posted on 25-Jan-2003 5:29:54 PM by The Lone Freckle
20Banner

Title: High Speed
By: The Lone Freckle a.k.a. Laura
Rating: PG-13ish
Category: Max/Liz AU
Disclaimer: Roswell belongs to Melinda Metz and Jason Katims.
Spoilers: None, as it’s AU, but a basic general knowledge of the TV show might be helpful.
Summary: Primarily set in the future. Something has been left on Earth that the Antarians need. Liz Parker, a human, finds it first.
Banner: By me! *big* Because I'm just beginning to learn the fine arts of PSP!


A/N: This is, for all intensive purposes, my first fic. So any constructive criticism or other comments would be welcome. Thanks!

Also a BIG thanks to RosDeidre, who has been supporting me as a beta reader and good friend. Thanks, D!

This song is by the amazing group Coldplay, who I worship. It’s called ‘High Speed’ and it’ s from their Parachutes album.

High Speed
Can anybody fly this thing?
Before my head explodes,
Before my head starts to ring
We've been living life inside a bubble,
We've been living life inside a bubble
Confidence in you,
Is confidence in me,
Is confidence in high speed
Can anybody stop this thing?
Before my head explodes,
Before my head starts to ring
We've been living life inside a bubble,
We've been living life inside a bubble
Confidence in you,
Is confidence in me,
Is confidence in high speed
In high speed
In high speed, you want,
High speed, you want,
High speed, you want




Prologue:

Roswell, New Mexico 1947

He was watching her, boring his deep eyes into her sleep tussled hair that lay around her face like a halo. He ached to wake her up, rouse her from her deep sleep, but he dared not move a muscle and break the spell that seemed to float around them. He couldn’t believe he was lying here, his toes lightly touching hers at the end of the bed. She was so magnificent, her skin so rough, and yet smooth at the same time. Her eyelashes were fluttering softly against her porcelain cheek.

At first it had been so overwhelming, he thought back with a small curve of his lips, but then it had been simply incredible. When her skin had touched his, all over, ohh! it had been almost too much to handle. He couldn’t hold back any longer and softly drew a few fingers over her soft cheek to remind himself. Yes, she was soft and solid and lying there right next to him. She was so beautiful. So warm.

But he couldn’t forget. Not even lying next to the most beautiful woman in the universe, could he forget his duty. He would have to leave soon, go back to Antar and fulfill his destiny. He thought briefly of his pregnant wife Hressa, waiting patiently for him on Antar. He thought of their unborn son, but he couldn’t hold on to those terrible thoughts. He hated having those responsibilities. He wished he could just run away forever with his beautiful Jane; he didn’t want to be king any longer. He wanted to live forever with the human woman next to him who knew nothing of Antarian royals. She had accepted him for the person he wished to be, the human she saw him as; but he could not continue to lie to her like this. He couldn’t just forget, could he? No, she deserved more than a fearful and cowardly alien-man. She deserved a true human who could give her everything she needed. And he had to go back to Antar. Go back to Tressa, and destiny, and acting as the king he had never wanted to become.

Reluctantly, he turned on his side to pull his naked feet out from under the covers of the bed. He had to leave before he wasn’t able to anymore.

Just then, as he was buttoning his pants, two men came thrashing into the room. Their eyes were wild and their bodies huge. The taller one had rough features and dark eyebrows clouding his vision.

“How did you find me?” Alohalani bellowed.

“Your Majesty, you presence is needed at the ship. We are leaving,” the tall and burly one spoke.

With only a pair of pants still on, Alohalani replied as calmly as he could, “Yes, I understand, Garnon. But first I must say goodbye to Jane. So if you would-”

Garnon stepped forward threateningly. Alohalani frowned. Why was Garnon always protecting him from what he loved?

“We must leave, your majesty. You do no have time to say goodbye to your human. You must leave.”

Alohalani noticed Garnon’s right hand had begun to glow red. “Garnon! What are you going to do? You will leave right now! That’s an order!”

Garnon’s hand grew a luminous, glowing red and he raised it strongly. “For your own good, Your Majesty, you must leave now. Your human knows too much for you to be safe. Do not worry; I will take care of the situation.”

Alohalani’s fists trembled by his side and his anger grew rapidly. “You will not harm Jane. Do you hear, Garnon? You are my right hand man. My trusted second in command. You have no right to act against my wishes.” He walked closer to the bed, in which Jane Roosevelt was still sleeping soundly and without agitation. The king’s expression conveyed a deadliness, “You will not harm-”

But at the same time Garnon’s hand had risen all the way, pointing directly at Alo’s human angel. “You will thank me later, Your Majesty.” He said with force and his palm retracted with the quick projection of energy. A small red ball flew towards the bed, its target sleeping peacefully under the covers.

Alo did not think. He did not use his alien powers to save his love. He did not protect her with his green shield. He simply threw his human body over hers and took the red energy into his own form. He was dead upon impact.

The thin alien behind Garnon spoke. “You have killed the king.”

*******************

A drop of water fell to the floor. Garnon watched it plunge to the ground and splatter in all directions, its tiny atoms flying towards him. He felt the cool water like a bullet through his own skin. He shouldn’t be able to feel this way. He shouldn’t be alive this way; it wasn’t right and it wasn’t normal. But his punishment was clear, and he could feel it every time his human lungs gasped for air, his body uncomfortable in the unfamiliar form.

The voices echoed in his eardrums, the sounds penetrating his skin and shooting into his brain. Where was his orange aura? His flowing particles?

“Yes, Sir. Garnon meant to kill King Alohalani’s human, Sir. He did not mean to kill the king. He meant to protect the King from the human.” Garnon glared at his partner, his friend and comrade. Now look what had become of him, spilling stories to get him killed.

The third Antarian in the room spoke. “Thank you. You may leave, Darkin.”

“Yes, Sir.” The thin witness slipped out of the room, his alien features lingering on his friend for a moment.

“Garnon.”

“Yes, Sir?” Garnon cursed his shaky and inconsistent human voice. Who could stand speaking like this, listening to themselves talk with the terrible vocal twists and screeching noises?

“You did not mean to assassinate our King Alohalani.” His interrogator locked pointedly at him, still in his human form as well.

“No, Sir.”

“You meant, as Darkin testified, to protect the king from this human?”

“Yes, sir. Yes. The King did not understand. She might have known about us. She might have notified our enemies. Thoray may have found her. Then they would know about where the King had been. They might find the granolith. They-”

“Yes, Garnon. I see what you mean. But why didn’t you just erase her memory? Then Thoray would never find a thing in her mind. She would have been harmless.”

He hadn’t thought of that. He had only thought of his king, his planet, and how much they needed his protection.

“The king was attached to her, Sir; she would have distracted him. I know it.”

“And therefore you felt yourself at liberty to disobey the king?”

“It was for his own good, Sir,” Garnon insisted, straining at the ropes to get closer to his prosecutor. If he could just show him, convince him of what he had meant, surely he would understand…

“Did she hear you speaking?”

“No Sir, we used Antarian.”

“Then I doubt she knew anything.”

The man called ‘Sir’, known on Antar simply as Father, stopped pacing next to Garnon’s large body. Father looked into the protector’s eyes and felt a sad pang of feeling. Garnon meant so well, but that was still no excuse. He had to learn his actions had dire consequences…

“Who was in charge of this mission, Garnon?” The Antarian questioned softly.

“The King, Sir,” Garnon chocked out. Father had to see. Garnon was right. He knew he was right.

“And who was in charge of concealing the granolith?”

His voice quivered, and he tried to swallow the fear. “The King, Sir.” He knew he was right!

“So who knows where the granolith is?”

Garnon began to sob quietly, “The King, Sir.” Oh how he hated for anyone to see him this way!

There was a long pause while Garnon could not see his questioner’s face, until the Antarian officer finally turned back to look into his old friend’s eyes.

“I’m sorry, Garnon, but you know what I have to do.”

No! No, Sir! Please don’t kill me, Sir! I did it for the king! I did it for him!” His life was over. His dreams, his purpose, his whole existence was gone. Just like that.

“Our people will not understand, Garnon.” His superior officer conveyed softly. “You do not understand.”

“No! No, Sir! Please just listen, Sir! You must understand! If you would just underst-”

But the Father Antarian had already walked out of the cave’s entrance, his body turning slowly back into its normal alien form.

And he left Garnon all alone until the torture would begin.
******************************

Two Days Later


“Jane! Open up! You can’t stay in there forever!” A boyish voice yelled against the closed door.

“Leave me alone!” Jane called from inside. Her voice cracked slightly, and the man at the door felt his heart clench.

“Oh, Jane. Please, just let me see you.” There was a small pause, and then he heard the soft padding of her feet against the floor coming closer. The sound of about three hundred locks being opened reached his ears and he smiled.

The creaking door gave way to a petite woman in flannel pajamas.

“What are you hiding from? The FBI?” He young man asked, immediately bringing Jane into a hug.

She rested her cheek against his chest. “No, just people like you who feel it’s their life’s mission to intrude on my time of depression.”

He opened his arms and brought her face close to his. “Let’s go inside.”

They walked into her small apartment, and sat down at the wooden kitchen table. Jane wrapped her feet around the table legs, gazing down at the tiled kitchen floor.

“What are you doing here, John? I thought I told you not to come over.”

She heard his sincere words, his comfort as helpful as always. “I couldn’t just leave you to deal with this on your own. You, you…” his own voice cracked and Jane lifted her head, “loved this guy. He was obviously pretty special.”

“Yes,” Jane chocked out, her feet and ears hot.

John’s right hand was resting on the table, across from Jane. His fingers now dug into the polished wood, his anger evident, “And he, just left you? Just like that?”

“When I was sleeping.”

John swore long and hard. “That bastard. He doesn’t know what he’s left. He doesn’t know.”

He watched Jane’s beautiful eyes begin to mist over. “I don’t even have a picture of him or anything,” she cried softly, “All I have to remember him by is small bag he left under my clothes.”

“He left it for you?”

Jane shook her lovely brown locks. “No, I, I, th-think he forgot it.” She stammered.

His next question almost killed him and John was unable to hide the squeak in his voice. “And you can’t reach him anyway?”

Jane pulled a big phone and address book out from under the table. “No one has the last name of ‘Antarian’!”

John took the book softly from her grasp and looked under the ‘A’s. “Alohalani, right?” She nodded and John skimmed his fingers of the names. “Oh, Jane, I’m sorry you’re right. There’s no Alohalani Antarian in here.” She chocked a little and her sobs slowly subsided. He ached to reach out to her, and kiss her soft face.

“He probably wouldn’t have wanted to see me again anyway.”

He gave in quickly at that, and reached for her small hand across the table. “Jane?”

“Yes?” She looked back down at the diamond floor tiles, embarrassed to have him see her like this.

“You’re amazing. You know that? You’re beautiful and kind, and the most incredible woman I’ve ever met. And, and, if Alohalani Antarian couldn’t see that then he was a loser. He didn’t deserve you, Jane. You deserve much better, and someday, somebody is going to give that to you.”

“Promise?” Her wide brown eyes bore into his.

John looked down and met her intense gave with his own. He gently wiped her tears away with a shaky hand. “I promise, Jane.” She looked at him with complete trust then, and he saw her beauty shining through the vale of tears.

At that precise moment he lost the ten-year battle he had been fighting with his heart.

She tucked a soft brown lock of hair behind her right ear and tried to smile; and she almost succeeded, too however, before her lips were abruptly cut off with John’s own.

TBC...

[ edited 14time(s), last at 16-Feb-2003 5:32:56 PM ]
posted on 25-Jan-2003 5:31:51 PM by The Lone Freckle
Chapter One

Roswell, New Mexico 2035

“Hey! What do you think you’re doing?” Liz Parker shouted angrily at a man trying to cut a branch off of a tree. He looked about forty-five, his hands rough from construction work, and his brow sweaty from working with the power saw.

“We need more wood for the developments on 47th street. What do you think I’m doing, girl?”

Liz stomped up to the man and brought her face close to his. “I think you’re cutting off some of the strongest limbs of one of the oldest trees in Roswell. You’re killing the tree, that’s what you’re doing.”

The construction worker brought the saw down to rest on the ground. “Listen, girl, we’ve got four houses to do down on 47th-”

“Listen, mister. That branch is keeping you alive right now. Did you know that? The leaves on that tree use the light from the sun to convert carbon dioxide to oxygen so humans and animals can breath, perform cellular respiration, and make energy.” She pointed a finger at the large tree next to them. “That tree’s keeping this town alive, sir. And I don’t think you want to cut it down.”

The man stared at her stupidly, until Liz patted the tree gently. “If you continue killing all the trees in this town, soon we’ll be well on our way to extinction.” And with that, she turned around and stormed off.

Liz huffed as she walked away, her front turned from the construction worker. Didn’t people see the delicate balance they were living in? Didn’t they realize there was too little oxygen as it was with the shortage of sunlight? Some people just didn’t understand. All they thought were, babies, babies, babies, and buildings, buildings, buildings. In ten years there would be too many babies, babies, babies, and buildings, buildings, buildings, for anyone to survive anymore. Then their little bubble of a civilization would be dead.

Liz had been on her way to take another walk in the desert when she had seen the man on the outskirts of town. She liked to walk around the far edges of Roswell, where there weren’t any wall-to-wall settlements and tree stumps. Liz liked to hike into the desert where the people hadn’t started building yet-- though they would probably get there in a few years-- and walk along the only land that still resembled the way things had been before the war.

Before the war. Everybody talked like that. Only some of the oldest adults had actually lived before the war, yet all spoke like they had. Even Liz talked as if she knew what the sky looked like, and what a world was like without green. Because it was the talking that revealed how she really felt and wished. More than anything, Liz wanted to go beyond the bubble. Walk right through it into the real world. The real world. Ha, Liz laughed sardonically in her mind. This is the real world, Liz! She reprimanded herself. You think the desolation out there is the real world, where the life is? Not a chance, considering nothing living could stand the radiation. No, all the living were inside the bubble, and all she could see outside were the blurry green images of dead bodies, people who had tried to walk outside, or had been dumped after death.

Liz reached the end of the desert after a while and looked right into the shimmering green wall. She stood as close to it as she could without touching, and lifted her head to look up the barrier. The green was there, curving upwards like a big hollow jell-o mold, and meeting at the top with all the other sides of the bubble. Liz pushed her finger against the wall, the green material seeming to move and shift through the surface like liquid, and pushed firmly until the tip of her index finger was outside out of the bubble. The wall wasn’t thick, and every time Liz came out here into the desert, she liked to push just one finger though and feel what the rest of the world’s air felt like. The radiation couldn’t affect her until she was completely exposed, and out breathing in the toxic air.

Liz suddenly realized the desert around her was getting dark, and quickly. As the green bubble filtered a lot of the sun’s light, there was precious light around in the days. So when night began to fall, Roswell went black. Liz knew that she didn’t have time to walk back to her parent’s apartment, and would have to sleep out in the desert overnight. It had happened once before, out by the left side of the bubble a couple years ago and her parents had been really worried the next morning when she had come home. Her mom, Nancy, and her dad Jeff had hugged her so tightly Liz thought something terrible had happened to them. Later they had told her they had thought she had gone outside the bubble and died.

Now, Liz walked a few feet away from the green wall and settled down on the desert ground. She would deal with her parents tomorrow; now the sky was dark, and she was tired.

That night, Liz dreamt. She dreamt that she was walking around the desert sands by the north end of the wall, and had almost fallen into a hole. When she had peered down into the deep opening, Liz had seen a small boy. He had a mop of soft brown hair and he was crying. “Help me! Help me!” he kept calling, and Liz reached for a fallen tree branch, to try and bring him out of the hole. But when he reached for the branch, it snapped. So Liz lay on the ground next to the hole and reached her arm down to the boy. “Grab onto me,” she called to him. “He reached for her arm, but when she tried to pull him up, she didn’t have enough strength, and instead fell headlong into the hole herself. Liz screamed.

Liz bolted up from the ground, as she woke from her dream into the rising sunlight. It was just a dream, Liz reminded herself. She then became aware of a pain in her side, and shifted over to see a small rock that had been digging into her hip as she slept. Liz reached down to the rock, intent to pick it out of the ground and throw it as far as she could. But the rock wouldn’t budge, and the more Liz peered at it in the increasing sunlight, she realized that it was just the tip of a much larger stone. Like the icebergs she had read about in the Roswell Library, beneath the tip of the rock protruding from the ground, was a huge, unimaginable base.

Suddenly very intent to see how large this rock was, Liz began digging her fingers into the earth around it, and throwing the loose earth to her side. His fingernails became caked with dirt, but Liz didn’t care as her jammed her fingers into the ground and clenched her fists to create holes on both sides of the rock. She continued digging for a few minutes, her fingers frantic, before she recoiled her hands and looked down at the block of granite. She could see about a football-size of the rock, but the way the sides sloped gradually down, Liz knew there was much more to uncover. Suddenly, in order to unearth this rock, Liz realized she would need tools, and help. She would need Maria.

Wiping her hands on her old and worn jeans, Liz turned back to the city and the populated houses filled with the young and old. She walked for about an hour, and then arrived at her small apartment, using her key to get in.

First Liz went to take a shower, but the water was cold without a strong heating system, and Liz was out even before the automatic 60-second timer went off and the water disappeared. She walked into her room quietly, so as not to wake her parents, and pulled on a new pair of jeans and a red t-shirt. She brushed her hair and pulled the loose tendrils into a low ponytail, so her hair would be out of her way. Liz then went to her parents’ bedroom and kissed her mother and father on the cheek. They had not wanted other children after Liz, unlike most budding families, and so she’d grown up an only child and developed a very close relationship with them.

Closing the door behind her, Liz took a bite from her Nourishment Bar. Long ago, after the war had ended and the citizens of Roswell had realized they were stuck, food had been made in two different forms: Nourishment Bars and Produce Pills. The bars were some mixture of vitamins, minerals, available protein, and anything else the people at the Mill could find. The pills were just as bad; any produce that the sparse Roswell farmers could grow was thrown into the pills. It was a common joke around Roswell that people were so busy, they never had to take a break for lunch or dinner and loose time. And people around Roswell were always busy, trying to continue education, food production, and community development all at once. It was hard living in a bubble.

Rounding the corner, Liz came up to Maria’s apartment. Maria was her longtime friend, along with Alex Whitman who lived on the other side of town. Liz knocked and waited a moment, even though she knew there was no point, before letting herself into the house with a key Maria had given her when they were twelve. Now, six years later, she still used the key whenever she wanted to talk to Maria before the world had woken.

It was a common occurrence for Liz and Maria to get together in the early hours of the morning. That didn’t mean Maria liked getting up at sunrise, though. Therefore Liz always had to wake her so they could take a walk and talk about everything, like Roswell, the shortage of fun things to do, getting out of their parents’ houses, and boys. Boys. What a terrible topic. When you lived in a bubble, there weren’t too many good guys around. Liz mentally counted off the ones her age; lets see there was Kyle Valenti, Alex of course, Sean Deluca, Pat Anderson, Freddy Chang, and about twenty others. When the only boys you knew could be expressed on your fingers and toes, you were definitely living in a small town.

“Maria,” Liz whispered to her sleeping friend. She was leaning over Maria’s floral bedspread, which, like everything in Roswell, had been passed down from their parents’ generation.

“Liz?” Maria croaked.

“Yes, let’s go, Maria. I have something to show you.”

Maria shifted in her bed before dragging her pretty legs over the mattress and letting her blond waves shake. There wasn’t too much makeup around, as those types of things tended to go bad in a couple of years. Liz turned to look outside Maria’s window as her friend dressed.

“So what did you find?” Maria asked from behind.

“A big rock.”

“Sounds promising.”

Liz smiled. “You betcha.”

“All right, let’s go before my mom wakes.” Maria’s dad had died when she was only six years old. He had gotten drunk one night and walked outside the bubble walls. His friend Nate, who had also been drunk at the time, had watched him from the other side of the wall, waving and yelling, though he couldn’t hear the words, about how he was finally free. Maria’s dad had spent a couple of hours outside the wall before he had decided he wanted to come back in. He had only struggled, pushing himself up against the wall for about thirty minutes before he had dropped to the dirt, pushed against the bubble, dead. Maria had never been to the south end of the wall since that night.

“Okay,” Liz replied and the two walked out into the morning green sunshine. Everything looked green filtered through the walls.

“Can we grab a couple shovels first?” Liz asked.

“They’re so heavy to carry…”

“Please, Maria,” Liz pouted.

“Okay.” They went to the back of the house and retrieved one large and one small shovel that Maria’s mom, Amy, used to garden with.

They then left, walking north through the neighborhoods until they reached the more deserted land. The girls walked side by side, though it was obvious to the two that Liz was leading them somewhere.

“So did Kyle ask you out?” Maria spoke, breaking through the peaceful silence. Once she had woken up and shifted from her morning grogginess, Maria was always full of things to say.

“Yes.”

“And?”

“I said no.” Liz looked out to a tree she always passed on her favorite walks to the north side of the wall. Its leaves were standing completely still. Liz wondered what wind felt like, as it rustled the leaves of a tree. Was wind cold?

“Liz? Hello? Why didn’t you say yes? Kyle’s the hottest guy in Roswell.”

Liz turned to her friend, “I'm not interested in him, you know, romantically.”

“So?”

“Why should I say yes if I don’t feel anything for him?” All of a sudden Liz was feeling particularly pensive.

“To get experience, kiss a guy and-”

“I’ve kissed a guy.” Maria reached her arm out and stropped her friend.

“No way. Spill. I thought you-”

“Alex kissed me when we were in the fifth grade.” Liz said coolly.

“Really? Alex, as in our best friend, geeky booky Alex?”

“Hey!” Liz laughed. “I’m also so-called ‘geeky booky.’ And yes, he did. I was so surprised though, that I didn’t do anything and he ran off. Then next day he sent me a note saying he was sorry, and that he didn’t mean anything by it. And after that we were always friends.”

“Wow.” Maria and Liz started walking again.

“Seriously though, there is one major shortage of man here,” Maria commented.

“I know,” Liz half sighed, half groaned. She was starting to feel trapped again. Talking about boys always made her feel trapped.

“How are we going to marry one of them? You know, one of the guys our age. I can’t picture arguing with any of those guys over who does the dishes. And I mean seriously, none of them meet my standards.”

“Tall, blond, and statuesque?” Liz supplied, grinning.

“God no, sounds like you’re describing one of those Greeks from the history books. No, I need a man who’s passionate and adventurous, who likes rebellion and danger. Not any of these shrimpy, ‘deal with the cards you’re dealt’ kinda guys.”

Liz looked to Maria to continue her thought,

“Nobody does anything, Liz. People just…” Maria looked suddenly anguished and frustrated, an expression that Liz had not seen Maria wear very often, though usually around October, when her father had died.

“Don’t understand?” Liz supplied.

“No, more like, just keep going.” Maria turned to her best friend, her eyes raw. “No one does anything, Liz. No one cares anymore.”

The girls had come to two tree stumps, and Liz led them so they could sit down.

“My mom hit the bottle last night,” Maria said quietly.

“Oh, Maria-”

“She told me I made my Daddy leave. That he didn’t want to stay anymore so that’s why he left.”

“Maria-”

“I’m so sick of it, Liz. I’m fucking sick of it.”

“I know what you mean, chica. I feel the same way.” Liz put her arm around Maria, and Maria leaned her hand on Liz’s shoulder. “I need to get out of here too.”

“I hate the color green-” Maria choked.

“When life will always be-” Liz added.

“The same.” The two girls said together. It was an old poem they had made when they were small, and now recited together when they felt helpless.

“I wish we could just leave, walk right through the wall and go.” They had been saying that for years.

“Me too. And look around.” Both girls knew what Liz meant. To see if they were all alone, the only people living in a strange green bubble.

“Yeah.”

They sat like that for a few more minutes, Maria’s head still resting on Liz’s shoulder, before they both stood up, grabbing the shovels, and kept walking.

Ten minutes later they were avidly searching the ground for the rock Liz had seen earlier that morning.

Liz was on her knees, looking for the big block of granite. Maria was to the side, about fifteen feet away searching around the circular perimeter of the wall.

“I found it!” Liz yelled to Maria.

Maria hurried over and looked at the rock. “You’re right, it does look like a big one.”

“Let’s dig it up.”

“Why?” Maria asked casually.

“I don’t know, maybe something’s under it.” Liz joked, handing the small shovel to Maria. Liz took the big one and put her weight into in, digging the metal plate into the ground and throwing the dirt behind her.

“We have to be systematic about this,” Liz told Maria.

“All the dirt goes as far behind us as we can get, okay? That way we won’t have to move it even if the rock turns out really big.”

Maria grunted and the two continued to work. Two sweaty brows later, both girls were exhausted. There was about three feet in diameter of rock showing. By approximate calculations, Liz guessed there was about two feet on each side left to go.

“Let’s take a break,” Liz suggested. They sat down on the ground, already too dirty to care.

“So spill, Liz. What’s with the rock extravaganza?”

“I told you, there might be something under it.” Liz grinned.

Maria raised her eyebrows. “I have been working my ass off for like two hours girlfriend, and I think that deserves a true explanation.” Maria wagged her finger in Liz’s face. “Thou cannot liest to thou friend.” Liz laughed. “How studious of you.” She took a breath. “I just had this dream last night, when I was sleeping out here after dark,” she paused, “You know, I was walking and it was too dark to walk home. And anyway, I don’t remember the dream anymore now, but it was scary, I think, and when I woke up this rock was digging into my back.”

“And?”

“What do you mean, ‘and?’ That’s the explanation.”

“A rock was digging into your back so you wanted to spend all day undigging it?”

Liz grinned. “Yeah.”

Maria shook her head. “You’re too much.”

“I know, but just remember, I’ll always be there to undig your rocks when you need me too also.”

Maria laughed, but Liz detected a small note of strain. “Thanks.”

“No problem, now back to work,” Liz ordered.

“Yes, master.” And they laughed for slavery was an alien concept when you were trapped inside green walls.

Both girls dug until their arms ached, and legs cramped. And by the time the sun was full and blaring down on them, they had only hit the bottom edges of the rock.

“It’s too big to try and move,” Maria said to Liz from one side of the stone. Liz on the other, was examining the earth carefully. Maria was still unsure what Liz wanted to get from all this digging, so she tried to prompt Liz into say what they would do next.

“I know,” Liz said. “That’s why we’re going to dig on one side of the rock until we hit something.”

“Hit something! We may never, Liz! What’s gotten into you?” Maria wailed, flexing her sore fingers.

“Just follow me on this, okay? Not much longer. We’ll go back to town for a late lunch.”

“Okay,” Maria agreed with the promise of food.

“Good, then come over here with me. I think there’s a lot of loose dirt over here.”

Maria came to crouch beside her friend. She felt the earth Liz was pointing to. “Yeah, I feel it. It’s really loose.”

“Okay, let’s dig into it.” The girls pushed their shovels in and with two quick jams, the dirt had fallen and Liz and Maria were starring into a huge hole in the ground.

“Wow,” Maria whispered. All of a sudden, they were doing something dangerous. Something exciting.

Liz stuck her head into the hole behind the rock. They had broken into a tunnel, Liz realized and her heart jumped. A tunnel that was being protected by this stone.

“Liz?”

“It’s a tunnel. And it goes down pretty far into the ground. The slope isn’t too bad though so we should be able to crawl through…”

“What? Are you serious? The ground could collapse on us! We could get stuck and die under the earth forever!”

“But don’t you want to see what’s down there, Maria? Don’t you get it, that rock was blocking the tunnel! Blocking a tunnel that leads to something!” Liz’s voice was high and loud.

“Alright, but I’m serious, Liz. We could get stuck forever. Just do something to make it more safe.”

“Okay, we’ll dig a deeper opening so that it’s less likely to collapse. That way, we’ll be able to climb in easier too.”

Liz tore at the dirt, bringing the clumps far from the rim of the hole they had just made connecting to the side of the tunnel. Soon Maria was right next to Liz, her own determination evident to see where the tunnel led. They didn’t let fear trickle in; pushed it as far back as they could and both girls put on a brave face. They egged each other on, and when one looked into the excited and determined face of the other, she pushed her doubt even farther back.

“Alright, let’s do it,” Liz whispered, though there was no one else in sight. Maria nodded and Liz crawled in first, using her hands and knees to climb down the narrow tunnel headfirst. Maria followed the same way and soon both girls were climbing down the round tunnel in the ground, leading them farther and farther below the surface.

Liz saw the opening first. She stopped crawling, and felt Maria right behind her. The silent message was clear: we’ve arrived at something else.

Liz came out of the tunnel and onto a dirt floor. She could stand up, and looked back for Maria, who was just getting out of the tunnel too. Both girls looked around. They seemed to be standing in a large cave with dirt walls all around them. The tunnel connecting to the bottom of the floor was the only opening. Over their heads was hard packed dirt, and large rocks. The placement of the rocks seemed slightly architectural, and Liz knew it had been done on purpose to preserve this hollow in the ground.

The cave was not empty. There was a large white circle in the middle of the cave that was lifted into a cone shape around three feet high. At the tip of the white cone was another point attached to another triangular cone. This cone had a bluish tone to it and reached about fifteen feet high. And, Liz also realized, the cave was not completely quiet. A humming, vibrating sound was coming from the cones. It was remarkable and for a moment the two human girls just stood there starring up at the ominous blue contraption. There were hints of purple in the color too, Liz realized, and more than that, the colors did not seem permanent or solid. There was a liquid, translucent quality to it.

Liz didn’t know what scared her the most, the fact that she could now see the cone was made of a thin circular wall and that there was a hollow space inside, or the fact that she recognized the medium. There was something terribly familiar about the translucent coloring and the liquid quality of the material that Liz couldn’t place her finger on.

“It’s the wall.”

“What?” Liz turned swiftly to see Maria standing right next to her, her eyes boring into the blue cone. Maria turned to look at Liz.

“It’s the bubble.”


[ edited 1 time(s), last at 31-Jan-2003 4:07:47 PM ]
posted on 27-Jan-2003 4:59:08 PM by The Lone Freckle
Thanks for the feedback guys! The next part should be up tomorrow!*big**big*
Laura
posted on 28-Jan-2003 6:18:24 PM by The Lone Freckle
I'm back! *happy*
Thanks for the great fb, guys!

And two things:
1. {} means something said in Antarian from now on.

2. When I was writing this chapter I kept thinking about a quotation I had read before. As it fits well with this section, I thought I would just post it here as well:

“If oxen, horses, and lions could draw, they would depict gods that looked like oxen, horses, and lions!”
-Xenophanes


Chapter Two

Antar
Corresponding to Earth Year 2035 C.E.


Five separate purple mists were hovering on the top of a cliff. They were aligned in a ‘V’ shaped formation, with one dense cloud in front, two to its sides, and two behinds those. The cloud of mist in front was flowing though the air, condensing in one area more than another, before shifting to the other side. It was constantly on the move and as the areas of purple color grew more condensed, they grew brighter. When the particles were farther apart, the cloud seemed more translucent and dull.

The clouds of mist behind the first one were also moving, through less restlessly. One, on the left hand side of the first cloud, seemed to be almost shivering in apprehension as its particles jumped from left to right. Its inside was more solid however, and its composure was evident to the others.

There was a sea of multicolored mists below the cliff, humming and hovering at the bottom of the large wall of dirt. There were green colored mists and blue ones, yellow and orange, and every other color found on Antar. These mists were retaining their basic shape, their basic cloud of particles, but they were also jumping about just like the five clouds on the top of the cliff. Some of the green could be seen mixing in with a nearby gold for instance, but it was clear that as soon as the particles started to drift and meet others, they would quickly zoom back to their epicenter and condense into their true and bright color.

There were so many clouds of mist below the cliff that a resonating hum had begun. Each mist carried its own distinct and quiet sound, and when so many were gathered together, the noises had combined to reach a universal drone.

The cloud on at the V’s apex was still jumping. Like waves, it was flowing back and forth, zooming right and left until it would reach other particles and then zoom somewhere else. It was clear to the other forms on the cliff that the prince was nervous. And rightly so, as he had just suffered through so much trauma; but it was still as clear as crystal, evident for the whole planet to see.

At the apex, the prince moved forward closer to the edge of the cliff and the mob of colors below it. There was a pause, and the atmosphere seemed to grow with more intensity and anticipation.

And then the prince began the journey down his rightful path. The nervous cloud lets its particles move out of the confined ball of energy it was presently formed as. The particles grew controllably outward like a slow ripple effect, and soon were filling a mass amount of space. The prince had stretched his particles out to both ends of the cliff’s rock. His particles were far and few between, dull without its brothers, and frozen in space and time.

Then the crowd began to hum louder. And louder. The prince’s particles grew a brighter and more concentrated shade of purple with the increasing crowd’s tone. When the air was screaming with unheard noise and the prince’s particles were so bright a purple they were almost white, a gigantic snap was felt. The atoms started flying in all directions at once. The top of the cliff was in complete mayhem as the chaotic particles flew with compete abandon. They flew through the crowd and the various mists. They flew up into the sky until they were one with the sun. And they flew into the ground and waters making peace with the land. There was light everywhere and a purple shimmer were left for milliseconds after a particle had passed. The crowd of mists had grown deadly quiet save for their general hum of concentration. The other four mists on the cliff were as stiff as glass, their atoms static.

And then as quickly as it had begun, the flying ended. Every single tiny particle flew back to that one area on the cliff and collided together. The particles formed a condensed ball of purple and white, the light from the movements filling the cliff with illuminated sparks. Everyone was captivated as the King took his true form. He rolled and molded into the tightest shape imaginable. The crowd of people had accepted this boy as their new leader and it was their life force that helped sculpt him now. He was finished, and he was King.

The ball of energy was still now, hovering over the cliff’s edge. The bright royal purple was becoming more dull with every passing moment, and the King was reforming his mind, retaining his essence as the boy he had always been.

And then with that last snap of permanency, the ceremony was over and the King accepted. The boy was now his normal misty form, only brighter now, and ruler of a planet.

The four forms on the cliff top grew closer to the new king, and one of the smaller ones, with dark red edges, drew first to embrace his commander. The two mists slid together slightly until their edges were a combination or both colors, red and purple, before quickly drawing apart.

{You’ve done it, Max.}

{Thanks, Michael.}

The king embraced his three elders stiffly too, and Qwortex, Jasper, and Evegal congratulated him on the successful ceremony.

And the five royals began the long journey down the cliff.

{You didn’t really think they were going to reject you, did you?}

There was a silence and Michael knew Max’s particles had quieted. He was more subdued.

{I mean, you didn’t want them to reject you, did you Max?}

Some of Max’s atoms touched Michael’s in a slow movement.

{I’m King now, Michael. I was accepted.}

Michael wasn’t oblivious, and he let Max’s comment go for now. {I’d actually go as far to say they loved you. Wanted you as King from the clarity and pitch of their tone. It was so loud I almost couldn’t stand it. I was jumping all over the place!}

Max did not reply.

{Oh come on, Max. You’ll make a great king. Just like your father.}

Max’s loose particles drew close together quickly. {I’ll never be my father.}

{You’re right. You’ll be better than you father.} Michael tried to comfort his best friend and new leader, but he was too confused about Max’s true feelings to do any real good.

{You’ll find them, Max. Isabel and your mother. You’ll get them back from Thoray. Don’t worry. I’ll be right by your side the whole way.}

Max’s particles were crisp and sharp, like tiny needles. He drew even closer together. {Thank you, Michael.} And then he drew away to travel on his own in peace. His second in command was left in disbelief, surprised and worried that their new king was already turning away from his people.

********************

At first he didn’t know where he was going. He levitated through the Crystal Caves and over the people’s settlements. He drew into himself, relaxing his thoughts and closing his mind. He didn’t think he’d be able to handle being seen right now, in all his purple glory. Purple mortification. Purple shame.

Purple dishonor.

He had only been a king for one moment and already he was thinking like a traitor. What would the people think of him now if they could hear the atoms buzzing in his mind? Would they be surprised that their newly chosen king wanted to leave their planet? Would they be angry that he did not want to be king?

He felt the increasing hum and tried to ease his mind again. That damn purple color was coming back even stronger than before. It had been growing darker and brighter ever since his father had been killed. Since the role of king had been passed onto him, the crown prince and only member of the Royal Family on Antar. And the color had only grown by epic proportions since the people had accepted him as their new leader. Now he could never just be Max again, never flounder through the dunes and deserts of Antar with only his own hopes and dreams. He had more than a past now; he had a future. And masses of people depending upon him to free them from their suffering. To end the impeding war before it began. And to save the Royal Family.

Didn’t they realize that he wanted his sister back too? That he missed his mother’s calming embrace? He needed them back just as much as the next Antarian, maybe more, for he certainly felt the pressure now, making his conscience ache and weigh heavy upon his formless body. He had duties to complete already. He had plans to make and formalities to handle.

He had to take a wife. Max new his mind was clenching even more at the thought. Very soon too. Though, Max reasoned, he may be able to put that one off until the situation at Thoray was resolved.

He also had meet with the Council of Advisors. Oh, he dreaded this one too. Those scruffy old men vibrating in that darkened cave when he had to speak about his duty to Antar. And wise Evegal with her cryptic comments that Max could not understand. Max had to befriend the council and ask for their support. And he had to face Michael then too. Oh, Michael, his second in command. They, well Michael more like it, had already talked after the Acceptance Ceremony, but there were still things to sort out with him too.

Michael should be king, Max thought instantly floating by a rotten mushroom. He had the drive and enthusiasm. He wanted to fight for Antar and lead the people. The only problem was that Michael was not of noble blood, though he could have been chosen as king if Max had not been accepted. And he wasn’t very responsible, or very emotional. So he had weaknesses- as did everyone of course- but Max thought that a good king should at least like his position.

But it was all over now. There was no turning back. Max was the King for as long as he was alive, and he had the purple to prove it. Nobody would be able to miss it now.

He had tried to hide the purple shade when it had first come a few moons ago. His father had gone to another peace talk at Thoray, and Max had been speaking with his mother about other planets out of the V Galaxy. He had just asked a question about Earth, a planet his mother had mentioned as being tied to Antar, when she had let out a tiny and frightened shriek. Her molecules had gone wild for a moment, and Max had felt the all familial pull at his atoms, when she had exclaimed, {Look at yourself, Max!}

Max had turned inward, searching with his mental eye. And what he had seen had scared him tremendously. The edges of his moody green aura had turned a dull purple.

His mother’s essence had quickly gone from horrified to non-existent. Max had literally seen his mother’s form shrivel up into a tiny compacted ball, her own purple coloring darkening into a grayish black.

Max had gone for help, fleeing from the transformation he felt slowly creeping up on him. Only when Isabel and some of the experienced Healers had arrived, had his mother gotten better. Her form grew in dimensions, though her color remained darkened. Max knew that she had only come back because she was forced to, and because other people still needed her. It was a feeling Max knew very well.

He had only seen his mother once after that. The morning before she left, the beautiful Amadis had come to see her son. She found Max out by the waters, his own molecules drifting back and forth thoughtlessly. He knew she hadn’t wanted him to notice, but he had anyway, for the flinch he felt in her body when she embraced him one last time was too shameful to ignore. The purple had spread closer to his inner molecules, and mother and son had both known why. The King was dieing.

Something had gone wrong at Thoray. Something fatal. And Max was feeling the corresponding changes within his own body. He was being prepared for the royal position of king. He had known why his mother was leaving too, and why she could not look at him. She had to go and try to save her husband, even if they both knew it was a lost cause. Max was growing into a royal as the moments passed, and the meaning could not be denied. When Max was fully purple, his father would be dead, and Max would have to take over the role of king.

She had left then and Max had accepted it. He had always loved his mother, for she had always accepted him for who he was. The only thing she couldn’t give him was who he wanted to be.

But Max had not anticipated the next move. His twin sister Isabel, the beautiful and playful Isabel, had left along with his mother. Max guessed it was because she wanted to protect their mother, and bring her back to Antar when their father died. Their love would be split in two, and Isabel had gone to help and support her mother in her time of need.

So Max had been left alone. He had been alone when the purple had captured his soul and when the royal colors were there for the whole world to see. He had been alone too, when the message from the King of Thoray had arrived. King Yakove had sent a messenger to Max saying that they had captured the lovely Queen Amadis and Princess Isabel. And that they would only stay alive on one condition. That Max give them the granolith.

The next day Michael had met him down by the Crystal Caves and told Max the news. The crowd wanted to see him and he was to be put on ceremony as the next king. He was purple and alone, without any more dreams and a family to support him, so with his spirit low Max had accepted.

And the crowd had accepted him today. He would never get more purple than this.

********************************


A bright red cloud of mist strolled into the dark cave and noticed that he was not alone. There was a faint blue light in the back of the cave, by some growing crystals. Good. He knew the old Antarian would be here.

{Ah, hello Qwortex. How are your particles today? I see you are more uptight that usual.}

{Worried, Jasper. I’m worried.} The second cloud of mist answered. His atoms were jumping all over the place, regardless of how close some of them got to Jasper’s own.

{About the king?} Jasper asked innocently. He was hovering close to the other Antarian’s blue form, and together their colors seemed to blend into a darkened mauve.

{Yes, among other things.}

{Ah, Thoray.}

{Well aren’t you worried too? Max has been made king, yet he knows nothing of what the job entails. He’s too concerned with himself and his own depressing problems. He wants to be alone like he was as a small child, and never have to face a Thorarian, let alone their king. Max is young and confused. He does not know how to deal with King Yakove or even remotely form a plan to solve the dilemma Princess Isabel and Queen Amadis are in.} The words spilled out clearly, the feelings and worried emotions closely attached.

{My dear, Qwortex. You do not have enough faith in out new king. He will come to terms with himself in all due time. And he will solve the problem on Thoray. You forget that Isabel and Amadis are his sister and mother too. He feels the pressure.} Jasper added, pleased with how the conversation was proceeding.

{Exactly! And how will he handle it? How can you be so blasé about this, Jasper? I though you were eager to get started, you know, blow some Thorarians to smithereens.} Qwortex provoked condescendingly, his concern quickly turning to bitterness at his comrade’s attitude.

{I am eager, friend. I simply think that there’s no use worrying and wasting time when we could be giving the king his first lesson in royal responsibility.}

{Sending him to Thoray, you mean.}

{Yes.} the council member stated simply. His particles lifted and fell in an innocent manner.

Qwortex scowled, his atoms moving violently back and forth. Why did Jasper have to be so arrogant? He had proved himself very useful in some past situations, with all of his cunning war tactics under King Rabven’s rule, but that didn’t stop Qwortex from hating him. Plus Rabven was gone now, and his young son was king. Jasper had better be helpful and welcoming at this afternoon’s council meeting with Max.

{Have you not forgotten our dilemma, Jasper? You of all Antarians should remember why Thoray is keeping the princess and queen hostage.}

Jasper’s particles continued to flow easily. That smug bastard, Qwortex thought. {I have not forgotten, Qwortex my friend, though I know how much you would like that. I merely meant that if Max just went to talk to…}

{Talk to the Thorarians? To King Yakove?} His molecules jumped madly, in a bitter laugh. {What a great suggestion, general, after what happened when King Rabven tried to talk to Yakove before.} His mindvoice reverberated in Jasper’s conscience, angry and sarcastic. {I think we both know that’s a terrible solution.}

Qwortex felt Jasper’s mental frown with satisfaction. But Jasper replied, {Not unless we consulted Evegal.}

There was a long pause, and the older Antarian thought over this tremendous suggestion.

{Evegal?} Qwortex asked, stunned. What did old Evegal have to do with any of this?

{Yes, Evegal. That’s what I said.}

{Why? What can she do? No, let me guess. She has the granolith concealed and has been keeping it a secret all these years.}

{Practically, Qwortex.} Jasper replied, taking the comment seriously.

Qwortex’s particles grew quiet and still. {What do you mean, Jasper? What do you know?}

Jasper drew closer to Qwortex. {She knows something, Qwortex. I know she does. Did you see the still way she was hovering on the cliff during Max’s Acceptance Ceremony? She was so purposeful and complacent. Damn it! I think she’s always known something.}

{What are you saying, Jasper? That Evegal’s been hiding something from us?}

{That’s exactly what I’m saying, Qwortex.} And suddenly the two were close friends again, sharing their concerns and bonding together against any injustice to their planet. {I think she knows something about the granolith.}

{Like where it is?} Qwortex asked worriedly.

{Yes,} Jasper said firmly, looking into his friend’s form. {We have to confront her.}

{Before we are attacked. Before the princess and queen are killed and our new king destroyed like his father. Qwortex said, and the two advisors came to an agreement. For Antar, they would both do anything, whether it involved turning on each other, going to war, or meeting with the third and oldest council member.

TBC...

Edited because I had lots of dialogue problems as the html codes wouldn't accept <>.

[ edited 9 time(s), last at 30-Jan-2003 9:35:07 PM ]
posted on 30-Jan-2003 9:41:32 PM by The Lone Freckle
Important A/N!

Hey guys! Thanks for the feedback! I just wanted to let you know that I had to go back to Ch. 2 and change the dialogue. You see, I had originally planned to use <> around what the Antarians were saying as they do not speak verbally like humans do and I wanted to distinguish that. Except when I went to post the chapter with <> around the dialogue, the HTML codes went nuts and started deleating a lot my words. I had to fix things so much I just changed everything to normal quotation marks in the end. So that's probably the version you read. However, I've just realized that {} will not disturb the HTML codes (at least as far as I know *shudder*) and should work out fine in posts. Therefore I've gone back to Ch. 2 and changed the dialogue formatting. Everything should be posted that way in the future too. Hope this makes sense!
posted on 2-Feb-2003 8:09:38 PM by The Lone Freckle
A/N: Thanks for the feedback! This next part is rather short, but it goes back to the characters in the Prologue.

Also, in case anyone who read Ch. 2 didn't see the Author's Note, I went back to that chapter and edited the dialogue. {} now signals something spoken in Antarian.



Chapter Three

Thoray
Corresponding with Earth Year 1948 C.E.


Throwing himself onto the solid ground, Garnon gasped for breath, his lungs heaving and his head spinning. He dug his long nails into the hard earth, curling his fingers around the clumps of dirt and soil. His head was drooped, his long mane of black knots were falling over his eyes.

Garnon rolled onto his back, his hands coming onto his stomach to monitor his breathing. Over the past year he had found that when his breath grew short and he could not think, the best thing to do was to lie down on his back and try to relax. Garnon closed his eyes and pushed out his stomach when inhaling. The he let the air fly out with a groan, pushing his fingers against his ribs. In. Out. In. Out.

It was the only successful solution when dealing with the human form. Everything that he took in came out; everything had had believed in had to end. And it all came back to the humans. To their scratchy skin and inferior minds, to their doubts and emotions, and to their tears and physical pain. He had never had to deal with the physical side of emotions on Antar. Sure, your particles went wild and your aura might fluctuate a bit, but mostly, pain could only be felt in the mind.

But not on Earth. When he felt hopeless and desperate his body knew somehow, like he couldn’t hide from the wet tears rolling down his cheeks or the terrible tightening in his chest. Like humans hadn’t caused him enough trouble already, he felt trapped in this body, this skin bag full of holes and edges. Nothing felt right, and even a year after being trapped in this human fortress, Garnon still hadn’t mastered the art of being physically alive. He slammed into rocks and stubbed his bare toes, howling in pain Garnon didn’t know which was worse, the terrible aching he would feel in his foot or the ear splitting screech he would let loose.

The sound. That was another thing to add onto his ever-growing hatred of the human race. They could make sounds like nothing he had ever heard on Antar. The screech thundered and the noises varied in tone, either rumbling in his chest or spilling out from his parched lips. He had been surprised when working on Earth, protecting his King Alohalani in human form, but now he couldn’t bear the sounds anymore. He wanted out, and now; there was no way he could survive like this anymore.

He had no reason to live. Alohalani was dead, as it was Garnon’s own mistake when he had killed the king and not his human companion. But Garnon could have lived with that, if only the Antarian people had accepted him again. His own friends had betrayed him, sentenced him to death and torture beyond any description. Torture meant for the Antarian mind, but felt in the human body. They had attacked him mentally, ripping apart his conscious and shattering his memories. All he could remember was that one moment over and over again, blasting the king, as his body fell onto the pink floral sheets. Night after night, all Garnon saw were those tiny pink flowers, blossoming on the bedspread, as the female human bewitched their king and seduced him to his death.

Now her face flew in and out of focus inside the flower’s center, her closed brown eyes opening swiftly inside the flower petals, and Garnon shook violently. Her eyes were a piercing blood red, and Garnon could hear the continuous high scream inside his ears. He could feel his feet backing up inside the bedroom, his vision opening up to show thousands of tiny flowers all pushed together, glaring at him through the human’s hypnotic eyes. She stared at him, beckoning him to become like the king, dead and completely under her spell.

But he had escaped. Survived. He had broken through his bonds on Antar and fled the planet as a refugee. And yet, the farther he had gotten and the more lost he had become, the more the human’s image had haunted him, as if she were just waiting until he was alone and vulnerable. So he had fled on any ship he could steal, ran as far as his thin legs could take him, and become the quiet and brooding alien stuck in a world he hated until the right opportunity presented itself.

Garnon’s head spun with so much thought, and as the ground beneath him swirled like a human carousel, he turned to the dirt, his mouth opening and closing like a fish out of water. His eyes rolled back into his skull and his body spasmed. He emptied what little he had in his stomach, and laid still on the ground, his mind going into a deep sleep. Confused, and mentally ill, the alien trapped in human form lay upon the foreign dirt, his journey far from over.

***

“Get up.”

There was a strange sound in the distance. It sounded almost familiar, like he couldn’t quite reach it; just out of grasp…

“Get up, Garnon.”

Was he imagining things? Was he having another vivid dream in which Alohalani’s human came to scream into his ears, flowers in her hair and reflecting wildly in her eyes? Was she about to sentence him to death? To forever enslavement inside a human body?

He felt a sharp pain in his side, and instinctively reached over to feel his bruised ribs. But he had aimed wrong, and touched something very different instead. A leather boot.

Garnon turned to his side now, and brought himself up into a sitting position. Curse this weak body, Garnon thought briefly, before his gaze followed the boot up into the face of another human. Another human. Ha. Not yet, Garnon laughed bitterly, his voice sputtering loudly; not yet was he just another human.

And he wasn’t on Earth, was he? Oh no, Garnon groaned, had he landed on some other planet populated with this insufferable species? Evolution surly hadn’t been stupid enough to create two planets of waste, had it?

But as he looked up now, and rubbed his eyes, Garnon groaned. No, this was definitely a human standing beside him.

“Get up, Garnon. The king wants to speak with you.”

“Listen, human,” Garnon raised himself onto his two bare feet, still wobbly in his shaky condition. “I don’t want to see any of your stupid kings or even find out how you know my name. I’ve got to get off this crazy planet; I didn’t even mean to land here on purpose.” Garnon scratched his chin, irritated and pissed off. “So if you’ll spare a ship…” He paused, then groaned, “Ugh, you humans probably don’t even-”

“Enough.” The man spoke next to Garnon. “I’m not a human. I’ve merely projected this image into your subconscious mind so that you will understand what I have to say.”

“I can speak your stupid language, Human. Don’t you hear me now?”

“You do not understand, Garnon. You are not awake on the physical plane. Your mind is translating what I am saying into the human tongue, so that you can understand my orders.”

Garnon looked skeptical. “Look, if I’m just imagining you, then I don’t have to play attention to this crap. I’m starting another dream.” Garnon pressed his eyelids together and began to hum lightly, the one sound his was remotely familiar with.

But his concentration was immediately severed as the deep voice spoke again.

“Listen to me, Garnon. I am Thorarian. I live for the King of Thoray, and was sent here to bring you to him. We believe you have a good purpose, and we are well aware of your present situation. I think you will find the king’s agreement to be rather satisfying, if I may say the least.”

Garnon opened, and then narrowed his eyes. “Thoray. I’m an Antarian; I have no business to be here.”

“I think you do, Garnon. You are no longer Antarian, can’t you see? You’re a human, an exiled human who has no home or people. You belong to no one.”

“I am still-”

“No you are not, Garnon. You are not loyal to Antar. Think for a moment. Were they loyal to you when all you did was protect their king? Were they loyal to you when you tried to explain? Were they loyal to you went you lost your memory and Antarian form in the torture? No, Garnon. The answer is no. And that is why the King of Thoray can help protect you, and ultimately help you see revenge.”

“Revenge?” Garnon pronounced the word, as if alien on his tongue. How many times had he thought of seeking revenge against the humans, the Antarians? How many times had he thought bitterly of his old friends and how they had made the worst decision of their lives? For Garnon still knew one thing, just one thing only, and that was his golden ticket to revenge.

“The Antarians have the granolith,” Garnon blurted firmly, straightening his shoulders and bringing his feet together.

The man’s face twisted into a smile. “Then follow me, Garnon, and you will meet the king.”

****

Roswell, New Mexico 1948

Jane Roosevelt peaked through the window by the front door. He was there and looking amazing in his black suit and bow tie. Jane ducked down low, so that she was crouching under the window and only letting her eyes peek through the curtain. He was nervously shuffling his feet, looking around to the neighbor’s doors and straightening his bow tie until it chocked him to death. She giggled, but thought it best not to torture him and make him wait for too much longer, so Jane rose and unlocked the door. The same door he had first walked through that day that had changed everything, that day he had first kissed her.

As if to remember that fateful day, John leaned down and kissed her lightly again. “You look beautiful.” He stared, taking in her short burgundy dress.

“Thank you,” Jane whispered, suddenly shy with him as well. Would they always swing back and forth between the pendulum of best friends and lovers? “You look handsome too.”

He blushed and offered her his arm, bringing her to his small blue car. He led her to the passenger’s side and slipped her inside, closing the door behind her. Then John rushed to the driver’s side, and got in.

“Oh, Jane, these are for you.” John handed her the bouquet of red roses he had left in the car in his nervousness to arrive on time. She dipped her nose into the petals and smelled.

“Mmm. They’re lovely. Thank you, John.” He nodded and started up the car, glancing back at her a couple of times. Why couldn’t he keep a handle on himself tonight? It was just another date with his best friend and girlfriend Jane Roosevelt. Well, to be fair, it was at a fancy restaurant. And she was wearing his favorite dress of hers, with the small straps and tiny rose embroidery.

And he was about to ask her the most life-altering question.

John pulled out of the driveway, and navigated his way to the restaurant, occasionally looking over at Jane to share a smile with her.

Walking through the door, John confirmed their reservation with the hostess at the desk, and then the couple was led to a small and secluded table in the back.

Jane looked around at the beautiful decorations and paintings on the wall. She ran her hands over the white tablecloth and leaned closer to the candle in the middle of the table in order to feel its warm light.

John stared at his girlfriend of one year through the flickering blade of the candle, noticing the shadows cast over her face and the playful glow in her eyes. He reached his hand inside his jacket pocket to finger the velvet case. It was still there. No embarrassing sitcom moments were going to happen tonight.

Jane smiled at his obvious nervousness, “What’s wrong, John? Why are you so jittery tonight?”

He smiled weakly, the strain of the question burdening him so, and reached across the table for her hand. Sliding her soft fingers through his, John grew more at ease. He looked into her eyes and took a deep breath. Well, it was now or never.

“Jane, you’ve been my best friend since we were in the sixth grade. I remember sitting in the old diner and watching you work some of the shifts for your father, always smiling at me whenever you caught me staring.” He blushed, “And I still stare, because I can’t help it. You’re the most beautiful woman I’ve ever met,” he sighed, “Inside and out. You’ve been a shoulder to lean on for as long as I can remember, and I’ve always valued your company. I only hope that you do the same.”

“Oh, John, how can you say that? You know I love you.”

He sighed, and a long breath of doubt flew out. He squeezed her hand. “And I love you. That’s why I want to tell the world. Make it official. Jane Roosevelt, will you marry me?”

And then the world stopped spinning. The candle ceased flickering and the waiters and waitresses around them all froze in place. John was as still as a stone statue, his mouth ajar and his eyes hopeful. The only thing still moving was Jane, her thoughts a blur as the Earth paused for her to think.

Did she want to marry John Goodman? She loved him; that was certain. She loved him for the great friend he had been for so many years, and the amazing boyfriend he had recently become. He was shy and sweet; he cared for her and loved her with all his heart.

But was it the same kind of love she had always dreamed about? The passionate and romantic love written in the stars, destined to be together for all eternity? Was it love like she had once experience before, in the arms of another man? Jane knew that she had found the exception, the “but” in her “I do.” She was still holding onto the young man that had stolen her heart for the short period of six days. Alohalani. She still reached into her nighttime table every evening before she went to bed to take out in the small purple velvet bag that had once belonged to her love. It had taken her three months to finally open the bag, and when she had Jane had found two things: a long slender crystal and a small swirl-patterned pendant. Both of which she held deal to her with the longing that Alohalani would come back for her someday, so they could finish what they had started, and live out their lives together like they both deserved.

So could she marry John when she still loved Alo and held onto that past? Jane searched inside of her. The past was over, she reminded herself, and what’s done was done. Alohalani Antarian had left her before she had woken up that morning, and John had been the one to comfort her two days later when she was sad and distraught.

She did love John and he had always been there for her. He always would. Alohalani would never return and right then and there, Jane swore to forget the past and live in the future. And there was only one man it her future.

The world came roaring back into life.

“I will.”

********

TBC... What do you think?

[ edited 1 time(s), last at 2-Feb-2003 8:11:53 PM ]
posted on 4-Feb-2003 4:55:54 PM by The Lone Freckle
Author's Note

Hey guys, just wanted to comment on some of your questions.

Justine: In general, the Antarians don't hate Earth. They actually don't know much about it, and many Antarians have never even heard of the small planet named Earth. Garnon, however, hates Earth because it's the place where he lost everything. His life ended when he killed the king, and because of the "person" Garnon is, he can only blame his misfortune on the human Jane, thus his hatred for all humans. Plus, he's stuck in a human body, so that only increases his torment and disgust for all things human.

Garnon is the traitor as he is invited to seek revenge with the King of Thoray, Antar's enemy. He doesn't remember any details, as his mind was raped in the torture on Antar, but he does remember that the Antarians had the granolith in 1947. Remember too, that none of the Antarians know where the granolith is as Alohalani hid it secretly, before he was killed and the information lost.

Josephin: Garnon "sees" Janes face because he is tormented with his mistake to kill Alohalani. He imagines her to be a frightening human as he blames her for everything that went wrong; he is fearful of her. Jane didn't wake up or see any of the Antarians. She does not know Alohalani is dead. Your right, the only thing Jane did was wake up with her lover already gone.

Af far as the other questions, all should be revealed later. There is a very specific reason why Roswell is covered in a bubbble! *big* *big*

[ edited 1 time(s), last at 6-Feb-2003 5:15:57 PM ]
posted on 8-Feb-2003 10:05:13 PM by The Lone Freckle
A/N: I was going to leave an Author's Note about something in this chapter, but now I don't think I want to anymore. Um, so why am I writing this in an A/N anyway? Ak, who knows? *big*

Part Four

Roswell, New Mexico 2035

Liz shuffled frantically through the antique chest in her room. Her fingers quickly shifting though the old rag dolls and uncapped markers, and lingering on her old and worn diaries as well as the chemistry sets that she had used as an excited preteen. But she put them all aside, eager to reach the one thing that would give her comfort right now. The crystal.

Throwing a rock collection to the side, Liz caught sight of the small velvet bag. She reached her hand around it, feeling the warm softness beneath her touch. She brought it out of her grandmother’s chest and quickly put all of her childhood memories back in. She only wanted to focus on one thing right now, and that was the sharp and beautiful edges of her old crystal.

Liz pulled the string of the bag open, and dumped the contents into her hand. Out fell a small pendant with an odd swirl design engraved on it, followed by the most beautiful rock Liz had ever seen. Liz put the pendant back into the shimmery velvet bag and brought the crystal close to her. She looked through the transparent rock as she had when she was a small child, eager to see the world through a different perspective. Liz covered the long crystal with both of her hands, feeling the cool edges dig into her skin.

She felt calmer now, more relaxed. What Maria and her had found in the cave had unnerved her, and both girls had felt the need to reconnect with something familiar and reassuring. Both had gone home on their own, and without saying anything to each other, had both reached for something from their past. Maria was presently holding onto a small bear her father had once given her as a birthday present. Liz was holding her family heirloom.

“Liz. There you are. We haven’t seen you all morning,” Liz mother’s stood in the doorway to Liz’s room, her shoulders leaning against the wooden frame.

Liz turned to look her mother in the eye. “I know. I’m sorry I didn’t tell you before, but I didn’t want to wake you and Dad up. Maria and I left early to take a walk.”

Liz’s mother, Nancy, stepped forward and sat down on her daughter’s bed. “You don’t have to explain anything, Liz. You’re an adult now, and you’ll be moving into your own house with your own family very soon.”

Liz gulped, but didn’t say anything. She just clutched the crystal tighter in her hands. When she didn’t hear a response, Nancy looked down and saw what Liz was holding. “Ahh, your father’s crystal. I almost forgot we still had that.”

Liz laughed softly. “Where did you think it had gone Mom, outside of Roswell?”

Nancy laughed a little herself, “No, I had just forgotten that you still liked to hold onto that thing. When you were small you used to bring it with you whenever we had to see Mr. Gregory.”

Liz smiled thinking of the town doctor, and how she always hated the yearly visits to his home office. He had made his own medicine, and because there was a shortage of sweeteners, the taste of the large pills had always been awful.

“That thing has been in your Jeff’s family for a long time.”

“Mmm. Dad told me when he gave it to me, along with grandma’s chest. I guess Grandma Claudia gave it to him, and great Grandma Jane gave it to her.”

“That’s the story,” a deep voice answered from the door, behind Liz and Nancy. Both women turned to see Liz’s father, Jeff, smiling from the hallway. “What are you two doing? Taking a stroll down memory lane?”

Nancy smiled and added, “We were just talking about your side of the family.”

“Yes, crazy Grandma Claudia. I wish she were still with us,” Jeff sat down on the bed beside his wife. “She was something else. You really would have liked her Liz. It’s a shame she had a heart attack so young.”

“I know,” Liz said and Jeff took the crystal from her hands. “I remember when she gave this to me. She first told me about how she had gotten it, and sat me right down to say that this was a serious issue. It was a right of passage, she said, and I was now old enough to call it mine.”

“How did she get it, Dad?” Liz prompted lightly, “Where did it first come from?”

“Well I don’t really know the answer to your second question, Lizzie, but I know what my mother told me. Apparently, her mother and your great grand mother, Liz, had passed it to Claudia on her deathbed. Your great grandmother had guarded it her whole life, and called it her most important possession. That small velvet bag had been the most important value in her will, and she had only told my mother one thing about it. That it had come from a past lover.”

“How romantic,” Nancy sighed. “Don’t you think so, Liz?”

Liz nodded and took the crystal back from her father. Someday she would pass it on to her children too.

The doorbell suddenly rang and all three Parkers lifted their heads towards the hallway.

“I’ll get it,” Liz said, placing the crystal and swirl pendant in the velvet bag. She pocketed it. “It’s probably Maria, anyway.”

“Wait, Liz.” Jeff took a small box out of his own pocket. “Take a pill, you’ll get hungry doing all that walking you like to do.” He opened the box and took out a small pink pill. Liz grabbed it and swallowed, tilting her head back.

“Thanks Dad,” she said. And then she was out the door and into the hall.

Liz pulled open the front door and looked surprisingly into the boyish face of one, Alex Whitman.

“Alex! I didn’t expect you! What’s going on?”

“I have to talk to you, Liz. Could you listen for a minute?” Liz nodded and stepped out of the house, locking it behind her.

She followed Alex a small ways, to the end of the row of identical white houses, until Alex turned and spoke. “Look Liz, Maria just came and talked to me. She said you guys found something weird out in the northern desert. Is that true?”

Liz frowned but nodded. “What did-”

“Maria was freaking out, Liz. Freaking out. She thinks you guys found some sort of bomb shelter or government machine. What’s going on, Liz?”

Liz sighed, and brought her hands up to Alex’s shoulders. “Where’s Maria, Alex? Is she at her house?”

“What? Yeah.” Liz began to walk ahead, away from her friend and toward Maria’s block.

“Liz! What are you doing? I need to talk to you! Something’s going on and you’re not telling me what.” He ran forward and caught up with Liz, pulling her back with his hand on her arm.

“Look, I’m your friend, Liz, and I deserve to know the truth. What did you guys find out there and why is Maria so upset? Does this have something to do with her Dad?”

“What Alex? No!” Liz shook her head. “Look, we just found something underground. It was just, this tunnel thing. Nothing to worry about. Maria was just startled to find something.”

“Okay, now I’m even more confused. A tunnel? Why were you two digging in the desert? Were you looking for something? Why didn’t you tell me earlier?”

“Alex. I promise to tell you everything, if we can just get to Maria’s first, okay? Let’s all talk together.”

Alex nodded, “Okay, but you have to promise to tell me then.” Liz promised and the two set off for Maria’s small house.

Liz knocked on the door this time, as she knew Maria was awake and agile. When Amy opened the door, both Liz and Alex asked at once, “Can we see Maria?”

Amy smiled at her daughter’s two best friends, “Come on in. Maria’s out back.”

They walked through the small house, identical to every other on the street, and out the back door to the garden.

“Maria?” Liz asked, the screen door slamming behind her and Alex, as Amy left them for the kitchen.

Maria was crouched on the ground, in a t-shirt and jeans, her hands working thoroughly through the earth. She was planting a flower bulb, and as she heard Liz call her name, Maria stood up and wiped her hands on her jeans.

“Oh, hey guys. What’s going on?”

Liz turned to look at Alex and the two shared a look. “Alex and I were going to take a walk up by the northern desert. Did you want to come?”

Suddenly, there was a myriad of emotions on Maria’s face. She tried to mask them quickly, but the fear was still evident in the lines of her forehead.

“I’m not sure I can make it. Mom and I are going to church.”

“Church?” Liz blurted out loudly. “Why would you be going to church?”

Maria shrugged, and Liz clammed up. What was happening to her best friend?

Alex looked between the two girls, and knew he had to try. “Why don’t you come with Liz and I first, Maria? Then we can talk a little about what happened before.”

Liz sent a silent thanks to Alex, and then turned back to Maria, “Please?”

After a moment she nodded, and walked around the house and onto the road. They walked side by side in silence, Maria in the middle and Alex and Liz on her sides.

When they walked by the popular church, which also served as Roswell’s courthouse, Liz felt a chill run up her spine. There was a congregation of men, women, and children standing in the front yard, all dressed in white, listening to the priest speak. His words were persuasive, and he had the undying attention of everyone listening. Even the young children were still. Liz hoped Maria wouldn’t go there after they had talked, no matter what.

After a little while longer, the three friends reached the end of the road, and the beginning of the unsettled land. Here Maria stopped, and Alex and Liz came to a halt.

“Look Liz, I don’t know what you think we saw, but I do know what I think, and the evidence is pretty clear.” She laughed a little breathlessly, “Evidence, Liz. I see it everyday with my own eyes. Looks like you’re not the only scientist.”

Liz bit her lip, and tried to refrain from jumping into Maria’s arms and giving her a big and well-needed hug. She would let her speak first.

“What we saw out there, Liz, I know what it was, even though I might not know what it means. We saw the bubble in that cave. The same green material that Roswell lives in everyday was in that cave, Liz, and I think I’m beginning to know what we can do.” He eyes grew a little wild, and Liz felt her concern double. “If we do something to that machine, Liz, we could free ourselves. It might be what keeps the bubble intact! I can feel it, Liz, if we turn the machine off or something, we could free Roswell and liberate ourselves!”

Alex looked questioning, his eyes wide. Liz finally took that step towards her best friend and brought her into a hug. “Maria. We don’t know what it is, and I don’t want you to get your hopes up. It might not mean anything,” she whispered into Maria’s ear, their heads close.

“How can you say that?” Maria asked, pulling Liz back so that they were at arm’s length. “You know it was the green wall! Don’t tell me you don’t think so!”

“I know. I did think so too, but that doesn’t mean it’s an activation machine or anything. It could just be subject to it’s own bubble. Let’s try to be calm about this until we know anything for sure.” She turned to face Alex as well, “Okay?”

He nodded, “Okay.”

“Great,” Liz replied, and took hold of Maria’s hand in a familiar embrace. “Can we go?”

Maria pushed a string of blonde behind her ear. “Yes. Let’s go there.” And then she added, “Before we can’t anymore.”

Liz let that go, and Alex came beside her as the three began walking, again in silence for neither Liz nor Alex knew what to say.

Arriving at the big hole Liz had tried to cover up that morning when her and Maria had fled the area, the three friends stood around it, peering into the darkness.

“Is it safe to go down?” Alex asked, looking at first Liz, then Maria.

Liz nodded her approval, but was a tad surprised when Maria moved to climb in first. She crawled into the hole, and Alex followed her, with Liz behind him. Soon all three were in the underground chamber.

“Wow,” Alex exclaimed, his eyes flickering quickly throughout the hollow, but as had happened with Liz and Maria earlier, they kept coming back to the large humming contraption in the center.

“You’re right, Maria.” Alex exclaimed, keeping a bit of distance between him and the thing. “It does look similar to the wall’s coloring and material.”

Maria was walking around the white base, her hands shoved into her pocket, and her face slightly fearful.

Liz sent her a comforting expression, while trying to keep her cool as well. “Did you want to take a look at it, Maria?”

Maria was silent for a moment before she walked closer to the machine. Liz stepped closer as well, and the two looked eye to eye at each other through the translucent green structure.

As if on cue, the girls both raised one hand and simultaneously placed it on the triangular cone. Nothing happened. But what had they expected? Liz let out a little sigh and her eyes traveled to something above Maria’s head on the far wall of the cave. It was a large circle with a swirl-like design in the middle. Two lines curled around each other with a tiny triangle in the middle. Liz gasped. She knew that design! She knew that sign!

Hurriedly, Liz let out a cry for Alex and Maria to come look, and reached into her pocket for the velvet bag.

Alex and Maria stared over Liz’s shoulder as she pulled her great grandmother’s pendant from the bag. Liz held the crystal she had taken out this morning and looked down at the circular piece of metal. It did have the same three-part swirl design as the circle on the wall in the chamber.

“Where did you get that, Liz?” Alex asked intently.

“It’s a family heirloom. It was passed down, along with this crystal, from my great grandmother Jane Roosevelt.”

“Wow. The one on the wall looks just like it,” Alex said.

“What about the crystal? Does it match something here too?” Maria asked, looking around the small area.

“I don’t know,” Liz responded, looking to the ends of the cave, as well. “It’s a good question.”

“I’m going to check it out. Alex, would you take a look at the wall design, and see if you can remove it or anything? Check if it can come off the wall.”

“Sure,” Alex responded lightly, “I’ll take a look.” He walked to the other side of the cave and Liz pocketed the pendant for safekeeping.

Liz turned to Maria. “Let’s try to find something that might match the crystal, like you said.”

They both scurried around the machine together, gazing around at the white base cone. Liz held onto the crystal, her shoulder touching Maria’s, and drew the tip of the rock along the ribbed base, hoping something would happen and the two would discover something new. If only they could do something, Liz thought, or just find something important, then everything would revolutionize and transform. Everyone would be forced to change and their world would never be the same.

At that moment, Liz felt the pull of change so strongly, that her heart began to rise and the soft hum in the chamber seemed to grow. She drew the crystal’s tip around the base, and on a deep impulse, pushed the length of the rock into the white base.

Maria gasped. The hum was so loud now; Liz felt it throbbing in her ears and the cave started to glow brightly. A white light shined out from the machine, filling the cave so that Liz, Maria, and Alex could not see each other. The white was so strong, they were encompassed in complete darkness, and Liz screamed out in agony. She felt a pressure against her whole body and fine needle-like points all over her skin.

Then Liz felt the strangest sensation. In place of the previous pain, she now felt her own body become lighter than air. Her body, her essence began to float apart into a million pieces, traveling on their own, but still apart of the whole. A part of what is Liz.

And then as soon as it had begun, the strange feelings ended. Liz felt herself swarm together, and her thoughts, before distant, began to collide into a hot pack of energy. She was concrete again and achingly human as the light began to fade. Liz quickly became aware of the sounds and shapes around her.

“LIZ! MARIA!” Liz honed in on Alex’s voice, far and faint.

Why couldn’t she hear him very well? What was happening?

“LIZ! MARIA!”

She could see Alex now, but he was so blurry and green, like he was trapped inside his own personal bubble.

“Alex!” Liz heard Maria yell, and Liz noticed that Maria’s voice was much sharper than Alex’s. Wait! Alex wasn’t the one trapped; her and Maria were! They were inside the contraption, the green cone, and they couldn’t get out!

Liz and Maria banged against the cone wall, but they were stuck and there was nothing they could do. “Alex! Alex!” Liz and Maria called together, but the fight was useless, for before another thought could form, the two girls had disappeared like a flash of lightning into a dark night.

***

TBC...
posted on 16-Feb-2003 5:32:22 PM by The Lone Freckle
A/N: Okay, a few things:

1. Thank you for all the feedback! I love it!!! Special thanks to Justine, Cath, and Rayna ‘cause multiple bumps are always welcome! Oh and Rayna, you are SO wrong about the Valenti thing. Just try posting your theory on the FanFic Discussion board and watch the angry “NO!”s come flooding in! We Roswell Fanatics are not completely driven by our Maxwellian instinctual drives…well at least not all the time. LOL.

2. I’m still learning about this whole writing process, and what you should reveal to the reader and when. So, I don’t think I was really clear enough before. That was definitely the granolith in the last part. You guys are right; Liz and Maria now have a first class ticket to another planet. And also, Liz is completely human. It’s true that King Alohalani and Jane were lovers, but they never produced a child. In Chapter Three, we see Jane a year after Alo has been killed, and she is without a child. So, Jane and John (the human) had Claudia, and she had Jeff Parker, and he and Nancy had Liz. This will also be addressed later on, but I just wanted to make sure people knew Liz’s, erm, composition, before this coming part.

3. Also, just a reminder that {} means something spoken in Antarian. Thanks!


Chapter Five

Antar
Corresponding to Earth Year 2035 C.E.



It was like your whole existence was being stretched from one galaxy to the next. It was like your memories of climbing trees and skipping rope were being grasped with two hands and pulled as far as they could reach without snapping. One long and distorted vision of a little girl in a white dress stretched from one planet to another. Every tear and every smile was brought back to the surface; everything you had never wanted to face again was there for the whole universe to see. Your body was everything it had been and everything it would grow to become. There were wrinkles and baby fat, bad back aches, and soft supple skin. It was all there, mixing with the stars, falling through the darkness, and into another light, another world. You were everything you wanted, everything you hated, and all you cherished all at once. Your potential was out in the open, crawling towards another destination and another step in your life. You were, in every complete way, you.

And that’s how the two girls came storming onto another planet, propelled by something alien and new. They were still Liz Parker and Maria DeLuca, the girls behind the 2-dimentional names, only now they were in foreign territory. Their hair was frayed and their clothes tattered. Their memories were sore form being rehashed so soon. They were collapsed onto a ground beyond anything they could imagine. Their brains had not thought of anything so different from what they were, human and solid; and they had never comprehended the deeper meaning behind the word “alien.”

And it was strange now, opening their eyes to the darker light on this planet, to have to do something no human had done before. They had to completely readjust their thinking, and change what they considered normal. They were leaving normal for the indescribable, and both girls would soon have to come up with their own descriptions for what they saw, for no human words came even close to describing this world.

Sitting up, Liz and Maria first turned to each other, seeking the assurance that they were not alone in this world. There was still one thing familiar here, and both of them grasped desperately for it. Holding onto the other, Liz and Maria took their first good look around.

Liz’s first thought was that she recognized some things. There were, what she could generally classify as trees, though they were taller than anything she had every seen. There were also mushrooms, Liz thought, and there seemed to be some…animals. Liz now knew that could classify something as an animal, even if she had never seen it before. She guessed some Earth categories and classifications went beyond general human knowledge and sprinkled into the unknown. Everything new that you saw and experienced would forever by compared to what you had first learned as a baby.

There also seemed to be some grass on the ground, tall and ungroomed, waving in the wind. Wind. Was this what wind felt like? This smooth push of air, light against your skin? Liz felt a sudden jump of triumph in her heart. She had broken free! She was living her life in a world without radiation and without limits or boundaries. She could travel as far as she wanted and never have to turn back. She could see the beautiful clear colors all around her. Nothing had the dull green overlook that Roswell had always been filled with.

Liz turned to Maria and saw the same look of amazement on her friends face. Nothing had ever felt so fresh as to be here, in the midst of wind and warm sunlight. There were streams of water in the distance, behind the tall trees, and both girls forgot any fears that had previously felt, to run towards the water.

Oh, beautiful, plentiful water! They ran their fingers though it, the cool liquid slipping from their grasps, and Maria and Liz laughed. This was a paradise! A utopia!

They were all smiles now and both felt as light as a feather. They were invincible! Strong and beautiful! They were independent and smart. Unique. Wonderful. They had found a place where they could be free of the pain on Earth. They were ready to start over without any ghosts from the past.

So they sat by the small stream of water for a few moments, simply running their fingers though the hydrogen and oxygen molecules, before Liz felt the pull to experience something more. She wanted to push the wall even further from her mind and embrace this life with all she had.

Liz turned to Maria. “Do you want to?” It was the first words that the two had spoken since landing on the planet.

Maria took a breath full of the oxygen and lifted the edges of her mouth into a beautiful smile. “Why not?”

They giggled then, slipping out of their clothes, and wading into the cool water. They paddled around, washing and laughing, like the water was cleansing away any and every concern.

******

Two clouds of mist came floating into the forest. They moved fast, with one red cloud leading the other into a wide opening between the tall trees.

She could sense their anxiety from far away, and had expected their visit with a smile of her own.

{She should be around here. Don’t be surprised if you don’t recognize her right away.}

{Right. Is this were she’s always hiding out from the world?}

{She comes here to meditate or something. I don’t know. Maybe she gets her wisdom from the trees,} the Antarian half joked as they reached the middle of the clearing.

The other alien cloud moved upward, towards the tall boughs, and around the leaves, his particles stiff and close together. {Evegal? Are you here? Evegal!} He called out with his mind, {We need to talk to you!} He soared between branches and separated his particles to travel around a large trunk.

Qwortex called from bellow his friend, {Come back down, Jasper. You’ll only make her mad if you keep calling like that. She likes to come on her own time.}

Jasper relented and floated back down, his form humming next to Qwortex’s. They waited for a little while longer before the trees began to rustle slightly, and the wind grew stronger.

{This is her,} Qwortex’s mindvoice whispered to Jasper. {She’s coming.}

They trees continued to move quickly, their leaves shaking and dancing with the wind’s embrace. And then there was a sucking noise as the tree limbs began to pull apart and push in the opposite direction. The air vibrated with terrible movement and the long grasses waved the same direction as the trees, like a crater was forming in the middle of the clearing around the two Antarian men.

Then suddenly everything fell still again, and the trees, grasses, and wind were back to normal. Now there was a woman next to the two men, her particles still flowing lightly with the wind, like untamed wild hair. Her aura was a beautiful rich brown, full of depth and wisdom.

{Evegal! What just happened here? What did you do to the trees?} Qwortex asked the third council member.

{I was leaving them,} she said, but noting their blank expressions, added, {To come to you.}

{Oh. Okay,} Qwortex responded. {Well, Jasper and I had something we wanted to talk to you about before the council meeting this afternoon with young Max.}

{Yes,} Jasper piped in. {We have something very important to talk to you about. Regarding the granolith.}

She continued to let her particles flow freely, without a mental response, as the two men asked her what she already knew.

Qwortex found it hard to focus on her form, as her atoms were flowing outward, and Evegal seemed to make no effort in condensing them. They were mixing with the trees again and sliding against a blade of grass. Qwortex knew Jasper was having a hard time concentrating too, even though they knew her mental attention was on the two of them.

{Okay, Evegal. Let’s stop playing games. You obviously know something that Qwortex and I don’t. And now we want to know what that is. This is important to Antar, Evegal, and I ask you to show us where your loyalties lie. If you’re holding something back that Antar would benefit from, I urge you to share it with us now. You are, after all, on the council board for Antar. You have been for a long time.}

{My loyalties lie with Antar, Jasper. You should know that by now. I am apart of this planet, and will always protect it with what I can. Therefore anything that you two need to know I will share.}

Jasper erupted, his red particles flaring out violently. {You may have a lot of wisdom that I still lack Evegal, but I think you are making the wrong choice here. You’re hiding something from Antar. We deserve to know! Now tell us! Where is the granolith?}

{What makes you think I know that, Jasper?} Evegal questioned honestly.

{Because someone on this goddamn planet must, and you’re the oldest one still alive. You were alive when old King Alohalani was still in power, Evegal; you have to remember something!}

Evegal brought some of her atoms in a little closer, and her deep brown color became more visible. {You’re right. Someone on this planet does know where the granolith is. If fact, two creatures know.}

{What?} Qwortex cried, his own blue aura darkening, {Who else?}

{They are both new arrivals.}

Jasper came closer to Evegal. {Stop playing games with us. Where is this other person?}

{Other people,} Evegal corrected.

{What? You don’t know where the granolith is?} Jasper questioned angrily.

{Not exactly, Jasper. But I know of two forms that do.}

{Where are they? Are they in the village? If they’ve been keeping this a secret the whole time…}

Evegal corrected him again. {They’ve only just found out themselves.}

{Tell us where, Eve,} Qwortex pleaded gently. {For Max. For Antar.}

Her particles grew bright. {You’re right, Qwortex. This is very much for Max, and I’m sure that in the end, it will be for Antar too.} Her essence jumped a little teasingly. {For Max, indeed.}

And then she was gone, spread out into the trees like a sister to the planet, all knowing and beautiful.

Jasper’s red form turned to Qwortex’s blue one. {There’s something going on with Max.}

*****

There were things in the water hole. Things. They looked like nothing he had ever seen before. They had, had…things attached to other…things and the whole contraption appeared to be attached to one big thing.

They were like the trees and the rocks. Their particles were so condensed that they could not be seen, could not separate and move freely. They were solid like hard packed earth, and welded together like a cemented prisoner. Were they sad that they could not move their body outwards into tiny atoms of matter? Were they trapped in that form, that body, as a punishment?

Max was so very confused. Where had these things come from? What did it mean to have such erm, things coming out from other things, and not be able to separate and move? Did they have a purpose, a job to fulfill here? Had they come seeking someone? Wait, Max brought his thoughts to a halt. Could these things even think like Antarians could? Did their minds work in the same way? They certainly didn’t look like Antarians, so how could they function? How did they eat without particles to swarm and dissolve nourishment? How did they show emotions without auras? Well, Max took back his last question; they did have color, that was for sure. But they had more than one, and many more shades that Antarians could show.

Max took a closer look at the two things her saw in the water hole. One of them had soft light brown colors, with a bit of darker brown on top. The other had lighter white colors, with a yellow mop of something on top of its form. And, if Max looked even closer, his particles shying towards the creatures, he could see the first thing had more brown circles towards the top of her form, and the second one had greener ones.

But there was something else. Something Max was even more unsure of, and that was the feelings that had crept up on him when observing these two creatures. There was something about one of them, the one with the brown circle and top, that kept bringing his attention to her. Her? Was this a female? A woman, like found in Antarians? Somehow Max knew the answer to this question was ‘yes’; he was looking at a woman from a different species. What it was that told Max this he didn’t know, but if the sensuality and female essence that seemed to surround this creature was indeed pointing towards her gender, then Max felt they had more in common then he had originally thought. Both forms splashing in the water hole were female, Max concluded then, as they seemed to have very similar body structures.

And speaking of their body structures… Max felt a pang of something else. What was this running through his particles now? Embarrassment and guilt? Why had these feelings suddenly come rushing through his form? Did he feel embarrassed to be watching these two women bathe? Why should be feel guilty if they did not know he was there, starring at their bodies? Was there something, something…intimate about the scene he was watching? Max’s particles drew wild for a moment and he almost shivered before he dismissed this strange thought. He didn’t even know what species these women were, let alone what made them look beautiful or desirable.

He quickly forced the thought out of his mind before the guilt and confusion spread.

The next thing Max noticed were the sounds. The two females were letting out loud shrieks and shrill calls that Max couldn’t make any sense of. He tried speaking to one of them in Antarian, by sending mind waves and frequencies, but neither seemed to notice. These two women communicated differently than Antarians did. Their speech and expression seemed to use their bodies more than Antarians did. Max noticed too that whenever a sound was emitted to reverberate of the lands, the women’s top hole would open up. She seemed to have a slit in a round, circle like structure that sat on the top of her body. This slit opened and moved as sounds were emitted, and Max just stared at it. He was completely enthralled watching this one woman open and close her body to create sounds. And although the noise was painful to hear and confusing to listen to, Max still floated at still and silently as he could. He did not want them to see him yet. He didn’t want to disturb them. He was completely spellbound.

********

“Ohhh,” Maria moaned, paddling near Liz. “It feels so good to get out of those clothes. I didn’t know how much my body ached until now.”

“Mmm,” Liz agreed, dunking under the water, and smoothing her hair back. “This is incredible. I can’t believe how dirty I was.”

“I know. I guess space travel really does that to you.” Maria said causally, but off the look on Liz’s face, instantly wished she could take it back. They were talking about anything but casual. They were on another planet, bathing naked in the waters, and neither even knew if they were safe.

“Liz…” Maria uttered in horror, suddenly completely frightened.

“How do we eat, Maria? I mean, it’s a good sign that we can breathe the air here. The trees provide oxygen, but what about everything else? There’s water, but what about food? What about other creatures, animals, aliens…”

Both girls felt suddenly cold, no longer playful or relaxed in the waters. Liz stood up tensely and began to wade out of the small lagoon. Maria followed her, scared to be alone.

“This isn’t right, Liz. This isn’t right,” Maria chanted, her arms covering her bare chest protectively. Waking towards their tattered clothes, both girls were looking around frantically. What if they were being watched by something horrible?

Liz mumbled something under her breath, her teeth chattering loudly. She may be on a different planet, but her human feelings were still the same.

They made a mad dash for their clothes, pulling the t-shirts and jeans quickly over their still wet bodies.

Maria turned to Liz. “What are we going to do, Liz? We can’t live here like this! What about Alex? Our families? We left them all in Roswell. Alex…” Maria’s eyes began to tear, “We left him all alone in that stupid underground cave!”

Liz chocked back her own tears of helplessness. They could handle this. There must be something they could do.

Liz took a deep breath as if to confirm that she could indeed breathe, “Maria! We have to do this logically. For our own survival before we can get back to Earth. Okay?”

Maria nodded, pulling herself together as well.

“All right. First thing we have to do if see if we can find a location. Are we near anything that might resemble a landmark, or identifiable object? Are there any civilizations around?” Liz looked Maria in the eyes. “Are there any other people or creatures? We have to find out about that too.”

“I won’t separate from you,” Maria stated firmly.

“I know. I don’t want us to do that either. Let’s just try and look around before the sky becomes dark and, and…”

“And the unknown comes upon us.” Maria answered, staring her friend right back in the eyes. Gone were the carefree emotions, the salvation felt at being freed from the confines of a bubble. Now there was just one thing of importance. Survival.

“Okay. Let’s start over there by the trees. There might be more life around that part,” Liz stated, her eyes searching Maria’s. Maria nodded slowly, and then both girls began to walk into the cluster of giant trees, their shoulders touching and their hearts beating wildly.

They stepped over plants they had never seen before and inched along the perimeters of large flowers over three feet high. Liz and Maria held hands at moments, when they were unsure what was safe, but let go when they were walking through familiar ground as if to prove there was nothing to be afraid of.

Deeper in the exotic forest, Liz exclaimed to her friend, “Look Maria! There are some of those mushrooms!”

Maria turned to where Liz had pointed her finger, and the two girls rushed to take a closer look. Sure enough, there was a small patch of gray mushrooms on the ground, right beside an especially tall tree.

Maria reached down to grab one, but instantly stopped when she felt Liz’s unsteady hand on her shoulder, holding her back.

Maria turned her head up to Liz’s and saw that her friend was staring wildly into the forest.

“What is it, Liz?” Maria whispered quietly.

Liz turned down to look at her, her eyes a bright brown, with her pupils darting back and forth. “I heard something.”

Maria pulled back to look around the forest in all directions. “Where? Where?”

“Over there,” Liz pointed in front of them, inside a cluster of dense leaves and bushel. “I heard this…humming noise coming from inside there. Stay quiet and we may be able to hear it again.”

Maria said nothing and the two listened intently, Maria’s hand on Liz’s knee, and Liz’s hand on Maria’s. Both had their head pointed directly into the bushel.

And then Maria heard it. A soft humming noise coming from the distance. If she didn’t know better she would have thought of a pack of bees, slowing coming closer and closer.

Liz drew in a breath. “It’s louder than before. It’s coming towards us, I think.”

Maria sucked in a ragged breath as well, and her left hand clenched around Liz’s knee as the two girls remained crouched on the forest floor, scared and unsure.

“It’s getting louder,” Maria breathed out, “It’s coming closer.”

Liz concentrated on the consistent noise. It was like two insects, buzzing back and forth to each other, drawing closer to the mushroom patch.

Liz felt Maria’s nails dig into her skin through her jeans and Liz turned her attention back to her friend. If there was something coming closer, they didn’t have much time to lose. They had to get out of there, and fast.

Liz detached Maria’s hand and pulled it into her own. She cocked her head to the side, as if to say ‘over there’ and pulled Maria up into a standing position. Maria nodded and the two began to run together in the opposite direction.

At first they were trying not to make a lot of noise, and Liz attempted to lead them around places in which they would make a big commotion. She avoided running over crackling twigs from fallen trees, and led Maria so that they could jump over the rocks sticking up from the ground. But the longer and faster they ran, the louder the wind began to sound around their bodies, and soon they were no longer running cautiously; they were fleeing for their lives.

The trees and bushes around them began to swirl into a mass of green blur and the wind screamed on both sides of them, cutting into their hair and rushing into their ears. They kept running and running, holding tightly onto each other’s hands with the same mantra digging into their brains: Don’t Stop. Don’t Stop. Don’t Stop.

But it was too much, and soon Maria fell to the ground, her hand pulling on Liz’s until they were both tangled up in a mass of large flowers. They scrambled, trying to stand up and keep going, but they couldn’t seem to detangle themselves from the vines they had fallen into.

Frantically, Liz pulled at the green and brown brush, her hands scraping across thorns and sharp edges. Maria, beside her, was doing the same, and together both girls tried desperately to free themselves before it was too late.

But the loud humming was already upon them, and without looking up, Liz knew they had already been found. But she peeked up anyway, deathly afraid of what she might see.

Liz she could hardly see anything. The whole world was covered in a dark blue and red cloud, and all she could distinguish were small sparks of light flying around chaotically, tangled up in the red and blue.

Was she looking up at stars trapped in a blue sky? Was this red color a fire? Were they going to burn in the sky, and never see Alex again? She had so much left to live, so much to still learn. How could she die here, on a foreign planet without every seeing her family again?

Turning her head to face Maria, who was lay close on the ground, Liz met her friend’s eyes for a long moment. Something was upon them. Something big. And immediately both girls came to an understanding. Whether it be death for another chance, Liz and Maria were going to accept it. It was the only life they had left to live.

Liz saw Maria close her eyes, and so she did the same. Everything became quiet then. The roaring sounds in her ears were gone, and Liz filtered out everything else. She drew into herself, her only home now, and searched the blackness of her mind. Her memories and her hopes were so real now. She had entered the incredible, the fantastic, and she was about to take her next blind step. Whatever was happening above her tangled form would determine the course of the rest of her life. And Liz was ready to embrace it with all the fear and doubt she had. It was all that was left. Roswell was gone.

Behind Liz’s eyelids, colors were fighting for dominance in the outside world. There were red and blue, suspicious and curious, and then there was something else. A rapidly approaching purple, which soon joined the other two colors in a battle for control. Their auras slid together into a dark black, before separating back into their separate entities. The colors darkened and the humming grew louder in a shrill vibration.

And then suddenly the blue and red colors retreated, their sound diminishing with their forms. The purple was left, royal and victorious, hovering over the two human girls.

***********
TBC…