Immortal cascade 05 immo.., p.1

Immortal Cascade 05 Immortal Endgame, page 1

 

Immortal Cascade 05 Immortal Endgame
 



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Immortal Cascade 05 Immortal Endgame


  Category: Crossover Highlander/The Sentinel

  Rating: NC17 for violence, language, sexual content and mature themes

  Background: Takes place in CarolROI's Immortal Universe a few weeks after Immortal Champion and four months before Immortal Phoenix.

  Thanks Yous: to our beta Beth B (Beth123B) for taking the time to make sure that we kept everything in perspective.

  Note: All Scenes enclosed in italics mark flashbacks to another time/place.

  SPOILERS: Murder 101, Love and Guns, and any ep Jim fell for the BOTW.

  By CarolROI and Suisan

  Immortal Endgame

  Part 1

  I try to relax my hands on the steering wheel, to let the peace and beauty of the route I am on fill my mind. My hands clench tighter on the wheel; one at a time, I remove them and try to shake feeling back into them. I can't stop yet, not until I reach my destination. The heavy, salt laden air is cleansing, even as the slight winds that are blowing try in vain to chase the low gray clouds from the sky, pushing them further in to shore. Against the stark background reach trees with bare, skeletal arms; the only splash of color in this grayness that surrounds me is the dark green foliage of the hearty evergreens.

  It's funny, but in all my travels I never have set foot in this city, once. Oh, I've been close but I was never drawn here, to Cascade, Washington. But now? Now, I have a twofold reason for coming here. I smile to myself as I pass the 'Welcome to Cascade' sign on the highway. I need to take care of business first then I can see to the other purpose for my visit.

  I wouldn't be here at all if he had accepted my offer, the gift I was willing to give him - but no, he had to get all indignant and self-righteous. This comes from the man who killed the Dorian at the Temple of Delphi, who had committed thousands of atrocities as a member of the Four Horsemen! The man who pulled me from the rubble of Delphi, took me in, trained me, educated me, used me, loved me. Ah well, his loss. Maybe my old friend, my one time savior, will understand the need I have.

  I am Eolia, daughter of a little known tribe of Celtoi people who no longer live, even in the tunnels of my long memory. They are gone, forever, leaving only me, a lost child, to remember them.

  I've managed to find a parking spot fairly close to Rainier University's Main office; now to see if my information was accurate. Climbing out of the rental car I picked up at the airport, I stretch my back, loosening muscles stiffened by the long drive from Seattle to Cascade. Pulling the long coat I wear tighter to my body, I make my way towards the Registrar's Office. The youthful exuberance of the students around me only deepens my feelings of despair. I'm so tired. Not even the unparalleled beauty that is Rainier's can alleviate the pure exhaustion in my body. The bite of the cold wind threatens to take me back, to the place in my memories where this life I've lived started&

  "Papa? Why do we run? Why not stand and fight these men?"

  The huge bear of a man I call father, bundles me closer to his body, shielding me from the winds as he runs through the woods. "Now is not the time for questions, little one."

  His headlong run towards the deeper woods halts abruptly at the edge of a small clearing and he slowly lowers me to the ground, the long skirt I'm wearing bunching up around my knees. "Eolia," he grabs my chin, forcing me to look him in the eyes, "when the signal is given, run like the wind and do not look back, child."

  I meekly nod my acceptance of his orders, he is my father, my clan chief, and his word is law. I watch as he pulls the blade from its place at his side, then turns back to face our pursuers; others in the group do the same. Children, like myself, are poised to run, women draw weapons of their own, my mother among them. The men that pursue us break into the small clearing, and with a cry ripped from fifty throats, the men and women of the Clan rush forward to meet our foes. And the children? We run.

  The sounds of the battle rage behind us, nipping at our heels, making us run faster. A little one, in the arms of her older brother, wails furiously. I catch up to Mikail and take his sister from his too tight grasp, and we continue our run. I never see the root, but as I fall, I curl my body around the smaller one in my arms and take the brunt of the fall upon myself. I cannot catch my breath, it hurts so much, but I manage to get little Moibhan to rise to her feet and go chasing after her brother. How long I lie there, in the cooling light of the day, the cold seeping into my back from the ground not yet thawed from the winter's chill, I do not know.

  I hear them approaching, the sound of many feet upon the earth, opening my eyes, hoping to see a clansman, but instead&

  "Well, well, well, look at what the Gods left for us."

  The man is tall, but not of the Clan, he's too dark! I struggle to my feet, trying to run, but something snags in my hair and I'm pulled back against the body of the warrior.

  "No! We may have lost all the damn horses and your pathetic tribe, but I have you and by the Gods! You will learn your place!"

  The stench of blood fills my nose and I find I cannot hold back my terror. Fear allows me one good blow to the leather-encased chest of the man that holds me. The blow earns me one in return and I descend into darkness, though the sun has not yet set.

  I shake off the memory and slowly climb the steps before me. I've done it again, lost myself in the memories that will no longer stay away. Walking with a confidence I no longer feel, I stride into the Office of the Registrar and am politely asked, "Can I help you, miss?"

  "I hope so. I'm looking for Dr. Diandra Pallas?"

  "Oh! Are you a friend of Dr. Pallas?" The young man starts to dig through a large file while at the same time pulling up information on the computer before him.

  "You could say that. Pallas and I go way back. To her time in Greece." Which is, in a way true, just not as this young mortal would know it.

  "Ah, well, then I guess I can tell you. She teaches Ancient History over in the 'Grove." His hands flash out and he's holding a map towards me, "Actually, it's Hargrove Hall. Her office is on the second floor, room 208 I believe. I can show you the way& "

  I take the map, study it for a moment then hand it back to him. "No, I think I can find it. Thank you for your help." Without another word, I turn and leave the office.

  Stepping back out onto the immaculately trimmed lawn, I take the pathway to the right and wind my way through the throng of students rushing to and from classes. The wind has picked up again and is blowing my long tresses across my face; I don't even bother with trying to tame the unruly mass anymore. I just don't care.

  Approaching the building that has drawn me, I feel the tingle, the surge up my spine that tells me there is an Immortal nearby. Looking up from the pathway, I catch sight of her in the window of a second floor room. She is Diandra, the last Dorian of Delphi, my Savior, and my friend. My means to an end, if only she'll grant my final wish.

  I know not how long I stand there, transfixed by the sight of the woman I came to see, but being run over by another human has a way of breaking one out of a spell. We both tumble to the ground, his books and backpack flying, while I try to break my fall in such a way that the presence of the steel blade under my long coat isn't revealed.

  "Oh, man! I'm so sorry! I didn't even see you there! Are you okay?"

  Long, curly brown hair frames the handsome face and the blue eyes that bring to mind the depths of the oceans. He's holding out a hand to me, offering assistance. I take it. His grip is amazingly strong, and once on my feet, I realize he's only a few inches taller than I am. "Thank you, I'm fine. See?" I gesture at my body, then push my hair back from my face. "No harm done."

  He's gathering up the books and slinging the backpack onto his shoulder. "Are you sure? I mean, I hit you pr
etty hard& "

  "I'm fine. Besides, I should know better than to daydream on the sidewalk of a busy place like this."

  "Yeah, well, it's finals week. All the students and faculty tend to get a little crazy about this time of year." He holds his hand out to me once again, this time in greeting. "Blair Sandburg."

  "Lee Eolia." I shake his hand, and catch a glimpse of something in his eyes, like he's heard my name before. I brush aside my thoughts as we release. "Maybe you can help me, Mr. Sandburg?"

  "Sure."

  "I'm looking for Dr. Pallas." There! I did see something in his eyes this time! But what? Fear? Concern? Whatever it is, it's gone again. "I was told her office is in this building, is that correct?"

  "Uh, yeah. Second floor. Room 208. I'm just not sure if she's there or not right now. I believe she's got a class over in the main lecture hall this hour."

  He's lying for her. Does he suspect? Does he know? "That's okay. I can wait. I'm not going anywhere for a while."

  "Maybe I can pass on a message for you?"

  This Blair Sandburg knows Diandra, of that I'm sure. The fact he's protecting her tells me he knows of us Immortals. Fine. "That would be very kind of you." I wait as he grabs a pen and pad of paper from his backpack, then gesture for him to hand the items to me. I scribble my message, as I talk with the young, oh so very young, man. "I really appreciate this, Mr. Sandburg. I've been trying to locate Diandra for quite some time and now," I hand the notepad and pen back to him, "I'm looking forward to our reunion." As he takes the notepad from my hand, I spy the mark. Blue ink on the inside of the left wrist, the mark of a Watcher.

  "I'll make sure Dee gets your note." He glances at the words I've written. "You're staying at the Excelsior?"

  "Yes, I'll be there for about a week, maybe more. Maybe less. I really can't say at this time." Hopefully less.

  Glancing at the watch on his wrist, he makes his excuses. "Well, I've got a class to teach, maybe I'll see you around later?"

  "Maybe." I turn and leave him standing on the sidewalk, feeling his eyes bore into my back. I give one final glance up to the second story window where I had seen my old friend earlier. I see her, and merely nod. We will meet again, soon, and then it will all be over.

  Part 2

  Diandra glanced up from her computer at the knock on her door. A smile spread slowly across her face at the sight of her lover leaning against the doorframe. His chestnut curls spilled over his shoulders in playful disarray and his blue eyes twinkled behind his wire-rim glasses. "Hey, Lobo. All done for today?"

  "Um hmm." Entering her office, Blair walked around the desk to her side. Turning her chair until she was facing him, he took both her hands in his, pulling her to her feet and into a hug. "Love you, angel," he whispered in her ear before pressing his lips to hers.

  Dee kissed back, enjoying his unexpected attentions. Normally they saved the physical expression of their love for after working hours. It wouldn't do to have tongues wagging about professor/student misconduct even though they weren't in the same department, and Blair had never taken a class with her. When they finally parted, Dee ran a hand over his cheek, smiling at the tickle of his five o'clock shadow against her fingertips. "So what was that for?"

  He gave her a smile, but she could see something troubling in his eyes. "Lobo, what is it?"

  Blair looked down at the floor for a moment. "You know," he finally said, "I'm all done with my finals, and I can get someone to sub as proctor for me tomorrow. You could get a sub for your last exam too, and we could leave tonight for Hawaii." He met her eyes again, giving her his infectious grin.

  Dee tugged at one of his curls. "Uh huh. And why would I want to do that?"

  Blair's eyes widened innocently and his grin turned mischievous. "The opportunity to spend an extra week, just you and me, lying on the beach, swimming in the surf, making love in the moonlight& "

  "And?" she pressed. "I know you have to have another motive, Lobo. You were really looking forward to all of us spending Christmas together. That's why we weren't leaving until the day after Christmas."

  Sighing, he seemed to shrink into himself and his blue eyes darkened with& fear? Shrugging, he said, "It was worth a try." Digging into the pocket of his jeans, he handed her a crumpled piece of paper. "I wanted to throw it away, to burn it, but I knew it wasn't my place. I can't interfere."

  Goddess! That buzz she'd felt this morning, whoever it was must have found Blair and given him a message for her. She hugged him tightly, feeling him trembling against her.

  "I'm sorry, Dee. I can't help it. I can't have you back with me for a few short weeks and then lose you. It just hurts too much."

  "Hey, hey, let's see what it says first, okay?" She opened the note and glanced at the name written there.

  "Dee?" She felt the blood draining from her face, and Blair reached out a hand to help her into her chair.

  "Goddess. Eolia& I haven't heard from her in& half a century."

  "She's a good Immortal, right? Tell me she's a friend."

  Dee looked up into his worried face and gave him a reassuring smile. "Yes, she's a friend, or was& ."

  "Dorian, Dorian Diandra awake!"

  At her servant's urgent words, the young Oracle rolled over and opened her eyes. "What is it Melora? Can't it wait until morning?"

  The woman shook her head. "No, Dorian, it cannot. The soldiers of Apollo have surprised the cult of heathens that has been plaguing us. They have captured the leaders, and you are needed to pass judgment."

  Diandra nodded absently as she rose and began to dress in her official robes. "Call out the others, if they have not already been woken. Have the guards bring the heathens to the large meeting chamber. They are not to enter the temple under any circumstances."

  "Yes, Dorian." The servant scurried away.

  Splashing water from the basin in the room onto her face, the Oracle pondered what to do with the cult members. They had been approaching the people of Delphi and the surrounding area for months, filling their heads with nonsense about a god who gave his people great power in exchange for blood sacrifices. She shuddered. She hated the ritual of animal sacrifice so much that she had outlawed it at Delphi. People seeking the Oracle's help were now to bring goods, or if they had no worldly possessions, they would serve in the temple in exchange for their prophecy. But to sacrifice a human? The very thought made her ill.

  Twisting her long dark brown hair up into the knot that signified her position in the temple hierarchy, she pinned it in place, then adjusted the drape of the full-length pure white gown that marked her as Dorian. The cult was small, and normally the acolytes of Apollo would have overlooked it, knowing from experience that it would die out quickly and only the true Gods would survive. But the cultists had grown angry when the people would not bow to their god, and had begun attacking villages. The temple had then been forced to step in, and a small war had been going on ever since. But Melora had brought good news. If the leaders had been captured, then perhaps the war would soon be over.

  Leaving her room, Diandra followed the other priestesses to the meeting room, and took her place at the top of the raised dais at one end of the long hall, her fellow priests and priestesses flanking her on either side in descending order of rank. Once everyone was present, she signaled for the prisoners to be brought in. There were perhaps ten of them, a ragtag group of dirty men in mismatched armor, their eyes alight with religious fervor. In the midst of their group was a small huddled figure. Long stringy hair hung over the person's face, and, if she stood on tiptoe, Diandra could see the captive's hands were bound behind their back.

  She was opening her mouth to begin the interrogation, when the cultists parted, revealing the hidden figure as a naked woman, her skin covered in dried dirt and blood. One of the men grabbed a handful of her hair, lifting her until her feet barely touched the ground. A second cultist drew a knife from some hidden pocket, and as the acolytes of Apollo watched in horror, slit the woman from throat to bel
ly, screaming an obscene prayer to his god.

  Battle cries echoed in the room as the cultists rushed the priests, intent on assassinating them all. Most of the priestesses screamed and ran for the exits, the priests drew their ceremonial knives and went to help the guards. Diandra stood frozen at the top of the steps for a moment, then descended onto the battlefield, drawn to the forgotten body of the dying woman. She ignored the fighting going on around her, knowing her God would not let her be harmed.

  By the time Diandra reached her, the woman was already dead. She knelt next to her, feeling the sacrifice's warm blood soaking through her gown. Lifting the woman's head, she cradled it in her lap, praying for Hades to let her cross over to the Elysian Fields. The woman's eyes snapped open followed by a sharp intake of breath, and the seemingly dead girl rolled to her knees awkwardly.

  "Holy Goddess!" She was alive! Her wound had vanished! What kind of heathen trick was this? As Diandra struggled to wrap her mind around the idea, her eyes met those of the sacrifice. Her large, expressive brown eyes were filled with pure, mindless terror. The Dorian reached out toward her, her hand brushing against the other woman's shoulder, setting her to violent trembling accompanied by a high pitched, keening wail. Not knowing what else to do, Diandra wrapped her arms around her, holding her close, whispering words of reassurance, uncertain if she was even being understood. Finally exhaustion claimed the woman, and she collapsed, unconscious.

 
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