The Cycle of Axer Carrick
Part V -- Riding the Wave
The Revised Version
by Henry Wyckoff
December 1995



Chapter 2

Methos looked out the window at the ocean far below. Even though airplanes were nothing new to him -- he'd seen their evolution from day one -- the mere thought of flying up that high stirred his soul. He could remember how the sky was supposedly the realm of the gods, and the mere thought of flying this far up made him feel like he was touching something very sacred. Richie didn't have any interest in the sights, and he didn't feel any thrill about flying, which made Methos frown a little.

//Really makes me wonder what we've become... We might have gained all this science and knowledge, but we've lost our sense of wonder... our need to seek out the unknown. Everything is so commonplace that he can't even appreciate the view out of an airplane...//

"Excuse me," the stewardess jolted him out of his thoughts.

"Yes?" his eyes focused.

"I was wondering what language that was."

Methos' eyebrows wrinkled in confusion. "I didn't even know I was talking."

"You were," she laughed. "I could hear you mumbling all the way from the other side."

Methos frankly couldn't remember talking, so he just made up a name, "It was Sumerian."

"What's that?" she asked, intrigued.

He nearly wanted to pound his head in the seat, but he kept a straight face. //What has happened to humanity?! Have they become a race of idiots?!//

The stewardess moved on to attend to other matters, and Methos found himself going back to the book 'Non Videt, Sed Video', a book written in a native Lingua Latina of the Second Century AD. Although Methos hadn't spoken Latin with a true Roman for close to two millennia, he *had* used it with other immortals who did not know or choose to use English. That's why it only took him a little bit of mental gear-switching to read it using only a pocket Latin-English dictionary that he had bought at a bookstore on the way to the airport.

'Non Videt, Sed Video' meant: 'He Does Not See, But I See'. A rather nice hint meaning: I see the Invisible Ones. It was a Watcher who had written this book, having made some really keen observations that were developed in the watching of immortals. It didn't spell out the answers Methos was searching for, but it did leave some good hints. It was also spiced with rather odd philosophy.

Has it ever occurred to you that there seems to be
some underlying destiny that guides this world?
On first observation of the way things are, we
must come to the conclusion that everything is
chaotic, having only the order that we choose to
give it. But look deeper, and remember history,
and you can only come to the conclusion that we
have progressed from past to present in the only
way we could. It is so obvious that history could
have progressed in no other fashion.


Methos' head was spinning as he tried to digest that one. He bookmarked it and left it behind, skipping to some other passage.

* * *

Axer wasn't even breathing heavily as he shut the door and walked over to the bar for a bottle of vodka. Everyone -- the two feds, even Kermit and the two Watchers -- were looking at him like he were some sort of demon.

"What?!" he finally asked after he slammed half a pint of the vodka as if it were water.

"Nothing," muttered Joe, looking away.

"Bloody pacifists," snapped Axer. "You wouldn't be so peace-loving if I'd let them kill you!" He stormed off to the basement. //Kate would understand, and I *know* LaCroix would!//

He had the shock of his life when he entered the basement and discovered LaCroix on the floor, in the process of pulling a broom handle out of his chest -- and Kate was nowhere to be seen. The room looked like a tornado had run amok in it.

"What happened?!" demanded Axer, running over and yanking the stick out of LaCroix, who gasped in pain and almost fainted once more. "Who did this?"

"I don't know," he whispered in a hoarse voice, trying to sit up. "He seemed to come out of nowhere. He took Kate."

"Which way did he go?"

"I don't know. I was dead at the time."

Axer was tempted to make him dead one more time, but instead he grabbed him by the shoulders and pulled him up in a threatening manner, "Can you sense your own kind?"

"Yes," admitted LaCroix.

"Then you're coming with me, now. It's still day out there, so he'll've had to have gone into the sewers. Is there a way to get down there from here?"

LaCroix nodded, "Janette had a door built."

Axer nodded. "It makes sense -- let's go. He can't have gone far."

* * *

The nerd looked down the barrel of that gun aimed for his face and smiled, "So you think murdering me is worth what you got on that film? Is NBC that hard up for ratings?"

"I'm not with the news!" she sneered.

"Then what good will that tape do?"

"About a million dollars," she smiled, pulling the trigger.

Jay, once Axer's Watcher, was now just another corpse lying on the side of the road.

* * *

"What was that?" Scully jumped an inch from the chair.

"A gun shot," Kermit was unconcerned. He was still examining the black box, afraid to test it, but still quite fascinated with it.

Coleen entered the room once more. Somewhere she had found a gun of her own. "I'll check it out."

"It's a waste of time..." said Kermit softly. "There's still a riot out there, you know."

Coleen made a face at him and exited the front door, shutting it after her.

Kermit smiled, "She's quite a woman, isn't she?"

Bill heard that and warned, "That she is -- but only if you have eyes in the back of your head and you don't mind a liver slam!"

That seemed to intrigue him even more, but he said nothing else. He just had a soft grin on his face that looked like his normal grin -- the only difference was that it wasn't as cold.

A cell phone rang, and after a brief search, it turned out to be Mulder's. Scully and Mulder looked at one another, and he answered it.

"Mulder," said the deep, clipped voice on the other end. It could only be one man.

"What do you want?" demanded Mulder. This was so uncharacteristic of the man that it worried him.

"Do you want to know the truth? The truth about the riots, the folks you've been associating with, their enemies? Perhaps... the betrayer in your midst?"

"Go on. I'm listening."

"No," the voice on the other end softly chuckled. "Not over the phone. Meet me at St. Andrew's." The phone clicked.

Mulder looked at Scully, "You know, I suddenly have a very religious feeling. Quite Catholic in fact."

She just stared at him. This time, she didn't even smile. Her expression was as cold and dead as a bog corpse.

* * *

Coleen used that same description for Jay's physical appearance. His face was a bloody, unrecognizable mass. Not even a dentist could have identified him, but Coleen could tell who he was. His hair, his shape, and the Watchers tattoo. By the looks of it, the killer had scrambled away.

On observation of Coleen's style, Kate had told herself that a lot of Axer had rubbed onto her. In this case, so had a few practical skills.

"I'll get that sonofabitch for you," whispered Coleen, rising from where she had unknowingly crouched. Her anger came not because the Watcher was her friend, but rather because he had become something of a fixture, almost like the neighborhood dog that comes around for a throw of the stick and maybe a few handouts. One does become attached to people, even if they're not close.

Her eyes blazed as she scented the air. Smoke and blood filled the air, but so did the faint but sharp scent of perfume. A distinctive smell, and she followed it.

Coleen had made an inner shift and become the hunter. Time and space flowed past her like meaningless trees and shrubs as she followed a trail that could have been as strong as a trail of blood.

* * *

Odin looked at his reflection in the near-frozen water, frozen in fear. He could see his face clearly, and it frightened him immensely. Every inch seemed to be alien.

"Damn you!" he howled at the reflection. "Leave me alone!"

The reflection screamed right back at him, "Help me!"

The reflection reached out imploringly, and seemed to grab at him. The hand caught his and tried to pull him into the pool. Odin screamed and struggled, trying keep above water... and he found himself struggling with only a block of ice and a shallow pool of water. There was no living reflection, no hands out to grab him and pull him through the mirror.

Breathing heavily, he scrambled back, and felt his spear shift from where it was strapped to his side. He grabbed it and felt instant sensations of calm.

Still grabbing onto it tightly, he crawled into an ice crevasse and waited. Then he felt into a deep sleep, which became a nightmare of memories...

*

...It was 1990, and Jake Draker had been traveling across the endless expanse of the Arctic Circle for a year, without any success. He had come across every form of animal and human -- from foxes and migratory birds to Inuit hunters and oil drillers. Seeing as none of them could help him in his quest, he shunned them all.

"It's gotta be around here somewhere..." he had long since started talking to himself, since there was nobody else worth talking to.

The land around him was as flat and barren as the last patch of ground.

He looked at his map, which said quite clearly that there was a cave nearby -- only there was nothing.

"Damn it!" he screamed, startling some birds who had apparently flew out of the ground.

Jake's eyes widened as he realized what it was that he'd seen. He ran over to where the birds had flown off, and found what he had been searching for: the cave.

It was a vertical cave entrance, and would require some good rope and climbing expertise. It wasn't too long before he'd hammered in his spikes, put on his miner's flashlight, and was descending.

The cave was pitch-black, and even with the light, it was hard to make out any details. Feeling his way with his feet, Jake made it over to what he felt was a man-made section of the cave. It was a gigantic room with a large stone table. The caked dust was about an inch thick on the table.

Looking around some more, he found items that should have been in a museum -- golden goblets adorned with gems, half- rotten furs, and ornamental daggers. At the far end of the table, he found a half-collapsed skeleton holding a spear.

"This is IT!" he yelled in triumph, his voice echoing a few times.

He grabbed the spear, oblivious to the unusual strength and energy that soon filled him. He was too busy patting himself on the back to question what he might have just done.

It was so dark that he wouldn't have been able to see the invisible anyway...

*

...But he remembered. In the present time he curled up into a ball, whimpering. "Go away! Leave me alone! Please..." His face as tight as cable, he whimpered softly, tears crawling down his filthy face.

Two wild wolves approached him from the shadows. One whimpered as well and licked his face.

* * * *


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