STREETS
by Henry Wyckoff
A Highlander/Sentinel Crossover
September 1998



Chapter 3

Methos patted himself on the back. Saying as little as possible, he was able to convince John that the secret the two of them now shared should remain between just the two of them. Naturally, he would expect that John would tell those he truly trusted, but the secret should stay within the family circle. Anyone who blabbed might just find themselves given the gift of a Colombian necktie.

"How long have you lived, if I may ask?" John was naturally curious.

"I really don't know, in terms of an exact number, but let me put it this way. I'm old enough to speak Sumerian and Etruscan, and Romulus and Remus were long and far from being born when I learned those languages. Rome was just a sheepfield, and not even much of one."

John gulped. "And these Watchers?"

"I posed as a mortal and joined their organization. It seemed to me the best way to hide from everyone. I mean, who would expect that a watcher of immortals would actually be one? One of them found out recently and passed that tidbit on to the network. From what your man says, one of them was probably there to either keep an eye on me or to see if I really was immortal. He seems to have been very interested and jumpy, in any event. The man who actually shoved me out the window was no Watcher . . . but he wasn't immortal either."

"I don't understand."

"Neither do I as yet, but given the clues to the puzzle, I have no reason not to believe him. I truly remember him from Rome, during the time of Nero, and he remembered me. He calls himself Latro Campi. Does that mean anything to you?"

John scratched his chin. "It means 'Highwayman of the Campus' -- gibberish by any account."

"That's what I thought. I wonder if 'campus' has any significance."

"It was a place for soldiers to practice."

Methos nodded, "He mentioned being a soldier stationed in Jerusalem. Said he got cursed by Jesus for slamming one of the disciples in the groin. Became immortal because of it, he claims."

John collapsed in helpless laughter.

* * *

Enough time had passed, the Watcher figured, for him to move about once more. He called his boss on the phone. "I'm in the clear for now. What should I do?

"I've been hiding, but I do know this much; di'Anno has remained in his compound ever since last night, and there's no evidence to suggest that Pierson is dead. Not alive, either -- we don't know if di'Anno disposes of bodies on his own property.

"The police, if they suspect anything, aren't doing anything in the open, but then again, it could be that with Robinson and Ellison on the case, they're acting under the table. That's another variable.

"No sir. We don't have enough manpower to watch Blair.

"I see, sir . . . that makes it much more serious than we thought. I don't like this a bit . . .

"Very good, sir. I'll keep you updated.

"Oh, sir? I just remembered. There's a price on me. It seems I got spotted by people other than Detective Ellison, and the mob might be concerned that I was connected to a possible attempt on di'Anno's life. It's a one grand bounty for information alone, and ten grand if the Don has a chance to question me. No money if I'm dead, so I'm convinced he just wants information.

"No sir! The Watchers taught the Mob how to spy, and I've taught best. They won't be touching me with a laser sight, let alone a pole.

"Very good, sir. Over and out."

Johannes Hues smiled. Esperanto had it uses. Any other language, and he might've had to sneak into a back alley somewhere. He waved for another cappuccino.

* * *

Simon had expected to see Jim walk in like that, all unexpected, but he hadn't expected to see Blair and a stranger come in like that. With a disapproving look on his face he said, "Yes, come on in and have a seat. Why don't you introduce me to your friend?" He wasn't into Angela's skin type -- too pale for his own tastes -- but he still found it hard to keep his eyes off her.

"This is Angela, a friend of mine who got out of Dodge pretty fast. It seems the files we dug through to help out in the Amanda case startled more than a few hornets. Angela, this is Captain Banks." Blair looked very serious, "We have a situation, and I thought that since you're partly involved, I should let you know what's going on. I'll catch Jim at home."

"What is it?" He wasn't sure whether to get nervous or not, seeing as how Blair got rattled by a lot of things. Banks was almost afraid that what Blair had to say would somehow involve the name 'Amanda.'

"The Watchers. We think they're going to try something hazardous to our health."

"That's worse."

"Yep. The Watcher that Jim flushed out was almost afraid that he was going to be purged Mob-style."

Banks sighed, "Well, it looks like they acted already. It looks like a lawyer we once knew got shoved out of a tall building, but there weren't any witnesses to say who it was. Jim did catch a Watcher who later slipped away, but there were also a lot of mob snoops now too. Word on the street is that the price is one to ten thousand for the Watcher."

"What does the mob have to do with this?"

"Out of all the limos parked around the hotel, whose would our lawyer have to fall into from a hundred and fifty feet?"

They both looked too exhausted to play games.

"He fell into the limo of John di'Anno, the local Don."

Blair looked worried, "That's not good."

"You're telling me. Speaking about that -- telling, that is -- you might want to tell me what Angela has to do with all of this? The 'spelled out' version this time?"

Angela and Blair looked at one another. "Who wants to go first?"

Banks sighed, "Angela. How about you start? I have to listen to Blair every day."

She nodded, "I've known Blair for years now, without any incident." Banks wasn't quite sure what she meant by that. "It was a few days ago when everything started. Blair told me about how he needed me to do some looking up on things. People, actually. It seems that a few things were just too strange for even Blair, so I did as he asked."

Banks held up his hands, "Time out. Why don't you explain that in some more detail. Who was the target of your snooping, and what kind of suspicious things are you talking about?"

"Oh . . . the triumvirate that you formed with Inspector Harlowe and Adam Pierson . . . Harlowe's miraculous recovery from multiple shots from a few assault rifles . . . your lack of an identity starting ten years ago and earlier . . . official police photos from the last century and this one, showing the very same Harlowe down to his scar . . . shall I go on?"

The Captain's expression was rueful, "I guess I shouldn't be surprised. It catches up with you sooner or later. All right, what happened next?"

"In the process of helping out Blair, I called in a favor from Scotland Yard, Interpol, and from some friends I have in the archives. The information isn't totally public domain, so it was going to raise a few eyebrows. I figured the risk wasn't all that great, but at the same time, it's expected that they'll tell someone what kind of research I was doing. Couple that with Jim's discovery of the Watchers, and that particular agent's actions, and you can imagine our fears that this organization is going to do something nasty."

"Do you have any more evidence?" Banks sounded very skeptical. Almost adversarial.

"At the moment, no hard physical evidence."

Blair spoke up, "But I have some evidence."

They both stared at Blair now, who looked uncomfortable. "I had to trip some alarms too. I found this book in Special Collections, and in translation, it's called Fallen Stars. You'd have to understand the imagery to know what it's really about; observations of immortals. It was printed quickly after Gutenburg created the printing press, and written in Latin, which makes life very hard for me."

Angela almost hit the roof, "You didn't tell me!"

"It wasn't that long ago when I found it. Anyway, I finally read the last of it this morning. I was going to get it to you tonight after we went home."

"Sure . . . "

"Children!" Banks nearly yelled. "How is that book significant?"

Blair took a deep breath, "It's possibly the first Watcher chronicle. There must have been written chronicles before that, so this was probably a reprint. Modern historians dismiss it as fiction, poetry, or what not, but if you're reading it in a literal sense, they're talking about people that you might have heard of, even if I haven't."

"Oh? Like who?"

"Darius, Juan Sanchez Villa Lobos Ramirez, the Kurgan, Methos, Amanda, Kenneth Farrowfallen --"

"I've heard enough!" Banks interrupted him. "That many names in the same book is too much for coincidence. Are you sure it's the genuine article?"

"Carbon dating isn't as accurate for that time range, but that and chemistry suggest that it falls around the same era as the advent of the printing press."

"So it's a chronicle of immortals?"

"Not completely. My Latin is very rusty -- my specialty is in South America -- but from what I've been able to figure out, it's also a chronicling of the Watchers, and a schism that formed as soon as the Watchers did. It could help us out in the present."

"Oh?"

"The organization had three schools of thought. Immortals should be observed -- they consider themselves the true Watchers; immortals are demons who should be exterminated -- they are called the Hunters, and the third school of thought was unspecified. That page appears to be damaged by time and wear."

"I hate Hunters . . . " Banks appeared to be fighting with memories. "I didn't know they were a branch of the Watchers . . . " He sucked in his gut and came to a decision, "Get that book translated the right way and get back to me. If that thing has anything useful to say, I want to know."

Blair nodded, and he and Angela left Banks to his work. But Blair stopped when he heard Banks cough. "Yes?"

"That's the only thing I want you doing. You stay out of the rest. Let me or Jim handle it, all right."

"Sure." Blair knew it was a white lie.


* * * *


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