The Other Highlander


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I am Duncan MacLeod of the clan MacLeod, and I was born four hundred years ago in the Highlands of - hah! Nah, I'm just kidding. I am *a* highlander, but I'm not the Highlander. But I knew him! I'm the guy that took his head, in fact, in the summer of '99. That's what he gets for signing a movie deal - 2000 years of total secrecy, and he comes along and writes a movie and a TV series about himself! Naturally making himself the hero. Although he changed his name in the movie, I think. Now that I think of it, that may not have been such a bad idea. Now if anyone finds out about us, what are the odds anyone will believe them? Except for the tabloids. The same was true before, though, so on the whole I'm not sorry I killed him. He was a pompous ass anyway. And I wanted his sword.

But I digress. My real name is Scott McAllen - okay, that's not my real name, it's one I adopted literally ages ago because I was tired of people being utterly unable to pronounce my real name - and I was born in the Highlands of Scotland two thousand years ago - a long, long time before MacLeod ever showed up. Honestly, you let one pathetic immortal without any real training talk his way out of having you take his head, only to be killed by another Scotsman, and they automatically assume he's the better swordsman, and thus deserves the cool title.

Gimme a break - it's not as if he was even half as good with a sword as I am. Which I guess I proved. And my accent is much more Scottish than his... he gets chased out of one little village and he has to pick up a whole new speech pattern to get over the trauma? Please. Little wimp. Not to be confused with his cousin - yet another highlander! - Connor, of course (he often is, although they don't even look alike) who is a good friend and a wonderful man. Immortal. Whatever. I blame his change of accent on the 90 years he spent in Paris, with the barbarians. Poor family was devastated to have two "demon possessed" offspring in the space of fifty years. Connor's great though. I would never kill him just for his cool sword, even though it really is the coolest thing you ever saw.

Once again, however, I meander from my introduction. Actually... I think I already introduced myself. Oh, yes. I did. Look at that. On to my point, then. Often, other immortals have told me that they are getting bored with not being able to die. Surely, they inform me, mankind has accomplished everything it is ever going to? What's the point in sticking around, then? All the bored ones say this, but I'm sure that if I had left one of them with his head, he would've changed his mind.

If Matt had waited 'til the discovery of the airplane, for instance, he would've made a great kamikaze pilot. Probably would've gotten another few medals to add to his collection. They always give you medals if you're the only surviving member of an entire army. But no, he was bored. Oh well, at least I can liven up their existences for a few minutes, before I kill them. I consider it a service. Still, Tannic, an idiotic man - uh, sorry, immortal - that the world is much better off without, would doubtless have changed his tune had he refrained from telling me how bored he was and hung around for a couple of years, until the invention of the atomic bomb.

I always find it amusing watching mortals find more interesting ways to kill each other off. My friend Aphrael, the angel, disagrees with me on this. He says it's sad and we, as longer-lived beings, should attempt to prevent humankind wiping itself out. He only says that because he'd miss the chicks, but I have to admit eternity on a barren planet with only him for company sounds like a real downer. And he's said there's no way he's gonna chop my head off for me once I've taken the heads of all the other immortals. He seemed a bit disappointed when I said that he wouldn't need to; I'd have the prize then and I could die whenever I want. He said he'd be bored without me, so I told him I'd gladly sent him Home before I died. He called me an asshole and drank my whiskey.


For me, the climax of human invention came with surfing. That's a trend I started, you know, but I'm used to not getting credit for my brilliant ideas. Nevertheless, humanity can usually come up with something to keep me entertained. Yo-yo's - now there's something that's good for decades of fun. If all else fails, there's always a war somewhere, but I'm getting tired of those. During the first hundred or so, you learn something new each time, see? Like how to dig a trench to hide in (not that I need one), or how to get over the nightmares (they're only mortals, there's plenty more of them), or how to eat army food for weeks on end and not starve to death (supplement your diet with something that's actually edible, like grass). I hate starving to death - those are always the hardest to recover from. But if you've seen 200 wars, I can honestly say you've seen them all. Not even the invention of gunpowder can shake things up that much.

And if the good life gets too tedious, I simply enroll in a University of some sort. You wouldn't believe how many degrees I have. I give my age as thirty, which is how old I was when I died the first time. Didn't die, rather. Really, some people get so upset when you don't die on cue. Some people ask me if I don't think I'm rather old for University. I laugh very hard and tell them they have no idea.

What was I saying? I'm getting absent-minded in my old age, ha-ha. George Washington said that to me once. Oh, right. Bored? Me? Never gonna happen, man. Mankind. Ahaha. I gotta go now, anyway. Gotta meet Connor for a drink - he's bringing Ted. Apparently Ted's been finding life rather dull lately - just the last 80 years or so. We'll just have to see what we can do about that.

After all, in the end... there can be only one.

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