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Synopsis: They Also Serve

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They Also Serve


A first for Highlander: TS, this story probes the relationships between Immortals and Watchers. Watcher bylaws clearly forbid Watchers to become personally involved with Immortals. Nevertheless, as rules are made, so they may be broken. Sometimes, Watchers DO find themselves personally involved. Then questions arise.

Is there 'good'' involvement and 'bad' involvement?

Can Watchers and Immortals trust each other?

Doesn't true friendship transcend the silly rules people often make for themselves?

Can Dawson and MacLeod ever truly be friends?

This story is new, but it's augmented by a mélange of flashbacks and clips from previous shows. Even the flashbacks have flashbacks within them. A smorgasbord of 'Band of Brothers,' 'The Samurai,' 'Blackmail,' 'Unholy Alliance,' 'The Zone.' Some others, too. Surprisingly, in a weird way, it works.

New Characters:

MAY-LING SHEN - Immortal, Mac's mentor, after he left Hideo Koto. She later became more to him.

MICHAEL CHRISTIAN - Young Immortal who has surprising luck killing off older ones. With a bit of help.

RITA LUCE - His Watcher, his help, and his lover.

IAN BANCROFT - old Watcher buddy of Joe's, formerly watched Darius, now May-Ling.

Hong Kong, Athletic Club, Present Day

Her athletic body-
Jackknifes through space.
She enters the water-
With effortless grace.
As she swims the pool's length-
May-Ling Shen feels the sense-
Of an Immortal's presence-
But, she has no defense.

Michael Christian is waiting-
At the edge of the pool,
Her sword's out of reach,
Christian sneers at the rule.
'I don't want to fight,
I came for your head.'
Swish! It is done!
The clear water turns red.

Rita Luce's Trailer

Rita: 'Just as I planned.'
Michael's tense muscles yield-
To Rita's massage,
Her devotion's revealed,
'You can't become careless,
One mistake and you'll pay,
Always be ready,'-
To her young protégé.

Joe's Bar

At first, Joe is glad-
To greet old friend Ian.
A handshake, a drink,
Some chitchat plebeian.
Then-Watcher business,
'Who needs reassignment?'
'I do. It's May-Ling,'
He reports, with resignment.

Later, at poker-
Five Watchers, shop talking.
Rita drops in,
At their indifference, balking.
'The death of your Immie's-
Like a family dissolved!'
Ian corrects her.
'Watchers can't get involved!'

Two Watchers critique-
Their Immie, named Trent.
'For three years he's gone-
Without sword engagement.
He's rusty as hell.'
Rita's ears perk up fast-
As the Watchers discuss-
Who is gone, who might last.

One Watcher asserts-
He's surprised Grayson died.
'Thought no one could nail him.'
Then Joe says with pride,
'I was sure that MacLeod-
Was finished, no joke.
I did not want to see-
The final death stroke.'

Flashback, MacLeod vs. Grayson

Grayson outmatched MacLeod-
In that sulfurous pit.
Right up to the end-
But MacLeod wouldn't quit.
He rose to his knees-
Each breath a pained sob,
Yet he summoned the strength-
To finish the job.

Back to the Bar

'I guess there's a lesson,'-
Says Rita, aloud.
'Do not underrate-
Duncan MacLeod.'
'Rita, your boy-
Christian seems easy pickins'
She: 'He's good as any-
And he works like the dickens.'

Ian chastises Rita,
'You've lost objectivity,
Regain your perspective-
Or curtail your activity.'
'C'mon.' Joe says calmly,
'We root for our guys,
Occupational hazard,
It's no big surprise.'

Ian: 'But it's not right!'
Rita: 'We've no regard?
May-Ling? Xavier? Darius?'
As she rips up each card.
Tears line her cheeks,
Rita, Ian-poles apart.
He, cold as stone,
She, enslaved by her heart.

The Loft

Mac's busy with housework,
Joe enters, face glum.
'Who is it?'.... 'May-Ling.'
For a moment, Mac's numb.
'...Who? ' (killed her) 'Does it matter? -
Michael Christian, he's new.'
Joe hands Mac a book,
'This may interest you.'

Flashback, Outer Mongolia, 1780

The Chronicle recounts-
In the Watcher's fine hand,
Over steppes, walks a Scot-
Toward their nomadic band.
A match is in progress,
Two strong wrestlers vie,
The stranger is curious
Would he like to try?

Their champion wrestler,
Five years unimpeded,
MacLeod thinks brute strength-
Is all that is needed.
He is seeking a Master,
So far, luck's been sparse,
This day is no better,
Mac's knocked on his arse!

To the Watcher's delight,
Mac explains carefully,
'It's the 'Crane' not the 'Bull'
That I want to be.'
'At the end of the village-
You will find what you seek.'
Mac will now meet the man-
Who commands this technique.

As he draws near a yurt-
The Buzz warns that he-
Is near the grand Master,
But the 'he' is a 'SHE!'
'May-Ling Shen,' she cries out,
Weapon drawn, manner fervent,
'You're a WOMAN!' states Mac
She notes, 'You're observant.'

'Who sent you?' ... 'Kiem Sun.'
'Good man but poor student.'
'YOU trained him?' Too late!
Mac sees he's imprudent.
With the fine arts of war-
Women weren't infused.
But May-Ling was one-
Who would not be refused.

Suddenly, she attacks!
Her sword's a mere blur.
MacLeod's walking stick-
Can't protect him from her.
He's thrown on his butt-
Where he lands straightaway.
'Great!' he protests,
'That's twice in one day!'

When Mac starts his training-
May-Ling's quick to spy,
His moves bear the mark-
Of a true Samurai.
Mac narrates the time-
When Hideo, his mentor-
Taught the warrior's code,
With honor, its center.

Flashback, Japan, 1778
Koto and MacLeod

Koto honored MacLeod-
By asking the Scot-
To act as his second,
In case he could not-
Complete the deep thrust-
In his bowels with the knife.
The Seppuku ritual-
That ended his life.

The Loft, Present Day

Mac thumbs through the pages,
What memories revive.
How these expert teachers-
Helped him to survive.
He opens a window,
He must clear his head.
How could it happen-
That May-Ling is dead?

Rita's Trailer

Christian lusts for Mac's head,
Rita warns, 'It's not time.
First Trent...he'll be easy,
He's nickel and dime.'
Christian pouts like a child,
Rita smacks him, then she-
Caresses his face,
'You'd be dead without me.'

Joe's Bar

How close can a Watcher-
With an Immortal be?
Joe and Ian discuss this-
'Rita's getting too close,
She takes Christian's side.'
'Ian, weren't YOU touched-
When Darius died?'

'Joe, we have RULES!'
They remember when Grayson-
Ridiculed Darius,
Attempting to hasten-
His forsaking the church-
Where peace was his aim.
'We killed him,' says Ian.
'No...Horton's to blame.'

'Rita's feelings for Christian-
Are like yours for Darius,
Cut her some slack,
It's not so nefarious.'
'Christian's no Darius!'
Ian's view is unbending.
The oath of the Watchers-
Their laws, he's defending.

Their convictions divergent-
The two Watchers spar-
Till MacLeod, nonchalantly-
Strolls into the bar.
Chronicle in hand,
To Joe, a petition,
'May I take this along-
On a personal mission?'

Mac sees Joe's unease-
Even though Joe says, 'Yes.'
Mac leaves in a hurry,
Not wanting to press.
'How long,' bellows Ian-
'Has THIS been going on?
You gave him a Chronicle?
This just is not done!'

'Sometimes in life-
You have to do-
More than just WATCH.'
Joe's convinced this is true.
'You defied Watcher Code!'
Joe: 'It's not black and white,
Sometimes rules must bend.'
He recalls one sad night.

Flashback, Previous Year, A Pier

Joe remembers Mac's face-
How amazed when he saw-
Joe shooting James Horton,
His brother-in-law.
'I would have done it,'
Said Mac on that night.
That's when they both knew,
Their friendship was right.

Back to the Bar, Present Day

'What about Christian?
If MacLeod meets that whelp?'
'I would not interfere,
MacLeod won't need help.'
'Joe...This can't happen,
Listen to me,
MacLeod's not your friend,
He never will be.'

Flashback, Mongolia, 1780

Mac pictures May-Ling,
Mentally thanks her for-
Not only Kung Fu,
But she taught so much more.
One kick to his crotch-
The painful humility,
'Man's greatest asset-
May become liability.'

His lessons were finished,
No more need to train.
'The pupil must leave-
But the MAN may remain.'
That night by the fire-
With love, Duncan reached her.
'Now maybe the student-
Can enlighten the teacher.'

Rita's Trailer, Present Day

Ian's come to tell Rita,
'A change must be made.
Your boy could not take-
All those heads without aid.
You've leaked Watcher info,
You must leave the field.'
Rita staunchly refuses,
Neither of them will yield.

Ian threatens removal,
'Then see how he'll fare.'
Christian's hiding inside,
Ian leaves unaware.
Rita strokes Christian's hair-
Making him feel secure,
'Nothing will happen-
To you, I'll make sure.'

The Street

Rita loses no time,
Her pledge to complete,
From her car...she sees Ian-
Crossing the street.
After running him down-
Her sole afterthought-
She can now tip off Christian,
Without being caught.

The Loft/Dojo

Joe tells Mac the news-
Of Ian's sad end.
'He told me that you-
Can not be my friend.'
What gives ME the right-
Watcher rules to refuse?'
Mac: 'Because you're a MAN,
And you get to choose.'

'Do you regret-
Our friendship?' asks Mac.
First Joe says, 'No,'
Then he takes it back.
'Joe you must decide.'
MacLeod won't stop hopin'
He wants Joe to know-
His door's always open.

'I'll see you around.'
As Joe walks away.
Even Richie's bright smile-
Can't convince him to stay.
'Three courtside seats.'
Proudly shows them to Joe.
'You'll be there?' asks Rich.
Joe shakes his head, 'No.'

Mac's going to the Island,
'I've thinking to do.'
Mac gives Rich his sword.
'Mac! It's part of you!'
'It's not my whole life,
I must walk away-
For twenty-four hours,
On Holy Ground stay.'

Joe's Bar

Rita's talking to Joe,
Richie walks in, distressed.
'Joe, Mac has gone-
On some vision quest.
He did not take his sword.'
'MacLeod can,' says Joe-
'Take care of himself.'
But Rita smiles, 'No.'

Rita's Trailer

'It's time,' Rita says,
'MacLeod's in a place-
That the Shamans once used,
Now you'll meet face to face.
He won't have his sword.'
'But that's Holy Ground.'
'You can take his head-
When he's homeward bound.'

The Island

While Mac meditates-
Joe remains in the bar,
Mac's release is Kung Fu,
Joe strums his guitar.
Each reflects on the other,
Through their world's violence-
They prevailed, forged a bond-
Of shared trust, confidence.

Mac studies the journal,
Every action and word-
His time with May-Ling,
What they saw, what they heard.
When his grieving is done,
He welcomes the dawn,
Points the small canoe homeward,
His life must go on.

Joe's Bar

Joe to Rita: 'How's Christian?'
She: 'Nothing exciting.'
Just then, Joe's informed,
Indeed, he's been fighting.
'Your boy took out Trent!
Just like May-Ling!
You set them both up.
Tell me everything.'

'Where is he?' asks Joe,
As he struggles to adapt-
To the thought of MacLeod,
Defenseless entrapped.
Joe quickly calls Rich-
To relay Rita's crime,
Rich jumps on his bike,
Can he get there in time?

Joe: 'The field has been leveled-
To eliminate-
The unfair advantage,
And now...we'll both wait.
Watchers don't interfere,
Rules first and foremost,'
Rita knows if that's true-
Her boy will be toast.

Riverbank, Near a Dam

Mac's up on the shore,
Feels the Buzz, looks around.
'Michael Christian,' all ego,
'And it's not Holy Ground.'
'You're right,' snarls MacLeod!
Then he takes Christian on-
Using skills May-Ling taught-
Christian's sword is soon gone.

Falling over the rail-
To the water below,
Swept over the falls,
Both ensnared by the flow.
At the foot of the falls,
There! Not quite immersed-
Lies the sword, on the rocks.
Who'll reach it first?

Rich races up,
Quickly leaps off his bike.
He's clutching Mac's sword-
At the Quickening's first strike.
Richie's eyes fill with tears,
'Mac!....' his lips form.
He holds the sword out-
His revenge to perform.

The rat that killed Mac-
Must now deal with him.
He waits on the road,
Features set, visage grim.
He feels the Buzz grow,
Shrubs and brush pushed aside,
Then a most welcome sight!
MacLeod's by his side.

Mac takes the katana,
Holds it like an old friend,
'Nice to see you,' says Richie,
Worries now at an end.
'Nice to see you as well,'
Mac's breathless reply.
Rich stares after Mac,
Thinking, 'Man, whatta guy.'

Joe's Bar

When the door finally opens-
Rita's hope turns to terror!
MacLeod! Not her Christian!
Some horrific error!
She walks straight past Mac,
He will not see tears flow,
She isn't called back,
They just let her go.

Mac grasps Dawson's hand-
In both of his own.
'Thank you,' heartfelt-
For the courage he's shown.
Joe smiles at the Scot,
Happy they will restore-
The closeness they've shared,
'Hey, what are friends for?'

Peace, Emit
© 2001-2003

From Under the Kilt from Highlander: The Official Site:

David Abramowitz, Creative Consultant
'Our first clip show, how to do a show and save money at the same time and it didn't turn out so terribly.'

Don Paonessa, Creative Consultant, Post Production
'Michael Anderson was good as Ian Bancroft.'

Ken Gord, Producer
'Barry Pepper was good in that. He is now one of the stars of Saving Private Ryan, he's the sniper. I can pick 'em. I also had Mary Woronov, the actress from Rock 'n' Roll High School Forever. This was supposed to be a bottle show and usually bottle shows are throwaways. I mean, you always try your best, but you always sort of accept that they could be anywhere from 'not too good' to 'embarrassing.' And this one ended up being, I thought, a terrific show. We did Mongolia; we had yurts. We had Vivian Wu, who was wonderful and she got her own series, too, Strange World. A lot of actors got their own series out of us.'

~ Blind Faith