Bill Harris

Soton@aol.com

Highlander Moon

Standard Questionably Useful Disclaimer:

Sailor Moon and all related characters were created by Naoko Takeuchi;

and are copyright to Naoko Takeuchi, Kodansha, Toei, DIC and

whoever else.

Highlander is owned and copyright to Davis Panzer Productions, Inc.

This story (such as it is) is MINE!!!

This fanfic is intended solely for entertainment purposes and no

violation of said copyrights is intended or implied. Permission

granted to copy this to other web pages as long as this disclaimer

is attached, and the text of the story is unmodified.



"He is immortal, born in the highlands of Scotland 400 years ago.

He is not alone.

There are others like him, some good, some evil.

For centuries he has battled the forces of Darkness,

with Holy Ground his only refuge.

He cannot die - unless you take his head, and with it his power.

In the end There Can Be Only One.

He is Duncan MacLeod, The Highlander."

-introduction monologue from seasons 2 and 3 of "Highlander"

Timeline note: Takes place in the latter half of first season

Sailor Moon (just before "The Past Returns"), and in the latter

half of Highlander season two (just after "Unholy Alliance").

London, England.

The Watcher tugged at her coat collar, trying to shield herself

just a little more against the chill of the foggy London night. She

grumbled a bit at having to be out at this time of night, but drew

comfort from the fact that it at least wasn't raining. She had nearly

caught pneumonia on a similarly cold night several years ago... and on

that occasion, it had been raining.

Despite her discomfort, she mindful of her duties and kept her

eyes firmly on the reason for her nocturnal excursion. Namely, the

battle of steel that was being waged between the two Immortals. As

others of their kind had done for millennia, the two were locked in

mortal combat which would only end when one of the Immortals was

decapitated. Soon after that, the Quickening would begin...

Her vantage point afforded her an excellent view of the battle,

even if it prevented her from hearing much of the dialogue between them. Which was a pity as she was curious as to the apparent history between

the two. But her position did allow her to see the black hole coalesce

before either Immortal. By the time it had fully formed, both Immortals

had become aware of it as well. They all saw the figure, garbed in a

gray uniform and sporting long white hair, materialize in front of it.

Having spent years observing Immortals, she was used to seeing

odd things. But this was out of the norm even for them. Immediately

she began to move closer, hoping to get within earshot without being seen.

It seemed to take forever, but she was able to get close enough to

catch a few snatches of dialog, enough so she at least could hear the

stranger's name. She wasn't sure why, but something about this Malachite

gave her a bad feeling -- other than the fact that he just appeared out

of thin air, that is.

Her expression tightened into one of determination as she decided

to avoid the usual Watcher channels. This was something that merited

Dawson's immediate attention.

Paris, France

The car pulled up to the barge moored along the banks of the

Seine. Soon after it had stopped, the driver exited and quickly deployed

an umbrella against the downpour. Cursing both the weather and his need

to be out in it, he made his way to the gangplank, leaning heavily on

his cane.

Inside, Duncan MacLeod looked up upon hearing a muffled thud over

the drumming of the rain. At first he thought he might have imagined

the sound, but when it was repeated he knew that he was about to have

company. At least it wasn't another Immortal. Rather than wait for

the inevitable knock on the door, he went over and opened it. Somehow

he wasn't too surprised to see it was... "Dawson?" He moved to one side

to allow the Watcher to enter, then closed the door against the rain.

"I certainly didn't expect to see you."

"Trust me, if it weren't important, I wouldn't be here on a night

like this," he replied while placing the wet umbrella in an out of the

way corner.

At first glance, it would be easy to assume that Duncan was the

younger of the pair, but that was far from the truth. While Duncan had

the appearance of a man in his thirties, he was in fact nearly three

and a half centuries older than Dawson. Given that Duncan was an

Immortal, this was hardly unusual. He was centuries older than most of

the people on the planet. But despite the differences in their ages,

there was a factor that linked the two of them together -- Dawson was a

Watcher, one of a secret society of mortals dedicated to observing and

recording the affairs of Immortals. Dawson had been MacLeod's Watcher

for many years, although MacLeod hadn't become aware of this or even

his existence until a few months previously.

"Somehow, I didn't think it was a social call," Duncan observed.

"I'm afraid not," Dawson agreed. "Although I wish it were. After

that business with Horton and Xavier, we both could use some time off."

Duncan agreed with that. James Horton was a renegade Watcher who had

decided that Immortals where a threat that had to be eliminated; while

Xavier St. Cloud was a less than ethical Immortal Duncan had clashed with

several times. The two of them had formed an unlikely alliance where

Horton would use his extensive knowledge of Immortals to locate them and

render them helpless, after which Xavier would kill them and take their

Quickening. The affair had put a strain on the relationship between

Dawson and MacLeod, but they had managed to get through it. Xavier was

dead by MacLeod's hand; while Horton was presumed to be the same thanks

to a well placed gunshot from Dawson. "Unfortunately, I just got word

from a Watcher in London that makes me think that someone else is doing

something similar."

"What do I look like, a troubleshooter for the Watchers?" MacLeod

grumbled. "Don't you have some way of keeping your people in line?"

"Yes, and most of the time it works," Dawson replied defensively.

"Besides, I said I got word from a Watcher about this, not that it

involves a Watcher. What it does involve is someone using an Immortal

to further their own ends, along with promising them help in winning

the Game. It also involves a friend of yours." He paused, then

added, "Actually, a couple of friends of yours."

MacLeod felt an uneasy feeling form in the pit of his stomach.

"Go on."

"Like I said, the Watcher was in London," Dawson began. "She

was observing a battle between two Immortals. Anyway, it was still a

toss up who would lose their head when this white haired guy, dressed

in some sort of grey uniform, complete with cape, just appeared out of

thin air and hovered over them."

"Hovering?" MacLeod looked skeptical to say the least. Or at

least he tried to.

Dawson wasn't buying it for a minute. "Don't start the 'Doubting

Thomas' routine with me, MacLeod. I know you've seen stranger things

in your time. Mina and her talking feline friend, for example."

Duncan grimaced, but in truth he had half expected to find out

that Dawson, or one of his Watcher compatriots, had observed his

encounter with Sailor V earlier that year. "I see you found out about

her."

"Hey, I'm your Watcher," Dawson replied unapologetically. "It's

my job to know these things. I got the report on your meeting with her

a few days after we first met. But don't worry. Besides me, only one

other Watcher knows about her, and she's not about to tell anybody. In

fact, she's the same Watcher who observed this Malachite guy."

"Malachite?"

"Yeah," Dawson said. "That's what the guy in grey called himself.

My Watcher wasn't able to get close enough to hear everything, but she

got enough to know that this Malachite wanted to use one of the Immortals

there to go after a group called the Sailor Scouts." Duncan felt his

sense of unease grow. "Now, one of them is known as Sailor Venus, AKA

Sailor V, AKA Mina Aino. So once I heard about this, I figured you'd

want to know so you could warn her."

"You're right about that. But you mentioned something about

another friend..?"

Dawson nodded. "The Watcher I heard this from was assigned to

observe Marcus Kane."

Duncan reacted sharply upon hearing this. "I didn't know he

was in London. Of course, it's been a while since I've seen him."

"Since 1943 to be exact," Dawson said, nodding. "But overall

you've known him for almost three hundred years. But from what I heard,

Malachite and Kane didn't take a liking to each other. Who knows, maybe

they met once before in the past, before our organization got off the

ground. He's been around long enough. Anyway, while my Watcher was

getting closer, Malachite seemed to get angry at something Kane said,

leveled a hand in his direction and then blasted him with some sort of

dark energy beam." Duncan frowned, but didn't object to Dawson's

statement. After all, he had seen Sailor V do something similar with

her Crescent Beam attack, and this Malachite sounded like the type of

enemy Mina had described to him. "Shortly afterwards, a dark glow

surrounded the area. When it had faded; Malachite, Kane and the other

Immortal were gone. Vanished into thin air."

"Who was the other Immortal?"

"Don't know that yet, " Dawson answered, his voice heavy with

regret, "but we're working on it. The Watcher didn't know him by sight,

but Kane seemed to. And from what she could tell, they weren't friends.

I've got her looking through records of Kane's past encounters.

Hopefully we'll get lucky."

Duncan nodded as he grabbed his overnight bag and began packing

it. "Good. Let me know the moment you find out anything. I'll also

need any information you have on where Mina is, and who her friends are."

"What makes you think I know that?" Dawson asked, feigning

innocence.

"Because you'd never tell me about all this if you didn't," Duncan

replied evenly.

Dawson smiled and shook his head. "Sometimes you can just be too

damned smart for your own good. Well, you're right. I know where she

is... Or at least where Sailor Venus has been seen." He reached into

his jacket and pulled out a folder. Placing it onto the bar he

continued, "This is all the information I have on where their assorted

appearances in Tokyo, Japan. The Juuban district, specifically. But

you'd better brace yourself when you read it. Some of this gets rather

weird."

Duncan couldn't help but smile at that. "You should have given me

that warning about four hundred years ago."



Chapter 1 - Enter the Highlander...

Tokyo, Japan.

Japan had changed quite a bit since the last time he had been

there, Duncan reflected. Of course, given that had been nearly two

hundred years since he had last set foot on these islands, that was to

be expected.

Pausing for a moment, Duncan looked over the map he had been able

to pickup at the airport. Dawson's information hadn't been as specific

as he might have liked, but it did pin manage to pin down the bulk of

the Scouts' activities to the Juuban district. Unfortunately, it now

came down to having a lot of luck in finding one girl, namely Mina, in

an area this size.

Luck... and a special bit of magic which should enable him to sense

when she was nearby. He just hoped the other Immortal involved in this

didn't know he could do this as well.

Because if he did... then he could very well be too late.

Serena gasped for breath and urged her legs to a faster gait as

she continued her usual morning ritual -- trying desperately to get to

school on time. And as she sometimes did, Luna followed closely behind

her. Fortunately she didn't have to carry Serena's lunch with her this

time.

Usually this morning run ended up being an exercise in futility

but today was different, as Serena actually stood a reasonable chance

of arriving in time. Already they were nearing the last turn, then it

would be a straight run to Crossroads Junior High. But just before

Serena made that turn, both she and Luna heard a female voice cry "Watch

out!", followed by the sounds of two people colliding.

Now this was odd, Luna reflected. Usually the crash came *after*

Serena rounded the corner, not before.

"That sounded like Lita," Serena noted before she hurried around

the corner. Sure enough, they both saw the tall Scout engaged in a

heated argument with a man several centimeters taller than herself. The

man's disheveled appearance gave confirmation as to the cause of the

crashing sounds they had heard seconds before.

Serena immediately rushed over to her friend, but Luna hung back,

finding her attention focussed entirely on the man. There was something

about him...

"Hey, if you hadn't been staring off into space like that, you

could have gotten out of the way!"

"Well I wasn't the one who was barreling down the street trying to

break the sound barrier!"

"Of course I was running, I'm a little bit late today!"

"You still should have watching where you were going!"

"I was! I yelled "Look out!", didn't I?!?"

MacLeod was readying a sharp retort when a blonde girl ran up to

them. "Are you OK, Lita?" she asked the taller girl.

"Is *she* OK?" MacLeod said, not believing his ears. Lita looked

none the worse for the collision, but the Highlander was decidedly

disheveled. Evidently she was a lot stronger than she appeared. "*I'm*

the one she sent flying!"

Lita was ready to renew the argument, but her friend put a

restraining hand on her arm. "Come on, Lita. If we don't get going now,

we're going to be majorly late. And I don't need another detention from

Ms. H."

"If we're late, the it's because of him," Lita grumbled before the

two of them set off, leaving a fuming MacLeod behind.

"Can you believe the nerve of that guy?" Lita asked Serena while

they ran. "Saying that it was my fault!"

"Are you sure you couldn't avoid him?" Serena asked reluctantly.

"He was just standing there! He didn't even try to get out of the

way!"

"Maybe he didn't hear you in time," Serena ventured.

"Maybe," Lita grudgingly admitted. They continued in silence for a

bit. "You know, it's too bad that guy has such an attitude problem. He

looked just like my old boyfriend."

Serena groaned.

Duncan watched them continue on their way for a bit, still fuming

over the incident but slowly cooling off. In truth he had been looking

around like a tourist when the girl plowed into him, but that was only

because he had suddenly experienced the same odd feeling that had always

preceded Mina's arrival during their encounter in London. It wasn't the

same sensation he felt when he sensed another Immortal nearby, but it was

very similar.

Unfortunately, he hadn't been able to spot Mina before the girl

had plowed into him. Odd since he had always spotted he quite quickly

in London...

The realization struck him like a thunderbolt. It wasn't Mina's

presence he had sensed, it must have been that tall girl. (What was it

that other girl had called her? Lita?) Or perhaps it was her blonde

friend that had approached seconds later.

Or perhaps it had been both of them, Duncan thought gloomily.

Dawson's information on their descriptions was sketchy, but both fit

what details he had for a couple of the Scouts. "Smooth move, MacLeod,"

he muttered to himself. "You just let a chance to contact the Scouts go

right through your fingers."

MacLeod had stooped down to retrieve his shoulder bag, which had

been dislodged by the collision, when he noticed the black cat nearby.

Ordinarily he wouldn't give this a second thought, but the cat had a

crescent moon symbol on it's forehead, identical to the one Artemis had.

This was too much of a coincidence. There had to be some connection

between them. He took a couple of steps towards the feline. "Hey, you

wouldn't happen..."

The cat bolted before he could get any further, heading into the

shadows of a nearby bush and was quickly lost to sight.

"...to know another cat named Artemis," he concluded lamely under

his breath. Sighing in frustration at another opportunity lost, Duncan

scooped up his bag and continued on his way, ignoring the occasional

stare from the other pedestrians.

Things were definitely not getting off on the right foot.

Concealed now within a nearby bush, Luna watched was the stranger

searched fruitlessly for her before picking up his shoulder bag and

continuing on his way. While he seemed friendly enough, she sensed

something decidedly odd about the man. Odd as in otherworldly.

She decided to follow him and find out what he was up to. He

could very well be another threat from the Negaverse. If that were

the case, she needed to find out about it ASAP so that she could alert

the Scouts.

But what really bothered her about this man was the feeling that

she had known someone like him before... Perhaps even in the days of

the Moon Kingdom.

Queen Beryl sat upon her throne, the fingers of her right hand

drumming a constant beat on the armrest. All around the room, the

various spectators shifted uneasily.

The monarch of the Negaverse was impatient. And when she got into

these moods, someone usually ended up dying... or worse.

After what seemed to be an interminable wait, she shouted,

"Malachite!"

Instantly, the last of the four Generals materialized in front of

her. Malachite bowed low, "You summoned me, My Queen?"

His deference to her failed to appease her mood. "I am most

displeased with your lack of progress, Malachite. Your efforts to secure

the Silver Crystal have been nothing but abysmal failures. After that

debacle with Kirk and his starship, I came very close to having you

executed. But lately you have been doing nothing to obtain the Silver

Crystal. Explain yourself!"

Beryl's threats appeared to have no effect on the general.

Malachite seemed to be as cool and in control of himself as ever.

"Actually, I have been working on a plan, My Queen."

Beryl rested her chin in one hand and eyed him speculatively.

"*Another* plan?" she said in a voice dripping with skepticism.

"Yes. Our previous attempts relied on using youma, or a youma

infused into a human. The Scouts have become too powerful for these

standard tactics. I have come to the conclusion that we must find the

right human to use against them."

"And you have found such a human?" she asked, still leery.

"Yes."

"And what makes this human so special?"

"He is an Immortal, My Queen."

Beryl immediately sat up straight, plainly astonished. "An

Immortal? You mean they still exist?"

"Yes, My Queen. The Gathering has yet to occur, and may not occur

for centuries. The Sailor Scouts will find that an Immortal, infused

with some of our power, will be unstoppable. They can only hope to slow

him down. In time, he will wear them down and obtain the Silver Crystal

for us."

Minutes later, Malachite materialized inside an apartment in Tokyo.

As they had agreed, his human agent was there waiting for his return.

"Since you're still alive, I take it she approved of your plan?" the

human asked.

Malachite glanced over at the human, who had taken to lurking in

the shadows of the room, with a look of barely concealed contempt. He

hated having to work with a human, but the man possessed critical

information about Immortals. By pure chance he had come across him only

a few days before, when he had been desperately scouring the globe for

any signs of Immortals. If he hadn't, he might still be searching for

one. "Yes, Queen Beryl has approved the plan."

"Just as well," the human responded. "I already sent him out onto

the streets to search for our quarry."

Malachite's eyes narrowed. "You were to do nothing until I had

returned," he said with a dangerous undertone in his voice.

"That would only have wasted time." The human seemed unfazed.

"The sooner he finds Sailor Moon, the sooner we both get what we want.

Just be sure that you remember our agreement when he does."

"I keep my agreements," Malachite smoothly lied. "When I have

the Silver Crystal, I will eliminate our tool, and the other Immortals.

In the end, there will be none."

'Not even you,' the general thought to himself.

Luna heaved a sigh of exhaustion. The stranger had been moving

all that day through Juuban as if possessed, barely pausing for rest.

His first stop had been Crossroads, which he had scrutinized carefully

before moving on. Over the next several hours, he had passed by

virtually all the other junior high schools in this section of Tokyo,

both public and private. At each one, he had carefully looked over

the students that could be seen. It was as if he were looking for

someone. Something told her that he was looking for one or more of

the Scouts.

But for now, it seemed that even this man had reached a physical

limit. He had seated himself on a park bench and gave no indication that

he was moving anytime soon. Satisfied that her quarry would remain her

for now, Luna decided that it was time to find Serena and alert her and

the others to this possible danger.

She hadn't gone far when she spotted movement out of the corner of

her eye. Whirling about, she then let out a sigh of relief. "Am I glad

to see you."

A white feline emerged from the shadows. "You mean you're actually

glad to see me?" Artemis smiled smugly. "Of course, I knew you'd come

around eventually..."

"I see Mina is rubbing off on you," Luna interrupted crossly.

"Get a grip, Artemis! While you've been lazing about all day, I've been

busy looking into a new threat." With that she launched into a detailed

account of the day's events, starting with the encounter with the

stranger that morning.

Artemis gave a cat-like frown as Luna concluded by describing

the stranger. "Hmmm..."

"What is it?" Luna asked, scowling. "Do you know him?"

"Maybe," Artemis hedged. It sounded like MacLeod but... "It's hard

to be sure without actually getting a look at him." Briefly he pondered

on what could bring MacLeod all the way to Japan. He didn't seem the

type to take vacations.

"When I left him, he was sitting on a park bench over there," Luna

told him, waving a paw towards the location she had left the stranger.

"You go on and take a look at him. In the meantime, I'm going to find

Serena."

Artemis nodded and cautiously made his way in the direction Luna

had pointed. After all, there was a chance Luna was right for a change.

Even a broken clock was a delight twice a day.

As soon as he had thought this, Artemis shuddered and mentally

corrected himself -- a broken clock was *right* twice a day.

Luna was right -- Mina *was* rubbing off on him.

MacLeod tried to will his body to relax, at least as much as it

could while sitting on a wooden park bench. In retrospect, he might have

been better off finding a hotel room and getting a few hours sleep, but

somehow he doubted he'd get much sleep until he contacted Mina. Better

to make use of the time familiarizing himself with the local geography

rather than tossing and turning.

Hopefully he'd have better luck locating Mina this afternoon. His

best chance might be to locate one of the two girls he had seen that

morning and follow them. If he was right and they were Sailor Scouts,

then they should lead him right to Mina before long. From the way his

senses had reacted while he was in the vicinity, he guessed that one or

both went to Crossroads Junior High School, not far from where he had...

run into the tall girl. That both of them were in an obvious hurry to

get to school (and that Crossroads was the closest one to that

location) seemed to confirm his hypothesis.

He had just started standing up when he felt something land on his shoulder. Instantly MacLeod's reflexes, honed by years of combat

experience, kicked in and swept whatever it was off his shoulder towards

the bench. He was settling himself into a defensive stance as a loud

"Ow!" came from the bench. A white and very familiar cat lay on it's

back on the bench, blinking painfully. "Artemis," Duncan sighed,

relaxing his guard. "Well, I guess this disproves the myth about cats

landing on their feet."

"Very funny. I'm glad to see you too," the feline grumbled as he

got back onto his paws. Rubbing his sore head, the cat eyed him. "So

what brings you to Tokyo, Highlander?"

"The same thing that brought me to London last time we met,"

Duncan replied. "Trouble."

Artemis rolled his eyes. "Oh, great. That's all we need."

London, one year ago.

Duncan eyed the darkened warehouse with some apprehension and

allowed himself a moment of regret that he and Fitzcairn had decided to

check out their respective leads separately. But only a moment. From

what they had learned, their quarry seemed to be getting ready to

relocate their operations to another part of England, or even another

country altogether. If that happened, then the men who had killed

Darius and several other Immortals might just get away scot free.

The Highlander was determined to not let that happen.

Once more he felt that odd feeling permeate his being, alerting him

to her presence. Wishing once more that he knew what it meant, he

turned around and was quick to spot the blonde girl, much to her

amazement. "What the hell are you doing here?" he snapped.

"The same thing you are, I expect," she shot back, recovering

quickly. Mina was certain that she had concealed herself adequately and

she was doubly certain that she hadn't made any noise in her approach.

She wasn't sure how he had spotted her, but it appeared that Artemis was

still unseen. Her white feline companion was well concealed behind the

dumpster. "After all, Julian was my friend as well."

Duncan could understand how she felt. He had known Julian for

almost two hundred years before this group of mortals had killed him;

just as they, or others like them, had killed Darius in Paris only a few

days before. While he yearned to track down the killers and mete out his

own brand of justice, he still had enough common sense about him to want

to keep someone like Mina out of it. After all, he doubted she was more

than thirteen. "Leave this to me, Mina. It's far too dangerous for you

here. Go home. *Now.*"

"Why should I leave it to you? You're no cop."

"How do you know that?" Duncan asked.

"I have my sources, MacLeod," she said, ignoring for a moment that

most of her 'sources' happened to be a certain white feline. "So what's

going on?"

Duncan wavered on the edge of telling her, but ultimately thrust

that notion aside. "It's a long story, Mina. For now, just take my word

that this is too dangerous for you. These people I'm after are killers."

"And you can handle them?"

"I've done it before," he responded, casting a hurried gaze towards

the warehouse. He wished he could make certain that Mina was leaving,

but if his source was right, the Hunters inside wouldn't be there for

long. "For now, just take my word that it's too dangerous for you to be

here and go!" Giving her an initial shove, MacLeod watched her move off

reluctantly before he headed for the warehouse entrance. The door was

locked, but the Highlander made short work that obstacle, expertly

picking the lock and opening the door.

Moments later, Mina was back. "He went in?" she asked, eying the

door.

"About a minute or so ago," a voice responded. Turning, Mina

saw Artemis emerging from his hiding place.

"Artemis, you're filthy!" she noted, wrinkling her nose in

disgust.

"You try hiding around a garbage dumpster and see how clean you

are afterwards," the cat retorted.

"No thanks. One thing's for sure: once this is over, you're

getting a bath!"

"As long as you don't try and drown me like last time." Artemis

ignored her squawk of protest, looking instead at the warehouse door.

"Maybe we should let MacLeod try it his way first."

"No way," Mina insisted. "I may be the Sailor Scout of love, but

Sailor V fights for justice too."

"Alright," Artemis reluctantly assented. "Just be careful."

"What's the problem, Artemis? I thought curiosity thrilled the

cat?"

"Curiosity *killed* the cat," he corrected her once more,

suppressing a shudder. "And that's one saying I can do without...

mangled or otherwise."

"Whatever. Come on, time's awasting." Not waiting for a response,

Mina moved quickly to the door. MacLeod had closed it behind him, but

it was still unlocked. Good, that saved her the trouble of picking it

for herself. Taking care not to make a sound, she opened it slowly and

moved in, Artemis racing in just ahead of her.

The inside was nearly pitch dark, with only minimal light coming

in from the windows. Mina felt her way along, trying both to figure out

where Macleod had gone and to discover any sign of their quarry. Artemis

kept close to her, using his more sensitive cat eyes to lead her through

the maze of containers.

They had managed to get some distance inside when Mina felt a hand

clamp across her mouth and pull her backwards. "Just what do you think

you're doing?" a very annoyed MacLeod hissed in her ear.

Annoyed herself, Mina chose to respond with an action by bringing

her left heel down hard on MacLeod's foot. He stifled a cry of pain, but

he did let her go. She turned to face him, and they both glared at the

other. "That wasn't very funny," she whispered harshly.

"It wasn't meant to be," he retorted in a similar tone. "This

isn't a game!"

"I know that!"

The argument might have continued for some time, but a loud yowl

from Artemis brought it to a screeching halt. Glancing into the aisle,

they saw the movement in the shadows. Mina whispered a silent thanks to

her feline guardian for the warning and started looking a concealed spot

to transform.

Duncan evidently saw something close by, for he lashed out in a

series of punch and kick combinations. The grunts of pain that

accompanied each blow were a clear indication that his blows were scoring.

No sooner had his foe ended up sprawled on the warehouse floor when a

gunshot rang out and Duncan fell lifelessly to the floor.

"Duncan!" Mina rushed over to him and frantically checked for a

pulse.

Nothing.

The lights snapped on, causing her to blink at the sudden

brightness. Turning, she saw two men in addition to the one Duncan had

felled. Both were armed with semiautomatic pistols. "You killed him!"

she said accusingly, concentrating her ire on the man with the smoking

gun. "Why?"

"Killed him? Not yet we haven't." Ignoring her puzzlement, the

gunman turned to his fellow. "The other one should be somewhere nearby,

if he isn't inside already. Check around for him. I'll finish things

here."

"Right," he responded and headed for the warehouse rear.

Mina was still trying to figure out what he meant when he said

they hadn't killed Duncan yet. She was certain she had done it right when

she checked for his pulse, and found none. Plus, the bullet wound in

Duncan's chest seemed to be right over his heart. There was no way

anyone could survive that. "What did you mean? she asked, rising to her

feet and facing the gunman.

In return, he scrutinized her carefully before he answered. "Either

you really don't know, or a very good actor."

"Know what?!?"

"What he is!" he exclaimed harshly, gesturing at MacLeod. "An

abomination, a freak of nature! By all rights, he and his ilk shouldn't

exist! Unless we destroy them first, they will dominate us."

Mina stared at him throughout his rant. When he paused, she stated

flatly, "You're nuts."

"I'll leave that for history to decide," he replied calmly. "Right

now, I have to decide what to do with you."

"What do you mean?"

"From our observations, of MacLeod and your mutual friend Julian,

I'm beginning to think you're one of their kind. But there's a way to

test that." He leveled the gun at her. "And if by some chance I'm

mistaken... Well, you have my most sincere apologies."

He never got the chance, for Artemis chose that moment to act.

Leaping mightily, he tore at the gunman's face, hissing and clawing.

The gunman cried out in pain, trying to dislodge the white cat from his

face. Mina was quick to take advantage of this distraction, immediately

triggering the transformation process.

Meanwhile, MacLeod gasped and started to sit up as he revived...

and paused in wonder when he beheld the sight of Mina transforming from

teenager to Sailor V. 'I knew there was something special about her,'

he thought, 'but I never dreamed anything like this.'

The gunman finally managed to get Artemis away from himself.

"I knew there was a reason I hated cats," he said. "Someone ought to

put you out of my misery."

"Hold it right there!"

"Who..?" The gunman turned and gaped when he saw Sailor V standing

atop a nearby crate.

"Here to avenge those innocents you've murdered, I am the champion

of love and justice Sailor V! While justice may be deaf, I certainly am

not!"

"Justice is *blind*, not deaf!" MacLeod heard somebody (the cat?)

mutter.

"Close enough," Sailor V retorted before returning her attention

to the Hunter. "Anyway, in the name of justice, I'll punish you!"

It wasn't the same way MacLeod would enter a battle, but it seemed

to cause the Hunter to pause for a split second. It might have even

been enough, except that MacLeod saw the Hunter he had disabled earlier

moving again, raising his gun up towards Sailor V. He scrambled to his

feet himself and cried out a warning as he charged the second Hunter.

Sailor V spun around after hearing the warning, and now it was her

turn to be amazed. "Duncan?" she asked, unable to believe that she was

seeing MacLeod up and fighting. She had been certain beyond a shadow

of a doubt that he had been dead.

Fortunately, she didn't stare at him for long. Some sixth sense

warned her of danger (Artemis biting the leader's ankle, causing him to

yell), and she turned back to face the leader again. Sure enough, he

was aiming right at her. Reacting quickly, she pointed right at him.

Shouting "VENUS CRESCENT BEAM SMASH!", she sent the beam of light right

down the muzzle in the same instant as the gunman pulled the trigger.

The firearm exploded in his hand, and he fell to the ground with a cry

of pain.

Unfortunately, he fell right on top poor Artemis.

The immediate threat dealt with, Sailor V turned back. She was

ready to help MacLeod with his foe, but it was unnecessary. The Hunter

was still groggy from his previous encounter with the Highlander and

MacLeod was by far more skilled in hand to hand combat. Within seconds

the Hunter was sprawled on the floor, once more unconscious.

The battle over for the moment, the Immortal and the Sailor Scout

looked silently at the other. Eventually, it was Sailor V who broke

the silence by asking, "Who are you, Duncan? Tell me who you really

are."

Duncan hesitated briefly. He could try to evade answering that

question as he had done time and again, but this occasion felt different.

Each of them now knew some secret the other kept close. He might as well

tell her everything. "I am Duncan MacLeod of the clan MacLeod. I was

born in the highlands of Scotland in 1592. And I am Immortal."



Tokyo, present day.

"Trouble was a bit of an understatement about last time," Artemis

told MacLeod. "Is there any chance time will be different?"

"Yeah," MacLeod said. "This time will be worse."

"Why am I not surprised?" Artemis muttered. "OK, I'll bite.

What's up?"

"There's an Immortal being sent after the Scouts. By someone

named Malachite." MacLeod couldn't miss the expression of shock on the

cat's face. "I take it you know him."

"Not by choice," the cat noted glumly.

"You can tell me all about it later. For all we know, the Immortal

may have been around here long before me... and be ready to target one

of them."

"Fortunately, the Scouts are just about to have a meeting,"

Artemis replied. "I can take you right there."

"What about Sailor Moon? From what I heard, she's going to be the

main target."

"What else is new? Anyway, Luna went looking for her."

Luna had in fact managed to find Serena, much sooner than she had

thought possible. The blonde was sitting on a park bench not all that

far from where Artemis was talking to MacLeod. "Am I glad I found you

Serena," Luna began as she approached, "I've been following that man

Lita ran into this morning. I think..." Her voice trailed off as

Serena gave no indication she had heard her. Concerned, Luna maneuvered

to get a better look at Serena's face and quickly noted that she seemed

decidedly glum. Also, she kept staring morosely at a piece of badly

wrinkled paper. Leaping deftly onto the bench back, Luna took a good

look for herself. "Oh, dear."

It was Serena's latest math test. Heavily marked in red, as usual.

"I can't believe I only got a forty," Serena muttered, finally

showing signs of life. "Mom's gonna have a fit."

"Well, it would have helped if you had studied for it in advance,"

Luna chided her gently.

"I did study, Luna," she protested strenuously. "Real hard, too!"

"I would hardly call glancing through your math book for half an

hour 'studying real hard', Serena."

That earned her a sharp glare from Serena. "You're no help,

Luna."

"I'm trying to help to you, Serena. But there is very little I

can do if you don't listen to me." Luna mentally put the brakes on her

lecture mode. There would be time for that later. Right now, she had

more pressing business with Serena. "But we'll discuss that another

time. We have urgent matters to discuss."

Something in Luna's tone got Serena's attention. "What's up,

Luna?"

"Do you remember that man Lita ran into this morning?" After

Serena nodded, Luna launched into an account of her surveillance of the

stranger. As she continued, a doubtful expression formed on Serena's

face.

"Somehow Luna, I think we've been down this road before," Serena

said when Luna had finished.

"We'll just see what Artemis has to say about it. He thinks he

may know this man. Besides, there's no harm in being prepared." Luna

was about to go on but a man came walking down the path at that moment,

forcing her to stop talking. She waited patiently for him to walk by,

but a sense of foreboding slowly filled her being as he approached. It

was the same feeling she had from the stranger that morning except that

this time the hairs on the nape of her neck were starting to stand on

end. It only grew worse when the man stopped near Serena, turned to

looked hard at her and then smiled.

It was a mirthless smile, Luna noted.

Both cat and Immortal looked up sharply as a cry echoed through

the park. "That sounded like Serena!" Artemis exclaimed.

"That's one of Mina's friends?" MacLeod asked, already reaching

beneath his jacket.

"Yes," Artemis replied, nodding for emphasis. Although he kept a

close eye on MacLeod, he was still unable to see how he had managed to

hide that katana of his underneath his jacket. Artemis just shook his

head, deciding that may be one of those mysteries of the universe that

can never be solved.

"You find Mina and the others," MacLeod instructed him. "I'll go

ahead and see what I can do to help." Not waiting for Artemis to

respond, the Highlander hurried off, katana in hand.

Serena scrambled to keep the bench in between herself and her

assailant, but she still had to worry about ducking each slash of his

sword. So rapid was the pace of his attack that she had no opportunity

to even think about transforming. "What are you doing?" she asked,

trying to buy time. "What do you want?"

He didn't slow down his attack, but answered her nevertheless.

"What I want is the Silver Crystal."

"Well, there are nicer ways to get it," she retorted. "Besides,

what makes you think *I* have the Silver Crystal? And watch the hair!"

she added, as the last swing of the sword slice the end of one of her

ponytails.

"Sorry, I was aiming for your neck," he said conversationally.

"As for your other question... I know your one of the Sailor Scouts.

I sensed it when I walked by you. Even if you're not Sailor Moon,

attacking you should bring her here quick enough. So..." He brought

his sword up for another slash, but suddenly stiffened when it was at

it's apex and he started looking about as if he were expecting someone

to show up.

In the same instant, both Serena and Luna saw a man come into view

nearby, heading right for their location. Both recognized him from

earlier in the day, but Serena wasn't sure whether to be relieved or

worried when she saw the katana he was carrying. For her part, Luna

was filled with trepidation. 'Not him again.' But her worry was

transformed into puzzlement when he started to confront the swordsman,

slowly walking about him to place himself between the attacker and

Serena.

The swordsman eyed the newcomer intently. "I don't believe we've

met," he said in a calm voice.

"I am Duncan MacLeod of the clan MacLeod."

Serena took advantage of the distraction created by MacLeod's

arrival and retreated out of their sight. It appeared Luna had been

half right -- there was something odd about MacLeod, but it seemed he

might be an ally instead of the enemy the cat had feared. Well

whatever was going on, she wasn't going to find out just standing here.

She thrust her hand skyward. "MOON PRISM POWER!"

"I am Philip Mornay," the swordsman said. "I've heard of you

MacLeod."

"I can't say the same," MacLeod retorted. Although MacLeod

tried to keep track of the girl out of the corner of his eye, the need

for him to keep an eye on Mornay meant that he had lost her when she went

into the nearby trees. Thus it was that neither Immortal saw the glow of

light emerging from behind those trees.

Mornay smiled. "Well, anonymity has it's advantages. But what

are you doing here? You a bit far afield from your usual territory."

"What does it look like?" MacLeod started circling around

Mornay, careful to keep his sword at the ready.

"It looks like you're interfering in my affairs, Highlander. I

suggest you stay out of them."

MacLeod snorted. "I know about the deal you made with Malachite."

Mornay's face was stoic but his eyes betrayed surprise at this statement.

"The only way you're going to get at the Sailor Scouts is through me."

"If you want to die today, who am I to stop you?" Mornay raised

his blade up into a defensive posture.

MacLeod stopped his circling maneuver and did likewise. "If

anyone's dying today, it's going to be you." They eyed each other for

a moment, but before either Immortal could act...

"Hold it right there!"a voice rang out and both men turned towards

it. Sailor Moon was standing at the edge of the clearing. "I am the

champion of love and justice Sailor Moon! I right wrongs and triumph over

evil. And that means you." She looked between the two Immortals. "Well,

at least one of you anyway."



Next time: MacLeod and Sailor Moon face off against Mornay.



A short explanation of some of the terms used here, for those that

are unfamiliar with the "Highlander" TV series:

Immortals - ageless beings who can die (permanently, that is) only

by decapitation. Any wounds an Immortal suffers will heal within a matter

of seconds (or minutes, depending on the severity). Immortals are born

and age as mortals do, until their First Death. Then they are frozen at

that age forever. They can also sense when another Immortal is nearby,

although they can't tell precisely where the other Immortal is.

The Quickening - this is the life essence of the Immortal and it

also is the process by which an Immortal absorbs the life essence and power

of the Immortal he/she has killed. Physically it manifests as an outburst

of lightning and other pyrotechnics. Any electrical equipment nearby

takes a beating.

The Game - the way of life for Immortals, it governs the way

they face each other.

The Rules:

1. No beheading on Holy Ground. This can have nasty

consequences.

2. All fights are one on one.

3. No outside interference from mortals either.

4. In The End, There Can Be Only One.

Some Immortals have been seen playing fast and loose with 3,

but the rules hold for the most part in all Immortal combat.

The Gathering - This is supposed to be the final battle of the

Immortals. At some indeterminate point in the future, they will feel

called to some far off land, and those who are still alive will battle

on another... until, in the end, only one remains. That one gains the

Prize. What the Prize actually is (especially in the series) is still

not quite clear.

Duncan MacLeod - born into the clan MacLeod in 1592 in the

Highlands of Scotland. Since being driven out of his clan, he has

wandered the Earth, constantly training himself and preparing for the

Gathering. Duncan lives by a strict code of honor

Duncan is the main character of the Highlander TV series.

Watchers - this is an organization of mortals. They're sworn to

only observe and record the activities of Immortals and never interfere,

but some are known to do so now and then. Some have even gone so far

as decide that Immortals are inherently evil and should be eliminated.

These renegade Watchers are termed Hunters.

Joe Dawson - One of the more important Watchers. Years ago he fought in Vietnam, and lost his legs when he stepped on a land mine. He is Duncan's Watcher, but over the course of the series he has also become his friend as well.