Good Cop, Bad Cop

The Holy Ground Highlander Forum Midweek Challenge

Archivist’s Note: The stories and vignettes offered here from various Rysher Forumlanders have not been edited or changed other than having a spell-check performed and being reformatted for this website.

Mid Week Challenge

Posted by Robin on Thursday, 6 July 2000, at 1:13 p.m.

Setting: Any place Must have: Good Immortal, Watcher and bad Immortal. One of the three must be a Forumlander other than yourself. Others can be added of course.

Have fun.

MWC: "In the Name of Honour" (pt 1)

Posted by Ghost Cat on Friday, 7 July 2000, at 12:27 a.m.

Well, once again I started writing and couldn't stop. Those of you who are in this tale will recognize yourself, hopefully with a good sense of humor. As for all you Amanda fans, don't go after my head, it's only a story!!

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MWC: In the name of Honour

The floodlights in the parking lot of the Seacouver International Airport beat down with glaring brightness, illuminating a lone (and very tired) dark-haired figure. Duncan had just got off a redeye flight from Paris, fought to get his sword through Customs (again) and waited over an hour for them to find his luggage. He was silently cursing, for the millionth time, the fact that the one thing Immortality couldn't do was prevent jet lag. In short, he was not at his best…

Of course, that was when the Buzz hit, seeming particularly vicious in his sleep-starved head. The duffel bag hit the tarmac with a resounding thud; his katana was out and at guard a second later; "I am Duncan MacLeod, of the Clan MacLeod."

The voice that came out of the shadows was confident, controlled and quite obviously female: "I'm Harrington, but you can call me Honour." Duncan flinched at this, and the sword point dipped visibly. He had enough problems dueling women, but that name was like a slap in the face. The Immortal who stepped into the light noticed this immediately, cataloguing it with military efficiency as a potential weakness. "What's wrong Duncan MacLeod, do you have something against the Fairer Sex?"

Mac recovered his grip and his composure at the same time. "I'm smart enough to know the Fairer Sex isn't always fair." She responded in actions not words; the swift appearance of a military saber, plain and unadorned. The two circled for a moment, feeling each other out, as Duncan tried to think of a graceful way out of this. Honour H attacked first, and aggressively, leaving Mac hopelessly on the defensive for several seconds. With a start he realized he was being herded into one of the more crowded lots; swiftly he pressed the offensive, driving her back.

Soon they were battling back and forth through a maze of vehicles, a cross between honest dueling and guerrilla warfare. Mac fought as well as he could given the circumstances, but the woman seemed to have the upper hand when it came to strategy. Suddenly the woman stopped, as if she remembered something. She cut a crippling blow that brought Duncan to his knees, almost as if she could have done it at any time. She turned toward the terminal, tossing a casual comment over her shoulder, "Consider yourself lucky I have something more important to catch than you."

The next day, Mac skipped out of the dojo early for Joe's, and not just because he could use a drink. Frustration, confusion and pride were leading him to a course of action he preferred to avoid; namely asking Joe about an Immortal. Mac gave the best description he could, and in the end, the old man merely sighed. "I've heard a bit about her, more rumor than official Chronicle record. If anyone would know about Honour H though, it would be Quink." He smiled absently at the thought, "She knows a little bit about everything. Incredible memory that one."

Duncan gave the Watcher the strangest look: "Excuse me, but - Quink?" Joe answered with a small smile, "Well, you don't expect me to use her real name do you?"

"You think she'd do it? I mean, is she a real stickler for the Rules?"

Another smile, "No, I couldn't think of anyone more non-regulation than Quink. If it wasn't for her perfect memory, she might have been kicked out long ago."

MWC: "In the Name of Honour" (pt 2)

Posted by Ghost Cat on Friday, 7 July 2000, at 12:28 a.m., in response to MWC: "In the Name of Honour" (pt 1), posted by Ghost Cat on Friday, 7 July 2000, at 12:27 a.m.

It took a couple of days to arrange the meeting, during which MacLeod couldn't seem to settle down. He wondered why he was so worked up about this woman. He wasn't in immediate danger, when they parted she was obviously running for a plane. He didn't even know where she was going.

Everything was set: Joe's place after hours. Duncan sat in a shadowy booth, strangely nervous as he watched the last of the patrons wander out; Joe's never really seemed to have any true drunks. A few minutes later, a woman stood in the door: she was small, nondescript, and almost bookish. In short, the perfect Watcher. As she paused for a moment, she scratched nervously at one wrist, a distressing habit that had got her taken off assignments.

Once she got herself into the room, Quink was briskly efficient. She moved straight to the back booth and sat down. "I'm not here. You're not here. This isn't happening." Duncan nodded, trying desperately to hide a smile, "Of course."

The researcher pulled out a sheaf of papers seemingly out of nowhere, much like the Watchers wrongfully accused Immortals of doing with their swords. "Harrington-military history, brilliant strategist; she was frequently underestimated due to her gender. Seemed to actually enjoy beating the odds." The lecture continued, "In fact, she was rather too efficient; her first death was arranged by her own side, when they ordered her into an impossible situation." Mac was almost sure there was a little femist admiration going on. He thought about objectivity, remembering Dawson's comment about Quink being "non-regulation".

Mac cleared his throat gently, "No offense, but do you have anything more recent?"

Quink looked almost hurt at being interrupted, "I'm research, I don't do recent." Here she gave a rather pointed look to Joe, who had been sitting to the side trying to be invisible. Duncan followed the look; Dawson squirmed a bit under the double gaze.

"I didn't want to say anything. After all, it's more rumor than anything else." He shriveled a bit more under a steady dark-eyed stare, "There's stories she's been keeping an eye on Amanda and someone named Wolfe. Nothing confirmed mind you…"

MacLeod is on his feet before Dawson is even finished talking, exactly what the old Watcher feared. He had to get to the Highlander before the man got into full Chivalry mode. "Now calm down Mac, you know Manda can take care of herself." The Immortal seemed to sag visibly "You're not going to tell me where they are, either of you. You never were." Joe slowly shook his head and Quink, after a glance at her fellow Watcher, did the same. Growling Gaelic curses, Mac got up and went back to the dojo, suddenly in need of a good heavy workout.

MWC: "In the Name of Honour" (pt 3)

Posted by Ghost Cat on Friday, 7 July 2000, at 12:29 a.m., in response to MWC: "In the Name of Honour" (pt 2), posted by Ghost Cat on Friday, 7 July 2000, at 12:28 a.m.

Meanwhile in Paris….

Honour kept up her surveillance of Nick, not easy with that trumped up alley cat around to sense her if she wasn't careful. "The Raven" indeed, nothing but a petty thief with delusions of grandeur. Wolfe, on the other hand, was her kind of person; Mortal or otherwise. He was a kindred soul; a mind, like hers, dedicated to Justice and discipline. What could he see in anyone like Amanda but pity? Something needed to be done.

She somewhat regretted doing it here, for Paris was the street urchin's home territory. Regrettable, but unavoidable, this travesty could not be allowed to continue. She waited until Amanda got bored and went out on a job, then conveniently arranged to "run into" dear Detective Wolfe. It took a while to get him into a conversation, he was as wary as his namesake it seemed.

Eventually, though, they stared talking, Honour was as direct as ever: "You do realize you could do a lot better than her. You're never going to 'rehabilitate' her, and she'll bring you nothing but trouble."

Nick gave that adorable little smile of his, "I thought all Immortals were trouble for us poor pitiful normals?"

"Nonsense! You have to meet the right one is all. Someone with whom you share something in common. A strategist, an organized mind…like me." Honour smiled coolly at this point, confident as ever that she would get what she wanted. She was all the more shocked then when the Buzz came. She spun around swiftly….

"Excuse me, dear, but this one's mine." Amanda's sword was out, and her expression was all business. Neither Immortal really noticed that Nick was bristling at the idea of being "owned". As the two squared off against each other, Nick suddenly stepped in between, both hands raised.

"Hey, I'm a human being here! Does anybody wonder what I want?" Both women turn to look at him: in perfect stereo came the answer "No."

The combat was fierce and gave a new meaning to the term "chick fight". For a while it looked like Amanda was ahead on passion alone, until a huge cat leaped hissing onto her back. The Lady Thief flailed in a most ungraceful manner, giving Honour plenty of time to line up the perfect head shot. Wolfe sprinted out of the way as the Quickening gathered…

As Honour H came back to her senses, her first sight was the barrel of Nick's pistol. She sighed, "Nick, don't start that. If you do, it could go on all night."

MWC for this week

Posted by Robin on Friday, 7 July 2000, at 1:17 p.m.

Please excuse the misspelling. ------------------------------------------------ She was losing and she knew it. Her opponent was good, very good. She dodged yet another swing.

She had used every trick Rebecca and Duncan had taught her and it wasn't enough. Amanda came to the cold realization that she was about to die.

Suddenly she fell and she heard him laugh. She closed her eyes, waiting, listening for the final blow.

A shot rang out and she felt the blade harmlessly pass her left ear. She opened her eyes and saw her opponent laying died in front of her.

She looked around and saw her Watcher coming toward her.

As he reached her she said "Damn it BJ! You aren't suppose to interfere."

Big John smiled at that and put out his hand. She took it and he helped her to her feet.

"I prefer your head where it is." he said.

MWC - Watchers in the Woods

Posted by lynnann - a world away on Friday, 7 July 2000, at 6:17 p.m.

I wasn't going to, but one must follow the muse when it beckons, or the muse goes away, far, far, away...

WATCHERS IN THE WOODS

It was a nice day for a walk in the woods, but the man was not there for recreation. He checked his camera, his fifth one in the past two years, and he gauged the distance between himself and the two Immortals facing each other in the butterfly-filled mountain meadow. He thought he was far enough away, but some Quickenings were more powerful than others, and he would not know for sure until it was over. That was why it was so hard to get a Quickening on film. He turned suddenly at the sound to his left.

“It’s just me, Thad.”

“I wondered if you were still on this assignment, Josh.” Thaddeus turned back to the action, and Joshua stood by his side.

“They wanted to transfer me, but they couldn’t find any one as willing to travel as I am. And unfortunately, few people really want to watch the evil ones. Me, I just keep hoping he’ll get his, and I want to see it. Oh! Almost!”

“I sure wouldn’t want your assignment, that’s for sure. Watch out…” Thaddeus whispered fiercely, feeling protective towards his Immortal. “Accounting is always on my case for something. Your travel expenses, they must be astronomical.”

“They are, but I cut as many corners as I can, and my expense vouchers show it. Another three years, and I can settle down to a nice cushy job in research. Maybe get something that actually resembles a real life.”

Thaddeus pulled a water bottle from his pack “Here’s to Real Life, may it be free from Immortals, good and bad, and filled with the mundane chores from the honey-do list.” He took a swallow, and handed it to Joshua.

Joshua laughed and took a swig of the liquid. “The way you describe it, it doesn’t sound so appealing after all… maybe all I need is a long vacation.”

Thaddeus glanced at his acquaintance. “Have a travel agency send your Immortal a lot of advertisements about great get-a-ways to the Caribbean or Hawaii, Cancun.”

“Las Vegas would be nice, this winter… This guy likes the gambling. Did you hear something? Besides the swords?”

“No, what is … wait, I hear it. Ah sheesh, tourists! That’s all we need. No interference, so we can’t stop the fight,” Thad groaned.

“Head them off at the pass,” Joshua suggested. “Rock, paper, scissors.”

“I always lose at this… one, two, three! Ah, nuts!” Thaddeus hurried away, hoping to get back before the finale.

“Ladies, how are you this fine morning?” Thaddeus approached the two women. Their necks were strung with straps for cameras, and binoculars, and they were puffing just a bit.

“Fine thanks, we were chasing a red headed woodpecker, and it came in this direction. I don’t suppose you’ve seen it.”

“I did see something flash past me a few minutes ago, it went that way. It could have been your woodpecker.” He pointed in the exact opposite direction of the battle in the meadow. “You want to be careful up here in these hills, there are bears and some cougars, that don’t take kindly to folks stumbling over them.”

“Oh,” the other said, patting her camera fondly, “we already have them on film, but thanks for the warning. Hey, I hear a woodpecker! Come on, Leah, let’s go!”

“Right behind ya, Annie. Thanks, mister!”

Thaddeus turned back towards the meadow, but he could hear the women still. “Annie, wait! I hear swords, Annie!”

“Of course you do, Leah, and you’ve been hallucinating about the mid-week challenge. Our friends can get along without us for a few days. One of them will think of something to keep them amused.”

“But swords, Annie!”

Thaddeus swore. He thought he recognized the t-shirt one of the women had been wearing. It was for that d**n movie and TV show. He hoped when TPTB found out who had suggested that synopsis, heads would roll. It was way too close to the truth for comfort.

“Leah, come on, Woody’s waiting for us!”

**********

hope you're having a good time, ladies, don't forget to check for tattoos :o)

lynnann - the muse made me do it }*o*{

MWC...a little gift for HonorH *g*

Posted by LA-LA lander on Friday, 7 July 2000, at 8:56 p.m.

Katie slipped the small tape recorder out of her coat pocket and held it close to her lips. She spoke softly, stealing glances around her.

"Subject Nick Wolfe left his apartment at 2100 hours, walking south on Bayberry. He entered a small thrift shop and has been there approximately thirty minutes."

Just as she was dropping the recorder back in her pocket, her subject bolted out of the shop, sprinting across the street toward the spot where she stood pressed against the side of a building. In hot pursuit was a tall man with a nasty looking scar down one side of his face, wearing a trench coat and heavy motorcycle boots. The two men pelted down the street into the dark and Katie scurried to follow them. Rounding several corners and winding through alleys, they finally squared off in a secluded empty lot, sheltered by tall buildings on three sides. Katie scoped out a niche in one of the walls where she could observe them without being seen and slinked into position, peering surreptitiously at the two men, who were now circling each other waving large swords.

She pulled out her tape recorder again. "Subject was pursued by Kurt Kordan." Katie hit the pause button and shifted her position. She licked her lips and continued speaking quietly into the recorder, "The two face off, circling like jungle cats, their swords gleaming in the streetlight's glare. Throwing off their coats, their bodies are taut with anticipation, torsos rippling under the thin cloth of their shirts. A stray lock of hair falls on Wolfe's forehead between the steely gaze of his deep green eyes..."

Katie started as someone appeared suddenly in the small niche beside her.

"Geez, V.L., you scared the crap out of me," Katie growled under her breath.

"Is that your subject?" V.L. asked in a stage whisper so as not to be heard by the two immortals battling nearby. "You're not doing another one of those cheap-romance-novel-type reports are you? They're getting really steamed over at HQ about those. They're liable to reassign you if you keep it up."

"Yeah, yeah. Don't worry, I'll rewrite it into the usual boring drivel before I turn it in. A girl's gotta do something to keep amused," Katie whispered back.

"Hmmmf."

"Ya know it's not easy following an immortal babe around all day without letting him know I exist. Allow me my little fantasies, okay?" Katie grinned at her companion, never taking her eyes off the battle raging just a few yards away.

The clang of swords stopped abruptly and with a final swoosh, Wolfe grunted as he beheaded Kordan. As Kordan's body slumped to the ground, the Quickening began to gather. At first just a mist flowing from Kordan's lifeless form to Wolfe, standing nearby leaning on his sword. Then flashes of lightening arced toward the sky and into Wolfe's writhing body, playing along the phone lines overhead, blasting against the buildings, and finally blowing out the street lamp with a crash that sent glass skittering to the ground below.

Katie and V.L. braced themselves against the violent display, shrinking against the wall and covering their heads.

"Man, that was a big one," muttered Katie when the Q had spent its wrath. "Musta hurt!" she thought aloud as she peered out to see Nick Wolfe in silhouette collapse to his knees, breathing heavily.

"C'mon, let's get outta here before he recovers enough to spot us," whispered V.L.

"Just another minute. This is my favorite part." Katie waited. She knew it was coming. He did it every time. There it was. Wolfe swept the lock of hair off his forehead and flipped his sword around in an arc before sheathing it in the folds of his long coat.

"Whoa! When did he learn that?" gasped V.L.

"He's been working out with Duncan MacLeod. Amanda introduced them a few months ago. It's done wonders for his style. You shoulda been around to see them practicing shirtless sword katas out in the woods near MacLeod's dojo."

"Some people get all the good assignments," V.L. sneered.

"I try to enjoy my work," smirked Katie as the two scurried around the corner into the darkness and out of sight.

MWC Entry - ars gratia artist?

Posted by Chimera on Saturday, 8 July 2000, at 7:05 a.m.

Amanda came up onto the barge deck with an easel and paintbrushes, followed by MacLeod carrying a large canvas and folding table. She began arranging the art materials on the table, and setting the easel and canvas facing toward the quay. Nodding with satisfaction, she looked in the direction of the quay and made a jerking motion with her thumb. MacLeod turned quickly to see who she was signaling to. A petite, dark-haired woman was sprinting toward the bridge away from the barge.

"Who was that?" asked MacLeod.

"My Watcher. I gave her the *get lost, I'm staying put for a while* signal. She appreciates the break, and frankly, so do I."

"You and your Watcher are friends?" replied MacLeod incredulously.

"Well, I wouldn't go quite that far! Let's just say we have an understanding. Now, MacLeod, just stand like that, raise your katana slightly, yes, that's right. Look more to the left. Perfect!"

Amanda stepped back, critically inspecting his position, then went behind the easel and began sketching with a large brush. For over an hour, she painted, totally concentrating on the canvas. Finally, MacLeod stretched and drew a deep breath, leaving his pose to step toward the easel.

"Can we take a break, Amanda?" he asked. "My arms are cramping from holding that position. Mind if I take a look?" She nodded and MacLeod walked behind the easel to stare at the canvas. It was a maze of wild slashes of colors and bold strokes. Nothing resembling a human form could be seen on it.

Not wanting to hurt her feelings, he said carefully, "Where did you learn to paint?"

She glared at him with a dark look. "You're not going to pull that *I don't know much about art, but I know what I like* bit on me, are you?" She drew an impatient breath and added, "As a matter of fact, I was in daVinci's studio for a while."

"As a student?"

"Well...as a model. But the atmosphere of the place sort of rubs off on you."

"I can imagine," MacLeod chuckled.

Ignoring the jibe, she continued, "Then I was with Michelangelo, Davide, el Greco...." rattling off many famous names MacLeod knew and others he had never heard of. "After all that immersion in art, I began to try my own hand at it. I've even been trying a bit of cartooning," she added, picking up a sketchbook and flipping open to a page.

MacLeod bellowed a large laugh. "Who is that poor woman?"

"It's Leah. I'm going to get back at her for all those cartoons about me she's posted on the Forum," she said, grinning wickedly and setting the sketchbook down.

"Now, MacLeod. I think if you remove your shirt, it will be a bit better."

"Why?" he asked, looking ruefully at the painting. "I don't see anything there that resembles me at all."

"That's because you're not in it. I'm painting the quay and the buildings behind it. You're just there for inspiration!"

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