Young Wizards / Highlander crossover. All characters belong to their respective creators, and there is no intent to infringe on copyright. This story may not be distributed on a profit-making basis.

Complicated Spelling

by Marcus L. Rowland

Kit Rodriguez thought he was alone, apart from the fish, until a polite English voice said "Is Tom Swale around, or Carl Romero?"

"Sorry, no," said Kit, looking up from the pond. "They're out of town for a few days, I'm looking after their pets."

The stranger looked like he was in his forties, and was casually dressed, with a slightly disheveled look and a raincoat over one shoulder, despite the warmth of the day. Kit couldn't sense any magic, and wondered how he'd got past the wards and into the garden. Then he widened his senses and felt power; something odd, immense, and old. And there was something metallic under the raincoat.

"Damn," said the stranger. "Um... Dai stiho. I am on errantry and I greet you."

"Dai. Your accent is terrible."

"I'm not a wizard, I only know a few words. A long time ago someone did something to the speech centre of my brain to make sure that I couldn't learn more."

"Then how can you be on errantry?"

The stranger looked amused, and said "Do you think that there's only one type of errantry?"

"Good point. What is it you need?"

"A quick trip to Scotland. A friend of mine is going to get himself killed there, I need to be there to defuse the situation, and the airlines will take too long. I can pay."

"What sort of payment did you have in mind?"

"A year of my life."

"A year?" said Kit. "A whole year? I can't take that."

"Of course you can," said the stranger. "I've done it before. Tom and Carl and I have an arrangement. I give them a year, they pass the change on to someone that can use it."

Kit thought dizzily about the people a year could help. "You're quite sure that you know what you're asking?"

"Absolutely. But you're going to have to do all the work. It's really annoying, I'm a linguist and historian, and the Powers won't even let me read my own name in the Speech." He groped into his pocket and pulled out a bulky wad of paper.

"What's this?" asked Kit.

"My name, the last time Tom and Carl checked it."

"All of that is your name?"


"Well, mister..." Kit looked at the start of the page, and said "Pierson, let's give it a shot. Age... wait a minute, that can't be right."

"It is, as close as I can determine it. That's why I'm not worried about a year."

"Holy... Let's see... five thousand year old immortal warrior... scholar... founder of the Campaign for Real Ale... always carryies a sword... um... former vessel of the Lone Power..." Kit felt the pitch of his voice and his eyebrows rising.

"And I'd prefer to keep it former, so be extra careful when you get to that bit."

"Also known as Benjamin Adams, Methos... um... Death..." Kit had a sinking feeling that this was going to take quite some time.


Note: The Young Wizards version of magic only works well if the name used for the subject describes him REALLY accurately. Get it wrong, and you may end up changing the nature of the subject. Under certain circumstances spell-checking might be a real problem...