|Methos' Journal: Mid-May 1997
by Lisa Hughes
following events in the episode "The Modern Prometheus"
Perhaps it's too soon to write of this. Every time my thoughts dwell on the events of the last few days, a shriek begins building somewhere in my chest. But instead of releasing the cry, my throat constricts until I have to gasp for breath. Still, I must find some way to release it. To find peace, balance within myself. My friend, Lord Byron, is dead. By MacLeod's hand. He's dead, and I wasn't able to stop it.
My first warning should have been the way Byron and MacLeod greeted each other. Byron, I could understand, he has always needed to be the beginning and the end of everyone's attentions. Seeing me with another immortal... well, he practically bared his teeth at Mac. But Mac... there was no reason for him to take such an instant dislike to Byron. Unless he was jealous that another from my past had shown up. Another he didn't know about. Someone who might know more about me than he did. He needn't have worried, I told Byron nothing of myself.
I was surprised to see him at Maurice's club. Surprised and pleased. It had been a long time, although I had followed his career through the years. He took an interest in a guitar player, Mike, a talented one. And the kid was overwhelmed at being chatted up by his idol. Byron even invited Mike to join him for a jam session. Joe was worried about him, but I wrote it off as a great opportunity for him. Byron could make the kid's career if he impressed him.
Unfortunately, the way that Byron wanted the kid to join him, was to match him in living the high life, as well as play with him. The next morning, Mike showed up late for his session with Joe. Late, and stoned. Mac was outraged, of course. It never even entered his mind to hold Mike responsible for Mike.
Byron was the same, and more. And less. When I met Byron, he was more alive than anyone I knew. Living in the moment, reaching for the heavens, wringing every scrap of enjoyment out of every day. Writing the most beautiful poetry I had ever heard. But when Mac and I went to his place, I could see that the hunger had given way to emptiness.
Mac and Byron were like matter and anti-matter. Byron trying to convince Mac that drugs were all that gave us the illusion of life, Mac growing more disgusted by the second. They simply had no common ground. Mac warned him to stay away from Mike, to let him be. I wanted to beg him to listen to Mac, to heed the warning he'd been given... but I knew he wouldn't listen. It was a limit. I tried explaining to Mac that genius often requires the man to be larger than life, but Mac wasn't having any of it.
Then Mike went back to Byron. And died.
When I heard, I knew that Mac would be coming for him. I went to talk to Byron, tried to get him to leave. To give himself the chance to find the joy in living again. To find the poetry within himself again, but he was beyond caring. Maybe he didn't even remember what it was like before. The joy, the art, the hunger for life and living. All that was left was rage and emptiness.
So I tried to talk to Mac, to convince him that Byron's genius was too important to lose. But Mac... has very clear ideas about right and wrong. MacLeod believes that immortals have a responsibility to protect mortals. At the very least, we should not allow them to be harmed by our immortality. And Byron crossed that line. He took the time to be sure I understood (he's talking to me again it seems). And I suppose he could have been right. But for me, that wasn't the point.
It was a moment of truth for me. I had to choose. The only way to stop Mac would be to challenge him, the way he did me over Keane. And if I did that , I would lose Mac forever, however it turned out. Duncan MacLeod, or Byron's genius. Byron's poetry versus the poetry that is Duncan MacLeod. The question for me wasn't whether Byron's poetry was worth the price of the havoc he caused, but whether Byron's poetry was worth Duncan's life. And the answer... was no.
The hardest part was watching him walk away, knowing what was to come, and knowing there was nothing more I could do. My choice had been made. Even now the agony of that choice wounds me anew. The pain wells up inside me until I want to scream. I am empty. There is a hole inside me which was filled just hours ago.
"I never knew the soul had form
Gods, what a waste. What a fucking waste.
I remember happier times. Times when ideas flowed almost as fast as the wine. Like that fateful time in Switzerland with the Shelleys. If I listen, I can hear him working on the lines from "Childe Harold's Pilgrimage," or calling for a round of ghost stories.
Perhaps I should have taught Byron limits. But limits on his life would have limited his genius. His beauty. I chose to foster that beauty rather than fostering the man within. My choice. There have been too many choices through the long years. "Stir not the bitterness in the cup that I mixed for myself." Tolkien understood.
MacLeod came back to Maurice's club after the fight. We sat in silence and drank together for hours. Never even approaching the oblivion which beckoned from the bottle. I was glad of the company. Gladder still that he did not speak. Did not try to comfort me. I do not want comfort. I need to mourn. The loss of the man I knew, if not the man he'd become.
MacLeod is not sorry for what he's done, not even a little. Oh, he is sorry for my pain, and that he caused it, but he harbors no regret. And he's not waiting for me to forgive him. But there's nothing to forgive. I could have stopped him. I didn't.
Am I angry at Mac for doing what he felt he had to do? No. I love Mac. That's the long and the short of it. For better or worse, he is who he is. And I love him. Right or wrong, up or down, in or out.
I grieve. I will miss Byron's genius. I will miss his humor and his wit. Perhaps Shelley said it best...
"Rough wind, that moanest loud
Sleep. I need sleep now. "Great nature's second course, that knits the ravelled sleeve of care."
Good-bye, my friend.