The Immortal Files

(1) Forever (X-Files/Highlander/Star Trek: The Next Generation)

By Daniel Butter
Reviewed by Kathryn A on 1st October 2001 (12)

This is the first in a series of stories in which (and this isn't much of a spoiler, since the reader figures this out on page 2) Mulder and Scully are both Immortal. This author favours the original Highlander movie mythos rather than the series. I'm afraid I've watched too much of the series not to automatically think of Duncan MacLeod rather than Connor MacLeod when someone says "MacLeod" so I had to keep on reminding myself which MacLeod it was; a minor inconvenience.
    This story in particular homages the movie in another way -- the style is a double story, with one story set in the Trek future, and the other story told in flashbacks to 1996. It was very effective, and the way that the author showed rather than told drew me in and absorbed me, so much so that the niggly things didn't quite niggle until I'd thought about it afterwards. Such as, why were Mulder and Scully so worried about people finding them in the computer when they could have just done the sensible thing... and changed their names? Also, the actual investigation of the problem on the Trek side was pretty much glossed over, with no real explanation of how they figured it out. It was all a bit rushed at the end.

The supporting characters were pretty good, and there were some lovely touches and ironies:
    Walking over to the replicator he pulled the well-worn isolinear chip from his pocket. He slipped it into the replicator which, after a few seconds, produced the desired product. Mulder took the small cup of sunflower seeds back to a small desk in the room. He placed them down and took a look at the PADD of information Susan had sent them.
    Scully smirked at the unconscious way he asserted his dominance over the desk, already beginning to cover it with salivated seed husks. Didn't this man know what a container was for?

(2) Partners (X-Files/Highlander)

By Daniel Butter
Reviewed by Kathryn A on 1st October 2001 (13)

This is the second story in the "Immortal Files" series. This one is just one story, set in 2003. My main complaint about this one is that it's too short! I wanted to find out more! It opens dramatically, and not unlike a typical Highlander or X-Files start -- Serial Killer Stalks The Streets of Washington. Then we get introduced to a good original supporting character in the form of Robert Wise, and a particularly sharp and snappy bit of dialogue between him and Mulder. And it goes on from there, showing and not telling, being subtle and in character. Good.

(3) Losses (X-Files/Highlander)

By Daniel Butter
Reviewed by Kathryn A on 1st October 2001 (14)

And here is the third story in the "Immortal Files" series, a much longer and juicier installment, set in 2008, with drama, Mulder-angst, Connor-angst, and a degree of Scully-angst, Mulder-Scully unrequited-but-too-uptight-to-admit-it-love, good supporting characters, a very dramatic opening, a very bad mysterious bad guy, pensive moments, friends of friends rallying around and not telling each other things -- overall, just good.

(4) Convictions (X-Files/Highlander)

By Daniel Butter
Reviewed by Kathryn A on 1st October 2001 (15)

This fourth story in the "Immortal Files" series is set in 2009, a few months after the previous story. This one is even longer, but an irritating proportion of that was flashbacks to almost-verbatim excerpts from the previous stories, which I mostly skipped, but sometimes had to read anyway, because they were from a different Point of View or added a tiny teensy bit more information. I think we would have been better off without them. Plotwise, it's an old villain and obsessed immortal, Mulder and Scully are about to be caught in the middle, and meanwhile, in Seattle, the Watcher tribunal is meeting... Again, we have good supporting characters, good style, good characterisation... I like the way Mulder and Scully know each other so well that it's like mind-reading; their thoughts run in parallel.

Some fun bits:
    Grinning, he pointed into the living room. "Go. Tarzan make food now."
    She shook her head and left the kitchen to Mulder.

There are some loose ends left dangling at the end of this, which make one want to hurry on to the next one. Unfortunately I didn't realize for a while that there was a next one, because #5 had been put in a slightly different category to the first four in the Gossamer archive, so I didn't find it until I did a search for "Immortal Files".

(5) Nothing Lasts Forever (X-Files/Highlander/Star Trek: The Next Generation)

By Daniel Butter
Reviewed by Kathryn A on 22nd December 2001 (3)

So, here we have the 5th in Daniel Butter's "Mulder and Scully are Immortals in the Trek Universe" series, which is just as well written as the previous four, unless you consider all the intercutting of present day and flashbacks to be too distracting. That being as it may, there are unfortunately rare occasions when absorbing writing can turn like a knife in the hand -- and this is one of those. Why? Because this story ends with a cliffhanger, and the author has dropped off the face of the net. Unless you're a masochist, it's probably better not to read this.