Here's the third story of this Highlander crossover series. Previous parts are here
Five Deaths That Never Happened To Kenny
by Marcus L. Rowland
3: The Himalayas
Kenny's not even sure what country he's in when he hears the rumour that there's an immortal somewhere on this mountain, something to do with the mysterious so-called monastery nobody seems to want to discuss. He's gone as close as he dares, but hasn't felt the tingle that says an immortal is present. The guards, armed with swords and AK-47s, suggest that intruders aren't welcome. He guesses it might be a terrorist base or some sort of spy school. While he's checking it out he spends most of his time in the village, pretending to be a refugee, sleeping in out-buildings and hiding from human contact; enough dirt and nobody looks too closely. They even leave bowls of food out for him. Suckers.
If he can't find the immortal, maybe he can get the immortal to try to find him. There are plenty of peasants around, and one or two won't be much of a loss. Cut off a head, leave it where it's sure to be found, and word will soon get around. He chooses the village headman, he's seen him go up to the monastery twice now so he's obviously connected somehow. Once decided, it's easy to act; that evening the headman's head (try saying that three times fast) finds its way to the steps of the village's Buddhist shrine. Kenny's watching from the shadows when a girl finds it, and the villagers start running about like chickens with their heads cut off. For some reason decapitation metaphors come easily to Kenny.
Next morning the guys from the monastery are in the village, checking the place out and rooting through every corner. He has to keep moving, but they pay him little attention. They're looking for an adult, not a child. There's still no sign of another immortal.
That night he kills again, one of the men from the monastery. As usual his advantages are surprise and his size - nobody trains to fight children. It's a hard fight, they're obviously trained martial artists, and there's enough noise to attract attention, but by the time help comes his opponent is dead and he's out of sight.
The next afternoon four of the monastery people arrive, carrying a litter, draped in red fabric, on which sits an elderly monk. A servant laden with baggage walks behind. When they reach the centre of the village the servant lays out a carpet, on which he sets up a gaudy tent and a brazier. Only when he's finished do the others put down the litter, and the monk sits, lotus-style, in front of the tent, as the servant makes tea. Kenny can't get close enough to feel the presence of an immortal. Everyone else is hiding indoors. When the monk has finished his tea he stands, bows to the litter-bearers, and says "Attack!" They rush at him with bo-sticks and swords, and he defeats them in seconds, apparently without working up a sweat. When the last of them is writhing on the ground he bows again, sits, and waits for his servant to make another cup of tea. Everyone else leaves.
By nightfall Kenny is sure that this monk isn't an immortal, however good a fighter he is. There's no buzz, and Kenny's sure he's been close enough to feel it if there were. It's a setback, but Kenny can easily handle it; he'll kill the monk too, and wait for the real master to show his face. The monk is still sitting by the tent, his servant snoring on a rattan mat. It'll be a challenge, but Kenny has a simple idea; he goes off and finds a bowl, and returns carrying it, bowing as if awed by the monk's presence. When he gets close enough he throws the bowl of mud into the monk's face, and draws and swings his sword before the monk can recover. The monk almost makes it, dropping flat under the blow as he shakes off the mud, but Kenny's seen that one before - he follows through with a thrust under the monk's chin, cutting his throat, and steps back to let him bleed out. It's only then that he notices the snoring has stopped.
As Kenny turns a powerful muscular hand seizes his sword-arm with crushing force and pulls him into the air. The servant, or whatever he is, holds Kenny aloft with contemptuous force, ignoring his kicks, and stares at him with dark pitiless eyes, his face framed with grey hair raised in satanic points. Kenny tries to grab for the sword with his other hand, but a blow to his shoulder leaves his arm paralyzed. It'll recover in minutes, Kenny knows, but he doesn't have minutes.
"You have killed my servant," says the stranger, "and for that there can be only one penalty." He takes the sword from Kenny's hand and stabs him through the heart, tosses the sword aside, and is about to discard the body when he notices sparks on Kenny's chest. He watches as the wound closes, and as Kenny inhales convulsively, still dangling from his hand.
"I see," says the stranger flatly. "An immortal. How droll." For the first time he draws his own sword, as Kenny frantically tries to jerk free, swings, and connects. The body falls to the ground, the head by its side. He walks away, watching the light show as Kenny's quickening is wasted on the sky. When it's done he gets out a small radio and calls in his warriors.
"What should we do with the body, master?" someone dares to ask as they're packing the tent.
"Find his watchers, they're probably skulking in one of the villages down-slope, and give it to them."
"Is there a message, Master?"
"Just say that it is with the compliments of Ra's al Ghul."
Crossover with Batman Begins. Ra's al Ghul is an immortal terrorist in the Batman universe, his life sustained by alchemy rather than the Quickening.
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