Title: Origins Two: Unholy Alliance
Author: Martin70

Series: Second in Series

Rating: PG-13 mainly, but with some rated R material.

NOTICE: THIS STORY MAY BE DISTRIBUTED FREE OF CHARGE BUT MUST NOT BE SOLD OR EXCHANGED FOR FINANCIAL RETURN IN ANY FORM.

--------------------------COPYRIGHT/DISCLAIMER NOTICE-----------------------

This story, "Origins Two: Unholy Alliance" by Martin70 is a figment of this author's imagination. All Characters portrayed in this story, are fictional and do not reflect actual people, either living or deceased.

No Studio, Company, or Cooperation is responsible for the content of this story. Any Characters used from any program or book are the sole property of their parent entities and are used here as a tribute to the original writers without their expressed permission, but with the understanding that no money will be made from this story and that no copyright infringement is intended.

THIS STATEMENT MUST ACCOMPANY THE STORY: "Origins Two: Unholy Alliance", IF DISTRIBUTED. THIS STORY IS FREE OF CHARGE AND MAY NOT BE SOLD OR EXCHANGED FOR FINANCIAL RETURN IN ANY FORM. THIS DEDICATION MUST ACCOMPANY ANY DISTRIBUTION OF THIS STORY.


Chapter One

Somewhere in Europe...

"It's time for us to act. Send in the agents and capture as many Immortals as you can. Be sure to deprive them of their armbands as quickly as possible. We don't want to raise the alarm too quickly." a man that was sitting in shadow said into a phone.

A voice on the other end replied, "Understood. By this time tomorrow, the Immortals will be put on notice that we won't take what they're doing laying down."

A second man spoke as the first hung up the phone. "Timing is critical, if even one team makes a mistake, the plan will fall apart."

"Yes, are you sure about the jamming devices? They will block the transporter? We have a lot riding on those things." the first man said.

"The teams have instructions to put the bomb vests on the Immortals, just in case, so even if the plan fails we still win a major victory." the second man replied. "I doubt even an Immortal can survive having their torso turned into goo."


Duncan MacLeod of the Clan MacLeod sat in his loft in Seacouver, reviewing the past weekend in his head. He and Samantha Carter were growing closer, but she was hesitant to sleep with her teammate. Something that he could understand, even if he didn't truly like it much, therefore he and Sam were going slow and taking it one day at a time.

Over the past weekend they had gone hiking in the Rockies not far from the SGC and had a lovely dinner at a place called O'Malley's in Colorado Springs. The next day, they went spelunking on a neighboring mountain to the base, that was still on base property.

After descending a few hundred feet into the heart of the mountain, Methos had contacted Sam via her implant and asked her to do a thorough scan of the mountain. It had spoiled the fun for Duncan, but Sam thought it would be fun to take a closer look. She took out her scanner, she was hardly ever without it these days, and began to map the caverns. It seemed like cheating to MacLeod, but he didn't argue about it. He liked to explore the unknown from time to time and the fact that few had ever been in these caves was a bit mollifying.

Sam finished her scan, then uploaded the data to her implant and sent a copy to Methos, keeping a copy in her head. She was still in awe at what her implant could do. Several times she'd begun a new project and was half done building a new machine before she realized that the knowledge had come directly from the implant and not her own experiences. It had scared her at first, but Methos had assured her that her sense of self would never be lost. The implant was becoming a true extension of her brain and her brain was taking full advantage of the added capacity.

They finished their exploration of one branch and set off for the surface. When they got there, Duncan gave Sam a kiss and said he was going to Seacouver to check up on Richie and his friend Joe.

She smiled and told him to say hello for her and they parted at the base parking lot. Duncan headed for the airport and arrived in Seacouver a couple hours later.

Now he was relaxing and sorting through his feelings. He decided to head over to Joe's bar and have a couple of rounds with his friend.

A few minutes later at Joe's, he noticed a black van was following him. He ducked into the bar and said, "Hey Joe. Can I use your phone?"

Joe smiled as his Immortal friend entered the bar and said, "Sure." He then noticed the frown on MacLeod's face. "What's wrong?"

"There's a black van outside, they followed me from the loft." Duncan replied as he dialed Methos' private number.

Joe went to the door and peaked out. The van was parked across the street and no one was apparently inside. "They're out of the van, whoever they are."

After a moment of waiting, Methos answered, "Hello, Joe?"

"It's me, Mac. Listen, I think something might be up. A black van followed me here from my loft." The Highlander said.

"A black van, that's odd but not something I'd worry about. What made you suspicious?" Methos asked.

"I'm not sure, I just have a bad feeling about this." MacLeod responded. "It might be nothing. I'll call Phandora if things get dicey."

"Okay Mac, be careful, but don't get paranoid. It might just be some kind of delivery service that has the same route as the one you take to Joe's. I'll see you later."

Methos hung up on him and Duncan did the same. He was just about to say something to Joe when all hell broke loose. The window to the street shattered as something crashed through it and began spewing a green colored gas. Duncan held his breath and rushed to grab the gas grenade. Joe was already down as were two other customers and the waitress. Duncan picked up the canister and started to pull his arm back to throw the thing back outside. The gas was now filling most of the bar and Duncan felt more light-headed with each passing second. He threw the canister but missed the window as his strength gave out. He realized that the gas must be able to permeate his skin as well as if he'd breathed it. It was his last thought as darkness overtook him...


SGC

Methos began checking in with his Immortals as a precaution, meditating as he had during the first Gathering to locate them.

Across from him, Teal'c was doing his Kel'no'reem. Teal'c was brought out of it as he heard Methos gasp. "Is something wrong Methos?"

"You could say that. Twenty Immortals are now dead, and I can't feel Duncan through my link to him. I'm going to call the remaining Immortals together and pray that none of them is in any danger in the time it takes me to do it. We're under attack!" Methos said, standing up and looking angry.

"Is there anything I can do?" Teal'c asked in concern.

"Inform General Hammond about what I've said and tell him I have to act now or more lives may be lost." Methos said. He then vanished in a flash of light, transported away by Phandora.

Teal'c stood up and rushed out the door...


Phandora's Cavern

Methos appeared next to Phandora's memory core and ran down towards the new armory wing that Phandora's Avatar had carved out of the living mountain. Her avatar was there sorting through the inventory.

"Greetings Methos. Is something wrong?" she asked.

"We're under attack, initiate transport of all Immortals, screen them for explosives before completing the transport." Methos ordered, as he grabbed the sword he'd used on Chulak and a pack containing a set of his latest body armor.

Phandora did as he asked and soon the meeting cavern was full of confused and angry Immortals. A few were unconscious, clearly knocked out by some kind of gas.

Methos stepped into the meeting cavern, followed by Phandora's avatar. "I'm sorry to have pulled you away from whatever you were doing, but we are all being targeted by someone. A few minutes ago, we lost twenty Immortals in one fell swoop. Please follow Phandora here to the armory and get a pack like this one. Inside is a set of body armor, put it on, one size fits all as it is self adjusting so don't worry about finding a set that fits. I'll explain some of its features when you all return. Keep the helmet off for now. Connor, Cassandra, please see to the unconscious Immortals, see if you can wake them, if not then take them to the infirmary. Phandora will be along to help you in a moment."

The Immortals began complying with Methos immediately, following Phandora's Avatar and getting into the armor. Connor and Cassandra tried futilely to wake several of the asleep Immortals but failed. Cassandra came into contact with a residue from the gas as did Connor. They both fell unconscious before Methos noticed. When he saw what had happened he had Phandora take the bodies one at a time, into the infirmary. He then instructed her to wash the Immortals carefully to get rid of the residue.

Soon the other Immortals were assembled and waited for Methos to speak. "Okay, listen up. On your right arm is a set of controls for a few perks the armor has. The top control button is for the personal shield, below it as you hold your arm up, is the power indicator. It tells you how much energy remains for the shield. The next set of controls, moving towards your wrist, is for life support, in case you are in an environment that's harmful to even us, like space. The last set of controls are for the recharging units. It should only be activated when your power readings are almost at zero. It has its own power supply and draws power from your quickening to recharge the suit and itself. You may feel a bit fatigued after using this feature, so use it sparingly. The armor has another recharging method when its stored here at the armory, so you don't have to recharge it in the field unless it's absolutely necessary, understood?"

The Immortals acknowledged his instructions. He then held up the helmet. "This is more for hostile environments than what we would normally need, but it does have extra armoring that comes down around the neck as it seals. It will feel strange the first time you put it on, like it wants to choke you. Don't worry, it may keep you from losing your head in combat. Inside this little beauty is a Heads Up Display, or HUD if you prefer. It has built in radar and sonar, and a scanner capability as well. Those of you that have implants, I will transfer the necessary instructions to in a moment. The rest of you will be able to access that information on the viewing strip where you look out of the helmet. The HUD also displays itself there in one corner. You can move the HUD or turn it off for better visibility if you wish, but I recommend looking at it every few seconds in hostile territory, it might save your life.

"Now then, on to our objective. I've had Phandora scanning for Duncan MacLeod since the moment I arrived. He's not being picked up. I can't find him with my link and it's looking like things are bad in Seacouver. Joe Dawson's bar has been gutted by a fire. He's a close personal friend of mine and a Watcher. He was Duncan's Watcher for years before Duncan discovered him. Now he's in a coma at the local hospital and it looks like Duncan was taken at the bar. I want to set up a search pattern to find him. I've got Phandora retasking several satellites to trace where a black van that Duncan saw before the attacks might have gone. He may be in that van, so I'm making it a top priority. All black vans in the town of Seacouver and the county surrounding it are to be searched. I will work with the local authorities to quell any misgivings the locals might have. This was a terrorist attack, so act accordingly, if you are threatened with a gas attack, activate the life support and raise your shield, then defend yourselves. Try to keep civilians safe if at all possible, flee to a secluded area if you have to and call Phandora for backup. That's all for now."

Methos began broadcasting the instructions to those with implants and instructions on how to proceed with the search. a few seconds later Immortals began disappearing in two and threes, whisked off in search of the Highlander.


Seacouver

The sight of Immortals in body armor raised some alarm with the locals as they searched the area. The helmets covering their faces so as to hide there identities. The local authorities weren't happy when Methos arrived at the Mayor's office in similar attire and began siting the reason for their visit to his fair city. The mayor called the FBI and the ATF, looking for confirmation about Methos' reasons for being there. After a few minutes of waiting on hold, he was shocked to be speaking with the President of the United States. The President explained that it was critical that the mayor and his people cooperate with Methos and let him do his job, he hinted at matters of national security before hanging up on the mayor. The mayor complied...


Somewhere in Seacouver

Duncan MacLeod slowly came awake and groggily looked around. He was chained to a wall in what appeared to be a basement for a department store. Clothes and unused racks were stacked on the far side of the room by a door. The door looked as if it had not seen proper maintenance in years, rust and stains clearly visible on its surface. Written faintly on one corner was 'Sub-Basement 5'. A closer look at the clothes showed them to be moth-eaten and way out of current fashions.

Duncan sighed and tested the chains that were holding him to the wall. They at least looked brand new and in good condition, as did the bolts that fed into the wall from the chains. Looking up he saw a camera pointing down at him from one corner of the room.

"Do not struggle Mr. MacLeod, those chains are solid steel, hand-crafted by a blacksmith in my employee. It would be futile to try and escape as well. I've had the room's entrance sealed in concrete. You're trapped MacLeod with only one way out... The transporter Methos made for you Immortals to use. Unfortunately, for the moment, you are quite undetectable. We've placed a costly amount of lead around the room and added jamming equipment that I'm told blocks even subspace frequencies. No one will find you until I want them to." A voice stated via a speaker mounted by the camera.

"So, you've planned ahead, so what? What do you want with me? Are you going to seal me in here forever?" the Highlander asked.

"You will be released, or I should say, we will allow Methos and his puppet Darius to rescue you, but in order for that to happen I want you to deliver a message to the Immortals." the voice replied.

"What message would that be? That you're a craven coward that attacks from the shadows? Come out and fight me face to face if you have any honor." MacLeod responded.

"Mr. MacLeod, temper, temper, you had best redirect your hostilities to a more productive purpose, like protecting your apprentice, Richie Ryan. We thought about using him as one of our examples, but I believed he was more useful to us alive. Don't make me change my mind." the voice said in a condescending way.

"If you harm one hair on Richie's head, I'll take yours..." MacLeod said, his anger rising along with worry.

"Haha, Mr. MacLeod. Understand this Highlander, if I want to kill Ryan, you will be no obstacle. I can give the order and within a few moments, he will die. So then, do be careful with your empty threats. Now then, on to more productive business. You will relay the following message: We do now formally declare war against the Immortals. A first strike has already been carried out and these attacks will continue, if not directly against Immortals, then against all those that they hold dear. every man, woman and child that has had a personal touch with any Immortal is declared a viable target, anyone killed with them will simply be collateral damage. We will continue these attacks until the Immortals meet the following demands.

"First, the Immortal Methos will turn over all technologies and knowledge thereof that he has access to, to us. Second, Darius, the so-called President of the Immortal Nation will surrender himself to us. Third Methos will also surrender to us and help us to understand and implement the technologies he now controls. Refusal to comply with ANY of these demands will result in further bloodshed.

"Do you understand what I have just said to you Highlander?" the voiced asked, sounding almost bored with the task.

"You're formally signing your death warrants, so far as I can figure. I can already tell you how we will respond to your threats. We will hunt down each and every one of you until the end of time if necessary if you harm another soul. As it is, you're going to spend a very long time in a room less pleasant than the one I now occupy if I have my way. Mark my words, whoever you are. You've opened the gates of Hell, and Death is riding out to take you." Duncan said, enunciating each word and syllable. He was clearly done listening to the mad man at the other end of this conversation. He closed his eyes and concentrated with all of his being on the link he had with Methos. Somehow, it to was blocked. The Highlander decided to keep trying and settled himself as best he could, waiting for success or rescue, whichever came first.

The man who had spoken to MacLeod observed the Highlander for a few minutes more and then cut the connection to the camera. He then erased the hard drive of the computer he was using, using a program made specifically to wipe the drive, making any data retrieval impossible. Then he set a bomb on the desk and left the building.

Five minutes later the building was destroyed in a massive explosion, the bomb's power augmented by tons of fertilizer and other chemicals.

In the basement, MacLeod felt the concussion of the blast above him and prayed that the ceiling didn't cave in. He had no wish to be buried alive.


Down Town Seacouver...

Methos and the Chief of Police, James Patterson stood in front a squad car pouring over a map of the city. The Immortals and the local authorities had searched over half of the city working from east to west, and from north to south. They were just beginning to search the busier portions of town when they heard a massive explosion in the old part of town. Buildings for miles around were shaken and for blocks around the epicenter windows shattered as more than a few additional buildings collapsed or were obliterated by the power of the explosion.

"My God!" the Mayor cried out as a fireball almost resembling a mushroom cloud reached hundreds of feet into the air above Seacouver. "Was that nuclear? Tell me it wasn't for God's sake!"

Methos held up a scanner and did a quick reading on what had happened. "No, it's not nuclear, but it's the biggest damn explosion short of one that I've ever seen." Methos said after a moment.

"Thank God, what kind of Geiger Counter is that thing you're using. It looks like a toy to me." the Mayor said, looking at the scanner curiously.

"It's classified at the moment Mr. Mayor. I can't tell you anything about it or the gear my people are using. Let's just say that we're an advanced team that reports directly to President and the FBI. We're also affiliated with the NSA." Methos said, for the umpteenth time. The Mayor was beginning to annoy him.

"I've seen some of the best body armor this country and, as far as I know, this world can make. Your gear is better by a factor of magnitude that boggles the mind. I've also done a few covert ops in my tour of service. I've never seen anything that even comes close, so please, Mr. Pierson, don't patronize me. I may not have the correct clearance level to know just who you really are, but you have black ops written all over you." Patterson said, getting peeved.

"Alright, then you know I really can't talk to you about this. The best I can do is say that this is a search and rescue at the moment and that a terrorist cell is responsible for it. Please understand, I'm not here to make waves, in fact, I hope to make a few go away. Please, just help me find my missing man." Methos pleaded.

Patterson sobered up a little, "Very well, let's get down to this explosion and see what's what there. Maybe your man is there, let's hope he wasn't."

Methos nodded, if there was one sure fire way to permanently kill an Immortal it was by targeting them with an explosion. "I hope he wasn't there, but we should check anyway."


Duncan was fine until the water started to pour in, "Great, its a good thing I can't drown." The water reached him and he realized he wasn't just going to get wet, it was freezing. "Damn, hypothermia can kill me. Come on Methos, find me already!"

The water began to rise...


As Methos and the Mayor worked their way toward the epicenter of the explosion, they were struck with just how big it had been. Methos was reminded of scenes of London and Berlin in the last world war. Devastation was everywhere, as far as the eye could see. Buildings that had been built over a century ago were nothing more than piles of burning timber and brick. Fire Trucks battled futilely to reach the blazes because many building fronts had fallen into the streets, choking them with debris. Even alleyways were nearly useless as detours because of further debris piles.

The Mayor finally asked Methos for help, "I can't get through to the Governor, most of the landlines in the area are cut off and the town's cellular phone towers in this area were knocked down by the blast. Can you contact anyone?"

Methos nodded. "Yes sir, if you'll please give me a little privacy. I'll do what I can." Methos replied.

Patterson scowled at the request, but didn't object. He walked on ahead with several of his subordinates and began trying direct some firefighters as they worked on clearing a path for their trucks.

Methos put on his helmet and then began accessing the necessary information he needed to effect the quickest response for the beleaguered city. He contacted the President's office via Phandora and the laptop he'd given the President and then called General Hammond. After that, he contacted the heads of FEMA and the Red Cross and issued requests and orders to them using his Presidential authority. In as few as ten minutes the air was filled with the sound of helicopters and planes, each filled with water to help fight the out of control blazes he saw in front of him.

The Mayor looked back at Methos with awe and a large smile broke out on his face, as the water began falling. Fire fighters cheered and tackled their jobs with more vigor, eager to help. The Chief of Police smiled too and gave Methos a salute, which he returned formally.

Methos rejoined the Mayor and told him what to expect in the next few hours. Patterson's smile grew and tears came into his eyes. "Thank you. I had you pegged for a stuck up piece of crap, but I'm glad I was wrong."

Methos laughed and the Mayor joined in. "If you'd seen me just a year ago, you'd have been right. I was so full of myself back then."

The Mayor grinned. "Let's keep moving, we're almost there now I think."

Patterson was right, after a few more minutes of struggle they finally reached the epicenter. A hole nearly two city blocks wide and several storeys deep came into view. "My God, what could cause this?" Patterson uttered after finding his voice.

Methos shook his head, "It's probably going to take weeks for the bomb experts to tell us. If I was to guess, it might have been a mixture of fertilizers and C4, maybe some flour thrown in to give it a big bang effect."

Methos walked up to the edge and looked down into the crater. As far as he could tell, the bomb's effect had been directed upwards and outwards. It had still penetrated downward though, about fifty to sixty feet. He could make out several layers of sub-basements in the area. A stairway and an elevator shaft at the epicenter itself caught his eye. They had been filled in with concrete, and it was still quite fresh, not quite cured all the way through.

He walked back to a squad car and found a rope and tackle. He then returned to the edge of the hole and found a secure place to tie the rope off at. Once that was done, he turned to the Mayor. "I'm going down there, It's not stable though, so don't let anyone follow me down."

The Mayor nodded reluctantly, "Alright, but you be careful. I've seen enough death for one day." he said, talking about bodies that had been caught in the blast.

Methos nodded and began to lower himself down. At the bottom, he carefully made his way towards the covered stairway. As he drew near it he felt the presence of another Immortal. Despite the carnage around him, he gave out a shout of joy that could be heard from above.

The Mayor called down, "Have you found him?"

Methos turned back and gave the Mayor a thumbs up sign, then he began to look for a way down.


Duncan felt the presence of another Immortal and began to laugh as he slowly froze in the frigid water. It was now up to his chest and while the flow had slowed, it was still rising. He tried to reach Methos once again and this time he was rewarded by a faint reply, as if Methos was talking to him over a bad telephone connection. "Duncan? Are you okay?"

"I'm freezing, water is coming in from a big crack in the far wall, I'm about to die Old Man." MacLeod said over the link.

"I'm right above you. Is there a way to reach you? I can't find an opening up here." Methos replied.

"The man that grabbed me said that this room is sealed off. There's no conventional way to reach me, but that crack has gotten wide enough I might slip through. There's just one big snag, I'm chained to the wall I'm next to." Duncan sent, beginning to shiver uncontrollably.

"Alright, just hang in there a little longer. I'll get to you somehow." Methos sent in return.

MacLeod almost laughed, but he was shivering too hard to really do so.


Methos contacted Phandora and tried to get a lock on the Highlander. When that failed he began to get angry. "Whoever did this did their homework, damn them." He called up for a jack hammer and other digging tools. A few minutes later they arrived and he began digging the hard way. As much as he wanted too, there were too many witnesses watching for him to try using a staff blast from his sword that was strapped to his back. He thought about the raised eyebrow the Mayor had given him when he had first introduced himself as he dug. It bought a grin to his face, since he had merely shrugged the questioning look off and begun to brief Patterson on the situation.


Duncan sighed a little as he noticed the water was now beginning to go down. Apparently it had found a new space to fill, and he was all to happy to see it go. He could hear the sound of Methos drilling his way through the concrete ceiling above and knew his friend was on his way. He gave another sigh and slipped into unconsciousness.

Above him, to the right and about fifteen feet out, a crack opened up to let a little light in. Methos was almost there.


A few hours later Duncan awoke in the infirmary at the SGC. He gave Dr. Fraiser a half-hearted smile as she walked up and asked, "How am I doing doctor?"

"Other than a bit of muscle fatigue, you seem to be fine, your core body temperature had me worried for a while, but you were already warming up when they beamed you in, so I just let nature do all the work. Your vitals are strong, but I'd still like to keep you for a day. Your electrolytes were a bit low." Fraiser replied, looking serious.

"I feel fine, just a little tired. Let me go back to my quarters and I promise to get a good night's sleep." MacLeod lied. He was feeling truly spent at the moment.

Fraiser scowled and said, "You're not going anywhere, and you'll get plenty of sleep right here." She checked an I-V that was attached to his arm and began to change the bag.

The Highlander was startled and a bit put off that he hadn't noticed the needle in his arm before now. He realized that he wasn't ready to go anywhere after all. "Sorry, Doc, had to try. Before you put me under though, I need to pass on a message to Adam. It's really important Doc."

Fraiser frowned but decided it wouldn't hurt to wait a little bit before giving him a sedative. "I'll call him down."

She walked around a curtain and disappeared from the Highlander's view.

A few seconds later, Methos appeared in a flash of light. "Are you feeling okay?"

Duncan gave him a weak smile and said, "I've been through worse. It's just been a long time. Listen, I was given a message." Duncan told Methos the message and said what his reply to it had been.

Methos' face grew darker by the word and when Duncan was finished his demeanor was frightening to behold.

Methos really did look like Death to the Highlander and he became worried for his friend. "Methos, calm down, don't let the dark side of your soul control you."

Methos' face cleared once he realized what was happening. He gave Duncan a smile. "Sorry, It's just that, they killed a lot of good people today. I'll make them wish their grandparents had never been born by the time I'm finished with them."

Duncan asked in a low tone, "Who did we lose?"

Methos turned to face the curtain and began to recite the names of the dead. He named nineteen people that Duncan didn't really know or had only heard of, then he fell silent.

"Methos, who is the twentieth? Tell me!" Duncan exclaimed, pulling Methos around to face him. What he saw in Methos' eyes filled him with a deep sense of dread. "Who was it?" he asked in a deep Scottish Brogue.

Methos wiped the tears from his eyes and put his hand on Duncan's arm, "It was Amanda..." Methos turned away as Duncan let out a howl of grief that brought Fraiser running. He was unable to look the Highlander in the face.

Fraiser stopped at the curtain when she saw the looks of grief and backed away as gracefully as she could. She held a hand and flashed three fingers at Methos, at his nod, she returned to her office.

After a moment, Duncan said, "How?"

Methos looked down before answering, "She was defending my estate in France. One against twenty men, all armed to the teeth. They managed to kill her and then took her head. A neighbor came running because of all the commotion, he saw them behead her."

"Who did he see? Did he give a description?" asked Duncan, his face deadly serious now.

"He said that the men were dressed all in black and drove black vans with no plates. He hid as soon as he'd seen what they'd done and luckily for him they didn't see him as they left. They looked military in their bearing though, he said." Methos replied. "Duncan, I've instituted a full evacuation of all Immortals to the Caverns. They've brought everyone they cared about with them and Phandora is having a hard time keeping up with their needs. We need to find a secure location for us all. One that these bastards will never be able to reach."

"Duncan studied his friend's face intently. "You want to run? You want to give up everything we have to these scum?" MacLeod said angrily.

"No MacLeod, I want to kill them all, but right now we're vulnerable. These people know how to kill us and they've declared war. We need a position of strength from which we can strike back, one that they can't retaliate against." Methos said trying to reason with the Highlander.

"Where can we go Methos? If we use the Stargate, they will find a way to reach us. We're still vulnerable here on Earth, so what does that leave us?" MacLeod said, looking lost.

Methos sighed, "There are a few places we can go on Earth, but I'd prefer one that's more distant. I've been reviewing Alteran history with Phandora, she says that there is a base of sorts on Mars. If it's as big as she thinks, it will be more than large enough for us to set up a temporary colony there."

"Mars? Are you daft? How will we survive there?" Duncan looked dismayed at the thought. "And how are we going to get there? Our first ship is still months away from being finished."

"Darius found one possibility a few days ago. It's a small transport, one that looks like it was made to fly through the Stargate. It was buried in a remote region of Spain, under tons of rock and dirt. He had it excavated by a team of his most trusted Watchers and one of the Ten. He then had it brought over to France and then finally to Phandora's caverns." Methos said.

"Will it fly?" asked Duncan.

"I think so, I've had Phandora's avatar working on it nonstop since it arrived there. She says it will be ready in two days." Methos replied. "It's a fascinating design. I'd seen schematics in Phandora's database, but we don't have the materials to build one, not like they built them at least. Phandora is working on a new model based on the actual ship. She says the new designs will be available when the transport is finished."

Dr. Fraiser walked up and spoke, "Your three minutes are up, Mr. MacLeod needs his rest now. Come back tomorrow." She ushered Methos out of the way and then returned to administer a sedative to the Highlander's I-V. Duncan was already asleep...


Somewhere in France...

Three men were gathered around a small table and hidden in shadow.

"The first attacks went down almost flawlessly, we lost a few soldiers, but it was well within the expected casualty rate. We didn't get all of our targets, but we did get our point across." Said the third man present.

"You were clumsy in your execution of the plan, ten of our targets escaped before we could behead them. Also, why I let you talk me into leaving the Highlander alive was a mistake. He's going to be trouble." said the first man. If Duncan had heard it, he would have recognized this voice as belonging to his tormentor.

"It was a necessary risk, we needed one of them to clearly pass along our demands. He was the one most likely to do this since he works closely with this Methos character of yours." The second man said, sounding amused. "He's served his purpose. Once we help you get the Immortals out of the way, we can move in and take control of the Stargate Program and help you with their technology."

A pager went off on the second man's belt. "If you'll excuse me, that'll be my superiors." He stood up and left the room.

The other two men looked at each other for a moment then the first one spoke, "He can't be trusted, once he and his NID goons get control of things and the SGC, we'll have no choice but to eliminate them too."

The third man nodded, "I agree, but for now, they do have their uses, cannon fodder comes to mind."

They laughed for a moment and then stood up as well.

The first man said, "It's good to have you with us on the Watcher's Council. You can be our eyes and ears while the rest of us plan out our next move."

The two men shook hands and then left.

In the next room over, the man who'd held MacLeod turned off his voice modulator and spoke into the phone, "Yes sir. I'll be on the next flight back to the States in three hours. No sir, they won't be a problem, once we've solidified our presence at the SGC and gotten rid of that fool, Hammond, we'll eliminate the Watchers..."

The man walked out of the building and into the bright sunshine. If anyone from the SGC had been there to see him, they would have asked what he was doing there, after all, Major Samuels was supposed to be at Area 51 at the moment...


Please Read and Review! Martin70