Kaia had been gone less than twenty minutes, and Duncan was just
preparing to go on a short run, when an Immortal presence struck him
like a blow. Moments later Methos burst through the door, sword in
hand. Duncan took an involuntary step backward when he saw Methos'
eyes. There was murder in their gold-green depths.
But Methos pushed past him like he wasn't even there. He gave the
main living area a cursory glance, then ducked into the barge's small
"Methos..." MacLeod was baffled by his behavior.
Methos checked the bathroom and then the other small rooms without a
"Methos?!" He looked as if he was searching for something. Someone.
Joe came through the open door just as Methos returned to the entry.
Neither man looked at MacLeod.
"She's not here. Try Richie again," Methos instructed tersely.
"What are you talking about?" MacLeod demanded.
Joe merely withdrew his cell phone from a pocket and dialed. He
listened for several seconds and then shook his head.
"Will someone please tell me what the hell is going on here? What
are you trying to get Richie for, and why are you," he pointed at
Methos, "tearing around here with your sword drawn?"
"There's no time," Methos said impatiently, and moved to leave.
MacLeod stood his ground, blocking his path.
They were sitting on the couch. MacLeod was shaking his head in
"No. She's not like that. She wouldn't hunt young ones and..."
"She is like that," Methos interrupted.
"Mac, that's her M.O. She's been doing it for thousands of years,"
"Thousands? Come on, she's not much older than I am. She told me
"I'm sure she did, that's part of it too," Methos insisted.
"The Watcher records on Kaia go back almost 2500 years," Joe said.
Duncan stared at him in shock. "Methos here ran into her about 1500
years ago. She killed a student of his. I'm telling you, Mac, she's
not the person you think she is."
MacLeod turned his eyes to Methos, who nodded and explained briefly.
When he finished, MacLeod again shook his head in denial.
"I can't believe it."
"Believe it, MacLeod!" Joe was angry. "1698, Benat Mateo. 1748,
Tibalt Hirsch. 1798, Angelique Montreau. Do you want me to go on? I
know them all. There's one for every time you saw her. In fact, 1848
must have been a banner year for your sweet Kaia, because that time
she got two, Lucio Donatelli and David Reis!" Joe was shouting by
this time. Methos put a hand on his arm to stop him.
MacLeod listened in shock. Dead? All of them? He could see each face
"If we're going to catch her we'll have to move fast. She's probably
already on her way to Richie's." Methos' voice was all business,
wanting to get on with it.
"Yes, Richie," Joe said forcefully. "I'm sure she thinks he's a
student. She said as much when he introduced himself."
"How could she find him?"
"By calling information, that's how I got his address last week,"
Methos said, exasperated. "We're wasting time, we've got to hurry,"
he said urgently. Something in his voice set MacLeod's teeth on edge.
"Why are you so hot to save Richie?" he asked suspiciously. "You
never gave a damn about him before."
Methos' eyes flashed. "I'm not trying to save Richie, he can take
care of himself. I have my own reasons for wanting her head."
"What? Some student she killed 1500 years ago? Come on, Methos, tell
me another," he scoffed.
"Not for my student," Methos said, his voice low, deadly. "No, I have
much more personal reasons." The murder was back in his eyes.
1528, PYRENEES MOUNTAINS
Methos had been living just outside a small village in the western
Pyrenees Mountains for ten years. It was Basque country, and he loved
the land and the people. He thought he could probably spend ten, or
maybe even fifteen more years there before he had to move on. He'd
found out long ago that he could vary his apparent age widely by
changing the length of his hair.
The people in the village were finally starting to accept him a
little, mostly because he was generous with his money without
flaunting it, and because he spoke the language like a native. He
should, all told he'd spent more than a hundred years among the
Basque over the centuries. He'd married a local girl five years
before, and was enjoying his quiet life. As a sheep farmer with no
sheep, he had plenty of time to pursue his studies. Most of what he
had in his house were books. He even had a secret place on his land,
a hideaway, where he'd been able to store his journals.
He'd come in from his farm because traders, on their way to the pass,
were in the village. He was curious to see if they had any books with
them. There was quite a crowd around one of the wagons, and he moved
to stand on the fringes. He was taller than most of the villagers, so
he could easily see the traders' wares from the back.
The distinctive sensation of another Immortal impinged upon his mind,
and he forced himself to be still, not looking around. He was in a
crowd, there was some chance he could blend in and escape the
Immortal's notice if he made no sudden moves. As the direction
clarified, he slowly moved his eyes, and turned his head casually.
Methos saw her then, boldly standing in the middle of the street some
thirty feet away staring defiantly at him. His eyes narrowed as he
recognized her. Kaia.
He moved away from the crowd, walking slowly toward her, and stopped
with fifteen feet still between them. He was thinking rapidly, for he
could not afford a fight here. So focused was he upon her, that he
failed to hear the approach of the out of control team of horses and
wagon until it was far too late. They ran him down, and his last
thought before death took him was that she had fooled him again.
When he revived, he was surrounded by people. The priest was
administering last rites, and his wife was holding his hand and
weeping. His first gasp of breath started most of them screaming.
"He's in league with the devil," an hysterical voice cried. Methos
turned his head. It was Kaia, standing next to one of the traders,
probably the one who spooked the horses, he thought grimly. This had
happened to him once before, and he'd barely escaped. He got to his
feet, hoping to find a way out of this mess, but the priest ordered
several of the village men to hold him.
They burned him, of course. The priest had always had a fanatical
bent, and with Kaia to incite the crowd, Methos hadn't really had
much of a chance. He'd revived hours later in the forest where they'd
dumped his charred body. He had made his way back his secret place on
his property. The healing was slower than anything he'd ever
experienced, and the pain greater. Finally, when it was over, he
washed and dressed in old clothes he'd left in his hideaway. Then he
gathered his things and quit the area. There was nothing left for him
By the time Methos had caught up with the traders' caravan, Kaia was
no longer traveling with them.
"So, am I going by myself, or are you coming along?"
MacLeod rose, and Joe began to get to his feet.
"No, Joe. You stay here." Methos' voice left no room for argument.
"Fine, but there's one more thing. The Watchers believe that Kaia may
be able to sense other Immortals at almost double the usual range."
"Is that possible?" MacLeod asked, looking at Methos. Methos
"Well, just watch yourselves," Joe cautioned.
As they walked to MacLeod's car, Duncan struggled to phrase his
request to Methos. "I know you want to take her head because she had
you burned, but..."
"Being burned has got nothing to do with it," Methos interrupted. "I
mean, yes, it hurt, like nothing you could imagine, but I'm an
Immortal. I lived. I got over it. No, I want her head because she
took away one of the best lives I'd ever had. And because she fooled
"But all those young Immortals she killed... they're dead because of
me. I need to do this, Methos," Duncan said earnestly.
"No. I'm not giving way to you just to salve your guilty conscience."
"No. And if you're trying to tell me that's why you want her dead,
save your breath. We both know that's not true."
MacLeod opened his mouth to insist that was his reason, but the words
stuck in his throat when he met Methos' eyes. They seemed to be
looking right through him.
They both got into the car without another word.