Epilogue 1

Dawson grimaced at the paper, and gave a final sigh of defeat.

"Maybe I can get MacLeod to translate it for me later," he muttered

while folding up the newspaper. He tossed it aside on the park bench

he was sitting on and leaned back. The sun was just peeking over the

horizon, giving rise to what appeared to be a bright and clear day. It

was a sharp contrast to the darkness that had been at work only hours

before. All around him, he could hear the sounds of increasing traffic

as the denizens of Tokyo stirred from a good nights rest and prepared to

face the coming day.

Unfortunately, this was not the case for Dawson. His body was

still firmly operating on Paris time and was firmly insisting the it was

now late evening instead of the break of day. Since getting any sleep

was proving to be a losing battle, he decided instead to take a walk into

the park, pausing momentarily to buy a local paper along the way. But he

had only traded one lost cause for another as he was unable to read any of

the Japanese text at all.

"I could translate it for you," a male voice suddenly offered. Startled,

Dawson turned sharply and saw a white cat perched on the far

side of the bench.

"What the hell are you doing here?" he asked Artemis.

"Watching the Watcher," the feline replied smoothly.

Dawson scowled at the cat. "If you only knew how often I've heard

that pun." A moment later a wry grin crept onto his face as another

thought occurred to him. "Are you sure you're not here to take me up on

my job offer?"

Artemis blinked, taken aback. "Sorry, but keeping an eye on Mina

is a full time job in itself."

"Yeah, that I can imagine," Dawson replied. "OK, so you're here

watching me. Mind telling me why?"

Artemis canted his head. "To be frank, I'm not sure I trust you,

Dawson. Neither is Luna."

Dawson feigned a pained expression. "After all we've been through

the last day or two? Artemis, I'm hurt."

Artemis got up and took a couple of steps towards Dawson. "Then

you won't mind answering a few questions to put out minds at ease."

"Well, I don't mind you *asking* any questions... but I won't

guarantee I'll answer them, or that you'll like the answers."

"Fair enough, I guess." Artemis took a moment to organize his

thoughts. He hadn't been sure Dawson would agree to answer his questions,

but now that he had (more or less), he wanted to take full advantage of

it. "Question one: you showed up at Raye's, out of the blue. MacLeod

didn't know to be there, which was why he had been searching the city

for Mina. How'd you know to be there?"

"I..." Dawson began.

Artemis interrupted, "And don't try to feed me the line you gave

MacLeod about hanging around there because it was the nearest patch of

holy ground. He didn't buy it and neither do I."

"That was a bit weak, wasn't it?" Dawson replied with a grimace. "You're

not going to believe it, but it was sheer coincidence that I was

at the Temple when MacLeod showed up."

"Coincidence?!?" The tone of Artemis' voice made it plain that he

in fact didn't believe it.

"Yeah, coincidence," Dawson reiterated. "They happen, you know."

He took a deep breath before continuing. "I wasn't sure where I'd find

MacLeod when I got here, but I wasn't too concerned about it. If all

else failed, I could always contact some of the local Watchers to find

him. But I figured I'd first get in touch with one of the locals and

get the lay of the land, so to speak. So I contacted a retired Watcher

who works at the Temple."

Artemis felt his jaw drop in shock. There were three people that

worked at the Temple -- it obviously wasn't Raye and Chad was far too

young to be considered "retired". That left... "Raye's grandfather

is a Watcher?!?"

"*Retired* Watcher," Dawson said, placing heavy emphasis the

word 'retired'. "Watcher's are all mortals, remember? Sooner or later

we grow old and eventually have to step down from active field service.

But most keep touch with the organization afterwards, keeping an eye out

for passing Immortals and the like. It was all I could do to keep my jaw

from dropping when MacLeod showed up out of the blue like that."

It took Artemis a moment to digest this bit of news. "Does he

know...?"

"About Raye being a Sailor Scout?" Dawson finished for him. The

Watcher shook his head. "Not that I know of. And I'm not about to

tell him either. I don't want to jump the gun on something that should

be Raye's business."

"Hmmmm...." Artemis wasn't quite sure how to respond to this

news item. While this was certainly troubling, it could hardly be

described as urgent. He made a mental note to talk about it with Luna

at some later point. "OK, here's question two: how'd you manage to

show up just at the right time when MacLeod and Jupiter were in trouble?"

"Nothing mysterious there," Dawson said. "It's exactly what I

told Jupiter at the time. I was there checking that the dead Watcher

that MacLeod had phoned me about was indeed one of ours. It was sheer

coincidence that I got there just before MacLeod took a flying leap out

a window. Which, if you recall, was exactly what I said to you and the

Scouts earlier."

"Another coincidence," Artemis noted dryly.

"I'll admit it's odd, but it also happens to be the truth,"

Dawson replied. "Believe it or not, Artemis, I don't have an army of

Watchers keeping a constant eye on you and your friends." He paused,

waiting for Artemis to answer but for some reason the cat was strangely

silent. "Well? What do you have to say to that?" he asked impatiently.

"Meow."

Dawson blinked. Artemis' odd reply gave him a suddenly uneasy

feeling that he and the cat weren't alone. He slowly half turned to

his left and saw a woman dressed in jogging attire looking oddly at

him. "What's the matter? Haven't you seen someone talking to their

cat before?" he asked her, gesturing towards Artemis.

The woman's eyes widened slightly and she took a half step

backwards. "Not as if he were expecting an answer."

Dawson knew that any explanation he could give her off the top of

his head would sound lame. Since she was already half certain he was

nuts, he decided he might as well go with the flow. "Of course he

answers! You can't have a conversation otherwise." He turned back to

Artemis. "Right?"

"Meow," Artemis supplied helpfully.

The woman decided that she was best off getting away from this

crazy American and resumed her morning run, albeit at a faster pace

than before.

Dawson waited until she was well out of an earshot (as well as

checking for anyone else about) before continuing his talk with Artemis.

"We better wrap this up before she has the men in white coats after me."

"Well, I've only got one more question anyway," Artemis said,

adding a silent 'for now'. "During the fight last night, you implied

that you knew that Immortals could sense the Scouts presence. Mars

caught your slip, but you never answered her. I doubt MacLeod told you,

and neither did any of the Scouts. So how did you know?"

Dawson paused and settled back. "Damn. I'm afraid you got me on

that one."

"I knew you were holding something back," Artemis muttered.

Dawson fixed a stern gaze of the white cat. "Maybe I didn't tell

MacLeod I knew about that, but I wasn't holding anything vital back.

My knowledge of that Immortal ability isn't from any contemporary

source."

Now Artemis was confused. "Huh?"

Dawson smiled slightly. "I think you know, Artemis, even if you

don't realize it. Immortals have been around for thousands of years,

even as far back as your Silver Millennium. As far as I know, most of

those Immortals died long before the Watchers began, or even started

keeping records, but a few of them have survived -- Kane for one,

although there are a few others. Some of those ancient Immortals gave

accounts to early Watchers about those days. Very detailed accounts,

I might add. They told all about the Silver Millennium... and about

the Sailor Scouts."

Artemis was too shocked to respond immediately. "If you Watchers

have all that information, then why *aren't* you keeping an eye on the

Scouts?"

"The records are so old that most Watchers regard the details in

those Chronicles as myth and legends," Dawson explained ruefully. "For

a long time, so did I. At least until I started hearing about Sailor V.

I stated thinking that they were more than legends then, but I never

truly believed that any of it was real until that night when Mina

transformed into Sailor V in front of MacLeod. After that, I started

doing some serious research into those 'legends'. Especially those parts

that told all about Beryl and that she might return."

"Mind if I ask why?"

Dawson leaned a bit towards Artemis. "Hey, I'm not about to sit

around and just watch while the queen bitch of the Negaverse tries to

take over. Earth's my planet too, you know. I'd like to help."

"No offense, Dawson, but..." Artemis began.

"I know I'm out of my league in physical combat," Dawson

interrupted. "Hell, even if I had flesh and blood legs, I doubt I could

do more than give Beryl and her goons another target to shoot at. But

there are other ways I and the Watchers can help."

"How?"

"Isn't it obvious?" Dawson asked with a smile. "What is it Watchers

do best, Artemis? Answer: gathering information. A lot of information.

We're more than just a bunch of people keeping an eye on Immortals,

Artemis. We also have a large research department looking into their

histories and trying to uncover any older ones that have dropped out of

sight. In doing so, we've got our hands into almost every source of

information there is. If there's any information that can be had on

Beryl and her cronies, we can find it." Dawson gave Artemis a moment

to consider this before adding, "And I can prove it."

"OK, I'll bite," Artemis said. "How?"

"Remember that apartment that Malachite set a trap for MacLeod

and Jupiter?" Dawson waited until Artemis nodded before he continued.

"Well, somebody had to be paying the rent on that place. I've already

got Watchers following the money trail. Maybe it'll give us some info

on other places Beryl is using around town."

"Maybe," Artemis conceded.

"It's better than nothing," Dawson said. He took a quick glance

around. There wasn't any sign of anyone rushing here to cart him off

to the funny farm, but he didn't want to take any chances. "Now if

that's all, we better be going. The last thing I need is to spend the

night in the local equivalent of Bellevue."

"OK by me," the feline replied, getting up on all fours. "By the

way, how long are you staying around?" he asked as Dawson was standing

up.

"Until MacLeod leaves town." Dawson raised an eyebrow. "Why, in

a hurry to get rid of me?"

"Well, I guess I can put up with the two of you for a *little*

while longer," Artemis replied half seriously. "Especially since you

two helped us out so much. I'm just glad that this is all over. I've

seen enough of Immortals to last me quite awhile."

Dawson smiled. "Artemis, something tells me that you and the Scouts

are going to be dealing with Immortals for a very long time. Especially

Duncan MacLeod... of the clan MacLeod."

Epilogue II

Crystal Tokyo, five hundred years after the Nemesis War.

The nighttime darkness of the Crystal Tokyo skyline was broken only

by the random flickering of light in the distance, which was accompanied

by a rumble of noise. Most would simply dismiss the pyrotechnic display

as a sudden lightning storm, but Duncan MacLeod of the clan MacLeod knew

better. Somewhere in the city, an Immortal had just been killed. And

now that Immortal's life essence was being transferred to the victor by

the process Immortals called the Quickening.

Duncan didn't need to see the Quickening to know it was happening

-- Immortals could sense the process with senses mortals didn't possess

-- but he still watched from his apartment balcony. Being in one of

the higher floors of the palace, it gave him an excellent view of the

city. And seeing this energy display disturbed him greatly. Not that

the Quickening was occurring here -- it had become a somewhat common

phenomena once he had relocated to Crystal Tokyo -- but that this was

the third Quickening he had seen or sensed in as many nights. This,

plus another feeling he had, could only mean one thing. Something he

could no longer deny was happening.

The time of the Gathering was now, and it was happening here in

Crystal Tokyo.

There was a grim irony in the situation that appealed to part of

him. The most peaceful city in the world was about to become the site

of the epic climax of a struggle that had been going on for millennia.

He knew without turning around that another had joined him on the

balcony. It wasn't surprising, seeing as she had shared the apartment

with him for centuries. Ever since...

Lita gazed upon the flickering display and frowned. "Again?"

Having known Duncan since the Twentieth century, she knew a Quickening

when she saw one. Even if from a distance. "That's the third one this

week. What's going on?"

Duncan took a deep breath, preparing himself for what lay ahead.

She had to be told sooner or later, although it was not a task he

relished. "It's the Gathering," he said simply. After all these

years together, he didn't have to say anything else.

Lita looked sharply at Duncan and felt herself go pale. He had

told her all too well just what that meant. In the end...

She didn't want to finish that particular thought. "Are you sure?

Here?!? Now?!?"

Duncan nodded. "I'm afraid so, Lita. For the last week I've had

the feeling that this was the time and place, but I couldn't admit it

to myself until now."

"Have you told Serenity yet?"

"No," Duncan admitted. "I thought you should be the first one I

tell. You can tell Serenity and the others in the morning."

Lita's brow wrinkled. "Why can't you tell them?"

Duncan hesitated before answering, "Because I'm leaving the

palace. Tonight."

"WHAT?!" Before Duncan could so much as blink, he found himself

nose to nose with Lita. And the expression on her face would have been

enough to intimidate any Immortal. "Just what do you mean by *that*,

mister?"

Duncan put his hands gently upon her shoulders. "Take it easy,

Lita. Try to understand..."

She didn't give him a chance to finish. "Understand what?" she

exclaimed. "Understand that this is the Gathering? Understand that

every Immortal out there is going to be gunning for your head?

Understand that when this is all over, there's going to be one Immortal

left?" Her voice broke a bit at the last and Duncan could see the tears

start to form in her eyes. "I understand all that fine. What I don't

understand is why you have to leave."

"Lita, it's as much for your sake as it is mine," he said gently.

"If I stay here, there's a chance another Immortal could use you or one

of the others against me."

"We're not exactly helpless, Duncan," she said, glaring at him.

"I know. But I'd rather not take the chance. I've lost enough

people I care about during my life."

"You hardly have a monopoly on that, Duncan. I've lost people,

too," she reminded him.

"Yes, but..."

"Besides, the security in here is better than anything Fort Knox

ever had," Lita continued, interrupting him. "There's no way anybody

could break in."

Duncan raised an eyebrow, a skeptical look coming across his face. "Well,

I hope nobody told Amanda that."

Lita grimaced when she heard the name of that particular Immortal.

Over the centuries, Amanda had taken to periodically breaking into the

palace. No matter who was in charge of security at the time, nor the

upgrades to the various security systems in the palace, she had been

able to gain entry every time and evade detection until she was well

into the heart of the palace. She never took anything, but she did

leave notes as to how she gotten inside. It was almost as if it were

a game to her. "She's an exception, not the rule. I doubt anyone else

could get inside."

Duncan shook his head. "I wouldn't bet on it," he said. "In my

experience, it pays to never underestimate any Immortal." Unwilling to

argue the point further, he went back into the room and began packing

a travel bag.

Lita followed him moments later, fuming now more than ever. She

spun him around to face her and jabbed a finger angrily in his chest.

"You keep trying to protect me like I'm some frail flower. Well, get

this through your thick Scottish skull, Duncan MacLeod: I may be your

wife, but I am also Sailor Jupiter, one of the Sailor Scouts! I've

been fighting things a lot tougher than a few sword crazed Immortals!

I am quite capable of taking care of myself!"

"All right," Duncan said, conceding the point. "Just answer

this question honestly and I'll stay: could you just stand by and

watch while another Immortal takes my head?"

Lita felt her anger suddenly evaporate like water on a hot

plate and hesitated before replying. "Sure," she said, but her

voice held no conviction.

Duncan nodded. "I didn't think so. I don't think I could do

it either."

"I..."

"Lita, this isn't like any other fight I've had with another

Immortal. This is the Gathering. I'll be facing combat God only knows

how many times before it's all over. I don't want to put you through

that time and again, especially with the knowledge that you could

intervene and easily protect me."

"You'd rather leave me in the dark?" she asked sharply. "Wondering

each night if you're dead or alive."

Duncan smiled and kissed her gently on the forehead. "I'm not

going into seclusion, Lita. I'll be in touch."

"You better be," she retorted, but her voice no longer held any

edge to it. The two of them embraced each other tightly. "You don't

have to leave right know, do you? You can stay just a little while

longer?"

"No," he said, yielding on this one point. "I can stay until

morning at least."

The sun was just starting to peek over the eastern horizon when

Duncan passed through the palace gates. He paused there for a moment,

looking back upon the massive crystal structure that had been his home

for so long and wondered briefly if he would ever walk in its halls ever

again. Grimacing at how morose his thoughts were becoming, he turned

and resumed his trek.

Even with an efficient public transportation system, it still took

a good deal of time to make it to the outskirts of the city. It was

almost eight o'clock when he finally reached his goal -- a small

nightclub called simply "Joe's". His old Watcher friend had started the

place shortly before the city had been transformed into Crystal Tokyo,

and Duncan had managed to keep it going all during the intervening

centuries as a tribute to him. He also kept a small apartment ready

above it, for those times when he and Lita wanted to get away from the

palace for a short while. And for emergencies such as these times.

He was just about to the back entrance when he felt a very familiar

sensation ripple through his being. His hand went automatically under

his jacket to his sword while he gazed warily about the alley, looking

for the Immortal he sensed. He saw a shape detach itself from the

shadows there and he dropped his bag, bringing the katana out and into

a ready position. "I am Duncan MacLeod of the clan MacLeod."

"I know it's the Gathering, MacLeod, but you don't need the blade,"

the other Immortal said, stepping out into the light. Marcus Kane

grinned slightly. "Not yet, anyway."

Duncan relaxed slightly, but he still kept the katana out. "I

didn't know you had gotten back into town, Kane."

"I think most of us are here by now," Kane observed lightly.

"Except for one or two stragglers. I just got in during the night, and

was challenged right away."

Duncan immediately recalled the Quickening he had observed from

the palace. "So that was you," he observed, bending down to pick up

the travel bag. "Anyone I know?" he asked as casually as he could.

Kane shrugged. "I don't think so. At least, I don't recall

meeting her before. But not that I think about it, her fighting style

was similar to Amanda's. She might have been one of her students."

He took a wistful look at the palace in the distance. "Ironic that

the Gathering would take place here, isn't it?"

A wry expression came across Duncan's face. "I had the same

thought."

"Figures," Kane replied. "You're always a bit too much on the

introspective side."

"I'm not thinking that deeply about it," Duncan said defensively.

"The only philosophical thought I've had lately is that I hope I don't

face a friend at the end."

Kane raised an eyebrow. "Better a friend than an enemy."

"How so?"

"If you're facing a friend in the last fight, at least you're sure

your opponent is worthy of the Prize. On the other hand, if you're

facing an enemy and he happens to defeat you..." Kane shook himself.

"That's not a thought I'd like to take to the grave."

"I guess I can see your point."

Kane frowned. "Enough of this. We're both getting too morbid for

our own good. How about we go inside this club of yours and I buy you

a drink."

"It's a bit early, but what the hell. I'd rather think about the

good times than what may lie ahead." Duncan started for the door and

then paused. "Speaking of reminiscing... You might want to pay

Serenity and the others a visit before things get too far along."

Kane hesitated before he answered. "I'm not too sure about

that, MacLeod. There's an awful lot of water under those particular

bridges. Especially since they learned about my past."

Duncan leveled a steady gaze at the older Immortal. "Kane, when

are you going to get it through your thick head that they've forgiven

you for the past? And that's not just because you were a big help

during the Nemesis War. Trust me, they'd all like to see you again."

He paused slightly and then smiled mischievously. "Except for Raye,

that is."

Kane started slightly. "Huh?"

"You remember... that little 'incident' shortly after the

Nemesis War?"

"Wait a minute..." Kane sputtered. "You mean that she only holds a

grudge over *that*??" After MacLeod shrugged he added, "Over a

centuries old practical joke?!? A prank?!?"

"Yeah, but you turned her hair a very wicked shade of green,"

Duncan reminded him, smiling broadly now. With that, he slapped his

friend heartily on the shoulder before venturing inside.

Kane stood there staring at the doorway for several moments.

"Great," he observed sardonically. "I'm going to start off the

Gathering as a charcoal briquette." Shaking his head, he started

to follow the Highlander inside. "Hey, MacLeod," he called after him,

"how's the family?"

The sun had just set on Crystal Tokyo when Lita heard a knock on

her door. She was still on the balcony, where she had remained all

day and would likely remain through the night as well. She wasn't in

the mood for company this night, but she also didn't want to be overtly

rude either. Besides, there was also the chance that this could be

important. "Come in," she called.

The door opened and allowed Neo-Queen Serenity to enter. Lita

stiffened, alarmed. She belatedly realized that she should have

informed her about the Gathering, but her mind had been on other things

the entire day. "Serenity, I..."

"Lita, relax," the co-ruler of Crystal Tokyo said immediately.

Moving quickly, she joined her friend out on the balcony. "I know this

is a hard time for you."

"You know..?" She shouldn't be surprised, Lita told herself, but

she still felt a slight sense of shock.

Serenity nodded. "Yes, I know. The Gathering has begun."

"How did you know?"

Serenity smiled. "Do you really need to ask after all these

years?"

"I supposed not," Lita responded, smiling slightly herself.

"I wasn't the only one to figure it out," Serenity continued. "Amy

came to that conclusion one her own, but Artemis was aware of it as well."

In response to the look on Lita's face she added, "He still has

connections among the Watchers."

"I'd forgotten," Lita said. She took a brief glance at the city.

All seemed peaceful at the moment, but she knew that this was an

illusion. One that could be shattered at any moment.

"Raye and Mina knew that something was up, but weren't quite sure

just what was going on, Serenity noted. "But once everyone did know,

there was a spirited discussion on what to do about it." She paused

momentarily before continuing, "In the end, it was decided that there

was really nothing we could do. We've got other friends among the

Immortals besides Duncan, so how could we in good conscience support

Duncan at their expense?"

"That's about what Duncan said earlier. Before he left that is,"

Lita said.

Serenity frowned. She had known that Duncan had left the palace,

but... "From the sound of your voice, he's not expected back soon."

"He's gone for the duration of the Gathering, Serenity," Lita

replied. "This way, he feels we won't be as tempted to help him."

"That sounds like Duncan," the Neo-Queen observed.

"Yeah, like Methos always said, he's too much of a Boy Scout for

his own good," Lita said sardonically. "I..." She paused and felt

her heart skip a beat as she heard a faint sound in the distance.

The distinctive sound of clashing steel blades.

Serenity immediately moved closer and embraced her, trying her best

to comfort her friend wordlessly. She understood the feelings that

were overwhelming Lita at the moment, for she could well imagine her

own feelings if Endymion found himself in a similar situation. She

wished she could do something more substantial to help, but Duncan had

made it abundantly clear during the centuries they had known him --

there could be no outside help in these battles. He must face the

coming struggle alone.

But there was one small way she could help, even if she didn't know

how much of a difference it would make. In her thoughts, a silent prayer

went out, one that was echoed by not only the woman standing next to her,

but by several others within the palace as well.

'I know there can be only one. But please, for the sake of my

friend, let that one be Duncan MacLeod.

'The Highlander.'

End.

Notes:

Comments, critiques and questions are welcome. Just email me at

Soton@aol.com.

Thanks to Naoko Takeuchi and to the creators of "Highlander",

for creating their respective genres. And for being gracious enough

not to sue me for playing in their sandbox. (As it were.)

Additional thanks go out to my prereader, Captain S Pegasi, for

her diligence in keeping me straight with the "Highlander" backstory,

and for her patience with my lack of progress in getting each part

finished.

And a special thanks to you, the reader, for enduring those

interminable delays.

Well, there you have it, the fanfic I start first (well before I

thought of the Sailor Trek saga) is finally complete. My only real

regret is that it took so long for me to finish it. With any luck,

I'll be able to elude this problem with my upcoming stories. And

considering the number of stories I have in development, I'm praying

fervently that this is so.



Upcoming stories:

Highlander Moon 2: Endings and Beginnings. -- It's D-Day against

the Negaverse, but not just for the Sailor Scouts. Marcus Kane is

determined to face Beryl himself and have his own revenge upon her.

Only his grudge goes far deeper than being used as a pawn by Beryl

and Malachite... Indeed, it goes as far back as the Silver Millennium

itself.

The Scout and the Scot - a followup story to the events of

"Sailor Trek DS9".