by Henry Wyckoff
A Highlander/Sentinel Crossover
He stood at the fo'c's'le, his eyes in the distance
His eyes were like mirrors to me.
Like fires and anvils, the visions of hell
And the torment are all that I see . . .
And he turns to me . . .
A translation of The First Watcher Chronicle -- The Kurgan
* * *
Joe was frowning, deep in thought. Technically, he was running the bar, but in reality, he wasn't. The Old Man's visit had really rattled him. "What the hell is he up to?"
In the corner of his eye he saw a movement. It came from the side door. He was about to yell over in his direction that deliveries came in the back door, but his voice froze when a ragged young man flashed his tattoo and slid along the floor, underneath the level of the countertop. The only way a customer would have known he was there was if one of them actually leaned over the bar.
"Sanctuary," he mouthed.
Sanctuary. Not really a Watcher code-word. More of a historical one. One that the Churches were quite used to. Something that says to each person -- please, help me, or you won't get it when your time comes. Joe'd had more than his own share of that.
Joe nodded, without looking in his direction. "Just stay put for now. You've done good so far."
The next thing that the kid whispered was, "Johannes Hues is a Hunter!"
That turned Joe's blood cold. A Hunter, and everyone thought it all had ended with Horton. Joe knew Hues too. A bit dedicated and closed-mouthed, but generally a good man. "Son of a bitch!"
* * *
Blair wished he could throw up himself, even though he hadn't drunk as much as Angela had. She was soaking in the tub, now that she had gained some semblance of consciousness.
He had the book out on the table, reading through the Latin. It was the only thing he could do to keep himself centered.
I knew now that this was not a dream
For before me stood three men
One to watch, one to hunt, one to mend
The men were three;
A scoundrel, a knight, and a king.
Blair shook his head. He knew the reason for poetry in the old days was to make what it said easier to remember, but these rhyme schemes were really horrid!
The Kurgan was a jolly old man
A jolly old man was he.
For jest his tribe would toss kids into pits
For the wolves to fight for meat.
A hair full of die
A curse to his eyes
As he's taking your life.
Methos of the flowing hair and the paint on his face
Beware his dark wrath and his fists that hit like a mace!
He was about to call for Angela to see what she thought about this material, but then he remembered. She wouldn't be interested in the slightest.
There was a knock at the door. Hesitantly, Blair opened it . . . to see none other than, "Adam Pierson."
"Hello, Mr. Sandburg."
There was an awkward silence for a few moments until Pierson broke it, "May I come in, or do I have to pretend it's a Tasters' Choice Moment?"
Blair was baffled for a second. "No -- I mean yes. Come in, Mr. Pierson."
"Just Adam, please." He looked around. "Very spacious. I like it."
"Actually, it's Jim's place."
He nodded, "That's what I assumed. When do you expect him to be back?"
"I don't know. We haven't really kept touch the last few days."
Adam nodded, "I see you like the classics." Then he did a double take, "That looks very old. What is it?"
"A book called Fallen Stars."
"May I?" Adam asked lightly, not even expecting a response. Leafing through it, he read at random:
For nine long nights he may have hung,
But I swear it was just a ninth day.
Each hand he ripped from the oak
And screamed forth his great pain.
His eyes were as ashen
As the flaming fires of Hell
When I stared into them
I knew I would die as well.
Blair nodded, "Does it make sense to you?"
"Badly-written poetry, but then again, the Middle Ages were full of bad Latin poets. Writers for that matter. Did you ever have to study Erasmus or Cicero?"
"No. I switched majors."
"Hmm . . . Very impressionistic in style," he mused, "as if he's trying to impress feelings onto you."
"I'd agree," Blair nodded, "if you can get past the bad poetry and look at the images, it's as intense as something Dante or Bosch could have created . . . except it seems to be from a soldier's point of view."
"If I may ask, why are you here? Is there some way I can help you?"
Pierson nodded, looking away from the book, "You might say that."
At that moment, Angela chose to enter the room, covered with just a towel. "Blair, do you have any --" She stopped in mid-step and stared at Adam, who looked just as shocked.
* * * *
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