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Rodimus Prime's ~HIGHLANDER~ [Legacies Edge]

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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
          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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          • #55
            p45.1-2
            by Rodimus Prime

            [The amber tone of the overcast sky illuminates the color hue of a stone slab that two strange looking lizards seem to be blending with as they harvest bugs out of the cracks and crevices. They quickly scatter as a pair of boots and a field pack slam down with Quentin's heavy breathing and heavy hair looming over.]
            Quentin: "Did we shake them? You see any of them?"
            [Kastagir observes from a crouched position as he spots some of Kortan's foot soldiers searching for them, but heading in the wrong direction. He begins quietly chuckling to himself and Quentin.]
            Kastagir: "Looks like they took the bait."
            [Quentin pulls his hair back into a ponytail and looks at Kastagir with a new sense of understanding.]
            Quentin: "That's why you led us in circles for a day down there. We were planting false tracks!"
            Kastagir: "Of course we were! Your father and I use to shake the hunters of a tsar's kingdom all the time with that trick. We'd prep our escape route, poach his livestock, shake off his soldiers and convince them the forest was haunted for a hundred years! What difference is there in poaching Kortan?"
            (he winks at Quentin)
            Quentin: "Is that how you guys did it? (he pauses for a moment) "How you found pleasure or excitement in a world you couldn't change or control?"
            Kastagir: "Let me tell you something! I've survived my share of Kortans in my many lifetimes. If you ever let a tyrant take the pleasures or excitement out of your life, you might as well stick your head out and let them take it too. There's a time to bow down and a time to stand tall, but you NEVER bow your soul to them. Time and Kortan's forces haven't caught us yet, but if we don't get back to the KEEP by nightfall..."
            Quentin: "...there'll be HELL to pay!"
            [Kastagir's smile and laughter illuminates the somber glow from the sky as they prepare to move. Suddenly... Quentin's eyes widen right as both of them feel the presence of another Immortal close by! Kastagir motions him to hold still as a dark cloaked figure can be seen taking down one of Kortan's scouts in the distance.]
            Quentin: "Is it Felicia? Have you seen her in that gear before?"
            Kastagir: "It's not Felicia! The build is different, movement is different... possibly female." (he quickly looks to Quentin and looks back to see the figure is gone) "This is the one the villagers and refugees have spoken of..."
            Quentin: "A new awakened!?"

            ...to be continued.
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            • #56
              p45.2-2
              by Rodimus Prime

              [The library room of the KEEP is quiet, just as all libraries should be. That is until the doors fling open to the thunderous sound of Ramirez's boots marching into the room! Rebecca glances over from her restoration project... not surprised by his frantic entrance at all. He looks immediately to Kastagir with fury in his Egyptian eyes.]

              Ramirez: "Where the HELL have you two been!? What happened out there!? Five of Kortan's soldiers are dead and his forces are swarming like hornets. You were NOT to engage anyone!"
              Kastagir: "We didn't!!! We were hunting in the north lands and his soldiers picked up on our trail. They forced us west into the Magunda territory."
              Rebecca: "Dear Lord! You were never supposed to take him that far out!"
              [Quentin looks to Kastagir with an expression of uncertainty. An expression that holds multiple emotions.]
              Quentin: "You want to tell them or should I...?"
              Rebecca: "Tell us what!?"
              Kastagir: "We sensed and saw another Immortal out there! She's the one that was taking down Kortan's soldiers."
              Rebecca: "She...? You mean Felicia?"
              Kastagir: "A cloaked figure that is built and moves like a female."
              Quentin: "I know presence signatures I've felt before and I can say that I've never felt this one! It's not Felicia. When's the last time anyone's even seen her? Ten years ago... maybe more? They say Kortan took her head with her own sword!"
              Ramirez: "So if there is a new player on the board..."
              Rebecca: "...there has been a new awakening!"
              Kastagir: "Which means there could be one... or more?"
              Quentin: "More... that will all be heading towards me, the source!"
              [Ramirez takes a deep breath and looks to Rebecca.]
              Ramirez: "Then we must accelerate this process!" (she doesn't react, just stares at him silently) "Summon the others... bring everyone in. It is time!"

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              • #57
                p46.
                by Rodimus Prime

                [Hatalyah walks into the main kitchen and cooks hall to join Zhing Li and Kastagir as they await the arrival of Ramirez. She can feel a slight charge and excitement in the air! As if the spirit of the Quickening where truly in their midst.]

                Kastagir: "Rebecca and Quentin are gathering with the others."
                Ramirez: "Well then... Let's get to it." (he looks to Kastagir) "What is the current number of our forces?"
                Kastagir: "Fourty seven outside the walls and twenty nine in the city. Seventy six in total as of last count and check in."
                Zhing Li: "We are not strong enough in numbers to advance on Kortan's city!"
                Hatalyah: "She's right! What is your intent?"
                Ramirez: "Indeed! We do not have enough... Not yet! We have created a passage of knowledge and training not only for Quentin, but for those we have freed and unified. They have lived under the yoke of Kortan for the last time and will soon join us in freeing the city of Mugunda. However, a task of will and spirit lies ahead of us all first!" (they look to each other, intrigued) "It has been twenty-nine years since we woke the Highlander and began his training. It is now time for him to stand as his own, just as we shall stand as ourselves once more!"
                Hatalyah: "You mean it is time for us to reclaim our own lifeforce!?"
                Zhing Li: "We must ensure our own survival in the event Quentin is killed by Kortan or possibly others now with the presence of a newly awakened."
                Kastagir:"If you're proposing a separation of spirit, it will require the elixir... and there's only one place we've discovered that it can be done."
                Zhing Li: "The dark forest."
                Ramirez: "Exactly! This task will NOT be easy."
                Hatalyah: "What's in the forest?"
                [The room goes silent at that haunting question.]
                Zhing Li: "Only what you take with you."
                Ramirez: "We must prepare ourselves!"
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                • #58
                  p47.
                  by Rodimus Prime
                  [Quentin stands in front of a table on the east terrace that holds an open sword case with a purple shroud covering its treasure. He slowly reaches for it, but is startled by Sofia's voice behind him.]
                  Sofia: "Not so fast, young man!"
                  [Darius looms behind Sofia with a fond smile and wink to Quentin. Silently sharing Quentin's embarrassment of being caught with his hand in the cookie jar, so to speak.]
                  Rebecca: "Ramirez and the others are preparing for this excursion that we all must take. So... The honor of this moment belongs to us now!"
                  Nakano: "And an HONOR it very much is."
                  "The young Highlander has been working on a special blade for some time, a blade with a destiny that even he has not been aware of... until now."
                  [Quentin quickly looks to Master Nakano with a surprised expression.]
                  Sofia: "This KEEP has held many pieces of unique ivory and woods from centuries long before our sleep. I have carved and combined some of these to create a strengthened handle worthy of your blade!" (she puts on a somewhat coy smile) "But first you must beat Darius in chess, huh!?"
                  [Darius leans over her shoulder with a smile as he takes the corner of the purple shroud himself.]
                  Darius: "Nonsense! He can't wait forever for it..." (Darius pulls the shroud off as Quentin's eyes illuminate) "...now can he!?"
                  [Rebecca's eyes tear up as Quentin stands silently before the katana. Its beauty and uniqueness reflect the timeless talents of those that stand around him, as well as his own dedication to the forge!]
                  Nakano: "The sword wields the spirit of its master! Both will need to be strong for the journey ahead of us. For the separation of Petda'v."
                  Quentin: "What is it like?"
                  Rebecca: "It is like being suspended in time, with every emotion you can imagine hitting you all at once! Our swords are the focus point and our physical contact during this. Only a truly forged and strengthened sword can sustain it! All other types would shatter during..." (she looks to Nakano and then back to Quentin) "...as well as your mind."
                  [Sofia's hands let go of Darius and she gestures Quentin to the case.]
                  Sofia: "Take it! Feel it!"
                  [Quentin takes hold of his katana and feels a charge of the Quickening in it! Lifting it up he immediately takes a stance back from the others. He begins to move in unison with it as his gifts of consciousness guide him along with a vision of a Scotsman and a Spaniard moving in harmony with their swords. Moving in their own time as he moves in his now!]
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                  • #59
                    p48.
                    by Rodimus Prime

                    [Echoes reverberate through a darkened chamber like thunder in a drum as two vault doors open, revealing Kortan as he walks into his throne room. His Japanese style Kimono is firmly fitted as his large Hakama pants flow out from a custom leather stomach wrap and belted brace. He stands in front of four figures, two standing, two kneeling. Kortan claps once to signal the kneeling soldiers to remove their helmets, rise and report.]
                    Arak: "My Lord, the field spies indicate that they have doubled the guard on the walls of the KEEP and none of the Immortals have been in sight for days. All passages are guarded by our soldiers and scouts."
                    Kortan: "They won't take the passages you fool! They've never left the KEEP in full numbers... unless they have locked themselves in again? This is quite curious!" (he looks to General Gorth) "How many forces do we have available? What's our damage report?"
                    Gorth: "We have sustained two more casualties on the southern patrol and four after the last attack on the western route. This hassassin that stalks us has proven elusive and deadly! How our dear Arak here survived out of all of his unit is truly a miracle!"
                    [Arak turns red in the face and looks directly at Gorth with a sour expression.]
                    Arak: "What are you implying, General? I fought and wounded the Hassassin! What have you done to address this matter?" (he wrings his hands as spit builds and spews out with his angry words) "I have killed for Kortan! I have bled for Kortan! You are the weak..."

                    Kortan: "ENOUGH!!!" (They both nervously look to Kortan) "Have you now Arak... have you indeed? How did you escape such a terror?"
                    Arak: "I stood my ground and defended your fallen while that coward Malone fled off as the Hassassin made chase."
                    Kortan: "My Malone fled like a coward while you fought gallantly?"
                    Arak: "It is true my Lord! Malone was slain as he fled."
                    Kortan: "Killed as a fleeting coward under my house!?
                    Hmmm....what do you have to say for such a cowardly act, Malone?"
                    [Both Generals look to the shadowy and ghostly figure of Malone emerging from beneath the steps of the throne with a unsettling cackle. Smelling of war paint and medication ointment. Arak freezes with shock and terror for the LIE that he has just been caught in.]
                    Kortan: "An odd thing that Malone returns to me alive and with genuine wounds of combat, while you show none... Arak!"
                    Arak: "My Lord..." (he steps forward) "I must have been..."
                    [Kortan snaps his fingers and Malone instantly spins his staff spear, slicing Arak's throat open with deadly precision. His body crumbles to the floor as Malone slams the hilt of his staff into the marble finish, standing at attention in true soldier fashion with a mocking swagger.]
                    Kortan: "...been mistaken? Indeed you were!"
                    (he turns to his throne and chalice for a drink before looking back to General Gorth) "You will fortify my numbers and personally bury these fallen. Starting with your brother Arak here!"
                    [Gorth furiously swallows his pride and anger as he kneels once more in submissive fashion.]
                    Gorth: "Yes, my Lord!"
                    Kortan: "Malone... you will take a pack of scouts and investigate this possible movement into the North." (he slams the chalice down) "DO NOT venture into the Dark Forest, do you understand me!?"
                    Malone: "Yes, my Lord! Long live Kortan!"
                    [Kortan claps twice, dismissing them as he finally sits on his cold throne. Whispering to the darkness.]
                    Kortan: "There can be only..... ME!"
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                    • #60
                      •FINALE•
                      p49.1-2
                      by Rodimus Prime

                      [As the golden sunset illuminates a hidden village of the northern canyons, the villagers take their evening rest to enjoy its beauty and the coolness of twilight. Quentin sits side by side and hand in hand with Airea as they take in this view together. She was barely a teenager when she first rescued him from Kortan's soldiers and they have had many adventures together during these past ten years. This is his first trip this far north of the KEEP and she is taking every advantage of it to be with him.
                      This village is the last outpost before the valley that leads to the dark forest. Ramirez and MacLeod are the first two of the Immortals that have arrived since they are traveling in pairs and a day's journey apart to cover their tracks. Juan motions Quentin to join him for a moment as the evening light begins to fade.]

                      Ramirez: "Look around you, dear boy! This village and these people are free because of us! Proof of our endeavor and our sacrifices."
                      Quentin: "Kortan's forces have never been this far north?"
                      Ramirez: "No, never this far! These people have been well hidden beyond his reach. Not to mention how this mysterious Awakened One has helped THIN OUT his scout patrols." (he looks out to the river and boats below) "It seems we remain in this Hassassin's debt for the moment. Have you any clues of his or her identity through your special gifts?"
                      Quentin: "No." (he shakes his head with frustration) "I haven't been close enough or for long enough to get anything."
                      [Ramirez sees his frustration and the young lady that stands at the railing just above him.]
                      Ramirez: "That's probably a good thing!" (Quentin cracks a half smile) "You think young Airea would agree?"
                      [Now Quentin is fully smiling as he glances up at her from over his shoulder. She smiles back at him intently.]
                      Ramirez: "Would it be friends, comrades... or lovers perhaps?" (Quentin looks back out into the canyon with a coyish grin as Ramirez leans in) "Possibly all of the above?"
                      [MacLeod nods his head with a "tell tell" smile as he raises one eyebrow.]
                      Quentin: "Something like that!"
                      Ramirez: "Well then, we will brave this forest and the trails ahead. Fulfill this destiny and get you back here..." (he looks up to Airea) "...as soon as possible!"
                      [The two of them share laughter together that almost holds a father and son endearment to it. That is till Quentin's senses are triggered with a rush of the Quickening.]
                      Quentin: "Someone's here!"
                      [Ramirez looks around with caution and confusion as he motions Airea inside.]
                      Ramirez: "I don't feel anything!?"
                      [Quentin leans onto the rail, pointing out to the mouth of the canyon as he takes up a pair of binoculars.]
                      Quentin: "Out there!"
                      [Ramirez scurries to the porchway and throws a backpack to Quentin as he steals a quick kiss and his sword from Airea.]
                      Ramirez: "Let's GO!"

                      To be continued
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                      • #61
                        •FINALE•
                        p49.2-2
                        by Rodimus Prime

                        [Quentin and Ramirez paddle a village canoe in a trained sequence with their torsos tucked low to its shape. Moving quickly with the river current towards the cemented ruins of what use to be a power station that still stands at the mouth of the canyon.
                        They quickly alter course to the shoreline so they can approach on foot and on guard. As the canoe makes land and they make ready, Ramirez now feels the rushing presence of this mysterious guest himself. Still marveling at the range in which Quentin can sense another of their kind.
                        With hands ready at their ornate hilts and a soft tread of the boot, they stealthily maneuver up the shoreline in caution. Knowing the other here is just as aware of their presence and fearing the compromise of this village since all their party are coming in from the southern route.]

                        Quentin: "Do you see anything?"
                        [Ramirez peers into the structure and motions Quentin to hold his position. Quentin disregards, circling up and around Ramirez due to the alarming sensation coursing through him. Juan's look of anger quickly turns to surprised alert as a dark cloaked and masked figure crouches down on a cement block behind them both. Quentin spins around with his blade drawn as a muffled female voice calls out from behind the mask...
                        "Wait, MacLeod!"
                        Although Quentin's name and legend have already spread among the people, he is still unsettled by this Hassassin knowing it. Just then his senses begin to speak to him through the atmosphere. The air feels heavy with a hint of the word THIEF as the wind whispers RAVEN to him.]

                        Quentin: "Show yourself!"
                        [The hood and mask are removed to reveal the snow white hair and timeless beauty of Amanda. A face that Juan hasn't seen in many, many centuries!]
                        Ramirez: "My GOD! You're the Hassassin!"
                        Amanda: "Hello Juan! It's been a VERY long time." (Her eyes move to Quentin, intrigued) "So this is the Highlander?"
                        Quentin: "You know her?"
                        [Ramirez reveals a startled smile but keeps a steadied hand on his hilt as he steps forward.]
                        Ramirez: "Amanda and I met many, many centuries ago! She was just as new to the Game as you were when I found you."
                        Quentin: "Rebecca's Amanda!?"
                        Amanda: "The one and only!" (she winks at him) "Nice to hear my reputation still proceeds me."
                        Ramirez: "Does she know?"
                        Amanda: "Not yet! I would prefer we keep it that way until you all have your walk in the woods."
                        Ramirez: "So you know of the forest! Have you been there?"
                        Amanda: "Yes, and I must say that..." (she looks at him with caution and sincerity) "...your mind and spirit better be up to par. This forest looks back at you, looks inside."
                        Quentin: "Can we trust her?"
                        Ramirez: "Oh... I wouldn't go that far!"
                        [She returns his coyish and playful grin as she takes off one glove. Allowing Juan to take up that hand and kiss it properly.]
                        Amanda: "I see a gentleman hasn't forgotten his manners after all of this time and chaos."
                        Ramirez: "One still tries, my dear!" (he holds that hand with both of his now) "Exactly how long have you been awakened?"
                        Amanda: "Long enough to have traveled from the ruins of Paris and see the monstrosity that Kortan has built. To do as the Watchers once did by lying in wait and studying. Then I learned of the KEEP and the Immortals that arose from their sleep to free these people of their Overlord. That's when I started thinning his herd and tipping the scales in your favor. Scout patrols were also sent out to follow your movement here. I diverted them and led them off in misdirection."
                        [Ramirez looks to Quentin, who still holds his gaze and his blade in a guarded position. Motioning him to lower it in a gesture of ease.]
                        Ramirez: "Then we are in your debt just as these people here are."
                        [She nods her head to Ramirez, but her eyes go back to Quentin with an alluring intrigue. She feels a pull towards him that she hasn't experienced since the days of the Gathering. A sensation she does not understand, but an urgency to help him none the less.]
                        Amanda: "Kortan and I have our own past and I want to see him defeated as badly as you do! I've studied every way in and out of Mugunda City. If you want to defeat him then we need each other, MacLeod."
                        [She surprises him with Gaelic, a language his father had taught him as part of their Celtic heritage.]
                        Amanda: "You want Kortan, then I'm your girl for the job!"
                        [Quentin slowly steps up, shouldering his blade and placing a cautious hand on top of both of theirs.]
                        Ramirez: "Then a new game is on!"
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