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So Speaks The Hero #2 Check out the link for ordering details!

A Highlander: The Series fanzine suited for general audiences, although Issue #2 is going to carry an R rating. Already scheduled to appear:

Time Is On My Side by Susan Hall: A crossover with the X-Files finds Methos and Duncan visiting Mulder where Mulder finds out he's met Methos once before...

Ashes, Ashes by M. C. Christjansen: Methos remembers a poignant episode in his past.

Isle of Avalon by Philippa Chapman: A rogue Watcher and a bad Immortal are reason enough for Joe and Duncan to team up for an adventure in England!

Meanwhile, Back in France by Joanne Madge: Jack Shapiro returns, bent on revenge, and Richie finds himself in the middle of Shapiro's ongoing vendetta against the Immortals.

Fearful Symmetry by Tanja Kinkel: The ever-talented Tanja takes us into the mind and history of Kenny.

More stories by Cynthia Shettle, poetry by Shomeret.

Fiction focusing on Methos, Duncan, Amanda, Joe and more! Full color cover by Karen River. Artwork by Leah Rosenthal.

Revelations #3 and So Speaks the Hero #3

Further issues of Revelations and So Speaks the Hero were not produced due to lack of submissions, alas. I have published several stand-alone novels in Highlander (see our Highlander page).

If you are interested in contributing stories/novellas/novels, click here to read our submission guidelines and style book. All characters are welcome as are straight stories. Send us something!

Issues #1 and #2 are currently available. To see some excerpts, go to our Revelations site.

Cry Wolf

Coming soon from Ashton Press! Cry Wolf, a sequel to Touched by Magic.

A week of relaxation, adventure and mayhem in Las Vegas has ended. MacLeod, Methos, Cassandra and Nicholas return to Seacouver, intent on beginning Nicholas' training in earnest. But old enemies have been waiting for just the right opportunity to strike and even the score. When first Cassandra and then Methos disappears, it's up to MacLeod to find out what has happened to two of his dearest friends. In the course of his search, he must also come to terms with an old enemy who, ironically, might hold the key to finding his missing friends. Joe Dawson has a few problems of his own to deal with when he begins to realize that having a family and remaining on active assignment with the Watchers might not be a compatible mix. And Methos and Cassandra find themselves in the untenable position of allies...for the time being.

From the beginning of the novel...

Cassandra lifted her sword and swung it hard at Methos' neck, deadly determination on her features.

Methos quickly blocked the blow with his own broadsword. He countered with a series of aggressive moves, which Cassandra successfully deflected even as she backed away, losing ground. The relentless attack of Methos' heavier blade continued, unabated.

Cassandra lunged under his guard and he swung hard, backhanded. The force of the blow numbed her hand as the two blades met and Cassandra watched, dismayed, as her sword flew from her fingers.

"No, no, no," Methos cursed, blowing out an exasperated breath. "What were you trying to do, skewer me while I just stood there and waited for it?"

"You can't blame me for hoping," Cassandra grumbled, retrieving her sword from the wooden floor of MacLeod's loft.

"You're never going to learn to use that thing properly if you operate solely on hope." Methos rested the point of his sword on the floor, leaning on the hilt with one hand.

"I didn't want to do this in the first place," she snapped back. "It was your idea. What suddenly possessed you to play at being my teacher, three thousand years after you were supposed to?" She pushed her long hair back behind her ears, frowning. "I didn't think for one second that you were going to take Duncan's suggestion seriously."

"As I recall, Mac made it more than a mere 'suggestion,' " Methos scowled. "It was more like an order. Besides, I've seen your 'skill' with that thing." He pointed at her blade with his own. "Kronos would have cut you to ribbons and you know it. If you'd had a shred of proficiency with that thing, you would have saved all of us a lot of trouble."

"I didn't know he wouldn't be affected by my 'Voice,' " she protested.

"Then it was lucky I was there, wasn't it? You needed the sword mastery to fall back on and you didn't have it!"

"How 'lucky' for me, that you struck me down and threw me into a river. I haven't needed it for all this time, Methos. I don't need it now."

Methos stifled his first response. He strongly suspected that Cassandra's teacher, Gwydion, had deliberately neglected this area of her training so that he would always have the advantage over her, if it came to that. But he knew it would be a major tactical error to disparage Gwydion. The man was dead at his hand, and to Cassandra, Gwydion would always be her savior and companion, no matter what he had become at the end. Methos gave an inward sigh at the irony that all those years before, the evil that Gwydion had rescued her from had been himself.

"You need it because you can't spend all your time in magic circles or on Holy Ground. You need it because there are always going to be Immortals, like Kantos and Kronos, who are immune to your mind tricks. You need it because Duncan or I might not always be there to save your neck. Now pick up your blade and let's start from the top, shall we?" He raised his weapon, balancing himself on his long legs.

She glared at him. "And if I became proficient with this, it would allay some of your guilt and responsibility."

"Wrong...and you've repeatedly accused me of being incapable of feeling either one."

"This isn't necessary."

"Why?"

"Because your sword is hot. Unbelievably hot. The hilt is glowing red, searing your hand."

Methos howled and dropped his blade, nursing his fingers. "God damn it, that wasn't fair!"

"Since when were you concerned with fighting fairly?" she pointed out, her voice returning to normal.

"What am I going to have to do to convince you that you need this? It can't hurt you to learn."

"And what will you do if I don't? Hold your breath until your face turns blue? On both sides? I'm not a headhunter. The idea has always sickened me."

"'Delicate sensibilities have nothing to do with it," Methos sighed, bending to retrieve his sword from the floor. "You haven't any. You don't play the Game because you're a Druid, and your philosophy requires that you 'do no harm' with your magic. You believe what transpires when we take a head is a kind of magic," he said smugly. "You believe everything evil you might do will come back to you."

"Well, I certainly hope everything evil you've done comes back to repay you-sevenfold."

Methos grimaced. "How do you know it hasn't?" he muttered. "You've come back to plague me. Look, think of it as self-defense, then."

She tilted her head, smiling with false sweetness. "Yours, right?"

He grinned back. "Now you've got the idea." He raised his blade again. "Let's have another go at it."

The door to the loft swung open just then, and Duncan MacLeod froze there, taking in the tableau with a concerned look. "What's he done now?" he finally asked Cassandra.

"He's decided that my swordplay, in his words, stinks."

MacLeod smiled, openly relieved, and crossed the room to set his grocery bag down on the counter. "Well you do sometimes look as if you're trying not to break a nail."

Methos barked in laughter.

From a little later in the novel...

Methos ground his teeth together for a moment and gathered a deep breath. "Nicholas-there's something I need to-"

The phone rang, and Methos nearly jumped out of his skin.

Nicholas reached over and picked up the receiver, still munching on his popcorn. "Nick Shaw," he said.

Methos waited while the younger Immortal listened for a moment then raised an eyebrow and glanced at Methos. "Who's calling?"

Another moment passed. With a shrug, Nicholas held the phone out to Methos. "Says he's found something that used to belong to you."

Methos stared at the receiver for a moment as if it were a stick of dynamite. With a cautious gesture, he reached over and held it to his ear, watching as Nicholas popped up from the couch and headed back to the kitchen. "Yes?"

"Hello, Methos. I believe you're missing something." The voice on the other end of the line had a strong Irish accent.

"Nothing I'm aware of. Who is this?"

"We've never met, but I plan to rectify that situation. My name is Lew."

A river of pure ice went down Methos' spine. He glanced toward the kitchen and lowered his voice. "Ah. Gwydion's little toady. The sword thief."

"I believe that title belongs to you. I know you slaughtered my brother for it, you despicable bastard. You have no idea how costly that's going to prove."

"I don't have the damned sword."

"Right. Sure you don't, like you didn't have the girl."

Methos kept his voice down, painfully aware that Nicholas could return at any moment. "Killing the girl wasn't necessary. She had nothing to do with Gwydion's death."

"You aren't talking to an ignorant man, Methos. I know how badly Dana despised you. I'm the man who found her in the wilderness of the Sinai, after you'd done with her and thrown her out like garbage. The only possible explanation there can be for Dana letting you live, for Dana letting you take that sword from Gwydion, is that you somehow got her back under your control." A harsh laugh sounded from the receiver. "Now, let's get down to business. I'm ordinarily a man with plenty of time and patience. My brother and I built quite an empire before you murdered him, and he's left me with considerable resources at my disposal. But my patience where you're concerned is limited. These are the terms. You're going to bring me the Sword of Nuada."

"Assuming I had it, which I most definitely do not, why would I possibly want to give it to you?" Methos watched as Nicholas sauntered back into the room, sprinkling his popcorn with salt.

"Because if you don't turn it over to me in three days, I will send you the headless remains of your slave in a trunk." There was a very short pause. "I'll pay for the shipping," Lew added casually.

She's still alive, Methos thought, stunned at the relief he felt. It was a monumental struggle for him to keep his voice even and casual in the face of Nicholas' curious glance. "I don't believe you have that particular item," he said.

"Look Methos, I don't give a rat's ass what you believe. I'm warning you that I'm not a man inclined to play games. You'll bring the sword to me in exactly forty-eight hours. Come alone to the Vining Warehouse down by Courtland Street. If you don't show, I'll butcher your slave slowly and I'll grab your young roommate next. Then the Scotsman, and then that mortal Watcher you seem so fond of...and I'll keep on going until it's just you and me left. Do we understand each other?"

"You have no intention of letting me leave," Methos said grimly.

Nicholas looked up from his book and his bowl of popcorn, a slight frown touching his forehead.

"Life is full of risk," Lew chuckled.

"I really don't make it a habit to do business this way, Lew. Find someone who cares." Methos pressed his thumb over the receiver button, cutting off the call. Still maintaining a casual air, he got up and returned the phone to its cradle. "Bloody insurance salesmen," he griped.

"Yeah, they just don't know when to let you go," Nicholas agreed, reaching for the remote control that had fallen down behind a couch cushion. But his eyes followed Methos as he stalked off toward his room.

For any questions regarding Leah Rosenthal's artwork, please e-mail her at bizarro7@aol.com. Leah takes commissions and also will make hand colored prints of her artwork.

Also now available:

Then the Night Comes by Ann Wortham & Leah Rosenthal. A new Highlander novel offering an alternative resolution to the fifth season cliffhanger Archangel and the aired sixth season episodes. Richie Ryan is dead at the hands of his best friend and mentor, Duncan MacLeod. Horrified at what he has done and believing he is pursued by an ancient demon known as Ahriman, MacLeod flees Paris to seek help from old friends in Cornwall. Joe Dawson, Cassandra, and Methos soon follow and the pursuit of who-or what-Ahriman truly is soon involves many of MacLeod's friends in a desperate race from Cornwall to Scotland to Wales. Along the way, Methos must confront more specters from his past, MacLeod learns a few lessons, Joe has a new friendship which is deepening, and Cassandra must learn to deal with a Methos who is, in many ways, different from the man she once knew. Flashbacks take our heroes from ancient Egypt to ancient Babylonia and to Barcelona, Spain along the way. Then the Night Comes is rated PG with no overt sex, either straight or slash.

The Lightning's Hand by Ann Wortham & Leah Rosenthal: A sequel to Then the Night Comes. Ahriman, a.k.a. Kummaya, has been defeated, our heroes have returned home for a well-deserved rest, and the ancient Sword of Nuada has been retrieved. All is well in Duncan MacLeod's world. Even his friends, some of them deadly enemies of each other, have managed to come to a truce of sorts. Several months have passed in relative normalcy. Of course, nothing in MacLeod's world ever stays normal for long! Whilst being moved from David Shaws' estate to the British Museum, the deadly sword is stolen...and it is feared that it has fallen back into the hands of an Immortal. MacLeod fears that Amanda has succumbed to a desire to own the object, while Cassandra suspects Methos...and, of course, Methos suspects Cassandra, who considered the sword a sacred relic. Suspects abound and the chase is on to find the culprit!

Reflections by Lynn Montgomery, a novel focusing on Methos and his days with the Horsemen. Joe and Duncan play major roles in the present-day segments. Rated adult for slash between Methos/Kronos and Methos/original character.

Revelations #1, an adult Highlander zine. Our first issue is extremely Methos oriented. In fact, there's not a single story without him in it! Mostly slash, with one heterosexual story. Revelations #2, our second issue has just gone into print (July 1999) and contains mostly Methos/Duncan stories. Check out the links for more details and ordering information. Submissions are now open for the next issue.

So Speaks the Hero #1, a Highlander genzine, is now available. Our first issue has a wonderful selection of stories and poetry. Tons of Methos fictions, Duncan, Amanda, Joe, Richie, Kronos...they're all here! Color cover by Leah Rosenthal; color back cover by Karen River. Illustrations by Dani Lane, Smap, Jorgensen and Rosenthal. Check out the link for more details and ordering information. Submissions are now open for the next issue.

If you are interested in submitting to any of our upcoming publications, please click here to view our submission guidelines.

We accept money orders, cash (at senderís risk!) or credit cards and echecks (via Paypal) in payment. For further ordering and pricing information regarding any Ashton Press fanzine, please contact Ann Wortham at ashton7@aol.com.

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