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Disclaimer: Highlander belongs to Panzer/Davis. I'm just playing in their sandbox!


Chapter Five



Duncan:

Exhausted, Duncan slumped into a chair and closed his eyes. The quickening had been a rough one, draining him of the last of his energy. Ignoring the gasp that signalled Lee’s reawakening, he only opened his eyes when he felt a hand drop on his shoulder.

“Duncan…Duncan…are you all right?”

Duncan looked up into Amy’s concerned eyes. “I’m fine, Amy, just give me a moment.

Nodding silently, she let her hand drop from his shoulder as she looked across the room. “Masters is dead, you know,” she said softly. “Shot in the chest. I didn’t even remember he was in the room until the quickening started.”

With a groan, Duncan glanced at Masters’s body, still tied to the chair. “So did I,” he admitted, getting to his feet.

“There was nothing you could have done for him, even if you did remember,” Lee said hoarsely as he picked himself up from the floor and examined his clothing. “They took him out with the first bullet – I was just an after thought.” Ruefully, he poked a finger through the hole in his bloodstained shirt.

“I wouldn’t be so sure of that,” Duncan muttered, tilting his head towards the dead immortal. “He seemed very keen to take your head. Do you know him?”

“Never seen him before in my life,” he replied with a shrug. “Thank you, by the way.”

“Don’t mention it,” Duncan said absently as he hunkered over the body and rifled through his clothes.

“We have to get out of here, you know,” Amy observed, eyeing the destroyed bar. “I’m surprised the gendarmes aren’t already here.”

“She’s right,” Lee said, closing his coat over the bloodstains. “How long was I out?”

“About ten minutes,” Amy said. “Give me moment while I get my father’s laptop.”

“What about the rest of his files?” Duncan asked as he pulled a wallet out of the corpse’s coat and pocketed it.

“Short of torching the office, there is nothing I can do,” Amy said. “Don’t worry; they won’t be able to make sense of them, anyway.” With that, she disappeared into the office.

Which reminds me…” Lee drawled.

“Now is not the time, Lee,” Duncan interrupted, hearing the distant screech of sirens. “We’ll leave through the back.”

Startled, Amy looked up from the rucksack she was filling as they ran into the office. “Time to go,” Duncan said, grabbing her arm.

“What about the others?” she asked, following him.

“We’ll meet them at the barge,” Duncan said wearily. “Once they see the police presence out front, it’ll be the first place they’ll check.”

Quickly, they piled into Duncan’s car, and Duncan pulled out onto the street just as the first police car turned onto the street. Cursing under his breath, he kept going, letting out his breath as they passed by. He knew he was only delaying the inevitable; sooner or later, the gendarmes were going to knock on his door. The similarities between the devastation in Tribeau’s apartment and the carnage in Joe’s bar were too obvious to miss.

Luckily, the drive to the barge was uneventful, and the tired trio trooped onto the deck. “Time to catch some sleep, I think,” Duncan said as he led then inside. “I’ve got a camp bed that you can use, Lee; and the bedroom is yours, Amy. I’ll take the couch.”

With a silent nod, Amy disappeared into the bedroom as Duncan stepped down into the living room, Lee following behind. “It won’t take me a moment to set up the bed,” Duncan said quietly as he opened a cupboard and pulled out an antique camp bed.

“What’s that? A memento from the Boer war?” asked Lee, amusement colouring his voice.

“Actually, it’s French, not British; I bought it at an antique fair a few years ago. Don’t worry, it’s comfortable,” Duncan said with a wry smile as he unfolded it. Opening a wooden chest, he retrieved a handful of blankets and a pillow, and handed them to Lee. “Enjoy.”

“Don’t worry, I will,” Lee said tiredly as he eased himself onto the bed. “See you in a few hours.”

Duncan threw himself onto the couch in answer, and let his eyes close as he rested his head on a cushion. He didn’t think they’d get much sleep, but even a few minutes were better than nothing.


Amanda:

Grinning from ear to ear, Amanda held the car door ajar as Methos, cursing and damning under his breath, tried to deposit Joe onto the back seat – things weren’t going too well. “Oh, for crying out loud,” Methos grumbled as the watcher tried to swat his hands away. “Joe, it’s only me; keep still for a moment, will you?”

Unfortunately, in his addled state, Joe wasn’t in the mood to oblige. “Leave me alone!” he roared, striking Methos across the head as he tried to pull the seatbelt around him. “Stinkin’ traitors…’m not tellin’ you anything’.”

“Ouch,” winced Methos, ducking his head out of the car as he clicked the seatbelt into place. “That hurt!”

“Aw…poor Methos,” drawled Amanda mischievously, shutting the car door.

“Remind me to never knock on your door when I’m in need of tea and sympathy,” grumbled Methos. “Give me the keys.”

“Why?”

Because, Amanda, I’m not in the mood for another joyride at the moment. Now hand them over.”

For a moment, Amanda entertained the thought of refusing, but decided against it as she caught the expression on his face. “Oh, very well,” she said, pouting as she pulled the keys out of her pocket and dropped them into his waiting hand. Silently, Methos got into the car, started the engine, and tapped his fingers impatiently on the dashboard as he waited for Amanda to jump in.

“Wise men saaaay, only fools rush in…”

Repressing the urge to laugh, Amanda turned in her seat to look at Joe as Methos pulled away from the kerb. “How long before the drugs begin to wear off,” she murmured out of the side of her mouth.

“It depends on what they gave him,” Methos said grimly. “Anything from a few hours to a day; hopefully, he’ll just sleep it off.”

Amanda eyed the elder immortal warily as she sank back into her seat. “What’s up with you?” she asked.

“You have to ask?” Methos said exasperatedly. “Where do I start? Oh yes, firstly, there is the little matter of the lunatic who’s trying to start the gathering….”

“Besides that…” she said dismissively. “And don’t tell me there’s nothing else, because I know damned well there is. You’ve been like a bear with a sore head since I’ve got back from Tribeau’s apartment. At first I thought it was because of Joe’s abduction; but as Joe is now safe and sound - and you still look as if you’re about to spit bullets - it must be something else. So…spill.”

“It’s nothing, really,” Methos muttered. “I may have been a little hasty when I said I don’t know Wren, that’s all.”

“I see,” drawled Amanda, raising an eyebrow. “So…how well do you know him?”

“Not very,” he murmured, “Not at all, to be honest; we only crossed paths once.”

“Why do I get the feeling it didn’t go very well?”

“We had a little difference of opinion,” he said tersely.

Amanda looked at him disbelievingly. “I see. Well, now that you’ve given me the party line, why don’t you now tell me the truth?”

“That was the truth.”

“But it isn’t the whole truth, was it?”

Methos shrugged silently as he kept his eyes on the traffic.

“Methos, you might as well tell me now and get it over with.”

“The reason I’m not saying anything is because there is nothing to tell, Amanda. It’s just a feeling.”

“A feeling? You’re going to have to do better than that, Methos.”

“The problem, Amanda, is I can’t. I just…it’s just a feeling, okay?”

Realization struck as she saw Methos’s frustration. “Oh my, you can’t remember, can you? A memory lapse?”

Methos gave a reluctant nod.

“How about your journals?”

“It was over two thousand years ago, Amanda, my journal entries were spotty at best during that period.” Gripping the steering wheel tightly as he turned it, Methos fell silent, and Amanda worriedly examined his face, unsure as to whether or not she should press the subject. Eventually, she decided against it, he would talk when he was ready and not a moment sooner.

Sighing, she turned her eyes to the road, noting with surprise that they were almost at Joe’s. Methos turned onto the street, and Amanda sat bolt right in the seat as she spied the cavalcade of police cars parked in front of the bar. “Oh no, what now?” she groaned as she spotted the cordon tape.

“Trouble,” Methos said through gritted teeth as he passed the police cars and kept on going.

“Aren’t we going to stop?” Amanda enquired unsurely.

“No point,” Methos said gruffly. “By now, they’re either in a police cell or they’ve gone to ground – my first guess is they’re at the barge.”

“Methos, the windows were blown out,” Amanda said, her mind racing. The damage to the bar had all the hallmarks of a quickening.

“I noticed.”


Methos:

Like a sore tooth, Methos prodded around the edges of his memory, hoping that something would shake loose. The nagging feeling he was missing a large piece of the puzzle had grown over the last day.

Methos glanced at Amanda, who was worriedly chewing her lower lip, out of the corner of his eye, and kept in check the urge to tell her what he intended to do. This was something he had to face alone. Sighing, he tried to keep his mind on their more immediate problems. He wondered if the police knew of the Duncan’s friendship with Joe. Luckily, Joe hadn’t been present when Duncan had been taken to the police station; and he didn’t think a connection had been made between them on any of the other numerous occasions Duncan had run into the Parisian police. So far, so good.

They were still going to pay Duncan a visit, of course. Even if they had enough time to dispose of the body, the similarities between the scene at the bar and Tribeau’s apartment were too many to ignore. He shrugged away the possibility the Highlander might be dead; Mac had more lives than a cat.

A low snore reminded him of Joe’s presence on the backseat, and he briefly wondered if going to the barge was such a bright idea. The gendarmes may not know of their friendship, but if they found Joe snoring on Mac’s couch, they would fill in the blanks pretty quickly. Damn, this was getting complicated.

Frustrated, he tightened his grip on the wheel, his mind jumping from one problem to the next; Wren, Tribeau - and lets not forget the mysterious immortal he had sensed while rescuing Joe. It might have been Wren or Tribeau, of course; but some instinct told him it wasn’t. How many players were in this game?

Methos risked another glance at the unusually silent Amanda; she hadn’t spoken a word since they had driven past Joe’s bar; not a good sign, it usually meant she was plotting something. Remembering the many scrapes she had gotten him into over the years, he grimaced.

“Amanda?”

“Hmm?”

“Whatever harebrained scheme you’re hatching at the moment, don’t.”

“Why, Methos, I don’t know what you mean.”

“You know exactly what I mean, Amanda.”

Pouting, Amanda faced him. “We have to do something, Methos! Now that Tribeau’s disappeared, we have no leads. All we have is a seeming endless supply of immortals after our heads.”

“Nothing new there, then.”

“Be serious, Methos! Right now, they have all the advantage. We’re just running around like a lot of lost sheep, while they are herding us around like cattle...”

“…and you’re mixing your metaphors.”

“Stop trying to change the subject. You know, as well as I do that if we don’t make a move soon, it may be too late. You said it yourself, this lunatic is trying to start the gathering; if we leave it any longer, it may be too late to stop him.”

Sighing, Methos threw her a sidelong look. “Okay, okay, so what exactly do you have in mind?”

“Well…for starters, we could pay a little visit to the local watcher’s motherhouse,” Amanda suggested, batting her eyes innocently. “They obviously still have a few renegades among their ranks. Maybe a midnight visit might turn something up.”

Amanda’s plan had merit, Methos privately admitted to himself. Catching one of Amy’s old classmates following Amanda proved Wren still had links within the watcher organisation. “Perhaps Amy could give us a few a pointers,” he said aloud. “After all, she studied with Masters; she might know who he hung out with, who he trusted.”

“A good starting point,” Amanda approved. “We’ll probably find nothing incriminating in the official files, but we may find something useful if we access their private e-mail accounts and document files, especially if one of them mans a desk; if they’re all field agents, it may be a bit more difficult.”

“We might have to break into their homes,” Methos said, warming up to the idea despite himself.

Amanda smiled triumphantly, sensing victory. “You’ll do it, then?” she asked hopefully.

Methos paused. As tempting as Amanda’s idea was, he had to keep his priorities straight. “We’ll talk it over with Duncan first,” he prevaricated, keeping his eyes on the road. We’re almost at the barge.”

“Oh, very well,” Amanda said pensively as the barge came into sight.


Joe:

Hands grasped at his arms and, and Joe batted them away as he blearily opened his eyes. Slowly, a face came into focus…a pair of sharp eyes and a distinctive nose. “Methos…” he murmured, groaning as his head began to swim.

“Glad to see you’re back with us, Joe,” Methos said, his voice dry. “Now, could you stop hitting me? We need to get you onto the barge.”

“The barge…why are we at the barge?”

“Long story,” Methos grunted as he lifted Joe from the car and threw him over his shoulder. Joe’s stomach heaved.

“I think I’m going to be sick,” he moaned queasily.

“Oh, for crying out loud,” Methos complained, “Hold on a minute! We’re nearly inside.”

“Better make it quick…” His head spinning, Joe closed his eyes as Methos carried him up the gangway. A few moments later, he felt himself being lowered onto a couch. Slowly, he opened his eyes.

“Here, this is for you,” Amanda said, placing a plastic basin on his lap.

“Thanks,” he murmured. “But I think I’m okay for the moment, the nausea is beginning to pass.”

Nodding, Amanda sat down beside him. “How are you,” she asked.

“Okay, I suppose; all things considered…where’s Amy?”

“She asleep in Duncan’s room – do you want me to wake her.”

“No…let her get some rest,” he murmured tiredly, as he looked around the room. His eyes rested on an empty camp bed, then took in the rest of the room. “Where is everyone else?”

“They’re above on deck; do you want to speak with them?”

“I want to close my eyes and sleep for a week,” Joe said wryly. “But somehow I don’t think that’s going to happen. No, I need to ask Adam about something called the Alexandrian Files…”

“The what?”

“My thoughts exactly, could you get his skinny ass down here?” Closing his eyes, he leaned his head against couch’s backrest as Amanda disappeared upstairs. Unexpectedly, his stomach growled; how long had been since he’d eaten? Grimacing, he blinked his eyes open, and wondered if his stomach could handle something to eat as he heard footsteps descending the stairs.

Looking up, he saw Methos’s wary face examining his as he stepped into the room. “What’s this about a file,” Methos asked, his voice casual as he sprawled on a chair.

“Something my captor was very eager to get her hands on,” Joe said wearily as he shifted on the couch.

“I see…and you’re asking me about it because?”

“Because she said you have them!” Joe snapped, “Apparently, you stole them from the Watcher’s archives.”

“Did she now…” Methos murmured, rising an eyebrow.

“So?”

“So what?”

“So where are they, you idiot!”

“Damned if I know, I don’t have them,” Methos said promptly.

“Don’t give me that….” Joe said disbelievingly.

“It’s the truth, Joe.”

“Well, she seemed pretty darned sure you had them!”

“And who is she, exactly?” Methos enquired softly.

“That renegade watcher who kidnapped me.”

“She’s a watcher?” Methos asked, surprised.

“Well…ex-watcher,” Joe said grudgingly. “She was one of Tribeau’s flunkies. She was brought in front of the Tribunal last year.”

“And she’s still alive? The tribunal is usually more efficient than that.”

“Yeah, well, apparently she made a break for it and ran to Tribeau for protection. Except now she’s working her own angle - whatever that is - because Wren cut her adrift when Tribeau broke ties with him.”

“At least we now know who Naomi Johnson is,” Methos mused. “All we have to figure out now is who is her immortal companion.”

“Immortal companion?” Joe asked, his ears perking up.

“We felt an immortal nearby when we approached the house you were held in,” Amanda explained. “Did you see anyone else?”

“Just the goon with the needle,” Joe said, shrugging. “But he didn’t strike me as the immortal type. She called him Halifax.”

“Doesn’t ring a bell,” Methos said, “But that’s no guarantee.”

“No, it isn’t,” Duncan agreed as he stepped into the room, the others following him.

“Maybe we can find something on the watcher database…oh,” Amanda said, casting a sideways look at Lee.

“He already knows, Amanda,” Duncan said glumly. “I let it slip while questioning Masters.”

Joe grimaced as Lee shifted in his chair. “One could hardly term the little you have told me as ‘knowledge’,” the immortal said dryly.

“Which reminds me, where is Masters,” said Methos, changing the subject.

“Dead,” Duncan said tersely.

“Damn,” cursed Amanda. “I wanted to squeeze a little more information out of him.”

“Who the hell is Masters,” Joe asked.

“A renegade watcher who worked for Wren,” Duncan said, “Amanda caught him tailing her. It was through him we found you.”

“How did he die?” Methos asked.

“We had a few visitors at the bar – an immortal, along with two heavily armed men,” Duncan explained, “Masters got caught in the crossfire.

You took his head,” Methos surmised.

“You what? At the bar?” Joe asked incredulously.

Duncan winced. “I’m afraid so,” he said apologetically.

“Oh, this day just keeps getting better and better,” Joe muttered sarcastically. “How the hell am I going to explain that to the cops? At least tell you took care of the bodies?”

“Not exactly,” Duncan admitted. “There wasn’t enough time.”

“Two decapitated heads in one week,” Methos mused. “The local gendarmes are going to have a field day.”

“Who was he?” Joe asked, his voice heavy.

“Give me a moment, I have his wallet,” Duncan said, grabbing his coat off the back of his chair. “Here it is,” he said, producing a wallet and opening it. “His driver’s license says his name was Tobias Mitchell.”

“Probably an alias,” Methos murmured, “Can I see?” Silently, Duncan handed the wallet over. “I recognise him,” Methos said, after a brief pause. “Jacques de Rousseau, he met his first death during the crusades…strange.”

“How so?” asked Amanda.

“He’s not the type to involve mortals in his challenges – at least, he wasn’t. He was a hunter, but he followed the rules…I wonder what changed.”

“Did you bring my laptop with you?” Joe asked of Duncan. “Maybe I can find some answers.”

Hesitating, Duncan looked at him worriedly. “Are you sure you want to do that now, Joe?” he asked softly, “Maybe you should get some rest first?”

“I’m positive, Mac!” Joe growled, glaring at the Highlander. “I can sleep later.”

“Take it easy, Joe, he’s just concerned about you,” Methos said softly.

“Sorry,” Joe muttered, subsiding. “I’m just tired, and angry, and fed up with not knowing what the hell is going on – are you sure you’ve never heard of the Alexandrian files, Adam?”

“I think I would remember if I did, Joe” Methos said dryly.

“Are you sure about that?” Amanda countered. “Your memory does tend to have a few blanks in it, after all.”

“Yes, I’m sure, Amanda,” Methos snapped. “I’ve only had one memory lapse in the last century - those few days last year.”

“Maybe you took them then?” Duncan suggested.

“Highly unlikely, Mac” Methos said, exasperation in his voice. “Just leave it alone.”

Sighing, Joe turned to Duncan once more. “My Laptop?” he reminded him. If Methos couldn’t tell him about the Alexandrian files, maybe the watcher database could. Getting up, Duncan crossed the room and rifled through a small duffle bag on the sideboard. Pulling out Joe’s laptop, he handed it to him. Gratefully, Joe opened it up and tapped in the password. He needed answers.

Jacques de Rousseau’s name revealed very little, his file merely repeating the information Methos had given them. Born in the Middle Ages, he had been an active participant in the game but, by and large, played by the rules. He was about to sign off when an addendum at the bottom of the page caught his eye; De Rousseau’s had given his watcher the slip over two months ago. De Rousseau could have been up to anything during the last few weeks...

That left only one other person. Pulled up the tribunal records from the previous year, he typed Naomi Johnson’s name into the search engine. A few moments later, the computer pulled up the relevant page. Grimacing, he read the list of charges and the sentence….death by firing squad. No wonder she ran. Quickly, he scanned through the page and froze as he read the final paragraph: “Sentence carried out at 07.00a.m., on September 15, 2003; Pronounced dead at 07.07a.m.” Quickly, he checked the photo attached to the file, just to make sure. “I don’t believe this,” he muttered. “She’s an immortal.”

“Who is?” Methos asked laconically, raising an eyebrow.

“Naomi Johnson.”

“Nice,” drawled Methos.

“Nice, that’s all you have to say?”

“Well….at least we now know whom we sensed at the house, when we rescued you,” he said with a shrug.

Snapping the laptop shut, Joe threw him a dirty look.

What?” Methos said, his face a picture of bemusement. “What else do want me to say…”

The hairs on the back of Joe’s neck rose as Methos sat upright, his eyes flitting to the door. “We’ve got company,” he murmured.

“What…” Amanda asked, before her eyes widened and followed Methos’s gaze. Quickly, Duncan and Tsi Tsung stationed themselves behind the door as Methos leapt to his feet and stalked over to the nearest porthole. “I don’t see a car, and nobody is on the gangway,” he said, peering outside, “Which probably means he’s already onboard.”

The creaking of a loose plank above proved him correct. Cursing, Joe looked around for his prosthetics. “Great, that’s all we need.”

Tell me about it,” Amanda said as she pulled out her gun and pointed it at the door

A sharp rap on the door broke the tension in the room; challengers usually don’t knock. With a sigh, Duncan slid the bolt back and opened the door, jumping back as a hooded figure pushed his way into the room.

“Not another step!” Amanda warned. “Let us see your face.”

With trembling hands, the immortal pushed back his hood.

“Oh, bloody hell,” Methos muttered, flopping into his chair. “There goes the neighbourhood.”

“Nice to see you too, Methos,” Tribeau snarled.

“Who, the hell, is he,” demanded Tsi Tsung, “And why did he just call you Methos?”

Groaning, Methos got to his feet. “I need some air,” he declared, elbowing his way past Tribeau.

“Methos, wait…” Amanda called out after him.

“Later, Amanda,” he growled back, slamming the door after him.


Amy:

Pushing her head under the pillow, Amy tried to ignore the raised voices in the other room. “What does a woman have to do to get some sleep around here?” she asked herself rhetorically, tossing the pillow aside as it became clear the shouting wasn’t about to stop anytime soon. Dragging herself out of the bed, she straightened her rumpled clothes and combed a hand through her hair; slipping on her shoes before she opened the door.

The first thing she noticed, as she entered the living room, was her father sitting on the couch “Dad!” she cried, tumbling down the steps. “How…When?”

“Amanda and Methos found me,” he said, pulling her into a hug as she sat on the couch beside him.

“Oh, how touching.”

Twisting her neck, Amy’s eyes narrowed as they rested on Tribeau. “Why aren’t you dead yet?” she said angrily.

“Feeling is mutual, I’m sure,” he retorted.

“Keep your snide comments to yourself, Tribeau,” Duncan warned. “Or I might forget why I need to keep you alive.”

“Speaking of which, I think it’s about time you answered a few questions for us,” Amanda piped up.

Frowning, Amy looked around the room. “Shouldn’t Adam be here?”

“You mean Methos, don’t you?” asked Tsi Tsung dryly, smiling humourlessly as Amy’s eyes widened in surprise, “He went above for some ‘air’.”

Sighing, Amy ignored the sarcasm in Tsi Tsung’s voice and untangled herself from her father’s arms. “I’d better go and get him, then,” she murmured.

“You do that,” drawled Tribeau.

“Shut up, Tribeau,” she said absently, not looking back.

The temperature dropped as she stepped onto the deck and, on top of that, it was raining again. Amy shivered in her blouse as she stepped onto the deck and scanned her surroundings. Where the hell was he? “Methos?” she called out. “Methos, you’re needed inside.”

No answer.

Frowning, she peeked inside small wheelhouse, biting her lip as she realised it was empty. A knot clenched in her stomach as a horrible thought entered her mind. “He wouldn’t have…not now, not when they needed him.” But he would, she realised painfully; if he thought there was no other way to survive, he’d do it in a heartbeat…Running to the side of the barge, she searched the quay for his rental.; it was nowhere in sight.

The bastard has done a runner.

Choking back a sob, she slowly turned her back on the quay. It was time to break the news to the others…


Methos:

Cursing under his breath, Methos honked his horn at the car in front of him. “Can’t the idiot see the light has changed?” His already foul mood took a turn for the worse as the driver rolled down his window and flipped him the finger before edging his car forward.

“About bloody time,” he muttered angrily to himself as he turned left, leaving the irate Parisian behind. Anxiously, he checked his watch. It was a four hour round trip, which meant he wouldn’t make it back to the barge until tonight. Hopefully, the trip would reveal something worthwhile; something which would prevent the others from chewing his ear off when he made it back.

If he made it back, that is…

Shying away from his thoughts, he put his foot on the accelerator. Sooner done, sooner finished; it was too late to back out now. He sped northward, ignoring the scenery blurring past his window as he concentrated on the road.

Try as he might, though; it was hard not to dwell on his misgivings. This was not the first time he had screwed up enough courage to come this far; this was the fifth…no, the sixth time he’d made this journey; and, on every single one of these occasions, he’d been determined to go through with it…right until the last moment. Each time he’d stood there, something made him turned back. What, he didn’t know. But one thing was for certain, time was running out. If he didn’t do it now, he’d never do it.

Familiar landmarks passed by as he neared his destination and, spotting the old oak tree he had parked beside the year before, he pulled his car to the side of the road and jumped out.

The rain still hadn’t let up; if anything, it had become heavier. Hunching into his coat, he trotted down the road until he reached the small dirt lane that led to the cave. Slowing his pace he picked his way through the muddy puddles.

Eventually, he stumbled through the cave entrance; shuddering slightly as his eyes adjusted to the eerie light in the cavern. Nervously, he glanced at the light’s source. The pool didn’t actually glow, per se; but it did seem to magnify the light in the room – why, he didn’t know.

Whatever the cause, the effect always made Methos’s skin crawl. He hated anything he couldn’t explain.

Quit stalling, old man. If you don’t do this now, you’ll never do it.

Taking a deep breath, he shrugged off his clothes, no point in getting them wetter than they already were. Somewhere, in the back of his mind, a little voice pointed out he should have brought a towel. He told the little voice to shut up.

Folding the clothes into a neat pile, he crossed his arms protectively over his chest as he reluctantly neared the pool. Looking into its depths, his mind screamed at him to turn back. What if he didn’t like what he saw…what if he did? What if his memories swamped him, changing him into someone he didn’t recognise? Flinching, Methos took a step back from the pool. Maybe he shouldn’t do this, after all. There might be another way.

Deep down, though, he knew there wasn’t. If the gathering was truly here, he needed to know; he needed to know if somewhere, buried in his memories, there was a way to stop it…

“Do it now, before you lose your nerve.”

Stepping to the edge, Methos jumped in….





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