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  • #51
    ~HIGHLANDER~
    [Legacies Edge]
    p42.1-2
    by Rodimus Prime

    [Sofia walks out onto the west terrace to veiw the sunset for a moment of rest. Although she's held Darius more than once since they've reunited here, her memories go back to Methos at this moment. Back to her life with him on the South Western Frontier of the 1800's. Back to when she went by the name Tess. Back to the last sunset she ever shared with him.]

    Methos: "I have something for you."
    [She ties her horse up to the hitching post while looking Methos over.]
    Tess: "Do you now?"
    [He innocently smiles with a reserved manner that melts her inside. Then presents a bouquet of exotic flowers that stuns her at the sight and smell of them.]
    Tess: "My God, they're beautiful! How did you..?"
    Methos: "The elixir! I followed Rebecca's notes and found the last ingredient in this desert plant life!"
    [She keeps her head bowed looking at them because the excitement in his voice and the mention of Rebecca's name burns her inside to the core!]
    Methos: "To preserve these and have them flourish in this environment... It's amazing! It's the KEY we've been missing to manipulate its longevity!!! I have to go see her soon. Rebecca has to see this work for herself."
    [That raises her scowled face to attention! Her eyes burn into him like branding irons.]
    Tess: "I see! Ummhmm... So you're just gonna run off with your precious elixir?" (her voice tightens) "To your PRECIOUS Rebecca!?"
    Methos: "Tess! Its not like that and you know it. We haven't had a breakthrough with the elixir since the time of Master Nakano. She and I are the last two that hold this knowledge. You would deny me this now?"
    [She drops her head again in anger and guilt. Something he's good at checking her with.]
    Tess: "Well... Let's just hope you're not gone too long! Huh? That you don't get lost out there with Rebecca and your damn elixir."
    [She begins to untie her horse in frustration as he takes one of her hands and just holds it.]
    Tess: "I'm going for another ride. You do what you like! Huh?"
    [He watches her ride off into the evening sunset as she keeps her gaze on its warmth in a gallop. The same warmth that brings her back to the present with those eyes full of tears now, but they are not alone. Something has come back with them! A terrifying thought that has followed her memory like a ghost through time. Sofia turns in a panic, sprinting back into the KEEP. Frantically searching for Rebecca!]

    to be continued...
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    • #52
      ~HIGHLANDER~
      [Legacies Edge]
      p42.2-2
      by Rodimus Prime

      [Rebecca sits in the old garden that is now Holy Ground and a memorial that holds ashes of the Watchers and Quentin's dear Kay. Those that defended the KEEP during the Dark Days of the first century. Some others who found this place and served in protecting it along with the Immortals have been laid to rest here as well over the centuries. Rebecca finishes sewing clothing for the refugees they have rescued from one of Kortan's encampments and begins packing up to evade the fading daylight. She is startled by the sensation of another Immortal combined with the sounds of frantic shuffling that comes to an abrupt halt as Sofia staggers onto the balcony in what appears to be a mild state of shock and confusion.]

      Rebecca: "What is it?"
      Sofia: "How did he know?"
      Rebecca: "Who...what!?"
      Sofia: "I... I burned them..."
      Rebecca: "Burned who? Good Lord, woman! What are you ON about?"
      [Tears begin to run down Sofia's face as she slowly descends the stairs with a mild trembling.]
      Sofia: "I burned your letters after I learned of Methos' death. Burned his entire green house and study! I..." (her voice drops into a harsh whisper) "I hated you so much that I destroyed any trace of you from what was my life with that beautiful man."
      [Rebecca slowly rises in a state of caution, not knowing what will come out of her mouth next.]
      Sofia: "He memorized your notes and left the damned letters with me for safe keeping."
      [She slightly laughs in a disturbing way that reflects off of the peaked caution in Rebecca's face. A laughter that quickly turns into sorrow again.]
      Sofia: "So how would Kortan have known the formula to manipulate his own dose, to manipulate Felicia's!? You never made a mistake with it."
      Rebecca: "If you are accusing me of THIS..."
      [Sofia's face retracts into heartbreak as she shakes her head.]
      Sofia: "Not you. I know it wasn't you! You weren't the deceiver."
      [She staggers off the last step and now stands level with Rebecca, eye to eye. Looking out into the distant smoke rising from one Kortan's factories.]
      Sofia: "There's only one way he could have known the complexity of it!" (her voice drops to an emotionless whisper) "He killed Methos."
      [The color in Rebecca's face drops as she begins to tear up. Her voice cracks as her mouth silently repeats.."no, no, no!"]
      Sofia: "We never knew who killed him... no records. He had no Watcher!" (Rebecca begins sobbing as she quickly walks to her) "And I hated you for..." (she collapses into Rebecca's arms as they both sink to the stone floor) "Oh NO, oh GOD!!"

      [The ambiance of the sunset is shattered by a horrendous scream that Sofia unleashes into Rebecca's trembling embrace. She muffles Sofia's screams, absorbing them because they are not anyone else's to hear. This pain belongs to them alone! Rebecca holds her with strength and a respectful silence, counter to Sofia's wailing cries as the stark truth of it pours over both of them. The complexities of the elixir couldn't have been accessed through the memories of an inherited Quickening... only a direct one! Rebecca knows Sofia is right as much as she herself wants to deny it. She has no words to justify or sooth the pain of this truth they both now share. Only the arms to hold her with as the stone floor beneath them grows cold with the night sky.]
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      • #53
        ~HIGHLANDER~
        [Legacy's Edge]
        p43.
        by Rodimus Prime

        [A cellar door that leads to an escape passage beneath the KEEP opens to reveal Ramirez and Zhing Li entering in wet suits and taking off tactical gear. They both appear fatigued as if returning home after a long day at work. She is quickly out of her suit, hanging it to dry as Ramirez changes supplies and prepares to go back out. She clings to the draped suit with one leg around it in a seductive way.]
        Zhing Li: "Are you off to work again?"
        [They've always had a playful and slightly flirtatious relationship since the day they met in front of Joe's bar. Though he is more than a millennium older than her, they seem to share a kinship through their experiences. Innocent flirtation is often shared to boost each other's spirits... almost to the point of suspicion from the others.]
        Ramirez: "A gentleman's work is never done, my dear!"
        [She rotates her thighs with one heel and calf raised as her bikini bottom accentuates her lower curves. Poses with her arms folded around her bare top.]
        Zhing Li: "Never?!"
        [Ramirez takes a breath and cracks his sly smile, which is what she was really after. He doubles his expression with charm and flirtation... like a fencing match between them.]
        Ramirez: "Never!"
        [She walks up the stairs like a model on a catwalk, glancing over her shoulder at him.]
        Zhing Li: "Never say never."

        [Hatalyah and Quentin enter through a side door, both of their faces express a teenage curiosity and telling look at Ramirez as he simply greets them with a blushing smile.]
        Quentin: "You're going back out there? I want to come with you!"
        Ramirez: "Oh... I see! So you think you're ready to venture beyond the grounds? Tell me, Hatalyah... has he bested Kastagir in hunting yet?"
        Hatalyah: "No."
        Ramirez: "Do you feel he is ready for reconnaissance into Kortan's palace?"
        Hatalyah: "Absolutely not!"
        Ramirez: "There's your answer... she says NO."
        (Quentin shakes his head in frustration)
        "Has Nakano finished the armor plating?"
        Hatalyah: "Yes, he's working on the new hinge bolts now."
        Ramirez: "Good!" (he resets his suit hoodie)
        Quentin: "This is unbelievable!"
        [Ramirez turns back at his protest.]
        Ramirez: "No, dear Quentin, what's unbelievable is your ability to take up my katana or Hatalyah's cutlass and perform historical techniques without training! Or your ability to assist us in creating medicines from the local plant life with no previous education in such sciences."
        Hatalyah: "Kortan's advances in restarting an industrial age over the last hundred years has given him a sizable advantage that forces us to work in secret and shadow."
        Ramirez: "And, if what we now suspect of Methos' death is true, it makes perfect sense. Kortan would be the ultimate architect and strategist with his Quickening, which would make your capture unsustainable!"
        Quentin: "Why wouldn't he just kill me?"
        Ramirez: "Your death could mean the end of us all. He fears that as much as we do and wouldn't take your head until you two were the last." (He steps forward to Quentin) "This isn't the time for rash moves, it's the time for caution, training and preparation. Time is on our side, young Highlander, let's use it wisely!"
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        • #54
          p42.1-2
          by Rodimus Prime

          [Sofia walks out onto the west terrace to veiw the sunset for a moment of rest. Although she's held Darius more than once since they've reunited here, her memories go back to Methos at this moment. Back to her life with him on the South Western Frontier of the 1800's. Back to when she went by the name Tess. Back to the last sunset she ever shared with him.]

          Methos: "I have something for you."
          [She ties her horse up to the hitching post while looking Methos over.]
          Tess: "Do you now?"
          [He innocently smiles with a reserved manner that melts her inside. Then presents a bouquet of exotic flowers that stuns her at the sight and smell of them.]
          Tess: "My God, they're beautiful! How did you..?"
          Methos: "The elixir! I followed Rebecca's notes and found the last ingredient in this desert plant life!"
          [She keeps her head bowed looking at them because the excitement in his voice and the mention of Rebecca's name burns her inside to the core!]
          Methos: "To preserve these and have them flourish in this environment... It's amazing! It's the KEY we've been missing to manipulate its longevity!!! I have to go see her soon. Rebecca has to see this work for herself."
          [That raises her scowled face to attention! Her eyes burn into him like branding irons.]
          Tess: "I see! Ummhmm... So you're just gonna run off with your precious elixir?" (her voice tightens) "To your PRECIOUS Rebecca!?"
          Methos: "Tess! Its not like that and you know it. We haven't had a breakthrough with the elixir since the time of Master Nakano. She and I are the last two that hold this knowledge. You would deny me this now?"
          [She drops her head again in anger and guilt. Something he's good at checking her with.]
          Tess: "Well... Let's just hope you're not gone too long! Huh? That you don't get lost out there with Rebecca and your damn elixir."
          [She begins to untie her horse in frustration as he takes one of her hands and just holds it.]
          Tess: "I'm going for another ride. You do what you like! Huh?"
          [He watches her ride off into the evening sunset as she keeps her gaze on its warmth in a gallop. The same warmth that brings her back to the present with those eyes full of tears now, but they are not alone. Something has come back with them! A terrifying thought that has followed her memory like a ghost through time. Sofia turns in a panic, sprinting back into the KEEP. Frantically searching for Rebecca!]

          to be continued...
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          • #55
            p42.2-2
            by Rodimus Prime

            [Rebecca sits in the old garden that is now Holy Ground and a memorial that holds ashes of the Watchers and Quentin's dear Kay. Those that defended the KEEP during the Dark Days of the first century. Some others who found this place and served in protecting it along with the Immortals have been laid to rest here as well over the centuries. Rebecca finishes sewing clothing for the refugees they have rescued from one of Kortan's encampments and begins packing up to evade the fading daylight. She is startled by the sensation of another Immortal combined with the sounds of frantic shuffling that comes to an abrupt halt as Sofia staggers onto the balcony in what appears to be a mild state of shock and confusion.]

            Rebecca: "What is it?"
            Sofia: "How did he know?"
            Rebecca: "Who...what!?"
            Sofia: "I... I burned them..."
            Rebecca: "Burned who? Good Lord, woman! What are you ON about?"
            [Tears begin to run down Sofia's face as she slowly descends the stairs with a mild trembling.]
            Sofia: "I burned your letters after I learned of Methos' death. Burned his entire green house and study! I..." (her voice drops into a harsh whisper) "I hated you so much that I destroyed any trace of you from what was my life with that beautiful man."
            [Rebecca slowly rises in a state of caution, not knowing what will come out of her mouth next.]
            Sofia: "He memorized your notes and left the damned letters with me for safe keeping."
            [She slightly laughs in a disturbing way that reflects off of the peaked caution in Rebecca's face. A laughter that quickly turns into sorrow again.]
            Sofia: "So how would Kortan have known the formula to manipulate his own dose, to manipulate Felicia's!? You never made a mistake with it."
            Rebecca: "If you are accusing me of THIS..."
            [Sofia's face retracts into heartbreak as she shakes her head.]
            Sofia: "Not you. I know it wasn't you! You weren't the deceiver."
            [She staggers off the last step and now stands level with Rebecca, eye to eye. Looking out into the distant smoke rising from one Kortan's factories.]
            Sofia: "There's only one way he could have known the complexity of it!" (her voice drops to an emotionless whisper) "He killed Methos."
            [The color in Rebecca's face drops as she begins to tear up. Her voice cracks as her mouth silently repeats.."no, no, no!"]
            Sofia: "We never knew who killed him... no records. He had no Watcher!" (Rebecca begins sobbing as she quickly walks to her) "And I hated you for..." (she collapses into Rebecca's arms as they both sink to the stone floor) "Oh NO, oh GOD!!"

            [The ambiance of the sunset is shattered by a horrendous scream that Sofia unleashes into Rebecca's trembling embrace. She muffles Sofia's screams, absorbing them because they are not anyone else's to hear. This pain belongs to them alone! Rebecca holds her with strength and a respectful silence, counter to Sofia's wailing cries as the stark truth of it pours over both of them. The complexities of the elixir couldn't have been accessed through the memories of an inherited Quickening... only a direct one! Rebecca knows Sofia is right as much as she herself wants to deny it. She has no words to justify or sooth the pain of this truth they both now share. Only the arms to hold her with as the stone floor beneath them grows cold with the night sky.]
            Click image for larger version

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            • #56
              p43.
              by Rodimus Prime

              [A cellar door that leads to an escape passage beneath the KEEP opens to reveal Ramirez and Zhing Li entering in wet suits and taking off tactical gear. They both appear fatigued as if returning home after a long day at work. She is quickly out of her suit, hanging it to dry as Ramirez changes supplies and prepares to go back out. She clings to the draped suit with one leg around it in a seductive way.]
              Zhing Li: "Are you off to work again?"
              [They've always had a playful and slightly flirtatious relationship since the day they met in front of Joe's bar. Though he is more than a millennium older than her, they seem to share a kinship through their experiences. Innocent flirtation is often shared to boost each other's spirits... almost to the point of suspicion from the others.]
              Ramirez: "A gentleman's work is never done, my dear!"
              [She rotates her thighs with one heel and calf raised as her bikini bottom accentuates her lower curves. Poses with her arms folded around her bare top.]
              Zhing Li: "Never?!"
              [Ramirez takes a breath and cracks his sly smile, which is what she was really after. He doubles his expression with charm and flirtation... like a fencing match between them.]
              Ramirez: "Never!"
              [She walks up the stairs like a model on a catwalk, glancing over her shoulder at him.]
              Zhing Li: "Never say never."

              [Hatalyah and Quentin enter through a side door, both of their faces express a teenage curiosity and telling look at Ramirez as he simply greets them with a blushing smile.]
              Quentin: "You're going back out there? I want to come with you!"
              Ramirez: "Oh... I see! So you think you're ready to venture beyond the grounds? Tell me, Hatalyah... has he bested Kastagir in hunting yet?"
              Hatalyah: "No."
              Ramirez: "Do you feel he is ready for reconnaissance into Kortan's palace?"
              Hatalyah: "Absolutely not!"
              Ramirez: "There's your answer... she says NO."
              (Quentin shakes his head in frustration)
              "Has Nakano finished the armor plating?"
              Hatalyah: "Yes, he's working on the new hinge bolts now."
              Ramirez: "Good!" (he resets his suit hoodie)
              Quentin: "This is unbelievable!"
              [Ramirez turns back at his protest.]
              Ramirez: "No, dear Quentin, what's unbelievable is your ability to take up my katana or Hatalyah's cutlass and perform historical techniques without training! Or your ability to assist us in creating medicines from the local plant life with no previous education in such sciences."
              Hatalyah: "Kortan's advances in restarting an industrial age over the last hundred years has given him a sizable advantage that forces us to work in secret and shadow."
              Ramirez: "And, if what we now suspect of Methos' death is true, it makes perfect sense. Kortan would be the ultimate architect and strategist with his Quickening, which would make your capture unsustainable!"
              Quentin: "Why wouldn't he just kill me?"
              Ramirez: "Your death could mean the end of us all. He fears that as much as we do and wouldn't take your head until you two were the last." (He steps forward to Quentin) "This isn't the time for rash moves, it's the time for caution, training and preparation. Time is on our side, young Highlander, let's use it wisely!"
              Click image for larger version

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              • #57
                p42.1-2
                by Rodimus Prime

                [Sofia walks out onto the west terrace to veiw the sunset for a moment of rest. Although she's held Darius more than once since they've reunited here, her memories go back to Methos at this moment. Back to her life with him on the South Western Frontier of the 1800's. Back to when she went by the name Tess. Back to the last sunset she ever shared with him.]

                Methos: "I have something for you."
                [She ties her horse up to the hitching post while looking Methos over.]
                Tess: "Do you now?"
                [He innocently smiles with a reserved manner that melts her inside. Then presents a bouquet of exotic flowers that stuns her at the sight and smell of them.]
                Tess: "My God, they're beautiful! How did you..?"
                Methos: "The elixir! I followed Rebecca's notes and found the last ingredient in this desert plant life!"
                [She keeps her head bowed looking at them because the excitement in his voice and the mention of Rebecca's name burns her inside to the core!]
                Methos: "To preserve these and have them flourish in this environment... It's amazing! It's the KEY we've been missing to manipulate its longevity!!! I have to go see her soon. Rebecca has to see this work for herself."
                [That raises her scowled face to attention! Her eyes burn into him like branding irons.]
                Tess: "I see! Ummhmm... So you're just gonna run off with your precious elixir?" (her voice tightens) "To your PRECIOUS Rebecca!?"
                Methos: "Tess! Its not like that and you know it. We haven't had a breakthrough with the elixir since the time of Master Nakano. She and I are the last two that hold this knowledge. You would deny me this now?"
                [She drops her head again in anger and guilt. Something he's good at checking her with.]
                Tess: "Well... Let's just hope you're not gone too long! Huh? That you don't get lost out there with Rebecca and your damn elixir."
                [She begins to untie her horse in frustration as he takes one of her hands and just holds it.]
                Tess: "I'm going for another ride. You do what you like! Huh?"
                [He watches her ride off into the evening sunset as she keeps her gaze on its warmth in a gallop. The same warmth that brings her back to the present with those eyes full of tears now, but they are not alone. Something has come back with them! A terrifying thought that has followed her memory like a ghost through time. Sofia turns in a panic, sprinting back into the KEEP. Frantically searching for Rebecca!]
                Click image for larger version

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                p42.2-2
                by Rodimus Prime

                [Rebecca sits in the old garden that is now Holy Ground and a memorial that holds ashes of the Watchers and Quentin's dear Kay. Those that defended the KEEP during the Dark Days of the first century. Some others who found this place and served in protecting it along with the Immortals have been laid to rest here as well over the centuries. Rebecca finishes sewing clothing for the refugees they have rescued from one of Kortan's encampments and begins packing up to evade the fading daylight. She is startled by the sensation of another Immortal combined with the sounds of frantic shuffling that comes to an abrupt halt as Sofia staggers onto the balcony in what appears to be a mild state of shock and confusion.]

                Rebecca: "What is it?"
                Sofia: "How did he know?"
                Rebecca: "Who...what!?"
                Sofia: "I... I burned them..."
                Rebecca: "Burned who? Good Lord, woman! What are you ON about?"
                [Tears begin to run down Sofia's face as she slowly descends the stairs with a mild trembling.]
                Sofia: "I burned your letters after I learned of Methos' death. Burned his entire green house and study! I..." (her voice drops into a harsh whisper) "I hated you so much that I destroyed any trace of you from what was my life with that beautiful man."
                [Rebecca slowly rises in a state of caution, not knowing what will come out of her mouth next.]
                Sofia: "He memorized your notes and left the damned letters with me for safe keeping."
                [She slightly laughs in a disturbing way that reflects off of the peaked caution in Rebecca's face. A laughter that quickly turns into sorrow again.]
                Sofia: "So how would Kortan have known the formula to manipulate his own dose, to manipulate Felicia's!? You never made a mistake with it."
                Rebecca: "If you are accusing me of THIS..."
                [Sofia's face retracts into heartbreak as she shakes her head.]
                Sofia: "Not you. I know it wasn't you! You weren't the deceiver."
                [She staggers off the last step and now stands level with Rebecca, eye to eye. Looking out into the distant smoke rising from one Kortan's factories.]
                Sofia: "There's only one way he could have known the complexity of it!" (her voice drops to an emotionless whisper) "He killed Methos."
                [The color in Rebecca's face drops as she begins to tear up. Her voice cracks as her mouth silently repeats.."no, no, no!"]
                Sofia: "We never knew who killed him... no records. He had no Watcher!" (Rebecca begins sobbing as she quickly walks to her) "And I hated you for..." (she collapses into Rebecca's arms as they both sink to the stone floor) "Oh NO, oh GOD!!"

                [The ambiance of the sunset is shattered by a horrendous scream that Sofia unleashes into Rebecca's trembling embrace. She muffles Sofia's screams, absorbing them because they are not anyone else's to hear. This pain belongs to them alone! Rebecca holds her with strength and a respectful silence, counter to Sofia's wailing cries as the stark truth of it pours over both of them. The complexities of the elixir couldn't have been accessed through the memories of an inherited Quickening... only a direct one! Rebecca knows Sofia is right as much as she herself wants to deny it. She has no words to justify or sooth the pain of this truth they both now share. Only the arms to hold her with as the stone floor beneath them grows cold with the night sky.]
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                • #58
                  p43.
                  by Rodimus Prime

                  [A cellar door that leads to an escape passage beneath the KEEP opens to reveal Ramirez and Zhing Li entering in wet suits and taking off tactical gear. They both appear fatigued as if returning home after a long day at work. She is quickly out of her suit, hanging it to dry as Ramirez changes supplies and prepares to go back out. She clings to the draped suit with one leg around it in a seductive way.]
                  Zhing Li: "Are you off to work again?"
                  [They've always had a playful and slightly flirtatious relationship since the day they met in front of Joe's bar. Though he is more than a millennium older than her, they seem to share a kinship through their experiences. Innocent flirtation is often shared to boost each other's spirits... almost to the point of suspicion from the others.]
                  Ramirez: "A gentleman's work is never done, my dear!"
                  [She rotates her thighs with one heel and calf raised as her bikini bottom accentuates her lower curves. Poses with her arms folded around her bare top.]
                  Zhing Li: "Never?!"
                  [Ramirez takes a breath and cracks his sly smile, which is what she was really after. He doubles his expression with charm and flirtation... like a fencing match between them.]
                  Ramirez: "Never!"
                  [She walks up the stairs like a model on a catwalk, glancing over her shoulder at him.]
                  Zhing Li: "Never say never."

                  [Hatalyah and Quentin enter through a side door, both of their faces express a teenage curiosity and telling look at Ramirez as he simply greets them with a blushing smile.]
                  Quentin: "You're going back out there? I want to come with you!"
                  Ramirez: "Oh... I see! So you think you're ready to venture beyond the grounds? Tell me, Hatalyah... has he bested Kastagir in hunting yet?"
                  Hatalyah: "No."
                  Ramirez: "Do you feel he is ready for reconnaissance into Kortan's palace?"
                  Hatalyah: "Absolutely not!"
                  Ramirez: "There's your answer... she says NO."
                  (Quentin shakes his head in frustration)
                  "Has Nakano finished the armor plating?"
                  Hatalyah: "Yes, he's working on the new hinge bolts now."
                  Ramirez: "Good!" (he resets his suit hoodie)
                  Quentin: "This is unbelievable!"
                  [Ramirez turns back at his protest.]
                  Ramirez: "No, dear Quentin, what's unbelievable is your ability to take up my katana or Hatalyah's cutlass and perform historical techniques without training! Or your ability to assist us in creating medicines from the local plant life with no previous education in such sciences."
                  Hatalyah: "Kortan's advances in restarting an industrial age over the last hundred years has given him a sizable advantage that forces us to work in secret and shadow."
                  Ramirez: "And, if what we now suspect of Methos' death is true, it makes perfect sense. Kortan would be the ultimate architect and strategist with his Quickening, which would make your capture unsustainable!"
                  Quentin: "Why wouldn't he just kill me?"
                  Ramirez: "Your death could mean the end of us all. He fears that as much as we do and wouldn't take your head until you two were the last." (He steps forward to Quentin) "This isn't the time for rash moves, it's the time for caution, training and preparation. Time is on our side, young Highlander, let's use it wisely!"
                  Click image for larger version

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                  • #59
                    p44.
                    by Rodimus Prime

                    [The smell of fire, coal and metal ore fill the air in one of the lower chambers beneath the KEEP. The sounds of different metals being struck gives off a tempo that almost feels musical to Quentin as he enters this hall. There are workers in here that move like pieces of an orchestra or chess board to the guidance of Master Nakano. They were once slaves to Kortan's forces, and now serve the Immortals' cause of their own free will.]

                    Nakano: "Welcome, young Highlander. This is my small corner of the world, yet... one can see many horizons here. Tell me, what do you see here?"
                    Quentin: "I see an ancient art that was once a way of life for you and many others." (He pauses as the hot atmosphere in here seems to whisper a word to him) "I see the birth of tamahagane!"
                    [He smiles boastfully at Nakano with an old familiar pride the master once saw in his father and in Ramirez. Nakano steps to him with a countenance of fury and the direct words of a seasoned teacher.]
                    Nakano: "You speak confidently of words you do not understand, with a pride you have not earned! Vanity by gifts alone have no place here. If you surrender to its false security... then you have already lost! Here one must be purified by the trials of the forge before they can claim its titles and treasures."
                    [Quentin silently bows before him in a humbled gesture of apology.]
                    Nakano: "Much danger surrounds us, Highlander! We must harness your special gift and focus your power through this forge. Perhaps then we will unlock and share all the lost knowledge of it together, but..." (he puts a hand on Quentin's shoulder and gestures him into the center of the Shinto forge) "...this knowledge does not come easy, Highlander."
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