|posted on 20-Sep-2001 11:12:08 PM|
|Chapter 57 **** Pg 3 or Pg 5 (if you're set to 10 posts per page)|
Chapter 58 **** Pg 5 or Pg 9
Chapter 59 **** Pg 6 or Pg 12
Chapter 60 **** Pg 7 or pg 14
DVD extras **** directly following Chaper 60
* Cut Scenes
* Clue/Stalker Key
* Time Line
Secrets in the Past
Disclaimer: I don’t own them, just going to borrow them for a little while, I promise to return them when I’m done.
Category: M/L, everybody
Distribution: E mail me first please.
Feedback: Yes please. This is the first fic I have ever posted so please be constructive, I bruise easily.
Summery: After Max in the City and ARCC.
Liz’s secret is taking a tremendous toll on her and her ability to control her new found powers. There is a new girl in town who has something to tell Michael. Isabel is going to find out something not so nice about her past. Someone unexpected could come between Liz and Max. Strange occurrences are plaguing Michael and Liz. On top of everything else, there is an even bigger secret out there (not Future Max). A secret that will send their world spinning out of control and quite possibly take one of them with it.
If you are new to the story or would like to go back and refresh your memory here are the links where the story is archived.
On the 'L' page in the Fan Fic section
About the List: I will be posting the rest of this story on this thread, however there are some people that for whatever reason enjoyed getting the chapters through email as well. If you would like to continue to get them that way please send an email to this address: Lizzybells_stories⊕hotmail.com with ‘SITP short list’ in the subject line. Otherwise the master list will only be used when the board is down and when the sequel goes on the board.
~ I'll always come for you, Liz ~Max ~ Secrets In the Past, Ch.23
Edited by - Lizzybell on 10/05/2001 04:04:14
[ edited 9 time(s), last at 27-Nov-2001 3:16:23 AM ]
|posted on 20-Sep-2001 11:13:08 PM|
|Just wanted to tell you that because of the way the new board formats I have to add spaces between all my paragraphs or its completely illegible. At first glance this makes my already lengthy parts look freakishly long but I assure you, unless its otherwise noted they are the average length you expect from me.|
If you missed chapters 54 or 55 here are the direct links to them.
54 ~ http://www.geocities.com/amarie1975/SITP54.html
55 ~ http://www.geocities.com/amarie1975/SITP55.html
Secrets In the Past
Sunday, March 25th.
The phone rang and Gwyn picked it up as best she could trying not to get the her sticky fingers all over everything.
“Hey Gwyn, its Chase.”
“Oh hi Chase, how are you?” she asked, balancing the phone on her shoulder. Chase was one of the organizers of the underground, and a VP in LGM.
“Gwyn, I don’t mean to be rude but this isn’t a social call. Is Justin there?”
“Sure, is there something wrong?” She was instantly concerned both by his request and his tone.
“Gwyn I really need to talk to Justin,” he pressed. That’s when Gwyn knew it was bad. She was just as much a player in the alien spy business and Justin was, more so as far as field work went. If Chase wouldn’t tell her what was going on, it was very bad.
“Al- alright, hang on a minute. He’s in the backyard.” Setting the phone on the table, she gave up and wiped the marshmallow concoction on her pants. Walking through the open door at the rear of the kitchen, she stepped onto the porch. Justin turned around from where he was lighting the coals in the barbecue before she even said anything. She had turned pale, her red hair setting off her blue eyes like sapphires. The corners of her mouth were turned down and her brow was furrowed. Tossing the matches on the picnic table, he went to her quickly, reaching out a hand to grip her small shoulder.
“Hey, what's wrong?”
“Chase is on the phone. He won’t tell me what’s wrong, only that he has to talk to you right now.”
Justin averted his eyes, automatically knowing as well as Gwyn that meant something was really bad. Swallowing, he took her hand and walked back to the phone. Gwyn sat down, absently playing with the twist tie for the buns as she listened to Justin’s end of the conversation.
“No, I was just lighting the grill, Gwyn’s having a little party.”
“Yeah, uh huh.”
“I don’t want to sit, just tell me.” A minute passed and Gwyn watched as Justin went pale and gripped the chair at his side.
“Were they, uhh, how did you find out?” His voice was choked now and he refused to meet her questioning eyes.
“How long ago?”
“No, you did the right thing.”
“Not too many, I don’t want to attract the town’s attention.”
“No, we can’t. Her parents will be home soon. Its a really sticky situation.”
“She’s with Michael at the moment, he should be bringing her here.”
“Yeah, I’ll meet you there. I don’t think we should talk about that over the phone.”
“Ok, fifteen minutes.”
“Bye.” Turning away from her, he walked back to the counter and carefully placed the phone back in its cradle. He leaned against the counter, bowing his head and Gwyn felt the pit in the stomach grow and a lump in her throat begin.
“Justin?” her voice timidly asked for an explanation. “What is it? What happened?”
Sighing, he finally met her eyes and a cold hand gripped her throat at their stormy color. “Honey,” he came to kneel in front of her, his large hands cupping her knees. “Somehow Durton discovered Ronna and Daniel.”
Tears instantly began to pool in her eyes, her hand moved reflexively to cover her open mouth. She shook her head in denial, knowing the worst but hoping there was a chance. “They’re not...”
“I’m sorry, so sorry,” he intoned softly as wetness gathered in his own eyes. “He killed them sweetheart. I’m so sorry.” A mournfully hollow sob escaped her lips while she continued to shake her head negatively. He leaned forward, guiding her head to rest on his shoulder while he stroked her back.
Ronna and Daniel were, had been, very good friends of theirs. On Antar they were first inline, along with the two of them, making the decision to go to earth. During their years here the four had become quite close. Gwyn and Justin headed up the logistics of everything and Ronna and Dan were in charge of all field work and assignments. They had taken this mission themselves because it was so vital. And now they were dead. Justin let a few of his own tears come as he tried to soothe her soft sobs. He would never get used to this part, never. It wasn’t the first time and it probably wouldn’t be the last that he would out live a friend because of this infernal war. To an extent he could deal with that. Its just the way it was. It was the fact that he was, until they had found Max and Michael, the military leader on Earth. Whoever lost their lives here, it was because he sent them there. That he would never get used to.
Gwyn clutched tightly to him, devastated by the loss of her friends and just as upset that until two hours before the implantation it would have been her and Justin. Liz. It was the one thought that broke though Gwyn’s grief stricken haze. If Durton knew his camp had been infiltrated then he knew about them and he knew they knew he had found Liz.
“Liz.” She pulled back wiping the tears from her cheeks, she could grieve later, now wasn’t the time.
Justin pulled back as well, shifting into work mode. “Michael should be on his way here with her now. The others are coming too. She’ll be safe for now. I need to go into the office to discuss some plans with Chase and Rick, safe houses, surveillance, that kind of thing. Will you be ok until everyone else gets here?”
“Of course.” She stood stiffly, brushing off his concern with the siltiest bit of irritation. “You go do what you need to. I’ll explain everything to the others when they get here. Then we’ll wait for you to contact us.”
Justin studied her for a minute as she moved back across the room to wash her hands and began taking things out of the fridge for the potato salad. Her face was set hard, her brow furrowed so deeply she was sure to have a head ache latter. Her movements were measured and precise as she chopped the potatoes, celery, and onions to keep her mind off all else but her cooking. He knew better than to push her when she was like this. After two lifetimes Gwyn was a master at stuffing her gut feelings for temporary denial. It was the only way she had survived on Antar and old habits died hard. To her credit it had made her a tremendous soldier and leader in times of crises, like now. She knew the number one priority was the safety of their Queen and the group, there just wasn’t time to feel the loss of their friends. Later, they would cry together and remember them as they should have been. For now they would find comfort finishing what Ronna and Dan had started.
“And did you see the shoes Tia Doyle was buying?” Isabel scrunched her nose in disgust.
“Oh, I know. Come on, yellow, stiletto sandals? In Roswell? I don’t think so.” Maria and Isabel were just leaving the mall, they had been there all day.
“Well, maybe they were a career investment. She barely dresses when she comes to school anyway.”
“Isabel!” Maria’s jaw dropped in shock “You are so bad!”
“I am aren’t I?” She laughed, a devilish twinkle dancing in her eye.
Maria grinned at her. Isabel was so much more fun than you would think. Once you got her to let her guard down and get rid of her ice princess act she was really pleasant to be around. Not to mention the fact that she had practically gone to gossip school in the circles she usually ran in. Although Maria was beginning to notice that she rarely spent time with them anymore. Isabel was slowly warming up to the group beyond Max, Michael, and Alex. This little excursion of theirs had been proof enough of that. Whoever thought there would be a day when Maria ‘scatter brained’ DeLuca would lead and instruct Isabel Evans on a shopping trip?
“But seriously Maria, you really think she’ll like?” Isabel glanced into the back seat where the gift wrapped box with Liz’s gift lay.
They had been to almost every store in the mall and nothing seemed right. She wanted it to be personal and actually look like she put some thought into it. She wanted it to look like she cared, because she did. Perhaps more than anybody really understood. Usually she just would have gotten her a sweater or a hair clip or something but those were all things that she got people who didn’t really know her and she in turn probably didn’t know them either. For whatever reason that’s the way her group liked it. Whether they were having problems at home, were insecure, or were just plain shallow, they all had reasons for hiding behind their popularity and good looks. Whatever those reasons were, for them, they were good. So they were cold and shallow, it was better than feeling and possibly being rejected or ridiculed. Everyone wanted to be accepted, they had just found a surface way of doing it and for a time it worked. Things were different now though. Things were harder and scarier and everything hurt more but at least she could allow herself feel again.
Anyway, Liz was a big part of her changing and Isabel wanted to do something to thank her for it. That’s why it had taken forever to eventually find a present, everything she saw was just too ordinary. Finally as they were going towards the food court to regroup Maria had spotted one of those stores where they sold all keepsakes and engraved them. There were all sorts of personal kinds of things that could have related to certain events in their related lives. Music boxes you could choose the tune for, little keepsake boxes with gold name plates, a maraud of desk implements, photo albums, but none of them seemed quite right. Maria had finely spotted something that she said would be beyond perfect. A leather bound journal with a years worth of blank pages. The cover had a small gold plate that could be monogramed and the inside front cover could be embossed with an inscription. Isabel was still unsure until Maria had explained exactly how important Liz’s journal had always been to her.
She finally gave in deciding she couldn’t think of anything else and Maria was so certain it would be perfect. They’d had the name plate engraved with her name in fancy script and Iz had written out a small but heart felt inscription for the inside of the cover. She was going to get a few different colored pens and tie them to the bow on the package as a small side gift.
Maria groaned, “Isabel for the four hundred and twenty seventh time, Liz will love it. Its totally her and she’ll be really touched that its so personal. Trust me I know. Liz was always the type that liked the hand made cards from her friends better than the store bought ones with money from her relatives.”
Iz raised her brows in question.
“I know, we don’t know what’s wrong with her either. We love her anyway and that’s the important thing.” They both burst into laughter after a moment of mock seriousness.
They pulled up across the street just as Tess and Kyle were pulling into the drive. They waved, hurrying across the yard to meet them.
“Hey how was shopping?” Tess greeted as she grabbed her backpack out of the trunk.
“Great. I think.” Isabel looked to Maria for reassurance.
Maria rolled her eyes, “yes it was great. Iz got a really great present for Liz. And she is going to love it,” she said pointedly, ending any further discussion on the topic from the taller girl.
“Well, how was your day?” Isabel changed the subject as they progressed up the walk
“Don’t ask,” Tess answered wearily.
“Hey, its not my fault,” Kyle exclaimed defensively. “You heard dad, no one in my family is good at science.”
“You were doing homework all afternoon?”
Tess unlocked the front door, leading the group in through the living room. “No, Kyle was doing homework. I was banging my head against the table repeatedly.”
Maria laughed, “you actually let him con you into tutoring him n science? Even Liz gave up on that one.”
“Hello? Standing right here.” Kyle waved his hand at her.
Maria cocked her head in confusion. “And your point is?”
“Gwyn, we’re home,” Tess called as they entered the kitchen, thinking she would be on the back porch putting things out. She stopped short when she saw her standing at the counter with a rather grim expression and strangling a tea cup.
“We need to talk as soon as everyone gets here.” She said ominously, watching as everyone filed into the room, their jovial moods left at the door. “There’s been a development.”
“Liz?” Michael came into the back room grabbing his jacket out of his locker.
“Yeah?” she stifled a yawn. Liz was just finishing up the floor in the back when Michael hurried into quickly say goodbye. Today was Sunday and spring break would be next week, along with her birthday on the 3rd. Her parents would be back a week from tomorrow. They had called with the incredibly good news that they would be gone a few days longer than they expected because their travel agent had given them the wrong itinerary. They wanted to assure her that they’d be home in time for her birthday and to take the cafe off her hands before spring break. Liz still hadn’t spoken to Michael about the whole adoption thing so this bought her some more time on that as well. She was waiting for the right moment and for him to be in the right mood, so far the two hadn’t happened at the same time.
Michael eyed her suspiciously. “How late did you stay on the phone last night? You can’t let Max keep you up like that. You’ll get sick if you get too tired,” he continued before she could answer.
“Michael, Max and I only say good night. That’s not why I’m tired.”
He raised an eyebrow, obviously not convinced. “There was some commotion in the ally last night. Probably just some stray cats prowling in the dumpster. They woke me up around three and I had trouble going back to sleep. That’s it, I swear. Besides, Max is just as bad as you are, remember?”
He gave her one last narrowed glance before relenting and changing the subject. “Alright. Alex is out front, he said he wants to talk to you about something.” He took a quick glance through the window. “Probably Isabel ‘cause he seems kinda nervous, not that that’s unusual. Max should be here soon and everything is all closed up so I’m going to take off and pick up Maria. Ok?”
“Yeah, we’ll see you at Gwyn’s, tell Alex I’ll be out in a sec, I just have to finish up back here.”
He pulled on his jacket, heading for the door. Turning back he asked one last time, “you sure you’ll be ok until Max gets here?”
“Yup. Alex is here and Max shouldn’t be much longer. He knows I want to be on time to for Gwyn’s party.”
“Kay then, I’ll see you there,” he called as the door swung shut. Liz quickly set about finishing the floor so she could go talk to Alex and still do whatever it was Max wanted to do. He had called earlier this morning asking if he could pick her up before the party, there was something he wanted to show her. When he said it was a surprise, Liz of course agreed. She would have anyway but his surprises lately had been so wonderful she was intrigued to the fullest as to what this new one could be.
Liz was still deep in thought, pondering exactly what Max was up to, when she felt two strong arms wrap around her waist and warm breath feather over her ear. Startled, she let out a little screech, dropped the broom with a clang, and jumped away from the warm body pressed against hers. Whirling around, she felt a relieved breath escape her adrenaline shocked body when she laid eyes on a dark haired mystery man.
“Oh! Max you scared me,” she held her hand to her chest, trying to calm her rapid breathing and thumping heart.
“Sorry Liz, I thought you heard me come in.” He shrugged apologetically, his ears tipping pink in embarrassment.
Liz just shook here head, watching him, and that’s when it hit her. Something was very, very wrong.
~ I could find no reference anywhere to an exact date of Liz’s birth. I chose a random number and month that would work in my time constraints. March 25th however, will be important.
~ For reference sake, the story began the day after Liz’s parents left. Friday, Jan. 19th. They will be returning Monday, April 2nd, just in time for the beginning of spring break and Liz’s birthday. All dates are correct according to a 2001 calendar.
~ I'm sorry the first chapter on the fabu new board isn't very fun. I even cut two whole conversations because they made it drag, they'll probably become LC's though. But I do promise that the remaining chapters will be very exciting.
Sweet Roswellian Dreams
~ I'll always come for you, Liz ~Max ~ Secrets In the Past, Ch.23
Edited by - Lizzybell on 09/21/2001 23:32:46
|posted on 27-Sep-2001 8:39:52 PM|
You guys crack me up. I was going to post on Resurfacing before I did this one, but your begging has convinced me to update this one first. Hopefully it will only be a few more days. Thanks for all the great feedback, you guys are the best.
~ I'll always come for you, Liz ~Max ~ Secrets In the Past, Ch.23
|posted on 20-Oct-2001 4:28:34 AM|
| Hey guys, well I’m back. I can’t apologize enough for taking so long with this part. I really had not intended to leave you with a cliffie for so long. It seems a concoction of RLS, a bug that keeps knocking me on my butt, and an annoying lack of motivation were conspiring against me. Thank you all for the bumps (Rebecca ) I’m glad none of you have written me off as abandoning you. Hopefully that won’t happen again because I’m getting really excited about the sequel but I can’t really do that with out letting you read the end of SITP, can I?|
For anyone who is reading Resurfacing, my post Destiny fic, I am not ditching it either. I’m just focusing only on SITP until its done and then I’ll give it a good long run before the sequel. Ok?
I loved hearing your ideas on who was in the kitchen with Liz but I think after so much time between some parts it would be a good idea to have a little refresher in alien geography.
~ Skins came to Antar from the planet Croath, which was dying because their sun was kaput. (Technically they are Croaths, or Jannarian for their Antarian province, but that would just get too complicated)
~ One of the stages of a dying sun is global warming, the degree depends on the proximity of the planet. Skins depend on a wet climate to survive even without the husks they need on Earth.
~ Shape shifters are from Etomer’l (e-tow-mer -el), one of the five planets in the Whirl Wind Galaxy.
~ Durton is Kivar’s brother, both of which have been established as skins.
Are we all good now? Good
One more thing before we begin, I am posting this in three parts. Its not any longer than normal but there are three scenes and the place that would break it in half is right in the middle of the action and I don’t want to break your concentration by having to jump posts. Hope that's ok.
Now you may read.
Secrets In the Past
Michael veered his bike into Gwyn and Justin’s driveway with a final angry gunning of the engine. He’d gone to Maria’s only to find that she never came home from shopping with Isabel. She had called her mom to ask if she could keep the car but did she have the common curtsey to call him and say she didn’t need a ride after all? No. And she was always ragging on him about his manors. Women.
Taking off his helmet he ran a hand though his hair to fix it before going into confront the beast. She was there with Iz and Gwyn no doubt, so he’d be out numbered. He had to stay strong, there was liable to be both yelling and some form of puppy eyes. Pounding loudly on the door, it was only seconds before a mad rush of feet met him at the door. Gwyn flung it open and her already pale skin drained of what little color it possessed.
“Where’s Liz?” she demanded, although shakily.
All thoughts of courtesy, packs of females ganging up on him, and his hair went out the window when he noticed how tightly she was gripping the door in expectation of his answer.
“She’s with Max,” he responded immediately.
“Oh thank god.” Gwyn clasped her hand over her heart, “you scared me to death.” She moved away from the door and motioned him inside.
“Michael Guerin!” Maria pounced on him before he could ask why Gwyn was so agitated, and started slapping his arms with both her hands. “You stop scaring me mister. I swear, you’re going to give me a heart attack and Max will be off with Liz and won’t be able to heal me and I’ll die because you didn’t know where they-”
“Hey!” he grabbed onto her wrists, not willing to get anymore bruises until he at least knew what he was in trouble for this time. “Stop hitting me woman! What’s wrong with you?”
“Me? Me! I’ll tell you what’s wrong with me. You were supposed to bring Liz and you didn’t. Do you know how scary it is to not see her when she’s supposed to be some place?” She quieted down then, having surprised herself with the emotion in her statement.
“Yeah, I do,” he returned casually. “I told you she’s with Max and besides, how did you think I was going to pick you up if Liz wasn’t getting a ride with someone else? I’d balance her on the handle bars?”
“Don’t you play the logic card Space boy. You know that never works on me.”
“Hey, don’t yell at me miss I‘m too busy shopping to call.”
Maria’s face twisted from anger to confusion. “What are you talking about?”
“I’m talking about you being to busy to call and say you don’t need a ride anymore.”
“Oh, well, sorry about that. Iz and I were still looking for Liz’s present.” She sidled up to him wrapping herself around his arm. Tilting her head, she batted her lashes at him. “You’re not really mad at me, are you?” She stuck out her bottom lip for maximum effectiveness.
Michael rolled his eyes. “Oh fine.” He caved with a huff while wrapping the aforementioned arm around her, “just call next time,” he added gruffly. He never could resist the pouty lip trick, so unfair. “I could have stayed with Liz until Max had gotten there.”
Maria had begun to lead him into the kitchen were the others had gone but stopped short at his brisk comment. “You left her alone?!” She screeched.
“No! No. You know I would never do that. Alex was there and Max probably came not even five minutes after I left.”
“I wonder why Alex was at the Crash? He didn’t say anything to me about it.” Isabel sailed past them with a tray of condiments for the table outside. Gwyn was in full commander mode, ordering Kyle, Tess, and Isabel around while continuing to work on various appetizers herself. She really hadn’t been kidding when she said she was in her element when entertaining, even it it was only casual.
“I don’t know,” Michael answered. “He only said he wanted to talk to Liz. So, what’s wrong?” He took all their stiffness in and their inability to look him in the eye. That combined with how he was greeted at the door spelled trouble. “Has there been some news?” he asked in a voice that completely belied his rising agitation.
Everyone stopped what they were doing and looked at Gwyn. No one wanted to be the one to tell Michael or Max what was going on, especially with Liz not in the room. Gwyn continued on in erie silence, adding the last of the paprika and chili powder to her deviled eggs. She placed a sprig of parsley decoratively on one corner of the tray and only then did she wipe her hands on a dish towel and look up at Michael.
“Our informants in Durton’s camp were found and executed sometime in the last forty eight hours,” she began without preamble. “We have reason to believe that he’s now aware of our knowledge of his plan, as well as that he knows who Lillyah is. Its safe to say that this was some kind of taunt. If he has something planned it will happen soon. Probably in the next day or two.” She held her hand up when Michael moved to interrupt her.
“Justin’s gone to the office to coordinate more security and set up some escape plans and a safe house if need be. Things are under control- for now. The only problem is that Liz and Max don’t know yet.”
Michael ran his free hand over his face roughly. The others watched his reaction, hopeful that he wouldn’t blow a gasket. He let out a long frustrated sigh, his eyes squeezing tight in concentration as he absently rubbed his brow.
“Michael?” Maria ran a hand over his back in concern. He was acting, not right.
“She’s blocking me,” he ground out in obvious frustration.
“She’s blocking me. I can’t feel her at all. Nothing.”
Maria grabbed onto him with her other arm for support. “She’s still a-alive, right?”
“What? Yes! Of course she’s still alive.” He looked and her and then the others dumbly. They had totally misunderstood him. “I can feel her, I just can’t feel what she’s feeling. I didn’t mean her presence was gone, just her emotions. Which means she’s either asleep or with Max. He walks into a room and she blocks. Not that I’m complaining, I don’t need to know that about my sister of Max. Yuck.” He visibly shuddered at the thought.
“So what should we do now?” Kyle took the tray from in front of Gwyn. She smiled her thanks as he took the tray out to the deck. He had been great to have around the house since Tess moved in. He made her happy and was a genuinely nice person. The interest he had showed in LGM and how well he had gotten along with Justin further cemented his place in her little family.
“How late do you think Max and Liz will be?” She asked Michael, wondering how long they should wait for them to come to her.
“Not too long, Liz wants to be here. I’d say we should go looking but I don’t think they’ll be longer than half an hour late.”
Gwyn sighed, retrieving the silverware basket and the paper plates form the pantry. “I guess we wait then.”
[ edited 2 time(s), last at 23-Oct-2001 2:29:40 PM ]
|posted on 20-Oct-2001 4:31:03 AM|
... cont. Chapter 57
Struggling to remain calm, Liz took a deep breath making it look like she was still relaxing from him surprising her. Talking a quick inventory, she realized that when she spun around she’d ended up with her back to the swinging door. Glad for once that something was in her favor, Liz began slowly backing up through the doorway and into the dining room.
“Who are you?” she demanded softly, raising her hand out in front of her.
“What are you talking about Liz? Its me, Max. What’s wrong?” He matched her progress step for step as she continued to back into the dining room. He looked concerned and reached for her causing her to take a tiny jump back. “Don’t play stupid,” she hissed at him with more bravado than she felt. “You’re a shape shifter. Are you working with Durton?” She asked even though there was no doubt in her mind who had sent this... anti Max.
Something akin to doubt flashed momentarily in ‘Max’s’ eyes before an amused gleam took up residence. “Ok, if I’m not Max,” his lips quirked along with the predatory raising of his left eye brow. “Then where is he?”
Not batting an eye Liz answered, “at the corner of Citrus and Cherry Lane, on his way to a friends for dinner.” There it was again, that flash of doubt and nervousness. His face fell momentarily in alarm but if you blinked you missed it. The patronizing smirk was firmly back in place so quickly she wondered if the moment of uncertainty had been wishful thinking on her part. She continued edging backwards, intending to go right out the front doors when she heard a small shuffle of a chair sliding and someone standing. Alex, he was still here.
“Alex, go get help. Call Max and Michael,” she ordered, not wasting the moment to wonder why he had not done so already.
“Sure Liz,” she heard him reply casually. Having never taken her eyes from this Max she saw him look over her shoulder and nod almost imperceptibly.
She pivoted her body so her back was to the wall lined with booths. As she did so she had just enough time to throw up her shield as Alex charged her. Hitting the violet wall of light, he was instantly repelled. He skidded across the floor slamming his head into the end of the bar.
“Alex!” She screamed when he didn’t move at first. Was this another shape shifter? Liz’s heart thundered so loudly in her ears she felt light headed. Just how many people had this monster sent after her? And in broad day light. How much was he willing to risk in order to have her? Panic and dread began to cull even more heavily in her stomach, her mouth turning dry and pasty as she watched her attackers though her purple wall of light. Her breathing came in raged pants as thousands of horrifying scenarios and fates filled her mind and overwhelmed her with fear. Safe for the time being behind her shield, Liz forced herself to take a calming breath and count to ten. She couldn’t lose it right now. Her very life depended on her being able to hold it together until she defeated Durton’s henchmen or back up arrived.
After a few seconds Alex began to stir, standing shakily. There was a gash on the left side of his head from the foot rail on the bar that trickled blood from his temple down the side of his face and dripped onto is collar. He turned to Liz, his eyes glowing eerily bright as he smiled at her.
“I told you I was right,” he addressed the anti Max with a slow smile. “She is powerful.”
“Mmm Hmm. Crafty too. Aren't ya darlin’?” The slow Southern drawl that came out of Max’s mouth was just so wrong. The shape shifter approached her, stopping just short of touching her shield. “Ya fig’erd it out long before I reckon’d ya would. I thought we might get some play time in first. No matta, sweet thing.” He leered at her under hooded lids, “be plenty a time for that later.” He shrugged and smiled. “Now, be a good girl. Drop the light show and come along nicely so as we don’t have ta hurt ya.”
When Liz didn’t answer but looked at him like he was one marble short of a bag, he responded less than playfully. “Fine then darlin’. We’ll do it your way, but it won’t be near as much fun.” He sneered at her, his startlingly beautiful eyes drilling into hers with a confidence that would make even the hardest of war hero’s knees shake. He strolled up to the lavender wall at leisure, stopping with only a few feet between them. Alex could be heard in the background softly snickering.
Their eyes still locked, he gracefully raised one hand and she had to remind herself it did not really belong to the man she loved as he hit her shield with a powerful blast that shook her body and almost made her drop her only defense. She quickly and instinctively squelched the out of control draining of her power into the shield. With a tight leash she didn’t realize she had, Liz pooled all her power and doubled the effort. His steady blast bounced like sunlight reflecting off a mirror and hit the wall just behind the cash register, leaving a huge smoking hole in its wake.
“Ain’t that a handy trick?” he openly mocked her seemingly great display of power as if it were some piddly parlor trick. “Let’s try for another one shall we?”
Liz only quirked an eyebrow in challenge. She wouldn’t let these ‘people’ see how scared she was. The fact that they didn’t seem to be afraid of her was somewhat daunting but maybe they were as good at masking their emotions as they were at wearing other people’s faces. Catching the silent exchange between her ‘friends’, she was ready when Alex raised his arm and fired at her. Her power was focused and she schooled her flow to cut off at the right time so she wasn’t overly drained. Trajectory was a problem though. While the blast returned in the same direction fired, he anticipated the move with ease and stepped out of its path. The result was yet another two foot smoking hole in her parents restaurant. This one just shy of the pick up window in the back.
Distracted for the briefest of seconds by the gaping hole she missed the next exchange between the young men. Before she had her full attention refocused blasts seemed to be coming at her from every direction. There was no pattern and no consistent angle. Just a maraud of random blasts from every direction with one and only purpose, to drain and disorient her enough to drop her powers. There was a small reprieve and Liz could see that there was no great army attacking this poor girl, it was still just the two of them. Alex used one hand to swipe and smear the blood on his forehead back into his hair while Max began the assault anew. With only the one of them firing Liz was able to see how they were creating the blitz effect on her senses. These aliens were much more powerful than any she’d seen. Or maybe they were just different, her optimism tried to reason as she directed more power to a weakening part of the shield. Whichever it was they were using both hands to send out blasts to different points in her defense, controlling where power was concentrated and sometimes hitting the same spot with all four beams at the same time.
Liz pulled on every ounce of power she had left to reenforce her shield and fight off her attackers. Deflecting another blast she tried to turn her back towards the door thinking that if she could just get outside they would have to stop for fear of exposure, but she was once again met with opposition in the form of a power blast from Max. Whether they knew it or not, they had her trapped. She’d made a near fatal error when she initially turned away from the front to avoid Alex’s lunge. Her shield was the one thing she’d been weary to practice and now it would prove to be her down fall. While she was learning quickly how to direct and regulated the flow of energy from her core source to her shield she lacked the control to direct the return blasts. More than that, she could not get the shield to bend or manipulate itself to curve around her body and let her turn towards one of her escape routs. She thought maybe if it went up curved, but that would mean taking it down for at least a few seconds and that was not an option.
She raised her other hand as they had earlier, hoping to use their own tricks against them. The added control helped slightly, the left hand holding up the shield and the right seemingly centralizing surges to direct her return fire. Sadly, she still had little ability to change her position to the offensive. Her retaliation seemed to have a delayed reaction when she tried to steer them and it only gave her attackers more time to get out of the way. There was a pattern developing that took on a dance like quality. Alex and Max would simultaneously fire at her, duck, then trade places or move somewhere else. They tested different parts of the shield for holes and weaknesses then each would fire randomly, laughing at the way Liz would flinch when one came too close to her. All the while their accompaniment became the loud crashed and bangs that sounded as each energy blast knocked into and destroyed another part of The Crashdown Cafe.
After what seemed like hours but was probably only minutes the attack slowed to a stop. Alex and Max smiled at one another as they conferred in a whisper and moved around the counter to partake in a frosty beverage. Liz saw what she thought was a supreme opportunity to make an escape. She took one step only to have an unexpected blasts slam into the spot directly in front of her body. Unexpected and power personified, Liz was actually thrown back several feet, her back crashing painfully into the side of a booth. Taking a breath, she stood on shaky legs, wincing at the sudden pain in her most likely broken ankle and the copper taste of blood in her mouth. If she had to guess, her kidneys and a few ribs were badly bruised as well. Realizing running wasn’t really a valid option anymore, she leaned back against the booth for support, awaiting the next line of attack.
From this vantage she could see that the goons were tiring. A few beads of sweat dripped off Max’s forehead and Alex was slightly winded and a little pale, probably because he was still bleeding quite a lot. Still, it was nothing compared to her. She didn’t have long left that was for sure. Every inch of her body ached and screamed for relief. Her power sources were dwindling to dangerously low levels and she had to suppress shudders of fatigue that threatened to rack her small frame. She wouldn’t let them know that though. While there was a light sheen of perspiration on her forehead and she was slightly winded from being thrown half way across the room, that’s all they could outwardly tell from her appearance. That was all they would see too.
Toasting and chugging the last of their sodas, Alex and Max dropped their glasses to the floor to shatter in pieces before coming back around to confront her once again.
“Ok, Lizzy.” Max sauntered up to her, leaning with one arm against her shield. “Tell ya what hun. If ya give up now, we’ll clean up this l’il mess here so it don’t attract no attention to you nearest and dearest. Ok?”
“You know you should listen to what he’s saying Parker.” Alex reasoned, sounding too much like well, Alex. “You’re friend here is losing an awful lot of blood. Too much longer and well, things could look grim.”
“Hmm, let me think about that.” She tilted her head in mock contemplation. “No.”
The smile fell off Max’s face as he backed up a few feet. He was no longer amused with this little game of cat and mouse. He was told this would be an easy job and he didn’t like having to use his powers in day light just to get some bitch to bend over the right way. “Fine then. Have it your way.” With that he released another wave of attacks.
The situation was quickly becoming futile. Liz could feel Michael coming towards the cafe but it would be too late. She was running out of steam too quickly for him to both jump into the fray and save her. There was one last thing she could do though. One person she had to see before it was too late. Syphoning off the amount of power she would need to maintain her shield and make the connection, Liz tried to separate herself from the events taking place in front of her and concentrate on reenacting something she’d only done one cold November night last year.
|posted on 20-Oct-2001 4:32:06 AM|
... cont. Chapter 57
Max shifted his weight from foot to foot in slight agitation after ringing the doorbell. Since mid afternoon he had a growing sense of anxiety that he couldn’t pin point. Sure, he’d been on edge lately but he was doing better, with Liz’s help. He did still have his moments since... since last week, but they passed fairly quickly and he was getting better at identifying what set him off. This growing feeling of dread in the pit of his stomach didn’t seem to have a catalyst though. He hadn’t seen Liz since this time yesterday, but he should be able to go twenty four hours without touching her, right? Besides, he was in a really good mood, looking forward to this little get together and the chance to relax and have fun. Why should he feel like there world was about to give way under his feet?
Hearing the lock on the door, he plastered on a smile that was only half fake and shoved his hands down in his pockets to still his nervous movements. The door flung open, Max moved to step inside, greeting Michael as he walked past. Michael grabbed onto his shoulder with alarming force before he could get all the way in the house. “Where’s Liz?” He demanded roughly.
“What do you mean?” Max turned to face him fully, his breath beginning to come in shorter pants as he watched Michael’s eyes spark with something he had never seen in them before. Fear. Pure, unadulterated, heart stopping fear.
“Max?” Isabel stepped out of the doorway from the kitchen and into the living room. He turned his head to look at his sister and in that brief second he felt the swish of the door flying open next to him, followed quickly by its loud slamming and the roar of Michael’s bike coming to life. Max swallowed thickly, trying to process the fact that Michael had taken off without explanation and he looked scared to death.
Not knowing quite how he got there, Max found himself in the middle of the living room in front of his sister. Her eyes, filled with the same panic as Michael's, were flitting between him and the now closed front door. Her hand suddenly moved to her mouth in shock as she gasped in delayed reaction to Michael's abrupt exit.
“Oh god,” she moaned softly, finally resting her gaze with his.
“Iz,” Max started slowly, his voice oozing with dread and the tonal plea that she not tell him what he was thinking. “What’s going on?”
Her wide eyes stayed locked on his as she lowered her hand to her franticly beating heart and called out for Gwyn. What were they supposed to do now? What was she supposed to tell Max? She couldn’t look away from him and she couldn’t bring herself to say anything because she knew in her very heart of hearts this was already over. Whatever happened they were already too late. And it was going to kill him.
“Isabel? Are Max an-” Gwyn stopped abruptly in the door way causing Maria to crash into her back and push her the rest of the way into the room. Gwyn stood frozen for a moment not willing to consider the obvious when confronted with one new guest instead of two. Maria on the other hand, she never was good at the shocked silence thing.
“Max,” she came towards the Evans siblings, a deadly smile in place. “You’re going to tell me that Liz is in the bathroom or that she and Michael just went to get Vanilla ice cream, right?”
“I don’t understand.” He shook his head in total confusion, his mind unwilling to travel to the places his night mares took him. “I thought she was here.”
Maria’s eyes grew wider and her voice became high pitched with hysteria. “No, see, you were supposed to pick her up and... and Michael left her alone with Alex and, and now you’re here but you don’t know where she is...” She took another step forward, latching onto the sides of his jacket, “where is she Max?!”
“I-I don’t know,” he stuttered, stumbling back a few steps from the force of her assault. “What’s going-” the girls watched him with growing concern as he abruptly cut himself off and stiffened.
“Max?” Isabel took another step closer, but he didn’t seem to hear her. His eyes were focused with great attention on a point over her shoulder. Maria let her hands drop and took a step back, as upset by his suddenly strange behavior as his non knowledge of Liz’s whereabouts.
“Max, girlfriend? You ok? Did I hurt you or something?” she laughed nervously hoping to evoke one of Max’s patented reassuring smiles. No such luck. He started cocking his head to both sides listening intently.
Gwyn moved forward then. She’d never seen a connection as strong as Max and Liz’s prior to badhnAti and was now worried that this was indeed a sign that something had happened to Liz. “Max? Are you feeling something?” She asked softly, continuing until she was at his side. “Are you getting-”
Max cut her off, waving a hand and shushing her angrily. He wore a brief scowl but was too engaged in whatever he was doing to actually look at her. Quickly, almost knocking her over, he spun around until he was facing the front door. His face lit up like a christmas tree as her name escaped on an excited and relieved breath.
~ ‘badhnAti’ is Sanskrit for he binds. In my little universe its the Antarian word for marriage or bonding. Bonding is becoming such a common word in the Roswell fic dictionary that I wanted to use something different. I was looking up ‘bond’ and ‘to bind’ in the thesaurus and the Sanskrit etymology looked so pretty and not un- alien like I decided to use it.
~ Yes, I know another cliff hanger, but its the end of the story, indulge me.
~ Its been so long, I missed hearing from you guys. Tell me what you thought.
Thanks again for being so faithful, you guys are the best.
|posted on 20-Oct-2001 6:12:46 AM|
|Woah! Hold on there J. This is not the end. There are 3 more chapters and the epiloge, ok?|
No worries, yet
|posted on 27-Oct-2001 5:58:12 PM|
|Wow Guys! Thanks for all the great feedback and the extra bumps. I’m glad you all liked the fight, I was a little worried about it.|
I’m just going to answer a few quick question before we get started. If I don’t answer yours its because we are so near the end of the story and I don’t want to give anything away.
For everyone I confused on the end of the story
I’m really sorry I confused some people, I’m not even sure what happened. Obviously, that was not the last chapter in the story. I’m planing on 59 being the last chapter with 60 being the epilogue but that might be pushed one because 59 is becoming very long. I also have a clue key for you when the story is done, but I’ll explain more about that when we got to it. So, in short there are at least 2 pieces left, possibly 3.
ladylou Yuck! I hope your feeling better now! Liz channeling Max’s power. This is one of the reasons I love feedback, sometimes you guys give me better ideas than I can come up with on my own. I will definitely put some thought into that one. As for what is going to happen, you’ll just have to read to find out.
Its March right now in the story. November was when Max In the City took place, remember? Max missed thanksgiving dinner and Diane cried all the way through the peach cobbler. As for the story ending, well you’ll just have to wait and see.
Unfortunately no. Max can’t do anything from were he is. I wish he could but alas, Liz is on her own for the time being. *sigh*
Ah hah! I knew there was something I forgot to say at the end of the last chapter. Liz was not intentionally blocking Max or Michael. She didn’t know she was doing it, it was an automatic response. I’m not going to tell you much about that now, but it will be discussed at a later date. I just wanted you to know that she wasn’t intentionally putting herself in more danger. Oh, and Liz and Max’s telepathic link only works if they are touching, which they most definitely are not at the moment.
Oh, you like cliffhangers! Me too, obviously. I really do try to post within a week of leaving one. Its just cruel otherwise. You’re right, it does heighten the suspense, which is my main goal. Plus, for those of us that have a hard time with resolution they are a God send.
You make me laugh girlie.
Funny you should say that. I had a friend send out the email list once when I couldn't access my account and she refers to it as my cult now.
:waves: He he he. I love you, you know that right. Lets see, research? On SITP not a whole lot. Its more based on a lot of conspiracy conversations with some friends of mine and my overwhelmingly annoying eye for detail. The things about were Liz’s pod came from did require about two days of research but that was stuff that came from the sequel mostly. The sequel though, I would guess in total easily over 100 hours of surfing to find stuff. But I have been compiling since Feb. so I do it when I have the time or out of necessity when I needed to drop a clue in.
About the spaces between paragraphs, I put them in because if I don’t everything's ends up all smooshed together and its really hard to read, especially without the paragraph indentions. Sometimes in longer paragraphs it prints the funny too.
Part of the way I write when structuring dialogue is based on how you hear it in your mind as you see it, if that makes sense. So I had to adjust somethings so that my overall writing style wasn’t messed with when they changed boards. Otherwise it really does change the tone of some conversations, at least for visual people. I don’t type it like that and I do always indent but the board doesn’t read that either and I’m not going to take to time to put both in.
I think that’s all I have to say, I swear I get more long winded with every post. :shakes head:
Love you guys
[ edited 2 time(s), last at 27-Oct-2001 6:06:04 PM ]
|posted on 27-Oct-2001 6:05:09 PM|
|Oh, I almost forgot.|
There may be a need for Kleenex during this chapter. Just so you know.
Secrets In the Past
“Liz!” Max rushed to the arch that separated the entry way from the living room where she was standing. He’d never been so glad to see anyone in his life. He still didn’t know what was going on with the others, all that really mattered was that Liz was here and she was safe. He took another step forward, his relief quickly overshadowed by concern as she looked around disorientedly. “Liz, are you all right?”
“Max? Can you hear me?”
“Of course I can hear you.” He stepped forward again, intending to bring her into his arms but she took one step back, keeping enough distance between them so he couldn’t touch her in anyway. “Liz, are you all right?” He asked again, his voice expressed his growing concern from her odd behavior. He began looking her over for any obvious wounds, maybe a head trauma. That would explain the disorientation and uncharacteristic behavior. “Where were you Liz? Why does everyone think you’re supposed to be with me?”
She smiled softly at his concern and made the decision right then not to tell him all the details. He didn’t need them to torture himself with in the future. “It doesn’t matter anymore Max. I don’t have much time so I need to you listen. Ok?”
He hedged forward a minute amount, “Liz, you’re scaring me a little here. Are you hurt? Could you come in here and let me look at you?”
He saw her wince quickly then let out a long sigh. Completely ignoring his questions she sighed again and met his eyes. “Max?”
“Yeah?” the crease in his brow deepened at the whimsical note in her voice.
“Could you do something for me?”
“Sure, Liz. Anything, you know that.” He took the opportunity to move forward again and was pleased when she didn’t move back this time. They were an arms length apart but he refrained from reaching forward and actually touching her, worried it would cause the same reaction it had last time.
Liz stared up at him, her eyes clinging to his with a desperate need to memorize every fleck of gold and every emotion that had ever passed through them. Her fingers twitched at her sides with the longing to reach out and feel the warmth of his body, the beat of his heart, the smooth planes of his face. She only had a few moments to memorize everything she loved about him. His warm eyes probed hers with the unending concern and love he always showed for her. She could see the small lines years of worry and caution had placed on his handsome features and the shy light that hid just behind the unending compassion he had for his friends. The shy light that at one time she thought she had killed. That was something she needed to see one last time.
“Smile for me.”
At her oddly simple request, Max couldn’t help a natural smile from tugging at his lips. “What?” there was a hint of amusement in his voice that quickly faded when Liz didn’t respond and didn’t reach out to touch him. Liz had always been a very tactile person, she didn’t believe in anything until she could see and touch it. Well, she didn’t used to. She’d begun to take a lot on faith since they’d become involved. Max had fully expected to feel her little fingers exploring his face but she only stood the short distance away, intently studying him.
“Thank you,” she breathed reverently when his lips finally turned down again. Now he was the one studying her, completely bewildered by her distance. Until he saw it.
A soft gust from the open door in the kitchen blew through the entry way where she stood. It should have ruffled the ends of her hair, instead Max’s breath caught in his throat, a silent ‘no’ hovered on his tongue as the wind made not her hair, but all of Liz flicker. The momentary relief he’d felt by her blessed presence was now replaced with a desperate panic that consumed him. He quickly eliminated the remaining distance between them, leaving only inches of space separating them. His own quick movement caused a whoosh of air that made her waver again. The inconsistent mirage of his dream girl cut strait to his twisting heart and produced unconscious whimper.
“Liz?” it was a simple word asked in question, but it held so many meanings.
“Max, I’m sorry.” She unconsciously bit her lip, feeling even worse that she had upset him further by not telling him what was going on immediately. She couldn’t help it though. The lure to pretend that those few minutes were real, that they were really together, was too great. She hadn’t been able to stop herself from playing along, she’d almost forgotten herself until she saw the look of horror on Max’s face and realized what she had done. “I should have told you as soon as I saw you. I didn’t mean to scare you.”
Max ignored her calm apology and barreled on with his own questions. Something told him time was of the essence if he ever wanted to see her in person again. “What’s going on? Where are you?” It was a struggle just to think of any rational questions to ask. His mind and body were screaming out in agony that something was happening to Liz while she was wasting time and he could do very little about it. The concept that his own fear was wasting precious minutes never entered his head, only the repeating thought that Liz was in some kind of trouble and he wasn’t there.
“I’m at the Crashdown, but I had to see you one more time.”
He began shaking his head even before she finished speaking. “One more time?” he croaked. His face paled at the implication of her statement and his stomach dropped violently with repulsion at the thought of never seeing her again. “What are you talking about? Are you hurt?” His tone shifted angrily at the thought of Liz being hurt and scared enough to believe she’d never see him again. He glanced over her form once more looking for injuries, not knowing that her projection would reflect how she normally saw herself, not the state of her body now.
“Umm,” Liz bit her lip, warring with herself on what to say. She wanted to tell him so much. She knew it was too late to heal her but if she lost concentration the pain was so bad. If she could just tell him, hear him say he would fix it, it would make her feel so much better. Just knowing he would if he could, would heal her. But could she let herself be that selfish? “I’m better now,” she decided evasively. It was the truth too. She was getting to say good bye and that was more than a lot of people got.
“You’re better now? What does that mean? When were you not better Liz?”
“I-,” Liz was stunned by the amount of panic etched on his face. His hands franticly danced around her, knowing they couldn’t touch but unable to stop their own movement. She took a shuddering breath that didn’t help much and tentatively began again. “I, I’m in a little trouble. God Max, please stop looking at me like that,” she cried desperately.
“Like what?” his voice was low and strangled now and she could tell he was trying not to cry.
“Like the next thing I say might kill you.” A tear of her own escaped before she could stop it.
“Its true though Liz. You’ve always been able to bring down my world with the wave of a hand,” he affirmed solemnly.
Liz pressed her eyes closed tightly to keep anymore wetness from escaping. She didn’t want him to remember her like that. She had to be strong from him, somehow. “No Max. You can’t give me that much power. I don’t want it, you know I don’t. I don’t want to be able to hurt you like that.”
“It, it doesn’t matter. Its yours whether you want it or not. It always has been. And, and...” he waited until she was looking up into his eyes. If he could have buried his hands in her soft hair he would have. His heart ached at the way her eyes pled with him not to give her this gift of sorts. It hurt that she didn’t want it but he understood too. He didn’t want to be able to hurt her like that either. “I trust you Liz,” he intoned raggedly.
She inhaled sharply at his gentle reassurance and proclamation, resisting the urge to put up a useless fight on the subject. His watery eyes bore into her’s with so much emotion Liz found its weight almost crippling. More than that, she felt her own heart breaking at the knowledge that she was going to have to do this to him. He had unknowingly made this so it would be as painful as possible for the both of them. Then again, this was Max, it should be painful.
“So, is it?” he asked, swallowing as he watched her.
“Is the next thing you’re going to say... going to kill me?”
Liz retched her eyes from his, unable to watch the recognition there. He was able to read her too well. When she didn’t answer Max gathered what little courage he had to press her, only because he hated to see her in this much pain, especially over him.
“Has something happened Liz? I p-promise I won’t be upset.”
Liz smiled slightly at his bold faced lie. Max not being upset about her being hurt or in trouble was the day she took off for another planet in the Granolith. “Yeah Max,” she finally responded quietly. “Something’s happened. The details aren’t important anymore.”
The resigned tone in her voice and her choice of words sent off more warning bells for Max, tilting his already troubled mind for one more loop. He sighed in frustration, torn between being scared out of his mind and angry with her for not giving him more to help her with.
“Liz, please. No more games or riddles. Just tell me what’s going on. I can’t help if I don’t know what’s going on.”
“Oh Max, if only you could help. I’m afraid its too late for that. There’s nothing anybody can do for me now. You would only get hurt and I would never forgive myself if that happened, in this life or any other. I- I hope you can understand that someday. And I’m sorry for doing this to you, I really am, but I just wanted to see you one last time.”
His heart was beating irregularly at how defeated her words were. One last time? There’s nothing anybody can do? “Would you stop that!” He barked harshly. “We’re going to see each other as soon as you tell me what’s going on and then I’m never letting you out of my sight again.”
He ran an agitated hand thorough his hair, he hadn’t meant to yell at her. Trying to get a grip on himself that wouldn’t take, he looked back down at her with a softer, pleading expression. “Why are you talking like this- like, like you’re dy- leaving me? You promised and I know you would never break a promise.” His last sentence came out as an appeal for confirmation rather than a truth. Random tears began to silently leak from his eyes at the look on her face and something in him broke. It was too much, it was just all too much and all he could feel was the pain and fear that she was inflicting.
“Max- I’m so sorry. I’m trying but I can’t... I can’t keep my promise.” Her image reached out to cup his cheek and he swore he could feel the delicate warmth of her hand. He moved a step closer to her and his tears fell freely through the hologram of her hand. He could smell her as clear as a sunny day and it made him forget for an instant the reality of their situation. He attempted to grab her and keep her in his arms forever but all he met with was air and her image shimmered where he interrupted it. A mournful howl was born on his lips as he was reminded again that this was not really a flesh and blood Liz.
“Liz,” the way he said her name made the other people in the room wince and tears spring to their eyes. It was like a dying man’s last word, spoken on his last breath. “You can’t, please. You promised! You promised you wouldn’t leave me, Liz. Please!” he openly begged now, all rational thoughts of protection, finding her, or even dignity gone. All that existed was this moment and his Liz leaving him.
“I know Max and I’m sorry, so sorry. But its going to be too late. I can’t keep my promise.”
“NOO!” He shouted at the top of his horse voice as if the volume would somehow make her heed his command.
Her image brightened for a minute and it gave him a moment of hope, he had no idea that it was the beginning of the end. Liz’s shield had failed, her energy too drained to both fight and keep the projection up.
“Max, I love you.” She pressed on, knowing she had little time left to tell him everything that was in her heart.
“No, Liz,” he pleaded with her, shaking his head vehemently, knowing what was coming and he didn’t want to hear it, not from her, not ever.
“Don’t forget me Max. Remember that I loved you like no one else. If you look hard enough, you’ll find me... in here,” her invisible touch drew a line across his forehead, “and here.” Her other hand hovered over his heart.
“No Liz, don’t say that. Please don’t say that. You’re not leaving me, you’re not. You can’t, I won’t let you!”
“Max,” he could see tears glistening in her eyes as she smiled sadly at him.
“Michael!” He declared, grasping for any reason to get her to stay. “Michael, needs you too Liz. If you won’t stay for me, stay for him. He’s only just found you and it will devastate him and he’ll turn inside himself again.”
“Max. Stop this,” she ordered gently, wishing for all that she was that she could just touch him.
“But Liz, you can’t. I need you. You know that. I screw up everything without you.”
Liz’s hands reached to cup his face but at the last second she again remembered the impossibility and dropped them. “No, Max. That’s not true,” she told him firmly. “I believe in you. You are the smartest, bravest, most loyal person I have ever known. You can do anything you set your mind to, I know it.”
“If I am its only because you make me that Liz. I’m nothing without you. I’m begging you, please don’t do this to me.”
“Oh God Max,” she moaned in despondency that equaled his own. “Don’t you know I would give anything not to leave you? You’re the love of my life Max Evans. My soul knows yours. You can’t possibly think I would ever want to be separated from you.”
“Then don’t be,” he reasoned woefully.
Suddenly she yelped and a hand flew to her neck.
“Liz? What’s going on?” Max’s panic was reaching all new highs as Liz’s eyes clouded over and she grimaced in pain. “Liz!” He watched helplessly as she crumbled to her knees in front of him, still holding the side of her neck. He dropped to the floor next to her image, making another futile grab at the air.
“Max,” she rasped out, slipping farther to the floor and laying on her side.
“Liz, please, what’s wrong?” She blinked slowly and the terror he felt was a tangible thing. He lay down next to her, imagining he could feel her sweet breath feathering over his cheek while he searched her unfocused eyes for an answer to her sudden collapse.
“Max, just listen...” she took a deep breath, “this is getting too hard... can’t hold much- longer.” She took another breath and looked deep into his eyes, “Promise me Max, you’re promise... you have to keep it.”
“No!” He cried out brokenly, “not if you’re not keeping yours. Don’t do this to me Liz. I love you too much.”
She again mimed caressing his cheek with her free hand, trying to communicate him how much she loved him.
“Max... you have- to.” She closed her eyes for a moment and her image flickered.
She filled out again but the strain on her face and the blurring clarity indicated she was giving out. “I love you Max, always.” He could barely hear her now. “In this life...” the image wavered, “and the next,” then she was gone.
[ edited 1 time(s), last at 28-Oct-2001 1:43:38 AM ]
|posted on 27-Oct-2001 6:08:36 PM|
|... cont. chapter 58|
“Stop.” ‘Max’ looked over at Alex who was continuing to fire at the girl. “I said stop!” He growled loudly when his order was not immediately complied with.
Annoyed at the shape shifter breaking his rhythm Alex glared at him after lowering his hand. “What?”
“This isn’t working”. Look at ‘er, she’s not fightin’ anymo’. Do ya know what all her powers are?”
“No,” he turned his attention back to Liz.
“Of course ya don’t, you half wit,” he responded only partially under his breath.
Alex threw him another glare, continuing with his earlier explanation. “I only saw the thing at their meeting in the UFO center. I don’t think she has a lot of control.”
“She’s got enough the piss the hell outa me.”
Alex walked up to the shield, ignoring the shape shifters ill disposition, and studied the girl. Her eyes were closed in concentration and her breathing was deep and even, as if she were asleep. Lucky for Liz, her attackers hadn’t noticed the exit of her consciousness for a good ten minutes, giving her more time with Max.
“What do you think she’s doing?” he turned back to this Max who was pacing anxiously next to the front doors.
“How’m I supposed ta know?” He snapped irritably. “I don’t know anythin’ about their powers and I don’t really care neither.”
“I’m sensing some hostility here.” Alex commented caustically before returning to the subject at hand. “So what do we do now? We do have a schedule to keep.”
“Yeah, well, she can’t keep that shield up fo’eve’, not while doin’ whatever else it is she’s doin’.”
“You got the serum from the boss?”
“Right here.” Max pulled out a large syringe filled with green liquid.
“She’s not that big man. Do you really think you need so much?” Alex was in this for the money, he certainly didn’t want to accidentally kill the Antarian Queen. He’d heard about Zan, the guy held a grudge. He figured as long as he was only the grunt work, Zan would go after Durton and forget all about him and he would get paid. Can’t go wrong there.
“You’re the one she threw ‘cross the room. So, you tell me, what do you think?”
Liz’s shield suddenly dropped before Alex could give further opinion. She was still standing in a trance like state and would be easy to take now. That didn’t stop Max from back handing her across the face though.
“Hey!” Alex ran to the girl’s side. She was sprawled out on the floor, blood trickling from her nose down her cheek where a large welt was already forming and her lip was split wide open. “She wasn’t even moving, man. What’d you do that for?”
“Your base life form is startin’ to affect yo judgment. Here,” he shoved the syringe at him. “Just give ‘er the injection.” Alex did as he was told. He never did like working with shape shifters, he thought as he plunged the long needle into the girl’s neck. She moaned a little but didn’t move.
They stood back watching her for a few moments. Was there supposed to be some sign that it was working? Or had she just passed out? The bells on the front door rang then, startling Liz’s attackers. They moved to block the view of her prone body from the intruder while trying to get rid of him.
Colin stood in the doorway taking in the deserted and destroyed state of the restaurant. “What the?” he muttered more to himself than out loud. His shocked perusal finally brought him to the the two young men standing off to the side. He could only stare in shock for a moment at how out of place Max and Alex seemed in the midst of all this destruction. On closer inspection he saw the blood trailing down Alex’s temple and a small hand peaking out from behind Max’s shoe.
“Hey man, we’re closed.” Alex informed him, only to be ignored.
Peering around the guys with a growing sense of dread, Colin became aware of Liz, unconscious and bleeding on the floor behind them.
“Oh my God!” He ran to her, tossing Max roughly to the side as he went. “Liz. Liz? Can you hear me?” He grabbed a napkin from a dispenser laying on the floor and wiped away some of the blood on her face. She didn’t move. Gently, he slid an arm under her shoulders and pulled her part way into his lap. Smoothing her hair back, he cradled her delicately as he tried to clean the blood off her pale skin. On his knee he could feel a bit of wetness seeping into his trousers and could only guess that she had some kind of injury on her back that was also causing her to bleed. His eyes turbulent with rage looked up with the realization that Liz was badly hurt and landed on Alex and Max who were standing near by.
“What the hell did you do to her?”
Now I realize that Max was a little more undone and not as quick on his feet as we are accustomed to, but its important to remember that he is in a declining state of mind. While its not been completely explored, Liz is the only thing keeping Max from a break down at the moment and he knows it. So, his reaction to her ‘going away’ is not going to be the normal guns blazing, "I’ll save you" kind of thing. Plus, if you haven’t made the connection, we’ve come full circle from the beginning of the story. Max is in pretty much the same mental state that Liz was in at the beginning.
If you’re still confused about who is who in terms of Max, shape shifters, and Alex, all your questions on that front should be answered in the next chapter.
Did I make ya cry? I was going for max sadness there
How'd I do?
[ edited 5 time(s), last at 28-Oct-2001 1:45:10 AM ]
|posted on 27-Oct-2001 6:59:56 PM|
|Alien614 - tell me where you're confused and maybe I can help out. My intention isn't to confuse you guys, only to add suspense.|
|posted on 3-Nov-2001 2:17:10 AM|
| Wow. I am soo glad you guys liked this chapter , even if it was supremely sad. I’m sorry it had to be that way, but the nature of the scene just couldn’t be done half way. I have to admit I loved hearing all your theories about what was going to happen after the cliffy. I think its ok to say that almost every one of them never even occurred to me. Now doesn’t that make you wonder? |
That’s funny you should say that. That line is actually the very first line of chapter 58 ever written, way back in June. Nope, I wouldn't be that cruel. What’s a sequel without the main characters?
I know I already talked to you about this but like I said, you pointed out a valid place for confusion so I’m going to put what I told you up on the board. Well, not every thing
The henchmen that attacked Liz are NOT working for Zan. Alex was referring to Zan as in Antar Zan, aka Max. Here’s the passage again and I substituted Max for Zan:
“She’s not that big man. Do you really think you need so much?” Alex was in this for the money, he certainly didn’t want to accidentally kill the Antarian Queen. He’d heard about Max, the guy held a grudge. He figured as long as he was only the grunt work, Max would go after Durton and forget all about him and he would get paid. Can’t go wrong there.
See, he was actually making a reference to the fact that the whole Antarian war was started officially by Zan out of revenge. Word gets around and “Alex” really didn’t want to piss Max off. He just wants his money and is hoping that Max will go after Durton and forget about him. Got it?
I’m going to go ahead and say this because I’ve noticed that I tend to pack a lot into a chapter and sometimes little facts get lost in the big action and emotions upheaval. Yes, there were other people in the room while Max and Liz were talking: Isabel, Gwyn, Maria, Kyle, and Tess. But, and its a big one, they could not see or hear her. In MITC, I was always under the impression Max was the only one who could see her so I stuck with that. The rest is in the following chapter.
All I can say about your being angry with Max, which I can understand, is to keep an open mind. People know what he’s going through where as Liz was trying to handle it all on her own.
I’m sorry you had to wait to read the second scene! I will try to be more careful and tell you when a chapter is in multiple posts, but for the way I write its probably safe to assume that there will always be at least two posts.
I’m so sorry about you little cousin, I hope things are going better for everyone in your family now. Thanks, as always, for the bumps. As for your questions, all I can say is read and find out.
I have been reminded multiple times to remind *you* that I have on many occasions, long ago, given you dreamer insurance. Hold on to it.
Because its been so long between parts *ducks sheepishly* I am posting a small section from a phone conversation in chapter 48. Part of 59 will be very confusing if you don’t remember a few of the facts mentioned and its been so long, I don’t expect anyone but me to remember them.
From Chapter 48 -
Picking up the phone, he grudgingly dialed his dictator. This should be fun, he thought as he waited for the phone to connect. When it was picked up, the other end didn’t even bother with a salutation.
“How are things going with your new team?”
“Fine, fine. I haven’t actually met them in person, only on the phone. I don’t want anyone to see us. Just in case.”
“You know the camera we planted in the UFO center to watch Max?”
“Yes, what about it?”
“Well, it picked up something interesting.”
“And what was that?” he asked as if her were speaking to a slow preschool student.
“Li- Lillyah had some kind of episode with her powers. I don’t know what caused it, only saw what she did. She’s super powerful sir. She almost killed them all, I’m not sure the current plan is the best way to go.”
“Oh you’re not are you? Guess what? I DON’T CARE! This isn’t your operation.” There was a long pause then a small cackle came through the receiver, “so, my little Lilly’s a power house is she?” There was actually pride in his voice and the caller was once again reminded of how insane his leader was. “Why doesn’t that surprise me? Don’t worry about it. One of your contacts has something to help with that situation should it occur. The plan will continue as scheduled. Understood?”
[ edited 3 time(s), last at 3-Nov-2001 3:46:28 PM ]
|posted on 3-Nov-2001 2:21:52 AM|
|The following is in two posts.|
From Chapter 58 -
“Just give ‘er the injection.” Alex did as he was told. He never did like working with shape shifters, he thought as he plunged the long needle into the girl’s neck. She moaned a little but didn’t move.
They stood back watching her for a few moments. Was there supposed to be some sign that it was working? Or had she just passed out? The bells on the front door rang then, startling Liz’s attackers. They moved to block the view of her prone body from the intruder while trying to get rid of him.
Colin stood in the doorway taking in the deserted and destroyed state of the restaurant. “What the?” he muttered more to himself than out loud. His shocked perusal finally brought him to the the two young men standing off to the side. He could only stare in shock for a moment at how out of place Max and Alex seemed in the midst of all this destruction. On closer inspecting he saw the blood trailing down Alex’s temple and a small hand peaking out from behind Max’s shoe.
“Hey man, we’re closed.” Alex informed him, only to be ignored.
Peering around the guys with a growing sense of dread, Colin became aware of Liz, unconscious and bleeding on the floor behind them.
“Oh my God!” He ran to her, tossing Max roughly to the side as he went. “Liz. Liz? Can you hear me?” He grabbed a napkin from a dispenser laying on the floor and wiped away some of the blood on her face. She didn’t move. Gently, he slid an arm under her shoulders and pulled her part way into his lap. Smoothing her hair back, he cradled her delicately as he tried to clean the blood off her pale skin. On his knee he could feel a bit of wetness seeping into his trousers and could only guess that she had some kind of injury on her back that was also causing her to bleed. His eyes turbulent with rage looked up at the realization that Liz was badly hurt and landed on Alex and Max who were standing near by.
“What the hell did you do to her?”
Secrets In the Past
“She’s bleeding. Why the hell is she bleeding?” Colin barked at the young men.
“Because Reht Butler over there was feeling a little hostile,” Alex explained contemptuously.
‘Max’ only shrugged. “I was coverin’ all my bases.” His southern drawl added to the appalling nonchalance of his brutality to the tiny Queen.
Colin spoke through clenched teeth, “I specifically told you both that she wasn’t to be hurt. You inject her with the serum to block her powers and wait for me. So, again, explain to me why she’s unconscious and bleeding.”
“It wasn’t as easy as you said it’d be ok? She knew I wasn’t her precious boy toy and put up her fuckin’ shield.”
“Idiots,” Colin shook his head in disgust. He looked down at Liz adoringly while he spoke with venom to his accomplices, “you better hope she heals before we get to the meeting. Durton is going to scramble your brain until it runs out your nose.”
“She’ll be fine. Look, we need to get outta here. I think she was conectin’ with Zan or some crap.”
“Ok, here,” he sighed impatiently, handing Alex a letter. “Put this on her bed, then come back down and release that body.” Colin stood then, cradling Liz close to his chest. “Come on, we’ve got a plane to catch.” He motioned for the other man to follow even as he was changing from Max to another faceless tourist.
Michael stopped in front of the Crashdown, not bothering to throw down the kick stand as he jumped off his bike. Muttering about parades and traffic jams that added at least fifteen minutes to his time, he let the bike clatter to the ground with and unceremonious bang. Why did Gwyn have to live so far away from the rest of them?
Racing up to the doors he threw one open, the bells clanging violently into the paned glass. Stepping inside, his blasting hand at the ready, Michael gaped in confused numbness at the first look inside his sister’s cafe. Panic seized his body and made his heart skip a beat as he took in the ruins that was once the dining room.
Huge, black, smoking holes covered the wall where the lunch counter was. The soda fountain was a mass of tangled metal, the soda spurting out in colored streams and pooling in a sticky mess on the floor. Chunks had been taken out ot the bar and counter, allowing him to see straight through to the other side. The order window in the back was five feet wider with blackened, crumbling plaster on either side. Linoleum was cracked and curling all over the restaurant and several deep holes threatened to trip you. Tables and chairs were overturned and in pieces. Catchup and mustard bottles lay broken and oozing on the floor along with a variety of other condiments and restaurant paraphernalia. Smoke and the smell of melting plastic permeated the air along with an electrical charge that made the hair on his arms stand on end. The only thing unmarred was the wall of still pristine booths that had been protected by Liz’s shield.
A shelf of soda glasses that was hanging by a thread finally gave way, falling to the floor with a tremendous crash. The loud noise snapped Michael out of his horrified paralyzation. Cautiously and swiftly he made his was thorough the cafe to the back room. What was left of the swinging door crumbled and fell from its hinges under his quick shove as he raced up the stairs.
While Michael fruitlessly searched the apartment for Liz, Tess and Kyle were the next to arrive. While Max had been- talking to Liz, Isabel had taken control and instructed the two of them to go to the Crash because Tess’ power would be the most useful besides Michael’s, and Max who was otherwise detained. Gwyn had called Justin, and Isabel and Maria had stayed close to Max waiting for whatever was going on to be clarified. The fact that they couldn't see or hear Liz had made those first few moments until Iz had figured out what was going on rather tense. Max hadn’t been all that stable lately and if something had happened to Liz, him going off the deep end wasn’t altogether out of the realm of possibility. Thank God that wasn’t the case, at least not yet. On the way over Kyle had called the sheriff, catching him on the other line with Justin. The two of them were going to meet so Justin could search for Liz’s energy signature thingy. Apparently it was only visible for a limited about of time and the sheriff would be able to cut though traffic in the cruiser quickly.
Tess gripped his arm for support when they entered the restaurant. They stood motionless the same way Michael had moments before. “Oh my God,” she gasped, covering her mouth in case her retching stomach turned against her. Moving slowly inside with Tess tightly held to his side, Kyle glanced around at what was left of his childhood hang out. It looked like somebody had released a can of world war three in here. Oh, that’s right, he though caustically. They did... on Liz, who wasn’t anywhere in sight.
He opened his mouth to voice just that when a low moan stopped him mid sentience. “Listen,” he put his hand over Tess’ where it lay on his arm. “Did you hear that?”
“Hear what?” She asked in the same hushed whisper. A louder moan echoed in answer.
“That!” He gestured emphatically towards the counter where the moan was coming from. “Who or what do you think that was?” Kyle made one step back, moving slightly behind Tess.
“I-I don’t know.” She gripped his hand tighter.
“It could be Liz,” he reasoned, though skeptically.
She shook her head hard, her blond waves bouncing into his face where he had moved almost completely behind her. “No, That was a defiantly male moan,” she whispered fiercely.
“Yeah.” They stood for a minute staring at the counter. “We- we should probably check it out.”
“Uh huh, you go ahead, I’ll be right behind you.”
“Me!” Tess’ exclamation came out even more high pitched since she was trying to keep her voice in a whisper.
“Hey, I’m not the one with the alien mo jo.”
“Kyle,” he could feel her mouth turning into a deep frown and her cheeks pouting in anger even if he couldn’t see it. She really hated it when he used less than technical terms for her powers. “You’re the guy!” She exclaimed in frustration both from his less than chivalrous attitude and her lack of a better come back.
“Yeah, I’m the lowly human guy who has very limited telekinetic capabilities. My beautiful, intelligent girlfriend on the other hand, is a bad ass alien who can mess with people’s minds at will. Namely, bad guys who might be laying in wait to kill us.”
“Oh fine. But if I die you better believe I’m coming back to haunt you.”
In lou of an answer Kyle gave her a little shove forward, he did keep one hand fisted in the back of her sweater though. One cautious step after the other, Tess made her way forward. Coming around the corner her foot came down on a piece of glass making a dreadful nails on the chalk board crunching sound and they both held their breath. Another small moan filled the air but there wasn’t any sign of movement so she forged ahead. She held her hand out in front of her for the whole lot of good it would do. It would probably be the first thing blasted off if whatever was back there was waiting to attack them. Stopping at the end of the counter, she reached back and held tightly onto Kyle as she peered guardedly around the corner.
It was so quiet you could only hear their agitated berating along with the creeks and groans from various parts of the falling apart cafe. Not even their thoughts made a peep in their heads for fear of discovery. So, when Tess’ loud exhalation and small shriek sounded loudly and reverberated though the room it was no wonder that Kyle jumped and screamed like a little girl, tugging her to the ground to avoid whatever their impending fate was.
“Oooof.” She grunted as she hit the ground and instantly began to squirm out from under him. “Get off Kyle!”
He didn’t say anything, only hugged her tighter, hoping to get her all the way under him and maybe save her.
“Alex!” Tess managed to proclaim even though she was running out of air under Kyle’s tight grip. “Kyle, its Alex.”
He lifted his head in confusion, “What?”
She couldn’t help but smile at his attempt to protect her, even if it was from their unconscious friend. “Kyle, let me up. Its Alex, I think he’s hurt.”
“What? Oh. Ok, yeah.” He backed up onto his knees, giving her room to get up. He just couldn’t look at her though. Was there any possible way for him to make a bigger ass of himself?
Tess scooted out of his grasp without making any reference to his little display. He was probably embarrassed but she thought it was really sweet. However, there were more important things going on at the moment. She quickly made her way to kneel down next to Alex, being careful not to sit in any glass. After getting his barings back, Kyle did the same, coming around to his other side.
“Alex, can you hear me?” Tess leaned over him as his eyes fluttered open.
“Isabel?” He croaked.
“Tess?” He squinted and tried unsteadily to sit up.
“Woah there buddy.” Kyle pushed him back down by the shoulder, Tess slipping a stray dish towel under his head.
“What happened? Where am I?” He lulled his head towards Kyle groggily.
“That’s what we’re trying to figure out. You just lay still for a minute.” He was looking at the huge gash on Alex’s temple as he spoke. “Tess,” he met her eyes worriedly over their friend. “This cut looks really bad, part of his shirt are soaked with blood.”
Tess reached over him to finger the wound, her digits instantly coated in the dark crimson. “This is pretty deep. I can’t heal it but I can at least stop the bleeding. That should help until Max can get here.”
As she was finishing what little triage she could do, the bells on the front door clanged again as heavy footsteps plodded down the back steps.
Isabel led her brother into the Crashdown numbly. At least he had gotten out of the car himself. His shaking had subsided but he was still staring off into space. The only indication that he was in there at all was how his face contorted at random in grief and his throat worked soundlessly as he was led inside. He’d been this way since just after Liz had disappeared.
Max had lay on the ground sobbing hysterically and crying out for her. He fought off all Isabel’s attempts to comfort him or find out what exactly was going on. After what seemed like an eternity, he tired himself out and the sobs quieted to low whimpers as he rocked back and forth staring at the ground in front of him. Not knowing what else to do, Isabel, Gwyn, and Maria had gathered him as best they could out to the Jetta and taken him to Liz’s last known whereabouts. They hoped it would somehow snap him out of his semi catatonic state long enough to help them at least find out what happened, if not where she was.
Once inside the others watched unnoticed as Max somehow became alert enough to look around the room. His expressive features and eyes stayed frighteningly blank as he took in the destruction left in Liz’s wake. Finally they came to rest on a spot a few feet to his right. Slowly, he made his way to kneel by whatever it was that caught his attention. Like earlier, he was so focused he didn’t hear the flurry of activity going on behind him.
Tess called Isabel behind the counter as soon as Max moved, breaking the spell he somehow cast by standing there. Leaving Gwyn to watch him, Iz began a round of her own quiet sobs when she saw where Alex lay bleeding behind the counter surrounded by broken glass and smoldering wood. Kyle stood, making a place for her and she quickly lowered herself to the floor, taking Alex’s cool hand in hers.
“I stopped the bleeding, but I’m not sure how bad the wound is. He has lost a lot of blood, but only Max can do the kind of healing he needs. I’m just not that strong. I’m sorry,” Tess explained.
“You helped,” the other girl thanked her without looking up. “We may have to take him to the hospital, Max isn’t in a very good place right now. I’m not sure if he’s capable of doing it.”
Tess nodded her understanding even though Isabel never looked up from where she was smoothing Alex’s mussed hair off his forehead and murmuring words of comfort to him. Taking Kyle’s offered hand, Tess stood and wiped some shards of glass carefully off her pants. Glancing around the room, she watched Michael come dejectedly through the back. From his stance and the haggard expression he bore, she guessed he hadn’t found anything upstairs. Maria went directly into his arms, choking back a sob as she buried her face in his chest. After a moment she regained enough control to explain what had happened at Gwyn’s after he’d left. The shock left him staggering backwards into a wall for support.
The entire scene didn’t do much to help the churning in Tess’ stomach. She had never felt so utterly helpless before. The destruction around them was so unbelievable all you could do was stare. The sickening feeling that it would be a miracle for the attacked to have lived through this was on the edge of everyone’s mind, but completely unwilling to be spoken. If anyone could have lived though this though, it was Liz. She was a miracle in and of herself. Still, the bleakness of the situation seemed so absolute it was hard to not throw your head back and cry out, let alone form a coherent thought as to were to go from here.
“Come on,” Kyle tugged on her hand leading her back around the counter and past Michael and Maria. “Let’s go see if we can find anything out back. Look for any clues as to what kind of car they might have had or something, ok?”
[ edited 2 time(s), last at 3-Nov-2001 2:41:34 AM ]
|posted on 3-Nov-2001 2:27:40 AM|
|.... cont. chapter 59 |
Gwyn, having waved at Justin as he drove by with the Sheriff, came to squat by Max. She hated to do this, better than anybody here she understood how he felt. She remembered many other scenes similar to this one where someone she loved had been taken from her. She understood the desire to retreat inside yourself and find any kind of shelter from the pain. She had been there, she was there now, and still she knew she had a duty to fulfill, both to her monarchy and her friends. She wouldn’t selfishly give into that need to fall apart and she’d be damned if she let Max. It had been indulgent of her already to let him break down at the house and it couldn’t go on much longer. If they were going to find Liz they needed him now. She put a hand lightly on his extended arm, not noticing what he was looking at.
“Max, we need you to keep it together a little longer, ok?” He didn’t respond, she couldn’t even tell if he knew she was there. “I know,” she continued, “that its hard to keep your head right now, but you need to...” She stopped talking when he leaned forward and whimpered. Her attention was finally caught by what he’d just picked up and was holding in his hand. A napkin soaked through with blood. On the floor a foot away was a small pool of the dark substance as well.
That was almost enough to make her lose her cool too. The sight of the sticky substance already beginning to dry around the edges made her physically ill. Just the though of someone hurting her sweet, self sacrificing Queen until she bled was enough to prick her well trained eyes with tears. If Justin would have been there she might have felt safe enough to let go for a second, but he wasn’t. It didn’t matter anyway, even if he were here she didn’t have the luxury. One look at her King told her that.
Max had sat back on his heals, clutching the bloody napkin in his hand like a talisman. She reached out to him and felt the tremors that were beginning to rack his body again. “Max,” she stood up in front of him, blocking his view of the small puddle of blood. “Come on,” she tugged on his shoulders, getting him to stand for her. Dutifully, he let her lead him over to the booths. Biting the inside of her cheek to suppress a cry, she carefully steered him past the one where she could see bloody bits of the aqua material matching the Crashdown uniforms clinging to the end.
“Okay, here we go big guy. Why don’t we sit down here?” He slumped sideways into his usual booth where he used to spend hours watching Liz, his legs limply hanging out the side.
“Max?” Isabel approached them quietly from behind. She had left Alex under Maria’s watchful eye while she checked on Max. It had been such a task just to get him over here, Gwyn never heard her cross the room. Isabel came to stand next to the other girl and addressed her brother tentatively. “I know this isn’t the best time and if you’re not up to it...” she let herself trail off when it become blatantly obvious that he wasn’t hearing her. She sighed sadly and moved closer to him, getting down on her knees to try to look into his down cast eyes.
Hooking a finger under his chin she tried to get him to look at her but he shook his head with a small sound of protest. She followed his line of sight to his fist that was working some kind of fabric looking thing. “What’s this?” her hands moved to his as she glanced up at Gwyn for an explanation.
She wrapped a ringlet around her finger absently as she too watched Max with the bloody napkin. “He found it over there. I uh, I’m pretty sure its a napkin, with Liz’s blood on it.”
Isabel’s eyes widened at the gross discovery and immediately began to pry it out of his hand. Tears again began to streak down her face as she struggled with her brother for the bloody bit of paper. There were a few muffled grunts but she quickly pealed his fingers up and ripped away the offending article. She didn’t know why it upset her so much, it could have been the blood of her friend or the way Max looked at it like he was gripping on the last little bit of Liz. Either way she was possessed to get it away from him.
Before she could give it a second thought, the napkin crumbled to dust in her hand. “You don’t need that!” She half hissed half sobbed, tossing the dust haphazardly to the side. Like everyone else, she was quickly reaching her breaking point. She had never seen Max like this before and to say she was freaking out wasn’t far from the truth. Sure, he had been depressed, but never in such a state of catatonia. She just wanted a response from him. Crying, yelling, screaming, anything, she didn’t care. Just something more than this total shut down she was witnessing.
She raised up on her knees, gripping his cheeks roughly in her hands and forcing him to look in her direction. “We’re going to find her, do you hear me? You are going to find her. She wouldn’t let it end like that. What did she tell you Max? Did she say anything? Give you any clues at all?!” Max only stared back at her with blank eyes. Her hands unconsciously slipped to his shoulders and gave him a jarring shake that made his head bob jerkily to the side. “Max you have to snap out of this. Please!” She cried, broaching hysteria.
Gwyn, seeing how quickly Isabel was about to lose it and become more of a problem than a means to a solution, stepped up next to her, placing firm hand on her shoulder. “Here Iz, let me try.” Gwyn pushed her almost forcibly to the side and kneeled in front of him herself. “Max.” She put one hand on his neck to hold his face at a steady gaze and raised the other to softly stroke his cheek as she had seen Liz do several times. “Listen to me,” she began in a determined but calm and soothing voice. “You can find her, I know you can. If she were dead they would have left her here. I know you can feel her Max. I know you know she’s alive, we need you to know that too.
“You have to pull yourself out out this Max. You can’t let what happened before happen again. If you can hold yourself together, for Liz, we have a chance.”
Something seemed to click and his eyes began to clear with an inkling of recognition as they met with hers. She had gotten through to him at least a little, but it was too soon to tell if he understood how much was riding on his shoulders right now. Gwyn sat back on her heals, watching and waiting.
“Max?” His eyes flicked to his sister’s as he let out a shuddering breath.
“I-I,” He stood shakily, supporting his weight with the back of the booth. “I need to be alone.” Without further explanation he hurried towards the back, looking to escape somewhere from everything except the horrible bleeding despair in his heart.
Please don’t be too hard on Max. I can understand how you would like to be, especially if you have residual anger towards the TV version of Max, but its really important that you try to separate that Max from my Max. Trust me, the time he seems to be wasting won’t make a bit of difference in the long run.
Yes, I know, not a lot happened but this chapter was getting very long and this was a good place to break. Besides, this way you get two ‘Oh MY GOD!’ chapters instead of having both in one chapter. Yes, there is one more REALLY big surprise that I’m dancing on pins and needles for you all to read.
Until then, were you surprised? Who guessed Colin was really a bad guy all along or did I manage to fool you?
Note to self: ask about cut scenes
[ edited 3 time(s), last at 3-Nov-2001 3:39:24 AM ]
|posted on 4-Nov-2001 12:54:06 AM|
I totally understand. I haven't read any fic in almost a month so I wouldn't get side tracked when writing. Do you see how I suffer for you people!? Anyway, totally understandable reason for being confused and I'm guessing you're not the only one so here's a little explination.
*Max who attacked Liz in the Crashdown - Shape shifter
*Alex who attacked Liz in the Crashdown - The real Alex who was taken over by another alien;
like Bordy and Lerik
*Colin - bad guy who is working for Durton, and yes folks, he is a skin
*Durton - None of the above and not in Roswell
Does that help?
[ edited 3 time(s), last at 4-Nov-2001 1:00:54 AM ]
|posted on 4-Nov-2001 11:54:04 PM|
|Yes, I'm numping me. But with the wacky boardness I don't think everyone has gotten to read this.|
|posted on 27-Nov-2001 12:31:01 AM|
|This is going to be a rather long couple of posts since this has been up on the old board for a week or so. The first two posts will be Chapter 60, followed by the cut scenes. I’m going to try to the the clue key and the time line up in the next couple days, RLS has been keeping me from posting.|
Ok, here it is. The final chapter in my baby. Thanks a million times over to all of you who had stuck around for so long and given me such great support. This never would have been completed without it.
Love you all
Secrets In the Past
They all watched as Max walked dejectedly up the stairs. The air was eerily silent and Isabel couldn’t stop the flow of morbid thoughts from entering her head. She couldn't help it, never had anything seemed this bad, not even when the FBI had Max. She couldn’t help but wonder if the next time he came down those stairs if it would be of his own free will or when they carried out his lifeless body. After what she saw at Gwyn’s house and how unresponsive he was just now, there wasn’t a doubt in her mind that Max wouldn’t be able to live without Liz.
Car doors slamming broke the moment of quite. The bells once again slapped against the doors and more than one of them thought about yanking the poor things down. Justin and the Sheriff walked in completing the party. The others watched their reaction to the room come the same as their own had. Shock, horror, grief and guilt all becoming evident on the faces.
Gwyn got up from where she was still crouched on the floor and went to Justin. “Anything?” she asked, searching his face and their connection. The guilt pouring off him gave her a clue but she, and the others, needed details. At her simple question the barest amount of moisture brimmed in his blue eyes and his nose scrunched ever so slightly with emotion. Things that no one else would have noticed told her that he was barely hanging on and she could only hope that it was because they hadn’t found anything and not because they had.
He pulled her to him, bending his head to rest on her shoulder before he spoke. Right now he’d never felt like more of a failure. He needed her strength, her presence, her love calm him. Breathing deeply of her peach scented skin he let himself feel her soft body mold against his. Her arms wound around his shoulders kneading the knotted, tense muscles. He felt her sigh and squeezed a little tighter in an attempt to get as close as possible for a few brief moments of solace.
Reluctantly, Justin pulled back and kissed her forehead. “Thank you,” he whispered quietly, then shifted her so she was tucked tightly under one arm, her head leaning against his shoulder. Gwyn continued to rub a comforting hand over his back for support.
He took a deep breath preparing to explain his findings to his superiors. Having noticed Max’s predictable absence, Justin looked up meeting Michael's gaze head on. “We followed her energy signature,” he began almost clinically. “It was very week, which could either be from injury or actual energy drain by her powers. I could still see it, so I would guess they’ve been gone a max of forty five minuets. We tracked it pretty easily. Liz’s is a very unique color of purple, that made it easy to separate from the other random signatures. We followed it for what?” He turned to the sheriff in question, “twenty minuets?”
Jim nodded his agreement, “I’d say that’s about right. Depending on what they were driving and if they hit a lull in traffic, they could have driven the same route in ten or fifteen though.”
Michael scratched his brow in agitation, trying to keep a lid on the mangle of nerves and emotions his taught body was becoming. “Ok. So you tracked them and what? You found her? You stopped for a potty break? Got invited to The Mad Hatter’s tea party? What?!” His voice became louder and more shrill with every word, making everyone jump when he ended by shouting out in frustration.
Justin’s free hand reflexively came up to pull nervously on his ear lobe as he fought to keep eye contact with Michael. “Well,” he cleared his throat and tossed a desperate glance at the sheriff. “We- we lost it.”
“What do you mean you lost it?” Maria asked before Michael had the chance, and a little more unassumingly than he whole have liked.
“An energy signature is only visible for a limited amount of time,” he explained, “and in certain circumstances. Like the trial a jet leaves in the sky. You can only see it when the sky is clear and it only lasts for maybe a half an hour.”
Michael grit his teeth. Why was it that when in the middle of a crisis everyone insisted on explaining everything at great length instead of doing what needed to be done? He didn’t care how the damn thing worked, he just needed the information. “Ok, so its not going to last forever, we got that. How far did you trace it?”
“To the abandon air field at the base.”
“What does that mean? They just disappeared? The trail had suddenly gone too weak for you to see it? What?” He managed to keep himself a little more in check this time but only because he was dreading what this answer was even more.
“He’s saying they got on a plane Michael,” Maria explained gently, running a hand up and down his arm. “Isn’t that right?”
“That’s what we think, yes.” Valenti answered for Justin. “If they used a privet jet, by landing out there they wouldn’t have had to deal with filing a flight plan or tower operators until they got in the air. Once national radar picked them up, I don’t know. I’m sure they thought of something.”
“So she could already be there is what you’re saying? Its been forty five minuets and that bastard could already be doing God knows what to her?”
Justin swallowed thickly but didn’t break Michael’s demanding stare. “Yes.”
The silence that filled the room after that was oppressive. Michael, seemingly assaulted by the affirmation, slumped down into the booth that had been previously occupied by Max and buried his face in his hands. A shudder rocked his body and it was then that they realized he was crying. The realization was like the final blow. How bad were things that Michael would break down in public? Maria quietly made her way over, standing in front of him to shield him from from the rest of the group. Gwyn turned her face back into Justin’s chest in a last ditch effort to keep her composure, and a small sniffle could be heard from where Isabel was still kneeling with Alex behind the counter.
Maria closed her eyes tightly, she would have given anything for a gallon of cedar oil right about now. Combing her fingers though Michael’s already unruly hair, she wished for the type of strength her best friend was usually blessed with. This was her worst nightmare brought to life. It had always been in the back of her mind when they had become involved with the aliens, that if something were to come after them the surest bet would be to grab Liz. Maria had worried about her safety even before they had known there was a threat. Not Liz though. She had shown stalwart courage and dedication in the most dire and heart breaking of circumstance. Liz was the glue that held them all together and gave them the strength to get though one crisis after another, even when she was scared out of her mind and her heart was breaking. It was her best friend that had helped them all weather the storms and now she wasn’t here when they needed her the most. For that reason, all those reasons, Maria wished for her strength and courage so she could do it for her. By some fluke she was the only one not a complete mental case at the moment and she would not let Liz down the first time she really needed them by flaking out. It was up to her to not fall apart and keep the rest of the group together so, unlikely a candidate as she was, she would do it, for Liz. But as soon as this was over she was going to do some major flipping out and there had better be ice cream involved at some point.
Muttering one last oath, she licked her lips in determination and blinked back the last of her tears. Letting her hands slide from his hair and down to his strong shoulders she readied herself, she hoped, for whatever was to come. Michael’s head was leaning against her middle but his hands still covered his face. She guessed that he’d stopped crying since he wasn’t trembling as hard and she could hear the repeated sighs deep breathing of attempted control. Taking a step back so she could look at him, she gently pried his hands away from his tear blotched face and replaced her own on his cheeks. Staring down into his lost brown eyes her new found conviction nearly crumbled. This was the absolute worst she had ever seen him and there had been some pretty low points. This though, he looked so lost, helpless, and totally confused that it was enough to rock her earlier resolve. She loved him yes, but she’d never felt so completely bound to him before. The moment she looked into his swimming brown depths, she knew without a doubt that if he fell apart completely so would she. She could be strong but she couldn’t not be Maria, and Maria needed Michael.
“Michael,” she said sternly, though not unwarmly. “You can’t do this to me right now, ok? I can’t have you fall apart too. I don’t care if its selfish. Liz is gone, possibly off to some scum bag who will do who knows what to her. Max is a basket case a best and Alex is bleeding all over the floor and we have no idea what happened to him. Please, I can’t have you fall apart on me too.”
Michael stared up at her dumb founded. Aside from Liz, Maria was the strongest person he knew. He didn’t used to think that, but over the last few months and even back when all that destiny crap was going on, she had shown an internal strength and will to go on that never failed to amaze him. Now here she was openly admitting that she was going to lose it and he knew why to. She was opening herself up to him hoping his protective instincts would kick in and he would hold it together for her. He realized that Maria knew him better than he ever thought, better than he knew himself, and he liked it.
“I’ll tell you what,” she offered when he didn’t say anything. “I’ll make you a deal. You keep it together until we can figure out a plan and then we’ll go somewhere safe and lose it together. Ok?” The way her voice wavered at the end pulled tightly on his heart strings. He nodded his agreement instantly, clearing his throat gruffly.
“I’m sorry, I just...” he trailed off knowing that if he tried to explain what he was feeling right now that promise wouldn’t be kept.
“Don’t be sorry,” she said softly as she squirmed onto his lap and wrapped her arms around him. He sighed deeply at the feel of her graceful hands dancing up and down his spine. Returning the embrace, he let his body relax for a few peaceful minutes and his mind blank out to only her calming presence. Of course, reality all too soon would intrude and he would once again be reminded that if his sister was murdered it would be on his head.
[ edited 1 time(s), last at 27-Nov-2001 12:39:37 AM ]
|posted on 27-Nov-2001 12:32:13 AM|
|chapter 60 cont.|
Max walked mindlessly up the stairs and towards her room. Away from all the panicked and questioning glances, away from all the concerned whispers and quiet sobs, away from that infernal question that no one seemed to be able to refrain from eventually asking, “what do we do now Max?” How was he supposed to know? He wasn’t any smarter, any more informed, or any less grieved than the rest of them. Why was it always falling on him to make the decisions? Why couldn’t they let him wallow in his disappear and guilt like he wanted to? The unrefutable answer taunted him from the corner of him mind: because he was King. Well damn it, he didn’t want it, not any of it. His status had already cost him the only thing that mattered, so why couldn’t somebody else make the decisions now?
Hadn’t he shown over and over again that he wasn’t destined to be the leader everyone thought he should be? Michael had done a much better job of caring for Liz those two months when he hadn’t known about their special circumstances. Before that he had gone off to New York with barely a word to anyone. His main reason for going had been to hurt the people he cared most about; Liz, Isabel, and Michael. Then he had nearly gotten himself and Tess killed and almost handed the rest of their heads to their enemies on a silver platter. He had let himself be captured by the FBI and the others had raced in to save him. The pattern was beginning to become obvious to Max, he was always the one who screwed up and needed to be bailed out. Sure Michael and even Isabel had been reckless countless times, but when it came down to the do or die situations it was him who put them all at risk.
Gwyn was right, Liz was still alive. He could feel it in his bones. He couldn’t sense her emotions and he couldn’t feel her like he could sometimes when she was near, but none the less, he knew she was still alive. That gave him very little comfort though. Max couldn't help but wonder, would it be better for her not to be. What kind of hell was she being delivered into because he wasn’t strong enough, wasn’t good enough, wasn’t fast enough to protect her. He didn’t want her dead, but he knew from experience there were somethings out there that were worse than death and he didn’t want her to ever wonder if they would happen to her. He was supposed to have protected her. He had failed. Again. So why would they need him? How could he possibly be this great King if he couldn’t protect the one thing that made his life worth living? For that matter, how was he supposed to be any kind of King without her?
He stopped and stood in her door way, leaning wearily against the frame. The sun was starting to set, bathing the room in soft oranges and reds and casting long shadows across the rug. It was exactly the way she had left it. Her school books were stacked neatly on the end of her desk where she had been studying. Her backpack was slung over her desk chair, a few loose papers and pens poking out of a zipper pocket. The clothes she was going to change into after her shift, a short pink sun dress and a soft white cardigan, were laid out on the end of her bed. A tiny pair of sandals sat on the floor directly beneath them. Taking a step inside he was violently assaulted with her delicate scent and it sent pangs of desire and further unrest though his system. He hesitantly reached out and picked up the soft sweater as if it would reject his touch, just as she should have. When it didn’t retch itself from his hands, he brought the fuzzy material to his face, mating it to his cheek and breathing deeper still of her fragrance.
Liz was beaming in triumph. The seductive command gone from her demeanor, replaced with an innocent giddiness that was just as alluring. Finally tearing his eyes away from the goddess in front of him to the suddenly twenty five pound pencil in his hand, his brows raised in shock as he glanced back and forth between Liz and his hand. His hand that was now wrapped around the hilt of a ornately scrolled, silver sword.
She had been wearing this sweater that day, he remembered now that he was forced to. God, she had been so beautiful, so alive. If he hadn’t been so consumed with his fear of her, nothing would have stopped him from ravishing her right then. The way she reveled in her powers, the very same powers that defined his differences from the world, was an awe inspiring sight. It was another change that he had inadvertently brought on her that she embraced whole heartedly and seeing it put into action was one more stone on the mountain of things that made him love and adore her, worship her, and want her just this side of madness. At the same time, the remembrance of her lighthearted fascination with what she could do and how it was expressed with such innocence stirred a primitively protective urge that was never far beneath the surface where she was concerned.
“Why a sword?”
“Well, you never know when you might need a good sword.”
“Right, ‘cause alien power blasts can be so unpredictable.”
“Exactly, and you know, when rescuing damsels in distress, you want to have the latest in chivalrous weaponry.”
“The heaver the better.”
“Hey, a knight in shining armor’s gotta do, what a knight in shining armor’s gotta do.”
The corners of his mouth tilted up mirthlessly as the flash came to an end and he lowered the sweater back to the bed. A knight in shining armor, what a joke. He was no knight and certainly not her’s. He wasn’t a knight, he wasn’t a King, hell, he wasn’t even a man. He was a lost little boy who would give anything for the comfort of his mother’s skirts at this moment. He felt so utterly helpless that it was suffocating. The only person who had ever been able to control his true emotional tail spins was gone and it was all his fault. He remembered a time when he would have risked life and limb to keep a promise to her. Had that changed? Had he changed, weakened so much over the past year’s events that he was going to let his sweet, wonderful Liz suffer?
His eyes drifted from the bed to her night stand and the little star shaped night light that was in the near by socket.
“Do you know why I’m afraid of the dark?”
He heard her soft question as if she were still reclining in the protective circle of his arms. Turning to the window, his mind’s eye watched her tearful confession with renewed anguish.
“Michael and Maria think its because there could be someone waiting there to grab me. That I’m afraid someone could be waiting for me. But that’s not the reason. Its because I remember.”
“The dark. I- I remember slipping into, having it surround me, pull me deeper until that’s all there was. I remember... dying.”
Max’s heart clenched again at that line. He’d promised her he would keep the dark away. What darkness did the world she was being shuttled off to hold for her? Liz was strong, but a person could only be strong for so long. How much could she take before she was broken by all she had suffered? How long before she gave up? How long before she began to hate him because he wasn’t strong enough to keep that promise? He had contemplated the idea many times over, had even tried to convince himself to hate her once upon a time. But never, never had he ever thought it would be because he let something like this happen to her, because he couldn’t keep her safe.
Everything was just so out of control.
He was a control freak by nature, Michael and Isabel had told his so on countless occasions. Even Liz had not so subtly hinted at it. So then, that begged the question, when was the last time he truly felt any real modicum of control? Was there one precise moment or event that had begun the chain of events that had left his life, his heart, in the ruins they were today? Unbidden, the demonic visage of Agent Daniel Pierce appeared in his head. Instantly quaking with just the thought of him, Max sank to the bed with weak knees.
Without question he knew that was his answer. If he had ever stopped to think about it, he could have traced every mistake since last May to that one night. Before then he had been what was professed of him. The leader. The calm, plan now, act later, take initiative and leave no one behind, head of their group. Until that night. The plan to get Liz had been quick and effective, if not completely concrete. It worked though, as had majority of his life and death plans up until then. Liz had been rescued. The only problem was he’d had to make the sacrifice in order for that to happen, Liz or himself. He had chosen himself.
Max’s breath released in a whoosh as he realized that he would do it again. That monster had been ready to take Liz if he couldn’t have him and Nesado had been only too willing to hand her over. What would have happened if they had been too late? Would they have taken Liz? Would she have been subjected to the unthinkable as he had? Would her innocence, her light, have been damaged by that fiend? The images his mind called up under protest were more sickening than the pictures Pierce had shown him and his nightmares combined. It repulsed him further to realize that he wouldn’t even know where to begin to call up such phantasm if it hadn’t been for his own incarceration.
Now the worst had happened, Liz had been taken, just as he, they both, had taunted. And what was he doing? Sitting here moping and crying like a child who’d had his favorite toy taken away. Liz deserved better than that. For the first time in nearly a year Max allowed himself to feel the molten anger that coursed steadily through his veins. The abhorrent hatred that was so intense if frightened him bubbled to the surface and a low primal growl sounded from his throat.
Max’s breathing became shallow as he let the immense amounts of rage seep farther into his consciousness to give him purpose and direction. He reached out on either side of him to fist the sheets in his hands as blood, power, and energy simmered in his veins. He was easily distracted from his growing catharsis though when a piece of paper slid off the pillow he’d knocked askew and come in contact with his hand. The lief burned where it brushed against his skin without leaving a mark.
Carefully picking it up with the tips of his fingers he looked the note over, did a double take, and read if over again in utter shock. Finishing the letter for a second time Max felt something in him snap. It had been gathering but this was the final straw. He was a King. He was her King. And it was about damn time he started acting like it. Fury rolled through him at an alarming rate. It brewed in his veins, bringing his blood to a steady boil. His power rose in anticipation and ebbed as he reigned it in with more control then he’d felt in months. He was through being afraid. It was time for this bastard who finally had a face to be brought to his knees.
Gathering his swiftly turning thoughts, Max took one last look at her bed knowing for certain that he would keep the promises he’d made to her here. If only to bring her back.
“... ‘cause this day couldn’t possibly get any worse.” Kyle’s ominously factious words echoed thought the diner as he led Tess back in though the break room.
“Kyle.” Jim rushed forward from where he was leaning against what was left of the counter to impulsively pull both Tess and his son into a hug. Normally they were not into outward displays of affection but he couldn’t help himself. The kids had told him they had just gone out back to check things out, but all this devastation had naturally turned his mind to his children and their safety.
“Dad. Dad, we’re ok.” Kyle pulled back after a minute. He understood, he’d been just as happy to see his father safe, though he might not admit it quite as openly. There was a more pressing matter that needed to be discussed however, and it couldn’t wait for family bonding.
“Good. Good,” the older man gruffly cleared his throat, patting his son on the shoulder. “Tess? You’re all right?” He turned to the little blond who he had always seen as a might bit more fragile than other people did.
“I’m ok Sheriff,” she smiled softly, touched by his concern.
When no one moved or said anything after that Gwyn attempted to break the awkward silence from where she and Justin were leaning against one of the booths. “Did you guys find something?”
The three turned back to the group forming a quasi circle with those standing, sitting, and leaning. Tugging on Tess’ hand, Kyle brought her closer to his side, not wanting it to show how much what they’d found truly upset him.
“Yeah, you could definitely say we found something. I’m glad you’re here dad, we’re going to need your help a lot more than I thought.” Before he could further elaborate a steady staccato of steps on the back stair case captured everyone’s attention. A moment later an obviously determined, if still paler than death, Max came though what used to be the swinging door.
“Max!” Isabel flew at her brother from where she was sitting in a booth with Alex. Justin had managed to heal him some more. It wasn’t great, but it wouldn’t infect and there wasn’t any more pain. She threw her arms around him and held on for countless seconds, when she finally pulled back the hardness of his features caught her by surprise.
He offered her a small, sad smile as partial reassurance.
Isabel looked her brother over appraisingly. Not great, not good even, but whatever he’d done or thought about by himself, his current state was a vast improvement from earlier. He was pale, his hair was messy, and his clothes wrinkled but he wasn’t shaking anymore and there was a light back in his eyes. It was considerably duller than she had seen just earlier that morning when he had been day dreaming about Liz while eating his cereal but still, it was a dark gleam that had purpose and direction. Looking deeper, she saw the way his lips drew into a line and how hard his features were set. That dark glow suddenly gave her a chill. It wasn’t born of renewed hope or remembered love, it was something angry and commanding that sent a shiver down her spine. He seemed so... in control.
“Are you ok Max?” The slight quiver in her voice spoke of the toll the afternoon had taken on her usually composed exterior.
His eyes softened further at his sister’s obvious concern, “no,” he answered honestly. “I’m not ok Iz. I’m a very long way off from ok, but I’m not going fall apart if that’s what you mean.”
“I’m so sorry Max,” she whispered as she pulled him back into her arms, wanting desperately to take that dead note out of his voice. He hadn’t been unkind but it was very obvious, at least to her, that his control over his emotions was tenuous at best and the cold shell that had frightened her was his only way of coping at the moment. That she could defiantly relate to. There was something though, something different about him. It wasn’t the grief or stress and it wasn’t his cool facade. There was something about the way he was holding himself, the way he spoke, even the way the was stroking her hair that was almost, the only word for it was- regal.
“Hey guys,” Kyle unceremoniously interrupted. “I hate to break up the moment but now that his highness is gracing us with his presence, Ow!” Tess jabbed him in the ribs while half the room pelted him with withering looks. “This is hardly the time to be sensitive,” he defended himself while rubbing his side.
“Or snide and petty,” Isabel returned in full ice princess mode, as she moved to stand protectively next to Max.
Kyle snorted, crossing his arms over his chest, not at all intimidated by her routine. “Hey, do you want to fight or do you want to know about the body in the dumpster?” That shut every body up pretty quickly.
Max pinned him with that same look that had made his sister shiver, his voice coming out so smooth and dominant it took the group by as much surprise as Kyle’s announcement. “What body?”
“I remembered that the trash got picked up yesterday, so there couldn't have been too much in the dumpster. It was a long shot, but I peeked over the edge to see if there was anything clue worthy in there and what do I see? None other than Rob McClain, dead. I’m guessing a broken neck, unless we find any other distinguishing marks.”
No one really knew what to say. It had been at least a week since he had caused any trouble and now he had shown up dead outside the Crashdown. This was an unexpected complication they didn’t need.
Maria, not surprisingly, was the first to find her voice. “Sure he was a jerk, nobody liked him, but who would have killed him?” She asked no one inparticular.
Jim rubbed the back of his neck trying to get out the kinks that had formed at the mere thought of having to cover up another well connected body. “Do you think it could have been this Durton fellow?” The question was directed to Max who was obviously back in active leader mode.
“No,” he responded shortly.
Michael shook his head, refuting Max’s explanation, or lack their of, in true Guerin fashion. “Why not? This guy’s a psycho Maxwell. He’s out to kill Liz, what’s few more expendable humans along the way?”
“He was never here Michael. If he were we would have known and if she saw him, Liz would have told me.”
“Then who took her? Why wouldn’t he come himself?”
“He’s been planing this too long to blow it by letting us see him. It was probably someone working for him.”
“Ok. I’ll buy that,” he narrowed his eyes at him, “but why do you sound as if you know that for a fact?”
Max held up the piece of paper he’d been clutching. “Because he left me a note.” He handed the paper to Michael who promptly uttered several colorful oaths. After reading it over several times he passed it off to Maria. The letter made the rounds of their little group leaving each one in a new state of shock before coming back to Max. He read over the letter one more time;
Max, Max, Max.
You always did wear you’re heart on your sleeve. It was your downfall then, and it will be your down fall now. I may not have found the Granolith when I searched your pitiful little mind, but I did find something much more important.
Stings doesn’t it? Knowing it was you who led me to her all along. Don’t worry Max, she’ll be much happier with me. Dead or alive.
Now, as much as I wish I could leave it there, I can’t. See, my brother really wants the Granolith and since I already have my prize I think its only fair I help him get his, don’t you? I mean, family is so important. Hmm... I wonder what Lillyah and I will name the kids?
I’ve got her Max, you might as well give up the Granolith and maybe I’ll let you and your pathetic little band live out you days on this God forsaken rock. So, what’s it gonna be Max? Another futile fight you can’t possibly win, or give us back what is rightfully ours?
Silly me, you probably know me better by my Earth name, Nicholas.
PS. don’t bother looking. You wouldn’t be able to find her if you lived a thousand lifetimes.
As he finished reading, Max was acutely aware of everyone’s eyes resting on him looking for reaction and direction. The question he’d been dreading hung heavily in the air but went unsaid. Crumbling the note in his fist, he looked around the circle of what was essentially the royal council of Antar, meeting each of their gaze in turn. His cheeks blushed with anger and his eyes turned a tiger’s shade of gold as they finally came to rest on that spot where Liz’s blood cooled. With more venom and assurance than had ever been heard in his voice, he made his first official edict as King.
“If its war they want then its war we’ll give them. Only this time we will win, and when we do your Queen will be at my side.”
To be continued in...
Searching For the Present
I have to ask. Show of hands, who went “OH MY GOD!”
[ edited 1 time(s), last at 27-Nov-2001 12:41:29 AM ]
|posted on 27-Nov-2001 12:34:54 AM|
|Cut Scenes for the board|
These are the cut scenes, duh. I included a little note at the top of each scene so you know where it came from. When reading these please remember that these are very rough, they are all unfinished and there for unedited. I did a quick spell check and skimmed for any big errors but I wasn’t going to put that much time into editing things that aren’t part of the story. Lines like this ------------ are places where I was not writing continuously and there would have been something put in between the two parts to unite the scene had it been finished.
As always if you have any questions about information contained in a cut scene I would be happy to answer them. I’m going to post these now and wish everyone a safe and happy holiday. I’ll try to get the clue key out over the weekend.
Love you all
This was originally to have gone in Chapter 27 or 28 but was cut due to length. Then I revised the scene and put it into chapter 39, when the girls got drunk.
“Oh ewww,” Maria exclaimed. Everyone turned to her. “Sorry, she was talking about Liz being drawn to you guys and I remembered something that happened when the dupes were here.” She looked a Gwyn, “I have a question. Are the dupes, that’s what I call them, are they genetically identical to our group? So, if Michael is Liz’s brother isn’t Rath technically also her brother?”
Liz covered her open mouth with her hand. “Oh my God,” she breathed out.
“Yes, genetically Rath is Liz’s brother.”
“Oh, I think I’m going to be sick.” Liz stared turning a light shade of green.
Maria turned back to her in horror. “Oh Liz, that is so gross. Not only that, he did it of his own free will.”
Michael furrowed his brow. “Who did what?”
Liz was unable to answer so Maria did for her. “Before we knew the dupes were actually here Rath came up to Liz in school and pretended to be you. He asked if since she and Max were not together currently, would she consider going out with you. Of course, she said ‘ewww’ and he proceeded to shove his tongue down her throat.”
“He did what ?”
This was a continuation of the confrontation in chapter 30, where Max is finally told the complete truth about what Liz did. I cut it out because I thought it was more effective to see the before and after of how it affected Max rather than see the whole process and have something recounted that the reader already had intimate knowledge of.
Michael and Tess took the chairs facing Max and Isabel sat on the love seat, her legs curled under her. They sat and stared at one another for a few agonizingly long moments. No one knew quite where to start. Isabel finally spoke glaring at her brother.
“Max I have no idea what is wrong with you. Truthfully, right now I really don’t care. I would ask for an explanation for what was going through your head but its not me that needs to hear it. I don’t think there is really anyway for you to comprehend what exactly you have done to Liz. She is completely destroyed. You didn’t even let her explain what happened. I thought you were supposed to know her better than any of us. How could you ever believe that she would do something that devious out of pure malice?
“I remember a time not too long ago when she had a whole lot of faith in you. She has gone along with you on countless things when you had no idea what was going on. This one time, one time Max, when she needed you to have faith in her you did not even let her explain.”
“Was she- was she very upset?”
“No Max, she was disappointed. We’re all disappointed. We have come to expect more from you than this. Yes, maybe that has been unfair to you but in this case I don’t think so. I mean, God Max, she gave up everything for you. She did everything because you asked her to and then you threw it back in her face.”
“Why does everyone keep saying that. And what was Maria talking about ‘future Max’. I know I screwed up big here but I think I’m missing something.”
Michael rolled his eyes. “You just catching on to that now Maxwell. Welcome to the party. The theme is Liz saved the world and you killed her spirit and crushed her heart.”
Max agitatedly ran his hands through his hair. “What is it with you guys lately. Am I the only one who is able to speak in coherent sentences anymore?”
“I don’t think you are in any position to be making accusations like that. Liz gave you a chance but you didn’t let her tell you what happened so now I’m going to have to do it. I’m not going to break the news nearly as gently either.
This was a line I cut from chapter 39, from the drunken arc, I don’t remember what it pertained to but sifting through stuff I thought it was funny.
“You know, you are the perfect combination of the two of them, Lizzy-boo. If Michael and Maxie had a baby, you would be it.”
These two were part of an original draft of chapter 55 but I decided not to actually show the phone call with Liz’s mom (I changed a big part of it anyway) and I decided to have Michael be more understanding so as not to back Liz into a corner and make her feel completely alone and question her decisions.
The phone rang then, startling them both and momentarily saving Liz.
“Hold that thought,” she sprang up from the couch hurrying to the phone. It was late, but too soon for Max to be calling so she had to answer in case it was an emergency.
“Hello?... Mom?... Its a really bad connection, where are you?”
Michael was by her side now, trying to hear into the other end of the phone.
“Everything’s fine here... A cooking class, really?... No, no that’s great.” She was smiling from ear to ear now, clutching to a confused Michael’s arm. “Yeah... finals next week... Oh you did?... Really? Eleven percent, no, I didn’t do anything differently... You’re kidding? Yeah that would be great. I could really use the extra time to study. Uh huh... Uh huh... The second, no, no I don’t have any big plans. Sure. Ok. I love you too. Tell daddy. Yeah, bye.”
Liz hung up the phone the biggest grin on her face. Impulsively she reached up and hugged Michael while letting out little shrieks of joy.
Michael tried to pry her off him, “Liz? What’s going on? Are your parents coming home early?”
“Oh my gosh Michael! Its the best news, apparently dad really loves Italy and he talked mom into staying another week so he could take some cooking classes that are arranged through their hotel especially for tourists.” She giggled, “mom didn’t sound too happy about it. He’s been talking about opening another restaurant or delving the Crash in half and making into an Italian restaurant. Anyway,” she moved on to the really important stuff when Michael blew out an annoyed breath and sat back down on the couch. “That’s the really good news, that they won’t be back until the second. Also, they had their accountant fax them the revenues for the first two months they were gone and apparently they’re up eleven percent form the same time last year, which I can not figure out because we closed the cafe early so often. Oh well, as a reward and because finals are coming up they said that after this Monday I could leave it closed until they get home. Isn’t that great?”
“So, what was all that stuff downstairs?” Liz looked up from her history paper to see Michael making himself comfortable on her bed. She really didn’t want to talk about what happened with Justin. She had a feeling the conversation probably wouldn’t go any better with her brother.
“Don’t you have homework?” she asked, returning her gaze to her paper.
“Don’t change the subject, what happened in the back room? You were upset about something. Don’t bother hiding it,” he cut off her immanent protest. “ I could feel you and I thought Max was going to jump out of his skin. I saw Justin go back there and we all heard raised voices, did he say or do something...”
“No Michael,” she sighed. “We just... had a difference of opinion. It wasn’t a big deal.”
“You and Justin? Justin who thinks you and Gwyn walk on water? Justin who bowed the first time he met you and Max?”
“That’s the one.”
“What Michael?” She really didn’t think she could take someone else yelling at her about this. Max had made her fell much better but she hadn’t told him for that reason. She would tell them when it was all said and done.
“What did you argue about?” Michael was exercising every diplomatic skill he had to not shake this out of her. He’d learned that Liz didn’t respond to his usual gruff way of handling things. He needed to know if he and Max needed to have a ‘talk’ with Justin or if he needed to put a stop to one of Liz’s plans. His sinking suspicion was the latter.
This is also a pull from chapter 55. It gives a little more insight into Gwyn’s insecurities but I stopped with that direction in that chapter because I wanted it to be more about Justin than Gwyn.
She didn’t want to let that part of her out just yet, for two reasons. One, it would provoke a guilty reaction and apology from Justin just to get her to stop crying and she wanted to know if he was really sorry and if he understood just how much he had hurt her. Second, Gwyn absolutely hated that part of herself. That weak, wounded, crying, little girl that lay beneath her normally calm, nurturing exterior. She hated that when someone yelled at her or after a crisis she was almost always reduced to tears. She hated to admit that on occasion she needed to be taken care of too. Most of all she hated to admit that things like this could hurt her at all. She was supposed to be the mother figure and soothe all their hurts, didn’t that mean that she wasn’t supposed to get hurt herself? It made her feel weak and powerless and like a complete failure all over again.
This is all that exists of the original chapter 56. It was to have been only one scene from the omniscient perspective of one of the unknown stalkers. Rob was to have been putting his plan into action and Colin to intercept. The commotion the confrontation caused was mentioned briefly in the posted 56.
Secrets in the Past
Late, late Saturday, March 24th.
It was late, he’d made sure of that. Stealthily he walked down the alley, sticking to the shadows. He couldn’t wait any longer. Not after having to watch them get closer and closer all week long. Everything was ready, he never got to do a trial run but he couldn’t spare another day, too much was at steak.
His car was parked half a block away at the end of the alley. He had watched at this time every night for the last week and it would be safe to carry her that far without being seen.
Tonight was the night she would be his and not even the high and mighty Max Evans would stop him. After all she’d put him though he wouldn’t settle for anything less than forever.
As he stalked down the alley he was completely unaware of hard face watching him in the shadows.
Nine minutes, twenty seconds. Nine minutes and twenty second was all he needed. Nine minutes and twenty seconds and she would be his for eternity. True, he hadn’t done a complete trial run but he knew the plan like the back of his hand and he tested enough to know that everything would run smoothly. All he had to do was wait until the light in the guest room had been out for at least a half an hour and then he was ready.
If Michael’s light was off that meant that Liz was surly asleep. He had the stuff to make sure she stayed that way until he got her to the safe place too.
|posted on 27-Nov-2001 12:35:34 AM|
This is cut from chapter 57 for length. I was going to add more and turn it into a LC, but I can’t remember what I was going to add. So, here it is.
“Right, so water freezes at 32 degrees ferenheight, then at what temperature Celsius does it freeze?”
“Uhh, negative 32?”
Tess sighed in bewilderment before banging her head several times on the Valenti’s dining room table.
“What? Is that wrong?” Kyle and Tess had been working on his intro to chemistry homework for most of the afternoon and Tess was getting a little cranky.
“Kyle the whole basis of the formula is that you add or subtract 32.”
“So, it would be 64?” He asked, still confused as to what he wasn’t doing right. She let out a frustrated scream, throwing her hands up in the air.
“Give it up Tess. The Valenti’s have never been much for science.” Jim walked into the room as he finished buttoning up his denim shirt.
Tess snorted, “you can say that again. Maybe you should ask Liz to help you Kyle. She probably has more patience than I do.”
“Nope,” he shook his head. “She refused to tutor me anymore even before we broke up.”
“Well, maybe Gwyn then, or Max, but not me anymore.”
“Aww, come on babe.” He slung an arm loosely around her shoulders, “I can learn, I swear,” he promised, sticking out his lower lip and feigning tears.
“First, don’t call me ‘babe’. Second, I know you can learn sweetie,” she said in a softer, placating tone and kissed his cheek. “Just not from me.”
A burst of laughter was heard from the kitchen cut out were the sheriff was fixing his thermos of coffee.
Tess began to gather her books as she spoke to him. “You sure you can’t come over tonight Jim? I know Gwyn really wants to meet you and it would probably be a good idea for you and Justin to get together sometime.”
Grabbing his hat off the counter, he came back into the dining room and headed for the entry way. “I wish I could, but I have to meet with some organizers for the Memorial Day parade in May. We need to make sure we know what streets are going to be blocked off and how much security they will need so I can put in for overtime from the city council. I’m not too sure how long it will take, but I do have the address and I’ll try to swing by if its not too late.”
“Ok, some other time then.”
“Of course, maybe over spring break. I’ll see you kids later. Its a school night so don’t be too late Kyle.”
“I won’t dad,” he hollered after him as the door clicked closed. “Ok, well what now?” Kyle turned to Tess when was shrugging on her backpack.
“Its almost five so we should probably head over to my house. I want to see if Gwyn needs any help.”
This is what was going on in the background while Liz was projecting to Max at Gwyn’s house in chapter 58. I didn’t want to break the moment by having the continuous L/M dialogue interrupted.
In the background he heard murmuring but ignored it until Isabel nearly shouted in his ear. He jumped but refused to look at her. “What is it Isabel?” he asked in obvious inconvenience.
“Max, what are you doing?” She calmly stroked his arm, ignoring how he’d just snapped at her.
He shook her off in annoyance, taking the time to throw her a deadly glance for interrupting. He was instantly caught off guard by her obvious concern though.
“Max, what’s going on? You’re kind of scaring us here.”
“What does it look like I’m doing? I’m talking to Liz.”
“You’re... talking to Liz?” Isabel repeated his statement, wondering if he was really losing it this time.
“Max,” Liz caught his attention again.
“I’m sorry, sweetheart. I didn’t mean to get distracted.” He threw another angry look at Isabel.
Liz all but beamed, he’d never called her that before. “Max, I don’t think she can see me. I think I might actually be connected to you so, like in New York, only you can see me.”
“Iz,” he addressed her, again not looking at her, “Liz is projecting to me like she did in New York. You can’t see her. Ok? Now be quiet. I think she’s in trouble.”
“Gwyn, go call Justin.” Isabel ordered, her eyes never leaving Max. Something was obviously wrong. Liz didn’t project- ever. Nobody else was doing anything to get this show on the road so she would have to.
“Kyle, take Tess and go to the Crashdown. Be careful.”
“Right. Sure.” He grabbed Tess’ hand and hurried out the door past Max who was still pleading with a patch of thin air.
“What about us?” Maria stepped
I put this last because its long, almost an entire completed chapter. This was the original chapter 43. I decided to cut the whole thing and go a different route because the confrontation seemed redundant after the two incidents at the school earlier in the story. Cutting it resulted in chapters 43 and 44. Which contained some previously unscripted scenes that turned out to be both important, Gwyn’s talk with Michael, Valenti looking into Rob’s background, and one of my favorites, Liz and Max’s discussion of his fears concerning her trusting him and her fear of the dark.
Warning: There is a scene in this chapter where someone is going to make some pretty crass and derogatory comments. I don’t think it’s enough to bump it up to an R rating but it is pretty nasty, so consider yourself warned.
Secrets In the Past
Tuesday, After school, The Crashdown...
“No, no, no. You’re not seeing where I’m coming from. If the daddy has to stay home then what about the mommy? Is she out searching the oceans for food? Digging up kelp to put away in case of a storm or is that left up to the daddy too?”
“Alex, I don’t know. I know absolutely nothing about the domestic habits of sea horses.”
“Some help you are,” Alex huffed and flipped to the next section in his bio book. He and Isabel were sitting in the booth that looked out over the sidewalk. Liz was working this afternoon and this was their usual post. Reading over the section on sea sponges, he was about to make another case for the injustice of being a stationary creature when he spotted something coming down the side walk.
“Crap.” He shut his book with a crack and stood, looking around the cafe.
“What?” Isabel looked up from her math book. Alex only pointed out the window. She was instantly on her feet.
“You get Liz, I’ll get Max,” she ordered, then went to get her brother from his usual booth.
Spotting Liz behind the counter, he strode over and hastily began to usher her into the back.
“Alex, what are you doing?” She tried to look over her shoulder at him but had to keep her eyes forward to keep from tripping at the rate he was pushing her into the back. In his periphery he spotted Gwyn. Without stopping, he made a snap decision. Grabbing on to her wrist, he pulled her along as well.
“You too. Come on.”
“What’s going on?” Michael met them as Alex shoved the girls through the swinging door.
“Rob McClain is heading straight for the cafe and he does not look happy.”
Michael growled in agitation, this was the last thing they needed. “Is Max out there?”
“Yeah, Kyle and Colin too.”
“Ok, you guys stay here, we’ll take care of it.” The girls went to sit on the couch, more than a little miffed at being told what to do. Michael whispered in Alex’s ear before going out to the front, “If things get out of control out there call Valenti then go up to Liz’s room and have her seal the door.”
“Will do chief,” Alex mock saluted him. “So,” he addressed the girls putting on an encouraging smile, “who’s up for a rousing game of rock, paper scissors?”
Sitting at the counter, Colin and Kyle stood when they saw Isabel run to get Max and Liz being ushered into the back room. Colin had been mildly accepted into the group. He was really more of a Liz groupie than anything else, but there seemed to be a lot of those these days. Operating under Max’s directive of ‘keep your friends close and your enemies closer’ the boys kept a constant eye on him while he was around but had not seen anything to warrant his dismissal from Liz’s entourage. He hung around the cafe and chatted with her at school, everyone treated him hospitably but made no attempt to include him in their normal rituals of staying late at the Crashdown and the like. The sheriff had run a basic check on him and he checked out ok. And, of course, he wasn’t privy to any otherworldly situations. He seemed a little too straight laced to handle that kind of thing anyway.
Kyle had been the one designated to get to know him a little better. Being captain of three of the varsity sports teams gave him an instant and covert reason for starting a conversation. To Kyle, he seemed like an ok guy. A little formal and shy, but he didn’t really seem like the killer, stalker type. He was obviously way gone on Liz but Kyle thought he knew he didn’t have a chance with her and was resigned to being her friend and worshiping from afar. Not something he was altogether unfamiliar with. There was still an undercurrent of tension between him and Max, but he had proven he would do his best to make sure Liz did not get hurt and that was really the main goal right now.
Making their way over to Max, they watched Isabel leave him and make her way towards the back, exchanging a brief word with Michael on the way. The four boys met in the middle of the cafe, Max acknowledged Colin with a nod. He wasn’t thrilled that he was here, presumably watching Liz, but if Rob was going to make a scene he was glad to have all the help he could get. Everyone in the cafe turned when the front door was jerked open causing the bells to clank loudly against the glass. A hushed whisper spread through the eatery, half full of West Roswell students, as eyes flitted expectantly between Rob McClain and Max Evans.
This was the first time Rob had been seen or heard from since the ‘incident’, for him to show up at the widely known hang out of Liz Parker, Max Evans, and their friends after he practically killed her, was the gossip coup of he year. Rob advanced into the cafe glaring at everyone in his path until he came face to face with Max who was backed up by an equally intimidating Michael Guerin and two other schmucks.
“Evans, Guerin, Valenti, Guy I pummeled.” He sneered at them like this was a pre planed get together. “So, where’s the princess? We uh, have some things to discuss.”
Max stepped forward, but left a fair amount of space between them. He didn’t want this to turn ugly if it didn’t have to . “I’m going to say this once Rob, so listen carefully.” He spoke through clenched teeth, while his fists flexed at his sides. He could sense Michael mere inches behind him, ready to pull him away or take his case depending on the turn of events. Choosing to ignore Rob’s initial comments that were meant to insight him, he went straight to the heart of the matter. “You are not welcome here, Rob. If I see you anywhere near the Crashdown, any of our friends, or if you have even been thinking about Miss Parker, you won’t live to regret it. Are we clear?”
“Oh you’re crystal, Evans,” he snorted a chuckle, obviously amused. “Still, not getting any huh? She’s a real tease ain’t she?” He watched the fury begin to build in Max’s eyes, just what he was going for. “Don’t it just get ya that she takes a tumble with Valenti here, but she plays all sweet and innocent with us? Tell ya what, how’s about we make a deal. You help me and I help you. What da ya say?” He waggled his eyebrows as a small smirk spread over his face.
“That’s enough Rob.” Michael’s voice was tightly controlled as he repeated the ultimatum. “You heard the guy, get your ass out of here before somebody does it for you.” Normally Michael would be the first one to beat this guy to a pulp for even looking at Liz but years of holding back to not blow their cover and stay alive made him hesitate.
The tension in the small dining room was growing by leaps and bounds as the boys stared each other down. The provoked stirring of energy coming off the aliens was nearly visible. None of this daunted their aggressor to cancel his perplexed confrontation though. The only thing that wasn’t going how he’d wanted was that Liz was not here to see this little tet-au-tet.
“Awww, come on. Alls I could think about while I was at that stupid anger management camp my parents sent me to, ass holes that they are, was getting me a piece of that. I hear she’s a real good time. It’s always the little quiet ones you know, all frisky and kinky. Vanilla in public, cherries jubilee in the sack. I bet she’s got a mouth like a hoover. What about it Valenti? Care to give us the goods?”
“Shut up McClain, you kiss your mother with that mouth?” Kyle was holding on to his anger by a thread. Max was calling the shots and he respected that, but how much longer were they going to stand here and let him talk shit about Liz? Buddha would most definitely not approve. He looked over at Max and guessed it wouldn’t be much longer before all hell broke loose. They guy looked almost primal. His eyes were literally black, he was breathing hard through his flared nostrils, and his eyes were narrowed like he was calculating exactly how long it would take to rip every single limb from McClain’s body and exactly how painful he could make it.
“Wouldn’t go down on ya huh? Probably wanted to save those cherry lips for a real man.” His voice dripping with false pity, he actually had the gaul to stick his lower lip out in a pout.
“Get out.” Max growled, advancing another step. He felt a hand on his shoulder but he was beyond caring about whether or not this got violent. This poor excuse for a human deserved what he got, even if it had a little alien power backing it up.
Watching Max’s rage turn to a rolling boil only inspired Rob to go in for the kill. It was laughable how easy their little group was to bait. Not that defending the princess wasn’t noble, he would make up all the things he was saying to her later. Once these dorks were taken care of and without his ‘commitment’ he would have all the time in the universe to make her his. In a few minutes everyone would see Max Evans for what he truly was and the HE would get the girl.
“Or maybe Guerin here wants to get in on the action.” He watched Michael drop his hands off Max’s shoulder, no longer holding him back. Good. “Huh? What about it? I bet she’s real tight, ain’t she Kyle? Probably knows some good moves too. She’s been around the block a few times, she’s gotta have a great catalogue of tricks by now.”
That did it. There was an audible gasp from the patrons and you could see the unadulterated fury on all four boy’s faces. Some would even swear there was a brief flash of red in three of their eyes. Max and Michael moved to lunge at Rob simultaneously. Wanting to defend Liz, but also not wanting to have Max and Michael arrested for a murder to which there would be many witnesses, Kyle and Colin stepped into the fray.
“No, Max. he’s not worth it.” Kyle braced his shoulders with his hands trying to move Max back even an inch.
Rob was beginning to lose his cool. These little twerps getting in his way was NOT part of the plan.
He shouted back over his shoulder as the larger boys drug him out, “You’re gonna pay for this Evans, you and that little slut princess of yours. Nobody says no to me. Do you hear me!? No-”
“Shut up!” Phillips smacked him on the back of the head as he followed him out the door whit an evil grin to Max and Kyle.
*** note - Phillips was to have been a football buddy of Kyle’s who’d been harassing his girlfriend earlier in the year. He was only to happy to lend a hand a drag the jerk out of the Crash, or that’s what would have happened.
|posted on 27-Nov-2001 3:08:26 AM|
|Stalker Key note|
Hey guys here’s the clue/stalker key that I told you about. Hopefully it will shed light on anything that didn’t click for you in the end. I’m also posting part of the time line I used. It will only be color coded on the new RFF board because EZ board said no .
The Antarian Chronicles
There will be more.
Was that clear enough for you guys?
Pandas - I know you’ve been curious further about the reaction, aside from Liz, to Rath’s attraction to her. Several people actually mentioned that it could have a bigger importance back when that scene was in chapter 40. I’m still thinking it over. There could be a place for more discussion on it and perhaps the introduction of a related character in the third book, but my mind is just not quite it that far along. I agree though, that’s a very interesting scenario that deserves a little more investigation.
- I know what you’re thinking and I’m right there with you. The idea of a 14 year old trying anything on Liz even with his superior capabilities is both laughable and icky. I’m taking care of it. ;)
- Colin is one of Durton’s men. Nick/Durton can not shape shift, he’s the wrong species.
Secrets in the Past
There are many other subtle clues throughout the story. Many of the unexplained are foreshadowing for SFTP. This is a basic rundown of who did what, when, and where. Think of it like the end of a movie, The Usual Suspects or The Sixth Sense for example, when they do the flashbacks to show the audience what they missed and how it really happened. Knowing what you do from the the finale of the story, you might want to go back and read key parts yourself and guess which scenes were Rob and which ones were Colin. Or, you could read the key now. It’s up to you.
Chapter 16 -
Someone watching Liz during school: Rob
Leaving alien dolls for Liz and Maria: Rob
Guy chasing Liz down the street: Rob
Chapter 18 -
Guy on balcony blowing out candles, whispering in her ear, and watching Alex and Liz sleep: Rob
-He was hiding on the roof above Liz’s room, that’s why they don’t see him when they check the balcony.
-When the candles blow out and he whispers in Liz’s ear he is standing directly behind her. When she moves he moves with her so she never sees him. She is already so worked up and frazzled she does not detect his actual physical presence.
Chapter 24 -
Guy in Liz’s room during her nightmare: Colin
Guys talking on the phone after her dream: Colin and Nicholas/Durton
- “... the blonde one interrupted me”
This refers to when Colin went to see Liz at Michael’s after the Rob incident, NOT the actual incident where Rob attacked Liz in the hall and Isabel stopped him. Maria, a blonde, was there when he was talking to her.
Left alien doll on Liz’s balcony: Rob
Left skin on her balcony: Colin
Chapter 34a -
He (Colin) watched them all from his perch above the rest of the crowd. He (Rob) was getting too close to her. Something might have to be done. It was interesting that she (Liz) knew she was being watched but he (Max) didn’t. They (the Pod Squad and company) walked off to their cars poorly disguising the fact they new they were being followed. When they pulled away he (Colin) pulled out his cell and dialed.
“Is he (Nick/Durton) up?”
“Just a minute” footsteps could be heard in the background.
“I think the other one (Rob) my be getting too close. I need to know if you want him (Rob) out of the way.”
“No, not yet. I can use him (Rob) to my advantage right now. Wait ‘till later but if he does anything stupid do it (kill him).”
- Colin has become aware that Rob was stalking Liz. He’s been following Rob to make sure he did not hurt her. Nick/Durton sees him as a way to shift suspicion off of Colin as being the true stalker. However, if he tries to hurt Liz, he wants him dead.
Chapter 36 -
“... all the skins on his knuckles were raw,”
Skins, plural, was a clue, not a typo. Quite a few people saw Colin getting beat up and brawling with Rob. He couldn’t heal himself or his cover would be blown. Plus, it earned him brownie points with Liz.
Chapter 42 -
The phone conversation in this is between Colin and Nick/Durton. Colin is obviously in love with Liz, hence the noticing of the white roses and his contempt for Max. However, he is equally afraid of Nick/Durton and knows he can never actually be with Liz because she ‘belongs’ to Durton.
Earlier in the chapter it’s mentioned that Kyle saw Rob driving past the Crashdown in his car. That’s true, he did, but the call is Colin speaking with Nick/Durton. Rob was just checking things out.
“Where have you been? Why haven’t I heard from you?”
“Uhh, I had a little incident, had to lay low for a while.”
“Why? What happened? Did you blow your cover you imbecile?”
“No! No, I took care of it. Eveything’s under control.”
He was in that fight with Rob, then it’s mentioned in Chapter 37 that Liz had not seen much of Colin for a few days after Rob attacked her and Gwyn. While Liz assumed it was because of his instant popularity, it was because he was trying not to draw anymore attention to himself from Max and the group.
Chapter 46 -
In this chapter the entity that was possessing Alex picked a prime opportunity to drop in and listen to the conversation where Justin was revealing the odd stock piling Durton was doing. All instances after chapter 42 were Alex is referred to as acting odd or off are when he is being possessed and they are being spied on. The occurrences are so short that they mask themselves as temporary zone outs and the real Alex doesn’t suspect a thing.
“Now we know what they were doing in Liz’s room and why they knocked us out.” Maria dug out her bottle of cedar oil trying to keep calm in light of the new development.
“It would take time to write all the stuff down. They had to knock us out to make sure we didn’t come in.”
“Why not just kill you, I mean us?” Alex asked again.
This is one of the few instances where he actually spoke but in this case he could get valuable information as to how well the Roswell group knew their enemy and how to counter them.
Chapter 48 -
Here we have Colin watching Liz, Gwyn and Justin leave the mall the afternoon of Liz’s big date with Max and then his phone call with Durton. Colin’s ‘love’ for Liz is starting to make him a little loopy by this point, especially since he hasn’t had any real contact with her in a few weeks. He’s not remembering things as they really happened anymore.
This would be so much easier if she hadn’t turned him down. And now she was apparently back with the possessive jerk, making what he had to do so clear. She didn’t belong with him, anybody could see that. Maybe she didn’t belong with his boss either but it had to be better than that neanderthal.
There are several times when he could have perceived her as turning him down, while baby sitting, when he called while she and Max were at the park, the simple fact that she doesn’t really argue with Max and Michael restriction of her seeing him. He obviously doesn’t like Max but its only because of his protectiveness of Liz, not because they are on opposing sides of the war.
He calls Durton to report her powers to him. Liz actually scares him, but its because he’s afraid that somehow she might have the power to keep them at bay and he would lose his connection to her. He’s not afraid of her hurting him.
“You know the camera we planted in the UFO center to watch Max?”
There was a camera planted in the UFO center but he is referring to it and the entity that was embodying Alex at the time.
This is also the conversation where Durton learns of Gwyn's presence with the pod squad and her apparent knowledge of his whereabouts and plans. It leads him to discovering Ronna and Daniel, the underground’s informants, and executing them, and later the events in the final 4 chapters.
“No. Not at all sir.” He adjusted his voice to ooze confidence, internally berating himself for letting the Durton intimidate him. “I was simply thinking of your best interests.”
While he does work for him, Colin hates Durton. He thinks he’s a slimy little jerk and has no respect for the snot. Unfortunately he hasn’t the confidence to stand up for himself and is afraid of him. Hence the wavering between sarcastic placating and borderline groveling.
Chapter 52 -
Here Rob watches Max and Liz kiss good night after their big date out in the desert. Up until now Liz has had a predictable routine and he didn’t know about the date since Max was the one planing it, which is why he didn’t follow them out there.
He may have been crazy, but he did have a plan.
While this wasn’t catastrophic, it was bad, very bad. There was going to have to be some kind of damage control implemented. This new development would make the second phase of the plan harder. The plan itself still had kinks in it that needed to be perfected, maybe even a trial run. Now this, the schedule would have to be moved up.
Liz’s renewed affections towards Max could have messed up his bid to get her to eventually see him as her savior. He couldn’t take the chance of things progressing to the point that she would be spending a lot more time with Max, so he had to move up his ‘plan’ to kidnap her. He’s a psycho, his logic doesn’t have to make perfect sense.
Chapter 56 -
“... There was some commotion in the alley last night. Probably just some stray cats prowling in the dumpster. They woke me up around three and I had trouble going back to sleep...” from Liz.
This line basically sums up what was supposed to be the original chapter 56 [see cut scenes]. The entire chapter was supposed to be one of the ‘he’s’ going to kidnap Liz and getting stopped and amusingly killed. I may eventually add it as an LC but I don’t know.
Chapter 57 -
The shape shifter posing as Max called her earlier that morning after learning from the entity that was inhabiting Alex that they were all meeting at Gwyn’s. ‘Max’ asked to pick her up knowing that Michael wouldn’t question it until it was too late.
Alex was being used by and off world alien the same way Larek used Brody and more recently Kivar used that blond guy.
Chapter 59 -
Colin never met the two henchman Durton sent him in person before this point. He was too afraid someone would over hear him talking to Alex, question him and them figure out that another entity was borrowing Alex’s body.
Chapter 60 -
“I remembered that the trash got picked up yesterday, so there couldn't have been too much in the dumpster. It was a long shot, but I peeked over the edge to see if there was anything clue worthy in there and what do I see? None other than Rob McClain, dead. I’m guessing a broken neck, unless we find any other distinguishing marks.”
It is Rob McClain in the dumpster and Colin did put him there. It was both an order from Durton (chapter 34) and his own will. He would not allow Rob to harm Liz, as was his intent that night.
Did I miss something? Something I didn’t explain well enough or you need more info on? You know what to do.
[ edited 2 time(s), last at 27-Nov-2001 3:12:39 AM ]
|posted on 27-Nov-2001 3:14:11 AM|
For Secrets In the Past and The Antarian Chronicles
Antarian Year/Earth Year
Current Year: 6622/2001
Formula: to convert Earth year to Antarian + 4,621.
To convert Antarian year to Earth - 4,621
Note: For convenience sake an Earth year and an Antarian year are the same length. This was complicated enough.
Brown = events and dates relating to Antar
Blue = events and dates relating to Earth
Purple = Ages of main characters
6321/1700 ~ Skin’s planet Croath dies. They come to Antar, take over Jannar.
6521/1900 ~ Vanos comes to power.
6539/1918 ~ Eirya and Vonnie are born.
6540/1919 ~ Zan and Rath are born.
6542/1921 ~ Lillyah is born.
6545/1924 ~ Lillyah and Rath come to live at the palace.
(Z/R:5, V:6, L:3)
6549/1928 ~ Eirya comes to live at the palace.
(Z/R:9, V/E:10, L:7)
6550/1929 ~ Ava is born.
(Z/R:10, V/E:11, L:8)
6562/1941 ~ Lillyah and Valondra's diplomatic trip to Jannar where they meet Sininndor and Durton for the first time.
(Z/R:22, V/E:23, L:20)
6563/1942 ~ King Vanos dies and Zan is crowned.
(Z/R:23, V/E:24, L:21)
6565/1944 ~ Lillyah dies, is recreated human in the form of Liz Parker. Her pod is sent to earth along with the Granolith.
(Z/R:25, V/E:26, L:23)
6566/1945 ~ The ship containing Liz’s pod arrives on earth and she is entrusted to Claudia Parker.
~ Zan and Ava are married.
(Z/R:26, V/E:27, A:16)
6568/1947~ Antar falls to the rebel forces of Sininndor who is proclaimed Kivar. The royal four are killed and recreated by the newly formed Antarian Underground who’s goal is to someday retake the planet and restore honor to their fallen monarchy. The royal four and their decoy duplicates are sent to earth where the ship crashes.
(Z/R:28, V/E:29, A:18)
6571/1950 ~ Kivar and Durton get wind of the Underground's plan and know that the royal’s and the Granolith were sent to earth. Kivar sends forces to find and destroy them and bring back the Granolith. Durton agrees to command the forces with the primary goal of finding Lillyah and making her his.
6581/1960 ~ A ship containing a contingent of poded Antarian Underground members and sympathizers lands in the Arizona desert.
6605/1984 ~ Maria Deluca, Alex Whitman, and Kyle Valenti are born.
~ Lillyah emerges from her pod as a six month old infant, She is adopted by Jeff and Nancy Parker who name her Liz Parker.
6610/1989 ~ The royal four, their duplicates in New York and the hybrid contingent of the Antarian Underground including Gwyndolin Reynolds and Justin Walker emerge from their pods in the form of six year old humans. (6)
6612/1991 ~ Max Evans meets Liz Parker for the first time. The prophecy of the Roshina begins to be fulfilled. (8)
6620/1999 ~ Liz Parker is shot in the Crashdown Cafe and saved by Max Evans. (16)
6621/2000 ~ Future Max comes to Liz Parker and asks her to help him save the world. The prophecy of the sacrifice is fulfilled. Durton becomes aware of who and where Lillyah is. (17)
6622/2001 ~ The heads of the Underground finally find Lillyah in the form of Liz Parker. Thus begins our story. (17/18)