Personal Journal of Joe Dawson
by Ashlyn Donnchaid

AUTHOR'S NOTE: These journal entries are for the time period from Judgement Day through One Minute to Midnight. I have arbitrarily chosen just how long it took Joe to heal from what for anyone else would have been a fatal wound. TPTB said he lived, and so be it.

MONDAY: Today should have been another ordinary Monday, restocking the bar, cleaning up, a slow day. And it was until Jack called. I can't really believe what he said. MacLeod can't be dead. Jack didn't know who had killed him, but he said he'd try to find out. I suppose I should have that for my final report. Damn. I really never figured it would happen. He should have been one of the last ones. He was too good. I'm going to Paris to do the close out. I won't leave this to anyone else. He was my assignment. No, dammit, he was my friend. I owe him that much.

TUESDAY: This has been one really weird day. As I write this I am being held by I don't know who, for no reason I can figure. And MacLeod's not dead! I went to the barge to see for myself and do the close out, and damn if Mac didn't jog up! I only saw him for a second then these bastards grabbed me and threw me in a car. I think he tried to stop them, but I couldn't see much. I spent most of the day in a blindfold. I have no idea where I am now. And Mac's alive. Who could have made a mistake like that? And what the hell is going on?

WEDNESDAY: Right now I am sitting in a kid's playroom at HQ with MacLeod. If yesterday was weird, then today goes beyond anything. Turns out the story about Mac's death was all a trick to get me to Paris so they could grab me to put me on trial for my life. My good friend Jack engineered the whole thing. What was it they said? Betraying your oath, consorting with an immortal, falsifying chronicles. And they blame me for the deaths of 80 Watchers. They said it was all because I talked to MacLeod three years ago. Mac had nothing to do with killing Watchers, he just wanted the people who killed Darius. Don't they understand that I had no choice? If I hadn't talked to Mac, then there would have been problems. He'd have never known that not all Watchers were like Horton. But there's no talking to them now. Especially not since Mac showed up here. That just adds another nail to my coffin as far as they're concerned. They really think he's a threat to them. They brought up times that MacLeod and I worked together. Horton, Ward, Barnes. And when I helped Amanda find him. They say that he became more important to me than my oath. They may be right. But isn't a friend more important than a set of rules? Don't they understand that sometimes things have to be done that aren't covered in the rule book? If I had just sat by and watched and done nothing, I don't think I could have lived with myself. I guess that makes me a bad Watcher. But maybe it makes me a good human being. Mac gave it a good try talking to them, but I think all he did was to make things worse. They can't understand being friends with an immortal. Maybe they're right. Maybe I have totally screwed up the last couple of years. It sure doesn't feel like it to me. At least what Mac said bought me an extra day. They're bringing in a jury for me. For us. Part of the deal was that MacLeod had to be on trial with me. I can't believe he agreed to it. I don't think I've ever had a friend like him. Willing to put his head on the block -- literally -- for me. I really wish he hadn't done that. I don't want to be responsible for his death. And I don't think they have anything else in mind for me, jury or no jury.

THURSDAY: They pulled out all the stops today. Our jury was regional coordinators from all over the world. People who should know what it's like on the front lines. I never thought they knew about my doctored reports. I guess I'm not as clever as I thought. How long have they been watching me? Seems kind of ironic, watching the Watcher. But why me? Was it just that no one had ever admitted to talking to an immortal before? They brought up Lauren and Thorne. What did it matter to the Chronicle to leave that out? I didn't even know he was an immortal. Mac said he'd help me find Lauren's killer, and he found out about Thorne. That's just a friend helping a friend, not an immortal and a Watcher. And it turned out they were old enemies, so Mac went after him for both of us. They couldn't understand that. Haven't these people ever needed the help of a friend? Adam Pierson even tried to help us. He brought in a private journal from one of Methos' watchers, a guy who couldn't put everything that happened in his reports, either, because he had become Methos' friend. Imagine what they would do if they knew who Adam really was. They just thanked him and sent him home. I wish I could thank him for trying to help, but I don't think I'll live long enough. They didn't care that by helping MacLeod we finally managed to stop Horton. They didn't care that Mac stopped Kalas from telling the world. All they cared about was the oath. I trashed my oath, they said. And watchers died. Jack's son died. So they found us guilty. And MacLeod broke out of here. Wanted me to go with him, but what's the point. They're right. I did trash my oath. I swore never to reveal our existence to immortals. I swore to keep true and accurate chronicles. I couldn't manage either of those lately. And I believed in the oath when I took it. I am guilty of what they say. Tomorrow they will put a bullet in my head. And as Mac said, I won't be coming back. All I can hope is that after they kill me they'll leave MacLeod alone.

FRIDAY: Well, this is it. They're going to be here in a little while to take me out to my execution. It's been a good life. I would have liked to live a little longer, but that doesn't seem to be in the cards for me. Maybe if I had stuck to the rules and ignored my feelings I wouldn't be here today. I wouldn't have talked to MacLeod, James would still be killing immortals, probably even Mac by now. No, I did what I thought was right at the time, and I wouldn't give back the friendship we've had for anything. I'd do it all over again. Which is why they will kill me today, for betraying my oath. They're here. Well, my friends, see you in the hereafter, wherever that is.

SUNDAY (I think): They tell me I'm not dead, but I'm not sure I wouldn't rather be, the way I feel. I don't remember much about what happened, just bits and pieces. I remember that my buddy Jack couldn't shoot me himself, and wouldn't even stay to watch. He let that putz Charlie do the honors. And stupid Charlie says "On your knees." I laughed then. Damn. Can't laugh now. Hurts too much. The rest is a little fuzzy. Gunfire from somewhere else. Then things just went black. Next thing I remember is waking up here. Adam tells me that Mac came back and got me. The other immortal did the shooting. Mac saw him leaving. And now Jack has all the Watchers looking for MacLeod and me with orders to kill, no questions asked. Adam says I need to get more rest. I'm in no condition to argue with him.

WEDNESDAY: I'm starting to feel better. Actually got up for a while today. It's kind of funny to have Adam and Mac hovering around worrying about me. I've said it before, but I really count my blessings to have friends like them. MacLeod has been out checking the situation with the Watchers. They're out in force. They almost got him tonight. A bunch of them got him cornered and shot him. Somehow, he managed to get away from them and get back here. He looked pretty bad when he came in, but, unlike me, all he had to do was sit down for a bit and wait to heal. I wonder what that feels like, knowing that what would be fatal for any of the rest of us will just go away. Mac still hasn't found out who is doing the killing. He's sure it's an immortal. Jack isn't even looking for anyone else, he's completely convinced it's Mac. At least that's as much as Adam has been able to find out. Researchers don't seem to have the right "need to know" to be let in on everything that's going on, but there's no one else we can go to.

SATURDAY: It's over. Jacob Galati is dead. Jack isn't, and maybe I should have let Mac kill him. Nothing will ever be the same for any of us. Could I have changed anything that happened today? I don't know. Maybe I should have talked to Jacob. It really wasn't that much for MacLeod to ask me to do. But the guy had killed my friends! He didn't talk to them, just killed them because they were Watchers. Hell, he shot me! Horton is the one who killed Jacob's wife, not the rest of us. What made them think that I had to be the forgiving one and give this guy another chance at me. Instead, I tried to talk to Jack. Big mistake. Put another friend in danger when I got Adam to help me get in to see Jack. They don't know what he is, but they know he's my friend, and these days that seems to be enough to convict. I really wanted to believe Jack when he said they would listen to Galati. I convinced myself that it could all be OK, that it could be worked out. I even offered myself as bait for Jacob, made up the story about Mac, got him to believe me. He was too right when he called me a bastard. All I really wanted to do was save MacLeod. I've lost too many friends and couldn't have it happen again. But the way Mac looked at me when Jack went to kill Jacob, I've lost that friend anyway. Make that two friends. Adam wanted to save Mac as much as I did, but not at the cost of Jacob's life. And Jacob is dead. And it's my fault. I led them to him, I let it happen. Why couldn't I see Jack for what he really was? Am I that blind? Or did I just want to believe so much that I turned my back on what was really happening. The signs were all there. I should have seen it. I should have realized. But I didn't. Mac doesn't believe me. Adam doesn't believe me. Jack has no idea what he has done to the Watchers. I tried to tell him, but he wouldn't listen. He's overwhelmed by his grief for David, and, like Jacob, could only see blood for blood as an answer. Maybe when MacLeod came after him it scared Jack into seeing what would happen if he didn't stop. Hell, Mac scared me. I've never seen that kind of rage in him. But he didn't kill Jack. Maybe that's my fault, too. All I wanted was to stop the killing, and all that happened was that more people died, and more friends have been lost. I don't know what I'm going to do now. Half my life I've been a Watcher, and now it all seems to be some huge cosmic joke, and I'm the punch line. What I signed on for doesn't exist. Maybe it never did. Maybe I've been an idiot for years, and they've all been laughing. There goes Joe, he still believes. I don't know. All I do know is that I'm tired.

TUESDAY: I really made a fool of myself today. I was happy about the progress we're making in the reorganization, and I wanted to share it with a friend. I wanted to talk to MacLeod. I went down to the barge and waited for him. I knew the minute he walked up that I had made a mistake. He looked right through me. And I was so stupid, I couldn't think of anything to say. I told him Jack was out, that the war was over, that I was back in. All he wanted me to do was go away. He kept pacing as if I was keeping him from something much more important. Right now that could be anything but talking to me. I asked him if he knew where Adam had gone. If he does, he's not going to tell me. I even tried the lame approach of offering to buy him a drink. Like I expected him to say yes. He just said 'No thanks,' and walked away. Two weeks ago I was at home and things were OK. Today I'm in Paris and things will never be the same again. They don't need me here any more. I'm going to go home and try to figure out just who Joe Dawson is, and see if I can piece some of this life back together.

The End
October 1996