This was truly a nightmare because the images reminded Wren of one too many late

night horror and apocalypse flicks.  [Dead fish aroma in dreams is NOT a good

thing.] 

 

"Whatever you do, don't drink the water."  Elisa told her.  "Don't eat the

food."

 

"I don't understand."

 

***************

 

BEEP BEEP BEEP.  The annoying sounds of Wren's alarm clock abruptly woke her

from her sound sleep.  She groggily turned toward the window and found the sun

shining brightly.  She focused her blurry vision on the red digits flashing from

her alarm clock.  7:30.  [What a night.]

 

"What a weird dream."  She turned to see that Demetrius had already risen to

greet the day.  The delicious scent of fresh blueberry muffins filled Wren's

senses.

 

[Demetrius is more worried about me than he'll admit.  I don't want him thinking

that I've went off the deep end.]  Wren walked to the bedroom door and locked

it.  She took the cordless phone from beside her bed and made her way to the

master bath.  On the way, she turned on her clock radio to a loud rock station. 

Once in the bath, she shut the door and turned on the shower.  [Gargoyles have

sensitive hearing and this is one thing he doesn't need to know.]

 

She dialed the area code and number for Xanatos' private residence in New York

City.  Wren knew that the Wyvern clan recently returned to New York.  With each

ring she prayed to the Powers-That-Be that she truly wasn't losing her mind.

 

"Hello?"  A husky feminine voice greeted her from the other end of the line.

 

"Mrs. Xanatos?"  Wren felt beads of sweat form on her brow.

 

"Yes..." was the cautious reply.

 

"Mrs. Xanatos, this is Wren Summers.  I'm Mr. Xanatos' department head for

research and Development for Xanacorp in Linoma Bluffs."

 

"Oh, yes!"  Fox Xanatos replied pleasantly.  Wren hated phone conversations with

a passion and was relieved that she needn't give further explanation.  "You're

Owen's friend, aren't you?"

 

"Yes."  [Friend is a very understated way of describing our relationship.]  "I'm

sorry to be calling so early in the morning.  I was wondering if the sun had

risen yet in New York?"

 

"No, not yet.  Sunrise is about twenty minutes away."  Fox assured her.

 

"Mrs. Xanatos, I need to speak with Goliath on a matter of the utmost

importance." Wren bit her lip in frustration as that damned quaver entered her

voice.  "I was wondering if he might be available."

 

"Let me check.  Can you hold?"

 

"Yes."

 

Seconds became minutes.  Wren watched the minutes ebb away on the clock. 

[According to Fox's earlier estimate, the sun will be up in ten minutes there. 

Damn it!  Hurry up!]

 

She nervously eyed the clock as away ticked the seconds.  Wren felt her

breathing become shallow and her anxiety evident as she felt her skin flush

heatedly.  [Come on, Goliath!  Answer the phone!]

 

"Yes?"  A deep voice drawled across the wire that she recognized well. 

 

"Oh, good!  I caught you, Goliath."  She sighed.

 

"Wren, Fox said that you wished to speak with me regarding an urgent matter."

 

"You better believe it."

 

"Is all well with you and Demetrius?"

 

"For the most part, we're fine."  Wren eased the clan leader's worries.  "I had

a strange dream last night about Elisa Maza.  I don't think it was merely a

dream.  I think she directly spoke to me."

 

"I see."  The pause on the end of the line was shattering.  "How can you be

certain of this?"

 

"I thought I might just be dreaming.  Yet, when I asked for proof she gave it to

me...but, I need to share it with you to make sure that I'm not wrong."

 

"Proceed please, Wren."

 

"When you and Elisa first met, did you save her from falling off a skyscraper?"

 

"Indeed.  It was the castle wall crumbling from atop the Eyrie building."  The

catch in Goliath's voice caught Wren's attention.

 

"Was your first formal introduction made on a ledge of a skyscraper."

 

"It was."  Goliath confirmed.  "I do not understand how this could be considered

proof that your dream was more than a dream."

 

"Let me throw this one at you, Goliath."  Wren gathered her composure.  "She

said during your mating flight with her that you were so hot and bothered that

you crashed into a tree.  She said that only you and she knew about that.  Is

that true?"

 

She heard a clatter on the other end of the line.  She was certain that Goliath

had dropped the phone.  She heard a crash of something against stone and

wondered if he had stumbled against furniture ...or thrown it.  "Goliath? 

Goliath!!  Are you there."

 

"Aye, I am here."  Came the grave reply.  "What you speak of is true.  Only she

and I knew of that mishap.  It was Elisa that appeared to you in your dream."

 

"She warned me that some bad things are awaiting in the near future.  She

mentioned something called the Hades Wave and she showed me, I guess, a vision

of things to come.  Goliath, now that I know it was her, she has my attention."

 

"Explain this to Xanatos immediately.  We will speak of this matter this-"  His

voice unexpectedly became silent.

 

"Goliath?  Are you there?"  Wren glanced at the wall clock.  It read 8:40.  That

meant it was 6:40 and sunrise hit the East coast.  A bit of mirth crossed her

mind when she imagined Goliath being the world's largest phone cradle.   She

knew she need only wait until twilight descended before she shared the rest of

the information with the clan.

 

She hurriedly dialed Owen's office and left a message for him to call her at his

earliest convenience.

 

There was an urgent rapping at the bedroom door.  [Oh, joy.  I forgot about

Demetrius.]

 

She turned off the water and entered the master suite.  The rapping incessantly

grew louder with each knock.  Wren unlocked the door.  "Wait a minute,

Demetrius."

 

"Wren, why did you have the door locked?"

 

"Sit down, Handsome.  I need to explain some things." Wren made her way to the

bed and sat.  She patted the place beside her.  She leaned forward and retrieved

the locked wooden box from under the bed.  With the turn of the latch on the

box, the lid sprang open.  She grasped the magickal metal of the Annulus.  She

felt the warm, familiar bond take over her senses.  She loved the feel of the

cool, engraved weapon in her hand. 

 

"Wren..."  Demetrius asked warily.  "You have the Annulus in hand...what is

afoot?"

 

"I'm not quite sure...but here is what's happened so far..." Wren spent a better

part of the morning enlightening her warrior mate.

 

TO BE CONTINUED>>>>>>>