posted on 4-Jun-2002 2:18:40 AM
strangevisitors

Ok, I've got a three chapter headstart on this story, so here goes nothing. Hope you like it.
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STRANGE VISITORS
PROLOGUE

DISCLAIMER: Liz, Max, Michael, Maria, Isabel, and Kyle belong to Jason Katmis and UPN. Clark Kent, however, belongs to the WB and DC Comics. Superman was created by Jerry Siegel and Joe Schuster. I don’t own them.

CATEGORY: Max/Liz, and possibly a little Clark/Chloe.

RATING: PG-13

SPOILERS: Takes place immediately after ‘Ch-ch-changes’. (And after 'Hug' for any Smallville fans out there)

EDITOR'S NOTE: I’ve noticed that there are quite a few Roswell fans that call Smallville a ‘copy’ of Roswell. Now, I could go into a ‘chicken and the egg’ speech, but I don’t think it’s necessary. The only similarity between the shows I found were the titles and the fact that the leading characters are both from other planets. So this story focuses on the differences between the two instead of the similarities. One more thing…Lana Lang is the complete polar opposite of Liz Parker, I don’t care what anyone else says. Even trying to compare those two is…just wrong. Clark Kent has his own ‘Liz’, and it’s definitely not Lana. Her name is Lois Lane.


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Space.

Infinite. Dark. Blanketed with stars, each one home to its own star system. Legends have been shaped by such majesty.

There are billions of worlds in the universe. And millions of them home to intelligent life. However, in the entire cosmos, there is no place like this.

Earth.

Out of the sky came a blast of emerald fire, so intense that the stars paled in comparison, streaking directly towards earth.

Towards Roswell, New Mexico. And whatever fate awaits it.

*****


“Great,” Kyle Valenti muttered. “Why do I get stuck with ‘clean up crew’?”

Kyle walked around the desert, just outside Roswell. As usual, he was the one everyone went to when the ‘manual labor’ had to be done.

Max was inconsolable ever since Liz left, Michael didn’t do much these days but mope around at watch ‘Bewitched’. Isabel was too involved in newlywed bliss, and his dad was still immersed in his mid-life crisis.

That left ‘good old Kyle’ to check out and see if there was anything left of the pod chamber after Tess rocketed out of there. Why they didn’t just go check it out months ago was beyond him.

‘Avoiding suspicion’ apparently. As far as Kyle was concerned, he called it ‘twiddling their thumbs’.

Kyle looked up at the hill that the pod chamber entrance used to be, and grasped his shovel. Oh well, time to get to work.

Then, he noticed something streaking in the sky. Something green.

A shooting star? he thought. Well, maybe it was worth the trip after all.

He stared at the self-styled comet and smiled. Then, something bizarre started to happen.

It turned towards him.

“Holy—“ Kyle watched as the ‘shooting star’ buried itself where the pod chamber used to be, leveling the rock formation and burying itself deep under ground.

Kyle ran towards it, his curiosity getting the better of him. If there was anything left of the pod chamber before, there definitely wouldn’t be anymore.

He reached the area where it landed, and looked down. It had hit on an angle, so it wasn’t so much a hole as a tunnel. A tunnel that was glowing green.

Suddenly something occurred to him. What if it wasn’t a comet?

What if it was a ship. More aliens?

Maybe Tess had found a way back?

Oh god, Kyle thought. I’ve got to talk to Max, or dad, or…or…

“Aw the heck with it,” Kyle said out loud. “Wherever you are, Alex, I hope you appreciate this”

Then he slid down the tunnel.

*****


Liz Parker gazed out the window of the bright yellow cab. The green grass…the deep blue rivers…the amber fields…it was so different from the deserts of New Mexico.

After all, she’d lived in Roswell her entire life, hadn’t she? She needed a change, and a sense or normalcy. If she could be considered ‘normal’.

A small patch of frost on the window blocked her view. Cautiously, she raised her hand her hand to it.

Focus, she thought. Like what Nasedo told Michael, remember? All you have to do is…

All at once, the palm of her hand began to glow. Then, the patch of frost melted.

Liz smiled, proud of herself.

That was her, Elizabeth Parker: super hero.

Yeah right, she thought. I’m just a small town girl who just happened to be the object of the affection of someone literally ‘out of this world’.

It was poetic justice, really. For most of her life, she hated being so ordinary. So boring. Then, she met Max Evans and everything changed.

At first, it was just the secret she had to keep from the world. That Max, Michael, and Isabel were aliens. The very same ones who crashed in Roswell back in 1947. They stayed, for decades, in incubation pods. Until they hatched just over a decade ago, resembling ordinary human beings. That stayed a secret until the day Liz was shot at the Crashdown restaurant. Max used his powers to heal her, and then it began.

As time went on, things became worse. The special unit of the FBI kept trying to expose them, and kill them. Then they found out where they were from. A planet called Antar, which was caught in the middle of a civil war. A planet where Max was the king.

And Tess, a fourth alien, was his queen.

Tess, she thought, with rage. She had to force herself to calm down when she noticed the green electricity began to form on her hands again.

As fast as it came, it went again.

Liz sighed in relief. As long as she kept calm, she’d be fine.

Tess was gone now, but her troubles were far from over.

It had just became too much. When Max brought her back to life, it didn’t come without a price. Ever since, she’d been changing. At first, she just got mental ‘flashes’ whenever her and Max kissed. However, slowly and surely, she was becoming like him.

She was turning into an alien herself. The only problem was, when she was around Max, she couldn’t control it. She had to get away. To somewhere where Max couldn’t find her, as much as it hurt to be away from him.

Everyone…Max, Maria, even her parents, thought she was at that boarding school in Vermont. She couldn’t go there…Max would find her there. She had to go somewhere no one would find her. Somewhere…small.

They passed the sign then, the one that said ‘Welcome To Smallville’.

“Well, Miss Parker,” the cab driver told her. “Welcome to Kansas.”

Liz sighed. Half with awe, half depressed.

Her expression changed when something came streaking by the window, too fast for anyone to see.

Unless, of course, your senses had started to be more…accurate. Liz could see things other people couldn’t.

“Damn wind!” the cab driver exclaimed.

But it wasn’t the wind. Liz knew that. It was some sort of car. Or a jet. Or…

No, that was crazy. It couldn’t be. But…

…for a moment, she almost swore that it was a person.

*****


The ‘streak’ ran ahead, faster than the normal eye could see.

You see, Max and his friends weren’t the only aliens on earth.

In the middle of a wheat field, the speeding figure stopped. Without any effort at all.

He was fifteen years old, dressed in blue jeans and a red t-shirt. Underneath the shirt was a physical figure that would make most Olympic athletes green with envy. His pitch-black hair grown just over his ears. And his eyes were ice blue, almost crystal-like.

His name was Clark Kent.

“I am so late,” he muttered, and took off running again.

He needed to get to class.

Little did Clark know, in only a few days, his life would change forever.


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NEXT: Liz meets Clark Kent, Chloe Sullivan, and Lex Luthor. What's Clark hiding, and why does it seem...familier...to Liz? Plus, what's Max doing back in Roswell. Just tune in to find out.

-Peter

[ edited 7 time(s), last at 3-Feb-2003 12:20:40 AM ]
posted on 4-Jun-2002 2:36:58 PM
Oh, don't worry...there's more than 3 chapters.*happy*

Right now, I'm planning for the story to be 10 chapters long. That may change, depending on how the story flows. Right now, I'm halfway done chapter four.

I'll post part one tonight.

-Peter
posted on 4-Jun-2002 11:18:29 PM
STRANGE VISITORS

EDITOR'S NOTE: This part may seem a little sappy. But make no mistake…things will start to speed up very shortly. I’m just setting up the story. Also, you’ll notice a few subtle shout-outs to the Roswell pilot and the first book ‘The Outsider’ in this part. Oh, and don’t worry about what happened to Kyle. I’ll be getting to that later on.


-------------------------------------------------------PART 1
THE SECRET

Clark started to slow down as he reached the football field. It was a usual pattern for him. Run at super speed all the way from home, enter through the football field, which was usually abandoned this early. Even if someone was there, which was rare, he was moving so fast that they would never even see him.

Ah, the perks of having alien powers.

Alien, Clark thought. I’m still getting used to that.

Indeed. Clark had only found out about him otherworldly origins back in October. Up until then, he just thought he was an ordinary person.

Yeah, right. An ordinary person who’s stronger than an ox and faster than the fastest horse. He’d always known that he was different, but he thought he was some sort of mutant, or something like that.

That is, until that day his father showed him that ship.

I just wish I could understand that writing on the ship, he thought. That’s ironic, isn’t it. The only clue as to where I come from, and I can’t even read it.

It didn’t really bother him that much. He liked living on Earth. As far as he was concerned, it was his home. But sometimes he just…wondered.

Clark sighed as he walked into the school. He didn’t like to dwell on it. His life was complicated enough without worrying about some flying saucer coming to take him ‘home’. If it hadn’t happened by now, it obviously never would.

“Hey Clark,” he heard someone call out to him.

He turned around to see his friend, Pete Ross, walking towards him.

“Hey Pete, what’s up?” he asked.

“Are my ears deceiving me?” Pete inquired. “You’re actually looking for a job? How did you pull that off?”

Clark chuckled.

“A magician never reveals his secrets, Pete” Clark responded. “My dad…just suddenly didn’t need me at the farm as often.”

“Your dad sprung for extra help?” his friend asked. “Pinch me, I must be dreaming.”

Clark shook his head.

“He got this call about someone wanting some ‘honest work’ while in town,” he continued. “In return, dad put in a good word at school, and provides room and board. She’s supposed to meet me after class today.”

A smirk appeared on Pete’s face.

“She, huh?” he asked. “Is she cute?”

“How the heck should I know?” he asked. “I’ve never even seen the girl.”

*****


Liz sat down at a table in the cafeteria. She sat there, alone, for several minutes. Taking in her surroundings, she noticed the people in their own separate groups.

This was a small town, hence the name. Everyone knew everyone here.

“Why do you look like somebody died?” a female voice said to her.

Liz snapped to attention suddenly. She’d been daydreaming so much that she didn’t even notice someone sit down at the table.

A blonde girl was facing her. She looked about 16.

“You a senior or something?” the girl asked her. “I don’t think I’ve ever seen you around before.”

“Yeah, I just moved here,” Liz answered. “Liz Parker. I’m from Roswell.”

The girl shook her hand.

“Chloe Sullivan,” she introduced herself. “Wow, are you serious? As in ‘Roswell, New Mexico’?”

Liz smiled.

“The very same,” Liz answered.

Chloe chuckled.

“You’ll fit right in here,” she told her. “Don’t mind me. I’m the editor of the Torch. It’s my job to dig up info on people. So, what’re you doing so far from home?”

Liz paused for a moment.

“I just needed a change of scenery, you know?” Liz told her. It wasn’t a complete lie.

At that moment, Clark entered the cafeteria. He made a beeline straight for the girls.

“Hey Chloe!” Clark called for her.

Both Liz and Chloe looked over to them.

“Who’s that?” Liz whispered to her.

“A friend,” Chloe said with a smile. This caused Liz’s eyebrows to raise.

“Boyfriend?” she suggested.

“No!” Chloe said, slightly flustered. Her cheeks turned bright red. “Just a friend.”

Clark and Pete sat down with them. Clark noticed the red color of Chloe’s face.

“What’s wrong?” he asked her.

“Nothing, just playing welcome wagon,” she quickly changed the subject. “Meet Liz Parker”

Clark’s eyes snapped to attention.

“Looks like I get to save some time after class,” he commented. “I’m Clark Kent.”

The two shook hands.

“Oh, I talked to your dad on the phone yesterday,” Liz informed him. “Am I…?”

“Yep,” Clark answered before she could finish. “Dad wants you on the farm as soon as possible.”

“I don’t envy you, believe me,” Chloe mentioned.

“I’d watch it, Chloe,” Clark warned his friend jokingly. “Mom might decide she likes female farm hands.”

Then he smiled at her.

God, that smile. Chloe just couldn’t even come up with a witty comeback when he smiled at her like THAT.

He just lighted up the room when he smiled. Like everyone else suddenly became a little more uplifted and cheery.

It wasn’t just his smile, either. Clark wore baggy clothes, but he had a figure that you’d find on a bodybuilder…even though he never worked out. Must be from living on a farm. Then there was his dark, black hair. He kept it short as often as he could, but it still grew out just below his ears. His bangs hung down, and curled slightly, perfectly framing his forehead. His skin was smooth, almost like a baby’s. As long as Chloe had known his, she had never even seen his get so much as a pimple. And his eyes…the ones she could just stare into for hours…were ice blue, almost crystal-like.

Liz just HAD to go bring up the ‘just a friend’ thing, didn’t she? Yeah, there was nothing romantic between them. At least on Clark’s part. He practically had ‘infatuated with Lana Lang’ tattooed on his forehead. It just made her so angry whenever she saw him…looking at her like he did.

She never said anything about it, though. They were supposed to be ‘just friends’, so she kept her mouth shut. But every once and while, he just started to act so down. Like he was carrying the weight of the world on his shoulders. Like he had some deep dark secret that he was afraid to share with anyone…even those people who were closest to him. Whenever she saw him like that, she just wanted to swing her arms around him and never let go.

“Chloe?” Liz asked. “You alright?”

Chloe smirked, realizing that she had let her mind wander.

“You two mind if we stopped at my place before heading to Casa De Kent?” she suggested. “I need to pick something up.”

“Actually, you two run ahead, I’m going to talk to Lex,” Clark told them, and stood up.

Liz looked at Chloe, a little confused.

“Who’s Lex?”

“Come on,” she told her. “I’ll explain on the way.”

*****


Max walked into the Crashdown, surveying his surroundings. It just looked different to him. More a business than the life-filled restaurant he remembered. A little darker…a little colder.

Then he realized that was because of one thing. Liz Parker wasn’t there. It still amazed him how she brought the place to life simply by just being there.

It seemed like he had more in common with the Crashdown than simply the ‘alien’ angle.

It had been a week since she had left. Left Roswell…and left him as well. Liz hadn’t even said goodbye to him face to face, only leaving a letter. A letter that never left his jacket pocket. He could still feel her energy on the letter.

He had to call her. Her cell phone…if she had brought it…

Max ran into the back storage room and took out his cell phone. Using speed dial, he phoned Liz.

“The number you have dialed is currently out of range,” the annoying announcer voice said on the other line.

Refusing to give up, Max’s hand that was holding the phone began to glow.

*****


“Calling in a marker, I see?” Lex Luthor asked his friend, as he dropped him off in front of the Sullivan house.

“This isn’t a ‘marker’, Lex” Clark responded. “I’m just asking for a job, but I don’t want you to give me one simply because you feel you ‘owe’ me.”

“Hey, we’re friends,” Lex reminded him. “I’m just joking with you. I’m going to see if I can fit you into management.”

“That’s not necessary, really,” Clark informed him. “I’m just looking for some honest work.”

“Ever the boy scout, huh?” Lex asked with a grin. “I’ll see what I can do.”

Clark got out of the car. However, before he could get far, he turned back towards Lex.

“I’ve got a question,”

“Shoot,” he answered.

“When you say ‘I’ll see what I can do’, does it occur to you that you own the entire company?” Clark said with a smirk.

After a pause, Lex started to chuckle.

“Go on, get out of here,” Lex said jokingly.

With that, Clark turned and headed towards the door.

Lex, still laughing, drove off.

Little did he know, a child was watching him. A sinister smile on his face.

“I think I’ve decided on someone,” he said.

And when Nicholas decided on something, he didn’t stop until he succeeded.

*****


“You can’t be serious?” Liz asked. “What kind of ‘weird things’?”

“Two words: super powered mutants,” Chloe said, more excited than she should have been. “I’ve actually seen the results up close. Closer than I’ve wanted to.”

“This is some sort of small town initiation, right?” Liz asked her. “You’re forgetting that I’m from Roswell, remember? I’ve actually been behind some of those ‘alien photo’ pranks.”

“Believe what you want, Liz, but I almost had the body heat sucked out of me,” she informed her. “Ever since the meteor shower, strange things have been happening in Smallville. Anyone who gets too close to those rocks has had something bad to them.”

“As in what?” Liz asked, the inquisitive scientist in her taking over.

“They just get…changed,” she told her. “It’s hard to explain.”

Changed? Liz thought. There’s irony for you. I spend all this energy to ‘get away’, and I end up in the exact same place I started. Just replace desert with cornfields.

There was one difference, though. A certain someone was nowhere in sight.

Just then, a loud ringing came from nowhere. Liz’s eyes went wide as she tried to find out where it was coming from.

“Do you have a cell phone in there?” Chloe asked, pointing to Liz’s bag.

Her phone, of course. She must have packed it by accident. Liz was confused, though. Who would possibly know her number all the way out here.

She pulled the phone out of her bag and answered it.

“Hello?”

There was no answer for a moment, but she could swear she heard someone breathing.

“Liz?” someone finally answered, causing her eyes to go wide. She knew that voice.

“Max…?” she responded, almost a whisper.

Chloe saw the look on her face. This probably qualified as a ‘personal call’. Quickly, she went to her room. Liz, meanwhile, stood up and started pacing around the room, still on the phone.

“How did your phone signal reach all the way here?” Liz asked. “It shouldn’t be strong enough.”

“I, uh, got an upgrade,” Max replied.

Liz, of course, knew what that meant. He must have used his powers to enhance the range of the radio signal.

“I’m sorry, I just…” he continued. “I just needed to hear your voice, that’s all. There was no way of knowing if something had…happened to you.”

Liz leaned against the wall, sadly. It was a lot easier to be away when she couldn’t hear his voice.

“Max, please, don’t do this,” Liz asked him. “I’m just really scared right now. I just need to be by myself for awhile.”

“If it’s any consolation, I’m scared too,” he responded.

Liz could hear the pain in Max’s. She knew it was as hard for him as it was for her, being so far away. That’s why she had to go so quickly. If she had to see his face one last time, pleading with her to stay, she probably would have.

The memory of him outside her window, tears in his eyes, mouthing those three words…it was still etched in her brain. Just the thought of it made her want to cry as well.

As a result, she noticed her opposite hand start to crackle with green energy again.

“I’ve got to go,”

She was so caught up in her emotions that she didn’t notice Clark walk in the house. Clark didn’t say anything, just stood at a distance.

“If you really feel that way, just let me be,” she said into the phone. “This is probably the hardest thing I’ve ever had to do in my life, but I just know that I have to.”

“I just miss you so much,” he whispered, his voice almost cracking.

Liz’s heart broke upon hearing him like that. He sounded so small, as if the slightest tap would shatter him into a thousand pieces.

Then she saw Clark.

“I’ve gotta go,” she said quickly.

“Liz, please don’t shut…” he began, but was cut off by the phone being hung up. She placed it on the table

Clark, pretending he didn’t hear the conversation, just looked at her.

“Who was that?” he asked innocently.

“No one,” she lied in a monotone voice. “Ready to go?”

Chloe came out of her room with an overnight bag.

“Let’s make tracks,” she announced.

*****


Max hung up phone, sighing to himself.

Wait to go, Evans. Now you’re starting to feel like a stalker, he thought, sitting down on a box.

He couldn’t help it though. He loved Liz more than anything in the world, and it frustrated him so much that he couldn’t do anything to help her.

No, it was more than that. What was happening to her was his fault. His powers were what caused her to start changing. He was the one she was mad at, which caused those powers to go out of control.

The thought of that made him so angry with himself. He just wanted to…wanted to…

Without warning, the only light source in the entire room burst into glass shards and fell to the floor, casting Max into total darkness.

“And people tell me to have some self control?” a voice called out. A second later, the room lit up.

Standing in front of him was his best friend, Michael Guerin. Like Max, Michael was also an alien. And though his power was mostly used as destructive force, he still had pretty much the same abilities as Max did. Michael was using his power to cause his hand to glow with such intensity that it lit up the room again.

“Sorry,” Max apologized, and kneeled next to the shards that used to be a light bulb.

“You ok?” Michael asked him, concerned.

Max held his hands over the broken light bulb, and began to concentrate. After a moment, he moved his hands away, and picked up the now-repaired light bulb.

“I’m fine,” he said, screwing it back into place. “I just wish I could fix what’s wrong with Liz as easily as I can fix this.”

Michael made a mock sigh.

“Women, who can understand ‘em?” he joked. Max, suffice to say, was not amused. “You didn’t try to call her, did you?”

A guilty look on Max’s part gave him his answer.

“Maxwell, you are an idiot,” he said. “Just give her some time to sort things out.”

“I can’t,” Max answered. “Michael, what’s happening to her is my fault, don’t you understand. My power is what’s changing her.”

“If you hadn’t healed her, she would have died!” he reminded him. “You didn’t know this would happen.”

“But I should have, the signs were all there,” Max replied. “The flashes, that vision I saw of her in New York…everything. I should have found a way to reverse it before it got this far.”

“Max…”

“What if it’s not reversible now?” he suggested to Michael. “What if she’s stuck with those powers permanently? Stuck in our life? We’ve spent our entire lives hiding the truth about who and what we are, Michael. Did I condemn Liz to that kind of life too?”

“Just stop it right there,” Michael warned, trying to calm him down. “You’re supposed to be our leader, right? When you let your emotions get out of control, you use your focus. I’m supposed to be the ‘out of control’ one, remember?”

“What if it was Maria?” Max asked suddenly.

Michael winched inside. Ever since Maria had dumped him, even the mention of her name gave him a knot in the stomach. Especially after the…incident…with her getting that demo deal.

“What about her?” Michael replied, trying to hide how much it got to him.

“If Maria was the one who was changing, and it was hurting her, what would you do?” he asked.

“Easy,” Michael answered. “I’d bring her out to the desert, and tell her to start blowing things up.”

Max looked at him, a little confused.

“That’s a little…extreme, don’t you think?” he asked.

“Not really,” Michael informed him. “You see, Maxwell, our powers are tied into our emotions. That’s why yours have always been so under control, and mine were always so unpredictable. You have more self control than I do, so you’ve got more control of your power.”

“And Liz?” he asked.

“From what Kyle told me, she’s sort of mad at you,” Michael started to explain. “She’s mad, so her power is out of control. That means that, if she holds her anger in, the power attacks herself.”

“That leaves the question, doesn’t it?” Max asked. “When she’s around me, she hurt. When she’s not around me, I hurt.”

Max hung his head, as Michael slowly exited the room.

*****


Liz thought about what happened that day, as she walked across the dirt road. She dragged her hand across the rock wall on the side. Chloe had ran ahead of the two of them, so it was just Clark and Liz

“Hey Liz?” she heard Clark’s voice call out for her.

Clark walked up to her.

“Hey, what’s up?” she asked.

“Just thought you’d like some company,” he told her. “Plus, we are going to the same place.”

They continue walking.

“So, how long are you planning on staying in Smallville?” he asked. “Just curious”

Liz turned to him and smirk.

“I sort of already have a boyfriend,” she informed him. “Well…sort of.”

Clark’s eyes went wide in surprise.

“I—I wasn’t trying to come on to you,” he told her. “Trust me, when I’m interested in someone, it’s usually not noticeable at all.”

They both laugh.

“You sound like Alex,” she replied.

“Is he your boyfriend?” Clark asked.

“No—no, his name is Max,” he corrected him. “Alex was a friend. He…passed away last year.”

Clark’s heart sank.

“I’m sorry,” he said. “How’d he die?”

“Car accident,” she recalled, sadly.

Clark bit his lip. He decided to change the subject.

“So, what’s Max like?” he asked, out of the blue.

“Can we not talk about Max?” she asked, slightly agitated.

“Okay…I know a sore spot when I see one,” he admitted. “I won’t pry.”

“Thank you,” he said, and started to walk faster. “It’s getting dark, we’d better…”

Clark didn’t hear Liz finish her sentence. Instead, his ears perked up. He heard the sound of crumbling rock.

Then he looked up, and saw large chunks of rock falling straight towards Liz.

“LIZ, LOOK OUT!!!” he hollered.

Using super speed, Clark ran towards her. Pushing her out of the way seconds before the rocks hit her, and fell on him instead.

Picking herself off the ground, Liz looked at the scene, mortified.

“Oh god…” she whispered. “No! I…I should have.”

“Ugh,” a small groan escaped from Clark’s mouth. Then, he raised himself off the ground. At least a quarter-ton worth of rock sliding off of him.

There wasn’t a scratch on him.

This is impossible, Liz thought. That should have killed him. It would have killed me. And he moved so fast…

Afraid now, Liz started to back away as Clark raised to his feet.

“No, wait,” he told her. “Please, don’t be scared.”

Liz slowly walked up to him.

“Why aren’t you dead?” she asked in a quite voice. “Who are you?”

He must be a shape shifter. Or something else? A skin maybe? Were there any left alive?

“I’m Clark,” he answered with a small laugh.

“I’m serious, no normal person could survive that,” he continued.

Clark sighed. Oh well, he tried.

“I’m don’t exactly come from around here,” he admitted. “Long story.”

“Where do you come from, then?” she asked.

This seemed so familiar. He couldn’t be…but Liz just need to be sure.

He just couldn’t be a…

Clark simply looked up at the stars blanketing the night sky.

“There,” he said suddenly.

Liz couldn’t help but get a feeling of déjà vu.

“This isn’t happening,” she said, panicking. “This is not happening!”

“I think that’s supposed to be my line,” Clark responded, innocently.

His inappropriate sense of humor was the only thing that kept Liz from loosing control of her powers again.

After a long pause, she finally spoke up.

“So…you’re an alien?” she asked.

“Well, I prefer to think of myself…”

“Yeah, I know… ‘not of this earth’” she interrupted him.

“Actually, I was going to say ‘a strange visitor from another planet’” he corrected her with a smirk. “But whatever works…”

“This isn’t happening” she said again.

“Take my word for it,” Clark responded. “No matter how many times you say it, it won’t make it true. I just need you to promise me you won’t tell anyone. I’m…my parents want me to keep it a secret.”

His parents knew?

“Your parents?” she asked. “I—ok, I promise.”

Clark sighed in relief.

“Come on,” he said. “I want to show you something.”

*****


After they had talked to Clark’s parents, and Chloe decided to retire early, Liz followed Clark to the barn.

Liz walked into the barn. A million questions circled through her mind. Did he have any other powers? What did he think of normal humans? Were there any others in Smallville like him? Did he come from the same place as Max?

Was he related to Max? Like a brother, or a cousin.

These questions suddenly escaped her when she saw Clark, standing up by the window looking down at her.

“Like it?” he asked.

“It’s very nice,” Liz answered, assuming he meant the barn.

“This is where I go when I need to think and be by myself,” he told her. “Though, you’re probably freaking out right now, right?”

Liz didn’t answer.

“Come on, ask me anything,” he suggested. “Look at the position you’re in. An honest to god man from outer space is letting you quiz him. For a scientist, that’s probably the opportunity of a lifetime. One that you might never get again.”

If you only knew, Liz thought.

“Ok, what’s your name?” she asked. She thought she’d start with something easy.

“Just Clark,” he informed her. “If I have any other name, I don’t remember it. I was three years old when my ship crashed.”

Liz thought about it for a moment.

“That’s twelve years ago,” she mentioned. “The same time of the meteor shower that Chloe mentioned?”

Clark nodded his head.

“The exact same day, at the exact same time,” he recounted. “Everyone was so busy running for their lives that they didn’t notice a metal spaceship crash into the cornfield along with those rocks. Well, everyone except my parents.”

“You said before that your parents know, but they knew since the beginning?” Liz asked him. It sounded so weird, since Max and Isabel had never told their parents the truth about them.

“Of course they did,” Clark replied, a bit confused. “I mean, they’re the ones that found me. I didn’t even know I wasn’t human until a few months back when my dad told me. I just thought I was…I don’t know…some sort of mutant.”

“So, you have powers?” she asked, trying not to sound so obvious and act surprised. If she acted like she knew too much, it might give her own secret away. “Like what?”

Clark smirked.

“Well, for starters…” he answered. “I can move pretty fast?”

“How fast?”

Clark took a penny out of his pocket and dropped it over the side of the balcony.

The second it left his hand, Clark was running. A blur, followed by a gust of wind accompanied him as he ran at super speed. He stopped right in front of Liz, catching the penny before it hit the ground.

Clark smiled smugly.

“That fast,” he said. “And I’m strong too. I can actually lift cars over the top of my head as easy as you would lift a grocery bag.”

“You don’t have to demonstrate that one,” she asked him. “And rocks apparently can’t hurt you either.”

“Nothing can hurt me,” he corrected her. Liz’s eyes went wide.

“What do you mean ‘nothing’?” she asked, surprised.

“I mean, nothing,” he repeated. “Not fists, or rocks, or knives, or even bullets. Well, ok, bullets hurt me, but they can’t pierce my skin. I just get bruises from them.”

Liz’s mouth was hanging open slightly.

“You’re BULLET PROOF?!” she asked in shock. “And you know this how? Someone shot at you?”

“It’s a long story, and he sort of doesn’t even remember now,” he informed her.

Liz let out a breath. She was convinced that he must not be from the same planet as Max at least. Max’s powers were amazing, but even he couldn’t shrug off someone shooting at him. Well, not without that shield of his, anyway.

“Is that it?” she asked.

“Not exactly,” he finished. “My senses are a little sensitive than a normal person’s. I can hear things normal people can’t, and I can see things that are far away as if they were up close. Plus, if I concentrate hard enough, I can see through things. Sort of like an x-ray.”

Then Liz noticed that he started looking at her hand. His eyes started to squint.

Clark had found out how to shut this ‘x-ray vision’ on and off. He could focus it now, so he only saw through what he wanted to.

First, his eyes peeled away the layers of Liz’s jacket sleeve, then her shirtsleeve. Finally, he saw past the skin on her arm, and then past the veins and blood. Until, finally, he could see the bone.

“You have some sort of healed fracture in your wrist,” he told her. “It probably doesn’t hurt, but the bone was broken. I’d say about five years ago, right?”

“In gym class,” she told him. “I misjudged…you saw through my skin?”

“Yeah, I’m glad I can control this now, though,” he said, turning slightly red. “When I first found out I could do that, I had zero control over it. It kicked in and I was facing the girl’s locker room”

Liz covered her mouth with her hand, trying hard not to laugh.

“Most people would probably not have minded,” she reminded him.

“Yeah, but I’m not most people,” he said. “In every sense of the word.”

He walked back up to the window, with Liz close behind him.

“I don’t remember where I come from,” he said, looking into a telescope positioned there. “I don’t really care, to tell you the truth. As far as I’m concerned, I’m just a normal human being like anyone else.”

“But you’re not,” she reminded him. “Don’t you ever wonder where you’re from?”

Clark smiled.

“Occasionally,” he admitted. “I just wish I knew why my real parents, whoever they were, sent me here. Sometimes I just look at the stars, thinking that maybe I came from somewhere out there. Hey, look at that!”

He motioned for Liz to look into his telescope. She complied.

“Neat, huh?” he asked.

Through the telescope, Liz saw five stars close to each other. They seemed to be shaped into a v-formation. Somehow, it looked familiar to her.

“I’ve seen it a few times, it only comes out every few days,” he told her. “Our sun is actually a giant star. Who knows, every single star out there could be home to an entire world and we don’t even know it.”

Liz moved her eye away and sat down.

“So, it’s your turn,” he told her.

“My turn?” Liz repeated.

“Yeah,” Clark answered. “I probably just told you the biggest secret I have, so now it’s your turn. Tell me about Max.”

“I thought you said you wouldn’t pry?” she reminded him.

“That was before I let you in on the super powers thing,” he justified.

Liz couldn’t help but smile. The guy was an alien, just like Max. But from the way he looked…like some innocent child who didn’t know how dangerous the world actually was.

“Max is great,” she said with a dreamy smile. “He’s quiet, though. Keeps to himself a lot. He’s caring, and selfless, and noble. And that smile of his…I just melt whenever I see it. He's the most important person in my life. I wouldn't even be here if it weren't for him. “

“Ouch,” Clark replied.

“Yeah, that probably sounds bad, but it’s not,” she informed him. “Sometimes it feels like Max is my whole world.”

“Then why come here?” Clark asked her. Liz paused.

“Because sometimes it feels like he’s my whole world,” she repeated with a smile. “For the past three years, it’s like…my entire life revolved upon where I stood with Max Evans. Even when we weren’t together, my number one concern was finding out why. It’s just…it got to be too much. I just need some time to be just ‘Liz Parker’ I guess.”

“But you miss him, don’t you?” he replied.

A small shade of red crossed Liz’s cheeks.

“More than he’ll ever know,” she whispered.

“Then why don’t you tell him that?” he suggested. “I overheard your phone call earlier, and it sounded pretty intense. Maybe all that could be resolved just by telling him you miss him.”

“No…no…” Liz sighed. “It’s too complicated.”

“In my experience, things are only complicated when people make them complicated,” he told her. “Those ‘shades of gray’ people keep talking about…I think they’re really just excuses people make up. Because they’re afraid or nervous of what will happen if they make a choice on something. But at the end of the day, it’s just a choice between ‘yes’ and ‘no’.”

“I envy you, Clark,” she admitted. “I wish I could do that, I really do. But I’ve been through too much to believe it’s that simple.”

She stood up and walked down the stairs.

“I guess I really am too scared to say ‘yes’,” she admitted at the door. “But I love him too much to say ‘no’.”

She left, leaving Clark alone in the barn.

*****


Max climbed the balcony at the roof of the Crashdown. He opened the window and climbed inside, surveying the empty room

He looked on the dresser, picking up a framed picture of him and Liz. It was from two years ago. Back when things seemed more confusing, but so much simpler.

I can't stand to fly
I'm not that naive
I'm just out to find
The better part of me

He couldn’t stand it. He had to get out of there.

Without another word, he climbed back out the window and left.

*****


Clark ran through the wheat field, and into the woods. Moving a super speed. It was so…freeing…for him to do this.

I'm more than a bird
I'm more than a plane
I'm more than some
Pretty face beside a train

It felt was almost like he was flying.

And it's not easy to be me

I wish that I could cry
Fall upon my knees

Clark walked over to a gap in the ground, a stream of water running 20 feet below him. He looked up at the stars, the wind blowing through his hair.

Somewhere out there was where he came from. What was it like? Did they miss him?

He sighed, and walked at normal speed back towards town.

Find a way to lie
About a home I’ll never see

*****


Back in Roswell, Max walked through the streets. What had happened to him?

It may sound absurd
But don't be naive
Even heroes have the right to bleed

What had happened to them?

I may be disturbed
But won't you conceive

He arrived at the docks. The same place him and Liz had tried to go ‘swimming’ last summer. He sat down and looked out at the water.

*****


Clark walked into Chloe’s house. He saw what he was looking for.

Liz’s phone. She had left it right there…on the table.

He picked it up and hit the ‘redial’ key.

Even heroes have the right to dream
And it's not easy to be me

*****


Up ahead
Away, away from me
Well it's all right

Max stood up, and had to grab the railing to keep from falling everything hit him at once. Liz…she meant everything to him. She was his life…his soul…his heart.

You can all sleep sound tonight

He closed his eyes tight and started to cry.

I'm not crazy
Or anything

At that exact moment, Max’s cell phone rang. He opened it and answered.

“Is Max there?” the voice asked on the other line.

I can't stand to fly
I'm not that naive

“This is he,” Max responded, trying to hide the sobs in his voice.

On the other side, Clark smiles.

Men weren't meant ride
With clouds between their knees

“She misses you,” he told Max. “She told me so herself. She said she missed you more than you would ever know.”

Max became puzzled.

“Who is this?” he asked. “Why are you doing this?”

I'm only a man
In a silly red sheet
Digging for kryptonite
On this one way street

“A friend,” Clark answered. “As to why, well…if someone ever feels about me the way Liz Parker feels about you, I’d want someone to tell me.”

Max sighed in relief, and managed a small smile.

Only a man
In a phony red sheet
Looking for special things
Inside of me

“Thank you,” he said.

Inside of me
Inside of me
Inside of me
Inside of me

Max hung up the phone, then headed back home. Taking one glance back at the pier before walking off into the night. He touched the parking meters as he walked past them, causing them to send off slight sparks.

I'm only a man
In a phony red sheet
I'm only a man
looking for a dream

*****


I'm only a man
in a phony red sheet
and it's not easy

Back in Smallville, Clark put the phone down. Then, with a burst of super speed, ran back towards his home.

it's not easy
to be...
me...

He only made it five feet before he stopped, dead in his tracks.

“No…” he whispered, as he saw smoke directly over where his farm was.

“NO…!” he yelled, and ran faster than he ever ran in his life.

*****


Chloe scrambled out of the farmhouse, falling to the ground. She had made it.

Above, unknown to Chloe, the window blew out with intense force as Liz escaped the burning farmhouse.

She landed on the ground with a ‘thump’. No bones were broken, so it wasn’t that high up. However, the stress levels weren’t exactly ideal for her. Especially in her condition.

Liz grimaced in pain as streaks of green electricity appeared on her face and hands. Using sheer willpower, she forced herself to calm down, until the energy built up inside her went back to a manageable state.

Then she picked herself off the ground just in time to see the nearby wheat field part suddenly, as something sounding like a sonic boom mixed with a gale-force wind signaled the arrival of Clark Kent.

“Liz?” he asked. “What happened? My parents…?”

“Still inside,” she gasped, out of breath. “Some sort of bomb came through the window. I tried to shield everyone, but…”

“Shield everyone?” Clark asked. “With what?”

Before she could answer, a grenade landed near them. Liz, panicking, put her hands up in defense.

Suddenly, a crystal blue wall made out of energy appeared out of nowhere, protecting the three of them.

“Wha-wh-what was that?” Chloe said, flabbergasted. “What the heck was…”

“Did you do that?” Clark asked. “How did you do that?”

Liz turned to face the two of them.

“You’re not the only one with secrets,” she whispered.

A sound of clapping came from the farmhouse, causing their attention to be diverted.

“Bravo, bravo,” a voice said. “Blue, not green? I’m impressed. Is that a natural thing, or did you personalize it yourself Liz?”

The voice belonged to a man standing at the door to the farmhouse. He was wearing a full-face mask, so they couldn’t see his face. However, they did see him have Jonathan in a headlock, and a gun pointed to his head.

“Dad!” Clark screamed, and began to run towards him at super speed. He completely forgot about Chloe being there.

“I wouldn’t!” the man warned him. “Unless you want your ‘dad’ to have his brains splattered over the ground?”

Clark stopped, a few feet away.

“Clark?” Chloe asked, shocked. “How on earth did you move that fast?”

“Not on earth,” the man said with a chuckle.

“Drop that gun and let’s see how funny you are?” Jonathan asked, through gritted teeth.

“Hurt him, and so help me, I will hunt you to the ends of the earth” Clark promised him.

“He’s human, like me,” he armed man said. “He doesn’t have to die, as long as you do what I say.”

Slowly, at least a dozen other people walked out of the burning building. Each one of them were dressed exactly like the first one. One of them had Martha.

Clark just got angrier.

“WHAT DO YOU WANT WITH ME?!” Clark screamed, demanding an answer.

“We didn’t come here for you, we came for the girl” he corrected him. “You’re just the extra bonus, freak.”

Liz ran up, placing herself between the two of them.

“Liz, don’t--“ Clark tried to warn her, but it was too late.

“I’ll do whatever you say, just don’t hurt these people” Liz told him.

“Don’t you dare,” Jonathan said, causing the man to apply more pressure to his head.

The leader, who was holding Jonathan, turned to one of his men.

“We can’t have any witnesses,” he told them. “Bring the foster parents, and the blonde. If either Parker or the kid tries something, kill them.”

“You sure about that Pierce?” one of them asked.

Pierce? Liz thought. PIERCE?!

That was impossible. Pierce was…he was dead. Michael killed him.

It couldn’t be.

“Do we have a choice?” Pierce asked his men.

They circled around the three teenagers, and forced them into the back of a van.

“Where are you taking us?” Liz asked.

She could almost swear that she saw Pierce smile beneath his mask.

“Did your boyfriend ever tell you about the White Room, Liz?” he asked.

TO BE CONTINUED...


-------------------------------------------------------
NEXT: Pierce? Didn’t Michael Guerin kill him at the end of Roswell’s first season? How could he possibly be alive? Plus, Chloe knows Clark’s secret now. Things start to get complicated as Clark discovers he’s not the only alien on earth. Don’t miss part 2...Return To The White Room.

----------------------------------------------

Like it? The more feedback I get, the sooner I update it. So tell me what you think.

-Peter
posted on 11-Jun-2002 11:00:33 PM
Ok, here's part 2:
-----------------------------------------------
Part 2
Return To The White Room

Lex Luthor drove down the road, towards the Luthor ancestral home. He savored the feel of wind against his face as he smelt the crisp country air. It was heaven compared to the air back in Metropolis.

Lex smiled at himself. It was sort of ironic when you thought about it. His father, Lionel, the president of LuthorCorp, had banished him to Smallville because of his ‘past misdeeds’. That was the nice way of saying ‘you screwed up and made me look stupid, so I’m sticking you here where you won’t bother me’.

However, things seemed to have worked out in Lex’s favor. Being in control of the fertilizer plant let him show people he wasn’t the corrupt person his father was. Plus, he’s made some friends. Not like those punks at Club Zero…real friends. People who trusted him and believed in him. It was a good feeling.

Although, lately something strange had been happening. All these people have been disappearing or gone crazy somehow. However, in the middle of it was always Clark. Then there was that footage of the museum heist back in Metropolis. Someone had stopped it…someone who could move faster than a camera could follow.

Could the two be connected? Lex didn’t know, but he was sure going to find out.

“Help!” he heard a voice call, out of nowhere.

Immediately, Lex stopped the car. He opened the door and stepped out, searching for where the voice came from.

“Hello?” he called out. “Where are you?”

“Over here!” the voice replied.

Lex looked down the side of the road, to where a pile of rocks were lying. Underneath was a boy, around 12 years old, pinned to the ground from the waist down.

“Oh my god,” Lex muttered, horrified. “Hold on!”

Lex ran to the boy, and started lifting the rocks off of him.

“Don’t worry, kid,” he said. “I’ll get you to a hospital or something.”

Then, the boy smiled. Not a happy smile, but a sinister one.

“Don’t bother,” Nicholas told Lex. “I can help myself.”

Without warning, Nicholas took a square device out of his pocket. It was covered with circuits and wires, a crystal diamond in the center, which seemed to shimmer in the moonlight. He then quickly attached it to Lex’s chest.

At the very second it touched him, something resembling red lightning began to course over Lex’s body, covering him from head to toe. His eyes started to glow the same crimson color.

“AHHHHHHHH!” he screamed in pain as the energy crackled around him. His mind started to become clouded, he couldn’t think straight.

Then, he collapsed to the ground.

Nicholas put his hands over the rocks, causing them to evaporate into dust. Standing up, he brushed himself off and walked towards Lex.

He offered his hand.

“Have a nice trip?” he asked, as he helped him to his feet.

“Does it look like that was pleasant?” Lex snapped. “Couldn’t you find a less painful way, Nicholas?”

Nicholas shook his head.

“Not unless you want the same limitations as before,” he replied. “We’ve never attempted it before. Either way, welcome to earth.”

Lex dusted himself off, then walked to the car. Nicholas climbed in the passenger’s side and they drove away.

A few moments later, Nicholas finally spoke up.

“Look at it this way, at least you have a fully grown body,” he said, grinning.

“I would have killed you if I didn’t,” he replied. “Where are we, by the way?”

“Smallville,” Nicholas answered him. “It’s a agriculture-centered town in Kansas.”

“I studied those maps you sent back,” Lex recalled. “That’s quite a way from New Mexico.”

“I followed Liz Parker here,” he informed him.

Lex turned to him and sighed in frustration.

“And I care about Zan’s little concubine why?” he asked, annoyed.

“You wouldn’t believe how much of a bargaining chip hostages are here,” Nicholas explained. “Zan’s protective of her. Threaten her…”

“And he might hand me exactly what I want?” he asked. “Ok, where is she?”

Nicholas didn’t answer. He just started to stare ahead, towards the Kent farm…which was surrounded by police and firemen.

“There,” he said. “At least, she was”


*****


Luckily, the firemen got there in time to stop the fire from spreading. Unfortunately, the place was completely empty by the time they got there.

The town sheriff sighed in frustration as he turned to the deputy.

“Any bodies?” he asked.

“None sir,” the deputy replied, shaking his head. “So either they got away, or this wasn’t an accident.”

“Probably the later,” a voice replied, behind them. “If they had gotten away, they would have tried to contact someone to let them know they were safe. This has ‘abduction’ written all over it.”

They turned around to see someone walking towards them. It was a man, Caucasian, in his late thirties. His hair was styled in crew-cut fashion, and he wore a brown trench coat. He flashed a detective badge to the sheriff.

“John Jones, Denver PD,” he read. “You’re a long way from Colorado, detective Jones.”

“Following a lead,” he replied. “Should have called ahead to warn you about this. You might have been able to stop him.”

“Him?” the sheriff asked. “You know who did this?”

“Sorry, that’s confidential,” John informed him. “How many are missing?”

“Five,” he answered. “Two adults and three teenagers. Jonathan Kent, his wife and son, a local girl, and their new farmhand. Elizabeth Parker, or something.”

John’s eyes showed shock, but he attempted to hide it.

Suddenly, out of nowhere, Lana Lang, her boyfriend Whitney, and Pete Ross ran up to the sheriff. Before they could ask detective Jones, anything, he had slipped away.

However, he noticed two people watching the scene. Lex Luthor and Nicholas. He could sense something was wrong with them. But he didn’t pursue it. Better to deal with them later.

Right now he had a phone call to make.


*****


In LA, the mansion of film mogul Cal Langley…

Langley was adjusting his tux when the phone rang. Great. Just when he’s on his way to the big premiere, someone calls. Probably that talent scout again. Oh well, fresh talent was cheap talent.

“Hey, this is Langley,” he said into the phone.

“Cal?” the voice said on the other line. He knew that voice.

“Jones?” he sighed. “What do you want? I’m sort of late for a premiere.”

“A case I’m working on, there’s been a kidnapping,” John replied. “Liz Parker is one of the victims.”

“I’m a director, not a cop,” Cal informed him. “Detective work is your forte, remember?”

“She’s romantically involved with Maxwell Evans,” he said in a monotone voice.

“Wonderful,” Cal said sarcastically. “Last time I tried to help Max, I was almost killed. Why on earth would I want to help him now?”

“I think it’s Pierce,” John told him. “I saw Nicholas at the scene. Someone was with him.”

“All the more reason to stay as far away as you can, John,” Cal warned. “Don’t get involved. You’ll just get yourself hurt to.”

“Not if I had your help, pal,” he asked.

“I have my own life,” Cal argued. “You’re a fool if you consider butting in.”

“Better a fool than a coward,” John replied, before hanging up the phone.

All right, then. He would have to do it alone.

He just hoped he wouldn’t be too late this time.


*****


Clark sat in a chair in the center of a room. It had no windows, and only one door. The air smelled stale, almost artificial. Two armed guards guarded the door, as the man who had threatened his father earlier circled around him. At this point, he had switched his ‘commando’ uniform for a three-piece suit.

“Where are my parents?” Clark asked him, finally having had enough of the silence. “If you’ve done anything to them…”

Pierce turned to face him, giving him a cold stare.

“I’ll ask the questions here, alien,” he spat. “What is your connection with Max Evans?”

Clark tried to look completely unemotional. That’s how they did it in movies, right? When you interrogate someone, you look for any indications that may help.

“I asked you a question,” Pierce said. “What do you know about Max Evans?”

“We spoke on the phone,” Clark joked, giving a little smirk. It wasn’t exactly a lie, either.

“Don’t play cute with me,” he replied. “Do you honestly expect me to believe you don’t know anything.”

“Believe what you want, it’s the truth,” Clark reassured him. “The only thing I know about Max is that he has a deep voice and he’s Liz’s boyfriend. Beyond that, I don’t know what he has you’d be so interested in.”

An ironic smile appeared on Pierce’s face. He didn’t really know anything.

“You really don’t know do you?” he asked. “Well, your parents are safe. For the moment, anyway. I’ve seen what you can do, boy, so I won’t take chances. Try to escape, or help anyone else escape, or attack me or my men, and they will die. Understand that?”

Clark nodded, becoming angrier by the minute.

“You are possibly in one of the most bizarre coincidences in the world,” Pierce continued. “You are an alien, correct?”

Clark didn’t answer. It was obvious what was happening here. His parents had been right all along. This was some sort of ‘alien hunter’, and he had caught him.

“Answer the question!” Pierce demanded.

“Yes, I’m from another planet,” Clark snapped. “No use trying to hide what you already know.”

Pierce smiled smugly.

“I’m in the business to catching people like you, Clark,” he said. “But we had absolutely no idea you were there or anything about you. Liz Parker was our target, you were just an added bonus.”

Clark looked up, surprised. That ‘force field’ she made on the farm when the explosion went of. She was like him?

“Liz is an alien too?” Clark asked.

“No, no,” Pierce laughed. “Her boyfriend is, though. We’ve been after him for three years now, and I think we’ve found the perfect bait.”

“Who’s ‘we’?” he asked.

“The Federal Bureau Of Investigations,” Pierce responded casually.

“The FBI!?!” he yelled, almost jumping up from his chair. “You’re supposed to be protecting us, not kidnapping us and threatening our lives!”

“We protect the public,” he said. “National security. Not freaks from outer space.”

“Chloe and my parents are human, so is Liz,” he pointed out.

“Necessary casualties, I’m afraid,” Pierce said coldly. “Oh, and I never said Liz was human. I just said she wasn’t an alien.”


*****


Jesse and Isabel Ramirez looked at the expensive dining hall in awe. They were in Sana Fe, with Isabel’s father on a case. Isabel had decided to tag along, simply because she was curious about what the big deal was.

Suffice to say, she was impressed.

“What do you think, sweetheart?” he father, Phillip Evans asked her.

“We’ll take it,” she joked.

“I wish,” Jesse said, half-laughing. “The entire firm could hardly afford to rent this place.”

“What is this?” a voice called out to them. “I’m not paying good money for you to give tours of my building, Mr. Evans.”

Lionel Luthor walked up to the three of them. Dressed in a black business suit, and his neatly, trimmed beard, he seemed to be completely humorous.

“Of course not, Mr. Luthor,” he said. “This here is Jesse Ramirez, the best lawyer on my entire staff.”

“Pleasure to meet you, Mr. Luthor,” Jesse said, putting his hand out.

They shook hands.

“Well, I hope Philip’s description of your abilities are not hyperbole, Mr. Ramirez,” he mentions.

“I’ll do my best, Mr. Luthor,” Jesse responded.

“And who is the young lady?” Lionel asked, turning to Isabel.

“That would be Jesse’s beautiful wife, and my daughter, Isabel,” Mr. Evans informed him.

“Congratulations,” Luthor said, with a smile. “Being the president of a family business, I can relate. I simply wish my son was as enthusiastic.”

“Oh, I’m enthusiastic enough,” a voice said from behind them. “My father simply doesn’t like the way I do business.”

They turn around, seeing the twenty-something young man facing them.

“I’m Lex Luthor”

“Lex, please could you attempt to bury our disagreements in front of business associates,” Lionel muttered.

“Of course, dad” he answered.

He looked at Isabel. A bit longer than she felt comfortable with. There was something…familiar…about him.

Oh well, it was probably just nerves.


*****

Chloe and Liz were in a small room, a glass shield separating them from the hallway outside. They sat at the lower half of a bunk bed, looking down.

Then, they heard the glass door slide open, catching their attention. Someone was coming inside.

Pierce walked inside, pushing Clark in front of him.

“Hello, ladies,” Pierce said, then turned to Clark. “Just what are you?”

Clark stole a look at Chloe, taking a deep breath before turning back to Pierce.

“You know what I am,” he muttered.

In a swift motion, Pierce took out a knife, and struck at Clark with it.

“CLARK!!!” Chloe screamed in horror, jumping forward. Liz grabbed her, holding her back.

Both girls watched in surprise, as the knife shattered into a thousand Pieces. It was over. There was no denying anything now. Everyone in the room knew his secret.

“And the point of that was…?” he asked Pierce, defiantly.

“We know you’re an alien, kid,” Pierce mentioned. “What we don’t know is what kind. You can’t be hurt by anything we have. Your senses are a hundred times what ours are. You’re stronger than anything we’ve ever seen. Even your DNA is unreadable. We can’t even analyze it.”

“Isn’t that a shame?” Clark responded, sarcastically. “Let Chloe go, you don’t need her.”

“She knows about us and about you, alien,” he said.

“My name is Clark!” he spat.

“Because a pair of farmers named you that?” Pierce asked. “You’re not human, why keep up this charade?”

“I’m more human than you’ll ever be,” he whispered.

In rage, Pierce struck him. Wincing in pain, he clutched his now-sore hand. Then he called for the guards.

“Take Ms. Parker to the White Room,” he ordered, and then marched out.

The guards entered the cell, and grabbed Liz by the arms, pulling her away.

“NO!” she yelled, and tried to struggle out of their grips. But it was no use. She couldn’t control her powers, so she couldn’t save herself.

They pulled her out, slamming the door behind them. Clark and Chloe were there now…alone.

An uneasy silence came over the two of them. Both refused to look the other in the eyes.

Finally, Clark spoke up.

“Chloe, I…”

“You’re an alien?” she asked, looking into his crystal-blue eyes. “We’re not talking from another country, are we? We’re talking from another planet, right?”

Clark nodded.

“The meteor shower,” he explained. “My…ship…crashed at the exact same time.”

“And…and I guess you just forgot to tell your best friend about it, huh?” she asked, angry. “Oh, I guess us poor inferior humans aren’t good enough to know the truth.”

“Chloe, no…” he said, his eyes softening. “I didn’t even know myself until my mom and dad told me a few months ago. I didn’t tell you because…I was scared.”

“Scared?” she asked, still mad. “Of what? You…you’re invulnerable.”

“That you’d think I was some sort of monster,” he finally blurted out.

Those words almost shattered Chloe’s heart.

“Chloe, you’re my best friend in the entire world,” he reminded her. “And the though that I might…lose you…because of what I was, it was more than I could bare.”

Chloe didn’t know how to respond to that. So she did the only thing she could do.

She wrapped her arms around him and held him close. After a moment, she finally said something.

“Wait a minute,” she wondered. “Those meteor mutants…did you have something to do with stopping them?”

Clark nodded.

“I fought each and every one of them,” he informed her.

“My god, Smallville’s own personal ‘vampire slayer’,” she said, with a grin.

“No vampires yet, but…” he joked.

Both of them laughed for a moment. It felt good.

“So, you got an escape plan?” she asked.

“I was going to ask you the same thing,” he responded. “They’re holding my parents. If I do anything, they’ll kill them.”


*****


Liz sat in a chair, her arms fastened to it with metal bands. She was in the middle of a room with no windows, and only one door. There was a mirror on one side…probably a two-way one.

She knew where she was. She had seen it in Max’s mind.

The White Room.

Liz was trembling inside, terrified. Max had never completely told her what they did to him in here. Not even when they were connected, because his subconscious wouldn’t even let him completely remember. However, she did know that, whatever it was, was so horrible that it traumatized him. Max was one of the strongest people she had ever known, yet even the mention of this place made him as scared as a lost child.

Suddenly, the door opened, and in walked Pierce.

Don’t let on that you’re scared, she though to yourself. If he can see that, he’ll know how to get to you.

Oh god, what was he going to do to her?

“Comfy?” he asked.

Liz mentally recited the periodic table, like she always did when she was scared. It relaxed her.

"Who are you?" she asked. "I know you're not Pierce...he's dead. You just...look like an older him."

"Ah, I see you've met my brother, then?" he asked, bile rising up in his voice.

Brother?

"Yes, he's quite dead," Pierce recalled, hatred in his voice. "It was a tragedy, too. Killed...by an alien. By Max Evans."

"Max never killed anyone," Liz whispered, fear in her eyes. "He would never..."

"Then it was his sister, then," he cut her off. "Or Gurin..."

Without warning, Pierce grabbed Liz's hair and pulled her head backwards.

"Ah..." she yelped.

"What do you want?" she asked, pleading for an answer.

"Simple," he explained. "My brother died because of Max, so I want him...dead!"

Pierce paced around the room, his eyes watching Liz. He was almost like a walking shark.

"There's something else, too," he explained to her after a moment. "Doctor?"

Just then, a doctor walked through the door. It was Liz's...the one she went to when her powers first showed up. Liz's mouth hung open, a look of betrayal apparent in her face.

"Liz...I'm sorry," he said, and handed Pierce a chart.

"Don't judge the doctor too harshly, Ms. Parker," Pierce said. "He was just doing his job. According to these charts, you're human. You're not an alien at all, but you have their powers."

He leaned in close to her, until she could feel his breath on her face.

"Max gave you those powers, didn't he?" he asked. "I want to know how."

Liz kept her mouth clamped shut. It was obvious what he was after now...and she had no intention of letting him have it.

"Do they transfer with a kiss?" he asked. "Blood transfusion? Constant presence? Does it go to his chosen mate?"

Liz still didn't answer.

"The doctor here said you got pretty defensive when he asked if you were sexually active," he mentioned with a grin, touching the side of her face. "Is that how he did it to you?"

"Don't TOUCH ME!" she yelled, not thinking.

Pierce backed away from her, still smiling.

"Fine then," he muttered. "I want that power. If you won't tell me how to get it, we'll just have to do this the hard way..."

Almost immediately, five scientists entered the room. One of then checked Liz's pulse, while another rolled up her sleeve.

Panic filled Liz’s mind. She took a deep breath, realizing what they were about to do. A single tear fell down her cheek.

Max…help!

Max. That single thought...that single name...would probably be the only thing that
would help her stay sane for whatever happened next. She watched, terrified, as one
of the scientists filled a syringe with a light-blue liquid.

"You're a scientist, right Liz?" Pierce asked with sinister delight. "Consider yourself an experiment."

Max. Think of Max… That thought kept going through her mind, as the three-inch needle pierced the skin of her arm.

That was when Liz Parker started to scream.


*****


"LIIIIIIIIIIIIZZZZZZ! NOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!"

Max Evans screamed at the top of his lungs, sitting up in bed. His face was covered in sweat, having just woken up from a nightmare.

"Geez, Maxwell!" Michael said as he ran into the room. "I think the whole neighborhood heard you."

"It was Liz," Max informed him, breathing heavily. "She...she was in pain. It...I know it was my fault. She kept asking me...begging me to save her. But I..."

"Hey," his friend said, putting her hand on his shoulder. "Hey, take it easy, Max. It was just a dream, right?"

Max took a deep breath. Yeah, it was a dream. But it had seemed so real. He and Liz…they were in the White Room. Together this time. Pierce was there too…alive. Then he started to…to torture Liz just like he did to him.

“Yeah, you’re right…” Max said, trying to convince himself. “Just a dream.”

If only he knew.


*****


Clark and Chloe still stood together in the cell.

Chloe could hardly believe everything he had told her. Beginning with the meteor rocks, and what they did to him, to when his dad told him where he came from.

It was a lot to take in. To find out that someone you’ve known your entire life wasn’t what they appeared to be.

“Pierce is some sort of alien hunter, then?” Chloe asked. “That’s why he came after you, isn’t it?”

“No,” Clark corrected her. “He was after Liz.”

Chloe stepped back, surprised.

“Liz is an alien, too?” she asked.

“No, but her boyfriend is apparently,” he informed her. “I spoke with him on the phone before Pierce showed up. He sounded…normal.”

“So do you,” Chloe reminded him.

Before either of them could continue, the cell door opened. Then, two guards dragged Liz inside. Her shoulder was bleeding, and she seemed to be weak. As if the guards were the only reason she didn’t crumple to the floor.

Chloe ran over and caught her, just as the guards let her go. They left, letting Chloe bring Liz to the bed.

“What did they do to you?” she asked, worried.

Clark walked up to the two girls, concerned.

“Can you heal it?” Liz asked, her voice ragged.

“Huh?” he asked.

“My shoulder…” she asked again. “Could you use your powers to…?”

Clark sighed, then kneeled down next to her.

“My powers…” he told her. “They don’t work that way. I can’t heal wounds or make pain go away or anything like that.”

Liz sighed. She should have realized that herself. His other powers weren’t like Max’s, so why should he have Max’s healing ability? The truth was that the shoulder didn’t bother her so much. It was the fact that Max wasn’t there. Thinking of him was the only thing that had kept her sane when she was in there.

“Maybe…” Clark said, then ripped the sleeve off his shirt. He wrapped the torn fabric tightly around Liz’s wounded shoulder, and tied it in a knot.

“Here,” he said. “Keep it tight, it’ll stop the bleeding.”

“My god, you ARE a boy scout!” Chloe joked, smirking at him.

“No, I’m a farmer,” Clark corrected his friend. “Dad made sure I knew everything about first aid, just in case anything bad ever happened with the equipment. Not that I’d ever need it myself. But I’m not complaining.”

“Thank you,” Liz whispered.

A moment of silence came upon the three of them. But only a moment…

“Soooo….” Chloe said. “You’re dating an alien, huh?”

“Chloe?!” Clark protested, but it was no use. He knew her well enough to know that she wouldn’t stop until she got some answers.

Liz actually managed to laugh.

“Yeah, you could say that I am.”

“Max has powers, then?” Clark asked her. “Like me?”

“Not like you,” Liz corrected him. “They’re different.”

“In what way?” he continued.

Liz sighed, sitting up.

“I’m going to try something,” she said. “Do you two trust me?”

Clark and Chloe gave each other looks, then turned towards Liz.

“Yeah,” Clark said. “We do.”

Liz put out her hands.

“Give me your hands,” she asked. The two teenagers complied.

“Now I want you to try and blank out your minds,” Liz continued. “Close your eyes…take deep breaths…and concentrate…”

Then it happened…


*****


Clark suddenly found himself in a diner, and saw Liz wearing a waitress uniform. Then, out of the corner of his eye, he saw two men struggling over a gun…

…a gun that went off, shooting Liz.

The restaurant went into a panic, as things focused on two boys sitting at a nearby table.

“Max, let’s go!”

One of them…Max…ran over to the wounded Liz…

“Liz, you have to look at me,”

…put his hand over the wound…

“Please”

…and healed it.

Oh I am what I am

The scene quickly changed to a classroom, where Liz and the same boy from before were talking.

“Well, I’m not from around here”

I do what I want

“Where are you from?”

Max pointed up. Then higher.

“You’re not an…alien…are you?

But I…can’t hide

Clark felt as if he was living another person’s life in fast-foreword. He saw Max make a connection with her, the same way she was with him and Chloe right now. Then he saw Sheriff Valenti threaten Max…

I won’t go…

…her grandmother dying…

I won’t sleep…

…the two of them kissing on her balcony…

I can’t breathe…

Max using his powers to create a heart shape with the words ‘M.E. + L.P.’ in the center

Until you’re resting here with me.

I won’t leave…

Them jumping off a bridge, hand in hand…

I can’t hide…

“I love you”

Liz walking away from him, tears in her eyes.

I cannot be…

Then dancing with an older-looking Max.

Until you’re resting here…

Max holding her in his arms as a ship took off.

…with me.

Then he saw Liz’s hands…green electricity flowing through them.

“I didn’t do that.”

“I did! You healed me and now I’m different”

“Please, don’t shut me out…”


*****


Clark and Chloe stumbled back once the connection was broken. Each one had a shocked look in their face.

“What did you see?” Liz asked.

“Uh,” Chloe said. “Wow! That was…intense…”

“Yeah,” Clark said. “How…how did you do that? Telepathy or something?”

“No, it’s…hard to explain,” Liz said.

Clark paced around the room for a second, taking it all in.

“I think I got it,” Chloe said. “Basically, your boyfriend is like this…half-human, half-alien combination. And Pierce, who should be dead, is after him.”

“It’s Pierce’s brother,” Liz corrected her. “He told me. He thinks Max killed his brother.”

“Did he?” Clark asked.

“No,” she answered. “No, that was somebody else.”

“Your powers…” he said suddenly. “Max somehow transferred his to you, right?”

“Yeah, but I can’t control them,” she informed him. “Pierce wants to know how I got them, to repeat it on himself.”

“Not a good idea,” Chloe said, worried. “We do not want that loony to have super powers. That’s out of the question. We have to get out of here.”

“If I make a move, they kill my parents,” Clark reminded the two of them.


*****


Pierce walked through the hallway, a smug smile on his face. The thought of that alien bugged him. How dare he think he was ‘human’, anyway? Who would dare talk that way to the FBI.

Of course, he wasn’t FBI. Not anymore, at least. That ended when he threw this job in his bosses’ face, after those idiots in Washington had shut down the special unit. That…shape shifter…who had been posing as his brother helped with that. But he knew…he knew the truth, and he wasn’t going to stand for it.

Luckily for him, his brother had kept notes, and videos, of his mission. Where the White Room was located, their powers, even who the human species traitors were. Just a dozen other former agents, and he was set.

All he had to do now was get the secret from the girl. Then, when he had the power, he would kill Evans with his bare hands.

The thought quickly left Pierce as he walked past the cell and saw Liz sprawled on the floor.

“SOMEBODY GET A DOCTOR IN HERE!!!” Clark Kent started to yell.

Damn! He pushed those tests too far. He didn’t expect her to…

Pierce quickly opened the cell and ran up to her.

“Just calm down, kid,” he ordered, and kneeled down. Only to see Liz’s eyes wide open. She was conscious?

That’s when he heard footsteps running away from him. The other one…

“CHLOE RUN!” Liz yelled. Pierce hit her, then used his communicator.

“We’ve got an escapee, on sub-level three,” he called. “Human, female. Blonde. Between fifteen and sixteen.”


*****


Don’t think, just run!

That thought kept going through Chloe’s head. She had to get out of there. Otherwise, they’d keep Clark and his parents and Liz as long as they wanted. Then, eventually, kill them.

How long until they found out about the meteor rocks?

She ducked down a side hallway, just as three agents passed by. Taking a deep breath she continued on, until she saw a large grating below her feet.

Either it was the air conditioning, or the sewer.

“Only one way to find out,” she muttered to herself, then opened it up and jumped in.

It was the sewer.


*****


Pierce flung his fist against the plexi-glass door in rage.

“DAMN IT!” he yelled. “I warned you, kid!”

Then he took out his phone.

“The Kents…kill them!” he ordered.

“NO!” Clark yelled.

Using super-speed, Clark ran right up to him, snatching the phone away. Pierce quickly took out his gun.

“I’m betting you aren’t bullet-proof, kid!” he said.

He was wrong, of course. But Clark wasn’t just ready to give him that information yet.

“I could of escaped at any time, but I didn’t,” Clark said, handing him back his phone. “Do you honestly think the police are going to believe a 15-year-old talking about aliens? I’ll tell you this much: if my parents are dead, there is nothing that will stop me from tearing you apart piece by peace”

Pierce smiled, impressed.

“You’ve got guts, I’ll give you that,” he said, then turned back on the phone. “Belay that ‘kill’ order, boys. I’ve got something better.”

He turned the gun on Liz.

“Liz, come with me,” he ordered, with a grin.

Liz, not having a choice, followed him out the door.

For a long time, Clark sat there…alone in the cell.

For all his power, he had never felt so helpless. If he wanted to, he could have torn the entire instillation apart with his bare hands, but he couldn’t do anything as long as his parents were in danger. There was only one hope.

Chloe.

“Chloe, please hurry,” he whispered.

Then he heard the screams coming from the hallway…

“RHHHHHHHHHAAAAAAAAAAA!!!!”

His fear suddenly became anger.

“You’re not getting away with this, Pierce,” he vowed. “I promise it!”


*****


Chloe had climbed out a drainage pipe just outside of Roswell, New Mexico. Once there, she just kept on running.

She had to get there…fast! There was no telling whether they were still following her or not.

She came to a small city…must be Roswell. Then she ran through the city streets as fast as she could. Panting, scared, desperate…she had to find them.

Then, suddenly, she saw it. The Crashdown Cafee. Exactly where Liz said it was.

Chloe just hoped she wasn’t too late.

She ran up to the front door…locked! She pounded on it…

“Open up, please…” she yelled. “Somebody help!”

That’s when the door suddenly opened, and a figure looked at her.

“Yeah?” Michael asked her.

Short of breath, Chloe simply stared at the stranger.

“I need to talk to Max Evans,”


*****


Deep underground, Kyle wandered blindly. The tunnel was deep, and had gone on for hours. How deep was it, exactly?

Maybe he should have gone back for the other after all.

Suddenly, he realized something. There shouldn’t have been any light this far underground. Yet, a soft, green glow came from the cave walls. As if illuminated by it’s own unseen energy.

That was crazy, he thought. Walls don’t glow. Rock and dirt don’t have lights.

That’s when he saw it. Just beyond his line of sight, was a large, silver machine. With windows, and a door.

A spaceship.

“Holy!” he whispered. “I really should have went to dad first.”

Kyle

Kyle did a double take. Was someone…calling him?

Kyle Valenti

There it was again. Something he didn’t hear…but felt.

Kyle, please help me.

Reluctantly, Kyle approached the ship.


*****


A few moments later, inside the Crashdown Cafee.

Chloe sat in a chair, as Jim Valenti brought her a glass of water. The Crashdown was closed for the night, so there was no one else there.

Only Chloe, Jim, Max, and Michael.

She didn’t know what to say. These were perfect strangers…people she had never met in her entire life. Yet, here and now, they were her only hope to save Clark.

And they were Liz’s best friends. She had to remember that.

“Now, what seems to be the trouble?” the former sheriff asked her as she drank.

“I--I need to talk to Max Evans,” she responded, swallowing quickly.

Curious, Max walks up to her, taking the empty glass from her.

“What is it?” he asked.

“Liz told me to ask for you.” she told him. “Said you were the only one who could...”

“Liz?” he asked, shocked. “She's here? In Roswell? Where?”

Max could hardly contain his excitement. Liz was back in Roswell? Why wasn’t she there?

“Slow down, Maxwell,” Michael warned him, stepping between Max and Chloe. “The girl looks like she's about to faint.”

Chloe quickly stood up, pushing Michael to the side.

“Could someone tell 'mullet-boy' over there I can talk for myself?” she commented, walking up to Max. “They took her to get to you. They were holding all three of us, god I was so scared. I thought they were going take me in that 'White Room' too.”

When Max heard her words, the glass dropped from his hand and shattered into a thousand fragments. His face turned dead white, a look of absolute horror in his eyes.

The words kept going through his mind like a mantra:

White Room!

WHITE ROOM!

Memories flooded his mind. Pain, questions, torture, searing anguish...

“Max?” Michael asked, going up to him. “MAX?”

Michael shook Max by the shoulder, trying to snap him out of it. Max grabbed his arm, showing that he was all right.

“We have to get her out of there,” he whispered.

Michael nodded, understanding

“Yeah, I know,” his friend answered him. “I'll call Isabel, we'll get there as soon as we…”

“WE HAVE TO GO NOW!!!” Max ordered, cutting him off. “You...you don't know what it was like in there. What...what they did to...to...”

Then, it hit him. With the force of a title wave. Images. Not his own thoughts, but the thoughts of someone else. Reaching out for him. Holding onto him for dear life.

Then came the bloodcurdling scream.

“RRRRHHHHHAAAAAAAAAAAA!!!” the girl’s scream cut through him like a knife. Almost simultaneously, Max screamed himself. Grasping his own head in pain, he collapsed to the floor.

The others all ran up to Max, as Michael helped him up.

“Is he all right?” Chloe asked, concerned.

Max faces Michael, his nose bleeding. Then, though gritted teeth, he said…

“Where...is she...?”

To Be Continued…
-------------------------------------------------
Next: The Rescue

Max, Michael, Chloe, and Valenti break into the government facility to rescue Liz and Clark, not knowing that Pierce is expecting them. Luckily, Clark has a plan of his own. Where does detective John Jones fit into all of this?

Plus, Kyle’s encounter with the alien spacecraft. Don’t miss it!


-Peter
posted on 12-Jun-2002 1:08:08 PM
LOL...I was trying to stall for time and give myself time to finish part four. But oh well...I'll just have to work extra-hard now.

Right now I've got 13 pages done(the average chapter is 20 pages long). So their should be an update by next week. I just want to update 'Powers And Responsibilities' first.

-Peter
posted on 20-Jun-2002 12:11:27 AM
Ok, since most likely everyone read part 3 through that link, I'll just go ahead and post part 4

Hope you like it:


----------------------------------------------


Strange Visitors
Part 4

Alliences


Maria DeLuca paced back and forth across the floor, waiting for word from Michael and the others. Any word.

No such luck though.

Why did she ever listen to him in the first place? She had decided to cut herself off from all the alien craziness, didn’t she? Well, when Michael called her at 2 AM, saying that they needed her to wait for them at the Crashdown until they got back, Maria did as she was asked. They were still her friends, after all.

However, the urgency of his tone had suggested that something was up.

Something bad.

Please don’t be more ‘skins’, she thought. Yeah, the last time she met up with everyone for a ‘secret meeting’, every human being in Roswell disappeared into thin air. Hopefully, it wasn’t that bad.

Suddenly, a truck pulled up in front of the Crashdown. It was them.

Michael and Valenti exited the car. Along with Max…who was carrying Liz in his arms.

Liz, Maria’s best friend, who was unconscious. And seemed to have labored breathing.

“Oh my god, Liz!” Maria exclaimed, running to unlock the front door. “What happened? What…?”

That’s when she noticed that they weren’t alone. Behind Max was another boy, who looked about fifteen. He had dark hair, and light blue eyes. Then a girl with short, blonde hair. And a couple that looked to be in their early forties. Finally, there was the guy with the trench coat.

“Is she ok?” the boy asked Max.

“Let’s get her up to her room,” he replied, not answering either Maria or the boy. “I don’t want her parents to see her like this. Where are they?”

“Sleeping,” Maria answered.

Nodding, Max walks upstairs with Liz.

“Oh god…oh god…” Maria muttered, panicking.

She felt a hand rest on her shoulder, calming her.

“Hey, take it easy,” the boy said. “I’m sure she’ll be ok.”

Maria turned to face him.

“Who are you?” she asked. “Who the heck are you people?”

“Uh,” he replied, a little nervous. “I’m Clark…Clark Kent. These are my parents, and…”

The blonde girl interrupts him, and shakes Maria’s hand.

“Chloe Sullivan, pleased to meet you,” she said. “Now, you are?”

“Maria,” she said, still unsure.

“Charmed, I’m sure,” Chloe said.

“Uh, Clark?” Maria asked. “Wasn’t there someone else with you a second ago?”

The gang turns around to see that the guy in the trench coat has vanished.

“What happened to Detective Jones?” Martha asked, confused.

Jonathan, loosing his patience, moved up to Maria.

“Listen, young lady,” he asked. “I’ve just been held at gunpoint for the last few days, so could you please tell me who you people are?”

Maria sneaks a look at Michael, who nods her head.

Maria doesn’t say anything, which causes Jonathan to sigh in frustration.

“Then could you get me a phone so I can call someone to tell them we’re all right?” he asked. “Chloe’s parents are probably going nuts right now.”

Maria directed him behind a counter, where a phone is.

Valenti went up to Clark.

“I don’t know who you are,” he said. “But I want to thank you for helping us out back there.”

“Hey, no problem,” Clark responded with a smile. “Any friend of Liz’s is a friend of mine.”

Maria smiled, walking up to Clark.

“Yeah, thanks,” she said. “A…really nice looking friend, aren’t you?”

Clark blushed.

In the corner, Michael gave Clark a cold stare. It was obvious to him that Maria was trying to flirt with the guy. He knew they weren’t technically together, but the least she could do would wait for him to be out of the room.

Jonathan hung up the phone.

“I just talked to you dad, Chloe,” he said. “He’s going to alert the sheriff about that Agent Pierce guy who kidnapped us.”

Maria’s eyes went wide.

“WHAT?!” she exclaimed. “Pierce is dead.”

“Different Agent Pierce,” Valenti informed her.

“What? Evil twin?” she asked.

“Insane brother,” Michael commented. “He wants me dead.”

“Why am I not surprised?” Maria mentions, rolling her eyes. “You really know how to make enemies, don’t you Spaceboy?”

“Hey, you’re the one flirting with the farmboy,” Michael spat.

“Flirting?” Clark asked, taken aback.

“A clueless farmboy, by the way,” he added.

“Hey!” Clark said, a bit insulted.

“Will someone please just explain to me what the hell is going on here?” Jonathan interrupted, causing everyone to go silent. “Well?”

“I’ll tell you.” Max said from the stairwell, walking back into the room. “Maria, how long until Liz’s parents wake up?”

“About an hour, I guess,” she answered.

Nodding, Max went up to Jonathan.

“Mr. Kent?” he said. “I’m really sorry for dragging you and your family into this. I can’t imagine what’s going through your head right now.”

“I just want to know who you people are,” Jonathan answered.

“We can’t answer that,” Michael interrupted.

“Michael!”

“No way, Maxwell!” Michael spat. “You’re not doing a ‘tell all’ right now. Not until we find out exactly what that guy is?”

Michael pointed towards Clark.

“Well?” he asked, his only answer being silence.

Until Max broke the silence.

“He’s an alien, Michael.”

“WHAT?!” both Michael and Maria exclaimed simultaneously.

“Clark?!” Jonathan told his son, accusingly.

“They’re from another planet too, dad,” Clark informed him. “At least Max is. That’s why Pierce was after them.”

“I don’t believe this,” Michael complained. “Max are you insane or something? Remember the last time we found another alien? One word: Tess!”

“This isn’t the same thing,” Max argued. “Liz and I could have died in there, but we didn’t. He could have let us die, but he didn’t. That earns some measure of trust.”

Throwing his arms in the air, Michael headed towards the door.

“You know what?” he asked. “Do whatever you want, I’m heading home.”

“Michael, don’t…” Max tried to warn him.

However, he didn’t listen. He stormed out.

“The temper on that guy…” Clark mentioned.

“Yeah, well, welcome to Michael-land” Maria told him.


*****


Somewhere just outside of Roswell, at an abandoned ranch, Agent Pierce looked at his surroundings nervously. There were dozens of what looked like art displays, seemingly related to UFO phenomena.

“You like the décor?” a voice asked behind him.

Pierce turned to see Lex Luthor walk into the room, accompanied by Nicholas, and two unidentified men.

“It’s…intriguing,” Pierce responds. “Lex Luthor, right? I didn’t take you for a UFO enthusiast, kid.”

“The Luthor family became powerful by taking chances,” Lex told him. “That includes things that aren’t believed in by everyone. The general public believes that all those stories about Roswell are made up to continue a tourist attraction…”

A grin crosses his face.

“…but we know better, don’t we?”

Pierce looked at him coldly.

“What do you want?”

“I think the question is ‘what do YOU want’?” Lex responds. “The answer is, quite simply, Max Evans. And I can help you get him.”

Pierce thinks about that for a moment. Lionel Luthor, Lex’s father, was the president of LuthorCorp, one the of most powerful corporations on the planet. They had at least a dozen military contracts.

Luthor probably had resources that he never even knew about.

“What’s the catch?” Pierce asked him.

“Something crashed in Roswell a few days ago,” he informed him. “Something that I want. You deliver it to me, and I’ll get you Evans, his girlfriend…the whole bunch of them.”

Pierce couldn’t believe the nerve of this guy. Lex thought he could stop those aliens, when an entire group of trained FBI agents couldn’t?

He started to laugh.

“They’re aliens, Luthor,” he laughed. “What makes you think that you can even lay a hand on them?”

Lex smiled.

“Well, I do have his sister tied up in the attic,”

Pierce’s eyes went wide, and he grabbed Lex roughly by the throat.

“You’ve spent all this time leaving her there?!” he spat. “You idiot!”

However, before he could do anything else, a blast of invisible force erupted from Lex’s hand, tossing Pierce across the room.

“Don’t threaten me, human!” he ordered. “I could incinerate you with a thought.”

Painfully, Pierce picked himself up off the ground. Lex grabbed him by the throat, lifting him up.

“Oh, this is rich,” he gasped. “Lex Luthor is an alien?”

“My name, human, is K’Var!” he spat. “I may have to wear this shell to survive here, but I can still crush you like an insect.”

He threw Pierce to the ground.

“Your petty rivalry with Zan is the only reason I’ve giving you this chance,” K’Var admitted. “We have some history. You can do anything you want to him or the humans. But his sister is mine…and that artifact in Roswell.”

Pierce couldn’t believe it. An alien wanted his help…but an alien who had a past with Max. What did he call him? ‘Zan’? Well, obviously ‘Max Evans’ wasn’t the name he was called wherever he came from.

“What is this artifact you want, anyway?” he asked.

“Power, Mr. Pierce,” K’Var told him. “Absolute power.”

That sent a chill down his spine.


*****


Jeff Parker walked downstairs, sighing in relief. The Crashdown was now in it’s busy hours, and both he and his wife had to pay close attention. Still, he was glad that his little girl was going to be ok.

He walked across the room, to where Jim Valenti sat with the man that brought Liz home.

“Thank you, Mr. Kent,” he said. “When she didn’t show up at the academy, I thought…”

“Yeah, I understand,” Jonathan answered. “Is she feeling ok?”

“A small fever, but otherwise she’s fine,” Jeff explained. “Where did she catch this again?”

“Kansas,” he said. “It’s just normal hay fever, so she’ll be back on her feet in no time. I’m just glad that we could help out. She’s a good kid.”

Jeff smiled, and went into the kitchen.

Jonathan, sighing, turned back to Valenti.

“Thank you,” Jim said. “I know, it doesn’t seem fair to lie to Parker like that. But I don’t want to worry him.”

“This story of yours…” Jonathan said. “Other galaxies, royal families, reincarnation…it sounds so unreal.”

“Yeah, I know,” Valenti admitted. “My old man spent his entire life looking for aliens, and I’m the one who found them. But they’re good kids, all of them. If the truth gets out, more people like Pierce will show up. Probably worse.”

“It’s what I’ve always been afraid of,” he told him. “That someone would find out what Clark was, and come after him.”

Valenti nodded. Heaven knows what he would do if anything ever happened to Kyle.

Kyle.

There had been no sign of Kyle ever since he went looking in the desert. Why hadn’t he tried to contact him?


*****


“Hello?”

Kyle entered the main deck of the spaceship, stepping cautiously inside. It was small, about the size of a gas station. Still…Kyle wanted to be careful.

Whatever flew this thing might still be alive…and possibly hungry.

Get ahold of yourself, Valenti, Kyle thought. For all he knew, whoever the pilot was, he or she ejected before the ship buried itself miles underground.

He just hoped there was some way to bring it back to the surface, so that he could tell the others.

Suddenly, Kyle froze. He heard something coming from the cockpit. It sounded like…breathing.

Very shallow breathing.

Walking into the cockpit, he saw the pilot. He…wasn’t human-looking, but humanoid. His skin was pink. Meaning not flesh-colored, but pink like a flower. With no sign of any hair on him…not even eyebrows. His eyes were green, and he was looking directly at Kyle.

He also had a sharp piece of metal lodged in his chest, oozing blood.

“Oh my budda!” Kyle whispered.

A cluster of words, belonging to a language Kyle never even heard of, escaped the strange man’s mouth. They sounded weak.

He was dying.

“I…” Kyle tried to say. “I don’t know if you can understand me, but I know someone who can help. Someone who can heal. Just…just stay here and I’ll…”

“No!” the alien warned, as Kyle turned to leave. “Don’t go…it’s too late…”

Kyle’s eyes went wide, as he turned back towards the alien. He could understand him!

“You…” he said. “You can speak English?”

The alien nodded.

“I’m sorry, my translator was damaged in the crash,” he said. “Thank you for coming.”

Kyle thought for a moment. What if this thing was faking? What if he was planning to attack or something?

However, Kyle somehow had the inclination to trust him.

“That voice…in my head…?” he asked. “That was you, wasn’t it?”

“Yes,” the alien answered. “My name is Abin…I know of the king of Antar’s presence on this planet, and was coming to warn him. I am a…lawbringer, you could say.”

“Like a sheriff?” Kyle asked. “Yeah, my dad used to have that job. Wait…warn Max about what?”

Abin winced in pain, taking a deep breath.

“K’Var is on earth,” he explained. “I was here to stop him, but…”

Abin began to cough violently, causing Kyle to look on. Concerned, he walked up to him.

“Kyle, you have to listen to me,” he whispered. “I have something K’Var wants. He’ll stop at nothing to get it.”

“What?” Kyle asked. “What is…?”

“I can’t tell you,” he responded. “I can only ask you to keep it safe. If K’Var gets ahold of it, he would have power beyond imagination.

Abin grabs Kyle’s hand, grasping it in both of his.

“Keep it safe, Kyle,” he asks. “Use it with honor.”

Kyle looked at his hands, as they started to glow bright green.

“What do I do?” he asked. “I don’t know how…?”

“You will…” Abin told him, with his final breath.

Then his eyes closed, and his body rested. The bright green energy flowed around him, until his body evaporated. Just as the ship around him did, leaving Kyle inside a barren underground cavern. All traces of Abin and his ship disappeared into thin air.

“No way…” Kyle muttered, standing up slowly. He looked across the cave, searching for a way out.

But what had that alien given him?

Kyle slowly opened his hand to see what it was. A jewel maybe? Some sort of power source?

No.

In a palm of Kyle’s hand was a single, emerald green ring.


*****


Nightfall, back at the Crashdown café. Jeff Parker began to climb the stairs, leaving for the night.

“Just be sure to lock up, ok Maria?” he called to the young waitress to was still in the café part of his home.

She smiled, and brought the boy sitting at the bar a plate.

“There you go,” she said. “One ‘Will Smith’. On the house. A little ‘thank you’ for saving my best friend’s life.”

Clark grinned, and looked at his surroundings.

“I can’t believe how incredible this place is,” he commented. “I mean, sure, it sort of trivializes the whole UFO concept, but it’s just…cool. I never thought I’d be a tourist attraction.”

While his attention was diverted, Maria opened a bottle of Tabasco sauce and poured the contents of it onto Clark’s meal.

“Let’s just hope the food’s as good as the atmosphere,” he said, and took a bite.

About a few seconds later, Clark’s eyes went wide, and he breathed in air. Fanning his mouth, he turned to Maria.

“Water!” he asked.

“Huh?”

“Water, please!”

“Ok, ok…” she complied, and poured him a glass of water. Clark drank in eagerly, then poured himself another glass.

After a moment, he took a deep breath and turned to Maria.

“What the heck did you put in that?” he demanded.

Maria was confused. What was wrong?

“Tabasco sauce,” she answered. “Why?”

“Why on earth did you put Tabasco sauce in it?” he asked, surprised. “A little warning if you’re going to do that.”

She laughed.

“Wait…wait…” she giggled. “You…don’t like Tabasco sauce?”

“It’s bad enough my dad keeps trying to force-feed the stuff to me,” he responded, still fanning his mouth.

“I’m sorry,” she said. “I…you’re an alien, so I just assumed you needed to have it on everything like the others.”

Well, that certainly explained Michael’s temper, Clark thought.

Speaking of which…

“I think I’m the one who should apologize,” he said. “I sort of set your boyfriend off earlier…”

Maria shook her head.

“Oh, he’s not my boyfriend,” she said. “Well, not anymore.”

“What happened?”

Maria thought for a moment.

“You don’t want to know,”

Clark simply looked at her.

“Come on,” he encouraged. “Just try me.”

“It’s…all this alien stuff,” she explained. “It just started to be too much for me, you know. I just wanted out.”

“Yeah,” he sighed. “I know what you mean.”

Maria looked at him, a little confused.

“But…you’re an alien,” she said.

“That doesn’t mean I can’t get frustrated with it,” Clark told her. “Do you have any idea how many times I wish I was just a normal teenager? That I had an ordinary life?”

“Well, what planet do you come from?” she asked him.

“I don’t know,” he replied. “My ship crashed when I was a baby. I didn’t even know I was an alien until the school year started, and dad showed me the ship.”

Maria was surprised upon hearing that. From what Liz had told her, Max and Michael had known they were aliens since they hatched. How could you not know something like that?

“God, you must have been so scared,” she said. “It’s like your whole life was a lie or something.”

Clark shook his head.

“Not in the least,” he corrected her. “The thing is, I still consider myself a human being. It’s how I was brought up. No matter where I come from, or who my real parents are, as far as I’m concerned I’m human.”

“But you’re not,” Maria pointed out.

“Maybe not in my blood,” he said. “But in my heart.”

“I really wish Michael was like you, you know?” Maria told him. “Not ‘like you’ like you, but the whole human thing. He’s always saying that he doesn’t belong here, or with the rest of us. How is anyone supposed to…to commit to someone who thinks like that?”

Neither one noticed someone standing at the window to the Crashdown. Michael was there, and he had heard the entire conversation.

Slowly, he walked away. His thoughts going over what he had just heard.


*****


Upstairs, above the restaurant, Liz slowly opened her eyes. It was dark out, but her surroundings were familiar.

She was in her own room, asleep in her own bead.

She sighed in relief for a moment, thinking that the past week had all been a dream. But then she felt the lump on her head.

No, it was real. The entire thing had been real.

“How are you feeling?” Max’s voice suddenly asked her.

She turned to see him walking up to her bed, kneeling beside her.

“Better,” she said. “A lot better.”

Liz reached up and kissed him. They continued to kiss for a moment, until sparks of green electricity started to form between them.

“No, no, no…” Liz groaned. “One kiss…that’s all I’m asking for.”

She fell back down on the bed, sighing.

Max just sat on the edge of her bed for a moment, thinking. If only there was something he could do.

Then a thought occurred to him. Maybe there was.

“Can you walk?” he asked her.

Confused, Liz nodded.

“Come with me?” he said.


*****


Several minutes later, Max and Liz arrive at a local golf course. They look around for a moment, making sure no one else is there.

“Max, what are we doing here?” she asked.

Max looked at her…directly into her eyes. He couldn’t help but notice how beautiful she looked in the moonlight. How much he wanted to kiss her…

Max shook himself out of his daydreaming. They were there for a reason.

“When we rescued you, you were covered in bruises,” he explained. “Now they’re all gone.”

Liz raised her eyebrows, not quite believing him. Then, as she felt her face, she knew he was telling the truth. Even the bump from a few minutes earlier was gone now.

“You healed me while I was asleep, didn’t you?” she asked.

Max shook his head.

“I tried to, but I couldn’t,” he informed her. “Your power prevented me from doing anything. Somehow…you healed yourself.”

“Max, I can’t…” she argued.

“Yes you can!” Max corrected her. “You have the power to. You just…you don’t understand it.”

He wandered a few feet away.

“While you were gone…” he started to say. “Michael made me think about something. His powers…he used to have no control over them. Mainly because he didn’t have any control over himself. Over his emotions. Then, when you were gone, I had the same problem. I think that, maybe, that’s how our powers work. How yours work, too.”

Liz walked up to him. Now this was something she could understand. The scientist in her started going over this theory.

“So they’re powered by emotions?” she asked. “Emotional and hormonal responses?”

Max nods.

“Exactly,” he said. “The stronger the feeling, the more powerful the energy. Negative emotions equals negative energy.”

“Then positive emotions would create positive energy,” she concluded. “Like protection and healing. I…I made a shield at the Kent farm. There was a grenade…”

She turned the other way, starting to think.

“I was mad at you, Max,” she confessed, her eyes closed, “I still am. But when I saw your face, I was relieved. That’s probably why I could heal myself.”

“I was thinking…” Max continued. “That maybe if we found a way to control it. You could help us, you know? You wouldn’t be in danger anymore. You could protect yourself.”

She took a deep breath. Max didn’t understand it, did he? What she was going through.

Finally, she just went ahead and said it.

“I don’t want them controlled, Max. I want them gone.”

He bit his lip nervously. He was afraid of this.

“Stop treating this like a curse, Liz,” he pleaded with her. “Don’t you see…it’s a blessing?”

“I…I can’t go one like this,” she admitted, a tear coming to her eye. “Being afraid, every day. That…that someone like Pierce would catch me again. Hurt me…cut me open…”

That last line made Max’s heart get caught in his throat.

“You know what they did to me in there,” she said, turning to Max. “I…I’m scared. I don’t want to go through that again. Please, if you love me, take these powers back.”

“I can’t,” he whispered sadly.

“Yes, you can!” she said, her voice desperate. Even a little angry. “You can manipulate matter. You can restructure molecules…god, you can bring me back to life, Max! How hard could it be to change a person’s DNA?”

“I’m not god, Liz,” he admitted. “I don’t have the right…”

“Damn your rights and make me normal!” she spat, becoming angrier. Green sparks flew off as she said this.

“Liz…” he said, trying to calm her down.

She wasn’t listening.

“Do you have any idea how much I’ve given up to be with you, Max? Do you?!” she yelled, the energy becoming stronger. “What do I get for it, huh? Oh, we don’t belong together. Oh, you’re married and have a child with someone else. A child, Max! One that’s not mine!”

With her final words, a blast of energy shot towards Max. He barely raised his energy shield in time to deflect it.

Her anger spent, she started crying again.

“Please, just make me like I was?” she begged.

Max lowered his field, and walked up close to her. He looked completely shocked by her outburst.

“It’s been too long,” he told her. “If I tried…you could die, Liz. Is what I am so horrible?”

She didn’t have an answer for him.

That’s when they noticed something in the corner, struggling.

When Liz’s energy blast ricocheted off the shield, it must have flown into the air. There, on the ground, as a small bird. Its wing was singed from the blast, then broken from the sudden impact with the ground.

Liz’s eyes were frozen when she saw it.

“I…” she said. “I…I didn’t mean to…”

Gently, she picked the injured creature off the ground and held it. Is this what she had become? Something that could only inflict pain? On herself? On the man she loved? And now, on this innocent creature.

That’s when she noticed it. Her hand was glowing again.

But, this time, it didn’t hurt her. As a matter of fact, the energy made her feel good. It was warm…soothing.

She opened her hands, and raised the bird into the air. It flew off into the sky, its wing completely healed.

“Oh my god…” she whispered. She stared at herself, astonished. “Did…did I do that?”

An amazed smile came to her face, as she looked at Max. He was smiling right back at her.

“It feels good, doesn’t it?” he asked.

She nodded, and walked up to Max. She put both her hands on his.

“Yeah, it does,” she answered. “I love you.”

Then, they both began to glow. Almost in unison.

“I always wanted to know what it was like from your point of view,” she said, smiling at him.

“And how is it?” he asked, already feeling the connection between them…stronger than ever before.

Incredible, her voice sounded in his head, as they stood in the moonlight.


*****


The next morning, Max and Liz enter the Crashdown hand in hand.

“Well, someone looks like she got lucky,” Chloe commented as they walked in.

Liz blushed, but then shook her head.

“Nope,” she reassured the blonde girl.

Sitting at the table were the Kents, Valenti, and Maria.

“Where’s Clark and Michael?” Max asked them.

“Spaceboy’s gone AWOL again,” Maria informed him. “And Mr. Kent seems quite the tourist. He went straight for the UFO Center.”

“I’m heading to work in about an hour, I’ll talk to him then,” Max replied.

That’s when they noticed someone walk up to them. It was John Jones, the detective that had helped them.

“You should all go there,” he instructed them. “You’ll be safe there.”

Their eyes snap to attention. They never saw him enter.

“Where did you run off to?” Jonathan asked. “Look, detective…safe from who? Who would want to…”

“You needn’t worry about your secrets, Mr. Kent,” Jones reassured him. “No one beyond this table can hear us.”

Liz looked over her shoulder to see that he was telling the truth. Some customers were looking directly towards them…but not AT them. As if they were invisible.

“Who are you?” she asked. “How do you know so much.”

“Just trust me, Elizabeth,” he said. “Kyle has gone missing. As has Max’s sister, Isabel.”

Max went wide-eyed.

“How do you know?” he demanded.

Then the entire building began to shake. However, the customers didn’t seem to notice.

Only the people at the table…who suddenly fell to the ground.

Just then…the wall collapsed inward in a huge explosion.


*****


Out in the desert, Michael Gurin sped through the sand on his motorcycle. It seemed as if everyone had forgotten about Kyle in all the commotion.

Well, everyone except him.

So if everyone wanted to ogle the farmboy…then let them. He was going to actually do something.

“Maria doesn’t like it…tough!” he muttered under his breath.

Kyle was going to look for the pod chamber, and that was the last anyone saw of him. So that’s were Michael was headed.

The, suddenly…something stopped him.

He felt something. A presence that he had felt before. Someone familiar…at the Crashdown…

His eyes went wide in horror as he realized what it was. Who it was!

“No!” he exclaimed, and turned the bike around.

He only hoped he wasn’t too late.


*****


It was easy…that was the first thought that entered her mind as she walked through the hole in the Crashdown.

This is what she liked. Not sneaking around or manipulation. Those things came naturally to her. Which was why K’Var tended to have her work on the inside.

But not this…pure power was something she enjoyed doing. It was what she craved. It was what she wanted.

And Tess Harding always got what she wanted.

“Hi honey,” she greeted the unconscious people on the ground. “I’m home!”

Her eyes scanned the room, at the various humans minding their own business. They couldn’t see her, of course. She was mind warping them all. As far as they were concerned, nothing had happened.

But still…as fun as this was, she had a job to do. K’Var wanted them alive, so she’d bring them alive.

Even Parker, as much as infuriated her. But K’Var promised that, once he got what he wanted, she could do whatever she wanted to the humans.

She smiled.

“So tell me, Max,” she said to the unconscious boy. “Who’s going to stop me from killing your precious girlfriend?”

“Well…there’s me!” a voice called out the way she came in.

A voice she didn’t recognize.

A confidant one.

Tess turned around just in time to see Clark Kent running right towards her…

Faster than a speeding bullet!

To Be Continued…
-----------------------------------------------

Three words: Clark vs. Tess!

Plus, what’s the secret of John Jones. Find out next.

-Peter

posted on 20-Jun-2002 10:37:29 PM
Dark Maul- well, with a name like 'Kyle'...

*big*
posted on 22-Jun-2002 10:04:23 PM
Self bumping

-Peter
posted on 10-Aug-2002 11:30:41 PM
Ok...ok, I'll update very soon*happy* Just give me time.

Anyway, here's the new banner link to my site:

roswelllink

smallvillelink

-Peter

[ edited 1 time(s), last at 10-Aug-2002 11:31:31 PM ]
posted on 22-Aug-2002 4:11:58 AM
Here it is...the midway point. Presenting part 5 of the story...prepare for a shocker...and a special guest star
-----------------------------------------------------

STRANGE VISITORS
PART 5

DIFFERENT WORLDS

Without a moment’s notice, Tess Harding felt herself flying backwards through the hole she had made in the wall of the Crashdown. Moving faster than anyone on the street could see, she suddenly found herself lying on the ground in an ally.

“And you would be?” the voice of her attacker asked her.

Quickly, she scrambled to her feet. At the entrance to the ally was a boy. He looked about 15, with a very strong build, jet-black hair, and piercing blue eyes.

“You…” she spat. “…have just made the biggest mistake of your life! Who are you?!”

“The name’s Clark,” he answered, walking towards her. “Those are my friends you just hurt…”

However, before he could get close enough, she raised her hand towards him. A force blast erupted from it, causing him to crash into the wall.

Tess smirked, satisfied, then began to walk out of the ally. Clark pulled himself to his feet.

He shouldn’t have underestimated this woman. Obviously, she had the same powers that the other Roswell aliens had. But who…

Then it hit him. Something Maria had said.

“You’re Tess, right?” he asked.

Tess turned around in surprise. She was certain that the impact against the wall would have knocked him out, if not outright kill him.

Immediately, she sent another force blast his way. This time, though, Clark was ready.

Using super speed, he moved out of the path of the force blast, so that it only struck a trio of garbage cans. He came to a stop behind her.

“I don’t like the thought of hitting girls,” he commented, causing her to spin around.

Before she could fire another force blast, Clark sped towards her and grabbed her wrist.

“But killers are something else altogether,” he finished. With a single shove, he threw Tess head-first into the pile of garbage cans she knocked over earlier.

“Maria told me about you,” Clark informed Tess. “About how you pretended to be on their side, then murdered their friend, Alex. I’m not going to let you kill anyone else…you’re going to jail!”

“Oh, I’m not going to kill them…” Tess answered as she pulled herself off the ground. “…you are.”

She closed her eyes and started to concentrate. Reaching deep inside of herself for her own unique power…her mind warp. The ability that allowed her to control the minds and perceptions of others.

Then she used it on Clark. Full force.

“Ahhhgggg!” he screamed in pain, clutching his temples. His head started to pound like a drum as he fell to his knees.


*****


Max was the first one to regain consciousness. Although that wasn’t exactly true…all of them could hear what had happened, but for some reason couldn’t do a damned thing about it. As if they were paralyzed.

Nonetheless, he was the first one to regain mobility. Besides Detective John Jones, that is. Strangely enough, he had risen to his feet almost the second that Clark knocked Tess onto the streets.

“Max, listen to me,” Jones told him. “Use your powers to repair the wall. Then help me revive the others.”

Max looked at him, shocked.

“But all these people…” he began to argue, but the sight before him stopped him cold.

John’s eyes were glowing bright red. There was also something strange about his voice. It was deeper, almost otherworldly.

“No one in this building can either see nor hear us,” the cold voice told him. “They don’t even realize that something has happened. Look…”

He was right. Everyone, including Mr. Parker, acted as if nothing had happened. They just continued to eat their meals, oblivious.

“You’re doing this, aren’t you?” Max asked him. “You’re an alien, too.”

“We must get to the UFO center,” Jones replied. “I will explain everything there.”

Max looked at him doubtfully.

“Everything?” he asked.

John sighed.

“Everything that you need to know,” he finished with a normal voice.

Max still didn’t know what to think. However, he began to use his powers to revive Liz and the others. Whatever the case, he was going to get some answers.


*****


Back in the alleyway, Clark thought his head would explode. He couldn’t hear anything…couldn’t even see. All he knew was the intense pain inside his head. Probing…piercing his mind.

He gritted his teeth, attempting to keep himself together.

While he stayed there, kneeling on the ground, Tess simply smiled. She still had no idea who this ‘Clark’ was, but he obviously had powers. He was fast…strong too, evidenced by how effortlessly he pushed her. The perfect weapon…something that Max couldn’t fight.

As soon as she finished mind-warping him, she would send Clark here back to the Crashdown and have him kill all of them.

However, there was one problem with her plan. One that, as soon as she realized it, caused her eyes to go wide in panic.

Simply put, the mind warp wasn’t working.

Repeat…the mind warp…wasn’t…WORKING???

“This isn’t possible…” she said in horror. “How are you doing this? ANSWER ME!!!”

Clark didn’t answer, because he couldn’t really hear her. All he could feel was the pounding in his head. It was getting stronger, as she put more force behind her power.

Then he did the only thing he could do…stop the source of the pain.

Raising his fist into the air, Clark brought it down towards the ground.

KA-BOOOM!!!!

The second his fist connected with the cement, it created a shockwave that caused the ground to erupt. It also knocked Tess off her feet, breaking her concentration for a second.

But a second was all he needed.

His motions a blur, Clark grabbed Tess and threw her against a wall. Before she could even cry out, he ran up to her again and threw her in the opposite direction, where she skidded across the floor.

Tess hit him with another force blast, but he put up his hand and stopped it. He stopped her power…with his bare hand? Even more, he was slowly walking forward, forcing it back.

She had one more idea…something Nasedo had taught her. Quickly, she placed her other hand against his heart and caused it to glow.

“Ahhhh!” he exclaimed. “What are you…”

What was she doing? Simple..she was cutting off the flow of blood to his heart. She was giving him a virtual heart attack.

However, a flash of blue light threw her back against the wall. It was her own power, backfiring for some reason. How was this possible.

Then she saw that Clark was unharmed. The only thing she had done was burn off a section of his shirt, and etch a silver handprint into his skin. And, in seconds, even that started to fade away.

“What are you?” she whispered.

She couldn’t blast him, she couldn’t mind-warp him…she couldn’t kill him. This person wasn’t human, he wasn’t even Antarian.

Then she had an idea…one last desperate plan.

She placed her hand against the building, and it started to shake.

“What are you doing?!” he demanded.

Tess just grinned.

“I’m wondering if you care about those humans out there as much as Max does?” she asked.

“No…” he whispered in horror, then ran towards the end of the ally.

The building was starting to crumble, with people running every which way to escape it.

But one little girl didn’t know enough to get away. She just stood there, watching the wall of the building start to crumble towards her.

“Mommy?!” the girl asked, not knowing the danger she was in.

Clark had no choice.

He took off as fast as he could, faster than anyone could see. He sped under the crumbling wall, scooping the child up in his arms, and delivering her out of harm’s way.

Little did he know that, at that very moment, Michael Gurin’s motorcycle had arrived right across the street. He had seen everything, and clenched his fists in anger.

Oblivious to his presence, Clark just held the now-crying girl, as her mother arrived.

“Don’t run off like that again,” she said, hugging her daughter. “Thank you. Thank you so much…”

But before she could lay eyes on the rescuer, Clark had vanished.


*****


Clark raced back to the ally, only to find that Tess was gone now.

Go back to the UFO center, Clark!

“Who said that?” he asked, searing his surroundings.

There was no one there.


*****


The UFO center was all but abandoned now. Strangely, there was a ‘closed’ sign on the entrance, even though these were normal business hours.

Michael, Maria, Valenti, Chloe, and Jonathan sat in the main display area, waiting for the final two to get there.

“I don’t get what she’s doing here?” Michael asked the others, pointing at Chloe.

“Oh, I’m sorry,” Chloe responded sarcastically. “I had no idea this was an ‘aliens only’ convention. Now apologize before I nail you to that wall with your balloon-headed cousin”

Maria looks at her and grins.

“Ok, her I like” she said.

Michael just scoffed. However, everyone’s attention was suddenly diverted by Clark speeding into the museum.

“Where’s Tess?” Valenti asked him.

“She got away,” Clark sighed. “She tried to crush some people with a building, and I had to save them. By the time I got back she was gone.”

“Save them?” Maria asked. “How?”

Michael got up and approached Clark angrily.

“He used his powers in public, that’s how!” Michael spat. “You ran out like Speedy Gonzolas in front of everyone and snatched that kid before the rocks hit her, right? What’s wrong with you?!”

Clark just about had enough of this. He hadn’t thought about keeping his secret, just saving the girl.

“Well, what was I supposed to do?” he demanded. “Just let her die?”

“You could have exposed us!” Michael yelled in response. “I don’t know about you, but I’d rather not be put on a dissection table!”

Before Clark can respond, however, Chloe leapt in between them.

“Where do you get off?” he asked. “He saved that girl’s life, and all of ours, and all you can worry about is how it effects you?”

“Get out of my way, Blondie!” he argues. “This is between me and Jed Clampet over here!”

“Oh, is that it?” she asked. “You would have just stood by and let that kid get crushed, right? All you care about is you and your god-damned secrets?!”

Michael stares at her in anger, grabbing her roughly by the shoulder.

“Shut up!” he yelled at her. “Shut up before I…”

“Michael, don’t!” Maria warned him, but it was too late.

Faster than anyone could see, Clark ripped Michael’s hand away from Chloe and slammed him against the wall. His teeth were gritted in anger.

“DON’T THREATEN HER!” Clark ordered. “You so much as lay a finger on Chloe, and so help me I’ll…”

That’s when he heard it. The snapping sound that probably no one else even notice. Though Michel obviously felt it. After all, his face winced in pain the second it happened.

Horrified at himself, Clark let him go and backed away.

“I…I didn’t mean…” he stammered.

Michael fell to his knees in pain, clutching his wrist. Maria ran up to him, concerned. Soon, Max and Liz ran in from the other room, having heard the noise.

“What happened?” Liz asked.

“I broke his wrist,” Clark admitted, looking at Michael. “He threatened Chloe, I didn’t know what to…oh god, I’m sorry.”

He began to approach Michael.

“Just say away from me!” Michael warned.

Beside him, Maria couldn’t help but notice something. She’s seen Michael both worried and concerned. But she didn’t think she’d ever seen him scared…not of another person, at least.

“Just hold still,” Max asked his friend as he kneeled down next to him. He touched Michael’s injured wrist, letting his power course through it. In a matter of seconds, he had repaired the damage.

Slowly, Michael stood up.

“What are you?” he asked Clark, his voice shaky. “You broke my arm without even trying. You’re not human, and you’re not like us. You’re dangerous.”

Before anything else could be said, Detective John Jones entered the room.

“Some people would say the same thing about you, Michael,” he said.

All attention went straight towards John.

“You asked for answers, and I will give them to you,” he announced, sitting down in a chair. “You are all in grave danger. Tess Harding was sent by a man named K’Var, whom most of you know already.”

Jonathan turned towards Valenti, looking for answers.

“The guy who stole Max’s throne back on their home planet,” he explained. “He’s obsessed with Isabel, and wants to kill the rest of us.”

“Got you,” Jonathan responded.

“So who are you?” Chloe asked. “You appear and disappear like a ghost. And those people at the Crashdown seemed for forget we were ever there. Are you some sort of telepath?”

“That’s not all that I am,” he admitted, his face becoming grim. “Like Max guessed, I’m also not of this earth.”

“Another alien?” Jonathan asked, a little overwhelmed by yet another extra-terrestrial showing up in as many days.

“Yes, Jonathan,” Jones continued. “I come from Maleca’andra, the fourth planet from this earth’s sun.”

Liz’s eyes went wide.

“That’s Mars,” she mentions.

“So this Martian is an actual…Martian???” Maria questions him.

John gives a small laugh and nods.

“That’s impossible,” Chloe mentions. “NASA’s sent dozens of probes to Mars and couldn’t find anything. There’s no life there.”

At that moment, John’s face becomes saddened.

“No, not anymore,” he replies, remorsefully. “However, there was before your space program began. On my world, my occupation was similar to my job here. I was called a ‘manhunter’, a member of our race charged with maintaining order by hunting down criminals, solving crimes, and punishing the guilty. I had discovered a madman who had created a plague that attacked both the mind and the body, but I…I couldn’t stop him in time. I managed to protect myself from the plague, but it was too late for anyone else. My wife…my daughter…”

A single tear escaped from his eye. Liz put her hand on his shoulder.

“I’m sorry,” she said.

He smiled.

“It is a pain I’ve dealt with for a long time, Liz,” he explains. “Through a series of events I found myself on the only other inhabitable planet in this solar system. To Per’elandra, the planet you call Earth. By your calendar, it was the year 1942.”

“That’s sixty years ago,” Max mentions, receiving yet another nod from John.

“Other than telepathy, my primary ability is what you refer to as ‘shape-shifting’,” he continues to explain. “I can alter my appearance to any form that I wish.”

“Like Nasedo?” Michael asked him.

“Similar, but on a much larger scale,” he said, then the transformation began.

John Jones’ appearances started shifting. His skin melted, then reformed itself…almost like silly putty. When he solidified once more, he looked exactly like Max.

“Oh…wow!” Clark stuttered. He was almost speechless. “That’s just…how do you do that?”

The Max-clone grinned and answered him:

“Though I lack Max and the others’ ability to alter the molecular structures of objects around them, I have complete control over my own. I can even cause myself to become transparent…”

“And make yourself invisible?” Chloe suggested.

“Which is why you were able to disappear like you did, right?” Max finished.

Suddenly, he moved his hand towards the wall, which passed right through it.

“By altering my density, I can become immaterial…passing through solid objects like a ghost. Or I can go the other way, and make myself as strong and as invulnerable as Clark is.”

“Can you make yourself not-Max again?” Valenti asked. “This is kind of confusing.”

With a grin, his features shifted once again, and he returned to the appearance of a 40-something detective.

“You said you came here in the forties, right?” Clark asked him. “That would make you at least 80 years old.”

“A Martian’s lifespan is several centuries, Clark,” Detective Jones continued. “I’ve never revealed my true form to anyone on Earth, because I’ve read of its history. Humans…distrust things that they don’t understand. So I kept my existence a secret from all. That is…until 1945.”

Max’s eyes went wide.

“The crash?” he exclaimed, moving to the front of the group. “You were there for the crash?”

“Yes,” John answered. “I posed as one of the guards that day, until I met up with two creatures who had survived it.”

“Nasedo and Langley?” Liz inquired.

“Correct,” he answered.

“Who are they?” Clark asked curiously. “That’s the second time you mentioned that name.”

“When our ship crashed, two other aliens were assigned as protectors for us,” Max informed him.

“Yeah, until one of them decided to play backstabber and plan to kill them,” Maria added.

Max sighed. It looked as though he had to do some more explaining.

“Nasedo cut a deal with K’Var,” he explained. “That he have Tess hand us over to him.”

“This is starting to sound like a Gene Roddenberry production,” Chloe added with a grin, then turned back to John. “So, what happened? Why aren’t you palling around with these two now?”

“Suffice to say, I presumed too much,” John admitted. “Their opinion of humans was different than mine. They thought of them as…lower beings. Insects. They often used their special abilities to harm others.”

“And you don’t?” Maria challenged. “What was that Jedi mind trick thing you pulled back at the Crashdown.”

“That was for your protection,” he answered. “I didn’t want to cause a panic, so I hid the event from their minds. They would be better off not knowing. But my telepathy is not the same as Tess’ mind warps. I can alter a person’s memories or perceptions without harming them. It was one of the beliefs of the Martian race that all life is sacred, no matter how insignificant it would seem. We were prohibited of harming any sentient creature unless it was unavoidable. Unfortunately, my newfound friends didn’t share that belief. When Nasedo murdered a man, we came into conflict.”

“Who’d he kill?” Valenti asked.

“A detective named John Jones!”

At those words, everyone in the room froze.

“I thought you were John Jones?” Michael asked.

“I have been since that night,” John informed him. “I modeled myself after the man that my ignorance couldn’t save to better understand humanity. Perhaps by living as one of them, I could come to be accepted as one of them. And though we had our differences, Langley has kept in touch with me. He has even done a similar thing.”

“This Langley guy?” Clark asked. “The name sounds familiar.”

“Cal Langley,” Max informed him.

Clark’s eyes went wide.

“The director?!” he exclaimed. “My god…I’ve seen all his movies! The man’s a genius!”

“And he’s an alien too?” Jonathan remarked. “So…you pretty much became this detective, right? All the time?”

John shook his head.

“No,” he continued. “It is merely my favorite, because it reminds me of who I used to be…the role I played on Mars. I have other identities…my shape-shifting abilities are not as limited as the others.”

“Other identities?” Liz asked. “How many?”

“At the moment, fifteen,” he said with a grin. “They change now and then. At times one of my identities have been ‘killed’, so I was forced to abandon them. Though John Jones is the one I spend the most time as. The others have varied purposes. I am an agent of the FBI, a pastry chef in Russia, a sculptor in China, a miner in Africa…each one in a spot where I can absorb the most information.”

“But how did you know about Max?” she asked. “Did you read our minds, or…”

“I didn’t have to, Liz,” he said, as his features molded themselves once again.

He changed. His hair…his skin…every facet of his appearance began altering, until…

He became Milton Ross.

“Remember me, Evans?” he asked Max.

Max stepped forward in shock.

“How long were you posing as Milton?” he demanded.

“From the second you stepped though those doors, Max!” Milton explained. “I figured that being a ‘UFO nut’ would be the best way to find out about any other extra-terrestrials possibly being on Earth. Imagine my surprise when one of the hybrids came to work for me?”

“You knew we were aliens from the beginning?” Michael asked.

“Not at first,” he said. “But considering him and his girlfriend over there talked about it in this very building all the time, it wasn’t hard for someone who can turn invisible to figure it out. After Nasedo died, I thought you didn’t need me to watch over you anymore. I thought the danger was over…I was obviously wrong.”

He shape-shifted back into John.

“So you’re here to protect them again, huh?” Chloe asked. “From this K’Var guy? What’s Clark have to do with this…is he from the same planet. Another ‘hybrid’?”

“No, they are from different races,” John told her. “The three of you are only victims of being at the wrong place at the wrong time. You’re not involved…at least not directly?”

“Meaning?” Clark asked.

“The atmosphere of earth is poisonous to an Antarean,” he continued. “There are only three ways for one of them to survive here. Be a hybrid of Antarian and human, by using the S.K.I.N. environment suits…or by possessing a normal human. K’Var has, unfortunately done the latter. He is currently in the body of Lex Luthor.”

Jonathan’s jaw dropped.

“Oh my god!” he exclaimed. “Luthor?!”

“He’s possessing Lex?” Clark asked.

“This is my fault!” Liz told them. “He must have followed me to Smallville and picked someone from there…”

“It gets worse,” Max added. “My dad and Jessie were working for a Lionel Luthor. They took Isabel with him to his estate.”

“That’s Lex’s father,” Clark added. “Coincidence?”

Michael sighs in frustration.

“Damn it!” he yells. “So now K’Var’s got Isabel?! This can’t get any worse!”

“On the contrary, Michael…it can!” John tells him. “K’Var is not here for Isabel, or for either of you…you’re all just the icing on the cake!”

“I don’t understand?” Max asked. “If not for us, then who?”

“Not who…what,” he continued. “24 hours before Pierce captured Liz and the others, something else crashed on the planet. A weapon of unimaginable power that, in the wrong hands, could incinerate entire worlds. K’Var wants this weapon, and he’ll do whatever it takes to get it. From what I’ve been able to discover, it’s somewhere outside of Roswell.”

Valenti froze. That was the answer…it was Kyle! That weapon must have did something to him! Horrified, he began to panic.

“Your son is fine, Jim!” John reassured him. “I can sense it…Kyle has found the weapon, but it has not harmed him. He is safe for now.”

“Could you not go into my head?” Valenti asked.


*****


Back underneath the desert, Kyle continued to search for a way out. No luck, though. None of the tunnels seemed to lead upwards.

Maybe if he continued to walk, he’d come to an opening of some kind? The edge of a cliff, maybe? Then he might be able to climb upwards.

Yeah, that was it. Then he’d get the doohickey to Max and forget about the bald pink alien who evaporated before his eyes.

“Stop it, Kyle!” he said out loud. “You’re gonna drive yourself crazy!”

Of course talking to yourself wasn’t crazy. Noooo…not crazy at all.

He sighed.

Still, it was pretty amazing what was down here. To think…all these caverns were hidden underneath the desert outside of Roswell, and no one had ever found them. What put them here?

Maybe it was whoever sent the aliens’ ship to earth. They could have planned the destination ahead of time and built these caverns as sort of a ‘kingdom’ for Max to dwell in until it was time to go home.

Either that or giant mutant moles. Yep…got to be moles.

He had to get out of there.

Suddenly, a faint green glow started to come from Kyle’s jacket pocked.

“Aw, no!” he complained. “What is it now?”

He reached into the pocked and pulled out the green ring that Abin had given him.

It was strange looking. Emerald green all around. Possibly made of jade…only it didn’t feel like jade. It felt heavy like gold.

And then there was the design. The center was a round gem, green like the rest of it. It sparkled like a gem, but it wasn’t a diamond or anything. Actually, it was completely flat. Surrounding the center was another circle, with a little bar shape on each side. And weirdest part was…it was glowing. Like a nightlight or something.

Maybe it was radioactive.

“No thank you!” he said out loud. “I don’t care how dangerous you are…I’m not taking any chances!”

With one swift motion, Kyle threw the ring back into the tunnel as far as he could. However, the most bizarre thing happened.

It stopped. Right there, in mid air. Then it shot back towards him.

“Uh oh!” Kyle said. “I think I made it mad!

Kyle ran down the tunnel as fast as he could, rounding several corners.

But the ring kept following him, as if it had a mind of its own. He was chasing him, no matter how fast he ran.

Finally, it circled around Kyle, blocking his way. Almost effortlessly, it slid itself onto his forefinger.

“What in Budda’s name is going on here?” Kyle asked, starring at the ring in disbelief. The soft glow suddenly faded as if it were never there.

He sighed once again.

“What the heck is this thing?”


*****


Back at the UFO museum, Chloe was examining each room left and right. Her eyes searching every ‘artifact’ that was on display. Searching for…what? Some sign of relief over the thoughts that haunted her every moment since she was stuck in that prison.

Clark, her best friend…the guy she woke up sweating after dreaming about…he wasn’t even human. Who knew whether he even had the ability to feel the same emotions as normal people. Sure, he might think that he did because of the way he was raised, but did he really feel them.

What did emotions mean to an alien. Could he even begin to understand things like friendship…and love?

“Pretty overwhelming, huh?” Liz Parker’s voice called from behind her.

Chloe turned around to see Liz walking towards her. She smiled.

“Frustrating actually,” she answered. “Here I am with the biggest story ever, and I can’t even write it. Well…it’s all for the best. No one would believe me, anyway.”

“Oh, people would believe you,” Liz corrected her. “It’s just that it would be the wrong people.”

“Like that Pierce guy?” Chloe asked. “Good point. Look, I’m sorry about what happened to your friend earlier. Clark can be…a little overprotective sometimes.”

“Knowing Michael, he was probably asking for it,” Liz laughed. “He probably looks at Clark and gets frustrated of how ‘cool’ he is about being an alien. You wouldn’t know it now, but he used to be the poster child for alien-angst.”

Chloe smirked, then looked back at the display.

“I don’t know how anyone can be so calm about this,” she continued. “I’ve always thought that there might be life on other planets, but I never expected to be one of the first people to have actual proof. Plus, it’s someone I’ve known for the better part of my life. It’s like I’ve known him for so long, but never actually known the real him. You know?”

Liz nodded.

“I still remember the first day I found out about Max,” Liz recalled. “I was…scared. You’re sort of taking it a lot better than I did. But then he connected with me, and I saw who he really was. That guy that I thought was a normal human…he was the same. Just not. ‘Alien’ is more of a state of mind, when you think of it. Being different from everybody else. I don’t care what planet Max came from…his soul is human.”

Chloe smiled, thinking over what Liz had just told her.

“So…does he know?” Liz asked out of the blue.

Chloe shook out of her reverie.

“Uh, know what?” she asked.

“Know how you feel about him?”

Chloe’s eyes went wide in surprise. How did Liz know about that? Was it obvious…did Clark notice it too?

“Back in the White Room,” Liz began to explain. “When you and Clark saw inside my head, I saw in yours too. You were so shaken up by finding out that he’s an alien that it was right there in the center of your thoughts. Not hard to miss.”

Chloe shook her head sadly.

“No,” she whispered. “You saw in Clark’s head…does he?”

“There’s something different about him,” Liz explained. “I couldn’t ‘read’ him as easily as I did you. Things were jumbled.”

Chloe nodded in understanding, then sighed.

“I know how it feels, Chloe” Liz told her. “How it feels to be in love with an alien…it’s never easy. You have doubts, your life’s in danger every moment you’re alive.”

“Then why do you do it?” she asked. “Why take that risk?”

Liz smiled.

“Because I really can’t imagine living without him” she said.

Chloe smiled.

“So…how are they?” she asked.

“What do you mean?” Liz responded, a bit confused about the question.

“You know…?” Chloe repeated, a suggestive tone in her voice.

Liz’s eyes went wide.

“Uh, I…” Liz stuttered, her face turning bright red. “I don’t actually know. We haven’t…”

The blonde raised her eyebrows.

“You kidding?” she asked jokingly. “I thought that was how you got the powers?”

Liz squealed, and covered her mouth in surprise.

“You’re as bad as Maria,” she laughed.

They both continued to laugh, until Max and Clark entered the room. They looked at each other, their faces showing confusion.

That is, until Liz notices them standing there.

“Hey, what’s up?” Liz asked, composing herself.

“Everyone’s staying here tonight,” Max explained. “Mr. Kent’s coming up with a cover story for our parents. Is that ok? Can you talk to…”

“Yeah, sure Max,” Liz agreed, and walked up to Max. Together the left the room.

Now, only Clark and Chloe were left there. Alone.

“So…what were you talking about?” Clark asked. “Really?”

Chloe smiled.

“The schematics of human/alien relations,” she said.

Clark raised his eyebrows.

“Care to give a few pointers to an old friend?” he asked.

They both laughed.

“Are these people going to be us in a few years?” Clark asked her. “I can’t imagine ever being as jaded as Gurin is about my place in the world. I would think that experience makes you more confidant, not less so.”

“So…what is your place in the world?” she asked.

Clark honestly didn’t have an answer to that question. Once upon a time he had thought finding other aliens would have made him feel…like he belonged or something. But no…he just felt even more an outcast.

Two other different races, and he wasn’t a member of either one of them.

In the midst of the moment, something strange occurred. A sound, something like music, but without any beat or rhythm to it.

“Do you hear that?” he asked Chloe.

“Hear what?” she responded. “I don’t hear anything, Clark…”

“That sound…” he continued, and walked through the museum. He followed the path of the ‘music’ as it drew him closer.

“Clark, you’re sort of freaking me out,” his friend informed him. “What are you doing?”

“Shhh,” he whispered.

Then she saw it.

In the distance was a faint blue glow, coming from one of the displays. It was one of the artifacts. It looked metallic, but seemed almost flawless. No dents on bolts on it…completely smooth. It had writing on the side, written in some strange alien language she couldn’t understand. Hieroglyphics…pictorial symbols of some kind. And at the tip was a length of white crystal that seemed to be glowing brighter the closer Clark got to it.

“Clark?” she asked. “What is it?”

Clark didn’t know. All he did know was that it…called out to him. That it knew him.

He stared into the white light, completely mesmerized by it.

“It’s the Eradicator” he finally answered Chloe.

She stared at him disbelievingly.

“How do you know that?” she asked.

“I…” he tried to explain, not finding the words. “It says so on the side.”

Slowly, Chloe’s jaw hung open in shock.

“How…how do you understand that writing?” she questioned. “Clark, how can you…?”

“I don’t know!” he whispered.

He just did. He touched the…Eradicator…and suddenly he knew how to read the writing. And that wasn’t the weird part.

No, the weird part was that it was the exact same type of writing that was found on his ship.

“Whatever this thing is…” he told her. “It comes from the same place I come from.”

A bit frightened now, Chloe grabbed onto Clark’s arm for support.

“And where’s that?” she asked absentmindedly.

Once again, the answer came to him. Almost out of nowhere.

“Krypton!”


TO BE CONTINUED…
---------------------------------------------------
Next: Woah! What is ‘the Eradicator’? And how does John Jones have something from Clark’s home planet? Clark demands the answers. However, Pierce and K’Var’s unholy alliance is closing in on him and the Podsters, and this time they have a secret weapon that could turn the tables. Can they possibly all make it out alive…or will one of them make the ultimate sacrifice?

Meanwhile, Kyle meets an mysterious being who holds the answers to the mysterious green ring.

Stay tuned for ‘Sacrifice’.
---------------------------------------------------

Intruiged? Only 5 chapters left to go.

-Peter
posted on 22-Aug-2002 10:04:28 PM
quote:
chinablueeyes originally wrote:
WOW!! I'm so glad to see that you updated!!! Finally!!! *big*
This chapter was jammed packed with information, the only thing lacking was killing Tess off!! But I suppose that you're saving that for later!! *wink* I couldn't believe that Clark broke Michael's arm by just grabbing it...talk about being Superman!! But then again Michael was being pesky, again,...now I get the feeling that Michael will be afraid of Clark, because he's an mystery or unknown to him. But Clark has never seen how upset Michael can get and lose control of his powers or seen Michael do his alien blasts. Michael needs to work on his "fear of exposure". Max wouldn't of let that little girl die either, so why get so upset that Clark did??


One of the reason's Michael is so cautious of Clark is that, as you said, he's an unknown. Michael doesn't trust him yet. And remember...the last alien they trusted was Tess, and you all know how that ended up.

Also, Max's powers would have allowed the girl being saved to look like a freak accident, while Clark was a lot more visible. You have to consider that.

Things are going to be moving fast from here on out. Hope you're ready.*happy*

-Peter

PS. I'm considering making a sequal to this story after it's done. Only, since it'll be set a bit in the future, it won't technically be a 'Smallville' cross-over.;) So...who thinks I should?
posted on 23-Oct-2002 12:31:21 AM
Just posting to let you know that I'm starting work on the next chapter right now. Hopefully it'll be ready by the weekend.*happy*

About the sequal- it would technically be a Roswell/Superman cross-over, since it takes place 10 years in the future. It's still in the planning stages, but I'm going to be adding in characters from outside the Smallville/Roswell universes(hint: a certain vampire slayer will be making an appearance). Like I said, I'm not sure if I'm going to go ahead with it. Just let me finish up with this story first. Then we'll see.

-Peter

[ edited 1 time(s), last at 23-Oct-2002 12:35:33 AM ]
posted on 1-Dec-2002 9:27:18 PM
Good news...I've got an update. Happy reading:

------------------------------------------------------

STRANGE VISITORS
PART 6:

SACRIFICE

DISCLAIMER: Liz, Max, Michael, Maria, Isabel, and Kyle belong to Jason Katmis and UPN. Clark Kent, however, belongs to the WB and DC Comics. Superman was created by Jerry Siegel and Joe Schuster. I don’t own them.

CATEGORY: Max/Liz, and Clark/Chloe.

RATING: PG-13

SPOILERS: Takes place immediately after ‘Ch-ch-changes’.
-----------------------------------------------------

Isabel Evan’s eyelids fluttered open, taking in their surroundings.

“Ugh,” she muttered, sitting up on the bed.

Bed?

She suddenly realized that she was lying on a bed in some sort of room. It wasn’t like a hotel or anything…no, it was almost quaint. A roaring fireplace stood in the corner, and the walls were glazed oak.

“Have a good nap?” a voice asked her.

Isabel spun her head around towards the door. There, Lex…or rather K’Var…stood. He was dressed in a gray sweater and jeans.

“K’Var?” she whispered.

“Please…” he said, walking closer. “When in Rome, act like the Romans do. Call me Lex.”

She stole a peek towards the window. If she could only manage to get past him…

“I wouldn’t try to escape if I were you,” he warned her, as if he knew what she was thinking. “There are a dozen of my men in S.K.I.N. suits surrounding this place. You wouldn’t get far.”

Isabel sighed in frustration.

“How did you do it?” she asked him. “I should have sensed it was you possessing Luthor!”

He grinned, proud of himself.

“I didn’t actually ‘possess’ him,” he informs Isabel. “It’s this new process we’ve been working on. Our consciousness actually bonds with the human, letting us access all their memories and life experiences. Artificial hybrids in a way.”

He stood up, walking around her. K’Var’s eyes never left her, like a wild predator eyeing his prey.

“I never understood the draw you and Zan had to these primitive creatures before,” he commented. “The power…the natural instincts. Lex isn’t really all that different from me, you know?”

“I really doubt that!” Isabel claimed.

He chuckled, turning towards the window.

“It’s out there right now, you know?” he informed her. “A weapon of ultimate power…power enough to make both this planet and Antar obey my every command. I’m going to find it…and you’re going to help me!”

“Go to hell!” she spat.

K’Var’s eyes narrowed, as he raised his hand towards her. Suddenly, Isabel felt herself thrown back against the wall with an invisible, yet familiar, force.

Slowly, her assailant walked up to her and smiled. He stroked her cheek.

“I may have forgotten to mention this, so forgive me…” he said casually. “But one of the perks of being melded with this body is that I have complete control over the same powers that you do. The only difference is that I’m not afraid to use them”.

She wanted to fight him, to slap him across the face, but couldn’t. She was completely immobile.

Seizing the opportunity, K’Var kissed her. Then, with a wave of his hand, she collapsed onto the floor.

“You’re sick!” she muttered, wiping off her mouth.

“Now, that doesn’t make sense, does it?” he replied. “Insanity is a human emotion…but then again, I’m part human aren’t I?”

She doesn’t reply, but continued to stare at him coldly.

“If I were you, Vilandra, I’d think long and hard about which side you choose!” he commanded.

Then, with one last smirk, he left the room…leaving Isabel alone.

“Max?” she asked the empty air. “Where are you?”


*****


The answer to her desperate question was, of course, quite simple. Max, along with the rest of her friends, were still at the UFO museum.

He didn’t like the thought of hiding, though it made the most sense. All Max’s life he’d been ‘hiding’…either metaphorically or in the literal sense. Hiding what and who he was from the world. Being in the world, but never a true part of it. He always accepted it, too.

Now everything was different.

It wasn’t just about him, anymore. Or even Michael and Isabel. Liz was involved now…more than ever before. She could no longer back out of his life, or stay at a distance. It was even possible that she was in more danger than he was.

“Boo!” a soft voice said next to him.

Max looked over at Liz Parker, not realizing she had even been there.

He smiled at her.

“So, I talked to Chloe” she said. “You know, about the whole alien thing?”

“She seems to be taking things relatively well, isn’t she?” Max remarked.

“She’s in love with him!” Liz informed him.

Max stared at her with a surprised look.

“She is?” he asked. “Are you sure?”

Liz nodded.

“When we were connected, I felt her emotions Max”

Max grinned.

“A human girl in love with an alien boy?” he asked jokingly. “Sounds vaguely familiar.”

Liz giggled.

“Yeah, wish I could remember where I’ve heard that before…”

The two of them laugh.

“So…” Max continued. “How does he feel about her.”

Liz opened her mouth to speak, but suddenly realized that she didn’t know. She had been connected to Clark as well, but she couldn’t ‘read’ him for some reason.

“I don’t know,” she admitted. “When I was connected to Clark, things were all jumbled. I felt thoughts and emotions come from him, but they were all jumbled together. They didn’t make any sense.”

Max raised an eyebrow.

“I think that maybe his thought process works differently than ours,” she suggested.

“Maybe that’s why Tess’ mindwarp didn’t work on him?” Max replied. “Do you think he might have some other powers that we don’t know about?”

“Anything’s possible, Max,” she agreed. “I don’t think he’s a hybrid like you and the others.”

“Huh?” he asked, slightly confused. “That’s impossible. He looks human.”

“Yeah, but there are probably thousands of planets with life on them out there,” Liz theorized. “Who knows, maybe somewhere out there is a world that evolved the same way as humans did. Different gravity would explain his powers pretty well.”

At that exact moment, they see Clark storm past them, with Chloe following close behind.

“Woah, Clark…slow down!” Chloe warned him. “Don’t do something you’re going to regret…”

Too late. He forced open the door to the main exposition room and marched towards the others.

“JOHN!” he exclaimed. “What is this?!”

Clark placed the alien device that he had found on the table, right in front of John Jones. The others just stared at them, including Max and Liz from behind.

John just stared at him in surprise.

“Where did you get this?” he asked.

“Your display case,” Clark answered. “Just what’s your game here?”

“Clark!” Jonathan warned him.

“Dad, I know this thing!” Clark defended himself. “It’s called the Eradicator!”

“How do you know that?” Martha asked him.

“I just do, mom” he responded. “I don’t know how, but the word just came to me. I could read the writing…it’s the same kind of writing that’s on my ship!”

Jonathan nodded, then turned to the detective himself.

“You have some explaining to do, friend,” he said.

“I cannot!” John answered. “I am sorry, but I can’t help you. Just put it back where…”

“NO!” Clark yelled, backhanding a hold into the wall. “You know something about me. About who I am…about where I come from…and you’re going to tell me.”

Surprisingly, John didn’t seem scared at all. Instead, he approached Clark. His eyes growing cold and menacing.

“Are you so sure you want to know?” he said, he voice becoming deep and eerie.

Clark backed down.

“Hey, can I say something?” Michael stepped in. “Do you know anything about this guy’s home planet?”

John paused, regaining his composure.

“A little,” he admitted.

“Then why don’t you say anything?” he asked.

Clark looked at Michael Gurin, surprised beyond belief. Only a little earlier, he broke the guy’s hand. Now, all of a sudden, he was jumping to his defense? He just didn’t understand it.

John sighed, and turned back to Clark.

“I can not tell you what I know because it isn’t my place,” he admitted. “I apologize, but I have no right to give you this burden yet.”

“Burden?” Clark asked. “You talk like there’s something horrible about it.”

John’s silence answers Clark’s unspoken question.

“What?” he pleaded. “Please, tell me something. I…I don’t even know what the place I was born on was called…”

“Krypton!”

Everyone in the room turned towards where Chloe stood.

“Chloe?” Clark asked. “What did you say?”

“I…” he replied, stumbling on the words out of nervousness. “I said ‘Krypton’. That’s what you told me when you were holding that whatchamacallit! Don’t you remember?”

He didn’t.

“Wait a second?” Maria asked. “How could you just blank out something like that?”

“I…” he replied. “I don’t know. I just…just…”

Clark froze on the spot. Reflected in the window was someone he had never seen before. A man covered in a green and blue robe, with piercing blue eyes.

Panicking, Clark spun around to face the opposite direction.

“Someone’s here!” he exclaimed.

However, there was no one present in the spot that was reflected. Clark looked back at the window, and the man was now gone.

“Clark?” Liz asked. “There’s no one here.”

“I saw someone!” he replied. “Am I going crazy?”

“I hope not!” Valenti added. “I don’t think any of us could stop you if you did!”

Clark nodded, then looked back at the window.

He saw someone. He knew he did.

But what scared him the most was that the person he saw seemed almost…familiar.


*****


Tess Harding had been running non-stop ever since she left Roswell. She needed to. She couldn’t risk being followed going by vehicle. Not with that…thing after her.

Who knew, maybe he beat her there, considering how fast he was moving. Maybe he was just taunting her?

Finally, she arrived at her destination. Lifting her hand into the air, she used her power to blow the door off its hinges…much to the surprise of the former FBI agent inside.

“What the…?!” he exclaimed. Then, in a single fluid motion, he took his gun out of his jacket and aimed it at her.

“Miss Harding, correct?” he asked menacingly.

However, before he could fire, an invisible force threw the gun from his hand. Turning around to see the source, Pierce watches as K’Var walks towards him.

“She’s with me, agent,” K’Var informs him. “Though I have to ask why she’s alone. Where is Zan?”

Tess didn’t answer, at least not right away. She was still catching her breath from running for so long.

Unfortunately for her, K’Var didn’t have the patience to wait. He grabbed her by the neck, and pushed her against the wall.

“I gave you direct orders to bring our dear departed king to me, along with his second in command, my dear!” he reminded her, squeezing her neck gently. “Now, here I find you returning alone, and I have to ask why?”

Tess looked back at him, fear in her eyes.

“I couldn’t…I couldn’t…” she told him. “He was too strong!”

K’Var simply laughed.

“Too strong?!” he asked. “You could probably kill all three of them without even trying with what I’ve thought you. How could Zan possibly be too strong?”

She shook her head.

“Not Max!” she informed him. “Somebody else! Someone who isn’t human!”

A look of surprise went over K’Var’s face. Without hesitating, he let her go.

Tess dropped to the ground, letting her gasp for air.

“Why didn’t you just mindwarp him then?” he asked.

“I-it didn’t work on him…he’s immune!” she responded. “He’s strong too, and fast…his skin is stronger than steel!”

Upon hearing that, Pierce’s eyes lit up.

“Kent!”

Both K’Var and Tess turned to face him.

“Excuse me?” K’Var asked.

“Clark Kent, that’s his name,” he explained. “He’s another alien who escaped with the Parker girl. I thought he was one of them, but his powers…”

K’Var smiled.

“What?” Pierce asked, confused by the grin.

“I know this guy!” he responded. “Or rather, Lex knows him. He’s a friend of his…some sort of farm boy. I’ll handle him!”

“That’s not as easy as you think,” Pierce explained. “This kid is literally unbeatable!”

“No one is unbeatable, agent Pierce,” he continued. “Every man has his breaking point. Everyone has a weakness.”

Suddenly, there’s a knock at the door. A man wearing glasses walks in, looks at Pierce, and then goes over to K’Var.

“Who the hell is this?!” Pierce asked.

“This is one of my soldiers,” he claims. “He’s wearing one of our S.K.I.N. suits so that he resembles a human. It also gives him powers like a hybrid, but not to the same degree.”

“Sir?” the Skin greets him. “You told us to examine the area around where they picked up the enemy’s mate? Well, we found this nearby…”

He handed K’Var a lead box. Tess and Pierce go up to him as he opens it up.

The three of them are startled by a bright green glow. Inside is a piece of the meteor rock.

“What is it?” Tess asked.

K’Var simply grinned.

“Our answer!”


*****


Meanwhile, back in Roswell.

Michael Gurin made sure that each rock was placed steadily on the roof of Max’s car, and had the same amount of space in between each one. He had perfected the pattern almost to an art.

Satisfied with his work, Michael wandered back to his spot near the Crashdown. Then he turned around and raised his hand towards the largest rock.

Suddenly, his power surged forward, and it erupted into a million shards.

Michael smiled and turned his attention towards the other one, just as Clark exited the Crashdown and stepped towards him. The second rock exploded, causing Clark to raise his eyebrows.

“Is there a point to this, or just something to pass the time?” he asked.

“Let me explain something to you, farmboy…” Michael grunted. “Not all of us get to be born like Hercules. If my reflexes aren’t one-hundred percent, I might accidentally kill someone.”

Clark nodded, while Michael slowly raised his hand to try again.

“Can I try?” Clark interrupted him.

“Be my guest!” he answered, stepping aside.

Smiling, Clark picked a rock up from the ground a threw it towards the one on the car. It missed.

“Max is probably going to hate me if I break one of the windows!” he said, chuckling.

“I can fix it, no problem!” Michael answered, watching Clark pick up another one.

He threw it again, missing once more.

“You’re aiming it wrong!” Michael informed the dark-haired boy. “Line it up with your eyes. Like a gun.”

“Dad never let me touch his,” Clark informed him. “It’s not as if I’ll ever have to use one. Although…”

Then he had an idea.

Clark kneeled down and searched the ground. Finally, he found a small pebble.

“What are you doing?” Michael asked.

“Improvising”

Clark balanced the pebble in the palm of his hand and closed one eye, so that he could aim better. Then he bent his other thumb and index finger to ‘flick’ the pebble.

Then he did.

Almost faster than the eye can see, the small insignificant piece of rock flew through the air towards its larger brother. With the impact of a bullet, it they collided with a loud explosion, sending shards flying in all directions.

Michael could only stare open-mouthed at the display of raw power. He turned to Clark…

“Just how strong are you? How much can you lift?”

Clark shrugged.

“I’ve never found anything that I couldn’t,” he explained. “If it helps, it doesn’t take too much effort for lifting a tractor.”

Michael shook his head in amazement.

“Do you have any idea how dangerous you are?” he asked. “My whole life I’ve been scared that I’d lose control and maybe hurt someone, but you go around like you’re normal? How?”

“Because I know I won’t hurt anyone,” Clark answered. “And you know what, neither will you. Stop being so scared of it.”

As if trying to answer, Michael felt his wrist, causing Clark to sigh.

“Look, I’m sorry about earlier,” he said. “I was angry…I didn’t mean to hurt you.”

“No sweat,” Michael answered.

Clark thought for a moment, wondering about something.

“Why were you helping me back there? I broke your wrist, and suddenly you tried to help me get John to explain what he knew. Why?”

Michael looked at him.

“Want the truth?” he asked. “Once upon a time, finding out where I came from was the only thing I really cared about. It was everything to me. I guess seeing you in the same position made me feel sorry for you.”

“Thank you!” Clark told him, causing Michael to smirk amusingly.

“You’re the lucky one, you know?” Michael told him. “Powers that are easy to explain as an adrenaline rush. Parents that know what you are and still love you. You like to pretend your normal, and look on the bright side all the time. Probably the type of alien Maria wishes I was.”

“Oh!” Clark remarked, smiling. “So that’s what this is about. You somehow think that I’m upstaging you in front of your girlfriend?”

“Ex-girlfriend!” Michael corrected him, a bitter sound in his voice. “I have absolutely no clue on how to make that otherwise.”

“Well, like you said, I’m an alien too!” he replied. “That’s not the problem. Maybe you just have to take a different approach?”

“Like what?” Michael asked.

“Well for starters, drop this ‘woe is me’ garbage!” he mentioned. “Secondly, try to show her you care from time to time. And make sure it’s noticeable. Oh, and one more thing.”

“What’s that?”

Clark grinned.

“Have fun with your powers once and awhile,” he suggested. “You and Max and Liz can do things that…defy description. You can do anything, so why hide it from the people who already know your secrets?”

“You think so?” Michael asked.

“Are you kidding?” he responded. “You have no idea how much I’d show off if a girl I liked knew about my powers.”

“Maybe you forgot or something, but you do now!” Michael laughed.

“Huh?”

“That girl you came here with…Chloe or something like that?” he asked. “She knows now, right? She’d have to.”

Clark laughed, shaking his head.

“We’re just friends,” he answered.

“Oh, give me a break!” Michael said, rolling his eyes. “Max pulled the same ‘just friends’ act with Liz for two years. I saw the way she looked at you, Kent.”

Clark stared at him for a moment, processing his words.

“You don’t know what you’re talking about!”

Michael just chuckles.

“Sure I don’t!”

Then he walked back into the Crashdown. Clark remained outside.


*****


“HELLO!!!”

Once again, Kyle received no answer. He had been wandering the caves for so long, his voice had almost become horse.

“Oh, wonderful!” he said, clearing his throat. “If I wander much further, I’m going to reach the center of the earth. And I’m STILL talking to myself!”

Sighing, Kyle sat down on a large rock, looking around.

“Is ANYBODY else down here?!” he called out.

Still no answer. He sat still for a moment, staring at the ring on his finger.

“Ok, it’s just you and me, buddy…” he said aloud. “You’re supposed to be this big dangerous thing that K’Var wants, so is there anything you can do to get me the hell out of here?”

No answer.

“NOW I’m talking to a piece of jewelry?” he groaned. “its lack of oxygen…by brain is suffocating down here. Will somebody PLEASE HELP ME!!!!”

As if on cue, a mist began to gather on the ground.

“Woah!” Kyle exclaimed, jumping up.

At first he thought it was gas. That hypothesis was proven false, however, as it started seeping into the center of the room, growing thicker and thicker.

“$#^$*%*%$^#⊕!%^$&%*(&)*&^#⊕!!!”

“Huh?” Kyle asked. “Are you…talking to me?”

“I apologize,” the voice called out from the mist. “You humans have so many varied language, I had no way of knowing which was spoken in this corner of the globe.”

Eyes wide, Kyle approached the mist as it condensed into a solid form. Something that looked…humanoid.

“Who…are you?”

The green cloud faded, leaving behind a small man. He was short, at least half of Kyle’s size. His skin was a bright blue. He had white hair, so he seemed to be old…yet his skin didn’t have a single wrinkle on it.

“Greetings, Kyle Valenti!” the strange alien responded. “You may call me…Guardian!”


*****


Meanwhile, on the roof to the UFO museum…

Max climbed up the fire escape, and walked towards the ledge. Still, his thoughts haunted him.

Kyle. Was he alive? Was he dead? He wished he knew the answer. Maybe if…

“What’s up?” Clark Kent’s voice called behind him.

Max turned around, instinctively creating the lime-green plasma shield in front of him.

Clark held up his hands in defense.

“Hey, hold on…” he warned. “Sorry, didn’t mean to startle you or anything.”

Max caused the shield to dissipate, then looked towards the fire escape. It was on the opposite side of the roof.

“How did you get up here?” he asked.

“I jumped” Clark answered.

“We’re two stories up!”

Clark smirked.

“Well, I can jump pretty high!”

“Yeah, no kidding!” Max laughed. “I’m…I’m a little worried about Kyle.”

“That’s Mr. Valenti’s son, right?” he asked.

Max nodded.

“I sent him to check and see if there was anything left of the pod chamber,” Max explained. “It the place where we were…hatched.”

“That a comforting thought,” Clark mentioned sarcastically.

“Yeah, well anyway, he never came back,” he continued, a somber look crossing his face. “If something happened to the guy, I’d never forgive myself.”

“Maybe I can help?” Clark suggested. “Where was he headed?”

Max pointed towards the desert.

“It was hidden in this rock formation”

Clark focused in the direction he was pointing, and then started to concentrate. Slowly, he saw past the roofs, into the desert.

“What are you doing?” Max asked. “You can’t possibly…”

“Lately, I’m starting to surprise even myself” he said. “I don’t see any rock formation…but there’s this huge crater in the middle of the desert!”

“Crater?!” Max asked in surprise.

“Yeah, like something crashed!” he responded. “There’s footsteps leading up to it…like someone went to investigate.”

“So Kyle could still be alive?” Max asked. “We should go after him! I’ll tell the others…”

He turned to leave.

“Max, can I ask you a question?” Clark asked.

Max stopped, and turned to him.

“Well, I’m sort of confused about what to do about Chloe knowing,” he admitted. “She’s my best friend, but I…this is something I’m used to having all to myself. What if she hates me?”

“She doesn’t hate you, Clark” he replied. “That’s one thing I’m completely sure of.”

“When Liz found out about you, how did you feel?” Clark responded.

“To tell the truth, both relieved and scared,” he recalled. “Relieved because I finally had someone other than Michael and Isabel to confide in. Scared because of the risk I took.”

“You mean of the wrong person finding out?”

Max shook his head.

“There’s something that happens when I connect to someone,” he explained. “I become one with them. I can see, hear, and feel everything that they’re feeling. Everything.”

Clark waited a moment, expecting that Max had something to add. After a moment, he realized what Max had meant.

“When you healed her, she was dying,” he stated. “If she would have died when you were connected to her, would you have…?”

Max nodded.

“Oh my god!” he whispered. “You could have died that day? Why did you do that then?”

“Because I’ve been in love with Liz since the first moment I saw her!”

Clark shook his head in amazement.

“I could never do something like that,” he said.

“I didn’t think I could either, Clark…not until that day,” Max informed him. “When you care about someone like that, you’ll be amazed by what you can do. You forget about everything but that person…and you’re not afraid anymore. Not even of death.”

Clark smiled at the thought, then froze. He heard something from below them.

Hsssssssss

“What is it?” Max asked.

“Gas!” he exclaimed, his eyes widening in horror.


*****


Inside the UFO museum…

“Oh god…!” Maria yelled, noticing the cloudy spray coming from one of the heating pipes. “I didn’t do it…I didn’t do it…!”

Liz ran up to her, seeing the horrified expression on her friend’s face.

“EVERYBODY OUT!!!” she screamed. “THERE’S A GAS LEAK!!!”

Immediately, John, Valenti and the Kents ran in from the other room.

“Maybe I can plug it, or…?” Jonathan asked.

Detective Jones didn’t let him finish. He grabbed both Jonathan and Martha by the wrists and pulled them towards the outer wall.

“There’s no time!” he said, then ran towards the wall.

The three of them passed through it like ghosts. Chloe ran down the stairs from the office just in time to see it.

“Did Mr. And Mrs. Kent just walk through the wall?!” she asked. “Hey!”

Valenti picked her up by the waist and headed towards the door. Liz and Maria followed.

Not a moment too soon, too. The second the two girls reached the door, a loud explosion roared through the building.

“AHHHHHHHHHH!”

Fortunately, Maria’s scream shook Liz up so much that she instinctively caused a sky-blue energy field to appear between them and the explosion. It still threw them several feet, but at least they were alive.


*****


Across the street, at the Crashdown Café, Michael stares in horror as the UFO museum goes up in flames. Around him, several customers gasp and point at the sight.

Michael, however, can only scream one word…

“MARIA!!!”

Then he got up and ran towards it.


*****


Back on the roof…

One time, Clark tried to explain to his father exactly how it felt when he ran at super speed. It was weird, to say the least. It didn’t really feel like he was going faster. At least to him, it didn’t.

No, to him, it felt like the rest of the world was moving slower. Case in point, like how the roof beneath him sudden broke apart piece-by-piece. How the tremendous explosion coming from inside the UFO museum could be seen before it was too late.

Even so, Clark didn’t hesitate. He simply grabbed Max by the wrist and ran towards the edge of the roof, each footfall crumbling beneath them a microsecond after they had stepped off.

Still holding onto Max, Clark leapt off the building, flying through the air, and landing on the roof of the Crashdown. The moment of peril over, the world returned to its normal pace.

“How…how did you?” Max stuttered. “You weren’t kidding about the jumping, were you?”

Clark smirked, then looked down towards ground level. He saw the others, standing in front of the rubble that was once the UFO museum.

Then he saw a ground of about a dozen people walking towards them. They definitely did not look friendly.

“Something tells me that wasn’t an accident!” Max claimed. “We need to get down there! Fast!”

Max gives Clark his arm again, which he takes. Then they jump.


*****


“MARIA!” Michael yelled as he ran over to her.

The UFO museum was completely totaled. All that remained was rubble. A lifetime of extra-terrestrial notes and findings completely destroyed.

As strange as it seemed, none of that mattered to Michael Gurin. He only wanted to make sure Maria was ok.

“Are you hurt?!” he asked her. “Did you…?”

Maria didn’t answer. Instead, she swung her arms around Michael and held him close.

“Um, guys?” Liz said, interrupting the tender moment. “I don’t think we’re out of the woods yet!”

Turning around, they saw at least a dozen people approaching them. Three of them they recognized as Tess, Pierce, and Nicholas.

Chloe recognized a forth one.

“LEX?!” she said in disbelief.

“No!” John corrected her. “Not anymore!”

K’Var grinned, and looked towards Michael.

“Hi, Rath…like the new look?” he said. “Hair is so overrated, but then you probably know all about that, right?”

Michael stared at him.

“K’Var!”

“So where’s Kent?” he spat. “Tess, is this so-called ‘unbeatable warrior’ afraid to face me?!”

As if in reply, a sudden crashing noise sounded in the pavement behind them. K’Var turned around to see Max and Clark walking towards them.

“Lex, what it god’s name are you doing?” Clark asked him.

“I don’t know, Clark” he laughed. “You like the new me?”

“That’s not your friend!” Max told him. “He’s just possessing him.”

“Ah, now you went a ruined it, Zan!” K’Var retorted. “Now, Tess…watch how it’s done!”

He pulled a gun out of his jacket. Without hesitation, Clark moved in front of Max.

“GET DOWN!!!”

BLAM

The bullet impacted against Clark’s skin, not even leaving a single mark. K’Var’s eyes went wide.

“What the hell?!”” he exclaimed,

“MICHAEL, NOW!!!” Max ordered.

Before K’Var had the chance to react, a blinding white light exploded from Michael Gurin’s hand, throwing them all back. Only Max and Clark escaped the onslaught by moving out of the way at super speed.

They stopped in front of the others. Immediately, Clark grabbed Chloe by the shoulders.

“Are you all right?” he asked, concerned. “Are you hurt or anything?”

She shook her head.

“I’m fine!” she reassured him.

“It won’t be long until the Sheriff arrives!” John warned them. “Somehow, I doubt K’Var will go quietly.”

“Then we stop him!” Liz added, stepping forward.

While they were talking, their enemies had collected themselves from Michael’s blast.

“You’ve always had good taste in women, Max!” K’Var spat. “Cute, but not very bright!”

Then he turned towards the others.

“Kill everyone but the leader…bring him to me!”

Before anyone can stop him, Jonathan storms towards them.

“I’ve had just about enough of this!” he stated. “Listen, you little punk…”

“JONATHAN!” Martha screamed, as one of K’Var’s men grabbed him by the throat and threw him towards the wall.

“DAD!”

Clark ran at super speed, catching him before he made contact.

“More aliens?” he asked the others.

“Skins!” Michael answered. “They all have our powers!”

Max moved in front of Chloe, Maria, Jonathan, and Martha.

“Stay behind me!” he told them, and raised his energy shield.

The he hollered to the others.

“I’ll protect the ones without powers! The rest of you…end it quickly. I don’t know how long I can keep this up!”

They did as he asked. Especially Clark who, running at super speed, knocked a trio of skins over like dominos.

Another one threw a punch at Michael. He ducked in, then hit back while shooting an energy blast at one who was sneaking up behind him.

Michael then turned around, seeing Liz push Nicholas away using an energy blast.

“Since when can you control that?!” he asked.

“I can’t…not really!” she responded. “It’s instinctive. When I’m in danger…”

“As long as you can defend yourself!”

*****


Meanwhile, Valenti and Jones were busy emptying their guns entire supply of bullets into sever advancing skins.

“Bullets seem to be unable to stop them!” John noticed.

“Yeah, a pain, isn’t it?” Valenti told him. “You have any better ideas?”

He nodded, then threw his weapon to the ground. Then he charged one of them.

Taken by surprise, the skin didn’t have time to react as John picked him up off the ground and raised him into the air.

“Perhaps a more direct approach is in order!” he grunted, throwing the skin into one of the others…much to Jim’s surprise.

“You didn’t say you were that strong!” he commented.

John smirked.

“You didn’t ask!”

But before Valenti could say anything else, a force blast knocked him to the ground. John turned to see that Tess was the source.

“Don’t worry, I didn’t kill him!” she stated. “You know…for old times sake. You, on the other hand…”

The small blonde girl began to concentrate, calling on her most powerful…the mindwarp. It was a form of telepathy that could cast mental illusions, erase a person’s memory, or even kill someone if she wasn’t careful.

She wasn’t being careful now.

Detective John Jones flinched as he felt her mind begin to probe his own. He feared what she might find out if she looked too deeply. He shut his eyes, trying to block her out, but it wasn’t any good.

“You’re not human, are you?” Tess asked, approaching her victim. “Some sort of shape-shifter? Hmm…you know, I was raised by a shape-shifter? It’s ironic, isn’t it? Still, you have no idea what I’m capable of…”

And you, little girl…

Tess’s eyes went wide. Somehow, he was speaking with her telepathically?

…have no idea…with whom…YOU ARE DEALING WITH!!!

A sudden shockwave hit her, passing through the mindwarp. A sort of psychic feedback that hit her with her own power.

“AHHHHH!” she screamed, falling to her knees.

John opened his eyes, which had now transformed into a blood red. Slowly, he moved towards her.

“Do you have any idea what I am?” he said, using the dame deep ominous voice that he used on Clark. “What I’m capable of? This isn’t an inexperienced telepath like yourself that you are facing. To me, you’re an amateur.”

Enraged, Tess tried to use her powers to force him back. To her surprise, his body suddenly became immaterial. Her blast passed through him like a ghost.

In response, he made his arm go through her body, then become partially solid again. The strain was too much, and she fell to the ground unconscious.

A few feet away, Valenti had seen the entire display. He watched in amazement as John became completely solid again, then looked at him with the blood-red eyes.

“I am sorry you had to see this!” he apologized.

Then, in a blink of an eyes, his eyes became normal again.

“Get up!” he said, his voice returning too normal. “We must get out of here before your former partner arrives.”

John offers him his hand, which Valenti takes. They then rush off to join the others.


*****


“Clark!” Jonathan hollered over the sounds of battle. “Pierce’s gun…get it away from him!”

Clark nodded, running past Agent Pierce and removing his gun.

Smiling, Jonathan ran around Max’s shield and headed towards the now-unarmed agent.

“Mr. Kent?!” Max exclaimed in confusion.

His unspoken question was soon answered, as Jonathan Kent tackled Pierce. He threw a punch, connecting with his head.

“Not so tough without your weapons, are you?” he spat.

To answer, Pierce head butted him.

“Don’t make me laugh, Kent!” he said. “I’m a federal agent. You’re a civilian!”

“No, you’re a psychopath!” Jonathan told him, the grabbed his shirt and swung him face first into a nearby wall.

Not wanting to just sit and watch, Chloe ran around the energy field and picked up a piece of broken pipe.

“Hey!” Max yelled in protest. Sighing in frustration, he lowered his shield.

Chloe ran, pipe in hand towards where Jonathan and Pierce were struggling. She struck Pierce with the pipe, knocking him unconscious.

“Thanks!” Jonathan said to her, smiling.

“What part of ‘stay behind me’ didn’t you understand?” Max scolded them as he arrived. “I was trying to protect you back there.”

“I appreciate the gesture, but I don’t like sitting back while other people do my fighting for me” he informed Max.

“I understand,” Max said. “But Mr. Kent, these aren’t ordinary people. They’re aliens, and with their powers they could kill you without even trying.”


*****


Sighing at the display around him, K’Var stepped towards the fight.

“If you want something done right…”

Out of the corner of his eye, Clark noticed him. Immediately, he ran straight in K’Var’s direction.

But K’Var was ready for him. With a well-timed energy blast, he sent Clark tumbling backwards into the ground.

“Just what are you, anyway?” he asked. “Why do you seem…familiar?”

“Lex!” Clark grumbled, getting to his feet. “Snap out of it!”

“Will you give it up, punk!” he responded. “Lex can’t see you, he can’t hear you…! I’m in charge now!”

Clark rushed him again, but was stopped by an amber energy field.

“Like it?” K’Var asked. “I fine-tuned this body to give me just the right amount of power I would need. I based this on Zan’s shield.”

He dropped the field and let loose another energy blast.


*****


“You realize what you’re doing, don’t you Kent?!” Pierce asked, as he tried to pick himself off the ground. “You’re dooming us all!”

“Stay down!” Max commanded him. “You’re outnumbered here, Pierce!”

“What are you going to do, freak?” he asked. “Kill me like you did my brother?”

“No, and I didn’t!” Max argued. “But I will stop you!”

Pierce laughed, then pulled something out of his jacket.

“We’ll just see about that!” he spat, then opened his hand to reveal a piece of glowing green rock.

“Oh my god!” Martha screamed.

The three of them stepped back.

“What is…?” Max asked.

“Meteor rock!” Jonathan answered. “Get that thing away from him. You have no idea what it can do!”

Max complied, and used a force blast to propel the rock out of Pierce’s hand, then another one to knock him unconscious.

The glowing rock flew through the air, until it landed in the remains of the UFO museum.

Just then, Chloe heard a crash behind them.

“What’s that?” she asked out loud. She then saw K’Var using his power to toss Clark around.

Eyes narrowing, she picked up the piece of pipe again and ran towards them.

“Leave him alone!” she yelled, hoping that she could strike him before he had the chance to react.

“CHLOE, NO!” Clark protested, but it was too late. K’Var hit her with an energy blast that threw her back towards the rubble. The second she stopped, the ground below her gave way.

“Ahhh!” she screamed, grabbing onto a piece of pipe to stop herself from falling. “HELP! Somebody!”

John had arrived, and ran towards her. However, he suddenly stopped as the fires from the explosion were still blazing. He stood, horrified, as he gazed into the flames.

“No…” he whispered. “I…I…have to…”

He stumbled backwards, trying to get away from the fire.

Max started to rush over as well, but his attention was drawn to Michael and Liz. They were surrounded now, as one of the skins knocked Liz unconscious.

“LEAVE HER ALONE!” Max ordered, letting lose a blast that ruptured the Skin’s safety valve, reducing him to dust.

The only one left was Clark. He ran towards the hole, but the closer he approached the weaker he became.

He fell to his knees, his eyes falling upon the rock nearby with its deathly green glow.

“No…!” he exclaimed.

It was the meteor rock. They had crashed, along with his ship, in Smallville years ago. Whenever he was near one he got weak. Sick. It was the only thing on earth that could hurt, or maybe even kill him.

“HELP!”

His eyes narrowed. He had to do this.

“Hang…on…Chloe!” he said, forcing the words out. He ran towards her at normal speed, not able to use his full powers because of the meteor rock. He reached the hole in the ground, and looked down just in time to see Chloe start to lose her grip.

He grabbed her wrist, stopping her fall.

“Got you!” he said.

Chloe smiled, but her smile soon faded. She saw the veins in Clark’s face begin to stick out, and glow bright green.

“Clark?!” she gasped. “What’s happening to you?”

Clark didn’t answer. All he knew was that he had to get her out of there. With his last ounce of strength, he picked her up and ran with super speed away from the rubble.


*****


K’Var helped Tess to her feet, sending the last remaining skins to hold the others back. While Nikolas helped Pierce up.

“We’ll deal with them when we have more resources!” he told her. “For now, let’s get out to the desert. Once I have that weapon, no one…not even this newcomer will be able to stop me.”

They ran off, as Max helped Liz to her feet.

“Are you ok?” he asked.

Liz nodded.

“You were pretty good,” he told her with a smile. “I didn’t…”

“Hey!” Michael interrupted them. “Where’s Clark?”

Their attention moved over to a blur that suddenly stopped in front of them. Clark put Chloe down on her feet.

“I’m ok!” she told them. “Just find out what’s happening to…”

Before she could finish, Clark collapsed. He law on the ground, his breathing becoming labored.

“CLARK!” she yelled. “What’s happening to you?”

“The…meteor rocks…!” he gasped. “They can hurt me…they can…”

Tears appeared in her eyes.

“You knew that?” she asked. “Why’d you come after me then? Why did you…?”

“I…couldn’t let you…die…” he said. “I…love…”

Then his eyes shut.

“Clark?” she asked, in tears. “CLARK?!”

The others ran up to the two of them.

“What is it?” Martha demanded. “What’s wrong with him?!”

Chloe looked up, crying.

“He’s not breathing…”


To Be Continued…
------------------------------------------------------

What a way to end a chapter, huh? I know you all hate me.

Next: Max and Liz race against the clock to save Clark. But will it be enough. Plus, the secret of Clark’s identity is finally revealed…but is anybody ready for the ramifications of it?

Stay tuned for ‘The Last Son Of Krypton’!

-Peter
posted on 2-Dec-2002 12:43:56 PM
Patience.:D Chapter seven is pretty much going to deal with Clark, and other's efforts to save him. Also expect a LOT of flashbacks going on.

In parts 8 and 9, however, expect Kyle to play a big role. There's a reason I've been holding him back for awhile. When he does jump into action, I promise you it'll be worth the wait.

-Peter
posted on 2-Dec-2002 4:46:50 PM
here you go:

Part 3

-Peter
posted on 28-Dec-2002 1:57:34 AM
Oh, I wish I would have checked out this thread before Christmas.:(

Ok, I'm gonna try to have a new part done soon. Until then, here's a sneak peek:

------------------------------------------------

CHLOE: Help him!

JOHN: I cannot!

*****

MAX: You could die!

LIZ: And if I don't, then he will!

*****

MICHAEL: Explain to me again why we're trusting something called 'The Eradicator' to do anything besides eradicate us?

*****

CLARK: Who am I?

VOICE: You are my son...

*****

MAN: And what has our 'perfection' given us? Destruction, that's what. In less than a week, this planet will be destroyed!

-----------------------------------------------------

Intuiged? Stay tuned...

-Peter
posted on 7-Jan-2003 9:50:06 PM
Now, here's what you've been waiting for. Now, this chapter is VERY heavy on the Superman mythology. Just a friendly warning.

Note: Much of what happens in this chapter was taken from the original story written by John Byrne. Just want you to know that I didn't think of these ideas myself.*happy*
-----------------------------------------------------
Strange Visitors:
Part 7

The Last Son Of Krypton


In that single moment, Chloe Sullivan felt as if her entire world was about to end. Her best friend…the boy she was in love with…lay there dying, and there wasn’t a thing she could do to save him.

“No…” she whispered. “No no nonononono! Clark?!”

Tears fell from her eyes as she held the lifeless body. The others gathered around, Jonathan and Martha kneeling beside her.

“Oh god…” Martha gasped, as she saw her son lying there.

Chloe looked up, towards Detective John Jones. Her eyes pleading with him.

“You,” she said in tears. “You know more about him than anyone. Help him.”

“I cannot…” he sighed.

Upon hearing this, Jonathan sprung forward and grabbed him by the collar.

“Bull, you can’t!” he yelled. “You couldn’t save the girl, so at least save my son…the person who saved her. You keep saying how you want to help us…protect us? Well…DO IT!!!”

John’s eyes narrowed for a second, contemplating what to do. For a second, Jonathan thought he was going to attack him. Instead, he simply turned, and walked past Clark.

“Where are you going?!” Jonathan demanded.

“To save your son!” he answered, as he arrived at the hole in the ground. “Michael, that rock in the corner…create a led container for it before it effects Clark even more.”

Then he jumped.

Mouths hanging open, Jonathan and Jim ran over to the hole and looked down. They saw Jones falling towards the bottom, but he was moving slowly. As if he had a parachute on.

“How do you like that?” Valenti asked.


*****


The flames had ceased. So, once John Jones reached the bottom of the cavern, he was free to search around.

Johnathan Kent had struck a nerve. He couldn’t possibly know, of course. Of how the flames made it impossible for him to even attempt to rescue Chloe. Even so, he had a point. He wasn’t going to let Clark die that way. Not like the others.

He couldn’t save them…he couldn’t save his own people…but he was going to save Clark.

At the bottom of the shaft were the remains of the UFO museum. The same one that he had spent so much time putting together…in hopes that it might serve his cause. Help him to better stand humanity. Now it was rubble.

The shape-shifter wasn’t about to let nostalgia overcome him, though. He had to find what he was looking for.

Finally, he saw it. A pile of rubble and ash that was once the largest display of extra-terrestrial artifacts outside the pentagon…now destroyed. Desperately, he brushed the rubble aside, until he uncovered one sole object.

The device Clark had discovered earlier…the Eradicator.

It wasn’t destroyed. Not that he expected it to be. It would take no less than a super-nova to even put a dent in it, considering that it was made by materials thousands of years more advanced than anything found on Earth.

Clutching it under his arm, he went back under the hole and looked up. His body once again becoming immaterial, he started to float back up to the surface.


*****


“Mr. Kent?” he asked, once he reached the top once again. “Take this. Place it by your son. Whatever you do, do NOT try to activate it yourself. The slightest mistake could incinerate you.”

He handed Jonathan the Eradicator. He took it, nodding, then brought it over to Clark.

Liz looked at it curiously.

“What is that?” she asked, reaching for it.

“I wouldn’t!” Jonathan warned her. “Detective Jones says it’s dangerous.”

“It is called the Eradicator!” Jones informed them. “A device created on Clark’s own planet, it responds to the thoughts and presences of his own species. Any others it will destroy. Hence the name.”

“Right…” Michael added, handing him the led box, which now housed the meteor rock. “Explain to me again why we're trusting something called 'The Eradicator' to do anything besides eradicate us?”

“Though he may look like you, Clark’s body does not work the same way,” he continued. “It absorbs it’s nutrition from energy, and that energy is drained by exertion. He can be saved if the Eradicator restores that energy, but first his spirit must he brought back from the abyss. Max?”

Max looked at him in confusion.

“You must use your powers to restore him,” John explained. “This must be done within his unconscious, like what your sister does when she ‘dream walks’.”

“I can’t do that without her!” Max informs him.

“Yes you can, Max!” Liz argued. “Remember how you used Michael’s power when you rescued me? I think all of you have the same powers, but you just don’t know how to use them.”

“She is correct, Max!” John added. “I’ll use my telepathy to aid you…”

He touched Max’s forehead…and suddenly Max felt a wave of energy flow through him. It was similar to what happened when he connected with someone, only not as extreme. He couldn’t see inside John’s mind…just felt thoughts that weren’t his own.

Suddenly, he knew how to ‘dream walk’. The knowledge went directly into his brain.

“I’m ready,” he said, as he stepped towards Clark.

However, before he reached him, a slender hand grabbed his wrist.

“So am I!” Liz added.

“Liz, don’t!” he warned her in a panic. “You don’t have to do this…”

“I can heal him too, Max,” she argued. “Like I did with that bird. Besides, you’ll have a better chance with two people healing him instead of one.”

“If something goes wrong, you could die!” Max responded, looking at her with complete sincerity.

“And if I don’t, he will die Max!” she said. “Ever since these powers first started up, I’ve felt scared. They’ve been a burden. But now…now I have the chance to help someone. Let me have that chance, Max. It’s my risk to take.”

“Liz…” he attempted to argue, but she cut him off.

“If he does die, then you die too, remember?” Liz asked. “I won’t be able to live with myself if I let that happen.”

Max didn’t say anything. He didn’t have to…he gave her a look that said everything that needed to be.

Michael and Maria pulled Chloe and Martha away from Clark’s body. Jonathan placed the Eradicator at his feet, which began to glow a light blue.

Max and Liz kneeled down, right near his chest.

They clasped hands, letting a connection form between them.

If this doesn’t work…Max thought, ‘speaking’ to Liz through the connection.

I know Max, she responded. I love you too.

Then, with their free hands, they touched Clark’s chest. The three-way connection was created simultaneously, as the Eradicator began to glow even brighter.

Then everything went dark.


*****


Liz Parker was scared, that she knew for sure. Mainly of freezing to death. She was stuck in the largest blizzard she had ever seen, her bare arms going numb from the extreme cold. The snow crackling beneath her boots, she definitely knew she wasn’t in Roswell anymore.

Unless, of course, a new ice age had suddenly sprung up without her knowing.

Everything around her was ice and snow. No buildings, no people…just an endless glacier of pure white, with more falling from the sky continuously.

“M-m-max!!!” she called out.

There was no answer. She wondered for a second if she really had died, and this coldness was what death felt like. She remembered feeling cold seconds before Max had extracted the bullet that was lodged in her at the Crashdown, but her memory didn’t contain any snow.

Without any warning, a warm hand clutched her own. She opened her mouth to scream, but stopped when she realized it was Max who held her hand.

“Max?” she exclaimed, throwing her arms around him. “Oh, thank god! Where are we?”

They stepped forward, still clutching hands.

“I think…we’re in Clark’s subconscious,” Max told her. “This is what it felt like whenever Isabel took me dream walking. You won’t feel cold if you can convince yourself that it isn’t real.”

Liz nodded, then suddenly felt feeling returning to her arms.

“Hey, you’re right…” she said. “So, this is Clark’s dream?”

“I guess so,” he replied.

“No,” Liz said, shaking her head. “I think it’s more of a subconscious thing. Like in the movie ‘The Cell’…this is Clark Kent’s inner mind.”

“Why snow?” Max asked.

“I don’t know,” a voice called out. “I’ve just always liked it, I guess.”

Turning towards the sound of the voice, Max and Liz noticed the silhouette of someone standing in the distance. They walked towards him and, sure enough, it was Clark.

“I always thought it was peaceful, you know?” Clark told them. “Yeah, I know what you’re thinking…farm boy that loves winter? But I can’t help it…the coldness and wind just speaks to me. Quiet, serene…absolute solitude. My own personal fortress.”

“Clark?” Max asked. “You have to come back with us. People are worried about you.”

Clark shook his head.

“I can’t Max. Not yet…” he argued. “Someone’s calling me.”

The three of them turn to the side, as they see a small cave a few feet away. There was a faint blue light glowing inside.

“That cave wasn’t there earlier,” Liz mentioned.

Nevertheless, Clark walked towards it. Max and Liz followed, trying to lure him back.

“We have to get back!” Max warned him. “The longer we stay here, the less chance there is of any of us surviving.”

Clark doesn’t answer. Instead, he continues into the cave. Max and Liz steal a quick look at each other, and follow him inside.

There, they receive a shock…as they encounter giant walls of ice that seem to reach the heavens themselves. The room expands, obviously wider than the cave. In the center is a grand staircase, with the bright blue glow emanating from the top.

“This is impossible,” Max said aloud. “You couldn’t fit all this in a cave this small.”

“This is Clark’s subconscious, Max!” Liz reminded him. “The laws of physics don’t necessarily apply here.”

Without another word, the three of them ascend the stairs, until they reach the top. Once there, they notice the source of the light. It’s the Eradicator, suspended in midair by some unseen force.

“Who are you?” Clark asked. “Please…tell me what you…”

As if answering, the light of the Eradicator began to glow ever brighter, until the three of them were practically blinded.

When the light faded, the Eradicator had vanished. In its place stood a man…the exact same man that Clark had seen in the window at the UFO center. He was translucent, sort of like a hologram.

Then, he spoke…

“My son…”

Clark’s heart skipped a beat.

“You’re my…father?” he asked.

The hologram simply nodded his head.

“Who are you?” Clark asked, his eyes pleading for an answer. “Who am I?”

“Your name is Kal-El, from the house of El,” it told him. “You come from a planet called Krypton, a world similar to Earth in many ways. Yet, in just as many ways it is far different. At this point, you have undoubtedly discovered that you have abilities far different than any possessed by a normal human being…perhaps you even have asked yourself why you were sent there. To give you the answers you seek, I have sent this pre-recorded message to Earth in hope that you will seek it out. You must know what became of us…”

With a wave of his hand, the landscape surrounding Clark, Max, and Liz suddenly shifted, becoming the open vacuum of outer space. Instinctively, Max grabbed onto Liz’s arm, gripping tight so they wouldn’t be separated.

“Max, slow down…” she reassured him. “This isn’t real, either. I think the Eradicator is a type of VR program. This is just a very realistic illusion put directly into our brains.”

“Right,” Max said, taking a breath. “An illusion.”

The hologram lowered his hand, motioning towards a planet that slowly faded into view below them.

“Behold, Kal-El…” he announced. “…Krypton.”

Clark looked at the world below, completely awestruck. His biological father here wasn’t kidding when he said it was ‘similar’ to earth. It was bathed in a sea of green and blue. Water and land, looking so much like he had seen in those pictures that had been taken from space.

He paused a moment to appreciate the view. To know that what seemed so far off and tiny from above was actually the place where he was born. That it housed billions of people, each with their own thoughts and dreams.

It took his breath away.

Max, however, noticed a huge difference to earth. Instead of rotating around a bright yellow sun, Krypton’s was red.

“Liz?” he asked his companion. “Is that a red giant?”

She examined it, then shook her head.

“I don’t think so,” she answered. “The size is all wrong.”

Before either of them could put any more thought into it, the scene shifted once again…as their surroundings began to evaporate.

When things returned to normal, they were on solid ground once again…but in a place unlike any they had ever seen. They were on the surface of the planet Krypton.


*****


The only comparison Liz could come up with for Krypton was in one of those old ‘Flash Gordon’ movie serials. Buildings that were stories high, but not skyscrapers like in New York…as they were made of metals not concrete. The oval-shaped ‘cars’ flew through the air, each one carrying a single person inside. Large insect-like robots wandered the ground, performing repairs to various machines here and there. Neither the vehicles nor the robots seemed to produce any fuel emissions.

There were no clouds in the sky. Not a single one. No smog either. It was like a scientist’s dream come true.

“This is incredible…” she whispered. “I mean…”

Then she noticed Clark’s father walking towards one of the buildings. Her and Max quickly followed, and they moved through the wall, arriving inside.

“Observe…” the hologram said, then faded away.

“Wait!” Clark pleaded, trying to stop him. It was no use…it was already gone.

“Clark?” Max asked, pointing towards a man walking through the room. “Look over there!”

Sure enough, the man was the same one who had claimed to be Clark’s father. Only, this time, he wasn’t a hologram. He was as real as they were.

“He can’t see us, can he?” Clark asked out loud. “We’re like Ebenezer Scrooge in ‘A Christmas Carol’, right?”

Neither of them answers, for their eyes are fixed on the surroundings. The room was a giant laboratory, with millions upon millions of electronic devices lacing the walls. Even Liz couldn’t even begin to say what half of them were for. They were so far advanced from Earth technology that it made her seem like a caveman.

Suddenly, a panel in the wall slid open, letting one of the robots from outside wander in.

“Jor-El?” it said, referring to Clark’s father. “Your guests have arrived. Two of them possess plasma-based weapons. All three are cloaked in the experimental item # 16754.”

“Send them in, Kelex,” Jor-El answered, and grabbed what looked like a palm-sized remote off of a table. He flicked three switches on it, and a larger panel opened in the wall.

The first newcomer was the most impressive, to say the least. He looked like a man in his fifties, with a furrowed brow, and dark piercing eyes. He was dressed in silk and gold…he must have been royalty of some kind.

The other two were different…more military-like. Honor guards of some kind. Liz couldn’t help but notice something…familiar about them.

“So, how are the suits?” Jor-El asked. “As you can see, with the DNA of a native species injected into the formation matrix, they manage to emulate the physical structures almost perfectly.”

“How do you get them off?” one of the guards asked.

“Right now there’s a release valve in the bottom area near the back,” he explained. “Though, with time I might be able to remove them mentally.”

“Why can’t we just use our normal environment suits?” the other guard asked.

“We need to test these out first, that’s why!” the older one told him. “With these suits, we could observe another culture without them being any wiser.”

“Whatever, Zan!” he replied.

Upon hearing this, Max and Liz’s eyes went wide.

“Max, that you!” she said, pointing at the oldest one. “It’s you…from before you died the first time.”

“That’s impossible,” he stated. “He…I…look human.”

“Or Kryptonian,” she corrected him. “Jor-El said they’re wearing some kind of suits. Like the ones the skins used. The one on your left is probably Michael. I’d recognize that attitude anywhere.”

The third one examined his hands closely, looking for something.

“What kind of weapons do these S.K.I.N suits have?” he asked matter-of-factly.

“Really, K’Var?” Zan spoke, slightly annoyed. “Can you put your war-monger tendencies on hold for a little while?”

“It’s all organize tissue…no mechanical devices,” Jor-El explained. “However, you should have access to that particular species’ natural advantages. For example, right now your body is absorbing energy from our sun, and converting it into nutrition. You won’t have to consume any food until you remove it.”

“Not what I would call an advantage, Jor-El!” K’Var mumbled, then headed towards where he came in.

Zan quickly turned towards his other companion.

“Rath, follow him!” he commanded. “Make sure he doesn’t get into any trouble.”

“Yes, your majesty,” Rath nodded, and then followed K’Var out the door.

“Heavy is the head that wears the crown,” Jor-El said once the two of them were gone. “Isn’t that true, old friend?”

“You have no idea,” he replied. “You Kryptonians are lucky. You’re ruled by science, not a monarch.”

“In my opinion, I don’t see it as such an advantage,” Jor-El said with a smile.

He then turned towards a circle in the floor and outstretched his hands. Instantly, a holographic control panel materialized, on which he started to type out formulas and calculations.

“We’ve conquered every square inch of our planet,” he explained as he continued to type. “There are no earthquakes, no floods, no eruptions. Every dangerous beast is either tamed or extinct. It doesn’t even rain unless we wish it to.”

Zan walked up behind him.

“Your tone tells me you’re unhappy about it?” he asked. “Why?”

“I’m a man who likes a challenge, your highness,” he said, as he turned to face him. “On Krypton, there are no challenges left. That’s why I suggested we take your contract. Maybe I could find the excitement I seek some place else? Here…I want to show you something.”

He types some more keys, which caused the keypads to evaporate. In their place, a hologram of a planet formed, spinning on an access.

“Krypton?” Zan asked.

Jor-El smiled, and shook his head.

“No, as hard as it is to believe, it’s not,” he informed his guest. “This planet is light-years away…so far I’ve only been able to send probes. The natives call it Earth.”

“Not very imaginative, are they?” Zan asked.

“From my scans, it is almost identical to Krypton,” he continued. “The dominant life forms look like Kryptonians. It’s wild…untamed. Just like Krypton was millions of years before. The people display emotion freely, without being looked down upon.”

“Why don’t you go there?” Zan asked.

“If only I could…” Jor-El sighed, shutting off the hologram. “Earth orbits a yellow sun. Unlike an Antarian, the skin suits won’t work the same way for a Kryptonian. We need a solid supply of energy to keep us functioning. We have no way of knowing how yellow solar radiation would affect us. But I promise you…I will look into it.”

“Joe-El?” a female voice called behind them.

Jor-El and Zan looked behind them at the woman who had just entered the room. She was dressed almost exactly like Jor-El was, all but her face hidden behind the green and black suit. Jor-El stood transfixed.

“Lady Lara?” he greeted her. “Um…this is king Zan, from Antar.”

Lara nodded her head, silently greeting him.

“I take it you are wearing one of the skin suits?” she asked Zan. “Remarkable, aren’t they? Jor-El is a genius without equal.”

Jor-El smiled at her.

“Don’t be so modest, Lara,” he said. “Without your input concerning the DNA matrix, I never would have completed them by this point.”

“Fair enough,” she admitted. “Both Rath and K’Var wish to see the town square. Should I…?”

“Yes, yes, let them,” Jor-El agreed.

With that, she left. Jor-El stood there with a dreamy smile on his face.

“You like Lara, don’t you?” Zan asked. “Does she know?”

“It would make no difference if she did,” Jor-El sighed. “Our culture had long ago abandoned physical relationships between men and women.”

“What about children?” he asked.

“Scientifically created in the matrix chambers by combining DNA,” he explained. “Notions like passion and love are considered outdated. One of the reasons I envy you, Zan. You’re allowed to spend your life with someone you love”

Zan chuckled.

“I’d hardly call my relationship with Ava ‘love’,” he admitted. “We were married because of royal decree.”

“Was there someone else you would have preferred?” Jor-El asked him.

“No, not really!” Zan replied, shaking his head. “Have you ever felt that you didn’t belong somewhere? That your true destiny lies elsewhere?”

Jor-El smiled.

“More often than you could imagine,” he answered. “I find myself looking through the history books, wondering what it would have been like to have lived during the great battles. As a boy, I fantasized about being Nightwing. Going from city to city, righting wrong. Yet, I was born in an age with no wrong left to right!”

He turned back towards the console, where the image of Earth had been a few moments earlier.

“Maybe something…” he mused. “For now, however, we need to get you to the science council. They’ll want to know our progress…”

As they began to walk away, the scene suddenly dissolved before their eyes once again.

“What’s happening?” Clark asked.

“I think it’s some sort of time lapse, maybe?” Liz suggested. “So you can see something more important.”


*****


Liz was correct, of course. When the world materialized once again, Jor-El was back in his lab. On the holographic view screen, where the image of the earth was before, was now two large balls of energy. One red, one yellow.

“Computer!” Jor-El commanded out loud. “Take in observations. Using the energy scans my solar probes have taken of the earth’s star, I’ve begun analyzing it in contrast to our own sun.”

He looked over some readouts that materialized on a hand-held computer.

“From what I’ve gathered, the radiation from yellow-spectrum sunlight isn’t toxic,” he concluded. “However, it is much different than the energy that radiates from a red-spectrum sun. If Krypton was under a yellow sun, its heat would probably melt the polar icecaps. I can only assume that the planet earth has a much ticker atmosphere to screen out the extra energy input. Still no hypothesis on how the additional energy would affect our bodies…”

Just then, he heard a rumbling noise, as the ground shook beneath his feet.

“What was that?” he asked out loud. “Kelex? What that an quake?”

The insect-like lab assistant rushed to his side.

“That would not be possible, master,” Kelex answered. “The counsel’s generators prevent Krypton’s tectonic plates from shifting. Also, you have a tele-message from the planet Antar.”

“Hmm…I wonder what caused…” he started to say, but then quickly forgot. “Antar? What is it?”

“It is from the king!” Kelex responded. “A distress signal!”

“Quickly, alert the council!” he commanded, grabbing a remote control off a table.

“I already have!” the robot informed him. “They have decided not to involve themselves if it does not concern Krypton.”

“Damn them and their…” he cursed. “Then get my ship ready. I’m going to Antar myself!”

“Warning! Traveling off-planet without the proper considerations…” Kelex tried to warn his master.

Jor-El wasn’t listening.

“Just do it!” he ordered.


*****


Max didn’t even have time to react. In as short of time as it took him to blink, he was on Antar…seeing his home planet for the first time. It reminded him of Roswell a little, with an endless sea of sand. Although, he reminded himself, this was probably just the one corner of the planet. There were jungles, oceans, and cities out there somewhere.

Right now, though, they were in the middle of a war zone. Weapons were being fired left and right, by creatures he had never seen before.

Correction, he had seen one before. When Nasedo died…these were his own people.

The war had begun.

“I have to stop this!” he said out loud. But before he could do anything, Liz grabbed his arm.

“This already happened, Max!” she reminded him. “There’s nothing you can do for these people now. But you can find out what happened to you. Finally.”

Max nodded, as they ran towards the palace. By the doorway was Jor-El, attempting to sneak in unnoticed.

As a precaution, he pressed a switch on his remote. Metal reformed in his hand, until is resembled a gun.

One of the Antarians saw him, and pointed their weapon at him. He spoke a warning in a language that neither Max nor Liz understood.

Luckily, Jor-El was quicker. A blast of orange energy shot from the gun, knocking the Antarian to the ground.

“Be glad it was set to stun,” he commented, and then ran inside the palace. “ZAN!?!”

He ran down the corridors, towards the throne room.


*****


Inside the throne room, king Zan paced back and forth. Without the skin suit, he looked very similar to the rest on the Antarians.

“Where are they, Ava?” he asked his companion. “Rath was supposed to report our status. These rebels…”

“Are easily stopped!” she informed him. “If you weren’t afraid to do what’s necessary.”

“These are my people!” he responded. “There has to be a way to reason with them other than wholesale slaughter.”

“I should have known!” Ava snapped. “You know what your problem is, Zan? You’re weak. You refuse to do what’s expected.”

“You mean I’m not a warlord like K’Var?” Zan retorted, turning his back to her.

Silently, she picked a spear off a nearby wall.

“No, you’re not like him…” she said.

Then plunged the spear right through his back, puncturing his heart.

“…unfortunately!”

At that precise moment, Jor-El burst into the room. He watched in horror as he friend fell to the ground, blood pouring out of the wound.

Grinding his teeth in rage, he changed the setting on his weapon.

“Who are…?” Ava started to ask, as Jor-El pointed the weapon at her.

“MURDERER!!!”

Without warning, a beam of white-hot energy erupted from the gun. It punctured the alien’s body. She screamed in pain, then fell beside Zan.

Gasping in surprise at what he’d done, Jor-El fell to his knees. His gun reverted to its original appearance.

“Great Rao…!” he cursed. “What have I done?”

He was silent for a moment, until he beard labored breathing coming from one of the bodies.

“Jor-El…?” a week voice called to him.

“Zan?” he questioned, and ran over to the fallen king. “Hold still…I might be able to…”

“No time…” Zan whispered. “Don’t worry about…me. Scientists have an emergency plan…in case of…death. Save…yourself…”

Zan’s eyes shut, and his head fell back. He was dead.

“Computer…cloak!” he commanded out loud.

Within seconds, a wave of energy moved over him. Then he vanished from sight.


*****


“I just saw myself die…” Max said over and over again. Liz held his hand tightly, while the throne room vanished.

“It’s ok, Max…” she tried to console him. “It’s the past, remember? It already happened.”

It didn’t make any difference. Max was in shock, she knew.

“Ava was Tess…” he stated. “Tess killed me. Just like Alex. She killed me…”

It wasn’t as if Clark could help out. He was almost in a trance, watching the scene around them.

“Max, look?” she said, as the room started to form again. It was a dark room, with curved walls. Along the sides were people, dressed exactly like Jor-El and Lara were, sitting at tall podiums.

In the center of the room was Jor-El.

“We are disappointed in you, Jor-El of the house of El!” one of the surrounding Krypotnians told him. “You have defied scientific procedure and executed one of Antar’s ruling class.”

“Ava had just murdered her husband, the king!” Jor-El informed them. “It was just.”

“Nevertheless, the act should have been left to the native authorities,” another told him. “As of now, our relationship with Antar is dissolved. That is the counsel’s decision.”

“I understand!” he responded, then turned to leave.

As he left, another quake hit…stronger than the one before.


*****


The three teenagers watch as the years pass by in seconds. Machines keep Jor-El young as the years go on. Forty years pass by, as he toils away.

“Take in observations…” he told the computer. “The first plague…first sickness…in over three hundred years has stricken us. The mysterious ‘green death’ replaces the solar energy in our cells, poisoning us. At first we get weak…becoming weaker until death. The only physical sign of the green death is a emerald hue appearing on the victim’s skin.”

He turned towards his other experiment.

“I’ve found that yellow-filtered sunlight drains the green poison out, unlike the normal red-hued kind,” he continued. “A bizarre side-effect is instantaneous healing of other wounds. Cuts and bruises vanish as if they were never there. However, I’m convinced that the green death has something to do with the unexplained quakes that have hit us the past few decades.”

As if on cue, another quake hits. The laboratory shook, causing Jor-El to fall.

“Status report!” he asked.

Kelex hovered into to the room.

“The largest one yet, master!” the robot informed him.

“Send another probe!” he told him.


*****


More time passed, as Jor-El made test after test on the information he received. One day, he saw something that gave him the answer he seeked.

“Great Rao…” he whispered.


*****


“What’s wrong?” Clark asked. “What did he see?”

Neither Max nor Liz said a thing. They simply continued to watch as they found themselves once again they found themselves in the counsel’s room.

“Jor-El?” the counsel leader asked. “Why did you call this meeting.”

“I’ve discovered the cause behind the green death plague,” he sighed. “And the quakes that have plagued us for years.”

“The plague is caused by tectonic shift?” a female member asked.

“No, and neither are the quakes…” he explained. “My scans have shown me that the plague is caused by radiation being absorbed into our bodies through the same photosynthesis that sunlight is. I’ve found that very same radiation under Krypton’s crust.”

“That’s preposterous!” another council member stated. “We would have found it sooner…”

“Except we stopped looking!” Jor-El reminded them. “All the chemicals…the artificial ingredients we added underground to improve the soil did something we didn’t expect. Heated by the molten core, all the various elements under our feet have fused into one. A radioactive element. That’s what’s killing us. And it’s getting worse!”

“Worse?” the leader asked. “We’re dying, Jor-El. How could it be worse?”

“Prepare yourself…” he said, taking a deep breath. “This radioactive element is getting stronger. That’s why this plague hasn’t appeared until now…because it wasn’t yet strong enough. It’s slowly reaching critical mass, causing these quakes to get stronger, and stronger, until…”

He closed his eyes.

“Until a final eruption annihilates Krypton!”

“Don’t be naive, Jor-El!” the council leader stated. “We’ve had complete control of our planet for thousands of years! Your scans must be wrong!”

“I swear to you…” he said. “A year, a month…maybe even a few days from now, Krypton will explode. If we don’t do something soon, we are all dead men!”

The entire council broke into laughter.

“You’re mad!” he exclaimed. “You’re all mad! We’re all doomed, and you see it as a joke?”

“That will be enough, Jor-El!” one of the counsel members ordered.

He simply stared at them for a moment. Then, he whispered…

“We’re going to die, and you’re all too blind to see it!”

“THAT WILL BE ENOUGH!!!!” the leader screamed. “We will hear no more of this ranting!”

“As you wish!” he muttered, then he turned around and left.

As he exited the counsel chambers, the ground started to shake once again.


*****


“Kelex?!” Jor-El hollered as he burst into his lab. “Contact Lara and tell her to meet me in my lab. I want the matrix chamber sent here immediately.”

“But Jor-El…” Kelex responded. “It has not yet reached full term. Think of the risk…”

“I know the risks, and accept them!” he responded. “There’s no time left…I must get to work.”

He activated his holographic projector displaying the two suns.

“One last experiment…” he continued. “Oh, and Kelex…I’ll need some raw materials. The strongest you can acquire.”


*****


Much later.

Lara ran into Jor-El’s laboratory as quickly as she could. The quakes were happening almost continually now.

“Jor-El?!” she called out for him. “I came as quickly as I received your summons. The world has gone mad. Have you…”

Then she saw it. Jor-El stood in the center of his laboratory…with an infant child cradled in his arms.

“Jor-El?” she gasped. “What have you done? Is that…?”

“Yes,” he nodded. “This is Kal-El…our son.”

“He was not to be removed until the first stage of maturity!” she reminded him. “You removed the matrix from the gestation chamber without consulting me? Are you as mad as the counsel says you are?”

Kal-El cried, causing Jor-El to hand him to Lara.

“I take it you’ve heard the news?” he asked. “Here…I think he wants his mother.”

“You don’t expect me to believe that nonsense?” she asked. “Surely, you made some mistake…”

“I checked and double-checked, Lara…every result is the same!” he assured her. “You’ve seen the evidence yourself. Feel the quakes. Krypton is doomed.”

She stared at Jor-El…completely horrified.

“But…but…” she stuttered. “How can this be. We have been complete masters of our world for generations. We know every rock, every tree, and every animal. It does not rain unless WE wish it to…”

He looked at her grimly. Lara then knew he was telling the truth. In shock, she sat down in a chair.

“No…” she whispered. “Is there any way to save us?”

“No, I’m afraid not,” Jor-El responded. “But there might be a way to save our son.”

Lara stood back up, not understanding.

“How?” she asked. “If Krypton will truly be destroyed, how can he possibly survive?”

With one quick motion, he turned on the holo-screen. The hologram of planet Earth appeared once more.

“This planet here…Earth…” he explained. “I’ve been studying it for a long time, in hopes of exploring it someday. It is almost identical to Krypton, only less advanced. The people even resemble Kryptonians. Here…I’ll show you.”

With the flick of another switch, the image went closer…until it could make out a patch of farmland.

“It looks so…primitive…” Lara noticed. “Like a history book.”

Then a farmer came into view. He was bailing hay, shirtless, with beads of sweat trailing down his forehead.

“AHHHHHHH!” Lara screamed, covering her eyes. “That…that savage! Did you see him, Jor-El? He lets his bare flesh touch unprocessed air? What kind of horrors do you want to send Kal-El into unprotected?”

“To us they may seem horrors, but not to him!” he corrected her. “And he will not be unprotected.”

The screen transformed back into the twin suns, as the larger yellow one moved to the forefront.

“For, you see, Earth orbits a yellow star!” he explained. “I’ve made studies, and found that it radiates energy a thousand times more potent than our own red sun? Under the light of this star, a Kryptonian’s cells would become living solar batteries. Kal-El will be faster, stronger, and more powerful than any living being on the planet. His skin will indestructible, so that not even the post powerful weapon will be able to pierce it. In time, even gravity will not be able to hold him!”

“Then…then he will teach them?” she asked. “Kal-El will instruct them in the proper Kryptonian ways?”

Jor-El shut off the view screen.

“Are our ways really so ‘proper’ Lara?” he asked her. “How have we paid for our ‘control’ over our planet? With sterility. We no longer possess the passion we once did…and it’s cost us our lives.”

Suddenly, a small spaceship rose from the ground, as the roof opened up.

“I refuse to let our son share that same fate!” he whispered. “I’m sending the Eradicator with him, so that one day me might learn of us.”

The room shook again. Lara held her baby close.

“Lara…please…” Jor-El pleaded, asking her to hand him the child. “There’s no time left.”

Reluctantly, she handed Kal-El to his father. He gazed at him for an instant, before placing him inside the ship.

The ship closed immediately, sealing the child inside.

“Goodbye…my son…” he said, as the rocket blasted through the roof towards an unknown fate.

Outside, geysers of green radiation burst through the planet’s crust, causing people to run in panic. Building start to topple, as the ground shakes more than ever.

Back inside, Lara slowly took Jor-El’s hand.

“Then this is the end?” she asked, tears forming in her eyes.

He nodded his head sadly.

“If I am to die, I thank Rao it is with you…” he told her.

“Jor-El?”

He looked at hear, beginning to cry himself.

“Since the moment I met you…” he said. “Since the moment they told me you were to be my mate, I’ve felt an emotion that no one has for thousands of years. If this is truly the end, I will be happy to die here, with you…”

He moved closer.

“…for I have always loved you!”

Then they kiss. For the first, and last, time.


*****


Clark, Max, and Liz could only watch in horror as the small ship sped away with unbelievable speed. Around it, the planet trembled and shook.

Until, just as the ship holding the infant Kal-El escaped the atmosphere, Krypton exploded!

“NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!” Clark screamed at the top of his lungs, as he saw his home planet evaporate before his eyes. He collapsed to his knees in shock.

“All those people…?” Max whispered. “They’re gone?”

Liz held him, as Clark just sat there…still in shock.

“And so it ends…” Jor-El’s ghostly voice called out across the vastness of space. “Every hope, every dreams…every one of our people perished in that final, deadly explosion. All except one…”

The hologram of Jor-El reappeared once again, placing his hand on Clark’s shoulder.

“I know it will seem difficult for you, despite your great powers” he said. “Some people will fear you…others might even try to destroy you. But I ask you, please be patient with them. These Earthlings are capable of great evil, true. But also tremendous good. Live among them, my son…so you may find where your destiny truly lies.”

Clark looked up at him, pleadingly.

“Father…?”

“Learn!” Jor-El said, as he plunged his ghostly hand right into Clark’s forehead.

“Agh!” he screamed, as light began pouring out of his eyes.

“Wait!” Max ordered, rushing forward. However, the energy pushed him back.


*****


Back in reality, Max and Liz were thrown back as the connection was broken. The Eradicator continued to pour energy into Clark’s body at an accelerated rate.

Only this time, he wasn’t unconscious. He was alive…and in pain.

“What’s going on?” Chloe asked. “What’s that thing doing to him?”

No one gave any answer. No one truly knew, not even Clark.

Clark himself felt dozens of invisible needles piercing his skin, and his mind began to be filled with information. Thoughts and images so alien that he couldn’t explain them to someone if he tried. Slowly, painfully, he felt his humanity slipping away.

“LEAVE HIM ALONE!” Jonathan ordered, picking up the pipe that Chloe had dropped earlier. Without thinking, he ran up to the Eradicator and struck with all his might.

The second the pipe connected, it exploded. Jonathan was thrown backwards, falling to the ground. The Eradicator’s glow faded, and it hit the ground.

Suddenly, Clark’s mind became clear again. He remembered what had happened. The meteor rock almost killed him, but this…this thing that he found brought him back. He remembered everything…Jor-El, Krypton…everything!

“Dad?” he asked, shaking his head. “Mon…dad? Chloe?”

“Clark!” Chloe exclaimed, and threw her arms around him. “Thank god…I thought you were…”

“I know…” he whispered. Chloe felt him shivering, holding her close.

Meanwhile, Max ran over to Jonathan.

“Are you hurt?” he asked.

“Nah…” Jonathan responded. “That pipe’s seen better days, though. That didn’t take long. You only took seconds.”

“Seconds?” Max asked, surprisingly. “It felt like we were in there hours.”

Just then, a pair of police cars arrived on the scene. Sheriff Hanson stepped out of one and walked over to the group.

“Good lord!” he exclaimed. “What happened here?”

“Arson!” Valenti told him, as he stepped forward. “I barely got these kids out in time.”

Hanson looked him over.

“Don’t mind me saying, Jim, but you look like hell!” he said. “Can you come down to the station and give a statement?”

Valenti paused for a moment. Until…

Go, John’s voice called in his head. I will protect them for you. Meet us back at the Crashdown.

Valenti looked over his shoulder towards John Jones. Uneasily, he nodded, and followed Hanson towards the vehicles.

At the same time, the others walked past them, towards the Crashdown café.

“Michael?” Max asked under his breath. “You’re not going to believe me, but I saw our pasts while I was healing Clark. I saw myself die!”

Michael looked at him wide-eyed.

“Max, that’s…”

“Shh…quiet!” he warned his friend. “That’s not all. Tess killed me. She’s the one who betrayed us, not Isabel!”

Michael clenched his fist in anger.

“And we fell for it!” he muttered. “So, what do we do now?”

“Simple…”

The two of them turn around towards Clark, who was leaning on Chloe for support. Slowly, he let her go, standing up under his own power.

“…we stop them!”


To Be Continued.
------------------------------------------------------
Next: Liz uncovers the secrets of the meteor rocks. Clark tells his dad about what he learned from the Eradicator. John Jones reveals his true form. Meanwhile, Kyle must make a dangerous choice that can save them all…but will the price be higher than he’s willing to make?

-Peter
posted on 8-Jan-2003 2:42:53 AM
Trust me, the next two chapters are going to be so Kyle-centric that you'd think the show was called 'The adventures of Kyle Valenti'.;)

As much as I hated to leave him out of this chapter, I wanted it to focus mainly on Clark. Max and Liz were along for the ride to give an outsider's view of what was happening, more or less.

-Peter
posted on 8-Jan-2003 12:53:41 PM
quote:
conachar originally wrote:
Loved this, looks like your creating the Justice League.

For a while I thought Tess would turn out to be Star Sapphire, but you knocked that on the head.

Conachar

P.S. Are any of the other fics on your site going to be updated soon.


(look in amazement that someone actually knows who Star Sapphire is)

Well, aparently my Kyle plot-twist isn't going to be as much of a surprise as I originally though. Just don't let people not as informed in on it. I want them to be surprised.*happy*

As for the JLA, I have a sequal planned that will include them. A much different one from the comics, though. What does that mean? Ah ah, now that would be telling.;)

-Peter
posted on 3-Feb-2003 12:18:53 AM
Ok, here we go...what everyone's been waiting for:
------------------------------------------------
PART 8:
POWER

Strange Visitors
Part 8:

Power

“Ok!” Kyle said to the creature in front of him. “So what are you?”

He reminded Kyle of one of those Oompa Loompas on ‘Willy Wonka And The Chocolate Factory’. Only blue. Like a Smurf.

“I have already told you, Kyle Valenti!” he reminded him. “I am a Guardian!”

“Yeah, yeah, I heard you!” Kyle sighed. “I thought that was your name. So, Mr. Guardian…”

Before Kyle can continue, however, the Guardian turns around and walks in the opposite direction.

“Follow me!” he ordered.

Reluctantly, Kyle followed.

“Listen, Poppa Smurf,” Kyle said to him. “There’s something you have to know about me. You’re not the first alien I’ve met!”

“I know!” the Guardian said calmly.

“No you don’t!” Kyle argued.

“There is very little I do not know, Kyle Valenti!” he explained. “Your friendship with king Zan, also known as Max Evans.”

“Friendship?” Kyle asked. “Hardly. Don’t get me wrong, the guy’s alright!”

“That is irrelevant!” the little guy informed him. “Right now, they are in grave danger.”

“So what else is new?” Kyle sighed. “And here I am, stuck underground in some tunnel that will more than likely collapse at any moment, talking to a Smurf dressed in primary colours!”

The guardian stopped, turned around, and looked at Kyle strangely. He raised an eyebrow in confusion.

“I do not know what a ‘Smurf’ is…” he admitted. “But I believe you are insulting me, Kyle Valenti!”

“First of all, no!” Kyle explained. “I’m not insulting you…I’m using levity. See, here on Earth, it’s something we do so we don’t freak out when faced with something we don’t understand.”

“Ah, I see!” the Guardian remarked.

“And secondly…” Kyle continued. “Can you stop with the ‘Kyle Valenti’ nonsense? It’s just ‘Kyle’, ok?”

“Do you realize I am a higher being?” he asked. “Names are irrelevant to one such as I?”

Kyle didn’t respond. He just crossed his arms in protest.

“Why must you Earthlings put such value in names?” he sighed. “My brothers call me Ganthet. You may do so as well.”

Kyle’s eyes went wide.

“Your brothers?” he asked in surprise. “You mean there’s more of you?”

“Several!” Ganthet replied. “We are the Guardians of the Universe. It is our task to maintain order in the cosmos. Up until now, K’Var’s war with your…associate…was kept private. Only now his actions might threaten this still-young planet. This world is nowhere near ready enough to accept the existence of other races.”

“Yeah, tell me about it!” Kyle agreed, shaking his head. “So what are we waiting for? Get up there and kick Kiv’s butt back to Antar.”

Ganthet shook his head. Kyle looked at him, slightly angry.

“And why the hell not?” he asked. “You just told me you were a ‘higher being’. Don’t tell me that you don’t have the power to…”

“If I were to confront him directly, my power could obliterate this entire planet!” he told Kyle with a stern voice. “For that reason, I cannot act. I can, however, send one of my agents to fight for me.”

“Your agents?” Kyle muttered. “Abin, you mean? Hate to break this to you, buddy, but he’s…”

“Dead!” Ganthet sighed sadly. “I know. Abin Sur is dead. He was one of our best. Fortunately, he has a successor.”

Kyle raised his eyebrows.

“Yeah?” he asked. “Who?”

Ganthet simply looked at him. Immediately, Kyle knew the answer.

“Me?” he asked in surprise. “No…you got the wrong guy!”

“He gave you his ring, did he not?” the diminutive alien asked.

Kyle looked at the ring on his finger, then at the Guardian. On his clothes was a symbol.

The exact same symbol that was on the ring.


*****


Night, at the Valenti house.

Clark Kent stood in the back yard, staring upwards at the stars. A million thoughts went through his head. The part that scared him the most, though, was that many of those thoughts weren’t his own. They seemed so strange…so alien…

Lost in thought, he didn’t hear Jonathan walk up behind him. Not until his father spoke to him.

“So?” Jonathan asked. “You going to tell me just what happened in there?”

Clark turned to face him.

“I found out the truth!” he sighed. “Everything! And you know what? I wish I hadn’t!”

“Maybe talking about it would help?” Jonathan suggested. “Clark…?”

Clark laughed. Not a pleasant one…but a laugh that revealed the pain he was going through.

“Ok, here goes…” he began. “My name is Kal-El. I come…from a planet called Krypton. A planet that exploded the second my ship launched. I was the only survivor, dad! There’s no one else. I’m an endangered species…the last!”

Jonathan could only stand there, horrified by what he had learned.

“Oh my god…!”

In anger, Clark punched his fist into his open palm. The resulting noise sounded like thunder.

“I’m the last…” he whispered. “Billions of people are dead, yet I’m alive. Why? Why, of all the people on Krypton did I have to be the one to survive?”

“I really don’t know, son,” Jonathan said finally. “I can’t help but feel a little selfish, you know? Billions of people died so that I could have a son. Can I at least know the name of the man who I owe so much to?”

Clark managed to force a smile.

“Jor-El!” he informed him. “He was the scientist. He tried to…to warn everyone, but nobody believed him. They might have been able to save themselves. But they wouldn’t even try.”

Jonathan put his hand on his son’s shoulder.

“Listen Clark…” he said. “I’m not a scientist like this ‘Jor-El’, I’m not as astronomer. I’m not a philosopher and I’m not a solider or anything like that. I’m a farmer. I don’t know anything about aliens or other planets, or fighting wars or any of this. Sometimes I even have a hard time believing what you are, even though I’ve known longer than you have. But there is one thing I do know…”

Clark looked at him.

“…and that is, no matter who you are or where you come from, you are here for a reason!” he told him. “You said it yourself…a billion people died so that you could live. If you ever had to believe in a higher power…this is it.”

Clark hugs him.

“Thanks dad!” he said.

Jonathan smiled.

“I think we should get inside now…” he suggested. “Everybody’s waiting!”


*****


Inside the Valenti house, the entire group is gathered around the kitchen table. Liz stood up in front, addressing everyone.

“Ok, I’ve been studying this meteor rock, and I think I’ve got an understanding of what exactly it is!” she explained. “This rock is actually some sort of new element I’ve never seen before. It’s not even on the periodic table. The glow is caused by traces of low-level radiation.”

“Hey, hold up!” Maria interrupted. “It’s radioactive? Are you sure you shouldn’t have some sort of suit when you’re studying it?”

“It’s low-level, Maria!” Liz informed her. “The radiation output is so small that you can handle it without being the least bit infected. Only prolonged exposure would have any real effect. Like, say, a year.”

“Then why’d it almost kill Clark?” Michael asked.

“Probably because of how his body works,” Liz explained. “From what we’ve learned from the Eradicator, Clark’s people were able to gain nutrition from sunlight. That’s why Clark has his powers…Earth’s sun is a lot more powerful than Krypton’s, so here his body’s like a living solar battery. The radiation from the meteor rocks is so similar to sunlight that he soaks it up like a sponge. The only difference is that it’s poisonous!”

“No kidding!” Martha commented.

“Jor-El, Clark’s biological father…” Liz continued. “He mentioned something called ‘the green death’ had infected their planet. I’m guessing this element had something to do with it.”

Clark’s eyes went wide.

“You mean in came from Krypton?” he asked.

“More than likely it IS Krypton!” she informed him. “A piece of it, anyways. When the planet exploded, it created debris of its crust.”

“Ok, so this ‘Krypton’ stuff…” Michael started to say.

“Kryptonite!” Liz replied, cutting him off. “Krypton is already an element on the periodic table, so…”

“Yeah, whatever science girl!” Michael complained.

“It makes sense, really!” Chloe added. “The mutations it’s been causing in Smallville are probably because of people getting infected by the radiation.”

“Probably!” Liz agreed. “Most likely a combination with other outside forces.”

“Exactly!” she replied. “Radiation hits bug, makes Bugboy. Radiation hits ice, makes Iceboy!”

Clark looks over at her and smiles.

“Well, at least we have a name for the stuff now,” he said. “Kryptonite! Is there any way to get rid of it?”

Liz nodded.

“If you expose it to extreme temperatures, it reverts to something resembling jade!” she explained.

Liz opened the lead box and pulled out the rock. It had lost its glow.

She tossed it towards Clark, who caught it.

“Nothing!” he remarked.

He then clenched his fist, shattering the once-lethal element into a dozen shards.

“You know, we could probably do the same to every piece in Smallville given enough time!” he suggested.

“Good luck!” Chloe commented. “There’s so much of it, and you can’t even get close without kneeling over.”

Max suddenly stood up, and walked to where Liz was.

“We’ve got an even bigger problem now!” he informed them. “When we were connecting to the Eradicator, we found out that Jor-El knew us in our past lives. He was there when we died…when we were betrayed by Tess!”

Valenti went wide-eyed.

“Tess?!” he asked. “I thought it was Isabel!”

“So did the rest of us!” Max reminded him. “We shouldn’t have taken everything we were told at face value.”

“So…what now Maxwell?” Michael asked him.

“Now?” Detective John Jones announced. “Now K’Var is getting ever closer to his goal. To Kyle…and the most powerful weapon in the universe.”

“We don’t even know if Kyle’s still alive!” Max reminded him.

“He is!” John said. “I have been tracking him. He is alive…for the moment. But we must get to him soon.”

“Even if we do get there, K’Var’s not gonna just let us take this ‘ultimate weapon’!” Michael suggested. “We get it, we run!”

“What do you think he’ll do if we run, Michael?” Liz asked. “He’ll do just what the skins did last time…attack Roswell. Our parents are here! They could get killed!”

“Then what are we supposed to do?” he asked angrily.

“We can fight!”

All eyes in the room went over to Clark, who had said it.

“Excuse me?” Michael asked.

“You heard me!” Clark said, getting to his feet. “We fight this guy. I’ve seen you all…you have the power.”

“He has the special unit, skins, and god knows what else!” Michael reminded him. “An open battle…that’s suicide!”

Clark looked to the side, straight at Chloe.

“Maybe…” he said. “Then again, maybe not! If K’Var wins…well, you heard what John said. He would destroy this entire planet. Our planet. I’m not about to let that happen.”

“Just who do you think you are?” Michael asked.

“I’m the last survivor of a dead world, that’s what!” Clark snapped. “Billions of people died, but I survived…there has to be a reason!”

Michael was taken aback. For once, he was speechless.

“Maybe…” Clark continued. “Just maybe…what I’m here for is this. Stopping K’Var. With or without you…I’m going to try!”

He turned to the others.

“Who’s with me?”

He’s greeted with silence for a moment. Until…

“I am!” Liz said, stepping forward.

Max grabbed her hand.

“So am I!” he said.

John Jones smiled, getting up from his chair.

“As am I!” he added.

The four of them turned towards Michael.

“Whatever!” he sighed. “We all gotta go sometime, right?”

Clark smiled.

“All right then…” Clark announced. “We’ve got a world to save!”

Chloe stood up, walking towards them.

“Great, let’s…”

Clark shook his head.

“You’re staying here, Chloe!” he told here.

Chloe stood there, open-mouthed.

“But…”

“You don’t have any powers!” he reminded her. “You have a much better chance of being killed than I do. If anything happened to you…”

She moved up closer to him.

“What you almost said before, remember?” she asked. “Well, if you…if you don’t come back, I just want you to know something: I do, too!”

Clark looked at her, slowly realizing what she was saying.

“Goodbye!” she whispered, and turned away.

Without warning, Clark grabbed her shoulder and spun her around.

Then he kissed her.

After a moment, they broke apart. Chloe looked at him, not knowing what to say.

However, he did.

“I will come back!” he told her. “I promise!”

With that, the five of them turn and leave.


*****


“ME?!” Kyle asked, disbelievingly. “Believe me, you’ve got the wrong guy here! I’m…I’m a mechanic!”

“That matters not now, Kyle!” Ganthet told him. “The second that you placed that ring on your finger, it bonded itself to your DNA. It will only work for you!”

“Work?” he asked. “Hate to say this, but I think it broke in the crash. The only thing it can do is that boomerang trick!”

“It is out of power!” Ganthet informed him. “I simply need to recharge it for you.”

“Are you deaf, you blue midget…I said no!” Kyle spat. “I don’t want this stupid ring! I don’t want to be your ‘agent’…I just want to get out of here and help my friends!”

Ganthet doesn’t say anything. He just stood there and crossed his arms.

“Why me?” Kyle sighed. “Out of all the people on the planet, why me?”

“Why not you, Kyle?” he asked. “You have experience with extra-terrestrial life. You are honest…fearless…all the qualities that you require to be a…”

“Hold on a second?” he interrupted him. “Fearless? You think I’m not afraid?”

“Of course not!” Ganthet answered him. “All sentient beings are afraid of something. It is how the universe keeps order. However, there are a select few who transcend it. Who face their fear and triumph over it. Kyle…you have spent countless times battling for the fate of your very planet, without the benefit of the powers that your friends possess. The ring does not lie…you are perhaps the bravest person on the entire planet.”

Kyle looked at him, slightly amazed.

“You think so?” he asked.

Ganthet nodded.

“I am incapable of flattery, Kyle!” he replied with a smile. “Abin Sur’s ship was meant to bring him to the one person on Earth who most qualifies.”

“I…I’m sorry…” Kyle responded. “I can’t do this…there has to be somebody else who could…”

“The ring chose you, Kyle!” Ganthet reminded him.

“But…”

“The ring chose you!”


*****


Back at the Valenti house, Maria and Chloe sat at the table alone. Valenti had brought the Kents to his old stationhouse, hoping that Hanson would want their statements about what happened at the UFO centre.

“You get used to it, you know?” Maria told her companion. “Getting left behind while the others go save the world. I liked it better when Liz was here personally. Now…now she’s one of them.”

Chloe hardly heard a word she said. She was busy thinking.

Was it even possible to free Lex from K’Var’s control? What if he had to…kill him? Clark wouldn’t do that, would he?

God, he was a good kisser.

Chloe mentally scolded herself. There were more important things to worry about right now than Mr. Kent prowess with kissing. Think about Lex…how do you save Lex?

“K’Var’s probably got tons of resources…who knows what he’s done!” she said out loud.

“Yeah, lucky alien!” Maria complained. “Probably plans to ruling the world from one of Lex’s expensive beach houses…”

Upon hearing Maria’s words, Chloe felt like a light bulb went off in her head.

“Oh…my…god!” she exclaimed, grinning ear-to-ear. “Maria…please tell me you have a car!”

“My mom’s Jetta!” she explained. “Why?”

Chloe grabbed her by the arm and pulled her towards the door.

“I’ll explain on the way…!” she said, as they exited.


*****


At that very same moment, the group walked towards the desert. Max, Liz, Michael, John, and Clark walked in V-formation, with Clark in front of the group.

As they came to an opening, they saw several people gathering in front of them. They were dressed in black, and carrying guns.

It was the special unit.

“Aw crap!” Michael groaned. “There goes that plan…”

But before he could say anything else, Clark was off like a flash. A blur of red and blue was all they could see, as all five special unit operatives suddenly found their weapons taken away from them.

Clark stopped again in front of the other four, a pile of guns in his hands.

“We don’t have time for this!” he said, dropping them to the ground.

Then he slowly walked towards the now-unarmed government agents. They looked almost scared.

“Where’s Pierce?” Max asked from behind.

“They don’t know!” John answered, his eyes glowing red again. “They’ve been looking for him!”

Clark looked the leader of the group right in the eyes.

“I’ll tell you where he is!” he said. “He’s somewhere in this desert about to hand the most powerful weapon in the entire universe over to the most dangerous alien you could imagine!”

They just stare at him, not moving a muscle.

“That’s what your job is, isn’t it?” Clark asked them. “Protect people from dangerous aliens…that’s your whole mission statement isn’t it? Well, I’ve got news for you…we’re not dangerous. Yes, we have powers…but we’ve never used them to hurt an innocent person in our lives. This guy your boss is working for…he’d kill all of you without a second thought. Your families…your children…he doesn’t care. You’re all beneath him!”

“What is he doing?” Michael whispered. “Let’s just get out of here before more arrive!”

“Let him talk!” Max ordered.

“You can’t hurt me!” Clark explained to the agents. “Bullets bounce off my skin…I virtually can’t be killed. Know this…I could kill as easy as I disarmed you. But I won’t…because I’m on the same side you are. I want to protect people…just like my friends here do. We’re going to march over to that desert, and we’re going to fight. For you…for everybody! We could die! So go ahead…get more weapons and try to kill us. Just think about it…what are you fighting for anyway?”

With that, Clark circled around them and continued walking into the desert. Max, Liz, Michael, and John quickly followed him.

Once they were out of sight, one of the agents turned to the leader.

“So…what now?”

“Simple,” he replied. “Call for backup. We’ll need all we can get! Let’s finish this!”


*****


“Ok, where are we going?” Maria asked as they raced down to highway. “You’re not seriously going to try and pick a fight with K’Var, are you? You saw what he did to your boyfriend!”

“He’s not my boyfriend, for one thing!” Chloe sighed. “For another, the Luthors have a cabin out here in Roswell. It’s for when Lionel needs to dodge hungry reporters.”

“So?” Maria asked.

“Where else would K’Var go here to hide out?” she asked. “If you’re gonna possess a Luthor, you take advantage of it.”

“Yeah, ok…makes sense…” Maria agreed. “What happens if he’s here?”

“He won’t be, trust me!” she explained. “There might be a few guards, but…”

“Armed guards?!” Maria asked, cutting her off.

Chloe sighed.

“I can handle it!” she reassured her.


*****


Cautiously, Chloe and Maria entered the cabin. K’Var was nowhere in sight. Neither was Pierce or anybody else.

“What’d I tell you?” Chloe whispered, proud of herself. “You stay here and keep watch. If anyone shows up, holler!”

Maria nodded, as Chloe walked up the stairs.

Once she was gone, Maria looked around at her surroundings. It certainly didn’t look like some evil alien warlord’s secret headquarters. It looked…classy almost. Sure, it could use a few curtains here and there…

There was a sudden rumbling from outside. Almost like, well…like an engine.

Suddenly, Maria panicked. How could she have been so stupid? They had parked the Jetta in plain sight. Another car pulled up right next to it, letting a man step out. He looked at the Jetta suspiciously, then stormed towards the front door.

“Oh god!” she whispered. “Oh god…CHLOE!”

Quickly, Maria locked the front door and ran into the kitchen. She hoped in vain that the guy was human.

The sudden crash of wood shattering told her that her hopes were in vain. In a few moments, the man entered the kitchen...his cold eyes focusing on her.

Acting solely on instinct, Maria grabbed the plates off of a nearby shelf and flung them at her attacker. They shattered against him, having absolutely no effect. It was those terminator movies…where the killer just kept coming and coming.

Finally, he reached her. Clasping one hand around her neck, preparing to squeeze…

When, suddenly, a hum of energy filled the air. Maria’s assailant let her go, and evaporated into dust.

She gasped for air, then noticed her saviour stood where he once was…Isabel Evans!

“Maria?” Isabel asked. “Are you ok?”

Maria ran up and hugged her excitedly.

“Never thought I’d be so glad to see you!” she said with a laugh.

“Hey, look who I found!” Chloe mentioned as she appeared from behind Isabel. “Tied to a chair…a bit melodramatic, don’t you think?”

Isabel looked at Chloe, then back at Maria.

“Who is she?” she asked. “How does she know about us?”

“She’s Chloe…she’s a friend of Clark’s!” Maria explained.

“Clark?” Isabel asked, raising an eyebrow in the air.

Maria sighed.

“Long story!” she muttered. “We gotta get over to the pod chamber. That’s where your idiot brother, my idiot ex, and my slightly insane best friend are headed right now. They’re going to fight K’Var!”

Isabel’s eyes went wide.

“That’s not good!” she replied. “He has Skins with him!”

“Yeah, we know!” Chloe told her. “We saw them. Five or six, right?”

Isabel turned towards her and shook her head.

“Or a little more?” Chloe asked.

“Try a LOT more!” she informed her, her voice trembling.


*****


Back in the desert, near the crater that was once the pod chamber, the four aliens and one enhanced human circled around the giant hole.

“How deep does it go?” Max asked.

“Not sure!” Liz replied. “It’s slanting downwards, like a slide. If Kyle went down there, he should be all right. As long as nobody else found him.”

“He is alive!” John told them. “I can sense it. He also has the weapon.”

“Wonderful!” a voice called from behind them. “I was beginning to think this would be difficult!”

The five of them spun around. Approaching them were K’Var, Tess, Pierce, and Nikolas. With others.

Several hundred others!

“This is not good, Maxwell!” Michael told his friend. “They’re probably all skins, too!”

“Oh, they are, Rath!” K’Var informed him. “But don’t worry, I have no intention of killing you. It’d be redundant!”

“Don’t you have any new material?” Michael spat.

“Ah yes, reminding me of that unfortunate encounter isn’t helping your case, you know that?” he laughed. “Even so, just let me pass and I’ll spare your lives. I won’t even kill that human friend that has my ring!”

“It was NEVER yours!” John told him. “Do you honestly expect them to let you keep it?”

K’Var smirked, then looked at Pierce.

“Who is that?” he asked.

“Some cop named John Jones!” Pierce informed him. “He can control other people’s minds somehow.”

“Well, he’ll find that our minds are not so easy to control!” he concluded, and turned back towards the five adversaries.

“All this is for some ring?” Liz asked. “This is your ‘ultimate weapon’?”

“Yeah… ‘Liz’, right?” he asked. “Why not. Your popular culture seems to support the idea that one ring can contain ultimate power, does it not?”

“Well, you’re going to have to get through us first!” Clark exclaimed, moving towards the front. “The people of Earth won’t become your slaves…not while I’m here!”

“And who are you to say that, human?” he replied with a smirk.

“My name is Kal-El!” he announced. “My father was Jor-El, of the planet Krypton!”

Upon hearing that, both K’Var and Tess looked at him wide-eyed.

“Impossible!” K’Var whispered. “You all died!”

“Not all of them, apparently!” Max said.

“A Kryptonian on Earth?” he said in astonishment. “Well, that would certainly explain your strength. Still, Max…you don’t truly think this one living weapon will protect you from a hundred of my strongest warriors? Especially considering your fixation on these Earth creatures.”

“What’re you getting at?” Michael asked.

K’Var smiled evilly.

“Right this moment, a dozen more skins are in Roswell!” he told them. “They’ve set up another bomb. This time, though…it’s much different. I trust you humans have discovered atomic energy!”

Their faces all turned as white as ghosts. Even Pierce, though he didn’t say anything.

“You set a NUKE!!!” Michael yelled. “Are you insane?”

“We’re only a few miles away, you’ll die too!” Liz informed him.

“Not exactly, Ms. Parker!” he corrected her. “You see, we’ve refined that energy source a lot better than you have. I set the explosion personally so it would effect any area beyond that town, so we are quite safe. Your ‘families’, however, would be at ground zero!”

Michael thought of Maria. He was going to kill Maria.

“Max, we can’t let him…”

“I know, Michael!” Max agreed. “How do we know you won’t kill everyone once you get that weapon anyways?”

“You don’t!” he answered. “As the man says, some chance is better than no chance!”

Max and his friends stood there, not knowing what to do.

“You’re running out of time, Max!” he informed them all. “Choose! Now!”


*****


“They are here!” Ganthet told his companion as they entered a clearing.

Kyle looked around, a little confused.

“They are?” he asked. “Where?”

Ganthet pointed upwards.

“How do you know that?” Kyle asked.

“Kyle, there is nothing…”

“Yeah, yeah…I know…” he sighed. “There is nothing in the universe that you do not know!”

“Do you wish to see them?” the alien asked.

Kyle raised his eyebrows.

“You can do that?” he asked. “Yeah, sure…lets see them.”

Within a fraction of a second, the Guardian evaporated in a cloud of smoke. He reappeared standing on a stump of rock, and pointed to the cave wall. A green shimmer formed there, and a moving image began to appear. Like some invisible television.

Kyle saw and heard everything. He watched as K’Var appeared, backed up by his virtual army.

“Tess is here?” he asked. “K’Var’s possessed Lex Luthor? Gotta hand it, that’s one alien that has class.”

Then he heard the rest.

“He’s gonna NUKE Roswell?!” he asked, completely freaking out. “No…no, you gotta help them. My dad’s still there!”

“I can not!” he said. “It is against…”

Kyle didn’t let him finish. He flung himself at Ganthet, grabbing him by the collar, and pushed him up against the wall.

“Don’t give me that, you diminutive little jerk!” Kyle spat in anger. “You can make a TV appear out of nowhere, but you can’t make a nuclear bomb not explode?”

“My people made a pact long ago NOT to interfere, Kyle!” he said.

Kyle let him go. He didn’t know why. Just that there was a look of what seemed like regret in the blue alien’s eyes.

Once again, Ganthet vanished. He reappeared back on his former perch.

“I know what you’re asking me to do…” Kyle sighed. “But…I can’t do it. I’m no her. I’m just a kid that hangs around heroes. I’m Max Evans’ sidekick! A loser.”

“Only to your limited perspective Kyle!” he explained. “I have seen your life. You’ve always wished to be more. So much more. This is your opportunity!”

“If I agree, do I get powers or something?” he asked. “Powers like Max does?”

“More!” Ganthet stated.

Kyle pondered the situation. He’s always been scared of Max somehow. Because of the things he could do…the miracles he could perform. Now, here was this alien, offering him the chance to be more powerful than Max. But at what price.

“But I’ll have to do what you tell me, huh?” he asked. “Your ‘agent’!”

“An agent is not a slave, Kyle!” Ganthet explained. “Understand this…the power I offer comes with the greatest responsibility imaginable. You will posses that…”

“…until the day I die!” he muttered. “I just don’t know!”

“I suggest you decide quickly then!” he told him. “You might be your friends only hope!”

Kyle turned and continued to watch the screen.


*****


Back above…

K’Var stood there, confidant, until he heard a noise coming from the side.

“What is…?” he began to say.

He was quickly cut off by a speeding Jetta hitting him!

The others backed away as their leader rolled over top the roof and fell down on the sandy ground.

The Jetta stopped, letting Chloe, Maria, and Isabel climb up.

“Whoops!” Chloe said sarcastically. “Whatever did I hit?”

The three girls ran up to the others. Maria to Michael, Chloe to Clark, and Isabel to Max.

“Are you all right?” Max asked his older sister. “Did he hurt you?”

“I’m find, Max!” she reassured him. “What’s going on.”

“Kyle found this weapon!” her brother explained. “He’s somewhere underground. K’Var wants it, and is going to make a nuclear bomb explode inside of Roswell if he doesn’t get it!”

“Not much chance of that now, huh?” Michael asked, looking at the body on the ground.

Clark just looked at Chloe disbelievingly. He couldn’t believe what she just did.

“Chloe…” he whispered. “You just…you just killed Lex!”

She shook her head.

“Not likely!” she disagreed.

They all turned to see K’Var slowly rise to his feet.

“You see that, Clark?” she asked. “If K’Var gave Lex’s body those powers to protect him, he obviously did something else to stop physical assault too.”

“That…hurt!” K’Var said, gritting his teeth in anger. “That ACTUALLY HURT!!!”

He pulled a gun out of his jacket and fired at Chloe. His shot didn’t reach her, because Clark caught the bullet in mid-air.

Isabel could only stare in amazement.

“Max, did he just…?” she whispered.

Max nodded.

“I’ll explain latter!” he replied.

“Nicholas?” he said, calming down and turning to his aide. “Tear her mind apart!”

Suddenly, they heard a ringing sound. K’Var sighed, and pulled a phone out of his other pocket.

Michael had to force himself not to laugh. The fact that he’d bring a cell phone was just too priceless.

“What is it?” he yelled into the phone.

“Sir?” someone said from the other line.

It was another skin, having arrived at the cabin.

“What is it?” he asked. “If it’s to tell me that Ms. Evans got away…too late.”

“Actually, sir, I wanted to ask if Nikolas was with you right now?” the skin inquired.

K’Var looked down at his aide.

“Of course!” he replied. “Why?”

“Then who’s the one I just found?” the skin asked him. “Tied up in the trunk of your car?”

Upon hearing this, K’Var’s eyes stared blankly ahead. He hung up the phone, and turned to Nikolas, who said too simple words…

“Got ya!”

K’Var approached him angrily.

“Who are you!” he demanded. “How long have you been posing as Nikolas?”

“Since you kidnapped Isabel!” the child-man revealed. “You have to understand, I couldn’t risk you harming one of the royal four. It’s against my nature.”

“You miserable…!”

K’Var lunged forward, towards him. However, he was quickly blinded by a brilliant light that escaped from his hand.

When it faded, Nikolas was gone…and Cal Langley stood in his place.

“Langley?” Max asked in amazement.

“No way!” Clark whispered, grinning ear to ear. “Cal Langley’s an alien? I’ve seen all his movies!”

Langley rushed over to their side, facing K’Var, who looked at him angrily.

“Don’t be getting any ideas, Max!” Langley said. “I still hate you. I just owed an old friend a favour. Speaking of which, John…you ready to join the party?”

John smiles.

“Indeed!”

John Jones’ eyes went completely blank, his pupils vanishing from sight, and became blood red. His coat grew almost magically, becoming blue like Clark’s shirt.

His skin once again shifted and moulded like putty. Every trace of hair, including his eyebrows, vanished from his body. His brow furrowed, moving forward like a Neanderthal’s. His clothing shifted into a blue/red combination resembling something from Flash Gordon. A red x-shaped harness appeared over his chest, fashioning what was once his jacket to his back like a cape.

He grew taller, his body filling out more. Muscles and bone expanded, giving him an image even more imposing than Clark’s. Finally, his skin became olive green.

Maria’s jaw dropped as she witnessed the amazing transformation.

“Ok…” she managed to say. “Now HE is what an alien is supposed to look like!”

Langley gave a smirk.

“You’re such a drama queen, you know that John?”

The creature didn’t answer. He just focused his blood-red eyes straight towards K’Var.

“John Jones, huh?” K’Var asked.

“My name, dictator…” he informed him, his voice becoming deep and eerie. “…is J’Onn J’Onz! This world is my home, and by bringing your forces here you have violated every inter-planetary law in existence!”

He pointed his index finger at K’Var, levitating into the air by an unseen force.

“Leave here at once, or be removed!” he ordered.

As if answering, Pierce pulled out his weapon and fired at J’Onn. His body became ghost-like, letting bullet simply pass through it! He looked down at Pierce, his eyes starting to glow.

Twin beams of red energy shot out of them, hitting the gun and knocking it out of his hands.

Behind him, near the crater, the seven others felt a single word appear in their heads.

‘NOW’

Max, Michael, Clark, Isabel, and Langley charged forward. Max put up his force field to keep the skins back. Langley, Michael and Isabel used force-blasts to throw K’Var and Tess off their feet. Clark, meanwhile, picked Pierce off the ground and threw him into Max’s shield, knocking him out.

“Don’t do that again, please!” Max gasped at him, beads of sweat dripping off his forehead. “This thing isn’t easy to maintain!”

“Then don’t!” J’Onn told him, as he landed on the other side of the shield.

He looked at the first three skins, who suddenly grasped their heads in pain. Then he struck the ground, causing a shockwave that knocked them off their feet.

Meanwhile, Liz led Maria and Chloe back towards the Jetta. She forced them inside and locked the door.

“Stay in here!” she ordered. “You’ll be safer!”

With that, she melted the door locks, welding them shut.

“Oh, my mom’s gonna freak when she sees this!” Maria groaned.

“Maria, shut up!” Chloe told her. “If the guys don’t win this, there won’t be a ‘mom’ to complain in the first place!”

Max still attempted to hold the field in place, but was suddenly thrown backwards by a force blast from K’Var, who had now climbed to his feet. With his concentration broken, Max’s shield disappeared.

“ENOUGH!” K’Var hollered.

Upon hearing them, the skins froze. The creature that was once John Jones faced him.

“You blew your cover…Martian!” K’Var stated. “I’ll admit, it took me awhile to discover what you are. But now that I do…”

He grinned, moving his hand towards the ground. In seconds, the area near J’Onn caught fire.

“NOOOOOO!!!!!” the green-skinned alien yelled out in horror.

“Fire hurts you, doesn’t it?” he asked, smiling. “You’re afraid of it. Pathologically afraid!”

“John, get out of there!” Clark pleaded.

But it was too late. His eyes were being drawn into the dancing flames as they crept towards him. He screamed in horror and in pain…a loud, inhuman scream. His body started to flow once more. However, this time, it wasn’t like putty.

It was like liquid.

Slowly, he melted, screaming the entire time. Until there was nothing left but a green puddle on the ground.

“Oh my god...” Isabel whispered, covering her mouth in shock.

The others had the same expression in their eyes that she did. Each one wondering if they would be next.


*****


Down below, Kyle was watching the entire display on the screen. He saw how hopeless it all seemed, unless someone did something.

It looked like, despite his reservations, that someone had to be him.

“Ok!” he said, turning to Ganthet. “What do I have to do?”

“The ring’s power is finite…and currently exhausted,” he claimed. “It must be recharged.”

“Then where do I plug it in?” Kyle demanded, beginning to get impatient. “Come on, Yoda…I’m running out of time here.”

First you must give me your word!” Ganthet explained. “Your word that you will put yourself at the disposal of me and my brothers. That you will serve us…until your dying day. Do you swear to serve the Guardians Of The Universe until your dying day? To fight what is considered unjust, and corrupt, and evil? Do you promise to never use your power for personal gain? And to protect all life, no matter how small?””

Kyle froze. Could he really dot that…was it really worth that sacrifice?

His friends were about to die…damn right it was worth it!

“I promise,” he replied.

“Then, it is done,” Ganthet said, as he evaporated in a cloud of smoke.

This time, however, he didn’t reappear. Instead, something else took his place.

It was an object, made out of the same emerald metal that his ring was. It was shaped like the symbol on the ring, and on Ganthet’s clothes.

A lantern.


*****


Up above, K’Var’s forces faced off against Clark and the others. Liz grabbed Max’s hand, preparing for the worst.

“Tess?” K’Var said. “Tell the men in Roswell to active the bomb!”

The blonde girl nodded.

“What about them?” she asked, giving Liz an evil look.

K’Var grinned ear-to-ear.

“Kill them!”


*****

And down below…

“What do I do?” Kyle asked out loud. “Come on…”

Then it hit him

Ganthet had said that the ring needed to be recharged. This thing must be some sort of…battery?

So…he just needed to find out where to plug it in.

“The least that helpless little Smurf could have done is give me some instructions…” he complained, reaching towards it.

As he did, he felt his finger being pulled towards the centre of the lantern. Sort of like a magnet. Startled, he yanked his hand away.

“Woah!” he explained, testing it again. The result was the exact same.

“Ok…” Kyle muttered, standing to his feet. He grabbed the lantern by the handle with his other and, and lifted it up off the stump.

Slowly, he moved the ring towards the opening.

“Why do I get the feeling…?” he asked himself. “That my life has just gotten…a lot more…complicated?!”

Suddenly, the ring was drawn to it, frozen against the centre. Green energy poured out of both sides, illuminating the room with a glow as bright as a star.

“Ahhh!” Kyle exclaimed, trying to pull away unsuccessfully. The force was too strong.

However, something began to happen. He felt this surge of energy enter him…energy that he had never felt before. He somehow knew that this energy was coming from the lantern…from the ring…

Then he heard Ganthet’s voice inside his head.

‘Repeat after me, Kyle!’

“Eh…agh…” he stuttered, still slightly freaked out over what was happening.

‘In brightest day…’

“I-in brightest day…!” he repeated.

‘In blackest night!’

“In blackest night!”

Suddenly, Ganthet’s voice disappeared. Kyle felt new information enter his mind. He realize just what it was that he was being exposed to. Finally, he understood the importance of what he had to do.

More importantly, he knew the words himself. As if he had said them hundreds of times! He gripped the handle with renewed vigour, a newfound confidence in his eyes, and a smile on his face.

“No evil shall escape my sight!”

The cave started to shake as the green energy filled it. Without Ganthet around, the view screen began to fade away, the last thing it showed being K’Var advancing towards Clark.

“Let those who worship evil’s might!”

Finally, the lantern released him. It faded away into nothingness.

The glow from it, however, remained. Only now it came from Kyle’s ring…shining brighter than a star.

“Beware my power…GREEN LANTERN’S LIGHT!!!


*****


Without warning, the ground began to shake. Inside the car, Maria turned towards Chloe in panic.

“What’s happening?” she asked.

Chloe didn’t answer. Instead, both girls watched helplessly as the ground between the two forces opened up. A geyser of emerald energy exploded into the air, causing everyone there to pause and gaze at it in both awe and confusion.

“Kyle?” Liz asked aloud.

Langley shook his head.

“No!” he said. “Not anymore!”
--------------------------------------------------

To Be Continued…

Next: Green Lantern!

‘nuff said

-Peter