THE CODE OF DIMACK
A Highlander/Kung Fu The Legend Continues Crossover
By Henry Wyckoff and Scott Vodvarka
January 22, 1996
This is a new crossover between Highlander and Kung Fu, written by myself and firstname.lastname@example.org (the primary author). The main HL characters are: Duncan, Richie, Amanda, Kiem Sung, Fitzcairn, and *the* Kenny; the main KF characters are: Kwai Chang Caine, Peter Caine, Kermit, and the Ancient. Also included is a character from my own fanfic -- Alan Powys -- from The Cycle of Axer.
This story is a prelude to The Cycle of Axer Carrick, and takes place after the last sighting of Kenny, and after The Colonel.
* Highlander-Type Violence, description specific enough to be concerned about your kids reading it, but nothing worse than what you see on TV -- or the news.
If some place could be filthy and spotless at the same time, it HAD to be any big city in the Industrial Zone. In this case, it was Toronto. It had modernized somewhere along the way in the last ten years, even going so far as to build an underground city (or so it was billed) and creating the largest movie industry east of Hollywood. A lot of the places were clean and grand, but then again, the flip side was also there -- there were dumps and slums.
Perhaps it was the same irony which allowed one Derick Kennison, a.k.a. Dr. Oldfather, to stumble down the filthy street, unnoticed by everyone around him. They must have assumed that he was a drunken foreigner, and thus a man to be ignored. They didn't notice his labored breathing, his haunted eyes, or his aimless babbling.
Perhaps he was drunk, but it wasn't by swallowing the drink of Bacchus.
Derick had been drunk many times, he knew, and the sensation was similar. In fact, he had become immortal by drinking one too many shots of that drink of the mad Celts, the Water of Life, which was later known as Scottish Whiskey. It was like he had downed too much in one time, and he was killing himself -- but that was impossible. In his thousand years of drinking as an immortal, he had never felt that dying sensation, because his body healed too fast.
Whatever it was, it was a poisoning.
POISON!!! screamed countless voices in his own mind. POISON!!! CLEANSE YOURSELF!!!
But how was he to cleanse himself, he wondered, when he didn't even know what the poison was? Memories that weren't his superimposed themselves on the weaving road and the people bumping into him. Smells of burning flesh and the crumbling of castle walls blended with that of the summer rains and sewage. The sounds of women and children begging for their lives blended with the sirens of police cars and emergency vehicles attending to the needs of the living.
He must have lost some sense of time, because the fog cleared, and Derick found that he was kneeling. In front of him stood an arrogant man -- an immortal. He was... southern Chinese.
A name came unbidden from his memory, one that he spoke aloud. "Jin Ming. It has been a long time."
"You know me?" he asked in an unhurried and jovial voice.
Derick knew it was the Canton dialect of Chinese, a language he didn't know. "How do I understand him?" he thought. It was as if someone else was surfacing from the haze that was Derrick. That other presence was silent.
"How flattering," continued Jin Ming. "You have truly entertained me, you know. You're the only one I've had to hunt across seven continents. Most immortals last for only a few moments, and a few for two. I was beginning to wonder if you were immune."
"That's because they're barbarians," said the presence, no longer silent. Derick, or now we should say, Kun Chan Lee, stood up. "It was not Derick you chased across seven continents -- it was I, Kun Chan Lee who chased you. I KNOW what you are, twisted one. Undo your damage."
Jin Ming must have been pretty startled by this change of events, but he quickly regained his arrogant composure. "Or what? You aren't in any condition to do anything. In fact, I think I'll end your suffering now."
Two swords appeared out of nowhere, a straight Tai Chi sword and an Iberian Falcata. It wasn't really much of a match -- Jin Ming was right. The quickening came and smashed him against a wall.
"My, he's a strong one," he muttered when it was over. A pity he couldn't absorb the understanding of the bizarre transformation of this immortal. None had ever reacted the way this one had. Never had he seen any alter egos surface in any other immortal, under any circumstance. Was he insane, or a good actor? he wondered. A pity he couldn't draw the knowledge from an immortal as well as the power...
Without even noticing it, he picked up the Falcata as well as his own sword. Jin Ming looked back at the slain Kun Chan Lee, saluting in the European fashion, "Kun Chan Lee, I salute you for your courage. None has ever fought so well and bravely in such an uneven fight. I only wish I knew more about you."
Jin Ming left the isolated stretch of road, not noticing those who watched him. Those who watched soon left themselves. One was saddened, one was glowing with pride and satisfaction, and the last...
* * * *
"Amanda," said the boy's voice on the phone. "We need to talk."
"We have nothing to talk about, Kenneth. I trusted you, and you betrayed that trust."
"There's a great deal you don't know. MacLeod has been with you for so long that you've become prejudiced."
"Are you accusing me of being blind? I saw what you did in my own eyes!"
"Let she who is without sin throw the first stone. Can you tell me that you never set anyone else up before? Can you tell me that you lived a pure life?"
Amanda paused. She could remember time after time setting Duncan up to both mortals and immortals. Most of those episodes never went beyond her and Duncan -- how did Kenneth know about those times?
"I never set him up in that manner."
"No, you only set all those others. Of course, that wasn't your intention, but you certainly took advantage of events." He paused, "Look, we can argue back and forth over the phone, but where will that get us? Meet me at St. Andrew's Cathedral. Please." It wasn't some child begging innocently now.
Amanda's face fell in her hands, tears silently falling into them. How could time have changed so much? The voice may have been that of a boy of ten years, but if she read the words spoken, she would swear that it was an accomplished debater -- or philosopher -- who spoke them. "Yes," was all she answered.
She hung up the phone and sobbed bitterly. She could never let a soul know how she truly felt -- that was her strength and her weakness. Those thieves and sneakers who knew her through the years commented on her iron nerve that never broke in the middle of an operation. They never knew that while her hands delicately lifted an ultrasensitive casing that could set off an alarm, her nerves were screaming.
Amanda didn't remember grabbing for the bottle of Scotch, but it sat there in front of her. Glenmorangie, a single malt scotch that Duncan had given her as a gift so many years ago. For many moments, she stared at it as if it were a weapon. Her hands lay motionless, as did the scotch.
The dam broke, and Amanda opened the bottle, drinking enough in one draught to make even a seasoned drunk scream. She didn't feel a thing, and certainly didn't notice how little time it took her to drain the bottle. Her being -- not just her elbow -- went on automatic as she grabbed for more -- fine wines, expensive whiskey, brandy, Benedictine... Their value or their character meant nothing to her as she dived deeper into the endless chasm. It wasn't even to drown her sadness, because she felt nothing. Nothing at all.
When she died, there was no transition. Her eyes were open one moment, and the next, her eyes were closed.
The transition from drunk present to dreamy past was unseen as well...
..."Duncan!" she called to him. He grabbed her in a bear hug and swirled her in the air around a few times. "How long has it been since the last time?"
"It's been ten years since that episode in Bavaria," he half-frowned. "What half-baked scheme have you thought of this time?"
"Nothing!" she protested. "Nothing at all. Aren't you glad to see me?" she put on her best pout.
Duncan shook his head. It was impossible to be mad at her for more than a moment. "I'm glad to see you, but not the trick you've set up."
Time flashed by, and she stood by while Duncan's head was nearly ready to be cleaved off by a refined killer named Julius Caesar, who had believed in his insanity that Duncan was his beloved betrayer Brutus and Amanda was his Cleopatra.
Duncan, through some trick or strike of luck, saved his head from the gladius and gave back as good as he received, changing Caesar into a mass of hacked meat. Then came the Quickening.
When Duncan recovered, his eyes burned with the pain of betrayal and pain, but later softened into forgiveness. It was too much...
...Perhaps she remembered the rest of that episode, but flashbacks and dreams alike play games with time, especially when alcohol and death are involved.
Amanda opened her eyes and awoke to a horrible sight. "My God...!" She stared in horror at all the liquor she'd drunk. Then she looked at the clock. It was almost time to meet Kenneth.
Ten minutes and a hurried shower later, she raced out the door, but not before she grabbed her sword. After a moment of pause, she grabbed a small revolver the size of her wrist. Almost undetectable, and certainly not visible where it rested in her coat pocket, it could blast a hole through the heart of even the biggest man.
* * * *