Also, please remember that this is an "Alternate Reality" story.
Miguel Ortiz’ head jerked up as a strange sensation entered his mind. He wet his lips, and looked around for the source. There! His eyes fell upon the woman standing in the corner. She had an expression on her face; one that he imagined was on his own. Miguel turned quickly from the line of the new crewmembers, and walked off of the bridge.
Damn it! he thought in angry annoyance. I thought I would be safe here!
The woman walked to her newly assigned quarters and entered. She went over to the bed, put her bag down, and started to unpack. She thought about the man she had seen on the bridge, and the familiar sensation that she had felt. I think I scared him. She brushed a hand along her Ensign Y. Harger name badge and smiled.
Miguel stared at the ceiling as he lay on his bed. Damn it, damn it, damn it!! He rolled over, glancing at the door to make sure it was locked, then closed his eyes as images from the past rose in his mind.
He crouched low behind the stump and watched as the rows of soldiers marched past. He had lost count of the number long ago, but they showed no sign of ending. He slowly backed away from the stump, then slithered on his stomach to a small group waiting in a ditch.
“How many?” a man asked.
The young man who had just returned ran a hand through his shoulder length black hair. “Many,” he replied, “heading for the center of the city.”
The older man nodded, then turned to the others. “You heard what Miguel said. We have to keep the Spaniards from…” His words were cut off by a cry.
The crowd looked up, and knew that it was over. Over thirty men surrounded the ditch, swords pointed at the occupants. One of them threw something into the ditch, and Miguel jumped back in disgust as the head of one of their lookouts landed at his feet.
Miguel stood with the others in front of a long raised bench. A man looked down at them, then started to speak. “You have been sentenced to death for crimes against Spain, the King, and God.” He nodded to another man, who in turn, nodded to a row of soldiers.
The soldiers drew their swords and advanced on the helpless prisoners. Miguel tensed, then screamed out in pain as the metal plunged deep into his stomach. The world around him grew black as he fell to the ground. The last thing he heard was the pleading wails of those whom he vowed to fight along side in order to get the Spanish invaders out of his country.
The first thing he remembered was the heat of the sun as it beat down upon him. As his other senses kicked in, he became aware of the stench. He opened his eyes, slowly sat up, and looked around. His eye grew wide as he saw where he was.
Bodies filled a shallow grave, baking under the hot afternoon sun. He took in the faces, recognizing the friends he had been with when he was executed. But I’m not dead!? He put a hand over his mouth as the smell threatened to overtake him, and scurried to the relative safety of the hard ground surrounding the grave. He started to gag as he looked at his friends.
He sat there, staring, wondering why he was still alive, wondering why there was no stab wound on his stomach. I know I was stabbed!
He screamed and turned when he felt a hand on his shoulder. A tall distinguished looking man stood above him.
“I mean you no harm, Miguel,” he said in a kind voice.
“How do you know my name?”
The man held out his hand. “Come…I will explain all.”
Miguel Ortiz bolted awake as his alarm clock sounded, and he reached out to turn it off. He blinked his eye a few times as he ran his hands over his face. I will explain all…boy, did he ever. Miguel reached for his PAL, and flicked it on. “Commander?”
“Go ahead, Ortiz,” Ford’s voice came back.
“I’m not felling well…I’m…going to book off today.”
“All right,” Ford said.
Miguel turned his personal communicator off, then tossed it onto the small table. He got out of bed, went to his desk, and pulled out an old book. He sat down and leafed through it. He looked at the words, barely remembering writing them. The dates on the top of each journal entry sent a small shiver of regret through him. May 1679, August 1746, January 2012 Each one was a new phase of his long life, each one an ending of another.
He knew that he did not want to end the life he was currently leading, but circumstances might be beyond his control. This was the first place he had ever felt like he truly belonged; the first place he had actually decided to put his past behind him and live for the now, not the past.
“It’s all caught up with me,” he said to the journal. He sighed and leaned back in the chair.
Miguel brushed his hair off of his forehead and stared with doubt as the tall man spoke. He tried to absorb what he was saying, but found it very difficult to do so. “Wait,” he interrupted. “Are you telling me that I cannot die?”
The man nodded. “You are immortal…and only another immortal can kill you by taking your head.” He paused. “My name is Juan Ramirez, and I am going to teach you how to keep your head.”
Miguel started to laugh. “You are mad.”
Rameriz shook his head. “Just like MacLeod,” he muttered under his breath. He quickly drew his sword and lunged at Miguel.
Miguel slid off the rock he was sitting on, jumped to his feet, and glared at the other man. Ramirez stopped, then lunged forward with a small smile. Miguel waited until he was within inches, then stepped to the side. The blade wet harmlessly past him. Ramirez turned.
“Very good, Miguel…you show no fear.” He put his sword away and motioned beyond the forest. “There is a whole world out there for you. Come with me, I will teach you what you need to know.
Miguel smiled at the memory of his teacher. He had taught him what he needed to know to survive. He remembered most of his ‘lives’, and what he had done to survive for the past four hundred plus years. He had been a simple farmer when the Spaniards invade his home country, but since then he had been; a sailor, a doctor, a revolutionary, a Confederate General, and more than once, had been in various navies around the world. Had changed his last name more times than he could remember, but had usually kept his given name. He had been married three times, and had loved each one of them.
Those around him thought that he was incredibly lucky. He knew it was more than luck…it was his life. A life he had chosen to give up. He had reverted back to his original last name, seeing it as a way to reclaim his life back. He had tried doing that once before, but failed. He sat straight as the cursed feeling entered his brain, and he jumped out of the chair.
The knock that sounded at his door didn’t surprise him. He opened it and stared at the woman he had seen the previous day.
“Who are you?” he demanded, not really caring if he sounded rude.
“Can I come in?”
“No.” Miguel stayed in the doorway. “Who are you?”
“You’re real name!” Miguel snapped.
“Yvonne St. Charles,” she replied with a smile. “You?”
“Miguel Ortiz.” He could feel the old fighting instincts starting. “I have no quarrel with you, nor do I want to fight anymore.”
“That’s not up for you to decide, is it?” she said in a mocking tone. “I can’t fight you on this sub…I’d never get away.”
“What makes you think you could take my head?”
She fixed him with a stare that almost made him take a step back. “There can be only one,” she hissed, then turned and walked down the hall.
Miguel whipped around, a startled look on his face. “What?!” He saw who it was, and visibly calmed. “I mean…yes, Wendy?”
Wendy looked at him, her gaze searching, appraising. “Are you all right?”
“Fine, why?” Miguel answered. He put his arms over his chest. “Please don’t scan me.”
“I won’t,” Wendy replied. “I asked, because you have booked off from work for the past three days.” She paused. “Is there anything you want to talk about?”
NO!!! “Yes,” he said, then blinked in amazement. Huh? Let’s try that again. No! “Yes.” DAMN!
Wendy smiled in sympathy. “Come to my office…you can use the time to decide.”
Miguel sighed as he followed her. Maybe it would be a good for me to tell…Wendy might just understand.
Ensign Lonnie Henderson glanced up as a person appeared at her lunch table. “Hi.”
Yvonne Harger smiled. “Hello, uh…could I join you? All the other tables are full.” She sat when Lonnie motioned to a chair. “Ensign Henderson, right?”
“That’s me,” Lonnie said. “You just get here with the last rotation?”
Yvonne nodded. “This is actually my second post…I never thought that I would make it to the seaQuest so fast.” She glanced around, looking for Miguel.
“It’s a great sub…with a great crew,” Lonnie said.
“Anyone I should…uh…be wary of?”
Lonnie laughed. “Well, there are a few Romeo’s on board.” She leaned forward. “Have you met Chief Ortiz yet?”
“I don’t think so,” Yvonne lied. “A real ‘lady killer’, is he?” She smiled at her own private joke.
Miguel paced from one end of the med bay to the other, then back again. He was trying to work out in his mind just how to tell Wendy that he was immortal, but he wasn’t coming up with an explanation that even he would believe. He finally stopped, sighed, and faced her. “Wendy…” He looked at the deck, then back at her. “I’m immortal.”
Wendy’s eyes widened momentarily in shock. She studied his face as she felt truth and frustration roll off of him in waves. “Immortal,” she repeated with a nod. “How old are you?”
“You believe me??” Miguel flopped down on the nearest bed in relief. He put an arm over his eyes. “Four hundred and fifty six.”
Wendy approached. “That’s a long life,” she said in a soothing voice.
“Very long,” Miguel agreed as he removed his arm. He looked up at her. “I thought I was safe here, but I’m not. I wanted to be…normal.”
Wendy smiled reassuringly. “Why aren’t you safe here?”
Miguel sat up. “Wendy,” he said with a small laugh, “it’s a looong story.”
Yvonne walked slowly through the halls, stopping when the feeling entered her mind. She glanced at the door in front of her and smiled. So, my quarry is not feeling well? Good. That should make him so much easier to kill.
She stepped back as the door open, and stared at the person filling the opening. She tried to move as a hand reached for her arm, but she was too slow. Yvonne grimaced as she was pulled into the room and the door shut behind her.
Miguel sat her in the nearest chair. “I wanna explain a few things to you,” he said.
A small smile crept onto her lips as Yvonne looked up at him. “You’re scared of me.”
“No, I am not,” Miguel stated. “I just want you to understand something.” He sat on one of the beds. “I gave up killing other immortals years ago.”
“You can never give it up…until you die that is,” Yvonne said. “If you want to stop, then I will be more than happy to ‘help’ you.”
Miguel pursed his lips. “Not a chance in hell of that happening, lady. You come after me, and I will kill you.” He stood. “I’d rather not have to be put in that situation, though.”
“Are you through?”
“Good…then let me tell you something,” she snarled as she got to her feet. “I didn’t get to be this old by letting an opportunity slip through my fingers. You will fight me.”
“And if I don’t?” Miguel asked with a raised eyebrow.
“I’ll take your head anyway.”
Miguel instantly reverted to a ‘personality’ he had adopted during the 1990’s. “Listen lady, and listen good. I’m not going to play your sick, pathetic games! You can’t attack me on this sub, since you have no where to run.” He started ticking off reasons on his fingers. “If you do manage to kill me, then any Quickening would result in a discharge so powerful that it would wreak havoc with the seaQuest’s systems…possibly blowing her up, and maybe decapitating you. If I fight you on land, then you’re going to have a hell of a time explaining why my body is found minus it’s head. If…”
“I get the point!” she yelled. “Damn it! Are you always so analytical?”
“It’s kept me alive so far,” Miguel replied with a shrug.
“Well, pretty boy, you’re time is about to come to an end…and I could care less if I have to take the entire sub with me.” She spun on her heels and stormed out of the room.
As soon as the door closed, Wendy stepped out from her hiding spot just inside her office door. She walked up to Miguel and put a hand on his arm. “That is not a nice woman.”
“I have to stop her,” Miguel said. “She’ll destroy the sub.”
“How are you going to stop her?” Wendy asked.
Miguel looked at her. “The only way I know how.”
Miguel stared at the ceiling of his room, completely lost in thought. Wendy had booked him off for a few more days, reporting that he had a slightly communicable virus. She had also suggested that Miguel’s friends keep a reasonable distance from him, so as not to run the risk of being infected. This suited him fine since he did not want to put any of them in harm’s way.
He could feel his eyes grow heavy, and once again looked at the door to make sure it was locked.
“Tomas?” a woman’s voice called as Miguel opened the door. “Is that you?”
“Yeah!” Miguel called out as he walked down the hallway to the bedroom. He opened the door and peered inside. “You up for a visit?”
The woman smiled. “Up for a visit from my husband? Get over here.”
Miguel walked to the bad and sat on the edge. He kissed his wife. “Sorry I had to work today…what did the doctor say?”
His wife, Emily, took his hand in hers. “He said that I’m getting stronger…the bruises are almost gone”
Miguel smiled. “That’s good news! Now you just have to loose the cast.” His eyes grew serious.
“Tomas,” Emily said, “it is not your fault that I got injured. I wish I was like you.”
“No, you don’t,” Miguel said. “I would never wish my curse on anyone…especially my wife.”
“Can you tell me something?”
He brought her hand to his mouth and kissed it. “Anything, mi paloma.”
“What is your real name?” she whispered. “You never told me that.”
“Emily…please,” Miguel swallowed hard. “The past four hundred years don’t matter right now. What matters to us, is today…tomorrow…forever.”
“Tomas.” She stopped, and sighed. They had been through this conversation before. He had told her about his ‘life’, but there were parts that he left out. She had suspected that he was ashamed about those times. “It’s okay…I understand, really I do.”
“I love you.”
She smiled. “I love you too, Tomas Fontaine.”
New York police Detective Tomas Fontaine sighed as he watched a house across the street from his car. He started to tap his fingers on the dashboard, and began humming.
His partner, Michael Matlock, glared at him. “Stop the tapping…stop the humming…Just stop it!”
Tomas smiled mischievously, then slammed his hands in rhythm against the dash. “Hmmmm, hmmm, lalalalalala….Hmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm!!”
Michael rolled his eyes, and turned back to watching the house. He sat up straight. “There he is!”
Tomas stopped his ‘musical solo’, and picked up the radio. “This is Fontaine…he just came out of the house.”
“Move in,” a voice ordered.
Both detectives got out of the car and approached the man. “Peter Eatron?” Michael asked.
The other man paused momentarily, then took off at a run.
“Damn it!” Tomas yelled as he started after him. He could hear his partner right behind as he rounded the corner of a house. Suddenly, everything seemed to move in slow motion as he saw the man he was chasing turn and pull a gun out. Tomas pulled his own gun and raised it. He saw the other man pull the trigger, then his body jerked around as the bullet hit his chest.
Michael took one shot at the man, morbidly satisfied as he dropped to the ground.
“Emily,” Tomas groaned, then everything turned black.
“Officer down!” Michael shouted into his radio.
The EMT looked up at Michael and softly shook his head. “I’m sorry.” He went to cover Tomas’ face, then jumped back as his eyes opened. “Fuck!”
Tomas sat up quickly. “Nice language.”
“You’re suppose to be dead,” he said in disbelief.
“Sorry to disappoint you,” Tomas said as he stood up. “Ever heard of Kevlar?” He touched his chest, feeling the hole in his body armor. He looked at the faces around him. “What?”
“I saw him nail you right in the chest,” Michael said. “At that range…”
Tomas sighed. “Look, he didn’t nail me! I must have knocked myself out when I hit the ground, that’s all.” He turned, and walked back to the police car.
Emily launched herself into his arms as soon as he opened the door. She clung tightly to him. “Welcome home, love.”
Tomas kissed the top of her head. “I love you.”
She pulled back and looked at him. “What?” She listened as he told her about the days events. “What are you going to do?”
He shrugged. The unwritten code of Immortals was, once you ‘died’ in a life, you had to move on to another. “I don’t know yet. What do you want to do?”
She smiled at him, relieved that he might not be leaving her. “Whatever you decide…I’ll be with you one hundred percent.”
Michael Matlock tried to kill a smile as watched his partner open his locker. A small bucket fell out, drenching Tomas from head to toe.
“Gaaaa!” Tomas said as he stepped back.
“That’s for scaring the shit outta me yesterday!” Michael laughed.
Tomas laughed along with him, more to the relief that the situation would be just filed under ‘weird, unexplainable, but accepted.’ Maybe I won’t have to leave after all.
“She’s doing great,” Tomas said. “The cast comes off this morning…and she promised that she wouldn’t try to roller blade down that hill again.”
Miguel Ortiz rolled over in his bed and stare at the wall. He had not dreamed about Emily in almost twenty years…it hurt too much to remember. She had been his last wife, and although he didn’t like to admit it in case it belittled his other two, she had been the one he loved the most. She had also been the only one he had told the truth to.
He forced himself to remember the day she had left him, knowing that if he didn’t, it would bother him for a long while.
The call came in just before noon…a four-car pile up on the highway. Tomas and Michael were the third car to arrive, and they could tell before they stopped that the accident had been a bad one.
Tomas got out of the car and headed for the tangled mess. He slowed, then stopped as he recognized the car in the middle.
“No,” he whispered. “NO!” He ran to the car, pushing past the officer who tried to stop him. He went to the driver’s side, the past five years flashing before his eyes as he looked inside.
An EMT glanced up at him, saw the look on his face, and then went back to work on the woman wedged in the front seat.
Tomas felt a hand on his shoulder, but shook it away. “Tom,” Michael said softly. “Let them work on her.”
“I’m not leaving,” he said in a pain filled voice. “Emily?”
Emily looked up at him. “Tomas.” She swallowed. “I’m sorry, sweetheart.”
Tomas felt the tears as they rolled down his cheeks. He reached out and touched her hand. “I love you.”
“I love you, too,” she whispered.
Tomas knew that he was loosing her, knew that one of the best things that ever happened to him was coming to an end. He tried to smile, tried to show her that it was okay even though he wanted more time with her.
“Miguel Ortiz,” he whispered.
She blinked once. “Thank you…Tomas.” She closed her eyes.
Miguel wiped the tears from his eyes, went to his closet and took out an old sweater. He ran his hand along the surface, relishing in the softness, and let a small smile cross his lips.
Tomas took one last look around the house he had shared with his wife. Except for her funeral over a week ago, he had not been out of the house. That morning, he decided that he needed to move on; staying in the house where he had been the happiest would only be a mistake.
He packed a small bag, grabbed the bank account information, and headed for the door. He stopped, walked over to the closet, and took out an old cashmere sweater. It had been Emily’s favorite article of clothing, and when he put it to his face and inhaled, he could smell her perfume.
He would call her sister from Los Angeles and tell her that he was leaving. She could have the house, and everything in it…he just wanted to disappear for a while. She would, of course, protest his actions, but he had no other choice.
Tomas backed out of the driveway, looked at the house, then drove away. “Good-bye Tomas Fontaine,” he whispered. “Hello…” he paused. “Come on, Miguel…saying good-bye to Tomas is not saying good bye to Emily…she knew what you were, and she knew that someday you would move beyond her.” He glanced up at a billboard, and smiled slightly. “Hello, Calvin…uh…Sanchez.”
Wendy closed the internex connection and leaned back in her chair. She had searched the entire net, and had only come up with a few articles concerning Immortals. Most of them she immediately dismissed as nothing more than nonsense, but others held some truth in them.
There had been a whole site describing, in detail, the fact that when one opponent had cut the head off the other in battle, the winner would attract large amounts of electro-magnetic waves. This corresponded with what Miguel had said to the other Immortal in the med-bay.
She closed her eyes, wondering why she had not felt any sort of ‘deception’ from Miguel before. Wendy got up, and headed for the door.
Miguel paced his quarters, itching for something to do to take his mind off of his troubles. He couldn’t go for a walk through the sub, since he was ‘quarantined’, so he contended himself with walking from one end of the small room to the other. He jumped, slightly startled at a knock at his door.
“Miguel? It’s Wendy.”
Miguel opened the door and motioned for her to come in. “Are you here to talk?”
Wendy smiled at the loneliness in his voice. “Yes…I wanted to talk to you about what I found on the Internex.”
“What did you find?” he asked in a suspicious voice. He listened as Wendy told him, then sighed. “Yeah…that would be true.”
“Have you…have you ever been in one of those battles?”
“I didn’t get to live this long on my good looks and winning personality.” Miguel went to the bed and sat on it. “Wanna hear some of it.”
Wendy sensed disgust, mixed with a subtle pride from him. “Only if you want to tell me.”
“Fine…I’ll tell you about the battle I was in was after Emily…died.”
Tomas, now going by the name of Calvin, pulled into a gas station in the Rocky Mountains. He had decided not to go directly to Los Angeles, but to travel around a bit. He pumped the gas, paid, and then walked back to his car. Halfway there, he stopped and looked around as a feeling entered his mind.
He saw the other man across the freeway, staring at him. Deciding to ignore him, Calvin got into his car and drove away. A few miles further down the deserted mountain road, he swerved hard to avoid a person that jumped out in front of him. He skidded to a stop at the side of the road, reached in the back seat for a case and opened it.
He glanced in the rearview mirror as the man made his way to the car, then took the shining sword out of its case. It had been a few months since he had had to defend himself, and although he hated doing it, it had been necessary. He got out of the car and faced his foe.
“Prepare to die,” the other man said as he advanced.
Calvin met his thrust with one of his own, and kept swinging as he forced the other man back. “I don’t want to do this,” he said as he blocked the sword.
“No?” the other man asked. “Well, I do!” He brought his hand up, throwing dirt into Calvin’s face.
Calvin moved back quickly, and tried to clear his eyes with his free hand. He stayed alert for the other to attack, but when his vision had cleared, he was alone. “What the hell?” He slowly turned in a circle, scanning the deserted roadway.
He felt, more than heard the man as he attacked from the rear, and turned quickly. He brought his sword up quickly, barley catching the other blade as it headed for his neck. The momentum caused the swords to deflect to the side, digging into Calvin’s shoulder. He grimaced in pain, kicked out at his opponent, and rolled onto the ground and out of the way.
Calvin quickly jumped to his feet and tried to work out the pain in his shoulder as the other man advanced. He ran to his car, hopped onto the trunk and turned.
The swords met with a resounding clang, each one parrying and thrusting, each one not willing to give up his head to end the fight. Anger welled up inside of Calvin as he blocked each attacked. It was all so unfair…he had not asked to be born like this, had not asked to be cursed with the ability to possibly live forever. All he knew was that he was incredibly tired of it all, but if he gave up, it would be permanent. And a little part of him realized that giving up would soil the memory of his dead wife, since she had always told him that he had to go on living. ‘There was too much evil in the world,’ Emily had once said. ‘And anyone who was blessed with the ability to live to face that evil should try to do so at all costs.’
Calvin saw his chance as the other man swung violent, missed, and lost his footing. Calvin leapt over the other man’s head as he straightened, and landed gracefully behind him. He waited until his foe turned, since he had long ago vowed never to strike someone behind their back, and swung out with his sword. The blade sliced through the other’s neck, and he looked shocked as the realization that he had lost went through him. The head fell back to the ground, followed closely by the body.
Calvin fell to his knees, spent, and waited as the energy advanced on him. He felt the first tickle start, and raised his hands as it claimed him. His head shot back as sparks entered him, and he yelled at the sky as the knowledge and skill of his opponent merged with his own.
The energy then left him, shooting out in all directions, destroying everything in its path. Calvin heard glass breaking, and looked up slowly at his car. The windows were all blown out, the tires flat, and steam seeped out from under the hood.
“Oh, that’s just great,” he sighed as he slowly got to his feet.
Wendy sat silently as she tried to absorb what she had heard. “Then what happened?” she asked quietly.
“I tossed his body over the side of the mountain, changed the tires on the car, and drove to L.A..”
Ensign Yvonne Harger drummed her fingers on the table, annoyed that she had not been able to get close enough to her prey in order to kill him. Sure, there had been opportunities, but none where he had been alone. That damn doctor is always with him!
She glanced up as a person walked by, and them smiled slightly. This could be just what I need. "Excuse me?"
Tim O'Neill turned around. "Me?"
Yvonne smiled. "Yes, you." She patted the seat beside her. "Have a seat."
Tim hesitated, then sat at the table. He looked at her curiously.
"I was wondering," Yvonne started. "Well...we're going to be in port tomorrow, and I've never been there...uh...would you be able to show me around?"
Tim was able to keep the surprise off his face as he considered. He had planned on just taking it easy when they reached port, but it took him less than two seconds to change his plans. "I would be delighted to," Tim said...silently praying that his voice would not waver.
"Good." Yvonne smiled at him. "And would you be opposed to me taking you out to dinner afterwards?" She looked at him hopefully.
Tim could feel himself blush, but decided to ignore it. "That would be nice."
Yvonne smiled again. "I have to get back to work now. Shall we meet on the dock, say around 9:30?"
"9:30 it is," Tim agreed as he watched her get up. He waved slightly at her retreating back, then leaned into his chair. I have a date! Yes! And she's gorgeous! He immediately started making plans on where he would take her.
Yvonne smiled wickedly as she walked back to her station. If Miguel won't come to me willing, I'll make him come to me by force.
To Be Continued.....
Time And Time Again...And Again(Part Two)