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Meeting of Minds - Act 1 - Meeting

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This story is No. 1 in the series "Meeting of Minds". You may wish to read the series introduction first.

Summary: On a rainy night in Georgia, the lives of twenty year old watcher Sue Danning, and her almost four thousand year old Immortal subject Eadgils collide in a way which will leave one of them dead, and the other changed, forever, in a Meting of Minds.

Categories Author Rating Chapters Words Recs Reviews Hits Published Updated Complete
Highlander > Non-BtVS/AtS StoriesDanaShortFR151659,2502511,2587 Jun 049 Jan 06Yes

Chapter 01 - On a Rainy Night in Georgia

Meeting Of Minds - Chapter One - On a Rainy Night in Georgia Legal Disclaimer: I own nothing. Well, Ok, I have a car that only has about fifteen more payments left on it, and I have a bunch of clothes and some cool electronic equipment like this computer I am using at the moment, and a minority interest in the house I live in which is mostly owned by the bank, but otherwise, I own nothing. I most specifically DO NOT own the concept behind Immortals, nor any of the pre-existing Immortal characters which have slipped through this story. These are all owned by Panzer/Davis, or whoever may of purchased/licensed them from their creators. Other characters from other universes owned by other companies may of wandered through as well, and again their appearance does not in any way imply ownership of them on my part. There is no copyright infringement intended. As far as the people I created, others are free to use them, I lay no claim of ownership to them either, I do however ask that you return them in the condition they were found, no added romantic/emotional entanglements or missing body parts (especially heads), please.

Author's Note: This is a LONG story, sorry about that. For the die-hard Buffy fans, if you really want to, skip this whole thing and go to the other story I have posted here - Four Coachmen of the Apocalypse, Now. That is essentially chapter 25 of this story, only from Buffy's point of view. Whether Buffy, Angel, or others will make an appearance in later chapters, I am not quite sure yet, since those chapters have yet to be written. I was surprised myself when the crew stopped in Sunnydale on their way to L.A., and I'm supposed to be writing this thing, so should know what is going to happen next. I used to think I did, but have recently learned better.

As I post this, I am currently working on Act 3 of this story, which takes place starting about a week after the story begins. With the way I have been writing this story, that is in a way equivalent to the third season of a story with a three season arc designed from the beginning. Oh, and by the end of Act 2 (which is about where the actual crossover is) this story was already over 100,000 words - putting it into Novel length. Which is why I said it is a LONG story.

The story it's self is a Psychological Drama, mixed with a leavening of humor, and hopefully lots of action/adventure. The story is about resolving the situation which will become apparent by the second chapter. The venue for the story is mostly the Highlander universe. But I am about as non-canonical there as I am in the Buffy universe. (For this story to work, the episode "Double Meat Palace" would have had to take place in September of 2003. And Buffy's future will diverge further from that point.) I have tried to remain consistent in the rules I am using. If any readers notice any inconsistencies, please let me know.

I hope you enjoy the story,
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Meeting Of Minds
A Highlander Fan Fiction
by Dana Short

A Dark And Stormy Night

September 5, 2003, Savannah, Georgia.
The pattering sound of the rain echoed down the alley as Eadgils, last speaker of the Flornlef tribe, paused to listen for footsteps.

He heard a crunch as someone ducked behind a dumpster, but from the breathing, he was able to identify it as coming from The Girl. She was not one he had to fear, at least not yet.

The Girl had been following him off and on over the past several months. She was the latest in a long line of shadows, stretching back almost a thousand years, who had spent their time spying on him for their records. Once, long ago, he had captured one of them, and had learned of the Society Of Watchers, a group of scholars, more than anything else, who saw it as their mission to chronicle the lives of all Immortals. According to the one he had caught all those years ago, they were sworn to watch, record, and most of all, to NEVER interfere.

In all the centuries they had been following him, he had never known them to break those vows. Even the one he had captured, when faced with death had remained steadfast in his vows. Eadgils had believed him enough to bind his wounds, feed him a meal, and release him with a warning for his fellows, that if they had to watch him, that it should be at a distance. Over time, he had slowly lowered his guard to the almost omnipresent pairs of eyes, to the point he no longer acted directly to lose them, and never bothered to warn them off, unless they got so close as to be actually rude. Then, of course he would answer their rudeness with his own, often scaring them away and earning a replacement.

The Girl was different though. He could feel her when she was close. For one of his age, he knew well what that meant. She would Quicken one day, and have to learn the ways of the ones she at present only watched. He did not envy her that task. In a way, she would have an advantage, knowing as she did of Immortals, and their rules. She would know enough at least to seek Holy Ground and to try to find a teacher.

He had even toyed with the idea of teaching her himself. It had been many years since he had taken a student. Indeed, it had been many centuries. As far as he knew, he had no students left in the game. Perhaps he was not the best teacher after all.

But then again, he himself had survived far longer than most Immortals he knew of. Granted, he was no Methos, assuming he actually existed, but he was almost into his fortieth century. He had seen quite a bit since the Horsemen destroyed his village, leaving him to awaken among the corpses and the scattered refuse of his tribe. Since that time, he had witnessed the rise and fall of civilizations, starting with Rome, which he himself watched grow from a crossroads town to a city controlling an empire which spanned the known world.

But now, those same instincts which had served him well all his life were instead yelling at him that something was wrong.

Slowly, silently, he drew his sword, leaned against the wall, and waited.

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Chapter One
On a Rainy Night in Georgia

Sue Danning watched her subject from behind the concealment of a trash bin.

She had graduated from the Watcher Academy just a few months ago, following in her father's footsteps so to speak. All her life, it seemed, she had known about Immortals.

For as long as she could remember, she had known she would be a Watcher. Her first "assignment", working under her father had been watching the occasional Immortal as they passed through Los Angeles, after school, and occasionally during the days in the summers. The Society had found it useful to be able to toss a young girl on the trail of some of the more active Immortals, since she was able to blend almost effortlessly into a crowd. As long as she didn't get too close.

Long ago, she had learned the lesson of getting too close to her "subject".

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April 1998, Redondo Beach, California...

Fourteen year old Sue sat on the beach watching the man her Dad had told her was over two hundred years old. Funny, he didn't look a day over twenty. She was fortuitously well dressed for hanging out on the beach, in a bikini top, and jean shorts, her shoes simple sandals. She even had a towel to sit on.

Dugan Masters, her subject of this afternoon's observation was kind of cute. Sue looked across the beach as he stood along the line of damp sand, just a bit below the high-water line. He was dressed in a white shirt, and jeans, the cuffs rolled up, showing his naked ankles, and running-shoes. Seeming casual, with a large beach towel bunched and hanging over his shoulder in his left hand, he stood looking out at the ocean.

"I wonder where he has his sword" she thought, looking at the lines of his pants, and not incidentally deciding he had a cute butt. Suddenly she flushed red, and looked around to see if she could figure out why he was wandering the beach today. Earlier, he had eaten hot dogs, while she had had an ice cream. Obviously he was killing time, but now he seemed ready for something.

All of a sudden, Dugan tensed, and started looking around. His eyes settled on a dark-complexioned woman walking up the sand from his right, and he shifted his stance to face her.

Sue knew somehow that this was what he was here for. But why? The woman was old, looking to be in her thirties, although from Dugan's reaction Sue thought she must be another Immortal. That was when she noticed Dugan had shifted his grip on his towel. It was now hanging straight down from his right hand, trailing the ends on the sand. "Ah, so THAT is where he has his sword." She thought, nodding to herself.

Focusing her attention again on the approaching woman, she noticed that she also was carrying a large beach towel in her right hand, its ends dragging in the sand. "No! They aren't going to fight here, are they?" she thought suddenly as the two faced off on the moderately crowded beach under the shining summer sun.

Trying to look casual, she rose, plucking her towel from the sand as she got to her feet.

With a casual saunter, she angled down the sand, picking her way around other people, as she approached the two Immortals, hoping to get close enough to hear what was going on.

Dugan was saying something to the woman, who cocked her head and smiled at him prettily. She replied, with a gesture back behind herself, in the direction she had come from while shaking her head slightly.

Sue strolled closer, marking a point on the sand which would give her a good "excuse" to pass by them on her way back and forth to the water. Dropping her towel casually on her spot, she continued to saunter towards the couple, and on past into the water, but as she approached within a few feet, they both broke off in their conversation abruptly and simultaneously turned to face her.

"What do we have here" the dark skinned woman said in a dusky voice, her hand darting out to capture Sue's arm in a painful grip. "Hello Julie. Here to spy for your uncle?"

Sue writhed in her grip but said nothing, wondering why the woman called her Julie.

"Let her go Myra. She's just a child". Dugan told her.

"I don't like children." The woman said, tightening her grip. "Especially ones rude enough to follow me around and interrupt."

"Let her go, she has nothing to do with this. You know that as well as I do, she is not a part of the Game."

"She may not be playing yet, but that doesn't mean she won't be a problem for me later on. I believe in nipping problems in the bud." The woman replied.

"Nipping problems in the bud is one thing; cutting down the whole bush before it has had a chance to grow even one flower is another. LET HER GO." Dugan responded, the force in his last three words almost palpable.

"Fine." The woman said, casually tossing Sue back towards her towel. "Get out of here little girl, and tell your Uncle Yoseph that the next time he uses you to spy on me, someone will loose their head, Game or no Game."

Sue scrambled backwards in the sand, her heart pounding as she realized the honest and open threat in the woman's words. Climbing unsteadily to her feet, she ran away to find the parking-lot, a pay phone, and her Father. She had no idea how the woman knew about her father's co-worker Joe, or the watchers, but she didn't care at the moment. She had had enough of Watching for today.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Feeling a buzz from her pager, Sue pulled it off her hip, and flipped open the cover to read the message displayed within.

"REPORT TO HQ ASAP" was the short message from her supervisor. First there was the urgent status/location request an hour earlier while Eadgils or Ed as he was presently known, was eating dinner. Now she received an urgent call to report back to the local headquarters, for no apparent reason. She edged back from the dumpster, but as she did she caught a glimpse of someone entering from the other end of the alley. Hesitating, she took another look at her subject.

He had drawn his sword, and placed his back, literally against the wall. Something was up, and whatever was going on it was almost certainly chronicle material. Ed never drew his sword outside of practice.

Even as she crouched back down, she heard a crunch of gravel from BEHIND her, and peering over her shoulder, she saw the man approaching from her end of the alley, a gun ready in his hand. But, there was something else, as he passed her hiding place; she noticed the faint image of a watcher tattoo on his wrist!

Looking back at the figure entering the alley from the other end, she noticed the outline of another gun. After a few moments of puzzlement, she put the pieces together, and realized what she was seeing: Hunters!

In her mind Hunters were among the worst vermin on the earth. They were Watchers who had not only broken their oaths, but had decided to actively kill Immortals. Worse, they did so indiscriminately, killing whatever Immortal they could identify and isolate. Apparently they were now after Ed.

"No" she called out, as she leapt at the nearest figure, hoping to wrest his gun from his hand. "Ed, Run! They want to kill you!"

Eadgils swung at the sound of her voice, unfortunately putting his back to the man coming from the other end of the ally. "What?" he called in confusion, raising his sword to a "Ready" position over his shoulder.

Sue had her hands on the gun, and was rolling away from the Hunter.

Ed, seeing the weapon, identified the Hunter as a threat, and lunged with his sword, ignoring the second man for the moment.

As his sword stabbed the Hunter through the chest, a shot rang out from behind him and Eadgils, last speaker of the Flornlef fell forward, dead.

Sue on the other hand was still alive. Now she was armed as well.

"Drop it" she said, pointing the now dead hunter's gun at his partner.

"Bitch! What do you think you are doing?"

"Stopping you", Sue replied coldly.

"The Abomination must die. Don't you understand that?" he asked, pointing his own gun at her.

"No, I don't. It's not our place to interfere, you know that. How can you break your oath so easily?"

"A contract signed in ignorance or under false pretences is not binding. Neither is a so called Oath." He replied. "Now, lower the gun and perhaps I will let you leave here alive."

"I can't do that." She said. "I can't just stand by and let you kill him."

"Too bad", he said, and he pulled his trigger.

The pain which blossomed in her stomach was incredible. Reflexively, she squeezed off a shot of her own, as she fell, her body lying in the puddle of bloody water, mere inches from Ed, whose back was showing faint sparks as his quickening worked on healing the hole made in him by the hunter's bullet. As her vision faded, she saw the other hunter climb back unsteadily to his feet, clutching a bleeding hole in his side. Slowly the hunter dragged himself over to where Ed had dropped his sword, and picked it up.

Her last sight was of the hunter lifting the sword. The last sound she heard was him crying "No! The abomination MUST die!"

She could no longer feel the pain in her stomach. She could no longer feel anything, and her last thought was that she had failed. Then there was just nothing, not even darkness.

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