THE CODE OF DIMACK
A Highlander/Kung Fu The Legend Continues Crossover
By Henry Wyckoff and Scott Vodvarka
January 22, 1996
Duncan walked alone down the street. Richie had been sent off to run a little errand down at the local precinct, doing a little bit of snooping. He only hoped that there were no immortals there.
He whistled an old tune to himself, so old and obscure he didn't even know what it was. Thoughts merged into one another until nothing remained, and the empty streets took on a surreal quality.
For all of Amanda's annoying games and lies, she was a part of him that he couldn't bear to lose. She was more than family -- much more -- and if it weren't for her, he might not even be around this day. He would have let himself go mad or die in the mad times that he lived in as a much younger man.
Now, all he had to do was reach Caine. Some of the Chinese enclavers knew of him, but it took a long time to find someone who actually knew where he lived. That's where he was walking, but at a leisurely pace. He needed to reach some sort of equilibrium first.
Duncan froze. The telltale buzz of another immortal approaching rattled his nerves. It was an immortal with a strong lifeline, most certainly. He waited, calming himself and putting on his best appearance of an untroubled man.
"Duncan MacLeod of the Clan MacLeod," said an accented voice behind him. "Fancy meeting you here." Duncan knew that voice.
"Kiem Sun," said Duncan. "You don't sound happy to see me."
"Oh, indeed I am," he smiled, coming into the light. "I'm ready for you now."
"I'm not. Tell me, what have you to do with this?"
He looked honestly puzzled, "What do you mean?"
"Amanda being poisoned. The mysterious phone call. Was it you who called? Are you using her as bait or are you honestly concerned?"
Kiem Sun's confusion left him. "Wouldn't you like to know?"
"Yeah, I would." His expression was full of fury. "Now, you're going to answer my questions the hard way, or the easy way. Make your choice."
"You won't do anything to me. Your precious honor prevents you!"
So here it is, thought Duncan. "You crossed the line -- I warned you about that. Come after me and I'll take your head. Go while I'm feeling merciful."
"Your bravado will get you nowhere. There can be only one!"
A straight sword was drawn, and reflexively Duncan drew his. An exhaustion of the soul overwhelmed him, so he wasn't feeling too kind-hearted or chivalrous this evening. He went straight for the kill. A few attempts, and Duncan had to admit that Kiem Sun had certainly improved.
* * *
Peter Caine was driving down the road from his father's home, heading for Chandler's. Kenny's attitude had both angered him and puzzled him. In his mind, he asked himself, "Was I ever as annoying as that kid?"
Peter shuddered at the thought.
He must have been only a block from his father's house when he heard the sharp clashing of metal and saw sparks in his peripheral vision. He stopped and looked at the source of the noise. It was two men fighting with swords, and it looked like a strong fight. Alan's words echoed in his mind.
"So that's it!" he said to himself, calling up Alan on his cellular.
"Hello?" asked the voice on the other end. The sounds of revelry could be heard in the background.
"It's me, Peter. I think I've found the guys." He quickly gave Alan the location and hung up, approaching with his pistol drawn. Closer and closer he approached, silent as the breeze, in awe at the skill of both men. One was a Chinese gentleman with a straight Tai Chi sword and enough skill to perhaps face his father. The other was a Caucasian wielding a katana. He wore a trenchcoat and had long hair in a ponytail.
"Tonight you will sleep in hell!" screamed the Chinese man, just before he triumphantly tried to swipe the other's head off. The move failed, and the katana swiped the Chinese man's arm off instead. The man screamed in agony.
"Tell me how you're involved in this!" screamed Duncan, his sword at the guy's neck.
Uh oh, thought Peter. Interrogations only mean one thing: nobody's the good guy here!
"THERE CAN BE ONLY ONE!"
Before Peter could say or do anything, Duncan cut the man's head off, and a moment later, an energy seemed to leave the recently-deceased. It floated like a mist, and entered the living man. Lightning flashed and blinded Peter, in the process frying all the local light bulbs and wiring. For a few blocks in either direction, there was a total power outage.
The living man was in utter pain, screaming and jerking around as the lightning entered him. A moment later, the lightning flashed one last time, and he fell to the ground, breathing heavily.
"Police! Freeze!" yelled Peter, approaching with his drawn gun. The other man seemed too exhausted to do anything. He just sat there with a glazed look in his eye and sheathed his sword. "You just stay right there!" His adrenaline was pumping too much to ask the obvious questions such as, 'What the hell just happened here?'
"Stand up!" commanded Peter, grabbing the man's lapel and pulling him up. Bad move. The man sprang to life and gave him a head butt to the face. Peter, stunned, fell to his knees while the gun was ripped from his hand and thrown into some dark corner.
The man stomp-kicked Peter in the chest -- who slammed into the ground with an audible [THUMP!!!] -- and ran off deeper into the alley. Peter recovered a moment later and got up, pursuing the man, forgetting about his gun.
He chased him for a few hundred feet before he caught up with him. "Stop!" yelled Peter again. The other man did so, but not in surrender.
The other man had a grimace on his face and said, "Let it go, boy. This had nothing to do with you."
"Let the judge decide that!" He pulled out a pair of handcuffs. "You're under arrest!"
The next few minutes could almost be called comical. Peter had always been confident with his Kung Fu skills. Now, he understood why his father had always wanted him to be a Shaolin priest -- they were humble enough to understand the need for continual learning. Translation: he was losing the fight rather badly.
The guy was everywhere, seeming to know ahead of time what Peter was going to do. Whenever Peter did land a blow, it was shrugged off. The blows that landed on Peter, however, were hard and painful -- and the cumulative effects were not too pretty. A punch to the face sent Peter into the air, hitting the wall with the force of a truck.
"Let it go," growled the man as Peter slid against the wall, slowly falling to the ground.
A shot rang into the air, and then another one. The man flew and twisted sharply in the air, landing on the ground with a sharp exhalation. He twitched a little, but otherwise didn't move. Two bullets had hit each of his lungs, and the blood was flowing out like geysers.
Alan Powys ran into the alley with both guns drawn and a smile on his face, "You're alive! I thought he killed you!"
"Just about," smiled Peter in turn. "Talk about last minute rescues -- I didn't expect you to come at all!"
"What can I say? I got held up on the way. Let's get back to the station -- if you can ID this guy, the battle's half-over."
Peter nodded, and they both came back to their cars. On the way, they noticed that the Chinese man's body and sword were gone as well. "What the hell is going on here?" he demanded.
"This isn't good... No body, no crime. And our murder suspect is dead by our hands. Know anybody in the ACLU?"
* * *
"So, Kermit, what do you have?" asked a still-shaking Peter Caine. Alan Powys was busy using one of Kermit's guest computers to check his e-mail and Usenet subscriptions while Kermit had taken Peter aside in a conference room with a pile of faxes.
"You owe me a trip to the nudie bar," said Kermit. "You have no idea what kind of risks I had to take to get these!"
"Is it bad?"
"You'd better believe it! Look at this: 109 OFFICIAL police, FBI, CIA, and Interpol reports about beheadings that have taken place in the last twenty years. I took all the records and plotted up the locations on a globe. Red is recent and blue is oldest. Keep in mind that there must be a hell of a lot of cases that weren't reported"
Peter nodded and looked -- and then he was shocked. It all made sense now. There were concentrations of killings in Paris, London, New York City, Toronto, Seattle, Vancouver, Tokyo, and Prague. As time passed, streamlines all headed for New York City, Vancouver, and Toronto. Whatever it was, it was heading this way.
"This is bad, Kermit. What's happening?"
"I don't know yet, but whatever it is, it's *really* bad."
Peter looked through another pile of pictures that Kermit hadn't gotten to yet. They were police photos of the scene of the crime from various cases. One photo jumped out at Peter. The photo was dated 1968 -- and it showed the very man whom Peter had tried to arrest. The name said "Duncan MacLeod' in big letters, and was in connection to a beheading. No charges were filed on him due to lack of evidence, but the records were kept regardless.
"Kermit! This is the guy I found tonight! He's in the morgue right now!"
"Duncan MacLeod?" snapped Kermit, looking at the picture. "Ooo boy... You've found one of the most unusual cases: he's mentioned in over... let me make sure... yes! He's reported in 33 police cases in the last ten years... involving murder, kidnapping, and theft, but he's never been charged in any of them. I'd say you hit one of the mother loads here."
Peter left to get Alan, and Kermit absently scratched the inside of his left wrist. He looked at Peter's back with narrowed eyes.
* * *
Richie was shaking his head. The place looked so clean and organized that he couldn't even find anything. Everything was on paper, in orderly file-cabinets. The only problem was, he had no idea what in the hell he was looking for, and what the subject was.
Mac just told him to find something -- and probably assumed that Richie knew what he was talking about. That was nothing new...
For the last two hours, he had been sneaking unseen and unheard from room to room. He'd been a sneak for all his life, but this was a skill that he had developed with pain and tears for years, and his nerves were still stretched to the snapping point whenever he exercised this particular skill.
It must have been some time in the late evening when he saw the computer whiz talk with a concerned detective. He had to lie low anyway, so he listened, and then got really interested. The part about the police cases had him figuratively sitting at the edge of his seat, and then when Mac was mentioned, he nearly blew his cover.
One sentence sank in -- Mac's in the morgue. The detective saw the Quickening, and Richie was praying that it hadn't been Mac's Quickening that was taken.
He waited around until Caine left, then he noticed another little detail. Kermit was scratching at his left wrist. There was nothing there, but he thought he saw the faint sign of a removed tattoo. It was the right size for a Watcher's tattoo... Richie's nerves tightened even more than they were, and his gut was clenched as he ran his options in his head.
He left his place of hiding and walked up to Kermit, who looked up at him in shock. "Hi Kermit."
Kermit looked a bit guarded as he said, "I don't remember meeting you. Can I help you?"
"Yes... You can. I'm a friend of Joe Dawson, and I need your help."
Kermit's eyes nearly bogged out of his head. He'd faked his death so that he could escape the Watchers... a perfect maneuver for the cult of eternal life. If Joe knew he was alive, then that would only mean --
"I don't know this Joe Dawson you mentioned, but perhaps I can help you." He gestured to his office and closed the door when Richie followed him in.
"Don't they teach you ANYTHING?!" whispered Kermit in rage, his face just inches from Richie's and the muscles of his neck standing out. "You NEVER throw out obvious hints like that! What if someone was tailing you or trying to lure me out of the woodwork?"
"I'm not a Watcher," said Richie calmly. He waited for the shock to fill Kermit's face. "I'm an immortal, and I need YOUR help." Richie was REALLY hoping that for whatever reason Kermit was no longer a Watcher, it was for a GOOD reason.
Kermit's face turned a pasty white. "Prove it."
Richie grimaced. "I see you've heard about the Hunters." He slashed his arm and held it up as it rapidly healed.
Kermit paced back and forth. "How did you find out about me? Dawson didn't send you, did he?"
"No. I just happen to know him. I was sneaking around, trying to find some information, and I hope you can pass along some of that to me."
"What KIND of information?"
Richie put on his best poker face and asked, "Do I REALLY need to ask?"
Kermit sighed. "I'll get you the folder..."
Richie suddenly felt a strong buzz. "I think we're too late. Grab that folder and come with me. I mean it."
Kermit raised his eyebrows, but he didn't need to be told twice. They were heading towards the morgue.
* * *
"Get me out of here! Get me the HELL out of here!!!" shouted Duncan from inside his drawer in the morgue.
Time was a luxury Duncan didn't have, so he was in no mood to waste any more of it with the jammed zipper on the body bag which held him. In all his lifetimes, this had never happened before. *Always a first time, I guess.*, he thought bitterly. *But, why did it have to be NOW?*
Desperately he banged on the walls and the door of the cramped drawer the coroner had unceremoniously stuffed him into. Kicking as if his life depended on it. *Nnnggh! Mother of God! If I don't get some air soon, I'll die...again!* Duncan shuddered at the thought of suffocating over and over and over again. It could be hours, even days before someone heard him and let him out. Unless Richie was to figure out what'd happened to him. At the moment, however, he didn't really have all THAT much faith in his young apprentice.
*Maybe if I sing, somebody'll hear me.* At this point he was willing to try just about anything.
Nicky Elder, "coroner extraordinaire" as he often referred to himself when trying to impress a young lady, was asleep at his desk amid the piles of travel brochures which littered his office. This was his fourth double shift this week and the lack of sleep was beginning to take its toll. Luckily, he'd be on vacation soon. Hawaii! Surf and girls and sun and girls and girls and girls.... This was, in fact, exactly what he was dreaming about when the most Godawful cacophony roused him from his slumber.
"OHHH, BONNIE PORTMORE....I AM SOOORRRY TO SEE....SUCH A WOEFUL DESTRUCTION OF YOUR ORNAMENT TREEEEE...!!!"
"Who's that singing?", he said out loud to no one in particular. He rubbed his eyes and stumbled into the next room, following the "singing" voice. It was coming from the morgue proper.
Nicky stared in disbelief at the rows of mortuary drawers which housed the bodies of the dearly departed, his only company down here in the temporary morgue, in the basement of the 101st police precinct. "Must be all these crazy hours!", he said to himself. "This can't be happening! I must be hearing things."
"Don't bury me!" , shouted Duncan in his best ghoulish voice. "I'm not dead!"
Nicky began to feel queasy. He rushed over to the drawer in question and flew open the latch. As he pulled out the retracting slab and undid the zipper, an undead corpse sprang to a seated position gasping for air. Then, the dead man spoke to Nicky.
"Good evening.", said the man, mimicking a Transylvanian accent. The morgue's dim light cast an eerie glow on the man's face, giving it a pale, ghostly, supernatural appearance.
"Oh, my GOD!", gasped Nicky. The words barely audible. "Are...y-you..." He couldn't go on, so overcome with fear as he was.
"I am Duncan MacLeod of the Clan MacLeod! And, I thank you."
Nicky fainted -- but he didn't collapse. His body remaining straight as a stick; he went from a vertical to a horizontal position in one sweeping motion. Duncan was impressed.
"Cheerio, my good man.", said Duncan to the unconscious coroner with a mock salute as he hopped off the table and began searching for his clothes.
* * * *