(This was written for the HLFIC mailing list, as an entertaining way of announcing the Highlander stories which appeared in Refractions)

In response to some queries on the DISCUSS topic, I present...

Reading Matter

Richie was reclining on the couch, leaning on one elbow, reading a sort of magazine, silently absorbed.

At Richie's sudden snort of laughter, Duncan wandered over. "What's so funny?"

"House Maclood," Richie answered absently, then added "I'm glad I wasn't eating popcorn when I read this."

Duncan lifted up the magazine in Richie's hands so that he could see the front of it. "Not bad," he commented about the picture of Richie on the cover, holding a sword which marked the boundary of the page half divided into white and a night of stars. The words "Refractions 3" went vertically down the section of night. "What's this - a book of comedy stories about you?"

Richie glared at him. "No," he said. "It's a multi-Media fanzine. Some funny, mostly serious. The story I am trying to read," at this he snatched back the zine, "is a serious crossover between us and Babylon 5, set on Babylon 5. It's called 'Voice From The Past'."

"Starring you, naturally," Duncan said, pointing at the cover.

Richie grinned a yes. "Well, you do get mentioned," he said, and snickered. At Duncan's glower, he added, "nothing but good, I assure you!" Then he pointed at the small pile of zines on the floor. "Anyway, you're in some of the other stories..."

Duncan picked up one with a green cover which featured crossed swords and four people he didn't recognise, one of whom seemed to be suffering from baldness and a strange skin condition. He leafed through the zine, and muttered "Avon? Sapphire? 'I am Sorrow'? Newcomers? What's this got to do with Immortals?"

Richie looked up. "I told you, it's a multi-Media fanzine. Not just about us. There's other universes there too." He took a closer look at the zine Duncan was holding. "Oh, that's the one with Steele Blades --"

Richie broke off as both he and Duncan sensed another immortal nearby. Duncan dropped the zine on the floor, while Richie put his down more carefully. The elevator started to rattle. Duncan got his sword out, while Richie stood up, not quite as alarmed as Duncan appeared to be. The elevator gate opened up with a rumble and clank.

"Hello guys!" Methos said, and stepped in. He grinned at Duncan. "Nice to see you're keeping in form." He strolled into the kitchen and helped himself to a beer.

"Hi Methos," Richie said, and settled back on the couch.

"Don't bother him, he's lost in a fantasy world," Duncan remarked to Methos.

"Oh, I see," Methos said, when he sneaked a look at the cover. "Nice work."

"You'll like number 5," Richie remarked, pointing at the pile.

Methos picked up the designated zine, which had a picture of a dark-haired man in a long leather coat, pointing a gun, and the illusion of a page curling up to reveal a night of stars. "No, I like your cover better," he said.

"Inside," Richie muttered. "Page 37."

Methos sat down, put the fanzine in his lap, and turned to page 37. "Ah, now that's more like it..." He looked at the opposite page, and read,

        "You've seen the stories end,
        You've seen the ever after,
        You've seen the wheel turn,
        and the death of laughter..."

He fell silent, frowning. "This is supposed to be about me?"

"It's a poem, Methos."

"I know that."

Richie looked up. "You might like the next story in that one. It's one of those far-future crossovers, got you and me in it." He smirked. "We're supposed to be old friends."

"You two?" Duncan exclaimed. "What about me?"

Richie pursed his mouth. "I'm afraid you're just mentioned again."

"And what gets mentioned about me this time? Some other terribly amusing thing?"

Richie shook his head. "No, terribly serious. I doubt him and me would have been friends there if it hadn't been -- but I'd better not say anything more, that would spoil it."

Methos turned the page. "I can't find me. All I can see is this talk about Vila and Avon and Servalan."

"It's a crossover. Avon's this new immortal. It's his universe it's crossed over with. Vila's a friend of his. Well, his only surviving friend. Almost his only surviving friend." Richie shrugged. "Rough universe."

Methos nodded, and sipped his beer, still reading. He muttered, "Bren Keenan? What kind of a name is that?" but kept reading.

Duncan looked at both of them, shrugged, and picked up the zine he had dropped earlier. "If you can't beat 'em, join 'em," he said, and started to read.


The Highlander stories and crossovers which have appeared in the Refractions fanzine are:

I have not mentioned poetry in the above list. The poem that was quoted above is "Oldest" by Kathryn A, in Issue #5.

For more information about Refractions, either look at the Refractions web page: <http://www.katspace.com/refract/> or write to the editor at <zines AT katspace.com>

Kathryn A
(ye editor)