In Which Delvin Receives a Phone Call
“No, Pierson. I love you, but I will have nothing to do with that Highlander and his dark Quickening.”
“She feels the same.”
“We have students right now. As much as our obligation to you, our obligation to protect them is greater.”
“Well, you’re welcome to send him here for his protection, but my student comes first.”
“Very well. Wait, Adam.” Xander stood in the doorway as his Teacher said something into the phone in what sounded like Gaelic. “Could it mean him?”
Xander sighed and stepped completely into the room to get some breakfast. This had been going on for twenty minutes. Whoever Adam Pierson was, he was persistent. Delvin seemed content to ignore his presence in the room while he argued.
“This is the same man that turned on you when he found out about Death. He killed Byron, and now he has a dark Quickening. Why are you abandoning millennia of good sense to even argue with me about him?”
Xander tuned in fully at that. Was Adam another student of Death? A few teasing answers that didn’t say much was all he and Greg had learned from their Teachers about the mysterious figure.
“Look, I don’t care, I’m not changing my mind. He comes for me, he threatens anyone under my protection, and it wouldn’t be the first time I’ve taken a dark one. Even if he isn’t the one in the prophecy. Odds are he’s not even fighting it; he’s just sitting in the back of his mind brooding about all of the horrible things he’s doing. And if he ever comes out of it, he won’t take responsibility. He’ll feel guilt but he’ll never admit that it was he’s desires fuelling the dark Quickening.”
“ALL THEY DO IS SUPPRESS THE MORAL COMPASS! A dark Quickening doesn’t change the core of a man, just how he acts on it.”
“I really don’t care to argue about this anymore, Met’shen.”
“Fine. You know where to find me.”
“Keep your head on your shoulders and your hands on your sword.”
Delvin hung up the phone with a sigh. Xander pushed a plate of fried eggs in front of him and when back to work on his own. They finished breakfast in silence until Diane and Greg walked in looking pleasantly tussled.
“Old Man called,” Delvin informed Diane.
“What did he want?”
“MacLeod has taken a Dark Quicken, attacked his own student, and we have been asked to help contain him until he comes back to himself.”
“That what I said. Young Ryan may be showing up on our doorstep in a day or so, or he may not. I said we’d take him but not to the detriment of our students.”
“Right, then.” Diane sat heavily. “Alexander, Greg, if you see an Immortal that isn’t us, get on holy ground and then get here. Do not accept a challenge from anyone with a Scottish accent.”
“He’s that good?” Greg asked. He’d taken only one Quickening since becoming Immortal and wasn’t really looking forward to doing it again anyway.
“He’s good, but I’m equally worried you’d win,” Delvin said. “He’s taken a dark Quickening, and the two of you are too young to take one without losing yourself in it. It’s like, well, becoming a vampire. You still have all your memories but no moral compass and a strong desire for violence that you’ll act out on anyone.”
“MacLeod is a boy scout, but he’s strong, he’s four hundred years old, and now he has a dark Quickening,” Diane put in. “Richie Ryan is his student. I’d say he’s twenty-two, only a few years into the game, and hurting. That being said, if he comes here, never go anywhere with him without your sword. He might just be looking for someone to take his pain out on.”
“Do you think that this Dark Quickening could be what the prophecy referred to?” Xander asked.
“Honestly, no. If MacLeod somehow managed to kill us, then it would be dire, but I don’t think he’ll come here. And if he did, I wouldn’t fight fair,” Delvin replied grimly. “It’s too important. Plus with a Dark Quickening, he wouldn’t either. Still, you need to be extra careful, just in case.”
The young men nodded their acceptance, then moaned at the instruction to go to the sparring room. Then Xander smiled brightly. “So, Adam Pierson knows Death?”
Diane slapped Delvin on the back of his head.
AN: Just thought I'd take a moment to reveal my dislike of Mac and add a plot twist. I'm having fun, are you? Let me know.