While I looked forty, I was over 400 hundred years old. I knew I was older, but I had not the benefit of an education, way back then. I didn't learn much, until later in my adult life. So I didn't know my actual birth date.
I was a half-breed. Part human, part Faery. I was one of the last known half breeds I knew about. The Fae were mostly gone from the world by the time I was born. They had withdrawn in self defense from the humans over running their natural habitat.
I was currently living in the mountains of Montana, in a very out of the way place. I was outside splitting logs for firewood as a very cold winter was expected, when I got that feeling of being watched. Being who and what I am, I was sensitive to this.
This had been going on all summer and fall, and I was finding it not a little annoying. The only question to ask was if it was 'official Government' watching, or was it something or someone else. If I had attracted government attention, my life was going to be altered drastically, and not for the best, if you asked me. 'Government involvement', to the best of my knowledge, was NEVER for the betterment of the individual. It was ALWAYS for the betterment of government.
If it were a private agency or person, then I could handle it easily. He, she, or they just needed to make a move, to get the ball rolling. If it were 'big brother' finally closing in on me after all these years, then it was trouble. A person of my age would be a treasure to the government.
Over the years I had learned many crafts. I had been plumber, electrician, home builder, carpenter, chef, dam builder, road builder, construction worker, blacksmith, rail layer, surveyor, just to name a few. You learned a lot over a 400 year period of time, even if you didn't really try to.
I had built this home in the mountains myself, with only a bit of help from the crew that brought my timber. The home was a log lodge that was put together like a puzzle. No reason to waste a trained crew. I'd had them put up the shell, then I did all the finish work myself.
It took all summer, and part of the fall, but I had a nice snug house ready for my first winter, with only a bit of help from the locales when I needed muscle. I was spending a lot of time chopping wood to the right size to burn in my kitchen stove this winter. I had a huge amount done, already. I had previously done the same for the fireplace.
I had a thousand gallon LP gas tank for my gas furnace and gas refrigerator, which would last the entire winter, easily. I had a ten K generator, compliments of an auction of surplus US ARMY equipment. The same auction, was how I came by my jeep and trailers.
I had a five hundred gallon tank of unleaded gasoline on hand at all times. Water was supplied by a well, forty-five feet deep, under my kitchen sink. It worked two ways: Electric pump, or old fashioned pump handle and muscle power. The bodily waste disposal was the last item to be built, but it was snug and finished in time for winter.
I had two refrigerators, one deep freezer, and a huge pantry for food storage. I made sure I had at least two months supply of food on hand, at all times. I was good for ninety days, if I stretched it. The problem with where I lived was you got snowed in.
It was getting harder to find parts for my army jeep, as it was thirty years since production was last done on this model. I still had a small replacement parts supply, but I was going to have to get a new jeep sometime soon.
I did have the opposite end of the military Jeep. I had a Hummer. However, I wanted another Jeep, for when the Army Jeep was no longer running.
The mountains of Montana were a magnificent backdrop to live in, and I had my privacy, usually. But now I was being watched, and I found it annoying to say the least. I started focusing. I located two watchers very quickly.
They had the house totally covered between them. If I was going to confront them, it would have to be done openly. I went inside the house and got down my modified 30/30 (which was a semi-automatic, having been reworked by yours truly).
Yes, I had been an armorer at one time in my life, and still had the tools. Like I said, in 400 years, you learned a lot. It was hard not to. I loaded a magazine into my rifle, and went outside. I fired a few feet above the head of first one watcher, then the other.
Both raised up with hands high, screaming at me, "Don't shoot!"
I instructed them to come to the porch and they stumbled though the snow, anxious to please. I had a foot and a half accumulation already, and more was forecast for this weekend. The clouds were already gathering for the next storm.
They turned out to be agents for my insurance company. Someone got curious about my family and the longevity they displayed in the past, and collected on. I had been with this insurance company since 1892. I sighed.
"You sound like an episode of 'The Highlander'," I told them with a chuckle.
"Pardon?" the first one asked me.
"You know, Connor McCloud was using the name John Gnash, and the police and an associate of the police were investigating our hero. They decided he was much older than he appeared to be, seemingly aging and leaving his money and equipment to himself, in a new identity," I responded.
"We think the same thing," the first representative said.
"We could make trouble for you if we informed the authorities of your ability to not age," the second one stated.
"I suppose, if it were true. However, I am not too worried by small time blackmailers. Take your threats, get out, and never come back. If you do, I'll be forced to kill you," I told them, deadly serious.
"You can't threaten us!" The first one said.
"Sure I can. Didn't you just threaten me?" I asked him curiously.
"That's different. We would only inconvenience you, not kill you!" the second man responded.
"Let's see, here. You're trespassing, attempting blackmail, communicating a threat... Hmm, I have the feeling justifiable homicide is my outlook. I am alone up here, and there are two of you. You two came and threatened me. I was fearful for my life, and took appropriate action," I told them unblinkingly.
I got their IDs and memorized their addresses. They got nervous when I did that. I was already getting ready to change IDs once again. It was time. I had already gotten an illegal alien registered as my alternate, and sent him to school under that name. Once enough time went by I would assume that ID, the alien would be given forged papers, and that would be that. A seamless transition.
While it was difficult to get false IDs in this day and age of post 9-11, it was not impossible. I had figured out a good way of reusing birth certificates and registering someone as my alternate to give myself a history.
When I had a contact in the federal government, it had been much easier. She had retired ten years before, but she had given me several good ideas on how to get around the checks and become real, illegally.
I used a charm I knew from long ago. I spoke it in Gaelic, and cast it at the two insurance men. They went slack jawed for a brief time as my spell took effect. I quickly instructed them, then released them from the charm. They both blinked, then followed the directions I gave them. The best thing about being a half-breed Fae, was magic worked, for me!
The first time I had a rhyme actually work for me, you could have knocked me over with a feather. Words were power, and you had to be careful what and how you said things. At least, I did. I had learned the hard way to watch how and when I said something, or wished something.
It was two days after my erstwhile blackmailers had gone, that it started snowing seriously. It was coming down at the rate of six inches an hour, falling heavily, with no signs of stopping.
I put another log on the fire and sighed contentedly.
Supper that night had been very good. A rib eye steak, steamed Brussels sprouts, mashed potatoes, and home made gravy. All in all, it was a very good meal. I had enough steak left over, to make a healthy sized sandwich for tomorrow's lunch.
I sighed again and looked at my trophies that were hung on the wall of my living room. A shield with a coat of arms, was in a glass case filled with inert gas, to keep it from deteriorating. Several swords, a gun case with an old Henry, a Winchester, and a Colt pistol and holster were similarly protected. All were items I had used during my long life.
Each item could tell its own story if it could but talk. The shield had saved my life on numerous occasions. The swords had been staunch weapons. I had killed a number of foes, and had defended myself with all of them.
The rifles and pistol were compliments of my time in the old west. I had made a fortune, and lost most of it, back then. Hell, I had made several fortunes over the centuries. I still had access to one of them. I used that one very rarely.
I had fought in the American civil war for the South. Politically, I agreed with the North; but monetarily, the South paid better. So I followed the money.
.... There is more of this story ...