|The Methos and Sekhmet Chronicles: The Messenger
Author: VoiceOfTime PM
Sequel to Past in the Present. My reworking of the Season 5 Episode, The Messenger. Methos/OCRated: Fiction T - English - Adventure/Drama - Methos - Chapters: 5 - Words: 11,959 - Reviews: 7 - Favs: 9 - Follows: 1 - Updated: 02-28-11 - Published: 02-25-11 - Status: Complete - id: 6776547
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
Disclaimer: I don't own it, alright? Geez, can't you let a girl have her fantasies?
Richie rode his bike along a dark, deserted highway and pulled up to a closed gate. He turned off the bike and got off, walking to the gate. It was closed and he pulled on it in frustration before sighing. Suddenly, he turned and looked around, feeling another nearby. He walked away from the fence and a man walked onto the road. Richie walked straight to his bike, grabbing his sword, before leveling it at the new comer.
"I'm Richie Ryan." He told the man.
"Don't be afraid, Richie Ryan." The man said in a low voice.
"No?" Richie asked. "What makes you think I'm scared?"
"I just want to talk." The man said.
"About what?" Richie demanded. "The weather? Monday night football?"
"Peace." The man replied.
"Hey, buddy." Richie said, laughing slightly and holding up a peace sign. "Totally. That's a good line, pal, but no dice."
"I swear you're in no danger." The man told him. "I stopped taking heads long ago. I'm not even armed."
"Come on, buddy." Richie scoffed as he circled the man. "You know the drill. Everyone carries a sword, everyone takes heads. We fight or we die."
"That's what we were taught." The man said. "But what if we could end the fighting?"
Richie continued to circle him, holding his sword closer to the man's neck.
"Imagine." The man said, not seeming disturbed by the sword in the slightest. "What if all Immortals could live in peace? Real, eternal peace."
"Who are you?" Richie demanded.
"I am…the oldest of us living still." The man replied. "I am Methos." He turned to face Richie. "It's up to you, Richie Ryan." He got down on his knees and Richie raised his sword. "You can take my head, or you can think about what I said."
Richie got ready for the blow.
Duncan sat on the side of a dock looking at a boat named Windpuppet.
"I thought you're friend was a'comin'." Harry said.
"Ah, Richie gets here when he gets here." Duncan replied getting to his feet and walking the length of the boat. "But you're right about her, Harry, she has got good lines. But she's going to need a major refit."
"Uh, yep." Harry agreed.
"She's going to need new rigging, the engine's taken salt, and she's probably got rot below the water line." Duncan pointed out. "She's not worth 50,000, she's not even worth 40,000!"
"Nope." Harry agreed.
"What'd you bring me down here for?" Duncan asked.
"Because," Harry said, standing up straighter, "she'll go for 20."
"Oh, I might've known it." Duncan said, laughing. "You're an old goat."
His face suddenly fell as he felt the presence of another Immortal. He looked around and spotted a man in a tan coat standing on the dock below. The man stared at Duncan for a moment before moving off.
"So, do you want her?" Harry asked.
"I'll be right back, Harry." Duncan told him.
Without another word, Duncan moved off down the dock. As he followed the man, he remember the last time he had met this particular immortal.
Duncan was leading a young slave, Jeffery, past the Confederate lines to meet his future bride, who Duncan had already smuggled to Philadelphia. As they moved through the forest, they were suddenly spotted by soldiers.
"Get going." Duncan told Jeffery, tossing him the canteen.
He reached for his gun.
"No, don't!" Jeffery said, running to push Duncan to the ground as the soldiers fired.
As they got up, Duncan rolled Jeffery over to see that he had been shot in the leg.
"Don't move or I'll shoot you, I swear I will." A soldier threatened as they were surrounded.
There was nowhere to go.
"Move along." The soldiers ordered the column of captives.
"Easy, Jeffery." Duncan said, helping him to walk.
"My leg's shot up pretty bad." Jeffery told him. "I don't think I can make it."
"It's alright, Jeffery." Duncan told him. "We'll get you to a doctor, as soon as we get there."
"Aha!" Jeffery yelled, falling to the ground.
Some of the Union soldiers tried to stop and help, but the Confederate soldiers pushed them along.
"On your feet, boy." One of them ordered.
"The bullet shattered his leg." Duncan told him. "He can't walk."
"Well then you can carry him or he stays here." The soldier said, pointing his gun at Jeffery.
"No." Duncan said, covering Jeffery.
"You ride with the devil, you fry with the devil." The soldier said as Duncan lifted Jeffery.
"Come on, Jeffery." Duncan said. "Up, up, up."
"Now get going." The soldier said, kicking Jeffery's crutch away as Duncan reached for it. "And tell that slave, he better hurry."
"We don't belong here, Mr. McLeod." Jeffery said as Duncan helped him stagger along. "We ain't even soldiers."
"It's alright, Jeffery." Duncan told him. "You stay close to me and I'll take care of you."
The soldiers led them to a prison camp by the name of Andersonville.
"Move it up, move it up, boys." A soldier called as they approached the gate. "Keep walking."
The gates opened as they approached and the soldiers led the prisoners through it.
"Welcome to hell, boys." One called, laughing.
As they made their way through the crowd, a young man attacked Jeffery, trying to get his canteen. Duncan quickly pushed him off and to the ground.
"I don't believe these are Union Soldiers." One of the new prisoners said, looking around before kneeling in front of the man.
"They were." Duncan told him.
"Who's in charge of this hell hole?" the man demanded. "Speak up, soldier."
Duncan tensed as he felt another immortal and looked around. Up on the wall, a man wearing the markings of a colonel stopped in front of the crowd.
"I think we're about to find out." Duncan said, answering the man's question.
"You have been warned." The colonel called. "There is no escape from Andersonville. It is futile. It is suicidal for those that try and for others."
As the man talked, Jeffery began to fall, so Duncan helped him to sit on the ground.
"What I do now," the man continued, "is on your heads. Not mine."
He paused for a moment as the crowd grumbled.
"Sergeant Hickson." He called.
"Yes, sir!" the man replied from the ground.
"Select three men." The colonel ordered.
The sergeant immediately began picking men at random from the crowd. At the same time, the crowd of soldiers began trying to fight back.
"You know the rules." The colonel called. "For every one who tries to escape, three others die!"
The shouting from the men got louder.
"Silence!" he shouted. "Silence!"
"Yeah, but that's murder!" Duncan called.
"No one questions my authority here." The colonel told him. "Bring him to my quarters."
One of the soldiers came and led Duncan away, leaving Jeffery alone.
Duncan found the Immortal sitting at his desk and was led inside.
"Colonel William Evert Culbraith." The man introduced himself.
"Duncan McLeod." Duncan replied as the soldier shoved him further inside.
"Have a seat sir." Culbraith said, motioning to a chair.
"I'll stand." Duncan replied shortly.
"I'm guessing you're an Abolitionist, Mr. McLeod." Culbraith said, studying Duncan. "It may surprise you to learn that I, myself, hold ill feeling towards the institution of Slavery. As a matter of face, on my farm, just outside of Atlanta, my wife and I have no slaves at all."
"Really?" Duncan replied. "But you have Andersonville."
"You don't approve of my prison." Culbraith stated.
"Prison?" Duncan repeated. "This is not a prison, it's a slaughter house."
"It's all slaughter, McLeod." Culbraith replied, standing up. "What they do. What we do." He turned to look at the window. "I've seen more death in this war then I've seen in a dozen lifetimes. And I'm sick of war. Theirs and ours." He turned back to Duncan. "But I'm a soldier, sir. And I have my orders."
"Do your orders tell you to treat these men like animals?" Duncan demanded.
"They behave like animals!" Culbraith shot back. "It's because of the way they treat each other! No discipline. No honor. They kill each other for a crust of bread."
"Cause they're starving!" Duncan insisted. "These men are soldiers, they demand respect."
"These soldiers are destroying the South!" Culbraith told him. "My South! And the truth is, I have nothing to feed them. Times are hard. My own troops are on half rations. What would you have me do?"
"First off, I'd spare those men you're about to shoot." Duncan told him.
Culbraith walked back to the window and looked out.
"I can't afford mercy." He said, sighing softly. "I let one escape attempt go unpunished…discipline breaks down. Without discipline, we descend into chaos. And I will not suffer chaos under my command."
"They're not animals, they're soldier!" Duncan protested.
There was the sound of gunfire and then silence.
"Killing them won't stop others from trying to escape!" Duncan stressed.
He leaned on Culbraith's desk and Culbraith drew his sword as the soldiers moved to pull Duncan back.
"I don't like killing, McLeod, but I will if I have to." Culbraith said, pointing his sword at Duncan as the soldiers dragged him out.
"Wait, I need to talk to you about a doctor!" Duncan protested. "I need to talk about a doctor!"
Duncan forced Culbraith back as they fought on the docks, his expression never changing with every blow delivered and dealt. They locked swords and Duncan forced Culbraith's hand to the railing. Culbraith quickly backed away and Duncan followed. Culbraith pushed Duncan, but he caught the former colonel in the stomach, pulling it horizontally across his abdomen. As Culbraith collapsed, Duncan readied himself for the final blow.
"Mac, don't do it!" a voice yelled.
Duncan turned to see Richie running up the dock. While he was distracted, Culbraith used the moment to roll off the dock and into the water.
"Just give me a chance to explain." Richie said as he approached.
"What's to explain?" Duncan replied angrily. "Because of you, that murdering bastard is still alive!"
"So what?" Richie asked.
"So what?" Duncan repeated. "You want Culbraith to live? Do have any idea what he is?"
"It doesn't matter what he is, it's gotta stop!" Richie told him.
"What has to stop?" Duncan demanded.
"All of it." Richie replied. "The fighting, the dying, the taking heads!" Duncan started to walk away. "Mac, it's gotta go! Listen to me, we can end it!"
Duncan stared at him.
"Because you say so?" he asked incredulously before going back to look in the water.
"Just hear me out, okay?" Richie said, following him. "Someone taught you to fight. Someone taught him that and someone before that."
"Because that's the way it is." Duncan told him.
"That's not the way it has to be." Richie protested. "Mac, I'm talking about peace. All of us, living in peace."
"It can't happen." Duncan told him.
"Why not?" Richie demanded.
"Because of men like Culbraith." Duncan replied.
A fellow prisoner brought Duncan some water as he worked on Jeffery's leg.
"This is going to hurt, Jeffery." He told the young man.
"You go ahead, Mr. McLeod." Jeffery told him. "You do what you have to." He was silent for a moment. "Tell me again how my Sarah looked."
"She looked beautiful, as usual." Duncan replied as he unwound the bandage around the man's leg.
"We're gonna get married." Jeffery said, smiling through his pain. "Gonna name our first born Duncan, if it's a boy."
Duncan ripped back Jeffery's pants leg to get a better look at the wound.
"How is it?" Jeffery asked, sitting up slightly.
Duncan sighed and looked away from the wound.
"I'm sorry, Jeffery." He told him. "It's the gangrene."
"This can't be!" Jeffery exchanged, trying to sit up, but Duncan stopped him.
"Jeffery, the leg's got to come off." He told him softly.
"No." Jeffery said, shaking his head.
"If it doesn't, the infection will spread." Duncan explained, laying Jeffery back down. "You've got to do it, Jeffery. It's gonna be okay."
Jeffery hesitated for a moment, but he finally nodded.
"You'll see Sarah again." Duncan promised. "And you'll have lots of children."
"Just won't be able to run no races with them." Jeffery replied.
Duncan looked away for a moment.
"You stay here, okay?" He told him finally, handing him the canteen. "Hold that. I'll be right back. I'm gonna get a doctor."
Jeffery nodded and Duncan quickly got to his feet.
"Gangrene." Culbraith said. "Your friend should've stayed on the plantation."
"If the leg comes off now, he'll live." Duncan told him.
"My surgeon's occupied." Culbraith replied, lighting a lamp. "I have wounded of my own. He'll have to wait."
"But if he waits, he dies!" Duncan protested.
"I didn't put him in harm's way, McLeod." Culbraith said. "You did."
"Colonel, he's just a boy." Duncan pleaded. "He's a scared boy."
"They're all scared boys." Culbraith told him.
He looked at Duncan and sighed.
"I'll do what I can." He said. "If my surgeon's available, I'll send him in the morning. Goodnight, McLeod."
"Thank you." Duncan said, heading to the door.
"I didn't figure he'd come." Jeffery said as Duncan mopped his forehead.
"You have to hold on, Jeffery." Duncan told him. "I promise, he'll be here in the morning."
"I can wait." Jeffery said. "Ain't like I'm real anxious to see him."
He laughed weakly, but it turned into a cough.
"Mr. McLeod?" he asked.
"Yeah?" Duncan replied.
"Thank you." Jeffery said.
"For what?" Duncan asked. "I was the one who got you into this."
"No." Jeffery said, shaking his head. "I may be a prisoner, but I ain't no slave."
Duncan fought to see Culbraith the next morning.
"Tell the colonel I need to see him!" he shouted as a sergeant made his way inside the office.
Inside, the sergeant handed a letter to the colonel.
"The courier said it was important." He told Culbraith. "From your brother-in-law."
"Thank you, sergeant." Culbraith said as Duncan continued to yell outside.
He moved to his desk and opened the letter.
"Dear William, this heinous war has taken an even darker turn." It said. "It grieves me to tell you this, but your wife, my sister, and the children…"
"Dismissed, sergeant." Culbraith said, sitting down.
The sergeant saluted and went to the door. When he saw it was open again, Duncan tried to get through it.
"Sergeant." Culbraith called.
The sergeant let Duncan go and he moved inside the office.
"I've come about the surgeon." Duncan told him.
"Your request is denied." Culbraith told him.
"What?" Duncan demanded. "You promised he be attended to today."
"That is all." Culbraith said.
"Damn it, Culbraith, the man's dying in agony." Duncan exclaimed.
Behind him he heard the sound of the sergeant cocking his gun and he turned to see the man level the weapon at him.
"Agony is what this war is all about, Mr. McLeod." Culbraith said.
"At least give me a knife." Duncan pleaded. "Let me try and save him!"
"You've had your answer." Culbraith told him. "Sergeant!"
The man came up and took Duncan by the arm, but Duncan punched him, knocking him into the wall. Culbraith hit Duncan with the hilt of his sword and knocked him to the ground.
"Get him out of here." Culbraith ordered.
Duncan held Jeffery as his breathing became more and more labored. He cried out in pain and Duncan held him tighter.
"It hurts, Mr. McLeod." Jeffery said.
"I'm sorry, Jeffery." Duncan told him. "I'm so sorry."
"Make it stop." Jeffery begged.
"There's nothing I can do." Duncan told him.
"Please." Jeffery said. "I don't wanna die like this."
"I can't." Duncan said, shaking his head. "I can't do that."
"Mr. McLeod…" Jeffery said softly, "you have to."
Duncan didn't say anything for a moment.
"Okay." He said finally, nodding.
He took Jeffery's head in his hands as the boy began to hum. Duncan recognized it as Amazing Grace. Then, with one twist, Jeffery was gone.
At that moment, Culbraith walked by. He stopped and looked at Duncan for a moment before moving on.
A/N: Okay, so I know nothing's different now, but I promise the changes will start next chapter. I just want to stay true to the episode, so I need all the back story. Please just stick with it!