STREETS
by Henry Wyckoff
A Highlander/Sentinel Crossover
September 1998



Chapter 20

Hues was muttering to Banks, "Now move it nice and slow . . . "

Though they moved slowly and carefully, their entrance was not unnoticed, especially by the lone bodyguard who had his gun out in a flash.

"The gun goes down or he dies!" Hues shook the axe menacingly.

Joe and Paulo were both shocked, and Hues wasn't sure whether it was his actions or his bruised and bloody body.

Banks was trying to keep things calm. "Now don't be making a hasty move . . . "

"You'd better pray I don't!" Hues spat.

The Don shook his head, "Luigi!"

The bodyguard shot Hues straight through the right kneecap, sending him to the floor in a screaming mass, leg bending like a flamingo's as he dropped the axe.

The Don shook his head once more, "You're so silly . . . you think we don't know how to handle your kind? Threatening us with an axe? Don't you know about guns? Why, Captain Banks had one you could have used!" He nodded at Luigi. "Don't let him die just yet -- he could still be useful."

Simon just stared at the bodyguard, Luigi. "Good shot." His own leg had been only an inch or two away from Hues' at the time.

* * *

As Tutyr watched as Methos and Latro conversed about the nature of immortality and God, he reflected how the tables had turned, and how this tortured soldier had turned his own direction. "My old friend, how is it that you have fallen so far? The friend I knew wouldn't have murdered anyone."

Sadly, he walked away, knowing the truth.

Naturally, that would be the last thing he would report. His own demons were not totally banished to begin with, and what was more, the stirring of the past had left him with a considerable amount of heartache that would not allow him to keep his composure.

"Going somewhere, old man?"

In his deep thoughts, he hadn't seen Jim approach. "Yes. Elsewhere. My work is done."

"Oh?"

Tutyr shrugged, "My mission has reached a resolution of sorts."

"What mission was that?"

"Simply to determine if Pierson was immortal and to find out how much you knew."

"What is your conclusion?"

He shrugged again. "Pierson is a mortal who survived by means of a very lucky accident. The superstitious di'Annos misinterpreted this very improbable event and jumped to conclusions. Latro is an enigma who has stated quite adamantly that he doesn't mind being watched, so long as he is undisturbed. Maybe he'll be found in a database of previous observations, or maybe not."

"Why are you so upset?"

Tutyr looked very irritated for a moment but quickly hid it. "I have a few unresolved issues."

"Yet you say your job is done?" Jim's skepticism was evident.

"Yes. Why are you so concerned?"

Jim's expression was not benevolent. "Your organization had Blair spooked and all of us scared to death you'd try to purge us, just because we found out you don't have lives of your own and have to spend them watching others. If you're leaving, let me give you a warning; if your kind pulls any more stunts in my city, you're going to regret it."

"Oh? What about all those rapes, muggings, and murders that go on every minute? Isn't that your job too?"

"That's what the department is for. My business is much more personal, if you catch my meaning."

"Of course. I've dealt with emotionally corrupted officials with their own personal agendas for nearly four of your lifetimes."

Jim glared at him. "Technically, you've done nothing wrong with your own hands, so I can't book you, but I can say this under the table; you've got until sunset to get out of Cascade, and you'd better not come back."

"Whatever." Tutyr didn't really give a damn about the cop, and just went on his way as if Jim was nothing more than a cloud of hot air drifting down the alley.

The hard thing about this was that Jim almost thought he was really starting to like the old man. There was something about his past that spoke to Jim, once he looked past all the taking of lives.

Jim waited there long after the old man had left, and he found another old man coming his way. Adam Pierson walked alone, an unreadable expression on his face.

"What happened? Did you kill him too?"

Pierson's reaction was similar to being unexpectedly slapped in the face. "No. He's not my kind. I don't know what he is, but he had a very good point. What could I do to him that hadn't been done already, that could be done?"

"You let him walk?"

"I had to, especially as I wasn't his kind of murder victim. He selectively goes after Angels or Devils."

Jim sighed, "So technically, since you're not pressing charges for his pressing you quite hard against a high-rise window, there is no case."

"Why the long face? Does the boss give you a hard time for unbillable hours?"

Jim snorted. "No. The old man mentioned a few demons he hadn't quite killed yet -- forgive the pun -- it just raised a few of my own."

"You were starting to like the old fossil?"

"He could probably outlast the both of us in a whorehouse!" He looked off in the distance. "Yeah. I liked him. I just hate to see him go on like this, knowing what I know about him."

"It happens."

They walked in silence for a moment. "What did you think about Latro?"

"I think Latro is a very lucky man, as Gurdjieff might have said if he'd known the nature of his student. All of Latro's thoughts are spiritual and intellectual in nature, without a crude thought in his soul. Gurdjieff would have approved of it."

"So you're saying that the guy has no life?"

"From a modern American point of view, most definitely."

* * *

Banks lit the cigar that di'Anno had given him. "This is my kind of party."

"What? The cigars and cognac?"

"No. This not being a working vacation after all. I was afraid that I'd have to spend all my time weaving through conversations until someone said something stupid."

"You don't know my parties well enough then. If it's going right, nobody has time to talk." Di'Anno smiled, "I hear that you did some fast talking too."

"Huh?"

"My wife. Personally, I really don't care who she screws just so long as she tells me all the juicy details. Hell, she even wants me to videotape her orgies most of the time. I just wanted to let you know that I think you're a good kid and a damned miracle -- I think you're the first honest cop I've ever seen in my life. Morally honest, that is."

"Thank you." Banks had a creeping feeling that this conversation was going somewhere.

"I had a thought . . . "

Here it was.

"You immortals don't have much to fear, but you really don't know when the knives are going to hit you in the back. My network, however, is most definitely suited to watching out for your kind, now that we know what to look for. I'm thinking that lives and good, watchful neighbors have a certain cost. If, say for the sake of conversation, those neighbors were to be elsewhere, what would the opportunity cost be?"

"Spell it out, di'Anno. I've never been one for delicate dialogue."

"As you wish. My boys slip any Hunters we find into wet concrete so deep and thick that nobody will ever find them, and we leave the Watchers alone. We slip you anything we find that might make your life much more secure. In return, I want you to look the other way when we run our sensitive operations."

"Just after you praise me for being a moral man?"

Di'Anno laughed, "You're not getting it. I'm not talking about running drugs -- I make more money through honest business than most drug runners make in their lives. What I mean is that if you value your back, you'll keep your officers out of all future situations that involve immortals, Watchers, and Hunters. We'll take care of it."

Banks was skeptical, "What do you get out of it?"

"I was given the rare opportunity to glimpse more into life than most people do. I know there is a God now. I also know what it's like to get shot in the back for no reason at all. Just say that I'm a Good Samaritan who was sinful enough to start his good ways after he saw the light."

"Is there some story you haven't told anyone yet? Angels in the city?"

"You might say that. Angels and Devils. I've had both on my shoulder. We all do, don't you know."

* * * *


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