Reading was one thing Adam had
no problem with: he enjoyed it and was very fast. A note pad,
a pencil and the two books he was interested in were all he needed
to keep him happy, and since his job was researcher, Joe found
him a room out back and nobody bothered him. The two documents
were a study in opposites, and yet, they were inextricably linked.
One was a fake leather, A4 note book, filled with Joe's neat,
well trained hand writing, and the other was Iltyd's autobiography
with it's worn cover and slightly faded ink. The door was locked
to prevent anyone seeing the documents that would have made a
Watcher's century, and had been since ten o'clock when Joe had
returned from the bank with his precious record. It was now nearly
noon, and Methos had the translation of the marked passage in
the old book finished, had glanced at other pieces in the work
and was about to turn his attention to his friend's creation.
Dawson had recorded every detail he could remember and his speculations
as well. With Scholarly enthusiasm, the oldest living Immortal
began to read.
"This volume is the most
important document I have ever written for the Watcher organisation:
I urge any who read it to treat it's contents with caution as
to how they relay them. The Gathering has changed our fellowship
as much as it has altered the lives of Immortals and this is why
I find myself keeping the secret for as long as is humanly possible.
Find here recorded all details of the events of what may be looked
back upon as the turning point of Immortal history."
Then came Joe's personal information,
some reference numbers and the dates of the occurrences.
"Question : Why when Richard
Ryan's Immortality became known, was the existence of his twin,
Christopher Seaton, not discovered. The routine background check
and personal history record should have brought to light this
information. How could we, as an organisation, have missed such
a vital piece of data, which has in itself so drastically changed
the lives of the following Immortals:
Duncan MacLeod [reference number]
Madelaine Seaton [reference number] Craven Manheim [reference
number] Amanda Darieux [reference number] Richard Ryan [reference
number] Christopher Seaton [reference number] Note : This list
There followed a list of places
to be cited in the main record, with meticulous details about
position, size and other characteristics that Watchers found impossible
The whole thing was a document
overflowing with excited information, but all was put down for
posterity with practised discipline and coherent legibility. Exact
descriptions of what Dawson had witnessed were placed next to
reports, of what he had not seen, from the Immortals involved,
and they filled page after page with elaborate particulars. Personal
ideas were added in the margins or different coloured pen, some
as after thoughts and others as part and parcel of the data being
written. There was absolutely no doubt that Joe had been distinctly
affected by, what he called, "The Dividing". It was
in fact the most peculiar chronicle that the archives would ever
see: this was a document that had the open collaboration of the
Immortals involved and in such, broke every rule the Watchers
had. Without this co-operation, however, the full extent of what
had occurred would never have been completely understood, and
if it ever reached general release, it would probably divide the
"There were all the signs
of a normal Quickening from the room at the top of the stairs.
The explosions were audible and the lightening could be seen through
the open door, it only left the matter of who had lost the fight.
When all Immortals who were known to be inside, were observed
to still have their heads on their shoulders, it posed the question:
what had occurred? A few minutes after their hurried exit from
the building, the structure was engulfed in a huge detonation
which totally destroyed it. A report of any findings from the
wreckage will follow at a later date if an investigation is found
to be practicable.
Personal : MacLeod, Chris and
Madelaine all entered the building ready to kill Manheim. I have
watched Duncan for years now and the mood he was in on that night
suggested to me that he would not give up until he had his adversary's
head. I fully expected it to have been him receiving the Quickening
even though I had seen Richie enter the room from my vantage point.
When they reappeared they seemed as confused as the mortals around
them, that they no-longer felt any hostility to their former opponent.
The experience they shared touched them all on a deeper level
than any of us can expect to understand: I have never seen quite
the look on MacLeod's face that he had that morning.
Manheim prevented his mercenaries..."
It was Joe's thoughts and feelings
that made the most impression on Methos, as he studied the manuscript
since he was already in possession of the facts from yesterday.
The Immortal from the point of view of a Mortal could be most
enlightening, and Dawson's interpretation of what he had seen
and heard opened many ideas in the reader's mind.
"Talk to Berengaria Danworth,"
were the most prominent words on Adam's latest page of notes.
The truth of the matter was obvious
now: the circumstances were clearly defined, and now the job was
to formulate his own opinion of the matter. Something so alien
to the Immortal world was fascinating to Methos, who had watched
the ages pass and nothing really change for his race, but he couldn't
say he was comfortable with the idea. Maybe it was the right way
forward, or maybe if they survived as a group and were the only
ones left, their fellowship would break down and they would turn
on each other. He read the demonstration of the twins inability
to harm each other, and it gave him a little peace of mind. There
was so much to consider, and Adam sat back in his chair thoughtfully,
letting his eyes trace the edge of the opposite wall.
"To be or not to be?"
he said to himself quietly, and smiled at his dilemma.
"So have you heard any more
from this Peters guy?" Richie asked as he unconsciously reordered
the paperwork Duncan had abandoned the day before.
"Not a thing," his
friend replied from where he was doing sit-ups. "He'll either
turn up or he won't."
The Highlander didn't seem to
be taking this challenge quite as seriously as his companions,
but then again if he became totally paranoid every time someone
came looking for him he'd have a nervous breakdown. He was taking
the threat calmly, but he wasn't ignoring it: his actions proved
"Just make sure you haven't
got your back turned when he does," the younger of the two
men said evenly.
The world was really coming to
something when Richie Ryan was giving advice to Duncan MacLeod.
"As always," Mac replied,
and he wasn't joking.
The Scotsman heard tutting coming
from the office as his young companion sorted through the desk:
Richie was becoming a real organiser.
"Just make sure I can find
those invoices," the older Immortal called out as he recognised
the sound of paper being moved. "Your filing system had me
confused for months."
"Can't be any worse than
yours," his friend sent back, "I'm surprised you can
find anything in here at all. You could at least have these stacked
in date order. How do you keep track of everything you buy and
All he received in reply was
"Heard anything from our
old friend today?" Richie asked chattily, as he appeared
in the doorway a few minutes later.
"Nope," Duncan responded,
and switched to press-ups, "you?"
"Nada," the more experienced
or the twins replied. "Do you think he'll bite?"
Richie never ceased to be amazed
about the ease with which MacLeod moved: he was a joy to watch.
"To tell the truth,"
the older Immortal said after a few more exercises, "I don't
know. I was surprised by Amanda's request, but she had witnessed
a lot of the revelations. She was right when she said Methos isn't
a joiner, but then again weirder things have happened."
"Too right," his companion
returned with a laugh.
This wasn't the heart of the
conversation, Richie was leading up to something, Duncan could
tell. When he wasn't quite sure of the reception he would get
the younger Immortal had a certain style that was easy to spot.
Mac wasn't about to push him, however, it worked better to just
let him make his own way to the real topic.
"What would you say if I
said I thought he was important to us?" the young man asked
"I'd ask why," was
the calm response and the Highlander gave up the workout.
There was that awkward look on
Richie's face, that said he wasn't sure if he should go on.
"I dreamed him," he
"What, last night?"
Mac was not about to throw any accusations or put downs at the
"No," the other responded.
"I'd have put it down to the incident yesterday, otherwise.
I dreamt him the night before he arrived."
What could Duncan say to that?
"Had any dreams like this
before?" he enquired after a moments thought.
Richie shook his head.
"Just the one," he
"Well, Methos is very old,"
the Highlander said calmly, "he's very significant in the
entire Immortal scheme of things. His presence has an effect on
us all, maybe you just sensed him before the rest of us did."
It was a reasonable theory, Richie
stored away the idea and made a note to ask Adam, exactly when
he flew in.
"Thanks, Mac," he said,
a little happier and turned back into the office.
"Anytime," his old
When the phone rang for the second
time in an hour, it was quite a surprise to Beren since the only
person she had given the number to was Richie, and he had made
the other call. She was working in the office her father had been
lent by the local educational establishment, for the duration
of his stay, and nobody ever phoned.
"Hello, extension 4518,"
she said brightly and put down the highlighter she had been using.
"Good afternoon," a
pleasant voice returned from the other end, "this is Adam
Pierson, am I speaking to Berengaria Danworth."
The use of her full name put
back the young woman somewhat, quite frankly it embarrassed her
"That's me," she replied
after she had adjusted, "please, call me Beren: it's easier
to pronounce. You're Duncan's friend aren't you?"
"Richie mentioned me then,"
the Immortal replied on the line, "good, that saves me some
The previous evening Joe had
come out of the back room and said hello, but Adam, as usual,
was keeping his head low and had remained behind. Therefore, he
had not had the opportunity to meet the love in Richie's life
and so this was their first conversation.
"He told me that they've
explained the whole story to you," the young English woman
supplied easily: she was aware that with so many secrets floating
around, exactly who knew what could be important in a conversation.
"Even better," the
calm voice said easily, "then you can probably ascertain
my dilemma. I'm really trying to understand exactly what happened
a few weeks ago, and being a principle player, I would appreciate
your side of the story."
"Oh," now Beren was
surprised, she didn't really think of herself as a major part
of what had occurred. "Well if it would help. I suppose it
must be difficult to come to terms with the group, I know I had
trouble accepting everything I saw."
It was a very peculiar conversation.
Both ends were being careful what they admitted to on the open
line and it led to lots of meaningful pauses.
"Could we meet?" Adam
requested in his gentle tones.
"I should think so,"
the young woman replied honestly. "When do you suggest?"
"Tonight?" was the
"I'll have to ring Richie
and see what's arranged for this evening," Beren returned
after a short pause, "but I don't see why not."
"I'd like to speak to everyone
alone," Adam sounded a little tentative, "is that a
It was a reasonable request,
after all groups did tend to come up with a point of view that
was a mishmash of everyone in it.
"Shouldn't be," were
the next words out of the English woman's mouth.
The tone of the voice on the
other end of the line was such that it obtained instant friendship:
Adam had a peculiar effect on people.
"As long as there's nothing
special going on," Beren continued. "If you give me
your number, I'll sort things out my end and give you a call."
"I'm at Joe's bar,"
was the quick reply, "I'd rather not have you ring me here,
just in case someone else answers. If it's all right with you,
I'll call back in thirty minutes."
"Fine," the graduate
returned without hesitation, "talk to you then."
Once Richie quashed the irrational
surge of jealousy that engulfed him the moment Beren mention Methos,
he had no problem with the rendezvous. He could understand the
older Immortal's reticence with the whole situation, and Beren
would give him an angle on the events that none of the rest of
the group could have. It was one thing to be at the centre of
everything going on, but objectivity was a long way from it, and
Mortal view points were distinctly different from their Immortal
cousins. Since Adam was so careful with his real identity, Richie
had not told Beren of his significance in the scheme of things,
which in the end would probably make for an easier discourse.
Methos was part myth and tended to draw awe rather than accurate
information, Adam Pierson was just another Immortal, an idea with
which the young English woman was already comfortable. The idea
of enlightening his lover to the whole facts did cross Richie's
mind, but then again it was Adam's secret and he had the right
to keep it, or not, as he saw fit.
Something was bothering Amanda,
that much was very obvious as Duncan chopped the peppers for their
dinner. The Immortal woman kept glancing up form the magazine
she was reading, and biting her lip as if she wasn't sure whether
to speak or not. This was an unusual occurrence where the ex-thief
was concerned, Amanda usually had no problem with her voice, what
"Spit it out," the
Scotsman said finally as he tipped the vegetables into the nearest
His friend looked startled, as
if she hadn't been aware she was being obvious.
"That easy to read, huh?"
she said quietly.
"You're like a caged panther,"
the Highlander informed her calmly.
She smiled slightly: she liked
the comparison. Then the expression faded to be replaced by the
pensive look that had been there only a few seconds before.
"I know that technically
it's none of my business," she began in a rush, as if she
didn't want to offend him, "but Jackson Peters' name rang
a vague bell so I poked my nose in. Today I called in a few favours.
Don't ask me from where, you don't want to know. This Immortal
is no longer the young upstart you told me about last night: he's
taken the heads of some powerful people. From what I've heard,
he's been studying every weapons technique he can find since the
day you killed Bran."
"I suspected as much,"
the Scotsman replied, much to his companion's surprise. "Anyone
capable of maintaining a pointless hatred this long usually has
a way to fulfil their revenge. Kalas had his brain, Peters didn't
strike me as the complicated type, so that he's been learning
to fight isn't much of a shock. At least he took my advice."
Amanda did not look pleased at
the tone with which Duncan chose to phrase his voice.
"What's with you?"
she asked pointedly. "You're not invulnerable you know, and
Peters isn't going to go away. He may only be a hundred or so,
but you can learn a lot of ways to kill someone in that time."
"I am taking this seriously,"
the Highlander assured her calmly. "It's just that everyone
appears to be more uptight about this than I am. To tell you the
truth, I'm excited by the challenge, more so than in years. Either
he'll beat me, and you and the others will be coming into some
property, or I'll beat him and we'll have a new member or a Quickening."
The conversation could have gone
on and become long and complicated, but Amanda saw the look on
Mac's face and decided it wasn't worth it.
"So who's getting what?"
she asked to distract herself.
"Now that would be telling,"
Duncan replied with a ready smile.
Chris knew that Joe's bar wasn't
exactly the place to be inconspicuous, especially with so many
Watchers around, but he wanted to relax and he liked talking to
the owner. They never discussed Immortal things when the young
man dropped by, usually the conversation turned to music, and
since their relationship had developed under the careful scrutiny
of many eyes, it was lighter than the others Chris was in at the
moment. It wasn't that he found the group of Immortals stifling,
in fact he was thriving, it was just nice to go somewhere that
he knew that particular subject couldn't come up.
"Afternoon," he said
cheerfully as he walked in to find Joe setting up for the night
crowd, "or is it evening yet? I've always wondered exactly
where the dividing line is."
It was actually about six o'clock.
"Evening, I think,"
the older man replied with a smile.
These visits were becoming something
of a habit, and even if they did raise a few questions with his
colleagues, Dawson enjoyed them. Immortal and Watcher cannot be
friends, it was a fundamental rule, but Joe had thrown that out
the window with Duncan and Richie, Chris was no different. Except
of course that talking to Manheim's student was just like talking
to a regular guy, with no undertones or hidden questions. If the
young Immortal wanted information he went to his twin, Mac or
Craven, he went to Joe for conversation and they both appreciated
"So how're the blues?"
Chris asked with a grin and took a seat next to the bar.
"Melodic, as usual,"
his friend replied and finished wiping the table he had just cleaned.
"Heard any smooth tunes lately?"
"There's some great new
albums in the Record's Palace," the young Immortal had also
been devoting some of his time to developing a friendship with
the owner of that particular store. "Some blues, a couple
of rock and one country that I was very surprised to find, I liked.
Jamie made me listen to it before he'd let me leave, last time
I was in there."
Music was a hobby the pair shared,
Chris had been the vocalist in a band at University and when he'd
found out Joe played guitar, nothing had stopped him finding out
just how well. Richie didn't seem to share the fascination, but
then again, it would probably filter over one day.
It didn't take long for the bearded
Watcher and his younger companion to get into a deep discussion
about the merits of various bands, and for this reason neither
of them noticed the door open and a slight figure enter. Finally,
when the newcomer had had enough of just standing there waiting
to be noticed, she spoke up.
"Hi, Uncle Joe," said
a bright voice, "hope you don't mind me interrupting."
Dawson looked up, somewhat startled
by the presence of another in the room.
"Karina," he responded
quickly, "what are you doing here?"
"Oh, that's nice,"
she said in a mock offended tone, "I drop by to say hello
to my father's oldest friend and all I get is "what are you
doing here?" ."
Joe grinned at the sarcasm.
"Sorry," he said, suitably
rebuffed, "I just wasn't expecting anybody. Karina, this
is Chris, Chris, this is Karina: the daughter of a dear friend
"Nice to meet you,"
the Immortal responded to the introduction, whilst trying to hide
the perplexed look which had momentarily crossed his features.
The young woman was carrying
a heavy looking bag, it was obvious she was going to be in town
"Do you wish to borrow the
spare room?" her "uncle" offered as she unsubtley
dumped the carryall on the floor.
"That would be nice,"
she returned with a huge grin. "Oh, and Dad said to give
you his love."
Karina looked to be around twentyish,
and her long blonde hair went nicely with her bright green eyes.
Her face was alight with mischievous life, and it gave her an
air of fun that was infectious. The jeans, sloppy jumper and light
jacket did nothing to hide the slim figure and curvaceous body
that Chris found somewhat distracting.
"Pleased to meet you, Chris,"
she said, cheerfully swapping subjects again and stuck out her
hand, "any friend of Uncle Joe's."
The Immortal shook the extended
limb gently and smiled.
"Karina, would you mind
not referring to me as "Uncle Joe"," the Watcher
asked with a pained expression. "I may have known you since
you were born, but the name makes me feel about a hundred and
three. Just Joe is good enough for me."
"Well if you are a hundred
and three," the girl shot back cheekily, "you're keeping
very well. Not holding out on us are you."
She had no tattoo, but she obviously
knew exactly what she was referring to. The comment would have
seemed innocent to all those without certain information, but
Chris found the idea very funny. It conjured the picture of his
friend wielding a note book and yelling "There can be only
one." in the Immortal's mind, which struck a chord.
"What's so funny?"
Joe asked as his companion began to laugh.
"Oh, nothing," Richie's
twin replied between chuckles, "you don't want to know what
When the young man glanced at
Karina, he caught her tying to surreptitiously look at his wrists:
she was obviously wondering what he knew. Maybe she was a Watcher
in training, or maybe since Joe had said her father was a colleague,
she had just grown up with the knowledge that her dad had a peculiar
job, following around Immortals. Joe did not seem to be trying
to direct the conversation away from anything in particular, so
Chris assumed Karina was to be trusted. She'd realised that the
Immortal knew something and staying with Dawson, sooner or later
she'd find out who he was, so being reticent did not come into
"No tattoo," he said
calmly, "just in the know."
There was, however, no point
to ruin a perfectly friendly conversation, by bringing up something
like Immortality, which had a tendency to kill such pleasantries.
"Oh, good," the woman
replied, "then if my big mouth slips in such conducive surroundings,
I won't have to come up with any off the cuff excuses."
There was no way someone from
a Watcher family could ever be described as having a big mouth,
it didn't come with the territory, but Chris smiled anyway.
"Just don't give away any
of Joe's secrets," the Immortal returned quickly, "he
might get upset."
"Oh, I don't know any secrets
worth giving up," Karina assured both men with a cheerful
"So who is he?" the
young woman asked with an interesting glint in her eye, just after
Chris had said his goodbyes.
They'd chatted idly for half
an hour or so and then the Immortal had decided it was time to
"A friend," Joe returned,
trying not to sound cagey, "we met in the bar."
This of course was perfectly
true, it just left out some interesting details.
"Does he come in here often?"
the tone of her voice was beginning to make Joe think that maybe
he should mention Chris' origins.
told her, deciding that now was not a good time, "we talk
This conversation was on it's
way to becoming a little awkward.
"How does he know about
Watchers and Immortals?" were the next words out of the young
"A slip in protocol,"
was all Joe returned.
"Oh, so he's not supposed
to know," Karina was making her own conclusions.
"You could say that,"
her companion replied.
"Don't worry, Joe,"
she said with a smile, "I won't mention it to anybody. I've
heard there's a convention in town."
She was in on quite a lot of
Watcher business, and had been for years, but since she had never
"signed up" she did not know the details. It wasn't
usual for non-members to know so much about the organisation,
but Karina was one of those people who could find out anything
if given enough time.
Duncan and Amanda looked at each
other as they felt the approach of another Immortal.
"Richie," the young
looking woman said with one eyebrow slightly raised.
"Chris," her companion
The twins were alike to look
at and they were also very similar when it came to the distinctive
feeling caused by their presence. It was better than not knowing
they were friends, but it was still problematic deciding which
was which. They were not, of course, exactly the same and Mac
was better at telling one from the other than Amanda, who really
"Evening," the visitor
greeted as he stepped out of the elevator and the Highlander was
once again proved correct.
Chris still held onto his peculiar
accent, sometimes it slipped slightly, but usually, it was the
one sure way to decide which twin was in the room.
"Hi," MacLeod returned,
"what brings you here."
"Somebody I met at Joe's,"
the youngest Immortal returned with a serious look on his face.
"Her name's Karina, she twenty one, the daughter of one of
Dawson's Watcher friends, and staying with Joe for the next few
This didn't sound like the type
of subject that would bring Chris all the way to see Mac, or give
him the visage with which he currently looked on the world.
"And?" Amanda asked
as he paused.
"And," the young man
continued, "I don't think a career in the Watchers is exactly
right for her. I'd lay large amounts of money on a bet that she's
adopted and that her life expectancy is a lot longer than her
"Are you trying to say,
she's Immortal?" Duncan enquired calmly.
"Not Immortal, I don't have
much experience with pre-Immortals," Chris said slowly, "but
I got the weirdest feeling from her and I assume it's because
she will be one of us. It was like with you guys, but weaker and
"Sounds like you're right
to me," the Highlander returned at the description and then
looked to Amanda.
The woman's eyes were suddenly
alight with interest.
"I should keep an eye on
her whilst she's here, shouldn't I," she said, a smile pulling
at her lips.
"Good idea," Mac replied
with a nod. "Don't make it obvious, Chris can introduce you,
but find out as much as you can about her. When she goes home
we'll have to make alternative arrangements. We don't want her
getting herself into any trouble whilst we can prevent it."
Their younger companion looked
a little unsure of himself.
"Am I allowed to keep seeing
her?" he asked awkwardly.
That made the Scotsman grin:
at least Chris didn't do all his thinking with his hormones.
"Feel free," Duncan
said with a laugh, "but just remember, Chris. Joe may not
be comfortable with his friend's daughter becoming involved with
an Immortal. It may be easier on you to leave well alone."
It was sensible advice, but young
men with the sexual drive of an Immortal rarely listened to their
brains when it came to beautiful women. Chris' mind was trying
to tell him that Mac was right, but other body parts were urging
in other directions.
End of Part 4