My name is Jay Stiles, a Connecticutian born and bred who's hardly left the state since she was born nineteen years ago. My entire world changed just over two years ago, in May of '96. Actually, it began a month before that, when I was diagnosed with cancer. That meant in May I was in the hospital, where I met Tate. Even then, there was an attraction to him. I don't know what it was, I mean his hair fell out, the brown eyes hide more than show emotion. And the wings, tail, and horns kept the attraction from being a conscious matter.
Tate's a gargoyle. He was there thanks to cancer also, a different one than mine but with a name equally unpronounceable and spelling just as impossible. He's the reason I'm still alive, and as close to human as I am. I was selected for an illegal (not to mention highly unethical, but I figure you can come to that conclusion without help) experiment by an insane geneticist, Anton Servarius. He turned me into a gargoyle. If it hadn't been for Tate and his clan, I'd be a mindless freak of nature under the Doc's command. After spending a summer learning just what being a gargoyle meant, he got his claws on me again. It was Tate again that got me free.
He's been there for me, through so much. It was no biggie for me to return the favor when it came out that he's half human, can change shapes. He decided to enter the human world a bit more and started attending school with me, where we ran into his parents: the gargoyle Mariah and human Eric Williams. It was a rocky reconciliation, but we all got through it.
Things were pretty calm until spring last year. Mr. Williams, who was one of our teachers, actually, led the yearly field trip to New York. There, we made the discovery of a lifetime - more gargoyles. Ever more freaky than meeting the Manhattan clan was the existence of the Quarrymen, a KKK rip off that targets gargoyles. We had a minor run in with Demona, and Tate... Tate admitted to loving me. And I admitted it right back. It made sense at the time, two people not quite human, not quite gargoyle, why not go for the only person who knows what it's like to be caught in between two worlds?
The clan certainly approved. Then again, things got busy for them soon after. First the eggs hatched, then - Then Sadie, the only remaining elder, died. Meg, general grease monkey and next 'clan's sorcerer' (even after all this, magic is where I draw the line of belief) disappeared for a night and came back with a wild tale of time travel and brought Troy, a male gargoyle she claims to be from Rome, back with her as 'proof'. I dunno. Whatever. So long as they're happy as a couple, I'm not gonna ask. Then Steve, who I've always considered a general bum, got caught on film saving a bunch of people from a burning building downtown. Dad gave me some details, and it looks to me like he went above and beyond the call of duty, which really makes me wonder why he's been in such a pissy mood since.
The whole mental breakdown thing seems to be a pattern for the next few months. First Silicon, fondly referred to as Geek Beak, insisted this ghost or evil twin or something showed up to make life crazy for us. I dunno. I think it had something to do with the trauma of the Quarryman attack on him that ended with him losing a portion of his foot. Then Troy broke down at Christmas/Solstice, trying to burn himself, hallucinating, weird shit. According to Meg and Nina (clan healer) he's better, but that was freaky.
Adding to the chaos was a visit from Lexington and Hudson from the Manhattan clan. Amazingly, nothing big happened, though we all have suspicions that Lex left a bit more than friends, if you know what I mean. It's a funny match, really. Mr. Computer Geek and Nicole... well, she can kick anyone's ass, never mind that she's blind.
Another quiet month or two, then Tate and I graduated. I guess it started going downhill when I got a job at Nightstone Unlimited. It started as a general temp job, but through my classic combo if idiocy and dumb luck, I ended up as Demona/Ms. Destine's personal aide. Tate was so freaked by that. He and Demona.... Oil and water. To add even more to the fun, some serial killer wandered into the area, and guess what clan decided to take care of the matter?
Tate and I were the ones that found him. Actually, he found me. I was playing bait, and.... God! Let's not go there. He was gonna kill me, but Tate killed him instead. Sounds all calm, rational, and good for the world as a whole, doesn't it? Believe me, when I saw him literally rip that bastard's throat out, it was anything BUT rational. A week later an assassin shot Demona's face off, and I reacted instinctively, shooting him with a tranq gun I'd been carrying around. It came to me, though, just how violent gargoyles are. I've been told time and again gargoyles protect, how much that need to protect is ingrained into them. It never struck me before just how much of that is a violent streak. I couldn't take that. So... so I ran. Welcome to Rainier University, in Cascade, Washington.
In hopes of (A) making the reading experience easier and (B) get away without lengthy descriptions of new characters, I present to you a quick overview of the cast. The information following is presented as knowledge of the general public, therefore has the possibility of being incorrect. In other words, I'm not letting out all the secrets.
James 'Jim' Ellison
Minor Characters (i.e., blink and you might miss a few)
Simon Banks - this tall (6'4"), rather imposing man is Captain of Cascade's Major Crimes Unit. Banks is renowned for keeping his unruly and often unorthodox detectives on task enough to have the best arrest rate in the department (and city... and with the Ellison/Sandburg team, the whole Northwest), the now unsavory habit of knowing his cigars everywhere, as well as his bellowing skills that reportedly can shake the floor when properly motivated (aka pissed at said detectives). He is several years divorced and occasionally brings his teenage son, Darryl, to the station to experience the cop lifestyle. Rumor has it that the younger Banks is also looking into the police business, despite his father's protests.
Lizzie Calnor - Lizzie is a freshman at Rainier U. She's often been described as cheerleader material with her blonde ponytails and green eyes, and trendy tastes in clothes and music. Favorites include the color purple and the Backstreet Boys. Few consider her to be the psychology major she is, and even fewer understand how she can put up with her somewhat antisocial roommate, Jay Stiles.
Psyche Loar - with Blair Sandburg's disgraceful leave from the academic world, Rainier U. took on a new TA. A petite, hazel eyed blonde, most students rave about this anthropology grad student's classes. It is expected that Psyche will soon finish her thesis on mythological traditions and get her doctorate the end of this school year.
Detective Rafe - a native South American, this member of Cascade's Major Crimes has been dubbed the "GQ detective" for his impeccable taste in clothes. If he's been spotted out of an expensive suit, he seems to compensate with a variety of suspenders (and somehow managing to avoid tastelessness). Partnered with Henri Brown, this duo has a tendency to fall into the shadow of the infamous Ellison/Sandburg team, but make no mistake; they are excellent at their job.
Henri 'H' Brown - dressed in classic grunge and usually jamming to modern rock and/or jazz, Detective Brown is another cop that is routinely underestimated. When not busting crooks or pulling the occasional prank on his coworkers, Brown enjoys a good day of poker or at the horse races. His wife's opinions on those hobbies (along with picking up Captain Banks' taste for cigars) has been unrecorded.
And of course, many many MANY groveling thanks to the nifty Doxmatrix, who did the lovely pic of Tate! Good lord, how does she do it??? Anyway, be sure to check out more of her amazing art at T'San Enterprises! And again, no stealing the art.
The pics of Jay were done by Artemis, who's webpage is Tenth Orbital!!! So don't steal the art, okay?
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Gargs, Demona, the pic of 'Ms. Destine' and any related material belongs to Disney, used without permission or profit, no infringement intended, so please don't sue. Jay, Tate, Loar, Lizzie, and the Connecticut clan are my own (don't steal!), and everything else is property of Pet Fly Productions and therefore Paramount, also used without permission, no profit is being made, yadda yadda.