posted on 1-Sep-2001 8:19:33 PM
tittle- Dark Times

author- Melissa -- True Blue Healer, or as I used to be known, Mslayer713

disclaimer- I, sadly, don't own Max or the rest of the poor little life sucks...

summary- Um...AU fic where no one knows anyone except that Alex, Liz, and Maria are buds; and Max and Isabel are still brother and sister, so, there's some knowledge of the others; got it? Liz, Max, Isabel, and Michael get taken 'hostage' and everyone gets thrown together while they try to solve the mystery and get out alive.

author's notes- Sorry it's not double spaced, but it's not typed that way and it would take FOREVER to go back and do the whole story that way!! Hope ya enjoy it!! Here's parts 1-11

Crying wasn’t worth it. She’d learned that by now. All it did was get her pitied looks and a few chuckles. Most of the laughs came from the men in black carrying the guns. The doctors gave the pitied looks right before they would hurt her.
God, she didn’t want to think about the hurt. They had ran so many tests on her she thought she would run out of blood. All she could do was lay there and cry; cry and beg for mercy.
After a few days she stopped asking for help; no one would answer her. When they would come for her, she used to put up a fight all the way until she was strapped down to the table. After a while, the doctors started to ignore her all together; she even stopped fighting their needles.
All she could do was cry silently, but even now that was getting tiring. It didn’t help. And all the pitied looks did were make her mad.
If she knew she’d have a chance, she’d make a break for it. The next doctor who touched her would end up in a ball on the floor, hopefully suffering from a few severe head wounds. They deserved that and more for all the pain they’ve put her through.
Just thinking about her family and friends made her despair seem even more real. She would probably never see her parents again, nor her grandma. And what about her two best friends in the world? She missed them so much.
She wondered what they were doing right now. They must be worried sick about her. Her parents must’ve freaked when they saw she wasn’t in her bed last… god; it’d been so long she couldn’t remember the exact date.
It could’ve been days, maybe weeks. But it felt like months; years even. They must be worried sick, she reasoned. But then why hadn’t anyone come to help her yet? Cause they don’t know where you are, a little voice in her head said. You don’t even know where you are.
When she was brought here, she was unconscience; well, asleep is what they told her. But she knew better. The tinniest noise used to wake her up. There was no way being hauled into a big truck or something wouldn’t have done the trick. She’d been drugged.
When she woke up, she was in this dark little room lying on the floor. They hadn’t even had the courtesy to put her in the bed. They just left her on the cold, dark, dingy floor!
Still in her nightgown, she’d gotten up and started to freak, calling out for anyone. She waited for hours before she heard footsteps. Crying for answers, she watched as they just kept going, dressed in heavy black clothing and loaded down with guns.
They would pass by every twenty minutes, down to the second. She’d tried keeping time by them, but it was hard to keep up when she was so hungry and thirsty. She eventually lost count, dozing off into a very restless sleep only to wake up in a different room.
This one was bright white-a medical examination room. And she was now wearing a thin tank top and white pants. God, she screamed the whole time they examined her, but it didn’t do any good. You’d think it would’ve sunk in earlier.
None of her questions had been answered. They just kept telling her this was for her own good. What good? It was good to be taken away from your family and friends? From everyone she loved and cared about? Where was the good in that?
Sighing with frustration, she laid her head against the wall and thought idly, ‘and where’s the good in goodbye’? Her muddled brain was roaming now, trying to think about anything but her situation. Trying to get comfortable on the cot and not touch her back, which was nearly impossible, she pulled her legs up under herself.
Suddenly she was pulled out of her daze by the sound of her cell door being pried open. Frozen with fear, she merely watched as two big burly guards drug a guy into the room. He was twisting in their arms, trying to break free.
Just as quickly as they had emerged, the guards dropped him onto the floor and fled back out of the tiny room. He just fell to his knees and let his cuffed hands fall down to the floor in front of him. His dark hair covered his face, masking it from her view.
Watching him out of the corner of her eye, she looked around the room, wondering why he was in here with her. What was going on?
The commotion in the hall made them both look up, but his eyes never went to the door; they just seemed to look into space. She could hear them clearly now. They had another girl; she sounded young, maybe her own age. She was screaming, but she couldn’t make up the exact words.
But her new roommate must have. He was up in seconds, throwing himself at the door.
“Let her go!! You have me. Let her go!! Isabel!!”
Crying with fear and sympathy, all she could do was hide her head in her hands and listen as the other young girl cried back to him. He pounded and few more times before sliding to the floor once more. She could see the tears in his eyes, the ones he was trying so hard to keep there.
He slid the rest of the way to the floor, laying his head down on the cold concrete and his still cuffed wrist out in front of him. She pulled her head up some and studied him, wondering if he was safe. He’d just reacted so fast; she didn’t even see him jump off the floor a minute ago. She could faintly hear him crying and her guilt soared. He was just like her, here under duress. She wondered if he was taken in the middle of the night too.
He flexed his wrist and she could faintly see the red marks from the cuffs. She looked around the room before sliding off the bed slowly, making a steady but tense move towards him. When she’d been brought in she was awake enough to watch them remove the cuffs. There was a mechanism on them, where anyone wearing them couldn’t reach. Both sides had to be activated at the same time, once more rendering the wearer useless to escape.
With a shaky hand, she reached out and quickly pushed all the buttons down. He jumped back in an instant, causing her to the do the same. He looked at her as if he was just now noticing her in the room. She sank back and retreated to the cot, not knowing what to do now.
He slowly looked down at his wrist and slid the cuffs off. He laid them on the floor and stared at them.
“Thank you.”
She looked up at him, not even sure if she had heard his voice. It was low and soft, but there was a definite power in it. “You’re welcome,” she whispered back.
He nodded and just kept looking at the cuffs. “How long have you been here?”
She shrugged and looked down at her feet. She could already feel the tears in her eyes. “I don’t know,” she admitted.
There was another pause of silence, and then he asked, “Are you scared?”
She barely nodded. “Yeah…more than I’ve ever been.”
He looked up at her, and she felt a twang in her chest. His eyes were the perfect deep brown she’d ever seen. He stared at her for a beat before looking back down. “I’m Max.”
Wiping her tears away, she replied, “I’m Liz.” ***

Max sat on the floor, too ashamed to look up at her. He could hear her short breathing, meaning she was near tears. She was curled in a ball, tightly tucked into the corner of the tiny cot.
Finally, unable to stand it any longer, Max looked up at her. Her brown hair was around her face, clouding her looks from him. He could tell she was upset and probably scared of him.
“I’m not going to hurt you,” he mumbled, feeling stupid saying it.
She looked up at him then quickly looked away. “I went to sleep in my own bed,” she stated softly. “I wrote in my journal like I do every night then went to bed. And I woke up here.”
Max looked back down, feeling uncomfortable that she had shared that. After thinking about it for a minute, Max told his version. “We were driving home. There was a car stalled in the road and we stopped to check it out.” After a beat, Max added in a sarcastic voice, “Guess that’ll teach me to be helpful.”
“We?” Liz asked in a small voice. Max shifted. “The girl. Isabel?” she asked.
Max looked up at her and finally nodded. “She’s my sister.”
“I’m so sorry.” Liz replied, her eyes downcast.
Max almost wanted to yell at her for the pity. How could she pity him? She was here too; she was just as bad off as he was. What right did she have to feel pity on him?
“I don’t need your pity,” he mumbled.
Liz looked a little shocked by his response, but nodded. With wide eyes she looked down at her feet, which were pulled up to her. He noticed how she had her arms around herself, trying to keep warm. She was only wearing a thin white tank top and pants.
Max looked back at himself and slowly slid off his jacket. Standing up, he walked over to her, handing over the coat. “Here…you look cold.”
She looked up at him then at the leather jacket. “I’m fine.”
Max knew she was lying. He gently laid it on the bed beside her legs. Then he went back to looking out the tiny window on the door. It was the only source of light they had and their only source to the outside world.
He faintly heard a shift on the bed behind him and his jacket ruffling. He kept his eyes on the window, even after she spoke up.
“Can I ask you a question?”
“I guess.” Max replied.
After a pause, she asked, “do you know why you’re here?”
Max froze, not moving an inch. How could he answer that?
“Cause I…I have no idea why I’m here,” she whispered.
Max finally spun to look at her. She was still curled up in a ball, but now she was also wearing his coat.
“I don’t know why I was taken from my home…”
Max walked a few feet closer, wondering how to react. “Liz…” He felt to weird too say much more.
She looked up at him, her face full of tears. Max stopped, struck by how pretty she was. Even with her eyes red and puffy she was the most beautiful girl he’d ever seen. Her skin was pale and creamy, and her eyes were a deep brown. “I wanna go home.”
Max took in a deep breath and moved a few feet closer. Suddenly, he heard a pounding from out in the hallway. He spun to look, panicked at what might happen.
“It’s the guards.” He heard Liz say. “They come by every twenty minutes. You get used to it.” She added.
Max watched closely as they passed, never even looking at him. He did look at them and noticed the guns they were carrying. After a few seconds they were gone and all Max could hear was Liz and his own breathing.
“Do they ever miss a turn?” Max asked Liz.
“Not to my knowledge,” she replied in an uncertain voice.
Max finally looked back at her then down at his watch. It was after midnight. He could see she was tired. “It’s late. Maybe you should get some sleep,” he suggested.
“How do you know?” she asked, not moving her head from its spot leaned against the wall.
“I’ve got my watch.”
Liz scoffed. “They’ll take it. They’ll take everything you have…”
Max could hear the sadness in her voice and wondered what they’d actually done to her. Isabel popped into his mind then. What would they do to her?
Liz stirred and stood up, his jacket swallowing her whole body up. “What?” he asked.
She walked past him and got on her tiptoes to look out the window. After a few seconds, she turned back around and walked to the other wall, leaning against her shoulder.
Max watched her, wondering what was going on. “Are you ok?”
Liz looked down, seeming to be embarrassed. “I have to go to the bathroom.”
Max nodded then thought about something. “Um…when you have to go to bathroom, what do you do?” he asked softly.
“Get a guards attention if you can. They take you.” Liz sat down on the cot and crossed her legs.
Max went back to looking out the window, trying to spot someone. After a few minutes he looked back at his watch. If Liz was right about the guards’ route, they should be by in about 10 minutes.
Max was about to pace the room when he heard footsteps. Looking out into the hallway, Max stopped a tall guy wearing all black. He had long blonde hair that was pulled back into a ponytail.
“Hey…here comes someone,” Max pointed out, looking over his shoulder to Liz. She walked over and looked, instantly backing up.
“Um…not him,” she stated.
Max could see the fear in her eyes and felt protectiveness over her. He’d only met her a few minutes ago, but he felt something was going on with her. Something good.
“What did he do to you?”
Liz looked up at him and shook her head. “Nothing…I just don’t like him.”
Max could actually feel the cold vibes flowing off of Liz now. She was lying-that guy had done something to her. As the guard passed by the room, he looked in and smirked. Liz took a few steps back, looking at a wall.
Max took a deep breath and gave him a cold look, watching the guard until he was down the hall. That guy was trouble.
Liz sat down on the bed and pulled her legs up against herself. Max shifted on his feet, not knowing if he should sit down or not. “Um…is there anyway to call someone?” he asked, looking around the room.
Liz shrugged. “The guards will be by soon,” she reasoned.
As if on cue, Max heard the pounding footsteps coming down the long corridor. Liz stood up at walked over, standing beside him.
“Hey, can I go to the bathroom?” she asked.
One of the guards slowed and looked in the window, holding up his gun. “Which one?” he asked them.
Liz stepped forward slowly. “Me,” she mumbled. The guard looked her over then motioned for the one in back to come over. Max listened as he punched in some combination and waited for the beep. The other guard stepped up then and opened the door, branding his weapon.
“You get back,” he ordered Max.
Seeing that the other three men behind him also had guns, Max obeyed, keeping his eyes on Liz. She took a deep breath and walked forward, about to go out the door when he stopped her.
“Remove the coat,” he ordered. Liz stopped and pulled it closer but didn’t reply. “Remove the coat or you don’t leave this room,” he stated.
Liz looked down and started to remove the coat but Max reached out and stopped her. “She’s cold,” he said to the guards.
He pulled the riffle up and aimed it at Max. “She takes it off or doesn’t go to the bathroom,” he said in a threatening tone.
Liz looked at Max and nodded. “It’s ok.” She said removing his coat and handing it back to him. Max took it and watched as she was led out of the room, the door slamming behind them with a bang. A second later Max heard the lock beep. He walked up to the door and looked out the window. Liz was walking down the hallway, surrounded by all four of the guards.
If anything happened to her, those guards better come back with more protection. ***

Liz returned to the cell and found Max by the door waiting for her, giving her a once over then glaring at the guards. Liz was struck by how protective he seemed over her.
“You ok? You were gone for quite a while,” he said after a few moments.
Liz nodded, reassuring him she was fine. “The bathroom’s a good distance.”
Max nodded and Liz took her seat back on the cot, pulling her legs up under herself. She could sense Max’s nervousness and looked at him.
“You still worried about your sister?” she asked.
Max didn’t answer but Liz could see his eyes darken some. She prayed that the girl, Isabel, was all right. Even if to just erase that haunted look from his eyes. Liz looked down once more and felt sleep tugging at her mind.
“You should get some sleep,” Max stated again.
“I’m not tired,” Liz protested, straining to hold back a yawn but failing. Figuring he was right, she laid down onto the cot and rolled up into a ball.
A small blare from the hallway made Max jerk and Liz watched as a few of the lights went out, leaving the room with a dark glow. Max relaxed again after a second and walked back over to the door, keeping a look out.
Liz could make out his figure through the dimness and focused on it as she was pulled into a deep, tiresome sleep. ***

Isabel cried as she was shoved into a room, trying to get a grip on the doorframe for leverage. She wasn’t going to go into the night quietly.
“Let me go!” she roared, throwing her foot out and successfully tripping one of the guards. His face turned into a sneer and he reached to pull out a weapon. Isabel’s heart pounded as she saw the stun gun.
“Don’t even think about it,” a deep voice growled, making Isabel look deeper into the cell. She couldn’t see the owner of the voice’s face but he was tall and stood proud against the guards.
After sharing a look, both guards tossed Isabel the rest of the way into the room and left, never casting a look over their shoulders.
Taking a deep breath, Isabel stood frozen, not knowing what to do. With all her hope gone, she decided to let her anger take control.
Storming back to the door, Isabel kicked and punched it, cursing at the guards. How could this have happened? Her and Max were finally safe. All their mistakes and near fatal slip-ups were behind them.
“This isn’t fair!” she screamed.
“Like life is fair,” the other voice mumbled sarcastically.
Isabel spun around and glared into the darkness. “Who’s there?” Her heart was beating in double time but she wasn’t going to let him know that.
Still in the darkness, she heard him snicker. “You better take a lesson girly. I’m not the kinda person you wanna talk back to.” He said dryly.
Isabel squared her shoulders and stuck out her chin. “I’ll talk back to whoever I wish to. What am I’m supposed to be afraid of? You?”
“If you’re smart.”
Isabel cocked her head and glared into the darkness. She might not be able to make him out, but he could damn well see her. “I’m not afraid of anyone,” she challenged.
Which was a lie, but Isabel refused to let her fears control the situation. The only thing she feared right now was what was happening to her brother. Max was too timid to use his powers. Isabel, on the other hand, wasn’t.
“You looked pretty scared when that jack ass was about to shock the hell out of you,” the guy sneered.
Isabel just stared, not being able to come up with a quick response. Truth is told she was scared then. Really scared.
“I didn’t ask for you diagnosis.” she finally replied. “Nor for your help. I had it under control.”
Finally stepping into the light, Isabel stared at the man who was also occupying this cell. He was tall, had dark eyes and spiked brown hair. There was an edge to him; one that Isabel felt was his protection.
“I’ll keep that in mind the next time,” he added, walking over to the cot and laying down.
Isabel watched him and sighed, running a hand through her hair. “I’m getting out of here,” she mumbled, looking the door over.
“Big dreams for one girl.”
Spinning back to glare at him, Isabel fumed. “You have no idea of what I’m capable of.”
The guy sat up and leaned on his elbow, staring her down. “I don’t care what you’re capable of; no ‘gift’ less than the ability to shoot death rays from your eyes is going to get you outta here,” he barked.
Isabel felt her stomach clinch at his words. “Gifts,” she mumbled. How could he know?!
Sighing and lying back down, the guy closed his eyes. “It was a figure of speech,” he replied.
Isabel wiped at her face and listened as the pounding of footsteps echoed down the hall. It was the guards, doing what she guessed were their nightly rounds.
Pacing for what seemed forever, Isabel stopped when the lights in the hall started to go out, leaving their room with a dark shadow.
“Hey…” she called out. “Are you awake?”
“I have a name,” the guy mumbled.
“Gee, that would work if you told me it,” she replied. Her stomach was now in knots and it was making her even crankier.
“What do you want? Can’t you see I’m trying to sleep?!”
“Sleep? How can you sleep in here?” she asked.
“Easy, I close my eyes.”
Isabel took in a shaky breath and tried to relax but couldn’t. “Look…I’m not scared of you, and I’m not going to let you push me around,” she vowed. “But you have to understand that I’m not just going to lay back and take this like you.”
“You rebel and they will punish you. Use some common sense.” He offered.
Isabel looked at him and thought back to the guards and how they seemed scared of him. “You rebelled?”
When he didn’t answer, Isabel decided to show him up. No way would he try to push her around once he knew what she could do. If she wanted out of here she was going to need help, and he seemed to be her only chance. It would work better if she scared him into helping her.
Taking a deep breath, Isabel lifted her hand and was preparing to light up the room when she felt him grab onto her wrist tightly.
“I wouldn’t do that if I was you,” he said in a low, threatening voice.
Isabel was taken back for a second before she deferred her power into her other free hand. No way was she going to let him hurt her. She couldn’t escape to find Max if she was hurt.
Grabbing her other hand and pulling it up to her front, the guy sneered at her. “You think they don’t know what we do?! They watch us!”
He knew what she was doing! How could he? Isabel let her power subdue and he finally released her wrist, ambling back over to the cot. Feeling her breath come in shallow burst, Isabel finally spoke her thoughts.
“You’re one of us.” ***

Are you ever really sure of what’s going on around you? Liz thought. It seemed like every time she went to sleep in this hellhole she woke up and something was different, but this time it was actually a good difference.
She could feel the heavy fabric of leather as she squirmed to get closer to it, wanting its warmth. Finally opening her eyes, Liz smiled as she saw Max’s jacket draped over her small form. Her senses filling with his wonderful smell, all she could do was keep smiling. He’d obviously put it over her in place of a blanket while she slept.
Still not fully awake, Liz squinted around the room, trying to spot the jacket’s owner. When she was aware of the empty room, Liz bolted up, knocking the coat onto the floor. Where was Max?!
Fearing the worse, Liz made a dash towards the door, stretching to see out the high window. The hallway was empty and she could feel her fear for him rising. Where did they take him? What were they doing to him?!
Liz could feel her tears starting to form as she pictured the horrible things they could be inflicting on him. No! Her mind screamed, making her hold back the tears. You survived it, so will he! He’ll be back soon, she continued to tell herself. Like Max said, he didn’t need her pity.
But what if he wasn’t coming back? Liz tried to push that thought out of her brain, but it was already there, like an annoying fly buzzing in her ear. The thought made her chest feel tight, like she couldn’t breath. God, what was happening to her?!
She’d just met Max last night but already the thought of losing him was too great. Liz held a hand to her chest and slowly walked back to her cot, noticing his coat on the floor. Picking it up carefully, she slipped it on, wanting to wear it until she saw Max once more. She wanted to be able to quench this awful feeling in her heart.
When the footsteps in the hallway came around once more, Liz walked back over to look out the window. Max! He was there, coming back towards their cell. Not wanting to be caught waiting for him, Liz rushed back to the cot, pretending to be sound asleep.
Willing her body still, Liz heard the door unlock and the sound of shoes coming across the room closer to her. With her eyes sealed shut, Liz could only guess his true whereabouts now.
But that was only for a second. Liz was positive of his closeness as his hand suddenly touched her face, gently pushing her hair behind her ear. Liz nearly gasped at the feelings that one touch summoned in her. But she willed her body still, not wanting him to stop touching her. ***

Max slowly caressed Liz’s face, wishing he could do this when she was awake. He’d spent all night gazing at her, just watching her sleep. She looked so peaceful, lying there like an angel. He wanted nothing more than to wrap her up in his arms and protect her forever.
The feeling was a heady one, making Max scared. When the thought first came to him last night, he’d just placed his jacket over her, noticing the goose bumps on her soft skin. All he could think was how soft it looked and shouldn’t be put though these cold climates.
Then all he could do was stare at Liz all night. He was actually awed that his intense looks hadn’t woken her up. He hadn’t even slept!
But he finally had to look away this morning. The need to go the bathroom was more pressing now. He cast one last glance at her before walking out the door and was led to the men’s room. He was even given the chance to take a shower.
But he was once more at her side, now wearing an outfit similar to her white shirt and white pants. Liz was still asleep, all wrapped up in his coat. Max hadn’t even noticed when she’s slipped her arms into it. Maybe she had woken up while he was gone.
How long had he been gone? He no longer had his watch, but it didn’t feel that long. She must have woken up and fell back asleep he figured, not letting the idea of Liz not missing him stay in his mind.
What was he expecting from her? Liz had just met him last night. Like she was ready to admit she had feelings for him! But Max was feeling them for her.
And just the idea of her feeling the same things for him…Max could feel his insides twisting at the thought. Removing his hand from her skin, Max thought he saw a small frown slip onto her face before going away just as quickly.
For a fleeting moment Max actually thought about pressing his lips to hers for the sweetest kiss. But reality was once more beckoning him and Max knew he couldn’t. And even if he did, and with the rare possibility that Liz actually kissed him back, would she continue to do that when she found out the truth about him?
Max scoffed and sat down on the bed, his back facing her. How could he even think about telling her? But that was all he wanted to do. He wanted to confess everything. How he wasn’t from earth, how he was actually hatched from a pod ten years ago. He wanted to share with her the stories he knew about himself and Isabel. He wanted to share everything with Liz.
Even the things about Isabel, he thought with a sad heart. She never once had a good friend who was a girl; maybe she would get along with Liz.
He hadn’t seen Isabel since last night when she had been dragged past the door. He hoped to get a glance of her on his way to the bathroom but had no luck.
He did, however, see another male ‘captive’. Although he wasn’t being held, all four of the guards had their guns aimed at him. Max noticed how he wasn’t wearing the white outfits, but a black T-shirt and jeans. As he stalked closer, Max took in his wild brown hair and dark, edgy look.
The guy was staring at him the whole time also, passing him to reach the bathroom. Max was ushed away before he could speak. Maybe that guy knew where Isabel was! He’d come from the direction they’d taken her last night. But he never got to ask him. Max regretted not speaking up, but there wasn’t anything he could do about it now. Sighing and holding his head in his hands Max fretted about Isabel.
Was she ok? Were they hurting her? Max was never one to use his powers forcefully, but if they laid one hand on her he’d maim ‘em! They were here because of him because he had to use his powers in public.
Feeling the bed shift under him, Max looked over his shoulder to see Liz sitting up, staring at him. Thinking she was upset because he was so close to her, Max stood up quickly, his heart pounding.
Liz didn’t seem mad, just curious. “Are you ok?” she asked.
Max shook his head and quickly looked away. God, she was so beautiful when she looked up at him with her big brown eyes!
“Um…where were you?” she added timidly. “I woke up and you were gone. I thought…I was scared that something had happened.”
Max’s heart soared as she admitted she was worried about him, but he kept his facial expression neutral. Just because she said she was scared for him didn’t admit she was running over with love for him.
“I went to the bathroom and took a shower,” he explained.
Liz nodded and Max thought he saw her swallow. “Are you ok?” he asked, turning the question around on her. She was acting weird.
“Um, yeah,” Liz said after a minute. “I’m just still trying to wake up.”
Max nodded and watched as she stood up and stretched, her shirt raising up to expose her slim stomach. Now it was Max’s turn to swallow. All night he had kept his gaze trained on her face, not letting it travel too far down. After all, he was still a teenage guy. But now…he could see more of her soft skin and imagined kissing it.
Taking a deep breath and spinning to stare at the bare wall, Max warned himself to keep his cool. He couldn’t really let his mind and body go there when they had to share this tiny, one roomed space. Regaining his composure, Max chanced a look at her and saw she was sitting down once more, her legs crossed.
“Did you sleep good?” she asked. He could tell by her glancing at the floor that she felt bad about him having to sleep there. Not that he’d actually slept last night.
“Yeah,” he replied automatically. “You?”
Liz gave a little smile. “Yeah…for once.”
Max hoped it was because of him, but she had no idea that he’d watched over her all night. ***

Maria DeLuca watched with a heavy heart as Mr. Parker walked back into the front of the café. His face was full of hurt and pain, making Maria choke back a sob. Something had happened. The police delivered bad news.
“What did they say?” Nancy Parker asked, her own voice catching on her sobs. Maria waited patiently as Jeff sighed and raked a hand through his dark hair.
“They um…they can’t find any clues,” Jeff finally got out. “They’re thinking about ruling out foul play.”
Maria heard Nancy gasp and Mr. Parker pulled her into his arms, trying to calm his wife down.
“No…Liz wouldn’t run away,” Maria exclaimed, finally finding her voice. “They’re wrong!”
It had been three weeks since Liz was taken. Taken right from her bed! Nancy pulled out of the embrace and hugged Maria, trying to calm her down.
“Even if they give up, we won’t,” Jeff vowed. “My daughter did not run away.”
“I agree with that,” a voice said from the front of the restaurant.
Maria turned to see Jim Valenti, the local sheriff, and his son Kyle standing there. At the time of her disappearance, Liz had been dating Kyle. Although Maria wasn’t particularly fond of the guy, he did seem truly shaken up about her best friend.
“Jim, please tell me you have some clues,” Nancy begged.
Bowing his head, Valenti shook his head. “None yet, but I don’t plan on giving up so soon,” he added.
Maria noticed how the sheriff looked at Kyle, and she reasoned Kyle was also pushing his dad to keep looking.
“Maybe we should go check the reservation again,” Jeff said suddenly.
Maria knew how often Liz went out there to star gaze, and after hearing that, Jeff Parker checked out there almost everyday. The guy was down to his last straw with worry for his only daughter. Maria could only hope for a father who loved her that much.
“I’m staying here,” Nancy murmured. “In case she calls or something…”
Jeff nodded and pulled his wife into a quick but tender embrace before grabbing his coat.
“I’ll go along with you,” Jim offered.
“Thanks,” Jeff said, heading towards the door.
“Wait!” Maria called out. As the guys turned to look at her she added, “how will we be able to get a hold of you if she calls?”
Valenti paused for a second then pulled out his cell phone and handed it to his son. “Call with any information.”
“Of course,” Kyle said, placing it in his back pocket. “Be careful.”
Jim patted his son on the back and then both men left, leaving the empty café silent. The Parker’s closed the café as soon as Liz left so they could devote all their time to getting her back.
“I’m going to go up stairs and wait by the phone,” Nancy said, excusing herself.
Maria sighed and sat down; Kyle following sat in the seat across from her. Maria eyed him and was actually happy to have him there. She didn’t want to be alone right now.
“Thank you,” she said softly.
“For what?” Kyle asked.
“For getting your dad to stay on the case a little longer.”
Kyle nodded. “It was a selfish act, actually. I miss her,” he added, looking down at the table.
Maria was struck by how much Kyle liked Liz. “We all do.”
Kyle nodded once more and they both let the silence take over. Suddenly the doorbell jingled and Maria looked up to see Alex rushing in. Jumping from the booth, Maria threw herself into his arms, letting her tears come.
“What happened?” he asked, looking over her shoulder to Kyle as he cradled her body against his. “I just saw Mr. Parker and your dad leaving together.”
“They’re heading out to the reservation,” Kyle explained.
“They found her?!” Alex asked, his voice hopeful.
Maria shook her head ‘no’, hating to dash his hope. “They’re about ready to give up,” she admitted. “They’re ruling out foul play.”
“What?! They think she ran away?”
Maria nodded and led Alex over to the booth. After they both sat down, Maria explained to him how Valenti was still looking but the rest of the police were nearing exhaustion.
“Guys…have you ever thought about going to that cave?” Alex asked softly.
Maria looked up at him, shocked that he was bringing that up. “Alex-“
“I’m serious. She could be there.”
“We don’t even know where it is,” she reasoned, fear creeping into her voice.
“My dad could do a search for it,” Kyle said suddenly.
“There may be clues there,” Alex added.
Maria shook her head, remembering how scared Liz was after going there. “No…Liz wouldn’t be there.”
“We don’t know that,” Kyle added. “If she could be-“
“She wouldn’t,” Maria repeated. “Liz was so upset about it hat she even scared the shit out of me! Why would she go back there?”
Liz had come into the Crashdown a month ago with tears streaming down her face and looking terrified over something. Noticing the look in her eyes, Alex and Maria led her into the back, trying to find out what was wrong. Liz finally explained how she came across a cave in Frazier Woods and saw ‘things’.
Maria didn’t get it at the time but Liz seemed really scared, like she feared for her life. She didn’t even know what Liz saw, but it must have been something. The look in her eyes…
“She was so scared…” Maria whispered. “We should have told someone,” she added, finally speaking her real fear: she might have been able to help but didn’t.
“I never really got the whole story. What happened?” Kyle asked.
Alex sighed. “We don’t really know. Liz told us she felt something…like someone was there with her. And then she saw stuff, like the walls glowing and weird symbols and other things.”
“Someone was there? Like a ghost?”
Maria shrugged, slumping back against her seat. “The way she acted, the nightmares, it was all so much. Then she was fine all of a sudden; like it never happened.”
“You think she finally figured she imagined it?” Kyle suggested.
“No…” Maria softly replied. “I asked her about it; I had been as scared as her almost.”
“Liz swore up and down that she had no idea what we were talking about. She didn’t even remember finding a cave,” Alex added.
“Like someone brain washed her?” Kyle offered.
“Please, where do you come up with this?" Maria trailed off, letting the idea roll around her head. “Oh my god,” she hissed.
“Maria, are you actually thinking that?” Alex asked.
“I was kinda just kidding,” Kyle said. “You know, trying to lighten the mood.”
Maria ignored them both and raced towards the back of the café, Kyle’s comment suddenly setting her brain off. Alex and Kyle both followed, wondering what she was up to.
She pulled open Liz’s work locker, frantically looking. It wasn’t there.
“Maria, what are you doing?!” Alex exclaimed.
She slammed it shut and went towards the steps when Kyle stopped her. “Ms. Parker is up there,” he called out.
Maria faltered, stopping in mid step. Turning to go out the back door, she walked past the guys and into the sunshine.
“What is she doing?” Kyle asked Alex, still following her. Shaking his head, Alex looked outside.
Maria was already half way up the fire escape, when Alex called out to her. She just kept climbing. “We gotta find it!”
“Find what?” Alex asked, starting up the ladder with Kyle right behind him.
Maria hopped over the top and quickly crossed into the room through the window. Alex and Kyle were next, watching with worried faces.
“Maria, what are you looking for?” Alex asked once more.
Maria stuck her head under the bed but came back up empty handed. “Her journal. Liz kept a journal about everything.” When both guys just looked at her, she added, “She must have put the info about the cave in it.”
Alex sighed and looked around. “Maybe but…but I don’t feel right about going through her things.”
“It’s just morbid,” Kyle added.
Maria eyed Alex and Kyle. “Do you truly believe Liz ran away? I don’t. She was taken, and I’m not going to give up till she’s back.” After saying her piece, Maria walked over to Liz’s closet and pulled open the door.
She stared at the lifeless clothes for a saddened beat before dropping to her knees and going through boxes. Determination was fueling her now. No matter how scared she was about that cave; she wasn’t going to stop until she found her best friend in the world.
She heard drawer’s opening behind her and looked to see Alex and Kyle looking. Noticing how Kyle seemed uncomfortable going through Liz’s stuff, she called out to him.
“Kyle, go out onto the balcony and search.”
Nodding, he quickly left to do as she said. Maria took a deep breath and went back to her own search. She wasn’t going to give up until she found Liz’s journal. ***

Isabel eyed the guard with venom as he led her down the hall, his gun always ready at his side. Yeah, like she couldn’t melt that gun if she wanted to. And she did, it was just the other three guys with guns also that made Isabel keep her powers in check.
Suddenly they stopped and Isabel looked to her right and spotted four more guards waiting beside the bathroom door.
“Is someone else in there?” she asked. When no one answered, Isabel rolled her eyes and stalked over and into the bathroom. As soon as she was inside, Isabel placed her back against the door and closer her eyes. Taking in a shaky breath, she held back her tears. No way was she about to let them see her cry.
Getting her emotions under control, Isabel opened her eyes to find a girl with dark hair staring at her. Isabel stared back and noticed how the other girl seemed to know her.
“What? Do I have something in my teeth?” Isabel grumbled, walking to a stall and shutting the door. She could hear the girl running water and sighed, letting a few stray tears course down her face.
After going to the bathroom, Isabel came back out and watched as the other girl brushed her hair. After placing the brush down she turned and looked at Isabel.
“I’m Liz.”
Isabel looked her up and down and shrugged. “Isabel.”
Nodding, Liz looked back into the mirror and ran a hand over her face. Isabel watched her out of the corner of her eye. She seemed timid, like she didn’t know what to do. Suddenly Isabel froze as a woman in a blue skirt stormed into the room.
“Change into these,” she instructed, dropping the clothes onto the sink before leaving as quickly as she had came. Isabel looked down at the all white clothes then up at Liz’s.
“Everyone wears them,” she said softly.
“Except the burly guards with guns,” Isabel mumbled.
“Yeah…they seem to have them all the time.”
Isabel picked up the clothes and looked through them. A plain white tank top, white pants, and underwear; no socks, shoes, or bras. “You’ve gotta be kidding me.”
Liz looked up and shrugged. “It’s not the most comfortable outfit but…”
“I’m not wearing this!”
Liz quickly looked up then back. Isabel could see the fear in the other girls’ eyes. “If you don’t they’ll make you.”
“Make me?” Isabel repeated. “How?”
Liz looked down then slowly lifted up her shirt, exposing her back. Isabel gasped as she stared at the three long lashes raging down her back. “Oh my god…” she whispered.
Running into a toilet stall, Isabel leaned over it, dizzy with the feeling of sickness. Running a hand over her face and calming down, Isabel stood back up and walked out to face the mirror. Her face was now pale, her make-up from last night already gone. Liz was standing beside her, her face hidden behind her hair.
Isabel fought back to urge to cry and asked, “they did that to you?”
Liz simply nodded, still not looking up. Isabel fiddled with the sink and tried to figure out why Liz hadn’t removed the scars yet. I mean, she had to be an alien to be in here, right?
“Why don’t you get rid of ‘em?”
Liz looked up. “What? How?”
Isabel suddenly paled even more. She wasn’t like them? Then why was she here? “Um…do they hurt?”
Liz shrugged, obviously embarrassed. “Only when I lie down on my back.”
“I’m going to take a bath,” Isabel said, walking to the other side of the room and heading for a shower stall. She quickly showered and as she was coming out of the shower in a towel to get the clothes, she was surprised to see Liz was still there.
“Um…I’d change in a toilet stall,” she whispered.
Isabel was about to ask why when Liz tilted her head, indicating at the ceiling. Isabel looked up and saw the tiny hole. “A camera?” she hissed.
Liz nodded. “Most of the guards are guys so…”
Isabel faintly nodded and walked into a stall, quickly changing into the clothes. She wasn’t one to take commands, but after seeing Liz’s back…
“There’s something else I wanna say,” Liz replied after Isabel came back out.
Liz put her hair behind her ear then whispered, “he’s alright. Just worried about you.”
Isabel just looked at her. “Who are you-…Max,” she realized, fear gripping her chest.
“Your time’s up!” a guard yelled into the bathroom.
Isabel ignored him and walked over to Liz, staring her down. “What do you know about Max?!” she demanded.
The other girl flinched. “I just thought you'd-"
“Where is he?!”
Before Liz could answer, the guards threw open the door and rushed in. Liz was pulled away quickly, prompting Isabel to follow but a guard held her back.
“Where is he?!”
Liz was rushed out of the room and Isabel pulled free to follow. By the time she got into the hallway, Liz was being whisked away.
“Is he ok!?”
Liz spun around and nodded before one of the guards roughly pulled her down a side hallway. Isabel wanted to follow so much but the other four guards already had their guns drawn.
“I demand to know where he is!” She said calmly, but her insides were anything but!
A few of the guards ignored her but one of them smirked, walking up to her. “What would you do to find out?” he asked.
Isabel’s face paled and she stepped back. The long hair, blonde, beefy guy followed, getting closer to her. Isabel could feel her knees shake and took a deep breath. Summoning up all her courage, Isabel stood her ground.
“Back away from me,” she whispered.
When he didn’t Isabel said it again. This time one of the other guards reached up and stopped him.
“Remember what happened last time, Drake?” he asked, giving Isabel a look of reassurance.
Isabel looked back. He was tall, had a good build and had jet-black hair. He seemed at least partly humane. The other guy, ‘Drake’ just chuckled slightly and shrugged.
“No worries…we’ll have time later,” he taunted Isabel, leaning in to say it in her ear. Her anger surfacing, Isabel reached up and slapped him across the face.
Then all hell broke loose.
Drake reared back and drew a fist, making Isabel flinch back and charge her power. Then, as quickly as he drew the fist, the other guy, along with another was there, pulling him back by the shoulders. The other guard grabbed Isabel and held her back.
“You bitch!” Drake roared, straining against his holders.
Isabel tried to shake her holder off also but he had a tight grip.
“Calm it down!” the nice one ordered, giving Drake a stern look. After a few more tries, he did what he said.
“Let me go, I’m fine,” he replied, shrugging them off.
Isabel watched as he glared at her, reaching up to touch his cheek and lip. His hand came back down with blood on it.
“She should be punished,” he sneered.
The other guy, who Isabel still didn’t know the name of, replied, “She was taunted by you, who was once already debriefed on doing that.”
Drake started to protest, but he stopped him once more. “You will calm down before I make you.”
Drake growled but didn’t answer. The other guy turned back to Isabel. “The rest of us will take you back, now.”
Isabel glared once more at Drake before walking back to her room. As she walked she couldn’t help but notice the small smile on his face.
“He deserved it,” she grumbled, glancing at the gun in his hand.
He said nothing, but Isabel thought he nodded briefly. As they reached her room, Isabel was told to look away as the combination was punched in. As she did, her mind wondered back to the other girl and how she knew of Max.
After walking into the room, Isabel looked over at her cellmate, Michael. It had taken her hours, but she finally got him to reveal his name last night. He wouldn’t say anything else. Not even give her details about his alien past.
“We need to talk.”
Michael sighed and glared at her. “Is that all you ever do? Don’t you know how to shut up?!”
Isabel ignored his remark and got right down to the point. “That other girl-Liz. What is she?”
“How the hell should I know?” he mumbled.
“I wanna know everything you know, right now.”
Michael’s head snapped up at her tone. “Watch it.”
“No, you watch it,” she threatened. “She knows where my brother is.” When Michael’s eyes softened some at that, Isabel pressed. “Now, I wanna know everything.”
Michael shifted on the bed then sighed. “She’s not like me, that’s for sure.”
“And what are you?” Isabel asked. She had sat down on the other end of the bed.
“What the hell are you? I’m that.”
Isabel looked at him. “How do you know?”
“I can feel your powers, ok?” Michael huffed, standing up and starting to pace. “It’s like static electricity. I can feel it.”
Isabel shifted on the cot. “I can’t feel you.”
“Have you tried?”
Shaking her head no, Isabel just looked at the ground. “Maybe…maybe I could feel Max,” she murmured. Closing her eyes and concentrating, Isabel thought solely of her brother. ***

"Man is born free and everywhere he is in chains"

-Jean Jaques Rousseau

Edited by - kayarra on 09/02/2001 20:28:18
posted on 1-Sep-2001 8:23:59 PM
Max watched as the door swung open and Liz was shoved in, wincing in pain as one of the guards pushed on her back making her fall forward. Max was there instantly, just barely catching her before she hit the floor.
Liz looked up at him and Max was struck motionless as he became aware of how close her body was pressed against his. He could feel her heart against her chest, beating in double time. Max was also aware that his was beating just as fast.
Liz took in a deep breath and finally shied away, making Max close his eyes as her body left his. Taking his own deep breath, Max tried to calm his heartbeat down. He could literally feel the blood pumping through his veins; hear it throbbing in his ears.
Max finally stood up, turning to look at Liz. She was staring at the wall, her arms crossed in front of her chest protectively. Was she upset about what just happened?
“Um…I need to tell you something,” Liz blurted, spinning to look at him.
Liz cleared her throat and looked at him. “I meet your sister.”
Max stopped, letting her words sink in. “Isabel? You saw her? Is she ok?”
Liz nodded. “Yeah…she was fine. But I think I upset her,” Liz admitted softly. “I told her you were ok and…and she got upset, wanting to know where you were but then the guards came in-“
Max walked over and placed a finger on Liz’s lips, stopping her cold. “You didn’t do anything wrong,” he whispered. Max took a deep breath, wanting to get this out before he caught on fire from the feel of her lips under his finger. God, he envied his own finger!
“All you did was let us know we’re both ok. That was a good thing,” he said with emotion.
Liz finally nodded and Max could feel her lips trembling under his finger. He slowly slid his finger down, letting it caress her chin as he went. Max took a step closer, praying in his head that she wouldn’t turn away.
When she didn’t, Max took another step closer and reached his other hand around her, placing it on her back. Suddenly Liz pulled away, spinning around, not even being able to look at him.
Max felt like he couldn’t breathe. He actually thought he could feel his heart breaking. ***

Alex pulled the last of Liz’s c.d.’s out of the rack, making sure there wasn’t anything behind them. They’d search for the last hour and a half, finding zilch.
“This isn’t getting us anywhere,” he heard Maria say.
“No, you think?” Alex grumbled.
“Alex…we need to think like Liz.” He could hear Maria standing up, starting to pace.
“And how exactly is that?” he asked, turning to look at her. He knew this was being done to help Liz, but he was tired and cranky. He didn’t really think going through her stuff was going to help. It just made him feel useless!
Maria sighed, throwing her hands up into the air. “I don’t know, smart like!”
Suddenly Alex heard Kyle shouting out on the balcony. Wanting to know what all the commotion was about, Alex and Maria both raced to the window. Alex reached it first, climbing through and rushing over to Kyle, who was holding a dark, leather-bound book.
“I think I found it!” he exclaimed.
Alex took it from his hands and opened it, recognizing Liz’s handwriting. This was it, this was what Maria had them looking for. As he was about to read, Alex suddenly felt like a peeping tom.
“I got it,” Maria said, taking the journal and settling down in the lawn chair. When both guys looked at her, Maria waved them off. “It’s not like we had any secrets.”
Alex shook his head then looked back at Kyle. “Where was it?”
Kyle backed up and pointed to a spot in the wall where a brick was missing. “My granddad used to keep all his ‘alien’ finding in his wall; like they were priceless,” Kyle murmured.
Alex could tell he was touchy with that subject so changed it. “Well, good job.”
Kyle nodded, beaming with pride. “Yeah…I just hope it helps,” he added softly.
Alex nodded in agreement, both of them looking over at Liz.
“Did you read any of it?” Kyle asked suddenly.
“No,” Alex said quickly. “You?”
“No,” Kyle got out just as quickly. “It seemed perverted or something. Although…I’m kinda wondering if I’m in it,” he added with a slight smirk.
Alex just shook his head and glanced at Maria, who was quickly scanning each page before turning it. Suddenly he heard a slight ringing and saw Kyle reaching into his back pocket. Maria’s head also shot up, listening closely.
“Dad?!” Kyle asked, his voice hopeful. “Oh, hey Hanson. No, he gave it to me so he could call us…I don’t know…yeah, I will. Ok.” Kyle closed the phone and stuck it back in his pocket.
“Well?” Maria asked voicing what Alex was about to say.
“That was Hanson. They found a jeep out on the old highway coming from Clovis. Something to do with some people missing,” Kyle replied.
“Missing…just like Liz,” Maria whispered.
“Seems to be going around,” Alex mumbled. He glanced at Maria. “Find anything yet?”
Maria shook her head ‘no’. “But um…this is very interesting.”
“Um, I was just wondering-“
“No, Kyle, you’re not in it yet,” Maria said suddenly, starting to read again.
Alex looked at Kyle, wondering about the other missing kids. “Since when?”
Kyle thought for a second then said, “A few nights ago I think.”
Alex nodded. Looks like Liz wasn’t the only person missing in action. ***

Liz could hear Max’s breath behind her, coming in swallow rhythms. She didn’t want to turn away, but when he touched her back she wanted to scream. She had to look away or he would’ve seen her tears!
“Ok…” Max mumbled, backing up from her.
Liz could hear the sadness in his voice and felt her heart constrict. God, he was so close to kissing her. And that’s all she wanted him to do all day. Her heart screamed for him, but her brain told her to wait.
Her and Max had to share this tiny living space. It would be hard to keep it platonic if they started something, plus the fact that she didn’t want it to be platonic! Which scared her.
Liz thought of Kyle, her sort of boyfriend, then she thought of Max. Just his name in her mind made her knees feel weak. Kyle didn’t even make her heart speed up or get a butterfly feeling in her stomach like Max did.
Turning to look at him, Liz said, “I’m sorry…”
Max was looking at the ground, his eyes downcast. “I-I shouldn’t have…I was wrong to do that.”
Liz wanted to run over to him and tell him no, it was RIGHT to do that, but she knew she couldn’t. “It’s just that we have to share this room and…”Liz trailed off, her excuse sounding lame even to her own ears!
“I know.” Max added.
Liz nodded and took a deep breath but it didn’t help. The tears spilled out of her eyes and Liz slid down to the ground. Max was there after a beat, knelling beside her.
“Liz, it’s going to be ok. I’m going to get us outta here,” he promised.
Liz nodded weakly. She wanted nothing more than to collapse in his arms and she did, letting her heart win this one tiny battle. As she threw her arms around his neck, Liz could feel Max take in a shaky breath.
Then he gently pulled her against him, placing his hand on her back. Liz cried out and pulled back again but not before he noticed the pain on her face.
“Liz…what’s wrong?”
Liz held her face in her hands and took a deep breath, trying to quiet her sobs. Looking up at him, Liz knew it was now or never. ***

Max was stunned. The more Liz told him, the more he felt sick. How could they do all that to her? They ran all kinds of tests on her, from taking blood to examining her.
This was one of Max’s biggest fears; well, actually, this WAS his biggest fear. But Liz…she was human. She had no reason to be here. She was just being used.
“They…they wouldn’t tell me why I was here,” Liz said, looking at the ground. “Do…um, do you know why you’re here?” she asked, looking at him.
Max froze and looked at the ground. He wanted to tell her so much, but how would she react? Would she be ok with it? Or call him a monster and be scared? God, just her pulling away from kissing him was torture. What if she wanted him dead simply because he was different?
“I…I’m not sure,” he mumbled finally, guilt filling his entire body.
Liz nodded. Max could tell she bought it, but he didn’t feel any better. In fact, he felt worse. Here she was, trusting him, and he was lying to her.
“I’m truly sorry about earlier,” Liz said suddenly.
Max’s heart lurched and he could feel his face getting red. “You don’t have to ex-"
“Yes I do,” Liz said with emotion. Max stopped and looked at her face. She was looking up at him with such caring eyes… He nodded, signaling her to finish.
“I pulled away because…when you put your hand on my back…” Liz stopped talking, taking in some air.
Max leaned a little closer, trying to see into her eyes. “Liz?”
She looked up at him and sighed. “When I first got here, I fought back and…they don’t really like that.”
Max got a chill down his spine as he thought of what they could have done to her. “What did they do to you?” he asked in a controlled voice.
Liz turned her back towards him lifted her shirt up. As she did, three deep, huge slash marks were revealed, still fresh and broken open.
Max took in a deep breath and looked away, his stomach churning. After getting a good grip on his queasy feeling, his anger started to rise. Whoever did this was going to pay; pay BIG. His hands trembled as he resisted the urge to blast a hole in the wall. No way were these people going to get away with this.
People? How could he even call them that? They were monsters, mutants, and savages! How could they do this to an innocent person?!
“Who did that?” Max asked, his voice coming out hard.
Liz turned to look at him, her eyes big. “Does it matter?”
“Yes,” Max replied. “Was it that blonde guy?” he asked, remembering how he looked at Liz. When she didn’t reply, Max stood up and stalked over to the door, looking out the window.
He could hear Liz moving around and turned to look at her. She sat down on the cot, pulling her legs up to her chin. She looked so vulnerable, which made Max even madder.
He glanced quickly at her back and thought about healing the gashes, but what would he tell her? He could tell she was in pain, and his heart won the battle over logic.
Walking over and sitting on the cot behind her, Max asked, “May I?”
Liz swallowed and finally nodded, closing her eyes. Max gently lifted up her shirt and looked at the cuts. They were really deep, and still not healed. He lifted his trembling hand up and slowly passed it over her back, not healing them completely but getting rid of some of the pain.
Then he put her shirt back and in the process, his hand grazed her bare side. Max took a deep breath, trying to keep his mind focused. He dropped her shirt and Liz turned her head to look at him.
“Seems like you can make all my pain go away,” she whispered jokingly.
Max smiled at her faintly; hoping she figured her back was just healing. The way Liz was looking at him and then the way her skin had felt. God…he wanted to kiss her more than anything.
“Max…” Liz whispered his name, spinning her body towards his. She was still looking up at him, her eyes trained on his.
Max took in a deep breath and willed himself to keep some control. He felt like pulling Liz beneath himself and laying her down on the cot. Which he really shouldn’t do.
But just as soon as the scene was set for their first kiss it was torn right down. Their door burst open and Max immediately jumped up, putting himself in between the guards and Liz.
“Come with us, now,” the main guard ordered, aiming a gun at Max.
Max didn’t move, just looking at Liz from the corner of his eye. What she had told him of what had happened was still fresh in his mind, making him weary, and for a good cause. He looked them all over, noticing they weren’t the same ones who came and got Liz. They were the ones who came and got him yesterday.
Max stood his ground and stared at the guard. “What for?”
The guard didn’t answer, just motioned to one of his buddies. Before Max could blink an eye, the guy had pulled his gun out and aimed it at Liz. His whole buddy going cold, Max saw Liz’s surprised face.
“I’ll go,” he said quickly. When the guard didn’t let his gun down, Max added, “you hurt her and I will hurt you,” in a low voice.
He saw the guard flinch and Max felt a little triumph. These guys knew why he was here. He had powers; deadly powers if they were used that way. And they would be, if anyone harmed Liz or Isabel.
The one in charge motioned for the gun to be relaxed and Max watched until it was. As the guards filed back out the door, Max followed, looking back over his shoulder at Liz once more.
Her eyes were trained on his, looking at him helplessly. Max could fill her emotions clearly, which was new. He’d never felt anyone’s emotions like that. They just bowled over him, her feelings for him distinct. She was falling for him like he was falling for her. ***

Isabel listened intently as Michael finished his short story.
“So, after getting the hell outta Roswell, I hightailed it to California.”
“You went to California?” Isabel asked.
Michael looked at the wall and shrugged. “Not exactly…they got me right outside Roswell.”
“Why were they looking for you? What did you do to make them suspect you were…”
Michael sighed and muttered, “I was snooping around for shit; Basically egging them on to see what they’d actually do.”
“Oh…” Isabel said, not really understanding why he would do that, but then again, she didn’t really know anything about him.
“How were you caught?” he asked.
“Oh, um…one of our teachers had a heart-attack during class one day and Max healed him. We thought everyone had left the room to go get help but…but there were a few people near-by and…”
“You caused a scare all over the school,” Michael added.
“No…we explained it off but…we were careless and this is what happened,” Isabel ended.
Nodding, Michael muttered, “one little unexplained incident and your labeled a freaking ‘alien’.”
“But we are,” Isabel replied.
“As far as we know.”
Isabel sat back and thought over all Michael had said. He too came from a pod, though he too wasn’t sure where. He looked about six or seven years old and was put into an adoption home in Roswell.
“Our pods must be somewhere around there,” Isabel reasoned.
“Who said we came from the same place?” Michael asked.
“I, um…I just assumed…come on, we were all found wondering around the desert in Roswell, New Mexico. We could be family.”
“I don’t need any family,” Michael mumbled after a beat.
Isabel shook her head and looked at the door. Using her mind, she tried to blast a hole through it. Feeling some resistance, she tried to just move the molecules enough to make a tiny hole. Still nothing.
Taking a deep breath, Isabel tried again with the same results.
“Could you quit?! I’m getting a headache,” Michael exclaimed.
Isabel tuned him out, also becoming aware of the throbbing in her head, along with Michael’s.
“Great, I learn a new power and get to try it out on space boy over there,” she grumbled, harnessing her powers onto the bolts holding the door into the wall. She willed them to turn but nothing happened.
“You’re not going to move that door,” Michael offered.
“We’ll see,” Isabel replied.
“It’s uranium. We can’t move it-too dense.”
Isabel sighed and laid her head against the wall. She needed to get out of here.
“I miss Max,” Isabel whispered suddenly.
“You heard the girl, he’s fine, so stop belly aching,” Michael grumbled.
Isabel glared at him. “He’s my brother! For all we know, they’re experimenting on him right now!”
Michael didn’t answer and Isabel knew he didn’t want anyone to go through that either. Isabel crossed her arms and looked at the door once more. “Michael, what if we decoded the lock?”
“We can’t see through the wall,” he replied finally.
Isabel groaned and looked at him. “We gotta be able to fight back some how.”
Michael just scoffed and shook his head, continuing his pacing. Isabel looked back at the door. He was right, she couldn’t see through it. Thinking about Max