Once More, With Horsemen

by Parda, Summer 2008

with acknowledgments and thanks to

the creators of the Highlander episodes "Comes A Horseman" and "Revelation 6:8",
the creators of the Buffy the Vampire Slayer episode "Once More, with Feeling",
and the creators of the website "Once More, With Hobbits".

Part I: Comes a Horseman

In the Highlander Universe... Immortals live among us. Beheading is the only way to kill them. When an Immortal is beheaded, his or her quickening (i.e., life essence) is absorbed by another Immortal via lightning bolts. Beheading happens fairly often, because Immortals play "the Game," a contest in which the last Immortal left alive gets "the Prize," enough power to rule the world. Some Immortals are nice, some not so nice. They sense each other's approach through a sensation known as "the buzz."

Immortals Duncan MacLeod and Methos are walking along and bickering amiably when they feel "the buzz." Methos (who is 5000 years old) immediately wants to turn around and go the other way. Duncan (only 400 years old) is curious and wants to find out who the other Immortal is. Methos leaves, and Duncan goes to see who's there.

"Living Like a Hero"
Sung by Methos

[a la "Going Through the Motions" by Buffy]

Every single dare, the same reaction
He goes out to see who's there.
Though I always counsel
Wise inaction,
He just has to know;
He just has to care.

I've been lying low
Like a normal Joe,
Just going with the flow,

While he's been living like a hero,
Playing out the part.
He's really quite
the Boy Scout at heart.

I was sometimes brave
and sometimes not too,
Now I find I'm wondering.
Crawl out of your grave
enough times and you

Give up on the Game.
It's just not the same.
No one left to blame.

I've lived many years,
Been drinking beers
But now there are these fears.

'Cause he's been living like a hero,
Getting all the girls.
No doubt he's even
going to save the world!

Is this Game our life's endeavor?
Fighting, dying, staying never
Who would want to live forever?

I don't want to be
Living like a hero,
I'm just trying to survive.
Why can't he even see
It could be him and me
And I want us to stay alive!

Duncan recognizes the other immortal as Koren, a murderous raider he met in the 1800s. While chasing him, Duncan meets Cassandra, another ancient Immortal who has psychic powers. She is also hunting Koren. However, Koren disappears, so Duncan and Cassandra go to Duncan's loft. There, Cassandra tells Duncan that Koren was originally known as Kronos, and he used to raid with three other Immortals. They killed her family three thousand years ago, during the Bronze Age. She knows them as the Four Horsemen, and she wants revenge.

The next morning, Duncan takes Cassandra to Joe's Bar, where they ask Joe, a mortal who watches Immortals, for help in finding Koren/Kronos.

"It's Not A Theory"
sung by Cassandra, Joe and Duncan

[a la "I've Got a Theory" sung by Willow, Tara, Xander, Anya, Giles, and Buffy]

It's not a theory.
He was a Horseman.
Back in the Bronze Age
And don't give me that look, Joe.

You must be joking.
I mean, way back then,
People told some stories
That got into the Bible long ago.

It's not a theory;
the Horsemen were a fact.

Duncan+ Cassandra
So help us find him.
Koren who was Kronos
should be whacked.

It might be in there.
Maybe there's something.
I guess I could go check the files
but this is nuts,
the horsemen were all bogeymen
and this witch has got MacLeod
again to chase down all her foes.

It's not a story.
He was a Horseman.

I think you're-

Cassandra (with rock music and exploding fireworks)
Horsemen aren't just myths
like everybody keeps saying.
They used their great bronze swords
For slashing and for slaying.

I saw them in the Bronze Age.
What do you Watchers know
about it anyway?

Horsemen, Horsemen.
They were the Horsemen!

So go find Kronos.

I think it's best that
We get on this fast.
Because it clearly could get
serious before it's passed.

It's not a theory...
You can't imagine.

The Horsemen when
they were together.
Riding down on you
hell-bent for leather.

Well, I've been there.
The blood, the tears
The hate, the fears.

They took the world
we knew and killed it.
They slaughtered, raped,
and burned right through it.

When those four came,
Our blood was spilled.
My people slain
My father killed.

Though they all called
each other brothers
That's what the Horsemen
did to others.

So there's nothing I want more
Than the head of Kronos.

That evening, Kronos greets Methos by stabbing him in the chest then drags him to an abandoned power station. Methos revives.

"The Dagger"

[a la "Mustard" by the dancing dry cleaners]

Methos: You took the dagger out!

Kronos: I took the dagger out!

Kronos tries to convince Methos to join him as a Horseman once again. (Note: this combines the scene after the dagger is removed and the scene with the blood oath, which takes place the next day, after Cassandra confronts Methos in the dojo.)

"You're Under the Spell"
Sung by Kronos to Methos

[a la "Under Your Spell" sung by Tara to Willow]

We lived our life as Horsemen,
always the sword in our hand.
There was no force on earth that
Could withstand our fearsome band.

Our power shone.
Brighter than any they'd known
The Horsemen came from hell.
Riding from the sun,
watching mortals run

It's freedom, we can tell.
That's how it's meant to be,
killing comes so easily.

We lived our lives as brothers,
horses and slaves all around.
We always had each other,
we didn't need holy ground.

And our power shone.
Brighter than any they'd known.
The Horsemen ruled the world
Nothing they could do.
We just swept on through.

We slaughtered, raped and burned.
Remember how they died.
Your brothers by your side
The Horsemen ruled the world!

The blood on the ride.
You can feel it inside.
You're under the spell.
Surging like the sea,
drawn to death so helplessly.
I know you oh so well.
Lost in ecstasy
Death becomes both you and me.

I make you complete.
You make me complete.
Death makes us complete
(repeat and fade)

Methos leaves Kronos, goes to Duncan's dojo, and starts to say, "Look, something's come up...". He is taken aback when Duncan immediately asks him about Kronos. Then Cassandra appears and recognizes Methos.

"How Can I Tell?"
Sung by Cassandra, Methos, and Duncan

[a la "I'll Never Tell" sung by Xander and Anya]

This is a man
that I can happily strangle,
He's total slime.

His claim to fame
was to maim and to mangle,
Now vengeance is mine!

When I just felt the buzz,
I never dreamt
it was because
Another Horseman was
Still alive.

Who is this dame,
what's her name, what's her game?
And why is she mad?

Was I once late on a date?
Why the hate?
This is bad, really bad!

She's just pulled her blade,
I'd better run; I'd better fade
Away, 'cause that's the way I've stayed
Still alive

And I want to survive.

Duncan (to Cassandra)
What are you doing?

Stay back or you'll be ruing
The day you started screwing
With a witch.
(then to Methos) You're dead.

I've never met you.

Do you think I could forget you?
And don't think I'm going to let you
Keep your lying head.

MacLeod, you've got to hold her.
'Cause I'd like to become older
And she's getting rather bolder
And if all you do is scold her
Then I won't live too long!
I'm telling you that she is wrong.

(to Duncan)
I'm right; he's lying.
(to Methos) Start fighting or start dying.
Why aren't you even trying.
I want to know.

MacLeod, don't delay.
She's treating me like her prey

I'll take-

Duncan (grabs Cass.)
Methos, get away!

Let go of me! Let go!

Methos (spoken)
Don't look at me! I'm running like crazy! (exit Methos)

Let go!

You have to calm down

Ok, I'll calm down.

(going to the hall to look for Methos)

He's the smartest of the brothers
I'm not talking Marx or Smothers
If he's alive there might be others...
They have to die!

(returning to Duncan in the dojo)
He's gone. You shouldn't
Have stopped me.

But he couldn't
I'm sure that he just wouldn't.
He's a normal guy.

I've lived this tale.
There's trust and then betrayal.
I know there'll come the day he'll
hang you out to dry.

He won't; he's not a Horseman.

You don't ... know him the way that I do.

I'm telling you, he is my friend.

I'm telling you, it's all pretend.
He's a killer, he's a raider.
Even worse than bad Darth Vader

He likes reading, he likes writing.
And he's not that keen on fighting.

He's a Horseman.

You're mistaken.

I'm afraid that you've been taken.
He and Kronos have a stake in
Making this world a hell.
I'm off to cast their death spell.
Exit Cassandra

I wish I knew how to tell.
She's got to be wrong.
What if she's right?
Nothing is proved.
This can't be real.
How can I

Duncan goes to ask Joe for advice about Methos.

"Was it true?"
Sung by Duncan and Joe

[a la the parking ticket song]

I've been having a bad, bad day
I said, "Cassandra, put your sword away."
But all she said was, "No!
"He's a Horseman, can't you see."
Then Methos said, "It wasn't me."

She's as crazy as can be.

So I helped Methos go!
Was I right or was it true?

I'm afraid I can't help you.

Then I know what I must do.

Duncan goes to Methos to ask if Cassandra is telling the truth and finds Methos packing his car to leave.

"What You Want to Hear"
Sung by Methos to Duncan

[a la "Rest in Peace" sung by Spike to Buffy]

It was
So many years ago.
Everything was different then.
More than you can know.

And now you come here asking me
If what she said is so?

(spoken) Yes.

It's true.
Is that what you want to hear?

Cassandra, she was nothing.
Though I did enjoy her fear.
Her people, they were nothing.
It's been three thousand years!

I killed.
And it wasn't just for need.
It wasn't just for vengeance
It wasn't just for greed.
I killed because I liked it.
Killing was my creed!

Is that what you want to hear?
What you want to hear!
What you need to know!
You come to me and ask me questions

Why can't you let it go?
I have been a hundred men
In these last five thousand years.
Is that what you want to hear?

You know,
I didn't kill just ten.
I didn't kill a hundred
I didn't kill just men.

I killed women, children too
I killed ten thousand!
Is that what you want to hear?

Do you know
Who I was...

When a mother warned her daughter or son
Of a monster who they couldn't outrun
On a horse of white riding from the sun
That monster was me; I was a Horseman
For I was Death, That's what I've done.

The answer's yes
That's what you want to hear.
What you need to know.
You come to me and ask me questions

Why can't you let it go?
I have been a hundred men
In these last five thousand years
That's what you have to hear.

Why don't you ever hear?

Duncan tells Methos that they're through, and they part. Meanwhile, Cassandra tracks Kronos down to the power plant, tries to fight him, does badly, and starts to try to escape. Methos sneaks up on her, knocks her out and dumps her in the river.

"Cassandra's Lament"

[a la "Dawn's Lament"]

Does anybody even notice?
Does anybody even care?

Meanwhile, Duncan arrives at the power plant and fights Kronos. Methos sets a fire and calls the firefighters, thus stopping the fight. Duncan goes back to his apartment and finds Cassandra there. He tells her he will help her against the Horsemen. That night by the river, Kronos tries to decide if he can trust Methos or not.

"What you Feel"
Sung by Kronos and Methos

[a la "What you Feel" sung by the Demon and Dawn]

Why'd you stop the fight
Don't you like my style?
Not the greatest site,
But I've got strength and guile

We could shake the world's foundation
But you're here strictly by my invitation
We've got the whole night.
We're going to chat a while.

It's the hottest thrill
It's the scream and shout
When you get to kill
When you get to let it out.

Now we're together, you'll be my right arm
When you do the plotting, we do the best harm.
We can have our fill.
That's what it's all about.

'Cause I know what you fe-el, bro.
I know just what you fe-el, bro.

Methos (spoken) So, you're like a therapist?
Getting me in touch with my inner demon?

You know these mortals
They don't last too long.
The world is made for
Taking by the strong!

All these town lie open and trusting
Soon they'll be blazing and die combusting.

That's the plan we had
You and I. Or was I wrong?

'Cause I had MacLeod
I had him cowed
And then you blew that scene,
We all have to go
When the fire trucks show
And you threw down a smoke screen!

Tell me what you mean, bro.

Once begun
Either one
Could have won.
There'll be others.

Is it him or me, bro?

Now and then
we have been
the Horsemen;
We are brothers.

Maybe I should
kill you to be sure.
I'll act in haste
and repent at leisure.

Though you could,
Means we should
not be fighting.

You're a liar;
you're always plotting.
I'll take your head
and then leave it rotting.

Four survive.
They're alive.
We could contrive
to go riding.

Kronos (spoken)
Silas and Caspian?

Methos (spoken)
I can take you to them.

Kronos (spoken)
Then you live.
The Four Horsemen together again!
I want to see the world burn!
Now we ride again!
That's what it's all about!

Continued in Part II: Revelation 6:8