Destiny's End
Murphy, Darrel E. Jr.

The characters of the Forever Knight TV series were created by
John Slan and Barney Cohen and are the property of Tristar and
Co. The Highlander universe is ruled by Panzer and Davis and is
owned by Rysher & Co. Melendez, Kanske, etc., are my creations.
Any comments should be directed to me at I
promise to return Knight and MacLeod where I found them, but as
to my own characters...My advice is, watch your step, Melendez!
This is a sequel to "Forever, Immortal," for those who wish to
read it first. But this sequel is self contained, and can stand
alone. Enjoy!
                DESTINY'S END by Darrel E. Murphy, Jr.
                           PART  1
                           SCENE 1

"Hey, down there, are you hungry?"

She ducked beneath the entrance as she descended the steep
basement steps, balancing a steaming plate of stewed vegetables
in one hand and guiding herself in the twilight dimness with the
other against the grimy wall.

She flicked the string of the light switch at the bottom 
experimentally, confirming what she'd guessed at the top of the
stairs, that the light had burnt out. She wet her lips, peering
into the darkness where she imagined yet another homeless man or
woman had taken refuge from the storm. The sole illumination,
light streaming from the welcoming door behind her, could not
penetrate the false night.

"It's real good," she said, kneeling forward and sitting the
plate gently on the floor. "No meat - I'm a vegetarian. I hope
you don't mind."

A figure shifted in the darkness, and spoke. "I don't mind,"
came the words in a gravelly voice. A man.

She smiled as she saw him stoop at the fringe of the light,
sliding the plate back until it was nearly as hidden as he. The
scrape of a fork on the ceramic plate told her he was eating.

"It's not safe out there," he mumbled around his food.

"No, it isn't," she agreed. He continued to eat for a few

"People are dying."

She nodded. About two weeks ago, a beheaded woman was found
outside of Toronto. Six days later, an elderly couple were found
in their apartment, also beheaded. And yesterday, a homeless man
whose only fault was sleeping in the park had been added to the
list of victims.

"Don't worry, you're safe here."

"Are you?"

"What do you mean?"

A flash of steel burst from the darkness, cutting from below
her left ear to her right collar bone. Blood spattered the white
silk blouse she wore, running down to her pink tights as her
body sank to its knees before dropping to one side.

Her killer leaned over and, grasping the fringe of a silky
ruffle, tore a large patch of her blouse off. The intent was not
sexual -- he used the scrap to wipe blood off an unbelievably
large sword, a composite blade that was larger and heavier than
a sword had a right to be.

When the cloth was so blood-soaked that it no longer had any
effect on the blade, he tossed it back so that it landed on the
girl's head. "Thanks for supper. I was starving."

He sheathed his sword in its concealed scabbard and stepped
on the stairs leading outside the house. With a mighty blow from
both fists, the basement doors burst open, cracking from the
force of the swing as they hit the ground to each side.

A tall, obscenely muscular man ascended from the depths. He
paused to take a deep breath after enduring the dankness -- and
the blood scent -- below, and let loose a malevolent laugh.


He is immortal, and he is not alone. There are others like
him, some good, some evil. He lives forever, unless he is

He is a vampire. He carries no sword,  his people fight for
no Prize. While other Immortals bask in sunlight, he lives in
darkness. He shuns holy ground. He kills, but not for a mystical

He kills to feed.

He kills for blood.


Tracy smiled wicked at Nick as they rode down the lighted
downtown streets of Toronto. "I'm not sure which is worse, Nick.
Listening to the Nightcrawler or this stuff." She moved to
change the radio station, which at the moment was blaring the
latest new age sounds of Vangelis.

Nick knocked her hand away from the dials playfully, and 
readjusted the station until it came in clearly again. "What are
you complaining about? He's the twentieth century's answer to
Bach, Beethoven, Mozart, Strauss..."

"And I don't want to listen to them, either." She switched it
to a 50's rock station.

Nick grimaced and turned it back. "Yeah, well, it's my car.
When we're driving in your car, we'll listen to what you want."
Tracy snorted and continued to watch people on the street as
they passed by. Something sounding like, "That'll be the day,"
reached Nick's sensitive ears.

Nick watched her watching the road, remembering the first
time he'd been involved in police work. He smiled as he recalled
the salty old police sergeant, circling Nick like a shark, with
a clear look of disdain on his face.

"You been to college, Rook?"

"Yes, sir!"

"Well...we'll just have to work around that."

Later that night, he'd learned an important lesson. "Every
car that passes you is a story. And everyone behind the wheel is
a story within a story. You have to be able to read them, and
know which stories are going to cause you trouble."

"Hey, Nick, check that guy out!"

Nick shook his head and looked where Tracy pointed. An older
man riding a Harley was stopped just ahead at a stoplight. His
dark hair was thin, and swept back by days on the road. He had
an unkempt beard, and a fierce handlebar mustache, both peppered
with gray. He wore a tattered trenchcoat, but no shirt, mocking
the chill Canadian air.

He was familiar, Nick thought, and couldn't decide why that
made him feel uneasy. The light changed green, and the man flew
past, his trenchcoat flapping like a superhero's cape. Nick
followed him with his eyes, until the car behind them let out a
sharp honk.

"Nick, green light go, red light stop?" Tracy dug her elbow
into his side, prodding him to drive.



Connor MacLeod shook his head, folded the newspaper and
shoved it in his coat. Prompts action? He hadn't seen this much
response to a beheading since the time in New York when he'd
taken on the Kurgan.

There was little need to read the details. He'd followed a
bloody trail of headless bodies north from Minneapolis, hunting
the evil Immortal who left the broken bodies of mortals in his
wake. Suffice it to say, Gunther Kanske had indeed arrived in

"Hey, buddy, do you want a room, or not?"

Connor glared at the desk clerk of probably the seediest
motel in Toronto, and shrugged. "I don't know how long I'll be

The desk clerk smiled broadly, displaying his generously
gapped teeth and heavy beard stubble. "That's okay. I rent by
the day. Forty dollars."

"Forty dollars!" Connor growled as he looked around. Forty
dollars and I'd bulldoze this dump.

"For that, you'll get our best room."

"That's what I'm afraid of," Connor mumbled as he dug four
ten dollar bills from his wallet. "Does it have a bathroom?"

The desk clerk fidgeted. "Not exactly. The plumbing's been
acting up lately. We're having it worked on. But," he gestured
outside, "the gas station at the end of the block has lovely

Connor ignored the muted laughter behind him and dropped the
forty dollars in the clerk's waiting hands, pretending not to
notice as three of the tens went into the register and one in
the clerk's pocket. He accepted the key tossed on the counter.

"You gotta register!" the clerk reminded him. He pulled a
half empty bic off his sweat-stained tee shirt and shoved a
dog eared spiral notebook in front of Connor.

Connor accepted the pen and wrote "Russell Nash" next to his
room number.

"Okay... Nash. Checkout's at 9 a.m. Unless you decide to stay
longer, of course."

"Fine. Where's that gas station at?"

"Just out the door. Go right around the corner. It's at the
end of the block."

Connor refrained from slamming the door behind him by the
thinnest margin of self-control. Toronto had gone downhill since
the 19th century, he thought morosely. As he recalled, they
hadn't had plumbing then, either. But the people were cleaner.

A deep vibration arose in his breast, filling his being and
the air around. He slipped his hand under his coat, looking

An Immortal  was nearby.


Nick sat on the edge of Tracy's desk, going over the stack of
solved cases which were still waiting for the final paperwork to
officially close them, when Captain Joe Reese leaned out from
the sanctity of his office. "Knight, phone call - line three."

"Excuse me," he asked Tracy, and went to his desk. "Knight

"Hey, night owl! Guess who?"

"Melendez!" He leaned back in his chair, grinning. "How's it
going in Seacouver?"

"Oh, you know, same old, same stuff. Been kind of quiet since
the Francis killing, actually. Guess the wackos have taken time
off, trying to decide what can top it. Go figure. So they've
decided to send me on vacation."

"Really? Where?"

"To the sunny beaches of ... Toronto. I'm leaving tomorrow."

"What for?"

"Well, you came down to help us with our serial killer, and
Seacouver Metro has decided to return the favor. I tried to tell
the desk they have the wrong guy, but, hey, they never listen."

"It'll be good to see you again, Melendez. Guess you'd better
get some sleep."

Reese was waiting as he hung up the phone. "Knight, what are
you and your partner doing right now?"

"Just some routine paperwork, captain."

Reese nodded his ponderous head. Knight could swear the black
man was about ready to drop off, the way he walked around all
night with his eyes half-closed. But he knew, from experience
the last few months, that this cover was a facade, behind which
stood one of the sharpest men in the department.

"I'm bringing you and Tracy in on this beheading
investigation. Do you think she can handle it?"

Nick nodded uncertainly. "Yes - you should ask her, but I
think she can take it. Isn't that Fisher and Karpov's

"Four beheadings in two weeks, Nick. The head office is more
than a little upset over it. I probably should have put you on
it in the first place..."

"But we were busy."

"And now you're not. Also, Seacouver is sending a man from
their homicide division as a consultant - not that we need help,

"It's okay, captain. Melendez was just on the phone with me.
No one's going to be worried about him stepping on their toes."

"Good. Get your partner squared away on this one."

Nick sat at the desk for a few minutes, mulling over the
Francis investigation in Seacouver, when it was he who'd been
brought in as a consultant. Little did he realize that the man
who wreaked havoc in Seacouver was an Immortal being, part of a
small group bent on battling to the last for some vague Prize.

Except Kanske didn't limit his beheadings to Immortals.


Nick stiffened. The biker he'd seen downtown -- he'd seen his
face one time before. Not in real life. In a folder of a closed
case, the Francis investigation in Seacouver. He was Kanske.

He'd brought his killing to Toronto.

Nick reached for the phone and dialed long distance, a number
he hadn't had occasion to use before. After a moment's pause,
the tinny ring long associated with long distance calls began.

"Joe's Place, Joe Dawson speaking."

"Mr. Dawson, this is Detective Knight from Toronto. I'm sorry
to disturb you. I was trying to reach Duncan MacLeod."

"No mistake. Duncan's calls are routed to me when he's out of
town. Knight, Knight... You were here when Duncan fought Kanske,
weren't you? He's gone to Paris -- has a barge there he lives
on. Could be a week, or a decade."

"Or a century," Knight said softly. He heard the chuckle at
the other end of the line. "Well, you might find this hard to
believe, but Gunther Kanske is in Toronto -- and he's killing
again. Are there any Immortals in the area that you know of that
can come after him?"

Silence answered him for a moment. "One," Joe said, deeply.
"But I wouldn't bet on him taking Kanske out."


"Kanske," Connor hissed, pulling his katana free. He held it
vertical before him, as if in prayer, listening as footsteps of
the approaching person faltered. He heard the rasp of steel
against steel. That clinched it -- there was an Immortal around
the corner.

He tightened his grip on the hilt and swung his katana around
the corner. Metal clanged against metal as he stepped away from
the protection of his hiding place.

A lanky, redheaded man, a kid, really, stood agape, eyeing
the dragon headed katana that crossed his own rapier. "You just
made a big mistake, mister."

Connor stared at him a moment while the tension built, and
then pulled back and sighed. "Hello, Ritchie. How's Duncan?"

Ritchie Ryan returned Connor's steady gaze. "Do I know you?"

"I am Connor MacLeod..."

"...of the clan MacLeod," Ritchie finished. He lowered his
rapier to his side and extended his free hand. "Hey, sorry about
that. But you know..."

Connor's katana appeared at his throat. "What are you doing
in Toronto, Ritchie?"

Ritchie dropped his sword in surprise, raising his hands
above his shoulders. "Wait a minute. You're one of the good
 guys, right?"

"That depends on your point of view," Connor replied. "Go
home, Ritchie. It's not safe in Toronto right now."

Ritchie rubbed his neck where Connor had pressed his blade,
and cautiously reached for his rapier. "Yeah, I can see how
dangerous it is. Are you hunting?"

Connor looked up and down at Ritchie. "Not you, if you don't
make an issue of it."

"Fine. I can take a hint. See you again someday."

Connor groaned. "Wait a minute,  kid." He grabbed Ritchie's
arm, halting his headlong rush down the block. "Look, I've been
after a nasty Immortal for the last month. He's in town right
now. I'd just as soon not lose Duncan's favorite student to

"I can take care of myself. Who is he?"

"Gunther Kanske. He showed up in Minneapolis late September,
and... are you all right?"

"Yeah," Ritchie said as he sunk to the curb. "I know Gunther
Kanske. You might say we've run into one another."

Connor considered this. "Well, maybe you can take care of
yourself. You still have your head. Then again, so does he."

"Look," Ritchie said, "Why don't I hang around? I can help
you track him down. I owe him one."

"Oh, no," Connor stood up, shaking his head and waving his
hands. He saw the resolve in Ritchie's face, and realized the
kid would go after Kanske alone if he refused.

Duncan will have my head if I let that happen, he thought
grimly. "All right. But we do it together."


"And when the time comes, I fight him. Not you."

Ritchie looked visibly upset. then gritted his teeth. "If you
say so." He regarded Connor's extended hand impassionately for
a moment, then grabbed it.

"So," Connor asked as they started down the street, "are you
staying anywhere? Say with plumbing?"


Nick stared around the dusty basement, blinking at the bright
lights set up by forensics as they set about documenting the
latest beheaded victim. Chalk outlined a bloody patch where the
victim had fallen, accompanied by a small, roundish outline a
few feet away. Where the head had fallen, Nick assumed.

An attractive woman in a lab coat was bent over the bloody
patch, taking samples of it at random and dropping them into
plastic bags which she labeled neatly. She turned her head, her
long auburn hair swinging in its pent up pony tail as Nick
stopped by her. "Nick. Have you seen the body?"

"No. Tracy's looking at it right now. Who was this?"

"Her name was Destiny DuPres, a volunteer worker at a shelter
for the homeless downtown. When she didn't report to work today,
they called her mother. That's who found her."

"What were you able to find out?"

"She was decapitated ... well, you probably figured that out,
or you wouldn't be here. The cut was clean, smooth really.
Whatever took her head off was extremely sharp."

Nick stared at the basement wall. "Just like the others." He
began picking at a gash in the basement bricks. "Nat, check this
out, will you?"

She peered into the crack. Blood stained its edges, spattered
at the time of the beheading, no doubt. Deep in its interior,
she caught the faintest glimmering of metal chips. She used a
scalpel to pry a few loose and stowed them in a baggie. Just
then Tracy stumbled down the steps.

"I hope that never happens to me," was all she could manage
to say.

Nick held onto her elbow as she steadied herself. "Do you
want to sit down?"

"No, no, I'll be all right. What do you want me to do?"

"The girl's mother is upstairs," Nat suggested.

Nick nodded approvingly. "Why don't you talk to her. See if
anything unusual happened in the last week or so, some lead."

Nat watched Tracy climb the stairs. Nick shrugged. "She'll
get used to it. What do you think?"

"That break in the brick is at about the right height to be
consistent with the swing of a sharp instrument, say a machete,
or a sword. Those metal chips had some blood on them. I'll have
to check it against the other samples, though."

Nick stared at a broken ceramic plate near the wall. Do I
tell her, he thought. He owed Duncan his secrecy, but how much
leeway could he give Gunther Kanske before he killed again?


"Good evening, gentle listeners. It's almost Halloween again.
The cycle of death has come full circle another year, and has
been merciful enough to leave many in peace. The topic tonight:
what is death? What does it mean to you?

"Are life and death merely two sides of the same coin? Is
death another way of life on the other side? Or is it an eternal
void, the true cessation of life, joy, mind, and...soul?

"You are listening to the Nightcrawler, who loves all of you
and wishes only to ease your tormented spirits. Give me your
views on this the most important topic facing mankind. Is it
your destiny to pass through life into a greater Beyond, or is
Death your destiny's end?"

"Call me..."

The knob clicked in Connor's hand, cutting off the soothing
monologue on the radio.

"What's the word," Ritchie asked. "Morbid?"

"I'm four hundred and eighty years old," Connor replied, "and
I still don't understand mortal fascination about death."

"Yeah, well, did you consider that it's because you're four
hundred and eighty years old that you don't understand?" A
fierce backfire in the run-down Mustang they rode in punctuated
the question.

"Where did you get this wreck?"

Ritchie held his hand over one of the dash board speakers.
"Hey, not in front of the C_A_R! Some gratitude -- seeing that
I'm putting you up in the Four Seasons with me."

Connor smirked. "They let you park this there?"

"No, they park it for me," Ritchie stated proudly. He lowered
his head. "Of course, they expect a big tip, and hide it all the
way in the back of the lot."

Connor's laughter echoed in the streets as they drove uptown.
Above, a casually dismissed radio program continued to play in
another run-down hotel room.

"This is the Nightcrawler, gentle listener. What do you have
to say about death?"

The phone was pressed against the cracked flesh of the man's
cheek, his handlebar mustache hanging over the receiver. "Every
one dies, Nightcrawler. Everyone but me."

"Really? You mean you have lost many friends and relatives
over the years."

"No -- just enemies. They'll continue to die, too." He hung
up the phone.

"Until only I remain."


Sunlight glittered in the windows of the CN Tower in the
distance. Connor leaned forward in the Mustang's seat as he and
Ritchie raced down King Street, enjoying the setting sun on his
back. Ahead, a lone motorcycle swayed on the road.

"Watch it, he's turning!"

"I'm on it," Ritchie said as he slid around onto University
Avenue. The air was alive with the Presence of Immortals. The 
adrenaline pulsed in Connor's blood.

"Don't lose him!"

The sensation flickered away, nonetheless. Ritchie slammed on
the brakes, sending the Mustang into a spin.


Connor looked around, desperately, then pointed. "He's gone

Ritchie parked by the subway entrance and they flew down the
stairs in a dead run. They had gone perhaps fifty yards when
they picked up Kanske's Presence again.

A shrill whistle echoed in the caverns as the last train of
the evening pulled away from its station. People milled past on
their way home. They were soon alone with the other Immortal.

Kanske spun slowly from behind a graffiti-ridden support
post, his gargantuan sword resting on his shoulder as he looked
over his pursuers.
  "You've been following me," he said contemptuously. He tilted
his head and his eyes became narrow slits that bored into
Ritchie. "I remember you, Ritchie Ryan."

Ritchie licked his lips, looking back and forth between
Connor and Kanske. Connor flashed his teeth and drew his katana.

"What's the matter, Ritchie. Had to go home and get your big
brother? Can't you fight your own fight?"

Connor strode purposefully, cutting the distance between him
and Kanske in half. He poised with his sword held high, poised
like a snake about to strike. "I am Connor MacLeod of the clan

"Another MacLeod! Well, that's consistent! What do you think,
Ritchie Ryan? First I kill him. Then you."

Connor snickered. "Not on your best day, Kanske."

The broadsword descended against Connor's blade, nearly
dropping the highlander. Connor gripped Kanske's hand as their
swords locked, but the goliathian broke his grip. He swung his
broadsword in a vicious sweeping arc, driving Connor back toward
the subway tunnel.

Connor laughed. "Now I know what you are Kanske. All brawn,
no brain."

Kanske roared in anger and charged Connor. Connor dropped
back as the broadsword sliced through the air. The tip of it
caught in his trenchcoat, pulling Connor off his feet. Kanske
grinned and spun his sword in a battlefield cheer, and poised to
impale Connor on it.

Connor arched his back, kicking Kanske where it would do the
most good -- and sending him flying into the empty tunnel. There
was a beastly scream, and the tunnel flashed with light. Ozone
filled the air.

Connor staggered to his feet and stepped to the edge. Kanske
was sprawled over the train tracks, with his sword lying near
the middle rail, discolored by electrical discharge. Smoke rose
from Kanske, as the brute raised his head, dazed from a jolt
that would have electrocuted any mortal. He rose shakily and
fumbled for his broadsword.

Connor's katana pirouetted in his hand. Kanske placed a hand
on the lip of the subway platform, staring up resignedly as
Connor raised his sword...

"Police! Freeze!"

A uniformed patrolman, perhaps drawn by the sounds of their
fight, or alerted by an alarm when Kanske's sword hit the
electrified rail in the tunnel, kneeled at the entrance of the
subway, his gun trained on Connor. Ritchie, standing behind a
support post out of sight, froze.

"Drop the sword, and kick it away!"

Connor looked down. Kanske had slipped away. He could hear
him shuffling along in the tunnel. He turned, gestured for
Ritchie to wait, and lay his katana on the ground.

"Now kick it my way!" Connor complied. As the patrolman drew
near, Ritchie slid around the post. The cop heard him, or saw
an echo of his motion in the corner of his eye. "Hey!"

Connor reached for his sword, but the cop stomped on it, and
cocked the gun. "Don't even think about it."

Connor watched Ritchie disappear at the exit, then sat back,


"Flight 311, arriving at gate 16 from Seacouver," came the
semi-mechanical sounding voice over Pearson Airport's intercom.

"That's Melendez's flight," Tracy commented.

"Yeah, I'm not sure how he'll take Toronto's cold," Nick
said. "Then again, Seacouver had a cold spell last month. It
even snowed a little bit. He should be acclimated."

When Melendez finally cleared Customs, he was practically
jumping up and down. "It's cold! It's cold! It's..."

"Cold?" Nick asked, smiling. Melendez looked almost the same
as the last time he'd seen him - short, slightly overweight,
hair slicked back seemingly by half the oil in Yukon Territory.
The only thing missing was food stains on the front of his coat,
which Nick assumed would be corrected at the first restaurant
they passed.

They waited while his luggage was sorted from the mountain
that had arrived on flight 311. He had only two bags, the carry
on he had with him, and an old leather-bound case - which
arrived in a severely battered condition.

"Oh, man, my father gave me that suitcase when I left for the
Academy," Melendez moaned. He ran his hand over the seam, and
the locks gave way, spilling clothing and toiletries onto the
cement floor.

Nick helped him pile the fallen goods back into the case, and
found it overstuffed. "Won't some of this fit in your carry on

"Yeah, I suppose. It's full of papers, but I can squeeze some
things in."

Melendez wasn't exaggerating. At a glimpse, Nick even
recognized what the papers were - fax copies of documents that
involved Toronto's recent beheadings.

"You've been briefed on our little trouble," Nick commented.

Melendez stared at the faxes, and grinned. "Oh, yeah. Guess
I wasted space dragging these here - you have the originals. I
thought I'd study them on the flight."


"I slept all the way here. Which reminds me - since I'm the
visiting consultant this time, does it mean I can set which
shift we work?"

"Didn't Nick tell you? He's allergic to sunlight."

"Allergic? What are you, a vampire?" Melendez slapped Nick
playfully on the back. Nick chuckled uneasily, watching Tracy
as she chased down an errant cologne bottle, but she obviously
hadn't heard.

"Well, I guess I can stand the graveyard a little while. It's
as good an incentive as I can think of for us to wrap this up

Nick stood away from them, his eyes glazing over and his
pupils dilating. Somewhere in the distance was a ghostly voice
whispering on the night breeze. Calling his name.

"Hey, Knight, what do you think?"

Nick blinked. "About what?"

Tracy rolled her eyes. About Melendez's idea!"

Nick looked embarrassed. I'm sorry. I was listening to.. the
announcement of the next incoming flight. From Scotland?"

Melendez and Tracy stared blankly at Nick. He shrugged. "What
was your idea?"

"Your murderer is killing people like that nut we stopped in
Seacouver. Kanske."

Uh, oh, Nick thought. Of course Melendez would see that. "And
you think we have a copycat?" The truth was worse, but Melendez
couldn't know that they nut they'd stopped in Seacouver - and
the maniac they were chasing in Toronto - was the same person.

Kanske had been "killed" in a police shootout in Seacouver,
when he attacked Duncan MacLeod outside the hospital. But he was
an Immortal. He didn't stay dead.

"It was a big story in the papers, Nick," Tracy agreed. "Who
knows what unstable character might have read it, and fantasized
about doing the same thing here?"

Gunther Kanske, Nick answered silently to himself. "Well,
it's as good a place to start as any."


Nick jerked his head back. He eyed Tracy critically. "Look,
why don't you take my car? Take Melendez to the station, and get
him settled in."

"What about you?"

"I'll catch a cab. I've got something to check up on."

Melendez spread his arms, and let them fall with a slap. "He
did that all the time he was in Seacouver. Does he do it a lot

"You get used to it," Tracy replied, staring at the keys to
the Caddy."

"Well, if you need to catch a cab, I guess the airport is as
good a place as you can find," Melendez mused.

"Uh huh. Well, since we have the car to ourselves, I guess we
can change the radio. You like rock and roll, Melendez?"

Nick paused outside the door, watching Tracy and Melendez
move away, and ducked around a corner out of sight. He stared at
the night sky, listening to the wind. Then he was carried aloft,
following the currents back to the one who called him.


The club's name was etched in paint as black as Poe's baleful
Nightmare bird, the Raven. The multicolored lights in the
ceiling were subdued, creating an atmosphere that was at once
sinister and seductive.

 Worn boots clicked on a circular walkway, sorely out of
place with the fashionable footwear of the frenzied masses who
danced among polished columns on the floor below. His trenchcoat
swayed behind him as he descended the stairs.

Condescension met his questing gaze, humor at the old man who
dared enter the lair of Toronto's free-spirited youth. Anger and
contempt flared in young bucks' eyes, for the one who dared to
invade their domain.

And the look he sought, curiosity in a maiden's eyes. He
found that too.

She leaned back on the stool, long pale legs emerging from a
short leather skirt. Her long, black hair hung straight down her
back. She rolled the stem of a wine glass in her fragile hand as
her eyes met - and locked on - his. Her proud bosom rose under
the long sleeved silken blouse, a blood red masterpiece of lace
and frills that completely covered everything but left little to
the imagination.

"You look lost," she said, laughter in her voice. "The biker
bar is down the street."

Kanske admired her sparkling ice-blue eyes, her generous
curves, and her wanting. He could feel it. "I'm right where I
want to be."

Watchful eyes surveyed the writhing crowd, and settled on
Kanske and his prey. Gold tinged LaCroix's iris. A ghost of a
smile played on his lips as he bent over a microphone in the
room he'd set up for his nightly radio show,

"Happy Halloween, gentle listeners. The Nightcrawler watches
over you on this dangerous night. Is the monster at your door,
with arms outstretched, waiting for you to drop gifts into its
greedy little clutches? Or is it something...more frightening?

"There are still hunters among us, killers. Civilization has
dulled your sense of them, made you unaware of the danger they

pose. But they are not blinded like you. They recognize in each
other, the aura of the predator.

"So as you open the door each time tonight, wonder as you do,
will you receive a treat? Or a trick?"

The microphone button clicked while LaCroix paused for a sip,
reveling in the adrenaline rush as fresh blood filled his mouth.
From his dark room he watched Kanske gather in his unwitting
victim. She was, indeed, unaware of the killer.

LaCroix was not.

There was the hint of a breeze, and the beaded curtain that
separated LaCroix's radio room from the Raven swung violently.

"What do you want, LaCroix?"

"Nicholas, how nice of you to come. Care to join me in a

Nick frowned. "I don't think so."

LaCroix poured himself another glass. "Pity. I suppose I've
interrupted some urgent business. Tell me, is Frankenstein and
the Wolfman killing Dracula and the Mummy?"

"Humor, LaCroix?"

"Merely pointing out that what you do is meaningless. Or at
any event, usually. There was a killer in here a short time ago.
Not one of us."

Nick leaned against the wall. "Why do you care? You have no
love for mortals, LaCroix."

"Yes, in general, this is true," LaCroix agreed. "But this
particular mortal was in my club -- under my protection, so to
speak. If I decide to kill such a person, it is one thing. But
to have them taken from here is quite another."

Nick leaned forward, setting his palms on the table LaCroix
sat at and pressed his face close. "Are you saying he came in
here to choose a victim?"

"Yes -- but who said it was a man? Nicholas, you are keeping
a secret from me."


Tracy pointed at the sandy-haired man in the observation
window of the interrogation room. "What do you think?"

Melendez stared appreciatively at the remains of a jelly
doughnut as he brushed ineffectually at the crumbs on his shirt.
"I'm thinking transfer. I'd even take graveyard for doughnuts
like these. Hmmm? Oh, Stick Boy in there? Let's talk."

Connor looked up as Melendez and Tracy came in the small,
gray room. "Who's this, my lawyer?"

"Detective Melendez, Mr. Nash." He extended his free hand.
Connor merely stared at it. Finally Melendez shrugged and took
a seat opposite him.

"I understand you're an antique dealer in New York."

"Ten years ago," Connor said.

"Um, and according to a statement we have, you were charged
with the murder of..." Melendez swore, and looked in a notepad
he carried in his pocket, "Iman Fasil, a Polish businessman,
in 1985. But they dropped the charges."

Connor sat, unblinking. "They also say that in '93, you came
back to New York, having left the country following the '85
incident, and more headless bodies were discovered."

Again, Connor remained silent. Melendez sighed. "And now, you
come to Toronto. People are showing up dead, and an officer 
catches you in the subway with, I have to admit, a very nice,
very sharp sword, and you were attacking someone."

"Funny, I don't remember seeing anyone else there."

"He ran off," Melendez countered. "Either way, from what we
have so far, I'd say your butt was in a sling. Of course, if you
want to add something in your defense..." There was a knock at
the door. Tracy left to answer it.

"Maybe that's my lawyer," Connor said dryly.

Natalie peeked in. "Tracy, is Nick here?"

"No, he took off. As usual. Is this about our investigation?"

"Yes. It's about the evidence we found at Destiny DuPres'

Melendez stared back at her. "Really? Well!" He placed both
meaty palms on the desk, and nodded to Connor. "Pleasure doing
business, Mr. Nash. Maybe you'll feel more talkative later?"

As a uniformed officer escorted Connor back to lockup, Tracy
introduced Natalie and Melendez. They left for the coroner

Ritchie passed them as they were walking out the door. He
ducked away when he saw Melendez. Great! he thought. The last
time he saw me, I was flat on my back, paralyzed from the waist

He watched them get into a green Cadillac and drive off, and
released a breath he hadn't consciously meant to hold.

The desk sergeant eyed him suspiciously as he came in. He
put on his friendliest smile and marched straight to the desk.

"Hi! I have a friend that was arrested yesterday."

"That's nice."

"Yeah, well, I was wandering if they'd set bail for him."

The sergeant stared at Ritchie, appraising his clothes, his
age, and his face. "It's late, kid. Who's your friend?"

", Russell Nash."

The desk sergeant froze. "The murder suspect?"

"Yeah, well that was a little misunderstanding."

The desk sergeant grunted. "I'll bet. Why don't you wait over
there," he gestured at a row of chairs by the door, "until I can
get someone from the investigation team to talk to you?"

Meaning get a statement from me, Ritchie thought. He could
leave Connor in here while he went after Kanske -- but they had
an agreement.

But there was also the matter of Melendez. What was he even
doing in Toronto, anyway? Wait, he was in on the chase after
Kanske in Seacouver.

Ritchie had an idea of who might talk to him about Connor. It
wasn't an idea he liked.


Melendez tore into a sandwich from a machine that looked as
if it hadn't been stocked in a month, staring in interest at the
covered form of Destiny DuPres' body. Natalie was poised to pull
back the sheet when she noticed it.

"You might not want to eat that just now," she cautioned.

"Naw, sorcay," he mumbled around his first generous bite. "A
lirl blord doan score meef."

"If you say so," Nat replied, not really understanding him.
She exchanged a glance with Tracy and lifted the sheet.

Melendez wiped his mouth on his sleeve and stared down at the
head, which lay just a few inches from the neck it had once been
attached to. "She was pretty. Damned shame. What do you suppose
the cause of death was?"

Natalie frowned -- she was not immune to gallows humor, but
Melendez's snorting that he considered laughter was a definite
strain on her nerves. Tracy, she noticed, had become a shade

Natalie grasped the girl's jaw with her gloved hand, showing
the structure of the cut. "Look at how smooth this is. It was
done by a sharp instrument, and as you can tell, the cut is
continuous -- it was done all at once."

"So our hacker didn't have to hack away at her, is what
you're saying."

Natalie rolled her eyes. "Yes. It also means that it wasn't
removed later, say by a saw or other cutting instrument."

Melendez nodded and leaned back, downing another bite of his
sandwich as he stared at the corpse. He frowned. "You got any
ketchup around here?"

Tracy cast daggers at him with a look, then turned to Natalie.
"I guess that means Nash's sword?"

Natalie raised her finger. "It should. But..." She opened a
folder, which contained a metallurgical report. "Here's the
results of tests run on some metal fragments Nick found at the
scene. Some sort of crudely manufactured new age alloy. I found
samples of it in the victim's neck, too."

Tracy and Melendez leaned over the folder as Nat sat it on
the edge of the table. She turned the page, to a report on
Nash's sword.

"Now, when our expert on metallurgy got this, he threw a fit.
The blade is made, somewhat elaborately, in medieval Japanese
style, various layers of steel, each with a progressive increase
in hardness, with each level further strengthened by a process
called folding."

"What's that for?" Tracy asked.

"According to the metallurgist, folding drives out impurities
in the steel caused in its manufacture. But most sword makers
fold their steel a dozen, at most, two dozen times. The metal in
this blade was folded at least two hundred times. And it is
steel. It doesn't match the fragments from the DuPres site."

Melendez shrugged. "So Nash has two swords."

Tracy shook her head. "Until we prove that, we can't hold him
for these murders... but there is still the attack in the subway

Melendez smirked. "Long enough to get a search warrant. Has
he told you where he's staying in Toronto? You're sure they
can't be the same sword?"

Natalie shook her head. "Nope. But Nash's sword has stirred
up a real hornet's nest, anyway." She slid the sheet back over
Destiny DuPres' body.

Tracy looked very relieved. "How?"

"I told you it was made in medieval style?" They nodded. "The
part I didn't tell you, is that they dated the metal, to find
out when it had been made. The blade is almost fifteen hundred
years old. It's like finding an Apollo space capsule in the 
Persian Gulf -- during the Crusades."


Reese ground his teeth as he talked on the phone. "Why does
this always have to happen? Get back here as soon as you can,
Vetter. I'll wake Judge McCormick, see about getting a warrant on
Nash's room. And get together with your partner on this!"

He slammed the phone in his frustration. He barreled out of
his office, causing officers and visitors alike to scatter. He
smacked his hand on the main desk. "Where's Detective Knight?"

"He's not answering his pager," the woman at the desk said.
"Shall I try him on his cellular?"

She took Reese's flaming glower for consent. A moment later
she handed the receiver to Reese.

"Knight, where the hell are you?!?"

"I'm...following a lead on the Nash case."

"Well our prime suspect is about to walk out of here! I want
you to hightail it back here. You and your partner -- remember
her, the perky blonde woman who rides in your car all night? --
are going hunting for evidence,"

He filled Nick in on what forensics had found out, and handed
the phone back to the woman at the desk. As he started to turn,
he heard someone clear their throat behind him.

A freckle faced young man smiled open mouthed. "Hi there. I'm
Ritchie Ryan."

Reese accepted his outstretched hand tentatively. "What can I
do for you, Mr. Ryan?"

"It's about Russell Nash. Ummm, see, I was in the subway with


"Yeah, well, anyway, Russ was teaching me some moves -- you
know, with swords -- and a cop showed up."

"You're the guy who ran," Reese guessed.

Ritchie grinned. "Well, I used to get in a lot of trouble when
I was a teenager. It was a reflex."

"Uh huh." Reese stared intently at him. "And I suppose that
Nash will corroborate this?"

He drummed his fingers on the counter a minute. "Well, I guess
we'll have to let him go."

"Huh? I mean, sure."

Reese smiled and led Ritchie back to his office. "You just
wait here while we process him out. You probably saved Russell
Nash a lot of trouble. Good thing you came in."

Ritchie watched Reese as he left, closing the door behind him.
"That was too easy," he whispered.

Reese waved to Ritchie through the glass and stepped back over
to the main desk. "Get Knight on the phone again."

"Knight here," Nick answered seconds later. "I'm on my way,

"Good. As soon as your partner and Melendez arrive, I'm
letting Nash go. I want you three to follow him."

Knight closed the flap on his cellular phone and turned back
to LaCroix.

"If you don't go after him right now, Nicholas, I will."

"As you pointed out, this is my job."

"But you're intentionally following the wrong man."

Nick nodded. But Russell Nash was chasing someone with a
sword. And given Kanske's nature, he had a hunch what that meant.

Russell Nash was Immortal.

"Unless I'm mistaken, he'll lead me to your killer."

LaCroix followed Nick outside. As Nick took to the air,
LaCroix looked west, toward High Park. "Not if I find him first."


"Nice of them to let you have your sword back," Ritchie
commented dryly as they drove down Queen Street.

"Don't kid me, Ritchie. We're being followed, and you know it.
What are they driving?"

Ritchie looked in the mirror, calling on skills long forgotten
since giving up his juvenile delinquent days. "Two cars left the
ninety-sixth lot the same time we did. One of them is just behind
us. It's an old Cadillac. Green." He grinned. "Ugly. I can't be
sure about the second one. There's another car, way back. I can't
tell what it is at this distance."

"Try to shake them. I want to find Kanske and get this over

Ritchie laughed and laid the gas pedal to the floor. The
engine started sputtering, and a black cloud rose behind the car.
"Oh, come on!" He cursed as he feathered the pedal, trying to
break the vacuum lock in the engine.

"Should I get out and push?" Connor asked impatiently.

Ritchie gritted his teeth as he fought to control the Mustang.
The car coughed into silence for a second, then bucked forward
as power returned to its engine. "Go baby!" Ritchie screamed.

Connor pointed. "Head up Parkside. We'll lose 'em in the park."

"You want to drive?"

Street lights and concrete gave way to tree trunks and grass.
Behind Ritchie and Connor, Nick lifted his radio mike. "Tracy,
circle around. We'll catch him coming out the other end."

"Got it," was her reply. Nick waited until he was sure his car
was out of Tracy's sight, then pulled over and stopped.

Ritchie threw caution to the wind and turned around. "What's
he up to? He stopped following us."

Connor snorted. "Don't look a gift Caddy under its hood.
Maybe his car's breaking down, too."

Ritchie took a scenic path through the park, into its darkest
reaches. They'd gone perhaps halfway through the mile long
stretch of greenery when they felt another Presence.

With a nod from Connor, Ritchie pulled over to the curb and
killed the engine. Two swords slipped free from their scabbards.
Connor hissed.

"Ritchie! Put that away! You agreed to leave Kanske to me!"

"Hey, you find him first, you can have him. But, Connor, if he
finds me first," he shook his saber, "I'll be ready."

"Huh! Why did you bother trying to bust me out of jail?"

"Can we discuss this later?"

They both got out of the Mustang and took off in opposite
directions. Fifty feet up, Nick hovered, split between following
Nash -- no, Connor, that was what the kid called him -- or
following Ritchie.

A spine chilling scream, a woman's shrill cry, decided it for


"What are you doing?" she wailed as she saw the old man draw
a sword from his coat.

"Sorry, honey pie. I was hoping to have a little fun before I
killed you, but I got work to do." Kanske raised his broadsword
high, preparing to decapitate the girl he'd brought from the
Raven, before the Immortals arrived.

A menacing roar vibrated the air, and he was hit broadside
by a mass of flesh. A pale man with short cropped hair, dressed
entirely in black, rolled with the force of the blow. Kanske rose
to one knee, searching in the dim light for his fallen sword, but
froze as he stared into his assailant's face.

Red, glowing eyes stared back, riding above a grotesquely
twisted mouth with monstrous canines. The almost subsonic growl
emanating from this mouth reminded him of the lions of the plains
of Africa.

His questing fingers found the hilt of his sword. "Okay,
whatever you are. You want me, come and get me."

LaCroix circled Kanske, intimately aware of the danger of the
sword to even his vampiric self. Beheading would be as effective
on him as on a mortal. "How dare you come into my club, make off
with one of my guests!"

The girl leaped on Kanske's back, wrapped her legs about his
torso and began pummeling his skull with her fists.

"Damned wench!" Kanske screamed in agony as she raked her
long fingernails across his eyes. He reached behind and flung her
away. She hit a nearby brick walkway, and rolled over, looking
like a child's limp rag doll cast aside.

Kanske felt an iron grip on the wrist that held his sword. He
turned his head, facing the demon's wrathful glare. The pressure
on his wrist increased until the bone cracked, and then crushed
under inhuman strength. His sword slipped from his hand, dropping
point end first and burying its tip into the moist ground.

Nick dropped into the clearing, too fast to stop himself. He
rose shakily to his feet, and stared in horror as LaCroix pulled
Kanske's head back. "LaCroix, no!"

LaCroix paused, turning to stare at Nick. "Watch, Nicholas.
Watch true justice in action."

"You do it, and you'll die, LaCroix."

LaCroix snarled, and twisted, throwing Kanske against a tree.
"You would threaten me, Nicholas?" he cried as he charged his
adopted son.

Nick retreated into the tree line, luring LaCroix away from
Kanske. "No. Never again. But if you drank his blood, it would
surely kill you."

A baleful howl rose in the clearing. "You set me up, demon!"
Nick watched Kanske over LaCroix's shoulder as he grabbed his
sword with his left hand, the one LaCroix had not crushed.
LaCroix pushed Nick back, intent on renewing his attack against
Kanske, but Nick held his master's wrists.


In the distance, the shadow of a man spread across the ground
of the clearing toward Kanske. A man carrying a sword.


Connor advanced warily into the clearing. Kanske leaned up
against a tree, giving the appearance of someone of grave injury.
Kanske pointed his sword -- with his left hand, Connor noted --
and let loose a rebel yell.

Connor drew a sharp breath as the giant charged. He ducked and
rolled, biting his lip as he felt the broadsword skip over the
soles of his shoes. He rose to a defensive crouch, confused by
the retreating form. Kanske was running away. Why?

Ritchie appeared in the running Immortal's path, halting
Kanske in his tracks. Kanske raised his arms, his good hand and
the sword in defiance.

"You know the rules! One on one!" He limped backward, driven
by pain from injuries inflicted on him by LaCroix. He flexed his
broken hand, feeling bones grinding from the exertion less and
less as the miracle of Immortal healing acted on him.

"Ritchie, go back to the car!"

"No! If he kills you, I'm going to kill him!"

Kanske stared wild eyed. "Yeah?" He spread the fingers of his
right hand as wide as they would go, rewarded by several cracking
sounds as newly formed bones popped in place. He quickly switched
his sword from one hand to the other. "What if I kill you first,

"Because you're fighting me, Kanske," Connor pointed out. He
slipped between Ritchie and Kanske. His sword taking a guarded
position in his skilled hands.

"Oh, that's right. Big brother wants first crack." Kanske
reached up and tore a tree branch free. He shook it at Connor,
its leafy branch positioned to hide the movement of his sword. A
surprise swing rising from the ground knocked Connor's katana
from his hand, flipping it end over end into the darkness. He
dropped the branch and pushed Connor back with his blade pressing
into the soft flesh of Connor's throat.

Connor dropped on his back, lifting Kanske on his feet and
throwing him over his head. He rolled to his feet and darted into
the brush.

Kanske turned toward the younger Immortal as he charged. The
broadsword flashed, knocking Ritchie's rapier away and burying it
in his abdomen in one stroke. Kanske caught him as he collapsed
by his ample red hair, shaking him like a trophy.

"All right, MacLeod. Come out of there. Or I swear, I'll take
his head!"

Laughter struck his ears from behind. "You'd do it anyway."

Kanske dropped Ritchie in his own blood, spinning to confront
Connor, but too late. Connor's katana sliced through Kanske's
thick neck like it was butter, and Kanske's sword slipped from
his hand as it swung toward him, flying off into the trees.

Connor stood back, wiping the combination of sweat and blood
from his eyes. The air grew still, but the hairs on his body
rose in the growing tension of a building electrical field.


The Quickening struck, pouring ten lifetimes of experience and
strength into Connor, memories and evil intent mauling his spirit
in an internal battle that paled the swordplay that initiated it.

Great patches of earth exploded around him. The trees ignited
in spontaneous combustion. And everywhere were great arcs of
blue-white lightning, searing flesh and mind as Connor writhed
helplessly in the grip of its power.

Then it was over, as suddenly as it began.

Connor gasped in ragged breaths as two figures emerged from
the brush. He wobbled back feebly, weakened by the Quickening. He
raised his blooded sword, but was in no condition to press an

"It's all right Connor..." Nick said, holding his hands out in
supplication. "I don't even know your last name." He leaned over

The young Immortal swallowed, straining to keep conscious as
he slipped further into the clutches of death. His eyes were
bright with fever, induced by his Immortal immune system kicking
into high gear against a mortal wound.

"Detective Knight."

Nick turned to his master. "LaCroix, take this boy to safety."
He lowered his voice. "Don't try to drink his blood. He's like
the other two. It will kill you."

LaCroix stared with glowing eyes at Ritchie's broken body.

"If you take their blood into you, you become vulnerable to
their kind. One of us tried it in Seacouver. He's dead now."

Nick grabbed Connor, turning him away from LaCroix. "You're
Immortal." It sounded like an accusation rather than a question.

Connor grunted. "I guess that's obvious -- if you know what to
look for. Are you one of those Watchers Duncan told me about?"

"No, whoever they are," Nick replied. "But I know what you are
and why you had to kill Kanske."

He saw LaCroix scoop up Ritchie and take off into the night.
That was one secret he'd just as soon not share with Connor. "I'm
supposed to arrest the man who's been murdering people. I guess
you've taken care of that."

Connor considered this. He handed his katana to Nick and bent
down, taking Kanske's fallen sword. "Maybe you still can."


Melendez jogged through the park, huffing under the exertion.
Ahead, smoke rose from the trees, but little remained of the fire
that had temporarily sprang from their branches. He peered into
the mists, clawing his way through a ring of bushes into a badly
lit clearing.

He had no time to think as he raised his weapon. Nick kneeled
before Russell Nash, who stood above, his sword rising to strike.
Melendez's gun bucked three times. He saw Nash jerk with each
explosive blast, fall away from Nick and fall to the ground with
a dull thud.

Tracy appeared at the other end. "Nick!" She ran to him, with
her hand stretched out as he grabbed it, pulling himself up.

"Good timing," he gasped, as Melendez stopped at Nash's side.
"Good shooting."

He patted Melendez's shoulder, and stumbled over to the girl
from the Raven. He glanced over his shoulder as Tracy and
Melendez checked Nash -- Connor, he thought privately. He only
had a few seconds.

He stroked her hair, and felt her stir under his touch. Her
eyes opened, locked on his. "You came here with a date from the
bar. A madman attacked you in the park, someone else. You were
knocked out, and remember nothing else afterward."

"God," she mumbled as he tore his gaze away from her. She saw
a platinum blonde woman appear at the strange man's side.

"Is she all right?" Tracy asked.

"I think so," Nick said. "But call an ambulance, just in case.
What about Nash?"

"Dead as a door knob. Like you said, Melendez is a crack shot.
Who'd have known?"

Melendez shuffled toward them, carrying a large broadsword 
with a handkerchief. "The evidence we were after. Too late for
that poor slob."

The girl from the Raven began to sob. "He picked me up at the
bar. We were just having fun. That maniac jumped out..."

Nick turned to Tracy. "You handle this. I'll go call it in."

Tracy knelt by the girl. "Okay, but where..." she looked back,
but Nick was gone. "...were you parked?"


Natalie whistled as Nick came in. "You really skated close
to the edge tonight, Detective Knight."

Nick smiled. Natalie swore, if he were mortal, he would be
blushing. "You heard about that."

Natalie shook her head, turning back to her examination table.
"Vampires die from decapitation, just like us mere mortals."

"I'll remember that the next time a sword wielding maniac
decides to visit Toronto."

She pointed at Kanske's corpse. "You know what we have here?"

"I'll grab. A beheaded man."

"Ha ha. No, I'm serious. He's a medical miracle. His blood is
completely free of pathogenic organisms and toxins."

"So, he must have been on a good diet. How's our killer?"

"I haven't started on him, yet. First guess, three slugs in
the chest through the heart are probably what killed him. But I'm
telling you, Nick, I've never seen a healthier corpse than this
guy. If I were a mad scientist, I'd be tempted to sew his head
back on and zap him with a few thousand volts."

"Halloween's over, Nat."

Natalie jumped at a sudden gasp from the other body lying
under a sheet on the rolling table by the wall. "Oh, God, I don't
care how often that happens, it still startles me."

Nick tried to calm her. "I know. It's a reflex action. Dead
people have been known to breath, move limbs, even sit up and..."

"Talk?" A raspy voice under the sheet asked.

Natalie backed into Nick as the man on the table slid off it
onto the floor, the sheet draped over his shoulders but revealing
his light brown hair and  the dazed look in his eyes.

She felt Nick grasp her shoulders. "It's all right Nat."

She shrugged off his grip. "Like hell it is. What is he?" She
stared at Connor, then walked to the refrigerator and pulled out
a bag of blood.

Nick hurriedly grabbed it and shoved it back before Connor saw
it. "It's not what you think, Nat."

Nat stared wide eyed, until Nick noticed how tight a grip he
had on her wrist. He flashed that not quite blushing smile again,
and turned to the man on the floor.

Connor stared under the sheet. "I'm naked," he complained. He
froze when he saw Natalie. "Uh..."

"Don't worry, Connor. You can trust Natalie. She's...good at
keeping secrets."

Natalie listened to Connor as he dressed in an intern's gown
she provided for him. "Don't question it, Doc. Just accept it. I
know Immortality takes a stretch but..."

"Oh," she said staring back at Nick, "I don't know. I guess
that explains why this Kanske character left such a strange body.
Um, tell me, if I sewed his head back on and zapped it with a few
thousand volts, uh..." she shrugged. "He wouldn't... come back to
life, would he?" She half laughed at the end, a nervous laugh.

Connor considered this soberly. "God, I hope not."

Nick led Connor outside, running interference with potential
witnesses to his exodus. He stared out the door at the beat up
Mustang at the door. Ritchie was waiting at the wheel.

"What are you going to do now that 'Russell Nash' is dead?"

"It's always a problem starting over with a new name. Oh,
well, I've been Russell Nash almost twenty years, now. It was his
time to go, especially seeing what trouble he's been lately."

Nick grinned. "What are you planning on calling yourself now?"

"I don't know. How about Knight? Hmmm, seriously?" Connor
stared out at the skyline of Toronto, backlit by the rising moon.
"It's been over four hundred years since I was Connor MacLeod. I
always swore never to use the same name again, but... maybe I'll
make an exception for this one. For a few decades, anyway."

He tilted his head and looked at Nick. "You're lucky, do you
know? You were born Nick Knight, raised Nick Knight, and will be
Nick Knight until the day you die. Sometimes, Immortality can be
a drag. Be happy you're not."

Nick replied with a straight face. "I'll try."

Connor nodded dubiously, and began to push open the door. He
pause, staring back down the hall. "Umm, about the doctor, and
what she said, about sewing Kanske's head back on, and all. She 
  "God, I hope not."


"From the dawn of time we came, rising from the beasts of the
field and proclaiming ourselves masters of the world. Our garish
works litter the landscape, and indeed, the existence of many
species resides purely in our forbearance.

"And yet, can a race truly be master to a world ruled by time?
The young man strives to greatness in his youth, but has no idea
how to harness the fantastic energies at his disposal. He spends
his childhood and early adult years learning a trade, dreaming of
the day when he will make a mark on the world.

"By the time he reaches middle age, he is a skilled craftsman
in the profession that pleases him. These are the times he must
enjoy, because Nature will soon rob him of his strength, his joy.
His vision will dim, sweet savor of music will fall on deaf ears.
He loses his dreams, his mind, and finally, his life.

"Small wonder that man dreams of immortality. To spend all
eternity basking in the glow of one's accomplishments is inticing
and intoxicating. But we forget that for everything, there is a

"Who wants to live forever? To see old friends die, stand by
as nations rise and fall? Is immortality such a great gift? Does
not this old world discourage such a lofty state?

"The cost of immortality could well be death for the world. In
jealousy and greed would Immortals fight. Eternal life would 
instigate Armageddon. And there would be battle.

"For in the end, there can be only One."