May Fortune Favor Us
by Karen

1862, outside of Fredicksburg, Virginia

The woman ran past the scattered tents spread out over the army camp, her long black skirts, and petticoats gathered up in her hands; and her curly brown hair dishevelled and wind- blown. Men having their evening meal of biscuits and salt- pork, men bandaging wounds, cleaning rifles, and trading jokes over cups of water; and horses grazing the carpet of grass, glanced up curiously as she rushed by. She ignored them, and periodically glanced into open tent entrances, but shook her head each time, until she found the one she sought in the triage tent.

There were several guards, but she brushed by them as if they did not exist. Inside, men in blue uniforms were lying on make-shift pallets in various stages of hurt, while harried looking medics rushed from one patient to the next. A doctor, with a battered tin cup was hovering over a man dressed in the remnants of faded blue slacks, he was stripped to the waist, bandages wrapped around his ribs and his head partially wound up in a cloth strip which covered a bleeding gash in his forehead. "Here, sit up, slowly, if you can, have a sip of water. You needto replenish fluids." the doctor instructed. He lifted the cup up to the injured man's lips who clumsily but completely drank the liquid down. The doctor set the cup on a battered camp stool and wiped his brow, when he chanced to look up.

"Young lady, what do you think you are doing here?" Civilians are not allowed in the triage unless they're medics, adjutants, nurses, or assistants to the field medics." Unless I am mistaken, you do not fit into any of those categories." he said.

The woman so addressed stopped in mid stride and knelt down next to the injured man. "What? What did you say?"

"I said, what are you doing here? More to the point, how did you get in here?" the doctor asked.

"I had to see Ian." she replied, brushing a strand of hair away.

"Ian?" Oh, you must mean, Sergeant Bancroft." the doctor remarked.

"Yes, Is he all right?" she asked.

"Well, ALL RIGHT is a relative term. He has sustained several bruised perhaps broken ribs, fortunately not severe enough to have caused a lung to be punctured, and the head injury is not as bad as it looks. However, this is probably some trauma. I've removed the bullet shell, so I don't expect there to be any further complications. Now, that I've answered your question, maybe you could answer mine," the doctor said.

"Oh, Gwen Ban croft. I'm sorry for barging in like this, I didn't mean to, but I had to see him! The army stopped by our place earlier today, for medicine and supplies. I gave what I could, even us civilians have to do what we can to help the war effort. When we received word through the telegraph service that the army was on the march, I mean, the unit my husband was with, that the Calvary unit had been in battle against one of the Confederate generals, and that casualties had been very high; I couldn't just stand by, waiting to hear what happened, without lending I hand, Could I? So I followed." Gwen concluded.

"You followed the army?" the doctor asked incredulously.

"Yes." Gwen said.

"I'm beginning to understand where Bancroft gets his stubborn streak, this will probably shock him back into a relapse, once he gets over the shock of seeing you."

"Gwen!" Ban croft said in puzzlement. Doctor, why are you talking about my wife?" I remember mentioning that I was married, did you know her name?"

"She's here, Sir." the doctor said.

"Gwen, came all this way to see me?" he said in wonder.

"Shut up! And kiss me!" Gwen said.


Brooklyn heard those words over and over as the Phoenix Gate hurtled him through its eternal vortex. Brooklyn made himself as compact as possible, wrapping himself up in his wings, and trying to huddle into himself, wishing with every fiber of his being he was back in Manhattan, circa 1998, instead of floating through the ethers of time. However, if wishes came true.... they'd grow on trees.

A fiery sphere abruptly burst into existence, hovering about seven feet above the ground, the laws of gravity being what they were, the crimson red gargoyle emerged from the sphere and immediately began to sink like a rock, even spreading his wings to catch a stray breeze wasn't helping much. Looking down, Brooklyn noticed something, it's not the fall he had to worry about, it was the landing; directly below him was a small copse of what appeared to be oak and willow trees, most stripped of their leaves for the winter. Luckily some branches of the oak trees appeared strong enough to break his fall, even though, this was still going to hurt. He made contact with one large oak tree, and loud crashing sounds echoed his descent, as he dropped into the midst of a forest clearing. As the Phoenix Gate closed behind him, Brooklyn picked himself up, brushed the brambles and twigs sticking to his long mane of white hair.

"OK, that was FUN!" Now where am I?" And more importantly "when" am I?" he wondered aloud. "Just glad no one was around to see my version of 'crash and burn". The willows spread out in a semi-circle with a dirt road that rose and dipped into a series of low hills. Now that his attention was drawn to the usual noises of the night, the low sound of wind soughing through the trees, the sutures of insects, and animals moving; when his keen ears picked up some less than regular nocturnal noises coming from the direction he was currently facing.

"It sounds like someone's out here, too, and from racket they're making, there's a lot of them." Maybe I can get close enough to see who they are, and what they're doing without them spotting me," Brooklyn said to himself. He got up, capping his wings, and started for the road, coming to a slight incline he climbed up. He found a spot where he could get a good view, as he lay down on his stomach and peered over the rim of the hill. The sight that greeted him caused his eyes to open wide and his beak to gape.

"WHOA! That's an army if I ever saw one! And by the looks of things, they've been in a battle and their side lost! So where's the team that won? And what are they fighting about?" And now that I'm here, what am I supposed to do?" This time travel stuff should come with a guidebook. Yeah, like that will ever happen!" he said sarcastically. He looked around at a string of tents with men in blue uniforms straggled out in a loose semi-circle, many of them siting on the ground or stretched out sleeping, or cleaning what looked like rifles. What he was seeing sparked a memory of something he had heard or read about what seemed a lifetime ago: What was it? he muttered. It was only a matter of a few weeks ago, barring all these bothersome trips through time, something Hudson had wanted to point out to him while watching a documentary mini-series on television. The elder gargoyle seemed to think it important for the clan to have a better understanding of human history. It was just about to click in his head when a young boy, about fourteen years old, wearing a version of the uniforms worn by the soldiers below, came running up the hill where Brooklyn crouched, tripped over him and both went tumbling down the hill. In a confused jumble of arms and legs, the red gargoyle tried to break free, or at least slow their descent by digging his claws into the loose dirt of the hillside, but it proved too slippery. Afraid he might accidentally injure the boy, he just let the momentum take them. They finally came to a halt at the bottom, the boy on top.

The boy picked himself up, whirled around, patted himself as though looking for something, and finally glanced up.

"Who are you?" What are you?" the boy asked.

"Uh, I don't think you'd believe me if I told you." I'm Brooklyn. What's your name?" he said.

"I'm Kyle. Did you see an envelope around here?"

Brooklyn glanced around then noticed that said envelope was hooked around one of the points on his wings. "Uh, do you mean this?" he asked, holding it up, and feeling that he was really getting lost in this conversation.

"That's it! I have to deliver that to General McClellan." the

"Who?" Brooklyn asked.

"No time to talk, vital information, time of the essence, important war stuff!" You know, I've never seen a talking bull before!"

th that, he turned around and sprinted towards the camp and the largest tent.

"A talking what? OK, that was informative." Brooklyn grumbled.


The boy raced into camp, sprinting for all he was worth when he was brought up short by a firm hand clamped on his shoulder. "There now, boy, where's the fire?" You're a messenger?" a solider asked.

"Yes, Sir. I have a message for General McCellelan himself," Kyle replied.

"I'll take it to him." the solider replied. "I'm going to see him just now."

"No Sir, I mean no disrespect, sir. but I wouldn't feel right, doing my duty, if I didn't take it to him myself. "the boy replied with a remarkably straight face.

The solider had a little more difficulty maintain one of his own and just shook his blond head. "Starting them young these days. What's the world coming to." All right, come with me."

In the command tent, the general sat in a camp folding chair, along with several of his aides they were occupied in discussing alternate routes and a large map of the area was spread out on the table with differently shaded to indicate Union troop deployments and Confederate holdings. Wooden pegs held the map in place. The general looked like he hadn't slept in several nights, but despite his haggard appearance the general's uniform was still neat.

The unidentified soldier and Kyle waited at the tent entrance for the general to acknowledge their presence. The solider saluted.

"Report" the general ordered.

"Sir, we should be able to march by tomorrow night, although some of the men feel that we didn't really need more manpower, if it means recruiting the Negro unit. But I'll get them to see reason. They need something to get them going like they need another hole in the head, I already got mine. he said as he rubbed his head ruefully.

"Glad to see you're up and around, and back to your usual acerbic self, Ban croft." the general replied.

"Yeah well, you know me, Mother always said I had a hard head. And I got my iron quota." tapping his bandaged forehead, 'So I'm good to go for another march."

"Glad to hear it. Thanks for the report." Then he noticed the young messenger rocking back and forth on his heels, holding his envelope for dear life. "What's this?" he asked. "A errand runner, says it's important." Bancroft answered.

"Let me see it."

Kyle handed over the envelope. The general took it, opened it, and removed the contents. He started reading the communiqué from HQ, and after a few moments of tense silence, he said as he set down the papers,

"Seems we'll be marchin tomorrow night after all. President Lincoln unhappy with ' the performance of my duties, I'm to be relieved of command. My replacement, General Burnside, will be here by then, but I will not be accompanying you. Sergeant Bancroft, tell the men. I'd like to handle this without undue fuss." he calmly replied. Ignoring the the looks of astonished consternation on the faces of the men around him, he said, "Well?"he said pointedly,

"See to it." I'll gather my things and get my horse ready."

"You're going to leave just like that?" Bancroft asked incredulously.

"Yes, that's my last order, Did you have something to add, young man?"

"Well, yes Sir, There's something I think you ought to see! I stumbled across it, literally, coming down the hill!" Kyle exclaimed.

"Go on. he said resignedly putting up with the boy's enthusiasm.

"Kyle, I don't think you should bother him with this." Ban croft said reprovingly.

"You'll never guess what I saw! Kyle said excitedly.

"What did you see? he said, deciding to humor the boy.

"Uh, it was a red bull, at least it looked something one, 'cause I've never seen a bull, red or otherwise, except it was standing on its hind legs and it talked to me!" Kyle finished.

"It talked to you?" the general asked. "What did it say?"

"Yes it did! Kyle answered. "It said: "YOU wouldn't believe me if I told you. And it asked me what my name was!" Kyle finished in a rush.

"I see," the general said.

The other men in the tent just laughed, and hid their snickers behind their beards.

"Sounds like the boy was drunk but he's not old enough to drink." one of the men laughed.

"Maybe its them southerners idea of the "Trojan Horse play," one man joked.

"Well, I have nothing better to do at the moment," I'll go chec out this miraculous red talking bull of Kyle's, if nothing else it mighbe good for a good laugh. I think my wife might be interested in going too."

"Your wife is here? I have to get out of camp post-haste!" the general laughed and gave Ban croft a good-natured smack on the shoulder.

"Ouch!" Ban croft laughed. "Yeah, tell me about it."

"You do that, you need the rest, so the doctor tells me." The pair left the tent.


Brooklyn wondered what he was supposed to do next, glancing up not the sky, he noticed with some alarm that the horizon was beginning to lighten, that decided matters, it was high time that he find a place to retire for the day. The best way to go was probably back the way that he had come, to that forest clearing, maybe up in the trees, but that was too much for the birds, if that didn't work, he could maybe use the willow trees for cover. Having made his mind up, he turned around and started back up the hill. This way, he thought, at least, he avoided the army camped next door. Brooklyn returned to the clearing, found a comfortable pose and as the sun rose, he went into stone sleep for the day.


"He was there! I know what I saw! I wasn't imagining things," Kyle insisted. "Maybe you were imagining things! It's been a long day."

"Boys often have active imaginations, I should know I married one." Gwen laughed.

"Boy? Bancroft joked back.

"Well,.,..." she trailed off." What are we doing out here again?"

"Looking for a talking red bull." her husband replied.

"A what?" she asked.

"Yeah, exactly my reaction. Kyle, maybe your mind was playing tricks on you, and that's all there is to it."

"No, sir, ma;'am! Look at the tracks!"

There were undeniable tracks on the ground that looked like they doubled back on themselves; they led right to the hill and back in the direction over the hill. Upon further inspection, Ban croft also noticed where one set of prints crossed over the other. One set he couldn't quite make out, the impression were deep, and might have come from a pair of sharp heeled boots, or from the butt end of a rifle, the other were smaller, probably Kyle's.

"Well, they are tracks here all right" he said.

"What do you make of them? Gwen asked.

"Nothing definite." Curious though."

"Maybe we should follow them, see where they lead!" Kyle exclaimed.

"I don't know..." Bancroft trailed off.

"Please!" Besides, you said yourself you didn't have anything better to do!" Kyle pleaded.

"He did say to check it out." Gwen said.

"I guess I'm outflanked and outnumbered in this operation, huh?" Bancroft laughed. "I would seem you are, dear." Gwen replied.

"All right, let's go." I'll just get my rifle just in case." Wait here, that's an order!" he said, and mock glared at both of them.

He headed back towards camp and a about ten minutes later, returned with his rifle and sack of provisions along a with three containers of water.

"Just in case this wild goose chase takes us longer than I expect." The army isn't going anywhere until tomorrow night." he said.

"You know, we might as well turn this into a real outing. Kyle, you aren't needed to return to the outpost who sent with the message, are you? I wouldn't want you to become careless in your duties, just because you want to have a little fun." Gwen said.

"NO, Madam! I delivered what I had to, now I have some free time." Kyle said.

"I'm sure you do" Ian said.

"What did you have in mind, Gwen?"

"It was a wonderful idea to bring along provisions, while we're following the tracks, we good find a good place to have a picnic, you said yourself, how long this could take, and we might as well enjoy ourselves, after all I came all this way to see you, Ian, let's enjoy it," Gwen said.

"I think you should be a soldier," he muttered.

She laughed, "Women in the army is about as terrible thing to a Union general as having black slaves in his army."

"It's politics, but that doesn't mean I have to like it." Let's not talk about that, I'd rather talk about pleasant things. We're out here to enjoy ourselves," Gwen said.

"You're right." he answered

"What's politics?" Kyle asked curiously.

"Nothing you need to worry about, Kyle." Bancroft replied, running a sun-tanned hand through the boy's curly red hair.

They walked along the road, for about three hours until they were approached a forest copse with a clearing. and by mutual agreement that it was the most likely looking place to stop and have a picnic.

They sat down on the ground and Ian drew forth the contents of his provision sack, some beef jerky, a loaf of bread, and jar of raspberry jelly, and some containers of water. The three sat down and shared the simple fare. Their backs to the base of a giant oak tree.

"I think these are one of those moments that you remember even when you're old and grey, frozen in time" Ian said.

"I could get used to this," Kyle said as he licked his sticky fingers.

"Yeah, you and me both, kid." Great mid-day meal," Bancroft said.

"Ian!" Gwen laughed, 'you're only encouraging the boy."

"Yeah, I suppose I am." he replied. Well, so the tracks end here, and there's still no sign of Kyle's red bull, talking or otherwise."

"Maybe it came from farther away, and we just have seen any tracks!"

"Maybe it was never here, a joke is a joke, but don't you think you've taken it far enough?" Gwen asked.


Several hours later, Kyle, yawning sleepily went over and did his business, when he happened to class over at a large willow tree, which had an unusual red spot hidden among its drooping branches.

"Hey What's that!" he said and pointed.

"What is it, Kyle?" Gwen asked.

"That over, there, the gray dot? Do you see it?" Kyle asked.

"Ian, come over here, Kyle spotted something gray, maybe its our bull." Gwen said.

"Coming, he replied. "What is it?" he asked.

"The spot, it has a funny shape, like its not part of the tree."

"It is a funny shape for the trunk of a willow tree at that."

"Let's check it out!" Kyle exclaimed.

"All right, but be careful." Ian said. as he followed the eager boy who rushed ahead of them. He shook his head, he never expected this wild goose chase for a talking bull to actually turn up results. He wondered what they would find.

The three approached the giant willow tree behind which Kyle had seen the small speck of gray: a streak of darker shades, highlighted by the late afternoon sunlight. Their feet made crunching sounds on dead leaves and frozen undergrowth; pushing back branches that got in their way, they finally came to the spot where the statue was resting.

"I told you something was here!" Kyle said.

"Well, it seems an out-of-the way spot to put a statue. They're usually put in the center of public spaces, like park or in front of buildings." Ian said.

"Maybe someone was doing just that, and this particular statue got left behind by mistake" It's remarkable for its level of detail, especially the curls in the hair." We might be able to see it better," wiping her brow with the hem of her sleeve, 'if we moved it out to the clearing."

"Good idea. "It's heavier than it looks." Ian said.

"It's carved completely from stone, but I can't seem to lay my finger on exactly what type." Gwen remarked.

Grasping the statue by its stone shoulders, Ian lifted, gruntina little from the weight, and began retracing their route to their forest clearing.

"OK, now we've got a better view, where do you want me to put it?" Ian asked.

"Right here, turn it so that it faces east, for lack of better direction, after all, that was the way it was pointed." Gwen indicated.

"All right, here goes." Ian replied, setting down Brooklyn's stone form on the ground.

"See! I wasn't imagining things!

"I apologize, but its hardly red, and statues can't talk." Ian said, ruffling the boy's red hair.

"It's getting late." Gwen said.

"Yeah, it's time we headed back. With General McClellan relieved of command, I should be on hand to properly greet his replacemen when he arrives." Ian said.

"Do we have to leave?" Kyle asked.

"Yes, we do." Gwen replied.

"OK, I guess we really do have to leave, but can we come back later?" Kyle asked. "Sure." Ian replied. The three turned back towards the road they had come in on, and returned to the camp.


The army camp hadn't changed much while the three erstwhile explorers had been gone; men were still occupied with tasks they had been assigned, while others took the rare opportunity to relax. There was an air of anticipation which was a marked contrast from the previous air of resignation which had hung over the army like a dark cloud from earlier in the day. The rumors of the former general's dismissal had no doubt reached the men by now; the reasons for it were possibly not as clear: rumors spread like wildfire, there were probably as many rumors as they were campfires.

"I think you two had better return to the tent we've set up for you, I have to go to the command tent." I have to see if General Burnside has arrived yet. I'll catch you two later. Try to stay out of trouble. he said.

"We will, dear. Come, Kyle." Gwen said, and turned and waved back, as they headed towards their tent.

Shortly after seeing his wife and Kyle safely returned to their tent, Ian Ban croft started walking back to field HQ, acknowledging the salutes of the men, as he quickly walked by them; reaching the tent he ducked under the flaps and adjusted his uniform.

"Sergeant Bancroft, reporting." he said.

"Good to see you're back." We just got word that the new muckety-muck general is on his way. He should be here in a little while. He got delayed setting out from wherever they dredged him up." one of the aides said.

Just then, like it was on cue, like when you mention someone's name, and just like that, he walks in. General Burnside strode into the tent like he owned the place. He was a heavy-set, older man with mostly white, balding hair was kept cut close to his head in a style that made him resemble a walrus., the hair curved around his face in a pair of sideburns. He had served in several military campaigns against the Indians and in the Mexican War, at the outbreak of the war, he had led the fighting at Bull Run. Setting his gear down on the floor, he said without beating around the bush: "Well, I'm here."

"Welcome to the 38th Calvary Division of the Union Army General." Bancroft said. "Thanks. You'll do fine." he said. gruffly.

Bancroft and the aide just looked at each other, not sure what to make of their new general.


Later that evening, the three explorers return to the forest clearing. The horizon was backlit by the glowing trails of the setting sun, faint rays from it made odd contrasting planes and angles on a lone stone figure resting in that forest clearing; catching pink and red highlights that one wouldn't expect to see in gray stone.

"It's almost beautiful, all those odd colored streaks." I'm not sure, but where there cracks in the statue before?" Gwen said.

"Now that you mention it, I don't remember seeing any. Did I make some while I was moving it?" Ian said.

"I don't think so." Kyle said.

The cracks started to spread, running down the stone figure's out-spread wings and widening along its arms and legs.

"Wow! Kyle exclaimed."

The three stared in speechless amazement as the formerly thought to be stone lifeless statue burst out of its stony casing and emerged as a flesh and blood creature with a resounding roaring yawn. Brooklyn stretched his wings with a groan, then whirled around in some alarm, when he saw the three humans staring at him.

"It's the talking red bull!" Kyle exclaimed. "I knew it! I told you it was real! It wasn't my imagination!" he said.

"But why did it turn to stone?" Ian wondered.

Hi, there. I'm Kyle Bluestone, remember?" He said and stuck a hand out for Brooklyn to shake.

"Be careful, Kyle. We don't know if its friendly or not." Gwen said.

"It must be, Remember, Kyle came across it once already, and if it was dangerous, it could have hurt the boy then." Ian said.

"How are you?" Kyle asked politely.

"Uh, Hi", Fine." he managed to get out. "Bluestone? I know someone by that name." he trailed off.

"You do? Kyle asked. "How?"

"I guess it really does talk. Sir, may I ask what your name is? What are you?" Ian asked.

"My name is Brooklyn. I'm a gargoyle." he answered.

"Like the New York borough or the bridge?" Gwen asked.

"Uh, I was named after the bridge." Brooklyn answered.

"Is that where you're from?" New York?" Kyle asked.

"Yeah. It's kind of a long story, and like I said before when we met; I didn't think you'd believe me if I told you."

"Try us." Ian said.

"Well, I'm from New York by way of Scotland, but I left out the part about time." he answered.

"Time?" Ian asked sceptically.

"How do you someone from my family?" Kyle asked.

"Time-travel." And I think that's why I'm here, Kyle is probably is going to be Matt Bluestone's great-great grandfather, or at least he will be. If he grows up to have a family of his own, and his kids have a family; well you get the idea. If Kyle dies in this time-line, then Matt will never be born almost a hundred years later, so I have to make sure he survives, otherwise Matt won't live to be one of my clan's best friends.

"Time-travel, And everyone says things like that are impossible, like horseless-carriages!" Kyle said.

"Whew, I don't know how I managed to get all of that in one sentence!" Brooklyn laughed.

"We believe you." Ian said.

"You believe me?" Time-travel's funny that way. I guess that explains why I'm here, I mean, this particular time and place. But why are you guys here? he asked.

"The fighting started early last year." Ian started.

"Fighting? But what's it about?" Brooklyn asked.

"Oh, I forgot, you're new to this time period. The date right now is 1862, its December, we're in the middle of winter, and we're fighting what's being called the War betwee the states or the Civil War."

"Civil!" What's civilized about war?" Brooklyn asked.

"Do you have wars where you come from?" Gwen asked.

"Not in New York, but other places, but back in Scotland, I've seen what a place looks like when it's all over." My clan back there was massacred after the Vikings came, that is until we arrived in Manhattan; we thought we were the last of our kind. But that's all in the past."

"That's terrible! But how did you get from Scotland to New York? Immigrated?" Gwen asked.

"That's a even longer story and really isn't important now. You were saying about the war?" he asked.

"Uh, yes, well to continue, some have different opinions of why the war started: some believe that it was caused by economic rivalry between the North and the South, others say it was caused by the North to recognize the its official secession from the Union, others, they call themselves Abolitionists.." Ian said.

"What are Abolitionists?" Brooklyn asked."I hope they're not some vigilante group, but I can hazard a guess that they're agains something." he finished.

"Yes, we're a vigilante group, but our cause is against an institution that's been ingrained into our society, and now everyone just takes it for granted. Our cause to is push for banishment of slavery. Gwen said.

"Slavery! No one should be able to own another person!" Brooklyn exclaimed.

"You're right, my friend." Ian stated.

"And you're fighting a war! Oh man, this is big. I may be in over my head this time." he muttered.

"We'll take you back to camp. We'll hide you in our tent, you'll be safe there." Gwen said. "Sounds like a plan." Let's go. I can't stay here, can I?" he finished.


On the March "Well, sir you'll want to get settled." the aide said.

"Yes, getting down to business. Report. I want to know what I'm getting myself into here." Burnside ordered.

"We have approximately 26,000 men, 600 of which are Calvary unit, 15 medics, rifles, ammunition, supplies, wagons, tents, and one unit of colored men. Sir." the aide answered.

"Good, Let's see a map of the area." Burnside said briskly. "Well, sit down and let's get started. What are you waiting for? Make hay while the sun shines, I always say." he chuckled.

Looking at the map, noting the positions of the red and blue bands of color. "Okay, we're here, placing a stubby finger on the x which marked the army's current position, the closest town held by the confederate troops is Fredicksburg, its on the Rapphanock river, the terrain's pretty marshy, and the ground mostly uphill." Burnside said.

"What do you suggest we do?" Bancroft asked.

"I think we should begin an open march, 0800 make it look like we're headed there, then swing around flank them, then come from behind and surprise them."

"The men have had plenty of time to rest, sir. It's almost midnight now, so it won't be too much of a bother to get things in motion for the march tomorrow morning," the aide said.

"Which isn't too far off," Bancroft said.

"Good. Let the men know, then get some sleep," Burnside ordered.

"Yes, sir." both the aide and Bancroft saluted.

"General Burnside has ordered a march to Fredicksburg at 0800 hours tomorrow."

"I turn to stone during the day," Brooklyn said.

"Then we'll put you in a wagon and transport you that way. No matter what happens, you're coming with us," Gwen said.

"I guess that answers that question." Brooklyn said.

"Kyle and I will ride with Brooklyn in the wagon." Gwen said.


When the order to march came through to the men, they grumbled a bit about being forced to move, but picked up their gear, unhitched their tents and began to straggle into some semblance of a marching formation. Sergeant Ban croft and the other military aides strode through the camp shouting orders until they were hoarse, but eventually everyone was ready whether afoot, mounted or riding in the wagons. Burnside appeared astride his horse, a large dun stallion, with a hammer-s shaped head and mean eyes, along with a roan stallion intended for Bancroft. "Mount up!" was all he said when he appeared at his side. "Seeing to some last minute details, Sir. The wagon drivers have all the loaded, we're ready to move."

"Good! Let's go!"

The army set out a a moderate pace. They sang as they marched, mostly the infantry, the horsemen not joining in, except during the chorus. They sang a song just beginning to become popular with soldiers in the Union Army. "mine eyes have seen the glory of the coming of the Lord." "He is trampling out the vintage where the grapes of wrath are stored." "He hath loosed the lightning of his terrible swift sword." "His truth is marching on." "Glory, glory, Hallelujah, glory, glory, Hallelujah." "His truth is marching on."

General Burnside looked askance at Sergeant Burnside. "Let them sing, Sir. It's good for morale." Bancroft said. The strains of the song continued.

"I have seen Him in the watch fires of a hundred camps "They have built Him an altar in the evening dews and damps." "I can read His righteous sentence by the dim and flaring lamps." 'His day is marching on" "Glory, glory, Hallelujah, glory, glory, Halluejah. "His truth is marching on."

"Shut up! All of you!" We're here!" Form up the infantry, Horse unit to the rear, we'll swing around to the north and come out from behind them. Move out!" The line of march followed the order and the entire army swung around towards the line of low-lying hills.


Fredicksburg, Virginia

Finally finding a a patch of ground in the surrounding terrain that looked a likely camp site, Burnside orders a halt.

"Send a scout ahead." he ordered

A few moments later, the scout returned.

"The have more men than us, we're outnumbered, and they have the advantage of higher ground."

"Secure a position along the outer perimeter." Let them know we're here." Burnside replied. "Fire the cannon, almost but not quite inside their lines, shake them up a bit, raise the flag, too, while you're at it.."

"Those hills are probably fortified. Sir. They've been thee a while and it doesn't look like they have any intention of budging. They probably been there long enough to put down roots." the aide said.

"Did I ask for your opinion. Scranton?" Burnside asked.

"I thought you did, Sir." Scranton replied.

"We'll teach these grubs what happens to people disloyal to the Union, them bastards." Burnside said.

"Yes, Sir." Scranton replied, yelling for the cannon to be loaded and the flag to be raised.

The response from the Confederate troops was immediate, the flag with its stars and stripes taken and modified; made to distinguish it from the Union flag, went up followed by a series of cannonballs and taunts of what they would do to the opposing army soldiers.

"Then what?" Scranton asked.

"Then we'll do what they won't expect, counter-attack!" Charge!" he ordered, lifting his saber high above his head, and rallying the men around him, spurring his horse forward, it was a brave but ultimately foolish endeavour.

"Remind me again why President Lincoln put 'him' in charge." Scranton muttered under his breath.

"You heard the General's orders, Move!" Ban croft ordered.

A brave but hopeless conflict began, the Confederate forces, from behind their fortified hillside and trenches began shouting taunts, as they dug in their heels and shouted insults and boasted how many of the enemy they would kill. Then suddenly a trumpet sounded and the two forces became engaged in battle on slippery hillside and ground. Men engaged do often slip and fall, they get up again to fight some more. The battle became more of a full-scale brawl, a screaming mass of men and horses, soon it was all confusion. The battle lasted most of the day, although it was hard to to make out friend from foe, men fought, men died, the sun followed its course along the sky, seeming reluctant to shine on a scene of destruction. Finally, sinking below the horizon line of trees. When the dust finally settled, the outcome hadn't been in that much doubt. The Confederate troops had win, if you could call it a victory.


Nightfall finally arrived, calling his trumpet sounder over to his side, Burnside ordered him to sound the retreat, what was left of the Union army pulled back to their former campsite, the marshy area from where they had commenced the attack.


Meanwhile, inside the wagon that had been left near that area, loud crashing noises echoed; the wagon began to tilt to one side as the red gargoyle woke from his stone sleep, yawning and stretching. He lifted the tent flap and looked out, and then got out of the wagon. "Man, what did I miss?" he exclaimed. "It's all right, Brooklyn. You can't be everywhere at once." Gwen said soothingly. "I won't lie to you, Burnside ordered an attack on the Confederate troops stationed at Fredicksburg. It's going very badly, for most of the day, he's called a retreat. They're fallen back to our base camp. Burnside's asked to be voluntarily be relieved of command." she finished. "He's promoted Scranton to Sergeant." she added.

Brooklyn stood in front of the wagon peering anxiously to the north. "What about Ian?" Brooklyn said, frowning.

"My husband's too stubborn to die." Gwen said.

A few moments later, Ian, dragging on his feet, but otherwise unharmed walked into sight.

"Too stubborn, huh?" Ian said."

"Don't say anything," Gwen said, running towards him and hugging him.

Brooklyn looked away not wanting to interrupt a private moment between husband and wife.

"Uh, what do we do now?" Brooklyn asked.

" There's good news, bad news, and really bad news" Which do you want first." Ian said.

"The good news." Gwen said.

"Well, the good news, is that there's fewer casualties than I expected. The bad news is that we're stuck." And the really bad news is that they've taken prisoners." Ian said.

"If they have, they've been taken to Andersonville. How are we going to get to Georgia?" Gwen said.

"Georgia?" Brooklyn asked.

"Don't worry. I have a friend who might be able to help us with that. He's a riverboat captain who works a ferry between here and Georgia. He owes me a favor. I'm sure he'll help us. His nam is Malcolm Baldwin." Ian said.

"Yeah, but what do we do we get there?" Brooklyn asked.

"Well, let's cross one bridge at a time, I'll think of something."

"We'll take some horses, Scatman will be in charge while I'm gone. The army won't be going anywhere for a while. For the time that it'll take us to do this. Brooklyn, do you know how to ride?" Ian asked.

"Yeah, but it's been a while. Also, there aren't a lot of horses that will be willing to carry a gargoyle." he said.

"I'm sure we'll find one that will." Gwen said.

"We'll ride the horses to get to the river, we'll find my friends, use his boat to get to Andersonville, if that takes all night, that was, you'll have a place to turn to stone for the day, just in case." Ian said.

"When do we leave? You've fought all day, you're exhausted." Gwen said.

"Yeah, but I can sleep in the saddle. Let's round up three good horses and some supplies." Ian said.

"Stubborn to a fault." Gwen said, shaking her head.

"I guess so." Brooklyn said.

The three of them set off on the journey, of them all, Brooklyn was the most uncomfortable.

"Man, what I wouldn't give for a 'horse less carriage, right about now." capping his wings and holding onto the reins.

"Horse less carriages?" Gwen asked.

"Uh, nothing. It's just this isn't how I remembered horseback riding." he answered.

"It takes getting used to." Ian said.

"Yeah, I just hope we reach this river real soon." he said. The journey continued in silence.


"I'll talk to Baldwin about using his boat, you guys, wait here." Ian said as he dismounted and strode over to a hut and knocked on the door. Shortly a man came out, he was a skinny, balding man dressed in faded overalls. "Ian, long time no see. What brings y'all round these parts?" Baldwin asked.

"I need a favor." Ian replied.

"Like I need to ask. Anything you want." Baldwin said.

"I need your boat." Ian answered.

"You got it. Who are the passengers?" Baldwin asked.

"My wife, and myself, and one other. plus horses." Ian said.

"Three of you, plus horses, Well, bring them aboard already, I'll get this old tub outfitted for you." Baldwin said.

"We''re all set. Baldwin's agreed to take us."

The boat trip was uneventful, other than Brooklyn's transformation from flesh to stone.


Andersonville, Georgia

"Thanks for the ride. Malcolm!" Ian shouted.

"No problem. You owe me. Well, folks, this is where you get off. Uh, not that it's any of my business, but how are you going planning to get the statue off?" Baldwin asked

"Don't worry, he'll get himself off once the sun sets." Ian said.

They both dismounted from the boat, Gwen leading the horses on a lead- line.

"You sure do get strange notions in that head of yours sometimes, Ian. Why you and your wife are carting around a statue is beyond me: an anniversary present maybe? Well, I'm a simple ferryman, I don't worry my head with such things." Baldwin said.

Brooklyn having woken up by then, flexed his wings and jumped off the boat.

"Good luck!!" And with that he cut the mooring line and shoved off into the river with a backwards wave. "Thanks Baldwin." Gwen shouted after him.


"How far to the prison?" Gwen asked. "I'll check the map." Ian replied.

"The sun's about to go down, Brooklyn will want to hear this." Gwen said.

"Maybe he'll want to wake up without us watching him this time." Ian said as he moved forward and found a nearby boulder to spread the map on.

"Good idea." Gwen said and moved to join him.

"What are you guys talking about?" Brooklyn asked. "Did you bring anything to eat?" he asked.

"The map. And yes, beef jerky." Ian said.

"Uh, thank," Brooklyn said, taking the offered strips of meat.

"You're welcome. Now, we're here, the prison is approximately ten miles from here, we should be able to reach it in under a half -hour that is, if we don't push the horses too hard." Ian said.

"We'll have a better idea of what to do once we get there."

"Where our men are being held, and Kyle, as well," Gwen said.


When they arrived at Andersonville, the prison was appeared to be large wooden stockade, four walls surrounded by wooden palisades with barbed wire. built in a rectangular fashion, the four walls also enclosed a central courtyard open to the sky. Men with rifles paced the top of the walls, and a pair of guards stood at the front gates, both were armed, and both were drunk.

"Getting in might not be a problem, getting out is another matter." Ian said crouched down behind a line of bushes.

"There are probably a lot of prisoners in there. Why don't I glide up there, case the joint, find out where they're holding Kyle and the our guys. Then report back here. That way, we'll know where in the fence to break into." Brooklyn said.

"Good idea." Meet us back here." Ian said.

Brooklyn spread his wings and leaped up into the night air, catching a thermal wind as he went and flew up and over the fence into the prison.

"Amazing." Gwen said, watching Brooklyn's form drift over the fence then disappear over the edge.

"I just hope he doesn't get caught." Ian said.

"Me, too." Gwen whispered.


"OK, I'm in. Now what? Brooklyn wondered. "Hey, what's that?" Picking himself , he headed in the direction of the sound he had heard. A few minutes later he saw a strange thing, someone bent over what looked like a wooden bench, except this person was chained up.

Brooklyn drew closer to the mysterious figure and for a second was amazed by what he saw. In all the time that he had been in this time period, he had never expected to see another gargoyle, let alone a female one. She was a medium sized, with interesting shadings of gray to black, except where her the finger joints on her wings were white. Her clothes provided a brighter contrast, she wore a woven dress of blues, reds, greens and yellows, and wore matching earrings. Brooklyn found her very attractive. At that moment she looked up, gasped, then said: "Are ya just going to stare at me, or are ya going to get me outta here?" Her accent was strange to Brooklyn, a low drawl.

"How come you're here? Chained up like this?" he asked.

"They didn't know where else to put me." she replied.

""What's your name?" Why do they hold you here 24 hours a day?" he asked.

"My name is Ebony. "What's yours? she asked.

"Brooklyn." he answered

"Ah was caught helping runaway slaves escape to freedom in Canada on the "underground railroad."Ebony explained.

"Railroad? Like tunnels?" he asked.

"No. it's a name we give to the people along a prearranged route that allows the slaves we help to get from one place to another. It's illegal, of course. but..."she trailed off.

"But sometimes you feel responsible for things. Gargoyles live to protect. As the oldest member of my clan used to say:.... he trailed off.

"Clan? Before getting involved with the Abolitionists, I was found by a Negro woman while she was working in the plantations here; she didn't know what I was, of course, but her owners had taken away her own children, so she took me in, she raised me. She is, was wonderful. She taught me about her people."

"She became a member of your clan." he said.

"Yes, the entire group of slaves that worked the plantation became my clan. Oh, Brooklyn, ah've see how white people treat their slaves, they separate them, the conditions their forced to live in are horrible; but despite the hardship, they're cheerful, undaunted. I had to do something. What is it like where you come from?" Ebony asked.

"Ebony, everyone's equal where I come from, and no one should be able to own another person, or at least they shouldn't be treated as less than nothing because of the color of their skin or anything else that's different." he said, remembering the Quarr men.

"Ah would live to see that happen someday" she said.

"Maybe someday you will. But for right now, our immediate concern is getting you and as many as our guys out this prison." Brooklyn said."

"Can you break these chains?" I can't take much more of this."

"I can try. Brace yourself." he said.

Grasping the chains, and rocking back on his heels, Brooklyn wrenched the chains holding Ebony prisoner and then broke up the wooden stocks, extending his left hand, he pulled her out from the broken wooden splinters.

"Thank you." she said.

"You're welcome." "Now what do we do?" she said.

"Now, we find our guys." he answered.

"I know where they're holding them, at least the colored unit."

"How do you know?" he asked.

"The man you just saw pass by here, that's Major Witz, he's the warden, he comes by at night to taunt and poke sticks at me, it amuses him." Ebony said.

"That's awful!"

"He's an awful, horrid man." she replied. He didn't do it often, only when he had else to do. He also came by to give me water and bread or he has someone else do it."

"Look on the bright side, that's over now! 'Course, we're making a break for it!" he said.

"Yes! That'll show him he can't push people around!" she shouted.

"Right. Let's do it! I've seen what men like that can do, but how are we going to convince the others to follow us? I have a couple of friends waiting outside, he's a sergeant in the Union army and his wife. We can go back and get them, then come up with a plan to free our guys and your friends." Brooklyn finished in a rush.

"That's a good idea. Whatever we do, we're going to need a distraction for the guards, but we'd better move now, this isn't a good place to talk." she said.

"Right." Let's go." Brooklyn said.

Both gargoyles positioned themselves and then spreading their wings, launched themselves into the sky and back over the prison fence.


"Guys, this is Ebony, she's a gargoyle, too. She knows where our guys and her friends are being held inside the prison, and she thinks we can get them out." Brooklyn said by way of introduction."

"Ebony, it's nice to meet you. If I haven't forgotten my manners completely, I'm Ian Bancroft, this is my wife, Gwen, and I guess you already know Brooklyn."

"Yes, I feel like I've known him all mah life. Although we've just met. Mah mama back on the plantation used to say that there are moments that are pivotal, she didn't use that word, but ah know that's what she meant." Ebony said.

"She's right. Not just our own men are being held in there, but a young boy, as well." Gwen said.

"Kyle's in there!" Brooklyn shouted.

"Yes." Ian said.

"Well, at least we know where exactly in the prison compound they're holding our guys and Kyle with them. We can do what we talked about before, punch a hole in the wall in the same spot where their cell block is: Get in and got out with no one the wiser. That wood and wire looks pretty flimsy, I bet that Ebony and I could do it." Brooklyn said.

"Good idea." Ebony, are you up to it?" Ian asked.

"I'll mange. I need some water." I've been held captive a long time." she said.

"Here." Gwen said, handing the female gargoyle a water canteen.

"Okay, show us the spot." Ian said.

"We have to convince them to come with us." Gwen said.

"I'll handle it." Ebony said.


The four of them approached the point in the stockade wall that Brooklyn and Ebony had indicated, taking positions along opposite sides, both gargoyles grasped the wooden stakes, braced themselves and yanked with all their might; the flimsy timbers gave way with a snapping sound almost immediately and coming loose in their hands. "I doubt anyone heard that with all the noise in there." Gwen said.

"Yeah, maybe you'd better tell our guys what's going on." Ian said.


"I tell you, my friends will come for me!" Kyle yelled.

"Yeah, boy, like we should believe a white kid." one man said.

"Well, you should! Hey what's that? Did you see that? Kyle exclaimed.

"See what?" one man asked, spitting out tobacco.

"That!" Kyle said. Just then Ebony walked in.

"What is that? one Union soldier asked in amazement.

"WOW" Another one! Kyle said excitedly.

"Another what, you little brat? one man asked.

"I have to tell Brooklyn about this the next time I see him!" Kyle said.

"You're a friend of Brooklyn's?" Ebony asked.

"Uh, Ebony, you know this punk kid? one black man asked.

"No, but we have mutual friends in common. We're here with friends of this boy, and they are helping you to escape from here, we don't have much time. Come on!" Ebony shouted.

Without another words Ebony turned around and ducked back out through the hole in the wall. One by one, the former prisoners, both black and white, streamed out of the cell block and huddled together, then remembered they were separate groups.

Kyle, pushing his way past the men ran towards Brooklyn, flinging himself bodily on top of him., hugging him. Brooklyn was rather taken aback by the reception and returned the hug carefully.

"I knew you'd come for me! You said 'Gargoyles protect."

"And you'd protect me!" I knew it!" Kyle said.

"Yeah, Kyle, I couldn't let anything happen to you, your future's and maybe by default, mine. Well, kinda depends on it."

"That isn't the only reason." Kyle said, releasing Brooklyn from his hug. "Thanks." he said. "You're welcome." he said.

"We should leave this place while we still can. The Union men can probably find their way back on foot to any units that are in the area. The rest of you can find way stations for the underground railroad. I have a map." she said. The former prisoners, seeing the good sense of Ebony's advice, took the map and headed off in their respective directions.

"Good idea." Ian and will take Brooklyn, Kyle, and Ebony, if that's all right with her." Gwen said. "Thank you, I really don't have anywhere to go." she said. "We'll head back to our place, it's closer than the river and heading all the way back to camp." Ian said.


Several hours later at Bancroft's place "Well, I guess this is goodbye." Brooklyn said.

"Ah hate goodbyes, I'd rather say farewell." Goodbyes are so final." Ebony said.

"Yeah, I guess they are." he replied.

"Do you think I'll ever see you again? Or find any other gargoyles? I love Mama, Kyle and the Bancrofts, even in the short time that ah've gotten to know them, but it's isn' the same." she finished.

"Don't worry. If there's one thing that I've learned in all this time-travel business, I remember how my clan reacted when we woke for the first time in Manhattan and how we felt like we were the last of our kind. until we learned that they were gargoyle clans all over the world. We felt the same way. You just haven't found any others yet, but someday, maybe you will." he explained.

"I hope so, too." she said. Wrapping Ebony up in his wings they stood close to each other for a while in silence.

"Goodbye, Brooklyn." she whispered.

"Goodbye, Ebony." he whispered back.

"Thank you for everything. I hope it all works out for the best. Take care of Kyle for me." he said. "We promise to take good care of the little scamp." Ian said.

"You're leaving already?" Gwen asked.

"Yeah, I think I kind of have to." Brooklyn said.

"I understand, really I do." Kyle said.

"Whatever happens, happens, I mean, since I won't be here to see it." Brooklyn said.

"Thank you, Brooklyn. Have you said goodbye to Ebony?" Gwen asked.

"Yeah, in the backyard garden." he replied. "I'll never forget her."

"Or you guys." he added.

"Good luck, Brooklyn." the three humans said almost at the instant..

With that, Brooklyn climbed out the window sill and was about to leap out when the fiery orange flame of the Phoenix Gate captured him in its circle and threw him back into the ocean of time.


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