by Henry Wyckoff
A Highlander/Sentinel Crossover
* * *
Methos smiled as he inhaled the smells and sights of the city around him. No matter how the technologies or the languages changed, a city would still be a city. There was this energy and constant activity about one that the countryside could never replace.
He chuckled to himself as he remembered one urban cowboy's personal description of the countryside; "It's like watching concrete settle, only less exciting."
Normally, he'd stop by a coffeehouse this time of day, to read the paper and catch up on the latest events, and it seemed that in a city not that far from Seattle, that would be the wisest thing to do.
Picking up a paper on the way to the closest coffeehouse he could see, it was only a matter of finding the right item on the menu before he immersed himself in the trivia.
It didn't take all that long for him to find the headline.
* * *
MAN FALLS OUT OF HOTEL!
Last night, about 7:30, a guest at the
Cascade Grande was shoved through a window
at least 150 feet from the ground. The
person in question landed in an unidentified
limo that was waiting near the front, and
the limo took off a moment after.
No witnesses have stepped forward
concerning the event, but hotel records
show that one Adam Pierson had rented a
room just fifteen feet from the window in
question, and since he is now missing, there
are no doubts that this is the man in
question. A photo of him was supplied by
the security cameras in the hotel bar.
There are descriptions of two men who
might be responsible for this act; both are
currently unidentified. Both are described
as wearing trenchcoats, but considering the
average climate in Cascade, no significant
leads can be derived from that description.
The police, if they have any leads, have not
released the possible ID of the limo or the
driver. The hotel staff is also remaining
silent on this matter.
This is all the information that the police
will reveal at this stage. Sources say that
Detective Jim Ellison has taken this case,
and if he has gained any insight in this
matter, he will not say, and in fact has
asked that the press not ask any more
questions until a press conference is called.
Independent sources suggest that this might
have been a possible assassination attempt.
John di'Anno, businessman and frequent guest
at the hotel, could have been a possible
target, but his secretary denies any such
suspicions, claiming that the family cannot
even imagine having any enemies who would
want them dead. "I'm not a politician!"
di'Anno joked in a phone interview.
Hues shook his head as he read the article. As usual, the press was out and about, trying to print something newsworthy, but even their 'independent sources' were unable to provide anything substantial. They didn't even print out what the cops must have known already, that it was di'Anno's limo. The hotel staff was the only intelligent group in this whole case, knowing enough to keep their mouths shut.
Paulo was on his cell phone, chatting in rapid-fire Italian to people who must have been relatives. It was hard to tell, but Hues could have sworn he heard the name 'Paulina' thrown in here and there. By the look on Paulo's face, it was hard to tell if he was having any luck or not. Maybe he was still haggling, but this was the third call that he had made so far. It was a good thing that it was Paulo's personal phone, otherwise Hues would have had to pay through the nose.
Hues had always been the stingy type.
He couldn't help but replay the conversation that he'd had with this naive altar boy, who still had something of what one might call 'morals' and 'ideals.' Who knew . . . maybe the Italian still read the Bible and prayed on an everyday basis? Hues had to be the first to admit that he trusted the religious types more than the secular types. They worked harder, rarely went on drinking binges, and actually believed in such concepts as honesty and duty. Of course, the religious types had to learn some everyday realities as much as the non-believers, and they were even more dependable after that conversion, or would it be corruption?
Hues had the sinking feeling that Paulo would not be as easy to turn as the rest. It would take a little bit of work.
He made a call of his own, to a bookworm at the local university. "Hans . . . have there been any unusual visitors recently? People asking the wrong questions and looking like they know what they're talking about?
"I understand that you'd get people like that on a regular basis. After all, it's a University and papa is paying for the drug money along with the rent.
"You're right. That's definitely strange, but that's not what I'm interested in.
"No . . . I really do think that man belongs in an institution, but that's not the point.
"Stop right there. How is it possible for anyone to check out that material? It's Special Collections!
" . . . I see . . . how long has he had it?
"Worse and worse! And his field is in South American Anthropology?
"Sort of? But he'd have no real reason to be digging into mystic poetry written in Latin?
"If it's related . . . but we both know that it's not related in any obvious way.
"Thank you. And do yourself a favor; get some rest in the real world. You're starting to frighten me.
"Thank you. I might just take you up on that offer, but personally, my tastes don't run towards the unshaven, unwashed, hefty figures."
* * *
Latro felt much better after having a shower and putting on some clean clothes. After some coffee and sliced fruit brought up by room service, he was beginning to feel human once more. About as human as one could get with his particular condition.
The article was a joke. No significant information, but enough to give him the information that he needed to know. The police felt they were on to something, and obviously, the Watchers knew about what was happening as well, but had their own pieces of missing information.
After following a few references to this 'Amanda' episode, his eyebrows had truly risen.
"This could get to be very interesting."
As he started to comb the tangles out of his hair, he came to a decision. He'd actually play the game. It wasn't that often that he actually came across a genuine mystery. Never in his life had he encountered a long-lived one such as Methos who had not been either Angel or Devil.
"Jim Ellison, I think it's about time I paid you a visit."
* * * *
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