Legends speak of Immortals. Everlasting (or nearly so) beings, who have the potential to change the world beyond recognition, but are born with all the flaws of Man. Some say they are truly only men, blessed or cursed or who bartered away their true immortal souls for long lives. None believe them, of course. Most mortals do not even remember the tales, save for a few who watch.
Immortals have Legends, too.
Methos is one such. All agree that if he is real, he is the oldest Immortal, though many disagree about his age. The general consensus is around five thousand years- and really, after that long, do a few more centuries either way really matter? The general consensus is also that he may be dead. It has been a thousand years since he was last seen, after all, and all accounts vary as to his appearance. There may never have been a Methos at all, simply a string of Immortals who took his name.
A very few Immortals know that there was once truly a Methos, who was Death of the Horsemen of the Apocalypse, immortalized in a different way by a Book and a religion. Four Immortals, who rode and pillaged and raped and raged for a thousand years and more, only to then quietly fade away.
And here, we note, Legends can be very wrong indeed. There were five Horsemen, not four, though only four horses. Death and Chaos rode together, so it is very unsurprising that they were often mistaken for one.
Cassandra for one remembers Methos, and burns with the remembering. But memories are easily twisted, even Immortal memories, changed and twisted and overwritten. She remembers Methos the Man, who may have been Death, may have been Chaos. They had been very much alike, those two, and on occasion they took on the other's reputation. Both applied equally.
They had the same sense of humor, after all. On occasion, this terrified the other Horsemen.
Methos remembers little about his origins. Egypt. He knows that much for a certainty. And he remembers he was once a man like any other man, though this memory is vague, and sometimes he wonders if he's made it up out of whole cloth. Logically he had to have been, but logic has never had much of a place in his long, long life.
Assuming it's true, though, then it means the memory he has of dying must be true as well. A ritual beheading, a gift to some god whose name he has forgotten, and that history never knew. It hadn't gone as planned, with thunder and lightning, destruction and death, and the little grey temple cat in the corner of the room.
And then Egypt worshipped him as a god, and he has never forgotten this.
Few have truly known Methos, not even all of his forty-eight wives. He is a master manipulator, gifted beyond reason at making people see what he wishes them to see, controlling perception and belief. Some would even say supernaturally gifted.
Some would be right.
Even those who do not know him well call him selfish. Lazy. Unmotivated except for those things necessary for survival or that catch his fancy. A few more knowing souls know him as occasionally mischievous, insatiably curious, and unfailingly hedonistic.
All true. They may not always have been so- did his state define him, or did his traits define the rest of his kind?
Certainly tales of his many lives have become bedrock superstition.
Duncan Macleod felt the Buzz, and ran for the house, sure that Kalas had beaten him to the Methos researcher he'd been sent to protect. Yet he found no one inside when he burst through the door, despite the staggeringly powerful Buzz ringing in his ears as he called Pierson's name. Searching through the house with his sword bared in his hand showed it to be empty of anyone but himself.
Almost empty. The little grey cat sprawled over the bed, with an open book propped in front of it, eyed him with that look unique to cats, equal parts amusement and irritation at the antics of the silly human.
Macleod checked the house again. There was nothing, nothing but the Buzz. Even as strong as it was, the Immortal it belonged to had to be close enough to be within Macleod's sight. Bewildered, and not knowing why he did, he returned to the bedroom, to the only other living thing present.
The cat rose to its feet, stretching first one leggy forepaw, then the other, and then all its body in a stretch that seemed to double its length. Then it looked expectantly at Macleod with vivid green-gold eyes.
"Duncan Macleod of the Clan Macleod," it said, though its mouth never moved. "Welcome. Mi casa es su casa."
A/N: This is what happens when the muse sidles up during a two-day moderate migraine, in a slow period at work, and whispers, "Hey, I've got kind of a weird idea…" Inspired in equal parts by Terry Pratchett (catch the semi-quote) and The Snow Leopard's Immortal Cat (the Armed Intervention series), and a few too many times seeing fics compare Methos to a cat. This was a very rough train-of-thought, with Methos losing his head when young, taking over a cat's body, and pretty much inspiring every twisted perception of a cat throughout history. With psychic powers thrown in, the ability to make people see him as a human if he wants, telekinesis as well. Logic has no place here, either. I strongly suggest looking up "Grimalkin" on Wikipedia.
My writing has taken a hiatus for the most part. I've mostly been focusing on my job, which has resulting in two promotions and three pay raises in six months, with a fourth raise expected in April. Throw in some family drama and classes on top of that.
Disclaimer: I own nothing pertaining to Highlander or Discworld.
9 February 2012