I decided to have, not one, but two Forumers
in my tale. As a tribute to Quink's
Links (one of the most thorough and well built HL references on the
'Net) I created Quink, a skilled research Watcher with a perfect memory
and a bit of a rebellious streak. HonourH again got a role, this
time as Harrington-- and as the villain. Remembering her complaint of not
getting Wolfe to herself last time, I decided to teach her a lesson. Be
careful what you wish for, you may just get it.
Of course, that was when the Buzz hit, seeming particularly vicious in his sleep starved head. The duffel bag hit the tarmac with a resounding thud; his katana was out and at guard a second later; "I am Duncan MacLeod, of the Clan MacLeod."
The voice that came out of the shadows was confident, controlled and quite obviously female: "I'm Harrington, but you can call me Honour." Duncan flinched at this, and the sword point dipped visibly. He had enough problems duelling women, but that name was like a slap in the face. The Immortal who stepped into the light noticed this immediately, cataloguing it with military efficiency as a potential weakness. "What's wrong Duncan MacLeod, do you have something against the Fairer Sex?"
Mac recovered his grip and his composure at the same time. "I'm smart enough to know the Fairer Sex isn't always fair." She responded in actions not words; the swift appearance of a military sabre, plain and unadorned. The two circled for a moment, feeling each other out, as Duncan tried to think of a graceful way out of this. Honour H attacked first, and aggressively, leaving Mac hopelessly on the defensive for several seconds. With a start he realized he was being herded into one of the more crowded lots; swiftly he pressed the offensive, driving her back.
Soon they were battling back and forth through a maze of vehicles, a cross between honest duelling and guerrilla warfare. Mac fought as well as he could given the circumstances, but the woman seemed to have the upper hand when it came to strategy. Suddenly the woman stopped, as if she remembered something. She cut a crippling blow that brought Duncan to his knees, almost as if she could have done it at any time. She turned toward the terminal, tossing a casual comment over her shoulder, "Consider yourself lucky I have something more important to catch than you."
The next day, Mac skipped out of the dojo early for Joe's, and not just because he could use a drink. Frustration, confusion and pride were leading him to a course of action he preferred to avoid; namely asking Joe about an Immortal. Mac gave the best description he could, and in the end, the old man merely sighed. "I've heard a bit about her, more rumour than official Chronicle record. If anyone would know about Honour H though, it would be Quink." He smiled absently at the thought, "She knows a little bit about everything. Incredible memory that one."
Duncan gave the Watcher the strangest look: "Excuse me, but – Quink?" Joe answered with a small smile, "Well, you don't expect me to use her real name do you?"
"You think she'd do it? I mean, is she a real stickler for the Rules?"
Another smile, "No, I couldn't think of anyone more non-regulation than Quink. If it wasn't for her perfect memory, she might have been kicked out long ago."
It took a couple of days to arrange the meeting, during which MacLeod couldn't seem to settle down. He wondered why he was so worked up about this woman. He wasn't in immediate danger, when they parted she was obviously running for a plane. He didn't even know where she was going.
Everything was set: Joe's place after hours. Duncan sat in a shadowy booth, strangely nervous as he watched the last of the patrons wander out; Joe's never really seemed to have any true drunks. A few minutes later, a woman stood in the door: she was small, nondescript, and almost bookish. In short, the perfect Watcher. As she paused for a moment, she scratched nervously at one wrist, a distressing habit that had got her taken off assignments.
Once she got herself into the room, Quink was briskly efficient. She moved straight to the back booth and sat down. "I'm not here. You're not here. This isn't happening." Duncan nodded, trying desperately to hide a smile, "Of course."
The researcher pulled out a sheaf of papers seemingly out of nowhere, much like the Watchers wrongfully accused Immortals of doing with their swords. "Harrington— military history, brilliant strategist; she was frequently underestimated due to her gender. Seemed to actually enjoy beating the odds." The lecture continued, "In fact, she was rather too efficient; her first death was arranged by her own side, when they ordered her into an impossible situation." Mac was almost sure there was a little feminist admiration going on. He thought about objectivity, remembering Dawson’s comment about Quink being "non-regulation".
Mac cleared his throat gently, "No offence, but do you have anything more recent?"
Quink looked almost hurt at being interrupted, "I'm research, I donut do recent." Here she gave a rather pointed look to Joe, who had been sitting to the side trying to be invisible. Duncan followed the look; Dawson squirmed a bit under the double gaze.
"I didn't want to say anything. After all, its more rumour than anything else." He shrivelled a bit more under a steady dark-eyed stare, "There's stories she's been keeping an eye on Amanda and someone named Wolfe. Nothing confirmed mind you…"
MacLeod is on his feet before Dawson is even finished talking, exactly what the old Watcher feared. He had to get to the Highlander before the man got into full Chivalry mode. "Now calm down Mac, you know Manda can take care of herself." The Immortal seemed to sag visibly "You're not going to tell me where they are, either of you. You never were." Joe slowly shook his head and Quink, after a glance at her fellow Watcher, did the same. Growling Gaelic curses, Mac got up and went back to the dojo, suddenly in need of a good heavy workout.
She somewhat regretted doing it here, for Paris was the street urchin's home territory. Regrettable, but unavoidable, this travesty could not be allowed to continue. She waited until Amanda got bored and went out on a job, then conveniently arranged to run into dear Detective Wolfe. It took a while to get him into a conversation, he was as wary as his namesake it seemed.
Eventually, though, they stared talking, Honour was as direct as ever: "You do realize you could do a lot better than her. You're never going to ‘rehabilitate’ her, and she'll bring you nothing but trouble."
Nick gave that adorable little smile of his, "I thought all Immortals were trouble for us poor pitiful normals?"
"Nonsense! You have to meet the right one is all. Someone with whom you share something in common. A strategist, an organized mind… like me." Honour smiled coolly at this point, confident as ever that she would get what she wanted. She was all the more shocked then when the Buzz came. She spun around swiftly….
"Excuse me, dear, but this one's mine." Amanda's sword was out, and her expression was all business. Neither Immortal really noticed that Nick was bristling at the idea of being "owned". As the two squared off against each other, Nick suddenly stepped in between, both hands raised.
"Hey, I'm a human being here! Does anybody wonder what I want?"
Both women turn to look at him: in perfect stereo came the answer "No."
The combat was fierce and gave a new meaning to the term "chick fight". For a while it looked like Amanda was ahead on passion alone, until a huge cat leaped hissing onto her back. The Lady Thief flailed in a most ungraceful manner, giving Honour plenty of time to line up the perfect head shot. Wolfe sprinted out of the way as the Quickening gathered…
As Honour H came back to her senses, her first sight was the barrel
of Nick's pistol. She sighed, "Nick, don't start that. If you do, it could
go on all night."
I didn't set out to kill the Lady Thief, she's one of my favourites
as well. It's just that I like to stretch myself as a writer, try new ideas
even if I don't like them. The idea that struck me halfway through writing
Name of Honour was simply this, "what if the Good Guys didn't win?"