|posted on 20-Oct-2001 11:21:49 PM|
| Title: The Midnight Hour|
Disclaimer: Roswell and all its characters, etc. are the intellectual property of Melinda Metz, Jason Katims, UPN, etc. I own nothing related to Roswell, and no infringement is intended.
Summary: Post-Departure, CC, M/L, M/M, and the rest of the gang. As the group is still dealing with the aftermath of recent events, they are forgetful that other enemies are all around them, waiting for opportunity. When Liz and Maria come up missing one morning, the rest of the group desperately searches for them, unaware that they are now caught up in a conflict larger and more dangerous than any of them realizes....
Author's Note: This is my very first fic and I appreciate all comments - the rest of the story is now posted in the Repost section!
I really appreciate feedback - I'm sorry it's taken so long to get this section out, but classes have to come first :( - let me know if you want me to finish this story or not, please??
“You can stop this ridiculous charade now, Liz. They know who you are because I told them,” Nicholas closed the door behind him and stood next to the dark-eyed man. “Agent Carter has been a patient man up to this point.. but I would not test him if I were you.”
Liz looked back and forth between the two, trying to determine how this alliance had apparently taken place. Figuring that a last-ditch effort was worth a try, she tried to play towards what she hoped was Carter’s better judgment.
“I have no idea who he is. Besides, why do you care what a teenager says anyway?”
“Come now Liz, we both know he’s not what he seems. And, well, let’s just say he broadened my horizions and opened my mind to a whole new world of possibilities..” Carter raised his arm towards the bed and Liz felt a rush of pain sear through her body, as if every nerve ending was on fire. It caught her off guard, unable to utter even a small sound. When he released her, her body went limp and she gasped for air.
“So, I think I have plenty of reason to believe what he says,” Carter replied, a definitive tone overtaking his already sinister and intimidating posture.
“A nice little exchange, don’t you think? We give them advanced genetic and medical alterations that put them hundreds of years ahead of current human capabilities. In return they help us deal with Zan, or Max, or whatever he wants to call himself now. We get to remain here without concern of capture and they rid themselves of the truly tyrannical alien threat.” Nicholas put just the right spin on things so that Liz understood his meaning, but for all intents and purposes Carter was oblivious. Their eyes locked for only an instant, but it was enough to let Liz know he had complete control over this situation, and there was little she would do to change that.
Liz was still unsure of what to do at this point.. should she go along with them? They already knew most of the story anyway, so what would be the harm? But she had made a promise to Max, and she would not break it.
“So if you have all that, then I don’t see how I could be of much use,” she stated, hoping to skirt the issue altogether.
Nicholas chuckled quietly. “If that’s the way you want to play,” his laughter ceased and he glared at her intently, “then so be it.”
He nodded to Carter, who again walked towards the bed and sat down beside Liz. “There is a weapon your so-called friends have in their possession. It was designed so that they might take over Earth and rule Antar from here, as well as make all humans subject to assimilation by the Antarian culture. We have no defense strong enough to overpower it, as it is also decades more advanced than anything we have now. Whoever controls it therefore would control this world.”
Liz looked at him as if he’d lost his mind, but she knew he believed every word he’d spoken. He ignored her, and continued.
“Max had the knowledge of the whereabouts of this weapon as well as how to use it, but it is locked away with his memories of Antar. We would never gain access to that information by force.”
“But… someone close to him could,” Nicholas added.
“I have no idea what you’re talking about, and even if I did, I wouldn’t do anything to hurt Max,” Liz replied, still doubtful of all they had told her.
“Of course you don’t know.. I just told you Max doesn’t really know, either, ” Carter reasoned. “But you are going to help us. You are going to redeem yourself in the eyes of your fellow men and save us all from this threat.”
“That’s the most ridiculous story I’ve ever heard! Nicholas has done nothing but lie to you, you have to believe me!” Liz begged.
“Your mind has been poisoned with media propaganda, Liz,” Carter said as he took hold of her arm. “They want you to believe that little green men are fake and UFOs are the stuff of legend. It is easier for most to live their lives thinking that we truly are alone in this universe than to acknowledge that there are other worlds – with other beings out there. And it is even more difficult to think that some of them are not the kind, gentle creatures we would have them be, but you – you and I, Liz, we know differently, don’t we? You think you have been a friend to E.T. for these past few years. Well, I’m here to tell you that you’ve really been with something that more closely resembles the Predator.”
Nicholas came to the other side of the bed and placed his hand on her forehead. “You should be grateful Liz: you’re about to receive a gift few others on this world will ever have. And you will have the opportunity to save your planet at the same time,” he’d added that for Agent Carter’s benefit and Liz knew it. “Don’t worry, this won’t hurt too –“
Liz shook herself free of Carter’s grasp and at the same time knocked Nicholas over as she ran for the door. Suddenly the door opened from the other side and the larger man from the night before grabbed Liz once again. Kicking and screaming, it took both Carter and the other man to pin her to the bed as Nicholas drew ever closer…
”Liz, Liz, it’s me Isabel!” Isabel shook her friend, but Liz wouldn’t respond. She was fixated on someone to her right, so Isabel turned around to see what was happening. She saw two men holding Liz on a bed in what looked like a dingy motel room, but the figure Liz was looking at was obstructed by one of the men and Isabel couldn’t make him out.
“Liz, you have to look at me – tell me where you are!” Isabel pleaded with Liz, who finally looked at Isabel in a dazed fashion.
“Isabel, is that you? Are you-“
“I’m in your mind, Liz.. I’m not really here. But I can’t stay much longer – you have to tell me where you are so we can help you,” Isabel pleaded.
Liz looked around the room again, frantic. “I – I don’t know where I am, Isabel!! But they’re going to –“
“I said this wouldn’t hurt, but I lied,” a voice echoed in Liz’s head. Isabel watched as Liz flinched, then screamed..”
Instantly Isabel woke, screaming and crying. Max, himself startled, tried to calm her down as Jim Valenti stormed into the room.
Isabel took a few moments to re-orient herself.. that’s right.. she was at the Valenti’s home in Jim’s bedroom.. she had been dreamwalking Liz to find out where she was and… oh, no…
He was already aware something was not right. “Is, you have to tell me.. did you see her? Is she-“
“I saw her, but Max, I need to talk to the sheriff – alone,” they all still called him by his now ex-title; somehow it just seemed to fit better than Jim.
Max looked between his sister and the ex-sheriff, who had just become very fidgety. When he noticed Max’s worried gaze, however, he stood still and tried to muster up some authority.
“Max, I’ll come get you in a moment, I promise,” Jim felt more comfortable in his old role as a sheriff, and remnants of those days still stuck with him. He guessed they always would.
Slowly Max got up and ushered everyone else out of the room, closing the door behind him. Isabel sat up, hugging her knees as once again the tears came slowly down her face. Trying very much to imagine how a father would try and comfort a daughter, Jim sat down beside her and waited until she returned his gaze.
“Isabel, what is it?”
“I don’t know how to tell you this… I couldn’t bear to tell Max,” Isabel began softly, but I think Liz-“
* * *
“Has been… assaulted, Max.”
Jim tried to break the news gently to the young man, but there was no gentleness in what he believed had transpired. Max looked wide-eyed at the sheriff, shaking his head.
“No – no it can’t-“
“NO! If I’d only been there last night, this wouldn’t have happened!” Max was shaking now, both with rage and regret.
Jim grabbed Max, shaking him until he got his attention.
“Losin’ it now isn’t going to help us get her back Max – okay?! You’ve got to be strong now – especially for Liz!”
Max collapsed into the chair behind him, placing his head in his hands. Isabel, who had just come from the bedroom, went to her brother as did Maria. Kyle stood off to the side with Michael, neither knowing how to console their friend. After a moment, Michael motioned for Jim to follow him into the other room; Kyle went with them.
“Sheriff, it’s not that I don’t believe Isabel, but if rape was all they were after, then why did they just take Liz? Maria was left behind and they… well, they could have just as easily taken her too,” Michael hated to hear the thought coming out of his mouth, but he was trying to be realistic. Kyle nodded in agreement, equally as confused. Jim didn’t like the prospect either.
“I don’t know Michael. But I agree with you… something is not right here. But until we find out what it is, finding Liz has to be our top priority – we’ll figure out the rest later.” He walked forward in the room, his back turned to his son and Michael. When he turned around, Michael knew he was about to hear something he wouldn’t like.
“Michael, I had to get the authorities in on this. Now, I haven’t said anything to our new sheriff, so don’t get too upset just yet. But I can’t in good conscience continue this without informing someone.. at the same time I think there’s enough suspicion here to keep it low-key, too.”
Michael was upset, but he knew the instant Liz’s parents found out they would be in an uproar if someone weren’t actively looking for their daughter.
“Do you remember the female FBI agent I dealt with during the duPree case? Agent Duff? “
“Yeah,.. sort of..” Michael trailed off.
“Well, I put in a call to her.. strictly off the record so she won’t contact the locals.. or the FBI. She can’t come down here, but she said she knew of some people who could help. She spoke to one of them briefly and he told her he’d be on the next flight down here.
“Sheriff, we can’t have anymore people involved in this than are absolutely necessary, you know that!” Michael objected. “What if he sees something and wants to go inform his Special Unit buddies?”
“I had to go with my gut on this one Michael – this is one we can’t fight alone! We have no leads; no place to start except for canvassing old hotel rooms.” Jim replied. “Now she told me this guy is an ex-agent, so his Bureau contacts are probably limited. But she also said he had a very… open… mind.”
Jim said it in a way that he hoped would sink in for Michael and now Max, who was watching this whole scene from the back of the room.
“She did it for me, Michael.. I have to do it for her,” Max replied slowly.
“His flight won’t arrive for several more hours. Liz’s parents are still out of town, so we have some time. We’re gonna look around and see what we can find, as calmly as possible. That’s the best we can do,” Jim broke the silence. “Sitting around here is not going to help Liz, okay?”
One by one the group nodded in agreement. Jim split them up into teams to cover more ground. Isabel watched this scene from afar; her mind was on a situation eerily too close to this one. It seemed so real, so natural what happened next.
She felt his comforting touch on her shoulder, and she turned around to smile at him briefly, noting the concern that filled his soft eyes.
“Isabel you know this is not the same. You told Max and Michael that earlier. There was nothing you could do for her,” Alex whispered to her as if not to disturb the others in the room.
“I know, but you weren’t there.. she was so scared and I couldn’t –“
“Now stop it Isabel Evans! Like the Sheriff said, you aren’t doing her any good by sitting here and feeling sorry for yourself – or her for that matter.” He walked in front of her, stooping down to look directly at her. “Remember what you saw in the dreamwalk… use that to help Liz now.”
He was always so sweet, so compassionate with her… she thought she didn’t deserve that…
“You know I will always love you Alex Whitman,” Isabel said from her heart.
He held her hands firmly.
“I know… and I will always love you back. I know this is hard for you,” he nodded over in the direction of Maria and Michael; Max lost in thought across the room, “your time will come again, and when it does I will be happy for you. Over time it will get easier, but never forget that I will always care for you.”
“Isabel are you ready to go?” Kyle asked as he joined the others on their way out of the house.
As soon as it had come, the moment passed and she was alone again. She cleared her throat.
“Uh – yeah I’ll be right out.”