of Opportunity (Part 2)
by Denise Proctor and Bertha Trusdell (c) 1999
what happened to you?" Joe asked. Methos looked up at him, giving him
a wry smile.
I headed west, towards Greece. Within a week, I was attacked by band of
raiders, captured and spent the next hundred years in slavery."
Methos rose from his chair beside the bed and walked to the window,
staring out at the world, his hands jammed into his jeans pockets.
watched this man who was his friend. He looked to be in his late twenties,
maybe thirty, but his life had spanned more than five thousand years. 'The
sights he must have seen,' Joe thought, 'the things he must have
Joe asked quietly, trying to gently urge the Immortal to continue his
of my masters were gentle and kind but most of them were not. A hundred
years of servitude." He chuckled in amazement, shaking his head.
"I thought that it was enough to redeem myself. So, finally getting
free, I headed back to the temple."
moved to sit back in the chair, facing his friend. He took a deep breath
traveled east, this time, hoping to get back there but, for some reason, I
couldn't remember where the temple was. For weeks, I roamed through the
Zagros Mountains, not knowing which way to turn. Then, believe it or not,
I got sick..."
staggered through the foothills, tired and hungry. He couldn't believe
that he was lost! He needed to find the God who seemed to control his
future but he didn't know, he couldn't remember, where the temple was. How
would he ever know if he was worthy of salvation if he couldn't find the
over a hidden rock, Methos fell into a thicket, scratching his face, hands
and arms. Gasping at the sudden, but minor, pain, he rolled out of the
bushes, ending up on his back among the tumble of the hillside. He lay
there, assessing his situation. He was hungry; his food had run out two
days ago. He was thirsty; the last water he'd found was yesterday
afternoon. Now he was lost and tired, so very tired.
turned his head to survey his surroundings when he spotted a bush just up
the slope, covered in blue colored berries. Food! He scrambled up, with
more energy then he thought he had. He picked one berry, cautiously biting
into it. Savoring the flavor, and noting no adverse reactions, he started
grabbing them by the handfuls, stuffing them into his mouth as fast as he
could pick them.
hunger momentarily satisfied and his thirst abated, he curled up in the
shade of the bush to sleep. 'Everything will be better after I rest,' his
exhausted mind thought
was awakened sometime later by the violent cramping of his stomach.
Folding himself into the pain, he realized that he was shivering with
chills despite the blazing sun, the result of a fever that he felt raging
through his body. The berries! They must have been poisonous after all.
cramped again as he vomited the contents of his stomach, the spasms
continuing even after he was empty. Collapsing back to the ground, his
energy drained, he just wished that he would die and get it over with!
he moaned to the surrounding emptiness, "please just let me
is not the answer to your salvation."
tried to raise himself to his knees, searching for the source of the
voice. Looking about wildly, he found no one. Dropping his head into his
shaking hands, he groaned "God help me."
will always help you, my son."
head snapped up to search the sky, finding only the blinding sunlight. Not
knowing if this was his imagination or not, he lashed out at the annoying
you always help me then why did you drag me out here?"
did not bring you out here," the voice spoke calmly. "You did
that yourself. What were you seeking?"
was searching for you!" Methos shouted
need not search for me, my child. I am with you always."
sat there silently, pondering this. He hadn't realized! Why hadn't the God
told him? He bowed his head in despair.
were you searching for me?" the voice asked him softly.
wanted to know if I was yet worthy of redemption." He raised his head
to look again at the sky. "Have I earned your forgiveness?"
you think that you are worthy? Do you feel that you've earned
DON'T KNOW!" Methos shouted, forcing himself to stand. "Only you
can tell me that."
moment of silence followed. "Your redemption is not complete."
pronouncement sent a burst of rage throughout his fevered body. "I
have spent the last century enslaved by men, as I had enslaved others.
What more do you need?"
did you learn from this experience?"
collapsed to the ground, his anger washing away. What had he learned from
his life these past one hundred years?
learned that it's not much fun being a slave." He thought for a
minute then chuckled. "I learned what a hard day's work really
is." He sobered, his voice dropping to a whisper. "I learned
that I'd do anything to stay alive."
the dignity of labor, the will to survive, these are all good lessons. But
there is still more for you to learn."
else can I hope to learn?" he asked in perplexity
The voice said
sun chose that moment to blaze bright enough to cause Methos to close his
eyes. When he opened them again, he found that it was dusk, the sun
beginning to fall behind the hills. Scanning the area, afraid that his
eyes were deceiving him, he was surprised when he spotted a small stream
winding its way through the rocks.
his way to the stream, he drank his fill of the cool, clear water. Once
sated, he began to search for food. Locating a nest of snakes hidden in
the brush, he used his knife to kill and skin them, roasting them over the
small fire that he built.
stomach filled for the first time in weeks, he settled down by the fire to
sleep, his one hand clasping the medallion that still hung around his
I will start out again,' he thought to himself. 'This time I will
did you?" Joe asked
I guess." Methos smiled. "I set out again, heading back west but
this time I was more careful. With the Horsemen, I learned to survive by
brutality and force. During my years as a slave, I learned to survive
through guile and cunning. I was not going to get captured this
did you go?"
Methos told him. "From Phoenicia and Cyprus, through Greece and Rome,
to Carthage and finally Egypt. And everywhere I went I did what I could to
help. Building dams and homes to help people survive, teaching languages
and trades that they may help themselves. And when I could not teach them,
I learn what they could teach me."
long was it before you spoke with the God again."
hundred years." Methos sighed. "The Assyrians had begun
attacking Egypt and I tried to escape by diving into the Red Sea. Needless
to say, I drowned." Methos chuckled. "But I eventually washed up
on the far shore..."
my son." A gentle voice echoed in his mind as Methos drew in a ragged
breath. The effects of his drowning death still wracked his body,
preventing him from answering.
and come to me." The voice urged him. Methos slowly raised his head,
searching for the source of the voice.
are you?" he choked out, his voice not yet under control.
great!" Methos grumbled, finally sitting with his head in his hands.
were you searching for me?" the voice asked him. Methos thought that
this sounded familiar.
wanted to know if I was yet worthy of redemption." He raised his head
to look up at the sky.
you think that you are worthy?"
was starting to get frustrated with this. "I don't know." He
said evenly. "Why don't you tell me."
redemption is not complete."
like that? No discussion, no nothing, just a pronouncement?"
did you spend this past time, my son?"
told the God of all that he had seen, all that he had learned and all that
he had done.
who gives assistance to the poor acknowledges the kingdom of God."
all well and good," Methos argued. "But what more do I have to
do? When will I be worthy of redemption?"
you are ready, you will know."
and when I know, I just have to come and convince you?" Methos was
having trouble keeping the sarcasm out of his voice.
thousand people cannot convince one by words to the extent that one person
can convince a thousand by action."
this, I left Egypt?" he grumbled.
no further instructions, Methos rose and, checking to make sure that he
still had his medallion, started walking into the desert, seeking he knew
not what but going to meet his future.
What happened?" Joe tried to sit forward before Methos restrained him
with a hand on his chest.
relax," he admonished his friend. "If you get too excited, that
escapee from a Wagner opera is going to throw me out of here."
if on cue the nurse entered the room, impaling Methos with an icy glare
before moving over to Joe's bedside.
you alright, Joe?" she asked as she surveyed the wires that connected
him to the phalanx of machinery. "Suddenly all your readings seemed
to bounce off the charts."
I'm not alright!" Joe shouted in an uncharacteristic show of temper
at the interruption. "I'm dying, you twit!" The last thing he
wanted was to give Methos any reason to stop with his story.
Joe, you know I'm only here to help," she patiently admonished, as if
talking to a petulant child.
would help me more if you would just go away." Joe responded through
clenched teeth. He glared at the nurse and, after a momentary battle of
wills, she smiled and left the room.
the door closed, Methos burst into relieved laughter. "You are most
definitely not a good patient."
about her," he said, dismissing the episode. "If I don't yell at
her at least once a day, she sticks a thermometer..." Methos raised
his eyebrows at the slight pause. "In my mouth, you bastard."
Joe finished, chuckling. Resettling himself comfortably in the bed, he
waited for Methos to continue. When the Immortal showed no inclination to
begin his story again, Joe urged him on.
he asked. "What happened next? Where did you go? What did you
Methos laughed, "let me see." He strolled around the room,
seeming to search his memory. At an imploring glare from Joe, he laughed
again. "I'm trying to remember! This didn't happen yesterday, you
this is something that you'd forget." Joe scoffed.
Methos picked up the tale. "I headed east this time, through India,
then north through the mountains to Mongolia and China and even into
Japan. I learned about medicines and became a healer. I was, for a time, a
special envoy for the Emperor. I did whatever I could to promote peace,
sometimes at the risk of my own life."
you come across many other Immortals along the way?"
few," Methos smiled. "It was during this time that I perfected
my 'run and hide' techniques. Unfortunately, I didn't always
succeed." He came to sit back down on the chair by the bed, facing
Joe. "Sometimes, in the quest for peace, the messenger is sacrificed.
I died quite a few times throughout those years. But I also found a
certain peace in my own soul. I thought that I had begun to understand
what the Gods were trying to tell me so, after another hundred years, I
headed back to the temple."
remembered where it was?"
yes. And, you know, after 300 years, it hadn't changed a bit..."
entered the temple slowly, in awe of what he found. Everything appeared to
be the same as it had been the last time that he'd been here. Moving to
kneel before the statue, he looked up at the image that he had, for so
long, carried in his mind. Reaching inside his tunic, he withdrew the
medallion that, like him, had survived the past three hundred years of
tests and trials. Holding it securely between his palms as if in prayer,
he took a deep, calming breath and, raising his head, spoke to the God.
have returned," he said calmly as his eyes searched the temple.
my son." The soothing voice echoed throughout the temple and inside
his mind. "What has brought you here?"
came to see if I was yet worthy of redemption." He raised his head to
look up at the statue.
you think that you are worthy?"
thought for a moment before he answered. "I have traveled very far,
suffering much but helping many. I have learned the differences of people
only to find that they are mostly the same. I have learned that, for
others to believe in you, you must believe in yourself. So, yes, I think I
am worthy." He held his breath, waiting for the God's response.
redemption is complete."
released his breath in amazement. "That's it?" he questioned, as
he stood. "A few simple words make you think that I am worthy?"
have always thought that you were worthy, my son. It was you who were in
Methos stammered, unable to believe how easy it had been.
told you when you first came to me that we are all worthy if salvation is
what we seek. But, until you accepted it within yourself, your redemption
would not be complete."
that's it?" He shook his head in amazement. "I suffer, on and
off, for three hundred years and it erases all the evil that I've
my son." The voice told him. "Your suffering has succeeded in
changing you from the evil that you were. There is still the need for
retribution to erase the Evil that you've done."
head snapped up at the mention of retribution. What could possibly be
asked of him that would erase the horrors that he had committed? His
death? 'No,' he thought. 'that would be too quick, too easy.' His life? To
live his never-ending existence with what he'd done, the memories always
present in his mind, would be a cruel and, therefore, just punishment. But
there had to be more.
there is more." The voice reassured him. "You have spent
centuries destroying all that was good in the world, simply because you
could. Your retribution will be to save that which you once sought to
destroy. The time will come when an Evil will exist in this world that
makes your actions pale in comparison. You must fight this Evil, banishing
it from the world, to save mankind. This will be your retribution."
thought about the task that had been laid before him. "Fight a
battle?" he asked. "As simple as that?" Methos had had many
teachers over the centuries and was very, very good with a sword. He drew
himself up, standing tall and proud. "There is no enemy that I cannot
cannot imagine the Power of this Evil!" the voice boomed, causing the
very walls of the Temple to reverberate, forcing Methos back down to his
knees. "And this enemy will use your own pride to defeat you!"
trembled at the wrath in the God's voice. "Forgive me," he
there was a momentary pause. "I forgive you, my son," the voice
assured him. "But, without this retribution, will the world be able
to forgive you? Will you be able to forgive yourself?"
shook his head, unable to speak around the tears in his eyes and fear in
will I face this evil?" Methos finally asked
the future. But you must face the Evil with a pure heart, a peaceful soul.
You will need the time to prepare. But when the time is upon you, you will
how will I recognize the evil? How will I know that I'm ready?"
Methos pleaded for answers, staring up at the statue.
will know." The voice echoed off the walls of the temple then slowly
knelt in silence for a very long time, unmoving. Finally, he grasped the
medallion between his hands and made a solemn vow to whatever God had
given him this chance.
will continue to search for the knowledge. I will continue to seek the
wisdom. Then, when the time is right, I will defeat this Evil to protect
mankind. This I swear on my life."
those words, he rose and walked from the temple, at peace with himself for
the first time in two millennia. He had a goal, a task to perform. But, in
his innocence, he did not fully understand what that task might cost.
sat in stony silence, mouth agape. Methos smiled as he reached over and,
using one finger under Joe's chin, gently closed his mouth. The movement
broke through Joe's trance-like state.
Joe sputtered. Taking a moment to collect himself, Joe took a deep breath
and tried again. "You were the Champion?"
Champion, yes." Methos smiled slowly behind his steepled fingers,
allowing Joe to work through his disbelief.
trying to tell me that some ancient God entrusted you with the future of
mankind?" Joe scoffed. In his surprise, he didn't realize how that
sounded until he watched a quick look of hurt pass over Methos' face, to
be replaced by one of resigned sadness.
would trust me with anything that important, right?" Methos responded
sarcastically, waving his hand as if to brush the thought away. Joe
reached out and grabbed the hand, holding it tightly, getting his friends
I'm sorry. I didn't mean it like that. It's just that..." Joe looked
for the right words to say. Searching his friend's face, he realized that
there weren't any. "You're serious, aren't you? You're not pulling my
answered slowly. "The truth, the whole truth..."
nothing but the truth." Joe finished. Shaking his head as the words
set in, Joe's only response was a softly spoken "Wow!"
isn't it?" Methos asked, the hint of a smile on his face. He could
understand Joe's disbelief. After all, hadn't Methos made a habit of
teasing his friends with unbelievable stories and outrageous explanations?
Joe put a voice to the barrage of questions that were spinning around in
his head. "Did you win? Well, obviously you did. When did it happen?
Where did you battle? How did you know what to do?"
Methos sighed. "Yes, I did win. 'When' was around 4 BC. 'Where' was
on Holy Ground. And I had no idea what to do." He finally laughed at
the absurdity of his explanation.
battle took place on Holy Ground?" Joe probed. He didn't know how
much longer the old man would continue to answer his questions, so he
wasn't going to stop.
nodded. "In an ancient temple site on the plains of southern Britain.
All the battles against evil take place on Holy Ground."
Joe was surprised by this revelation
Evil to be the victor, Joe, he must seduce a good soul, bringing it,
willingly, to him. Doing so on Holy Ground would make Evil's triumph even
more complete. That's why immortals aren't allowed to fight on Holy
mean that really is a rule?" Joe saw a look of surprise cross Methos'
face. "I mean, I thought that maybe it was just something that
someone made up to give you guys a place to rest, you know, something with
no deep purpose. I didn't know there was a 'real' reason."
lot of people think that, Joe. Unfortunately, it is true. Any evil done on
Holy Ground makes him even stronger. To take the Champion there would make
his victory complete for all time."
there anyone to help you, to tell you what had to be done?"
of the battle for the Champion, Joe, is to figure it out for himself. But,
usually, the previous Champion helps to prepare and guide the next one,
the teacher for the Ultimate Battle, you might say. But, in my case, there
wasn't anyone to help me, other than the God telling me that when it was
time, I'd know."
not? And what does all this have to do with MacLeod?"
the aftermath of the battle, I was almost lost. A man found me, a man who
managed to save my soul. Out of love and friendship for him, I made
another promise." Methos looked Joe in the eyes. "I seem to make
a habit of that with people I care about, don't I?"
4 BC - Britannia
surrounded him, taunting him with their vacant, dead eyes, beating at him
with sticks, shovels and pitchforks. He hacked at them with his sword,
running them through, severing arms and legs, but still they came. The
thousands of people that he had killed had finally risen up against him.
rushed him, knocking him to the ground. They were on him, pummeling him,
stabbing him. He lay there, hunched into a ball, trying to protect his
head and, more important, his neck but they grabbed at him and, taking his
arms and legs, spread him out on his back. He had no defense. He was going
to die. Looking up into the blinding sun, they appeared as dark shadows
towering over him. And among the indistinct faces above him, there was one
he made out, clearly. The face of his tormentor, the demon, Ahriman.
against the hands that held him, in anger, in fear, in frustration, he
the faces above him dissolved into one. An old face, a wise face, backlit
by the sun, surrounded by the standing stones of this Holy place. Was this
the face of his God? Yes! The Gods had come to save him.
easy, my son," the vision said, "You are safe. I will protect
the reassurance of the vision, he relaxed, drifting as if on a cloud, into
a peaceful oblivion. He felt himself being lifted and gently moved but he
didn't care. He was finally safe.
awoke to the sounds of the spring forest; birds twittering in joy, leaves
rustling in the breeze. He lay, surrounded by the comfort of soft furs, on
a pallet of fresh, clean straw.
his eyes, he found himself in a hut, brightened by the many windows yet
cooled by the surrounding foliage. He had no idea where he was, but he
knew that he felt safe.
out from under the sleeping furs, he slowly rose to his feet, weak and
unsteady. As he took a moment to gain his balance, he noticed that his
clothes had been mended and cleaned. His recent ordeal had debilitated him
almost beyond his Immortal powers of healing. It took him a few minutes to
gather himself but, eventually, inching his way to the doorway, using the
table and the walls as support, he stepped outside.
tranquility of the forest was like a balm to his soul. He drew in a deep,
cleansing breath, allowing the feeling of harmony to wash over his body,
through his being, raising his spirits. After so long, after so much
misery, he was at peace.
turned to survey his surroundings, taking in the spectacular vista. At the
edge of the clearing, opposite the hut, was a stream. He was surprised to
find himself thirsty. Moving slowly to the edge of the stream, he knelt
down, sipping the cool, clear water. It tasted like nectar to his parched
throat. He drank his fill before he was suddenly overcome with weariness.
The simple exertion of walking to the stream had sapped his limited
strength. He stood, attempting to make his way back to the hut, when he
was assaulted by an Immortal presence.
standing by the hut, was a man, dressed in a robe of some indistinct
color, reflecting the hues of the forest. His hair, snowy white, hung past
his shoulders, merging with the beard of the same color that hung below
his waist. His face was creased with a smile, soothing and inviting. But
Methos was captured by the man's eyes. Blue, the color of the spring sky,
engulfed him, seeming to drag him into their depths. But, instead of
bringing fear, the impression was one of comfort, of serenity, of peace.
Overcome by a wave of dizziness, Methos gave in to the sensation,
collapsing to the ground.
woke to the light of a roaring fire, bright against the outside darkness.
The smell of food sent his stomach to rumbling. He opened his eyes, hoping
to locate some of the aromatic fare.
down before him, a calming smile on his face, was the old man. Seeing the
surprised reaction, the man spoke.
easy, my friend. You are safe." Reaching out, he slowly touched his
fingers to Methos' head. Methos momentarily drew back, but allowed the
the old man said, he smile growing. "Your fever has broken. Do you
think that you could eat something?"
to the slight nod of Methos' head, the old man moved over to the fire,
returning with a bowl of stew. Methos sat up as he was handed the bowl.
slowly, my friend," he admonished. "Your body will reject it if
you eat too quickly."
nodded again, as he tasted the stew, savoring the flavor of the thick
broth, with its vegetables and meat. 'This must be heaven,' he thought.
old man watched as Methos ate and, satisfied that he was going to retain
his meal, retrieved his own bowl and sat down beside the pallet.
name is Ambrosius. This," waving his hand to indicate the hut,
"is my home. You are welcome here."
tried to speak only to find that his voice wouldn't cooperate. Clearing
his throat, he tried again.
am Methos," he said softly, surprising himself with his honesty. The
very presence of the man seated before him seemed to negate his ability to
lie. "How did I come to be here?"
brought you here." Reacting to the questioning look on the young
Immortal's face, he continued. "The Old Ones told me that someone
needed my help. I found you on the plain, amidst the standing stones, weak
and burning with fever, screaming at the images in your mind."
long have I been here?"
thought for a moment. "The moon was full on the night that I found
you. Tonight it will not appear in the sky."
listened to the old man's description. He had been unconscious for
approximately fourteen days! He looked around, trying to recall something,
anything, but he had no memory of the time. He remembered his battle with
the demon, just barely defeating the Evil. But the aftermath had left him
shaken to the core, vulnerable and weak. He remembered being among the
standing stones. He remembered what must have been a dream. But there was
nothing after that. He looked back at the old man.
he said, testing the sound of the name. A Latin name that meant
'immortal', a Roman name. "You are Immortal?" Methos asked,
suddenly not trusting his senses.
Ambrosius smiled. "I am Immortal. I am the oldest of us that still
absorbed this information, a little in awe of the man that sat next to
him. "Are you Roman?"
have been many things in my life but, no, I am not Roman."
continued to eat as he watched the old man. He should feel cautious, he
should be on guard but the aura of peace that emanated from this man set
him completely at ease. He knew, inexplicably, that he was in no danger
with the sudden need for sleep, his eyes began to droop. Ambrosius took
the bowl from his hands, placing it on the floor as he moved to cover
Methos with the sleeping furs.
my son," he said, his voice a soothing comfort. "We will talk
more in the morning."
as he snuggled down under the covers, Methos fell asleep feeling safe.
two men did talk the next day and the day after, as Methos continued to
grow stronger. Over the subsequent days and weeks they fell into a daily
routine: hunting small game for food, picking herbs for cooking and
medicines and tending the small vegetable garden. Ambrosius answered all
his questions, teaching him of many things. Methos came to believe that
there was nothing that this old man did not know. He relished the
opportunity to talk with someone older than he; someone who understood the
things that time could do to a man.
found himself telling Ambrosius of all that he'd done, of his part in the
evil that was The Horsemen, his plea to the Gods, and his battle with
Ahriman. He was heartened that, after baring his soul, the only reaction
that he got was one of acceptance. So, for the very first time in his
memory, he felt at home, at peace.
day, after being with Ambrosius for about three years, the old man came to
him. Methos was kneeling beside the outdoor fire, cooking the fish that he
had caught earlier in the day. Ambrosius knelt next to him, placing a hand
on his shoulder. Methos looked up at the contact, smiling at his friend.
His smile faded as he saw the look on the old man's face.
is wrong, my friend?" Methos asked with concern, taking the food from
the fire. "Did the Old Ones bring you bad news?"
nodded. "Sad news, I'm afraid." He sighed. "I visited the
standing stones today and the Old Ones told me that the time has come for
you to leave."
Methos was shocked, not wanting to believe what he was hearing. "But
why must I leave? This is my home."
will always be your home, Methos." The Holy Man assured him.
"But the Old Ones have told me that there are still things that you
was bewildered. "I don't understand," he said weakly, fear
wrapping itself around his heart.
task in not yet finished, my friend," the old man told him.
I've defeated the Evil that would have overtaken the world." Methos
protested, standing and pacing around the fire. "What more is there
left to do?"
is now up to you to find and prepare the next Champion."
stopped and turned to face the man, his hands on his hips in defiance.
Champion? What next Champion?" Methos couldn't believe what he was
hearing. "I won the battle, the Evil is conquered. It is over!"
won this battle, yes. But just barely." Ambrosius shook his head
sadly. "The Evil will return. As the only living Champion, it is up
to you to teach the next."
was there no one to teach me?" Methos asked, still defiant.
my friend, you were not supposed to be the Chosen One of this time."
Seeing the confusion on the young Immortal's face, Ambrosius explained.
"The previous Champion had found his successor and had begun his
training. But then, in a battle not of their choosing, they were both
taken by death. So the Gods waited."
defiance seeped from his body as he slowly sank back to the ground.
"The Gods waited for me?"
you." The old man smiled, taking pity on this Immortal who had fought
his best battle only to find that he was not finished. Placing his hand
gently on Methos' shoulder, he tried to reassure his friend. "You
came along in a moment of need and the Gods gave you a choice."
was no choice," Methos protested, shaking his head. Why did he have
to do this? Why couldn't his part in this be over?
is always a choice, my friend. Thankfully, you made the right one."
other choice could I have made?" he asked sadly
could have chosen to continue your life as it was. You could have chosen
to walk away from the Gods. But you didn't. Now you must decide
again." Ambrosius gave him a gently smile.
looked about, confused and deeply saddened. He didn't want to leave this
place, this sanctuary. He didn't want to leave Ambrosius. But if what the
old man said was true, there would be another Champion and another battle
with Ahriman. Could he abandon the next Champion? Could he leave the man
to fight this battle with no preparation, as he had? He didn't know what
stood to face him, engulfing him in those bottomless blue eyes. "You
are a good man, Methos, a strong man. You will make the right
how do I know what the right choice is?" Methos lamented
place a finger on Methos' forehead. "All of your answers are in here
and..." moving to place his hand over Methos' heart, "...in
here. Think about what must be done then choose."
nodded at the old man, his shoulders sagging with the weight of his
decision. He walked away from the clearing, heading into the forest. He
needed some time to think.
watch his young friend walk into the trees. He, too, was saddened by the
weight of his friend's decision. But he was also confident.
already know what must be done. You will find the truth."
wandered aimlessly among the trees, searching for the answers. Coming upon
a clearing not far from the hut, he sat down, with his back against a tree
and closed his eyes. Cherishing the tranquility, he allowed his mind to go
over the things that the Gods had told him.
must fight this Evil, banishing it from the world, to save mankind,' the
God had said to him. He had accepted that charge, learning all that he
could, managing to survive the battle. It had not been an easy task. There
were many times that Methos wanted to give up, to walk away, but he
couldn't. Could he walk away now?
why did the Gods have to chose me?' Another part of his mind complained.
Methos didn't know why he had been chosen.
were not supposed to be the Chosen One of this time' Ambrosius had told
fate of the Champions came to his mind. 'But, in a battle not of their
choosing, they were both taken by death.' Methos wondered what could have
happened to them, that they both died prematurely.
as if hearing the words for the first time, he whispered them again.
a battle not of their choosing, they were both taken by death. Taken by
Death!" Was that the answer? Was that why the Gods had chosen him?
Had he killed the Champion and his student?
up, he ran back to the hut, to Ambrosius. He needed to know the answer.
Somehow, Ambrosius would know.
into the clearing, he skidded to a stop as he found Ambrosius tending to
the cooking food. The old man stood to face him, his eyes revealing to
Methos all that he needed to know.
murdered them, didn't I?" Methos asked, his breaths coming in gasps
from his frantic run. "That's why the Gods have chosen me?"
nodded silently, confirming what Methos had guessed. He watched as the
young Immortal walked over to the fire, contemplating the flame.
always thought that this retribution was a punishment from the Gods."
Methos spoke softly, almost to himself. "But it wasn't." He
turned to face his friend. "This has all been a consequence of my own
actions. And you knew."
walk over to stand in front of Methos. "Yes, my friend, I knew."
you didn't judge me?"
have judged yourself more harshly than anyone else could. Besides, who am
I to judge the actions of others?"
are a man of honor, a man of goodness. You are a Holy Man."
my son, I am none of those. I am just a man."
placed his hands on the old man's shoulders, staring deep into his eyes.
I make this promise to you, 'just a man', to you and to the Gods. I swear
that I will find the next Champion and assure that he is prepared for the
battle. And if that isn't enough, then I will train the next one and the
next one. I will not allow my single action to cause the destruction of
all that is good. I swear!"
wrapped his arms around the young man's shoulders, drawing him into an
embrace. Releasing him, he looked Methos in the eyes.
have chosen the right path, my friend, as I knew you would." Methos
lowered his head, a hint of blush visible on his face. Ambrosius gently
raised his chin, forcing Methos to look again into those deep, blue eyes.
remember, no matter where you go, no matter what happens, this is always
embraced the old man again as tears slid down his face.