Disclaimer: “Thou Shalt Not Kill” is a sequel to my
earlier story, “Trail of Tears”.  Reference to it might
be helpful, but is hardly necessary.  Seann Filteau
and George Chappel are original creations.  Grace 
Chandal and Zoltan Laslo are from the first and third
season episodes “Saving Grace” and “Courage” respectively.
The 1862 flashback takes place prior to the flashback
shown in the first season episode “An Innocent Man.”  
The 1854 flashback is from the episode “Courage”.  
No copyright infrigment is intended in any way, shape
or form.  Enjoy!

TEASER

The Berlin streets were packed on this Sunday afternoon.  The Immortal 
woman walked easily down the streets.  Suen Kai Wen had been accepted 
in the German city by her neighbors, and that pleased her.  She’d lived 
many places over her centuries long life, and this was one of her favorite 
homes.

The sensation hit her suddenly.  Another Immortal.  Suen looked around 
the streets for someone she knew.  She was friendly with five other Immortals
in Berlin, and Brian Campos did live near here...

A dark haired man of medium height approached her.  He wore a long trenchcoat,
and stopped a few meters in front of her.  He walked into the alley.  Suen 
reached inside her coat and caressed the hilt of the Chinese broadsword she 
carried.  She followed him deep into the alley, until they were out of sight 
of the passerbyers.  

“Suen Kai Wen,”  the other Immortal said.

“And you are?”  She drew her sword.

“You don’t need that,”  the other said.  “I’m a friend of MacLeod’s.”

“MacLeod?  Duncan MacLeod?”

The Immortal nodded.  “There’s someone hunting him.  But not directly.  He’s killing off his friends.”

“Who is it?”  Suen asked, alarm in her voice.  “James Dyvon?”

The man smiled and laughed.  “No - me.”  His scimitar sliced through 
the air before Suen even realized he had it out.  Her sword fell in two
pieces to the ground, followed by her head.  Her body collapsed forward
onto its knees and then toppled forward as a crackle of thunder rumbled
overhead.

Suen’s body was lifted by a white cloud, and the alley was engulfed in 
a Quickening.  High above, on the rooftop above the alley, a woman with
a tatoo on her wrist watched. 

====

Kyle Woods walked into the exercise room he had set up in his spacious 
condominium in downtown London and stripped off his buisness suit and 
tie, tossing them onto a wooden table.  He took off his shoes and socks, 
and walked onto the practice mat.  For thirty minutes, he preformed 
warmups: jumping jacks, pushups and situps.  

Then he withdrew his sword from the scabbord constructed inside his 
jacket.  He began moving with it, preforming the rituals that kept him 
in constant combat readiness.  Slashes followed by guards, on and on.

It had been a busy Monday, and he practiced well into the night.  Just 
as he was about to take a shower and go to bed, he felt something 
tickle his entire body.  As the front door of his apartment opened, he 
knew it was being done by another Immortal. 

Woods grabbed his short sword - acquired in England during the medievel
times - and held it in front of himself as a medium sized man with 
black hair entered.  He twirled a scimitar in front of himself.

“Kyle Woods,”  the dark skinned Immortal identified himself.  The man 
with the scimitar said nothing, and Woods made the first move.  It was 
also his last.  The scimitar moved quickly and with ease and Woods 
found himself on his knees, his sword halfway across the room, his 
stomach sliced open and blood pooling beneath him.

“Who the hell are you?”  Woods asked.

“Oh...just someone after the friends of Duncan MacLeod.”  The scimitar 
rose and fell.  Woods’ body collapsed onto its knees and his luxuriously 
appointed condo was completely destroyed by his powerful Quickening. 

A homeless man sitting outside of Woods apartment watched as the police 
arrived within minutes of the explosians.  No one noticed the tatoo on 
his wrist that he kept hidden.  

====

Jena Smythe rolled over in bed and put her arm across the chest of the
man she had taken to bed the night before.  Being Immortal did have its
advantages - for one, she never had to worry about birth control.  Her 
sleepy eyes focused on the bedside clock, which read that it was 7:30 
Tuesday morning.  She sighed as she realized she had to be at work by 
nine.  

Jena reluctently stepped out of her bed and walked naked into the 
bathroom.  She had been in the shower for five minutes when she felt an
unrelenting sudden sensation.  She frowned, and stepped out of the 
shower, walking to the bathroom window as she wrapped a towel around 
herself.

She peered out of her window and looked down into the alley below her 
third floor London flat.  A man with dark hair and a long trenchcoat 
stood below.  He saw her, and held up one hand, flashing all five 
digits.  She nodded, and flashed them back.

She stepped out of the bathroom, dropping the towel and dressing in 
jeans and a sweater.  She looked at the sleeping form in her bed, and 
decided to let him sleep.  This wouldn’t take long, Jena knew.  She had
been Immortal for eight hundred years, and she’d either take her 
opponent’s head easily or he would take her head easily.  There was no 
if.

She grabbed the falchion she kept hidden in her closet, and tucked it 
under her overcoat.  She decided to take the stairs instead of the lift,
and was in the alley six minutes after the other Immortal had flashed 
the five-finger sign.  

“Jena Smythe,”  she identified herself, displaying her falchion.  She 
spun it through the air and saluted with it.  

Her opponent appraised her, and drew a wicked looking scimitar from his
trench coat.  He didn’t bother to salute, he just stepped forward and 
slashed, aiming for her stomach.  She blocked with the falchion, and 
slashed his arm open.  The man called out in pain and suprise, and 
lashed out with the scimitar.  Jena leaped back to avoid being 
disbowled, and tripped over a stray cat.

With sudden swiftness, her opponent was on top of her.  With one slash 
of his scimitar, Jena discovered that her right forearm no longer was 
attached to her elbow.  With it, her falchion was gone.  

The blade of the scimitar was at her neck.

“Why?”  Jena asked.  “I don’t know you...”

“No...but you know MacLeod.  And that’s good enough.”  He pulled the 
scimitar back for the fatal blow.

Jena blinked back the pain in her arm.  “MacLeod’ll cut you down like 
the vermin that you are!”

“You think?  He’s tried before, and he’s failed.  You know, I’d almost 
like to make a wager on it.”  The man stood up, and grabbed Jena’s 
severed forearm and hand.  He held it in front of her face.  “If I 
press this back up to your elbow, it’ll heal back on.  Of course, if 
you want me to do that - you have to do something for me.”

“What?”  Jena said.  “A Lewinsky?”

The man shook his head.  “Take Duncan MacLeod’s head.”

“Never,”  Jena swore, suddenly rolling over and grabbing the flachion 
with her left hand.  She rolled back and swung, slicing open the man’s 
leg.  He stumbled back, but brought his scimitar down through her 
stomach and into the concrete below, pinning her down.  

Jena tried to yank the scimitar out of herself, but it was too great a 
task.  Already, her life was fading from her.  The other Immortal 
grabbed her falchion from her and held it to her neck.  “Too bad, my 
dear,”  he said with a smile.  “And you were so lovely.”  

He raised the falchion and brought it down.  Jena Smythe’s head rolled 
away from her body as a crackle of thunder suddenly echoed over the 
streets of London.  He was consumed by the fire of the Quickening, and 
when it passed, he ripped the scimitar out of her body, and tucked both
it and the falchion under his coat.  He ran out of the alley.

And a man stepped out of the shadows.  He watched the Immortal flee, 
and closed his eyes in sorrow.  He pulled out a phone and began 
dialing.  There was a tatoo on his wrist.

ACT ONE

With a heavy heart, Joe Dawson walked along the River Seine, opposite 
the Notre Dame cathedral.  It was a nice spring day, and a gentle 
breeze cooled him.  Young lovers ran around each other, hugging and 
kissing.  The displays of affection saddened the long-time Watcher - 
had they no idea what had happened?

Of course not, Joe chidded himself.  The death of four Immortals in the
long run made no difference.  Someday, they would all be dead and 
buried and gone.  Duncan MacLeod, Connor MacLeod, Richie Ryan, Methos, 
Altea Werner, Tim Bennett... there was only a limited amount of time 
for them to live, albeit it usually lasted longer than for mortals.  
Immortals lived by the strangest religion, Joe thought.  {There can be 
only one, and yet they make friends.  And they marry each other, and 
they train each other to kill one another.}    

Death came for Immortals often.  And for Mac’s friends, it seemed to 
happen regularly.  Lucas Desiree, Hugh Fitzcairn, Paul, Thackery, 
Darius, May Ling, Gage Zanski.  It was worse when the Highlander was 
forced to do the deed, as in the case of Brian Cullen, Gabriel Piton, 
Michael Moore and countless others.  But he always had good reasons.

{Yeah, like Sean Burns had a good reason for his death,} Joe’s mind 
snapped.  Joe told himself to shut up, and realized with suprise that 
he was nearly at the black barge owned by MacLeod.
	
“Hello, Joe,”  Duncan called in greeting.  The Highlander wore old 
clothes splattered with paint.  He was hanging from a makeshift rope 
seat, touching up the paint on the barge’s hull.  Duncan saw the look 
on Joe’s face, and turned back to painting, knowing that someone he 
cared for was dead.

Joe walked up the wooden ramp onto the barge and walked over to Duncan.
He was greeted with a simple question.  “Who?”

“Suen Kai Wen.  Last Sunday.”  Joe informed him simply of the death 
that had occured four days earlier.

Duncan swore silently.  He hadn’t seen Kai Wen since he’d left China in
the late 18th century, but the touch of her warm hands against his body
had comforted him for many nights all those years ago.  They’d spoken 
on the phone once or twice in the past few years, but had never been 
able to arrange to meet.  They’d always joked that they’d had forever.
{Dammit, she only lived in Berlin!  A few hours journey away...}

“Do you know who?”  Duncan whispered.

“Yes,”  Joe answered.  “But...Kai Wen wasn’t his only target.”

Duncan looked up in amazement.  “Did I know his other target?”

“I’m afraid so.  Jena Smythe and Kyle Woods.  I’m sorry, Mac.”

Duncan lost his grip on his brush, and it fell into the water.  He 
handed the paint can up to Joe, who placed it on the deck and then 
helped Duncan up.  The Highlander quickly entered the barge, leaving 
the door open for Joe to follow.  “I don’t believe it,”  Duncan said.  
He grabbed his katana, and began polishing it.  “Who?”  Duncan demanded.


Joe sighed.  

“Dammit, Joe -- !”  Duncan snarled.  “Who?  Do I know him?”

Joe nodded his head, taken aback by his friends outlash of anger.  
“Yeah, Mac.  You do.  It’s Filteau.”

Duncan’s jaw clenched in anger.  A few months earlier, Seann Filteau 
had come to Seacouver to take Mac’s head.  Duncan had met him in combat, 
and defeated him.  But before he could take the other Immortal’s head, 
another Immortal had shown up.  Filteau had managed to escape, but 
Duncan counted himself lucky to escape with his head intact as well.  
Filteau had taken a head in Seacouver, however: Gage Zanski, who had 
been a friend of Duncan’s and a well paying member of the Dojo. 

“Where is he?”  Duncan asked.

“I don’t know,”  Joe replied.  When he saw the look Duncan gave him, 
he spread his arms.  “I swear, Mac!  He took Smythe’s head yesterday 
morning, in Geneva.  He ditched his Watcher.”

“I want him, Joe.”  Duncan said, calmly.

Joe nodded.  “Yeah, well, Mac...we think he’s coming to Paris.”

“For me?”  Duncan asked.  

“Maybe.”  Joe conceded.  “To be honest...I think for Bennett.”

Tim Bennett was a Seacouver cop who had become Immortal (thanks to a 
speeding car) the last time Duncan had seen Filteau.  He was currently 
attending an Interpol conference in Paris, where police officers from 
around the world traded techniques with other officers from around the
world.  Bennett, Methos (whom Bennett knew as Adam Pierson) and Duncan 
had enjoyed a pleasant dinner the previous night.  Bennett had taken 
two heads since that of Allison Water’s Quickening, armed with the 
katana Duncan had given him.   

“It fits in with his M.O.,”  Joe continued.  “He’s killing your friends
to draw you into combat.”

“Do you know where Bennett is?”  Duncan asked.

“Yeah, Mac.  He’s at his hotel.”

“Then that’s where I’m...”  Duncan stopped in mid-sentence.  He dropped
the cloth he’d been rubbing the katana’s blade with and stood, 
assuming a two handed grip on his sword and an attack stance.  The 
interior of the barge was small, and he’d never taken a Quickening in 
here, but he had fought in small areas before.

Methos walked in the barge, exhausted.  Duncan lowered his sword.  “Are
you alright?”

“Oh, fine,”  Methos snarled.  “Took a head a few hours ago, and then 
had somebody else trying for mine!”

“Who?”  Joe asked.

“Who what?”  Methos snapped in return.  “Whose head did I take?  Or who
wanted mine?”

“How about a drink?”  Duncan asked, wondering why his friend was so 
upset.  

“How about both?”  Joe said.

“Keith Marin.”  Methos said, accepting the can of beer Duncan handed 
him.  “He finally found me.  And then he lost me.”

“Who else was after you?”  Duncan quieried.

“You know him,”  Methos said.  Before he could continue, Duncan had 
spoken Filteau’s name.  Methos shook his head.  “No, not that guy.  
Zoltan Laslo.  Where do you know him from, MacLeod?”

“1854,”  Duncan answered.  “He challenged Brian Cullen in San Francisco.  
Cullen...ran.”

FLASHBACK: 1854

The streets of San Francisco bustled with activity.  Duncan hurridly 
lifted his lady friend, Katherine, out of the way as a bar brawler was 
thrown out of a building.  The brawler sprawled on the pavement and 
cursed loudly.

“I remember when it was safe to walk on the streets,”  the redhead 
smiled at her lover.  “Where are all these people coming from?”
	
“Gold has always had a way of attracting a crowd,”  Duncan pointed out.
He wore a suit and top hat.  He tucked his arm around his lady friends 
and held her close.

“I think some of them are suprised they actually have to dig for it,”  
she laughed.  “They think the whole city is made of gold.”

“It is!”  Duncan smiled.  “There are thirty new homes being built every
day.  Music halls, gambling parlors.  And who knows?”  Duncan indicated
the bay with a sweep of his arm.  “Maybe, one day, even a bridge across
the bay.”

His lady friend lifted the flask out of Duncan’s hand and drank from 
it.  Duncan took it back from her, and continued.  “The gold will run 
out,”  he said.  “The city will still be here.”

“Why think about when the gold runs out?”  She asked, skipping forward.
“We’ll all be dead and gone by then.”
	
Duncan smiled and twirled her in his arms.  “Maybe.  Let’s not think 
about that now.”  He said, moving in for a kiss.  Suddenly, he felt 
it...another Immortal.  {Oh, damn,}  Duncan thought.  Why did other 
Immortals always have to have such lousy timing?

Duncan drew away from her, scanning the crowds.  

“Duncan?”

“I...have to leave, Katherine.”  Duncan said.  “I have to leave.”

“You’re not going now,”  Katherine said, shaking her head.

“I forgot.  I have an appointment.”

“But we had such a perfect afternoon!”  Katherine pouted.

Duncan took off his top hat and handed it to her.  “Can you look after 
this for me?  I’ll be back as soon as I can.  Promise.”  He kissed her,
then moved off, walking into a dock used for storage.  The Buzz became 
stronger.  He reached inside his jacket coat, his hand wrapping around 
his katana.  

“I’m Duncan MacLeod of the Clan MacLeod!”  He announced.

“Is that a fact?”

Duncan spun, and a grin spread across his face as he recognized the 
other Immortal.  “Brian!”

“Duncan!”  Brian walked over, and they shook hands and embraced.  
Cullen’s hair was pulled back into a ponytail and he wore a neatly 
trimmed mustache.  

“What were you doing back there?”  Duncan asked.

“I didn’t know it was you,”  Brian smiled.  

“And what are you doing in San Francisco?”  Duncan asked.
	
“I came to get a little drinkee.  Care to join me?”  Brian asked, 
stepping away.  Duncan’s arm shot out and dragged him back.  

“Ah...I have a lady waiting,”  Duncan explained.

“Ah...”  Brian smiled.  “Always.”

Duncan produced his flash from his pocket.  “It’s time for a wee...”

“That’s not even a nip!”  Brian laughed.  He dragged Duncan towards the
street.  “Have a drink with an old friend!  Catch up!”

Duncan dug his heels into the board and stopped both of them.  “Are 
you alright, Brian?”  

“Never better,”  Brian said.  “What could possibly be wrong?”  No 
sooner had he said that, than the sensation of another Immortal 
caressed them both.  “C’mon,”  Brian said.  “Let’s go find a crowd.”

“Do you know who it is?”  Duncan asked.

“No...and I’m in no mood to find out.”

A portly man dressed in second hand, ripped and dity clothes stepped 
forward.  He had a bit of a pot belly, and he reeked.  He carried a 
broadsword in one hand, and swept it through the air, the air slicing.
Duncan smirked.  This man wouldn’t last ten seconds against a master 
like Cullen.  {Unless the stench this beast reeks of kills him, that 
is...}

“Let’s go get that drink,”  Brian said, pulling Duncan.

“Brian...”  Duncan protested.

“Let the bastard live another day,”  Brian said.  

“I’m Zoltan Laslo.  Which one of you is Brian Cullen?”  The Immortal 
asked, stepping forward, moving his broadsword to indicate the two 
Immortals.

“Him,”  Duncan said.  He stepped forward, putting his hands on his 
hips.

“Come on, Cullen!”  Laslo snarled.  “It’s time.”

“Gentlemen,”  Duncan said, turning to look at Brian.  The Highlander 
did a double take.  Cullen had dissapeared!  Duncan frowned.  “Brian?”
Duncan called.

Laslo shook his head and stepped back.  “Are you a coward, too?”  He 
asked.

Duncan drew his katana.  “I’m Duncan MacLeod of the Clan MacLeod, and 
I fight when I’m challenged.” 

“I came for Cullen.”  Laslo said.  “When you find him, tell him I’m 
still here.”

PRESENT

“What about you?”  Duncan continued, directing his question at Methos.
“Where do you know Laslo from?”

Joe smiled.  “You wouldn’t have happened to have something to do with 
Laslo’s being trapped under the Atlantic Ocean for sixty years would 
you have?”

Duncan frowned.  “When was that?”

“Laslo was aboard the Titanic,”  Joe said.  “His Watcher recorded that 
he fought with another Immortal and was trapped in a stateroom.  He 
went down with the ship, and wasn’t seen for sixty years.  We don’t 
know who the other Immortal was, because who ever was Watching him 
drowned.”

“No one was Watching me, Joe,”  Methos said.  

“You...were on the Titanic?”  Duncan asked, trying to restrain a smile.

“Yes, I was.  And the next time Jim Cameron tells you that he didn’t 
borrow his plot from real life, call him a liar for me.”

Duncan frowned.  “You...were Jack Dawson?”

Methos rolled his eyes.  “When have I ever gone by a pseudoname that 
didn’t have ‘Adam’ in it somewhere?  I was Daniel Adams back then.”

“But...”  Joe said.  “You were Rose’s lover?”

Methos erupted into laughter.  “I must say, I am way too easily 
amused.”

“So you weren’t on the Titanic.”  Joe said, dissapointed.

“No, I was onboard her alright.  So was Laslo.  We fought, the ship hit
the iceburg and I got the drop on him and locked him in a stateroom.  I
didn’t think a Quickening would help the situation.”  Methos shook his 
head.  “I honestly didn’t think he’d go down with the ship.  I locked 
him in a first class cabin.”

“Whose cabin was it?”  Joe asked.  “Yours?”

Methos snorted.  “You don’t get to have an account in Zurich - well, in
my case, several accounts in Zurich - by spending lots of money on 
first class cabins.”  Methos cleared his throat.  “I stowed away.”

Duncan smiled, Methos’ humor causing him to forget the deaths of Suen 
Kai Wen, Kyle Woos and Jena Smythe.  “You...stowed away?”

Methos shrugged.  “Wasn’t that hard.  But today...I wish I’d taken his 
head.”

Duncan was suddenly reminded of buisness.  Buisness with the name of 
Seann Filteau.  He stood, grabbing his duster and pulling it on over 
his paint splattered jeans and t-shirt.  “I’m going to find Bennett.  
Methos, Joe - you’re welcome to stay around as long as you want.  
Richie said he might be dropping by, so don’t take his head thinking 
he’s Laslo, alright?  And Joe?”
	
“Yeah?”  The silver haired Watcher asked.

“Try and track down Filteau.”  Duncan paused as he said the name of his
enemy.  A feeling filled him and Methos.  Duncan had his katana out in 
a flash, Methos his golden hilted Ivanhoe.  There was a solid rapping 
at the door.

“MacLeod?”  A British accented voice quieried.  “MacLeod?  I know 
you’re home!”

Duncan lowered his katana and motioned for Methos to do the same.  
“He’s a friend.  Come on in, George!”  He called.

The door to the barge opened and an Immortal who looked to be in his 
fifties when he died the first time entered the Highlander’s home.  He 
was dressed in a long trenchcoat, and his bald skull glinted with the 
overhead lights.

“Ah, MacLeod...I’m sorry, I didn’t know you had company.”

“George, meet Joe Dawson.”  Duncan said.  George and Joe shook hands.

“So, you’re the mysterious guy with the binnoculars and notebook.  
Duncan told me all about you.”

Joe looked up at Duncan.  “You told him?”

Duncan shrugged.  “It’s when I was still suspicious of you.  George, 
this is Adam Pierson.”

George shook Methos’ hand.  “Pleasure to meet you Adam.”  He and Methos
shared a mysterious smile.  

“Adam, Joe...this is George Chappel.”

“Heard a lot about you,”  Joe said.  

“All good, I hope.”

“George,”  Duncan said,  “I’m going to that Interpol conference.  I 
have a student who is attending.  You’re welcome to walk with me.”

“I’d love too,”  George said.  He smiled at the two men he’d just met.
“It was a pleasure meeting both of you.”

ACT TWO

Duncan and George slipped out of the barge and were soon walking down 
the Seine.  

“It’s been too long, George.”  Duncan said.

“We talk on the phone at least once a year, my friend.”

“Yeah, well...”  Duncan said.  “So did I and Suen Kai Wen.  She’s dead 
now.”

“It really hits home the lesson that none of us have forever,”  George 
said, frowning as he looked out over the Seine.  “Death comes for us, 
MacLeod.  In all shapes, forms, colors, sexes and wielding all 
different types of swords.”

“Scimitars, in this case,”  Duncan said.  “If he’s still using the same
weapon.”  

“I’m sorry, MacLeod,”  George said, drawing on hundreds of years of 
experiences.  “I know what it’s like to lose a lover.”  He paused.  
“I’m sorry about Tessa.”

Duncan winced, a streak of pain in his heart.  Tessa.  His heart still 
cried out for his love, dead for years.  He could still see her, moving
sleekly around the barge or the antique store, her long flowing blond 
hair.  Duncan held back a tear.  

“I still love her, you know,”  he whispered to no one in particular.

George heard him, and listened.  “I know, my friend.  I know.”  He 
patted the Immortal on his back.  “But it is the life we lead.  Who 
says we get away easy?”  

“They don’t have it easy,”  Duncan said.

“No?”  George said.  He was silent for a moment.  “I suppose you’re 
right.  They only live one life.  They find a spouse and they grow old 
together.  They have an inferior kind of immortality - the kind passed 
down through children.”

Duncan closed his eyes and looked at his old friend, George Chappel.  
Why did the man have to be so damn good at pointing out his mistakes?

“While we,”  George continued, “risk death every day from others of our
kind out to kill us.  We watch our loved ones grow old and die.  Or, 
if they’re Immortal - like you and Amanda - we watch them lose their 
heads.  Or try to take ours.”

Duncan frowned.  “How did you know about Amanda and I?”  

Chappel smiled.  “Duncan, Duncan, Duncan...I’ve known Amanda since she 
was a student of Rebecca’s.  Do you think there’s anything she wouldn’t
tell me?  Although, I must admit...learning you wanted to marry her 
shocked me.”

Duncan’s face lit up.  “Excuse me?”

“Oh, you know...after you whacked that son of a...”  George paused.  
He rarely cursed.  “...Gun on the top of the Eifel Tower.  Kalas.  You 
proposed to her when you got down.”

“I did no such thing!”  Duncan exclaimed.

George grinned.  “Yeah, I know.”

Duncan pointed a finger at him.  “If you say you did that because 
you’re easily amused...”

George smiled.  “What?  Quote Methos?  Why would I do that to you?”

Duncan frowned.  “Wait a minute, I didn’t...”

George patted him on his shoulder.  “My friend, I hunted Watchers...
after Darius’ death.  I found our friend Pierson - I thought he was the
one behind it all.  An Immortal, using mortals to win the Game...sounds
familiar?”

An image of Xavier St. Cloud popped up in Duncan’s mind.  “Yeah.”

“He talked to me, explained the mission of the Watchers to me.  I 
believed him...and I kept my head, so I knew he was telling the truth.”
George laughed.  “To think...I nearly took his head.”

“You...”  Duncan began.  

George shrugged and smiled.  “If you make me say that I’m easily amused
again...”

FLASHBACK: April 11, 1912

Daniel Adams walked down a first class corridor aboard the Titanic.  
He’d spent a few years in England, but he wanted to go back to the New 
World and poke around a bit.  There were just too many Immortals in 
Europe, and it took all his efforts to not get in a fight.  He wanted 
to stay alive, and the best way to do that was not to get in a fight.

{I wonder how long it’s been,}  the oldest Immortal wondered.  {Alexi 
Voinovich.  Seventeen...ninety three.  Over a hundred years.}
That was a head he had regretted taking, but some people just couldn't 
accept that he had left the Four Horsemen behind.  Methos allowed 
himself to debate how long it would be until he was forced to take 
another head. 

The ship had set sail the day before, and was steaming rapidly towards 
the United States.  In only a few days, he would back on the New World.
Hopefully, he could find a quiet place where no Immortal had been for 
thousands of years and dissapear for a century or two.  {A millenia 
would be nice, though...}

An unwelcome presense filled Methos for a second, then faded.  Whoever 
it was had come in to range and moved quickly out of it.  Was someone 
hunting him?  Whatever it was, there was another Immortal on board.  

Methos moved hurridly to the main deck, reaching inside his long coat 
to make certain that his broadsword was still there.  It was, and 
Methos sighed with relief.  He didn’t want to be caught off guard 
without his sword.  Even though he hadn’t faced an Immortal in combat 
for almost a hundred and twenty years, he practiced every day.  
Practice made perfect, and if you weren’t perfect you died.  

Methos scanned the crowd, but no Immortal buzz filled him.  The 
Immortal cursed under his breath.  Why here?  

====

The next night, Methos found himself in an uncomfortable situation.  
He prefered to dine with the lower classes - he hated snobs - but 
tonight he had no choice. {On the bright side,} he told himself, {you 
haven’t bumped into that other Immortal running around deck.}

Methos sat at a table with several elderly wealthy people and a young 
(wealthy, of course) couple.  The young couple had just been married, 
but Methos already knew that they had rocky roads ahead.  

Marilyn von Acker was twenty-four, blonde, and British (her grandfather
was of German descent).  Her husband was Andrew Blake, thirty-two years
old, a wealthy Brit whose family was connected to royalty.  Methos 
knew more about Blake.  Blake was a foundeling, and he would never have
children.  Methos hoped that Blake would lose his arrogance when he 
became Immortal, whenever that was.

“But these lower class,”  one of the elderly woman said as waiters 
dressed immaculately passed out food.  “They are so...uncouth.”

Methos snorted.  When he noticed the eyes on him, he excused himself.  
“Something I ate.”  Everyone seemed to accept that.  

“Yes, they are,”  another elderly person, a man with snowy white hair 
and almost no vision.  “I would like very much to have them all thrown 
overboard.”

Methos sighed to himself.  He wished - briefly! - that this fellow was 
a pre- Immortal as well.  Then he could “kill” him, and then see how 
long he lasted in the Game with a ninety year old mortal body.  Not 
long, Methos would be willing to wager.  

The presence struck him again.  The sensation that flowed through his 
body.  Methos cursed.  He had no place to hide his sword in this tuxedo
- it was still back in his cabin.  {Stupid, stupid, stupid smart boy!} 
Methos taunted himself.  “Excuse me,”  the old man said, standing.  “I 
fear I have lost my appetite.”    

“Really, Mr. Adams,”  Marilyn said.  “You’re as rude as the lower 
class.”

Adams smiled.  {Careful, woman, these butter knives could cut your 
throat as easily as my sword.}  “Now, madame,”  Methos said.  “Remember
what the Bible says?  Only the salt of earth shall get into heaven.”

“What are you saying?”  Blake demanded.

Methos dropped all pretense.  “Isn’t it obvious?  Your wife is a stuck 
up snot.” 

Blake gasped, but tried to hold back a smile.  There was something 
about Blake, something buried deep inside of him, that understood 
humility and how to be humble.  Something his wife lacked.  

“Will we see you around, Mr. Adams?”  Blake asked as Methos walked off.

“Oh....”  Methos said.  “You and I will meet again, I’d venture to 
say.”

“How uncouth.”  The elderly woman snorted.  Methos decided that she 
probably was a religous woman.  He wondered how she would react if she 
knew he and three other Immortals had been so terrible as to warrant 
being in the Bible?  {I am Death, lady - ware me!}

Methos hurried from the first class dining area onto the main deck, 
which was almost totally deserted.  Those that were on the deck were 
looking out to sea, totally ignorant of Methos’ presence.  

Methos moved quickly, heading for his luxuriously appointed stateroom.
Despite what he would tell Joe Dawson and Duncan MacLeod in eighty plus
years, he always prefered to travel in comfort than pain.  

A man stepped in front of his path.  He was about Methos’ height, with 
a pot belly, and a badly neglected goatee.  It looked as if he hadn’t 
shaved in several days, and he was dressed in hand-me-down clothing.  
“I am Zoltan Laslo,”  the other Immortal said, drawing a bastard sword.

“Daniel Adams.”  Methos replied.  “We’re in a public place.”

Laslo snorted.  “So?  The deck is empty.”

Methos backed up as Laslo advanced, slicing his broadsword in a wide 
swing.  “Think about what a Quickening will do to this ship!”  Methos 
tried.  He really didn’t care what a Quickening would do to the Titanic, 
but he wanted to delay Laslo so that he could get his sword. 

“I don’t bloody right care, mate,”  Laslo laughed.  

“Think about the people!”  Methos tried a new tactic.  

“The people?  They’re mortal, Adams!  Who cares what happens to them?  
They all die!”

Methos (who couldn’t begin to count the number of mortals he had killed
on the fingers and toes of every man, woman and child on board the 
ship) didn’t care one damn bit - but he needed his sword!  

Laslo lunged forward, and Methos stepped forward, wrapping his hands 
around the pommell of the sword and smashing it into Laslo’s 
collarbone.  Laslo cried out, stumbled back, releasing his sword.  
Methos spun the sword around so that it rested comfortably in his 
hands.  Maybe he would take a Quickening today, after all.  

Methos stepped forward and swung, but Laslo was a good unarmed fighter 
as well, and lashed back.  The sword fell to the deck with a loud 
clatter.  Methos settled for giving one last punch to Laslo’s face, 
causing the other Immortal to stagger back.  Then Methos ran.  To quote
himself, from years earlier, it was better to run and live to fight 
another day.

PRESENT
	
“Tim!”  Duncan called out across the lobby of the airport hotel Bennett
was staying in for the convention.  With George keeping pace with him, 
the Highlander moved speedily across the floor.  

The black cop from Seacouver looked up and smiled as he saw his mentor,
friend and teacher approach.  Bennett wore a long tan trenchcoat, and 
concealed within that he carried the katana Duncan had given him 
months earlier when he had become Immortal. 

“MacLeod!”  Another voice said.  Duncan hurried up to Bennett’s side 
in time to see another old face.  

“Lebrun!”  Duncan exclaimed, a bit suprised.  The Paris cop nodded and 
smiled.  

“Uh...”  Duncan said.  He grabbed George’s sleeve and hoisted his 
friend towards the cop.  “Lebrun, George Chappel.  You two talk - I’ve 
got to steal Bennett for a minute.  Tim?” 

Bennett nodded.  “I’ll see you in a little while, Lebrun.”

“Sure,”  Lebrun said, turning to ask George exactly how long he had 
known MacLeod and from where.  George decided that to keep himself out 
of the asylum, he wouldn’t tell Lebrun that he had met MacLeod in 1658 
in a monastary constructed as a safe haven for Immortals.  

Duncan led Bennett to a stairwell, and quickly explained the situation.

“You remember Filteau?  Well, he’s back - and he’s killed a few friends
of mine.  Yes, both Immortals.  I think he’s coming after you.”

“Me?  What did I ever do to him?”

“Nothing,”  Duncan replied.  “But you’re a friend of mine, and that’s 
enough.”

“Would he take my head because I’m a friend of yours...or because I’m 
an Immortal?”

Duncan scowled.  “Well, of course he’d take your head because you’re 
Immortal!  But he’d go after you because he knows you’re my friend.”

“That makes more sense.  I’ll be fine, Duncan, I’m going to be at this 
convention all day, and I’m rooming with Lebrun.  Ironic, huh?  First 
time I met him he called me to ask about you.”

“I want to stick close.”  Duncan pressed.

“Dressed like that?”  Bennett laughed.  Duncan realized he was still 
wearing his paint splattered clothing.  “Get out of here before I call 
the cops, Duncan.  I’ll be fine.  I can handle myself - it’s not like 
I’ve never taken a head.”

Bennett had taken three, actually.  Allison Waters had been his first, 
and that had almost surely been a fluke.  A wild swing had severed her 
head - but it had saved his.  Neason O’ba and Karter McMellan had also 
come for Bennett, but he had suprised both of them as well, taking 
their heads and Quickenings easily.  Duncan knew deep down that Bennett
would do well in the Game.  But to quote Hamza Al Kahir, “however long 
any of us has in the hands of Allah.”

“You’ve never faced one like Filteau before,”  Duncan warned.  “He’s 
good.”

“How good?”  Bennett asked.

Duncan closed his eyes.  “I trained him.”

“You were his teacher?”

“Not his first teacher, no,”  Duncan replied.  “But I was almost two 
hundred years old when I met him.  I showed him some techniques, I 
sharpened his skill.”

“What happened between you two?”  Bennett asked, curious.

Duncan sighed, recolecting bad memories.  “Lots of things.  We served 
together on a Man-of-War in the late seventeen hundreds.  The ship was 
boarded by pirates - and another Immortal.  Filteau was knocked out, 
and I was fighting the other Immortal - Walter Coligan.  Our ship was 
torched by the pirates, and Coligan and I fell overboard.  Filteau 
burned with the ship.”

Bennett closed his eyes and shook his head.  “No wonder he’s pissed at 
you.  Look, Duncan, I practice every day.  And I’m surrounded by cops.
If worse comes to worse, I’ve got a gun.”  Bennett pulled back his 
trenchcoat to reveal the Glock semiautomatic pistol he wore.  Bennett 
smiled when he saw the look his teacher gave him.  “I wouldn’t take his
head when he’s down, Duncan.  I’m a cop - I follow the Rules, I don’t 
break them.  Whose your friend?”

Duncan smiled.  “George Chappel.  We met...in 1658.  There was a 
Monastary that was a safe haven for Immortals.”

“Sounds like a fun place.”

“It’s gone now,”  Duncan said with regret.  “The Immortal who ran it - 
Paul - was killed.”

Bennett looked at his watch.  “I’ve gotta run, Duncan.  Seminar on 
interogations.”

“Watch your head,”  Duncan said, standing, as a horrfying idea hit him.  

“I always do.” 

====	

Duncan broke into a run outside of the hotel.  He had left George 
inside with simple instructions: keep an eye on Bennett.  George had 
agreed, but now Duncan had a greater fear: what if Filteau got the drop
on Methos?  He knew Suen Kai Wen would never let another Immortal 
suprise her, and if Filteau had defeated her, it had to have been in a 
fair fight.  That meant Filteau was better than he thought - and with 
each Quickening he grew stronger.  

Duncan was soon in sight of the Seine and his barge.  He kept up his 
pace and was stunned to hear clashing steel from inside.  He raced in 
in time to see Methos engaged in swordplay with another Immortal, but 
whoever it was, it wasn’t Filteau.

The other Immortal knocked Methos back and turned to face the new 
combatant.  He recognized him instantly as Zoltan Laslo.  The Immortal 
had changed since Duncan had seen him last.  He wore new clothing (for 
once) and his face was washed and his beard well trimmed.  

“Ah, if it isn’t the coward MacLeod.”  

Duncan reached for his katana, then caught himself.  Laslo walked 
towards Methos and forced the older Immortal out of his way.  “I’ll 
see you later.  Three is a crowd.”  Laslo said as he walked out of the 
barge.

“He just showed up out of the blue,”  Methos said with a shrug, 
draping his sword across his lap as he collapsed into an overchair.  

Joe entered the barge.  “Hey, Mac.  Listen, we tracked down Filteau.”

Duncan looked up.  “Where?”

“Geneva.”

“Grace...he’s after Grace!”  Duncan snarled.  

Joe tossed Duncan a white envelope.  “Round trip ticket to Geneva.”  
Joe said.  

Duncan smiled.  “Thank you.  Now I just need to pack.”  He grabbed a 
duffel bag and began throwing in jeans and sweaters.  

Duncan paused in the doorway as he prepared to leave.  “Methos...”  
He asked.  “Can you handle Laslo?”

Methos nodded.  “Don’t worry about me.  Just get Filteau.”  

Duncan smiled and was gone.

====	

Grace Chandal looked up as the sensation filled her body.  She was in 
the middle of a lab in Geneva, Switzerland.  Her name had changed many 
times, but Grace Chandal was the one she always came back to.  
“Duncan?”  She called out.  She had invited her Highlander friend to 
visit, and he had promised to before he left for the states again.

“No,”  the dark voice said from the doorway.  The Immortal who entered 
was of medium height, and carrying a scimitar.  “I’m not Duncan.  But 
I’m looking for him.”

Grace never carried a sword, and she had never been in danger in Geneva
in the past six years.  An Immortal named John Sykes worked on the 
lower floor and had on two occasions dispatched Immortals looking for 
Grace’s head.  The other Immortal read Grace’s thought and pulled out 
a battered broadsword.  He dropped it after Grace recognized it as 
Sykes’.  

“He fought well, if it makes you feel better.”

“Who are you?”  Grace asked.

“An old...friend...of MacLeods’.  I want him dead.”

“Where do I come into it?”  Grace wondered, picking up a vial of 
hydrochloric acid from her work table.  She was careful not to allow 
the other Immortal to see her do it.  She popped the cork out of the 
vial.

“Well...I kill you, get your Quickening, get stronger, make Duncan 
angry...he once told me never to be angry when facing an opponent.  
Makes you easier to defeat.”  The scimitar rose.  “I know you were his 
friend.  And really, that’s all the reason I need.”

“Seann Filteau,”  Grace guessed.  Duncan had mentioned him before, 
especially after Filteau had taken Greg Zanski’s head.  

Filteau smiled darkly.  Grace didn’t like it.  “Yes.  You know my 
name.  Now, you die!”  He stepped forward, raising his sword.  Grace 
threw the open vial across Filteau’s face.  It hissed as skin bubbled 
away.  Filteau screamed and slashed his sword wildly.

Grace was already running into the corridor.  She slammed her shoulder 
into the stairwell door and it flew open.  She began her descent 
quickly, not pausing, taking steps three and four at a time.  She 
leaped onto the floor and slammed into the door, knocking it open.  
She was on the lobby, and almost safe, the public was outside.

As she stepped through the door frame, Filteau swung with his scimitar.
He was on the other side of the door, and Grace had no idea she was 
dead.  Her head bounced backwards, into the stairwell.  Her body 
continued running forward, collapsing to its knees.  

====	

Duncan’s plane taxied up to the airport.  It had been a short flight, 
but Duncan had been on pins and needles.  He wanted Filteau.  He still 
felt hostility at Allison Waters, another Immortal who had given 
Filteau an opportunity to slip away several months earlier.  {I 
could’ve had him...} Duncan swore to himself.

Duncan moved quickly off the plane, but was quickly intercepted by a 
young woman as he walked to find a taxi.  “Duncan MacLeod?”  She asked.
The Highlander nodded.

“I’m a friend of Joe Dawson,”  the woman explained.  “Can we talk in 
private?”  

Duncan nodded, and she quickly took him to a quiet corner of the busy 
airport.  She handed over another envelope.  Duncan opened it and was 
suprised to see a plane ticket to Glascow, Scotland.  

“Filteau left the country thirty minutes before you arrived.”  She 
said.  She shook her head and pulled out another piece of paper.  
“Okay, here’s his iternari, best as we can figure it.”

Duncan knew the Watcher network had been in dissaray ever since the 
Shapiro incident.  They had been rebuilding the organization, but it 
took time, and a lot of Immortals had no Watchers anymore.  Filteau 
was one of those Immortals.  

“He arrives in Berlin from...well, we don’t know from where.  Takes the
head of an Immortal named Brian Campos, then takes Suen Kai Wen.  This 
is on a Sunday.  He leaves, and we lose his trail.  Monday night, Kyle 
Woods loses his head in London.  The next morning, Jena Smythe does the
same, about two miles away.”

Duncan sighed.  “We lost track of him again,”  the Watcher continued.  
“Until today.”

“Grace?”  Duncan asked.

“Dead.”

“Dammit - I should’ve gotten here sooner!”  

“If it makes you feel any better, there was an Immortal named John 
Sykes who worked in the same research building she did.  He tried to 
protect her - but Filteau was better.”

“When does my flight leave?”  Duncan asked, holding back the rage of 
fury.  

“Two hours.  I’m sorry, there was one that left five minutes before 
you came in.”

“It’s alright.”  Duncan said, walking towards the departure gate.  
“Tell Joe ‘thank you’.”

“Uh...MacLeod?”  The Watcher asked.  

Duncan turned and looked at her.  “Yes?”

“Joe said to be careful.  He also wanted me to give you this.”  She 
handed him another piece of paper. 

Two hours later, as his flight roared into the sky, Duncan opened the 
sheet of paper the Watcher had given him.  He was resting comfortably 
in the luxurious seats of a first class cabin, courtesy of the Watchers.

It was a list of names and cities in Scotland.  Duncan recognized some 
of the names.  They were all Immortals and the cities they lived in.  
Joe knew that Filteau would go after Duncan’s friends, and Duncan 
recognized some names and marked them as potential targets.

Duncan reached for the phone built into the seat in front of him.  He 
took out his credit card and began dialing.  He was going to warn 
everyone he knew (as friends) in Scotland to keep their eyes open for 
Seann Filteau.  If they were enemies Filteau went after...well, who 
was he to complain?  He’d inherit their Quickenings when he killed 
Filteau.  

The plane landed in Glascow, and Duncan disembarked.  He cut a trail 
through the crowds in the airport, his black duster trailing behind him.  
He walked smoothly out of the airport, and was quickly intercepted by a
tall, skinny man with a shock of red hair.

“I’m a friend of Joe Dawson’s,”  the man said.

“Let me guess...you’re a Watcher.”  Duncan said.

The man looked suprised for a second, then the look vanished.  “Filteau
took a train out of Glascow an hour ago.”

“Do you know where he happened to go?”  Duncan asked.  

The Watcher nodded, and handed him a train ticket.  “He was headed for 
Glenfinnen.  Oh...and Joe says he hopes you understand that you’ll be 
expected to reimburse the organization.”

“I do,”  Duncan replied.  It was a bit of a suprise, but if he got 
Filteau’s head, everything would be alright.  A buzz hit the Highlander
as he walked to the car.  He reached inside his duster, grabbing his 
katana.  

“Hello, old friend,”  a voice said as a man Duncan’s size approached.  
He too wore a long black duster, but he wore khaki slacks and a white 
silk shirt.  The two Immortals clasped hands.  

“What are you doing here, Blake?”

“MacAndrews called me - told me you wanted him to warn me about Filteau.”  

“That’s right.”  Duncan agreed.

“I owe him just as much as you do.”  Blake informed Duncan.  Blake’s 
eyes were narrow.  He’d had a rough life as an Immortal.  He’d become 
Immortal by drowning during the Titanic disaster in 1912.  He’d fought 
in both World Wars, Korea, Vietnam and Desert Storm.  

And Blake was right.  Filteau had betrayed both of them during the 
Second World War, and Duncan MacLeod would not keep him from his 
vengeance.

“Come on, then.”  Duncan said.  “I’ve only got one ticket, though.”

Blake shrugged.  “I’m rich, MacLeod, remember?”  He held up a ticket.  
“And I know you.  Besides, that dude with the tattoo was a great help.
Where’s Glenfinnen?”

“Near the shores of Loch Shiel,”  the Highlander replied.  “I was born 
there.”

Blake clapped his friend on the shoulder.  “Let’s go.”

====	

Bennett took a deep breath as he walked out of his Paris hotel.  He 
needed to stretch his legs and get some fresh air.  The night air was 
cool on Bennett’s face, and he welcomed that.  The conference was fun 
but...exhausting.

The buzz of an Immortal stirred his body.  Bennett reached into his 
trenchcoat and felt the hilt of his katana.  He stepped into an alley, 
drawing the samauri blade and spinning it in one hand.

“I am Tim Bennett!”  He called out.

A dark shadow moved.  “Who are you?”  Bennett asked.  He remembered 
what MacLeod had told him.  “Seann Filteau?”

The dark shadow attacked, swinging a blade.  Bennett blinked in 
suprise, and fought back.  Sword met sword, steel richotched off of 
steel.  Finally, a deadly vertical cut was delivered.  A head fell.

A Quickening shook the alley. 


	To Be Continued in "The Cruelest Cut Of All" 






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