Sergei pulled up to the Sleepytime Inn, feeling the tension and despair radiating from his love, even from the parking lot. Gathering up all the containers of food, he made his way quickly to the room, he could sense Nika's fear and anger. Opening the door, he found Nika and Liz in a silent face-off, their bodies and faces frozen in defensive postures.
Placing the food on a small table near the door, Sergei moved to stand beside Nika. Clearing his throat loudly, he broke the tense tableau. "Uhm, anyone care to explain, this?" Moving his hand between the two girls, to indicate the strained atmosphere.
Nika broke eye-contact with Liz, sighing loudly, and shaking her head with a mixture of anger and sorrow. Liz humphed softly, but said nothing, just turned to stare out the window.
"Anyone. . ." Sergei asked, his voice concerned.
"Liz told me something, distressing." Nika understated. Her statement was met with another humph from Liz, but Sergei's concern shone from his features.
"Now, she won't say how, but she insists that Alex is dead." Nika said baldly. Sergei jerked his gaze to Liz, his eyes widening with disbelief.
"But, but?" Sergei questioned incoherently.
"I know. Sweetie, I explained about the micro-chips, but Liz contends that she saw Alex's body. I tried showing her the readout on the palm-pilot that shows that Alex's chip is still in working order, but she won't look at it, nothing can convince her." Nika said tiredly.
"Liz? Liz, can you at least tell us how Alex died?" Sergei asked the sullen teenager.
Liz wasn't sure how to describe Alex's death without revealing Max's secret. And with all the talk of Alex being alive, she was forced to relive his death all over again. Unable to say anything at all, Liz became wracked with sobs.
Nika knelt beside the distraught girl, wrapping her long arms around her, glancing helplessly at Sergei. Letting Liz's anguish wash over her special senses, Nika wasn't even aware of establishing a **connection** with Liz.
I'm Liz Parker and five days ago I died. After that, things got really weird....
MARIA: Max Evans is staring at you again.
MAX: Well I'm not from around here.
LIZ: Where you from?
[Max points up with his index finger]
LIZ: Up north?
[Max points higher]
MAX: Sometimes you have to take a step back to see what's really going on. Maybe that's what we both really need to do right now...find our balance again.
You will know them only by the evil within. Learn enough to use your skills, your knowledge, and your leadership to combat the enemy so that you can come back and free us.
LIZ: So everything Nasedo told me was true. You and Tess were meant to be together.
LIZ: I mean, it's your destiny, right?
MAX: I wish I could go back Liz. Back to when things were normal.
LIZ: Me, too. I just wish that I could have stopped you from saving my life that day in the Crashdown.
MAX: Don't say that.
LIZ: Max, the day that you saved my life, your life just ended.
MAX: No, that was the day my life began. Liz, when I was in that room, and they did what they did to me. You're what kept me alive. The thought of you. The way your eyes look into mine. Your smile. The touch of your skin. Your lips. Knowing you has made me human. Whether I die tomorrow or fifty years from now, my destiny is the same: it's you. I want to be with you, Liz. I love you.
LIZ: I love you. (They kiss.)
LIZ: Max, you do have a destiny. You just heard it. I can't stand in the way of it.
MAX: But you mean everything to me.
LIZ: Goodbye, Max.
MAX: I felt that...and I know you did, too, and I know you think that...that I need to let you go...for the sake of Michael, and Isabel, and my race...so you went to Tess. But she can't be you. Tess can never be you.
LIZ: Don't say anything, ok? Um, because I...I came in here with this whole speech, and once you start talking, my speech doesn't apply, and everything gets changed, and I just want to make sure that I say everything to you, so just don't say anything. Just don't say anything. Ok, I...I just re-read "Romeo and Juliet", and you know, the first thing that I realized is that isn't even the title. It's called "The Tragedy of Romeo and Juliet". They die. You know, she's this young girl, she...she's younger than me, and she dies. Look, I think the reason why people think that it's such a romantic play is they don't know what it's like to be put in that position...but when your life and...and other people's lives are...are put at risk, there isn't anything romantic about it. Max, you can't stop what's happening to you. I mean, your life will always be dangerous, but my life, it doesn't have to be. My life is only in danger if I am with you. I...I want to be in love with boys...normal boys. I...I want to see my 21st birthday. I...I want to have a wedding day. I...I...I want to have children...and I want my children to be safe. You know, Max, if...if you truly love me, you'll let me go. I may love you, but I...I don't want to die for you.
FUTURE MAX: Just 25 minutes before I came here, I held Michael in my arms...dead. Isabel died 2 weeks before that. Now you have to do this. You have to find a way. All of our lives depend on it.
LIZ: Don't you realize what you are to me...and you're always gonna be? You're the love of my life. Everyone else is gonna be second best. There'll never be another you.
(Liz sees Max kissing Tess at the Prom, and leaves.)
VALENTI: There's been an accident. Alex is dead.
LIZ: You don't want to think that Alex was killed by an alien because that would mean you are responsible.
JERRY: I thought about what you said. You know -- if I remembered anything? Look -- (shows something from his pocket) I got his credit card receipt. The company kicked it back 'cause of the way he signed it.
LIZ: (reads the signature line: instead of a name it's a string of binary digits)
JERRY: Does that mean anything to you?
LIZ: It means I have promises to keep, and miles to go before I sleep....
MR. STOCKMAN: Ms. Parker? Mr. Stockman from the embassy. We found your building. There's just one curiosity-- that structure was torn down in 1994. 3 people in my office have confirmed it. That building is gone.
LIZ: to herself: He never went to Sweden.
Max: Liz... Tess is pregnant.
Liz: (yelling) I-I trusted you, I gave you everything. I jumped off bridges for you, I broke laws for you, I risked getting shot for you, I trusted you! And you go off-- God, with Tess-- God, I saved myself for you!
Max: Saved yourself? You slept with Kyle!
Max: Liz, you never slept with Kyle, did you?
(Liz shakes her head no)
Kyle (to Liz and Maria): I carried his body. She made me think it was luggage. She killed him. Tess killed Alex!
Nika pulled away from Liz, both girls gasping with the intensity of the flashes. Sergei looked on, anxiousness evident in his features. Tears streamed down Liz's face as Nika processed all she had seen.
"Liz, I never. . .I would never have been able to do, all of that! Goddess! Oh Liz, I'm so sorry! All this time, Kabo, Andrea, Sergei and I, we thought, we thought that we were protecting you! But you had to suffer through ALL of THAT, alone!" Nika had tears in her eyes as well.
Liz shook her head, sadly. "No, Nika, I wasn't alone. I had Maria and Kyle and. . .Alex. And I had Max. Even if it was only for a little while. He has a destiny, one which I can't compete with, and now, it seems I have one of my own."
"Liz, honey, they don't have to be mutually exclusive. And I intend to prove that, okay? But first things first, I guess I need to prove to you, that Alex really is alive, huh?" Nika stood, moving to her small duffel bag on the floor.
All this time, Sergei had remained silent, but now he cleared his throat, "Liz, I'm not sure exactly what happened, but you will always have us, now as well. No matter what."
Liz was touched, she moved to give Sergei a big hug, which he returned, with tears in his eyes. "I know that, I do."
"Okay, here it is. My proof." Liz turned to Nika, who held up a small palm-pilot like computer thingy. (A/N: Okay, so it's not a technical term, but I couldn't think of how else to describe it. LOL)
Nika moved to stand next to the other girl, holding it out to Liz to inspect. As she gave it to Liz, she wrapped her arms around Sergei's waist, nuzzling him softly, needing desperately his comfort. Sergei's arms wrapped around her in return, readily providing his love. Nika knew he was dying of curiosity, over what had just happened so she opened her connection with him and SHOWED him. Within seconds he understood, and tears once again sprang to his eyes.
Liz held the object, looking to Nika for more of an explanation.
"It's a hand-held monitor. See, there, " Nika points to a blue line. "That's you. It shows that your chip is still active. The yellow line is Maria, the orange one is Kyle."
Liz silently looks at the display, her eyes glued to the last line. It glows a brightly in the dim light of the motel room. "And the green one?" She asks hesitantly.
Nika's voice is soft, as she confirms Liz's assumption. "That's Alex."
Liz's eyes fly over Nika's features, searching for any sign of deception, knowing that she will find none.
"So, so. . .Alex, he's really, really ALIVE?" Liz asks, wonder and hope in her voice.
It is Sergei who answers, his eyes smiling softly at the happiness blooming on the formerly sullen girl's face. "Yes, Liz. Your brother is alive."
Alex groaned in pain, his nerve endings screaming, his gaze locked with that of his tormentor. Nicholas merely grinned, sadistically, his pleasure evident.
Tess watched in silence, her arms still cradled around her swollen stomach. Not wanting to watch the young man she considered a friend, being tortured, yet unable to look away for fear of losing him, Tess lost herself in thought.
'When did I become so human?' She thought to herself. 'When did I start to care so much?' In an instant a memory showed her the answer.
Tess was cleaning up after the two Valenti men, chuckling to herself at home much of a pig Kyle was. Her arms full of magazines, she was suddenly spun around, causing her to drop the magazines.
Kyle's arms went around her waist, pulling her tightly to him. Laughing at his silliness, Tess made to move away but was stopped by a look in his eyes, and the sensual feel of his hands massaging her lower back. Kyle's eyes were smoldering, and she felt her cheeks heat with awareness. Pulling away hesitantly, she blushed further as she felt his awareness of her.
"Wha- what was th-th-that all about?" Tess stuttered.
Kyle had the grace to look a bit abashed, but answered without hesitation. "Me, and my realization that I acted like an ass."
Tess looked confused.
"All this time, that I've pushed you away, instead of telling you how I really felt. . . I was just so scared."
Tess now looked angry, her cheeks flushing with her ire, rather than lust. "Of what? Of me?"
"No. . .yes, a little. Oh it's hard to explain. It just felt so strange, I knew that I was falling in love with you, but at the same time, I was resisting it, cause of. . ." Kyle trailed off.
"Cause I'm an alien?" Tess said quietly.
"Well then your right, you are an ass!" Tess practically growled.
Kyle looked up at Tess from his seat on the couch, nodding at her. "Yeah, I WAS. But you know what, I am in love with you. And I intend to prove it, too. " Kyle stood, grabbing hold of Tess' arm, and pulling her to him.
At first Tess resisted his kiss, but soon the feel of Kyle's lips against her own was making her melt. She had known she was in love with him for awhile now, but hadn't had the heart to tell him, when he had seemed so against all things "alien". Kyle's hands roamed over her body, grasping her to him. She reveled in the feel of his body against her own, and in that moment knew she would give up DESTINY for this man.
Tess shook herself from her memories, forcing herself to recall that it was only 2 months later that she watched "herself" kill Alex, and make Kyle carry the body to the car. She felt the punch of sadness as she realized that Kyle, no doubt hated her now.
'It won't matter, that it wasn't me, that it was Nasedo. It won't matter that I actually saved Alex from the wreck. All that will matter is that in the end. . .Alex still died.' Tess thought, pessimistically. She figured that Nicholas and Nasedo were getting bored with Alex, who had fought so bravely against both Nasedo's mindwarps and Nicholas's torture, to the point of confronting his supposed torturer, HER.
Now, with Nicholas' boredom looming, Tess knew they had to either find a way out or all three of them would perish. And there would be no one left to tell the truth.
She recalled her capture by Nasedo, shortly after Kyle and she had first slept together. She remembered Nasedo putting on her face, and each night torturing her with stories of how he had placed doubt, or mindwarped someone else in her life. He told of how he had mindwarped the KING, into believing that he and Tess had slept together. She recalled her escape, only to be captured again, when she had tried to save Alex's life.
Alex and Tess had listened in horror as Nasedo told of the various ways he had destroyed the Royal Four. From 'Congresswoman' Whitaker's tale of Vilandra's betrayal, to convincing everyone that Tess was pregnant, and that the baby would die if they stayed on Earth. Nasedo hadn't left it at that, he had even mindwarped Kyle into seeing Tess kill Alex, and then placed a faulty mindwarp over that, so that when it fell. . .
Tess placed her hand once again on the swell of her stomach, thinking that it had only been 4 months since Alex's death, and her supposed journey to Antar. Tess knew that in about a month she would be ready to give birth. She could only pray as she heard Alex groan again, that her child, her daughter, would live to see her father's face. Kyle's face.
The four teenagers stared silently at the piece of paper, looking at the translation.
"How? Why?" Maria stammered. Michael saw the signs of imminent freak out and despite being nearly there himself, moved to comfort his girlfriend.
Max's eyes narrowed in thought, and Isabel went to the bathroom, grabbing a damp cloth that she brought back to Maria. Michael smiled in thanks, and cradling Maria, he wiped the tears from her face, as she cried in fear.
"Okay, I think it's time we found Liz. And found out what is going on." Max stated, his tone calm and collected.
"What are we going to ask her? 'Hey Liz, do you know why your burly friend, you know the one that caught you when you fainted, has your best friend and ex-boyfriends name's tattooed on his bicep?' " Isabel asked sardonically.
"If we have to." Max said, his tone held a warning. "We have to know, because for some reason those tattoo's, they are important. And it may not be our names, Izzy, but it's the names of our friends. So we ask, and hopefully we get answers." Max looked at Maria's terror struck face, then back to Isabel.
Isabel nodded, her face softening as she too witnessed Maria's fear. She knew the fear that could follow you through everything, and wouldn't wish it on her worst enemy, let alone a friend.
"Alright, then. How do we find Liz?" Isabel questioned.
Maria shook off her fear, snuggling into Michael's loving embrace, knowing that he would protect her it made her feel strong. "How about dreamwalking her?" She suggested.
Max and Isabel brightened at the suggestion, immediately moving to sit on the couch, Max pulling out his only picture of Liz and handing it to his sister. Michael and Maria watched from their seat on the large, tattered armchair.
Isabel got comfortable, and placing her hand on the picture, she watched as the wave distortion that signaled a successful dreamwalk moved across Liz's face.
Isabel stood in a motel room, quickly recognizing it as the Sleepytime Inn on the outskirts of town. In front of her stood Liz, her body held rigidly, as she stared at the face of the girl Max and Maria had named Beronika. Her arms were wrapped tightly around her own waist, as Isabel watched. Isabel could feel the tension grow in the room.
Suddenly she looked into the eyes of the strange man, who seemed to recognize her. Isabel took a step back, shock coloring her face. Liz turned, her eyes widening.
"Iz, you have to leave!"
Isabel shook herself, before answering the other girl. "Liz I can't. We are worried about you. . . and we have to show you what we found out about your. . .friends. . .please Liz!"
The woman, Beronika, stood. Liz moved between her and Isabel, though Isabel wasn't sure who she was protecting, Isabel or Beronika.
"Nika! I. . .I, I can't do this! They deserve the truth, I know that, but. . ."
"Liz, you must tell them! We need their help, and they need ours!" Beronika seemed to plead with Liz.
"Liz! What's going on!" Isabel saw the fear on Liz's face.
"I can't, IZ! Everything has been about protecting you, and I will always do that, but I can't tell you this. . .it will hurt too much, if it's not true. . ."
"Come to us, Vilandra. Bring Zan, Rath, Kyle and Maria. We have much to discuss." The man said, his tone soft.
Isabel stepped back, horror clear on her face. Isabel had enough time to see Liz's imploring face, before she was booted out of the dreamscape.
"OH GOD!" Isabel sat up with this cry on her lips. Everyone jumped, Max pulling Isabel into his arms, as tears streamed down her face.
"What did you see, Izzy?"
"Liz is afraid, so afraid." Isabel said, tears falling.
"Of what?" Max said, trying to remain calm.
"I don't know! She said it was always about protecting us, but that it would hurt too much if IT wasn't true. I have no clue what she meant, but the man! He called me Vilandra, and he said, he said that I should bring Zan and Rath, and Kyle and Maria to them." Isabel was hysterical.
This time it was Maria who remained calm, moving to pull the other girl into a hard hug.
"Isabel, calm down. . .you said that they knew your Antarian names?" At Isabel's nod, Maria continued. "Well then, we already figured it was alien-related, now we know. SO we go to them, but we take precautions."
Max nodded in agreement. Michael gave Isabel an awkward hug, and then moved to help Max gather together what protection they could muster.
"It will be okay. But I think you need to call Kyle, and see if he can't get the rest of the day off, say it's a family emergency. He'll understand. I'll call the Sheriff." Maria said, rubbing the girl's back, soothingly.
Isabel nodded, pulling out her cell phone, and dialing the local auto shop that Kyle worked at. Maria moved to make her phone call.
"Isabel? What's going on?" Kyle sounded concerned.
"Uhm, well, can you get off? There's a, uh, family emergency. . ."
"Family, as in, of the Czech persuasion?"
"Yeah, and it looks like it involves you, Maria and Liz too."
There was a short pause, before Isabel heard Kyle clearing his throat. "I'll be there in five minutes." And he hung up.
On the other end of the room Maria was making her phone call.
"Maria? Is something wrong?"
"Uhm, can you come over to Michael's?"
With no hesitation, he answered. "I'll be there in a minute. Just tell me one thing. . ."
Knowing what he was asking, Maria answered with confidence. "Everyone's okay, right now. But this is big, okay?"
"Okay! On my way!"
And the phone was slammed down.
No more than five minutes later, both Valenti's were being filled in on the events of the morning. They were shown the flashes, then the research that the others had done. At that point, Isabel told them what had happened in her dreamwalk, ending with the strange man telling them to come, and bring the others.
Making a quick decision, they all moved to Jim Valenti's SUV, and piling in, they were on their way to the Sleepytime Inn within moments.
Nancy still had yet to reach the Whitmans', knowing that despite Alex's passing, that they deserved to know the full truth of his conception. And Jim hadn't answered the phone either. Amy had promised to come to the dinner, but Nancy sensed some hesitation, figuring it had to do with telling Maria about everything. Suddenly the phone rang, startling her.
"Nancy? It's Felicia Whitman. . .I'm returning your call."
"Oh Felicia! I'm so glad you returned my call. I was wondering if you and Charles could come by the diner, tonight? I have something I need you to hear."
There was a hesitation on the other end of the phone, "Uhm, okay. I think we can do that. I've been meaning to thank Liz, for her help, after. . ."
Nancy felt tears rise to her own eyes, as she heard the sadness in her friend's voice. She could only hope that her news wouldn't hurt her further. Clearing her throat she addressed the other woman. "Felicia, he was like Liz's brother. They loved one another, and his passing. . .it hurt her worse than we know. And I can tell you, she misses not only him, she misses you, and Chuck too. You were like an extra set of parents. She loves you."
"I know, and we love her as well. Maria too. When Alex was born, Chuck and I knew that we wouldn't have any other children, but we had friends, whose children would grow up with our son. And now. . .now I have those children, to remind me, of how wonderful my son was."
The two women talked for awhile longer, their tears mingling with laughter as they cherished the memory of a child who had gone.
Liz was in tears once again, as she recalled her confrontation with the ghostly image of her love's sister. One part of her mind was thinking that she had wept more today than she had her entire life, while another part wasn't sure she could explain all that had occurred that day, and then bring up the possibility that Alex may still be alive. Especially to Isabel, who while seeming cool and collected most of the time, Liz knew that she was a mass of insecurities. Liz had no wish to hurt the other girl, at all, having seen how she had suffered after Alex had died. Now as she heard the sound of a car parking, Liz knew it was them, and she couldn't help but wish that this day was nothing more than a dream.
Nika said nothing as she prepared herself to face who she now knew to be the Royal family of Antar. The ones Kabo had told her had arrived on Earth in the 1940's, her counterparts. She wasn't sure how to feel about the fact that they were years younger than she was, but she knew, instinctively that she was much more prepared and more completely trained than they were.
Sergei's thoughts mirrored that of his love. And as he moved to open the door, he couldn't help but wonder what it was that drew two of the most powerful families in the galaxy to Roswell, New Mexico, and to each other.
Liz practically flew into Max's arms. He caught her and drew her close to him. In that instant it was as if the calm that Max had held onto so dearly, evaporated, and relief replaced it. Everyone felt the joy they exuded at the site of one another.
Isabel gazed at the man who had called her by her Antarian name, watching him as he watched Liz and Max. Maria was also watching the man, wondering about his tattoo, and why he seemed so familiar to her. Kyle was taking in the scene with a detachment he had learned as part of his Buddhist training, while his father stared at Beronika in astonishment.
Michael took everything in, his guard high, and his body tensed for attack.
Finally, Beronika took it upon herself to break the uneasy silence that had descended on the room. Moving to Liz and Max, her eyes full to overflowing with tears of happiness, she moved her hands and arms in a complex manner, ending in a short bow, to Max. Max stood, confused by the girl's manner, his arms still wrapped around Liz.
"Kumayo, Lein Zan, damao lat." Beronika said, the words flowing melodiously from her lips. Max simply continued to stare at her in confusion.
Maria raised her hand, and shook it slightly as if to gain attention, which she did as everyone turned to her. "Uh, excuse me, yeah, uhm, Nika? Question, uh, WHAT THE HELL IS GOING ON?! Who is that guy, what are you guys doing here, why did Liz faint, why does that guy have mine and Kyle's name tattooed on his arm, for that matter why do you have Alien tattooed on your arm, and what the hell did you just say?!" Maria ranted, not even stopping for breath.
Beronika laughed, her joy ringing out in the room full of confused people. "How about I start off with what I said?" Nika answered, her voice still full of laughter. Max nodded, he too had been wondering what she had said.
"I spoke in the tongue of my people, and I said, 'Greetings, King Zan, blessed be.' Which is the traditional greeting of my people."
"Your people? And you still haven't answered the rest of my questions. . ." Maria asked.
"No I haven't, but you see, I was going to explain all of this, or rather most of it tonight, at the dinner, Nancy is holding. I guess I should just do it now, instead. All of you should sit." Each of the teens, and Jim did so, except for Michael, who stayed standing, his body still tense. "Rath, please, I will not harm you, nor your kin. I swear it on . . .on the Ushari Damae. The Blessed Spirits."
Michael glanced at everyone else's faces then reluctantly took a seat, though he remained with his back in the corner, and tensed, prepared for attack.
Then Nika, Sergei and Liz took turns explaining the events leading to them all sitting in this room. Isabel interrupted once to tell of what she had seen this morning, then Max and Michael told of their search for information on the tattoos. Maria's face became ashen at the thought of her being in any way alien, but as Michael's hands stroked her back, soothingly, she thought to herself that if he was by her side, she could handle anything.
Jim remained silent, his heart constricting tightly at the knowledge of what his ex-wife had given up in order to protect their son and him. Kyle's stoicism was breaking as he thought of all the anger he still felt at his mom, and reconciling that with the sacrifice she had made for him and the others. Iz, Max and Michael all felt similar degrees of relief and wonder at the thought that they weren't alone in the world, and that their journey could be shared by their loved ones in this room.
Everything stopped however, when Nika mentioned Alex, and his being alive. Isabel's face went pale, while Max and Michael nearly erupted in anger.
"WAIT! Please, let me finish, I beg of you." Nika held her hands up imploringly. Slowly everyone subsided, allowing her to finish. "Like I told Liz, the device that monitors Liz, Kyle, Maria and Alex, it merely shows that your chips are active, nothing more. I have no tools in which to find Alex with, I only know that he remains among the living."
"But I promise, I will do everything in my power to return Liz's brother to her." Nika finished.
"Her BROTHER?" Maria sputtered, while everyone else reflected their surprise.
"Yes, I did tell you that besides the Heir, myself, and my consort, Sergei, that two of my siblings, and two children of the most respected family of Bodyguards on Ikaydia were sent to Earth. Liz and Alex are my siblings."
"I'm your sister?" Liz asked hesitantly, raising her eyes to Nika. "Why didn't you tell me that?"
Nika hesitated, before replying, her voice soft, and her tone reflecting her insecurity. "I, I didn't, didn't want you to hate, me."
Liz rose, from her position on Max's lap, moving to stand in front of the other girl. Without warning Liz pulled Nika into a bone-crushing hug. "I could never hate you, Nika. You've given me hope, that Alex may still be alive, that I may have a future with my love. I love you."
Nika hugged Liz back, crying softly.
"Okay, okay, enough with the mushy stuff! I still wanna know why Sergei has mine and Kyle's name tattooed on his bicep!" Maria interrupted the moment, knowing that if it continued she would end up in tears herself.
"I want to know too." Kyle and Jim said simultaneously.
Sergei stepped forward to answer this question. "That would be because, you are my kin. What Nika failed to mention was that while you and Kyle come from the most respected family of Bodyguards on the planet of Ikaydia, was that I do as well."
"You're my. . . brother? Kyle, too?" Maria asked, her voice shaky.
Kyle looked at his father, the idea of him having more family exciting to him. Jim looked stunned, unable to comprehend all the information that had been thrown at him today. He could almost accept the fact that his only child was a half alien, but with everything else it was too much, Jim was on overload. Maria wasn't sure what she felt, but when she looked at Sergei, she knew what he said was true.
Instead of putting pressure on Kyle or Maria to say or do anything, Sergei turned the conversation to other matters. "In a matter of a couple of hours, we have to explain this situation, to Ms. DeLuca, and the Whitmans, I think its time we started planning that."
Max, Isabel and Michael looked shocked at the very idea of telling anyone. Sergei caught their looks of surprise, and fought back a laugh. "You did not think we would simply take Liz, Kyle, Maria and Alex without consulting their families, did you?"
"Well, uhm, yeah." Michael felt compelled to answer.
"No way! I don't want Aunt Nancy or Uncle Jeff to kill me, thank you very much. Not to mention what my mom, Andrea or Kabo would do to me if I did that!" Nika said shuddering lightly, before laughing.
Slowly one by one the entire room was engulfed in laughter as they released the built up tension of the day. Liz, Isabel and Maria were giggling uncontrollably, while Michael worked so desperately to maintain his stonewall façade. Max was helplessly laughing as he ping-ponged back and forth in watching the girls and Michael's struggles. Jim and Kyle were in the same position, but had the further enjoyment of watching Max as well. Nika and Sergei held each other, giggling softly, as they watched the teens mirth.
As the laughter faded, Isabel brought up a point that had puzzled everyone. "Nika, I understand that you say Alex is alive, which honestly, I am ecstatic about. . . but when you said that you had a device that monitored them, but couldn't tell you where he was, only that he was alive, how do you propose to save him?"
Nika smiled faintly, before shrugging. "I don't know, Vilandra, I am sorry."
Isabel looked disheartened. "Okay, I understand. But could you please call me Isabel. . .I don't much care for Vilandra."
Nika nodded. "I must call Kabo, and see if he has a device to search out Alex with."
Liz's head leapt from Max's shoulder, as she had a sudden inspiration. "Wait, Nika. . .I have an idea of how we can find Alex, right now!"
"HOW?" Nika was just as anxious to find Alex as everyone else, he was her brother, and she hadn't seen him in over 10 yrs!
"Isabel can dreamwalk him!" And as Liz said it, everyone realized what they had been missing. Isabel smiled brilliantly at Liz.
"Wait, but why didn't we . . ." Maria started to ask, but was quickly interrupted by Isabel.
"Because we believed that he was dead. There was no reason to dreamwalk a dead person." Isabel said softly.
Nika and Sergei looked confused, "What is a dreamwalk?" asked Sergei.
Isabel smiled, "If I have a picture of somebody, I can form a connection with their unconscious selves, either in sleep or sometimes when they are awake. That's how you saw me, earlier, I was dreamwalking Liz."
Sergei and Nika nodded thoughtfully, they had thought that it was merely an illusion sent to them.
"Huh, that makes me wonder, if I'm an alien, or part alien, why don't I have powers?" Maria asked.
"How about we answer the rest of your questions tonight?" Nika said, smiling at Maria.
"Sounds good to me, I never ate the lunch Sergei brought and cold Chinese doesn't sound good, maybe we should all head over to the diner, and get this over with. Then we can come back here and try to dreamwalk Alex." Liz stated, her stomach growling softly again.
Nika and Sergei laughed at the reminder of their earlier giggle fit, but agreed. Soon the entire group was headed to the Crashdown.
On the way over to the Crashdown, Isabel turned to Max, her wishes plain to see. "Max, uhm. . .can we, uh, I mean. . ."
Max knew exactly what she was asking, but wasn't sure how to respond. He desperately wished to tell their parents, but could he risk it? It seemed to him that Nika and Sergei weren't worried, so maybe. . .
"Call 'em, tell them they gotta meet us at the Crashdown, we can tell everyone at once. It makes sense, we can protect each other better now, with Sergei and Nika, and all the parents on our side." Max said decisively, after glancing around at the expectant faces in the SUV, knowing that everyone wanted this as well.
Isabel had tears in her eyes, as she leaned forward and kissed her brother on the cheek, before using her cell phone. Michael looked uncomfortable, but when Maria leaned into him, kissing him softly on the mouth and whispered to him, "They will accept you too," he relaxed. Max backed her up by squeezing his shoulder and nodding.
The large SUV arrived at the diner, and everyone piled out, heading inside quickly. Inside all of the parents, except the Evans' had arrived.
Felicia and Charles Whitman greeted the teens with hugs, and smiles. The teens returned them, but said nothing about Alex, they left that to Sergei and Nika to explain. Amy and Nancy left the kitchen carry massive platters of food, followed by Jeff with a tray of drinks. Kyle, Sergei, Michael and Max all moved to help the ladies, and Jeff, earning much gratitude.
Everyone avoided talking about why they were here, until the Evans' arrived, having been told by Nika and Isabel that they were coming. A scant 10mins. later the Evans' arrived, they had become worried when Isabel had called, Diane thought Isabel might have been crying, so they had rushed right over.
Once everyone was seated, Jeff had pulled together 5 tables for everyone to sit at, and had food on their plates, Nika stood and introduced herself.
"Hello, uhm my name is Nika, uhmm Beronika Badrian, I'm a friend of Jeff and Nancy's. Though I know a few of you, the Whitman's and Amy, uh I don't know the Evans'. So Hi!" The teens laughed at how awkward Nika had become, but everyone thought it was adorable.
Amy and the Whitman's tossed hello's back and so did the Evans'.
"I guess I should explain why I'm here, and why you’re here. . . No, first I should give you a bit of a history lesson. Please don't ask questions, and don't interrupt, and while this may sound incredible and unreal, I will be able to prove it all to you, in the end. . .Okay?" Nika received nods in return, from all, so she began her story.
"Now as I said this may sound unreal, but please hear me out. In 1950, a planet approximately 20 parsecs from Earth or 65 light years away, called Ikaydia, was facing invasion, from a man everyone called the Prexoran Menace. Prexor was where he came from, and he was as evil and as power mad as any dictator on Earth, worse perhaps since he had entire solar systems to conquer. The ruler of the planet of Ikaydia, Queen Kadiya and her husband, Consort Orgustus, were frantic to find a way to preserve the Royal line, in the hopes that someday there would be a way to overthrow the dictator."
Everyone sat in silence as Nika recited her tale, the parents, save for Jim, Jeff and Nancy listened in bemused disbelief, until they saw their children listening raptly. It wasn't something they could explain, but in that moment they began to believe Nika's tale.
"The Menace had taken over five systems, Biri, Koiru Prime, Rixu-Tlai, Kao'Vazu, and Antar." Nika looked over at Max, Michael and Isabel. "It was the last systems' capture, that set Kadiya to worrying, for they were allies of Ikaydia. The King of Antar, Zan, his sister, Vilandra, Second-in-Command, Rath, and his betrothed, Ava, were all killed."
This time the parents noticed that Nika was staring directly at Max, Michael and Isabel. Their gaze was torn between watching the teens reactions, and Nika's face as she told the story.
"With their deaths, the seven systems, known as the Galactic Empire, run by the Royal Alliance Council, dissolved. Soon the Empire was overrun by the Prexoran. The mother of the Royal Family of Antar saw this and decided to send the essences of her slain children, to Earth in hybrid bodies. Two years later, Ikaydia was the Prexoran's next target, and Kadiya and Orgustus turned to their friend and confidant, a respected doctor. This doctor came up with a plan to send three of the Queen's fertilized embryos to Earth."
Everyone listened attentively, leaning forward to catch every word.
"The doctor was sent along with the embryos, of the Queen, as well as embryos of the second most powerful family on Ikaydia. The six embryos, and the doctor traveled through a local wormhole, which would take them most of the way to Earth in a matter of hours, however it also took them 27 yrs. into the future as well." Nika paused, taking a deep breath before continuing.
"The ship with the doctor and the six embryos landed in a deserted area of the San Luis Valley in Colorado, in the year 1977. The doctor set up shop, as it were, in Albuquerque, masquerading as a fertility doctor."
Amy and the Whitman's gasped, knowing in that instant that what was said next, it would forever change their lives.
"Dr. Kabo, was the man you knew, who helped the families in this room, save the Evans', to conceive. I am Beronika Valencia Badrian, daughter of Muttahar and Safati Badrian, but I am also the Heir to the Throne of Ikaydia, daughter of Kadiya and Orgustus of Ikaydia."
Turning to Liz, she held the other girl's hand tightly as she told the last of her story. "Liz, is my sister, a daughter of Kadiya and Orgustus, while Alex is my brother. Sergei, my fiancé, is from the other family, and he will become my consort. Kyle is his brother, and Maria his sister."
"Your children, they are important. And right now they are becoming dangerous. Kabo implanted all of the children, except myself and Sergei, with small micro-chips, that monitored them, as well as inhibiting any powers they may develop. However the chips only had a life of 18yrs, and that is almost up. When they stop working, your children's powers will explode, unless we, Kabo, myself and Sergei, can train them. I must leave, tomorrow afternoon at the latest, and I must take them with me."
Jim, Jeff and Nancy were prepared for this, but Amy was in shock. The Whitman's were in tears, having to relive the loss of their only child with talk of his conception, but were also puzzled, with Alex gone, why were they there in the first place? Diane and Phillip Evans were also puzzled at why they were there for what was obviously a private meeting, one that involved alien's no less. . .
[ edited 1 time(s), last at 21-Jan-2003 12:12:43 AM ]