posted on 6-Jan-2002 1:56:48 PM by Elizabeth Evans
Title: Once Again

Disclaimer: I don't own anything related to Roswell. The characters that are mine are Ariel, David, Brian, and Kara from some of the RPG's.

Category: Ariel/Brian, David/Kara, Max/Liz, Michael/Maria, Isabel/Alex, and Tess/Kyle.

Summary: Ariel and her twin brother David move to Roswell when their father receives a job offer as a faculty member at Las Cruces University. The twins have always known that they were different, that they have psychic abilities. But soon they begin to learn the full truth about who they really are with the help of Brian and Kara. The Royal Four and their friends have now found them. The Enemy has also found them, and their once safe and peaceful lives turn dangerous. Can the four of them survive what is to come, or are they destined to once again repeat the tragedy that befell them in their last lives?

Author's note: This is my first fanfic, so please be kind Also, any constructive feedback is appreciated.

Rating: PG-13

___________________________________________________

Prologue: Pennsylvania, 12 years ago.

It was time. The protector hiked up the mountain trail to the cave, where his four young charges were safely hidden. He passed his hand over the cave entrance, exposing a handprint at the side of the "door." Pressing his palm to the handprint, the protector caused the door to slide open, allowing entrance to the well-concealed cave. The cave was lit with an eerie blue-green light. A low humming vibration emanated from the pods, signaling that all was well with the four children inside. Soon four pairs of eyes opened. Tiny hands pushed through the pod membranes as the children freed themselves and stepped out onto the cave floor. They had the appearance of human children around the age of five or six, and they had blonde hair and green eyes. The protector smiled proudly as the children gazed about in wonder. They were obviously intelligent and curious, traits which he intended to nurture over the years as they grew. But there was no time to waste. Word had been received that the Enemy had learned about the hybrid children, as well as their location. It was no longer safe here in this cave. "Come, children, time to get dressed. We must leave quickly, " he told them in their native tongue. The children understood and quickly dressed in the clothes that had been laid out for them, clothes that would help them blend into the local society.

As the small group prepared to leave the cave, a sudden blast of light pierced the cave entrance and hit the protector in the shoulder. The blast left him injured, but he managed to raise a shield around himself and the children as several Enemy soldiers entered the room and surrounded them. "Caleb, you've been holding out on us," the Enemy mission leader stepped forward to address the protector, his manner deceptively pleasant. "You know why we have come. Surrender the children, and we may spare your life."

Instinctively, the children stepped closer to their protector. The little curly-haired girl, seeing that the protector was injured, put her hand to his shoulder and concentrated hard. Soon, the shoulder was healed perfectly. The other little girl, with the long straight hair, calmly locked eyes with the intruders and established a mental connection with them. She now understood what the Enemy wanted with them, and why she could not allow it to happen. Caleb, for his part, was not about to allow anything to happen to his charges either. "You will never take these children," Caleb replied, unfazed by the threat on his life. He was the toughest protector ever to grace the profession, perhaps all the more effective due to his mild manner that easily lured others to underestimate him. As this enemy underestimated him now. Before the enemy soldiers could even make a move to stop him, Caleb fired a small pulse weapon that left them on the floor, stunned nearly to the point of unconsciousness. Just then, another soldier entered the cave, firing a blast that struck Caleb and knocked him unconscious. The blast separated the little girl with the long straight hair and her brother from the others. The little curly-haired girl again worked to heal Caleb while her brother held a shield around the three of them. Seeing that the other two were in danger, the little boy holding the shield sent a telepathic message to the other little boy to get himself and his sister out of there, and that they'd meet up later when it was safe. The other boy nodded in reply and sent the soldier crashing against the cave wall, then grabbed his sister by the hand. The two children ran out of the cave, hating to leave their friends and protector behind, but knowing that they had to do this. As they ran, the little girl frantically warned her brother telepathically that she had not had enough time to establish a mental connection with the new soldier to get him to stop trying to hurt them. Suddenly, there was a blinding flash of light as the soldier unleashed a new weapon designed to make the four children forget everything about who they were so that they could more easily be raised to carry out the agenda of the Enemy, the followers of Khivar...

____________________________________________________

Part 1: Separation

The little girl and her brother were running through the forest, holding hands. They were scared but did not know why. Maybe it was the darkness with only a full, pale moon to guide them on their way, Maybe it was that they were small children, alone and lost in the night. Maybe it was the intuitive sense of panic that something was after them, but they couldn't remember what it might be. They couldn't even remember anything about themselves, not even what they had been doing before they had started running. Wasn't that strange? It was hard to even think. There was only her brother and the panic and the dark night. Nothing was behind them to give any indication of danger, or any clue as to who they were, but they kept moving forward quickly. Finally, they reached a clearing and a road. There was a bright light, no, two bright lights coming toward them. Her brother pulled her back a little, afraid of what the lights might mean. But there was no time to react as the lights stopped beside them. A young couple exited the car and carefully approached the little girl and her brother, so as not to scare the children away. The little girl mentally reached out to the couple, who seemed kindly enough. She could sense their great longing for children of their own. This couple wanted to bring her and her brother home with them and take care of them. The little girl smiled timidly; she had a good feeling about this couple. She went over to the man and woman, and they enfolded her in their arms. Her brother, trusting her judgment, followed suit...

Ariel Hart awoke from her dream and slowly opened her eyes. She pushed her long, straight blond hair back from her face and sighed. This was the same dream she had whenever there was a separation in her life. She'd had this dream when she'd finished elementary and middle school. She'd had it when she or her brother David would go away to summer camp. She'd even had the dream when one of her parents would leave on a business trip. Once she had figured out this theme of separation, the irony of it had never ceased to amaze her. After all, this dream was actually her memory of her family coming together. It was Ariel's memory of the night that her parents had found her and David wandering lost in a forest and had later adopted them.

Now, at age seventeen, Ariel was facing the biggest separation of her life. Her family was leaving the home she'd lived in all her life (all of it that she could remember, anyway) in a little suburb of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. They were moving to Roswell, New Mexico because her father had been offered a wonderful teaching position on the faculty of Las Cruces University. As proud as Ariel was of her father, she was miserable about leaving all of her friends and the only home she'd ever known. David, the traitor, was actually excited about the move to someplace different. He was even excited about living near the desert. True, the desert would be perfect for stargazing, and the twins already had plans to bring out their telescope to enjoy the dark nights and perfect views of the night sky that the desert would surely offer. But a desert was a far cry from the east coast beaches and the ocean. She would miss the ocean terribly. Just then, her alarm went off, and Anggun's song, "Lost Out In the Desert," was just beginning to play.on the radio. Ariel laughed; the song was one of her favorites, and it couldn't be more appropriate to the occasion. She sang along as she reluctantly dragged herself out of bed to face the day. She surveyed her room and had to blink back tears. It was so bare. All of her pictures and books and other belongings were packed away, just as though she hadn't lived in this room for the past twelve years. She had loved this room so much, and it hurt very badly to leave. So much so that it hurt to breathe.

"Ari, honey, breakfast is ready. We need to hurry up. The movers will be here soon," Mom's voice broke into Ariel's thoughs.

"Ok, I'll be right there," Ariel replied, raising her voice enough for Mom to hear. Then more softly, to herself, she said, "I need to say goodbye to my room first." This would be her last real chance to do this, because after breakfast, there would be the inevitable frenzy of last-minute details to take care of, and then it would be time to leave. Taking a few moments, she remembered vividly her room as it had been, visualizing every piece of furniture, every knicknack, every picture...Finally, she knew that it was time. She quickly dressed and joined her family at the kitchen table.
____________________________________________________

Part 2: Reunion

The Harts walked into the Crashdown and sat down at a booth. The movers had unloaded the furniture and boxes, and everything had been placed where it belonged. The twins had made a good dent in their unpacking. Both Ariel and David were almost finished setting up their rooms. Now, after a long day and a lot of hard work, it was time to take a much-needed break for dinner. As the family was looking over the menus, their waitress, a small, slim brunette wearing a blue and white uniform with a silver antennae headband came over to their table and introduced herself with a smile. "Hi, I'm Liz. I'll be your waitress today. Are you ready to order?"

Ariel couldn't help but grin at the alien-themed names of the items on the menu. She ordered a Will Smith burger, Saturn rings, and a Cherry Coke. David ordered the same, but with an Alien Blast to drink instead. Their parents ordered other alien-sounding dinners. Ariel also asked for a bottle of tabasco sauce, and received a slightly startled, almost apprehensive glance from Liz. As Liz went to place their orders and fix drinks, Mrs. Hart joked,

"Tabasco sauce? Please tell me that you're not going to put that stuff on your dessert!" She knew her twins' fondness for sweet and spicy mixed together.

"Yes!" Ariel and David chorused, looking at each other with a grin. They burst out laughing, seeing their mother's mock horror-stricken face upon hearing that her children were actually going to eat that way in public. Mr. Hart just shook his head with a chuckle at this display.

Liz returned with their drinks, and Ariel poured several packets of sugar into her soda. This drew an even more worried look from Liz, who immediately recovered and pasted on a neutral expression as she set down the bottle of tabasco sauce. "Here you go," Liz commented. "Your meals should be right out. Is there anything else I can get you?" The Harts indicated that they had everything they needed. Liz convinced herself that nothing Checkoslovakian was going on with the boy and girl. After all, a lot of people did order tabasco sauce, and some people probably even put sugar in their soda, right? So she chatted with Ariel and David for a few minutes to get to know them and see what she could find out about them. It turned out that the twins were actually going to attend Roswell High in the fall and were going to be seniors like herself and her friends.

"So, what brings you guys to Roswell?" Liz asked.

As Mr. and Mrs. Hart were absorbed in their own conversation, allowing the teenagers to talk among themselves, Ariel answered, "Dad was offered a teaching job at Las Cruces University, so we moved here. We're originally from Pennsylvania." Ariel made a passable attempt at looking cheerful, but she had to acknowledge, "I really miss it...this is the first time I've lived anywhere else."

Liz smiled. She had lived in Roswell her whole life, too, and it would be sad to leave when she started college in the fall even though she was also eager to move on to bigger and better things. "I understand completely. I haven't lived anywhere else, either."

"Well, It's a change of scenery," David commented. "So, what do people do for fun in Roswell?"

"Not much," Liz laughed. "Actually, um, there's the UFOnics if you like to go dancing."

Ariel brightened instantly. The twins loved dancing, and now it looked like they would have a fun group of people to go out with. Ariel, David and Liz talked about their favorite music, and shared hilarious stories about fun times with friends. By the time the dinners were ready, Liz had a good feeling about Ariel and David. They seemed nice and normal, not to mention genuinely warm and open.

When dinner was finished, Mr. and Mrs. Hart left money with the twins to pay for the check and decided to return home. They were both exhausted from the move. Ariel and David decided to stay for dessert. They had the chocolate cake with tabasco sauce on top. When Liz saw this, she got that apprehensive expression again, and excused herself quickly. She urgently walked over to Maria and Michael. "We need to talk..."

Meanwhile, two others noticed the tabasco sauce on Ariel and David's chocolate cake. Another boy and girl with blond hair and green eyes saw and looked at each other in wonder. Could it be them? They decided to go over to Ariel and David and find out.

"Hi. Can we join you?" The girl with the curly blond hair asked.

Ariel smiled and nodded. "Sure." She and David scooted over to make room. "I'm Ariel," She introduced herself.

"I'm Kara," The curly-haired girl introduced herself as she sat down next to David.

"And I'm Brian," The other boy said as he sat down next to Ariel.

David introduced himself, and the four gazed at each other with a feeling of recognition...and reunion...
____________________________________________________

Part 3: Getting to Know You

Liz explained the tabasco sauce on chocolate cake situation to Maria and Michael, who were not too happy with this turn of events. When the three of them turned around to surruptitiously glance at David and Ariel, the twins were sitting with two others who looked quite similar to them. Maria sniffed some cedar oil, needing to calm herself down from full panic mode.

"Oh, my God, Liz....do you think they could be Checkoslovakian?" Maria asked. Checkoslovakian was their code word for alien. "What are we going to do? We have to call Max. Michael, call Max and get him here, like pronto." Maria handed Michael her cell phone.

"Ok, Maria. Would you calm down? I'm not going to let anything happen to you." Michael took the cell phone from Maria and dialed Max's number. Max wasn't due to work at the UFO Center that night, so when Michael told him what was happening at the Crashdown, Max promised to be right there with Isabel, Alex, Tess, and Kyle.

"See, Maria, everything's going to be all right. There's nothing to worry about." Liz was trying to be brave, and there really was a part of her that believed what she was saying.

"Like hell it will!" Maria exclaimed passionately. "Every time someone new comes to town, one of us ends up almost getting killed! Thank God we found out in time that Alex wasn't really dead, but what about the next time?" Just recently, the group had mourned the death of Alex, only to find out that it was a cruel hoax designed to destroy the group. One of Khivar's followers had kidnapped Tess in New York with the aid of the Dupes and had taken her place. This being, a shapeshifter who was carrying out Khivar's orders, had fooled everyone into believing she was Tess and had wreaked havoc with their lives. Alex had nearly died from the mindwarps, a power borrowed from Tess and turned deadly with the benefit of an alien device, while translating the "destiny book." When the shapeshifter had thrown the dying Alex into captivity with Tess, Tess had managed to regain the use of her powers and heal his mind. But they hadn't gotten out in time to stop the shapeshifter from betraying both the dupes and the others in Roswell by pretending to be pregnant by Max and using the Granilith alone to return to the home planet. Isabel had discovered the truth when the real Tess had managed to contact her mentally, just as Tess had done the night of Isabel's eighteenth birthday party. Now Tess and Alex were back home, safe and sound, and the group was whole again.

"Next time we'll be ready," Michael answered calmly, giving an intense look of wariness with a hint of menace toward the people in question. Michael, Liz and Maria returned to their duties so as not to arouse suspicion. While Michael resumed cooking and Maria waited on other customers, Liz went back over to Ariel, David, Brian, and Kara's table, refilling sodas and making polite conversation with the potential Checkoslovakians.

Soon afterward, Max, Isabel, Alex, Tess, and Kyle arrived. Max had already filled in the others about what was happening at the Crashdown, and the group immediately began discussing a preliminary plan. They decided that it would be a good idea to continue spending time with Ariel, David, Kara, and Brian to learn more about them. After closing, they agreed to take the meeting over to the UFO center to discuss more details.

Ariel, David, Kara, and Brian had no idea about all the commotion surrounding their presence in Roswell. They were too wrapped up in their conversation to notice anything else. The four of them were finding that they had a lot in common beyond their physical similarities, including their interest in astronomy, similar tastes in music, love of singing and dancing, and most of all a craving for foods that mixed extremely sweet with extremely spicy. There were even little things, like how none of the four had ever been sick, and how they could look at a book once and could scan all the information into memory (which meant that they never had to study and still earned straight A's in school). Best of all, Brian and his sister Kara would also be seniors in the fall along with Ariel and David. And like Ariel and David, Brian and Kara were new to Roswell. Brian and Kara seemed delighted but somehow not at all surprised by their commonalities. Ariel was puzzled by this; she herself was astounded by how much the four of them had in common. Not to mention the instant attraction that she and Brian had felt from the moment their eyes first met. It seemed to be the same for David and Kara. Ariel wanted to ask if they also had psychic abilities like she and David did. Ariel herself was good at establishing a mental connection with others, and David's strongest ability was telekensis. Both twins could also manipulate mollecular structures, which Ariel used mostly to change her lip color or give herself nail polish that always looked perfect. David also was really curious about whether Brian and Kara had powers, but he and Ariel both knew that it was too soon to ask. Brian and Kara seemed also to be holding something back, as if they too felt that it was too soon to talk about certain things.

As the conversation came to a natural lull, Liz came over with the rest of the group and introduced her friends. Liz couldn't help but notice that Ariel and Brian looked quite cozy together, as did David and Kara. It would be really cute if they weren't possible enemies. Everybody made polite chitchat about school and interests. Liz and Max were delighted to find out that they shared an interest in astronomy in particular and science in general with the four newcomers to Roswell. The feeling was mutual, and soon the six of them were talking about bringing out their telescopes to the desert to go stargazing together. Ariel, David, Brian, and Kara were also obviously thrilled to find out that Alex and Maria were in a band, and Alex and Maria for their part couldn't help but feel the same enthusiasm upon finding fellow singers. They couldn't resist making the four sing for them. With a collective shrug as if to say, "Why not?" Ariel, David, Kara, and Brian launched into a quartet that sounded so wonderful, it earned them a standing ovation from the others. Ok, so the others were already standing, but they would've given a standing ovation anyway even had they been seated. Soon afterwards, it was time for the Crashdown to close, and Ariel, David, Brian, and Kara left after bidding everyone goodnight. The four of them made plans to get together the next day before heading to their respective homes.
____________________________________________________

Part 4: Surveillance

Later, after the Crashdown closed and everything was cleaned and put away, the group moved over to the UFO Center. Brody was long gone for the night, so there would be plenty of privacy for the meeting. "Let's just kill them and stop whatever it is they want to do to us before they get the chance," Michael suggested, in full soldier mode. After everything they'd been through lately, he was done with laying low and waiting to see what happened. Michael wanted any threat to the group eliminated.

Max, as usual, took a more cautious approach. "Michael, we don't even know that these people are a threat. What if they're human? We could risk exposing ourselves and end up killing innocent people. I almost made that mistake. If Liz hadn't stopped me, I would've killed that girl at Las Cruces University because we all thought she was an alien and an enemy. But she wasn't. We don't know yet if these people are. We need to find out who they are and what they want."

Had Michael not grown beyond his rebellious phase, he would have become sarcastic and disregarded anything Max would tell him to do, even when Max was right. But now Michael listened and thought this situation through. "Maxwell, we can't wait long on this. If they are enemies, we need to get rid of the threat. We need to find out who those people really are and do something about it if they're out to kill us."

"We could, um, do some surveillance," Liz spoke up. As usual, she was the idea person, the one who formed solutions to the many problems the group came up against. She turned to Alex. "Alex, do you have any cameras that we can plant in Ariel's house? We could sort of do a girls' get-together and while she's distracted, hide a camera somewhere in her room."

"Yeah, sure," Alex nodded. "I've got a camera ready and I've just been waiting for an excuse to use it." He gave a grin.

Isabel, Tess and Maria agreed to their part of the plan, and Maria had a suitable distraction in mind to get Ariel out of the room while the camera was being hidden. The group looked to Max to see if he would decide in favor of this plan. "Ok, we'll do this, " Max declared, "But be really careful. We don't want anybody getting hurt, and we don't want Ariel or the others to get suspicious."

"I'll use my mind warp to get us out of there if anything goes wrong," Tess assured him so that Max wouldn't be so worried that somebody might get hurt. "Don't worry, Max. It's going to be all right."

Then Isabel had a thought that worried her. "I'm not so sure about this, Max. What if she finds the camera?"

"Is, it won't take us long to find out what we need to know about them. When we do, we either prepare to attack if they're enemies or get rid of the camera if they're not," Max replied. The others nodded in agreement. They now had a plan, and they were ready.

The next afternoon, The Harts were watching television after a long morning of finishing the unpacking and setting up of the new house. Things were pretty much unpacked. Pictures and paintings were hung, and computers were put together. Kitchen appliances were placed where they belonged, and groceries were in the pantry and refrigerator. It was time to relax and enjoy the new house. Even Ariel had to admit that she liked the new house. She loved her bedroom, especially the small private balcony that was hers. She had fixed herself a comfortable place out there where she could read or write stories in her notebook. She also had a great view of the sky, so she planned to sometimes bring out the telescope at night. While David and Ariel were figuring out what to watch next on television, the doorbell rang. Ariel stood up and answered the door. She was delighted to see Liz, Maria, Isabel and Tess there. "Hi, guys," she greeted them with a bright smile and invited them in. Ariel introduced everyone to her parents, and greetings were exchanged all around. Then the girls headed up to Ariel's room after a quick tour of the house.

"Oh, Ariel, I love your room," Maria gushed, being her bubbly self to cover up her nervousness. Ariel's room was stylish, with a lovely floral bedspread with matching pillows, a decorator table, and curtains. Ariel had great furniture, and the walls were beautifully decorated with paintings, pictures of family and friends, and knicknacks.

Ariel smiled. "Thanks, Maria." Ariel wouldn't have believed it possible, but this room was even more spectacular than her old bedroom. The balcony and the walk-in closet alone, not to mention the huge windows and abundance of wall space, made it impossible for her old bedroom to compete with this one.

Liz chimed in. "Yeah, this room is, like, incredible. Oh, you have a balcony. I have one, too." Since the door to the balcony was open, Liz looked out and admired the beauty of the view. "Your view is so great, Ariel." The group was obviously excited to explore Ariel's room, and Ariel was happy to show everyone her things. She showed Tess and Maria her collection of tapes and CD's, and left them to go through the collection when Isabel wanted to see the closet. Ariel and Isabel looked to be about the same size, so they enthusiastically talked about trading clothes, especially when Isabel saw Ariel's plentiful and stylish wardrobe. Ariel had many beautiful clothes, ranging from casual to dressy, and had the shoes and accessories to match. She was definitely very fashion-conscious like Isabel.

"Oh, my God, Ariel...I love this outfit!" Isabel exclaimed, holding up a deep blue v-necked shirt that showed a little midriff and a black skirt. "Can I try this on?"

Ariel smiled. This was one of her favorite outfits, too. "Sure," she agreed. "It'll look so awesome on you." She left Isabel in the closet and rejoined the others, who were playing one of her favorite CD's and were dancing to the music. Ariel joined in.

"Where's Isabel?" Tess asked.

"She's trying on one of my outfits," Ariel answered. Soon Isabel emerged from the closet, and everyone exclaimed over how great Isabel looked. Maria came up to Ariel and put an arm around her.

"Hey, do you have any sodas?" Maria asked.

"Oh, yeah, we have a variety of sodas. Do you guys want me to bring up snacks, too?" Ariel found out what people wanted to eat and drink, and Maria volunteered to help her. Ariel thought that it was great that she and David weren't the only ones who liked tabasco sauce on pretty much everything, especially sweet things. Isabel and Tess had also asked her to bring up a bottle of the spicy sauce. Ariel and Maria went downstairs to fix the sodas, chips, and popcorn.

Meanwhile, Liz, Tess, and Isabel were busy upstairs deciding on a place to put the camera. Ariel had a little bowl of potpourri that offered a perfectly concealed place. Over the cellphone, Liz checked with Alex to make sure that Ariel's room was visible once the camera was in place and had been turned on. Alex checked his monitor, and confirmed the camera was operational and showed the room clearly. Liz hung up with Alex and called Maria's cell phone to let her know that it was safe to come back upstairs.

Down in the kitchen, the popcorn was almost ready, and all the sodas had been poured. Maria's cell phone rang, and she answered it. "Ok, babe. Will do," she told the caller before hanging up. As she and Ariel gathered everything together onto trays, Maria explained to Ariel that Liz had asked for some salt to be brought upstairs.

"Ok," Ariel nodded and retrieved a salt shaker, placing it onto the tray. She did a mental check of what they needed: salt, tabasco sauce, popcorn, chips, sodas, napkins, bowls, and sugar for the sodas. It was all there, so Ariel and Maria carried the trays upstairs.

While Max, Michael, Alex, and Kyle watched on the monitor, the five girls watched a movie and had their snacks. They seemed to be having a good time, and everything seemed safe and normal. For now.
____________________________________________________

Part 5: An Alien Discovery

Later on that evening, the whole group was gathered around Alex's monitor. They watched as Ariel emerged from her closet, now dressed in a pastel floral sundress with a matching summer sweater for the cool evening. Her hair was curled at the sides, and her makeup and nail polish were perfect. Jewelry in the form of a necklace, earring, bracelet, and anklet set complemented the outfit. She was ready to go out. Isabel elbowed Alex and rolled her eyes at him when he seemed to be staring just a little too long at Ariel.

Ariel was looking forward to a fun evening with Brian, Kara, and her brother. The four of them had plans to go to dinner at Senor Chow's, a Mexican food restaurant, and then take their telescopes out to the desert for a night of stargazing. As Ariel walked by her computer, she noticed that her friends from back home in Pennsylvania were online.
She could see their names on her MSN buddy list. An incoming instant message chat window opened up, and Ariel smiled as she sat down at the computer and "chatted" with her friends. Just as Ariel was telling them about her new friends in Roswell, there was a knock on the door.

"Come in," Ariel called. David opened the door and walked in. "Hey, David. Our friends from back home are online," She told him with a smile.

"Great! I want to say hi before we go," David replied, taking a seat on the bed next to Ariel. She typed in the message that David wanted to talk to them and turned over the keyboard to him. After chatting for a few minutes, David and Ariel said their goodbyes, and Ariel shut down her computer. Sighing, she turned to David.

"I miss them."

David put his arm around her. "Yeah, so do I. But we have Brian and Kara now. I think they're going to be more than just superficial friends to us." David had kept all their friends at somewhat of a distance, never really letting them get to know him. It was his way of dealing with their secret; up until now, Ariel had been the only person that David really connected to.

"David, you do the superficial thing," Ariel answered softly. "But you're right...there is this special connection we seem to have with them."

"You feel like we can tell them, don't you?" David asked, more of a statement really than a question. David already knew the answer, because he, too, felt as though they could tell Brian and Kara about their psychic abilities. This was something they'd never told anyone about before. When they were children, they had made a vow to keep it a secret. They knew that they were different and feared that if the government learned what they could do, they could be taken away from their parents and be experimented on. Or worse, the government could try to force them to use their powers against other people. Yet there was something about Brian and Kara that made it seem safe for them to know this secret. David suspected that Brian and Kara might even have the same secret.

Ariel turned her head to look at her brother. "I can't explain it, but somehow I do feel like it's safe to tell them. And I want to know if they can do the same kinds of things that we can. They're so much like us....but David, it's too soon. We're just getting to know them. And, God, we've never even told Mom and Dad. How can we keep this from them, and yet tell people we just met, no matter how connected we feel to Brian and Kara?"

David hated to admit it, but Ariel had a point. But what if their parents didn't understand, or worse, didn't want them anymore after they knew? It was entirely possible that this could change the way Mom and Dad felt about him and Ariel. It was too much of a risk. "We're not telling Mom and Dad."

Ariel blew out an exasperated sigh and checked her watch. "We're not getting into this right now. Brian and Kara will be here any minute." This was the one thing that she and David ever argued about, and Ariel didn't see any way to make David understand. It was so important to her that Mom and Dad know about their abilities. But she knew that David was just too scared that nobody, not even their parents, could accept that part of them. Except possibly Brian and Kara. Shaking her head to put aside these thoughts and focus on the lovely evening ahead, Ariel stood and went to close and lock the balcony door. Suddenly, a gust of wind knocked over a porcelain figurine and sent it crashing from her knicknack shelf to the hardwood floor, where it shattered into fragments. "No!" Ariel cried out. The figurine was one of her favorites. It had been a Christmas present from Mom. "Oh, man..." After quickly taking care of the balcony door, she ran over to what was left of the figurine and knelt down beside it sadly. She picked up the shards, holding them cupped in her hands, then closed her eyes and concentrated. She could feel the pieces swirl together until the figurine was whole again, as though it had never been broken. "Thank God," she said softly, gratefully as she gently placed the figurine back onto the shelf. Ariel and David heard a car pull into the driveway, and they went downstairs to meet Brian and Kara.

Eight pairs of eyes stared at Alex's monitor, as if mesmerized after what they just witnessed. "Oh, my God," Isabel breathed.

"That settles it. She's an alien, and it sounds like her brother is, too. Can we take care of the situation, now, Maxwell?" Michael asked somberly, not at all happy with this latest threat to the group. He just hoped that Ariel and David were on their side, like Courtney had been, but how likely was that?

Max still kept his eyes on the monitor as he considered options. He was stunned that Ariel and David had turned out to be aliens. He had really thought that they were normal people. But they weren't, and Michael was right. This situation had to be taken care of. Coming to a decision, he answered Michael, "Ok, we still don't know if they're enemies or what they want. We're going to interrogate Ariel and find out." Max figured it would be safer and easier to isolate and capture her. And he had an idea for the perfect pretense to get Ariel alone. "Liz, Isabel, Maria and Tess...I want you to ask Ariel to go with you for a girls' night out. Tell her you're going dancing. Then bring her here..."
____________________________________________________

Part 6: Preparation

Ariel, David, Brian, and Kara sat at a cozy booth in Senor Chow's, waiting for their dinners to arrive. Ariel was curious about Brian and Kara, and she wanted to know more about their lives before coming to Roswell.

"So, where are you guys from originally? I mean, I know you said you moved around a lot and have lived all over the country, but where did you live first?" Ariel asked. Somehow, she would not be surprised if they happened to be from Pennsylvania, like she and David were.

"Pennsylvania," Kara confirmed Ariel's hunch. "We lived in Philadelphia for about two years before we moved to Texas. After that, we never spent more than a year or two in one place."

Ariel and David shared a look of astonishment that Brian and Kara were originally from Pennsylvania. Add another item to the list of things the four of them had in common. "God, that must've been tough, always having to leave your friends and start all over again in a new place," Ariel commented. Although it had been so hard to say goodbye to their friends back home, at least Ariel and David had the consolation of having friends they'd grown up with all along since kindergarten.

"It was tough," Brian agreed. "But we pretty much kept others at a distance and never really got to know people that well. People at school were more acquaintances than friends."

"Brian, you did that," Kara corrected. Kara had made a number of friends over the years and didn't keep people at as much a distance as others did. But it was also true that she never truly let others get to know her until they'd found Ariel and David.

David grinned. The two of them sounded just like he and Ariel. "So you guys lived in Philly? We grew up about half an hour south of the city."

"Really? That's cool," Kara smiled. She and Brian shared a look of astonishment this time, both wondering how it was that Ariel and David could have lived so close, and yet Caleb never found them.

Ariel almost could sense Brian and Kara's question. Why would their father have been looking for us, she wondered. It didn't make any sense. Ariel opened her mouth to ask, but David stopped her with a subtle shake of his head. David could see that Ariel had picked up on a thought from Brian and/or Kara and would have revealed her abilities, maybe too soon, if she asked about it. So Ariel quickly covered her expression of confusion and kept silent.

"What is it?" Brian asked Ariel. He knew that she had picked up on the thought. Soon, he would explain everything to David and Ariel. But not yet. He couldn't resist trying to get her to talk about her abilities, though. That would be the first step.

"Nothing," Ariel answered with a smile. Brian and Kara grinned at each other, knowing full well that Ariel had shown her abilities. Soon enough, the four of them would be able to talk about the secret that they all shared.

Ariel caught the grin and asked playfully, "What?"

"Nothing," Brian replied. Both he and Ariel laughed.

"Ok, I deserved that," Ariel admitted.

"Yes, you did," Brian agreed with an impish grin, and tickled Ariel.

"Hey!" Ariel protested, laughing even harder and tickling him in return. Brian caught her hands and pulled her close to him. Ariel looked up into his eyes, and in that moment, both of them could feel the electricity flowing between them. Their laughter quieted, and they simply gazed at each other for a long moment. Without thinking about what he was doing, Brian reached up to caress her cheek. It was a gesture that somehow felt completely natural and familiar to them both. Ariel instinctively responded in kind.

Watching their siblings together, David and Kara smiled at each other. David put his arm around Kara, and Kara snuggled up against him. "I'm so glad that we found each other," Kara commented with a light, contented sigh. The four of them together this way was everything she'd dreamed of her whole life.

"Me, too," David answered, resting his head against Kara's.

"Me, too," Brian and Ariel echoed as they finally noticed David and Kara watching them. The four of them smiled happily, knowing deep inside that this was how things were meant to be.

Meanwhile, preparations were underway for the interrogation of Ariel. The group was still at Alex's discussing the details of the plan. Max and Liz sat side by side on Alex's bed. Alex stood leaning against his desk, his arms wrapped around Isabel. Michael and Maria sat on the floor, with Maria leaning against Michael. Tess and Kyle sat together comfortably on a large chair built for two.

"OK, we'll use the alien device Brody has to disable Ariel's powers if she tries to use them against us," Max said, beginning the process of brainstorming with the group about the supplies and plan contingencies.

"We should attack her and weaken her from the start so she can't use her powers against us," Michael declared. He didn't want to give that girl a chance to hurt them.

"Michael, what if she isn't an enemy? We don't want her and her friends to become enemies. The whole point of this is to find out the truth about who they are and why they came to Roswell, not to make them hate us," Maria spoke up.

"We have to make sure that all of us are safe. That's our first priority," Max addressed the group. "If that means that we have to use our powers against her, then so be it, but only if it becomes necessary."

"When we're interrogating her, I want to dreamwalk her so we'll know if she's telling the truth," Isabel told Max, who nodded in agreement.

"Good idea, Iz."

"What are we going to do to keep her there? Tie her up?" Maria asked.

"I think my dad has some handcuffs we could use from his days as Sheriff," Kyle suggested.

Tess gave Kyle an interested and curious glance, thinking of other, more fun uses of those handcuffs. Something more along the lines of Buddha Boy and lamp trimming. "Noted," Tess commented with a sly grin. Kyle immediately picked up on Tess's ideas and returned the grin.

Isabel rolled her eyes at the two of them. "Get a room," she teased them playfully, seeing the sexual tension between Tess and Kyle. Actually, she thought the two of them were cute together. "But seriously, what's the plan if Ariel figures out what we're trying to do before we get her into the UFO Center?" The question popped into Isabel's head, and she brought it up so that they would all have a plan in mind ahead of time.

The group considered the question silently for a moment. Then Liz had an idea. "Tess can mindwarp her into going with us." Tess nodded in agreement, her mind already forming several possibilities as to what kind of mindwarp to use to get Ariel inside the UFO Center.

"It sounds like we have a plan," Alex said, feeling satisfied with what the group was accomplishing. Everyone nodded in agreement.

"I'll call Ariel to set it up," Liz volunteered. She dialed Ariel's home phone number...
____________________________________________________

Part 7: Interrogation

When Ariel got up to her room after saying goodnight to Brian, there was a message tacked to her bulletin board. Smiling to herself as she thought about what an amazing night it had been, Ariel closed her bedroom door and turned her light on to read the note. “Oh, awesome,” she commented as she saw that Liz had called to invite her to a girls’ night out at UFOnics tomorrow night. She quickly dressed for bed and brushed her teeth. As she climbed into bed, there was a knock at her door. “Come in,” she called.

David walked in and sat down on the bed by her. “Hey. You and Brian seemed really cozy together tonight,” David observed with a teasing grin.

Ariel laughed. “So did you and Kara. Oh, tonight was just perfect,” she sighed dreamily.

“Yeah,” David agreed completely. “Kara is amazing. She’s intelligent, she’s funny, she’s…”

“Perfect for you,” Ariel broke in. She and David shared a laugh. They both knew how right Ariel was about that.

“Definitely.” Then David saw the note. “Dancing tomorrow night, huh? Cool.”

“Yeah, I’m going to call Liz back in the morning. You could invite the guys to do something,” Ariel suggested. “I’d ask Kara to go dancing but she and Brian have that thing at their Dad’s work.”

The next morning, Ariel called Liz back to find out the details for the girls’ night out. The girls would pick her up at around 8 in the evening. David called the guys, but nobody was home. Ariel and David decided to spend the day hiking at a nearby park.

By 8 o’clock, Ariel was just putting on the finishing touches of her makeup using her powers. She was dressed in a green tank top that showed a little midriff and a matching skirt. As Ariel gave her blonde hair a final brushing and hairspray, she heard the honk of the car horn. Grabbing her purse, Ariel kissed her parents goodbye and headed out to Maria’s Jetta. “Hey, girls,” Ariel greeted everyone with a cheerful smile as she slid in the backseat next to Isabel. A short drive later, and the Jetta pulled up to the UFO Center. Ariel was surprised that the UFOnics club would be there, but she guessed it made sense. Until she saw that there were only a couple other cars around. But, the girls knew what they were doing, Ariel figured, so she followed them inside without asking about it. Maria was her usual bubbly self, but Isabel, Tess, and Liz were strangely quiet as they all headed down a flight of steps. Tess and Isabel walked behind her, Maria, and Liz. Ariel listened for music, but didn’t hear anything. Maybe they were just visiting Max at work on their way to UFOnics, Ariel guessed. Sure enough, when they reached the bottom of the steps, there were Max, Michael, Alex, and Kyle. “Hi,” Ariel greeted them. “David called you guys to see if you wanted to do something tonight since us girls are going out. He’s at home if you want to catch him there.”

When nobody said anything, Ariel looked around the group, a little uncomfortably, and noticed the looks everyone was giving her. For some reason, they looked at her like a possible enemy that they wanted to…interrogate or something? They seemed unsure about her. “What?” she asked nervously. Then the group turned to Max, and Ariel did as well, sensing that he would let her know what was going on.

“Ariel, sit down,” Max said in a commanding voice, gesturing to a chair in the center of the room.

Ariel looked from Max to the chair and back, uncertain that she should sit down. All she wanted to do at that point was get out of this room. “Max, what’s going on?” She asked, backing away toward the stairs. Isabel and Tess grabbed her by the arms and had her sitting down in the chair before she could pull herself away from them. Then Michael and Kyle grabbed her hands behind her and cuffed them together so that she couldn’t get out of the chair. Ariel struggled and fought against them with all her strength, but she couldn’t stop them from tying her legs to the chair, too, so that she couldn’t fight anymore. “What you do guys want?” She asked bitterly, with hurt and betrayal in her voice. She looked every one of them levelly in the eye, refusing to let them see her cry. A million possibilities went through her mind. Was this some sort of stupid group initiation ritual? Did they want to hurt her for some reason? Oh, God, did they know somehow about her powers?

“We want to know the truth about who you are why you’re really here,” Michael answered her.

Ariel gave him a puzzled expression. “You did all this just to ask me that? You already know why I moved here. My dad is going to be teaching at Las Cruces University.” She mentally reached out to the group to find out from them what they really wanted, but found that some force was blocking her. Isabel whispered something urgently to Max, who turned on a strange device. Suddenly, Ariel found that she could no longer use her abilities. With a jolt of panic, Ariel realized that she was completely trapped now. And she could tell that the group didn’t believe her. “Just check the university’s website. He’s on the faculty list,” Ariel suggested to Alex, seeing that Alex had brought his laptop with him. Ariel just knew that Alex would have web access and could verify the truth. Alex and Max exchanged a look, and Max nodded.

As Alex went to the website, Michael commented to Ariel and the others. “Even if he is on the faculty list, that doesn’t mean it isn’t a cover story.” He was not going to let Ariel think for a second that she could lie to the group and not be found out.

“A cover story? For what? What are you talking about?” Ariel asked, totally confused now. She looked around the group again, searching for someone to actually explain, since Michael refused to answer.

“We’re the ones asking the questions, not you,” Tess interjected. “So I suggest you start answering.”

Before Ariel could reply, Alex had news for the group. “Her father is on the faculty list,” he told them.

“Alex, like Michael said that doesn’t mean anything,” Liz reminded him.

“She still hasn’t said what she wants here in Roswell,” Maria added, then turned to Ariel with a questioning look.

“I didn’t even want to come here in the first place. It really sucked to have to leave all my friends and everything, but my parents wouldn’t let me stay. All I want is to survive senior year, make some friends and have some fun until I can go back home for college,” Ariel answered honestly. She hoped that Brian and Kara would want to go back East. They seemed interested in living there again.

“Home?” Isabel asked sharply.

“Pennyslvania,” Ariel reminded Isabel. “We lived a little south of Philadelphia.”

Max and Michael exchanged a look. This was the same old story that she had told everyone already. They weren’t getting anywhere. If Ariel wasn’t going to tell them the full truth, then it was time to confront her with it. “Let’s see if you have more to add when you see this,” Michael said, more than a hint of malice in his voice. Alex turned his laptop so that Ariel could see the screen.

Meanwhile, Liz had another question for Ariel. “Where did you get your necklace like this?” she asked, showing Ariel the necklace that Max had given her. Liz had seen Ariel’s necklace with the other jewelry when the girls had hung out with Ariel the other afternoon.

Ariel’s eyes widened to see another necklace like hers. For a second, Ariel thought that Liz might have taken her necklace, but then Ariel noticed that this necklace was broken and looked more worn than hers. Not to mention the fact that Ariel knew her necklace was still in its place on her dresser. “Oh, my God…” Ariel exclaimed in amazement. “I’ve never seen another one like mine. It’s the only thing I still have from the night my parents found me and David.” At the group’s questioning looks, Ariel added, “They found us wandering lost in the woods when we were about five years old and later adopted us. We don’t remember anything before that.”

“Right,” Isabel said in her classic, sarcastic Ice Princess tone. Isabel knew that lie about not remembering anything before age five because she and Max had told their parents the same thing.

Ariel barely heard Isabel. She was focused on finding out more about that necklace, her only connection to her and David’s past. “Liz, where did you get your necklace?” Please answer me, Liz, she silently pleaded with Liz. Even after all this time, Ariel needed so much to find out something, anything about the past she couldn’t remember. Max gave Liz a warning look, and Liz kept silent. “Please?” she asked them. “This could be the only clue I have to my past. Maybe you can’t understand what that means to me…maybe it’s something that only somebody else who’s adopted can understand…but it’s what David and I have been searching for our whole lives. Please tell me.” Max and Isabel exchanged a look, and Ariel could see that somehow this hit home for them, too.

But instead of answering Ariel, Max turned to Alex and said, “Alex, go ahead.” Alex nodded and began to play the video for Ariel.

Ariel gasped in horror as she saw what was playing on the computer screen. It was a recording of herself and David in her bedroom last night before they had gone out with Brian and Kara! “Oh, my God…you guys were spying on us?” She asked, half furious that the people she thought were her friends would do this, and half terrified of what they may have learned. Ariel watched with a growing dread as the conversation between herself and David about their powers played on the computer monitor. Then, the color drained from Ariel’s face as she watched herself use her powers to fix the broken figurine that the wind had knocked to the floor. “No…” Ariel whispered brokenly as the truth sank in. She and David were going to have to leave their parents forever and run away from Roswell. They’d be hiding and looking over their shoulders, running from danger for the rest of their lives. And it was all her fault. Ariel had never fully let herself believe that this nightmare would ever really happen, but now it had. Tears spilled down her cheeks.

“So you see that we know the truth, Ariel,” Max said as he switched off the device. He wanted to give Isabel the chance to see if Ariel was telling the truth or not. “We know who you are, and you know who we are. The question is, whose side are you on?”

“Max, what are you talking about? Of course we all know each other! We met at the Crashdown the day I moved here!” Ariel cried out in fury. Suddenly, she found that her hands and legs were free, and that the strange feeling was gone now that Max had shut off the device. Standing shakily and brushing the tears from her eyes, she looked around the group, meeting each person’s eyes with an intense, heartbreaking gaze. “Do any of you have the slightest idea of what you’ve done? Do you realize that now David and I can never live normal lives again? We’re going to have to leave our parents, leave everything, now. If the government learns about what we can do, they’ll experiment on us or worse, and they’d never let us go alive. We’ll be running and hiding from them for the rest of our lives! Do you have any understanding of what that’s like? Would any of you want to be ripped away from your families and have to live every day terrified of being caught?” Ariel’s tears were flowing freely again, and she couldn’t even see the stunned expressions on the faces of those around her as she sank to the floor and sobbed, burying her face in her hands. “Why did you do this? Why?”

Isabel was crying, too. She understood Ariel and her plight, having almost gone through exactly the same thing herself. Isabel was easily able to get into Ariel’s mind, and she saw that Ariel had been telling the truth. “Oh, my God, Max…” she whispered to her brother. “She’s telling the truth about everything. She doesn’t know…she doesn’t know who we are. She doesn’t even know who she is.”

Ariel forced herself to calm down and think. She had to get rid of the evidence. She stood, feeling stronger this time. With a graceful gesture of her hand, Ariel used her powers to make Alex’s keyboard fly from the table and into her hands. Throwing up a shield, she quickly searched for the video and was relieved to find that the recording was only on the floppy disk. Taking out the disk, she concentrated and turned the disk to ashes that she let slip through her fingers to fall to the floor. “Are there any copies of this?” she asked Alex.

“N..no…” Alex stammered nervously.

Ariel reached out mentally to him and knew that he was telling the truth. “Thank God,” she sighed in relief. She let the shield down.

Michael walked over to Max and said quietly, “Maxwell, we can’t just let her leave here. She’s an alien, which means she has to be a skin. And she’s a hybrid. She’s really powerful, more than we are together. We couldn’t even break through that shield of hers. She and her brother are probably like us. We can’t let them live to become our enemy. We need to strike while she’s weakened.”

As much as Max hated to admit it, Michael was right. He couldn’t afford to let anything happen to the people he loved. “I’m sorry, Ariel…” Max said with regret as he, Michael, Isabel, and Tess focused their powers with a deadly beam toward Ariel…
____________________________________________________

Part 8: Rescue

Ariel screamed and dove out of the way of the deadly beam of light just in time. Suddenly there was a shower of sparks all around Ariel as the energy from Max, Isabel, Michael and Tess hit something behind her. It all happened so quickly, Ariel had no idea what that light aimed at her had been or what caused it. “Oh, my God...what was that?” she asked as she began to sit up. Just then, she heard someone call her name and looked up to see David at the top of the staircase. With a wave of his hand, David caused everyone in the room except Ariel to lose consciousness. “David, no! We swore!” Ariel cried out as she saw what David had done. They had sworn long ago never to harm anyone with their powers, no matter what.

“They’re just unconscious, Ariel. They’re fine. They’ll wake up in a few minutes,” David assured Ariel. He had not forgotten their pact and would never use his powers to hurt anyone. He was a little upset that Ariel thought he would, but then he saw her tear-streaked face and knew that right now, she had no idea what to believe anymore. After all, she had learned that their so-called friends had betrayed them in the worst way tonight. Ariel nodded and got to her feet. She ran up the steps to join David and launched herself into his arms. David wrapped his arms around his sister protectively. “Ari, did they hurt you?”

“No, I’m ok,” Ariel answered David, shaking visibly and near tears again. She pulled back to look at him. “But David, we have to leave Roswell. They know about our powers! They…”

“I know about the video camera,” David told her. David had inadvertently discovered the hidden video camera in her room, which was how he knew that Ariel was in danger.

“I’m so sorry, David.” Fresh tears of misery about having to leave everything behind spilled down Ariel’s cheeks.

“Ari, listen to me. It’s not your fault that they planted the camera. We knew that we might someday be discovered and have to leave. We planned for it. We’ll be all right,” David reassured Ariel.

Ariel nodded, not much consoled by his words. But at least David wasn’t angry with her. “Let’s get out of here before they wake up,” she suggested, glancing down at the unconscious forms on the floor below. Ariel and David ran toward the exit. As they opened the door to the hallway, they ran right into Brian and Kara.

“Ari, thank God you’re ok!” Brian exclaimed as he pulled Ariel into his embrace. “I don’t know what I’d do if I lost you again…” he whispered to her, his voice choked with emotion. When David had found that camera, they had all instantly known that Ariel was in trouble. Since then, Brian’s mind had been generating all sorts of horrible possibilities of what might happen to Ariel.

Ariel held Brian just as tightly as he was holding her. She finally was beginning to feel safe again. But what did Brian mean? “Again?” She asked.

Kara broke in. “David, Ari,” she began, “Brian and I have some things that we need to tell you.”

“We wanted to tell you both before something like this happened, but it was too soon. Now there’s no choice. There are many things you need to know,” Brian added.

Ariel and David exchanged a look. Ariel could sense that David wanted to hear what Kara and Brian had to say, but she also knew that David wasn’t sure they could take the risk to stay that long. There was danger in staying now, and David was ready to run. “David, let’s go with them. I think we really need to hear what they want to tell us.” Somehow, Ariel had the feeling that the questions that she and David had about themselves and their past could be answered if they stayed. She turned to Brian, a look of heartbreak on her face. “But then David and I have to leave Roswell.”

Brian and Kara were about to protest, but a low groan from downstairs stopped them. “They’re waking up! Let’s go!” Brian declared, unconsciously assuming the leadership role. The four of them took off running at top speed out of the building and to Brian and Kara’s silver Toyota.

Meanwhile, the others started to regain consciousness. Max saw that Ariel was gone and looked over at Liz, who was still asleep. Worried, Max quickly made his way over to her. “Liz. Liz, are you ok?” He asked, praying for her to wake up and tell him that she was all right. “Liz?” Max gently shook her, and then gave her a kiss to connect with her. To his relief, she woke up and wrapped her arms around him.

“I’m all right,” Liz assured Max, slipping her hand into his as they turned to make certain that the rest of their group was unharmed.

Isabel was helping Alex up. “God, Alex, I’m so sorry. We shouldn’t have done what we did. We could’ve gotten you hurt or killed!” Isabel knew that trying to kill Ariel wasn’t right. It could’ve caused Ariel’s brother David to kill the people that Isabel loved most.

Alex held Isabel close. “Isabel, you did what you thought you had to do. We’re all in this together.”

Michael and Maria slowly stood, and Maria rested her head against Michael’s shoulder. Michael had his arm around Maria as they stood together, just glad that everyone was safe. “Where did Ariel go?” Michael asked. A round of “I don’t know.” Followed the question. Nobody had seen what happened.

Tess and Kyle stood and walked over to the others. Tess saw that Kyle had a scratch on his cheek and reached up to heal the cut. Within seconds, Kyle’s face was perfect again. “Thanks, Tess,” Kyle said quietly.

Tess gave him a small smile and responded, “I’m just glad that you’re ok, Buddhaboy.” She turned to Max. “what do we do now, Max?”

Max considered his options. It still wasn’t clear whether David, Brian, and Kara were also aliens, and Max needed to know for sure. And if Ariel and David didn’t know the truth about themselves, maybe Brian or Kara would. “We have to find Ariel and the others before they leave town,” He answered solemnly.
____________________________________________________

Part 9: Revelations

Kara drove the Toyota out onto the highway. David sat beside her in the front passenger’s seat, while Ariel and Brian sat in the backseat.

“Ok, Brian, where are we going?” Kara asked her brother.

“Back to the house,” was the quiet but firm reply.

“Brian, are you kidding me?” Kara’s voice was incredulous. “They’ll find us there. They already know where we live!”

“They could find us anywhere we are, Kara. Isabel can dreamwalk.”

David turned to look back at Brian in shock. Then he and Ariel shared a stunned look. “Wait a minute. Are you saying that Isabel has psychic abilities?” David asked.

“Something like that…” Brian answered vaguely. He didn’t want to explain any further until they got back to the house.

Ariel couldn’t believe this. “If Isabel, and maybe some of the others, also have psychic abilities like we do, then why are they treating us like the enemy?” Ariel wondered aloud. “This makes no sense.” Then Ariel’s eyes went wide at what she had just revealed to Brian and Kara. The secret was out now anyway, but it was still a reflex to be scared.

“Ari, it’s ok,” Brian reassured her. “We know. Kara and I have powers too. We’ll explain everything when we get to the house.” Ariel nodded and relaxed back against the seat. Brian reached over to caress her face, and Ariel snuggled against him. Then Brian gently cupped her chin in his hands and turned her to face him, bringing her lips to his. Their first kiss was sweet and passionate, and they could both feel the connection between them deepening…

**Flash**

The four children in the cave quickly dressed. The little blonde boy with the curly hair walked over to the little girl with the long straight blonde hair, holding in his hands a pendant emblazoned with a familiar symbol. He placed the necklace on her, where it belonged, and told her in their native tongue, “I give this to you again.” The two smiled at each other, recognizing the bond between them that the pendant represented.

**End Flash**

Ariel gasped in shock at the flash, and pulled apart slightly from Brian to gaze wonderingly into his eyes. “What was that?”

Before Brian could answer, Kara interrupted with an urgent announcement. “We’re being followed!”

“Let’s lose them,” Brian commanded, tensing up.

“You got it,” Kara acknowledged with a small, tight grin. Kara had practiced her powers so that she would be ready for moments like this, and she was ready for the challenge. She took the next side street, while also concentrating her powers. The van that had been following kept going straight instead of turning after them. David saw this, and glanced over at Kara with a mixture of pride and amazement. Ariel sighed in relief.

“That just bought us some time,” Brian warned. “But our enemy will find us soon, and so will Max and his group.”

Soon, the four friends reached their destination. They filed into the house quickly and silently, each of the couples holding hands. Brian led them into the living room, where a tall man with dark hair, presumably Brian and Kara’s father, awaited them. “It is good that the four of you arrived safely and are together again,” Caleb greeted them. As David and Ariel introduced themselves, they couldn’t shake the feeling that this man was very familiar.

“It’s time that you know everything,” Brian told David and Ariel. “We’ll need to show you, because explaining would take too long. The enemy has almost found us,” Brian added for Caleb’s benefit.

Caleb nodded. “Then we need to be ready. Please, take your seats.” Caleb dimmed the lights a little, and the five of them arranged themselves in a circle. Caleb reached out to Brian and Kara, who in turn took his hands and reached out to Ariel and David. When the circle was complete, Caleb told them in a soothing, almost hypnotic voice. “Now, relax and clear your minds. Through the connection we establish, you will see everything you need to know.” Ariel and David did as instructed, and soon found themselves in another place and time…

They found themselves on a dying world of once incredible beauty and understood that the people there, their race, would have to evacuate the planet. This planet, Lysus, had been their home, but no longer. The sun, a blue-white star called Lyria, was about to go supernova. They watched as Ships rose into the air and left for another nearby planet called Antar that would welcome the evacuees. They, the Royal Four of this world and their protector, Caleb, made certain that everyone was safely aboard spaceships before boarding their own vessel that would take them to Antar. On Antar, the five of them would live in the palace with the King and Queen and the young Royal Four of that world.

On Antar, their race had to wear a kind of spacesuit, which they designed to enable them to blend in with the Antarians. Without this spacesuit, the higher atmospheric pressure and relative heat of the planet would destroy them. Because of this spacesuit, their race began to be nicknamed ‘Skins’ by Antar’s native inhabitants. The two races lived harmoniously for some time before a greedy, power-hungry Skin named Khivar managed to take control of the planet for himself by killing the King, Zan’s father, and later having the Royal Four from both worlds murdered. As a Civil War raged, the Royal Four of Antar was recreated on Earth as Max, Isabel, Michael, and Tess. The Royal Four of Lysus was also recreated there as Brian, Kara, David, and Ariel.

Then they were in the cave in Pennsylvania as four little children came out of their pods and were greeted by their protector for the first time. Ariel recognized the children as herself, David, Brian, and Kara. Ariel watched as little Brian gave her younger self the necklace with the alien symbol on it, just as she had seen earlier in her flash. Suddenly, they were attacked by the enemy, the followers of Khivar. Little Ariel and David were separated from the others, and were able to escape from the cave. But before they could get away, one of the enemy soldiers blasted them with a weapon that would take away their memories. Caleb used a pulse weapon that rendered everyone unconscious, but by the time he and the two children with him woke up, Ariel and David had wandered off into the woods, lost and disoriented…

Ariel gasped in astonishment as she and the others came out of their trance. “Oh, my God…I remember everything…”
______________________________________________

Part 10: Reliving

"I...I can't belive this," Ariel shook her head in protest. Even though she knew that the visions she had experienced were true, she still could not bring herself to believe that she and David were aliens. And that her best friend and the love of her life were also aliens, for that matter. It was all too much.

David looked briefly over at Ariel and saw that she looked every bit as stunned as he felt. "So now what?" David asked Brian, unconsciously acknowledging Brian's leadership role. "What are we supposed to do about Khivar and his followers?"

"Not to mention Max and his group, who also decided that we're the enemy," Ariel added bitterly, with a heavy sigh. She could see Brian's look of determination and knew instantly that he planned to make a stand against whoever would attack them. "Brian, David and I...we've never practiced our powers for anything like this. We're not ready...How can we possibly be ready in time?" Ariel rubbed her temples. "God, I have a headache."

"We'll be ready," Brian assured them. "We fight with everything we have in us, and no matter what happens, we stick together."

Kara agreed completely with her brother. "That's the important thing. We can't let anything separate us this time."

Ariel nodded slowly. She and David instinctively looked to each other, both with the same question in their hearts: would they use their powers to kill if they had to? David gave an answering nod, and Ariel responded to him mentally with a resigned, "OK." Ariel refused to let her family be killed, especially not again by Khivar's soldiers. But what about Max and his friends? There had to be a better way than fighting again over some stupid misunderstanding. "If Max and his friends show up, we have to show them that we're not the enemy. We all died last time because Khivar divided us. We can't let that happen again." It felt strange to Ariel to hear herself say these things about the past, but she knew that this had to be said. But the time to talk and plan was over. Before anyone had the chance to respond to Ariel's statement, the front door was blasted open.

Ariel, Brian, David, Kara, and their protector leapt to their feet as one and turned to the source of the blast. Brian raised a shield around them, and the others added their power to that shield, causing it to glow with a bright green light.

"Max, what are you doing?" Ariel asked as Max and the others walked in. Ariel noticed that Isabel looked the most uncomfortable, as though she understood Ariel's situation and didn't want this any more than Ariel did.

"We know that the four of you are Skins and that you're working with Khivar. Now, we want to know what his plan is," Max stated, his voice calm and determined, with an air of easy authority.

Brian faced Max with equal determination. "Khivar is just as much our enemy as he is yours, Max. He betrayed us all."

"Then why are Nicholas and the other Skins outside trying to set up a surprise trap for us?" Michael asked with more than a touch of annoyance and belligerence. He was in full soldier mode.

The color drained from Ariel's face. "Oh, my God..." she whispered.

"They're out there?" Kara asked incredulously. She couldn't believe that they had been found so quickly. "Oh, great. You led them right to us!" she exclaimed angrily, her voice dripping with accusation as she addressed Max and his group.

Brian cut in. "Enough! This bickering isn't helping. If the enemy is out there, we have to be ready to deal with them. Remember what we said...no matter what, nothing separates us." Brian gave Ariel a reassuring hug and just held her in his arms for a moment. That was all the time they had before all the windows in the house shattered around them....

Chaos reigned as the followers of Khivar stormed the house. Dangerous blasts of energy were exchanged all around. The two sets of Royal Four could not band together, for the mistrust between the two groups had grown too great. Despite the promise to stay together no matter what, Ariel was driven apart from David, Brian, Kara, and their protector when an energy blast caused a chunk of ceiling to fall down right where the group was standing. Ariel had no choice but to back up the staircase, while the others were forced away from the stairs. Ariel fought off a nearby enemy, but was pushed further and further upstairs during the battle. Finally, Ariel pushed the enemy back toward the thick of the battle, where he was killed.

Max saw Ariel heading upstairs and started to run towards her. Seeing this, Ariel turned and fled the rest of the way upstairs. She had no choice. There was no way to find her family at this point, and she had exhausted her powers to the point that she had very little left. A warning voice inside of Ariel told her to stay downstairs, that she couldn't let history repeat itself. But everything was happening just as it had before, and Ariel couldn't fight it.

Max let loose a deadly bolt of energy toward Ariel. Ariel barely managed to get a shield around herself in time. She knew she wouldn't be able to hold the shield very long. "Max, please, stop..." Ariel leaned against a wall for support. "We're all going to die here if we can't fight Khivar's people together. We can't let it happen again."

Just then, Ariel saw an enemy heading up the stairs toward them. "Max, look out," She warned. God, it was all happening again. Just like the last time. "No!" Ariel cried out as Max sent an energy blast toward her, just at the same time as the enemy directed an energy blast at Max. Time suddenly seemed to slow down. Ariel had a vivid flash of what happened in that other lifetime at this moment. She had shielded Max and had been killed herself as a result. Then Max had been murdered in the ensuing struggle with the enemy. The flash ended, and Ariel returned to the present with a jolt. She knew what to do. Calling on every remaining ounce of strength, Ariel envisioned a shield of pure white light around herself and Max. She could feel the energy begin to take form as rays of light wove a beautiful forcefield extending out from herself toward Max. As the shield extended, the energy blast that Max had sent toward Ariel was neutralized.

When Max saw what Ariel had done, he finally realized that they were on the same side. Wordlessly, they turned toward the enemy and finished him off together. Ariel let the shield down, unable to keep it going. "Max, we have to get back downstairs before everyone gets killed," Ariel warned him, her voice growing weaker with fatigue. She managed to stand and walk with him downstairs, although she was almost completely drained from the effort of creating and sustaining the shield. Max helped Ariel downstairs and gathered everyone together to fight a cohesive battle against the enemy. Thankfully, everyone was still alive, and there were fewer enemies left. But there were still too many of them. Then Ariel remembered something about the husks and, in a flash of inspiration, she had a plan.

"The husks," Ariel whipered to the group. "We have to break the husks." Ariel, Brian, David, Kara, Max, Isabel, Michael, and Tess joined hands and pooled their powers. There was plenty of debris around the house now, and so with a concerted effort, the eight of them caused the debris to launch directly at the back of the enemy husks, shattering the enemy skins into dust until none remained. There were cheers of "We did it!", high fives, and hugs all around.

In the midst of this, Ariel began to feel dizzy and had to lean on the wall again for support. Brian quickly came to her side and wrapped an arm around her, but suddenly found himself catcing her in his arms as she lost consciousness.

"Ariel! Ariel, wake up!" Brian cried out in alarm, shaking her gently at first, then more forcefully when she didn't respond. He brought his cheek to her lips to feel for breath, but she wasn't breathing.

"What happened?" David asked as he ran over and knelt down beside his sister.

"I don't know...she just fainted in my arms! David, she's not breathing!" Brian responded, in a panic now.

Max saw Ariel's condition and was overcome with guilt. "She used too much of her powers," He explained to everyone, who was now gathering around Ariel in concern. "It's all my fault! She was already exhausted when I went after her. I forced her to protect herself from me, and she saved my life." Max knew that he had to fix this."She needs energy. Let me help her." David nodded and moved over a little as Max sat down by Ariel. "Ariel, you have to look at me," Max said in a commanding tone as he put a hand to Ariel's forehead. Soon, a connection had formed, but Max wasn't sure that it would be enough to heal Ariel. The others watched anxiously as Max worked. Brian held Ariel, and David kept hold of Ariel's hand the whole time. When Max was finished, he was exhausted, and Isabel helped him sit down in a chair.

There was a collective sigh of relief as Ariel began to breathe again. But she still did not regain consciousness. Everything that could be done for her had been done. Now there was nothing to do but wait and see if she would wake up....


To Be Continued
posted on 6-Jan-2002 11:35:16 PM by Elizabeth Evans
Thanks for the feedback *happy*! It was such an awesome feeling to finally finish this part of the story, and I'll hopefully post soon with a sequel. This part ended a bit differently from how I envisioned it, but it sort of seemed to write itself, and I decided to end with a cliffhanger. I'll see what I can get done this week on a sequel before classes start up again.

Thanks again for the feedback! It helps keep me going with the story. *happy*
posted on 6-May-2002 7:39:11 PM by Elizabeth Evans
Author's Note

Wow...it's been forever since I looked at this story. I just wanted to pique everybody's interest by letting you guys know that there will still be a sequel. It'll happen this summer after comps are over in mid June. *happy* In the meantime, I'll do updates on my other two stories, Reverse Roswell and Shattered.