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Big Finish The Four Horsemen

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  • Big Finish The Four Horsemen

    This is a project for me of interest, and in a way it's the best I can do to really, really listen to these again. Though our guys and the other voice-actors turn in superb performances, I really want to smack someone upside the head sometimes. Heh.

  • #2
    2-1 Highlander: The Four Horsemen
    Written by Scott Andrews James Moran
    Recorded on: 11, 12, 14 May, 4 & 24 June 2010
    Recorded at: The Moat Studios, Action Audio

    These stories take place prior to the events depicted in TV series episode Comes a Horseman, and a short time afterwards.

    Valentine Pelka (Kronos)
    Peter Wingfield (Methos)
    Toby Longworth (Dilijan / Kine)
    Richard Ridings (Silas)
    Marcus Testory (Caspian)

    Cover Artist Grant Kempster
    Director Ken Bentley
    Executive Producer Nicholas Briggs, Jason Haigh-Ellery
    Music Jamie Robertson
    Producer Paul Spragg
    Script Editor James Swallow
    Sound Design Paul Jones
    Written by Scott Andrews, James Moran
    Line Producer David Richardson
    Product Format: 4-disc CD (slipcover box set)
    Number of Discs: 4
    Duration: 240 minutes
    Physical Retail ISBN: 978-1-84435-536-5
    Production Code: BFPHLCD05

    2.1 Brothers, by Scott Andrews
    An abandoned submarine base. A man who thought he was in control sits bound to a chair, imprisoned by his prey. In a moment he will pay the price for his carelessness. But before he is allowed to die, his captor wishes to tell him story...

    Track 01

    [flicking through pages as someone whimpers] Your file on me is woeful, Watcher-man. You think I've always been Melvin Koren? [laughs] I've had that name for less than a heartbeat. [walks closer] I tell you what... Before I kill you - and now I've got what I need, I am going to kill you, be sure of that - I'll tell you my... true history, shall I? [bemusedly] It'll make a change, to be honest with someone. You won't be able to tell it to your precious Watchers, mind, but... at least you'll know who spilt your blood. [insinuating] Are you sitting comfortably? [image grabbing man's head, yanking it back with a crunch, viciously] I said, "" [confirming gagged noise] Good. [lets him go] Then I'll begin.

    Track 02

    Methos: We are Immortals. Born in the cradle of civilization to tribes that no longer exist.
    Silas: We are not alone. There are others like us. Some strong! Some weak.
    Kronos: For centuries we have fought and conquered, and the world has come to fear our names!
    Caspian: We cannot die. Unless you take our heads, and with it, our power.
    Methos: We are Death on Horseback.
    Silas: Bringers of Darkness!
    Caspian: The Four Horsemen.
    Kronos: In the end, there can be only us.
    [good music]

    Track 03

    [battle sounds, blades clashing, screams]
    Kronos: [voice echoing] Brother! Brother, show yourself!
    [more clashing, a man crying out] No! No! Please! Aargh! [squelch dying man]
    Kronos: I'll just keep killing them, until you show yourself, brother! [maybe woman's long shriek]
    [sound of footsteps in a quiet place]

    I had a brother, once. I don't know if he was a blood relation, but the same couple raised us and I thought of him as kin. His name was ***Shamri Malti. He was ten years younger than me. I helped look after him as a babe. Watched him grow into a fine, brave young man. [pacing?] We grew up nomads in the lands of the ***Trialetti. The land is still there, but my people are lost to history. No one even remembers they existed. The blood feuds and territorial disputes that obsessed us seem... petty, now.

    But there was always someone to be fought! Bandits roaming the land, rival tribes who would steal our cattle and our women. Our tribe was not the strongest, but we held our own. My... brother and I fought side-by-side, in skirmishes and battles. We were... unbeatable! And soon earned a reputation for ruthlessness and strength! The other men of the tribe gathered around us, drawn to our victories, eager to share our glory! And, we welcomed their fellowship.

    We formed... a tribe within a tribe. A brotherhood. And at the heart of that brotherhood, two blood brothers, Shamri Malti and I, the invincible ones! Kashuri, Borjomi, Oceti, Elzurim! I can remember their names and their faces as clear as the day they died. And now... I am all that is left of that first brotherhood. [rapid steps, low and fierce] It lives in me!

    [clash clang screams]
    Kronos: There's no use hiding, brother! I'll burn you out.

    Dilijan: [angry] I am here, Kronos!

    Kronos: [cheerful] Brother Dilijan! It's been too long! [noisy battle] Come, take my hand. [moment] No? Not good enough for you anymore?

    Man crying out: Dilijan! Dilijan, help us! [someone utters an enraged noise, stabbing sound, man screams]

    Kronos: Yes, brother. Help them. Why don't you? [choking sound, body falls] Is it because you know you can't possibly win?

    Dilijan: [rage] Don't flatter yourself! Aaaaaaah! [clatter clatter slash slash clang clang]

    Eventually, because I led the brotherhood that kept the village and the tribe safe, I became head man. They marked my face and body with inscriptions that proclaimed my leadership. My face became my badge of office. My crown. Oh, I felt great pride! The men respected and obeyed me, and I could have any woman I wanted. Although... I did not abuse my power. Well... [chuckles happily] not too often!

    My brothers and I ensured that our tribe was strong, and we were feared! When I led, we never sought battle, but we never walked away from one, either. We fought often. And we fought well. For life was short... and cheap. [note of anger] Especially my brother's.

    [clang clang sound of strain, clang clang]
    Kronos: [breath hard] You're out of practice, brother! Your new life had made you soft!

    Dilijan: [enraged as fights] I'm... not... your... brother!!

    Kronos: [fierce] Some bonds can never be broken! Not even by a betrayal such as yours!!

    Dilijan: I never betrayed you, Kronos!

    Kronos: [clash of blades between each word] Liar! Traitor! Coward! Weakling! ***ing!!

    Dilijan: [breathing painfully hard] I taught you everything you know, Kronos. Do you really think you can defeat me... with taunts?!

    Kronos: [shout of rage] ***YES! [clash clash Dilijan cries out] [smugly] No, brother! My sword will be sufficient!

    Track 04

    [faint sad note] The bandits came upon us at night. My brother was on watch. He must've been the first to die. Silently, so he couldn't raise the alarm. I awoke in the dead of night, suddenly alert for some reason. The night was still silent... the tribe asleep, safe in their tents. [urgency creeping into tone] Somehow I knew we were under attack! I couldn't tell you how... i-i-instinct perhaps, but I sensed... a change in the air. I grabbed my sword and ran outside. [swish]

    But they fell upon us before I could raise the alarm.

    [remembered noise of screaming attackers] My memories of that night are... confused. There was... fighting. Dying. Torture and sport. Because I was head man, the leader of the raiders singled me out for special treatment; over-powering me, tying me up. Keeping me by his side and making me watch the destruction of everything I had ever known.

    They lined up my brothers, on their knees in the dirt, [sounds of impacts] hands tied behind their backs. The leader of the raiders had a tourniquet fashioned from sticks and dried catgut. He had one of his men, a great hulking brute with an idiotic grin I would come to know as Silas, stand before my kneeling brothers with a sword at their breast as he twined the tourniquet around their throats and twisted it tight. [twisting noise, men choking tongues probably out] [Silas laughing]

    He began with Oceti, choking him until his tongue turned black, and his eyes bulged from his head. [pleased grunt] [intense voice] Oceti honored us... He refused to beg. The rest of my brothers, having witnessed Oceti's fate, were not so strong as I had believed.

    A man: Please, please no! I have a wife, children!

    Silas: Not anymore, you don't!

    Man: Oh gods please! Please! Oh no, aaah [tourniquet tightening, man gags]

    [angry] They died cowards, and I cursed the man with the tourniquet for taking their honor from them! He denied them the chance to die as men!

    Kronos: [breathless] Do you yield, brother? [background fighting noises] You're on your knees, and your weapon is gone, so I ask again, do you yield?

    Dilijan: Will you and your men spare the rest of my tribe if I do?

    Kronos: Uhhh... [amused] No, no, I, I don't think we will.

    Dilijan: Then take my head, and be done! I will not give you the satisfaction of begging!

    Kronos: [amused] Oh really? Not even a little bit? Now, that is disappointing. Are you sure I can't persuade you? [stabs maybe and twists?]

    Dilijan: [cries out then says through the pain and clenched teeth] Yes! Why the hesitation?! Afraid to kill me?

    Kronos: [laughs] Afraid, brother? No, no. [gloating] I just want it to be right! I want to savor killing you, and it just won't be the same... if you don't beg!

    Dilijan: Never!

    Kronos: [rage] Well that... is just...[breathes] unacceptable! [swish]

    [Dilijan screams in agony, and again]

    Track 05

    Come morning, I was the only man of my tribe left alive. The bandit leader dragged me away from the village and showed me my brother's corpse lying in the dirt, throat slit, the sand around him stained black with blood. [moment] I... wept for my fallen brother. And I longed for death.

    "He should have paid better attention to his task," said the bandit. "He died without a sound."

    I expected to feel the tourniquet at my throat, but for me, he used his bare hands. He wrapped them around my throat, lowered me to the ground and slowly, almost... lovingly, squeezed my windpipe closed and choked the life out of me, looking deep into my eyes, smiling all the while.

    I've died so many times, I've lost count. [slight shake] I can't... remember even half of them anymore. [more firmly] But my first death, oh I remember that as if it were yesterday. The warmth of his fingers on my throat... the soft crunch as my windpipe collapsed... the lightheadedness... the darkness creeping across my sight... the panic and terror that gave way to resignation and relief... the almost... sexual thrill that swept through me as the drumming of my heart grew louder, and louder, even as it slowed. And all the time, I held the gaze of my murderer. Looked deep into those shocking blue eyes and saw the strength in them. The almost godlike power of the man who was taking away my life. [footsteps]

    And I thought, I would like to wield that power. Oh, I had killed many men in my short, mortal life, but it had always been a functional act. A matter of survival. An instant in the heat of battle, swept away by the need to keep fighting. But my murder... was intimate. It was personal. I was sharing the most important moment of my life with a total stranger. [sensual inhale, low] And he was savoring my death like a fine wine, or a wanton woman. I wanted to taste what he tasted! To feel the ecstasy that overcame him, as he took away my life!

    That was my final thought, my only regret: that there was an experience so transcendent, and I had never truly savored it! And now, I never would. For I was dying.

    [footsteps] [mocking] Shall I choke you, Watcher-man, hmm? [gagged pants of terror.] Is that the death you would choose for yourself? [whimpers. Kronos snorts a laugh] No matter. It is not your choice to make. It is mine.

    [crackling fires] [groaning as Dilijan recovers life. Distant shouts]
    Kronos: [note of resentment] It's a nice life you built for yourself, brother. Good land, hmm? I've brought plenty of salt to sow on it! Fine crops, too, they will burn well! [distant screams] The fighting men are all dead, my men are now picking off the old and the young. Then we'll make some time for your women. [gasp of pain] [light curiosity] Do you have a woman, here, Brother Dilijan? [simmering anger] Have you taken a wife? Someone... special for me to meet?

    Dilijan: [pained] Why... why are you doing this? ... Kronos?

    Kronos; [enraged] You betrayed me, Dilijan!

    Dilijan: I..!

    Kronos: I trusted you! We were brothers! And you betrayed me!!

    Diljian: [croaks] I tried to save you, Kronos! That is all!

    Kronos: [outraged] Save me?! From what?!

    Dilijan: [pants] Yourself! [Kronos probably beating him, the noises and grunts of pain go on for a time]

    Kronos: [panting, breathing hard] It's... It's taken me fifty years to track you down, Dilijan! [pant pant pant] Everything you built in that time is gone now! Your new life... destroyed! You've brought nothing to these people but pain and death! [pant pant] But I'm not going to take your head! No! [panting] Not this time.

    Dilijan: [croaks] Wh-what're you..? [Kronos starts to throttle him with happy noises]

    Kronos: I'm going to squeeze the life out of you, brother! But you can keep your Quickening for now! I'll leave you here... to bury the dead! [crunch] And in fifty years time, [voice doppling out to Dilijan] I'll come looking for you again! And maybe... next time you'll beg! [Dilijan hears his own heart thudding] Look! Look into my eyes as you die, Brother! [grunts] Can you see it, huh? Can you?! Can you see your death?! Run... as far as you can, Brother! [voice fading] I will find you I swear it... You will never be free of me! Never... [heart thuds to stop]

    Track 06

    My first resurrection. I've clawed my way out of so many graves. I've woken in deserts with crows pecking at my eyes. Or in the bottom of boats next to the hooks that pulled me from rivers or lakes. I've been hanged, shot, stabbed, drowned, burned, electrocuted, thrown from buildings, trampled by livestock, strangled... But when I return from those brief holidays in the land of the dead... it is just an echo. A shadow... of what it felt like that first time.

    Oh, the power of it! I was brimful of fire, burning up from the inside out! My senses were heightened, I, I could see farther, hear clearer! Smell the first hints of decay in the-warm corpses of my tribe half a mile downwind! I could think faster, too. Reason more clearly. It was as if dying had made me smarter! I lay there, next to my dead brother, filled my lungs with sweet, sweet air, and I laughed!

    It was a sound my mortal self... would not have recognized.

    I was born again. And I was... different.

    The bonds which had held me so tightly only minutes before strained and snapped as I flexed my arms. I felt my throat, probing at the spot where I knew my windpipe had collapsed! But it had been repaired! [flames crackling] As if by a kind of magic! I looked up, and saw the smoking ruins of my destroyed home. [little sad] I reached across and closed my brother's eyes, softly promising him blood vengeance.

    I spent that day burying the dead of my tribe, except those of my brothers who had begged for mercy on their knees. [scrape of metal] I left them for the vultures. Then I took up my brother's discarded sword, and left the lands of the Trialetti in search of the raiders who had destroyed my tribe. [hurried padding of feet]

    And so... I began the killing! And I see no reason... why I should ever stop!


    [music swells, wordless chants, police sirens whoop by]
    [a place filled with a low sound of humming machinery. A very quiet, steady beeping.]
    Methos: How did it begin?

    Dilijan: [amused mocking] You say that as if it is all about to end.

    Methos: [slightly sadly] Kronos is dead. Silas and Caspian, too.

    Dilijan: But not you, Methos. It began with you. You know that.

    Methos: [cold] Humor me. When did you first meet Kronos?

    Dilijan: [thoughtful] He was not Kronos then. He was just a man. [sounds of a rolling cart] A very confused, very angry man.eHe was

    [rolling cart. An increasing sensation/sound that wavers like voices. A horse neighs in alarm]
    A man cries out.

    Dilijan: [determined friendly] Greetings, friend!

    Kronos: [swish of a blade] Greetings... [swish] stranger.

    Dilijan: I see you are holding your head. I have poultice in my ***cart that can aid you if you will only put away your sword...!

    Kronos: [sheaths sword uncertainly] ... Thank you. [birds chirruping] Don't know what came over me.

    [sound like someone jumping off a cart onto slightly muddy ground, footsteps]

    Dilijan: You were lightheaded for a moment. Your head swam, your, your vision blurred, and you heard a ringing in your ears. [noises of actions] Even now it is not entirely passed, and there is a tingle at the back of your mind like an... an itch you wish you could scratch.

    Kronos: How do you kn--

    Dilijan: I felt it too. It is how I know we are brothers.

    Kronos: [uncertainly] I don't understand.

    Dilijan: [gently] You will, brother. You will.

    Track 07

    [background sound like someone writing. Probably Methos]
    My childhood was very different to Kronos'. I was born in the mountains that we now call the Himalayas; in a time we now call the Neolithic. But then it was simply Home, and Now. My people were herdsmen. Our yaks roamed the pastures that bordered the great glaciers. We were simple people. We had no wars to fight, no rival tribes jostling for space. We tended our livestock, drank Kulat when the moon was full, told stories, and sang songs of our ancestors. I was the medicine man of my tribe. I healed wounds with potions and pastes, and eased troubled minds with trepanation, drilling holes in their skulls to release the demons that plagued them. I was a man of peace, respected... and valued. I took a wife and, although she bore me no children, we raised an orphan of the tribe as our own. I lived content, and happy. ... Until the day I died.

    [hooting owl, wet crunchy noises]
    Dilijan: Here. Eat.

    Kronos: Thank you.

    Dilijan: How is your head now?

    Kronos: [around food] Well, better.

    Dilijan: It will not always be so strong, this feeling you have. It fades with time, becomes bearable, even useful!

    Kronos: [thinking] I felt... something kind of... similar, once before. Well... Sort of. [cough-ish] The - there was a man I... [inhales] I, I felt I... I dunno... drawn to him somehow.

    Dilijan: Let me guess. On the day that you died? [Kronos gets food in wrong tube in shock, coughs. Dilijan laughs long] You have a lot to learn, brother. It is good that we have met! A day's ride from here is an encampment. My people. You will find all the answers you seek there. [moment] Death is not the end for men like us, brother. It is the beginning.

    My death was a foolish mistake. One of our yaks strayed into the ice field, and became trapped there. In attempting to rescue it, I lost my footing on the ice and slid, headfirst, into a rock. I died instantly. I was reborn on top of my funeral pyre. Luckily, it had not yet been lit. How did your people react to your rebirth?

    Methos: [absently] I don't remember.

    Dilijan: So many of us are rejected by our people when they find we can cheat death. Superstition, fear, and jealousy, overrule all bonds of love and fellowship. But not with my people. My people believed me to be a god!

    Male voices, a crackling fire: Man 1: "I was murdered for a trinket!" "Hah!" Man 2: "I drowned, caught in a storm, fishing!" "Hah!" Man 1: My father--" Man 2: "Hah! My wife...!" [laughter]

    Dilijan: I fell. And you, brother?

    Kronos: Bandits. ... One bandit. Strangled me.

    Dilijan: [quietly] I lost my family. Balaz... lost his sanity. Jalas... lost his father.

    Jalas: Lost?! I ***smothered the bastard! [laughter]

    Diljian: [reproving] Jalas...

    Jalas: [apologetic] Sorry, brother.

    Kronos: I lost everything. My brothers... friends... family, my woman, my tribe, my home... but I think, perhaps, I gained something, too.

    Dilijan: The wisdom of the dead?

    Kronos: [a moment, lightly] Something like that.

    Diljan: Such knowledge can drive a man to great deeds. Or terrible one. The first question I ask you is this: Do you thirst for revenge?

    Kronos: [moment] No. Not exactly. I wish to... talk to the man who killed me. That is all.

    Dilijan: And what will you say to this man?

    Kronos: [long moment] Forgive me, ah, [snorts] brother. But that is between him and me.

    Dilijan: We shall help you find this man. You must heal the wounds of your past life before you can embark upon your new one.

    Kronos: With you?

    Dilijan: Perhaps.

    Kronos: [consideringly] A tribe of men who cannot die.

    Dilijan: Oh we can die, brother.

    Kronos: [interested] Really? [moment] How?

    My people fell to their knees and worshipped me when I rose again. I begged them not to, assured them I had simply slept! But I knew, deep inside. I could feel the change in me! The birth of something new. I tried everything to convince them I had merely been knocked unconscious, but I could feel the tide turn against me the more I protested, and sensed that I had a choice. Accept godhood, or be driven from my tribe forever. So I became a god. It was only when they carried me back to the tents on their shoulders that I realized my wife was nowhere to be seen. Distraught at my death, she had sliced open her throat with a knife. In a struggle, attempting to stop her, our son had been wounded. He developed blood poisoning... and my ministrations could not save him. He died within the week. [inhales deeply] They did not return to life, my wife and child. And I could not understand why.

    The pain was... unbearable. I tried to kill myself. Five or six times! With sword, and... rope. And water. But nothing worked. I felt that I had been cursed. In the depths of my despair, worshipped by my friends, but more alone than I had ever been, I began to have an inkling of my mission. But, it would not be until I fled the tribe and met Caspian that I truly found my calling.

    Methos: I know that story. Stick to Kronos.

    As you wish.

    I met Kronos some time after my first encounter with Caspian. I had found a purpose, and formed a brotherhood. When we brought Kronos into our midst, we had no idea how destructive he would prove to be.

    Track 08

    [chirruping birds]
    Kronos: So... those men, they're all like me? L-like us? Im--Immortals?

    Dilijan: Yes.

    Kronos: And there are more?

    Dilijan: I've met twelve... including my brothers. They in turn have met many more. There may be hundreds.

    Kronos: But... How? Wh-where do we come from?

    Dilijan: No one knows.

    Kronos: And, and what do you do, uh... you and your... [slightly cold] merry band of dead men?

    Dilijan: [laughs good humoredly] Well we help the mortals in any way we can! And protect them from bandits, and marauders. Settle disputes, teach them medicines. Herbal remedies. [emphasizes] We will live forever, brother. We are repositories of knowledge and wisdom, the secrets and learning of ages live in us.

    Kronos: But not all Immortals are like you.

    Dilijan: Ah.

    Kronos: There was one among the raiders in my village.

    Dilijan: There are those who abuse their gift.

    Kronos: No, you a--It wasn't the leader of the bandits, though. It was... It was one of the others. The big one with the stupid grin, I think. How can that be?

    Dilijan: Immortals come in all shapes and sizes, brother, just like mortal men. Some are leaders... some are followers. Some... Some bring peace, others war. Some are clever, others... stupid. [moment] But, my brothers and I make it our business to help. And we help other Immortals, too.

    Kronos: To do what?

    Dilijan: [firmly] Realize their potential.

    Kronos: And uh... [moment] Will you help me, brother?

    Dilijan: If you wish it.

    Kronos: Is there anything else I need to know?

    Dilijan: [long moment] No, brother. You know all that we do. [light tone] We are a mystery, even to ourselves.
    And that was my betrayal. I felt a tension in Kronos; the pull to violence. I wanted him to spend some time with us, to see the beauty of our lives. The nobility of our service, before I told him of the Quickening. The Gathering. The Prize. I feared such knowledge would push him further towards darkness. But... on reflection I think he needed no such incentive.

    So we set out in search of the bandits who had destroyed Kronos' tribe. And we met you, Methos. You know the rest.

    Methos: And the boat. Was that all you, as well?

    Aah. That. [moment] That's a different story.

    Kronos: [clink of something falling] Would you like a drink of water, Watcher-man? [affirming gagged noise] [Kronos chuckles as man gulps water and then pants] Well, we wouldn't want you dying with a dry mouth, now, would we. So where was I? Oh, yes! When I met Dilijan and his band of Immortals, my first feeling was relief! I was not alone! There were others like me, and I could ride with them! A new brotherhood! But they were weak, and stupid. Afraid to take the opportunity that immortality offers. [light arrogance] I would stay with them, I decided... and... bide my time. After all, they had their uses.

    We took another Immortal into our bosom as we hunted. [contempt] A sniveling wretch who abased himself at Dilijan's feet, and swore undying loyalty if only we would shelter him! He wouldn't tell us his name. The first order of business was to track down the men who had slaughtered my tribe! But that was not all the help that Dilijan offered me.

    [chirruping birds]
    Dilijan: I have other ways to ease your pain, brother. If you will let me.

    Kronos: [slight suspicion] How?

    Dilijan: I have a procedure, special techniques that can aid you.

    Kronos: Procedure?

    Dilijan: A simple matter of drilling a small hole in your skull.

    Kronos: [incredulous and amused] A what?

    Dilijan: [hurried explanation] It forces the demons out that torment you. Trust me. It has always proved extremely effective in helping Immortals, such as yourself, who are in so much pain.

    Kronos: [bemused] And you've done this to all the others?

    Dilijan: Yes, I have.

    Kronos: [resists] I think perhaps we should wait until we... have tracked down the bandits. If that does not help me, then... [faint amusement] perhaps I will submit to your drill.

    Dilijan: As you wish, brother.

    Track 09

    Kronos: It didn't take us long to find them. They left a trail of devastation in their wake. We just followed the sounds of crying until we caught up with them. [rippling waver of sensing other Immortals]

    [weather thunder, rain, river?]
    Kronos: They're in the ravine below, Dilijan. By the river.

    Dilijan: The Immortal with them, you are sure it is not their leader?

    Kronos: Certain.

    Dilijan: Good. Then there is a chance we can help him find a better way.

    Kronos: And the mortals?

    Dilijan: That is for you to decide, brother. They destroyed your tribe. My only interest is in the Immortal. He must not die. [moment of silence] So?

    Kronos: [commands] Stay up here. This is my fight. I will call you when I'm done. [off he gallops, egging on his horse]
    [swishing blade, scream of dying man, and more and more. Kronos the one-man wave of destruction]

    [running river]
    Kronos: [shouts, echo bounces back] Face me!

    He stepped from his tent. Cocksure. Swaggering. Sword drawn! Almost... amused at the challenge. Until he saw my face... His mouth fell open as he realized who I was! [feet hit ground] I dismounted, and walked towards him, sword at my side, smiling. Behind him stood the other Immortal, the big one with the stupid grin. I gestured to his leader with my sword.

    "You mind?"

    He just smiled and shook his head.

    "You took everything from me. My home, my family, my brothers, my life! Now I've come for you! And you will beg me for death before I am finished." [runs forward, a wild scream (bandits?) and clashing of blades]

    [Bandit's scream of agony]
    In the end I... I got carried away and butchered him there and then. [cheerful] Still, he wasn't... quite dead when I left him, crawling on the dirt, trying to cram his entrails back into his belly.

    [Kronos shouts] "Your leader is dead! You follow me, now! Will anyone challenge me?" [silence. He speaks.] "Good. You. Walk with me."

    Silas: [swish] Come on, then!

    Kronos: [walking sounds] Put your sword away, brother. I'm not here to fight you.

    Silas: Not fight? [chuckles briefly] That's no fun.

    Kronos: You are like me, immortal, yes?

    Silas: That was your first death in your village, wasn't it? I wanted to stay and take your head when you woke up. [grumbles] But they wouldn't let me.

    Kronos: You kill all the Immortals you meet?

    Silas: Of course! Quickenings taste good!

    Kronos: [very interested] What's a Quickening?
    [Time passes in the thundering of horses' hooves]

    Dilijan: Brother?

    Kronos: Dilijan!

    Dilijan: Did you find what you sought?

    Kronos: Yes. And much more besides. [swish of a blade] Now lay down your weapons, all of you.

    Dilijan: [shocked] What is the meaning of this, brother?!

    Kronos: There are twenty of us, and six of you. You're surrounded. Immortal you may be, but the odds are not good. Now lay down your weapons, brothers.

    Someone: [furious] You traitorous son of a-- [swish thud]

    Kronos: So... All I do is lop his head off?

    Silas: That's right.

    Dilijan: [horrified] Brother, no!

    [swish] [Quickening commences seconds pass]

    Track 10

    I've taken every drug known to man. Heroine, cocaine, crack. They don't do much for me. [low, conspiratorial] The taste of an Immortal's soul is better than any drug I've ever tried, natural or manufactured. [stronger] To feel all that life flooding into you, all that potential snuffed out! To take not only their life, but all their memories and hopes, fears, hopes, dreams and victories in one maddening rush! It's the only thing that gives immortality any meaning. [angry] And Dilijan would have kept this from me!
    Silas and I killed three more of Dilijan's followers until there were just two left. Dilijan himself, and the new man who'd attached himself to us only days earlier. I advanced towards him, intending to take his head. [swish]

    Methos: [calm] You don't want to do this. [more urgently] It's not in your best interests. I'm old, very old. I can teach you everything you need to know. Everything he kept from you!

    Kronos: Silas can do that. Can't you, Silas?

    Silas: Yeah. Easy.

    Methos: [talking quickly] R-right. He inspires confidence. Look, I've been fighting longer than anyone here. I'm a good ally to have. I will follow you, brother! Without question! Let me ride with you! Think what we could achieve, the three of us! With your brains, his brawn, and my experience. We'd be invincible!

    He was... persuasive. He... just... suggested, that we let him live. So we did. It was either the smartest thing I've ever done, or the most stupid. [thinks] Even now, four thousand years later, I'm still not sure which. At the time, taking Dilijan's head seemed a more... pressing matter.

    Dilijan: [outraged] Why are you doing this?!

    Kronos: Because you lied to me! Because I want to! And because I can!

    Dilijan: But my ministry--

    Kronos: Is over! I think I shall start my own ministry! Me and my boys here.

    Dilijan: [low, enraged] I should have killed you when I had the chance!

    Kronos: I won't be making the same mistake.

    Dilijan: [mocks] You already did!

    Methos: Kronos, the ravine! Stop him!

    [Dilijan utters a cry of exertion, and leaps to take the long fall into the river. Splash. Surfaces.]

    Kronos: [far away] I'll find you, brother! However long it takes, I'll find you! [fading as Dilijan is swept downriver]

    We rode out of there. Silas, Methos and I, with our band of mortal followers, to begin our work. Our legend grew and we were unstoppable! The world fell before us, like wheat before the blade, and we laughed!

    By the time we tracked Dilijan down, all our... mortal sheep had long gone, and we had acquired a fourth Horseman to complete our band. We burned Dilijan's village, raped his women, flayed his tribesmen, [remembered screams and fighting] salted the earth and burned their crops and tents to ashes! And then we left him, with the promise that we would find him again, in another fifty years.

    But we never did. When the time came we searched. We spent a hundred years scouring the Earth for him, and found no trace at all. He'd vanished. After that, he didn't cross my mind for... a thousand years. Until that final night aboard ship! The night the Four Horsemen died!

    Track 11

    [chirruping birds, running water]
    Caspian: Wine! More wine!

    Kronos: I don't know why I bother to play Chaturanga with you, Caspian. You're always drunk and I always beat you.

    Caspian: You play me because Silas can't understand the rules, and Methos always lets you win!

    Kronos: True. I have to play Methos every month, though.

    Caspian: [sullenly] Why?

    Kronos: Precisely because he lets me win. The day he decides to defeat me is the day I shall have to kill him.

    Caspian: [snidely] But I sometimes beat you, and you don't kill me!

    Kronos: [scoffs] Hah! When?

    Caspian: [snarl-shouts] Where's that wine?!

    Kronos: You're no threat to me! The biggest question I have about you, old friend, is whether I always beat you at Chaturanga because I am better, or because you are drunk.

    Caspian: [sniggers] Probably both!

    Kronos: [chuckles] Then I shall get drunk too! That way, if I still beat you, we will know I'm better

    Caspian: Where is that woman with my bloody wine?!

    Kronos: I think the slaves are getting lazy. We haven't killed one for a few weeks! Maybe we should make an example of this one.

    Caspian: [growling] If she ever turns up!

    You should've seen us, Watcher-man! We spread glorious slaughter for a thousand years! But, we were not inseparable! And we did not always ride. [background thunder of hooves, snorts of horses] Methos would often disappear without warning, sometimes for decades at a time, and then, just as abruptly, return to us, tight-lipped, and secretive. Caspian, too, would set off on quests of his own, following his... madness in search of a legend he called "The Pain Eater". But he was chasing phantoms. Sometimes, saddlesore and weary, we would attach ourselves to a tribe and live amongst them for a year, or more, before boredom would take hold... [thunder, snorts, screams, blades clashing] and then... we'd massacre them, and move on.

    In our final years together, Methos suggested we try... a new approach. [galloping noises fade] Life was still nomadic in those times. Buildings of stone and wood were a novelty. And the idea of a community staying in one place all year round seemed strange. But Methos believed, and he was right, that with a small army to maintain our power base, we could have all that we needed... brought to us!

    We chose a small region, on the Gulf of Sidra, near what is now Benghazi, on the edge of the Berber Lands. Methos staged a few miraculous resurrections, and... before too long we... [blissful] Oh! We were gods! With a terrified tribe of followers who waited on us, hand and foot. [smugly] We even had a hareem. [angry] But climbing down from our saddles was the greatest mistake we ever made. We became indolent, weak, complacent. It destroyed us.

    I sometimes wonder... if this was Methos' intention all along.

    [birds twittering hooting]
    Caspian: [drunkenly] Wine, by the gods! Bring wine! [footsteps approaching]

    Man: Gentlemen, I apologize. I have no wine. I did meet a comely servant-girl not five minutes ago bearing a flagon of it in this direction, uh but she won't be along for a long while. She's ah, gone to clean herself up. [cackles]

    Caspian: [sounding sober] Oh, good. I haven't killed anyone in nearly a day. [blade drawn]

    Kronos: Hold, Caspian. Do I know you, friend?

    Man: Mm? No. No, you don't, no. But I know you, Kronos. And you, Caspian. Or at least your reputations.

    Kronos: [amused huff] And what do our reputations tell you?

    Man: That I would be a fool to saunter into your palace without an invitation, and even more the fool to do so with one. [laughs] My name is Kine, and I bring a message... for Methos.

    Kronos: He and Silas rode out this morning, to deal with a settlement that has refused to pay their tithe... I imagine they'll be back in a day or two. You can give your message to me. I shall make sure he receives it.

    Kine: Oh, I'm under strict orders to deliver the message personally, I'm afraid.

    Kronos: [alert] Orders?

    Kine: From Methos himself.

    Kronos: [surprised] You owe fealty to Methos? [moment] No matter. Methos owes fealty to me. So I ask again: give the message to me.

    Kine: [a bit slimy] Oh, but forgive me, sir. Uh... Fearsome as your reputation may be, I, I fear... Methos... far more.

    Kronos: [outraged] Then you are a fool! [clunk of movement] And you shall die for it! [blade drawn]

    Kine: I am Methos' loyal servant! If you harm me, he will be angry!

    Kronos shouts with rage, blades clash, Kine grunts]

    Caspian: [growls] I've got him, Brother!

    Kine: I die in the light!!

    Caspian: What did he say? [more urgently angry] What did you say?! [that whining noise denoting post-hypnotics?]

    Kronos: [puzzled] Caspian?

    Kine: You heard me well enough I think.

    Caspian: [gasps out] Spare him.

    Kronos: [puzzled] Brother?

    Caspian: [breathing hard] Lower your sword...

    Track 12

    Caspian: ...Kronos. [having a tough time speaking] He is... under my protection.


    As a mortal, I was a leader. I gave orders, men obeyed them. If they refused, they were punished. Leading the Horsemen, though, that was a harder task.

    Silas had always been a follower. He was... no trouble, although his endless bickering with Caspian grated on my nerves.

    Methos was not a leader either. And he didn't... [slightly perplexed] covet leadership. He... he lacked all ambition.

    But although we rode together, I didn't know him. Not truly. I could never decide whether he had hidden depths, or was just a blank canvas, taking his cues from the people around him. A tree, bending with the prevailing wind. I did not trust him. But I knew... that if ever a challenge came from him, it would be... oblique... subtle! Dangerous.

    Caspian was loyal. Madly loyal! We didn't have a cross word in all the years we rode together! Save when I tried to prevent him leaving on his occasional, pointless quests. But that day, [bewildered] he challenged me! Openly, in front of a stranger! And more: a stranger who owed loyalty to Methos!

    As I stood there, my sword in my hand, I felt the world shift around me! Was Methos building a powerbase on his own? Forming an army, perhaps? Were he and his lapdog Silas even now leading a force here to destroy us?

    [slightly wounded] And Caspian... Crazy, loyal, bloodthirsty Caspian... was he a part of the conspiracy? Why was he protecting Methos' ally?! A brotherhood is built on complex bonds of trust. And in that instant, I lost the faith. I imagined my brothers hatching plots and the thought paralyzed me! One man; three minutes! A few words! That is all it took to sow the seeds of doubt! For the first time in a thousand years, I felt... I felt alone. Afraid. Brotherless.

    Sheathing my sword I walked away without a word, and went in search of the serving girl. When I'd finished with her, my anger had abated. I left the other servants to dispose of her body, saddled a horse and rode out. [hoofbeats] I needed time to think.

    And while I took the air... [low rage] that bastard Kine began his work!


    [chirruping birds. Running water]
    Caspian: You were at ***Kamtal?

    Kine: I was.

    Caspian: [quietly, sanely] I'm not that man anymore.

    Kine: I know. But despite what happened that day, there are still some of us left who remember your sacrifice. And honor it.

    Caspian: [low breathless anger] I should kill you for reminding me.

    Kine: But you won't.

    Caspian: [calmly again] No, I won't.

    Kine: And for that, I make you a promise. When my business here is finished, I shall lead you... to the Pain Eater.

    Caspian: [dull hope] You know where he is?

    Kine: I do. I have met him.

    Caspian: [hope brightening] So he is real! I knew it!

    Kine: Yes. Very real. And eager to meet you, Caspian. But I can't take you to him if I'm dead.

    Caspian: Kronos will not harm you, I swear.

    Kine: Whatever the cost...?

    Caspian: Whatever the cost.

    Kline: [chuckles] Thank you, brother. When my business here is done, I am sure that together the Pain Eater and I can help you to realize your potential.
    [slightly sinister notes to bgm]

    Track 13

    [crackling flames, but echoing speech is Kronos' voiceover, in background, men panting, a woman's high, frightened voice]

    I found Methos and Silas hip-deep in corpses and slaughtered livestock. Methos was directing some of our followers to build a funeral bonfire, and getting them to stack the livestock on carts for transportation back to the small building that we thought of as our palace. I didn't allow Methos to see me, but I took the opportunity to pull Silas aside.

    Silas: [happily] Welcome, Brother! Come to join the fun?

    Kronos: Silas. Would you say you're... Methos' best friend?

    Silas: Yes! And he is mine. Not like that bastard, Caspian.

    Kronos: And me, Silas. What am I?

    Silas: You're the boss, Kronos!

    Kronos: That's right. I'm the boss. ... So if I ask you a question, you will tell me the truth, right? Even if you think Methos might not want you to?

    Silas: [puzzled] Y-You want me to tell you a secret? [moment] I don't know any secrets!

    Kronos: [cheerily] Well, you might not know it's a secret! See?

    Silas: Ummm...

    Kronos: All I want you to do... is ask Methos, subtly, if he's ever heard of a man named Kine... an Immortal.

    Silas: Kine...

    Kronos: Yes.

    Silas: [agreeably] Okay! [footsteps and he shouts] Hey, Methos! You know a guy called Kine?

    Silas never was the smartest of men. Methos denied all knowledge of Kine, but despite all his protestations, I could not shake off my mistrust. There was some game being played here, I just couldn't decide whether Methos was my opponent, or someone else's pawn. Or both...

    We rode back to the palace, Silas confused, Methos curious, myself suspicious. We found Kine and Caspian enjoying the pleasures of our hareem.

    [bird noises, running water]
    [chuckles and pleased noises from Kine]

    Kronos: Get off him!!

    Kine: Awe, hey, I was enjoying that! [Kronos delivers a kick (to the butt?) and Kine grunts in pain] Caspian, what's the meaning of this? No one enters here except us four, you know that!

    Caspian: [lazily] I was being hospitable.

    Methos: [cold and suspicious] Are you Kine?

    Kine: I am.

    Methos: You have a message for me.

    Kine: I do.

    Methos: Well?

    Kine: Alone.

    Kronos: Over my dead body.

    Kine: [firmly] Him, and me, alone.

    [swish of Kronos' blade?]

    Caspian: [firm command enunciated clearly] Put up your sword brother.

    Kronos: [startled] What did you say?

    Caspian: I said: put . up . your . sword. I've told you, Kine is under my protection.

    Kronos: [startled] The hell he is!

    Methos: It's alright. I'll talk to him. Come with me.

    [Kline chuckles as he goes with Methos, footsteps fading away]


    Have you ever known betrayal, Watcher man? [frightened breathing] [angrily] I asked you a question! [prisoner makes terrified nuh-uh noise. Kronos lets go] It eats away at you from the inside, poisons everything. All my bearings were lost! Methos and a stranger openly conspiring against me! Caspian suddenly, and without explanation, sharing our hareem with this man and offering him protection from me! [bops own chest maybe?] From me!! And Silas, standing there like a great baboon, literally scratching his head in confusion, trying to work out why everyone was so tense! How easy it was for Kine to drive a wedge between us. We had been together so long, shared so much, and yet one man and a few carefully chosen words drove me mad with suspicion, and turned Caspian against us!

    Our brotherhood had been so strong, I thought. Unbreakable! Eternal! But in reality, it was as fragile as a reed in a storm.

    I stalked away again, trying to formulate a strategy. Another mistake, for while I brooded, Kine struck again.

    [water running, twittering of birds, footsteps]

    Silas: Kine!

    Kine: Silas.

    Silas: Where are the others? [voice rising, he's become anxious]

    Kine: I don't where Kronos is, but Methos and Caspian are packing their saddlebags. We're going on a journey together.

    Silas: [confused] Where are you going?

    Kine: Across the sea. To Cyprus! Methos has friends there who need him.

    Silas: [wounded] I am Methos' friend!

    Kine: Oh, not his only friend...

    Silas: His best friend! [a little angry] We are brothers! Does he want me to pack a bag too?

    Kine: Hmm. Methos did not mention you. [Silas gasps] At all! [chuckles] I don't think he cares whether you join us or not!

    Silas: [heartbroken] Are you Methos' friend?

    Kine: Oh, yes, yes, yes. I'm his best friend, now. He said so!

    Silas: [wounded, furious] No! You're not! Take that back!

    Kine: [laughing as Silas sniffles] Oh, of course of course, I'm sorry. [laughing] I meant nothing by it! [over the sniffling] Oh, why don't you pack a bag? Uh, tag along, eh? I'm sure Methos wouldn't mind!

    Silas: [pulling self together] Mmph. Yeah. Well. I will... Yeah.

    Kine: Good, good. Good! Well, um, please, excuse me. I uh, I have arrangements to make.

    Silas: Yeah... I'll go pack.

    Kine: Yeah... you do that. [goes off chuckling]

    Methos refused to tell us why he was leaving with Kine or what their relationship was. Caspian refused to tell us why he was protecting Kine. Silas stomped around the place looking hurt and resentful. And I was paralyzed with indecision.

    Until Kine sought me out.

    [footsteps approaching]

    Kine: [tones of light mockery] Kronos! You seem troubled!

    Kronos: I don't know who you are, or what you want... [Kine laughs] but I swear that I will kill you at the first opportunity!

    Kine: Well you could kill me now! I'm no match for your sword. But, you're afraid that if you kill me, you'll turn Caspian, and Methos, against you! And Silas would follow Methos. Your little band would splinter apart, and you'd be left all alone! [laughs smugly] You don't quite know what my game is, or... how I'm doing this, do you?

    [blade drawn, Kronos moves at him and gets him held...] So! You admit it!

    Kine: [coldly] I admit nothing.

    Kronos: All I need do is push a little harder... [Kline gasps] Ooh, sorry! Did I draw blood?

    Kine: [threatening] Kill me now, and you'll never know. ... But! If you come with us, I promise you'll have all the answers you desire.

    Kronos: And then there'll be a reckoning, snake!

    Kine: [chuckles] Oh, I'll offer you my head freely before I'm done, Horseman. On that, you have my word. [Kronos sheaths his blade, Kine breathes easier] Thank you. [breath] We leave at sunrise. If you want me, I'll be in the hareem, with Caspian, my loyal protector. [walks off laughing]

    Kronos: Raaaaah!! [has a smashing fit destroying anything around him]

    Track 14

    [Intense music score] [the sound of water]

    The boat was small. No one had invented galleons yet. A small storage area at the stern, full of barrels of what Kine said was olive oil for trade, a single tall mast, and three sails. [flapping of cloth, seabird cries, creaking of ship] There was no belowdeck, so we sat beneath an awning to protect us from the sun. The voyage would take four days. Four days of just the five of us and one hired seadog in a space the size of a small tent. Tensions ran high. Silas and Caspian fought constantly.

    Silas: That's my pillow, Caspian! Give it back!

    Caspian: Get lost. [swish]

    Methos: [low exasperation] Silas, put your sword away.

    Kronos: If nothing else a Quickening would sink the damn boat. Can you swim, Silas?

    Silas: Um... no.

    Kine: Best sheathe the sword, then! [amused]

    Silas: [sheathes sword] But that's my pillow! [hurt] I want to sleep!

    Kronos: Caspian! Give him the damn pillow!

    Caspian: [sings] Make me!

    And so on, and so on, and so on, for two tedious days. I figured sooner or later one of us would behead another. But even I could not have guessed how violently our voyage, and our brotherhood would end.

    [rolling thunder]

    The storm came out of nowhere! [rain pouring] At the time I suspected Kine of magic, but now I just think it was a coincidence. There was nothing we could do except hold on and weather it. But as the storm reached its height, and we were tossed about the boat like flotsam, Kine made his move.

    Kine: We're two days out! That's halfway! We're at the heart of a storm, as far from land in any direction as we can possibly be! [a door opens?] Now this would be the worst moment for one of you to take my head. Not forgetting of course, the lamp oil in the stern!

    Kronos: What?

    Kine: Oh, didn't I mention that? Oh yes! Not olive oil: Lamp oil! The merest hint of a spark, and boom! Better hope we don't get hit by lightning, huh? Anyway! I think it's time... to realize my potential!

    As he spoke he rose to his feet, inched his way to the mast and began to climb, the wind and rain lashing at him. I tried to grab him, but a huge wave nearly swept me over the side. Methos was hanging off the edge anyway, his face green, and Silas and Caspian didn't move to intervene.

    Kine: [laughing] The Four Horsemen are finished! [sneering] You were so easy to manipulate! [laughs] So many secrets you kept from each other! Heheh. My orders were simple! To bring you here to the middle of the sea and eliminate you! Ah but I had a little fun first! [chuckle] Playing you off against each other. So... easy! So much suspicion and distrust! If this is brotherhood, you can keep it! Kronos! Did Caspian every tell you about Kamtal? Tell you why he hunts for the Pain Eater? ... No? And did Methos ever tell ya--uff--about where he ran off to all those times he crept away, huh? Heheheh. About his lovers? His... studies? His quest to become a man of peace and learning, heheh, who, who can leave you behind, and fend for himself? [grunt of exertion, pant pant] I've been among you for three days, that's all! And look what I've achieved!

    He reached the mast's crossbar, pulled a rope from the rigging and began fashioning it into a noose. [sound of rope rasping] I suddenly saw what he was going to do, and staggered to my feet, fighting my way across the deck, but I was too slow, the peaks and troughs of the waves too extreme. I tried to slow him down.

    Kronos: Orders? From whom?

    Kine: [shouting down] You'll never know, Kronos! But if you survive this, others will follow me! Our brotherhood is strong, and yours... is over!

    Caspian: [scream of betrayal] No! You promised me!

    Kine: I lied! [choked noise]

    He leapt into space, the noose tight around his throat. For a moment, he hung there as the boat plummeted into the trough of a gigantic wave and fell away beneath me. The rope actually pulled him down with us, then, as we hit bottom he snapped downwards at tremendous speed, and the noose ripped his head from his shoulders! [sound of parting]

    Methos?: Dive!

    I saw the helmsman and Methos disappear over the side as Kine's body floated in midair [Quickening crackle] above the deck, the glow of Quickening engulfing it. The first spark arced from his neck and hit Silas, who went rigid with ecstasy. Caspian muttered something to himself. I couldn't make it out.

    Caspian: He died in the Light, and we honor his Glory.

    Then a streak of Quickening hit him too, and he arched his back. I knew I had only an instant to make up my mind, so I followed Methos' example, [splash] and threw myself over the side into the broiling waves!

    As my head broke the surface, I saw the boat, already some distance away, alive with blue fire! The figures of Silas and Caspian crackled with energy. Then a beam struck the barrels at the rear of the boat, and... [thunderous music]

    [surging waves, water pouring, sinking...]

    Track 15
    [waves surge. Splash. Choking]

    Sinister man: Wake up, brother.

    [choking increases, becomes heaving]
    Kronos: [chokes out] Methos...

    Sinister man: [angry] Wake up! [snarl, slap]

    [Kronos coughs out the sea, choking again but lungs are clearing] ***buchiwati

    Sinister man: Welcome back, brother. [heaving sounds, Kronos' enraged shout] No, no, no! Don't strain your bonds! They're tight enough already. And, as the rope dries in the sun, they'll only get tighter. Of course, when the tide comes in, they'll loosen a bit. [Kronos is panting] After a few days, you may get enough room to free yourself.

    Kronos: [breathes] Dilijan. [sound of waves] You're alive!

    Dilijan: As you can see. [Kronos is still recovering, breathing strained] How long did you search for me, I wonder, before you got bored. Fifty years? A hundred.

    Kronos: Did you do this?!

    Dilijan: Y-you mean the boat. [softer] Yes. Yes, that was me. Kine played his part very well.

    Kronos: [struggling with words] Why? Hm? Why after all this time?

    Dilijan: [musedly] For a long time I foreswore revenge; dedicated myself to my ministry. But something... changed in me recently. [note of amusement] I've decided to be a bit more proactive.

    Kronos: [breathing heavily] I should've realized... Kine even sounded like you.

    Dilijan: I know! It's an odd side-effect.

    Kronos: S-side... side effect of what?!

    Dilijan: I've got men searching for your fellow horsemen. They'll rescue the ones who've survived, befriend them, whisper in their ears, make sure none of them come looking to get the gang back together. The Four Horsemen are finished, Kronos.

    Kronos: Never!

    Dilijan: Oh, yes. Finished, and gone! You took away everything that was precious to me! [Kronos laughs, Dilijan's anger flares] Everything! And everyone I loved. You're a madman, and a butcher! But, there is one thing... that matters to you. Only one. [moment] Your brothers. So I've stripped them from you. And now, I make this promise: the same promise you once made to me. [low] I'll be watching you, Kronos. I know how you operate. And I know that sooner, or later, you'll try to form another band of brothers. And I'll let it solidify, [voice rising, gloating] let you feel secure again, let you think maybe I've died, or forgotten about you! And then... I'll smash it to pieces, and leave you alone again, and again, and again! As many times as it takes for you to realize how pathetic you are! [moment] Then... maybe... when you're truly broken, I'll kill you. Or maybe not. [satisfied] Goodbye, Kronos! We won't meet again. Although, my followers... will be with you, always. [Dilijan is going away, calls from a distance] Now, take a deep breath! The tide's coming in!


    He kept his promise to me, Watcher man. Oh, I hunted him the world over, but I never caught the slightest scent. But throughout the centuries, every time I've come close to anyone, any time I felt kinship and allowed myself to trust, he's been there, whispering in their ears, turning them against me. He's blighted my life, and you, with your stupid tattoos and your Watchers code, you never even caught a hint of him!

    But I know he's out there. I do! I thought your records would help me find him, but... no. You're just as clueless as you appear! Oh, you managed to delete a lot of the database from your computer before I shut it down, but some of it remains. Enough for me to know that Methos still lives! So now I've got someone else to hunt for, and when I find him... I have a plan to smoke Dilijan out...! [movement] Shall I demonstrate? [footsteps, Kronos chuckles, creaking sound, door closing? Watcher grunts anxiously, struggling, breathing]

    [Feedback through a microphone, Kronos' voice on a speaker]

    I decided to make... a splash! Stop running. Draw attention to myself.

    [Sound of something like glass breaking. A hissing of air.]

    This toxin will wipe out half the world. That should thin the herd a little. Allow me to take power. Draw that vengeful bastard right to my door, and I'll slice his head from his shoulders and be free!

    [Watcher drowning in his own excretions, choking horribly]

    Then there'll be no one to stop me! I'll form a new brotherhood! We will rule the world as is our birthright! [Watcher is whimpering] You should give thanks to your god for this easy death. [ugly sounds of dying man] Thank god for my mercy. Because there are new horsemen coming for your world! And when we are finished with it, the living will envy the dead! Now... breathe deep, Watcher man. Breathe deep...

    [The noises of the dying man are evocative.]

    Track 16
    Theme MUSIC
    CD Extra 01
    All the Music


    • #3
      2-2 Highlander: The Four Horsemen
      Written by Scott Andrews James Moran
      Recorded on: 11, 12, 14 May, 4 & 24 June 2010
      Recorded at: The Moat Studios, Action Audio

      These stories take place prior to the events depicted in TV series episode Comes a Horseman, and a short time afterwards.

      Toby Longworth (Dilijan)
      Richard Ridings (Silas)

      Cover Artist Grant Kempster
      Director Ken Bentley
      Executive Producer Nicholas Briggs, Jason Haigh-Ellery
      Music Jamie Robertson
      Producer Paul Spragg
      Script Editor James Swallow
      Sound Design Paul Jones
      Written by Scott Andrews
      Line Producer David Richardson
      Product Format: 4-disc CD (slipcover box set)
      Number of Discs: 4
      Duration: 240 minutes
      Physical Retail ISBN: 978-1-84435-536-5
      Production Code: BFPHLCD05

      2.2 All the King's Horses, by Scott Andrews
      An empty room. Windowless. Locked. Silent. A man who does not know his own name lies dead on the bed. In a moment he will return to life and begin to ask questions. But he may not like the answers he discovers...

      Track 01

      [paperwork shuffling. High-pitched beeps of code being entered. Buzz. Heavy barred door opening. Footsteps.]

      Dilijan: Good morning, Silas. [door closing]

      Silas: Hello... [steps approach] So... I'm Silas...

      Dilijan: Yes.

      Silas: Well that explains a lot.

      Dilijan: May I sit? [sounds of sitting, grunt] What exactly do you remember?

      Silas: [moment] Nothing.

      Dilijan: You have speech, though. And vocabulary. What's ten plus four?

      Silas: Fourteen.

      Dilijan: Numeracy, too, good. But you didn't know your name until I told you.

      Silas: [somewhat unhappily] No. [moment] Where am I?

      Dilijan: You're in a clean, climate-controlled room in a secure location. [laughing] Sorry, that doesn't really answer your question, does it?

      Silas: [little grim] No...

      Dilijan: Please forgive me. There's a chance that anything you learn here could prove inconvenient at a later date. It's in my best interests to be... gnomic.

      Silas: [grimly] More like irritating.

      Dilijan: That too. Would you like something else to drink?

      Silas: Yes! But... ah--

      Dilijan: But you don't know your own tastes. Yes. [Silas makes disturbed noise] Interesting. What knowledge persists, and what is wiped clean. You like [perhaps ticking off on fingers] beer, wine, whiskey, alcohol, basically.

      Silas: That, then.

      Dilijan: I think we'll settle for coffee.

      Silas: [uneasily] Km. Well?

      Dilijan: [bemused] Oh, well... My staff are listening to us. Uh one of them will be along momentarily. [inhales] I left you some reading material.

      Silas: I found it.

      Dilijan: And read it too, I see.

      Silas: [low and alert] You're him, aren't you. The one who wrote all of this.

      Dilijan: Most of it.

      Silas: [carefully] What should I call you?

      Dilijan: I think "Sir" would be most appropriate. [Silas snorts a breath out his nose] After all, I am the man who put you back together again! I imagine you don't feel the difference, do you. I mean, if your memories are gone, you can't recall what it felt like to be... slow. Stupid. And mindless.

      Silas: [uncertainly] Uh... I... I do remember. [quickly] Not the details! Not events... But I know that I'm different. [inhales] Better.

      Dilijan: Fascinating.

      Silas: These... uh, what would you call them?

      Dilijan: Case notes perhaps. Memoirs. [more suredly] Accounts of hypotheses, and evidence collected.

      Silas: [grimly] Experiments.

      Dilijan: If you wish.

      Silas: And now?

      Dilijan: Well you read them. What do you think happens next?
      [slightly sinister music]

      Track 02

      Methos: We are Immortals. Born in the cradle of civilization to tribes that no longer exist.
      Silas: We are not alone. There are others like us. Some strong! Some weak.
      Kronos: For centuries we have fought and conquered, and the world has come to fear our names!
      Caspian: We cannot die. Unless you take our heads, and with it, our power.
      Methos: We are Death on Horseback.
      Silas: Bringers of Darkness!
      Caspian: The Four Horsemen.
      Kronos: In the end, there can be only us.
      [good music]

      Track 03

      I wake up on a single bed, with no idea who I am, where I am, or how I had got here. There's no light, just the faint hum of air-conditioning. I've a strange taste in my mouth, and my head aches. My eyes are gummed together, so I rub the sleep from them and sit up. [click-noise, grunts] The movement triggers the lights and I wince at the sudden brightness. White featureless room, brown leather sofa and armchair facing each other, across a chrome and glass coffee table. Cardboard box on a table next to a carafe of water, and a tumbler. I swing my legs over the side of the bed, [creaking sound of that movement] and pause as my aching head swims dizzily. I know that I've not woken from an ordinary sleep... The tingle in my fingers... the hollowness in my stomach... I've been dead...

      That makes no sense! You don't die and come back! Death's a one-way trip! ... Isn't it?

      But the feeling is familiar. Somehow I know that I have returned from death before. It seems that my body's memory has survived whatever has erased my mind!

      "Hello?" [moment] Nothing. Nobody. I get to my feet. [noise of motion] A little unsteady, but I manage to stay upright. [tries the door] The door is solid, and locked tight. "Hello? Is anyone out there?" [breathes] No way out. No one coming to let me out. I turn back to examine the room again; the sofa, the armchair, the water, the box! It seems like an invitation... [lifts carafe, pours water, sets carafe down] The box is plain, no labels or markings... inside is a collection of papers. [moving papers, thumbs through] I lift them out and spread them on the glass table. Some are modern, English. Computer-printed on crisp, white sheets and stapled together. Others... are older. Typed on thinner stock, carbon copies in some cases. There is a series of leather-bound notebooks, filled with copperplate script. Intricate pencil-sketches and diagrams. There are even a couple of papyrus scrolls, brown and fragile, tied with ribbons of silk. I skim-read them. One name, repeated again, and again.


      Is he the author perhaps? This collection of documents represents the only clue I have to my identity and situation. I pick a notebook at random and crack it open. Pieces of vellum splinter and fall to the table like a flurry of snow!

      The text is not English. But even though I cannot name the language, [intrigued] it is familiar to me! [movement of paper] I begin to read.

      Track 04

      Account of procedure. Constantinople, April, 1543.

      One of my army of spies brought me word that Silas had been positively identified, taking part in the siege of Constantinople, working as a mercenary for the Ottomans during the siege of the city. I'd had no word of him for a few hundred years, and feared he was dead! But my acolyte was adamant in his claim. So I travelled to witness the fall of the great city in person.

      I'd hardly ventured outside the monastery walls in two thousand years! The world had changed beyond recognition, and I found it dizzying. Strange! Wonderful! But it was not my intention to waste time gawping at the sights. I had a proof to test; and I'd been waiting for a long time for the opportunity to do so.

      The siege was well underway when I arrived. Earlier bombardments had failed to breach the Emperor's defenses, and now the Turkish armies were ranged around the walls, attempting to dig under them. Silas, who had acquired a reputation for incredible luck due to his seeming invincibility, had been detailed to crawl into the tunnels under the foundations, and lay charges intended to bring the mighty stones crashing down.

      Infiltrating the besieging army was not hard; I hijacked a merchant and stole his wares, then rode into the camp with provisions. That night, I set a small charge of my own in the tunnel Silas was helping to dig. The next morning was cold and crisp. As I watched him crawl underground, laughing and joking with his fellow human moles, I waited twenty minutes... then lit the fuse, bringing the earth crashing down upon them.

      I marked the spot well, and then enjoyed the siege from a vantage point on a nearby hill, biding my time. I left my quarry underground until the walls fell; and then as the fighting moved into the city, my acolytes and I dug him out.

      He awoke almost immediately, but I plunged a sword through his heart, and left it there as we carried his body back to a house I had purchased in a nearby town. I foolishly thought the cellar of the house was perfect for my needs. Although I had feared Silas dead, I had not yet relinquished my quest for a cure. Long years I had spent, planning this test, and I had complicated plans and drawings with me for an apparatus that would produce the desired effects. Working from these plans, I spent three weeks fashioning an intricate framework from gold looted during the siege.

      I had noted that gold surpasses even copper in its ability to conduct the Quickening between vessels. I was hopeful that the use of gold would increase my chances of success! I had been selecting the most intelligent Immortals who had visited my monastery for centuries, keeping records of their movements, building a network of spies and informants around the world; Immortals I had helped, healed, or altered to make them pliant. As a consequence, I felt sure I now knew more about the current state of Immortal affairs than anyone alive.

      I dispatched my acolytes to bring back the five cleverest Immortals within a month's travel of our location. While they searched, I continued my work, slaving over the flames in the cellar, melting, setting, folding and bending the shimmering gold to my purpose.

      Bound and beaten, kidnapped and captive, my five precious vessels arrived one by one, and I secured them within my metal web, the heart of which cradled poor, dead Silas, the sword still poking through his chest.

      I'd never kept an Immortal dead for such a long time before. I was curious to see whether he would putrefy and decompose. And if so, to observe the process by which his freshness was restored upon the removal of the sword. In fact, although he remained entirely dead while the sword was in place, his corpus never even reached rigor mortis!

      Silas had been dead for forty-nine days by the time my victims had been collected, and the apparatus constructed.

      I removed the sword. It took him only twelve minutes to return to life. Throughout the ages my observations have established that this is average.

      First Death can last longer. The longest I have observed is twenty-three hours. Although I have anecdotal reports of first deaths lasting two, or even three days, and severe damage can take longer to repair. But so far, with one exception...

      Track 05

      ... I've never observed an Immortal remaining dead for longer than half an hour.

      Even for a man who spends his entire life in a state of permanent confusion, Silas was disorientated and afraid when he awoke. The five captives who were caged in a circle around him were gagged, and unable to speak, but I allowed Silas to speak.

      [shaking voice] "Where am I? Who are you?"

      In the gloom of the cellar he could not make out my face. I stepped forward into the glow of a candle flame and said hello. He regarded me curiously, anger and defiance fighting with panic and fear.

      "I recognize you," he said. But his face betrayed his confusion. He could not place me.

      I agreed that we had met before, but did not elaborate. I had learned from previous experience, that explaining myself would do no good. Silas would neither understand, nor care, what I was trying to do, or why I was trying to do it.

      I stepped to the farthest corner of the cellar, holding the long rope in my hands. I confess I felt nervous as I contemplated what I was about to do. The thrill of it was heady... All the planning I'd put into this, the theorizing, the testing of conductivity and mechanism! All culminating in one moment! I took a deep breath, and pulled the rope hard.

      I heard the metal gears grind and lock, the springs retract, squeaking in protest... the snap as the catches released and the knives snapped forward with massive force, cleanly severing the necks of all five Immortals in one instant! Then a moment's silence. A single crackle! A spark! And hum! And then a storm of Quickening like a whirlwind screaming for vengeance with the voices of the dead!!

      Silas began to scream, and I realized belatedly, that I had misjudged the force of the power I was unleashing! I turned and fled up the stairs as the room behind me spun! I ran out as the sides of the house fell in on themselves, engulfing me in a cloud of choking dust. I fled the scene.

      A crowd was already beginning to gather, and there would be so many questions I would be unable to answer. The obvious conclusion of observers would be, that I was attempting alchemy, and the punishment for such wizardry in that part of the world was hanging.

      A fire sprang from the cellar as I ran.

      One of my acolytes remained, joining the bucket line so he could report on the aftermath. The fire did not spread, but neither did it burn fierce enough to conceal all the evidence of my work. The discovery of five headless corpses ensnared in a fused carapace of gold would surely have led to a hue and cry, which I would have been lucky to escape had it not been for Silas.

      Emerging from the fire, dripping with molten gold, wielding the sword that had nestled in his ribcage for so long, face half-burned away, he must have seemed like a vision of Hell! A fiery golem come to take some dreadful vengeance on the townspeople for all their unspoken sins! He hacked his way free from the lynch mob that gathered and ran, screaming into the night.

      I think it's fair to say this was my most foolish, ill-conceived effort since my first trepanation released Karniel, and all his fury so many millennia ago.

      And all for naught.

      Silas is unchanged.

      He was found a month later by one of my acolytes, sheltering in a fishing village. His burns were healing and fading away, but his mind was still broken. Dim-witted, stupid, hateful, childish and violent as he ever was. [dryly] Another failure. Can his condition ever be undone? What next? Ten Immortals at once? Fifteen? No. My proof is clear. The technique does not work. Emotions, feelings, knowledge... These are transmissible in Quickening. Intelligence is not. I must find another way.

      Track 06

      I close the leather-bound notebook and place it gently on the table in front of me. I'm unsure what to make of this narrative. Strange energies... cages of gold... a man who can survive two months with a sword in his heart. Surely it is a fiction! And yet... I have a sense... a taste almost... of molten gold and fire... A flash of memory? Or a product of an impressionable imagination. I dismiss the thought. I am succumbing to fancies and nightmares. [clink] I pour water into the glass and take a sip. [pouring]


      Dilijan: Did you read them all?

      Silas: Mmmno.

      Dilijan: Which then?

      Silas: [moment, breathes] I began with this one. [motion of paper]

      Dilijan: [amused] Constantinople, yes. Oh dear. Not my finest hour.

      Silas: [curious] You mentioned something in the text. [flips pages] Here. "My first trepanation released Karniel, and all his fury." [focused, softly] What does that mean?

      Dilijan: That's another story, Silas. In many ways, that mistake set the pattern of my entire life. But you were not the victim of my incompetence. Not... not that time.

      Silas: [angry] Damnit! Stop speaking in riddles!

      Dilijan: Now, now, now. Which text did you read next?

      Silas: [exasperated breath] This one. ***Levelis.

      Dilijan: Ah yes, yes! Yes, that was my first attempt at a cure. Pointless really. I had no real expectation of success, but...! I had to eliminate the obvious before I could progress to more [musical beeping begins] creative strategies. [a buzz, the door creaks open, steps on the floor] Ah, marvelous, our coffee. Ah, put it down there, will you.

      [Silas keep breathing shakily. Sound of coffee being set down. Steps going away, door being closed. Latched. Pneumatic hiss?]

      Dilijan: Apologies for the gun. He had to be sure you wouldn't try to rush him. Can't have you... staging a daring escape now, can we? [laughs] [clinking of cups] I'll be Mother, shall I? [pouring noises] Milk? Sugar? [silence stretches] Oh, of course, I'm sorry. I'd forgotten you'd forgotten! [laughs] Um, I take mine as it comes. Eh, try it.

      [Silas sips with care, swallows, puts cup down.]

      Dilijan: No? wha--Try some milk! [pouring sound, spoon stirring the tea] [Silas swallows, keeps cup] Better? [Silas's confirming noise.] Good. Uhhhh... Where was I?

      Silas: Levelis.

      Dilijan: Levelis! Yes. Yes. Regrettable, but! I learned an important lesson from that... incident. What did you learn, Silas?

      Track 07

      This report is submitted by Decius Levelis, of the Imperial Roman Garrison, Britain, in the year of the Consulship of Tiberius Claudius Caesar Augustus Germanicus, and Lucius Vitellius Veteris.

      Master, it has been three decades since you healed me of my pain, and charged me with the vital service that will pay my debt to you. I have pursued my mission with diligence, and fortitude, and now I can report that I have completed the task you set me. For years, I sought my quarry. From the Afric lands... through Italy... across Europe and eventually to this benighted rock off the coast of Gaul. I pursued rumors and legends of Immortals and their warrings.

      Ten years ago I encountered one of the Immortals you warned me against; the one called Kronos, in a brothel in Ephesus. He tried to conscript me into a gang he was forming with the intention of setting up a kingdom somewhere outside the Empire.

      He took my refusal badly and tried to take my head. But I bested him! However, in accordance with your instructions, I spared his life. I met Immortals; wise and cruel, stupid and generous, alone and in packs! But my quarry... was like a ghost.

      I thought it most likely he had fallen to another sword long ago, or perhaps he was living at the very fringes of the known world. Still, I did not give up. Eventually, one night in a tavern in Sicily two years ago, I met a centurion who told tales of a mighty warrior serving with a garrison in Britain. This unbeatable simpleton with the strength of a hundred men had to be Silas!

      I set out for Britain the next morning. All I needed now was a donor! In the Germanic lands, I met an Immortal named ***Pompii, a scholar. Unaccustomed to fighting, he was exactly the kind of man you bid my ally myself with.

      I found him tending the wounds of the sick after a small local war. He had papers, written himself, that detailed poultices and herbal remedies for all ailments. He was beloved by his fellow men! An exemplar of wisdom, compassion, learning and patience. He was perfect for my needs.

      He was no great swordsman. His strategy for survival was to become the physician to great armies and make himself invaluable to them! By surrounding himself with thousands of well-armed men, all of whom would fight to protect him, Pompii believed himself safe from the attentions of other, less scrupulous Immortals.

      At first he was wary of me, believing that I would try to take his head. But eventually I gained his trust. Then I betrayed his army to their enemies. When the ambush came, as I knew it would, I fought bravely to protect Pompii, proving myself his staunch friend and protector! He and I escaped the massacre. His friends were not so lucky.

      With the army that sheltered him routed and gone, my new friend was glad of my suggestion that he join me on my journey to Britain and a posting with the garrison there. It took very little for me to track down the source of the stories I had heard in Sicily. Ostorius Scapula had recently begun a campaign against the barbarous tribes of West Britain, a land called Wales. Most particularly the group who called themselves Silures.

      Silas was there, a lowly centurion. Impossible to promote due to his simple-mindedness, yet loved and prized by his fellow men for his fearless ruthlessness in battle.

      My talent for forgery had served me well throughout my many lives, and the Roman Empire runs on paperwork. I presented my papers, and Pompii and I were accepted without question as new postings to the garrison.

      I did not make contact with Silas, preferring to let him come to me.

      I walked past him that first day, let him feel my presence... made eye contact... and then walked away.

      I woke with cold metal at my throat in the dead of night. "You come for me?" he whispered in my ear. It wasn't a threat... he just wanted to know. I assured him that Pompii and I were there strictly by coincidence, and that the only fight we were seeking was with the savages of the West. He listened to my lies, nodded, put his knife away, and smiled. "I'm Silas," he said, offering me his enormous hand. I took it and told him I hoped we would be friends. "I'd like that," he said. But it was not me I wished him to befriend.

      I introduced Pompii to Silas the next day, as we prepared for a long march into Silur territory. As I'd hoped, Silas fascinated Pompii. His simple-mindedness was a provocation to the scholarly doctor, and he began a series of tests to try and identify either the causes of his idiocy, or the outward physical signs of it, which, he said, could be used to aid future diagnoses. I think perhaps you and Pompii could have been colleagues under different circumstances.

      He took measurements of Silas' head, tested his vision and hearing, mapped the contours of his skull, noting with interest an almost imperceptible depression in the skull above the right hemisphere of the brain.

      Silas endured all this with the trusting patience of a child, glad to receive attention yet baffled by the cause. Pompii came to treat Silas as a pet project, although as time passed, more pet than project. Silas, for his part, spent more and more time with Pompii. He began aiding him in his surgeries, uncomplainingly carrying out the most menial of tasks with a smile.

      I must confess the idiot was a great mystery to me, my lord. On the one hand, he was as savage and bloodthirsty in the heat of battle as any man I've ever seen, mortal or otherwise! I've seen him lay low twenty men in five minutes and stand there amidst the slaughter, soaked in the literally steaming blood of his enemies. I've seen him wade into battle, ax swinging with a wide grin, as if this was the most exciting, wonderful glorious game any young boy ever played!

      Yet the tenderness he showed those wounded men in Pompii's care, the eager way he ran to fetch and carry things at the surgeon's request, the way he came to hang on Pompii's ever word, almost as a dog does its master's... These traits bespoke the gentle soul of a true imbecile, innocent and unsullied by the violence of the world.

      The man was a contradiction.

      I confess the nature of your interest in him confused me! And I was unsure whether curing him of his stupidity would prove a good thing or an ill! For... who was to say which side of his nature would be revealed preeminent if his mind were whole? Bereft of his stupidity, which would stand revealed as the true self: the kindly helper? Or the unstoppable monster?

      I was afraid to find out.

      But my loyalty to you, and gratitude for what you did for me, kept me true to my word. My path was clear, and I took decisive action.

      The Silures had a predilection for gold armor and decoration. The Welsh hills were full of gold, which, it was rumored, was Ostorius Scapula's reason for the current conflict. One night, I snuck out of the camp and made my way to a nearby Silur village.

      I walked, unarmed, and unarmored, into their midst. They stuck me through with spears before I could say a word! But I was expecting that. When I returned, they did not know whether to burn me, or praise me.

      Their language is a form of phlegmy gibberish, but I was eventually able to make my meaning plain by drawing pictures in the mud. I detailed the route we would take during the next day's march, and they soon understood I wanted gold in payment for my betrayal. They gave me it willingly. An intricately wrought gold serpent to be worn on the forearm.

      As suspicious as they were of my motives and information, they let me go. I returned to camp. And early that morning, as Pompii was washing in a nearby stream, I snuck into his tent, and placed the gold trinket amongst his belongings.

      The plan was as effective as it was simple. Silas and I were part of the cohort that was fallen upon by the savages. Between us we shed every last drop of their blood, but of the three hundred and fifty of us, only thirty-nine remained alive at the battle's end.

      The nature of the ambush made it plain that we had been betrayed. But for safety's sake, I made sure to speak the thought loudly and often to all my fellow survivors in Silas' earshot. Retreating to basecamp, bloodied and bruised, Silas did exactly as I knew he would. Carried the worse of the wounded men on his shoulders straight to Pompii's tent. And there, as he aided in the surgery, he found the gold trinket where I'd left it, amongst Pompii's surgical instruments.

      I witnessed the moment of discovery: his poor idiot's face crumpled in on itself with confusion and anger. He held it up, tears coming to his eyes. Pompii looked up from his ministrations, impatient for the instrument he had asked Silas to fetch. The hapless sawbone saw the gold, realized in an instant the conclusion his imbecile helper had come to, and played his part to perfection. Protesting his innocence, backing away from the monstrous brute in terror, he could not have appeared guiltier if he had tried. Silas advanced on him slowly, drawing the sword he had in his belt, crying as he did so, the depth of the betrayal too much for him to bear. Pompii begged me to intercede but I stayed where I was, miming horror at this shocking turn of events.

      Silas swung his sword in one clean arc, striking Pompii's head clean from his shoulders, even as he backed away and begged for mercy.

      So... My mission was complete. As instructed, I had located the cleverest Immortal I could find, and maneuvered Silas into taking his head. And for nothing, my lord. For although I am no doctor, or student of natural philosophy, it seemed to my untutored eye that the Silas who fled the garrison after the Quickening, was the same brutish imbecile he had always been.

      Except perhaps more soul-sick than the man I had met a few short weeks earlier.

      This report completes my debt to you.

      Decius Levelis
      Citizen of Rome

      Track 09

      The papyrus is in danger of crumbling in my fingers as I grip it tight. The chain of events is becoming clear. The author of the notebook has been trying, down the centuries, to cure this Silas of his simple-mindedness, by channeling into him the energies of the cleverest Immortals. First he sent a lackey to engineer one sacrifice. Then, many years later, a more grandiose approach. Hands on. Personal... and five victims. Both attempts had proven unsuccessful. Silas had remained unchanged.

      I sit heavily on that sofa, trying to sort through the questions in my mind. Why does the unnamed man want to cure Silas? What strategy had he attempted after Constantinople? Why am I being given these texts to read? I look down at my large hands gripping the fragile scroll and feel the first stirrings of fear. [shifting noises] The two documents have taught me one thing: Whoever this man is, he's ruthless to a fault. People are little more than playthings to him. So... am I the subject of one of his investigations... or a victim waiting for slaughter?!

      I reach for the box. Maybe the next narrative will provide the answers I need. [paper noises] The rest of the documents, some of which predate Constantinople, some post, all relate to Silas. But most are simple reports of his whereabouts and activities. Sacking Rome with the Ostrogoths in Five Forty-six; fighting Genghis Khan's army with the Bulgars in Twelve Twenty-three; working as a stretcher-bearer at the battle of the Somme in Nineteen Sixteen. But no more experiments or tests. No more attempts at a cure...



      Dilijan: The loss that you felt when you killed Pompii. You don't recall it?

      Silas: [uneasy] No...

      Dilijan: [whispers] Pity. [moment] You took something from me, once. Actually, twice. It would be gratifying to think that you had some sense of how you made me feel. [music cue is danger]

      Silas: [anxiety rising] This is about revenge? I thought you were trying to cure me...

      Dilijan: Do you feel like a simpleton, Silas?

      Silas: [moment] No, I don't. [anxiety not soothed] Then... Oh I see! My memory...

      Dilijan: An unexpected side effect of the cure. Whether the memory loss is temporary or permanent, remains to be seen.

      Silas: So you did it. Heh, you made me clever.

      Dilijan: I wouldn't go that far. I made you normal. Gave you a chance to realize your potential. The question that vexes me more, though, is... the one that dear Decius posed in his report. Which Silas do I see before me? Are you now a monster untroubled by simple conscience? Or a gentle giant freed from hate, and bloodlust? Look inside yourself, Silas. Tell me. Which do you think you are?

      Silas: [uncertain himself] How would I know?

      Dilijan: [hems] Do you want to kill me? [moment, Silas' breathing is strained] Do you want to rip my head off and drink my blood?

      Silas: [soft snort] I'm not sure yet.

      Dilijan: [laughs] It's a good answer. Well. Let me give you some more evidence to help you decide. [more movement of papers] This is my own account, to add to the ones you've already read. It tells you everything I think you need to know about our history. [amused snort] I'll leave you alone for a while. [image of standing] Read it. Consider your response, and we'll talk again later.
      [footsteps departing, pneumatic hiss of door opening]

      Track 10

      It is a collection of yellow pages covered in tiny, precise copperplate script. It looks like it has been ripped from a folio... perhaps an old journal. But no. As I read it, I find that the events related within predate the written word! This is autobiography written long after the fact!

      It begins in mid-sentence, and ends the same way... Certain words have been blacked out with a modern felt tip. It begins with a word I do not know. A name, perhaps.


      "From ***Kamlan I made my greatest discovery... and my greatest mistake. By freeing Karniel to resume his rampage in the body of --" the name is blacked out "-- I had helped preserve the very monster I'd taken up arms to fight. But --" again the name is blacked out "-- was not the only one transformed by my error.

      I fled the battle lands, my head bursting with new thoughts and ideas. I traveled alone for a year, feeding myself with casual labor. Immortals were few and far between in those times. The bloodletting of the Great Battle had thinned our numbers, and those who had survived were lying low, biding their time, waiting to see if another leader would arise, or whether as indeed came to pass, they would go into hiding, blending into the wider population, shamed into anonymity by the horror of Karniel's reign.

      There was, I perceived, a power vacuum. Inevitably, some strong motivated monster would rise to fill it, and the cycle would begin again. But I began to wonder if there was a way to prevent this. And so I conceived my ministry. If only I could control the effects I had witnessed at --" [frustrated] name blacked out "-- trepanation, [annoyed noise] perhaps I could heal those Immortals left brutalized and broken by the Great Conflict! I determined that I would seek out Immortals, refine my technique, use it for good!

      My first attempt was with a woman called ***Gelanti. She had lost a lover and many friends in the war. So great was her despair that she had attempted to cut off her own head. A deep, suppurating gash ran across her throat like an obscene second mouth. Every night it healed... Every morning she sliced anew. Each time dying before she could finish the job.

      I found her living in a cave, half-starved, wild-eyed and mad beyond recovery. At least... beyond recovery by conventional..."

      Here a page is missing. I rifle through the sheaf assuming that it has been misfiled somehow but, it is not there.

      This first page does not mention Silas, mention me, at all. It must have been included as background information. The next page picks up my nameless captor's story after his... procedure. [breath out in doubt]


      An encampment at the edge of ***taiga. He was a huge man by the standards of the time. Twice as tall, twice as wide, and three times as strong as anyone else in his tribe!

      Silas was as formidable as he was kind. He had not heard of the Great Battle. When I questioned him closely, he revealed to me that he had been gored by a bull some years previously, and had lost consciousness for a time, but, had recovered. [slight disdain] The great lumbering oaf hadn't even noticed his own death.

      He may not have been the cleverest of men, but he was no idiot either. He knew that Gelanti and I were like him, he could feel it, and he was curious. We wintered with that tribe, helped tend their livestock, told tall tales around the fire. It was a happy time. Silas was beloved, although he had no lover. I thought at the time that he was not interested in women, as he could surely have taken his pick of the tribe's females. He had a special affinity with children, who would flock around him, begging him to swing them high in the air, or even to toss and catch them as if they were juggling balls. If you wanted to find Silas, it was said, just follow the squeals of the children!

      He was the gentlest soul I ever met.

      As winter turned to spring, however, I thought it was time for Gelanti and I to be on our way. Silas had nothing to teach us, and although we had many secrets we could impart to him, not least about his nature as an Immortal, he didn't seem interested in knowing them. He was happy where he was... or so I thought.

      But I was blind. I'd failed to notice the growing bond between Silas and Gelanti. The night before we were due to leave, they became lovers.

      She was bound to me by ties of obligation so, could not remain with Silas. So Silas decided to ride with us. The children of the tribe were heartbroken to see him leave, and he shed a few tears himself. But he promised he would return.

      Track 11

      We set out at dawn, on a clear, crisp morning. A happy band of wanderers intent on doing good! For over a year we roamed amongst the nomadic tribes, collecting knowledge. A herbal remedy here, a poultice there, a birthing technique elsewhere. Gelanti and Silas were in love. Happy! Carefree! And their happiness traveled with us, ensuring our welcome wherever we traveled.

      Silas blossomed during that year, from a half-boy to a man. But he had never known violence, never raised his hand in anger, never wielded sword or ax. So when we encountered a gang of bandits one day, far from any aid, it was Gelanti and I who took the lead.

      They must have thought us easy pickings. Two men and an attractive woman against twelve of them? I've no doubt they thought it would be simple to dispatch Silas and myself, before turning their attentions to a cowering and terrified Gelanti.

      How wrong they were.

      Gelanti was a magnificent swordswoman. She had killed three of them before they even realized what was happening! Silas carried a sword, but he had no skill. He just stood there swinging his blade in a wide arc, his face betraying his terror and inexperience. I bested three of the bastards myself, but in the end their numbers were too great. I saw Gelanti fencing with two of them at once, as she was outflanked by a third man she was not aware of. I tried to shout but she could not hear me! I tried to go to her aid, but I was beset myself and unable to disengage!

      That the bandit chose to kill her by striking off her head was nothing but coincidence. He was not immortal. He could not have known! But his aim was true. She never even saw the blade that took her life.

      As the Quickening gathered around her, arcing and flaring in the afternoon sun, the bandits fled in horror. Silas ran to his lover's body, even as I cried at him to stay away. But mindless with grief, he did not bide me.

      His first Quickening. It should have been a triumphant moment for him, as he took the power of a foe, but instead... he unwittingly absorbed the essence of the only woman he had ever loved.

      And it drove him insane.

      Not the insanity of a dark Quickening, or even of absorbing too much despair or hatred. No... This was a far subtler form of torture. Her voice whispered in his ears. Her memories haunted his dreams. His grief was made manifest in the cruelest form of torment I can imagine. Literally, she haunted him.

      I tried to calm him, to offer comfort and aid, but there was nothing I could do. He could not escape her. He said she was trying to calm him, that she whispered her love, told him that he would survive this. Even in death she tried to keep him safe. But it only made things worse.

      Eventually, after a month of watching my gentle friend slide hopelessly towards total madness, I decided that I would have to take action.

      I tried to explain the process to Silas, but he was raving, wild-eyed and incapable of rational thought. Twice, I had performed the procedure on Immortals, and twice I had succeeded in transferring Quickening energy from their living brains into mine! Once, with disastrous consequences... but that did not reflect upon the procedure itself. Merely my poor choice of subject.

      Anyway, in Gelanti's case I had affected a total cure. I felt confident that I would be able to drain her essence from Silas into me, relieving him of his burden. My problem was restraining Silas long enough and securely enough for me to operate!

      In the end, my only option was to kill him.

      Easy enough in his state. Tie him down while dead and then perform the procedure as soon as he awoke. But I did not tie the bonds tightly enough.

      I braced the drill around his skull, turned the screw to slice through the bone into his living brain, and got to work the second his eyelids fluttered with regained consciousness.

      But he was too strong, and my bonds were too slack. The moment I felt the bone crack and felt the drill bite into the soft gray tissue, he bucked once, violently screaming in panic! The drill plunged deep into his brain! I was flung backwards and watched in horror as he bucked and writhed, foaming at the mouth, the trepanning apparatus hanging out of the hole in his head! Quickening energy sparked and flashed around the wound. But unlike the last two times, it did not flow out of my subject and into me. Instead it crackled around the drill-head in the wooden frame, scorching it until the wood caught fire and fell away, leaving the stone drill-bit, white hot, burning deep within his skull. He twitched and shook until eventually the energy burnt itself out. His eyes rolled back in his head and he slumped, dead on the ground.

      I was shocked at what had occurred. Horrified by my own incompetence. I should have known Silas was too strong for me! I should have foreseen this! In seeking to free my friend from pain, what damage had I wrought?

      Track 12

      I waited for him to awaken from death, but he did not. Had I killed him? I was sure that I must have. Perhaps, I thought, removal of the head is just a blunt approach to Immortal death. Perhaps... there was a more refined method.

      I sat pondering these things until, three hours later, Silas reared up with a sudden cry. His eyes were unfocused, bloodshot and confused. He did not know where he was. He did not know who I was. He did not even know who he was.

      I tried to calm him, but he was afraid. I could see from where I sat that the wound in his head was gone, entirely healed during his dead time. But the drill bit was still within him, fused into his brain. I surmised that it was preventing his brain from healing as it should.

      Silas, my gentle, kind friend, had been reduced to a shambling imbecile.

      There was no way to remove the drill bit; Silas would not let me near him! And anyway, my drill bit was gone! I would have had to smash his skull open with a rock and fish the drill bit out with my fingers! The resulting release of Quickening would have made it impossible for me to complete the procedure. There was nothing I could do. The physical damage was irreparable.

      Eventually, I calmed Silas. I told him his name -- and mine. I explained that we were friends, and that he had banged his head in a fall. He cheerfully accepted this and, after eating, he slept soundly. Ought to note: he snored that night. He had never done so before.

      In the morning we saddled our horses and rode on. I did not know what to do with my newly idiotic companion other than to keep him at my side! He seemed content enough to ride with me, and could follow simple instructions.

      My guilt was almost unbearable, but it was tempered by curiosity about what I had done. I had witnessed a new effect, perfected by accident, a way of permanently damaging an Immortal beyond repair... a way of altering their personality that did not depend upon the transfer of Quickening energies. It was horrible, but, I must admit, shamefully exciting.

      At first I believed his basic nature to be unchanged. He was still gentle and kind... only much more easily led.

      I was wrong.

      A deeper change had been wrought. And I was to see its effects when we encountered our next tribal settlement.

      I do not know what sparked the incident. I was discussing weather patterns with the shaman when I heard the sounds of a commotion, so to this day I am unsure what provocation or perceived sleight led Silas to react the way he did. But when I ran to investigate, I found sweet, gentle Silas hacking at the tribesmen with a mighty stone ax!

      If they had attempted at first to fight back, they'd long abandoned their efforts as hopeless, and were fleeing before his blade. He laughed as he slaughtered them. Some tribesmen managed to shoot him with arrows and spears, but he pulled them out, smiling all the while, then lumbered after them implacable, unstoppable! He seemed to have no sense that what he was doing was wrong! He reminded me of a boy pulling the wings of a fly. Detached. Godlike. Innocent.

      I ran to him, arms raised, begging him to stop! He did so, that idiot grin still plastered across his face, blood dripping from his arms, sprayed across his face, oozing from his wounds! I demanded he explain himself, but all he did was grin. I told him to follow me, and he did so without protest.

      We were lucky to escape the village alive, and I made sure we rode hard and far to evade potential pursuit.

      That night, sat around the fire, Silas again proved unable to explain his actions. The best he could offer was a petulant, "Felt like it." I resolved that I would --


      That is where the text ends. I sit there, appalled by what I've just read. Can I believe my captor? Can this truly be my life story? And if it is, if he has somehow cured me, removed the drill bit from my brain and made me whole once more... What does he intend to do with me now?

      I know one thing for sure... Whatever he has planned, I am powerless to prevent it. I am entirely... at his mercy.

      Track 13

      [scribble scribble, page turn, scribble. Beeping of a code. Pneumatic hiss, door creaks open. Footsteps. Door creaks closed]

      Dilijan: So...

      Silas: [quiet, grave] So... [we can hear him breathing as Dilijan speaks]

      Dilijan: [takes a breath] The first thing, the most important thing, I want to say, is... Sorry. [long moment] With... [sighs, takes another breath] with the drill in your brain, I thought maybe, if I filled you up with the Quickening of wise men, it would somehow perhaps... balance out the damage. [sheepish noise] Obviously that was a stupid idea, but I had to try. [long breath] We parted company, after what happened at the tribal settlement. [quietly] I suppose I should have killed you. I'd've saved countless lives if I had, but... [clicks tongue?] I just--I just couldn't bring myself to do it. You were my friend, Silas. I felt responsible! I... [frustrated] Damnit, brother, say something!

      Silas: [not reassured, takes a long moment to speak] You said I... took something from you. Twice. What did you mean?

      Dilijan: [moment, inhales] After I left you to fend for yourself, you made... new friends. You... [needs a moment, tone starts getting harder] you destroyed my ministry, and then... some years later... tracked me to a village, where I had built a community... and you slaughtered everyone there. Everyone I loved!

      Silas: [moment] Sorry...

      Dilijan: [hard note] Are you? [to the silence] So.

      Silas: So. [wary] You fixed me. [note rising anxiously] How?

      Dilijan: Tele-surgery. [blank] Remote instruments, earthed to a vessel... removed the drill bit, then... once you were healed, I... re-transfused the Quickening from the vessel back to you. I remade you.

      Silas: [suspicious alarm] Vessel?!

      Dilijan: It's a complicated process, you don't need to know the details.

      Silas: [angry and alarmed] Why do all of this?! Have you paid your debt to me now? Am I free to go?! Or is there something else I can do for you. [breathing hard through nose]

      Dilijan: I often dreamt... about what I'd say to you if I fixed you. [Silas makes an mmm, Dilijan's tones get harder] If I was able to... to bring the man I once knew! How I'd... beg for your forgiveness! Help you adjust to a new life in a new and changed world! [softer now] But those weren't the only dreams I had. [snarling] You were an avatar of War, Silas, and you--you haunted my nightmares! [Silas breathes carefully] I'd see you standing there with that... bastard Kronos! Smiling as you--you killed my friends! Laughing as you burnt their homes! Burying your ax in the bellies of the women! Pulling children apart, with your bare hands! Grinning like an idiot all the while!

      And I wondered how much responsibility I really bore for those crimes. I may have damaged your brain, reduced your intelligence, stunted you, made it... impossible for you to realize all your vast potential! But! But! [urgently] Who's to say I didn't unlock something that was already there?! Who's to say you wouldn't have betrayed me in the end anyway? You were always easily led, even before the accident!

      Silas: [coolly holding panic at bay] And did you come to a conclusion?

      Dilijan: [breathing hard, pulls himself together] Yes.

      Silas: [coldly] So what do you want from me? [moment] Forgiveness? Or revenge...

      Dilijan: [low and ruthless] Revenge...

      Track 14

      [fight breaks out, both men snarling, a clash of metal as Silas heaves the leg off of the table, but there is the sound of a gun being cocked]

      Dilijan: I have this gun, Brother Silas. You have a metal table leg. Not exactly a fair fight, is it?

      Silas: [bitter amusement] I thought our kind fought with swords.

      Dilijan: That's too much like hard work.

      [Silas goes at him, he cries out in pain, a lot of crashing and banging, the BGM is urgent and fast. An ugly crunch, it sounds like Silas has the upper hand]

      Silas: I haven't understood a lot of what you've told me! I don't know what Quickening is or, how any of this madness works! But I've read enough to know that plunging this long piece of sharp, jagged metal into your brain, would cause some, or all of your Quickening to be released, yes?!

      Dilijan: [gleefully] You'd still be locked in this room, Silas! My men would finish you off! I'd heal! You'd still be a prisoner.

      Silas: [furious but surprisingly knowledgeable] The door has an electronic lock!

      Dilijan: [angry] So?!

      Silas: So I can ***infuse! [struggle, snarles, and the crunch, Dilijan's cry of agony as Silas forces the bar in, and the crackle of Quickening. The scream(s) go on for fourteen seconds yes I counted]

      Silence, but for Silas' panting. Crackling might be BGM as he is able to force the door open. Panting. Sound of a gunshot? Running footsteps, whopping alarms, tension kept by BGM. All this noise, perhaps of guns firing, Silas running, perhaps staircases, goes on for half a minute. Dilijan seems to have recovered.

      Dilijan: [shouts] Silas!!

      [whooping alarms fade. Now a beeping. Silas is panting as he makes it through a door. Sound like a storm or water. Or bubbling beakers! Silas finds barriers, doors he can't open? He's trapped.]

      Dilijan: Nowhere left to run, Brother.

      Silas: [breathing hard, gulping in air] What is this place?

      Dilijan: This is where I do my work. My laboratory! I healed you here on that operating table. [beeping]

      Silas: [horrified] And the six people in these cubicles?! [voice rises and cracks] Are they dead?!

      Dilijan: Depends upon your point of view.

      Silas: [frantic, voice high] Is this what you're gonna do to me?! Wire me up? Keep me on ice! Some kind of living corpse!

      Dilijan: [coldly] No. I have other plans for you. [Silas heaves a sigh of relief] Do you feel different? [Silas is confused] You took something from me back there in that room. Some despair, maybe. [Silas grunts] Some knowledge? A sliver of memory! Perhaps a skill.

      Silas: [panting] Hatred. So much hatred! [pants]

      Dilijan: [softly] Interesting.

      Silas: [clangs a blade] I have a sword, now!

      Dilijan: [uninterested in that] Yes, yes, so I see. But, an ax was always your weapon of choice. Plus, you've also got one... two... ... three... three bullets in you.

      Silas: Four, actually. Leg.

      Dilijan: Yes.

      Silas: Heh.

      [Silas goes at Dilijan with the sword. Clash clash clang clang, things are smashed, they scream at each other, about twenty seconds. Dilijan gets the upper hand, apparently.]

      Silas: Do it then! Take your revenge! Take my head!

      Dilijan: [sinister amusement] What would be the fun in that? [cocks the gun]

      Silas: [thoroughly startled] What?! [bang] [choked groan of pain, body thumps to floor]

      [six seconds of silence]

      [Silas wakes with a gasp]

      Dilijan: [voice over speaker] Welcome back, Brother.

      [Silas is struggling, noise of exertion, cries out in fury as Dilijan chuckles]

      Dilijan: Those straps are very, very tight, Silas! I'm not making the same mistake twice.

      Silas: What is this?!

      Dilijan: This is my revenge! Simple! Elegant. Poetic. Recognize this.

      Silas: [terrified] No!?

      Dilijan: This little circle of stone is the drill bit that you've been carrying around with you for the last few thousand years. [Silas pants in terror] Do you know what I'm gonna do with it, Horseman? [Silas pants] [intimately] I'm going to put it back! But first, I'm going to restore all the madness I took from you. My vessels here have your Quickening stored up nice and safe. I'm going to put you back together again, Silas. As you were, yesterday. Violent. Mad. Stupid! Living a pointless life as a fur trapper in a forgotten forest!

      Silas: [screams it] Why?!

      Dilijan: [laughing] Because I want to!

      Silas: [desperately] Why spend all these centuries tryin' to, trying to fix the damage you did, if you're only gonna break me again?!

      Dilijan: Because I can! [happily] Because... it amuses me! Because, in ten years time, I'm going to track you down, and do this all over again! Although, I'll probably use a... a wooden table. And a padlock. Because, you took everything from me! And this is the only thing I can take from you, in return! [Silas is scared to death] I had to restore you, fix you, so you could fully comprehend exactly what it is I'm taking away again! [Silas grunts with effort] There's no fun torturing poor, imbecile Silas, but clever Silas... pulling his wings off is so much more satisfying!

      Silas: [snarling] I'll find you! I'll kill you!!

      Dilijan: [laughing] But you won't remember any of this! That's the beauty of it! You'll go back to your ignorant, pointless life, and you'll have no idea that any of this ever happened!

      Silas: No! I'll remember!

      Dilijan: [laughing] Oh, no, you really won't. Do you know why I'm so sure? [whispers gleefully] Because I've done all this before.

      [music is alarm cue, as sound of drilling starts and Silas cries out, scream of agony and despair rapidly rising]
      Track 16
      Theme MUSIC
      CD Extra 02
      All the Music


      • #4
        2-3 Highlander: The Four Horsemen
        RELEASED APRIL 2011
        Written by Scott Andrews James Moran
        Recorded on: 11, 12, 14 May, 4 & 24 June 2010
        Recorded at: The Moat Studios, Action Audio

        These stories take place prior to the events depicted in TV series episode Comes a Horseman, and a short time afterwards.

        Toby Longworth (Dilijan)
        Tracy-Ann Oberman (Elena Meschowska)
        Marcus Testory (Caspian)

        Cover Artist Grant Kempster
        Director Ken Bentley
        Executive Producer Nicholas Briggs, Jason Haigh-Ellery
        Music Jamie Robertson
        Producer Paul Spragg
        Script Editor James Swallow
        Sound Design Paul Jones
        Written by Scott Andrews
        Line Producer David Richardson
        Product Format: 4-disc CD (slipcover box set)
        Number of Discs: 4
        Duration: 240 minutes
        Physical Retail ISBN: 978-1-84435-536-5
        Production Code: BFPHLCD05
        Labeled tracks are The Pain Eaters

        2.3 The Pain Eater, by Scott Andrews
        A cell in an asylum. Stone Walls. Distant screams. A man who does not belong here is strapped to a trolley. In a moment he will understand the truth of his predicament. But first he must remember the man he used to be - the man he killed...

        Track 01

        [rippling music. Bell dings, long whine-sound. Chiming bells. Chanting. Footsteps, heavy heels]

        Enigma: You wanted to see me?

        Caspian: I've been wanting to see you for a long, long time. You're him, aren't you?

        Enigma: I can vouchsafe that I am me. But who would you have me be?

        Caspian: [faintly forlorn] You take away the pain. That's what I've heard. Is it true? Can you make it end?

        Enigma: Is your suffering so great, then?

        Caspian: [shuddering breath] Oh, yes. More than I can bear. [inhales] Make it stop, please...

        Enigma: You are not the first to ask this of me. There are rituals to be observed. Tests and trials to be endured before I can do the thing you ask.

        Caspian: Anything. Whatever it takes. [shaky inhale] But... wait. Haven't we... met? I seem to remember, long ago... a fire...?

        Enigma: [a touch quick] I think not, Brother. Follow me, and we shall begin the preparations. Soon, your burden will be lifted, and you will be free!

        Caspian: [breathes] Thank you! Oh, thank you!
        [footsteps] [BGM takes alarm note]

        Track 02

        Methos: We are Immortals. Born in the cradle of civilization to tribes that no longer exist.
        Silas: We are not alone. There are others like us. Some strong! Some weak.
        Kronos: For centuries we have fought and conquered, and the world has come to fear our names!
        Caspian: We cannot die. Unless you take our heads, and with it, our power.
        Methos: We are Death on Horseback.
        Silas: Bringers of Darkness!
        Caspian: The Four Horsemen.
        Kronos: In the end, there can be only us.
        [good music]

        Track 03

        [creaking of a cell door opening]
        [fierce snarls and growls, grunts, but of human origin, finally a crunch sound and a cry of pain]

        Elena: There, that's better. [more growls and exertion. She raises her voice] You can leave us!

        [steps, the door creaks closed with a slam and sinister music]

        Elena: [water can be heard dripping in the background] Hello, Caspari. [to his grunts] My name is Elena Meschowska. [flips through pages] Your regular doctor... Doctor ***Projectorinski. He told you I would be visiting you today, yes? You may be feeling quite woozy. The meds you were given this morning are slightly different to your normal ones. They're designed to make you more responsive. [pleased with herself] I just gave you an extra dose as they have not perhaps worked as thoroughly as I would have liked.

        Caspari: What do you want, bitch!

        Elena: I've been sent to try a new approach. [Caspari says uuuh] Something a little experimental. [inquisitive noise like Whatisit] Do you like my machine? Oh, sorry. Let me switch it on. [clippity-clip noises] [her voice becomes hypnotic, vowels stretched out] I want you to look into the lights, focus on the center... the green one, relax. Let the images wash over you... Don't fight it. Relax.

        [click of a recorder being turned on and she speaks into it professionally]

        September Twenty-third, subject Evan Caspari. Session Number One.

        The subject's doctors have already demonstrated that he suffers from classic multiple personality disorder. They report that the construct, Caspian, the personality which drove his killing spree, is particularly strong. I believe there may be more personalities buried deeper. Today, I shall try to contact one of them.

        [Raises voice, directs words at him.] Are you there, Caspian?

        Caspian: [threateningly] I'm here.

        Elena: And how are you feeling today?

        Caspian: [low threat] Undo this strap and I'll show you.

        Elena: I want you to sleep, Caspian. Just close your eyes and relax. Stand aside. Let me speak to someone else. Will you do that for me?

        Caspian: Will it make you shut up?

        Elena: Thank you. [for what? Moment, she says sweetly] Hello? Is there somebody there who wishes to talk to me? [silence] My name is Elena. I'm a friend. I only wish to talk to you. Do not be afraid! Caspian is gone.

        Caspian: [but without threat] Is he? Is he really?

        Elena: [pleased] I promise. Hello. Who are you?

        Caspian: [light, thoughtful] Who am I? I wonder.

        Elena: You are safe!

        Caspian: Safe...

        Elena: What is your name, friend?

        Caspian: [I love the use of tones here] That is not a simple question... Names have power. I have many names, child. [getting stronger] The name I was born with, the one I adopted, the one that was bestowed upon me, the title I earned... Which shall I give to you? I am Caspian.

        Elena: I don't understand.

        Caspian: I'm the man Caspian once was, not the monster he became. Are you... [innocently] Are you from the Pain Eater? Have I done penance enough?

        Elena: [calmly] My name is Elena. I am a doctor. Do you know where you are?

        Caspian: No. Tell me. [the feel of it, like he's amused but keeping it tamped down]

        Elena: You are in an asylum for the criminally insane.

        Caspian: Yes. [humor and rational strength] I suppose that makes sense. What land is this asylum in?

        Elena: Romania.

        Caspian: [emotionlessly] I do not know that domain. How long has it been since Kumtal?

        Elena: [carefully] I... am sorry, I don't know what you mean. It's Nineteen Ninety-six, though, if that helps.

        Caspian: I do not understand that number. [thoughtful] So the Great Battle is lost to history. My sacrifice is forgotten. [mild indignation] That I should live to see this day...

        Elena: Tell me... about the battle.

        Caspian: [dismissively] I told the Pain Eater all of this already.

        Elena: [lightly] Then tell me too!

        Caspian: [huffy] You wouldn't understand. What do you know of immortality? The burden of power? The responsibility of leadership? What do you know of guilt? Of loss? Of pain so deep that nothing but oblivion can wash it away! [enunciates clearly with dismissal] What do you know of war?

        Elena: Tell me. Make me understand. Start at the beginning.

        [Caspian takes a long breath]

        Track 04

        Very well. But would you please release me from my bonds? I'm no threat to you.

        Elena: [amused snort] I don't think so.

        Caspian: What has he... [inhales] What have I done that I should be restrained? Actually, forget it. I don't wanna know. I shall tell you my story, then maybe you will understand.

        [Horses neighing, clashing blades, the roar of many fighting men, music drumming background]


        I thought the name would last forever. That the memory of what we did that day would reverberate through the ages. The land ran thick with blood, the air was full of Quickening fire. [electric crackles] I lost so many brothers that day.

        [suddenly all background noise stops, except the dripping of water and running of recorder?]

        Sorry. You said to start at the beginning.

        The first thing you need to understand is that I am an Immortal. You can stab me, crush me, drown me, bury me alive, and I will come back. [long inhale] The only way to kill me is to sever my head from my body. And I'm not the only one. There are more of us than you may think. And we're at war. This is not a conventional war of armies and battles, it is a free-for-all. An endless round of trial by combat, whittling away our numbers gradually until one of us will remain.

        But once, back before recorded time, things were different.

        To raise an army, you need something to fight for. A city to defend. A country to invade.

        [bgm musical note of tension begins again]

        You must understand that this was a world without countries, cities, or even towns. There were only small settlements of nomadic tribes. Raiding parties were as bad as it ever got. No one had even conceived such a thing as an army.

        Until Karniel. [name said as three distinct syllable. Kar ni el.] I suppose he was a visionary of sorts, ahead of his time. A man who saw the shape of things to come. When I first heard his name I had no idea that our destinies were to be linked so closely.

        I was an ordinary man. I grew up in a valley tribe. [another layer added to bgm] We hunted Auroch and deer, ate fish from the river and berries from the bushes. Food was plentiful. Our only threat came from predators. Our tools were made of wood, stone, and bronze. The only weapons we had were designed for hunting, not fighting. [amusement in tone increases] I'd never seen a sword! Can you imagine that, Elena? To grow up to adulthood having never seen a weapon designed to kill another human being? [voice echoes on last word]

        Elena: [sounding somewhat shocked] No. Not I can't.


        [music becomes sad and sweetly lovely, I think I hear a harp]

        I first saw a sword on a bright spring morning. The sun was warm and high, the pasture grass wet beneath my feet, the air fresh with the scent of blossom and flowers. It was a beautiful day. [birds chirping] Then I heard the hoofbeats. [rumble] They were distant at first, like a far-off thunder. As they grew louder, it took me a few moments to realize what I was hearing. I had never heard so many horses riding together before. No one had. [music has turned ominous] I turned to run, knowing deep down that such a noise could only mean death. But the tide overtook me.

        It is ironic, I suppose, but there were so many of them, and only... one... of me.

        Elena: [confused] Ironic?

        It was their collective determination to trample me to death that saved my life. If they'd stopped for a moment, if the noise hadn't been so deafening, if I'd met only a scout or a raiding party, they would have realized that I was an Immortal. But in their haste, they trampled me to a pulp and left me broken and dead in the mud they'd left behind them.

        Track 05

        [peaceful, birds chirping] [Caspian's voice echoes as he narrates his past]
        When I awoke, reborn, [grunt of returning to life] I barely even considered my survival. I assumed I must have been lucky. I was more concerned about my tribe. [sound of scrabbling] When I reached our camp all I found were corpses and ash. My father lay by the stream, a long piece of metal sticking out of him. [a human voice is added to the bgm, wordless] I could see there was a handle at the end, so I grasped it and pulled it free... [squick, clank] almost hoping that he would return to life once it was removed. He did not.

        [inhales] The sword was short and stubby, fashioned from bronze and covered in nicks and scratches where it had met bone or other swords. I did not know who the men were who had ridden through here, nor why they had done this awful thing, but I vowed to find the owner of this sword, and bury it in his heart. [note of violence to his voice]

        Elena: Did you?

        [smugly] Oh, yes. I found Karniel in the end.

        Elena: Who was he?

        An Immortal like me, impossibly old. I remember he seemed uncomfortable when he spoke, as if language itself was new to him and he did not quite understand it. When he was born, I do not think mankind made anything but the most basic sounds. But primitive though he was, he realized the power an Immortal could wield.

        I do not know how long it must have taken him to build his army. Centuries perhaps before he felt the time was right to begin his campaign. Even now, to think what it must have taken to keep so many Immortals unified under a common banner... It's astounding.

        I once rode with three other Immortals. It was a miracle we never killed each other. But Karniel kept nearly two hundred Immortals in thrall to his leadership. He must have killed hundreds more, those... who would not follow him, those... who joined his army but proved disruptive. How many heads did he take as examples to the rest of what would happen if they disobeyed him. No one since has even come close to what he achieved. An Immortal army. He should have ruled the world.

        Elena: What stopped him?

        [long moment]

        I did.


        [chime that slowly fades out]

        Enigma: What do you know of me, Caspian?

        Caspian: Only what the legends tell.

        Enigma: And what is that?

        Caspian: [inhales] That when an Immortal finds the burden too heavy to bear, you relieve them of it.

        Enigma: Hm.

        Caspian: You... take away their pain and despair and... make them whole again.

        Enigma: And this is what you seek? To be released from your pain?

        Caspian: I do.

        Enigma: What is it that torments you so?

        Caspian: [moment] A voice. In my head.

        Enigma: Whose voice, brother?

        Caspian: His name is Karniel.

        Enigma: And why does he torment you so?

        Caspian: I took his head. But I paid a terrible price... for now, he won't leave mine.

        Enigma: Huh. I see. His was a powerful Quickening?

        Caspian: [deep inhale] The strongest I've ever felt. It... changed me.

        Enigma: Tell me. Have you ever heard of the Dark Quickening.

        Caspian: No.

        Enigma: When an Immortal takes the Quickening of another, they absorb their energy, their consciousness, their emotions. In the moments before sleep, the voices of those you have killed return to haunt you. I-it is a curse we all share. [Caspian breathes out hard] But the rest of the time, they stay hidden. Buried within us. Part of us, but only a small part. Sometimes, however, that is not the case. As an Immortal takes heads, the Quickening builds up inside him like... water held by a dam. Most of the time, it is not a problem. After all, taking heads is what we are born to do, we are designed for this, but... sometimes... one time in a million, perhaps, the pressure is too much. The dam bursts, the personalities and emotions of those we have killed come... pouring out and we drown in their rage. [inhales] No matter how pure of heart you may be, if you take the heads of a thousand Immortals who crave only destruction, then, you will, eventually, be overwhelmed by them. You will become them; a composite of all their darkest thoughts and then... an Immortal takes your head. Your madness hits them in one burst, and they too are overwhelmed. And so the darkness lives on, passed... like an infection... from host, to host, down the ages.

        Caspian: You believe that is what happened to me... That I am... infected?

        Enigma: It seems likely.

        Caspian: Is there a cure?

        Enigma: [takes a deep breath] Perhaps. [moment] The process can work both ways. If you are able to take the heads of a thousand Immortals as honest and pure as the day is long, then... you would perhaps counteract the darkness within you, find some... equilibrium again. Of course, to slay so many righteous Immortals may take you a hundred lifetimes, and only the strongest, vilest, most ruthless of men could take so many heads... [insinuatingly] To cure your madness that way, Caspian, you would have to surrender to it, utterly.

        Caspian: [shuddering] Oh, this is what I've done! For millennia I've done... terrible things. Taken so many heads, spilled so much innocent blood. [inhales] And as the centuries have passed, I've felt stronger, more able to resist Karniel's voice. Not for long, but sometimes I've kept him at bay for days, even weeks. [sharp inhale] It is during these periods of lucidity that I have sought you. Perhaps this is the process you speak of. The light building up inside me. [sharp inhale] Must I keep killing the righteous until I am saved? Can I justify that? When I'm whole again, will I be able to live with these things I've done? [sob on the last word] Is there no other way?!

        Enigma: There is... a shortcut. But there are great risks.

        Caspian: I do not care about risks.

        Enigma: So be it. We shall retire for the night. My fellow monks will tend to your needs, tomorrow... we shall begin.

        [The distant whistle of the wind, Caspian breathes in and fights for control, or sleeps trapped in nightmare]

        [Karniel's distorted voice whispers to him] You think you will be free of me, Horseman? [laughter] Never! [laughter continues with the words] I shall always be with you! Always! Always!

        Caspian: No!!

        Track 06

        [monks chanting in distance, crackling sound]

        Enigma: Good morning, Brother. Are you rested?

        Caspian: [wearily] No. I couldn't sleep. Every time I closed my eyes, all I could hear was Karniel. The urge to take up a sword and slaughter every soul in this place was almost too strong to resist. Had your attendants waited even another hour, I think I would have greeted them quite differently.

        Enigma: [wryly] You are lucky you did not. The monks here could rip your head from your shoulders with their bare hands without breaking a sweat.

        Caspian: [puzzled] Where have you brought me?

        Enigma: This chamber lies at the heart of the monastery. There are no windows this deep in the structure, only thick stone walls and heavy oak doors.

        Caspian: And that smell? [amused] Is that part of some ritual?

        Enigma: Not really. It's incense. It's... to mask the stench of lantern smoke. Piotch! The door.

        [the sound of a very heavy door being closed and locked]

        Enigma: Piotch, here, is only newly Immortal. Yet he is a faithful acolyte. You are now trapped in here, Caspian. The monks outside will not open the door unless I tell them to. If the process does not work, if... you threaten my life, I will sacrifice myself rather than release you. If Piotch and I die, then the doorway will be sealed with stone. You will be bricked up in here for eternity. [moment] Do you wish to proceed?

        Caspian: I do.

        [movement, clattering]

        Enigma: As I explained to you yesterday, Quickening energy has many... unique properties. Has it ever struck you how similar it seems to lightning? Here in the mountains we get many storms. I've seen many temples and monasteries burn after lightning has struck them. But the Sinhalese temples of Anuradhapura never burn, Caspian. This is because they build them with a copper tip on the roof. This metal somehow channels the lightning safely through the building and into the ground. Now... it occurred to me some years past, that if a bolt of lightning can be channeled and controlled, perhaps the Quickening can, too...

        Caspian: [considering] You intend to stick a copper needle into my heart?

        Enigma: [softly] No. Into your brain.

        Caspian: What?!

        Enigma: [quickly] Do not be afraid, Brother.

        [music going tense]

        Caspian: [ferally] This device...[hissed inhale] I've seen it before. [rage/panic] Gods, I remember you! I remember!

        Enigma: [commands] Piotch! The spear please!

        [steps, wet impact, Caspian cries out in pain]

        Caspian: [thickly] Aow, augh! ***Why... you betray me?!

        Enigma: [calmly] The process, as you recall, is incredibly painful. [Caspian's breathing is choked...] It will be easier if you are dead, at the time. When you are reborn, Caspian, you will literally be a new man. [chuckles nastily] As you were when we first met, all those centuries ago... [centuries ago repeats in echoes again and again]

        Caspian: I won't let you! [birds twittering] I won't let you! Get out of my head! You can't make me do it! I won't! I can't! Aaaah! I kill myself first! I will! Oh yes! [sound of metal, a thunk] Aargh! Aaaah! [body falling. A fly buzzes.]

        [Crickets chirp] [Caspian gasps back to life]

        Caspian: [vocal tones are not the same. Bewildered. Young.] Where?!

        Enigma: Good evening.

        Caspian: [young] Evening... [moment] Is it evening?! [breathes] Evening.

        Enigma: Would you like some food? This piglet is cooked through. [sound of piglet being poked onto something]

        Caspian: [scattered] Pig... stuck pig skewer blood [voice getting deeper] sword... Where's my sword?

        Enigma: I have it here. I think I will hold onto it, if I may.

        Caspian: [snarls viciously]

        Enigma: You were part of the big fight, were you not? Kamtal?

        Caspian: [snarling voice with strange overtones] Part of it? I finished it with a single stroke of my sword! [deeper contemptuous snarl] Your sword... [lighter] My sword! Killer! [deeper] Monster! [different accent rolls the r] Take your head and drink your blood!

        Enigma: You are plagued by demons.

        Caspian: [shouts] I am a demon!!

        Enigma: [authoritatively] I have some experience with such things. I can cast out the evil spirit if you will allow me.

        Caspian: [overtones] Cast me out... [young voice] Please yes. Please! [overtones] Try it, little man! The only way to cast me out is to take his head! [younger] Yes, do that! Kill me! Anything! Just make him be quiet!!

        Enigma: Some of my mortal patients died, but most were cured. I have never performed the procedure on an Immortal, but at least I need not fear your death.

        Caspian: [overtones] Come near me, and I'll rip your head off with my bare hands! [young] Kill me again! Restrain me! Do it! Do it!

        Enigma: As you wish! [metal noises, stabbing, cry of pain]

        Caspian: [dying] Thank you... [thud] [Dramatic musical note]

        [birds cheep and twitter, crows caw. Caspian gasps back to life. As Enigma speaks, he struggles and makes frightened noises]

        Enigma: Welcome back. This process is called trepanation. I have to drill a hole in your skull. It will help to release the evil spirit that torments you. [Caspian snarls] The apparatus is simple. This cross screw will fix the wooden frame firmly to the top of your head. Once it is attached I will turn this central screw that will be sitting above you. At the bottom of the screw is a circular metal blade, sharp and serrated. It will only take a moment for it to slice through your scalp, and then you will feel it cutting the bone! [noises of beginning] Be strong, friend! The pain will soon pass. And your troubles... will be over. [crunching sound and Caspian screams into gag] [Quickening noises and it seems as though Enigma screams, too]

        Track 07
        [Romania, asylum]

        Karniel's army swept across the land like a plague. Nothin' could stop them. I followed in their wake, trying to catch up with them. I saw devastation on a scale I had never imagined possible. Of course I saw Europe after D-Day, and what Karniel achieved was nothin' next to that. But for his time, he set a new benchmark for brutality and subjugation. One day, I met a fellow Immortal. His name was Bram, and he, like me, had been killed by Karniel's army and left for dead. His immortality missed in all that chaos. Unlike me, Bram had died before many times, and he was able to tell what I was. He was a good friend. A mentor. Together we set out in pursuit of the army.

        The closer we got to Karniel's forces, the more we realized that the only way to defeat him was to form an army of our own.

        Elena: [skeptically] Another Immortal army. How many of you guys are there?

        [laughs] No. We hadn't had the time or, to be honest, the ability to assemble such a force. Our army would have to be mortal. But they would have to be prepared for the enemy they would face. Bram and I took horses and managed to get ahead of Karniel and caught up with the tide of refugees fleeing his approach. It did not take much for us to persuade them to stand and fight. In essence, combat was no different. They killed Immortals just like anybody else. They just had to cut off their heads before they returned to life.

        We marked ourself with blue dye to distinguish ourselves from our enemies as we massed at the plain of Kamtal. There were a thousand of us. Maybe twenty Immortals, the rest ordinary men and women, standing their ground against the tide of darkness. Each of our Immortal warriors had a cadre of mortals attached to them. They would encircle and protect them while they were incapacitated by Quickenings.

        Elena: [alertly] Quickenings?

        When an Immortal takes the head of another Immortal, they absorb their Quickening. It's sort of their life force, their energy, their soul. But it's more than that. The victor gets a part of the loser's personality; their hopes, fears, memories. They become a part of the winner. Taking another Immortal's Quickening is a transcendent experience... but it can come at a terrible cost.

        Anyway, as our army waited for the enemy to ride onto the plain, I gave a speech to the troops. All who died that day I said, would die in the light. But in reality they died in mud, squalor and agony.

        [Horses neighing, clashing of weapons, men shouting]

        It was a long fight. Bram and I fought side by side, cutting a swathe through the enemy's forces. I'd never fought before, and Bram had only had a few scant weeks to train me, but I found it came naturally to me. I took so many heads that day. Maybe fifteen in an hour! My first Quickening was a woman, I remember. But they all blur into one. I remember feeling so powerful, invincible, unstoppable, truly alive for the first time ever!

        Bram and I fought our way to Karniel. We had heard the tales of his brutality and strength, so we were surprised to find a short, powerfully built man swinging an enormous sword around him in a constant arc of blood. He was dripping with gore and smiling as he fought. He seemed truly happy in that fray. Bram attacked first, as we had rehearsed, with a phalanx of mortals surrounding us, creating an arena so we would be undisturbed. I stood aside, ready to step in if Bram were defeated.

        The fight lasted over an hour. He was so strong and agile, more skilled with a sword than Bram. Then I stepped into the arena, the tears I'd shed for my dead mentor not yet dry. I fought like a man possessed. I had briefed the mortals with us, and when it looked like Karniel would defeat me also, I gave the order.

        The circle of men surrounding us turned inwards and, as one, closed on Karniel, and skewered him on a circle of twenty swords. Then I stepped forward and took the bastard's head. [metallic swing, wet slice, crackle of Quickening, intensifying music]

        Elena: [throaty] So you did it. You defeated him.

        In a way. But you remember, I told you about Quickenings, and how you absorb some essence of the Immortal you have killed.

        Elena: Yes.

        With Karniel, it was different. More powerful than anything I had ever experienced. It was... as if I absorbed him entirely. Instead of becoming a tiny part of me, he took up residence inside my head, and drove me utterly, irretrievably, insane.

        Elena: Is he the reason you're here? Did he make you kill all those people?

        [amused laugh] In a way! But it's more complicated than that. You see, once I had taken Karniel's head, I was consumed with bloodlust, not thinking straight, overcome with rage and hatred. I turned my sword on my allies, mortal and Immortal alike, good or bad I killed every single person that came within reach. Eventually I fled the battlefield, trying to quell the voice in my head.

        Every soul that survived that battle was now my enemy, and I was hunted. I did not know where I was running to, I just kept going, trying to stay ahead of the lynch mobs that were chasing me down: one to take revenge on me for killing their leader; the other, for betraying them at the moment of victory. And then, one night, I met a man. I did not learn his name, only that he was a doctor of sorts. He promised to free me from the demon that possessed me.

        I should have never accepted his aid.

        Track 08

        [sounds of water dripping?]

        Enigma: What do you remember of that first procedure, Caspian?

        Caspian: [inhales] Skull give way with a sharp crack and the drill bite, Just for a moment, into my living brain. There was a huge burst of noise and blue light the sound of a Quickening and you screamed. [inhales hard] My vision swam, my ears roared, and the world span around me! I felt something in me change, something... flowing out of me. A feeling of immense and irreplaceable loss... and then darkness. And fury, and rage! Blood!! And... death incarnate... for a thousand years.

        Enigma: This time, you are bound to a far sturdier frame. The brackets on either side of your head are firmer than the ones I... improvised by firelight. [footsteps] And as you can see, the drill head is now composed of diamonds... not metal, for obvious reasons. But essentially, it is the same as it was all those centuries ago when we met in the aftermath of the Great Battle.

        Caspian: No gag this time, though.

        Enigma: [softly] No, it was not necessary.

        Caspian: Was the procedure a success?

        Enigma: Do you feel different? [Caspian hesitates] Has he gone?

        Caspian: Yes... he... he is, yes. [relief pours through] Gods, yes! [joy] I'd forgotten what it felt like to have a quiet mind!

        Enigma: You will forgive me if I do not take your word for it just yet. There is... a chance, a slim chance, that the procedure misfired. [discomfited] I may have drained away everything except the evil. But I do not think so. The vessel was entirely deranged when we took him away.

        Caspian: [confused] Vessel?

        Enigma: [choosing words carefully] Quickening energy cannot be destroyed. Merely... channeled. Moved. Directed elsewhere. I used copper needles and wire to tap into your brain, and drain the evil out of you. But it had to go somewhere. Piotch now holds everything I removed. He is the bottle that holds the genie, if you will. [moment] The big question is... What remains of you? [Caspian breathes uncertainly.] How is your head, brother?

        Caspian: [strained a little] I do not... I don't feel like I used to... I feel calm. The voice is gone, but still, I am not who I was.

        Enigma: Naturally. The person you are now is a composite of all the good Immortals you have slain. The original Caspian left you long ago.

        Caspian: [blink blink] I don't understand.

        Enigma: [quietly] Don't you? [stronger] Think about what you heard during our first encounter.

        Caspian: [inhales] I remember... you drilling into my brain and then... [music cue of realization hitting, dumbfounded silence]

        Enigma: Finally, he understands.

        Caspian: [shocked] The Quickening! You drained my energy then! Didn't you?

        Enigma: It was an accident, I assure you. I had never performed trepanation on an Immortal before. I had no idea what would occur! But! As the metal of the screw hit your brain, it released your Quickening. Or, a part of it at least. The good part. The part that was fighting the darkness.

        Caspian: And it flowed into you!

        Enigma: All your goodness. All your nobility and courage! Your... heroism and compassion filled me up like a gourd! You were the first Immortal to ever surrender your Quickening, without surrendering your head. If people knew this, and if Kamtal was still remembered, you would be a legend twice over. As it is... when I recovered you were raving, tearing yourself free of the frame with such strength... that I took fright and fled. [moment. Wistfully] We were both changed by that day. You began a reign of terror that led you to despair, and to my door. I began a ministry that made me the only man alive who could help you. The cycle that began a thousand years ago is closed. Our entwined destinies have brought us full circle, brother. And... you are my brother! For we are both, in a sense, Caspian of Kamtal.

        Caspian: So now, what happens...? I do not know who I am, now. But I'm cleansed. You've given me the chance to begin again, to build a life that makes amends for the bloodshed and misery I've wrought. [sincerely] Thank you.

        Enigma: You are welcome. [moment] I shall untie your bonds, and dress your wound... and we shall eat. We have much... to discuss.

        Track 09

        [monks chanting, chimes tinkling]

        Enigma: Well! You have been with us now for two months, brother! Tell me, what've you learned?

        Caspian: [strong now.. confident. Hostile?] That your hospitality is boundless... [Enigma chuckles] That the monks here are entirely in your thrall... [Enigma says "Hoh!" in amusement] That everything you require is provided without question, and uh, anyone to whom you extended your protection is treated like a god!

        Enigma: [merrily] I meant about yourself!

        Caspian: You've taught me techniques of meditation and mental control, tutored me in martial arts, and the mysteries of chi!

        Enigma: And why do you think I've taught you these things.

        Caspian: To help me heal?

        Enigma: No. More than that.

        Caspian: To help me find peace.

        Enigma: More. Even than that.

        Caspian: Unity...!

        Enigma: Yes, brother. If your mind, and body, are one, then you shall find great peace, and great power, should you need it! You have progressed well. It will soon be time for you to leave me, and begin your new life. [moment] You have... one last lesson to learn, however. And the young lady who arrived this morning will provide the opportunity.

        Caspian: Who is she?

        Enigma: Her name... is Ashka. She has sought me out, as you did, in the hope of peace. Her husband has been killed. She is four hundred years old, and she has grown tired of the Game.

        Caspian: [an empathic breath] Can you help her?

        Enigma: Yes, but... Unlike you, she is not suffering from a form of possession. Hers is a simpler malady, and a simpler one to cure. She has simply lost the will to live. I will, I am afraid, have to dispense a more usual treatment.

        Caspian: [slight menace, suspicion] Which... is?

        Enigma: Follow me, and you shall see for yourself. [BGM has slight note of threat] [footsteps]

        [background noises have changed, no more chanting. Creaks and doors opening, closing]

        Enigma: This is your final lesson, Brother Caspian. Describe what you see.

        Caspian: Is she... conscious?

        Enigma: Yes. For now. Describe her.

        Caspian: Hmm. You shaved her head, assuming she didn't arrive like that. She's in yellow monk's robes, and she's tied to the trepanation frame, as I was.

        Enigma: What else?

        Caspian: [raises his voice, directing it at Ashka] Are you alright?

        Enigma: She will not speak to you, Caspian. Look into her eyes. What do you see?

        Caspian: [inhales deep] Nothin'! Nothin' at all!

        Enigma: When she arrived here, she told me her story, and asked me to end her suffering. From the moment I agreed, she has not said a single word. She has allowed her despair to claim her utterly. But, can you see the peace in her eyes? The calm of her acceptance?

        Caspian: [moment] No. [moment] I see only a husk where a woman used to be.

        Enigma: Do you not see the beauty of her perfect despair?

        Caspian: [thoughtfully] I see only a shell, brother.

        Enigma: Huh. [quietly] I thought you of all people would understand. [sighs] No matter. [more firmly] This is the final lesson. [creak, preaching] I shall take her despair from her, cleanse her, ready for a new life. Please, pass me that metal skullcap. The one hanging there with the wires. [metal squeaking] Yes, that one. Thank you. [arranging noises] Now the screw, please. [creaking noises]

        Caspian: [Nervously] Sh-shouldn't you kill her first? The pain...!

        Enigma: She is past that. She no longer feels any pain. [low voice to Ashka] Do you, child?

        Caspian: [understanding begins] That cap... You're going to drain her despair into yourself, aren't you? You're going to be her vessel...

        Enigma: Of course. I am the Pain Eater. [slightly eager? High?] It is my calling. All I do is insert these needles into the correct parts of her brain, and... [squishy sound, his little noise of pleasure] [Then he screams as Quickening begins, sounds rises and echoes painfully]

        Track 10

        [chimes tinkle, a bell rings and echoes, eventually monks can be heard chatting. Chimes keep tinkling at intervals]

        Enigma: You were shocked by what occurred earlier, weren't you?

        Caspian: I did not expect that, no. What will happen to Ashka now?

        Enigma: She is a blank slate. She has no memories, or personality of her own. She will stay here with us, and learn to be a new person. She has been reborn, Caspian. It is a beautiful thing.

        Caspian: And that is my final lesson? To witness that?

        Enigma: [gravely] It was. You now know the truth of my calling.

        Caspian: But why show me that?

        Enigma: To explain my reasons, I must return to our first meeting.

        When I left my village, newly Immortal, knowing nothing of who, or what I was, I was already a doctor. I had performed trepanation many times, and was a respected man in my tribe. I was not a man of violence, you understand, but a man of peace. Of healing. When I was caught up in the battle... at Kamtal...

        Caspian: Wait...! You were actually there at the battle?

        Enigma: I fought by your side, Brother Caspian. [BGM becomes menacing, Enigma's tones stronger] You would not remember me, we never exchanged so much as a greeting, but I was one of your army that day. It was the first time I had ever held a sword. I witnessed your battle with Karniel, and the madness which overcame you immediately thereafter. I led the pursuers away from you by laying a false trail, then doubled back and found you. I intended to use my skills to try and cure you. Instead, we both got more than we bargained for.

        [BGM increasing the tension]

        As I assimilated the new feelings I had unwittingly stolen from you, I found a calling. I would carry on your mission to protect the world from the kind of evil that Karniel and his kind would rain down on it! I decided I decided to form a brotherhood of Immortals! We would be the repository of all the world's learning! Bringing knowledge and aid to all who needed it! Compassion and humility were our watchwords! And they guided us as our numbers grew.

        Soon, there were five of us! And we began to achieve great things! I trepanned two of my brothers, experimenting with the secret I had learned in your procedure! I began to feel confident! I could bring some small peace of mind to even the most troubled souls!

        In one case, the procedure failed, and I ruined a man. Reduced him to little more than a shambling imbecile. But he was my only failure.

        My brothers and I brought irrigation to a village that was starving to death, taught herbal remedies to a tribe ravaged by parasites and infections! We were, you might say, life on horseback! The bringers of hope! Five horsemen. And then, one day, we met a new brother.

        A man of violence and cunning, full of hatred and jealousy. He was, if I had only realized, the very evil I had pledged to oppose. He betrayed me, destroyed my brotherhood. Cast me out and drove me into hiding!

        Chastened, I abandoned my ideas of ministry, and settled instead on building a simple life for myself in a new village. [wistfully] They were the happiest fifty years of my life, watching over that community. I tended it and nurtured it, birthed its children and buried its dead, planted its crops and prepared its food. Laughed... and sang... and loved. For a while... I created paradise.

        Then one day that treacherous brother of mine rode into our village with his new brotherhood. And they destroyed it all.

        Caspian: [inhales and asks softly] What did you do?

        Enigma: [also inhales, voice throaty] He let me live, this traitor... but swore that he would find me again in fifty years and kill everyone around me. I knew I had to hide somewhere he would never find me. My travels brought me here.

        [stronger] I cannot explain to you the depths of the despair I felt after my village was destroyed by that man and his cronies. I considered suicide, but how? I could offer my head to another Immortal, but I did not wish to gift my Quickening to any Immortal who would slay me! I could see no way out. But, my dilemma provided me with the inspiration for a new ministry. I would use my knowledge to alleviate the despair other Immortals felt after similar losses. I became the Pain Eater.

        Caspian: [thoughtfully] And this is how you help them? By cutting them open and draining their Quickening?

        Enigma: I free them from despair and pain, Caspian, by absorbing it myself. Can you imagine the burden I carry. I have absorbed the despair of nearly five hundred lost souls. I am brimful of agony, brother! Sometimes, after a procedure I crackle with Quickening for days. It... You will notice I am eating with chopsticks. Pass me your knife.

        [electricity crackles, the knife clatters]

        Caspian: Gods!

        Enigma: [chuckles] I am literally alive with despair, Caspian! It is my burden. And I carry it for them. It is... my penance.

        Caspian: Penance? What do you have to atone for?

        Enigma: For you, Caspian. And Kronos. And Silas. Even Methos. You see, I set out to spread love, and wisdom, compassion and harmony, throughout the world. Instead, I sowed the land with War, and Famine, Pestilence, and Death. One by one. One... mistake at a time... I created the Four Horsemen. Every drop of blood you spilt is on my hands. And no amount of water can ever wash them clean.

        [chair pushed back hard, Caspian on his feet?]

        Caspian: [voice savage] How long have you known?!

        Enigma: Who you are? Since the day I saw you drive a sword into the belly of the woman I loved as your friends... burned my village to the ground!

        Caspian: Then who--

        Enigma: [fury] Kronos! He was the one who betrayed me.

        Caspian: [realizes, remembers] Dilijan. [who chuckles] You're Dilijan! Kronos made us spend centuries hunting for you!

        Dilijan: [gloating] And all the time you were hunting for me too! But as the Pain Eater!

        Caspian: [stunned] Then... Kine... You sent him!

        Dilijan: Indeed. I... inadvertently... created your depraved band of killers. It took me a long time to work out how to destroy it. It wasn't until you stopped moving and settled down that an opportunity presented itself.

        Caspian: But why split us up? Why not kill us?!

        Dilijan: For the same reason I'm not going to kill you now. [low menace] I want you to suffer, Caspian! I want you to feel what I felt! True despair and misery! Insupportable loss! I gave you back your sanity, Caspian, so that you could truly comprehend what you'll lose when I take it away again! [crashing noises, a cup shatters] Careful, brother. [his voice starts to echo] Mind your step. You look a bit unsteady! [chuckling] Anyone would think you'd eaten something that disagreed with you! [chuckling, alarm music rises, Caspian's body thuds]

        Track 11

        [words, echoing and reverberating, only two, until they become clear finally.

        Dilijan: Wake up, brother. Time to die. Again.

        Caspian: [inhales] Where am I?

        Dilijan: Back in the trepanation room.

        Caspian: [feebly] Why?

        Dilijan: I took something from you. I think I should give it back. You remember Piotr, don't you? [footsteps] The hapless soul I used as a vessel for all your darkest impulses? [Caspian grunts with effort, amusing him] Oh don't bother, don't bother. You're tied fast. What do you think of my machine? It's a means of execution! The blade, as you can see, is fixed into a weighted wooden slat, held up by a rope. The victim lies with their head in this groove, and the executioner just... releases the rope! Down comes the blade and... chop! I thought maybe I'd call it... a gibbet! Uh, you'll understand when my friend here lets go and separates poor Piotr's head from his body. I, I could use the wires, but these vessels of mine get all used up in the end. Piotr's no more use to me. So! I thought I'd do it the old-fashioned way.

        Caspian: Why are you doing this, Dilijan?! You know I'm not the same man who rode with Kronos! Not anymore! You saw to that! It's Karniel you want to punish, and he's gone! The monster you want to make suffer is trapped in that body there!

        Dilijan: [furious] And yet the man who killed my Eva looks so very much like you!

        Caspian: [hoarse with terror] I beg you! I beg you, please don't do this!

        Dilijan: Ohhph!

        Caspian: Let me make amends! Let me start again! I was never an evil man, I only wanted to keep people safe!

        Enigma: Well you failed, Horseman!

        Caspian: [shrieks] I saved the world at Kamtal!

        Enigma: And yet, if you're remembered for anything in the ages to come, it will be for the reign of terror you inflicted on the world when you rode with Kronos! That is your achievement, that is your, your legacy! Not a battle no one remembers anymore! And I'm going to ensure that your name lives forever, as a byword for unthinking depravity, and bottomless evil! I'm going to give your darkness back to you, Caspian. [chuckles at the whimpers]

        Caspian: Please! [Dilijan graduates to full-blown laughter] No, please! I don't want to do those things! Kill me! Just kill me! I'd rather die than be that man again! Just... kill me!

        Dilijan: [gleeful gloating] And there it is! The despair! [Caspian weeps] Do you feel it, Horseman? Do you feel what I felt?! Does it feel good? [increasingly cruel, evil] With all the misery I have absorbed from all those pathetic fools who seek my aid, I think maybe... I've become a little addicted to it. I like the way it tastes! And yours is... [laughs nastily] so very delicious! Would you really like me to kill you?

        Caspian: [brokenly] Anything! Anything but going back to what I was!

        Dilijan: [calmly] Alright then. I will. I'll take this apparatus you're so familiar with, and I'll drill into you again. Th-this time, I'll take all the goodness I left behind last time. I'll... hollow you out, Caspian! Leave you an empty vessel! [gloating louder] I'll kill all the kindness and love you ever had inside of you! Then I'll fill you up again with all the darkness! [laughs] All the ground you've won back in the last thousand years will be taken from you! [more gloating] All you'll have left will be your memories! Maybe... maybe in another thousand years, I'll find you again! [closer] You should be ripe for another session by that point. [cackles]

        [the wet crunching sounds as Dilijan starts the process]

        Caspian: [horrified pleading] Please no! Please... no! [he screams into Dilijan's evil laughter]

        [the Quickening crackles, and comes the sound of the gibbet's blade dropping, and of Piotr's head coming off. The Quickening begins and Dilijan laughs, and laughs.]

        Track 12

        Elena: So let me get this straight. You are Immortal.

        Caspian: [drawl, emphasis on the last t] That's right.

        Elena: You led a prehistoric army and killed a monster which drove you insane.

        Caspian: Mmhm!

        Elena: Then you met this Pain Eater guy... he screwed you up even more. And you spent a thousand years riding with these four horsemen as the personification of Famine.

        Caspian: [cheerfully] Rrrright!

        Elena: Why Famine, by the way?

        Caspian: I was the last to join. The others were already Death, War and Pestilence. Famine sounded cooler than Drought, or Heat Wave.

        Elena: Hm. Then after your little gang broke up, you met the Pain Eater again and he fixed you--

        Caspian: Mmhmm?

        Elena: --but only so he could break you again as revenge for destroying his village paradise.

        Caspian: Yes.

        Elena: Right. Well, we agree on one thing.

        Caspian: What's that?

        Elena: You are most definitely insane.

        Caspian: [laughs merrily] You should have more faith in yourself! Your machine worked, Elena! You regressed me as intended! The person you are speaking to now is the person I used to be! I am not the insane version of myself. Although... [gleefully] he's still in here! I can feel him banging at the walls of his prison, screaming to be let out! [lightly] I don't know how long I can keep him at bay.

        Elena: I better be quick then. The big question I need to ask is why.

        Caspian: 'scuse me?

        Elena: You told me you didn't want to know why you were incarcerated here. It's simple: you're a serial killer. The police found your freezer stuffed with body parts. How does that fit into your... little fantasy? Did the Pain Eater brainwash you into cannibalism?

        Caspian: [sternly] What body parts?

        Elena: Heads.

        Caspian: In what condition?

        Elena: Frozen, obviously.

        Caspian: [amused] But intact. Were their skulls intact?

        Elena: [slightly huffy] You know they weren't.

        Caspian: [thoughtful inhale] Then there must have been a sealed room somewhere. Did the police find anything like that? A sealed room full of apparatus?

        Elena: Yes, they found the killing room. Your basement was full of implements of torture! Racks, drills, a vat of acid. Even an Iron Maiden for God's sake!

        Caspian: [having broken into laughter after she spoke of the acid vat, he is starting to gloat] Oh, Elena! You fool! Haven't you listened to a word I've been sayin'? [exasperation?] That wasn't a killing room, and those weren't torture devices!

        Elena: What was it then?

        Caspian: It was a laboratory! I was experimenting. Those were heads of Immortals. I kept 'em as a record! They still had needles in place so I could recall what parts of the brain released what aspects of their Quickening! [inhales and says more thoughtfully] The acid vat... [huffily] That was a disappointment. I had hoped to store the energy for later use, like some kind of Quickening battery! [moment] But it never worked as it should. The comparisons between Quickening and electricity only take you so far. Their properties are similar, but not exactly the same. Obviously.

        Elena: [smugly] Thank you. That's what he was afraid of.

        Caspian: [coolly] What?

        Elena: My master cannot let you replicate his research. He told me to tell you that you're... hm... infringing his intellectual property rights. [proudly] From what I can gather from the crime scene reports, your dabbling can barely have recreated the effects he'd achieved two thousand years ago! Imagine what he has achieved with modern technology and unlimited resources! Imagine what he is capable of now!

        Caspian: [cheerfully pleased] So you are an acolyte of the Pain Eater! [interested] I did not sense your immortality when you enter... [amused] but of course... that was the new drugs you gave me... scrambled my senses. Yes?

        Elena: Something like that.

        Caspian: I knew though.

        Elena: Oh, really. How?

        Caspian: It was over two thousand years ago, but I never forget a face... Ashka.

        Elena: [big shock] What?! Nnno. You're lying!

        Caspian: He said you were an empty vessel. [moment] What's the first thing you remember?

        Elena: I...

        Caspian: How did you die? When did you take your first head? [tv show host style] What did you have for breakfast, Elena?

        Elena: [alarmed now] In the war! A Nazi storm trooper. Bagels and Cream cheese.

        Caspian: Fascinating! [amused] You really believe that. He has achieved a lot! I wonder... how much of Elena Meschowska is Quickening, and how much is hypnosis. I must ask him. [a blade slides out]

        Elena: [confident anger, a blade in hand] You won't be asking anyone anything, Horseman!

        Caspian: Before you behead me, let me ask my big question.

        Elena: [coldly] Knock yourself out.

        Caspian: I told you, that after the last meeting with the Pain Eater, all that was left was my memories. That my original persona was gone! So... how can this sane, balanced earlier version of myself be talkin' to you? [amused] Maybe I'm not. Maybe I've been faking this the whole time! [breaths] Maybe I'm as mad as I've always been. [dramatic inhale] Maybe I've just been talking to distract you while I use a screw I prized from the wall of my cell to cut through the leather straps binding my wrists!

        [Action! Cry of exertion, Elena cries out, the blade clatters, dramatic music, and the thudding as Caspian beats her.]

        Elena: No! [crash, choking sound]

        Caspian: [Voice grating with... rage/amusement] Empty vessel kept on ice for two thousand years, then filled up like a bucket in a well and sent to taunt me! You are not a human bein', you're just a message! A sacrifice!

        Elena: [with effort] What do you mean? Ah!

        Caspian: Think it through, acolyte! He must have known there was a good chance I'd recognize you! You're just a reminder! A sacrifice made to let me know that I'm still being watched, still being played with after all these centuries!

        Elena: [terrified] Let me go!

        [grunt of effort, she cries in fear, he heaves her against something and laughs happily]

        Caspian: [gleefully, the higher pitch of the wicked witch, rolling his rs] Not so fast, my pretty! [heavy breathy inhale] Oh, it's been so long since I tasted Quickening! [metal swish, schmoozy tone] Nice sword! Roman?

        Elena: [croaks] The guards...!

        Caspian: ... won't be able to get the door open with you wedged up against it! Anyway, they're probably asleep or watching ***hocky!

        Elena: [whimpers] Please! Don't hurt me!

        Caspian: [playfully, the witch's tones] Should I let you go...? Let you take a message back to your master?

        Elena: [whimpering still] Yes! Yes, give me a message! I'll deliver it for you!

        Caspian: Mmmmmmmmno! Takin' your head is good enough! [musedly] I imagine it is what he expected me to do anyway.

        Elena: Please, no!

        Caspian: Say goodnight, vessel! [swish of sword, Elena gasps, her head falls]

        [The Quickening begins, Caspian crying out as it crackles in the room]

        Caspian: Yeah! [laughing] Let me have it, baby! Give me that goooood stuff! [laughing, and the laughter in his head is that of different men, perhaps including Dilijan]

        Track 13
        Theme MUSIC
        CD Extra 03
        All the Music


        • #5
          2-4 Highlander: The Four Horsemen
          RELEASED APRIL 2011
          Written by James Moran
          Recorded on: 11, 12, 14 May, 4 & 24 June 2010
          Recorded at: The Moat Studios, Action Audio

          These stories take place prior to the events depicted in TV series episode Comes a Horseman, and a short time afterwards.

          Valentine Pelka (Kronos)
          Peter Wingfield (Methos)
          John Banks (Simon / Dorn / Nurse / Additional Voices)
          Toby Longworth (Dilijan / Kine)
          Tracy-Ann Oberman (Violetta)
          Richard Ridings (Silas)
          Marcus Testory (Caspian)

          Cover Artist Grant Kempster
          Director Ken Bentley
          Executive Producer Nicholas Briggs, Jason Haigh-Ellery
          Music Jamie Robertson
          Producer Paul Spragg
          Script Editor James Swallow
          Sound Design Paul Jones
          Written by James Moran
          Line Producer David Richardson
          Product Format: 4-disc CD (slipcover box set)
          Number of Discs: 4
          Duration: 240 minutes
          Physical Retail ISBN: 978-1-84435-536-5
          Production Code: BFPHLCD05

          2.4 The Promise, by James Moran
          A hi-tech laboratory in a skyscraper. Sterile. Cold. A man addicted to pain is restrained by one of his victims. In a moment he will face some aversion therapy. But first he will learn never to pick a fight with Death...

          Track 01

          [dramatic music, clashing of blades, panting, men's voices the occasional "Huh, hah!" gasps, and angry sounds]

          [A young man, light, unafraid, more bewildered than alarmed] Can't we at least talk about this? I don't even know your name. You don't know mine, either. Surely you can't kill a man if you don't know his name.

          [His opponent continues the attack, wordless but not soundless,"Gyah!" noises of fury. He is getting out of breath]

          I'll tell you what! Let's stop this and introduce ourselves properly and, then, if you decide that you still don't like me, we can draw our swords again! You know, I, I'm actually very likable once you get to know me! Honestly. Nobody's ever tried to kill me. Well, apart from that group of thieves, but th-that wasn't anything personal, it--

          [opponent attacks again, the man defends.]

          You're wasting your time anyway! I hate to break this to you, but, I seem to have a problem with dying, in that I can't! I, I mean I can, but I always recover. So, you can kill me if it makes you feel better, but you'll only get angry when I come back.

          [opponent furiously goes at him again. Swish swish swish "Gah!"]

          [alarmed] Talk to me! Why do we have to do this?! Look if I've said something to offend you, I apologize, unreservedly!

          Other: [infuriated] Shut up and fight!

          [panting with exertion, they both utter noises and cries, but the other is disarmed.]

          [breathing heavily] I win, you lose, we both live. Now just leave your sword where it is and be on your way.

          [the other does not, I imagine him glassy eyed, lips curled back from his teeth, as he goes for his sword]

          No, wait! Please! Don't pick it up! We can end this... as... friends! [panting] Don't make me do this, I beg you!

          [other attacks again with a long shout of rage]


          [slash, a wet beheading, a body falling heavily. Pained sigh.]

          You left me no choice, friend. [a rumble as of thunder] I, I'm sorry, but it was... either you or me. [the rumbling continues, and the crackle of energy starts] That's odd... Sounds like a storm, but... there aren't any... [gasps] Uh, uh... uh, uh uuuuuuuh! [the energy hits and overwhelms him.]

          Track 02

          Methos: We are Immortals. Born in the cradle of civilization to tribes that no longer exist.
          Silas: We are not alone. There are others like us. Some strong! Some weak.
          Kronos: For centuries we have fought and conquered, and the world has come to fear our names!
          Caspian: We cannot die. Unless you take our heads, and with it, our power.
          Methos: We are Death on Horseback.
          Silas: Bringers of Darkness!
          Caspian: The Four Horsemen.
          Kronos: In the end, there can be only us.
          [good music]

          Track 03

          [lots of computer-like noises, beepity-beeps and repeating crackly-noises]

          Dilijan: It must have been very confusing for you.

          Methos: [a touch bemused] Your fake sympathy is appreciated. But, yes. Ever since I could remember I'd been unable to die, now here was a complete stranger desperate to kill me for some reason. Unfortunately for him, I was the better swordsman. I'd had long enough to sharpen my skills, after all.

          Dilijan: [surprised] Then it's... not just an act! You really can't remember your first death! Rebirth!

          Methos: No. And thank goodness for that. I know, I know. For Immortals, it's the standard ice breaker, but it's so dull. It's always the same. [Inhales and intones dramatically] "Ohhh, I came back to life! It felt like I was a new man!" blah blah blah. [softly] But... I'll never forget that first Quickening.

          [dramatic music. His screams continue as the Quickening does]

          [wails in agony] Make it stop! Please! [but it goes on, and on and is there a nasty voice in that chaos?]

          I'd never known such pain. Such... madness. That's what it felt like. Madness. The other Immortal was very old, he'd taken a lot of heads. And all his knowledge was dumped into my mind at once so I could barely contain it! Some of it spilled out before I could even understand what it was!

          And in those brief moments, I learned... who we are. What we do. What I must do. How to survive. What it meant when I felt that strange tingling, the, the sign that another like me was close by. I learned it all. But it was just... dry knowledge. N-no context.

          I didn't know why! Why we existed! How it all started! Why we were like this! Just the basic rules.

          Just enough to keep me searching for answers for the rest of my life.

          I learned more over time, but I never understood why we couldn't just leave it alone! Wh-why do we have to fight? Win the Prize? Why can't we just live our lives and leave each other in peace? W-we're Immortals! It's a pretty good deal!

          What's so great about the Prize, anyway? Infinite knowledge, mortality, the ability to bear offspring. Brilliant. [getting sarcastic] So we have kids and then we die, essentially. No thanks. [moment] Infinite knowledge? That's what libraries are for! No? You can keep your prize!

          [the crackle of the Quickening begins to die down, he pants and gasps, strange little whispers in the air]

          Not the best start, perhaps. My very first Quickening and already I had no desire to claim the Prize. Most of us take thousands of years to get to that stage. [amused snort] I suppose you could say I was a quick study.

          Dilijan: But you made up for that. Maybe you didn't want the Prize, but there were other things you desired. Things you enjoyed.

          Methos: It wasn't like that. That's... not how it started, anyway.

          Dilijan: Enlighten me. I seem to be a captive audience. [clank of chains to point that out]

          Methos: Comfortable?

          Dilijan: No.

          Methos: [smugly] Good.

          Dilijan: There's no need to keep me tied up. I won't fight you.

          Methos: You'll understand if I don't take your word for it. And I want you to hear it; all of it. You owe me that much.

          It started with a pure, righteous act. [low anger] An act of revenge.

          Track 04

          [someone playing on a pipe. A goat or sheep bleats.]

          It was over a thousand years later. It was before I met you, before I met Kronos. I can't be exactly sure what year it was. I didn't really care at the time. I was in a bad place, emotionally. I was a freak of nature. I didn't want to die, but I certainly didn't want to live forever, and I had no desire to kill others like me. But... still, they came to seek me out! [sounds of battle, grunts of exertion, growls of Quickenings] Every now and again I'd feel that tingle, that odd sensation that told me another was approaching. Every time, I tried to engage them in conversation, tried to stop the inevitable... every time, they ignored me and forced me to take their head. [wet sound of a beheading]

          I thought I'd learn more each time I met another, but... they knew even less than I did! [horse snorts, children laughing] A bunch of ignorant fools, killing each other, blindly following the rules without the slightest idea why...

          I started combing through records, books, anything I could find for mention of others like me. I mean, maybe someone else had found something that could help me! I became friends... with a historian, who had heard rumors about our kind and had been doing his own research. I paid him to focus on certain areas, trying to guide him, hoping he could find out what I could not. And one day... he made a breakthrough.

          [noisy place. Tavern?]

          Simon: It's been... difficult! If these people exist, and, I'm beginning to suspect they do, then, they don't want to be found! They're protecting themselves! I mean, if you're a powerful godlike creature, people are going to be afraid of you! And when people are afraid of something, they... tend to... destroy it!

          Methos: Very true! Sadly. So what've you learned?

          Simon: I found some documents in the ruins of a castle. They were well-hidden and... very, very old! So fragile I worry they'll just... crumble away into dust! That's why I didn't dare bring them here! But they talk of men who cannot die! Who do battle with swords in order to win some kind of... trophy or prize! And there was more! Oh, so much more! I-It looks like the documents were written by one of these men. He must've wanted others of his kind to know, in case anything happened to him! To pass on his knowledge! [soft laugh] Oh, I've barely started the translation! It's a dialect I'm not too familiar with. Perhaps, you could help?

          Methos: Yes! Of course! Let's go now. [eagerly]

          Simon: [laughs] You're keen! Can we at least finish our drinks first? [clank]

          Methos: Must we? [faint note of impatience]

          Simon: This... isn't... just a matter of... historical interest... is it?

          Methos: I'd just really like to know more about these people. They've always fascinated me, that's all.

          Simon: Suppose... I were to pick up that knife and... plunge it into your heart. What would happen?

          Methos: Well it would have a seriously detrimental effect on our friendship. And I'd die, of course.

          Simon: [weak laugh] Of course. But... Would you stay... dead?

          Methos: Ahahahah... There's only one way to find out.

          Simon: True. And if I was wrong, then... I'd have murdered you.

          Methos: And we couldn't have that now, could we? [dry cheer]

          Simon: I suppose not...

          [creak of wooden door being opened. Noise of people fading away behind them]

          Simon: Now, when we get there, I will turn the pages myself. I have a particular method to keep the pages from getting damaged.

          Methos: Understood!

          Simon: You don't touch them! You don't breathe on them! Don't even look at them too hard!

          Methos: [amused] I'll keep one eye closed, how's that? [human noises, baby crying]

          Simon: Good enough! And uh, squint with the other? [moment] What's the matter?

          Methos: [alert, and low] You hear that?

          [musical cue, perhaps a distant rumble of hooves]

          Simon: Oh, no... The raiders! [alarming music cue] Not now!

          Methos: [draws sword, speaks low but firmly] Find somewhere to hide. [command shout] Go!

          They'd been traveling from town to town, destroying everything in their path. Taking what they could, killing anyone who stood in their way. They were no worse than any number of other gangs who did the same thing, but now they were here. [battle noises, screams, clashing] Just as I was close to finding out more about my people!

          [Methos fights furiously]

          I tried to fend them off the best I could, but they were too well-armed, their numbers too great! I only had my sword and my wits. [he is run through, cries out in pain] They weren't enough. [breathes his dying breath]

          [A relative silence has descended. Crows cawing. Fires burning.]

          Track 05

          [groans] When I came back to life, the town was sacked. Utterly destroyed. Simon's house... had burned to the ground! Along with the documents!

          [shaken] Simon was dying. Half of his skin melted off in the blaze.

          Simon: [thickly] Looks... like you were luckier than I was.

          Methos: [feebly] I just had a better hiding place.

          Simon: [labored breath] Somehow I knew you would survive. [ragged breath] One of those documents... described a certain individual... have to say, he sounded an awful lot like you...

          Methos: [scoffs gently] Oh, come now. Could've been anyone. Just because he also happened to be handsome, clever, popular with the ladies...

          Simon: [feeble laugh] Full of himself. Talks too much. Not as handsome as he thinks he is. [a laugh ends with gasping in pain]

          Methos: [trying to comfort] Okay, okay, okay! Easy! Easy...! Lie back. Lie back.

          Simon: It won't help! I'm pretty much... done, I think.

          Methos: [determined] Don't say that.
          Simon: I'm just sorry I didn't get to know you better. ... Methos. That's your name... isn't it.

          Methos: [blank] Who?

          Simon: [would have rolled his eyes, pleads] Don't lie to a dying man. Please. I've been searching for these people for years. If I'm going to die... At least tell me the truth. [weeping] Let me know if I've met one of them. [moment stretches]

          Methos: [through tight throat] You have. And he is... your friend. And he is extremely sorry to see you in such pain.

          Simon: [feeble joy] I knew it! I knew it! What's it like? It must be wonderful! Able to see so much! Learn... so much! Knowing that, whatever is to come, years from now... you will be around to see it.

          Methos: [pained] It's not so wonderful. All I'll ever be around to see is death. More death.

          Simon: Death will always be there. [inhales] But there are other things to see. Life's what you make of it, they say. Even... eternal life.

          Methos: [as Simon breathes his last] I hope you're right. I really do. [moment] Simon? [moment. Utters a long sigh] Goodbye my friend. And... thank you... for not being afraid of me.

          [beep beep beep beep]

          Dilijan: He wasn't the first friend you lost. Or the last.

          Methos: [angry] You know he wasn't. But it wasn't just that. It was what I could have learned! Those documents! Not a day goes by when I don't wonder what they contained. The history of the Immortals, as written by one of us! [mourns] If I'd only been faster! Stronger!

          Dilijan: I'm assuming the raiders didn't meet a... happy... end.

          Methos: [slightly pleased] No. They most certainly did not.

          [nasty laughter, sound of someone walking rapidly swish swish swish and a loud voice]

          Raider: Greetings! [a blade drawn, an attack, shocking in ferocity] Wha-guagh! [the laughter becomes screams. Horse neighs]

          Methos: [tone gradually increasing in cold contempt] Look at you. Scum. [horse snorts] Filth! All you know is destruction, gluttony and drunkenness! No elegance! Not a swordsman among you, you merely grip one end of a weapon and thrust it out like a child! [calmer] Strength in numbers has got you this far, but you will go no further. [contemptuous anger again] In your ignorance and vulgarity you took . two things . from me! You took a friend! A good man! And you took knowledge! Information that should have been mine, but that was trampled underfoot by you, common thugs, with nothing to offer the world! And now... I will take my revenge.

          Raider: Who the hell are you?!

          Methos: [dramatic music between sentences] I am the night! [boomp] I am the darkness! [lower boomp] I am bloody retribution...! [even lower boomp] I am the righteous wrath of any god you care to mention! I am the eternal, whose name will come to be known by every man, woman, and child... in this world! [ranting in rage] I will take the strong, the weak, the old, the young, the healthy, the infirm without exception! [dramatic echo effect] I . am . death!! [less effect but rage] And I have come to kill [roar] every last one of you!! [roaring starts sound effects, descends to ordinary level of battle noises]

          Track 06

          Dilijan: [quietly] You made good on your promise.

          Methos: [pleased] And then some!

          Dilijan: [shudders] You always did have quite a talent for killing.

          Methos: [huffily] They deserved it. The documents Simon had found were my only hope of finding some answers! Some meaning! Without them, I would never know who I really was! It was so satisfying! I killed and I killed, and I killed! Half the raiders ran away when they realized they couldn't stop me, but I hunted them all down. All of them! And I killed them. And each one that I killed gave me a brief moment of calm... But then I'd remember how close I came to learning the truth, and the red mist would rise again.

          It wasn't enough to kill the raiders! I killed their families. Their friends. Anyone who knew them, anyone who owed them money! Anyone who'd drunk in the same taverns! I wanted every trace of them wiped from existence. I didn't even want anyone to remember them. ... After a while, there was nobody left to kill.

          Dilijan: But you kept going. [moment] That's the problem with revenge. It's never enough to satisfy you.

          Methos: [indifferently] Just people who deserved it. At first. I'd find... criminals... murderers... and remove them from the world. Then robbers and thugs. ... [inhales] Then anyone who was rude. The reasons for killing became so flimsy and vague... After a while I convinced myself that everyone deserved to die.

          Dilijan: But I helped you! When you rode with me, for a while you found peace! Until Kronos ended all that, and indulged you in your... unhealthy appetites.

          Methos: [a bit sadly] I hadn't quite got it out of my system, yet. The urge to kill was overwhelming, even years later. And once I joined forces with Kronos, [glee lurks in tone] I was unstoppable. I killed everyone in my path, just because I could! I was immortal! They were like mayflies to me. They were going to die anyway! I may as well help them on their way! Besides, they'd only end up spoiling this beautiful world. They took it for granted!

          Dilijan: [urgently but quiet] That's not much of a justification!

          Methos: I know. But I enjoyed killing too much to stop! I didn't care about anyone or anything, I just wanted to kill! I was death personified. I couldn't even begin to guess how many I killed! [starts to sound unhappy] But eventually, I grew tired of it. It started to sicken me. I finally saw what I had become... Until eventually I... couldn't... bear to look at myself. Yes, I did all those terrible things. But I stopped myself in the end! I... [wounded? Or faking?] must have had some good in me...

          Dilijan: It wasn't just you, though.

          Methos: [innocent confusion] What do you mean?

          Dilijan: There was good inside you, yes. But you needed some help realizing it. It was thanks to me that you became so self-aware.

          Methos: [amused and scoffing] Ohhh... Oh, this should be good! Go on then, let's hear it! I could do with a good laugh! How did you save me from myself.

          Dilijan: It wasn't easy.

          Track 07

          [Battle music cue, blades slashing, screams and shouts of battle]

          Kronos: [happily] Don't run! It's an honor to be killed by the Four Horsemen! You should thank us! [wet meaty sound of blade cutting flesh, a scream of pain, running feet] You're welcome! [a high-pitched sound] Who's next?

          [Dilijan narrates]
          Two events in my life. I remember, as if they both happened yesterday. The day Kronos killed my followers and took you with him, and... the day you came back with him, to destroy my new tribe. Both of which you could have easily stopped by the way, but chose not to. Always observing. Always weighing up your options to see what most benefits you... [bitter snort-laugh] I suppose I can't blame you for protecting your own hide. [moment] When Kronos killed me and my people, he vowed to find me every fifty years... and do the same thing again. Over, and over. So, I made sure that none of you could ever find me. I disappeared. I wanted nothing to do with you and the others. All I wanted was to get on with my life, in peace! [lower] But I soon realized, that wasn't possible.

          I was aware that you were all searching for me, but... Kronos wasn't exactly subtle. I could hear him coming half a world away. Oh, I'm sure if you alone had wanted to find me, you would have done so, as you now have. You would have done it quietly, cleverly. I wouldn't have even known you were coming, until you were already there.

          Thankfully, Kronos' clumsy attempts were... easy to avoid. [gravelly (Toby's throat dry?)] And that's how it went for over a hundred years, [voice clears] until gradually... the search tailed off. I could only assume Kronos became bored. Tired of the chase. But... even if you were no longer searching for me, your exploits were... too loud to ignore.

          The Four Horsemen were unstoppable! You sowed death and destruction wherever you went! It was as if the world had caught some fatal illness, [angry] manifested in the four of you! In many ways, I was responsible. I had taken Kronos into my confidence, helped him learn about who he was! Allowed him to find out more. I gave him all the tools he needed! If I hadn't helped him, the Four Horsemen would never have joined together.

          You could have stopped him several times, but I... started the process! It was my fault. I realized I would have to break apart... what I had helped... to create.


          Dilijan: Drink this. It will help with the pain.
          [crackling of flames]

          Someone [spiritlessly] You sure this will work?

          Dilijan: I have done it many times before.

          Someone: But you're absolutely certain it will help me.

          Dilijan: Nothing is certain in the life, my friend, but I am very confident this will work.

          Someone: If it doesn't? Will you take my head, please? I can't bear the pain, any longer.

          Dilijan: I'm sure it won't come to that. But, either way, when we are done tonight, you will no longer feel any pain. You have my word.

          Someone: Thank you. You have no idea how grateful I am. If there's anything I can do for you, anything, just say the word.

          Dilijan: You are already helping me. [lower] More than you know.

          Someone: So... How does this work? You just drill into my head?

          Dilijan: There's a little more to it than that. But, that's how we start, yes. Now... [clink of machinery] Hold still. This will hurt a great deal. [movement, winding of gear? The man begins to groan in pain, the groaning turns to cries, the drill breaks through and he screams]

          Track 08

          For hundred of years, I had continued with my studies; helping other Immortals to force out the demons inside their heads, drilling into their skulls. Draining out small parts of their essence, what would become their Quickening. I discovered that I could absorb this energy into myself, if I drilled into my head at the same time. If I didn't absorb it, it usually went straight back into the person I was trying to help. It wasn't like a normal Quickening. It was unrefined. Coarser. More closely bound to the owner. It had to be contained in the mind. It couldn't just earth itself, or dissipate... so I took it. Thanks to my meditation, I was able to control this dark energy; force it down into my mind. It was... incredibly painful. But I was able to help a great many Immortals.

          And one day... I realized that it could be reversed. I could take the energy I had absorbed from one Immortal, bring it to the front of my mind, and force it into the mind of another.

          At first, it was merely a curiosity. It couldn't help anyone. [righteously] And I had no intention of burdening others with the dark energies that resided in my head.

          Until the Four Horsemen... needed to be stopped.

          Methos: [bright interest] But if it's all in your head, what's all this equipment for?

          Merely the latest stage in my work! I'm always refining the process. Experimenting. [explains] Rather than storing the energies in my own head, I came up with another method. Six Immortals, linked together with probes in their brains to connect them. Together they can store a thousand times more energy than I could. A sort of... Immortal battery, if you will.

          Methos: [thoughtfully] A thousand times more, but... there are only six of them. How is that possible?

          [sighs] The brain only has a limited amount of spare storage space, so... I emptied their minds... completely. [moment] They don't need to think, move, or do anything. There's nothing in their minds apart from Quickening.

          Methos: [softly] Can their minds be restored?

          [moment] No. I wiped them completely.

          Methos: [slight cool] Just like that. And you didn't... care what it would do to them?

          [righteously] They were in pain! They came to me! Ultimately they were too damaged for me to help in the usual way! Now they can... no longer feel anything. They're just vessels, filled with darkness.

          Methos: [revolted] This... [grasps for words] This is worse than anything we ever did! You took away their essence!

          [annoyed] With all great discoveries there are casualties!

          Methos: [incredulous] How did you set this up? It looks expensive! Surely nobody in their right mind would have given you funding for this?

          I found some very... generous... supporters. Haska Industries. They think they know what I'm doing, but they have no idea of the full extent. Although... Something tells me they would be more curious than angry. [moment] Their morals are flexible. [amused laugh] It's a far cry from hand-drills and meditation, but that's... what I had to work with in those days. And it served me well.
          [Oh noes. Who are Haska (Hasker?) Industries. Would they come up if there had been a Series 3? Would we, by any chance, have had to suffer Immortals hollowed out while mortal essences were piped into them? Yes, Yes I think we would have. Yup.]

          [moment, gets back on track] Once I knew how to reverse the process, I tried more variations. I was able to force out the energies from more than one person at a time. I kept them all in my head. And with meditation, I was able to decide which ones came to the forth, and which ones stayed behind. Then I found I could include my own thoughts, too. I could combine several energies with my instructions, like a fine, blended whiskey, and decant the mixture into the mind of an Immortal. Obviously I would tell them I was removing their despair, and that part was true! What they didn't know was I was putting in more than I took out.

          I experimented on many Immortals, getting more advanced as I refined the technique. And finally, I realized that this was how I could defeat the Four Horsemen.


          [crackling of a Quickening, a man gasping in agony]

          Someone: What's... happening? I... wha... There's... no time! [gibbering] Wh-h-who... am I? [screaming goes on and on. It finally ends, and he is panting.]

          Dilijan: [sharply] What is your name?

          Someone: Dorn... [pants]

          Dilijan: What is your purpose?

          Dorn: I must find the man known as Methos! I must engage him in battle. I must allow him to win... and take my head!

          [sounds of footsteps on wet ground, time passing? Horse neighs. Surge of Immortal awareness. A blade drawn.]

          Dorn: Methos!

          Methos: [blasé] Never heard of him.

          Dorn: [growls] I know that is your name!

          Methos: [light, amused?] And what do you want with him?

          Dorn: You know what I want!

          Methos: That's probably not your wisest course of action.

          Dorn: Nevertheless! I've come to help you realize your potential, Methos! Now... Fight me or die! Rah! [enraged attack]

          Dilijan: [gloating while the fight rages in the background] It would have been so easy to fill his head with blackness and despair, so that when you took his Quickening, it would make you want to kill yourself! But that wouldn't have been enough. I wanted the Four Horsemen to come to an end! Dorn was a good man. A very good man. He had battled many evil Immortals, and his head was filled with darkness. He came to me for help. I took the despair from him... but I also gave him some instructions. [gleefully] Ones he was powerless to ignore. It was easy. His will had been broken by pain. I was able to turn his mind to my own devices. He was a dead man as soon as he sought me out.

          [Methos disarms Dorn, takes his head. The Quickening begins. Methos starts to cry out]

          When you absorbed his Quickening, all of his thoughts and experiences were altered by my manipulations. You saw what I wanted you to see... felt what I wanted you to feel... The blend of energies made you see things in a new light, [gloating] made you see who you really are! How evil you had become! Made you know yourself, truly... and utterly. [lightly] It must have been quite a painful experience.

          [Quickening ends, and Methos is crying out in horror.]

          Track 09

          Methos: [softly yet coldly] Just a bit.

          Dilijan: That's why you suddenly decided to do the things you did. It came from me! Through the vessel that was Dorn! My work changed the way you thought. Made you realize the true horror of your nature! Made you vow to stop the killing! And destroy the Four Horsemen. [laughs] All this time you had the romantic notion that it was because you were such a good, decent person, underneath that hard, callous exterior. I'm sure it was a great comfort to tell yourself that. [snickers] In reality, it was all me! Without my intervention, you'd still be killing today!

          Methos: [softly] No.

          Dilijan: Admit it, Methos! You said yourself: You liked killing too much! Even now as you seek revenge, when you look at me, tied to this chair, all you want to do is tear me to pieces! Your blood boils at the prospect! Every day you're terrified that you'll slip, you'll... go too far, that you'll... you'll get back your taste for it! [whispers] But I won't be able to stop you next time. If you start again, who knows where it will end! [whispers] Yes. [louder, enunciating clearly] You enjoy killing. It's what you're best at! It's what you've always been best at! [determined] I saved you, Methos! I made you into a good person!

          Methos: [understanding] The ship... Kine! The explosion!

          Dilijan: [gleeful] All my plan! I set the whole thing up! You were just following my instructions! Once the thoughts were in your head, it would have felt like your own idea! [laughs] You probably congratulated yourself on such a clever solution!

          Methos: [almost to self] I thought he'd come for my head. That you had sent him to kill me. I had no idea what you had in store for us.

          [coldly] But even then, that wasn't enough for you, was it.

          Dilijan: No. That was just the beginning. The breaking up of the Four Horsemen was mainly to hurt Kronos. To take away that which meant the most to him. His brothers. I wanted to hurt you, all of you! Caspian, and Silas presented their own... challenges. As for you, I wanted to break you down... ruin your life... take away your happiness like you had taken mine.

          [chuckles] But first of course, I had to wait until you were happy. And I had to wait for quite... some... time.


          Violetta: Careful! They'll never let us in with you in this state!

          Methos: [mock indignation] How dare you! I'm as sober as a judge! But you, on the other hand...

          Violetta: [giggels] I had just as many drinks as you did!

          Methos: Mmhm! Well that doesn't seem fair. [she laughs] You haven't fallen over even once!

          Violetta: I've been wearing a variety of impractical high-heeled shoes ever since I could walk. I'm used to keeping my balance. I couldn't fall over if I tried!

          Methos: Perhaps if I were to tickle you...!

          Violetta: [laughs] Have you ever been punched in the face by a lady?

          Methos: Many, many times.

          Violetta: That doesn't surprise me in the least. [a horse neighs]

          Methos: [dramatically] Madam! You wound me!

          Violetta: [laughing] I'll 'wound' you if you try to tickle me. Come on, we'll be late! [Methos laughs and they pick up the pace]


          [the room with Dilijan]
          Her name was Violetta and she saved me. I believe that you only get one true love in your life; one person who understands you completely; who just... fits! Some people live their whole lives and never find that person! Violetta was mine. And I was hers! I thought I was beyond redemption. I'd spent... years... traveling the world, learning, trying to better myself. I wanted to redress the balance, to make up for what I'd done. But it was never enough! Until I met her.

          She wasn't an Immortal. But, for a moment, when I first saw her... I thought she was. I-it was almost the same feeling. That strange tingle when one of us is near! There was just... something about her that felt so right. From the day we met we were inseparable. She was an opera singer and her work took her all over the world. I went with her, of course! I had plenty of disposable income; there was no way I was leaving her side. I never missed a single show that she was in!

          When she sang, it made me feel that I was flying!

          For a long time, I had been unable to look at myself in the mirror. I hated myself. But the way she looked at me... That person she saw... I liked that person. I wanted to be that person. And that's who I became. I couldn't believe she was with me! Surely if she knew who I was, who I really was, she'd be horrified... I didn't deserve to be loved by her. [inhales] So I told her everything. A version of it. Anyway I... told her I'd fallen in with a bad crowd in my youth, and that... I'd... killed, maimed, done... terrible things. I left out the immortality, that could come later. I thought she would be upset, but... she surprised me.

          She was always surprising me.

          Track 10

          [birds chirruping]

          Methos: [shaky, scared] Say something. Anything. You hate me, anything!

          Violetta: It's a lot to take in. I'm not sure what to say.

          Methos: I'm sorry I... should have told you earlier, but I couldn't bear to lose you.

          Violetta: Well it's not exactly first date material, is it.

          Methos: [uncertainly] S-s-sorry...?

          Violetta: I mean, when should you have told me? When we first met? "Hello, I'm ***Nathan. In my younger days I was a demented murderer, but I'm really very nice now! May I have this dance?"

          Methos: Well obviously not, but--

          Violetta: During our first dance? First date? First night together...? First breakfast, perhaps.

          Methos: I have to say, you're taking this much better than I would have.

          Violetta: I'm not thrilled, don't get me wrong. But it's not the sort of thing you could just blurt out when you're getting to know someone. We've been together almost six months. It's been a bit of a whirlwind.

          Methos: [quietly] True enough.

          Violetta: I suspected there was something you weren't telling me. Even when you laugh, there's something sad underneath it. A darkness in your eyes. But I knew you'd tell me when you were ready.

          Methos: [urgently] You have to understand, that person is long gone!

          Violetta: I know. I know you. You've been so good to me. So sweet and kind, and that's who I want to be with. Everyone makes mistakes when they're young! God knows I have!

          Methos: [softly] Did your mistakes involve murder and pillage?

          Violetta: Mmmno. I eloped with the undertaker. I think my mother would rather I'd murdered someone, though. It would've been easier to live down amongst her little coven of friends.

          Methos: [forcing himself] It wasn't... just... one person. It was a lot.

          Violetta: [gently] And you'll have to repent for that in your own way. Make it up to yourself and your Maker. I'm not in a position to judge you, or forgive you. [walks to him] All I can do is look at the man in front of me now, and decide if he is someone I want to be with. And I do. Very, very much so.

          Methos: [forlorn] I don't deserve you.

          Violetta: [moment, then firmly] You're a good man now, whatever happened in the past. I know there's more you're holding back, but I don't need to know. [stronger] I don't want to know. You're not that person anymore. And that's what matters. Here... and now.


          When you find the one true love of your life, there is nothing that you can't do. It heals you. If they are capable of loving you despite all your flaws, then maybe... there's hope for you after all.

          For most people, that's a powerful thing. For someone who despised everything about themselves for over a thousand years, it is pretty damn spectacular! We traveled the world for another six months and then came back home to England.

          That night was the London premiere of La traviata. She wasn't performing, we just wanted to see it, because the main character was also called Violetta. She was a courtesan, dying of consumption, which amused us no end.

          [forlorn] It wouldn't amuse us for long.


          [noise and bustle of people in the opera building. Footsteps approach, brushing of petticoats?]

          Methos: [affectionate teasing] Where have you been? It's about to start! You don't want to miss yourself as a dying floozy, do you?

          Violetta: You're the floozy! That's the frilliest shirt I've ever seen!

          Methos: [mock indignation] It's not frilly! It's... just extravagant!

          Violetta: [wry humor] Yes. Extravagantly frilly. Anyway, there's plenty of time. I wanted to get us some ice cream! Here you go. They only had strawberry.

          Methos: [utter affection] There seems to be some missing from mine!

          Violetta: [lips smacking as enjoy ice cream] Mm. Yes, well, I had to test it, to make sure it was okay. Mm!

          Methos: Quite a rigorous test, by the looks of it!

          Violetta: [play huffy] Are you questioning my scientific methods?

          Methos: I wouldn't dare! [tastes] Mm! Mm? [puzzled] Are you sure this is strawberry?

          Violetta: Well that's what the man said. It was free, too! Quite strange, really. I think he was soft in the head.

          Methos: [light, curious] Why?

          Violetta: Well there were two ice cream stores and, he called me over to his one, he was quite insistent. Said it was free for pretty ladies.

          Methos: Well I can't fault him on that. Why do you say he was strange?

          Violetta: Well when he gave them to me, he said something about how they'd help us to realize our potential. I thought "Settle down, it's only ice cream, for goodness sake." But still it was free, so who cares? [Methos gasps and grabs the ice cream from her] Hey! That's mine!

          Methos: [horrified] No! Damn you! [pain small voice] Not now. [stronger to her, but sobs tinge his words] Where is he? The man who gave you the ice cream. Show me where he is! Now!

          [dramatic music, they are out, on the street? Voices of people around. Violetta's starting to have trouble breathing]

          Methos: Where is he?

          Violetta: Well, he, he was just there!

          Methos: [tone going harder] What did he look like?

          Violetta: [distressed] Can we sit down for a moment? I don't... I don't feel very well.

          Methos: [low pain] I knew it tasted odd. Please, God let it just be my tastebuds!

          [music cue, switch to the room]

          I recognized that phrase. "Helping you to realize your potential." It's a pet phrase of you and your acolytes. That's when I realized you were behind it all. And, now... you had come to exact your revenge on me.

          We went home immediately. The poison was already working its way through Violetta's body, sapping her energy.

          Dilijan: [annoyed] I do know all this, Methos!

          [Methos on his feet, steps on the floor. Speaks savagely]

          No! You do not!!

          [calmer, but anger holds] No. Yes, it was your plan, you know the bare facts, of course, you do. But you do not know how it felt! How agonizing it was! And you are going to sit there and listen to it! Or I'll end you right here and now.

          Dilijan: [soothing] I'm sorry.

          No! No you're not.

          It took weeks! Weeks of watching my darling Violetta suffer and weaken. Weeks of doctor after doctor trying everything they could, weeks of her remaining optimistic, trying to tell me everything would be alright! But I... knew!! [moment] I knew you were behind it, and I knew everything would not... be alright.


          Methos: [wounded contempt] Call yourself a doctor. You're a quack! Just like the others! [rising voice] If you can't ease her pain any further, then... just get out!

          Doctor: Yeh. [huffs and puffs, nervous]

          Methos: [shouts] Get out!

          Doctor: Yes, sir. [clears throat] And uh, ehehuh, good day to you, sir! [mumbling to self as walks away]

          [Door closes, Methos breaks something with a snarl of rage, stops and walks away]

          Track 11

          [Violetta coughs. Again and again. Methos enters the room, comes to her.]

          Methos: [softly] Hey. How're you feeling?

          Violetta: [soft laugh] Like a consumptive courtesan.

          Methos: [small voice] Don't say that.

          Violetta: [softer laugh] Just trying to lift the mood. Take it from all the shouting that the doctor just left. Rather suddenly and forcibly.

          Methos: [normal voice, but drawn out] Yes...

          Violetta: That can't be good, unless he magically cured me with a rain dance or something similar. Did he?

          Methos: I don't recall him saying anything along those lines.

          Violetta: Well, we won't be using him again, next time I'm dying. [coughs] Honestly, you just can't get the staff, these days. [coughing]

          Methos: [lost voice] I wish I could do something. Anything.

          Violetta: Just be with me. Here. Like this.

          Methos: It's not fair... we barely had a year together.

          Violetta: But what a year it was. The best year of my life. I wouldn't trade it for anything.

          Methos: If you'd never met me, this would -- [chokes on words] not have happened. The... the man who did this... He wants to hurt me. If I'd just stayed away from you!

          Violetta: Stop that now, we've been through this. It's not your fault. You didn't do this. He did.

          Methos: [cold creeping in] Yeah, I know. And when I find him--

          Violetta: [firmly] No. You can't go after him.

          Methos: [somewhat disgruntled] What?

          Violetta: You're not the person you were. The person he's taking revenge against. But if you find him, and do the things I can see brewing in your eyes, then it's all for nothing. You'll become that person again. A killer.

          Methos: [angry] I can't let him get away with this!

          Violetta: And that's how it all started. A simple act of revenge, but it's never enough. It'll send you down that dark path again. Please... for me... Promise me you won't kill the man who did this...!

          Methos: [shaken] I can't. He has to die!

          Violetta: [determined] Don't get me wrong. I'd love to tear the swine in half myself and if I had the strength to get up, I'd do exactly that. But he got to me! I don't want him to get to you as well. I can still see shadows of the person you once were. I know how much it tortures you. How terrified you are that you'll become that person again and I won't let you! [coughs, voice firms] I just won't! [stern] So promise me...! Promise you won't kill that man! If you kill him, then he's won!

          Methos: [grief strong] He's taken you away from me! Without you I have nothing!

          Violetta: [cough cough] You have yourself. You have the person you are now. The person I love with all my heart! The person you're starting to like again! Don't lose that person! He means too much to me! Promise me! [cough cough] [Methos inhales deeply] Please... [cough weak laugh] Respect the dying wish of a floozy.

          Methos: [voice thick] I promise.

          Violetta: [sigh of relief] Oh, thank you. Stay who you are, and I'll love you forever. Even after I'm gone.

          Methos: [starts to weep] Please, don't go! Don't leave me!

          Violetta: I'll never leave you! As long as you keep your promise to me. [he sobs, she breaths a sigh] We never did get to see that show.

          Methos: [sniffles] No.

          Violetta: Pity. I'd've liked to play my namesake. I've been looking through the music, it's a great part.

          Methos: [breaking] You would've... you would have been...[sniffle] wonderful in it.

          Violetta: Would you like me to sing for you?

          Methos: [utters a breath, struggles with words] You, you have to preserve your strength.

          Violetta: Please. I want to. [cough] One last time. I've been learning one of the arias for you. Would you like to hear it?

          Methos: [choking with the coming loss] I'd love to...

          Track 12

          [voice shakes sometimes] So she sang for me. As she lay dying. And there was no finer command performance ever given before, or since.

          If I felt like I was flying, when she sang before, this time it was like I could feel every particle in the universe flowing through me. It was the most... beautiful thing... [dreamy] I'd ever heard.

          Ever since I've told people that I find opera boring. But, it's not... true. I just can't bear to listen to it, ever again.

          She died that night. My beautiful, funny... amazing... [has to breathe] Violetta... who sand like an angel... was gone.

          But at least I heard her sing one last time. I take some small comfort in that.

          [long, long silence, stretching]

          Methos: [angry] She was an innocent! A human being with hopes, dreams, family, friends... but to you [the anger drops] she was just a pawn. Something to be flicked aside just to hurt me. I understand why... But I cannot forgive it. [music has gone to danger cue]

          Dilijan: And now? Are you going to wreak your vengeance upon me? Continue the cycle of violence? As you say, I was merely striking back in return for what you had done. You could say we were even!

          Methos: [lightly.] You could. But you would be wrong. [Dilijan utters a startled breath] I didn't tell Kronos to go after you. [anger bleeds in] What you did to Violetta was your choice.

          Dilijan: [defensively] It was the only way to hurt you as much as you hurt me! And it was nowhere near as bad as the things you and the others did!

          Methos: [so lightly] Oh, but you underestimate me, Dilijan. [rage bleeding in again] You underestimate how much she meant to me. How much she helped me. How she saved me. How she made me into the person that I am today. And that is why.... you will not be leaving this room... until I have finished with you.

          Dilijan: [worried now] You made a promise to her! You said you wouldn't kill the man responsible for her death!

          Methos: [lightly] I know. And that's why I didn't look for you until now. I knew I wouldn't be able to keep that promise if I found you straight away. I would have torn your head from your shoulders, with my bare hands.

          Dilijan: And now? Now you've had time to cool down?

          Methos: [lurking quiet madness] Who said I've cooled down? [Beats Dilijan a little, causing him to cry out in pain.] Mellowed, slightly, perhaps.

          Dilijan: [gritted teeth] Are you going to keep hitting me until you feel better?

          Methos: [drawling burr] I'd have to keep hitting you for a long, long time.

          Dilijan: [trying to get control of the situation] So what happens now?
          [music cue rises and rises in a long, sinister note]

          Nurse: It's very good of you! Most people never come back after the first time.

          Methos: [sheepishly] I'm not most people.

          Nurse: It's easy just to put a relative in here and walk away. And, I have to admit, it's not the nicest place in the world.

          Methos: [hint of amusement] Oh, I don't know. It's got a certain sterile charm. A hundred years ago many of your patients would've just been lobotomized and thrown into a filthy stone cell!

          Nurse: Heh. Um, thankfully, things've come a long way since then.

          Methos: Yes... Good old science, eh.


          [music cue of the theme piece]

          Dilijan: How did you know to look for me here? You can't have known about my experiments.

          Methos: When Kine killed himself on the ship, I never absorbed his Quickening, I was too far away, but I certainly felt it. I got a taste... of it. And when I took Dorn's head, the man you sent to me for that very purpose, I felt something familiar about his Quickening.

          Every single one has a unique... flavor, you could call it. No two are alike. But... Kine and Dorn... To use your blended whisky analogy, it felt as if they came from the same barrel! And when that phrase kept appearing every time I encountered one of your acolytes: "Helping us to... realize our potential", [sing-song] I knew you were behind it. And I knew that somehow... you had influenced their Quickenings.

          Back when I first knew you and the others, you were experimenting with draining the despair from Immortals. And even then it was obvious that you were enjoying the taste too much. It took a long time, but... I figured out some of the supplies you'd probably need, if you were to continue refining your theories, I did my own research, looked where you might look.

          Track 13

          [sinister alarm music cue]

          Methos: And how is the patient today?

          Nurse: Same as usual. Some good days, some bad days. Today's a good day! Although that just means no screaming.

          Methos: [looking at papers] I see from the charts that you're increasing the doses?

          Nurse: [reassuring] At this point, it's all we can do. But, we can only go so far with that. Some people are lost causes. They never come back from wherever they've gone off to in their head.

          Methos: [softly] I know the feeling.


          [crackle crackle]
          Methos: [cheerfully] Well, it's been lovely catching up, but I don't think there's any more to say.

          Dilijan: [scared] What that's it? You're gonna kill me now?! Have you forgotten what I did for you? I saved you! I made you into a good person! You would have never found peace without my help!

          Methos: Funny thing is, you actually believe that, don't you?

          Dilijan: [breathes] Yes!

          Methos: You're convinced you're in the right. That's why you're so dangerous, why I have to stop you.

          Dilijan: But it's true!! I sent Dorn to you! I made you realize that what you were doing was wrong!

          Methos: [drawn out] Yes, but... [lightly] you kept on punishing me. You took away the only person I ever truly loved. If I'd found you just after that, I'd've fallen back into my old ways. [Dilijan breathes nervously] I'd've spent weeks killing you. And, everyone who ever helped you! I was this close to letting myself give in to it. [gravely] You put me through unimaginable pain.

          Dilijan: [defensively shouting] You deserved it! [moment] I started Kronos on his path by misleading him! I inadvertently helped to create the Horsemen, but you...! You don't have that excuse! You chose to be one! You weighed up all the options and decided that that was the best course of action!

          Methos: Yes. Because of events you set in motion. [lightly] Look, this is pointless. We can debate this until we're blue in the face, but it's over. You've lost.

          I should've stopped you a long time ago. Maybe I could've spared these men... [outrage] these vessels, as you so callously call them... some pain. As it is, all I can do is end their suffering. They're too far gone for anyone to help. [turning nobs? Pulling levers?] I'll... set off these explosives when I leave... and they can finally get some peace.

          Dilijan: [striving for control] What, and leave me in here with them, I suppose!

          Methos: [gleefully amused] Oh, no! No, I, I have something special planned for you. You're coming with me.

          Dilijan: [panicking] You can't kill me! I have too much dark energy inside me! If you take my head, [pants] it would overwhelm you!

          Methos: [amused] I'm not taking your head. [moment] I made a promise to Violetta that I wouldn't kill the man responsible for her death and, I intend to keep that promise.

          Diljian: [not reassured] So... What are you doing?!

          Methos: [as works, calmly] Reversing the process, before I blow this place up. I just need to insert the final electrodes into your brain... [musingly] Sorry. No anesthetic. You don't mind, do you? [meaty crunch]

          [Dilijan screams, and chokes out a cry again.]

          Methos: You've been dumping your dark energy into these poor unfortunates for years, and taking hits from them like a junky, so... I'm going to dump it all back into your head. [Dilijan squawks in pain] All of it. It'll be like a thousand Dark Quickenings all at once. [squawks again] You enjoy the taste of despair so much. Why not indulge yourself.

          Dilijan: [struggles to say each word] You... you... can't... It will burn my mind away! [struggles] There will be nothing left!

          Methos: [deeply amused] Oh there will be something left. [cold anger] Total unending despair for an eternity. But, you'll have no memories. No remnants of the man you once were! You will be a raving, gibbering wreck until the end of time itself! Or until some other Immortal finds you and puts you out of your misery! [cheerfully] But at least... I'm not killing you.

          Dilijan: [frantic] No! Don't do that! Kill me instead, please! Just leave me here to die with the others!

          Methos: [amused] And break my promise? Ah... I'm many things, Dilijan but, I'm not a man who breaks his word to a lady!

          Dilijan: [struggles to use the right words though pain] Don't... you... see...? This is far worse than anything I've done! Than anything even you have done!

          Methos: [cold anger] You pushed me. [breathing hard] That was a mistake. You of all people should have known that.

          Dilijan: [hissing with desperate fury] This isn't revenge! This doesn't make you a good man! You're responsible for all this! You started it all!

          Methos: [lightly, pointedly] I am finishing it.

          Dilijan: [frantic for right words, groans] Oh... Please! I beg you! Don't do this! Have mercy!

          Methos: [completely uninterested as well as bemused] I have no mercy. Twisted swine, you took that from me. [Dilijan makes protesting noise] But! Look on the bright side. [Dilijan makes choking noise] It'll cure you of your addiction. You could say... I'm helping you to realize your potential!

          [throws final switches]

          [Dilijan makes a noise, and then the screaming starts, but is it all in... some heads? And Quickening energy flows. Finally silence. Water drips.]

          Track 14

          [Dilijan makes disconnected, wet, snuffling sounds.]

          Methos: Oh, stop whimpering. It's very annoying. [closes car door?]

          Dilijan: [screams] Aaaah it hurts! Oh God it hurts!

          Methos: [exasperated] Right! It's a four-hour drive. I'm not listening to this the whole way. Come here. [sound of a hypo. Dilijan sighs into unconsciousness] Aaaaand there we are. [his body falls] That should keep you blissfully unconscious until we arrive! And... spare my eardrums. Just one last job to clear up.

          [click, bleeping noise, distant explosion, Quickening crackles can be heard, swirling in a firestorm. After, car alarms can be heard going off]

          Methos: [confidentially and quickly] You know, I'm not breaking my promise ***mswik. That, that was a mercy killing. They were as good as dead already. Beyond my help. I, I just... ended their pain. [police sirens approaching]

          [echoing voice in his head] Violetta: I know. It was the kindest thing to do. You kept your promise to me. Although... destroying that man's brain is slightly stretching the terms of the promise. You'll have to admit.

          Methos: [cheerfully] Mm, you told me not to kill him! He's still alive. And will be for a very long time.

          Violetta: Alright, alright. I suppose I can't blame you.

          Methos: [lovingly] Thank you.

          Violetta: Although, as a figment of your imagination, my opinion really can't be trusted, can it? You're the one deciding what I say.

          Methos: True. But! If I'm the one putting words in your mouth, how come you're not completely agreeing with me?

          Violetta: Who knows! Probably because in your heart, you know this isn't the most honorable course of action, because you know you're in the wrong, and because sometimes, you're an idiot! [she chuckles]

          Methos: [Chuckles with her] Are you sure you're not real?

          Violetta: Fairly sure.

          [distant engine roaring]


          [doppler, car engine coming and going. Must be intended to highlight change of scene]

          Nurse: Here we are. Do you want me to come in with you?

          Methos: [Mr. Innocent] Um uh no, thank you. I'd rather be alone with him, if that's alright. I... just... [as though overwrought] I, I, don't want anyone to see me cry.

          Nurse: Of course. I understand. [moving away] I'll be just outside. Bang on the door if you need anything!

          [Methos lets himself through the door, his footsteps crossing a room]

          [a man whimpering, sobbing, panting]

          Man: [whispers] Who's that?! Is someone there?

          Methos: [casual cheer] Hello, me old marker! How's it going?

          Man: Huh... Who're you? [hopeful] Are you here to help me?

          Methos: Oh, you won't remember me.

          Man: [whimpers] N-no, no.

          Methos: [teasing delight] And a few hours after I've gone, you still won't remember me! Or much else. [explains to the bewildered man] See, your mind is unable to hold on to anything except the agonizing pain and misery that haunts your pathetic existence every single second of every single day... [tone has darkened as he speaks]

          Man: [confused bewildered terror] No, I don't understand! W-wh-wo-do-wh... Why am I here?

          Methos: You're here because you did a lot of very bad things. Hurt a lot of people. [man whimpers] Killed a good person, who did nothing to you. [to the confused noises] Broke my heart. And I'm here to watch you suffer.

          Man: W-why? Why?!

          Methos: [hard] Because you got into a fight that you couldn't possibly win. And, I don't care if the punishment outweighs the crime by a hundred to one, I did it, anyway.

          Man: N-o, no!

          Methos: Now, seeing you in agony makes me happy. [man's blerg] Killing used to fill that need, but, I've kicked the habit. Now I can just come here and take pleasure in your pain. [man stutters with words he keeps losing] I suppose you're my murder methadone!

          Man: [helplessly] Please! I can't bear it any longer! I want to die but I can't! I-I tried... cutting my wrists! I... cuuuh-I think I died... I think... I came back to life! How can I die, and stay dead! [sniffle] Do you know? Can you kill me? Will you kill me?

          Methos: [lightly over the man's ticks] No. I won't! I made a promise, and it's a promise I will very much enjoy keeping. [walks toward the door]

          Man: N-no! Wait! Wait! Where are you going? Stay! Stay... a while, please! Talk to me... [pained whine]

          Methos: Sorry. Gotta go see a man about a box. But don't worry, I'll come back and say hello, every now and then. Umm... Once every hundred years or so? [the man sobs pitifully] ... Maybe, next time... if you've been good, [intimately] I'll tell you what your name is!

          Man: Please, please!

          [Methos leaves, the door slamming behind him]

          Man: [wails] No! Please! I can't bear it! Please! Don't leave me alone!

          [The voices come.]
          Caspian: But you're not alone, Dilijan. We're here, in your head, so you can't shut us out.
          Silas: [deep, menacing laughter] We're always here! We like you.
          Kronos: And we will never leave you. Ever. Keeping you company, for as long as you live. It's the least we can do. For an old friend.
          [The man we all know is Dilijan wails in abject objection and terror, as at least three voices laugh in his head]
          [music ends dramatically]

          Track 15
          Theme MUSIC
          CD Extra 04
          All the music.