Dude, Where’s My Sword?
The Holy Ground Highlander Forum Midweek Challenge
Archivist’s Note: The stories and vignettes offered here from various Forumlanders have not been edited or changed other than having a spell-check performed and being reformatted for this website.
The Challenge by Leah CWPack
Heylander the Series by Wain
Bill & Ted’s Immortal Adventure by LA-LA-Lander
Sweep Kick by Ghost Cat
Demographer’s Nightmare by Leslie Fish
MID-WEEK CHALLENGE: DUDE, WHERE'S MY SWORD?
Your challenge, should you have the guts to participate:
Write a short scene that takes place in the HIGHLANDER: THE SERIES universe...as if it's been completely taken over by producers who are seeking the much-coveted teen demographic. You can adapt the existing characters if you wish, or introduce completely new ones.
This is satire, folks. Can ya handle it?
You may post your entries, but SAVE THEM. When Annie and I return, I will ask you to repost them on the Forum for 'collection' and archiving.
DISCLAIMER: If you wish to have your entry archived, remember to put "MWC" in the subject line of your posting before the title.
MWC: Heylander: The Series
HEYLANDER: THE SERIES
Script for Pilot Episode
Establishing shot: Night in Miami’s trendy SoBe neighborhood.
Exterior Shot: A trendy, neon-lit SoBe club. The throbbing bass line of a hot song leaks out onto the sidewalk, which is crowded by patrons waiting behind velvet ropes to get the word from the burly but doorman that they’ve made it into the ranks of the coolest have been allowed access to the sanctum sanctorum.
The camera pans along the young, beautiful, well-dressed crowd right up to the door and inside, where the music becomes clearer and louder—almost deafening, really—and the lights pulse in tune with the music. Everyone, from bartenders to patrons, is trendily dressed and buff.
The bar is three deep in customers, and the tables are all filled. The dance floor is writing mass of booty dancers. As the camera makes a tour of the club’s interior, our eye falls on a patron who doesn’t fit in. Baddus Gaius appears to be in his mid-forties, with gray at the temples. His clothes and hair are a bit off for this crowd, an embarrassingly little bit too young and tight. It’s obvious he’s trying very hard to fit in. He spots a young woman, twenty years old, slight and shy but fashion forward, standing by herself.
GAIUS: I’m sure I’m not the first one to ask, but you are a model, aren’t you? (off her look) This is so embarrassing. Well, if you aren’t a model, then you should be. I’m connected, you know.
He reaches for his business card and hands it to her then, as the camera pulls back, motions her to a table and calls a waitperson.
Exterior shot: A late-model silver Porsche speeds through traffic, music blaring. It’s obvious the driver is skillful, but driving a just a little bit too fast. The Porsche pulls up in front of the club, and Clay Redux, descends from the car and tosses his keys to a parking attendant, who smiles wolfishly at the chance to get his hands on such a fine piece of machinery. Clay appears to be in his late teens or early twenties. He’s buff and very fashion forward, very comfortable with himself.
Clay strides confidently past the doorman with a smile and a wave. We follow him inside and to the bar. Several of the club’s female patrons turn on their charms to get his attention, waving to him, talking to him; one or two of them even runs her hand appreciatively over his shoulders and arms.
Our hero makes it to the bar, wades through the wall of lovely bodies.
CLAY: Tequila. Añejo.
BAR: I’m sorry, but I’ll need to see some ID.
CLAY: You must be new here.
BAR: Sorry. I just need to know that you’re twenty-one.
CLAY: I’m twenty-one (sotto voce as he reaches for his wallet) Twenty-one centuries, that is.
The barkeep is happy with the card that Clay produces and pours a shot of tequila with a flourish. (Note: See what the product placement people can do here. We can get a close shot of the label if needs be.) Clay tosses the shot back and turns to look at the crowd.
On the other side of the club, Baddus Gaius continues to put the moves on the brunette, leaning his head close to hers, making contact with her knees under the table, holding his hands as an imaginary camera lens to frame her face. She’s eating it up, poor thing, and he’s oozing smarm from every pore.
Back at the bar, Sephi squeezes her way through the crowd. She’s eighteen-ish, blonde, and with a cute, little-girl sexuality. Think early Britney Spears. Her clothes are also a little bit off for the venue. She’s not quite rich enough for this crowd.
BAR: I’m sorry, but I’ll have to ask to see some ID.
Close-up of Goldilock’s very bad fake ID card. Barkeep shakes his head "no" and pours her a soda. With a gesture, Clay orders two more tequilas and, when Barkeep isn’t looking, pours one into Goldilock’s soda. She giggles, and Clay introduces himself with a handshake and escorts her to a table for two.
Across the club, Baddus Gaius has persuaded the brunette to leave with him, and he puts his slippery paw on her waist, sliding down toward the buttocks, and directs her to the door.
The Highlander Buzz sounds (note: make it familiar to older viewers, but add a more modern sound—fewer spirit choirs and more electric guitar), and Baddus Gaius and Clay both look up. Baddus Gaius heads for the door even more quickly with furtive glances around the crowded club. Clay rises from his chair and only catches a glimpse of Baddus Gaius in profile as he leaves.
Insert a quick flashback here to Baddus Gaius, caught in the same profile, but in the garb of a Roman centurion with smoke in the background and screams and sobs.
Flashback over, Clay’s face shows recognition and anger. He leaves Sephi open-mouthed at the table and he pushes through the crowd, too late to catch Baddus Gaius, and only in time to see his vintage Mustang convertible speed off into the night.
END OF TEASER
Establishing shot: A beautiful Miami Beach art deco building with a plate glass window with a slick and tasteful logo and the words "Photographic Studio". It should be a building with more than one floor to accommodate living space above.
Interior shot: The camera pans down a long, brightly lit hallway/gallery, past photographs of brides, quinceañeras, head shots of males and females suitable for an actor’s or model’s portfolio. The last photograph the camera takes us by is double-hung—an original photograph of a fashion model and that same shot as a the cover of a magazine. This is obviously the work of a pro.
As the camera moves, a woman’s voice becomes evident, the voice of the photographer, complimenting and directing a new shoot. We follow the camera into Kiki’s studio, filled with lights and the appropriate accoutrements, but no photographer’s assistant. Kiki is a Latina in her early twenties, dressed very fashion forward with an edge—like J-Lo with lots of attitude. She’s photographing two women in bathing suits against a backdrop. Kiki peppers the scene with ad-lib dialogue, encouraging the models to really work it.
Exterior shot: The silver Porsche drives up in front of the studio and parks. Clay, wearing the same clothing as last night in the club and looking a little rumpled, gets out of the car and enters the studio. Clay and Kiki both sense the Highlander Buzz.
Interior shot of the studio: Clay walks by the gallery and takes a look at what Kiki’s doing.
KIKI Hey, papichulo! Where you been?
The two bikini-clad models break from their poses and turn to Clay to smile and wave. He smiles back and leaves the studio by the door that leads upstairs.
KIKI (to the models): How ‘bout another roll, girls?
But Kiki is distracted and overwhelmed by curiosity. She shoots a few pictures.
KIKI: Girlfriends, you are just too much! We’ve got plenty of shots to work with. Let’s call it a day, ‘kay?
Interior shot: The living quarters for Kiki and Clay are located above the studio. The look is sleek, chrome and glass and hard edges softened by soft leather furniture. The kitchen area is open to the living/dining room. There’s a hallway at the end of the living/dining room. As Kiki enters the room, a squeaking sound marks the end of Clay’s shower.
Kiki goes to the kitchen and pours some orange juice into two glasses. Clay comes from the hallway, a towel wrapped around his waist, and another around his shoulders. He takes the towel from his shoulders and tousles his hair to dry it, crossing to Kiki and accepting the glass of orange juice she’s holding.
KIKI: You tell me. You were out all night. Who’s the lucky girl?
CLAY (moving closer and nuzzling her neck): You are.
KIKI: Not in this decade, mi amor.
Throughout the scene, Clay and Kiki are close to each other, touching each other, but Kiki is oddly resistant to engaging in more than a few kisses and seemingly unaffected by Clay’s obvious seductive charm.
KIKI Give. What were you doing all night?
CLAY (off the long, cylindrical package on the dining room table): When did that come?
KIKI: First thing this morning. I signed for it for you. You’re not answering my question. Is she cute?
Clay crosses to the table and unwraps the package. Inside is an elegant, shining sword case. He flips it open.
Close shot. As the camera moves, we recognize the curve of a katana that takes us past the tsuba to a familiar carved, dragon-headed ivory hilt.
KIKI: Is that MacLeod’s?
CLAY: Yeah. He e’d me last week and said it’d be coming.
KIKI (with sudden understanding): He took himself out of the Game again.
CLAY: Some of the younger Immortals push themselves too hard. Then they need time on Holy Ground.
KIKI: He could learn a few things from you.
Clay goes into his bedroom and gets dressed. Kiki follows him.
KIKI: Was she blond or brunette?
KIKI: You know. The one from last night.
Clay emerges from his bedroom, dressed, and pushes past Kiki into a large media room filled with the latest and most expensive equipment. On the walls is an array of gleaming weapons from every continent and every century—morningstars and broadswords, scimitars, rapiers, daggers, crossbows. Clay sits down at a desk with a computer and turns it on.
CLAY: I gotta go to work now.
As Kiki paces impatiently, Clay performs a few stock trades on line. He turns back, pinned down by Kiki’s ferocious stare.
CLAY: I think I saw someone last night.
KIKI: Someone, like, you mean one of us? An Immortal?
CLAY: It was just for a second at the club, but I felt it in my gut. I drove all over last night looking for him, but I lost him.
KIKI: Did you know him?
The doorbell rings, interrupting the answer to Kiki’s question. Clay and Kiki walk to the door and open it. Sergeant Miranda holds up his badge for inspection. He’s a tough cop who’s been two the school of hard knocks and then went back there for an extra degree. He’s seen it all.
SGT: David Miranda, Miami P.D. May I come in?
Clay waves him in and shows him a seat. Sgt. Miranda declines the seat and holds out a photograph. It’s the slight, dark-haired girl who left the club last night with Baddus Gaius.
SGT: Recognize her?
Clay and Kiki shake their heads no.
SGT: You sure?
KIKI: I’m a photographer, Sergeant. I do faces for a living.
SGT: (to Clay) You?
CLAY: Yeah, I’m sure. What’s up, Sergeant?
SGT: Tiffnée Rockwell. Reported missing by her parents. The last place she was seen was at Tropicalísimo last night. The doorman says you were there, too.
SGT: So you agent for models, don’t you? Tiffnée’s friend told me the last thing Tiffnée said was that she was leaving with this guy who said he could get her into the business. Said she was leaving to go to his studio for a late-night photography session.
KIKI: That’s, like, lamest pick-up line I ever heard, capitán.
SGT (to Kiki): Sergeant. (handing business card to Clay) If you remember anything, call me.
Sergeant Miranda leaves, and Clay stands deep in thought.
KIKI: ¿Qué tú piensas?
CLAY: She left with Gaius.
CLAY: The Immortal I saw last night.
KIKI: You know him?
Clay tightens his jaw. His face is a mixture of anger and pain.
Exterior shot: Tiffnée, bruised and clothing torn, floating face up in shallow water in a secluded spot near the marina.
END OF ACT ONE
Interior shot: Kiki and Clay’s apartment.
KIKI: So what do you know about this Gaius?
CLAY: I know he likes to hurt people.
KIKI: How bad is he?
CLAY: Bad enough to chop off his freaking head.
KIKI: God! What the hell’d he do to you, Clay?
Clay draws his sword, and we use the sword to transition to another, older sword in flashback.
Exterior shot: A village in Gaul at the time of the Roman conquest. Clay is among the villagers, who go about their peaceful daily existence. Clay approaches the door of a hut, tousles the hair of a girl in her early teens, and drops a kiss on the cheek of an older woman.
CLAY: Hello, Mother.
Clay and his family enter the hut.
Screams and shouts break this bucolic scene, and a group of Roman soldiers appear, form into an attack pattern, and wreak havoc on the innocent Gauls. The bloodshed is brutal and systematic. Clay emerges from his hut with his mother and sister, pushes them back inside, and brandishes an axe. He rushes into the melée.
We see Baddus Gaius, dressed as a Roman soldier, making short work of one after another of the villagers. With his gladius, he cuts a wide and bloody swath through the Gauls, arriving at last to Clay, whom he eviscerates on the spot. Shocked, Clay drops to his knees, staring uncomprehendingly at the sight of his own entrails on the ground before him.
Gaius turns and continues his slaughter. Some Roman soldiers are rounding up the young women and girls; others are putting infants and old men and women to the sword. The men of the village are sprawled, dead and dying, on the ground. Clay’s mother is dead. Clay’s sister is being groped and fondled into the line of captives.
The village is burning now. Through the smoke, a close-up of Gaius reveals that he senses the Highlander Buzz. He searches the ranks of the dying. He spies Clay, and his eyes narrow.
CENTURION (to the soldiers): Get the prisoners on their feet! We’re moving out! (to Gaius) Gaius, now!
GAIUS (with a salute): Sir, this one’s still alive. I’ll finish him in short order.
CENTURION: Leave him, Gaius. He’ll be dead soon enough.
Interior shot: Kiki and Clay’s apartment.
KIKI: You didn’t know?
CLAY: That I was an Immortal? No way.
KIKI: It must have taken, like, a really long time to figure it out without a teacher.
CLAY: I learned a lot of lessons the hard way. But I’ve been looking for this bastard for two thousand years, and today it’s my turn to teach the lesson.
KIKI: Where are you going?
CLAY: Back to the club.
KIKI: Why would he go back there?
CLAY: Maybe he’s looking for me.
KIKI: If he’s such a bad a**, I’ll cancel my one o’clock and go with you.
KIKI: ¿Qué tú me haces, loco? It just drives me nuts when you go off and do this macho crap by yourself.
CLAY: I need to do this alone. (smiling) Next time, you can help me with the macho crap, okay?
He takes his swept-hilt rapier and leaves a worried Kiki behind.
Exterior shot: The club Tropicalísimo by day. Clay pulls his silver Porsche to a screeching halt in front of it and walks toward the front door. Sephi is lurking near the club, spies Clay, and moves toward him, but loses him quickly as he senses the Highlander Buzz and runs down an alley behind the club.
Baddus Gaius is standing in the alley. Clay approaches him.
CLAY: Perhaps you remember me, Gaius.
GAIUS (confident): Should I? Why would I remember someone so terribly . . . ordinary? No one’s called me Gaius in a long time.
CLAY: You burned my village. You killed my people. You took my sister as a slave!
GAIUS (unimpressed): Well, that doesn’t really narrow it down by much. Hispania? Gaul? Anglia?
Clay draws his sword and gives a salute to begin their encounter. Gaius walks in a half circle around him, trying to remember, and draws his own sword as he walks.
GAIUS: Ah, yes! Now I remember you. Gaul, right? I have a riddle for you. What’s the difference between your sister and a pig?
Clay’s fingers tighten on his hilt.
GAIUS: I was never with a pig.
Clay takes an angry step toward Gaius, who withdraws a pistol from his pocket.
GAIUS: Still living in the Dark Ages, are we?
And with this, he shoots Clay’s rapier, breaking it in two. A piece of the blade flies at Clay’s temple, drawing blood. Gaius takes careful aim at Clay’s heart.
A police siren sounds, and Gaius gives a salute.
GAIUS: Another day, perhaps.
Gaius runs out of the alley, and we are left with Clay, who considers his broken sword, puts the hilt with its remaining blade into his clothing, and returns to the front of the club, where he finds Sephi perched on the hood of his car, wearing the same clothes she wore the night before.
CLAY: Is it comfy up there?
SEPHI: I bet it’s even more comfy inside.
Clay rolls his eyes but smiles and opens the car door for her.
Interior shot: The silver Porsche.
CLAY: Where to?
SEPHI: Wherever you say. I don’t know Miami. I’m Sephi.
CLAY: Clay Redux. Where are you from?
SEPHI: It doesn’t matter anymore, because I’m not going back.
The camera follows Clay’s car on a tour of Miami and the surrounding area, including a stop at an elegant restaurant. Clay and Sephi make a stop at a store to buy bathing suits, and by sunset, they’re strolling along the beach, falling quickly in love. Sephi pulls Clay to the water’s edge, and they go in thigh-deep, waist-deep and more, making a very thorough exploration of each other’s beautiful bodies.
Sephi swims out a bit further, waving back at Clay. A menacing dorsal fin appears behind her. Suddenly, she’s dragged under the water. On Clay’s reaction, we reach the …
END OF ACT TWO
Exterior shot: The water. Sephi breaks the surface for a moment; she’s screaming. Clay races to her, pulling her face up so she can breathe and beating the shark about the nose and eye with his other fist. A terrible churning of limbs and water ensues. Finally, Clay releases Sephi for a mere second. She’s terrified that Clay’s letting go of her. He withdraws the broken sword from his bathing suit and dispatches the shark with it. Blood spreads around them as he drags the limp Sephi back to shore in a lifeguard’s carry.
On the beach, Clay gently places Sephi on her back and feels for a pulse. From his face, we can tell that there is none. He tries to arrange the shredded remnants of her bathing suit over her breasts to preserve her dignity, then covers her up to the neck with a towel. Then he reaches down to give her a final kiss on the lips.
A young man clad in a bathing suit runs up to Clay and Sephie.
YOUNG MAN #1: Dude! Is she okay? Was that a shark?
Sephi gasps for air and brings her hands to her head, moaning in pain. Clay registers surprise as he feels the Highlander Buzz. Sephi is Immortal.
CLAY (covering): It’s cool, man, just a nurse shark. She just got scared was all.
YOUNG MAN #1: Awesome.
He continues jogging down the beach.
SEPHI (near panic): What happened?
CLAY: We need to talk, Sephi.
Interior shot: Kiki and Clay’s apartment. Kiki is in the kitchen cleaning up supper. She registers the Highlander Buzz and puts on a little attitude to rake Clay over the coals with. Clay opens the door.)
KIKI: Why didn’t you call, boy? I was worried sick and . . .
(Clay escorts Sephi inside. Kiki loses some of her steam as she regards the frightened girl.)
CLAY: Kiki, this is Sephi. Sephi, Kiki.
SEPHI: Is she like us, too?
KIKI: You found yourself a bebita, didn’t you, Clay? (off Sephi’s shivering) Oh, chiqui, don’t worry! Let’s get you a nice hot bath, and then you’ll feel better.
Interior shot: The media/weapons room. Sephi is in a bathrobe. Kiki is helping her to dry her hair with a towel.
SEPHI: This is, just, like an episode of X-Files or something! I was dead, Clay. You promised to tell me what was going on.
CLAY: It’s like this. You’re Immortal.
SEPHI: You said that in the car. What’s that mean?
KIKI: It means that you’re different from other people. It means that your parents aren’t your real parents.
SEPHI: Like that’s a surprise.
CLAY: We should probably call them.
SEPHI: They didn’t know I was alive. Why should they care if I’m dead? Or alive again?
KIKI: She’s got a point, Clay. You can stay with us for now, girlfriend.
SEPHI: Are you two, like, together or something?
CLAY: Only if I can talk her into it.
KIKI: Ha! (running her hands along her hips and thighs) You ain’t gonna get none of this. (to Sephi) We have a bet that I can go celibate for five years.
CLAY: You’ll never make it.
KIKI: That’s what you think. I was a vestal virgin for half a century, chacho. I’m gonna win the bet and get your villa in Ibiza and the Lamborghini Diablo, too. And you know what? I’m gonna repaint it, too. Lipstick red because basic black is boring.
SEPHI: (incredulous—the ramifications of Immortality are beginning to sink in) Half a century?
KIKI: Immortal means that your body won’t get any older. No stretch marks, no gray hair, no creaky bones. You could live forever.
CLAY: That weird feeling you got when we came in here was what we feel when another Immortal is around. We fight each other.
KIKI: To the death.
SEPHI: But we can’t die.
CLAY: Unless someone cuts our head off.
SEPHI: That’s why you have all of that. (indicating the weaponry arrayed about the room)
CLAY: Yeah. And that’s why we start your training tomorrow.
Kiki and Clay walk Sephi to the guest bedroom. She goes inside, a little tentative and worried, and closes the door.
KIKI: What about Gaius?
Clay pulls the broken sword from his clothing space.
CLAY: I’ll find him. Soon.
Interior shot: The exercise room at Clay and Kiki’s. There are mirrors along one wall, weights, and mats on the floor. Kiki and Sephi are dressed in skimpy exercise attire, breathing heavily and sweating. Kiki is teaching Sephi her best butt-kicking tricks.
SEPHI (between kicks and flips): When do I learn about the sword?
KIKI: Soon. First this stuff, then the sword.
Clay comes in the room, carrying several swords. Sephie tries them out, finds them all too heavy. Clay gives her a lighter, wooden practice sword, and he and Kiki lead her through a lengthy series of basic moves. By the time they’re done, we’ve seen every square inch of toned skin bejewelled with perspiration.
Kiki and Clay give Sephi nods of approval, and the three of them hit the showers—separately if needs be, although if we could sneak it pass the sponsors to do otherwise . . .
Interior shot: The living/dining room. We can see into the kitchen where Sephi, Clay, and Kiki are eating lunch. The doorbell rings. Clay opens the door for Sergeant Miranda, brandishing the photograph he had the last time he visited. Clay escorts him to the kitchen.
SGT: About Tiffnée Rockwell. (close-up shot of the photograph, which Sgt. Miranda is holding under Clay’s nose)
CLAY: Yes, Sergeant?
SGT (moving another picture from underneath the first one. It’s a morgue shot.) She’s dead. They found her floating at the south end of the Marina.
CLAY: That’s too bad, Sergeant, but I don’t get what it has to do with me.
SGT: Yesterday afternoon, gunshots were fired in the alley behind Tropicalísimo. An eyewitness saw someone matching your description getting into a silver Porsche and driving away.
KIKI: He didn’t have anything to do with that girl, Sergeant.
SGT (in Clay’s face): If I find out you’re connected with her death, I’ll see to it personally that you don’t hurt anyone ever again.
Sergeant Miranda sees himself out.
CLAY: I’m going out.
She follows him to the living/dining room. Clay runs his hands along the cylindrical sword case, still there from the day before, and opens it. He takes out the dragon-headed katana and puts it under his jacket.
CLAY: I can’t let him hurt anyone else, Kiki.
KIKI: Well, duh, Clay! Me, neither.
Kiki gets her sword and jacket, checks the inside pocket.
KIKI: Well, you said I could help with the macho crap this time, didn’t you?
END OF ACT THREE
Interior shot: The club, Tropicalísimo, at night. The young, rich, and beautiful and lined up outside again and, once again, Gaius is on the prowl inside. He joins in the booty dancing and scours the room for lonely young things.
Exterior shot: The nightclub. Clay’s silver Porsche pulls up a block away from the club. He turns off the engine.
Interior shot: The Porsche. Kiki and Clay are in the front seat; Sephi is in the back, with her head between the other two Immortals.
KIKI: What makes you think he’d come back here? It don’t make no sense to me, Clay.
SEPHI: There are reports about Tiffnée’s murder all over the TV. Like, why would this Gaius guy come back here?
KIKI: That’s right, girlfriend.
CLAY: Because he’s got an ego bigger than your credit card bill, Kiki.
They get out of the car. Sephie struggles to keep her heavy sword inside her coat. Clay helps her to settle it and gives her a quick squeeze and a pat on the butt. As the three Immortals approach the bar, they’re hit by the Highlander Buzz.
Interior shot: Gaius rises quickly and heads toward the back door.
Exterior shot: The alley. Gaius bursts through the back door. Clay is waiting at the end of the alley with the dragon-headed katana in his hand. Sephi and Kiki are not in sight.
GAIUS: Again? What’s the point, boy? Empires rise and fall. I was on the winning side. You weren’t.
Clay stands firm.
GAIUS: Did I mention that I had your mother, too?
Gaius smiles and withdraws his pistol. He’s paralyzed for a moment seeking the source of the Highlander Buzz. Kiki steps forward; in her hand is an automatic pistol with a silencer. In two shots, she’s knocked the gun from Gaius’s hand.
KIKI: Totally uncool, dude.
CLAY: Totally. Now we do it the right way, you freak.
Clutching his wounded hand, Gaius turns to head down the alley behind him and away from Clay and Kiki. Sephi steps out at the end of the alley, hefting her sword into guard position.
CLAY: So, like, now you’re ready, slimeball?
Gaius flexes his healed hand and pulls his sword. Kiki and Sephi stay out of the fight. It’s obvious that Gaius is a master, but Clay is far better. Their fight is a dazzling display of swordsmanship and acrobatics that lasts for several minutes. A few car windows and trashcans are demolished in the fight.
GAIUS: When I’m done with you, I’m going to have your girls.
CLAY: When hell freezes over, you will!
GAIUS: I’ll bet you’ve got them trained for threesomes, kid.
CLAY: It’s over, Gaius. I won’t let you hurt anyone else.
Clay presses on, refusing to become angry at the taunts. In a ringing series of blows, he drives Gaius back toward a darkened doorway, disarms him, and disembowels him, returning the favor his enemy had done him two millennia ago.
CLAY: There can be only one.
And with this, he beheads Gaius in a single powerful stroke. Within seconds, Clay is enveloped in the Quickening, which resembles the one familiar to older viewers but is brighter, more colorful, longer lasting, and decidedly orgasmic. Clay drops to his knees, spent. The flashing lights of the Quickening begin to fade on Kiki’s face and Sephi’s worried face, and they run to Clay and help him out of the alley.
END OF ACT FOUR
Interior shot: the media/weapons room. Kiki, Sephi, and Clay are back at the apartment. Sephi is still slightly wide-eyed after witnessing her first kill and Quickening.
KIKI: So what do you think, Clay? Think this girl has some butt-kicking potential or what?
Sephi crosses to Clay and takes the heavy sword from under her coat and returns it to Clay.
CLAY: What do you say, Sephi?
SEPHI: This belongs to you.
CLAY: We could use another hand. There’s a hell of a lot of bad guys out there who need their a**es kicked. (he looks at the sword but doesn’t take it) Think about it.
SEPHI: I have. This sword’s too heavy. Do you have a lighter one?
Kiki squeals and runs over to Sephi to hug her. Clay goes to the wall and brings a smaller sword to Sephi. She kneels and he dubs her with it. She rises again and gives him a kiss.
MWC: Bill & Ted's Immortal Adventure
(With sincere apologies to the creators of Highlander and Bill & Ted, whom I have brazenly plagerized, and P. Miano, who was an inspiration for this piece (be warned). I plea for forgiveness from anyone who reads this (blame the MWC muse).
To, like, fully understand and appreciate the badness of this ditty, it helps if you have, like, seen the Bill & Ted movies, dude.
Without further ado, I bring upon you like a plague...
******Bill & Ted’s Immortal Adventure: Dude, Where’s My Sword******
“Ted, Dude! Wake up! You’re not gonna believe this!”
Ted looks up groggily from where he’s lying in the street at his pal Bill. “Dude, ow! My head hurts. Why am I, like, lying on the ground, Bill?”
“We had a terrible accident, don’t you remember, Dude? Then we played board games with Death, who’s now the sheriff dude on ‘Roswell’, and then we won our lives back.”
“Oh yeah, the Grim Reaper. The man with no tan.”
“Ted, listen, Dude, there’s more!”
“What?” Ted looks puzzled, as if his train of thought has just derailed.
“Dude! We’re Immortal!”
“You mean, like, we can't die again?”
“Totally, Dude! Except there are these other Immortal dudes who will be chasing us with swords, trying to cut our heads off, which would kill us for good in a most painful and permanent fashion.”
“Swords? Dude, no way!”
“Way, Dude. Swords. Rufus, the cool dude from the future who told us we would save the world with our music, explained it all to me. We have to learn how to fight with swords, Dude.”
“Yeah, Dude, totally. Hey, maybe the historical babes can help us. All those historical people used to fight with swords back in historical times.”
“Great idea, Dude!”
“Alright! Come one, Dude, let’s ride!”
Our heroes jump in their nearby run-down econobox of a car, rejoin the historical babes, and hop into their time travelling phone booth for a trip back to historical times when dudes fought with swords. They reemerge moments later sporting 18th century silks and velvets, long hair and goatees.
“Theodore, my good man, it is most excellent to be back, do you not agree?”
“Indeed, William. Ten years in the past learning sword work from all the great masters was quite interesting and beneficial, however, the wonders of technology were greatly missed. Most specifically, indoor plumbing.”
“Verily, truer words were never spoken, Theodore. We shall, however, cherish many fond memories from our sojourn in the past. For example, I shall never forget the look on your face, Theodore, as you took your first Quickening. It was a truly amusing combination of shock and delight.”
“Ha! To be sure, it must have been matched only by that on your own visage during your like experience, William. Say, my good friend, I do have a hunger. What say we locate a local burrito establishment for our first 21st century dining experience since our long-ago departure.”
“Agreed, my good fellow! We should also, perhaps, update our vernacular to include 21st century jargon. Methinks we may be a bit out of date, Dude.”
“Right you are, William. Or shall I say, ‘totally, dude’?”
“Ha, ha! Good one, Theodore.”
Just then they feel the unmistakable Buzz of another Immortal nearby. William and Theodore...er...ah...Bill and Ted look around warily, then exchange a knowing glance.
“I say, William old friend, there’s another Immortal afoot. That is to say...Bill, dude, an Immortal!”
“Right you are Theo...I mean, fer shure, Dude. What should we do? I am less than eager...I mean...it would be really bogus to cause massive damage to our apartment with a Quickening, Dude.”
“Quite...I mean...totally. We’d never get our security deposit back after that.”
Both together: “Bogus!”
Our heroes make their way quickly out of the apartment through the back door and down into an alley. As they again exchange wary and knowing glances, around the corner of the building comes a sword, followed by a well-built man in a longcoat. The man strikes a ready stance, sword held high, and says...
“I am Duncan MacLeod of the Clan MacLeod!” He gives William and Theo...er...ah...Bill and Ted the once-over, then drops his sword to his side and stands staring at them in disbelief. “Are you guys for real? Why’re you running around dressed like that?”
The boys look each other up and down, and Willi...er...ah...Bill looks from MacLeod to Ted. “Uh-oh, Dude! We forgot to change to 21st century clothes!”
“Oh, most untoward...I mean, bogus, Dude!”
Suddenly, Ted pats himself down and looks at Bill wide-eyed. “Dude! Where’s my sword?”
“I don’t know, Dude! Dude! Where’s *my* sword?!”
“Bill! We left our swords up in the apartment!”
Both together: “Bogus!”
“Ted, when we get out of this we have to remember to come back and leave our swords someplace...like behind that dumpster!”
Ted goes and looks behind the dumpster, emerging with a big smile and two swords. “Bill, we remembered!”
MacLeod stands, arms crossed, looking at Bill and Ted in disbelief. “You know, guys, we really don’t have to do this today. Why don’t we just forget the whole thing.”
“Hey, Immortal sword dude, you’re alright!”
Ted gets an idea. “Dude, we were just heading to a local burrito establishment to procure lunch. D’you want to join us, Mr. Immortal Dude?”
MacLeod, with a look of complete disbelief on his face shakes his head slowly, then says, “Totally.”
Bill & Ted: “Cool!”
The three head off down the alley together.
MacLeod looks over at Bill and Ted skeptically. “So how long have you boys been Immortal?”
“Mr. Immortal Dude, you’ll never believe it. It was most amazing. First we were, like, dead. But then we played board games with the Grim Reaper, and won our lives back.”
“Yeah, Dude, but first we had to save the earth from destruction with help from Rufus and the Station, which we thought was two most wondrous creatures, but then it was one big one. Hey, kind of like Immortals, Dude; there can be only one!”
“Oh yeah, Dude! I forgot that part!”
MacLeod, positive he's entered an alternate universe, perhaps the one containing Zeist: “You’re right. I don’t believe it...uh...Dude.”
MWC: "Sweep Kick"
It’s springtime in Seacouver, and Joe’s bar is trying its best to drum up new customers. The band practising on the corner stage has a definite modern rock feel to it; amid the noise of tuning up their instruments comes what might be the opening chords of an old Queen song, but it is come and gone too quickly to be sure. The waitresses wandering between the tables are all young and blonde, with much greater “upfront assets” than Alexa ever had. There is a new server behind the bar, equally young, devilishly handsome and using the slow time to practice Cocktail-style tricks to impress the evening patrons. Joe himself, feeling antiquated, is pushed off into a corner, reduced to the status of owner-operator.
The door opens to admit a pair of women, who pause cautiously at the entrance. Despite the warm dry weather, they are both dressed in long raincoats, buttoned to the top. It would take more than a trench coat, though, to hide either woman’s attractiveness, the phrase “drop dead gorgeous” springs to mind. There is a resounding crash as our Tom Cruise wannabe drops a bottle. Dawson steps forward quickly, waving the young bartender aside and gesturing him to clean up the mess. He recognises the ladies immediately, greeting them with a warm, friendly smile.
The two lovely ladies are quite obviously Amanda and Cassandra. It looks as if they have been having a Girls Day Out, though neither one of them seems happy. Joe knows that something is wrong: between the two of them there is only one shopping bag, and it isn’t even full. The pair don’t even bother to scan for an empty table; they both drop wearily onto stools right at the bar. “I need a drink,” moans Cassandra. “I don’t care what.” Amanda orders a brandy, pauses and then changes it to a Scotch. Joe quickly produces a bottle and two glasses. “Trouble, ladies?” he asks innocently.
The two women exchange glances; a decision is made and Amanda speaks first. “Dawson, old friend, trouble doesn’t even begin to describe it. I’ve been having a week like you wouldn’t believe. First of all, I wake up one morning and find that my entire wardrobe has been switched. Every closet was suddenly, inexplicably filled with things like this.” She flips up one corner of her long coat, revealing a hot pink latex mini-skirt that looks as if it had been painted on. She quickly covers up the view, turning pink herself. “I ask you, how am I supposed to blend into crowds looking like that?”
Dawson tries, and fails, to hide a smile. “Oh, I don’t know about that. It depends entirely what crowd you choose to join.”
Cassandra half-turns in her seat and gesturing with her glass starts her own complaint. “At least you still have clothes. I’ve had more combat in the last week than I have in the previous thousand years. And I haven’t had a single scrap of clothing survive. If it doesn’t get shredded in the fight, then the Quickening takes care of it. Just the other day, I was taking a pleasant walk in a public park. The weather was warm; it hadn’t rained for days. From out of nowhere a female Immortal whom I’ve never met steps out and challenges me. Within five minutes, we’re wrestling on the ground like animals—in mud! I tell you, it’s not normal; and that’s a lot coming from a witch.”
Dawson frowns thoughtfully, beginning to suspect something. He turns back to Amanda to see if she has anything to add. She sighs loudly. “I’ve never really liked fighting, but I’d almost rather have your problem, Dear, than what I’ve been going through. I left Nick a couple of weeks ago. No reason whatsoever; even I don’t know why we broke up. All of the sudden, I’m back in the dating scene again; I’m not even sure if I would call it ‘dating’. One night stands, cheap thrills, motels that charge by the hour…these are all things that would usually be beneath my dignity; and even I’ve never been this bad when it comes to choosing a partner. One day and attractive man, the next someone I wouldn’t normally give a second glance. Mortals, Immortals; young, old; some of them barely old enough to shave. And I can’t for the life of me explain why I’m doing it.”
Dawson nods sagely, despite the fact that he is at least a thousand years younger than the ladies he is advising. “And this started, when, late February, early May?” The women confirm with silent nods. “It sounds to me like you both have a bad case of Sweeps.”
“Sweeps?” they ask in harmony.
“Well, that’s what the Watchers are starting to call it anyway. We’ve been noticing it for quite a few years now, though no one can explain it. In the early spring, and sometimes again in late fall, the most bizarre and outrageous things start happening to Immortals and the people around them. Many of these events make no logical sense whatsoever; some of them are downright embarrassing. Often we end up toning down the Chronicles in question, just out of respect. After a while though, everything settles down again and it’s as if nothing had happened.”
Amanda licks her perfect lips nervously. “And how long do these…sweeps…usually last?”
Joe shrugs; “It varies. Anywhere from a few weeks to a couple of months.”
“A few weeks?” Cassandra moans. “A couple of months? Amanda squeaks.
Dawson nods sympathetically. “You know, there’s one Watcher in particular who’s been making a study of this phenomena; trying to find a pattern in it. Actually, he started off doing it alone, but now it’s become more of a group project. Would you be willing to let me tell your stories?”
The two ladies exchange long looks before nodding reluctantly. “Sure,” Cassandra sighs. “Maybe the sacrifice of our dignity will benefit others.”
Dawson quickly excuses himself and heads toward the phone. On the way, he is muttering to himself, “Yes indeed, the Neilsons are going to want to hear about this….”
MWC: “Demographer’s Nightmare”
Posted By: Leslie Fish <email@example.com>
Date: Wednesday, 30 January 2002, at 11:29 p.m.
Duncan was awakened by the pounding on his door at a ridiculous hour of the morning. He didn't feel the aura of another Immortal, but that pounding was frantic enough to make him take his sword with him. Astonishingly, the face seen through the peep-hole was Joe's. He looked frantic. Duncan put the sword down and opened the door, and Joe almost fell across the threshhold.
"It's a damn nightmare!" was the first thing he said.
Duncan sighed, and helped him to the couch. "Need a drink?" he asked. It seemed the sensible thing to do.
"Yes! ...No. Dammit!" Joe paused and took a deep breath. "Okay, here's the headline. The Watchers are up in arms because one of ours has gone renegade again."
"Oh, shit." Duncan retrieved his sword. "What's this one up to?" he asked, ugly visions of Sanctuary Revived dancing in his head.
"This is going to take a little explaining..." Joe rubbed his forehead. "An organization this big takes a lot of money to run. We have our investments, of course, but a lot of our people who don't qualify for fieldwork...well, sometimes they get jobs in outside companies, particularly news-related, so they can watch for stories of...well, things like miraculous survivals, you know..."
"Research -- and maybe a bit of insider investment information," Duncan guessed.
Joe winced. "Well, yes. Okay, it's shaving the law in a few countries, but..." He shrugged.
"So get to the point. I take it you had somebody in the news business who went off on a tangent."
"Worse than that." Joe shivered. "His name's Mahler, and he somehow got himself in a position to sell a TV-program idea to some really dumb producers..."
"Oh-oh." Duncan sat down on the couch. "He discovered an Immortal, and put together a- a TV show about him? Or her?"
"Her, and it's worse than that. Somehow -- probably with the help of some really unscrupulous Immortal -- he discovered a pre-Immie girl. He..." Joe shuddered. "He arranged to have her killed, then hid her until she resurrected."
"Talk about interference!"
"He gave her the complete Hollywood hype, claimed he'd 'discovered' her -- in the movie sense -- and that she'd be perfect for his new show. Just what he told her about the Immortality game we don't know, but she's totally eager and willing to become a star, under his conditions."
"Drop the other shoe. What are the conditions?"
"First, a big chunk of her income goes to him. Second..." Joe gave Duncan a desperate look. "It's a series about a good-girl teenage vampire, who can take all sorts of damage while chasing after True Love. Do you see where this is going?"
"Oh...shit!" Duncan jumped to his feet as the truth hit him. "He killed that girl, just to get a- a perpetual teenager to star in his series?! He didn't let her live to grow up? Jesus, why?!"
"You haven't been following the trade papers, have you?" Joe sighed. "It's become gospel among TV and movie producers that the biggest single audience they have is...teenagers. The problem with teenaged actors is that they grow up. Now do you understand?"
"God..." Duncan rubbed his forehead. "I see why you're after this guy. I suppose you want me to talk to the girl, explain about Immortality..."
"Getting to talk to her is going to be the hard part," Joe sighed, slumping on the couch. "She's constantly surrounded by bodyguards, press agents, the works."
"She's that famous already?" Duncan marvelled.
"Her fame came ready-made." Joe gritted his teeth. "One reason why this bastard picked this particular girl is...she's a dead ringer for Britney Spears."
Duncan dropped back onto the couch beside Joe. "Holy shit," was all he said.