by Henry Wyckoff
Crossover: XF, DW (4th Doctor), HL, ST:Voy, and the world of David Eddings
Windows? I Think Not!
Janeway frowned as the monitor displayed the last moments
that occurred before the intruder and his hostage, the two
guests, and Chakotay vanished from the ship. She had
reviewed the security camera clip several times, and it
still failed to provide the information that she truly
needed to act. The final moments once more came to the
screen. The scene that none of them had seen with their own
There was a chase leading to a dead end, a five-second
scuffle, and something that baffled her to no end. Somehow,
the intruder waved his hand and opened up a door that led to
somewhere that wasn't on this ship. The wiry man chased the
intruder, this Murgo, through the door. Powys was clearly
screaming at him not to, but he didn't listen. Powys looked
annoyed and jumped after him, as did Chakotay, who appeared
to be in a mindless adrenaline rush. Then the door vanished
as if it were never there. Security soon arrived on the
scene. They immediately ran off, believing that they had
reached the wrong location.
"This is all that the ship has to show us," said Janeway,
trying desperately to hide her fatigue, and failing, facing
a very concerned Doctor and the somewhat complacent/paranoid
Zedar. "If you have any ideas, I'd be glad to hear them."
The Doctor's expression was if anything amazed and almost
childish, as he exclaimed, "I've heard of dimension doors,
but this is absolutely incredible!" Given the situation,
Janeway would have expected this Doctor to be frantic,
grave, or angry, but she wasn't expecting to see an
expression of an almost academic interest on his face, as if
he was a child given a new toy.
Janeway tilted her head, "Doctor, please explain yourself."
She was proud of herself for hiding what she really wanted
to say to him.
That was a mistake, for now that he was in his own element,
the Doctor was unstoppable. "Your warp drive operates on a
similar principle. Imagine the vast distances connecting two
points, and connect them with a straight line. If you were
to travel these distances in a linear fashion, you would
take up a great deal of time. If you tried to lessen that
time by going faster, you start to feel Einstein's time
dilation effect." He grabbed his scarf, and then stretched
it between both hands as far as his arms would go. "Warp
drives fold space so that you can effectively cross vast
distances without warping time," he brought the scarf
together so that his fingers touched, "because you're not
approaching the speed of light." The fingers of his right
hand walked across the fold. "Dimensional doors operate on
the same principle, except that you can walk from one point
to the next, instead of using a ship. But to go forward or
backward in time... that shouldn't be possible with
dimension doors, much the same as in warp drive." His eyes
widened, "The logistical requirements are inconceivable!
Aiming the door would also be quite a feat. I don't even
know how it would be possible!"
For all the man's manner, Janeway found herself nodding. For
all of his mystery, he might as well have been an
absent-minded professor from the Academy.
Zedar smiled at that point, "You talk like a Melcene. You're
ignoring one very important point."
The Doctor was totally oblivious to the almost arrogant
manner in which Zedar said that, and probably didn't even
wonder what a Melcene was. He smiled innocently. "And what
would that be?"
"There is a vast multitude of possibilities undreamed of in
Janeway smiled, "If I were Jean-Luc Picard, I would say that
it seems that Shakespeare spoke a universal truth. But as
myself, I must admit that I have more faith in the things
that are dreamt of in my philosophy."
"Then how do you account for what just happened, and how do
you propose to address it? If you say that time travel is
not possible with a dimension door, and the Murgo truly did
go back in time, then you've just eliminated an option."
Janeway's own expression became almost arrogant, "In our own
history, scientists have always made progress by taking the
basic laws of the universe by faith. They were always
A new voice entered the room. It was the Nightman, "Only
because they threw in proportionality constants that
incorporated the hidden variables which could not or would
not be measured. Faith goes both ways, as do intuition and
They turned to find two newcomers: the Nightman and Duncan
MacLeod. Once the shock of their silent entrance had passed,
Janeway and the Doctor were shocked to see that both were
dressed in authentic 20th Century clothing. Duncan was
wearing a black leather coat that reached to his knees. His
clothes were of natural cotton (no matter how advanced
organic chemistry was, synthetic fibers always looked like
synthetic fibers), and his canvas and rubber athletic shoes
looked like they came out of a museum. The Nightman,
although his outward transformation seemed even more
drastic, appeared to look more his normal self. On their
belts, they openly wore swords.
Duncan spoke, "Let's save some time and break a secret. We
can tell you exactly when and where they went."
Janeway paled in both shock and uncertain anger, "What do
you mean? What role do you have in this? What's with the --"
she gestured wildly, "-- clothes and the swords?"
The Nightman answered. "We know when and where they went
because we remember it. You see... we know that they went to
Tucson of November 20, 1996 because we were there."
"How? I don't recall hearing about any time travelling
"You wouldn't have heard about it, because we travelled in
one direction, one day at a time. You see, Captain..." He
hesitated, as if he wanted to change his mind and pretend
that this never happened. "Mr. MacLeod and myself are
immortals. It took a while for these events to jog my
memory, but I experienced the events that are about to
happen, and will experience it once more as my current self.
So will Mr. MacLeod, who was elsewhere as his past self," he
looked meaningfully at those in the room, "and so will you,
for my memory is clear on that event."
Janeway shook her head, not believing what she was hearing.
"I can't believe I'm hearing this... from either of you!"
"Excuse me for shoving a sock in your mouth, Captain, but
we'd better head off this line of conversation. I'm about to
prove to you that we're who we say we are to save time. Once
you're convinced, I don't think you'll have any reason to
dig in your heels, would you?"
Janeway stared as the Nightman pulled out a knife and
slammed it into his heart in one smooth motion. He grunted a
little, holding back a scream, as he fell to his knees. He
ripped the knife out of his chest, remaining still as his
face drained, his hands gripping a chair so tightly that his
knuckles turned white. Janeway was so shocked by it that all
she could do was stammer. She couldn't even order an
emergency beam to sick bay, she was so shocked.
A few moments later, and the Nightman was standing
straighter, with some of the color returned. "In five
minutes, you won't even know that this happened. The rip in
the clothing could be interpreted in many different ways."
"No questions, please. Let's just get moving."
"But how are we going to get there?"
The Nightman looked meaningfully at the Doctor, who looked
startled, "The TARDIS?"
* * * *
"All right," Scully was rubbing her head, "what should we
Jan was deep in thought, "It wouldn't be good if we took
this Murgo to the police. However, would we say? What
charges would we file, when no witnesses will be pressing
They had wisely moved locations to a filthy alleyway, where
the Murgo lay handcuffed in the rental. Everyone else leaned
against either the rental or Methos' car. Silk wasn't in the
discussion, but he was keeping his ears open, hoping that he
could eventually make sense out of this mess. He had come to
accept that he had truly walked to 'another world' that was
ahead in some ways and behind in others. In this world, Silk
believed, the worldly Tolnedrans and Melcenes would thrive,
because there was no magic. That didn't stop the Murgo from
using his own magic, but apparently there was nobody from
this world with the skills or power. Or the belief. Yet,
there were many wonders in this world that could well
qualify as magic in his own world.
Silk had learned the names of these new people, and had
managed to make some mental notes about them.
Powys, it appeared, was about the closest thing to a
sorcerer in this world: a man enhanced with such uncommon
luck that he could count on getting the rolls he wanted.
However, Silk knew it would be much more accurate to say
that Powys was not a sorcerer. Of them all, Silk knew that
this was the one wild card. It took one to know
Methos in many ways resembled a Drasnian in both physical
appearance and personality: he was of medium-build, had a
runner's strength (as opposed to the Cherek muscle-bound
strength), and a very nervous manner. Not as in frightened,
but rather as in always expectant and ready to act. His
curiosity was obviously alight, to the point of almost being
Jan, the tall and very muscular man, looked more like an
Arend than an Alorn, with his blond hair and the physique of
a knight. However, unlike the Arends, this man appeared to
lack the mindlessness of an Arend: he possessed good sense,
self-control, and the seriousness of a Sendar. Silk
shuddered as the name of one very Arendish Arend ran through
his mind: Mandorallen, the Mimbrate knight who had believed
that he could single-handedly slaughter a whole army by
himself. Now that he thought about it, he realized that Jan
even looked like Mandorallen, minus the plate mail armor and
the sword. But then again, Jan might not need the armor and
Scully was a very serious woman who seemed to be actively
controlling her irritation and fear. She was very afraid of
something -- what it was he didn't know yet. She was also
confused. But she was also the one clearly in charge. He
smiled as he wondered if Scully was the reincarnation of
someone that he knew, someone who not only took control of
situations, but was also known for her sharp tongue. If that
was the case, she had certainly learned how to control herself.
Chakotay, who came from the 'ship', was as confused as Silk
was, but he also seemed to be aware of something that nobody
else was. He looked around as if he were sight-seeing
tourist... or picking out things that were very familiar. If
Chakotay were foolish enough to display any emotions linked
to certainty or even understanding, Silk knew whose
footsteps to follow.
Sarah Jane Smith, the woman who had been kidnapped by the
Murgo, was recovering from her scrapes and bruises quite
well, and it appeared as if she was used to it. She remained
silent while the two agents argued back and forth, and was
even relaxed. Worried, yes, but not frightened or confused.
In fact, she even looked like someone returning home after a
long voyage. Perhaps this was her home. Silk found it
incredible how without physically vanishing, she could seem
to be invisible. Nobody seemed to notice her except
himself. He made a mental note to observe her and see if he
could learn her trick.
Scully stared up at the sky. "If we can't press any charges,
we'll have to let him go. Unless of course, you want to kill
him and leave him buried in a ditch."
Jan shook his head, "The man might truly be a criminal, but
I agree with you."
Powys laughed, jumping back into the conversation, "How
noble! Let a criminal go, a man you know is going to cause
trouble, because you insist on obeying laws made by men who
never anticipated situations like this!"
Scully looked irritated, "Oh? What would you do?"
"I'd shoot him full of drugs and send him to the police for
psychiatric evaluation. They're bound to keep him for at
least a few days to figure out what the hell is going on,
let alone decide whether they should keep him or let him go.
I figure the padded rooms would be a better place of
confinement than the jail, and if he starts talking..." he
smiled. "You know how crazy people talk. If we need him, we
can interrogate him there, and dismiss his ravings as
insanity, even if he's telling us what we need to know.
After all, I doubt what he has to say would be even remotely
sane by the current definition."
Scully stared at him, but Jan gaped in shock, "I LIKE it!"
Chakotay moved in at this point. "How would you keep him
there? It's most likely a low-security facility, and this
man has demonstrated more than anything else that he can go
where he wants."
Powys shook his head. "Not in a moment." He opened the door,
where the Murgo lay on the back seat, glaring at him.
Pulling back the man's sleeves, he pointed out some ridges
under the skin, going along the length of the arm. "Surgical
implants. I wondered how he could fire off lasers like
he did, and I just thought of checking his hands."
"Let me see!" Scully looked at the arms, and saw that there
were certainly instruments surgically placed under the skin.
The cuts were well stitched, but the signs were still there.
She also found the subtle holes in the skin of his fingers,
where the lasers probably came out. She couldn't however,
find a power source. "Where would the power source be?"
Powys smiled, "We'll need a knife to find that out."
Scully shook her head. "Not here."
Powys crossed his arms, digging in his heels. "You advocate
moving him to a hospital, where he might take back control
of the situation? How would you feel if he took a hostage?
Then again, he's a killer, so he might even kill a few first
to let you know he means business."
Silk found it interesting that when everyone else got angry
or annoyed, their pitch lowered; Powys' pitch rose.
She looked uncertain. "All right. We don't take him to a
hospital, but you're not going to open him up out here."
He smiled. "All right. We disable the laser, and to hell
with the power supply. No cuts either."
Scully raised her eyebrows, "How do you propose to do that?"
Powys smiled again, and Silk had a feeling that they were about to
get a big surprise. He stretched out the man's arm. "Look
at this." He raised up his right hand dramatically, and
slammed it down on the Murgo's forearm. There was a
sizzling sound and the smell of flesh burning, and the Murgo
began to scream. Then the sizzling sounds and the screaming
stopped. His eyes closed, and he teeth clenched, as he
struggled to keep from screaming any more. His forearms
looked as if they'd been pulled out of a fire a little bit
after the nick of time.
Scully stared at the sight with her jaw dropped open. Powys
smirked, "Problem solved. Now let's take him in."
* * * *
Though it was full day outside, it was so dark inside that
nothing could be darker. Perhaps not even the darkness
within the sleep of death.
"What do you have to say?" A soft breath. Scratchy.
Whispery. Almost incoherent in a Bob Dylan sort of way.
"The fish is hooked." A crisp New Jersey accent, a vibrant
life within the old and cynical voice.
For a moment, the flash of a cigarette lighter broke the
darkness. The eyes blinded with a light brighter than the
sun. When the flame went out, not even the red of the cigar
was visible. The smell of good Cuban tobacco filled the
room. "What now?"
"Now, have yourself a drink."
The voice was humorous. In the light, the man would have
been smiling without any resentment. "No thank you. If I
want to die, it'll be a straight death without the XTC."
The chuckle had a bit more life. "I like you, Chuck. You're
never afraid to speak the truth." The chuckle died, to be
replaced by musing. "I have waited a long time for this
moment, and I can wait a few more days. Don't rush
"No problem." Chuck walked outside, making sure to put on
the wrap-around shades. Even so, he had to squint. In the
light, his features were visible. A biker with stubble on
his face and a surprisingly placid and humorous expression,
which was shocking, considering that Chuck could beat any
serial killer in a competition.
The one who remained inside watched Chuck leave, and then
resumed his conversation with the one voice that only few
even knew existed. "I may have lost the Murgo, but it was an
acceptable loss. He was but a pawn. Now my bishop has
"A pawn. A bishop. Neither one is important, for each may be
taken as easily as the other."
"You know that's against the rules. All I can tell you is
that the game is afoot."
"Is it not always the case?"
"Of course! Why else do you think I could tell you that?"
A brief pause. "Can you tell me if Powys is walking blind?"
A brief snort of laughter. "Since when does a gambler ever
see? They always go through life with their eyes closed!"
The voice became serious. "You have to wonder what sets the
dice after he casts them into the air. Who is that actor,
and does the actor see? That is what you should ask."
"Do you know the name of the actor?"
"No. Though the Prophecy of the Light has some indirect
control over him, it has less control than it does over
everyone else. The actor protects him from other actors to
a great extent. Even I cannot control him directly."
* * * *
With a 'whoosh... whoosh...' sound, a blue call box
materialized. The room was devoid of any observers. The door
opened, and the Nightman was the first to emerge. "Welcome
to my home, circa 1996."
The Doctor emerged. "Nice place. When do you move in the
rest of your belongings?"
The Nightman smiled.
Zedar, Janeway, and Duncan emerged next. The door shut
automatically behind them. Duncan smiled, "So this is where
you lived? I like it!" That was said in a very sarcastic
The place wasn't too bad. A small house by most standards,
big enough to be a one bedroom apartment. It was
sparsely-furnished, but had a very artistic look. Spanish
rugs covered the floor, and the occasional clay pot and
house plant decorated the place. The smell of cigars hung in
the air. They were strong, but not overpowering or
Janeway found herself staring around in amazement. It was
like walking into a museum, and watching the objects come to
life. Almost frightening, because she expected the guide to
lead her on to the next exhibit. ("...and over here are the
artifacts from the Civil War...")
The Nightman sniffed. "Honduran. That means that I've
probably gone out drinking." He smiled. "Our secret is
Janeway fought back the tears that threatened to fall. Here
she was, on Earth, but an Earth that would never recognize
her for who she was. She shoved back her emotions by taking
charge. "So, where do we find them?"
The Nightman nodded. "We'll find them downtown. If you'll
follow me?" He picked something off the table. "I'm sure I
won't mind if I borrow my truck."
The Doctor laughed, "Of course not! I never minded." The
Nightman raised an eyebrow.
On walking outside, they were able to see more of their
surroundings. Out of the whole group, other than the
Nightman, perhaps only MacLeod and the Doctor could
appreciate the fact that they were near downtown, and a
stone's throw from the University of Arizona. The
neighborhood was in the historic district, where most of the
houses were built before the 1930s. Even so, the place had
more of a modern look than an olden look.
Even the Nightman couldn't help but look around like a
tourist. Going by long-faded memories, it took him a moment
to find his truck.
MacLeod smiled, "Elegant! I like it."
"It works," the Nightman shrugged. It was a rusty, beat-up
old Ford that must have been twenty years old. It had
obviously seen better days. The front was big enough to
seat four, and the back was big enough to haul a few cubic
yards of cargo. It may have been beat-up, but it could
still haul its own weight around, plus a few more hundred
pounds. "Hop in the back. I want Zedar and Janeway up
front with me."
They all got in their respective places, and after a few
moments, the engine started, and the sounds of the 90s were
I shot my love today would you cry for me
I lost my head again would you lie for me
I LEFT HER IN THE SAND just a burden in my hand
I lost my head again would you cry for me
...and the Nightman found himself singing along.
Close your eyes and bow your head
I need a little sympathy
Cause fear is strong and love's for everyone
Who isn't me
So kill your health and kill yourself
And kill everything you love
And if you live you can fall to pieces
And suffer with my ghost
Janeway and Zedar looked at each other, disturbed for two
totally different reasons.
* * * *
"Burden in My Hand" is performed and copyrighted (1996) by