CASCADE OF BLOOD
A Highlander/Sentinel Crossover
by Henry Wyckoff
August 1997


Standard Disclaimers Apply



Chapter 1

A siren sounded and slowly faded away. Amanda relaxed. Not that she was visibly tense, but there is something chilling about the sound of a siren as you're trying to break into a high-profile museum with an even higher-profile exhibit.

It would be kind of hard to explain why she hung by her hands from a wall, ten feet above the ground. It would be even harder to explain why she looked like a cat burglar... or Richard Sharpe in that BBC series. All her clothes were coal-black and skin-tight, almost looking like a military uniform. Her hair was starting to grow back, but it was still short enough that she didn't have to worry about it. A muslin cloth was used to hide her head and face, worn Arab style.

True to her nature, she had examined the place as a tourist earlier today. Duncan was in Seacouver, and was quite convinced that she had reformed. Well, she had, almost... Since she couldn't go out on the town with Duncan, she had asked someone who did know how to have some fun. None other than Methos, surprisingly enough, or maybe not. A guy that old had to have a few gray areas. She knew that he had to. Methos enjoyed seeing the sights just as well as he enjoyed watching Amanda scope out the place. She could see that twinkle of amusement in his eye as she nearly dropped her jaw on seeing the prize attraction.

"How about joining the fun?" she remembered asking him at the last moment.

He only smiled. "I prefer to watch others having the fun."

She noticed that about him. He was so much an observer that he might as well be a Watcher. He already was, but she knew what she meant...

"...honey, I'm sorry, but I just got the shift change at the last moment!" The voice suddenly appeared as a door opened.

Amanda froze as a security guard exited through the security door and started his round just ten feet below where she hung from the wall. She had come to the conclusion that descending from the roof would be out of the question, as would entering anywhere along ground level. Then, an idea hit her: why not enter the security door? There had to be a few on duty, and these guards were dutiful enough to actually walk the grounds. There had to be a few magic moments, where she could slip through their walkways.

All it took was a brief moment, and she let herself slide to the ground, slowing her descent with her gloved hands and her mountain-climbing shoes. Five seconds, and she was through the door before it shut. The guard had apparently been oblivious to her passage, and the one guard inside was still on the phone.

He also kept his eyes on the monitors, so she knew that she wasn't home free yet. Keeping to the shadows as much as possible, she made her way to the prime exhibit.

They were a set of nine jewels, each featuring a different mineral. Very symbolic, according to the story surrounding them. Perhaps it was the number nine that was the important symbol, or the colors of each of the minerals? Or the minerals themselves? Amanda was a good enough thief to recognize the value of objects, but she was never much the philosopher. She kept her attention on how best to grab the jewels without triggering the alarm.

The jewels were surrounded by a glass case, which was most likely hooked up to some kind of transducer, connected to the glass, but hidden from view. Amanda smiled wickedly. One nice thing about being immortal is that you were required to learn. If you didn't learn any more as a mortal, you died; as an immortal, you wished that you were dead. She learned quite a bit about practical electronics in this century.

This particular thievery lesson was: if a sensor exists for security reasons, it won't go off if it thinks all is well. To keep the electronics believing in that little lie, all she had to do was take out her handy electronics pack, full of all sorts of tools, wires, and junctions available for a bargain price in the common sector, for those poor, starving, graduate students majoring in computer science.

Each time she sweated, but it didn't worry her. In fact, her motto was: no sweat, time to throw in the towel. Who knew how much time it actually took, but eventually, it was over. She had the jewels in her hand. With an oddly muted smile, she deposited the jewels in her bag and got ready to go.

Amanda frowned. She felt the presence of an immortal. Strange... she couldn't recall meeting an immortal security guard, and Methos had sworn that he wasn't taking a part in this.

That's when she saw her: a woman in tight-fitting clothes, but more on the fashionable side, unlike Amanda's military look. Another professional thief, it seemed. One with an irrepressible need to wear visual cow bells. "Hi there! The name's Marisa," she didn't seem concerned at all about encountering another immortal, or anyone for that matter, in this situation. Her volume would have been quite appropriate for a busy street. "Came for the jewels, I take it?"

"Amanda. What did you come for?"

"You!" smiled the woman in a manner that made Amanda sick at her stomach. Quite literally. It took everything she had to keep from vomiting.

"Just try it!" she hissed, drawing her sword, even though Marisa hadn't drawn her own. Not a big sword. In fact, it was a short and thin one, but big enough to do the job, provided she didn't draw out a two-handed flaming sword.

Marisa confidently walked towards her, her arms held out wide. "You try it!"

Amanda had seen many bravos try this tactic. She knew Marisa was up to no good. "No way!" She ran off, expecting some kind of trap.

There was a trap all right. As she hit the security room, she found a dead guard, and it wasn't a pretty sight.

That's when they came in through the other door. "CASCADE P.D.! On the floor, NOW!"

Caught red-handed, so to speak, considering that she had the jewels in her possession. She hadn't, however, killed that man.

What Amanda couldn't help but wonder was how long Marisa had planned this operation, and how she could have planned it since Amanda had made her decision to break in the Museum only today?


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