The Elvis Minutes 01: Methos
It's a lonely man
Who wanders all around
It's a lonely man
Who roams from town to town
Searchin', always searchin'
For something he can't find
Hopin', always hopin'
That some day fate will be kind.
My name is Methos, and I am myth. That's partially of my own making and partially because I'm five thousand years old or thereabouts. Even among my own kind--Immortals--that's an extremely long time because we are not truly immortal, for we can die by decapitation. That mainly occurs during ritualistic combat known as a Challenge in what we refer to as The Game. Somewhere along the way, Immortals were told that there could only be One, so we play The Game, fight each other, and only one walks away. That's what most Immortals do, anyway. I, on the other hand, haven't taken a head in two hundred years. Of course that leaves approximately forty-eight hundred years unaccounted for....
For a little over the past decade I've been posing as Adam Pierson, grad student and researcher for the Watchers. The Watchers are a group of mortals who observe and keep records on Immortals. They don't know I'm Methos, or even an Immortal. In fact I've been put in charge of researching and perhaps finding Methos. Sorry, chums, but I personally think the guy is never going to be found. Pity.
If maybe it was just the Watchers looking for me, I would show myself for a few years before disappearing into obscurity again. It might be a hoot to sit around and debunk so many erroneous beliefs about the "good ol' days." I'm not sure whether mortals have too much imagination or not enough of it when it comes to the past. I just know that sometimes their interpretations of what was--is wrong.
But there are others looking for me and I dare not reveal who I am. Immortals covet my quickening--the essence of an Immortal which gets stronger with each essence collected at a beheading. I'm old; for that reason alone my quickening is thought to be impressive. But I wasn't always a mild-mannered grad student. Sometimes...sometimes I was much more. Let's just leave it at the fact that the Immortal who gets my quickening will be virtually unbeatable. Sorta why I'm partial to keeping it for myself.
Anyway, it's because of an Immortal's desire for my quickening that I've lost someone very dear to me. Some warped son of a bitch by the name of Kalas killed my friend Don because he's the topmost Methos researcher. Now he's coming after me--the second-most expert on Methos. For a few minutes there, right after hearing about Don, I'd considered letting Kalas find out for himself the irony of his quest--the hard way. But I've tired of the killing, tired of The Game. However, that does not translate into my being tired of living, although my life can be tiring at times.
People are always marveling about what Methos must have witnessed--the beginnings of modern civilization, the building of the pyramids, the rise and fall of Rome and other empires. But what about what Methos must have felt? For everything that was built, I watched something else be destroyed. I've buried wives and adopted children and friends. I've been betrayed and enslaved and brutally murdered. I've survived when all around me lay dead. I carry the burdens of sins long past but never forgotten. I've been alone so long....
I take a breath and center myself before I sink too deeply into the past. That's a pit too many of us old ones can step into and never return. Besides, I don't have time to be maudlin. I have to get prepared for a very special guest. The most infamous Immortal on the planet is on his way to pay me a visit. Duncan MacLeod of the Clan MacLeod. What an appellation. How brash. How audacious. How--young. If only I could remember that far back. Was I ever that arrogant, that assured of who I was and my place in life? I've read the Watchers' chronicles on MacLeod. Ninety percent hero; ten percent typical fumbling male. Extraordinary considering the ratio is usually the opposite. In my case it's about 1:99.
Why am I so interested in this Immortal? In part because I'm fascinated by heroes. Guess I never outgrew my adolescence--or maybe it's because I probably didn't have an adolescence. But hey, I've made up for it. You should see my comic book collection and I'm pretty good at video games. I also have a massive train set in one of my warehouses. The track winds past countrysides, around cities, through mountains, and across lakes. I've been known to enter the warehouse and not come out for weeks at a time....
Damn. I hate when my mind wanders. Where was I? Yes, explaining my interest in the Highlander. That's how I think of him--the Highlander. Anyway, I'd spent centuries of listening to MacLeod stories from Darius. Darius. That's an Immortal I sorely miss. We both knew he wouldn't be the One; Darius had dreamed of his coming death back at the turn of the century, and I had learned from our long friendship that Darius' dreams always came true. So, while I was shocked at who had killed him, I wasn't floored by the fact that he was dead. Still, there are times when I go to his church and just sit, allowing the memory of his peace to seep into me. Rarely am I there alone. Darius "fathered" a lot of people--mortals looking for enlightenment and Immortals seeking answers. He considered Duncan MacLeod his favorite child.
"There's something special about this one, Methos."
"You've dreamed about him?" I'd asked, lazily moving a chess piece.
"And?" When Darius hadn't answered, I'd looked up sharply. "Is he--is he the One, Darius?"
Darius just gave me a studied look. "He's important, my friend, very important. As are you."
Darius was always saying something like that, but I know the truth. The fact that I still exist is a fluke, or maybe just a sick joke. Or maybe I do still live for a reason, but it has nothing to do with being the final One. My quickening is powerful enough to end The Game; perhaps my purpose is to clear the path for the One. Of course, there's another explanation. Maybe I'm just here because no one else will take me. "Up there" probably doesn't want the headache and "down below" doesn't want the competition.
Back to the story. Duncan MacLeod is coming to visit me. He thinks I'm a mortal in danger from an Immortal. So hero that he is, he's going to stand between me and danger. Oh, I think I'm going to swoon. Wonder what the boy is going to do when he realizes I'm one of the club? Will he be offended by my charade? Will he think I'm in the Watchers to hunt my fellow Immortals? Or maybe that I'm there to hide from those who seek my head? Or will he believe the deception of the body I'm stuck with forever? I died young and lean. In a flash I can project an image of perfect harmlessness and even naivete. It's a good tool for getting out of tight situations. Of course, it's led to me being put into tight situations as well. There have always been those who prefer the weak to the strong, who find great pleasure in slowly destroying....
What is it about today that keeps me on the edge of the depths? Is it because I haven't had that many dealings with my own kind in so long? Am I remembering my long life because I'm going to be face to face with another who possesses the same gift? Am I having to struggle with restraining the dark tentacles of the past because I've been too distant, too alone with my Immortality?
A shiver races along my spine. MacLeod's here. I slip on my Walkman and grab my book.
"You Adam Pierson?"
What a killer voice. It slides in and seeps to my groin. That voice alone would have made him worth a fortune at some of the "establishments" I'd worked for over the millennia. I remove the earphones. "Duncan MacLeod of the Clan MacLeod." I reach into my stash and toss him a can. "Have a beer. Mi casa es su casa."
He stares, his brown eyes going from wary to surprised to amused in reaction to my antics. Then incredulity rushes in and the eyes widen capturing my full attention. "Methos?" he asks breathlessly.
I can't help but smile.
Great dead gods! I think I'm in love.
It's a lonely man
Who travels all alone,
When he has no one
That he can call his own.
Always so unhappy,
Taking shelter where he can.
Here I am,
Come meet a lonely, lonely man.
Lonely Man ~Words & music by Benjamin - Marcus
Continues in Elvis Minutes #02: Where Do You Come From?