Notes: A story in the Bloodties series, set in the Star Trek future/time line, but no ST characters, just the 'Mirror, Mirror' concept.
Characters: Methos, Duncan MacLeod, MirrorMethos, Kronos, Silas, Lucien LaCroix, Original Characters
Summary: When Methos' past becomes part of the present, the consequences could be deadly for those close to him.
If you're new to the series, you can find an overview here.
What I thought I was going to write underwent some mental revision. So this part is a little different from what I initially anticipated.
Hope you enjoy this next part of the story.
I Remember You Not Fondly ~ Part Seven
A guard had led Methos to Triona’s large tent across the center clearing from Kronos'.
It had been many hours since Kronos had dismissed him, and Methos thought he would go insane from the enforced inactivity. He had paced his tent like a caged animal, the feeling of being totally dependent on those who were both strangers and people he knew better than himself tying his mind up in knots of paradox and worry. Then a guard had appeared, telling him that Triona had summoned him.
She didn't look up as he entered, seemingly engrossed in the computer display she sat in front of. Rubbing her thumb against the tips of her fingers, she chewed at her lower lip. It was a hauntingly familiar gesture, and Methos harshly reminded himself that this was not his Triona. To forget that could be perilous.
He moved deeper into the tent, which seemed to be set up as some sort of lab. To the left of Triona's computer station was a large display board, covered in writing Methos recognized as his own. To the right was a large worktable, covered in bits and pieces excavated from the planet. "You wanted to see me?" he finally said into the quiet.
She glanced up at him, a flash of something he couldn't quite identify passing across her eyes before she dipped her head down once more. "I want to you tell me everything that happened up to the moment you ended up here." Still, she didn't look at him. "And I mean everything, no matter how trivial it may seem to you."
He complied, pacing back and forth as he tried to recall every detail about his experience. "The silence is what I remember most," he finished.
"After the shift, it was silent. There was no ambient noise at all for nearly a minute."
Nodding, she turned her attention back to the computer. While she worked, Methos walked over to the display board, basically a twenty-fourth century computerized version of a white board. He reread the translation, as he had hundreds of times before. Now, in hindsight, the correct translation leapt out at him. Picking up a stylus, he crossed out 'way to knowledge and power' and wrote instead 'powered way to knowledge'. "The 'way' was a literal conduit, powered to bring someone here. “To gain knowledge of another reality," he muttered angrily. He was a fool. So certain that he was right, that he knew better than anyone did what the alien device was.
"I told them we were coming to a too obvious conclusion." Startled, Methos realized she'd come to stand next to him. "Just because we were looking for new technology to expand our power, to create new weapons, didn't mean the civilization that lived and died here had similar goals at all." She sounded thoughtful, with no trace of the anger that had marked their previous exchanges.
"But they didn't listen?"
"Oh, Kronos always listens. But in the end, if there's a disagreement we can't resolve, he sides with Methos. He has for thousands of years, so why would that change just because I'm here now?" She seemed resigned to that fact. Then she looked up at him, with almost a smile touching her lips. "Are you going to try and make me believe that you don't always think you're right too?"
Laughing softly, he admitted, "Probably too much of the time, yes."
Turning away, she said, "And he always does his best to undermine me. To make Kronos doubt my judgement." She sounded angry again.
"Why stay?" He hadn't meant to ask so baldly, but there it was. "There's a whole galaxy out there."
She whirled back towards him, her face taut with anger. "Why should I leave? I have as much right to be here as he does! I earned my place!"
Methos tried to backtrack. "I never meant to imply," he began, only to be interrupted.
"Never meant to imply what? That Kronos keeps me here because he likes me in his bed?" She laughed with an edge of bitterness. "Well, he does! But there are ample bodies in every slave market in the quadrant, and Kronos takes his pleasure where he will. But if you think that's the only reason I have a place at his side, then you couldn't be more wrong!"
"It's obvious to anyone who knows Kronos that is not the reason you're here," he said in his least threatening tone. The one he'd perfected in millennia past for calming wild horses and hysterical women. It almost always worked. And he prayed it did this time. He couldn't afford to alienate her. Everything depended on her now.
Narrowing her eyes, she looked at him suspiciously, but just nodded sharply. Taking a deep breath, she continued in a more measured voice, "I earned my place," she repeated. "Caspian, Cassandra, they both underestimated me. But they're dead and I'm here, and I have everything I've always wanted: power, wealth, respect… a place."
As she spoke, Methos regretted never telling his own Triona often enough how proud he was of her. One of the pitfalls of immortality, he supposed, always believing there was time enough for everything, especially for him, the oldest immortal. Of course, there were so many things he should have taken the time to say, that now, might go forever unsaid. They said, ‘pride goeth before the fall’ – but his pride had brought both him and his wife to this desperate place, together, but a universe apart.
He wanted to tell the woman at his side that there were so many possibilities. But that was something he couldn’t do. It was his own reality, his own love and life that mattered now, and he couldn’t allow for stray sentiment to interfere.
But something he couldn’t change was his insatiable curiosity. He’d wondered about Caspian, and was compelled to ask, “Caspian is dead then?”
“Long dead,” she replied softly. Then her voice hardened as she began to pace. “He was a liability, and in my way. Methos wanted him gone as much as I did. But they were brothers,” she practically spat the word. “So he couldn’t take his head, not directly.”
“But you could.”
She looked at him sidelong, the last rays of sunset arcing through the open tent flap, casting her face in harsh lines and shadows. “Oh yes, I could. I bided my time, learned everything I could, but after fifty years of Caspian being a thorn in my side, standing in my way, I took my chance.”
Methos carefully schooled his expression into one of seeming indifference. But under the façade, his mind was racing. If she’d taken Caspian’s head, so young, no wonder she was slightly mad.
“Not alone, not without help. Like I said, Methos wanted him gone as much as I did. So we worked together, in a manner of speaking. One of Methos’ many poisons for my dagger, Caspian, after drinking too much with Methos, manipulated into attacking me, breaking one of Kronos’ cardinal rules. After that, I had cause; Silas was my witness. With the poison and the drink, the fight was… even.”
And his doppelgänger knew that Caspian’s quickening would leave Triona unstable. Methos had dealt with two problems at once. That’s what he would have done. And the knowledge of that turned his stomach, remembering the man he’d been, the man he could still be.
“And afterwards? Kronos’ reaction?”
She laughed hollowly. “I took the blame, left Methos’ part out of it. That was the agreement. I could deal with whatever punishment Kronos devised. Because after... after, I had Caspian’s place. And less to fear.” That last was whispered, and Methos wasn’t sure if she’d intended for him to hear.
Together, they watched the sun set on the planet that had drawn them together from two different realities.
Part Seventeen ][ Part Eighteen ][ Part Nineteen ][ Part Twenty