Very Highlander

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.

MWC: *VERY* Highlander

Posted by Leah CWPack on Tuesday, 25 July 2000, at 3:03 p.m.

For those who care to participate:

Do a short vignette (or poem, if you prefer) of an Immortal(s) from the HL universe having a 'close encounter' or simply meeting up with an alien from another SF media TV show or movie series. Good luck!

Repost of HL meets V

Posted by Robin on Tuesday, 25 July 2000, at 4:06 p.m.

He stepped outside into a beautiful warm day. Los Angeles. He could remember when it was just desert. He looked to the sky and saw it. The mother ship. It hung there like a bad dream. Methos thought for the millionth time that he was crazy. He should have simply said no when Julie Parrish asked for his help. He liked her, she had the fire of youth. Now he was on the way to a meeting with Diana, the dark haired beauty. The saying "Beauty is only skin deep." was never more true. Under her beauty lay a reptile. A cold heart caused by more than her body temp which was lower than a human's. "Mr. Adams." the male voice was polite enough but Methos heard the steel beneath. "Yes." he answered. Steven, Diana's head of security, came forward with a smile that didn't reach his eyes. Methos submitted to the weapon scan. 'Do they think I'm that stupid.' he thought. He was glad he had all that practice with fake ID's, but he did feel naked without his sword. The scanner beeped and a light on it turned green. "This way please." Steven said politely. His hand indicating the shuttle. Methos started forward. His cover story was he was Matthew Adams, a wealthy business man with a business offer for the Visitors. The trip to the mother ship took almost no time. He was hustle out of the shuttle and was soon standing before Diana. "Mr. Adams." she smiled and put out her hand. He repressed the shiver at he shook the cold hand. "A pleasure to meet you Diana." he smiled a charming smile. He was in the battle of his life. A battle he couldn't lose. A battle for every mortal and immortal. The battle for Earth.

MWC - Playing Through.

Posted by lynnann on Thursday, 27 July 2000, at 11:06 p.m.

The challenge was to write a short vignette or poem of a HL Immortal having a close encounter with an alien from another SF media TV show or movie series.

The challenge for me is the short part. Sorry, I failed...

PLAYING THROUGH

September 1940

Hugh Fitzcairn eyed the ball, glanced at the distant flag, and then set his feet firmly. Whatever that awful sound had been a few minutes ago, it was gone now. Duncan MacLeod was off in the bushes someplace, hunting for a lost golf ball. Fitz gripped the club and lifted it over his shoulder, and...

“Hugh! Good to see you!” a voice bellowed just behind him.

...the club hit the ground next to the ball, a teeth-jarring stroke.

“If you don’t mind! This is serious business!” Fitzcairn turned to face the discourteous knave. He was faced with a man with wildly curled hair under a battered felt hat, a long coat, and even longer scarf. “What the hell are you wearing?”

“This old thing? Just threw it on.” The man grinned broadly; his eyes goggled wide in joking amusement.

“And how the hell did you know my name? Did MacLeod put you up to this?” Fitz thought about brandishing the club, but he refrained.

“You don’t remember me? How terribly disappointing. I thought our last meeting was most noteworthy.”

“I’ve never seen you before in my life!”

“But of course you have, in London… oh wait, it was in one of my previous regenerations. I’m the Doctor.”

At this pronouncement, Hugh Fitzcairn backed away, lifted his golf club, and yelled for his friend. “MacLeod! MacLeod!”

The Highlander came through the thicket. “It’s no use, Fitz, the ball is gone.”

Fitzcairn pointed a wavering finger at the Doctor. “Make him go away, MacLeod.”

“Why, what has he done?”

“Last time he was here, I got run through with a sword. The man is a menace!”

“I don’t believe I’ve had the pleasure,” Duncan said, concerned for his friends apparent discomfit.

“Yes, you have… it’s always a pleasure meeting me.”

“He’s the Doctor, don’t you remember? That tavern outside of London? 1790 something. That Time Lord.”

“But he doesn’t look anything like him?”

“He regenerates, turns into someone else. It’s not natural, I tell you!”

“And Immortality is?” the Doctor said. He pulled a small paper bag from a cavernous pocket. “Jelly baby?”

“Doctor? Where are you?” a sweet female voice called.

“Over here, Sarah. Come see who I’ve found!”

“Oh, hello, again,” The brunette said, stepping through the bushes. “Duncan and Hugh, isn’t it?”

“Sarah! My darling girl!” Hugh swept forward, and took her hand, bending over it gallantly. “What do you see in this, this… clown?”

“The Doctor is, well, the Doctor. He’s been very good to me…”

“What are you doing here, Doctor?” MacLeod asked. “On the trail of the Master?”

“Vacation, actually.” He pulled a golf club and ball from his coat. “Mind if I play through?”

****

Fitz obviously took note of Sarah’s apparent affection for the Doctor. Fifty-two years later, he was sitting on a barge in the Seine, with a not so long scarf, and tangled curly hair… hmmm, what the man wouldn’t do to attract the women.

Thanks for reading :o)

lynnann

MWC: Shadow of a Sword

Posted by Ghost Cat--Northlander on Saturday, 29 July 2000, at 6:27 p.m.

"Shadow of a sword"

He stepped though the gate, glad to be out of the cramped confines of a commercial transport. He let out the last of the shuttle's poorly recycled sterile air and took a deep breath of… slightly better recycled air. Another bloody space station, he had almost lost count of the last time he'd seen the Highlands. 'On the other hand', he thought with an inward smile, 'how much higher can you get?' In the end, it was inevitable: sooner or later, everyone comes to Babylon 5.

He sighed as he shouldered his pack and walked up the corridor. The names may change: guards, police, Customs, security; but the lines remained the same. Waiting patiently, he was almost disappointed when he noticed the fresh-faced young officer checking ID's. Some part of him had been looking forward to seeing old Garibaldi again.

Zack Allen was hardly paying attention anymore by the time the dark-haired human gave him an Identicard. The card scanned fine and the formalities began-- Name? Duncan MacLeod. Purpose of visit? Business. Length of stay? A week, maybe less. Zack smiled wearily as he uttered the ancient and time-honoured phrase; "Do you have anything to declare?"

The stranger returned the smile as he unfastened his baggage, reaching inside. "Just this," the carved ivory looked somewhat pale in the artificial light, but the gently curving blade shone brightly. The young officer's eyes widened, "Is that a Ka'Toc?"

"No" the man answered calmly, "it's a 19th century Japanese katana."

With great effort, Zack finally got out the single word: "Why?"

"I'm a collector of antique weapons. I'd like to acquire a Ka'Toc," the man pronounced the Narn word much better than Zack had, "and I brought this for its possible trade value." The security officer frowned, "If you're a collector, then why doesn't this have a case?"

"Sheath," said the man with a long sigh. "The word is sheath." He leaned forward conspiratorially, adding "You know how it is with space travel, they make you pay for every ounce you bring."

Zack shook his head wearily, "I understand, Sir, but it's still considered a weapon and it'll have to stay with us."

MacLeod frowned at this, putting on his best outraged-businessman persona, "That item is over 400 years old!"

"And it will be kept in a secure location with all our other guest's valuables. If you do find a buyer," and here Allen expressed a serious doubt that any Narn would even consider it, "you can pick it up at Station Security."

MacLeod reached forward, "I don't care how 'secure' your storage is…" suddenly he heard a rising hum from two different locations behind him. The Security Officer looked a lot less friendly, "Please take your hand away from the weapon." Mac sighed; just his luck someone would have a preference for head shots. He backed off slowly with an apologetic half-bow. This could make things more difficult.

He unpacked with the brisk efficiency of a seasoned traveller, or someone accustomed to uprooting himself at the least provocation. He didn't have time for a long settling in. He had a purpose on the station, and it wasn't to acquire a new weapon (though the Narn made a blade in some ways even better than the classic katana). Since the mess following the "discovery" of the telepaths, Immortals had become even more cautious against a similar event. A man standing in front of a crowd of thousands, declaring "I was dead, but I'm better now"; now _that_ needed investigation.

The Immortal needed some way to get close to the newly resurrected John J. Sheridan, but that wasn't going to be easy. Surely there would be as many public appearances as possible; but distant, away from any possible mobs. Meanwhile, there were other avenues to pursue.

The Garden was truly amazing, Mac could almost forget that he was in space. He passed a stone bench; paused to experience a Zen garden, and lost himself within it. An age-old warning pulled him out of the near-meditation; his hands twitched in search of a weapon he did not have. "I am Duncan MacLeod of the Clan MacLeod."

The voice that answered was soft, but unyielding; Zen-like, yet dangerous, "I am Lennier, of the third Fain of Chudomo." Duncan paused, a moment that at any other time could have been fatal, to examine the robed figure. 'Not human,' he thought 'could it be?' His opponent seemed also to be assessing the situation; the Minbari spoke again, "The shadow of a sword-"

MacLeod relaxed visibly, returning the proper countersign: "can be used to cut a Shadow." This formality complete, the two sat together, as companionable as two Immortals could ever be.

Duncan broke the silence first, "when I was told my contact was to be a Minbari, I thought-"

"Ambassador Delenn?" Lennier inserted smoothly, without seeming to interrupt. "Not surprising, she is…a most exceptional person," here he paused significantly, as though daring anyone to speak against her, "but she is not of Our Kind."

"Speaking of our kind, how is the returning hero of Z'ha'dum?"

A subtle stiffening in response to that comment, "You would need to ask Lorien. It was his Life Force alone that allowed Sheridan to return from that place."

Duncan whistled appreciatively, "Force feeding a mortal Quickening, only a First One would dare try that." A fleeting smile, "And I thought Methos was strange. It won't last, though."

"Long enough for what must be done."

The Highlander was amazed at the calm in the alien's voice; what must be done. "Where was Kosh in all this? This is his sector, after all." "Kosh is dead."

Again the clutch of hands, fingers searching reflexively for the comfort of a well-worn hilt. Kosh had been Duncan's teacher, through the years after the discovery of alien Immortals, when first hints of the Shadows cut short the Game. His voice was ice cold and dangerous, "Who did it?"

Lennier almost didn't want to answer. "Morden; but this is not the time for personal vengeance."

"That's my decision to make," Duncan almost snarled. "Morden. Still manipulating the universe to suit his own needs?"

A curt nod, "But now he has the full power of the Shadows behind him."

The Highlander shook his head slowly, "Shadows, prophecies, Armies of Light and Darkness; sometimes I almost miss the Game. Everything seemed simpler when there could be only One."

"There is a Minbari saying, 'A moment of risk, at the right time, is worth a thousand years of caution.' "

"Meaning?"

"Meaning, who wants to live forever?" This time both Immortals, despite hundreds of years and millions of miles difference between them, shared a quiet smile.

--------------------------------------------------

This story is incomplete. If enough people express an interest, I will finish it and post it (on put it on Northlander). Of course, I may just finish it for my own sake.

Carpe Noctem, seize the night

The Ghost Cat

Clan Northlander HQ

MWC: The Old Man, The Witch and The Elf....

Posted by kyrdwyn on Sunday, 30 July 2000, at 7:55 p.m.

Ok, here goes nothing. This is my first attempt at a MWC and the following *story* is the result of several too many no bake cookies after midnight. It is fairly long, so please bear with me. The story is for the MWC putting an Immortal with an alien from another SF tv series or movie series.

Disclaimer: the characters of Methos, Cassandra, and MacLeod belong to Rysher, Panzer/Davis, the characters of Spock, Mr. Scott, Crewman #6, and the Captain belong to Gene Roddenberry and Star Trek. I have no claim on them, have just borrowed them for this little warped jaunt. Rated PG for a few curse words and one bare breast

The Old Man, The Witch, and the Elf (Highlander--Star Trek Crossover) (aka Tolkien Was a Rotten Bastard) by kyrdwyn

He hated transporters. As far as he was concerned, whoever had come up with the idea of breaking a person down into molecules, sending those molecules whizzing through the atmosphere, and then rearranging them again at a far distant location, well, they had to be a few molecules short themselves.

He checked himself when it was done, eyes traveling up his blue jean clad legs, shoulders rolling under oversized sweater, hand feeling tentatively at his neck, just in case. He wondered, if the machine messed up and reassembled him without a head, if it would count as a beheading. Probably. At least, if it ever happened, he wouldn’t be around to see the mess that would result from a Quickening happening in the transporter room. He was pretty sure it wouldn’t be a *good* thing.

His backpack had materialized next to him and he reached down to pick it up, slinging it over his shoulder, grimacing when he felt something wet seeping through the nylon. He frowned, muttering curses in several different ancient languages when he realized that *he* may have come through intact, but his beer hadn’t. Trust the damned machine to materialize the liquid on the *outside* of the bottles instead of the inside. Then again, maybe one had broken and the rest would still be salvageable. There was no way in hell he was going to drink that artificial crap the replicators doled out. He’d rather put up with MacLeod and one of his “moral dilemmas” first.

The door to the transporter room slid open as he stepped off the platform, the shooshing noise startling him. The man? who walked into the room startled him even more and he just stood there, staring at something he had heard of but never seen in all of his 5500 years.

“Greetings, my name is Spock. Welcome to the Enterprise.”

“Uh, thanks. My name is...Methos.” He had almost forgotten his name, his attention arrested by Spock’s very noticeable, very pointy ears. So, he thought, elves really *do* exist.

Spock seemed to have finally gotten tired of being stared at and he lifted one fine black brow in inquiry. “Is something wrong?”

“You’re an elf, right?”

Methos thought he glimpsed something in the elf’s eyes, a bit of annoyance maybe, hastily subdued, and the elf just shook his head, the single eyebrow still uplifted.

“No,” Spock said, his voice neutral. “Elves are a figment of fantasy. I” and there was a subtle stress on the pronoun, “am a Vulcan.”

“Uhm, hmm, right, and I’m five thousand years old,” Methos replied sarcastically.

Spock’s eyebrow dropped. “Highly illogical. Now, then, you are here with the new specifications for the warp drive, correct?” Spock looked him up and down, taking in the casual dress that looked so out of place next to Spock’s crisp starship uniform. His glance seemed to say that he thought it was highly illogical for Methos to know anything about a warp drive either.

“That’s right.”

Spock nodded. “Follow me then and I’ll take you to Mr. Scott in engineering.” He made for the door, waited as it shooshed open, then stepped through it, lingering on the other side for Methos to follow.

Methos stopped at the door. Another little invention that he loathed, the motion detecting sliding door. One day, he was going to get cut in half by one, he just knew it, the odds on it, for as long as he had been around, were getting smaller every day. Once again he contemplated whether a complete accident would count as a beheading, although technically if he got cut in half he would still have his head, but still, it didn’t sound all that pleasant.

“Something the matter?” Spock asked, trying not to look impatient.

“Just a bloody minute, Elf, or are you in some kind of hurry?”

The eyebrow raised again, higher this time if that were humanly, or inhumanly, possible. “No, *Old Man*, I am not, but Mr. Scott is waiting in abject anticipation for those new specs, and I have found it the better part of discretion not to piss off the man who makes the ship go.” Briefly, it looked as though Spock was warring with himself and for a moment he looked completely human. His lips moved silently as though in an argument, then he gave Methos a glare, and all the human resemblance dissolved back into the calm demeanor.

Methos sighed and stepped quickly through the doorway, flinching as it shooshed shut behind him. The elf turned his back on him and strode down the corridor, leaving it up to Methos to follow. Methos shrugged and hurried after him, reaching absently over his shoulder to fumble in his backpack for a beer, smiling in relief when he discovered that most of the bottles were intact, their contents still inside, then yelping in pain when his questing hand discovered the broken one. He brought his cut finger to his mouth, sucking absently at the blood, then watched as the cut healed. He pulled a beer out of the pack, a bit more carefully this time, twisting the cap off and giving it a practiced fling in Spock’s general direction. The elf stopped in his tracks as it hit him in the back, looked down at the cap as it rolled to a stop on the floor, then turned to give Methos that *look* again. Methos was sure that eyebrow was going to become permanently stuck in that position if he were around Spock much longer and he made a mental note to ditch the elf as soon as possible.

They continued on down the hallway, Methos swigging drinks of his beer and wondering what the hell all those crazy little lights were for. No labels on them, no buttons near them, just crazy little lights here and there, orange and red and yellow and white. Permanent Christmas decorations. They passed another crewmember in the hall, who nodded pleasantly as they went by.

“Mr. Spock,” the crewmember acknowledged, inclining his head.

“Crewman #6,” Spock returned, then kept going.

Methos turned to watch Crewman #6 disappear around a bend, then sped up to walk beside Spock.

“Isn’t that kind of impersonal,” Methos asked, “giving the crew numbers instead of names?”

Spock glanced sideways at him. “Oh, a lot of the crew have names. But don’t worry, he won’t be around that long anyway.”

Methos fell silent, wondering what poor Crewman #6 had done to warrant being done away with. Oh, well, not his call. There was probably a Crewman #7 waiting in the wings to take his place.

As they came to a halt in front of the door to engineering, Methos felt that particular itch at the base of his skull, the buzz of another Immortal nearby. He was instantly on alert, glad that the engineering door had to be keyed open instead of shooshing open on its own. He wondered briefly if anyone on the ship had ever gotten bored enough to walk back and forth in front of one of those doors, just to see how many times it would open and close before it shorted out, then pushed the moronic image from his mind as the engineering door whooshed open and he followed Spock into the Engineering room, the other Immortal’s buzz becoming distinctly stronger.

There were several people in the room, all of them engaged in some important task or other, but immediately two of them detached themselves from the rest and came to greet Methos and the elf at the door. One was a dark haired man of medium height and build, the other was a tall woman with red-brown hair, who glared furiously at him over the man’s shoulder. The buzz was coming from *her*.

“Aye, and ye must be Mr. Methos with the specs fer the warp drive,” the dark haired man said by way of greeting, his brogue thick.

Oh, gods, Methos thought, *another* Scot.

“Yes, Mr. Scott,” he said, pulling a clear disc from his jeans pocket and handing it to the man. Of course, Mr. Scott, he should have guessed from the name.

Mr. Scott took the specs gingerly, staring at the disc almost reverently. By this point, it had become too much for the woman to keep quiet and she pointed an impious finger at Methos, her whole body shaking with anger.

“You!” she cried, stepping around Mr. Scott, and pulling a sword from somewhere in *katana space* as there was certainly nowhere to conceal one in the skintight starship jumper she wore.

Methos finished his beer off in one last hasty gulp, negligently throwing the bottle sideways across the room, where it shattered against something, causing several people to yelp in surprise and an alarm to start beeping annoyingly. He drew his own sword from *katana space*, having left his duster with the rest of his luggage, and leveled it at the woman.

“Hello, Cassandra. Long time, no see.”

It was at this point that the elf decided to step between them, *both* eyebrows raised this time. He eyed the swords speculatively. “Methos, Lieutenant Cassandra, I take it the two of you *know* each other?”

Cassandra took a step back, bumping into Mr. Scott and knocking the disc out of his hand. He dove after it as it skittered across floor, but it was too late. It slid into the warp generator and vaporized with a small flash and a sizzle, leaving Mr. Scott to sit in open-mouthed shock at the loss of his precious specs.

“That murdering bastard killed my people!” Cassandra screamed, waving her sword around dramatically. Spock ducked out of the way in time to avoid having one of his ears cropped and muttered something in a strange language that sounded distinctly like a curse to Methos.

Methos was a little more considerate of the spectators and waited for Spock to move a safe distance away before he gave his sword a practiced twirl, then on impulse did a quick horizontal slash, diagonal slash, lower horizontal slash.

“I don’t want to kill you again, Cassandra. Just walk away now and let it be.”

Spock’s ears perked up at that remark, if they could get any perkier. “Again?” he asked, both eyebrows in the upright position. “When, may I ask, was the *last* time you killed her? And where did those swords come from?”

Methos never took his eyes off Cassandra as he answered Spock. “The last time was, what, about three thousand years ago?”

Cassandra shook her head. “No, about five hundred years ago, when you threw me off that bridge.”

Methos looked affronted. “Nuh, uh! You were still breathing when I dropped you.”

She snorted, gesturing with her sword. “Have you ever tried to swim in a heavy coat and heels? Doesn’t work too well, so you can add drowning me to your list.”

“Three thousand years? Five hundred years?” If Spock’s eyebrows got any higher they would join his hairline. “Highly illogical.”

“Highly illogical? Highly illogical?” Methos pointed the sword at Spock. “Being alive for over five thousand years doesn’t seem any more highly illogical to me than, oh, say, a bloody elf on a spaceship!”

“I am *not* an elf!”

Methos just rolled his eyes.

Cassandra looked at Spock, her pretty brow furrowed in confusion. “You’re not?”

“No.”

“You’re sure?”

“Yes.”

“Positive?”

Spock’s calm manner was quickly eroding away. He turned toward Methos and said, “You can kill her again now.”

“But I don’t *want* to kill her,” Methos told him. “Besides, even if I did, I’m just not too sure about the effects of lightning on dilithium crystals. I’m sure it can’t be good and I would *really* rather not find out.”

“Please explain that remark.”

Methos glanced at Cassandra, who just gave him an exasperated here we go again look and leaned on her sword.

“Cassandra and I are Immortals. We can’t die. There are quite a few of us out there, but near as we can figure she and I are the oldest. I’m around five thousand five hundred, and she’s around three--ow, hey, why’d you hit me with that?” Methos glared at Cassandra, who’d thrown her communicator at him.

“It’s not considered polite to mention a lady’s age, Methos.”

“Who said anything about you being a lady?”

She gave him a look that said he was going to seriously regret that remark later.

“Anyway, the only way we can permanently die is to get our heads cut off. So the basic gist is that that’s what we do, run around cutting each other’s heads off, until there’s only one of us left, at which point I guess we win the Publisher’s Clearing House Sweepstakes. So far, hasn’t happened.”

Spock was clearly not buying it. “And the bit about the lightning? As well as the fact that you never answered me about where those swords materialized from.”

“As to the swords...” Methos glanced over to Cassandra, who shook her head.

“Trade secret,” they said in unison.

“As for the lightning,” Methos continued, “when one of us gets our head chopped off, something called a Quickening happens, where we absorb the dead Immortal’s power. It’s accompanied by lightning and explosions, just to up the dramatic effect, but hey, it’s pretty cool.”

“I see,” Spock said, although Methos wasn’t sure if he really *did* see.

Cassandra tapped her sword against the floor. “Well, I for one, don’t really give a crap about the effects of lightning on dilithium crystals. I would really rather see the effects of my sword on your neck, you blue faced bastard!” With that, she lunged for him, bringing her sword around in what would have been a deadly arc if Methos had been standing five feet further to the left. She screamed in rage and swung at him again, but she was cut short as a burst of bright light came from Spock’s direction, hitting her square in the chest and sending her flying backwards, her sword clattering to the floor. Methos was vaguely aware of shouting from the other people in the room, but his attention was focused on Spock, who now held a phazer in his hand.

Spock’s eyebrows had returned to their natural positions and he shrugged slightly at Methos inquiring look. “Illogical as your story may be, I have no great desire to see the effects of lightning on dilithium crystals either.”

Methos just nodded at the elf, then both of them turned at the sound of Cassandra’s groan, watching as the woman stood up and fingered the burn hole in the front of her jumper.

“Damn, that’s irritating,” she muttered angrily, then bent down to retrieve her sword.

Spock held his phazer up, inspecting it. “I wish the Captain would quit setting this blasted thing to Stun whenever my back is turned.”

“It wasn’t on Stun, you stupid elf!” Cassandra exclaimed. “I’ve got the hole in my suit to prove it.” She gestured toward her chest. Methos and Spock just stared, impressed. “What?” She looked down. “Oh, good gods, I hate it when that happens.” Gingerly, she stuffed her breast back through the hole, then plumped and adjusted until she was sure they wouldn’t fall out again. Methos and Spock were still recovering from the amazing sight and she took the advantage to leap forward, pressing the blade of her sword against Methos’ throat.

“Well, hell,” she said, grinning maniacally, “if I had known it would make things easier, I’d have done that trick a lot sooner.”

The cold metal lying across his neck snapped Methos out of his momentary shock and he winced, turning his head away.

“Don’t do this, Cassandra. Do you want to be responsible for the deaths of everyone on board when this ship crashes?” Methos’ tone was pleading, but he wondered if she was too hyped on the idea of finally getting to kill him to hear him.

“You, Methos, Death on a Horse, are concerned for the lives of the people on this ship? Oh, spare me!” She laughed at him and he thought, oh yeah, she’s gone, totally nuts.

He was just about to deliver one of his infamous scathing retorts when Spock loomed up behind her and gripped the side of her neck with his fingers. She stiffened, her sword dropping from her hands, then her eyes closed and she sank to the floor in a boneless heap.

Methos rubbed at his neck, giving Spock an approving look. “Thanks.”

Spock gave him a half smile. “You know, Tolkien was a rotten bastard.”

Methos laughed. “I still say you’re an elf.”

The eyebrows disappeared completely into the hair this time. “*I* *am* *not* *an* *elf*!” He gave Methos as much of a scowl as he could, then whirled around to where Mr. Scott and the other engineering crew were frantically trying to do something with the warp generator. “What the hell is that friggin’ noise?”

The crew went silent, their mouths all agape at Spock’s outburst, only the shrill beeping filling the room.

“Mr. Spock!” Mr. Scott exclaimed, his expression showing approval. “Welcome to the human race.”

“I am not an elf!” Spock yelled, probably loud enough to be heard clear to the bridge.

“Of course not,” Mr. Scott replied soothingly, “you’re a Vulcan.”

Spock whirled on Methos, his eyes wide, eyebrows totally gone, pointing an imperious finger at Mr. Scott and stamping one foot. His expression clearly said, Hah, so there!

Methos shrugged. “Okay, so I was wrong. Sue me.”

Mr. Scott cleared his throat. “Gentlemen, I hate ta bring this up, but we hafta abandon the ship. Somehow, pieces of glass got in the warp generator,” he fixed Methos with a penetrating glare, “and it’s overloading. We’ve got about ten minutes before she explodes.”

“Well, so much for saving the ship from a Quickening,” Methos commented, earning reproachful looks from both Spock and Mr. Scott. “What?”

“Broadcast the abandon ship message, Mr. Scott, then get yourself and your crew to the lifeboats.” Spock headed for the door. “I’ve got to go explain all this to the Captain.” He stepped over Cassandra, then disappeared through the door and down the hall.

Cassandra had finally started to stir by then and she sat up, wrinkling her brow at the grating alarm. “What’s going on, Methos? Oh, gods, the warp generator is going to explode, isn’t it? I knew I’d heard that alarm before somewhere.” Methos gave her a funny look. “Don’t ask.”

“We have to get to the lifeboats,” Methos yelled to her as he sprinted past her and out of the engineering room. He could hear her following him, and then she passed him, turning down another corridor.

“This way!” she cried.

They arrived at the lifeboats a few minutes later, seemingly the only people left on the ship, until a gaggle of screaming crewmembers, led by Mr. Scott, came flying past them, piling into one of the two remaining lifeboats, closing the airlock and jettisoning away. That left one lifeboat, and the two of them.

“Ah, crap,” they said in unison. They looked at each other, shrugged, but as they started to enter it they heard a voice behind them.

“Wait! One more!“ Spock came running up the hall, skidding to a stop next to them.

“Where’s the Captain?“ Cassandra asked, looking back down the hallway.

Spock shook his head. “He thought the logical thing to do was to go down with the ship. *I*, on the other hand, though that was highly--“

“Illogical?“ Methos put in.

Spock snorted. “No. Highly stupid.“ He slipped past them into the lifeboat, then waited for them to get in before he launched it.

After five minutes of sitting as far away from each other as possible, trying not to look at each other, they saw a brilliant flash out the lifeboat window. All three crowded to the window, bumping heads, to watch the Enterprise explode into millions of tiny pieces.

“Cool!” they all said in unison.

When they realized how cozy they were to each other, all three swore and retreated to their own sides of the boat.

“Well, at least our swords were on the ship, so we don’t have to worry about that temptation,” Methos said, trying to initiate conversation.

“You forget,” Cassandra replied, “no matter where we leave them, they always return to *katana space*. Check, I bet it’s there.”

Methos checked, ignoring Spock’s curious gaze, and sure enough, there was his sword. “Well, I don’t fancy spending the next however long in this thing stuck with just *him*, do you?”

“Not really, no. Or with a rotting body, either.”

Methos wrinkled his prodigious nose. “Ewwwww.” He gave her a smile, leaning across the boat to extend a hand. “So, what do you say, truce?”

Cassandra thought a moment, then sighed, gripping his proffered hand. “As long as you don’t sing.”

“Agreed.” He suddenly remembered his backpack, still slung over one shoulder. “Hey, I’ve got beer.”

She grinned. “Well, at least you’re good for something.”

Methos laughed, tossing a bottle her direction, a bottle at Spock, then opening one for himself.

Spock twisted the cap off his beer, sniffed it experimentally, then took a long pull. He gave Methos and Cassandra a pained look as two bottle caps struck him in the chest at the same time.

“Well, at least there’s one thing we can definitely agree on,” Methos said to Cassandra, who smiled as they both turned their gazes to Spock.

Spock scowled at them over the top of his beer.

“I am *not* an elf!”

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