100-word Drabble crossover between Highlander and Lois McMaster Bujold's Vorkosigan books. The setting is the far future for Highlander, during the novel Barrayar for the Vorkosigan series. Major spoiler for Barrayar. All characters belong to their respective creators / media companies / etc., this story may not be distributed on a profit-making basis.

Potential Unfulfilled

Marcus L. Rowland

Count Vordarian didn't know he had the potential for immortality, of course. Under other circumstances Cordelia might have told him, trained him. But now her son was endangered - a son she could never have had before the invention of the uterine replicator.

There was little time for pity or remorse. As Bothari's blade came down, as his head rolled across the table, she felt the faint stirring of his quickening, snuffed before its time, and wished it could be otherwise. She whispered "there can be only one," put the head in her bag, and set off to end a war.


Notes: In the Highlander universe immortals can't normally have children. But it occurred to me that the uterine replicator, a very advanced artificial womb, might change that, and that the novel Barrayar has a canon decapitation... That got me wondering why the first gift Cordelia bought on Barrayar was a sword, and the rest followed very easily.

I was asked a LOT of questions about this when it appeared on Livejournal. Briefly, this story requires two changes from Vorkosigan canon; Cordelia's child must be planned as a replicator birth from the outset, and Vordarian must be an adopted son. If I planned to extend this story I would add that even with a uterine replicator and advanced genetic engineering it is very difficult for an Immortal to conceive a child (which might lead to the deformities Miles Vorkosigan experiences), and that the child of an immortal will be mortal, as will clones etc.