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Mistaken Identity

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There's always going to be the circumstances you can't plan for. There's always the unexpected relevance and the serendipity.

-Jason Silva


 

One warm, bright morning, the world's oldest man sat outside a cafe in Colorado Springs, drinking a cup of halfway-decent coffee and skimming the articles in the newspaper on the table before him. Not that he was some sort of technological dinosaur, like some of the other Immortals out there. Methos would deny it to the end of time, but there was a definite sentimentalist lurking inside him, one that preferred the tactile sensation of turning the pages of a newspaper to swiping his finger across the screen of a smartphone or tablet. Though this particular newspaper was proving less than engrossing, as it turned out.

Methos sipped his coffee absently, his eyes barely even seeing the words on the page in front of him. Something about unrest in the Middle East (when wasn't there?), a sex scandal involving a prominent politician (boring, and old news, to boot), a reality television star going off the rails... He was just about to give up on the paper entirely when someone bumped into him from behind and spilled his coffee.

He let out a rather rude word as the hot liquid spilled over his paper, though it was more an obligatory invective than anything else. At least he was now saved from actually reading that utterly mind-numbing garbage.

"I'm sorry, I really am," babbled the man who had bumped him, as he grabbed some napkins from a nearby dispenser.

"Really, it's no problem." Methos suddenly froze as he got a good look at the other man. Something about him was just so familiar, yet hard to place. He knew this man from... somewhere.

The man – more specifically, his eyes, those brilliant blue eyes – struck a chord deep in Methos's memory. An Immortal's memory was long (it had to be), but, as he had once confessed to MacLeod, for one as old as he it all got a bit blurry past five thousand years. For some reason, though, something came to him in a flash, from some dusty corner of his brain.

"Dan-yer?" The word, the name, spilled from Methos's lips almost without him consciously being aware of it. The memory of this man's face was so unbelievably old that Methos had trouble calling it up. How could this man be here? Methos's mind fought furiously for answers. He felt no Buzz, no tell-tale sign of Immortality in this familiar stranger. How could it be, then, that Methos had run into a man absolutely identical to another man who had died five millenia ago?

But the situation abruptly grew even stranger.

"Tanith?!" the strange man exclaimed, napkins in hand completely forgotten as he scrambled backwards, apparently just as surprised as Methos himself was. The man's face was pale as a sheet, making his blue eyes stand out in stark contrast. "You're supposed to be dead!"

"'Tanith'?" Methos repeated in growing confusion, now blinking in his own turn. The name 'Tanith' was Phoenician, but he'd never been a 'Tanith' before, and he remembered all his aliases over the years. "I'm afraid you've mistaken me for someone else," he objected quickly, deciding that discretion was the better part of valour and he should probably just leave and forget the entire bizarre encounter ever took place.

Of course, he should have remembered that the universe had its way of laughing at any plans made by man.

When the troop of black-clad commandos broke into his motel room in the middle of the night and shot him with some sort of bizarre electro-gun, Methos regretted not leaving Colorado Springs immediately. Because, as it turned out, the strange blue-eyed man heralded even more trouble than a certain Highlander of his acquaintance.

 

 


 

It was the middle of the night, and the commanding officer of Stargate Command was definitely not happy.

General Hank Landry's bushy eyebrows rose up nearly to his browline as he sat heavily in the chair of the observation room. "Dr. Jackson, it's very late, and I'm tired. Didn't I read somewhere that Tanith was dead? Teal'c blew out the cockpit of his al'kesh with a staff weapon, if I remember correctly."

"If that's not Tanith, it's his identical twin brother who also knows my name," Daniel insisted, pacing back and forth in the rather confined space overlooking the isolation room. "It wouldn't be the first time that a Goa'uld hid out on Earth, right under our noses."

Unknowingly mirroring Daniel, their captive paced back in forth in the isolation room below them, obviously agitated and upset. Their captive had regained consciousness from the zat blast a lot sooner than anyone had thought he would, even for a Goa'uld; this would have been less surprising had he been subjected to multiple zat attacks over a long period - by the end of Jack O'Neill's field duty with SG-1, for instance, he was barely even knocked off his feet anymore by the excruciating electrical shock.

"Whoever you people are, this is a violation of my human rights!" the man objected strenuously from inside the locked room. His accent sounded British, possibly with shadows of Welsh in it. "I don't know who you think I am, but my name is Adam Pierson! I was just passing through! What kind of country is this?!"

Dr. Carolyn Lam, Stargate Command's chief medical officer, entered the observation room with a pensive frown on her face. "Well, whoever he is, he's not a Goa'uld host," she announced to the general, handing over the file.

"What, so he is the guy's identical twin brother?" Daniel repeated in utter incredulity, practically overcome with frustration. "I mean, look at him! He looks exactly the same!"

"Daniel, you're the only one here who's ever seen Tanith in person. The most I've ever seen is a few stills from mission reports," Carolyn replied apologetically. "But I can tell you unequivocally that this man is not a host."

"Oi! Are you going to tell me what's going on, or what?" the man in question shouted in annoyance.

General Landry grimaced. "'Adam Pierson,'" he read off their captive's file. "Historian?" His expression was one of pure disbelief as he glared at Daniel. "Doctor Jackson, please tell me we didn't just abduct a civilian from his bed in the middle of the night..."