Mount Zeist

Danel Griffin

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Disclaimer: None of these characters are mine. Big surprise, huh? Connor MacLeod, Duncan MacLeod, Juan Sanchez-Villa Lobos Ramirez, General Katana, and the Kurgan are all property of somebody else, though I thank them for creating stories and characters that inspire me to write something like this. You guys rule.

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The 1630's

This land was beautiful, wherever it was. Before Connor had found him for the first time, Duncan MacLeod of the Clan MacLeod had known that other lands existed besides Scotland, but he hadn't cared. Now, however, ever since his older kinsman had found him on the battlefield alive when he should have been dead--not the first time this had happened--he had spent the last few years showing Duncan the world. Connor had claimed that traveling the earth like this gave Duncan necessary insight to the world that they would spend the rest of their lives battling in, but Duncan had a feeling that there was something much more to it than that. He believed that Connor was trying to replace memories of olde with new ones. Immortality brought pain, and if Connor stayed on the move constantly, perhaps that would keep him from being reminded of loved ones who had grown old and died.

At least, that was what Duncan thought. He had no doubt in his mind that of the two Highlanders, Connor would always remain the most profound.

Duncan sucked in the cool air as they continued their journey up the un-trailed mountain. "How much longer, Connor?" he asked in his thick, Scottish brogue.

Connor MacLeod of the Clan MacLeod's Scottish accent was present as well, though obviously subtler. "Keep moving, Duncan. We're closer."

"Aye, but there's more of this mountain in front of us than there is behind us. We're noe gonna scale the whole thing, are we?"

Connor stopped walking and turned to face his clansman. "Lad, you're Immortal. Start thinking like one, will you? Be glad that all you're doing is scaling a bloody mountain. You could be fighting for your head."

"I just don't know where we're going or where we even are," Duncan retorted. "If you?re looking for something personal, couldn't you have left me at the bottom?"

Connor simply laughed calmly as he turned around and continued his journey up the mountain. "Oh no. Leave you down there when you couldn't even peal an orange with that Claymore of yours? Not someone with your potential, Duncan."

Duncan's heart stung with a little pride. That might have been the first compliment directed towards the younger Highlander that he had heard come out of Connor's mouth. "So? You think I have potential, do you?"

"Noe if you can't climb a mountain, you don't," Connor snapped, reminding Duncan who was the teacher once again. "Now keep up with me, you haggis, before I take your head myself."

By the time they reached the top of the mountain, Connor was about to burst with anticipation. Was this the place he was looking for? Had he found it, after all these years? It might have been too many years to tell?too many centuries--but surely one single spot that resembled the place he remembered--just one--could convince him he was correct. If he could only find one spot.

His eyes searched the gigantic mesa for a sign. The place he was looking for had been a mesa--one giant mesa covered with hills, springs of water--a whole civilization that hadn't even needed to occupy their lives elsewhere; the mountain had been enough for them to survive. Now, if only he could be sure that this was the right spot.

"It might be too late," he muttered to himself. "It might have been too long ago."

"Too long ago for what?" a panting Duncan questioned behind him.

Connor grinned. "So, you finally managed to catch up with the old man, eh?"

Duncan nodded, but it was clear that even that was taking energy. "Aye, you haven't lost me yet. But if we take another step, you just might."

"It's mostly downhill from here," Connor said. He continued on his way, advancing onto the mesa, his eyes never ceasing to wander as they searched for confirmation.

When he heard Duncan moan behind him, he decided it was time to let his kinsman know the truth. After all, if he was capable of following him up the mountain, he deserved at least that much. "The place we are in is Spain, Duncan," he explained. "And this it one of her mountains, which was home to one of the last of the Earth's lost civilizations, if I'm right. And we are here for two reasons: One is a test of might for you. Climbing a mountain always brings out the best in a Scotsman." He swallowed. "The other is something of personal closure for me."

"Closure?" Duncan repeated, now filled with a bit more energy, due to this new revelation. "What kind of closure?"

Memories flooded into Connor's mind, and old pictures of his life poured in, despite his reluctance to recollect them. "Because I've only lost two real battles my whole life, Duncan. One was when I first became Immortal on the battlefield of Glenfinnan in 1536." He stopped talking when he spotted an opening in the hills, and he knew immediately that his journey was over. His heart skipped a beat as memories overcame all of other senses. There, in front of him, was a long, dome-shaped building, which had once been a remarkable thing of beauty, but was now all but destroyed due to centuries of war and neglect. "The other was here, thousands of years before then."

Duncan frowned. "Thousands of years? But you said you were born in 1518."

"I was," Connor said. He turned to his friend and smiled widely. "Duncan, welcome to the Kingdom of Katanan."

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The 1540's, the Highlands of Scotland

Juan Sanchez Villa-Lobos Ramirez's eyes beamed on Connor like the proud father he might as well have been. "You've done well enough, Highlander. There's almost nothing left for me to teach you."

"Almost?" the young Immortal said, and Ramirez could tell that, though this Immortal was still na´ve in many ways, the power of the Quickening was strong within him. He would one day become one of the greatest of Immortals. They were sitting on the edge of a cliff, their feet dangling off the side, overlooking the Loch near Connor's castle, where Heather was probably wishing that her husband would come home.

Ramirez nodded. "Yes, almost. You've got at least one challenge left for me to give you."

Connor's face brightened. "I am ready."

"Are you sure?" Ramirez questioned. "I might see with eyes different from yours, but this doesn't mean that just because you finally beat me in sword fighting you are invincible."

This only seemed to challenge Connor more. "I'm ready for anything, you Spanish Peacock."

Ramirez simply shrugged. "Very well. I can see there is no way to prevent you from facing what is to come." He winked. "Goodbye, you dung heap."

Without further ado, Ramirez abruptly shoved Connor off the cliff. The Highlander didn't even have time to react before he had hit the rocks below, though he did attempt briefly to let out a terrified howl. Soon, he lay dead several yards below Ramirez, who simply sighed and removed from his pouch a small, gray ball not much larger than his fist. "It's time for you to learn a lesson is failure, brother," he muttered, "but don't worry. The Zeistian Priesthood is merciful. If I'm not mistaken, they ought to send you right back here when it's finished. That's assuming of course, you don't win the rebellion this time." He paused and took a moment to look at the strange, glowing ball. "This is the only one of these I have, Connor MacLeod, and I've been saving it for this special occasion. I hope you appreciate it."

That said, he dropped the ball towards Connor, and upon hitting his body, it burst into a thousand pieces. As it broke, it produced a bright, white light--one almost as bright as the sun itself--that lasted only for a few seconds. When it died down, Connor's body had vanished.

Ramirez solemnly shook his head. "Goodbye, MacLeod. I suspect the Kurgan will be here soon, looking for your head. By the time you get back, you'll be happy to know that he took mine instead." And he sighed again. "For that, you'd better be the last. Or at least the mentor of the last."

When Connor MacLeod awoke, the first thing he noticed was the hot sun beating on the back of his neck and the sand that he, face down, was sucking in through his nostrils. He gasped, jumped to his feet, and began to cough it all out, and it was only then when it occurred to him that wherever he was, it certainly wasn't Scotland. The hills were desertous, the ground was hot--the only sign of life around him was--HIM. Where was he? Where was that Spanish peacock who obviously had something to do with this? Where was his bonny Heather? Where was Scotland? "Ramirez," he muttered, "what have you gone off and done? Where the bloody--"

"YOU THERE!" A voice in the distance broke his train of thought. He shot a look towards the direction of the voice, and he saw three figures in the distance walking towards him in a hurry.

Connor squinted his eyes to get a better look. "Ramirez?"

"What do you know about Ramirez?" one of the men demanded.

None of them were his mentor. Connor could tell that now. They were all mortals, but the fact that they knew the name seemed to hint that the overdressed hagus was somewhere nearly. "What do YOU know about Ramirez?" he asked them.

"He is our savior," one of the three men said. They were only yards from Connor now, and they all had their swords drawn. "He came to unite us against General Katana's barbaric rule."

Connor frowned. General Katana. He had never heard that name before. "Where am I?"

"You're on our side of the mountain," the obvious leader of the three said, and he lifted his sword and pointed it menacingly at Connor's throat. "And there's about to be a war. Either swear allegiance to Ramirez and get in uniform, or get off our side. We don't want any spy of Katana following us."

Connor gulped and took a step back, but the sword only followed. "I know Ramirez. I am simply searching for him."

"If you want him, you have to join our army," the man hissed. The look in his eyes told Connor that arguing wasn't presently an option.

"Fine," Connor said. "I'll join you. Now, take me to Ramirez."

The man only shook his head. "Not in that, we don't. Look at you.You're dressed like a woman."

"I'm dressed like a Scotsman!" Connor retorted.

"Scotland are you from, then?" the man said. "Well, you're a long way from home. Welcome to Mount Zeist, also known as the Kingdom of Katanan, but not for much longer. And as long as you're here, you have to dress like the army you've just joined."

Dress him they did, in some sort of tight-fitting, red-tinted leather armor, complete with a cape, which one of the men were happy enough to donate. Now, however, the time for costume fitting was done, and the men were leading him to a large, dome-shaped temple of some kind, far in the distance. As soon as it was close enough, the Highlander immediately began to feel a nauseating sensation which he soon recognized as the Quickening, and it was coming from the temple. His heart began to beat faster. "Ramirez," he whispered. Finally, some answers were going to come.

One of the men nodded. "You're right. He's there."

"And we're going to be late," the leader said. "Move faster."

By the time they had entered the dome, there were already hundreds of men there, and Connor recognized Ramirez immediately, who was speaking with a loud, booming voice as he stood above them all on a small balcony.

"Free men of the planet, hear me," Ramirez said. "You have lived under General Katana's rule for the last time. You have met here in secret for that last time, and you stand without a leader for the last time."

He had already noticed Connor, having sensed the presence of the other Immortal, but there was certainly something different about the Spaniard. Even though Immortals couldn't age, it was clear that this Ramirez was a younger-at-heart, less experienced Ramirez than the one who Connor knew. It was the same face, but it wasn't the same Ramirez. As this fact occurred to Connor, the realization of the situation before him suddenly dawned on the Highlander. If Ramirez was a younger man in this place, that could only mean one thing. "He sent me back in time," Connor muttered. "Somehow, by some kind of magic, Ramirez sent me back in time! But why?"

His thoughts were broken by the ongoing struggle that these men continued to speak of. "Will YOU lead us, Ramirez?" the leader of the three men who had brought Connor in asked hopefully.

The younger Ramirez shook his head. "No, I am not your leader." He paused and looked right at Connor. He didn't recognize his future student, but he did see his potential, and he had already recognized his Immortality. Ramirez continued. "But because I see which eyes that are different from yours, I see a man with a great destiny before him."

"Who is he?" another voice from the crowd called out. "Show him to us."

"Let him show himself," Ramirez said simply and he drew his sword from his sheath and melodramatically waved it above his head. Thunder clapped overhead, and Connor smiled to himself. This would be the perfect time to talk to Ramirez and figure out what was going on and how to get back home. As the men stood in awe of whoever their new leader would be, Connor could take Ramirez aside and explain to him the situation. He looked around, wandering how long this would take and just who the leader would be, only to realize that all eyes were now looking straight at him, and the crowds of men had moved away from him, and he was now standing quite alone. He frowned. What did this mean? He quickly spun his head back towards Ramirez, hoping his would-be teacher could give him some sort of explanation.

His eyes grew wide when he did, however. Ramirez had his sword pointed right at him. There was a sparkle in the Spaniard's eyes as he confirmed what Connor was dreading: "Yes! YOU!"

One by one, all the men bowed, swearing allegiance to the new leader of their rebellion: Connor MacLeod.

The battle hadn't lasted long. After Ramirez had singled Connor out, he had brought a bowl of glowing liquid down to him and commanded that Connor dip his hand in it. Connor hadn't been sure what the stuff was, but after he and Ramirez placed their hands in it and then touched fingertips, a quick display of the Quickening had taken place between them, their hands blasting with electrical energy. Connor had decided that the procedure had some kind of religious significance to the people of the mountain, for the rebels bowed to him yet again as Ramirez said, "We are now as one," and wrote something with his finger over Connor's forehead.

Connor wasn't sure if this was supposed to be an enlightening experience or not, but he still felt completely lost. "How do we start?" he had asked Ramirez, almost pleading with him.

Ramirez had only shaken his head and said, "Not us. You. And you start with Katana." At that point, the sound of war and men screaming battle cries could be heard outside, and the rebel troops leapt to their feet and, Connor leading them, charged Katana's men with all their strength.

The men had fought bravely enough, and valiantly, but neither they nor Connor's rushed leadership were a match for the shear barbaric warfare of General Katana's men. They had cut through this rebellion as if they were insects unworthy of notice. Now that it was all finally over, Connor stared over the battlefield and looked at all of his dead comrades and wondered if this was how it looked after the MacLeods had fought the Frasers in Scotland in 1536. He didn't remember--he had been too busy dying.

Feeling the sensation of another Quickening, his eyes darted all around the bloody battlefield, looking for its source. Ramirez? No--this sensation was darker, heavier. There was another Immortal nearby, and his Quickening felt much like the way the Kurgan had felt when they had first met on the battlefield. Connor glanced up the hill, and he found the Quickening's source. There, at the top, surrounded by a few of his loyal warriors, was a cloaked man wearing leather armor. He had long, flowing hair and a scar across his cheek. He looked down at Connor and, sensing his Immortality, smiled sinisterly. Connor didn't have to be told that he was in the presence of the infamous General Katana.

And the fate of Connor MacLeod right now was something which made the Highlander weak in the knees just considering.

"I'm surprised he didn't take your head, man!" Duncan exclaimed, his mouth open and his eyes wide as Connor continued to tell his story.

"Aye, me too. I thought I was finished," Connor said. "Especially when Katana came to me and taunted me in my cell. He threatened me in all of the evilness that a young Immortal could take, and I did my best to act brave against him."

"Were you brave, Connor?"

Connor smiled. "I was pissing my pants, Duncan, if you must know. Fortunately, the Zeistian Priests were ultimately merciful. And smart."

"What exactly is a Zeistian priest, Connor?" Duncan said, clearly amused at the thought of his mentor frightened out of his boots, but still compelled by this story enough to keep asking questions.

"I don't know. It was some ancient religion that was followed only on Katanan," Connor said. "That was why they called the mountain Mount Zeist occasionally."

"So how was your head spared?"

"The priests were the judges of the land," Connor said. "They determined the fate of Ramirez and I. We were the only survivors of the rebellion, but they didn't execute Immortals on the mountain."

"Why not, Connor?"

"They didn't want the Prize to be won in their time," Connor said. "The Priests knew about the Immortality, and they knew of the Prize. They didn't want the last Immortal with the power to rule the world to exist in their time, so they simply banished Immortal criminals into the future, and that solved the problem. As long as there were more Immortals existing in the future, the Prize could never be won in the past."

"So they banished you and Ramirez to the future?"

"Aye, they did, Duncan. But they said that with the Prize came a choice: If I became the final Immortal, I could return to Katanan if I so pleased, in case the Prize wasn't to my liking. That way, I could continue battling as an Immortal all over again. Of course, being the restless, young Immortal that I was, I vowed to return and fight Katana's rule if I won."

"Would you still do that today?" Duncan asked.

Connor laughed briefly. "Not a chance in hell, Kinsman. In any case, Ramirez and I were banished to separate times in the future. The merciful priests, who understood my queer predicament after I explained it to them before the trial, secretly banished me to the same time and place I was before Ramirez sent me back in time. All my punishment turned out to be was a free ride home."

His eyes grew sad as memories resurfaced. "But they weren't perfect in their delivery. I didn't get back to the exact moment I was sent. When I returned, it was a few days later than when I had left. I found out why Ramirez had sent me back. When I was returned to my own time, the Kurgan had attacked my land, destroyed my castle, and taken Ramirez's head. I think he had known that the Kurgan was coming and sent me to the only safe place he knew of, where the barbarian couldn't find me. While he was at it, he used it to teach me a lesson in humbleness: I learned that --Immortal -- did not mean --invincible. Heather hadn't been harmed, I was happy to see, but we had to build a cottage and start over from scratch." He smiled. "Those were the best years of my life."

"And what of Ramirez?" Duncan asked. "To what time was he banished?"

Connor shrugged. "Who knows? Ramirez was so old, losing a few hundred years didn't hurt him. I know that he had just started using the name Ramirez on Katanan, so wherever he ended up, he was yet to become the chief metallurgist of Charles V of Spain. And it also explains how he found me for the first time. He remembered me from the past and figured I had the skills to defeat the most powerful of Immortals at the time: The Kurgan. Only I would need proper training, so he started looking for me." He smiled. "That sly Spanish peacock."

Duncan shook his head. "Connor, this whole story is crazy."

"Perhaps," Connor said. "Almost as crazy as the concept of Immortals battling for each other's heads for an unknowable Prize."

"Alright, well, I'll give you that," Duncan admitted. "But just the same, how on Earth did they have the means to send people through time like that?"

"That's the grand question," Connor admitted. "I suspect it was black magic, or a kind of magic. Those priests had some kind of means, anyway. I think they must have been wizards. I do know that if Ramirez could figure out how to do it, there must have been some mystical powers involved. In any case, the priest's action shows why mortal should never know about us."

"Why?" Duncan asked.

"Because they'll try to interfere, just like those Priests," Connor said. "Where Immortals come from will always be a mystery. For that reason, WE>/b> must remain a mystery, or else man will always fear us, like the priests did."

"Connor, do you think you've seen the last of General Katana?" Duncan questioned.

Connor nodded. "Aye, I think so. I've traveled the world many times, and I've never seen him. By now, I suspect he's lost his head."

"Aye, but if he can travel through time, what if he does just that and comes looking for you?" Duncan pointed out, almost mockingly.

This notion caught Connor off guard, and he smiled. That might have been the most intelligent thing he had ever heard his kinsman say. Duncan MacLeod was smarter than he looked, but he wasn't going to admit that to him. Not yet, anyway. Duncan was going to become a strong Immortal, but he didn't need to know that yet, lest he become prideful and lose his head doing something stupid. At least, Connor figured, he wasn't as stubborn as the elder Highlander had been. Ramirez had to send him back in time to teach him that lesson. "If Katana does do that, I'll be sure to send him after you, then," Connor said, and he laughed. "Now come, Duncan. There's nothing here left to do. Let's climb back down the mountain and set up camp. We've much practicing to do tomorrow." He walked past his kinsman and headed back towards the edge of the mesa.

Duncan groaned. "Oh, come on, Connor! Going back down after we just got here? What's the sense of that? You're gonna be the death of me, man!"

Connor MacLeod of the Clan MacLeod looked back at the younger Highlander with a grin and winked. "What? You want to live forever?"

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Author's Notes:

A Brief Explanation for the existence of "Mount Zeist"

Like most of the Highlander fans who exist out there, I felt it was a huge let down when "Highlander 2: The Quickening" was released in the theaters in 1991. Not only did it fail to live up to its predecessor, which was and still is my favorite movie, many of the plot elements contradicted and actually detracted from the impact of the original vision. Besides being a poorly paced, poorly edited film, the idea that the Immortals were really mortal aliens banished from the dreaded planet Zeist was very discouraging, and I was among many fans who were ready to lynch-mob those who were in charge of the Highlander franchise for ruining in what is now considered a piece of cinema history with a miserable follow-up (although it wasn't at least the first to do it--"Jaws 2," anyone?).

Then, several years later, director Russell Mulachy released "Highlander 2: The Renegade Version". This was, as we all know, a much different version of Highlander 2, which put coherency and actually very good pacing to the film by re-edited many scenes and adding nearly twenty minutes of additional footage. The most fortunate change, of course, was the dismissal of planet Zeist. Instead, the Immortals were now simply banished from another time on Earth. This was obviously the producers and the director's apology for the travesty called "Highlander 2: The Quickening," and they asked us to disregard that film and now regard this "Renegade Version" as the official sequel to the first film. Despite the "banished from the past" idea still not settling well with Highlander fans, most still accepted this film as at least a decent follow up to the first film, and its improvements made it easy to forget the planet Zeist and the travesty of the incomplete cut of "Highlander 2" that was given to us in 1991.

Still, because of continuity problems between "Highlander" and "Highlander 2," and due to the fact that it didn't have the conventional "feel" of a "Highlander" movie, most fans do not consider the sequel worthy of canonization in with the rest of the Highlander universe. This is where I disagree. I think "Highlander 2" (and when I say this, I mean the "Renegade Version," choosing to listen to the director and forget the existence of the original version) was a very entertaining, very worthy film. I feel that it is indeed nowhere close to par with the original, as much of the acting is hammy, and where the first film and the subsequent TV series were adventurous, fantasy epics, this film was more of a dark, sci-fi thriller, and many of the likeable elements that we all love about Highlander were missing because of this. This said, however, there were several likable qualities about it. The film is a feast for the eyes, and the plot is decent. It moves like lightning, and many of the scenes (such as the battle with the flying Immortals) were brilliantly shot and magnificent to behold. All this plus the fact that, no matter what the setting of the movie is, it was still great to see Connor and Ramirez together again, and the chemistry between the two of them were excellent. Despite the weaknesses, because of the movie's many strengths, I feel that it deserves just as much as anything else that the franchise has produced to be canonized into the Highlander mythos.

There were still continuity problems in "Highlander 2," however, which prevented it from being able to do so. Because I felt so strongly about the film, however, and its acceptance into the "Highlander" lore, I was willing to create a story which, in a non-controversial way, nicely fit the film into the universe. It wasn't easy, however, and it wasn't until after much consideration that I sat down to labor at the task. I wanted to cover all grounds as far as lack of continuity went, and there were a lot of things to worry about. I wanted a story that would allow "Highlander 2" not only to fit into the canon, but also one that would link it to the magic of the first film and the TV series.

For this reason, I chose to set the story during the time of Duncan's apprenticeship with Connor. This way, Connor's role as Duncan's mentor could be further explored, and his role in both "Highlander 1" and "2" could play a pivotal role. I also wanted some things established in the first Highlander film to remain established. The second film gives the impression that Connor is much older than he first claimed, having been banished from a distant past into the 1500's of Scotland. It also gives the impression that before Ramirez found Connor in Scotland in the 1500's, they had previously known each other. This didn't settle well with me--the idea of the Highlander being originally from somewhere other than the Highlands destroyed part of the magic of the character. For this reason, I decided to keep Connor's origin as it was in the first film: born in 1518 in Scotland, driven from his home in 1536, and prior to the meeting in Scotland, he HADN'T known Ramirez. I had to figure out a way to work around this idea and still manage to fit Connor into an ancient past. I also had to do a bit of homework into the origins of Ramirez, so that I could also use that to fit into the story without contradicting any plot points established in the first Highlander film. Whether or not my theory works, I leave for the readers of "Mount Zeist" to decide.

Another thing I needed to do was make clear up some confusions which many fans have regarding the Renegade Version. It is only in the "Quickening" version of "Highlander 2" that the Immortals are mortal before being sent to Earth. In the "Renegade Version", it is clearly noted that in this ancient civilization from which they are exhiled, Immortals are around and they are still competing in the game, just as they will continue to do as they are born throughout all of time. The priests from the past are simply banishing Immortals convicted of crimes into the future. In a scene that takes place in the future in the "Renegade Version," Louise Marcus, the love interest, states in a re-edited line of dialogue, "So, you're immortal there, but you're immortal here," where in the "Quickening" version, she simply said, "So, you're mortal there, but you're immortal here." The priests also say to General Katana in the "Renegade Version," "We banish those who are guilty of a crime who are, like you, cursed with this unholy gift of Immortality" (or something to that effect). It is clearly stated, then, that Connor and Ramirez are being banished into the future because they are Immortal. The reason why, however, is something that is never really developed.

Therefore, in this story, I tried to give the priests an acceptable motive for banishing renegade Immortals into the future, and also more clearly explain why they gave the last Immortal left in the end a choice to come back to the past if they so choose. I wanted to make it clear, as the movie attempts to, that this choice to return is NOT the Prize, but something the priests are offering IN ADDITION TO the Prize.

To chase a rabbit here, another concept in "Highlander 2" that often sends fans grumbling is the resurrection of Ramirez in the future. I don't cover this in the story, but I don?t find it offensive or contradictory to the first film. It is basically established that the Ramirez in "Highlander 2" is not actually a physical Ramirez, but rather his spirit, coming to aid Connor for a brief time. Just review his death scene in the second film for evidence, which is a good indication of this. He doesn't die by physical means, but rather, he magically disappears in what is almost literally a puff of smoke. The concept of trying to be established here is that an Immortal can, while absorbing a quickening, cal out the name of a dead Immortal whose spirit is within him, and then the spirit who he has just released can come to aid him for a brief time. This isn't that bad of an idea. It is underdeveloped in the film, but at a close examination, it isn't contradictory.

The question is, if this is the case, why haven't we seen more Immortals use this ability in the following films and the TV show? Simple: It is, I believe, a luxury that only the oldest Immortals would know about (Methos, Ramirez). Why tell younger Immortals this secret? They were probably attempting to keep it a mystery because if it fell into the wrong hands, it could prove dangerous and fatal (i.e. Imagine someone bringing back the spirit of the Kurgan). Ramirez takes on physical qualities, but he certainly doesn't compete in the game with Katana and Connor in Highlander 2, indicating that he is out of the game, dead and only a spirit. He tells Connor this secret because he knows that he would need his help later on, in 2024. Makes sense to me, but I am eager to hear what my readers have to say about the idea.

Lastly, there is still a question floating around that seems obvious, but it might not be: Does this story take place in the TV series universe or the movie universe? Obviously, it takes place in the movie series universe, but it also works in the series universe as well. The way it is presented, it could work both ways. In the movie universe, Connor wins the prize in 1986, defends it again in 1994, and then has to earn it back one last time by the time-traveling Katana in 2024. In the series universe, the events in this story still could have happened, except since Connor loses his head to Duncan in 2002, Katana has no motivation to travel through time, since he was simply trying to protect his position in the past from a Prize-winning Connor. Does all of this make sense?

This explanation is getting to be longer than I had anticipated it would, so I shall end it here. I hope in showing all of this, I have persuaded just a few skeptics to accept the events of "Highlander 2," and that I have successfully shown a passion for a concept that we all love so dearly. If not, please just enjoy the story! After all, anything with Connor, Duncan, and Ramirez together can't be all that bad!

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