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The Class of 2014 [PG] Highlander

Title: The Class of 2014
Fandom: Highlander
Characters: Joe Dawson
Rating: PG
Length: 500 words
Disclaimer: Highlander belongs to Rysher: Panzer/Davis.
Spoilers: For seasons 2-4.
Thanks to: My beta, tifaching, and to the organizers of the challenge for the amnesty.
Challenge: Written for the hl_chronicles Timestamp Challenge. I consider this a timestamp for both gryphonrhi's brilliant and horrifying Handled With a Chain and my own Dawson Chronicles, but it stands well on its own.
Summary: The session was marked on everyone's schedule, but where there should have been a title and summary, it just said REQUIRED.

The lecture hall door banged open at exactly eleven hundred hours, silencing a dozen hushed conversations. A solid white-haired man in a wheelchair shoved his way in. He whirred his way down the steeply canted aisle, his gloved hands barely slowing the wheels. The hall was half-filled, clumps and clusters of people ranging in age from their early 20's to late 40's, in skin tones ranging from marble to sepia to ebony. The man took a left at the bottom of the aisle, speeding past the eager beavers in the front row seats, pencils poised, laptops open, to the ramp that no one but him ever used.

He reached the lectern, took a single deep breath, and turned his chair to face the audience.

“Congratulations, you’ve made it through your first year of the Academy,” he announced. “On Monday, you’ll take the Oath and begin the specialized training you need to join the field or research division. But before you can take the Oath, you have one more class you need to pass. This class. Today.”

The man met the eyes of every Watcher-candidate in the audience, one by one. He cleared his throat at the skinny blond girl who was texting on her phone until she looked up with a guilty start. He showed his teeth in something that might be considered a smile; she hurriedly put it away.

“We’ll start off with a brief history lesson on the events of 1994 to 1996. You’ve all seen the plaque downstairs. The list of Watchers lost in action. The dedication - Nolite umquam oblivisci. What is it that we cannot allow ourselves to forget? Some of you think you already know what happened. Immortals finding out about the Watchers and hunting us down. Fact is, that’s all bullshit. I’m here to tell you the truth.”

“Once you’ve heard it, I’ll throw out some hypothetical scenarios. Let’s call them … moral dilemmas. Every one of them is based on true events. Any of you who cannot resolve these scenarios to my satisfaction will be dismissed from the program and returned to your home or other destination of your choosing. Those who pass, you’ll get a weekend to think things over. Take the time to talk to the counselors, fact-check what I’ve told you in the archives, visit friends or family if you want. Decide if you want to make the commitment to the Watchers, and have us commit to you.”

An older Japanese man in the front row murmured something to the dread-locked girl sitting next to him.

The speaker nodded at him. “You all think you know what you’re getting into, and that you wouldn’t be here if you didn’t want it. Over the next few hours, you just might change your mind.” He put his hands on the wheels of his chair and moved forward, right to the edge of the stage. Then he locked the wheels and sat up straight and tall.

“My name is Joe Dawson, and this is ‘Improvisational Ethics.’”



( 4 comments — Leave a comment )
Dec. 12th, 2012 12:55 am (UTC)
We’ll start off with a brief history lesson on the events of 1994 to 1996.

My heart is bursting with love for you right now. :D
Dec. 12th, 2012 06:45 am (UTC)
You know he won't spare himself in the telling of it. And then he'll give these Watcher-candidates absolutely no recovery time before moving into the scenarios, so he can observe their raw, spontaneous reactions.

*hugs you back*
Sep. 26th, 2013 01:08 am (UTC)
God, but I still love this. Joe Dawson pulls no punches and takes no shit. They have no idea what's about to hit them.
Sep. 26th, 2013 06:33 am (UTC)
Thanks, Rhi! I imagine Joe would make a life-long impression on those new Watchers.
( 4 comments — Leave a comment )