science experiment gone wrong
A/N My original Highlander thread was lost in the recent troubles so I thought I repost it
In a dingy basement two men in sweats stood on a worn wrestling mat. The first one, his blond hair underneath the rag on top of his head, held a wooden kendo stick in his hands tightly before him. The second, while looking the same age as the other, held his somewhat loosely in his right as he ran his other hand through his long brown hair. He noted the beads of sweat on the other man forehead, and tried not to show his amusement. The young man would probably crap his shit the first time he had to do this for real at this point. The first man came at him, telegraphing his attack all the way. The other easily knocked the stick away and put his by the others neck. “Think boyo,” he said. The young man nodded, took a step back and got ready again. He came at him a little slower this time. This time the other one blocked a few strikes, attacked once and put the stick by his neck again. “Now you’re thinking too much.” They started again, this time the young one tried to be a little more aggressive and unpredictable. He found his stick flying and once again the others’ stick at his neck, “Now you’re back to not thinking enough.”
“Some of us haven’t been around three hundred years,” The young man said frustrated.
“Three fifty,” he corrected. “And age has nothing to do with it. Practice and experience Keith, nothing more. And age doesn’t equal experience before you start arguing”
Grabbing his kendo stick he reluctantly tried it again. “I still say we should be doing this with the real thing.”
“Oh you do?”, he said with a amused look. One more time they took their position and clashed their kendo sticks. The older man again blocked, occasionally attacking where he saw an opening. He felt a little proud as the younger man was able to block in time. That made him feel a little more confident in his ability and went in harder at his mentor. The older man waited for the right time to break through his defense, got behind him and intentionally whacked the stick against his neck. The young man yelped in protest as he held his neck. “That’s why we’re not using actual swords, because accidents happen and I have no plans on losing my head to a person a just few months from his first death.”
“That hurt,” Keith said as he continued to hold his neck. “That is so leaving a mark.”
“It’ll be gone before the nights over so quite crying like a baby.” He took the stick off the floor before Keith could. “There is a reason why we’re practicing. So you can stay alive for as long as possible. Because the moment you lose this,” he tapped him on top of the head with the stick, “is the moment it’s over for good. There ain’t no coming back.”
“You keep telling me that,” Keith said as he tore the rag off his head. “I get it Owen, alright? There no point to keep repeating it.”
“It’s a reminder of who we are boyo,” Owen said while placing a hand on his shoulder. “None of us know when the Gathering is going to happen. We have to stay alive until then.” He glanced over his shoulder at the clock behind him, “Go and hit the shower, I told him we’d be out of here by nine.”
Twenty minutes later they were dressed in their street clothes and headed up the stairs. Owen greeted the preacher standing at the top of it waiting for them. “Thanks for letting us use the facilities again Father.”
“No problem at all Owen,” he said as he let them pass. “Although I do wish you would come here for more than just practice and to confess your particular sins.”
“Holy ground is the best place to prepare him Father,” Owen reminded him, “and I need to live with a clear conscious. But how about we meet up for coffee sometime this week?”
“It be my pleasure my boy,” he agreed. “It’d be nice to reminisce about old times with somebody who actually lived and remembers them.”
“Even if he doesn’t look it,” Keith smirked. Owen promptly smacked him in the head, “Ow.”
“Show some respect in a church boyo. Didn’t anybody teach you any better?”
“It’s alright Owen,” the Father said. “No harm done, well to me anyway. You on the other hand…,” he trailed off smirking.
“See you later Father,” he laughed it off and he and Keith left the church and headed off. They talked on the way about various things. All of the sudden his charge looked thoughtful.
“Owen,” he asked, “what are you going to do with the Prize if you win it?”
“None of us know what it is,” he reminded him. “So I have no idea what I’m going to do. But try not to worry about it too much. Just live your life as best you can. Because before you know you’ll meet up with somebody wanting to take you head to increase their own power.” They went another block before the buzz hit them. A small, tingly feeling that started in the back of your head then slammed in you in the gut that told you another immortal was near. This was the point you started praying to any deity who would actually listen that who you were feeling was a friend in a really good mood. Keith still wasn’t that used to it yet so he started panicking a little. Owens’ hand went for the sword in his bag as he looked around until he found the other immortal. Then he smiled as those prayers were answered, “Antony.”
“What’s up Owen?”, he said as he removed his sunglasses and gave the other a hug. “It has been too long. When was the last time I saw you? 1837 in England I believe.”
“Yeah you were off to America,” Owen recalled. “Something about making your fortune if I remember correctly.”
“Just trying to live the high life, you know me.” Antony turned to Keith as years of experience made him size up the young man. “And I’m guessing you’re a virgin.”
“Hey,” Keith started to protest.
“Not in that way boyo,” Owen said. “Keith here is my student.”
“Don’t you just find that ‘boyo’ thing annoying?”, Antony asked Keith, who quickly agreed. “You always had more patience than me Owen. I tried the whole teacher thing a couple of time. And I always handed them off to somebody else at my first opportunity. Look at us talking so openly on the street, you would think we were new at this.”
“My place isn’t that far away,” Owen said, “want to come with us for a couple of drinks?”
Antony put an arm around his shoulder, “My friend I thought you would never ask.”
They spent the next couple of hours in Owen apartment talking about days gone by. Keith, feeling out of place, only nodded or shook his head when it looked liked something as directed toward him. Owen saw his student discomfort and tried several times to direct things toward something a little more current, but Antony was able to take it to something that happened decades if not centuries earlier. “I don’t know what happen to this planet,” he said wistfully. “Years ago I was able to have deep, meaningful conversation with people. Now I have guys in their fifties calling me ‘dawg’. Seriously, I want to weep sometimes.”
“Times change,” was Owen only response. “I remember when automobiles were considered a wealthy man play toy. Now they’re every where you look. And who would have ever imagined back then that you could sit in your own house and talk to somebody across the globe and not have it be called witchcraft. The world moves on, we just have to learn to adapt along with it.” Getting up he said, “Let me get you another beer.” Looking into the fridge he called out, “Looks like I only got light beer left.” When he turned around he saw the point of a Spanish rapier pointed at him and Keith getting up in shock, “If you don’t like that, I can always send Keith out for some more.” When the sword didn’t waiver he told him, “This isn’t funny Antony.”
“I’m sorry,” he said sounding regretful, “I truly am. But I need money. I know you still have some, you never tried to live above a commoner so you still have plenty to spare.”
“What is this about Antony?”
“I have debts, big debts.”
“If you need money I can give you some, no strings attached,” Owen said hoping to talk him out of this.
“You don’t understand,” he said. “I lost everything. Everything! My bank accounts all over the world, my homes all of it. Five hundred years of life and I lost all of it in one night. I just need a fresh start.”
“I’ll give you that fresh start,” Owen said. “You don’t even have to pay me back.”
“It won’t be enough. I need what you have and I only know one way to take it.”
“Antony don’t do this,” Owen pleaded.
“Owen McAllister,” Antony said, “pick up your sword and fight me.”
“You want to fight somebody fight me,” Keith spoke up.
“I don’t fight virgins boy,” Antony said never taking his eyes off of Owen. “Taste a Quickening first then see me about revenge.”
“Back off Keith,” Owen said. “You know the rules, this is between me and him. But not here.”
Looking out the window Antony saw a building under construction, “Over there then.”
“It’ll do,” Owen agreed. Antony put his sword in his coat and headed out the door without another word. “You damn bastard,” Owen said after a moment.
“Now what are you going to do?”, Keith asked.
“Stay here,” was Owen only answer as he headed for the front door. Reaching into his bag he pulled out the bastard version of the long sword and put it in his jacket before he headed out the door. He crossed the street and entered the construction area through a hole in the fence. Antony wasn’t that far away as he waited for him to enter before walking further in. Owen drew his sword and Antony pulled his. “We don’t have to do it this way.”
“Yes we do Owen, it’s who we are. This day was going to come sooner or later, it might as well be now. I’ll take care of Keith for you, if he doesn’t try to kill me first.”
“Always thinking too far ahead, “Owen said as he raised his sword. “That was always your biggest problem. It probably put you in the mess you’re in now.”
“Shut up and fight,” Antony said as they slowly came toward each other. Both knew how the other fought so it was important to wait before making a mistake that left you open. Owen watched his every movement hoping, no praying his friend would come to his senses. Realizing he wasn’t any time soon he attacked first making Antony block and step back. Centuries of instinct and experience flowed through them and powered their attacks. Neither thought of the good times they had as they fought knowing one way or the other this was going to end.
Owen was forced back as one swing sliced deep into his left arm. He was forced to fight with just the one arm until he healed enough to be able to use it properly. He sidestepped a downward strike and slashed at Antony’s leg buying him a little time. Antony surprised him by swinging out widely with his sword. Owen felt the wind across his neck as he quickly fell back. That was too close. Antony pressed his advantage forcing Owen against a steel pillar. He swung again for a killing strike. Owen ducked and the Rapier sliced into the pillar before getting stuck. Owen quickly put his sword up to Antony’s neck. “Walk away Antony,” he said. “We don’t have to finish this.”
“Alright,” he agreed. Owen never took his eyes off of him as he lowered his sword and backed up. Antony finally pulled his rapier free and looked at Owen who finally turned his back. “I am truly, deeply sorry old friend,” he whispered. He ran at Owen with his sword raised up high. Owen heard it coming and quickly spun around, catching Antony in the gut and slicing deep as he pulled away. He fell to his knees as his hand went instinctively to the wound to try to keep his insides from falling out. Owen got his side and stood over him with his sword raised. He thought about sparing his life for the second time. Then he saw Antony reach for his sword again. Owen swung down and separated his head from his body with ease.
He backed away from the body as his neck started glowing, trying to avoid it but knowing it wasn’t going to happen. The Quickening could not be avoided no matter how hard you tried. Lightning like energy bolts came from the body and danced in the air. Then the first bolt assaulted him and froze him in place as he started absorbing everything Antony was, knew and experienced. The area lit up as more energy poured out of the headless body. He was assaulted over and over by the bolts as the occasional stray bolt hit something in the construction yard. He endured the torment as best he could before it became overpowering. “RRAAAAAAAAAAAAAAGH!!!”, he screamed at the top of his lungs with his arm open wide as every cell in his body felt like they were exploding all at once. Lighting flowed through and off of him as various pieces of equipment and lights around him started to explode from the excess energy. Then things died down and he fell to his knees exhausted. A second battle was taking place inside him. The one that lasted for a second but felt like an eternity, as the new energy inside him fought for control in one last effort to live. Like always it was pushed down and quieted as he remained Owen McAllister, born three hundred and fifty years ago and nobody else.
He felt the buzz again and froze. Every immortal greatest fear was that there would be another nearby ready to take advantage of you while you were still recovering after a Quickening. He looked around until he saw Keith standing there wide eyed. Hoarsely he told him “I told you to stay put.”
“He…, “Keith sputtered, “he was your friend.”
“And he wasn’t going to stop until one of us was dead,” Owen told him as he shakily got to his feet. Walking toward his student he said, “If you take nothing else away from what I taught you take this. Cherish what friend you have and gain as you as you walk this journey, human and immortal alike. Celebrate with them, honor them when they die, remember them when they are gone.” Standing in front of him he continued, “Unfortunately you’ll realize soon enough how fragile mortals are as you watch them grow old and die. And with immortals,” he looked back at the headless body, “friendships run deep, but as far as the Game is concerned they are never destined to last.” Looking Keith in the eyes he said, “Because in the end there can be only one.” Walking past Keith and putting his sword back in his jacket he wanted to get out of there before anybody decided to get brave and check out what the commotion was, “God I need a drink.”
Keith got in his way. Looking concerned he asked, “Are we every going to fight?”
Owen looked at the young man. His first instinct was to lie, but after what he just seen there was no point. “Maybe someday boyo, but not today.” He put an arm around him as they continued walking, “Come on, I know a bar a couple of blocks away. Despite everything that’s happen I want to honor an old friend.”
science experiment gone wrong
actually yes, considering what happens to him later....
Princess of Equesteria
*sniffles* Awww....I'm sorry to hear. I had rather enjoyed that one and was happy to be included into it. Awww...
Banner credited to Mach_Full_Force and MLP banners credited to me (rotating banner)
science experiment gone wrong
I still have it saved on the comp, so it's no biggie in reposting
Originally Posted by MagiPink
EDIT: Almost forgot, mark the date down Keith actually posted in the fic section
science experiment gone wrong
He stood there in front of a mirror that was attached to the wall in a sad excuse for a hole in the wall motel room. Wearing nothing but his black pants and near black hair going down to his waist he looked at his reflection and remembered. His first death and afterwards. For a thousand years he roamed this earth, doing the only thing he knew how to do, kill. Looking for every battle, hoping somebody would look at him the wrong way. Even before he died he was called blood thirsty by those he grew up with. He never saw why people saw it as such a bad thing. The Gods or God, he really didn’t care he stopped believing in a higher power ages ago, made him this way. So who were they to judge him?
And judge him they did after his first death. The people he knew his entire life at that point tried to burn him at the stake when he tried to return. So he had to fight his way out just to live, and he had no problem cutting down his comrades to do so. But still it took thirty years of wandering before another immortal found him and explained what he was. A point that was quickly proven when Kronos impaled himself on his sword and lived to tear it out of his hands. It was very hard not to take him seriously after that. And listened he did, because this Immortal knew more about war than anybody he had ever met. He also did the impossible and taught him the value of patience. To wait for just the right moment before lashing out and doing whatever it took to defeat your enemy. And that was something he always excelled at.
He felt he had to leave Kronos’s teachings when he revealed he was one of the mythical Four Horseman, and he had been causing mayhem and destruction for millennia. And people thought he was crazy. The first opportunity he saw he got away from him. But those teaching had never left him, he may have been slightly more patient now but in battle he never stopped once he smelled blood. And what battles he found once he started fighting other immortals. His first Quickening was almost too beautiful to imagine as he absorbed the dead immortals’ power. This was way more satisfying than just simply killing a man in the field of battle. So he made it his mission to take every immortal head he came across.
He shifted his gaze to the body of the woman he picked up off the street. Her chest was bleeding under the sheet that covered her. He stabbed her himself, because he knew. He just had to wait. Her cry of anguish awakened another memory in him, one he didn’t mind reliving again and again. That short cry of his fallen mortal opponent gave out, that realization that they were going to die at his hands. He lived for that moment in battle, when he was mortal it was his reason for living. He looked for it in every battle, every war and every conflict he found himself in. It didn’t matter who side he was on, just as long as he as he got to look whoever it was in the eyes as he killed them.
The woman behind him breathed in hard as she came back to life. That was quicker than he thought. Perhaps she was stronger than he originally thought. Clutching the sheet to her chest she looked around and panicked as he continued to look at the mirror. Then she held her head like she was in pain. “What... what did you do to me?” she demanded, but fear was still evident in her voice.
“It wasn’t what I did to you,” he said calmly as he stroked the leather trench coat on the dresser below the mirror. “It’s what you already were. I just helped you wake up.”
“What the fuck are you talking about?”, she said starting to feel a little braver. “You fucking tried to kill me? I’m calling Ron.”
“You are not going to call anybody,” he informed her. “And I didn’t try to kill you. I did kill you.” He looked at her from the mirror, “Don’t believe me, then check for yourself.” He watched as she looked underneath the sheet. He stabbed her between the breast and right in the heart. He knew she felt the cold blade pierce her skin. She was at a lose for words when the wound was gone, the blood remaining the only way to know it happened. Then she found the knife he used laying beside her, still covered in her blood. He actually prided himself in holding back, the temptation to continue cutting after she died was almost too great to pass up.
“What is going on Michel?”
“Think of it as being part of an exclusive club,” he explained. “One where you can see all the wonders man can come up and look exactly as you do now, no matter how old you are.”
“You’re not making any sense.”
“Fine, I’ll dumb it down for you,” stupid bitch, no wonder she was so cheap. “You are now immortal.”
“Wait,” she said as she crawled toward him, while still holding the sheet to her chest, “so I can’t die? I can like get shot, fall off a building or burn my brain out of drugs and still come back?”
“That is the gist of it yes.”
“How did you know?”
“That thing you’re feeling right now, that’s how we know who is an Immortal from the regular peons out there. You learn everything soon enough.”
“You’re,” she gulped, “you’re going to show me what’s like to be an immortal?”
“I was, I have before when the mood strikes me.” While he talked she didn’t see him reach into the trench coat. Michael pulled out a sword that had a hilt shaped like a skull and demon wing. The blade itself was red, an old sword given to him by Kronos, who said the blood lust of the blade matched his own. “Then I changed my mind.” He turned around quickly with a maniacal grin on his face and almost satanic glee in his eyes. With one motion her head went flying as her body fell to the side. Patience had its limits and it had been a long time since he’d taken a head.
Michel closed his eyes as her Quickening hit him. The lights in the room started to flicker before exploding as the energy flowed around the room. He grunted as it grew stronger and quickly faded away. Looking at the body he let the disgust he was feeling show. “I should have known, you were a lousy fuck and a lousier Quickening. Stupid fucking bitch.” Looking through her things and taking his money back and then some he got dressed: combat boots, along with a black metal shirt and those studded gloves of his, and left the room. If things went right he’d be out of town before the body was discovered. But the mortals usually had a habit of popping up when you didn’t want them too. Or being stupider than you expected, because went down to the street and found that his car had been stolen.
He started walking, because he had no use for the police, even if he did the body would have been found by the time they arrived and he’d be right there to point out. He needed to walk more anyway, like he did when he was younger. Seeing how things are nowadays it was no wonder the newer Immortals were so weak, they had machines to do just about everything for them. After a few hours it was getting dark and he found himself passing a cemetery when he felt the buzz. Hand going for his sword immediately he looked around for his next challenge.
Standing in one of the entry ways of the cemetery he saw a man who looked liked he was in his fifties, his hair in a ponytail and wearing a jacket and kilt. Looking smug he said, “And how strong to you think you’re going to get if you keep settling for those newborn Quickenings?”
“Mind your own business old man,” Michel told while continuing on, cursing the fact he was on holy ground.
“Now that’s funny” he said through the metal fence between them as he walked with him, “you calling me old when you have a few centuries on me. You should know better than anybody that looks can be deceiving.”
“Is there a point to this?”, Michel asked. “Or are you finally going to step off of holy ground and face me?”
“I don’t think you’re worth it yet,” he answered. That was always his answered. Michel was convinced part of his strategy was to one day shock him by saying yes then take his head while he momentarily distracted. “I was an important man back in the day, the head of my clan. I don’t want to sully myself by fighting just anybody.”
Michel stopped and faced him, “I think you’re just scared. That’s why you never leave holy ground. You’re so afraid to die you won’t take a battle unless you have absolutely no choice.”
“Everybody is afraid to die Michel, humans are just unlucky enough to realize they are going to die,” the old man told him. “Death comes for everybody, it just that some of us have a longer life span than others. Tell me Michael, what would you do if you knew you were about to die today.”
“Unless I come across an immortal with the fucking balls to fight I don’t think I have anything to worry about today.”
They reached another gate and the look on the old man face changed slightly, “Be careful for what you wish for Michel.” He stepped out in the road, away from holy ground. Michel raised an eyebrow in suspicion as he watched the other man reach into his coat. Pulling out a Scottish claymore he held it before him. “You never know when you’re going to get it.”
“Finally,” Michel grinned as he drew his sword. “I waited a long time for this Malcolm.”
To his credit he didn’t look fazed at the sight of his blade. “I know you have, let’s hope you’re up to it.”
Michel charged in swinging his sword. Malcolm blocked and backed up several steps as the ring of the clash echoed in the air. Michel swung high, low, at his sides with everything he had, trying to break the other man down. Again he gave Malcolm credit because he was able to parry or avoid each one. “Not bad old man”, he said through his teeth as their swords met and didn’t budge.
Way to calmly Malcolm said, “Just because you don’t think I like to fight doesn’t mean I’ve been in my fair share.” They pushed away, Michel being caught off guard momentarily by Malcolm sudden aggressiveness. Swords clanged and sparks flew off of them as the sun got lower and lower in the sky. Malcolm was able to force his sword into the fence and nailed him with an elbow to the face and there was a loud crack and his blood started to flow. Michel held his nose as he kicked the other man in the gut. Taking the moment he created to snap his nose back into place he continued his onslaught. He caught the other Immortal with a slash across the chest and that maniacal grinned returned to his face, he smelt blood.
Malcolm didn’t panic, in fact he was even calmer know than when the fight first started. No matter, it just meant he had that much more pride to break before he started taking body parts. Michel came in with an overhead slash. Malcolm surprised him by sidestepping instead of blocking. He grabbed the other Immortal by the hair and swung his sword. Michel fell foreword suddenly and he immediately checked his neck. His head was still in place, but his hair now hung to his shoulders. “You fucking bastard!”
“Next time I’ll take more than your hair Michel,” Malcolm said as he dropped the hair to the ground and walked back into the cemetery. In a fit of rage and embarrassment he ran after Malcolm with his sword ready to strike. The moment he entered the cemetery the other Immortal simply said, “Holy ground Dijkhuizen.”
Michel was forced to stop despite his rage. He was right there yet that fucking taboo that was forced into him stayed his hand. His rage had to go somewhere, so he screamed and took the head off a nearby angel statue. Pointing at the other man back he shouted, “One of these days McAllister!”
“I did you a favor Michel,” Malcolm said leaning on a tombstone. “The police will be looking for a man with hair down to his ass. You just got a brief respite despite the fact you’ll match the rest of the description. Besides you needed a haircut anyway. I ought to take more for you desecrating a grave”
“One of these days you won’t be were you can run to holy ground with your tail between your legs!”
“Tell yourself whatever you need to Michel, just be happy I was in a generous mood today.” He turned away and walked further into the cemetery. “Although if you’re that hungry for McAllister blood, I do believe I have a family member you might want to be interested in. After I make sure we are blood related that is.”
“And how in the fuck am I suppose to know when you do or not?”, Michael demanded.
“Do not curse in a cemetery,” Malcolm said showing the first signs of anger in the encounter. Regaining some of his composer he said, “I’ll let you know when I found out. One of the beauties of the modern age,” he held up a cell phone, “we’re all connected no matter where we go. I’ll be in touch.”
Michel fumed as he stared at the red metal of his blade. “After I take care of this supposed family of yours I’m coming after your head next you fucking Scottish bastard.”
science experiment gone wrong
He felt the wind whip by him as he stood in the opening of the airplane. Looking down at the Earth below it was almost too hard to imagine that it was the same ground he had been walking on earlier. Taking a deep breath he jumped out and for a brief moment felt like he was flying. Spreading out like he was instructed he felt the air surround him as he dropped to the ground. He looked around taking in the beauty of the environment. It was time like these he was actually happy to be alive. But then again what’s the point in living if you couldn’t enjoy things like this every so often. Then like always the boredom set in. He had done this countless times before over the decades. While it was beautiful at first, he had seen and done it many times before. Then the ideas starting flowing in his head. He surprised himself a little as a new one popped in his head.
Folding his arms to his body he aimed his head at the ground and began falling faster. He started passing those who jumped in front of him. He could only imagine what they were thinking as they saw him. The ground came at him faster and faster. Bringing his arm up he saw he was close to exiting the safe zone, but he waited. Several minutes went by and he still hadn’t pulled his cord yet. Checking his altimeter one more time he saw he was well out of the safe zone, then he pulled his cord. The parachute open and he felt his body whip fast from the sudden deceleration and liked he hoped, felt his neck snap.
Breathing in hard as regained conscious he found his body in a heap on the ground. With some pain and effort he forced and snapped his broken limbs back into place. Well that was interesting for a couple of moments at least. Feeling the buzz he looked around and saw the immortal he sense pretty fast. “Hello Owen,” he greeted him pleasantly.
“Are you out of your mind?!”, the older Immortal snapped. “Jackson I swear to God sometimes I think you’re trying to get us discovered.”
“Just trying to spice up the ol’ life a little,” he explained. His right arm was still hanging a bit, “Ah do you mind…?” Looking annoyed Owen took the arm and pushed it back into place, a little harder than necessary. “Hey, just because you like to live a boring life don’t take it out on me.”
“What if a mortal discovered you just now?”
“Then I’d be going it’s a miracle.”
“This isn’t funny Jackson. That was a hell of a chance you took.”
“That’s why I invited you along to watch,” he explained. “I knew you’d find me before they would. You’re one of the best trackers I know. Granted I’ve seen better but you’re still pretty good.”
“What is with you lately? You’ve been taking more and more risks, and getting us closer to being discovered each time.”
“You worry too much Owen,” he waved his concern off. “Like I said, I’m just trying to spice things up a little.”
Owen stood there shaking his head sadly, “What’s next, bungee jumping without the bungee?”
“I’ve tried that,” Jackson said. “It’s not as fun as it sounds.”
“It’s official you’re out of your mind.”
“Relax Owen, no harm no foul.” He looked around the area as he took off the parachute. He saw a ravine with a fast flowing river. Damn it how did he miss that, he was only a few feet from smashing into the side. Jackson wondered if he would have made a splat sound if he hit. “Better than nothing,” he muttered to himself. Balling up the chute and pack he tossed it into the ravine and watched it hit the water. “There that should answer any question to what happen to me. Want to do lunch?”
Owen just stared at him in disbelief, “How can you be so nonchalant about this? Those on the plane with you are probably going out of their mind wondering about what happened.”
“They’re probably more worried about getting sued by any of my family members, wouldn’t they be surprised to find out I saw my last family member a hundred years ago.”
“What is wrong with you?!”, he asked again showing a little anger. “Those mortals jumping with didn’t take that stupid a risk.”
“And those mortals know they could die if something goes wrong,” he said feeling annoyed and tired about the apparent lecture Owen was trying to give him. “Some of us don’t have to worry about that now do we?” Taking off his helmet he saw it was cracked from the impact and tossed it into the ravine too for good measure.
“You have to stop before you get us outed,” Owen warned him.
“And what if I don’t?”, he challenged. “Are you going to do something about it?” He watched Owen start to reach inside his jacket and for a brief moment Jackson thought he was going to do it. Then he pulled his hand away. Jackson let the disappointment show. “So I’m guessing that’s a no to lunch?”
“Seriously, stop this. I know you don’t want us to become a lab experiment.”
“Stop being such a worry wart,” Jackson chided him. “I know what I’m doing. Now if you don’t want to have lunch I’ll see you around.” Jackson waited a moment for him to say good bye but when it didn’t come he started off in a direction, briefly wondering if he’d run across any poisonous animals.
After a few moments he heard Owen say, “Watch your back boyo.”
“Always,” he offered a wave.
A couple of days later he was home after his “day” job. Why he fell into the trap, especially after his first teacher set him up with a tidy little sum, was beyond him. Not that he was the only immortal with a regular job, perhaps some of his compatriots wanted to feel “normal” for a bit. Of course the big headline still was the “disappearance” of the skydivers’ body. He imagined Owens’ outrage if he used his current name instead of the other one he used. One of the latest rumors he heard was that a cult had found him. It was amusing at times to hear the conspiracies the mortals could come up with. It made things bearable at least a few moments.
Jackson fixed his usual vodka and cyanide cocktail. Drank it in one gulp and sat down waiting for it to kick in. Before he lost consciousness he realized he forgot to lock the door. That would be embarrassing if another immortal walked in before he woke up. When he came back he saw nothing was touched, damn his luck. He thought about drinking another one, maybe up the cyanide content, but what was the use. He’d just come back alive again. Maybe he should start looking for something with a little more taste to it, so he could see it coming. But he knew it was coming any way so what was the point? He looked at the rope and thought about hanging himself again. He hadn’t done that yet. But he heard stories of peoples head being ripped off in the act and he didn’t want that happening. He had a loaded gun in the closest, but that was too noisy. How was he going to finish off the night?
Grabbing his car keys off the table he took a drive. Jackson didn’t have a destination in mind he just wanted to get out of town. After a few hours and a couple of cities later he found himself getting really bored. Driving around for a bit Jackson found a relatively deserted straight street. Even better it was more or less a dead end. Gunning the accelerator he raced toward the wall, good thing he never wore a seatbelt and disabled the airbag. The cars’ front end was destroyed as it hit the wall and he went through the windshield. He stayed there a right proper mess as death teased him one more time.
When he awoke he was on the ground, in pain and panic at bit as he felt the buzz one more time. Looking around he saw a man with hair down to his shoulder and wearing nothing but black lean against a wall watching him. Trying to raise up he felt something cold and metal by his hand, he found his sword, a two handed long sword, next to him. “Who the hell are you?”
“My name is Michel,” he answered without moving off the wall. “I’ve been waiting for you to finally wake the fuck up. We are going to fight.”
“If you’re that desperate for a head why didn’t you take mine while I was out?”
“I’ve done it before, so it’s not like it’s above me,” he said as he finally got off the wall and started walking round him. “But every so often I feel like a challenge. And I found there is no bigger challenge than a person who feels like his back is to the wall. So when you feel up to it, please pick up the sword.”
Jackson looked around and realized he had no idea where he was. He didn’t even see his car, nor could her hear any siren or smell any smoke. This freak pulled him out of the wreckage and took him God only knew where. “I’m in no condition for a fight,” he said quickly. “Maybe we could reschedule…?”
“Fights are only one on one,” Michel said to himself as he continued to circle him, “no fighting on holy ground. I don’t recall the option on refusing a challenge ever being brought up.”
“I guess it depends on your teacher…”, he attempted to joke.
“You know I’m not a really patient person by nature,” Michel cut him off sharply. “In fact it was more or less taught to me, or forced on me. But what little I have was beginning to run out waiting for you.” Reaching into his trench coat he pulled out a red blade sword, “So either pick that sword up or I’ll take your head right now.”
Jackson tried to catch him off guard by grabbing his sword and trying to plunge it into his leg. Michel parried the strike easily and looked amused for a moment. Then he dropped the amused look and brought his sword over his and swung it down at him. Jackson rolled out of the way and hobbled to his feet trying to find a position where he would be at that much disadvantage. He wasn’t finding it fast enough as Michel ran at him and swung widely. Jackson was able to get his sword up in time, but with his injuries the blow nearly knocked him down. He tried fighting back, looking for an opening in his defenses. For somebody who fought this widely he didn’t look out of control as he fought. This was bad.
Jackson bought as much time as he could as he backed up and his injuries healed. When he felt more or less at a hundred percent he started upping his attacks and held him at a stand still. The clanging of steel echoed in the alley as he held his ground. Jackson thought he saw an opening and took a slash at his side. He got mostly coat as his opponent tried to get out of the way, but he saw Michel grit his teeth as he felt the blade come into contact with flesh. He upped his attack trying to keep Michel moving. If he was moving that cut would keep reopening before it was fully healed. Then Jackson head snapped back as Michel forced his fist into face, “Ugh,” and he almost fell down.
“I’ve been alive for a thousand years,” Michel boasted, “and I’ve been in thousands of battles. I always fought hurt. Did you really think this little scratch was going to affect me?” Michel came at him again, banging his red sword against his. At one point he tried to knock his sword out of his hands. It almost left him but Jackson kept his grip on it, but he left himself wide open. And Michel took it, but not his head. He felt the red blade go through his sword arm. It fell to the ground and he stared at the blood pouring out of his right shoulder. He could swear he could still feel it there instead of the ground. He was so horrified at what happened he couldn’t scream in pain or horror.
Michel got this sick maniacal grin on his face. In desperation Jackson kicked him in the balls and started running away. He prayed that there would be some sort of holy ground nearby. Then he heard it, the tip of the sword scrapping the ground. He risked a look back and saw sparks fly right before Michel brought it up and ran after him. He ran faster but he could hear the other immortal catch up. Then he felt the steel of the sword again, this time at the knee. He fell to the ground as his left foot stayed where it was. He got to a knee still too terrified to scream. Michel stood before him with that damnable grin getting bigger. He raised his sword and brought it down. As he felt it bite into his neck Jackson last thought was ‘I don’t want to di….*
science experiment gone wrong
~6 months ago~
He had been alive for three hundred and eighty years. Ever since one of his own people stuck a knife into his chest in the middle of the night. Not just any body either, the one he was grooming to take over the clan after he was too old or dead. Malcolm never had any children of his own, he never even married. There was no woman worthy enough for him. Not that a few of the whores under him tried to catch his eye. Power always did that. No, the closest family he had was his accursed younger brother William and his apprentice. He thought he picked a man after his own heart, somebody he knew in his heart he could trust to run things after he was gone. He never expected that man to be so impatient or ambitious.
He remembered that morning after he came back to life. He swore God gave him the chance to bring his killer to justice, but he didn’t know who it was. The bastard wore a hood to cover his identity. So he cleaned himself up, dressed in clean clothes and went out like nothing had happened and waited. Somebody would have to react. Not that he had some idea on who it might have been. If his brother was still there he would have accused him immediately. But Malcolm had him thrown out of the village years ago.
Malcolm remembered his heart breaking when he the man he personally picked to lead them acted like he saw a ghost. “I killed you!”, he shouted as he got out of his seat. Everybody looked like he was insane. That’s when he decided to change his tactics slightly. Instead of justice he’d make him suffer in a different way.
“You poor bastard,” he said sorrowfully. “Obviously the Devil has taken a hold of you. Making you believe you seen and done things you haven’t.” He turned his attention to the rest of the village present. Obviously they were thinking he was going to banish him, burn him at the stake, something. Inwardly he smiled, “We must save this poor soul.” The other looked at him, he knew they would be confused. Why would he choose this save this “poor soul” when he ran his own blood out? “Obviously somebody begged the Devil to do this. We should not punish him for somebody else lack of morals.” The sheep fell right in with that line of thinking. The fact he later got the rumors started that his brother William was the one who made the deal only helped the matter.
His former successor was kept under his care in a shelter by the church. There, where nobody was looking, he took his revenge, taught him how wrong it was to be that impatient. Torturing him to his hearts content, but always careful not to leave a visible mark. Warning those who gave him food not to touch him in case what was ever processing him jumped to them. And he ranted too, telling everybody what Malcolm was doing to him. Malcolm smiled and laughed behind everybody backs as they put his ravings down to whatever possessed him. He eventually went mad and died. Malcolm made sure he got a proper burial. Outside of the cemetery of course, didn’t want to dead to rise up from the grave and all of that. Besides he never wanted the sanctuary of a cemetery to be sullied by such superstitious nonsense.
Not that even he understood his obsession with cemeteries. Even in his younger days he would walk among the dead for hours at a time. He explained it away by telling the others that he paying his respect to those he came before. Most believed him, but a few had still had their doubts. Especially after he was given charge over them. Those like his younger brother William, he always questioned everything he did, from the crib to adulthood it felt like at times. After awhile he started hearing whispers about those who would rather follow the younger brother. So he put things in motion to take care of it. For the first time he tried to disguise himself and sat in the darkest corner of any place that had a large group of people and talked. He was surprised at how little it took to get the people against his brother. Eventually they got riled up enough that all he had to do was publicly kick him out and they did the rest. Sometimes he felt sorry about what he did, but his brother never knew his place.
Of course after he found out the truth about that faithful night and what he really was he stayed in the cemeteries more and more. That was his only safe haven after all. The rumors started against him. Malcolm was forced to leave before they attacked him. After all he’d done for them they had the gall to turn on him. But he returned years later, after anybody who knew him was already gone. Just to see how they were doing, and he grew more and more disappointed each time he went back. Many times he almost dropped the name McAllister completely just out of embarrassment.
But returned he did over the centuries. No matter where he went, no matter what identity he took he always returned home. Growing more and more despondent at how much his village was changing over the years. At least the cemetery was left untouched, there was still some decency left in the world. He was leaving again in a couple of day for the States. But he probably wouldn’t stay there long, he always came home to Scotland
Walking around and lost in thought he felt the buzz. “Still expecting the dead to talk to you?”, said a voice with a east London accent from behind him. Moaning silently he turned around to see a boy who looked no older than nineteen lying on top on a family mausoleum, his head hanging down over the side and his mop of long blond hair moving with the breeze. As usual he was wearing boots, drainpipe jeans, a white button up shirt with the top couple buttons undone and a dark coat. He had annoying knack of showing up when he wanted to be alone, ever since he found him during WW1 after a bombing attack by the Germans. Those grey eyes of his still had that mischievous twinkle to them but the rest of his face had a different expression.
“Why are you frowning Harris?”, he felt he was going to regret the answer but had to ask any way.
“I’m not frowning I’m smiling,” he answered. “My heads upside down so a frown should look like I’m smiling.” Giving him a big grin he continued, “See, now it should look like I’m frowning to somebody right side up.”
He was right, he regretted asking. Harris always tried to get a rise out of him. “And I here I thought you finally realized you were looking like a women with that mascara around your eyes.”
He looked hurt, “It’s Egyptian. Don’t you know your history? You would think somebody as old as you would know something like that.” Harris sat up, spun around and dangled his legs over the side of the mausoleum, quickly going back to his previous expression. “I hear you’re leaving soon. Getting tired of the highlands already?”
“That is the one thing I can never get tired of, unlike certain people I could mention at the moment.”
The young immortal tilted his head slightly, if he was offended he didn’t show it. “So where are you going? Japan, Russia, Timbuktu? I hear that place is great this time of year, very colorful.”
“There are times I swear that bomb scrambled your brains permanently,” Malcolm said before walking away.
“Maybe it did, maybe it didn’t. Who can really say?” Harris jumped done, put his heads behind his head and caught up with him. “Word is your heading for the colonies. I was there once back in the sixties. Now that was a great time, people killing brain cells with any drug they could get a hold and screwing the closest piece of tail they could find. Yeah there was all the stuff about social change and all that shit, but I just ignored it until the good stuff started.”
“Yes I am if you must know,” Malcolm said in hopes he would go away. No such luck as he continued to walk along aside him. “So what are you doing in Scotland any way? In a cemetery no less.”
“Just wandering here, there and everywhere,” was his response. “Seeing the world and all that. I got time to do that now. I don’t see how you other guys can stay in one place for years at a time. It would drive me mad.”He stopped, looking like he thought of something. Malcolm kept on walking, increasing his pace slightly. He got a few yards before Harris called out, “Say hello to your family for me when you get there.”
Malcolm stopped against his better judgment, “I have no immediate family around anymore. Haven’t for a few centuries now. You have more family than I do at this point.”
“Of course you do, everybody has family. Got the buzz from him and everything.” Malcolm slowly turned around curious about what he was babbling about. He walked back to Harris who had his sword out, a pirate cutlass with a jewel encrusted hilt, and was balancing it on the tip of two of his fingers.
“Who was it?”, he asked.
“Who was what?,” Harris acted like he didn’t know what he was talking about.
Trying hard not to lose his temper he evenly said, “You said I had a family member who was immortal.”
“Did I?”, he thought about it for a moment. “Maybe I did, maybe I didn’t. McAllister could be like Smith for all I know.”
“So his last name was McAllister,” Malcolm said mainly to himself. Why had he never run across this person before, or even heard about him. This would take some investigating. “Where did you meet this McAllister?”
“In the colonies back in the sixties,” he said. He tossed the sword up, caught it by the handle and placed it back in his coat. “Looked like a boring guy to me, pretty straight laced. He saved a priest so he couldn’t be all that bad.”
“Did you happen to catch a name?”
“I told you already, McAllister.”
“A first name,” irritation edged his voice.
Harris smiled, Malcolm realized he just gave the young immortal what he wanted and quietly chastised himself for it. “Oh that,” he said, “nope, sorry didn’t catch that. Left after it was over. I think he’s still living there In Chicago. Great city by the way, not as exciting as London mind you but still a great city”
“Thank you Scott,” he said, even though it pained him to say it. “That information was… most enlightening. I’ll be sure to look into it after I arrive.”
“Maybe I’ll head over in a few months and see how things are going,” Harris told him. “I always loved family reunions.”
“That won’t be necessary Scott,” Malcolm quickly said. “Besides, more than likely this won’t be a pleasant reunion.”
As he walked away he heard Harris say, “That just makes thing all the more interesting.”
He didn’t particularly care what that twit found interesting. His mind was racing about this family of his. Taking out his cell phone he called his travel agent, “Hello David, it Randal. No everything fine. I hate to do this to you at the last minute but I had a change in plans. I need to go to Boston instead of Los Angeles.” This other McAllister might have been in Chicago but Michel was there last he heard. And he had no plans on sullying his hands on somebody who probably a couple of generation removed.
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