by Henry Wyckoff
A Highlander/Sentinel Crossover
September 1998

Chapter 19

Latro lazily leaned against a wall, the head of the bearded axe hanging from his fingers and the shaft swinging back and forth like a pendulum. "So, Methos. I can see why the cop would want to take me in -- after all, I was perched outside his window -- but you . . . obviously a fall from a high-rise hotel made you some new friends and didn't hurt you the slightest. What's your problem?"

For a brief moment, Methos' mouth hung open in disbelief and all he could do was stutter. "What's my problem? What the bloody hell is yours!? You push me out of a window because you want to find out if I'm an Angel, you stalk me -- for who knows why -- you tell me what the problem is!"

Latro shrugged carelessly and put his axe back, not even caring that Methos still had his sword out. "I got curious. For as long as I've lived, I thought that I was truly alone -- the only man born who was doomed to immortality. Then I find you, and for the first time ever since I killed my first Angel, I find a man who genuinely protests. That's never happened -- the Angels, and even the fallen ones, never relinquish their master. Their dying breath is always spent trying to convince me to have faith, or just get laid and lose the attitude, depending on their particular orientation. You did none of that, and I had to find out why." He smiled, "If it helps, I'm convinced that you're no Angel."

"So what now?"

"I move on. I find Angels, and I continue to kill them until God speaks to me in a voice I can hear."

Methos' expression had gradually changed from anger to concern and puzzlement. "I can quote an expert on this matter. Nietzsche: 'God is dead.'"

"I have another quote: 'Nietzsche is dead.' I don't need faith. My very life nearly two thousand years after I was born tells me that there is a supreme deity out there. It is my intention to find him. I've spent my whole life crossing the world once and again. I've been to India, Tibet, China, Japan, Mexico City, Rome, and Jerusalem. Hell -- I've even been to Sedona and New Jersey! I haven't heard a peep from God, but I've seen Angels and Devils. Why do they get to talk with him and not us?"

Methos was getting more and more spooked. He knew philosophy and talked it -- he was a philosopher -- but this was a bit out of his league from the standpoint of a therapist. Still, as a living being in this world with more years than this former Centurion, he had a mass of collected observations. "Who knows why? I mean, that's the purpose of the mysteries . . . to have a question and search for the answer."

Latro spat on the ground. "Mortals, with their short lives, somehow find theirs. Or at least answers that work for them. I've had nothing in more lifetimes than I care to count! To have no tidbits, no crumbs, is agony. Is this Hell? It has become so to me."

"Life is tough."

Latro's gesture was one of irritation, throwing imaginary balls up in the air.

The gesture spooked a raven that had been perched on a garbage dumpster, and Latro's expression became deeply pensive.

* * *

Blair found himself alone with Angela once more. Everyone else had taken off after the stalker, and normally Blair would have followed, but somehow he felt his attention was more needed here.

Angela's eyes had cracked open. "What happened?"

His smile and snort was one of disbelief and surprise. "You don't remember?"

"I know I drank too much!" she frowned. "I meant just now. It was strange. I couldn't see to the window, but I was dreaming that I could see through the wall. There was this young man in a trench-coat with an axe, listening in, then he seemed to notice me, and it was like he was actually grabbing me in the dream. I mean, I knew it was a dream, and you're not supposed to feel anything, but I did. I felt him grab at me and try to kill me with his axe. I was screaming and screaming, and this . . . wild cat of some sort knocked him out of the way. Then he ran into the forest."

Blair's eyes were intent. There was no way she could have consciously known of what had happened downstairs, in her state -- and she was just waking up now. "Are you sure it was a forest?"

"As opposed to what? A desert? No, it was a forest . . . " She held her head in pain. "I know I didn't see the man before, but there was something in his eyes that scared the hell out of me. Raven eyes." She shook her head, "I know I must sound crazy . . . "

"No!" he assured her. "I can't really explain right now, but it makes a lot of sense! Now, about this dream . . . "

Outside the windows, blocked from their view, a raven sat and watched with interest.

* * *

At this moment, Simon Banks had managed to escape the tipsy wife of the Don. Alone at last, he pretended to admire the layout of the place, which wasn't hard to manage -- his admiration was quite genuine.

Then he heard what he thought was none other than the raspy voice of Joe Dawson. He stayed put and heard other voices pop up: a young-sounding Italian and the Don.

Joe was explaining, "That's who we are. Most people stumble on it in a much more mundane manner." He tried to hide his laugh, "I've never, never heard of an Immortal just falling into someone's lap like that!" He got himself under control. "The point of all this is that by necessity, we have to keep a lid on everything. You can understand the utter chaos that would develop, even in this secular era, if it was known to everyone that immortals walk the Earth. Even in controllable situations, it's never good."

The Don spoke, "I can certainly appreciate it, and now I can even better appreciate Mr. Pierson's stealthy manner concerning those matters. So, what's your ultimate point? You wouldn't expose your organization unless you wanted something from me in return."

"You're right. You have a price on anyone with one of our tattoos, and we have many honest agents who still have their hearts in the right place." Joe sighed, "Our organization has a history similar to the Catholic Church. We had a major schism in the very beginning -- one branch thinking that immortals should be watched without interference, and the other branch thinking that they were abominations who should be exterminated without conscience. There were good and bad men on both sides, all with their reasons, but the point is that Hues is either a rotten apple that was once good, or that he's just born bad. We think he's showed his true colors as a Hunter, and as such, we declare him to be rogue and target-practice, but not the rest of our organization."

There was a pause. "In other words, all this storytelling was just to keep my men from busting up your shop and finishing up what that mine in Vietnam couldn't complete?"

"That's one way of putting it, but I speak for more than myself."

"Sure. Just wanted to get the whole story. Just so that your story is complete, my boys picked up Hues outside a coffee shop. We didn't get the old man -- some cop sprung him and arrested that pack -- but we have Hues in my wife's whip-and-chain room. We tried getting him to talk with all kinds of ingenious methods that don't leave marks, but when they didn't work I gave the boys my okay to take some more drastic measures."

Simon had decided that it was time he stepped in, except he was suddenly feeling something sharp against his throat.

"Turn around slowly." The whisper sounded like a blend of French and German. Banks turned and saw a man he couldn't remember having seen before. The man's smile was cold. "Why, it's Captain Robinson!"

* * * *

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