Andrew Bicknell (Marek)
Nighttime on the barge. Duncan, wearing a tux sans jacket, is fixing a tray of hors d'oeuvres. Margo, wearing a long black evening dress, is standing by the bar, watching him. The barge is lit by candles, and soft, romantic music is playing.
Margo: "Saturday morning, 3 am. I guess that makes it truth time." She turns away, making a sheepish face. "I hate opera."
Duncan looks up, startled. He picks up the plates and follows her.
Duncan: "But they were your tickets."
Margo picks up her coat and wanders to the end of the coffee table: "Okay. You're really going to pull this out of me, aren't you?" She puts on her coat, moving to lean against the bed platform. "Here it is. I was just trying to impress you." She winces. "It's pathetic, isn't it?"
Duncan walks to her, sounding amused: "Beautiful, yes. Sexy, absolutely. Pathetic . . . not in this lifetime." He offers her a plate of hors d'oeuvres.
Margo: "I thought you said you didn't get out much."
Duncan hesitates, just for a second, then holds up a morsel for her: "Not lately."
Margo: "Well . . ." She eats the treat from his hand, and moves off, smiling, to fetch her drink.
Duncan: "So, Margo, what about the other day, at the Louvre?" He takes a nibble himself, sitting down on the edge of the bed platform.
Duncan: "The Seurat exhibit? I thought you said he was your favorite artist?"
Margo, muttering: "Uh-oh. I think I started something."
Duncan: "Well, you can't blame a guy for wondering."
Margo: "Mmm." She puts down her drink. "Listen, Duncan. I love the Louvre." She slips her arms around Duncan's waist, and he tosses the last bite of his hors d'oeuvre over his shoulder. "I shouldn't have said anything." She starts working at his cummerbund, and Duncan obligingly lifts his arms to help, listening bemusedly. "I'm just out of practice with this dating thing."
Duncan, strangled because she's pulling something too tight: "Well--" In a normal voice. "You know what they say, don't you?" He slips her coat off her shoulders.
Margo: "No, what do they say?"
Duncan: "Practice makes perfect." He kisses her.
Margo: "That's a good plan." Duncan starts kissing her neck. "So, you get the candles, and I'll get the lights." She moves away, and Duncan starts lighting a pillar candle nearby. Margo has just reached the other end of the barge when someone knocks on the door.
Duncan, taking a step: "I'll get it."
Margo: "I'm right here, I'll get it."
Duncan lets her, turning away to go to the bed area. Margo opens the door, then looks back in, puzzled.
Margo: "That's funny. There's no one here."
Duncan looks at her, and shrugs. He moves over to light the candle next to the bed, and Margo takes a step outside, looking around. Duncan is bending over to light the candle when he hears a shriek from outside.
Margo: "Ah! Duncan!" He dashes to the door, and sees Margo struggling with Montoya 2 [see Notes]. Duncan steps out, but as soon as he does Benoit hits him over the head and he goes down. While he's getting up, the two men drag Margo to their car. Duncan tries to follow, but when he gets up Benoit opens fire, forcing him to roll off the roof and take cover. Benoit and Montoya get in the car with Margo and drive away. Duncan stumbles after them, but the car is long gone. But, as Duncan stands there, he hears a tinkling sound, and looks down to see a music box sitting on the pavement. It's a red knight on a black horse, the horse and rider turning slowly as the music plays. Duncan picks it up, and sees "Keram Toys" printed on the underside. He grimaces and throws the box down, shattering the toy on the stones.
Exterior shot of the Keram building. It's a tall, glass tower, the windows tinted so that it does, indeed, look like a black tower. Duncan strides up to the front of the building and opens the front door. As he goes in, he walks under a security camera. Upstairs, Dice watches him eagerly, following his progress on the monitors as Duncan walks inside. Duncan walks through the lobby, then turns, his hand reaching into his coat, as he senses another immortal. Devon Marek appears around the corner, pushing a gagged Margo in front of him. He stops a few steps in, and points the gun meaningfully at Margo's head.
Duncan, not surprised: "Devon Marek."
Marek: "Long time, Duncan."
A man is running through the woods, looking over his shoulder in fear. Marek is right behind him, his sword drawn. The man stumbles down a hill, Marek not far behind, but when Marek reaches the bottom of the slope and runs on, the man attacks him with a branch from an ambush. Marek drops his sword, and the two men begin fighting hand to hand.
Meanwhile, Duncan rides up, pulling up as he sees the fight. He watches as Marek flings his opponent to the ground, and the two men roll over, Marek clutching a dagger in his hand. They roll again, the other man on top, and Marek suddenly cries out, going limp under his opponent as the other man's weight drives the dagger into his stomach. While Marek groans in agony, the other man gets up and runs away, even as Duncan rides up to where Marek is lying. Duncan dismounts, but as he nears Marek he suddenly draws his sword, looking around as he senses something, not quite like sensing another immortal. He sees no one, and looks back down at Marek, puzzled.
Marek: "What are you staring at, you savage?" He jerks away as Duncan kneels down to put a hand on his arm. "Don't touch me."
Duncan straightens up: "I would have thought a man in your position would have better manners."
Marek, gritting his teeth: "I do not need manners. I am Devon Marek, son of the Duke of Willoughby. I need a surgeon."
Duncan, not impressed: "Fine. Then I'll be off. It should only take a few days for them to find you." He takes his horse's reins and starts to walk away.
Marek, shouting: "Wait! Wait!" Duncan stops, and looks back. "I have not given you permission to leave. I do not wish it, but you will give me aid." Duncan looks at him disbelievingly, then turns and starts off again. "I command you!" Duncan keeps going. Marek subsides, gasping. "Please. Help me."
Duncan stops, and walks back: "That's better." He kneels down beside Marek. "Let me see, man." He pulls the bloodied shirt away, and looks for a moment, his face sobering. "I'm afraid, there's nothing anyone can do. You best make your peace with God."
Marek grabs him, desperate: "I shall not die! I shall not die." He voice trails off, and he breathes his last gasp.
Duncan looks away: "Yes, you will."
Later, Duncan finishes driving the crude cross into the ground at the head of Marek's grave. He dusts his hands off, and is just starting to walk off when he senses the presence of another immortal. He looks around, trying to spot the other immortal, then looks down as Marek thrusts his arm from the grave. Duncan rolls his eyes in disgust as he finally realizes what has happened, and leans against a tree to wait while Marek pulls himself out of the ground. Marek heaves himself out of the grave, kneeling and holding his middle while he looks up at Duncan.
Marek, outraged: "Are you a madman? You would bury a man not yet dead?"
Duncan looks at him disdainfully: "You were dead."
Marek: "Go fetch a surgeon."
Duncan: "Look to your wound." Marek does, and finds himself healed. Duncan looks away, muttering to himself. "My teacher told me that I would always know another immortal, even one that didna know it yet."
Marek looks up, unbelieving: "What is this? You are a seer? A sorcerer?"
Duncan: "No. Connor, my teacher, told me I would always get this feeling, the same one I got from you, but different. I didn't recognize what it was."
Marek suddenly smiles, and gets up, gesturing to himself: "What you sensed was greatness." He walks off, elated.
Duncan watches him go, incredulous, saying to himself: "What I sensed, you pompous ass, was immortality." He goes after Marek.
Marek, still holding the gun to Margo's head: "Look around you, MacLeod. I told you I'd accomplish great things."
Duncan smiles tightly: "You make toys, Marek. Get over it." Margo makes a small noise of fear as Duncan reaches into his pocket. He pulls out the remains of the music box, and shows it to Marek. "I got your message." He throws the horse on the ground.
Marek: "You were wrong about me, MacLeod, always."
Duncan: "Was I? Then why are you hiding behind a woman?"
Marek: "Who's hiding? I'm just setting the bait for the hunt." He looks past Margo, to the far corners of the room. "Allow me to introduce my other guests, MacLeod." Benoit steps out, carrying a rifle. "I believe you have already met Monsieur Benoit." He looks beyond Duncan. "The Butchers of Basque, the brothers Montoya." The Montoyas come down the stairs behind Duncan, also carrying guns. "Over fourteen years they've combined for fifty-seven successful kills." The Montoyas take up positions behind Duncan. "And then, of course, there's our friend from the States, Mr. William Robert Shemp. I'm sure you can call him Billy-Bob, you see, all his friends do." Shemp slinks out, his gun propped over his shoulder. Mr. Shemp here is the finest bounty hunter ever to come out of the South." Marek glances over at Shemp. "He'll kill anything for a price, I mean, just ask his father." [Unrestrainable comment: Please excuse me while I go throw up. Okay. I'm better now. I'll get through this okay. Really. I mean, everyone knows that people from the South (and from Spain and France, for that matter) aren't really like that. Right? Why should I be bothered by a stereotype that has nothing to do with me? Right? Right. --Jinjifore]
Shemp: "Let's get this show on the road."
Marek: "The rules are very simple, MacLeod."
Duncan: "Since when did you play by the rules?"
Marek: "They're not for me, they're for you."
Duncan, quietly: "There are other rules. We both know them."
Marek, intently: "In your world. In here, I write the rules, and they change with the game." His voice turns chipper. "Now today, it's hide and seek. You see, I hide this gorgeous young creature here." He caresses Margo's face with his gun. "And you try to find her."
Duncan, angry: "Cut the games, Marek. It's me you want. I'm here."
Marek, gently reproachful: "Oh, now where's the sport in that? Now, of course, while you're looking for her, my friends here will be looking for you."
Dice's voice comes over a speaker: "Boss, we're running a little behind schedule."
Marek snaps: "This game's mine, Dice. I say when and I say how."
Dice, up in the control room, is watching on the screens: "Right. Cue me for the start."
Back in the lobby, Duncan looks up at the monitors, then back at Marek as he starts talking.
Marek: "You . . . have sixty seconds to start running."
Duncan: "Don't be ridiculous. Face me, Marek."
Marek starts backing off: "Fifty-nine. Fifty-eight." The hunters cock their guns. "Fifty-seven. Fifty-six." Marek retreats around the corner again, still holding Margo. "Fifty-five. Fifty-four . . ." His voice trails off as he backs away, and Duncan is left alone with the four hunters. He backs off slowly as they train their guns on him.
Up in the control room, Dice is watching the countdown on one screen, and Duncan on another.
Dice: "Thirteen. Twelve. Eleven. Ten. Nine. Eight. Seven." The four hunters close up, facing Duncan. "Six." Duncan backs away, looking around as the countdown continues. "Five. Four. Three. Two. One. Play ball." Duncan dives for a doorway as the four men open fire. They shoot the door to pieces, then one of the Montoyas kicks it in and the other three follow.
Marek emerges into the control room alone, and walks up to the tables where Dice's equipment is laid out. There are three tables set up in a U-shape, with monitors and keyboards and other equipment. Dice is sitting in the middle in a rolling chair, that he uses to roll himself back and forth between the various tables.
Marek: "Dice. Pay attention."
Dice, clipped and excited: "Yeah. I know. I'm paying attention, man. I'm multitasking." He scoots over another piece of equipment, and fiddles with it momentarily. "I don't get it. Well, I mean, I do. No, I don't get it. Why are we going to the trouble of setting up a live-action simulation for this new game design, when we could just create a design sim on the computer?" He takes a bite of a candy bar, chewing thoughtfully. "No, I'm right. I don't get it."
While they talk, the sounds of the pursuit come faintly over the speakers. Shouting, voices calling, and the occasional burst of gunfire.
Marek, coming to stand next to him: "No machine could ever take the place of reality. We need an accurate simulation. We've got to start with something that is virtually real."
Dice: "I don't believe . . . well, I do. I think that virtual is much cleaner than real. Better. We're just begging to get Betamaxed." He starts to slide off, but Marek grabs the chair, halting him and forcing him to look up.
Marek, evenly: "Just push the buttons, Dice."
Dice whips back to the screens: "Okay. No, that's fine. But the whole simulation is flawed. I mean, this guy gets a prize if he gets out of the building. Generica, man, biiig deal. It's not like he's *really* running for his life or anything."
Meanwhile, in a stairwell, Duncan is being shot at from above while he flees. The Montoyas fire at him from the steps above, while Shemp goes farther and starts shooting from the landing, keeping Duncan pinned down while the others catch up and pass him. Duncan runs down the hall, and while Dice watches on the monitors he grabs a fire extinguisher and starts pounding at the doors at the end of the hall. He succeeds in opening the door, and as he ducks in the fire extinguisher goes off, clouding the hall with dense smoke.
Dice: "Oh, man, that's hot! He got out." He turns to another screen, babbling excitedly. "That's got to be bonus points, gotta be! Maybe even a level change. I can't believe he got out."
Marek, still cool: "Of course he did, you fool." Dice glances nervously behind him. Marek smiles. "Now what kind of hunt would it be if it were over so quickly?"
The four hunters come down into a parking garage.
Shemp: "Ah, he's got to come this way."
They spread out and start searching for Duncan. Shemp runs ahead, checking the doors and passages, then runs back with a growl of frustration.
Montoya 2: "He's got to be in here!"
Shemp turns toward a car: "Check around here!"
One of them makes shushing noises, and Shemp turns and fires on the car, setting off the alarm. He shoots out the windows while the alarm blares, then turns to the others with a triumphant whoop. They laugh.
Montoya 1: "It's all [locked] there. We're wasting our time."
The Montoyas and Shemp run off, but Benoit stays behind. He goes back to the end of the room, and looks around cautiously. Duncan bursts out from a grating and knocks Benoit down. Before he get up, Duncan dispatches him with a length of pipe. The others hear the noise and come running back.
Shemp: "What the hell was that?" They stop as they see Duncan. "There he is."
The three men open fire, and Duncan is hit in the shoulder. He dodges into a stairwell, and the others follow.
Shemp: "Up the stairs!" They run up.
Duncan, meanwhile, exits the stairs back at in the lobby where he began. He shuts the door behind him and leans there, catching his breath.
Marek, over a speaker: "Well done, Duncan. You're doing so well, for a highland savage." Duncan walks over to where the monitor is hanging, looking up into the camera as Marek continues. "I've got something else to show you, Duncan."
Duncan: "You can't hide forever."
Marek, ignoring his words: "Let me direct your attention to the security monitors." Duncan glares, but walks over to the monitors. They show a picture of Margo, tied to a chair in a small room, and another picture of a guard standing outside the door. "You can rescue her before the guard blows her brains out and earn ten thousand bonus points." Off to Duncan's side, the lobby doors open slowly. "Or you can put your tail between your legs and run home."
Duncan looks at the open door, then turns back to the screen, and smiles. He reaches down for something, then stands again.
Duncan: "You know me better than that, Marek." He holds up a metal stand, hefting it thoughtfully in his hand before turning and smashing the monitor with it.
In the control room, Dice is ecstatic: "Oh, man, that is way cool! You offer the hero the doors and he has to choose. Escape, and get all his lives back, or save the damsel in distress and earn bonus points. I got to tell you, boss, until now I never thought you were a real player."
Marek chuckles: "Dice. I am the player.
Dice glances back, but keeps typing, keeping an eye on the various screens. Margo is on one, her guard on another, and on yet another Duncan comes into view again.
Marek: "She's on level G7, MacLeod."
Duncan turns: "Really?" He walks forward and smashes that camera, too.
In the lobby, Duncan drops the stand and turns away, wincing as he pulls off his coat, muttering, "Damn you, Marek." He props coat and sword carefully behind a pillar, then goes for the elevator. He winces again as he pushes the button, and inspects his wounded shoulder while he waits for the elevator.
Dice: "Interesting choice."
Marek, shortly: "There never was a choice. You can set your watch by heroes. Now start slowing it down and stop it at area G7.
Dice, typing madly: "Interference. Metaforce. Very nice."
Over the speakers, one of the hunter's voices can be heard shouting: "He's on his way to G7!"
Dice glaces up at Marek as he types: "Who'd've figured you for a [?]" [Sorry, no clue at all, folks . . . --Jinjifore]
In the elevator, Duncan looks around as he hears the elevator slow down. He starts pushing buttons, but it's no use. Marek speaks to him over the loudspeaker.
Marek: "Today is the day for settling scores, MacLeod." Marek backs away from the microphone, revealing Dice sitting behind him, looking at him with a worried expression.
Dice, a little uncertainly: "You really get into this, don't you?"
Back in the elevator, Duncan turns away and walks to the camera set in the corner.
Duncan, reaching up for the camera: "You know, Marek, you're beginning to try my patience." He rips the camera down. When he's torn it off, Duncan glances briefly into the lens, saying, "Bye-bye." He drops the camera and starts looking around the elevator.
Dice is excited again: "High-five. The trashing of the camera--real anger. Makes the character much more realistic." Thoughtful, almost awed. "I never would have thought of that."
Marek: "That's because your characters are just stick figures. No emotion, no passion, and never that moment of stark fear in their eyes before they die." He puts a hand on Dice's shoulder, and Dice looks up at him, staring at him like he's deciding if Marek is crazy or not. "You should try living in the real world for a while."
Dice turns back to the screens.
Duncan looks around the elevator, and hears the hunters approach. The three walk up to the elevator, and as the door opens they start firing. But the elevator is empty. Duncan, meanwhile, is on his way up the shaft, climbing the elevator cables to the next floor. Dice watches on his monitors as the brothers and Shemp go in, looking around the elevator.
Shemp: "The hell?"
Montoya 1, looking up: "Upstairs. He went up."
In the control room, Dice listens while Shemp calls them.
Shemp: "Yo, Chief. He ain't here."
Marek leans forward, taking an angry breath as he realizes that Duncan has slipped away.
In the control room, Dice is searching the monitors, looking for Duncan. He finally spots him, and Marek gets on the microphone to the hunters.
Marek: "All right, he's on the move. He's going for her. Confirm."
Montoya 1: "I hear you."
Montoya 2: "Me, too."
Shemp: "Don't get in my way, boys. This one's mine."
Marek smiles and moves over to Dice. Dice grins and turns to his keyboard.
Dice: "I am totally ambush, man. He's going to take the bait!"
Marek: "They always do." He chuckles.
Duncan, carrying a length of pipe and with an extension cord coiled over his shoulder, ducks into a broom closet. He looks around, moving into a small alcove where he spots a shelf full of cleaning supplies. As he's looking them over, he hears Shemp calling from outside.
Shemp: "Hey, MacLeod!" He and the Montoyas are searching the floor, methodically kicking open doors on either side of the hall.
Inside the closet, Duncan selects two containers and starts mixing them in a metal pail.
Duncan, muttering: "A little of this . . ." He pours in some of one chemical. "A little bit of that . . ." He adds some from the other bottle. "Little of that . . ." He sloshes a bit from the first bottle again. "Oh, what the hell." He upends both bottles into the pail.
In the hall, the hunters are still searching.
Duncan picks up a third container, and grins in satisfaction. He adds it to the mix, and the concoction starts to bubble.
Out in the hall, the Montoyas and Shemp are getting nearer.
Duncan strings a cord along the floor, fastening it about ankle-high across the doorway.
Shemp and the Montoyas kick open another door, but still find nothing.
Duncan carefully suspends a cloth filled with something from the ceiling, steadying it so it doesn't swing.
Duncan: "Almost there . . ."
He looks out towards the hall as he finishes his preparations, then switches the light off and steps carefully out of the alcove.
In the hall, the three men are converging on the closet door. Duncan crouches down and stretches for the deadbolt just as Shemp touches the handle. He flips the lock even as Shemp is turning the handle, then slinks away quietly, snagging a paint can lid on his way out.
Shemp turns to the Montoyas and shakes his head: "No."
The Montoyas nod curtly: "Next floor." They take off back down the hall. After they're gone, Shemp turns back to the door with a smile.
Shemp: "Where are you, boy?"
In the closet, Duncan has lifted one of the floor tiles, and just before he lowers himself into the crawl space he tosses the paint lid away, causing a loud clatter that Shemp hears outside.
Shemp kicks the door in, and moves into the room. He sees nothing, and begins to explore cautiously. On the next floor, the Montoyas are continuing the search. Shemp moves into the alcove, and steps on Duncan's tripwire. A set of empty containers fall with a clatter, and the little bag drops down into the bucket of chemicals.
Shemp looks down, saying mildly: "Dang."
The room explodes in flames.
Dice, watching the whole thing on his monitor, is thrilled.
Dice: "This is great, man!" He wheels to the other side of the room. "It's just--I'm telling you, it blows me away!"
Marek, less enthused: "Are you telling me you lost him again?"
Dice: "Yeah, and the hillbilly's down. All we've got left are Spaniards."
Marek: "That's more than enough, Dice."
Dice, overcome with enthusiasm: "This is the best beta simulation I have ever seen. I am talking ever!"
Marek, impatient: "Right. Where is he now?"
Dice: "I don't know, maybe . . ." He glaces over his shoulder, and wheels back to the monitors. "Wait a minute. Oh, this is great. I'm picking up temperature variance in the air conditioning system." The two men grin at each other. "Looks like he's in the AC."
Marek leans to the microphone: "Montoya."
Montoya 1: "Yeah."
Marek: "Not you. Your brother."
Montoya 2: "Si."
Marek: "He's in the air ducts." He backs away, smiling. "Run, little rabbit, run."
In the room next to Margo's, Duncan breaks down through the ceiling, falling with a loud noise. Margo looks up, hearing the commotion, and the guard outside moves to investigate. Duncan takes cover behind a shelf, but spots a toy helicopter sitting on the one of the shelves as he moves by. He snatches it up with a little noise of inspiration, and ducks down while the guard moves into the room. While the guard is looking around, Duncan winds up the little helicopter and sets it off. The guard swings to cover the toy, and Duncan pushes the shelf on top of him. He tries to clobber him with his stick, but the guard ducks and the stick breaks on the wall. Duncan then pokes him in the face with the broken point, then shoves him against the wall. He leaves the guard moaning on the floor, and moves down to the room where Margo is being held. He kicks the door in and rushes to untie her, while Dice and Marek watch the whole thing on the monitors. Marek looks down at Dice, and smiles.
Margo: "Oh, god, Duncan. Thank god you're here."
Duncan, untying her: "Are you all right?"
Margo, spotting the blood on his shirt: "You're hurt!"
Duncan: "No, I'm fine. Let's go. Go!"
Margo, even as she's heading for the door: "What the hell is going on?"
They run out.
Outside the building, a policeman is patrolling around the building. He walks down the sidewalk, whistling as he checks the doors. But the lobby door opens under his hand, and he puts a hand on his gun, moving carefully inside.
Upstairs, Dice is watching on his monitor.
Dice: "Isn't this a little late in the game to be adding a new character?"
Marek: "I sure as hell didn't put him in there."
Dice, gleefully giddy: "It must have been me. So, I get character creation royalties?"
Marek: "Shut up, Dice!" Dice sobers. "The next time you leave a door open I'll have your head." He stalks out.
Dice keeps watching, following the guard through the lobby monitors.
Down in the lobby, the policeman is looking around.
Policeman: "Hello!" He walks on through the lobby.
Marek appears around the corner, walking up quickly with a polite, efficient smile on his face, arms folded over his chest. The policeman waits for him to come up, but as soon as Marek has closed the distance he whips out a gun, pointing it between the cop's eyes.
In the control room, Dice jerks in horror, his mouth opening in shock as the gun fires, and he witnesses the murder over his monitor. He leans back, looking up in stunned shock as he absorbs what he's just seen.
When Marek returns to the control room, Dice turns his chair to face him.
Dice, his voice shaking: "That cop was no player persona."
Marek, wiping his gun: "You got a problem?"
Dice, pointing a trembling finger: "You really aced him."
Marek: "How very observant of you."
Duncan leads Margo down a hall, pausing to check one of the doors.
Margo: "Why is he doing this? What does he want from me?"
Duncan moves on: "If it's any consolation, it's not you he's after. It's me." He glances in another room, and moves on.
Margo: "What did you do to him?"
They move on.
In the control room, Dice reaches shakily for his backpack.
Dice: "Hey, I didn't sign on for this, dude."
Marek: "Get back to work."
Dice gets up: "You are a nutbar." He turns and starts shoving stuff into the backpack. "And I am so out of here."
Marek stops him by pressing the gun to his head: "You listen to me, Dice. Now, you make me a lot of money, and it would be a waste to blow those idiot savant brains all over this room."
Dice, nearly squeaking in fear: "You'd shoot me?" More confident. "You wouldn't shoot me." Marek cocks the gun. "You'd shoot me."
Margo and Duncan are still walking down the hall, Margo still trying to get an explanation.
Margo: "Listen, I think I have the right to know. You must have done something to him."
Duncan: "I helped him once."
Margo: "Oh, well that explains it, doesn't it?"
Duncan turns and looks at her briefly: "It's a long story. Let's get out of here."
Marek is practicing fencing moves, stabbing his sword at the air while Duncan watches.
Marek, smug: "You see? There is nothing a highland savage could teach a gentleman of swordplay."
Duncan, bored: "Aye, I know. You've trained with the best swordsmen in the Duke's court."
Marek: "And beaten them. That is why I'm sent here to mind these dreary holdings in Scotland."
Duncan: "When an immortal comes for your head, he'll nae be impressed by your fancy, high-falutin' swordwork."
Marek, impatient: "I shall have help. Is that not why one has retainers?"
Duncan stands up: "There are rules, Marek, by which you are honor-bound."
Marek: "Don't bore me, MacLeod. Your rules are not made for one such as I."
Duncan, trying to make him understand: "They're not my rules. They're meant for all of us. For each and every immortal alive."
Marek: "When I shall have my inheritance, I shall build a castle that no immortal can penetrate. Unless by my request." He backs away, smiling. "Will that not be sport? To have a prey I can kill again and again."
Duncan: "There must be way too much bone in your royal head for you to understand. There will be no inheritance, nor a dukedom." He steps up the Marek, saying cheerfully, "To the world that knew you, you're dead. You'll have to leave this life and start a new one." He turns away to rummage in his baggage
Marek: "Impossible. It is only the wretch that stuck me that knows that I am dead."
Duncan: "Aye! And all those he's told." He takes a drink, then offers the bottle to Marek. "Water?"
Marek takes the bottle, but instead of drinking he slugs Duncan over the head, pushing him down into a ravine. Duncan rolls over at the bottom, stunned and dazed.
Marek: "I'd come down for your head, MacLeod, but it's an ugly climb and I have other business." He waves and moves to Duncan's horse, tossing Duncan's cloak off before mounting and riding away.
Marek is standing in the woods, looking down in satisfaction at the body of the man who stabbed him. He looks up as he senses another immortal, and sees Duncan jump down to the little road where he's standing. Marek looks at Duncan, clearly pleased with himself.
Marek: "Now no one shall know but you and I. And I shall have my inheritance."
Duncan: "Then you shall have to silence me as well." He draws his sword.
Marek: "As you wish." He draws, too, and they fight. They trade blows for a few moments, then Duncan slashes Marek across the stomach and he falls to his knees. Duncan grabs him by the collar, pulling Marek's head up and raising his sword, but before he can strike he hears a voice crying out.
Guard: "My God! Lord Marek!" Duncan drops Marek and backs off, looking around for the men he hears. "You there! Halt!"
Duncan backs towards his horse, but before he gets there another guard appears to cut him off. He dispatches the man with a punch to the face, and runs for his horse. The first guard kneels beside Marek.
Guard: "Oh, my God. His lordship is dead!" He draws his pistol and fires as Duncan rides away, but Duncan keeps his seat, riding off and leaving the guards and Marek behind.
Dice is monitoring Duncan and Margo's progress, his enthusiasm dimmed but still absorbed in his job. He watches as Duncan takes down yet another camera.
Dice: "He's moving through the skill levels faster than Yahoo! on a website. He's awesome, man."
Marek: "Do I detect your excitement waning, Dice? Or your loyalty."
Dice, nervous: "No. Yeah. What I'm saying is, he's almost here."
Margo opens a door, peering cautiously into the room beyond. She goes in, Duncan right on her heels, and grabs for the phone on the desk.
Duncan: "What are you doing?"
Margo: "I'm calling the police."
Duncan: "I doubt it." Duncan walks over to a nearby floor lamp and starts working at the bulb.
Margo puts the phone down: "It's dead."
Duncan: "Marek has control of everything. The phones, the elevators, security." As he talks, he's laying the lamp down, and reaching for the cord.
Margo: "Oh, my god. He's insane."
Duncan: "Yeah, that's putting it mildly." He reaches for an electric cord attached to something on the desk, and yanks it out. He moves to another floor lamp, and lays it down to get to its base.
Margo: "So we're just supposed to sit here and wait for those goons to come and get us now."
Duncan: "Yes." He yanks out the cord of the floor lamp. "And no."
Margo: "Duncan, I--I hate to interfere, but do you think this is really the time to be redecorating?"
Duncan takes her arm: "I have an idea." He leads her over to the other side of the room.
Margo: "Ideas are good, but guns are better."
In the hall outside, the Montoyas are searching, moving down the corridor with guns drawn.
Duncan pushes Margo up: "Up on the desk."
Duncan: "Get up on the desk until I tell you it's safe."
Margo obeys: "Safe. Okay. I like safe." She crouches down, watching Duncan as he drapes his coat over a hatstand and moves to the center of the room. Almost as an afterthought, he thrusts the scavenged cords into Margo's hands.
Duncan: "Here. Pull this apart while you're waiting."
Margo, nodding dubiously: "Okay, why not."
Out in the hall, the Montoyas are getting closer.
Montoya 1: "They have to be here somewhere."
Montoya 2: "We're on the right floor."
At the same time: "I'll go this way. You go that."
Montoya 2: "I don't like this."
Montoya 1: "Like what?"
Montoya 2: "How easy he took out Benoit, and the American."
Montoya 1, moving closer: "You compare us to them?"
Montoya 2 smiles, amused: "Not the Frenchman."
Montoya 1: "The Americano. Huh. You can never trust them. They are . . . they are--"
Montoya 2: "They are not brothers."
Montoya 1: "Amateurs."
Montoya 2: "Exactly. The million dollars was meant for us."
Montoya 1 smiles in agreement. But even as they nod, they see a shadow move across the window of a room down the hall.
Together: "It's mine. I heard it first."
They dash down the hall, and take up positions on either side of the door. Montoya 1 looks over at his brother.
Montoya 1: "Watch out. The water."
Montoya 2 looks down, and laughs: "What? What's the matter, hermano [brother]? Can't swim?" He reaches for the knob. As soon as he touches it, sparks shoot out, he screams and jerks, then falls down dead. His brother grabs his gun and aims both weapons the door.
Montoya 1: "Tu eres muerto! [You're dead!]" He opens fire on the room, shooting out the door and then peppering the room with bullets. He finally stops firing, and steps inside to see if he's hit anyone. As he walks in, Margo peers up over the edge of the table she's hiding behind, and Montoya swings on her. When he's turned, Duncan jumps on him from behind and takes him out, breaking his neck. He lets him fall and turns to Margo, who's just coming out from behind the table.
Duncan: "You okay?"
Margo, feigning nonchalance: "Um, oh, yeah, I'm fine."
Duncan: "You wait here." Duncan turns to go, but Margo darts after him.
Margo: "Wait a minute! Duncan, wait a minute! Where are you going? What are you doing?"
Duncan takes her arms: "It's better if you wait here."
Margo: "Oh, no you don't."
Duncan: "I know what I'm doing."
Margo: "I'm coming with you."
Duncan: "No." He pushes her down into a chair. "You'll be safer here." He kneels down, looking at her apologetically. "Look, I'm sorry about all of this."
Margo looks away, brushing her hair futilely into place: "I have to say, this's been a hell of a date."
Duncan smiles, then looks at her seriously: "Trust me?"
Margo nods: "Yeah. It's my life." She leans forward and kisses him. "Be very careful. You're very valuable to me."
Duncan smiles again, and kisses her quickly. He gets up, and walks to the door. He steps through the broken glass, then pauses inside the empty frame.
Duncan: "Lock the door behind me." He leaves.
Dice watches Duncan come out of a stairwell, his katana now in his hand.
Dice: "I think this isn't . . . No, I do. I do think this isn't good." He turns around, fixing terrified eyes on the door to the control room as it slides open, and Duncan walks in.
Marek turns to face him, smiling: "It took you long enough."
Dice stands up: "Look, guys." He picks up his bag and starts moving for the door. "You're taking this reality thing way too far." He stops in front of Duncan, and looks up at him. Duncan punches Dice in the face, and he crumples. The two men face each other, ignoring Dice as if he were never there.
Marek regards Duncan coldly: "I lost everything because of you."
Duncan: "You lost nothing."
Marek: "I lost my whole world! And it's taken me nearly four hundred years to get it back. But you look around, MacLeod. I built an empire."
Duncan starts pacing around the room: "Well, you went through enough trouble trying to find me, Marek." He smiles nastily. "All you ever had to do was ask." He's watching Marek, striding confidently around to him, and is completely unprepared for the sudden shot that takes him in the back. He falls down, turning to stare at the door as Margo steps out, still holding the gun.
Margo: "Sorry, Duncan, but a girl's got to pay the bills."
Duncan stares at her, then at Marek. Marek moves forward, smiling, and Duncan makes a break for it. Margo shoots at him again, but it's too late. Duncan takes a dive through an open window, and hurtles down through the inner part of the building. Marek goes to the window, and looks down to see Duncan lying sprawled on the floor of the lobby below. He turns back to Margo.
Margo, checking her clip and slapping it back in: "Well, he's dead."
Marek: "Is that your professional opinion?"
Margo: "Yes, it is."
Marek: "I wish it were that easy."
Margo, not caring: "Well, you go your body. Where's the money?"
Marek: "It's over yet."
Margo, tightly: "Look, we had a deal."
Marek: "Yes, and the job's not done."
Margo, impatient: "Oh, what are you trying to pull?" She paces forward, brushing her hands over Dice's equipment. "You know no one could survive a fall like that."
Marek sighs, and moves up beside her, putting a friendly hand on her shoulder.
Marek: "Yes, you're right. You're, um, absolutely right." He pulls a gun from his coat and looks at her thoughtfully.
In the control room, Dice pulls himself to his feet, staring groggily at the monitor. He sees Duncan, lying the floor below, and Margo lying over a chair next to him.
Below, Marek steps out into the lobby, and looks around. He walks forward, holding his sword ready, but finds only Margo's body. Duncan has vanished.
Upstairs, Dice watches Marek on the screen for a moment, then stands up numbly and turns to the door, moving like a sleepwalker. Just as he reaches the door, though, Duncan reaches through, grabbing his collar and pushing him back.
Dice, stammering: "Y-y-you're supposed to be a game."
Duncan pulls him close, giving him a close up of his blood-streaked face: "Is this real enough for you?"
Dice: "I--I didn't know."
Duncan, bitterly contemptuous: "You didn't know."
Dice: "Yes. No. I did not! I--I didn't! It's not my fault! It was supposed to be a simulation."
Duncan shoves him away: "Simulation! People are dead. Real people." Dice tries to hide behind his chair, but Duncan grabs it, hurling it behind him. "Not virtually real."
Dice, his knees knocking as he faces Duncan: "I didn't know he was playing for keeps in meat space! How could I? Please don't kill me. It was all Marek. He's a madman. He's gone completely postal. Please." He reaches out to Duncan, shaking. "You've got to help me."
Duncan stares incredulously: "Help you?" He seizes Dice's shirt. "You were trying to kill me!"
Dice: "Not you!" He cranes his neck, looking over at the monitor screens. "Him."
Duncan looks, and sees himself on the screen, getting shot in the parking garage. The scene replays, over and over, and Duncan sets his lips grimly.
Duncan: "That is me."
Dice, a little sheepish: "Yes, I know. I know now. I'm sorry."
Duncan looks at him, then shoves him away: "Get out of here."
Dice takes two shaky steps, then stops, looking back at Duncan: "Where am I going to go? He's going to find me, and then it's Game Over."
Duncan looks back at him, still leaning painfully on the table. He limps back a step.
Duncan: "All right. You help me, and I'll help you."
Dice smiles: "Anything."
Marek gets into the elevator, and the doors slide shut behind him. Upstairs, Duncan nods to Dice, then picks up the microphone.
Duncan, over the speakers: "Welcome back to your kingdom, Marek."
Marek looks around angrily: "Dice!"
Duncan smiles: "No. No dice. I'm waiting for you now, Marek."
Marek jabs angrily at the elevator controls: "Dice! Where the hell are you?" Dice, watching from his post beside Duncan, says nothing. "Get me off this elevator."
Duncan, over the speakers: "I though you wanted to play."
Marek subsides: "MacLeod."
Duncan, in the control room: "It's my game now. My rules." He puts the microphone down.
The elevator begins to move. Duncan looks over at Dice.
Dice raises his hands, and leaves. When he's gone, Duncan leans back, raising his sword.
When Marek comes in, he finds Duncan sitting at the console, sword out, waiting.
Marek: "I'm here, MacLeod."
Duncan: "Just the way it's supposed to be." He rises slowly, pointing the blade at Marek. "Just you and me." They begin to circle each other.
Marek: "I told you before, your rules don't apply to me."
Duncan: "They do now."
They fight. They trade blows back and forth, and then Duncan gets hold of Marek's sword disarming him and nearly taking his head with the backswing. But Marek ducks in time, and looks up at him, breathing hard but smiling.
Marek: "Now, you wouldn't kill an unarmed man, would you? And I was telling Dice what a hero you are. How different are we, really?"
Duncan, not moving: "Go ahead. Pick it up."
Marek smiles again, and feints for the blade, grinning as Duncan's sword doesn't move an inch. Duncan finally withdraws a little, standing up and backing off from the dropped blade. Marek follows, and snatches the sword up.
Marek, facing him again: "That was a really big mistake, Duncan. And rest assured, I wouldn't offer you the same courtesy."
Duncan: "Yeah, that's the difference between you and me." He swings at Marek.
They fight again, and this time Marek is almost immediately in full retreat. Duncan pursues him quickly around the room, and in a very short time runs him through. Marek stares at him, stunned, and the next second Duncan takes his head. Marek's body falls down in a chair, and Duncan turns slowly as the Quickening begins. His face appears on the monitor, and as the Quickening goes on the pictures are doubled, and doubled again until the screen is full of rows of Duncans. And then the image is suddenly reduced to one, a single Duncan spread over all the screens as the Quickening ends.
In the lobby of the Keram building, orderlies are covering Margo's face with a plastic sheet, and wheeling her body out the front doors. Outside, there are police cars and amublances. Dice and Duncan are standing nearby, watching.
Dice: "You got to admit, it would have made a great game."
Duncan doesn't dignify that with an answer: "You never even saw me, you got that?"
Dice: "No dice."
Duncan, through his teeth: "No, MacLeod."
Dice: "That's what I mean."
Duncan: "Not here, not on your monitors."
Duncan: "Not even in your wildest imagination."
Dice grins: "Man, I never go there."
Duncan nods: "Right." He walks off, and Dice does the same.
Sorry, folks, but for unknown reasons the closed captioning failed to appear this week. I even had the unique opportunity to test three different copies taped on three different machines and from two completely separate broadcasts, but no soap. Just a glitch, I guess. One week, and already I'm spoiled . . .
This is a special edition of Guess the Name, since I'm half-convinced that the Montoyas didn't even have individual names. I just called them Montoya 1 and Montoya 2, and I'm not sure I always did it consistently, since a lot of the time it was hard to tell which one of them was speaking. For that matter, I'm not 100% sure that I got all of the bounty hunter dialogue attributed correctly. A lot of it was spoken off-screen or in dark places with half the faces turned away and so on, so I couldn't really tell. And a couple of places, when they were chasing Duncan or talking over their headsets in the background, I really couldn't make it out at all and just let it slide. I don't think it was important, just variations on "this way," and so on, more background than anything else.
Next week, "Unusual Suspects"
These pages are written by Jinjifore and are translated into HTML and maintained by Ian.
Disclaimer: All the dialogue, characters, situations, and darn near everything else belong to a bunch of fine and talented folks at Rysher Entertainment and Panzer/Davis, and in particular the dialogue belongs to the credited writer of this episode. Me, I just wrote the rest down in my own words, which belong to me, but the episode itself was made by the aforementioned people and is owned by them. This humble synopsis isn't meant to infringe on their rights, and I'm sure as heck not making any money from doing these.
Everything not belonging to Rysher, et al, ©Copyright 1997 by Jinjifore
Feel free to copy and distribute as long as this copyright notice and disclaimer are included, except where local bandwidth laws apply.
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Celtic clip art courtesy of the Celtic Art Web Page.
|Last Rev: CCH [ 12 Dec 97 ]|