Methos, We Hardly Knew You…
The Third 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.
A cool alternative possibility for Methos:
Posted by HonorH the Arctic Wolfe on Wednesday, 19 April 2000, at 7:53 a.m.
What if he'd been a villain? I mean, what if he'd been the recurring villain DM could never quite kill? Or if not an outright villain, an antagonist? Think about it. Change Methos just slightly, and he could be. Rather than befriending DM, what if Methos had been just a little more nihilistic or amoral? Can you imagine the fascinating dynamic? DM might be a superior sword fighter, but Methos can out think him any day. Might that not have been extremely cool?
Anyway, it's a thought.
Thanks, HonorH. Sounds like a perfect MID WEEK CHALLENGE!
Here's the scenario, for those who care to take it on:
Duncan MacLeod has discovered evidence that, despite his good behavior around MacLeod and company, Methos has been continuing to perform dreadful acts elsewhere in some respect, as a throwback to his Horseman past. Methos may have been doing this consciously, or otherwise.
Write a short scene of dialogue where MacLeod has taken Methos by surprise, and is confronting him with this knowledge. Any outcome is valid. Remember, keep it short to preserve the intensity!
A challenge? A mid-week challenge? Okay, here goes!
Posted by Alaska Man on Wednesday, 19 April 2000, at 9:59 a.m.
Oooh, this is fun! Wow, my first original post in....whoa, a very long time. Warning, this post is quite long. I apologize for what I've done to Methos. I just had to.
By the way, I'm working on a site redesign of HAM, and Harmony and I are working on finishing up the rest of the episodes. I'll be posting the link real soon here.
------------------------------- "Do I Know You?", by Alaska Man -------------------------------
A simple question, really. And MacLeod needed the answer. Desperately. Up until now, he had hoped his doubts would be disproved and he would find that the man he had trusted with his life was, in fact, worthy of that trust. But, no longer. Tipped off by Joe Dawson, who had finally managed to get a Watcher on Methos, MacLeod had watched him stalk, then kill an Immortal by the name of Hans Verbrennen.
Not that killing another Immortal was necessarily a bad thing. Indeed, MacLeod himself had done his share of hunting. But this was different. Verbrennen had become known as the oldest of Immortals, a distinction that he shared with Methos, but for a different reason. While Methos was roughly five thousand years old, Hans was no more than five hundred. It was the fact of his first death that gave him his title. For, unlike most Immortals, Hans had not had the traditional violent death, from a gunshot or car wreck. He had died falling down his stairs. Because of a broken hip. At the time, he had been nearly ninety-five years old.
And now he was dead, at the hands of one MacLeod would have called one of his best friends. And he wanted to know why.
Methos was still recovering from the Quickening, on his knees, but a light smile creeped into his features. "You shouldn't be here."
"And yet I am, Methos, and I asked you a question."
The ancient rose to his full height and evaded the question again. "How did you find me?"
"Dawson," came the simple reply.
MacLeod didn't tell Methos how Dawson had gotten a Watcher on him, or why. Since the revelation that the Oldest Immortal was still alive, Joe had tried to assign someone to "Adam Pierson", but it hadn't worked. Methos always sniffed them out. Still, Joe had kept trying, and finally succeeded. MacLeod remembered the night Joe had called him on the telephone to tell him what he'd discovered.
"MacLeod, we need to talk. Get over to the bar. Now."
At the bar, Joe had laid out all the evidence. First, the debacle with the Horsemen. Had Methos really wanted MacLeod to win? Then, the encounter with Morgan Walker. Joe told MacLeod of the chilling efficiency with which Methos had dispatched "the help." Worse still was the impression Joe had had at the time that Methos had relished the killing. So, he had come to the conclusion that he needed Watchers on his friend. After all, the Watcher charter was to learn as much about them as possible.
"Okay, Joe, what's so urgent?"
"Have a seat, MacLeod. Trust me," said Joe, with a serious tone and expression that made the Highlander comply. "Just how well do you think you know Methos?"
And with that, Joe had laid it all out. After the Walker fiasco, Joe had assigned no less than five Watchers to Methos, although none of them knew of the others. He pulled in people from five seperate Watcher organizations for the task, and gave them each very small segments of "Adam's" life to observe. And it had come to light. Methos was living two lives. In one, he was a sly Immortal, hovering under MacLeod's powerful persona and protection. In the other, he was a deadly hunter, stalking and killing lesser Immortals with ruthless efficiency.
"What did you think, MacLeod?" the voice was Methos', and it pulled MacLeod back from his reverie. "Did you think that I really never hunted? Did you think I was content to let you continue to grow stronger, and not grow myself? Live, grow stronger...ring a bell?"
MacLeod's face mirrored his confusion and anger. "But, you're..."
"...your friend? You young ones amaze me sometimes. Immortals are the great pragmatists, MacLeod. We befriend when we have need, and we kill when we have need. I needed you. I was no match for Kalas, and I knew of your history with him. Now, how do you think I knew of that history?"
Again, the confusion, but now mixed with denial. "No. No, it's not..."
"...possible? Grow up, MacLeod. Why shouldn't I befriend him? We made quite the team, too, didn't we? I had it all in place, MacLeod. If he took your head, Amanda would have gone after him. If he'd killed her, I would have killed him. And I would have STILL looked like a hero! It was a beauty of a plan."
The light was beginning to dawn. "But I killed Kalas."
"Bright boy. And so I've been waiting. I thought I had a winner with Kronos, but it didn't quite work out, did it? Not to worry, though, I'll come up with something."
MacLeod drew his sword. "No, Methos, you won't."
Methos laughed. "You think you can kill me? Please, I was killing young ones like..." His speech was cut short by a groan, as his sword dropped to the ground. Both hands flew to his temples as he cried out. "NO! No, I won't go back!" He cried out one last time, then collapsed.
MacLeod watched, concerned. Still reeling from Methos' confession, he didn't know what to make of this latest development. Where had he seen this before?
"MacLeod?" The voice was Methos', but lighter than it had been only moments ago. The Oldest Immortal rose to a kneeling position, his face showing utter confusion and dismay. "What's happening? Where am I?"
Barnes. Quentin Barnes. THAT's where MacLeod had seen this. He remembered his heart breaking as he realized he had to kill his friend Michael Moore in order to stop his alter-ego from killing again. Could he do it again? And how could he have missed this in Methos? Well, he'd missed it in Michael.
"MacLeod?" The entreaty came again, and this time, MacLeod responded. Kneeling beside Methos, he placed his hand on his friend's shoulder. What would he do? How could he help his....
His thoughts were interrupted by the unmistakable feeling of steel between his ribs. The dagger had penetrated his right lung, and he couldn't draw a full breath. It took several seconds to realize that the hand connected to the weapon indeed belonged to Methos. He locked eyes with the man he still called a friend, and saw what Joe must have seen, that spurred his suspicions. As MacLeod's arms lost their strength, and he collapsed to the ground, he heard the last sentence he would ever hear.
"I love good guys."
Midweek Challenge answer:
Posted by HonorH the Arctic Wolfe on Wednesday, 19 April 2000, at 3:24 p.m.
I'm borrowing gratuitously from Janeen Grohsmeyer's "The Tide that Drags" to create this twisted little love story. Hope you enjoy it. Bwahahahaha!!!!!
“What’s the truth, Methos?”
Methos smiled as he heard the words he’d been expecting for some time. It had taken MacLeod some time to catch on, but catch on he had. Bright boy.
“Just what truth are you looking for, MacLeod?”
The Highlander stepped further into Methos’ apartment, radiating fury. There was nothing that infuriated him more than being betrayed, and Methos had done that. In spades.
“What’s the truth about the man I just killed?” demanded MacLeod. “Who was he?”
Methos shrugged. “An inconvenience. Much like Kronos, actually. A student of mine. I might have been able to take him myself, but it was so much more fun to push you into it.”
MacLeod was literally trembling with rage. “And those things you told me about him?”
“Exaggeration, mostly,” said Methos. “Granted, he was no saint, but he wasn’t exactly a Horseman, either.”
“I thought I knew you!” MacLeod’s voice was tight with anger and suppressed tears.
“Then you were a fool.” Methos’ voice was cold. “No, I take that back. You’re no fool, MacLeod. Only young. Given time, I think you could have become my equal. As it is, you trusted too far. You were useful to me; you are no longer.”
The dragon’s head katana was in MacLeod’s hand with a thought. “You want me, you’ll have to take me, Methos,” growled MacLeod.
Methos smiled. “Ah, but I’ve a secret weapon, MacLeod.” He looked behind him, at his bedroom door.
Out stepped a female form. A very familiar one.
“Cassandra,” whispered the Highlander.
“Don’t feel bad, Duncan,” she purred. “I’ve tamed older men than you.”
Methos turned to Cassandra, reaching up to caress a few strands of her hair. “It wasn’t all a lie, what we told you, MacLeod. It’s just what we left out.”
A rich laugh came from Cassandra’s throat. “He tried to tame me, but it didn’t work out that way, Duncan. What he did was teach me.”
“And centuries later, she used that knowledge,” said Methos. “I paid for my Horseman days. She made me pay. And it was then that I discovered . . . she’s my perfect woman, MacLeod. We’ve been together, on and off, ever since. Such a touching story, wouldn’t you say?”
“Yeah. Too bad it has to come to an end.” MacLeod brought up his katana.
“Drop it, Duncan,” Cassandra ordered in the Voice.
To his horror, MacLeod obeyed.
He obeyed again. MacLeod was forced to watch as his onetime lover walked over, picked up the katana, and lifted the edge to his neck.
“Wait, Cassandra.” The order came from Methos.
Cassandra turned, eyes narrowing. “I get this one, Methos. You promised me: one of the Horsemen, or MacLeod. You and he got the Horsemen. I get him. You promised me!”
MacLeod was only dimly aware of the ensuing argument. In his mind, he felt the remnants of when he’d taken Kantos’ Quickening. There was a way around the Voice, wasn’t there? Something . . .
Cassandra was caught by surprise as MacLeod suddenly broke free of her hold and exploded off the floor. He grabbed the hilt of his katana, used it to deliver a smashing blow to her face, then whirled, pulling something from his waistband.
Two shots rang out. MacLeod felt Methos’ bullet hit him in the shoulder, but the ancient apparently hadn’t expected MacLeod to come prepared. MacLeod’s bullet hit Methos in the heart.
Cassandra screamed with rage, pulling out a short sword. MacLeod realized he couldn’t face both of them—not now, not wounded. So he ran.
A short time later, Methos awoke. He quickly discovered the reason he couldn’t move was that Cassandra was straddling his chest, eyes full of fire.
He relaxed. She was magnificent like this, the wild child he’d found in the desert. He wondered if she had always possessed this darkness, or if it came about only as a result of his actions. Whatever the case was, she had become a far better hunter than any of the others Methos had run with since the dawn of history.
“This will be the ultimate hunt, my love,” he whispered to her.
The anger in her eyes was slowly replaced by a passion to match his. She smiled, a feral light in her eyes.
“Yes. And the perfect prey . . .”
My attempt to meet the the midweek challenge.......
Posted by Harmony on Thursday, 20 April 2000, at 2:11 p.m.
...and Leah, about keeping the dialogue scene short....sorry, no can do. *g*
The Watchers had been the first to alert Joe. Field operatives from two continents had reported remarkably similar incidents and there were just too many of them to be coincidental.
Joe's first reaction had been to keep his suspicions to himself, in as much as that were possible, until he could personally check the reports out. But he quickly dismissed that idea. Too many events were happening too fast and he needed someone with enough experience and skill to handle whatever obstacles would inevitably arise from investigating. It couldn't be just anybody, it had to be someone of unquestionable character; incontestable trust. Someone who wouldn't even contemplate the concept of failure. It had to be MacLeod.
Even given everything he had been through in his lifetime, convincing Mac had been the most difficult thing Joe had ever faced. First had come blatant denial, Mac's refusal to accept what his heart and soul clung to; but luckily, his stubborn Scottish fortitude still ruled his head. And that keen intellect, which had kept him alive all these centuries, belied his heart's sensibilities; forcing him to acknowledge that the world's oldest Immortal, his friend, the man who on more than one occasion he had trusted his life to, was and always would be Death.
The result of all of Joe's convincing efforts had led Duncan MacLeod of the Clan MacLeod to this small village outside Lyon. A place Mac had visited many times in previous lives. A place rife with fond remembrance and extraordinary sentiments; and now a place that would forever be the scene of his saddest moment. For henceforward this would be the place where he had confronted and challenged his peerless friend.
"Methos" Duncan called. "I know you're here, I can feel you."
"It's over!" Duncan continued.
He heard a slight rustling sound and spun around. The autumn leaves were scattered about the ground, their brilliant colors dotting the landscape and creating a beautiful intensity that served as a lush backdrop for this tragedy. The irony of all of this wasn't lost on MacLeod, for he had long ago learned that many times, beauty hid an ugly truth.
And the truth about Methos couldn't get any uglier.
The world's oldest Immortal emerged from the shadows, pausing to lean against the giant tree.
"What are you doing here MacLeod?" Methos asked.
"I was going to ask you the same question. You've left a string of bodies behind you from Seacouver to Lyon." Duncan exclaimed.
"Ah, so you finally pieced it all together, did you? Well, it took you long enough. And I always thought you were a bright boy."
"I didn't piece anything together. The Watchers did. Joe told me about your victims. I don't make a habit of checking up on my friends," Mac returned.
"You're so gullible, MacLeod. How have you lived this long?"
"And you're so duplicitous. How can you have lived with yourself for this long?" Duncan countered.
"Easy. I don't have your overblown sense of rectitude. You think it's been easy to stay alive for over five thousand years? You don't have a clue, my misguided friend."
"I'm not your friend. Not anymore." Duncan said quietly.
A sardonic grin crept across Methos' angular face and he slightly bowed toward Duncan.
"So let's have it?" Methos said.
"The question you've been aching to ask ever since you set out to find me. Why? Why did I do it?" Methos said.
"You think I give a damn what your reasons were? You slaughtered innocent people just for the sheer joy of killing. Like you said, it wasn't for vengeance, it wasn't for greed. It was because you liked it. I remember your words well."
Methos turned to walk away, but halted at the tone of Duncan's voice.
"Methos! Damn you to hell. I'll not let you walk away this time."
"You want to fight me, MacLeod? Let's go. You think I'll hesitate to kill you? After five thousand years of killing, no one's life has value to me."
"Not true. I saw you weep when you killed Silas," Duncan reminded him.
"It was a pity, I was rather fond of Silas," Methos replied. "Still, it was all part of the illusion, MacLeod. The big picture."
"What about Alexa? Was she part of the illusion, too?"
For a split instant, Mac saw Methos' expression change, almost perceptively soften. Just as quickly the steely gaze returned and through it all he remained silent.
"What's the matter, Methos?" Duncan taunted. "Cat got your tongue?"
Methos squinted, never removing his eyes from Duncan's face.
"Did you come here to reminisce….or fight?" Methos queried.
"I came here to get the truth."
"One man's truth is another man's illusion" Methos said. 'Remember, truth is merely the agreement between appearance and reality."
"Don't even try to pull that philosophy crap on me. You are just as accountable for your actions as anyone else is. It doesn't matter how old you are or how clever you believe yourself to be."
"I think I've proven myself to be exceptionally clever," Methos retorted. "I certainly had you fooled. And that fop, Dawson." Methos shook his head slightly. "You two deserve each other."
Duncan glared at Methos, feeling the hate and disgust rising within him. Methos continued.
"The Watchers are a joke. They try to convince themselves they spy on us for noble reasons, but the truth is, they're eaten up with jealousy. They're pathetic mortal parasites. Masquerading as one of them was one of the more repugnant things I've ever done; dumping them was one of my more liberating."
Duncan stood his ground and stared at Methos.
"Adam Pierson was one of your finer personas," Duncan finally said.
"Pierson was a pansy! A means to an end, MacLeod, a means to an end."
"Kronos and Cassandra were right about you all along. You never changed."
"Now isn't that a kick in the proverbial ass?" Methos retorted. "You agreeing with Kronos. Time is but the measurement of change and I, MacLeod, am changeless. As far as Cassandra is concerned, she had long been a used piece of goods by the time you bedded her."
"This isn't about Cassandra, or Kronos for that matter." Duncan replied.
"Really, MacLeod? What exactly is this all about? You want a confession? I already gave you that. I'm Death on a horse, remember?"
The betrayal and disgust he had felt when Methos had first admitted to his Horseman days came flooding back to him. He had walked away then, but he'd be damned if he would turn his back now. Duncan pulled the katana from underneath his coat, the blade gleaming with the refraction of the setting sun. He saw the glint from his steel in Methos' eye.
"Ah, at last, we get down to it, eh?" Methos quipped, silently slipping the broadsword from behind his back. "I always knew it would come down to the two of us someday."
MacLeod didn't speak; he brought the katana up, engaging Methos' blade. In a millisecond of remembrance, Duncan thought back to the few times they had sparred and faint images of Methos' moves caressed his mind. But this was different. The older Immortal's swing was far stronger than Mac remembered; his footwork swifter. Duncan parried then spun around to counter Methos' rapid thrust, barely bringing his blade up in time to block the blow.
Common sense told him that after all these centuries; Methos had to be a good swordsman in order to have survived this long, even if he more often than not chose to disappear. What Duncan wasn't prepared for was how skillful Methos really was, using moves that were totally alien to him. Duncan had always believed that regardless of the difference in their ages, he was the better swordsman….the better fighter. He was quickly reassessing that belief. This was not Methos he was fighting, this was one of the four Horsemen and more than any fight he had engaged in before, the Highlander knew one way or another, this one would end it forever.
Methos came at him again and Mac had to clear his mind of all thoughts and concentrate on fighting. Blade against blade, steel against steel, they fought for what seemed an eternity to Duncan. He was growing tired, but Methos' stokes seemed to be as strong as ever.
They disengaged their blades and broke apart, momentarily pausing. Sweat was running down Duncan's face and he blinked to clear the salty moisture from his eyes.
"Why do you insist on being the champion of mortals, MacLeod?" Methos suddenly asked. "They die. They always have and they always will. Why do you waste your time and effort on them?"
"What other purpose is there for us to exist, Methos? Only we have the time to make a real difference in the world. You and other Immortal's like you want only to destroy. Why is that?"
"Because we can," Methos replied.
The two Immortals stood slightly apart, facing each other down.
"I can't believe it's come to this," Duncan said. "I wanted so much to believe you had changed. Now, I have to kill you."
Methos smirked. "Is that what you think is going to happen here? Think again."
With that he charged Duncan and Mac had a split second to turn and bring the katana around to block the broadsword. He felt the momentum of the swing up through his arm as it resonated down the entire right side of his body before he lost all perception.
A young couple walking in a nearby park looked up in the sky as dark clouds suddenly appeared and lightning began streaking through the air. It had been such a clear, beautiful autumn day, and then out of nowhere the darkness and the lightning came. After a few long moments the streaks disappeared and the clouds cleared. They watched as a far away figure stumbled from the trees and walked off.
The young girl turned to her boyfriend with a puzzled expression on her face.
"Was that a sword he was carrying?" she asked.