Disclaimer: I don't own him. I just play with him and transcribe his ramblings.
Summary: Methos' view on Quickenings
Archieve: with permission
To Ride the Lightening
I don't think I have heard or read an accurate description yet of what it feels like to experience a Quickening. Perhaps it's because there has not been a language invented yet that can put into words the true sensations and feelings.
I have read what the Watchers have written into the chronicles about what they think a Quickening is like. I have to laugh. Mortals can be so na´ve and simple minded sometimes. One actually wrote that it appeared that her Immortal was bathed in an ethereal and otherworldly glow and that the look on his face appeared as if he were experiencing the joy of looking onto the face of God. Can you believe that? Obviously she wasn't paying much attention.
In my 5000 years on this earth I have witnessed and experienced more Quickenings than I can count and "rapture" is not how I would describe it in the least. Oh don't get me wrong, there is a certain amount of pleasure that comes with the experience. If there wasn't we would not have Hunters. But as some mortal once said, "for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction." In order to experience the pleasure that comes from the post Quickening high, we must first experience the Quickening itself. And that means pain.
I once tried to describe the feelings of a Quickening to a mortal friend of mine. He had had the misfortune to stumble upon a fight I was in and got to witness one as I took that fool Immortal's head. Let's see if I can remember what I said to him.
If you are lucky, you are not drop dead exhausted from the battle. Because if you are, it only makes the experience that much more painful. It's hard to deal with the pain when you are fighting for every breath you take.
Before your arms loose the ache that comes from the beheading, for it takes a lot of effort to separate a head from its body, you begin to feel you skin crawl with static electricity. The faint smell of ozone fills the air and most times you feel every hair on your body stand on end. Your heart starts to beat rapidly and you find yourself taking shallow breaths as adrenaline pumps through your body. I usually feel myself breaking out into a sweat with the anticipation of the Quickening. All of this occurs in the span of a couple seconds.
If you happen to be facing the body of your fallen opponent, you can usually see his or her essence rise up to envelope you. As it surrounds you, you can taste it. Every Quickening tastes differently, so to put it into words would not do it justice. I can give you generalities, but not specifics. I have found that the Quickenings of those Immortals who can be classified as "good" have a sweet languid flavor to it, while those of the "bad guys" usually are more on the sharp and slightly bitter side.
As you are savoring the taste of the experience, the lightening comes. Out of a clear sky electricity rains down upon you, through you, and around you. If you're smart, you don't fight it. Fighting it only makes it worse. The best you can do is to ride the lightening. As the energy takes over, you loose all control over any bodily actions. That's why we twitch, stretch out our arms as if being crucified, or raise our sword like some kind of lightening rod. We do not control the Quickening, it controls us.
And the pain, there is no real way to describe it. Every nerve in your body feels like it's on fire. Your heart is beating so fact that you are sure that it will explode before the Quickening ends. Your lungs sere with every breath you struggle to take. It feels like a vice is slowly squeezing your chest. Your ears ring with such a high pitched whine that you become convinced that you are going to be totally deaf when it all stops. That's why we scream. It hurts.
And just when you think it can't get any worse, the visions come. You lose the ability to see your surroundings as the memories and experiences of your opponent flood into your brain. A lifetime's worth of experiences gets dumped into your neural cortex in seconds. You see what they saw, feel what they felt. More often than not you will actually feel the very last sensation they felt before they died. Usually that means the feel of your sword connecting with their neck. Sometimes you can see the look on your face as you made the killing blow. Let me tell you that is not a comforting bit of knowledge to have.
The Quickening of a rather young Immortal will only take moments to occur. After all they don't have very much in they way of power or experiences to share with you. The older ones, however, are another story. The longer the lifetime, the more powerful, the more prolonged, the more painful it is. I weep for the Immortal who should ever take my head. I wouldn't wish that
experience on my worst enemy. Perhaps that is one reason I have fought to stay alive for so long.
When it's all over, regardless of its duration, you can do nothing but collapse to the ground. Muscle control is not an option. I have seen many an Immortal curl up into a fetal position and cry like a newborn infant. I have done this myself on more occasions than I would care to admit. The emotional response to the experience is that powerful. That is when we are at our most vulnerable. As you try to regain control over your own body, you pray to whatever deity that might be listening to not let another of your kind come along until after you have recovered. When you finally can move again, you still tremble. All that adrenaline is still coursing through your veins and it takes a while for your body to assimilate it back into itself.
Then comes the sensation that every Immortal feels after a Quickening. The intense need to grab the nearest human, mortal or immortal, male or female, and reduce yourself to the most basic of primal instincts. "Lust" is too nice of a word to describe what you're feeling. "Rut" would be better. The pure need for sexual release. It is a natural reaction to too much energy in the body. Orgasmic release is a great way to expend it. Unfortunately, more often than not, we have to go home and take care of that release by ourselves. But, if you are lucky enough to find a partner, preferably a willing one, let me tell you, you will never experience a more intense release. That's where the pleasure comes from.
But there are other side effects that can happen due to a Quickening. You are always changed after the experience. After all, you have the knowledge, experience and memories of another person now crawling around inside your brain. Most of us can assimilate it all and we only come out a little more powerful, and perhaps a little wiser. But I have seen complete shifts in personalities. I have seen men that could only be described as the embodiment of pure evil turn into the most compassionate and caring of individuals due to a Quickening. But I have also witnessed the exact opposite. I have seen Immortals who could be classified as living saints reduced to such vileness that the very idea that they were once good people is a totally foreign concept. But that is a risk we all face in this game we are forced to play.
So why do we do it? Because some unknown force makes us, that's why. All we can do is live, grow strong, and fight another day.