THE CODE OF DIMACK
A Highlander/Kung Fu The Legend Continues Crossover
By Henry Wyckoff and Scott Vodvarka
January 22, 1996



Chapter 10

The following morning began as an uneventful one. Caine had managed to catch a few hours sleep and had just finished his breakfast. He now stood outside on his terrace staring out into nothingness, his spirit troubled.

He reflected upon the events of the previous night. True, they had thwarted the Dimack once more. And, yes, they did manage to save Amanda's life. She, Richie, and Duncan had managed to catch the 6AM flight out of Toronto to...wherever they were bound. And, even now, Jin Ming was in police custody being brought to justice for the murder of the drunken vagrant in the alley, as well as Kenny's murder. Yet, despite all this, Caine felt a strange premonition...as if something terrible had happened.

Just then, Peter entered the apartment. But Caine had already been anticipating his arrival minutes earlier. As he often did.

"What is it, my son?" he asked calmly, his eyes still fixed on the horizon.

Peter walked out onto the terrace, his heavy, uneven footsteps betraying his sense of urgency.

"Pop, there's been...an incident at the precinct."

His father appeared not to be surprised. "Yes, I suspected as much. Do continue."

"Last night, after I brought Jin Ming in for booking and gone home, there was a power failure at the station. The details about what happened next are still hazy but one thing's for certain! When the lights came back on, Kermit and Alan had gone downstairs to check on the prisoners. When they got there, they found the guards knocked out cold. And Jin Ming's cell EMPTY! There were signs of a struggle, traces of blood on the walls and floor, and a Dimack ring."

Caine said nothing.

"Pop, if Jin Ming's out there somewhere..."

"I do not think Jin Ming will trouble society EVER again." There was no mistaking the emphasis on the word "ever" in Caine's voice.

"But I thought MacLeod swore an oath to you not to kill him."

"Yes. He did." Caine turned to face his son, who looked at him with disbelieving eyes. "But Amanda did not!"

Peter jumped. "Amanda? I thought she was here with you!"

"She and Richie and Duncan left earlier this morning. At about 4:30."

"Yeah, that would coincide with the time of the incident. But...wait a minute. Are you saying she had time to knock off Jin Ming on her way to the airport? Come on, Pop! She was barely able to walk!"

"I fear we will never know for certain."

A sudden chill shivered Peter's soul. His thoughts turned back to the beautiful Amanda. The thought of her as a killer was just unthinkable to him. And yet, the motive was there. Kenny's death, just as tragic as his life. Still, there was no proof! No hard evidence to link Amanda to Jin Ming's murder. Not even a corpse! He wondered if Alan (or RAM or whatever he called himself) had a hand in this but decided not to pursue it. Alan was probably already long gone by now and although this particular case was -- for all intents and purposes- - closed, the whole enigma of the Immortals and their Gathering was a matter that was far bigger than Detective Peter Caine. There would still be swordfights, still be beheadings, the Game would continue and there wasn't anything Peter or anyone else in law enforcement could do about it. And, that frightened him!

"Even with Jin Ming gone, the killings won't stop, will they?" asked Peter.

Caine shrugged his shoulders. "In the end...there can be only one."

"And you can just ACCEPT that?"

"That I accept it, does not mean that I condone it."

"Well, I CAN'T accept it, Pop! I'm a cop, remember? Just because these people are Immortal doesn't mean they're above the law!"

Before Peter closed the book on this chapter of his life, a chapter which he felt reasonably certain would resurface again someday, he needed his father to answer one last question that had been bugging him since he first learned about the Prize. "Pop, what happens if somebody like Jin Ming becomes the last Immortal?"

Caine's face turned grim. Apparently, the same question weighed heavily on him, too. "I...do not know. The future is like climbing a tree. We might climb one branch to find one fate, or climb another branch to find another. The future depends on which branch we climb."

Peter leaned against the banister and rubbed his eyes. "MacLeod was right. I WAS better off not knowing."

* * *


It was raining hard that day as Richie walked up to the dojo. He'd been unable to sleep during the return flight from Toronto and had decided that a workout at Mac's would help him unwind from his adventure in Chinatown. Just as he was about to unlock the door, however, he felt the presence of another Immortal. *Uh, oh! Company! But I'm ready! I'm still in overdrive from that whole Dimack affair!*

Richie whirled to confront his alleged threat, only to be greeted by a friendly, familiar face.

"Hello, Richie."

"Connor! What a surprise! Fancy meeting you here!" The two shook hands and went inside.

"So, what brings you here, Connor? Last I heard you had gone back to New York."

"I came to see Duncan. I stopped by two days ago but he was nowhere to be found. I've been staying at the Hilton since. Where has he been?"

Richie seemed a bit embarrassed. "Oh, geez! I'm real sorry about that, Connor. But Mac and I have been out of town. We were called away on urgent business. We must've just missed you! Hey, you're soaked! Can I get you something to drink?"

"That'd be great. Thanks."

The pair took the elevator up to the second level, Mac's apartment. Richie tossed his wet jacket onto the sofa and pulled two glasses out of the kitchen cabinet. "Lemme guess. Double glenmorangie?"

Connor smiled. "On the rocks." He removed his trenchcoat and sat down on the sofa. "So, where is Duncan now?"

"He left again," said Richie pouring the liquor. "He's in England with Amanda. But he should be back day after tomorrow. It's just as well you're here now because he mentioned there were a few things he wanted to talk to you about."

Connor took a sip of his drink. "Heh, heh. I'm sure. Once the teacher, always the teacher." He downed the rest of his drink and poured himself another glass. "So...what grand adventure has my favorite student dragged you off on THIS time?"

Richie began reciting his account of the whole Jin Ming incident to Connor, who listened intently. Halfway through the story, however, just at the part where Richie and Duncan first met Caine, Connor's eyes widened with recognition. Richie could tell something he said had triggered this reaction.

"Hey, Mac. What is it? What's wrong?"

Connor reached for the bottle of Glenmorangie. "Did you say CAINE...or KANE?"

* * * *




EPILOGUE

From the personal memoirs of Duncan MacLeod:

Nearly 24 hours after our ordeal in Toronto, Amanda and I stood on the deck of a rented boat, five miles off the coast of York, England. It was in Yorkshire, after all, where Kenny was born. So Amanda thought it only fitting that we consecrate his ashes to the North Sea, just off the coast of his homeland.

Most of the voyage had been spent in silence. I offered what little comfort I could, but I knew it wasn't enough. On the outside, one would think she was taking this all rather well. Her face hard as stone yet smooth as porcelain, her lips stiff and rigid, her eyes staring off into the distance, aloof and unconcerned. But, on the inside, I could tell this was killing her.

She clutched the urn containing Kenny's remains with trembling hands, holding it close to her breast...to her heart...as if unwilling to let go. It's never easy for a mother to lose her child. And, that's exactly what Amanda considered herself. Kenny's surrogate mother!

"You couldn't have protected him forever, you know," I said, not meaning to be callous, but sounding every bit that way. Even to myself. "This would have happened sooner or later. What if the two of you became the LAST two? Then what?"

Tact was never my strong suit. I admit it. And her reaction made me instantly regret my words. Choking back her tears, her quivering voice barely a whisper, she offered her reply to my insensitive question with a question of her own.

"What if it came down to just YOU and me?"

It was a topic none of us wants to think about, but a reality nonetheless that we all must face. There can be only one! Eventually, there comes a time when friend must kill friend. Our relationship added a new dimension to this cold, hard fact since we were lovers! Not knowing what to say, I thought it best to keep silent. It was one of the many lessons I learned from the Caine family. //If one's words are not better than silence, one should REMAIN silent.//

The tide was starting to get rough. In the distance I could see storm clouds brewing. The boat rocked and swayed, splashing cold salt water onto the deck, washing over Amanda's bare feet. I held fast to the railing, bracing myself, silently wishing she'd get on with it and do what we came here to do! But I dared not say as much. I knew, only too well, how much Kenny meant to her. Now, more than ever.

"Good bye, Kenneth," she sobbed. "May you find peace at last." With those momentous words, she emptied the urn into the churning waters beneath us, the current quickly sweeping away the remains of Kenneth Farrowfallen across the vast blue infinitude. Ashes to ashes, dust to dust. Amen.

When the deed was done, Amanda collapsed in my arms. Her overwhelming grief finally breaking through the stolid exterior like a typhoon. Rivers of tears flowed from her soft, brown eyes as she buried her face against my chest and wailed like a banshee. I held her tight against me, stroking my hands along her back as if I could caress the pain away. Then, without warning, I too began to cry.

814 years, Kenneth. Too long for bitterness. Too long for hate. I, who so unwillingly shared in your tragedy, now find myself, by some ironic twist of fate, left to glory in your triumph. Great was your history, hard was your fight, terrible your loss. Though we had our differences in the past, you showed your true colors when the chips were down. You will be remembered...and missed.

THE END


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