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We have a total of 23
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Brigitte Dumas hummed quietly to the tune on the radio, a pretty,
mindless little tune about love and sex, such as is played on a million
sets to a billion bored students and workers. Bubblegum for the mind,
she flicked through a glossy magazine which told her in simple language
what she wanted to wear, listen to and feel. Like most of it's
readership, she dreamed the dreams they wove but realised it had nothing
to do with the world. So she flicked idly and dreamed of a tall dark
"Excuse me, have you seen Maria?" the voice was deep and husky, she
looked up into two deep brown eyes framed with flowing black hair. The
man rubbed his neat chin beard reflectively.
She smiled winsomely, in what she believed was an entrancing fashion,
"No M'seur, I'm sorry, she hasn't been here today," she seized blindly
at fate hoping to prolong the encounter, "She is lucky to have such a
handsome stud chasing her."
The tall man turned to go, and then paused at the glass doors. "Would
you like to leave a message, M'seur?" she offered tentatively, desperate
to engage the charismatic stranger. He turned and walked around the
desk. Uncertain, suddenly fearful she backed away, "M'seur, a message?"
He raised a gloved hand to her face and smiled his slow lazy smile, "Yes
a message..." she felt a dull blow in her midriff. She clutched at the
man, fighting to retch while a slow burning pain filled her belly. Her
vision swum as she slid to her knees, blood on her lips, clutching at
her blood soaked dress. As her eyes clouded with death she saw nothing
but indifference in her killer's eyes. "What better message than fear?"
he asked the dying woman.
Maria, found her vision slowly returning, as the old church came into
focus, she heard voices.
"Who is she?"
"I don't know? There are a few people I haven't met yet you know,
"Probably why not everybody's trying to kill you!"
"Ha Ha Funny man."
Slowly she focused on two pairs of deep brown eyes. She was aware of
strong hands holding her gently. The man holding her had an aquiline
face and a hawk nose, his hair was dark, short and tousled. He spoke,
"I think she's in shock, she should come out of it, can you hear me?"
His eyes searched anxiously for a sign of recognition. She wanted
desperately to reply but somehow couldn't frame a single word.
She turned her attention to the second man, taller and broadly built, he
had short dark hair that appeared to be wet, heavy brows and smiling
eyes, a faint 5 o'clock shadow covered his chin. She was vaguely aware
of someone else in the room. "Don't worry, my child you are safe here."
Neither of the men had spoken yet she heard the words, softly accented,
She spoke, "Who, who are you?"
"Duncan MacLeod of the Clan MacLeod," the taller man spoke, "And this is
"And you are?" the man called Adam smiled encouragingly.
"Maria Sanchez, from Andalusia, but I don't know why I am alive." She
was scared witless, all the fight had gone out of her, all she wanted
was to understand.
"Because you are an Immortal, like us," Duncan spoke grimly, "You will
never grow old, and like us, you cannot be killed unless your head is
severed from your body"
"Then he really is dead," a tear welled in her eye at the thought of him
as he stared death in the face for her life, "Via con dios, Martin."
"Then you've met others?" Methos was excited, he did not believe in
coincidence, if something had gone down Kokabiel had to be involved.
"My lover, Martin, I think..." she struggled with her emotions, Methos
lay his hand on her cheek to wipe away a tear, "That bastard cut off his
head and all hell broke loose, there was fire and lightning and thunder
in the whole building."
"Where?" there was no mistaking the urgency in MacLeod's voice
"I ... I don't know, I don't even know where I am" she paused and took
in a deep breath, "There was a ritual of sorts but I was dead already,
and they tried to kill me again, he said I was his child, the daughter
of God or some such. But he was just an evil bastard."
Nobody was arguing with that.
"Yes, he is, I am looking for him, do you think you can retrace your
steps," Methos was deadly serious and there was steel in his voice, the
burning anger and hatred had evaporated to be replaced by a calm almost
psychopathic state. "It is important, we can defeat him and destroy him,
but we need your help to find him."
Gathering her thoughts she calmed herself as much as she could, closing
her eyes she nodded. Grief and terror would have to wait. If she
survived she would have time enough, if not the least she could do was
spare herself the anguish. "I will try."
Maria had more spirit than Kokabiel would ever have given her credit
for, and a better memory. Even in her confusion she had somehow managed
to store the direction she had travelled, and she took her new
companions with her. They stopped off only once, when MacLeod
disappeared into a building, only to return a moment later with
something under his coat. These two men were as much killers as the
madman who had taken her, but somehow she felt safe with them. To look
in their eyes she could see what they were, and yet there was a sense of
right about them. It was almost like a crusade and she would follow them
where ever they went.
The wave of nausea took her by surprise, and the pain in her head felt
as if it would never end. She watched both of her companions and she saw
a shift in them that they probably never even noticed. They went from
men to warriors, and she shivered slightly despite her own hot desire to
destroy Kokabiel. The bastard was going to die.
Kieffer smiled to himself in thought as he admired the Katana's edge.
Over two hundred years of use and still in beautiful condition. A
testament to the craftsman's genius. Wasted on a fool like MacLeod. He
nearly had him, next time for certain.
"That's the last of it Mr Strachan." The denim-clad man gestured to the
now empty warehouse. All the trappings had gone, blood washed away and
the cult departed. All that remained was Kieffer and his "clean-up"
team. He preferred mortals around him, they weren't any more reliable,
but the methods of betrayal they might use were less likely to prove
fatal in the long run.
"Thank you, Jean, take the van to the docks, myself and the others will
meet you there in an hour." Stachan realised there was always a chance
MacLeod, would come back, maybe Methos too, he wanted to finish the job.
He motioned to his men and they faded into the shadows, guns drawn. He
smiled his predatory smile and stepped back into the gloom beneath an
The white-washed wooden doors slowly swung open. A figure moved swiftly
into the room. Kieffer felt the presence of another Immortal. MacLeod?
"Welcome, Highlander, I have something of yours..." He scanned the
building trying to place the Immortal as, he assumed, were his men. He
could see them converging on the warehouse door through the shadows.
Suddenly he became aware of a second presence. Footsteps pounded on the
Iron grille above and a figure somersaulted down to face him. MacLeod
landed catlike, in front of him a basket hilted broadsword in his hand.
"Shall we?" he grinned.
Kieffer smiled lazily, "Why not?" he raised MacLeod's Katana with a
The gunman eased forward cautiously, the machine pistol heavy in his
hand. He was almost at the door, and still no sign of the intruder.
Too late he heard a soft footfall behind him. Something struck his
back, piercing agony flared from his kidney as he stared in horror at
the wickedly curved blade which erupted from his chest. His vision
faded as he fell to the ground. "One down," thought Methos grimly.
Kieffer opened with a vicious series of slashes at MacLeod's face. The
other man parried furiously. "No gunmen to soften me up this time,
Kafir." At last MacLeod's defence tightened and became less strenuous.
Ignoring the use of his former name, the black man drew back from his
opponent, re-appraising his strategy, "A mere convenience, pest control
if you like."
This time MacLeod was on the offensive, feinting high he made some
energetic but tentative openings before dropping to one knee and lunging
at Kieffer's abdomen. He was rewarded by the tell-tale resistance as
the blade sunk in an inch or so. The other man stumbled back avoiding
deeper injury. "You should be careful what you step on Kieffer, some
bug's sting." MacLeod grinned as he circled for another attack. A burst
of gunfire echoed through the huge building.
Methos threw himself to the floor as the bullets tore past his head.
Two of the remaining gunmen had set up a crossfire from a gantry.
Scooping up the fallen man's weapon he peered around a discarded oil-
drum. The men were backlit by a window. Sloppy, he thought as he
aimed. A brief squeezes on the trigger sent a short burst into one
man's leg. He screamed as the injured limb collapsed beneath him.
Another burst was more successful, the 9mm shells slamming the second
man into the wall, his chest a bloody mess of torn tissue and shattered
bone. Better thought Methos grimly, but knew he had one more burst at
best and two more opponents.
Kieffer, was starting to sweat. MacLeod had drawn blood and was proving
more intractable than expected. The moor hadn't anticipated resistance,
just Bang, Dead! Chop, Deader! Oh well, he thought more than one way to
skin a cat. Slipping the small steel cylinder from his pocket he
slammed it against the sword.
Gas streamed out as he threw himself back holding his breath.
Unfortunately for him MacLeod saw the action coming and sprung up to
grab the banister of the gantry. The heavy gas settled harmlessly
The Ancient Immortal edged around his makeshift barricade, only to be
met by a hail of bullets. One tore his ear, and he cursed in pain and
withdrew. Two more he thought grimly. One by the door another
crouching next to a packing crate. Pulling off his long duster, he hung
it on his sword. Raising it above his head he heard another fusillade
tear into the cloth. When it stopped he jumped up and threw himself
towards the man by the door.
The man desperately tried to reload, but saw it was futile. Dropping
the Uzi, he scooped up a baseball bat. Methos smiled, sword in hand,
"So you wanna dance, eh?" The man executed a clumsy swing. "Well dance
to this!" Swinging the scimitar in a vicious upward stroke he lay open
the mans forearm. Clutching at it in pain he fell to his knees the club
forgotten before him. Raising his sword, Methos drove the pommel into
the back of the man's head, knocking him senseless. "I hope for your
sake, I don't regret my clemency," he muttered. He spun to face his
last opponent who was patently terrified. "Your choice," grinned the
Kieffer crept up the Stairwell his sword held before him. MacLeod was
somewhere in the gloom ahead. Where?
The answer came all too soon as Kieffer reached the top step. He barely
parried the head shot and was rocked back by the force of the blow.
His other hand flashed forward, a tiny Derringer in his hand. The
little weapon let out a hollow crack as the .31 bullet burned a path
into the muscle of the Highlander's leg.
MacLeod's knee buckled. He fell forward unbalanced.
"At last!" Kieffer rushed forward sword aloft. Reversing his grip on
the broadsword MacLeod thrust it deep into the other man's groin.
Disabled by the agony of that penetrating thrust, Kieffer stopped dead
in his tracks.
Grabbing the man's shirt, Duncan pulled him closer, "You were playing
the wrong game, Kieffer, remember?" He pulled the broadsword clear,
"There can be," raised it above his head, "Only one!" the blade bit
deep, tearing Kieffer's head away and loosing his Quickening. As body
and head tumbled backwards down the steps, a fine white mist arose
spiralling around the Warehouse.
The head bounced to a halt at the feet of the last gunman, his horrified
eyes went from Methos to the head, then back to Methos. And then as he
turned to run, all hell broke loose!
Arcs of silver lightning flashed across the building earthing themselves
in the ironwork of the Gantry. A terrible wind swept through the hall
carrying with it a charnel stench. Death had stalked a Parisian
warehouse and now the revels would begin. MacLeod felt the life-force
ripping into his body, revitalising and rebuilding. Lifted high on a
wave of euphoria he staggered arms and legs akimbo, his swords clashing
above his head. The bittersweet taste of the Quickening, images of
death and of the life he had taken. Lights exploded overhead showering
all with broken glass and sparks. At last the whirlwind died, and at
the heart of the dying vortex, the Highlander fell to his knees.
The door of the warehouse slams open, rebounding off the brick wall, as
the terrified man stumbles into the light. Running to a battered yellow
Renault he scrambles for his keys. Bang. They fall from his nerveless
fingers as the door slams open a second time. He raises his gun in his
shaking hand but the ancient Immortal is already there. The blade
flashes down, slicing through the mans shoulder deep into his chest.
The gun hits the pavement unfired.
As Methos kneels by the fallen man he feels the sensation of another
Immortal washing over him. Looking up he sees a silver Mercedes parked
across the road. Looking at him from the open window is Kokabiel, his
face suffused with anger. The mirrored glass slides up obscuring the
Immortal's features. As Methos charges across the road, the engine guns
into life and the Silver vehicle pulls away. Coming to a halt his sword
still bloody in his hand, the world's oldest man stares grimly at the
departing car. One day, Kokabiel, he thinks, your day will come!
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