Duncan woke with a start. He could have sworn it was an Immortal buzz that woke him, but now he no longer felt it. Not being one to ever ignore a buzz, Duncan got out of bed, pulled on a pair of faded blue jeans, and headed to the elevator at the other end of his loft.
Taking his gleaming Katana with him, Duncan rode the elevator down to the dojo part of his building. As he sent the gate up, he advanced cautiously, his sword held in front of him to ward off any surprise blows to his precious neck.
One accurate look around told Duncan that he was alone in the dojo. Feeling foolish for acting on what must have been nothing more than a very vivid dream, he turned to go back upstairs, and saw the box.
It was a small box wrapped in plain brown paper. He was sure it wasn't there when he went to bed. He walked slowly over to it, "Curious." he thought.
Nudging it with the tip of the Katana, he tipped it over. "Thunk". Heavy, but it seemed harmless enough so he picked it up.
With great care and caution, Duncan slowly picked up the box. There were no visible markings that would give him a clue as to who delivered it. It was merely a box wrapped in plain brown paper. "Well, I might as well open it", he said aloud. With equal caution and care, he gently unwrapped the package. Carefully, he struggled not to shake the box, for the contents inside could be explosive. Duncan had ultimately no way of knowing.
Once unwrapped, he opened the box to find, much to his surprise, a small, jeweled dagger. With great delicacy, he picked it up and held it to the sunlight, which had started to peer in through the dojo windows. The colors were radiant, as they shined and sparkled along the walls and flooring. The vivid greens, reds and yellows seemed to fill the entire room. It had to be worth a fortune, he thought casually. Perhaps, someone wants me to appraise it, he mused, even though he had left the antique business long behind him. However, the fact was that he had no idea as to what it meant or who it was from. Duncan glanced down to find a small note, buried in the layers of tissue paper, near the bottom of the box. The letter was written in large Gothic script and simply said one word,"Remember".
Duncan furrowed his brow and returned his gaze to the dagger.
he supposed to remember? Taking a closer look at the blade, Duncan noted the fine worn etching in swirling 18th-century Cyrillic lettering: "Lightning Bearer." Duncan raised his eyebrows as his mind meandered back more than 200 years, and he breathed out a name in reverence: "Nadia."
1751, Southern Russia
If Duncan had learned anything during his short stay in this small village, it was that the locals were dangerous after dark. Between the drunks and the pick pocketing thieves, he tried his best to stay off the streets at night. Tonight, however, he had stayed too long at the farm where he was working to earn provisions that would allow him to continue on his journey. The sun was already setting behind the hills as he began to walk toward the town and the tiny house of the family who had taken in a weary traveler. It was already dark by the time he reached the tavern on the edge of town. Suddenly,
The door to the tavern exploded outward and a man landed in the mud at Duncan's feet. He was almost as big as Duncan. His face was bloodied and his left arm was bent at an unnatural angle; he moaned in obvious pain. Duncan became "aware" of another immortal and turned toward the tavern entrance. He came up short, his breath catching in his throat. "Debra?!" he whispered as the woman came down the steps, for in the dim light cast by the torches inside, she bore an uncanny resemblance to his lost love. She spat on the fallen man. "Kchortu!" she hissed, turning to face Duncan. She was beautiful, a tall woman with red hair and green eyes that sparkled in the light. But where Debra had been a gentle soul, this one was strong and hard. He recovered quickly, "I'm Duncan MacLeod of the Clan MacLeod." "I am Nadia Zamyatin, foreign pig." she said coldly as they circled one another. The other occupants of the tavern had come out onto the porch; watched the pair intently. "I've no wish to harm you." Duncan said. "What then?" she eyed him cautiously. "Buy you a drink?" he replied. As she turned up the steps her voice carried over her shoulder to him "A drink it is."
Over poor vodka and poorer food, she told him her story. She had been a kitchen wench in service to Tsar Peter I; happy to serve the brooding ruler with his dark visage. A visiting lieutenant had tried one evening to take her favors. She had cut two buttons off his uniform jacket with a butcher knife; threatened more "vital organs" if he tried again. She hadn't known he was the nephew of Tsar. Of course she had been executed outright and buried in a shallow grave befitting a peasant. Upon her resurrection, the frightened girl had wondered the land until Dimitri had taken her in and taught her about what she was; trained her to fight. He had died three years later.
Her anger at the lieutenant for costing her her "first" life had burned in her belly like a white hot stone; five years later, she caught up to him in a tiny village near where he was stationed, She had knocked him unconscious and taken him (on his own horse) into a deep forest. "You should have seen his face when he saw me, Duncan. He soiled himself." She laughed heartily taking another drink. "And..." he prompted. The iron returned to her voice, "I promised to feed him to the wolves one limb at a time." Duncan's face remained stoic. "He tried begging first, then bribery." she said pulling a jewel encrusted dagger from her waistband; sticking it into the table top. "He stole it from the Tsar's wife." The diamonds, emeralds and rubies gleamed like fire; there was a magnificent sapphire in the pommel. Duncan's breath was drawn in audibly. "So you let him go then." he said absently, noting the keen edge on the dagger's blade. "I cut out his tongue to end his ceaseless whining, then cut his throat" she answered matter of factly.
Several hours and many drinks later they departed the tavern, both drunk and singing bawdy songs they had taught one another. "Kchortu?" he asked. "Go to hell" she replied laughing. As they reached the edge of town, Duncan pulled up suddenly...the home he had been given lodging in was ablaze; flames leapt high into the predawn sky...
As Duncan's memories centered on the inferno,
the sparkling blade brought his thoughts back to the present. He carefully
placed the dagger back in the box, which he set on the window sill. His
mind was muddled and unbalanced. This little mystery had him on edge, and
he needed focus.
He began a slow kata in the middle of the
dojo. Duncan selected the San Chan, a somewhat advanced karate style. He
reached out to his imaginary opponents, striking with his fingertips in
silence. He felt his energies flowing through him with his every motion,
and filling the area around him. As he moved about fighting his "three
battles," he struggled with his thoughts. Duncan sought to find a peaceful
balance between his mind, body, heart, and soul. Be he failed, and his steps
Duncan moved to the punching bag, preferring
a more physically satisfying exercise. As each fist settled into the padded
canvas, a question surfaced. Who delivered the dagger? Was it really Nadia?
He hadn't seen her since their little adventure two and a half centuries
ago. If it was her, why did she contact him now? And, why in this manner?
What was he supposed to do with the dagger? If it wasn't Nadia, then who,
and why?. MacLeod hated these little mind games. The world would be so much
simpler, if people could be more direct about their intentions. After a
half hour workout, all Duncan had were sore fists, more questions, and a
slight headache. He headed upstairs for a nice warm shower.
Just as he was ready to jump into the shower, he felt another buzz. "Normal people get phone calls at inconvenient times," he said aloud to himself. After quickly throwing his robe on and arming himself, he ran downstairs to meet this newest visitor.
"Oh, it's only you." he said with a little disappointment.
A frown creased Methos' face, as if hurt by the statement. "Don't look so happy to see me."
Duncan had already turned on his heel and was on his way back up to the loft. "You know, you could call and announce yourself," he called over his shoulder.
The oldest immortal picked up his pace to catch up to the mumbling Scotsman. "Ah, do I detect irritance?" When he got no answer, he continued after he threw his coat across the back of the couch. "Besides, why call? I thought I had a standing invitation?" "Hmph," was all he got out of MacLeod before the Highlander disappeared into the bathroom. Deciding to skip on the refrigerator raiding, he plopped down on the inviting couch and propped his feet up on the table, almost on top of a shiny dagger. Reaching forward, he scooped it up and examined its beauty. "This looks new."
Duncan reappeared in the doorway, now donned in a black t-shirt and jeans. "Do you mind?" He advanced toward the meddling immortal and snatched it from his grasp.
Stunned for only a moment, Methos smiled conspiratorially. "Dealing stolen weapons now, are we?"
That received a low groan. "Seriously, Methos, you know I don't deal with antiques anymore."
"So...I think you're missing my point here." One eyebrow cocked and a sly grin nearly drove Duncan mad. Sometimes, his older friend really was annoying. "I had a visitor this morning, one as non courteous as you."
Methos' mouth formed an o, as if suffering from the sting of Duncan's blow. "And.."
"Left me this present. Pretty generous, don't you think?"
Methos wasn't fooled one bit. "Obviously generous. Any demands or threats?"
But Duncan was shaking his head. It wasn't like that at all, at least he didn't think so. Suddenly, he once again became lost in thought...
1751, Southern Russia
Nadia had pulled him away from the burning house and half-carried him to her lodgings. She had spent hours speaking softly to him and giving him warmed brandy she had taken from the dead lieutenant's private stock. And then...
Candles. Dozens of them. Duncan watched them burn as he recovered his breath. He looked over at the already sleeping Nadia.
She frightened him as much as she aroused him. She was almost lupine in the way she made love, sharp grunts and growls, her powerful body demanding his full attention reminded him of a wolf. Her fierce kissing had even given him a nosebleed.
He started to climb out of bed quietly to get dressed. A strong hand grasped his arm. "I'm not through with you yet."
"Nadia, this was a mistake. I have to go."
"You have nowhere to go and you need to rest. It will do you no good to go lurking about this time of night. You've plenty of time to find the fire-starter after you sleep."
Duncan eyed her suspiciously. "And how did you determine the fire was started deliberately?"
Two consecutive finger snaps brought Duncan back to the present. He stared at the older Immortal blankly, still haunted by his earlier recollection.
"Don't go disappearing on me MacLeod. That is *my* M.O." Methos said while settling back on the couch.
"What's this little visit about, Methos?" Duncan asked absentmindedly as he looked at the dagger again, he felt the weight of it in his hands.
"Little visit? How ironic. Every time I drop by you make a big production out of it." Not hearing what Methos said, he eyed the gems that decorated the weapon. The jewels winked at him and again he saw Nadia's emerald eyes boring through him, stripping him naked.
"I met someone today ..." Methos said, irked by Duncan's lack of attention. " ... a woman." Still no response from the Highlander. "One of us ..." Still no answer. Brown eyes were focused only at the dagger. " ... tall, uh .. a redhead with glinting jades that burn into you." Duncan's head shot up, his eyes suddenly on fire and on Methos.
"Where? When?" He asked rasply. The old man broke into a mischievous grin.
"Pretty lucky guess, eh?" Methos waltzed towards the fridge.
"What?!!" Duncan yelled. Then it dawned on him.
"So it's a woman. Tell me more."
The phone went off - making that little repetitive electronic purring sound which has replaced the nerve-jangling ring of old.
Duncan looked at the instrument with disgust. "It's the middle of the night," he grumbled. "Doesn't anybody sleep anymore?"
"I believe that's for me," Methos said mildly without making a move to answer.
"Oh, you do, do you?" The Highlander strode over to the wall-mounted telephone near the kitchen. "MacLeod," he said into the mouthpiece.
"Hey, Mac," the voice of Joe Dawson came down the phone wire. "Is Adam there?"
With a wry shake of his head, MacLeod tossed the receiver to the older Immortal.
Methos had a frosty brown bottle in his right hand, but caught the phone easily with his left. "By the way," he said. "We're almost out of beer." He ducked as a well-aimed pillow whizzed in the specific direction of his head.
"Have a nice chat. I'm taking a shower," Duncan said over his shoulder on his way to the bathroom. "And make some coffee!" came the command through two inches of closed door a moment or two later.
"Adam? You there, Buddy?"
"Yeah, Joe. I was just basking in the warmth of MacLeod's hospitality."
"Everything okay there?"
"Seems to be. Where are you?"
"Sitting in my car in front of the dojo. Same place I was when I called you a half-hour ago."
"And roused me from some very pleasant dreams, I might add."
Joe laughed without much sympathy. "You'll live," he said.
"Anyway, she's not here now, but you were right about an intruder. Somebody was here earlier. And whoever it was, he or she left a very interesting token behind."
"Who's not here?" MacLeod said from the bathroom doorway.
"Gotta go, Joe. You may as well come up. Unless you want to stop somewhere first and pick up some liquid supplies." Methos returned the receiver to the cradle and turned to face his friend.
"It's impolite to sneak up on people and listen to private conversations," he scolded.
"Who's not here?" Duncan repeated.
"Sophia-Augusta, if you must know," Methos sighed. "We were trying to keep a low profile on this."
"Joe and I."
"No. Who's Sophia-Augusta? An old acquaintance of yours? And why did you think she was here?"
"She's the owner of that little bejeweled item over there."
Duncan raised an eyebrow, inviting further clarification.
"You probably know her as Catherine the Great."
Duncan stared blankly and did a little goldfish imitation before giving himself a shake and turning to the counter.
"Where's the coffee?"
"Uh," Methos stared at the empty carafe, "all that caffeine is bad for you. Wouldn't you rather have a beer?" He went to the refrigerator to get one.
"You didn't make it did you?" Duncan scowled refusing the beer Methos held out as a peace offering.
Methos sighed and wiped the growing condensation from the unopened beer. "Look, MacLeod... about Sophia-Augusta... we were really hoping to keep you out of this, but... well she's got this obsession..."
"With me? No," Duncan held up a hand to forestall Methos' answer, "let me guess. Somewhere, somehow, someway I've managed to piss her off and for centuries she's been obsessed with getting revenge. Right? Okay, what does she think I did to her?"
"Well, it's not you she got the obsession with, it's her dead lover."
"Did I kill him?"
"No, some other immortal killed him."
Duncan wiped his hands over his face and
looked up at ceiling with a loud
sigh. "Then why is she coming after me?!"
"She isn't. It's Richie she wants."
"He's an exact double for the dead lover."
Duncan tried the fish imitation again but could get no further than the dropping of his jaw. Before he could finish his dead goldfish act the elevator came up and as the doors opened Joe stumbled out, red faced and gasping, followed by a pungent odor. Richie, in dirty torn clothes, followed the odor. Richie was the odor.
Maintaining an air of casualness he strolled over to the stunned group. Seeing the unopened beer still in Methos' hands he took it from an unresisting grip, opened it and proceeded to drain it.
"Ah man, thanks. I really needed that." Turning to his teacher, whose jaw had yet to come off the ground, he said, " Did you know that skunks are nocturnal? And that they really hate it when you startle them?"
The odor was overwhelming. There was no way to escape the smell, or its source. As Duncan backed away from Richie, the young man followed.
"Richie, stand still! Can't you tell I am trying to get away from you?"
"Well, Mac, you could move out of the way. You are in a direct line to the refrigerator and I need another beer."
"Like hell, Richie! The only direction you're going is back down the elevator to the showers, and you are going to do it NOW!"
Richie's eyes fill with obvious pained mischief while he stared at his mentor and his eyes followed the line of Duncan's finger, pointing to the elevator car. He looked around the room and saw Joe and Methos standing by an open window. Joe was leaning as far out of a window as he could get but Methos, with one hand secured onto Joe's belt didn't seem to be quite as desperate for fresh air. But, he didn't look very tolerant of the young immortal at the moment.
Richie's dirty face cracked a smile. "No problem. I'll just use your shower."
"NO!" The single word seemed to echo around the room while both Duncan and Methos refused Richie's request.
Richie sighed and took a few more steps toward the counter.
Richie turned to the sound of the voice. "Heck, Mac, you've got to let me take another beer with me. This smell is everywhere. I can even taste it!"
Duncan watched while the reeking young man made a slow turn and walked toward the elevator. As Richie turned to pull down the safety gate, Duncan relented.
"You'll have your beer when you come back up, and I expect you to come back up here naked as the day you were born. Throw those clothes outside in the dumpster on your way to the shower. I'll find something around here for you to wear when you've gotten rid of that smell!"
Even before the elevator started to move down, Duncan was rushing over to open another window. He quickly opened each window of the loft and only after a substantial breeze was flowing around him were he and Methos able to coax Joe back in from his precarious perch.
Duncan watched Joe turn up the collar of his sport jacket as he settled onto the couch. He appeared to be shivering as he studied the ornate dagger he held.
Methos, in an oversized sweater, looked comfortable enough as he sprawled on the other end with a beer bottle swinging back and forth in his hand.
Duncan walked to the counter and back. "But the immortal I knew as Nadia was definitely no lady! There is no way the two of them could be the same. Catherine the Great died in her mid sixties. I don't know how the dagger fits into all of this, but Nadia told me she got it from some nephew of the Royal household. She cut out his tongue and slit his throat with it."
"Oh, MacLeod, she sounds like such a nice girl." Methos quirked his eyebrow as he lifted the bottle to his lips.
Joe grimaced at the description and shook his head. "Mac, I can only go on the information I have available to me."
"Come on, Joe. It wouldnt be the first time the Chronicles have been wrong, and quite frankly, I think it's more likely that MacLeod bedded a peasant than a member of the Royal household!" Methos got up and walked toward the kitchen.
"Methos, you have to leave the last beer for Richie. I promised him he could have it."
Methos just waved and then disappeared behind the bar. Duncan walked over to peer over the counter. Methos was busy pulling canned goods from the shelves. "MacLeod, where do you keep the juices?"
"Turning healthy on us, my friend?" was Duncan's answer as he stared at the old man in amazement.
"Of course not. Just looking for tomato juice."
"I don't have any."
"Well, then." Methos stood up juggling two large cans of tomato sauce in his hands. "I guess we will have to use these. It's supposed to take care of skunk musk."
Suddenly, Duncan and Methos both scanned the room as they noticed a distinct absence of Richie's buzz.
Duncan heard the cans fall behind him and Methos followed him down the steps leading to the Dojo.
Duncan ran into the shower room and Methos followed more cautiously with his blade drawn. The two of them slowed down, fearing what they would find. Richie was gone. The shower was still running at full force, but the young man was no where to be seen.
"Whoever the woman is, I think she has Richie!"
"MacLeod, if it is this Nadia, do you think shell take his head?"
Duncan slowly turned off the shower and faced his friend. "I think she will keep him alive, but he may wish he was dead before she gets done with him."
Methos gave MacLeod a questioning look.
Duncan's thoughts turned inward for just a second as he remembered his night with Nadia. He turned and walked toward the elevator with slow steps after he grumbled a few words.
Methos was certain that the words that MacLeod whispered were distinct enough that he couldn't have mistaken them. Duncan had said ... "I figure she'll take him to her bed!"
The night deepened.
Thick inky darkness seemed to seep in and around the trio, even though the room was well lit, it barely cast off the thread of gloom that forshadowed an unknown fate for their friend.
Interupting the silence heavied by the unnaturally loud thumping of the clock, Duncan left the room where Richie had last been seen. Frustration pulled at his thoughts as his maculine hands tugged at his hair, with a dozen memories cajolling his mind as visions to his eyes. "Where? ..was he" "Why?..for what purpose was he gone." "..Taken?" He had felt no immortal imprint as he had felt at the delivery of the box. It was all rather puzzling.
The questions played across his mind as clanging sounds of a tamborine.
Breath...a moment..a ..decision. Silent save for the solid purposeful tread of his shoes, Duncan silently ...willfully, grabbed his coat, grasping the leather in a deturmined grip.
"What are you planning to do?" Methos challenged rather than asked, certain that his friend would soon be chasing his tail..or find trouble.
A full..pointed silence followed. It spoke of hope, fear and pride that modern virtues could not hold a candle to. "I'm going after Richie"..the husky tones bade no argument.
"And just WHERE do you expect to FIND him? 'Uh' Methos made a pretence of knocking on a door. 'Hi?..no..you don't know me but is this the home of Debra..??Hmm?..oh. She's my old lover...'" Methos hit his forehead, "'No she only looks like my old lover-from about 300 years ago!'... You don't even know where to start!..you don't even know if she took him!..You don't even know IF he was taken!." Dripping sarcasm not unaccustomed to the speaker fairly oozed the short distance, lost on Mac with excepting the warring look cast to Methos which silenced him.
Duncan turned again to leave followed slower by Joe who recieved for once, no reproach from Duncan. "Well, I might as well go with you. Somebody has to keep an eye on you". That last statement, half under his breath, yet pointed to Methos, who gave the old watcher a tinted look.
"Tap..slide..Tap.." Joe went along, and nearly ran into methos.."Well, if your goi...!!!.." the sentiment died into the air as Joe looked from Methos to Mac...and then to the direction of their gaze.
A nearly naked, save for a towel, draped precariously at best across his hips extendeing only above his knees, Richie stood in front of them. Having come to a sudden halt he looked up in a start to see the grim expression on each of the three faces.
"Cold?" Joe's sarcasm tapering out to his arms leaning reproachfully on his cane as though it were a bar top.
"HI"..too cheerful.."Uh..." Richie stammered, fumbling for just the right explaination that would put him in the clear and explain his dissapearing act..and reappearance in his less than dressed state...still smelling to high heaven! "Uh..."
"You said that," said Joe, enjoying watching Richie squirm.
"You see..." Richie started, and stopped when Duncan raised one eyebrow, and crossed his arms with the coat that had gotten no further than his hand, now in the crook of his arm. Richie's gaze swayed to the coat.
" I ye...was in the...show...wer...Right?.. aa nd" Now in full throttle, Richie attempted to describe the incident that took place of the last 25 minutes. "Had just turned on the faucet," he continued in a sing-song voice "the temperature was perfect! ..was picking out some tunes" Methos and Joe looked at each other..one amused, the other annoyed.
Richie caught that exchange, and throwing himself momentarily off guard, watched as Methos swirls golden liqid from an ever present container, and then swallowed, remmbering his thirst.
"Go on" Methos said "..the..water.."
Richie licked his lips. "Was perfect" Richie jumped ahead. "and then," speaking directly to Duncan, "there was this...?" Richie grasped at the air as to find a vase that would magically hold the inscription of his testimony..but, no such luck.."I don't know!..Mac..I thought it was a BUZZ, but now I..."
"A...Buzz?" Joe looked... Richie turned to Mac for suport, who in turn looked at Richie like he had been the boy in "And To think that I saw it on Mullberry street" by Dr. Suess. and closed his jaw. "400 years old and you think you know..." Richie muttered, and Mac pretended that he didn't hear, and Methos smirked, barely hiding his glee.
"So you just?"..said Mac..ever wanting to get to the facts...
"Went out of the window" supplied Richie.
Joe looks stupified and gazes to the ceiling as if calculating a great distance... "Out?... WHERE!??" In disbelief, Joe pulled at his earlobe, wondering if he had heard that right. "Phew!" Joe grunted and headed toward the bar where Methos was already pouring drinks, and took one. Duncan went to stand downwind at the bar, and reached for a glass. Methos picked up a glass, Mac's arm still outstended, and Methos downed the contents of the glass... and grimaced.
"Serves you right." grumbled Mac, still wanting a drink. Mac reached for a bottle, but Methos was the quicker, and earned a mean stare from Mac.
"My sentiments exactly." Methos said, but, not having forgotten his one way argument with the same drink a few minutes earlier, he put down again, and cradled the bottle as though it were Jade. Methos poured the drink, looked at it through the light, and looks over at Richie. "Thanks Methos" Richie sighs, gratefully eyeing the liquid solvent. *gulp*...Methos wiped his mouth.."Anytime!" he said, and smiled . Richie just looked deflated.
After a beer to steady his anger Joe was ready to tackle the tale. "Let me get this straight... You were taking a shower..." matter of factly spoken as if reciting off a list "About to take a shower" he briefly corrected. "And you heard?"
Richie noded and began his tale in more detail. "I heard a sound..FELT a sound..I don't ..." his towel sliped again... "I thought I could surprise..."
"Surprise who?" Duncan interjected.
"I don't know.."
"So you just decide" said Duncan as he searches for hidden stock "... to CLIMB? ...out of the...win..." *Thunk*...the heavy bottle hit the table as they all stared at Richie. "..Ah..Richie?"
Richie, expecting a sound brow beating stood in defiance, his fists on his hips. "Yeah Mac?"
"The... er... towel."
Richie looked down, and shruged. "It fell."
"Augh Gad!" Joe threw up his hands as if to wash him of this kid for the moment. Mac shook his head and tucked himself in a corner with his precious hold, eyeing Methos warrily.
"Come on Joe" Methos motioned to Joe, "and ah," to Duncan, "don't forget the tomatoe sauce... " and pointed to where he dropped it. "Who can?" Exclaimed Duncan. "You dropped it!" Mac said, still sore over the wine.
"Well excuse me for trying to HELP!" Methos sniffed. "Joe are you coming?!"
"In a minute" replied Joe. "I'll be right there."
"Looks like you have your work cut out for you" Methos said to Mac... and exited before Mac could storm a reply.
Joe took a few long, stiffened steps towards Mac, questioning. "It's Ok Joe." Mac said, as he came around to the front of the counter, and pressed has hand against the old man's back.
"Call me tommorrow?" Joe asked.
"Yeah...sure Joe." Duncan said uncomitablly.
"You DO that!" Joe said, pointing at Mac as if the finger held danger if ignored ..a last gruff look to Richie, Joe hurried after Methos.
Now alone, Mac eyed Richie in distaste, biting back vile, "The shower!" Mac hurried to the lift, and waited impatiently. "Coming Richie?!?"
"Just a second Mac" Richie said as he scooped up the towel. The lift made a grinding sound as ir started, making Richie run for it. "Hey Mac! Wait up!" Mac rolled his watering eyes and covered his nose, attempting to stand upwind as he pulled down the gate. "Stand downwind" Mac beged in a none too gentle order.
The lift grew louder. "But Mac..there is no wind!" Richie said appologetically.
"AUUGH" Duncan's cry of torture could be heard over the noise of the lift. "Sorry Mac." Richie shruged."The burritos... I ate fi.." The noise of the lift cut off further chatter.