lucitania: Methos moves to Las Vegas, new identity, lives in an Airstream trailer in the desert.

desolation angel

Technically, he lives in Arizona, but it's an easy drive to Vegas: an hour or so, depending on how hard he pushes his laboring diesel Mercedes convertible. If he was a mortal man, Methos expects he'd have been dead of exposure long since. Or of skin cancer, at the very least. As it is, his skin heals just ahead of the rate he burns, so his tan always fades by the time he gets anywhere, and anyway he works nights.

He earns a ridiculous amount of money as a croupier at the Bellagio. His paychecks come to him made out to a Desmond Reed, but his pockets bulge with under-reported income, and he only drives into town three times a week. By day, he reads cheap paperbacks in the white glare of noon, feeling the sand work into the seams of his disreputable khaki shorts as he sits on the barren ground in the negligible shade of his Airstream trailer, theoretically sheltered under a flap of canvas awning. It's so dry that there are days he wakes blinking from naps that he's decided were probably fainting spells, perhaps even deaths, due to dehydration. He wonders how immortal healing goes about replenishing his corpse with living water, and then shrugs and returns to his terrible novel.

The Airstream trailer is in and of itself pure affectation, but he likes the shimmer of simmering daylight bouncing off its silver sheen, and he doesn't have to worry about searing the palm of his hand against its metal sides in the heat of the day, when it's just an anvil for the sun's hammer. Inside, it's as hollow as a bell: featureless and unfurnished but for a narrow cot with unfitted sheets.

After three months, he thought, briefly, about calling Mac. Duncan would appreciate the purity of the desert, the endless heat-warped horizon by day, the black bowl of countless white stars at night. Instead he read and re-read half a dozen dreadful romances and Bulfinch's Mythology.

Eight months in, a Japanese business man tips him with a thousand dollar chip, and Methos drives home into the rising dawn and sits on his grassless lawn and stares at the sun until his retinas fuse. He's only blind ten or fifteen minutes, but even as old as he is, he's never been blind in both eyes at once, and he finds that he's profoundly shaken by the experience, the truest desolation he has ever known. The world had seemed silent, but for his own harsh breathing and the heavy throb of blood in his ears. The totality of blackness even as he could feel the heavy press of the sun against his skin was eerie, engulfing, and ultimately chastening.

When he can again see his own shadow drawn sharply on the colorless sand, he fishes in his gaping pocket for his cellular phone, and calls the airport, books a flight to Paris.

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