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[personal profile] reluctant_gargoyle
And then there was the time I lost my memories.  Not a fun adventure, really,  but it happened and it needs to be recorded and discussed just like all the other things that happened.  Because someday, I want to be able to tell my children all these stories.  Because someday, the world might want to hear them.

It was June 11, 1996.  Avalon had brought us to Easter Island, of all places.  It's a strange place to being with and it was probably stranger still for Goliath and Angela, who knew even less about it than I did.  I told them what I knew and also shared that some people--Matt included--believed that the statues had been build by aliens.  Considering that my conspiracy-theorist ex-partner had been right about the existence of the Illuminati, I shouldn't have been as surprised by what happened next.

We never knew what we were supposed to do when Avalon brought us somewhere, only that it was where we needed to be.  In Prague, Halcyon Reynard, a friend of the Clans' and Fox's father, had offered us a ride home.  Remembering all the people we had met and helped, Goliath made the decision that he would see the trip through to the end.  He did, however, suggest that Angela, Bronx, and I take him up on the offer.  We politely refused.  The thought of Goliath being out there on his own, not knowing what was happening to him , was not something we wanted to deal with.

So we set about exploring the island, mindful of running into any people.  We had been lucky that the ones we had met so far had been trusting and accepting.  I wondered if that luck would hold out.  We didn't know that we were being watched, or that my next words would cause us no end of trouble.

I took a deep breath, savoring the clean night air through my Gargoyle-senses.  "Heck of a vacation," I mused.  "Supposed I should be grateful, really.  Probably wouldn't even be here if I was still human."  It would turn out to have been exactly the wrong thing to say.

"Space-Spawn pawns," a deep voice boomed, "your journey ends here!"

We turned and saw that the hill behind us had opened, revealing a massive, tall being.  He fired some kind of weapon and it all went black.  What followed was easily one of the most traumatic experiences I had on the World Tour.

When I awoke, I didn't know where I was.  I didn't know who I was.  I knew what things were, but the memories of my own life were utterly and completely gone.  I also immediately knew that something more was wrong, off.  My body felt wrong and on top of that, I had a splitting headache.  Combined with the fact that I was lying on a table in a room that looked like something out of a science fiction show, I was one confused woman.

I put a hand to my forehead and the sense of wrongness was confirmed.  My skin felt a little leathery, more like the hide of some animal; my fingertips felt oddly hard.  A quick mental count only came up with four fingers.  I stared down at my hands, hands that were suddenly very alien to me.  Other strange sensations filled my body as well, confirmed by awkward glances to be wings and a tail.  I nearly screamed, instead settling for whispering, "What the hell?" as my tongue ran over fangs in my mouth.

A door built into the wall slid open, revealing an impossibly tall armored figure.  His dark face seemed carved from stone and looked like one of the Moai from the island.  I tried to get down from the table and immediately lost my footing, my feet strangely large and different.  I scrambled into a crouch and caught full sight of myself in the reflective metal of the floor.  I looked like some kind of gargoyle!

I let out an involuntary growl, startling myself that such a noise could even come from my throat.  What the hell had happened to me?  "What did you do to me?" I demanded.

"In all likelyhood," the... person, said "I have saved your life.  You had been captured and brainwashed by agents of the Space Spawn, who also transformed you into their likeness.  I captured them and erased your memory.  You protested that they were your friends--clear evidence.  Unfortunately... I have yet to be able to deduce a way to restore you to your proper form."

It was too much to take in.  I'd been captured by what I could only assume was an alien, except he'd actually rescued me from other aliens who had brainwashed and transformed me?  Without any memories, I had to trust what was being told to me, at least until I could find out more.  All I knew for certain was that this form was not my natural shape.

"I am Nokar, of the N'kai," he went on.  "Thousands of years ago, I was assigned as a Sentinel for this planet, to watch for Space Spawn incursions."

"You... you look like the Easter Island statue heads."  Great.  That I could still remember.  Great job, amnesia.

"Yes," he said, with a nod.  "In the earliest days, I was friends with the natives here.  They built the statues to honor me.  In time, they slowly all passed away."   Was that regret I heard in his voice?

So I was on Easter Island?  Why?  As if things weren't weird enough.

Nokar led me to the bridge of the ship.  There, imprisoned in spheres of energy, were three of the strangest creatures I had ever seen.  In one sphere there was a lavender-colored female with wings and a monstrous, dark-blue dog-like creature.  The other sphere contained a lavender male who could best be described as Conan the Barbarian's bigger brother.  Though Nokar was taller, this... creature was much wider, seeming to radiate physical power.  And yet there was something in his eyes  Something seemed to tug at my heart...

"Elisa!" the big male boomed, sounding relieved.  "You must tell him we are not aliens, that we serve no "Space Spawn!'"

"After what you did to me?" I snapped.  "Not likely, Tiny."

Confusion was writ large on his face.  His eyes glowed write while confusion gave way to anger and he let out a growl as he hammered his massive fists against the sphere holding him.  The girl and the dog likewise tried to break free of their sphere.

"What have you done to her?" the big male demanded, directing unbridled fury at Nokar.

"Freed her from your influence," Nokar shot back.  "I have erased her memories of you.  And now you will tell me how to return her to human."

The big creature seemed lesser somehow for the question.  He looked down, as though ashamed.  "Would that I knew that answer," he said, pain in his voice.  "I would have done so long before now."

...What the hell was that about?

"I'll have no more of your lies!" Nokar barked.

"They aren't lies!" the female creature pleaded.  "Elisa, don't you remember us?  We're your friends!"

Why did I want to believe that?

"No matter," Nokar said.  "I have prepared the ship to leave this planet.  N'kai science will certainly be able to undo what has been done."  He fixed his gaze on them.  "As for you three... Sentinels are not allowed to take prisoners."

The male seemed horrified, but his words revealed he was not afraid for his own life.  "You cannot!  Taken from this world, Elisa will die!"

"More lies," Nokar growled, growing impatient with him.

The lavender male pounded again on the sphere, gaining coherence for speech only after he saw his pounding was doing him no good.  "Please," he begged, pain filling his voice again. "Kill me if you must,  But let Elisa, Bronx, and my daughter go.  Please... do not end their lives."

There was such pain in his voice, such hurt.  What tragedies had this creature known?  And why did it touch me so?

"The countdown has already begun," Nokar said.  "Your Space-Spawn lies will not save you."

The big creature's eyes fell on me and he suddenly seemed very human and very vulnerable.  "Elisa, my love," --his love?  What?  How could I have loved...?  "Please.  You must leave this ship.  You will not survive being taken from this world."

Why... why did being called his love feel so right?  Why was he so concerned for me?

"Please," he pleaded again.

~I never realized how beautiful you are.  What, you thought I was ugly?   Uh...careful!  Updraft!~

~I'll always be there to catch you.~

~Whatever happens to me, Big Guy, whatever form I take, I want to go through it with you.~

~Long have I waited to walk in your world with you.~

~I love you, will love you... now... and forever.~

"Let them go," I said, quietly.


"Let them go.  They're not aliens.  They're not the enemy.  I think...  I think they're my friends."   Something in the large lavender male's voice had finally reached something deep down inside me, triggered some buried memories even Nokar's technology couldn't erase.  I still didn't know much, but I knew that they--that he--were not my enemies, that they would never harm me.

Nokar frowned.  "I see their brainwashing was more insidious than I had thought."  The ship had started to lurch toward take-off.  "I will have to further purge your memory."

"No!" I let out a roar like some kind of wild cat and tackled him, slamming him into a control panel.  Sparks flew and the lights flashed.  I felt the ship falling downward with a heavy thump.

Nokar, now that he was not taken by surprised, lifted me easily off himself.  But now, the others were free.  "Unhand her," the male growled.  The girl and the dog took up positions on either side of him.   He wisely chose to let me down.

"You truly believe in them," he said, strangely quiet.

I nodded and moved to join the ones I now knew in my heart to be my friends... and more.  "More than that," I said, placing  a hand over my heart.  "I know it."

Nokar saw the conviction in my eyes, the certainty I somehow felt.  He nodded, slowly, gravely.  "Perhaps," he said, "I have made an error.  At the first sign of something out of the ordinary, I thought, perhaps I would have proof and could end my long, lonely stay here."

"You said you've been watching her for over a thousand years," I said.  "And... you've been alone since the natives passed.  How do you know the Space-Spawn are even still out there?"

"I know in the same way you know that these are your friends," he said.  "I feel it down to my core.  I have known it all these lonely years."

"There are new people who have claimed this island," the male said.  "I imagine, if you are but willing to take the risk, they too could become your friends."

Nokar seemed to consider this.  "Perhaps," he said, at last.

"But what about Elisa's memories?" the female asked.

"If the are her true memories," Nokar replies, "they will return."

We left the ship, and found a skiff waiting there on the beach.  Over int he distance, I could make out people coming, attracted by the ship's activity.

"What will you do now?" the male asked Nokar.

"I think," he replied, "it is time to reintroduce myself to this world."

I looked at the skiff and felt a tug at my memory.  A name slotted itself into place.  "Ready to go... Goliath?"  My memories were already slowly returning, and I knew that the name carried with it many a good one.

The full extent of my memories would return not too long after we reached Avalon again.  It was  a thing of fits and spurts, especially as more of the implications and facts of what my life was hit me.  I experienced the painful memories of being permanently transformed all over again, but also the happy memories of discovering Goliath loved me as much as I loved him.  He was there for me throughout all of it.

Nokar, to the best of my knowledge, maintains his vigil.  I hope he isn't quite so alone anymore.
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Elisa Maza

February 2011

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