"He should have found me by now! Where is the great Duncan MacLeod of the
Clan MacLeod?" Corinth bellowed as he paced the floor of the warehouse.
Corinth walked over to the pen that had been set up to accommodate his
younger guest and looked at her, and to Mary's baby-sitter who was tied and
gagged in a chair nearby. "It seems that Duncan doesnae care much about yer
safety. How could anyone abandon someone as adorable as ye."
"Unky Dunky?" Mary babbled smiling.
Corinth gave out a laugh, "Yes Mary, yer Unky Dunky. It would be a shame if
he let anything happen to ye." Just then, Duncan's arrival became apparent
and Corinth drew his rapier turning towards the door.
"Let them go!" Duncan said as he entered the warehouse.
"I was just talking to Mary about you. We were wondering when you would
"This is not about Mary, this is about us. Let her and Becky go."
"But yer wrong MacLeod. You killed Jamie and now I have to kill Mary. Fair
is fair. Life or Death MacLeod, it's what we lived by. You being a
Highlander should know how important a clans Code of Honor is."
"I also know that revenge isn't the answer. Now let them go!" he said
"You think this is about revenge?" Duncan nodded as he avoided the blow
Corinth aimed at his shoulder. "No, it's about the honor of me son. Jamie
should have taken over the clan that day. He wasnae suppose to die, I was.
I lost all the honor I had that day."
"No matter how you put it, it's revenge. And killing Mary won't bring Jamie
back. Nothing will."
"No, but killing you will give me my honor back."
"Then let Mary go."
"No! When I take your head, I'll consider it." Corinth said with a smirk.
Duncan had to admit Corinth was strong. Then again, he was one of the
MacLachlans that the MacLeods had fought both with and against many times.
He was quick to guard against every move Duncan threw at him, and then to
"Let it go." Duncan pleaded one last time. "Revenge never helps."
"Shut up MacLeod. Boys!" Corinth called out.
Out of the corner of his eye, Duncan saw two men come out of their hiding
places. One walked towards Mary and the other towards Duncan. The one near
Duncan pulled a gun and aimed it at his chest. Duncan had just enough time
to lunge close enough to the man, to knock the gun out of his hand, while
taking a bullet in his shoulder. Duncan stabbed him, then turned his
attentions towards the one near Mary.
"Step any closer, and she's dead." Corinth said. Duncan stopped and turned
"There's no honor in having others fight your battles. Highlander,
Immortal, or not. Call him off, and let Mary go. We'll settle this between
us with no more interuptions."
"Ye killed one of me best MacLeod. Though you always knew how to do that.
Fine!" he said turning to them. "Take 'em outside. When I'm done, I'll give
ye further instructions." The thug nodded and took Mary in one arm and led
the baby-sitter out the door.
The time it took Corinth to call off his thug, Duncan's arm had healed. It
ached as he tested it, but there was no tearing of already broken flesh.
His opponent turned slowly towards him, a look on his face that only spoke
of one thing, vengeance. Duncan could not understand that, but he
recognized the cold steel of the Immortal about to do battle.
Deliberately, he raised his blade above his head and prepared to take up
the challenge. Now it no longer mattered what the reasons for this meeting
had been, all that remained in the moment of pause before the combat
commenced was the test of skill and cunning.
Purely as a warrior, the way he stood, the way he handled his claymore,
Corinth was admirable - well trained, focused, dangerous. MacLeod was not
about to underestimate this man, and he waited for the first move to come
from him. Suddenly, the stillness was over, low breathing became a shout
of fury and the avenger lunged. Direction and pace came at the Highlander
in a flurry of rage, and his first move had to be defensive. Both men were
fresh, alert, and the blow could come to nothing, one blade glancing off
another; they parted again.
The two men circled a while, taking a moment to consider what they had
learnt from the first test of ability. Corinth also took the opportunity
to vent some of his anger.
"Centuries, MacLeod, centuries I have waited and prepared, hoped for
something like this. You cannae win, I am too strong!"
"We'll see about that," Duncan countered both in speech and movement, as he
stepped in to the fray once more.
He brought the katana in towards the MacLachlan's body, ready for the block
which inevitably came. He shifted smoothly, upwards, towards the now
unguarded body, but Corinth was not to be caught so easily and shoved him
away. Nothing unexpected - both men came away from the second clash
perfectly balanced. Duncan side-stepped as his enemy followed into the
shove with his own attack. The Highlander lifted the katana down over his
shoulder and met the slice that was aimed at his mid back. The claymore
slid down his blade and then the two men moved to face each other again.
Corinth's face was black more with fury than effort - he considered winning
his right, and the fact that it was taking more than a few seconds seemed
to bring out an added indignation to the already dangerously reckless pot
of emotion. MacLeod recognized the knot of feeling, from which his
opponent drew his strength, slowly becoming less useful to him. The man
was close to stepping over the line where the anger would be more
hindrance than help.
Then there was no more time for consideration - the elder Clansman moved in
for another offensive, and the clash of steel became all important. This
time the intensity of the battle stepped up, matching the need in Corinth
to inflict some kind of injury on his enemy. Duncan took a risk, he
blocked a slice, parried and then stepped into his opponent's next swipe.
The katana deflected much of the blow, but he let the claymore catch him
lightly on the lower leg. The man stepped away rapidly, letting his guard
slip, limping more heavily than the wound required. His retreat was
followed only by a laugh of triumph, as he had hoped.
"See, MacLeod, first blood!" Corinth gloated.
The Highlander did not reply, merely waited, appearing vaguely distracted
by his injury. As he expected, the MacLachlan charged in again, but more
recklessly this time. Overconfidence was as much a danger as your enemy's
sword, and Duncan moved into what he hoped would be the last stage of the
battle, an ace in his hand.
The heavy sword came at him full force; MacLeod had to step away and
deflect the blow simultaneously. He was faced in slightly the wrong
direction to take advantage of the stumble that Corinth made as he over
reached, but it was something of which the Highlander made note. The next
attack was Duncan's, but he made no real effort to impact on his opponent.
He succeeded in driving him back a pace or two with a sequence of clashes.
Then the younger Scot stopped short. He gave Corinth an opening, a risky
one, but the maddened man was not about to reject it.
MacLeod's ribs were unguarded, and the MacLachlan made a strike for them.
Duncan stepped neatly out of the way and brought his own blade up under the
swing. The katana cut across Corinth's chest, and he grunted heavily. The
wound was deep and the claymore fell out of the elder's hand. In shock,
the man sank down to his knees. Duncan's blade went immediately to his
"Scottish honor or not, revenge is not the answer." Duncan said as he
raised his katana and made the final death blow. Corinth's head and
lifeless body fell to the ground, and Duncan stood there waiting for the
As the power escaped Corinth, it swirled through the air hovering above his
body for a moment as if it were a vulture searching for carrion. Moments
later it hit Duncan with a great force. Arching his back to accept the
awaited intruder, Duncan screamed at the feelings his felt during a
Quickening. Pain, pleasure, sadness, relief, sorrow- everything his
opponent felt and thought.
As the Quickening subsided, Duncan looked at Corinth, and said "Life or
death," as he knelt placing Corinth's rapier between his crossed arms. He
slowly rose and walked out of the warehouse.