Disclaimer: Daria and associated characters are owned by MTV. This is fan fiction written for entertainment only. No money or other negotiable currency or goods have been exchanged. This was written in response to Round One of the March Madness challenge on PPMB. The crossover with Highlander was entirely my idea.

Richard Lobinske

Gimme the Prize

Anthony DeMartino warily entered the alley behind the Good Time Chinese restaurant. He could feel the other immortal waiting. The electric feeling was unmistakable and the accumulated power, intoxicating.

An odd memory crossed his mind from a couple of years before when Ms. Li had staged a medieval faire as fundraiser for a new library. He smiled at the irony of her appointing him to be the "black knight" that took on all challengers in combat with padded weapons. Combat experience since the days of Nero's Legions had honed his skills to that matched by only a few immortals. The poor high school kids never had a chance.

He then frowned, thinking of the other immortals that had passed. Some friends and some enemies, but all shared the bond. Now, there were only two and only one would leave the alley to claim The Prize.

"Damn movie," he said. Nobody called it that before a certain movie had been produced. While the movie (and later television series) characters were purely fictional, Anthony wondered who had sold their story. It probably made them a nice bit of money while making life more difficult for the rest of the immortals.

"I'm here," a deceptively young voice said. Ted DeWitt-Clinton stepped from the shadows, holding a sturdy, eleventh-century Norman sword he had carried at Hastings. "There can be only one," he said, quoting from the movie.

"That's true," Anthony said, holding his hands in the open. "But we don't have to make that decision today. We're the last of our kind. Why don't we enjoy life a bit longer?"

"No," Ted said. "It's time. Draw your blade."

Anthony shook his head. "Really, Theodore. I'm asking you one more time to put this off."

"Sorry, Anthony. Today is the day." Sword held at guard, Ted advanced, warily watching his opponent. "Unless you want to die without a fight, which I will gladly accommodate."

"Silly boy," Anthony said, drawing a .50 cal. Desert Eagle from a shoulder holster and pointing it. He squeezed off three fast rounds that hit in a line across Ted's throat and severed his head.

A blue glow developed on the headless body as it crumpled to the ground. Soon, energy began to flow from the severed neck, causing bolts of lightning to arc around the alley, all of them eventually striking Anthony.

He lowered the pistol to the ground and then stood tall with his arms outstretched. The alley was filled with light as energy flowed from the fallen immortal to him. Around the alley, the free energy overloaded electrical circuits and components, causing them to burst into showers of sparks. The energy grew to a crescendo as Anthony shook in near agony.

Abruptly, the last of the energy flowed into him and he collapsed to the ground as darkness was restored to the alley.

Unsteady, he stood and felt the power that he had gained. He holstered his pistol and walked over the fallen sword. Picking it up, he said, "Even after all these years, you'd forgotten that old age and treachery will overcome youth and skill."

He then walked out of the alley, humming the movie theme song from Queen and singing, "Gimme the Prize."

March 2010