posted on 18-Jan-2003 11:55:58 AM by gothgirl
hey well here I am starting another story, Maybe I can actually finish this one*wink*. ummmm, anyways, plz read this and give fb. plz? anyways*big*

author:me I.e.- gothgirl, dri
couplings: M/L, CC
rating: I'm trying to keep it PG
disclaimer:don't own nuthin'
summary:centuries down the road from when Max saved Liz in the Crashdown Antar and its planets have formed an Alliance w/ earth. This story centers around Max and Liz's descendant whose name just happens to be Liz. In the beginning it's jus Liz and a little Maria, but the others are gradually introduced.

well, let me kno, plz!
The Tears of the Innocent

Part I: Deception

Chapter One A

The air of the place hung thickly as does an impending storm, and the place looked the same as any other lower-earth bar. In every corner of the dimly lit establishment shadows lurked, promising ready destruction for the unwary or unwise. No person there knew the name of any other, and everyone preferred it that way. On the right were scattered some tables, and to the left was a long bar with a few rickety stools pulled up in front.

As one particular shadow watched from one unusually dark corner many men, cutthroats and thieves, took turns trying out various methods of stealing each others wealth. Also interspersed among the rabble were women plying their trade of seduction, mostly to the same end. This shadow, unlike all the others, did not engage in the local activities, however, and no one dared disturb it. No, this shadow simply sat and waited. Even the most adventuresome did not approach it, for they all knew why it was there, and feared. Was it their turn to meet the Maker in whom they had never believed?

At nearly three in the morning a large party left and with it, the shadow. Immediately fear dissipated. Cowards among cowards, these men counted themselves as brave without the shadow to haunt their footsteps. As light filtered through the dingy squabble of lower-earth later that morning, a body was found not ten feet from the bar’s door. Somehow the “large party” had not missed their own leader until he had appeared dead. Tyràn Shielder, leader of one of the largest crime syndicates in all the planets, had had his throat slit without even his bodyguard’s knowledge. There would be hell to pay.

Upper-earth was beauty and perfection made reality, or at least that was what everyone said. Of course they also said that about the Antaran-Human Academy for Interspecies Children. Located in the largest city of upper-earth, Berlin, the AAIC or simply the Academy as some called it, was the most prestigious school on earth and the five Antaran Alliance Planets combined. Contrary to its name, however, all children, including those of pure human or antaran decent, were allowed admittance, though at exorbitant prices.

There, in the vast halls of the Academy, lived a certain Elizabeth Layra Evans. In a school filled with somebodies, the children of foreign ministers, senators, presidents, and such, Elizabeth or Liz as she preferred to be called was decidedly a nobody. She had no connections, personal influence, or claim to wealth and fame, but no one questioned her being there. No one knew who paid her tuition or even who her guardian was, and no one cared. She simply was, and that was how she liked it.

Today was a special day at the Academy. As a tribute to the old earth heritage the school board members had decided to celebrate Christmas, an old Christian holiday that few now practiced. That afternoon a large formal party would be thrown, and all the parents had been invited. Now, however, the great school was drained of nearly all of its inhabitants, and was allowing visitors to explore its magnificent splendor. As many a person walked the corridors, they marveled at the intricately carved furniture and delicate sculptures made by the most talented children in all of the planets. The spotless white rooms with mellow blues, greens, and purples promised to be the ideal environment for any aristocratic child. When the visitors reached the dormitory area they were greeted with the soft whistling of a reed flute playing an odd tune of the Celts of old earth. All of these people, of so many backgrounds and ranks, showed their high-minded naivete as they exclaimed at the beauty of the melody.

“How quaint!” “How charming!” they all cried.

“What a sweet, sensitive melody!” they all said, but they all missed the true soul of the song. They chose to not hear the lonely pleading for some unidentified feel missing in that great, majestic structure.

There, alone behind a closed door, in the smallest plainest room in the whole building, a young woman no older than eighteen sat cross-legged against the wall playing her instrument. Her long brown hair fell just below her shoulder blades, and her eyes were closed as she lost herself in the melody she wove. At a glance she was unremarkable, a pretty young woman in jeans and a long sleeved t-shirt, but to listen to her song was to know; there was more to this girl than her appearance. A soft knock brought her chocolate brown eyes open, flute down, and her petite frame to her feet to open the door for her roomate.

At 5'10" Maria Karìtowered over her 5'2" roommate and was her complete opposite. While Liz was quiet and introverted, Maria was bubbly and loud almost to the point of absurdity. Maria had medium blond hair that brushed the top of her shoulders and piercing green eyes. Also, Maria was of a dominantly human bloodline while Liz...well, no one knew about her.

“Hey chica,” Maria exuded excitement as she brushed past Liz and flung open her closet. “I know what you’re gonna say, that you don’t want to go, you always say that, but this time Elizabeth Layra Evans you are going to this party with me. My mom, my mom, not the step mom, took me shopping at that mall, ya know, that one with the cutest statue of a little girl in a fountain, and I got a dress for you as well as for myself. Now, I know that it’ll fit you ‘cause you’re so petite you could fit in anything, and I know you’re gonna say no, but...Lizzie, honey, have you heard a word I’ve said?”

Maria stopped and put her hands on her hips while glaring at Liz, who had leaned up against the wall, folded her arms and closed her eyes. Liz lazily opened her eyes and studied her friend for a moment, the wheels turning in her head.

“I’ll go,” she stated evenly, and then closed her eyes again.

“See now Liz, I knew you would say that,” Maria jumped in a mile a minute, “but...”

She stopped and stared.

“You-you’ll go?” Her eyes opened wide in shock.

Liz didn’t even bother to open her eyes again. “Yes,” she simply said in a bored tone,” but only on one condition”. She paused tauntingly and took her time as she opened her eyes again, stood up straight, and walked over to the bed where she sat with a thoughtful air.

“I’ll go only if I can wear one of my own dresses.”

She then deliberately looked Maria in the eyes with a teasing, defiant expression.

“Awww,” Maria whined, “but Lizzie, the dresses you have are all so, so stuffy!”

Liz rolled her eyes.

“Decent, you mean?”

Maria pretended shock.

“Oh, now Liz, you know I’d never choose an immodest dress. I just pick ones that show off what I’ve been naturally blessed with”.

Liz rolled her eyes again. It was an easy habit to pick up when living with someone like Maria.

“Let me see it”.

“Eeeeeeee,” Maria began to squeal and bolted
for the closet, producing a white garment bag.

“Voila!” she cried as she opened it with a flair to reveal a black silky dress with an open back that was designed to fall just above the knee.

“Whaddayathink?” she gushed, “I know you like this dress ‘cause I saw you eyeing it when we went shopping the other week with my cousin, you know the odd one, Lynne? Anyway, you can’t deny you like it. I’ll make you wear it!”

Liz gave a shrug of resignation, and Maria squealed and clapped her hands like a child getting a new toy.

“I gotta go spend some time with family, but I’ll be back at six to get you”. Somehow she managed to get it all in one breath while gathering five small bags and giving Liz a quick hug.

“Bye,” she called out as she rushed back out the door.

When Maria was well away Liz sighed and slowly moved to close the door. If only Maria knew her real reason for going tonight she would probably be running in fear instead of excitement.

Ok, now plz give me fb and let me kno what ya think. I need fb to continue .*big*

[ edited 6 time(s), last at 8-Feb-2003 12:51:47 AM ]
posted on 19-Jan-2003 10:39:07 PM by gothgirl
Chapter 1b

Liz took her time getting ready, doing everything the old-fashioned human way instead of using her powers. It was best to do things slowly and deliberately before an assignment. Otherwise she might think about what she was about to do too much, and guilt was not an option. As she stood in front of her small vanity next to her bed, she relaxed a moment trying to imagine what it would be like to be a normal teenager. Then she felt it, the sharp breeze that always accompanied his entrance. The Master was here to check in on his prize student. She felt an odd steeling of her heart as she remembered their first meeting when she was just ten. Her no good human mother had just died from drinking too much, and her father was long since dead. She had been so alone, trying to fend for herself on the unforgiving streets of lower earth.

A little girl with dirty brown hair matted down her back, rummaged through the garbage in back of a small diner.

“Gi’ on” an angry voice yelled, “G’on ! I donna need the likes of ya ‘round here!”

The girl flinched and darted away fearing the blows she knew were sure to come if she stayed a moment longer. Then she heard a voice behind her, and a cold wind around her.

“Why, child? Why do you let the man tell you what to do? You have the power; make him do as you will or destroy him, after all he is only a low life human like your mother was.”

The girl did not flee. She did not move at all as a tall dark man, obviously upperclass, strode up behind her. She closed her eyes tight in concentration, only to hear the man laugh at her derisively.

“Child, Liz, “ he paused for emphasis, “Your mind tricks will never work on me. You have acquired them too recently. You have nowhere near my power.”

Little Liz turned to him, her eyes flashing dark with fear. He stepped even closer, and this time she raised her hand. Again the man laughed.

“Have you listened to nothing I’ve said!” His mood changed suddenly as he yelled at her and flung her body like a rag doll to the wall. Then Liz simply cowered against the wall. Even though her powers were very new to her, no one had been able to overpower her before.

“Now listen child,” the man stooped down before her, “I can be a hard master, but if you come with me, I can make you so powerful that none will ever be able to stand before you. You will be able to throw off your shameful human heritage, and achieve your full potential.”

Little Liz knew no way other than harshness. She was more aware than any child should be of the “real” world. So, she slowly stood and followed him, without a clue of the changes that were to come.

Master had kept his promise. He had made her stronger than any except him. He had taught her three things: Humans were to be despised as lower beings, Power makes right, and Trust no one. Yes, he had truly taught her well.

“Good day, Elizabeth,” Master said in his low gravely voice. Liz did not bother to turn; she just continued her preparations. “Did you get my message? Do you know who you are to take care of?”

Liz nodded and fixed a wayward curl cascading from a clip hold her hair in place.

“Good, good,” Master paused, “Liz, look at me.”

She turned to him, her face a stone mask, her eyes cold.

“I fear you are becoming too attached to this roommate of yours, what’s her name? Maria, I believe?” he studied her intently, and she did not look away. It was ironic really, if you were to meet this man on the street he would make you think of a kind old grandfather, but she knew he was nothing of the sort.

“Maria is nearly completely human, Master. Humans are nothing. There is no problem,” she explained it as if repeating a memorized passage.

Master continued studying her eyes, trying to get into her mind. He finally turned away in disgust. For once she had managed to keep him out.

“Elizabeth, “he said, his voice filled with deadly chill, “Do not try to fool me. If I perceive that she is a problem she will have to be eliminated. Do you understand?”

The question was a challenge.

“Of course Master,” she replied evenly. If indeed Master decided Maria was a risk, it would not be the first time, but for some reason Liz felt her heart filling with dread at even the thought of it.

“Good, good, “ With that simple phrase he disappeared before her very eyes. She knew he wasn’t actually gone yet; he was just proving a point; he was still strong enough to mind warp her.

For what seemed to be an eternity Liz stood as stiff as a soldier, completely unmoving, until she felt him leave. As soon as he was gone she turned back to the vanity and mechanically continued her preparations. She didn’t know why, but everything was different now. She had been doing this since she was eleven, only months after Master had found her, but for some reason this time everything seemed wrong, and she couldn’t understand it. Master had taught her extremely well. She was a woman in his image, cold, calculating, heartless. Why was this happening? Maria, well, she cared for her a little, but she was mostly human! She was a lower being, right? Maria could barely dreamwalk her own family, and an Antaran with pure enough blood should have some of all four abilities at least! Why, Liz herself was even more powerful than the average pure blooded Antaran! She could mind warp and channel destructive energy better than anyone except Master, and she knew she was fairly good at dreamwalking and healing even if Master had not focused on those abilities in her training. No, Maria was not Liz’s equal, and she had to remember that. She had to! Especially tonight, of all nights. Tonight was the test to see if she was ready for independence. If she succeeded, Master would give her semi freedom after graduation from the Academy. She would still be under his influence, but more on an equal basis. He would not longer control her every move, and she longed for that freedom. Tonight was the first time she was ever to assassinate another Antaran. Before, it had always been humans, or those with weak Antaran bloodlines. She had never had to kill someone with the power to stop her before, but she was up to the task. The king of Antar, who was effectively the leader of the Antaran Alliance Planets, was her target, a very impressive one, to be sure, but she would succeed; she had to.

So tell me waht yall think, good or cheezy? plz give fb. oh and if anyones wondering, Liz isnt gonna be exactly the nicest person at first, but our fav ppl will help straighten her out.*wink**big*

[ edited 1 time(s), last at 19-Jan-2003 10:41:23 PM ]
posted on 19-Jan-2003 10:54:51 PM by gothgirl
oh and musnt forget, thanx to:

care bears
Dreamn Girl- I'm gonna use their earth names all cept for Tess 'cause Tess was evil and Ava was good

for ur fb.*big*
posted on 23-Jan-2003 4:26:22 PM by gothgirl
thanx roswellluver and Twlighteyes1974 for the fb. keep it up, I need to know ppl r actually reading this*wink*

Chapter Two

Maria, not wanting to ruin her reputation for being late, didn’t end up showing up to get Liz until nearly seven. As she bounced in to the room, she stopped short at Liz, her jaw dropping a little.

“Liz, hon, I knew you were pretty, but...damn,” then she playfully turned her expression to a pout. “Now I won’t be able to catch any guys attention ‘cause they’ll all be fawning over you.”

Liz rolled her eyes.

“Maria, you know very well that won’t happen.”

“Oh, I know,” Maria said giggling, “‘cause if you take away all my guys I’ll just be forced to do away with you.”

As Maria burst out in even more giggles, Liz tried her best to make her laughter sound real. Maria had come too close to reminding her of her real life.

In all actuality Liz knew she was pretty. It wasn’t that she was vain about it or anything, but she saw no use in lying to herself. Her hair was done up on the top of her head with a few loose curls framing her face, and her dress fit perfectly showing off her slim figure without being too revealing. In Liz’s mind she equated humans as sluts and vice versa and she would never be like that. It wasn’t like it mattered whether she was pretty or not; she would never get involved with any guy anyway.

“Oh, why are you just standing there,” Maria whined as only she could, “We’re gonna be late!”

Liz pasted on a smile and suddenly grabbed her friends hand and pulled her off toward the ballroom, laughing.

“It’s not my fault, you were the one who was an hour late!”

The ballroom was the largest room on campus and was used only for the most special occasions. The floor was a rich cherry redwood color and the walls were a light cream. All around on the tops of the walls next to the roof were hung cream colored strips of cloth stretched from corner to corner, and at the end of each piece of cloth were hung clusters of fresh red and white roses. For this particular occasion half of the room was set up with tables covered with cream colored linens and rose petals with one white candle in the middle. On the farthest wall was a long table that stretched nearly the entire width of the room and held a feast of turkeys, breads, and a exotic fruits and confectionaries.

As Liz and Maria entered, they could not help stopping in awe of the splendor of that room, even if they had seen it hundreds of times already. It didn’t take Maria long to catch a glimpse of her parents and run over to them, while pulling Liz after her.

“Mummy, Daddy!” she yelled, “Look, Lizzie did come! I told you she would!”

Turning to Liz she explained, “Mummy and Daddy didn’t believe me when I said you were coming,” after a moments reflection she added, “I never doubted you, though, I knew you’d come.”

Liz gave a half hearted smile, but felt her heart clench. If Maria only knew. If she only knew, little Lizzie wouldn’t seem to be such a nice friend anymore.

“Welcome, Liz,” Mr. Karìsaid graciously, extending his hand. Maria’s dad was one of those tall regal men you can’t help but like. He had a friendly face, and his manner always bespoke a good heart. He was the foreign minister to Avandia, the smallest planet of the Antaran Alliance Planets.

“Good-day, sir,” Liz said, showing genuine respect for the man before her. He deserved it; he was the best person that she’d ever known.

“Liz,” Mrs. Karìgave her a small, timid nod, and they all sat down at the table closest the door.

Nearly an hour later, conversation flowed easily as men and women relaxed after being sufficiently sated. Liz sat quietly, trying to focus her mind on the task at hand. It was almost time. In ten minutes, the dancing would begin, and the King, out of respect for his hosts would dance for at least a half an hour. The dances would be the formal Antaran kind, and partners would be switched often, making it easy for Liz to get at least near to the king. It would then be no problem for her to send a jolt of energy to his heart, killing him instantly. No one would know what had happened. As far as they would be concerned, the king would have had a fatal heart attack.

At seven o’ five, just as Liz had predicted the slow, waltz-like music started up, and the king and his entourage proceeded with great dignity to the dance floor. Liz suddenly felt cold, but shook it off as she latched on to an obliging young man. She was passed off almost immediately after using a little mind control. Five minutes, and many mind controls later Liz found her self mere feet from the King. Then something happened that she hadn’t expected. She got passed off to the King. The kind, honest face of the King looked down at her with a smile.

“Hello, young lady, I assume you are one of the students here?”

Shocked, Liz searched her mind frantically for a reply, “Y-yes sir, I am, uh, sir.”

He gave a good natured chuckle at her blundering, and reassured her. “You needn’t be nervous, young lady, king I may be, but I am still flesh and bone. Pray tell, do you have a name? Or will I be forced to call you young lady the whole time?”

Blushing furiously she whispered, “Elizabeth Evans, m’lord.”

Again, he smiled at her awkwardness. “Again, Elizabeth, there is no need for nerves, I do not bite, I promise.”

This elicited a small smile, and Liz ducked her head. After some more smalltalk, they lapsed into silence, and Liz lifted her head to study this man she was about to murder in cold blood. He seemed pretty nice, she thought with a small twinge of conscience. He was tall, and fairly young for such a venerable king, maybe in his early forties. His hair was dark brown laced with a few gray hairs around his face. As she realized she was staring, Liz forced herself to look away. It would do her no good to study her victim, it would only make it harder for her to complete her assignment. Really, she probably should do it now. The King would be taking his seat soon, and she couldn’t afford to lose this chance. She was about to move her hand a little so it was closer to his heart, but she found herself trying to come up with excuses for waiting. Frustrated, she berated herself for stalling. Just do it, damnit! She mentally steeled herself, and moved her hand. Then, half closing her eyes, she sought to dull the King’s mind, just to make sure he didn’t realize what was happening and reveal her. She reopened her eyes to find the King looking rather dazed, and congratulated herself. Soon, the power began building in her hand. In seconds a short burst of energy would go to his heart, and he would be gone. Everyone would feel so sorry for her. To be dancing with the King when he died, how horrible!

“Stop there,” an authoritative and all too familiar voice came from her right. She looked over in horror and confusion to see Master and some guards running towards them.

“Majesty, get away from her, she is trying to kill you!” she heard Master yell, and she drew away from the King. Everything was happening in a whirl as she vaguely saw men and woman shrinking away from her. Someone grabbed the King, and guards surrounded her.

“What?” she looked pleadingly to Master, but he held no answers for her.

“Grab her,” he said angrily, “She is the assassin known as the Shadow. We have been trying to catch her for a long time.”

As a ring of guards closed in around her she saw Maria push through the crowd and look at Liz in horror and confusion. Liz’s mind faltered. She couldn’t understand. What was happening to her? The guard on her right grabbed her arm roughly, and she instinctively sent a burst of power, flinging him to the other side of the room. After that she let go, blinked out. She’d only done it one other time, and even Master had been worried by it. No one had ever done that before.

A few feet away, the man called Master, cursed under his breath as she simply disappeared. He hadn’t really taken her seriously when she had said she could physically teleport. He had been so close to having his perfect revenge. Oh, well, he would get her soon. She was no match for his power. He would confuse her mind , make it impossible for her to be coherent enough to react.

On the other side of the building, Liz blinked back into her room, letting out a scream of mentally agony. She couldn’t understand, was this happening? Why had Master betrayed her? Why had Father done this? Why? She was his prize student! The only one he actually seemed to care for in his twisted way, and he had betrayed her! Tears blurred her vision, and her mind shut out all reality, choosing to chant to her, He betrayed you. Father betrayed you. Master betrayed you. Your only friend betrayed you. She screamed again, faintly hearing the sound of glass breaking as her powers ran rampant, throwing furniture and breaking everything. Then her world went black.

well, whaddayall think? lemme kno!*big*
posted on 25-Jan-2003 11:48:52 PM by gothgirl
bumping myself*big*
posted on 26-Jan-2003 8:36:24 PM by gothgirl
thanx roswellluver and Into the Woods for the fb. more plz! anyways here's chapter 3a. it's kinda bad, but *sigh* thaz the way it goes, huh?
Chapter 3

The first thing that Liz was cognizant of was the hardness of the thing on which she lay. As her mind began to clear she realized that she was laying on a cold stone floor, and at first she had no idea what she was doing there. Then, when she remembered the events of the previous night, she lurched back to reality. She lay perfectly still, searching for other minds in the room. There was only other person in the room, and she quickly entered his mind to view her surroundings. Recently she had found she could use another person’s senses without their knowledge. She saw that she was laying on the floor of a small prison cell. The room beyond the cell was plain, but one thing was obvious to her. She was not in a state-recognized prison facility. This room was obviously some small cellar that had been converted to a temporary holding facility, probably for her benefit. The man in the room must not be Master or he would have found her in his head already.

Liz left the man’s mind, and began to sit up.

“Awake at last, I see.”

Liz turned and was surprised to see Maria’s dad, Mr. Karì. He had walked forward a bit and was standing directly in front of her cell.

“Did you find your look around revealing?”

Liz narrowed her eyes as the full impact of what he was saying hit her. What could this man want with her? Why was she not in the king’s prison awaiting execution?

A look of pity covered his face. “Don’t look so surprised young one. I may be a mostly human, but my one Antaran gift is a very unusual, I can perceive the usage of powers.” He sighed and ran his hands through his hair.

“I know you are a very perceptive young woman, and you are probably wondering why you are here.” He looked to her for an answer and she stared in response.

“I have known your power for a long time, I knew from the moment my daughter first introduced us that your power would one day be unparalleled, but I also perceived the evil in it.”

Liz looked at him uncertainly. Just what was he trying to say?

Mr. Karìcontinued. “I knew the darkness controlling your powers was not of your own doing, or I would have never let things progress this far, and I certainly never would have let you anywhere near Maria.”

He looked down at her trying to assess her reaction to what he was saying, but found her apparently emotionless.

“Well, I suppose I should get to the point. I thought I could intervene in time to keep you from becoming this messed up, but I never got a chance and I suppose that now I am too late. Nevertheless, whatever it is that you have become, I still have need of you.”

Liz glanced up towards him again in suspicion.

“The man who was in charge of your arrest tonight, you know him don’t you?”

Liz’s passivity turned to anger and a scowl marred her features.

“He was Master, Father, Friend. He betrayed me,” she declared angrily, “I don’t know the reason; there has to be a reason.”

A flash of what might have been pain flashed across Mr. Karì’s face and his eyes filled with sorrow.

“That is what I thought,” he said quietly, bowing his head.

“That man, your Master,” his sarcastic tone could not be missed as he looked her in the eyes, “is the King’s own personal Advisor. What his purpose was to betray you I do not know, but I have long believed him to be after the King’s life, and that is why I saved you from being captured. I thought I had lost all hope, but then Maria found you unconscious in her room, and being the innocent person she is, could not believe you were what they said. So, she called me instead, and I brought you here. Now, to the point. If you agree to help me prevent Khivar, your Master and the King’s Advisor, from killing the King, I will give you your freedom.”

As he finished his speech Liz stood and approached the bars. When he was done she raised her hand and opened the bars to her makeshift cell. She came to stand directly before him, and was surprised to see no fear or shock on his face.

“How do you know I will not betray you? My loyalty has long been with Master. He raised me; I am practically his own daughter. Why would I not simply believe he had reasons for turning me in? Why would I not believe that in the end he would have set me free? Why should I not simply kill you now and walk away?”

Mr. Karìwas not intimidated by her daring tone. He saw her raise her hand in a threatening gesture, but did not fear. This girl did not kill wantonly, and if she had really been interested in escape she would have done so already instead of listening to him talk.

“I do not know,” he said decidedly, “I have only my suspicion that Khivar does not yet fully control you. I am fully aware of the fact that I am no match for you, and that you need not have stayed even this long. In the end my life is yours to control.”

Liz lowered her hand and stared him down. He obviously knew what she was capable of, but he had still brought her here. She tended to want to accept his proposition, but she could not decide what to believe about Master. Had he really betrayed her?

“I will help you,” she said finally, as she mentally added for now.

Mr. Karìnodded and proceeded to the door, but stopped her with his hand as they reached it.

“I do not know how far the ruin has reached into your soul, but if you harm my daughter, you will die.”

Liz knew he didn’t have the power to back up that promise, but nodded anyway. She had no intention of harming Maria.

As they exited the room, Liz was again shocked to find herself in the Karìhousehold. Mr. Karìmust have trusted her quite a bit to bring her here. It was misplaced trust, but still it was trust.

“Lizzzziiieee,” Maria squealed as she flew around the corner and grabbed Liz in a big hug.

“Maria..” Liz was shocked that Maria was even here, much less allowed to see her. She looked to Mr. Karìfor directions as how to react, but he simply looked away as if pained by what he saw.

“Oh, Lizzie,” Maria cried as she pulled away to look at her friend, “I knew what they were saying about you was a lie. I knew you would never do stuff like that!”

Liz stiffened and tried to hide the sorrow in her eyes as she put on a smiling face for Maria’s benefit.

“Thanks ‘Ria,” she said softly, “I knew I could trust you.”

“Maria,” her dad took her by the arm and drew her to him, “I love you sweety, but Liz and I have to go away for a while. A long while. And, well, people might come by asking questions. I need you to tell them that you don’t know where I’m going, and if they ask about Liz you have to tell them you’ve never seen her. Do you understand sweetie?”

Maria looked a little confused, but nodded.

“We have to go right now, honey.”

Maria started to protest, but her father silence her with a gesture.

“This is the way it is,” he said, “I’m sorry. Now say goodbye to Liz so we can be on our way.”

She frowned, but did as her dad said, giving Liz a quick hug, and Mr. Karìa kiss on the cheek.

“Bye, ‘Ria,” Liz whispered as Mr. Karìpulled her from the room.

“Bye, Liz. Goodbye Daddy,” Maria called, trying to hide her confusion behind her smiles.

As Liz and Mr. Karìwalked out the main hall, Liz saw a small transport with opaque windows parked off to the left.

As he pulled her hurriedly to the transport, he said, “We must hurry, I can’t afford for anyone to notice you or I leaving at an odd time. Once we’ve gotten to the Headquarters I will explain to you exactly what I want you to do.”

As Liz and Maria’s dad rushed out to the transport, they did not notice Maria standing in the doorway, all confusion gone from her face. She may be ditzy on the occasion, but she was far from the idiotic child her father and friend thought she was. She knew something was going on more than just Liz’s being accused of being an assassin. She would just have to follow them and find out what that was. With that she ran from the front doorway and back to her room, where she frantically packed a few things to take with her.

ok, so that's that. in 3b I'll introduce Michael. so give me nice lovely fb, and I'll try to get the next part up in a couple of days. thanxs*big*

[ edited 1 time(s), last at 26-Jan-2003 8:37:02 PM ]
posted on 30-Jan-2003 11:57:22 PM by gothgirl
this is chapter 3b. there's another little part to chapter 3 that I'll be posting in a couple days, but after that my muse decided to take an extended vacation and I can't seem to make the story flow right so I dunno when I'll get the next part up. plz keep up the fb so I can kno what yall think. I appreciate it! *big* oh and thanx roswellluver for the fb.

Michael Sabìen was not having a good day. He had woken up with a horrendous headache coupled with the knowledge that his girlfriend, Kyla, had told him that she didn’t want anything to do with him anymore. Then, when he’d checked in with Intelligence Sector at Headquarters, he’d been informed that one of their best spies had been killed, and he would have to come up with a damn good cover story for his death. Explaining his decapitated state to his family would not be easy, and now, to top it all off the head of the Underground, Mr. Karìhad called to tell him to expect himself and a visitor by late afternoon. While Mr. Karìhad given no specifics, Michael could tell by his tone that he would probably not like who this visitor was.

Great, just great! He fumed Could this day get any worse?

“Uhm, Mr. Sabìen? Your visitors have arrived early,” a quiet flustered voice broke into his angry brooding.

“Sshhhcrap!” he yelled trying hard to control the curses that flew unbidden to his tongue. His poor secretary, who had informed him of their arrival, jumped back and scurried to her desk in fright. It was best to stay as far away as possible from Michael when he was upset. One never knew when one might find a wayward projectile on one’s face. So there Michael sat, alone, fuming. Mr. Karìhad given him such short notice that he hadn’t even been able to find a safe house for their guest.

“Michael,” a warm voice greeted him from the doorway.

“Mr. Karì,” Michael got up and shook his old friend’s hand. “It’s good to see you, sir.”

“Michael, have you been tormenting your secretary again?” Mr. Karìasked, his eyes sparkling with laughter.

“Sir?” Michael looked downright dumfounded.

“When I got to the front desk all I found was a letter of resignation,” Mr. Karìreplied chuckling.

“Oh, I guess I was in a rather bad mood earlier,” Michael said ruefully as a half-smile broke across his face.

“You know, you really should work on your people skills,” Mr. Karìchided gently.

“I know, I know. It’s just...” Michael paused and ran his hand through his wildly spiked hair.

“Kyla broke up with me,” he finally blurted.

“Oh, Michael, I’m so sorry,” Mr. Karìsaid laying a hand on his shoulder, “I probably haven’t made your day any easier, either.”

“S’ok,” Michael said waving him off, “I figured it was probably urgent. Where is our guest anyway?”

“Oh, excuse me,” Mr. Karìsaid looking embarrassed, “Michael, this is Liz.”

Michael was surprised to see him gesture to a young girl, a few years younger than himself, standing behind him in the shadows. Her stance, so full of control, seemed to clash with her young face, large innocent eyes, and small frame.

“Liz, this is my right-hand-man, Michael Sabìen,”

“Mr. Sabìen,” Liz said, extending her hand in greeting.

“Michael,” he corrected with a smile as he grasped her hand firmly, “Good to meet you, Liz.”

He shot a curious look at Mr. Karì. Why would he possibly not like this girl?

“Come let’s sit,” Mr. Karìsaid, “I need to explain to you who Liz is.”

Michael nodded and pulled three chairs into a circle in front of his desk.

As. Mr. Karìbegan her story, Liz let her mind drift. This Michael Sabìen was quite imposing for his youth. He looked to be about twenty with spiked brown hair, brown eyes, and an air of intense energy straining to be released. Liz came back to earth just in time to see Michael jump to his feet and explode in anger.

“That’s her?! You expect me to help this...this thing that tried to kill the King?!”

“Michael, calm down,” Mr. Karìsaid soothingly, but Michael was far from being able to be pacified.

“The whole purpose of this organization is to protect the King,” he ranted, gesturing wildly, “and you bring her here? What were you thinking? She should be killed, not helped!”

“Michael, that is enough!,” Mr. Karìsaid sternly, “You will sit down, now, and hear me out.”

Michael sat down, his eyes flashing with anger, and glared at Liz, who had been watching the whole exchange with all the interest one would show a rock. She looked innocent enough, but her heart had to be as cold as steel.

Liz, however, from her view, was very interested in their conversation, despite her appearance. Whether Michael was aware of it or not, he was a power to be reckoned with. His potential of being a danger to her was great, and this piqued her interest. She could feel the anger rolling off his body. If her knew how to harness it he could prove a formidable opponent even for her. She stood slowly drawing the surprised attention of both men.

“Michael, are you full-blooded Antaran?” she asked curiously.

“What the?” Michael’s face flamed red, “What the heck does that have to do with anything?”

“Answer her, Michael,” Mr. Karìordered, intrigued by Liz’s actions.

“No,” he answered gruffly, “Not completely, one of my distant ancestors on my mom’s side was human.”

“What was her name?” Liz’s voice was beginning to sound like a little child’s and her eyes were vacant as she stepped closer to Michael.

“How did you know it was a woman?” Michael’s eyes narrowed in suspicion.

“Michael,” Mr. Karìurged, “Answer her.”

“Maria DeLuca,” he answered sullenly, “She was one of the first Antaran-human couplings. Her husband was one of the hybrid royal four that sparked the revolution on Antar.”

Liz’s eyes closed, and she stood perfectly still before them. Uncomfortable silence ensued leaving Michael to wonder what exactly this girl’s deal was. Suddenly her eyes flew open and she spoke.

“Love conquers all,” She said it as if in triumph over a life-long enemy. Michael and Mr. Karìstared in concern. Was she even sane?

As Liz’s eyes slowly came back into focus, her mind cleared and she realized that they were staring at her. Her face turned white as she realized that she had just had a flash of something that she had never experienced. She had seen a young man and a young woman that looked amazingly like herself standing before a crumpled and dying man. Both the young people were badly injured, but Liz could feel their triumph and relief at finally having defeated their greatest enemy. Then she felt as if she was that girl, and she felt her saying things. Now she realized that she must have said it out loud. She turned quickly and sat back down.

“Liz,” Mr. Karìasked cautiously, “Are you all right?”

“Dreams,” was her simple whispered reply. Then her face changed to its former boldness, and she waved her hand for them to continue.

“Sorry about that. You just reminded me of
something I’ve dreamt about. Now, please, Mr. Karì, continue telling Mr. Sabìen here why I should be allowed to live.”

Michael bristled under the sarcastic tone she took, but filed away the incident in the back of his mind to think about later.”

“Ah, yes,” Mr. Karìcontinued uncomfortably, “ Why Liz should live. Well honestly, we don’t have the power to kill her, so the question is more along the lines of, Why should we hide her?”

“First of all, she is the only one powerful enough to take out Khivar, who was her Master.”

“He what?!” Michael’s eyes lit up with fury, and Liz could feel his power growing. Apparently Khivar was not his favorite person. “You let one of his own here?! Are you crazy?!”

“Michael,” Mr. Karìreprimanded, “Do not interrupt me again!”

Michael slumped back down in his chair; the living embers in his eyes blazing brightly.

“Now, as I was saying. The reason that I brought up the fact that Liz was under his leadership was to point out the fact that she only tried to assassinate him because she had orders to do so. Since Khivar betrayed her, she had decided to help us protect the King in exchange for absolution from her previous assassinations and her attempted one.”

“How do we know that she won’t betray us in the end?” Michael challenged.

Mr. Karìsighed deferring the answer to Liz.

“You don’t,” she said coldly, “But I am the only one with the power to stand against Khivar. Or did you think that you could do it?”

As Michael’s anger flared to even greater depths, Liz smiled to herself. It was just the affect that she had hoped for. A few more nudges in the right direction and his power would come unhinged.

“I don’t like this, not at all,” Michael muttered under his breath.

“Why not? Feel threatened, Michael?” she taunted.

“No” Michael growled. His eyes were literally glowing red now. She knew she was treading on dangerous ground.

“Oh, poor Michael,” she whined at him, “He’s so pitiful. He’s so weak.”

“Liz, that’s enough,” Mr. Karìpleaded, “Stop taunting him.”

“Why? Can’t he deal? Or is he too weak, just a pitiful little man?” The malicious glean in her eye was unmistakable.

“Enough!” Michael roared, flinging Liz to the wall with a flick of his wrist.

As the men stared in shock at what Michael had done, Liz picked herself up with a self-satisfied smirk on her face.

“I was right,” she crowed triumphantly, “You are holding back power.”

“You-you were trying to provoke me?”
Michael’s face went white and his voice trembled.

“Yes, and I did quite a good job, if I do say so myself,” she smiled proudly.

“Never do that again,” Michael said thickly, his voice rising, “You hear me?”

He jumped up and grabbed her by the shoulders, shaking her.

“You hear me? Unless you really wanna be dead, never do that again!”

He pushed her away violently, and collapsed back down on his chair with his face in his hands.

Mr. Karìwatched the whole exchange in shock. The girl was playing with fire riling him like that. Michael took great care to control himself, because the one time before that he hadn’ hadn’t been a pretty sight, and Michael lived with the guilt of his actions still. I think it’s time to get out of here.

“Michael,” Mr. Karìsaid gently, “Michael, I need to take Liz to a safe house now. We will continue this later.”

Michael nodded and ran his hands through his hair, his face a ghostly pallor.

“I was unable to find one in time so she will be staying in the extra apartment here, next to mine.”

“Thank you,” Mr. Karìsaid, “Come Liz, we are going, now.”

He took her arm not-to-gently and pulled her from the room leaving Michael sitting there, utterly alone. As they exited, they failed to notice, for the second time that day, to notice a watching figure in the shadows.

posted on 1-Feb-2003 5:57:13 PM by gothgirl
this is the end of chapter 3. more fb, plz? critisms, suggestions appretiated *big*

Maria backed up against the wall and let out a long breath. Her mind was racing at a mile a minute trying to digest everything that she’d learned from listening in on her dad, this Michael guy, and Liz’s conversation. It hadn’t taken her anytime to figure out where her dad had taken Liz. He was after all one of the few people that she could actually dream walk. He had no idea that she knew about this part of his life, but after a while she had figured out the puzzle of his dreams. Now she was left to understand what she’d just seen. Above everything else she finding herself hard pressed to accept the fact that Liz was actually this cold blooded assassin. She simply couldn’t bring herself to reconcile the kind, sweet, quiet girl that was her friend, and this heartless one that was sarcastic and cruel. They just didn’t match up. She felt really sorry for that guy in there that she had pushed to his limits. He was obviously torn up about losing control, and Liz had acted happy about it. She sighed. What should she do now? She had found out the truth, but what good did it do her? How could she use the information that she knew to do herself or anyone else any good? She had this feeling deep inside of her that she should help Liz, but what should she help her with? She couldn’t help her kill Khivar or protect the King. So what was else there? Maria sat cross legged behind the door to Michael’s office. She couldn’t stay here long or she would be found out. An idea popped into her head, and she jumped up excitedly and knocked on Michael’s door.

“Yeah? Who is it?” a sad, dark voice came from within.

“Umm, hey,” she said, sticking her head in the door, “Mr. Karìcalled me and said you were in need of a new secretary?”

“Huh?” Michael looked at her suspiciously, “How’s you get here so fast? He didn’t leave more that five minutes ago.”

“He called me over half an hour ago,” she said innocently.

“Oh, well, I guess he called when he found the resignation letter,” He said studying her reaction.

“Yeah, I guess so,” she shrugged.

“Ok, so what’s our password?” He asked.

She smiled, this was gonna be easier that she’s thought. The password was something she’d picked up from her dad’s dreams a good month ago.


“Hmm, yeah, that’s right.” he shrugged, “So, what experience do you have? Did he tell you what your duties would be?”

She bit her lip.

“Uhh, well, I don’t have any experience,” at his incredulous stare she added, “but I’m a quick study. I, uhm, don’t really know what my duties will be either. It was kind of a last minute call, ya know?”

“Great, just great!” he yelled throwing down a pencil he’d been playing with, “Could this day get any worse?”

This made Maria extremely perturbed. How dare he? She was here to help him. He could at least be grateful that he now had someone to help his sorry ass.

“Excuse me,” she said eyes flashing, “but it’s not my fault that you can’t seem to keep a secretary, and if you’d like to keep one you’d better start shaping up your act.”

Michael stopped still in shock. No one had ever said anything back before. They all just either stayed really quiet or ran away.

“Oh, uh, sorry, I just have had a bad day. Uh, really I have no idea what you’re supposed to do either. Katie, my last secretary, took care of that.”

“Well, no duh,” she said rolling her eyes, “Puh, I guess I’ll have to figure it out for myself.”

With that she walked right back out leaving him sitting, still stunned by the blond haired pixie. She looked positively otherworldly with her sparkling bright green eyes, shiny blond hair, and beautiful face. Huh, this should be interesting.

Far away an old woman woke from her vision. It was time. The chosen ones were gathering. She had long feared that this day would never come. She could feel the presence of evil growing in the queen, but recently she had felt a breach in its control over the queen. The other chosen ones were at work. Now this old one must work quickly to save the queen while the breach still existed. She must start the process of revealing their destiny. The queen had gotten an inkling of it in her vision that day, but for the rest it was only in dreams. Yes, it was time to act. She was long overdue for a visit to her young granddaughter who held the fate of so many.
posted on 8-Feb-2003 12:47:38 AM by gothgirl
Thanxguess831 and roswellluver for the fb. Here's chapter 4 or the beginning of it at least. lemme kno what ya think. I don't really kno anything at all bout sword fighting so this part will prolly be unrealistic if u kno anything bout it, but I'm gonna research it so I can kno what I'm talking bout. well here ya go:

Chapter 4

After dropping Liz off in her quarters Mr. Karìmade his way back towards Michael’s office. He had thought to provide Liz with safety and strong support by bringing her to headquarters, but now he wasn’t so sure. Headquarters of the King’s League, a secret organization run by himself, was divided into three sectors. Michael was head of Arms Sector, Alex Cauntay was the head of Intelligence Sector, and Kyle Makri was the head of the Guard Section. Each leading man including himself had a personal reason for seeing Khivar dead, and Liz’s relationship to him would definitely “make waves”. True their purpose was not only to prove Khivar’s disloyalty, but he didn’t know if the other men could be persuaded to use someone such as her to protect the King. It did not bode well for him to be leaving and leaving Liz’s care to these men that would surely hate her, but he really did not have a choice. The foreign minister to Avandia could not just disappear for a few days.

He knocked lightly and then entered Michael’s office. Michael was sitting behind his desk in deep thought. He actually did not look very angry at all.

“Michael?” Mr. Karìgave him a curious look.

“Huh, oh, hello, sir,” said Michael as he came out of his daze.

Unfortunately Mr. Karìdid not have time to try and discover what Michael was so happy about after that whole debacle with Liz so he got straight to business. He knew that the only was to get Michael and the rest to accept Liz would be to pull the authority card.

“Look, Michael, I know you do not like Liz very much,”

Michael rolled his eyes and made a rude noise.

“But you will just have to deal with it. I have to go back to Avandia, so it is up to you, Alex, and Kyle to figure out how to get Liz into the palace and in a position to protect the King.”

“Mr. Karì, please, this cannot be a good idea!” Michael protested.

“Michael, do you know Liz?” Mr. Karìasked. Michael shook his head reluctantly.

“Then you have to trust me to be the judge of her character. She is worth your effort.” His statement brooked no argument, and Michael growled in frustration.

“Now, I must leave. See that she is well taken care of, and set up a meeting with her, Alex, and Kyle. From there it is up to you to figure out how to get her into the palace in the shortest amount of time.” With that command Mr. Karìstrode from the building leaving Michael very angry.

This whole thing was completely screwed up. If Mr. Karìthought that his reaction to Liz was bad, he had to know that Alex and Kyle’s would be ten times worse. Michael had merely had a friend of his killed by Khivar. Kyle had had his father killed by him, and Alex had had his brother killed by him. This meeting was going to be so difficult to get through without someone being seriously injured. Oh, and he had forgotten to thank Mr. Karìfor his new secretary, their conversation had been so rushed. At least one thing that day had been good. Michael smiled privately to himself as he thought of the beautiful young woman. Come to think of it, he never got her name. Well, that was one situation that would have to be rectified quickly. Michael smiled again and left the room in search of her.

Maria had been wandering these halls for a good half an hour. As soon as she had left Mr. Sabìen’s office she had gone off in search of Liz, and she still hadn’t found her. Ugh, this was going to take forever! Just then she heard some noise coming from the a room up the hall and to the right. It sounded like music. As Maria got closer she held back a squeal. It was Liz’s favorite song! The words of “Darkness Falls” drifted back towards her. Darkness falls, covers all Maria reached for the doorknob. We run, we hide She slowly opened the door. Looking everywhere for our call She peeked in and smiled to see Liz wearing some of her clothes that her dad had had her pack for Liz. Darkness falls, covers all. Liz was in a big empty room and she was practicing with a sword. We try, We find. Her steady movements had always fascinated Maria, and she’d even managed to persuade Liz to start teaching her how to properly use the sword. Seeing us fall one and all.


Liz stiffened and brought her gaze up to where Maria was standing just inside the door.

“Liz?” Maria was suddenly wondering if this was such a good idea. What if Liz’s friendliness had just been a false front?

“Maria,” Liz was shocked and worried. Maria’s being here could not be good. What if she knew about who she really was?, “What are you doing here?”

“Uhhh,” Maria mentally berated herself. What could she say, hey Liz, I’m here to bring out the good person I know is hiding in there somewhere? Yeah, that would be great. “I’m Mr. Sabìen’s new secretary.”

Liz looked at her strangely. “Does your father know that you are here?”

“No,” Maria shook her head.”Look, Liz, I was outside Mr. Sabìen’s office when you were in there. I heard everything.”

Liz dropped the sword down to her side. She could not let Maria see how sad she was.

“Liz,” Maria walked over to her and put her hand on her arm, “Liz, when I saw you in there I could hardly believe my eyes. You were so cold and heartless, but still...I don’t think that that girl is who you really are. I can’t bring myself to believe that you were putting on a front all that time when we were living in that dorm room togethor.”

Liz was flooded with relief and worry. She did not know why, but she was glad that Maria still had trust in her. At the same time she knew she could not let Maria stay. She would be in too much danger.

“Maria, look at me,” she said sternly grabbing her friend about the shoulders, “You are wrong, I am that girl. Now you have to leave or you will get in my way, and you do not want to know what I do to people who get in my way.”

The anger in Liz’s eyes made Maria flinch momentarily, but she braced herself and raised her head defiantly.

“I know that it’s not who you are, Liz, and I’m not going anywhere.”

Liz snarled in frustration, and jerked away from Maria, slicing the air with her blade.

“Fine, but I’m warning you now, STAY OUT OF MY WAY!”

Maria said nothing; she just walked over to the wall and began looking through the large variety of swords there.

“So, you said you would teach me how to fight with knives,” Maria stated, “Now would be as good of a time as any to learn.”

Liz stared at her as if she were stupid, then shrugged and walked up next to her.

“Don’t say I didn’t warn you,” she said coldly, “First choose the two knives that you think would work best together. Remember you need to consider balance first and foremost. It will do you no good to have good knives if they leave you off balance.”

After a couple of minutes and knives Maria finally picked a pair that pleased Liz. They both had wooden handles with dragons carved on them, and their blades were just short of a foot long. For herself Liz selected two knives of similar size, but their handles were thinner and made of a light silverish metal. These knives were unadorned with the exception of a star on the side of the blades.

Turning to Maria Liz asked, “So do you remember any of the training you received at the Academy?”

Maria nodded, “Just a little. The basic form, You know, stuff like that.”

“Show me,”

Maria smiled nervously and took a crouching position with her legs spread apart and blades pointed away from her body. Liz observed her actions critically, then frowned.

“Take a jab at me.” she ordered.

Maria looked a little confused, but followed Liz’s orders, though she felt clumsy and slow. Liz barely had to move to avoid her blow.

“As I thought,”Liz said extending the blades she had chosen to Maria, “You are not suited to the lightness of those. Use these, I think they will feel more comfortable.”

Maria took hers gratefully and noticed to her relief that she felt more in control with them.

“Try again,” Liz said taking a similar stance as Maria’s.

Maria took a stab at her with a little more grace, and Liz reflected it lightly.

“Better, now do not spread your feet quite so far. Yes, that’s right. Direct the knives more down than out.”

With Liz’s help Maria began to feel herself taking baby steps in the right direction, though she was still far, far away from Liz’s lithe grace.

“What the hell is going on here?” an angry voice broke the girls concentration.

They looked up to see a livid Michael standing in the doorway.

“You,” he yelled angrily, pointing his finger in Maria’s face, “I knew you weren’t who you said you were. What are you doing here? If you’re trying to spy on me for Khivar you’re dead.”

Maria’s face turned white, and she backed away from him.

“I-I,” she stuttered,

“Chill Mikey,” Liz ordered. Michael turned on her and his face turned red as Liz cut in, but before he could speak,, she continued, “She’s Mr. Karì’s daughter. Didn’t you ever wonder how he knew me? Well, she’s how. We were roommates at the Academy.”

“Right,” Michael growled, “And I’m supposed to believe you?”

Liz smiled. “If you don’t believe me check with the Academy. They can confirm it.”

“I can’t believe that her father would let her come here. Not with you. You’re far too dangerous.”

“Who said anything about her father knowing she was here?” Liz asked with a smirk.

Michael turned an astonished face to Maria, “You came without your father’s knowledge?”

She nodded meekly.

“You can’t stay here. Your father would kill me if I let you stay here with her.” Michael said with not a little regret. When he had seen her with Liz, he had been actually saddened by the thought that such a beautiful creature could be working for Khivar. He had not wanted to yell at her, He had not wanted to threaten her, but now even though he was relieved that she did not work for Khivar, he would still have to send her home. He could not risk her being here.

“I won’t leave,” she said quietly, “You’re wrong about Liz.”

“You don’t know what you’re talking about,” Michael said with a glare at Liz, “She’s a cold-blooded killer.”

“Oh, but I do know what I’m talking about,” Maria challenged, her eyes suddenly flashing. “I know her better than anyone. What you see is a front, and I won’t leave her in your blind sight.”

“My blind sight? Are you mad?” Michael yelled back, “Did you not understand what I just said. SHE...IS...A...MURDERER!”

“And I say I know and I DON’T CARE!”

Liz watched and would have been amused by their antics if it was not for the fact that they were talking about herself. The two were now facing off with their eyes, challenging each other to admit fault. Liz was tired; so, since they were otherwise occupied, she just walked out and back to her room.

[ edited 1 time(s), last at 8-Feb-2003 12:51:19 AM ]
posted on 12-Feb-2003 5:42:58 PM by gothgirl