|posted on 2-Sep-2001 8:26:08 PM|
|Title: The Roswell Chronicles: Secrets and Sacrifices|
Disclaimer: Characters created by Melinda Metz/ Jason Katims (I only own the characters I create.)
Summary: Liz is back in Roswell after a 12 year absence. Some old and new truths will be revealed to the Pod Squad
Author's Note: Anything with **before and after** is a mental conversation. In the beginning the story is mainly told from Liz’s POV. After the first few chapters I will switch POV's and do some from the third person.
Feedback would be greatly appreciated
Author’s Thanks to everyone for the feedback!
As the plane speeds onward I think about my last day in Roswell. Maria and Alex entering my room and stopping short at seeing all of the luggage.
“You are leaving aren’t you! How can you do this to me? I need you! This is all because of Max. I wish we had never met the Czechoslovakians!” Maria rants.
“Oh and what am I chopped liver?” asks Alex.
“A-l-e-x, Maria come here.” I say as I hug them both. “I love you both dearly but I have to get on with my life, Destiny if you will. I am going to Harvard.“
“What?” “How?” ask Maria and Alex in unison. “I applied for early admission and got accepted.” I reply.
“So this is why you and your parents haven’t been getting along.” I just nod my head in agreement. “How did you get your parents to agree?” asks Maria.
“In the end it came down to the fact that it was the first time they had seen life in my eyes in so long. They knew it was my dream before Max entered my life. And they came to believe that my being half a continent away from Max was not necessarily a bad thing.” I replied.
“Why didn’t you tell us?” questions Maria.
“Because I didn’t want to be talked out of it. It is my life and not a subject to be debated in a damn meeting. I didn’t want to hear about the dangers or consequences. I don’t want the Czechs running my life. They have their Destiny and I have mine. I am tired of living with ‘what if.’ I’ve lost my ability to believe in humanity, innocence. I will always question peoples motives. I will always be looking over my shoulder. I want normal.” I look at them with tears streaming down my face. My voice breaking.
“Lizzie, calm down. Shh, honey everything is going to be all right.” Maria croons as she holds me.
I can’t believe I am actually back in Roswell. It has been so many years. Everything seems the same yet different. I turn into a parking space in front of the Crashdown. I am actually a bit scared to go in. Twelve years is a very long time.
I walk through the front door and giggle. Dad still has them wearing the same cheesy outfits!
“Liz!” squeals Maria. We hug each other fiercely. I haven’t seen her in over two years. “Come on spread the love!” cries Alex. He joins our hug. It feels so right to be here with them.
Mr. Parker looks up at all of the commotion and a smile of joy breaks over his face as he looks on his beloved daughter. “Liz, come give your Papa a hug!” I run over to him shedding even more tears as I am swept up into a bear hug. I have a joyful reunion with my parents. We all go upstairs to talk.
Later that afternoon Maria, Alex, and I are sitting in the back booth enjoying being together in peace. Alex is telling us about his latest venture in video game design. “You know I have decided to set up my own company and move back here.” We stare at him in shock. “I know I vowed never to come back once I shook all the dirt off! But I want to be near my family. I’ll be able to work out of my home. Set my own hours. A dream job.”
“Alex this is just too weird I am thinking about opening a boutique here. Since Mom married the Sheriff and I now have a baby brother I want to be here with my family. I can do my design work here and ship my jewelry to the stores.”
“Ok, Liz are you moving back too?” asks Alex.
“You know I can’t. I have commitments. But I do have lots of time off racked up!” I reply. "It is rather strange that both of you are basically planning the same choices at the same time. Does it have anything to do with certain Czechoslovakians?"
Blushing Alex replies, "No! I haven't actually seen any of them in years. Lately my thoughts keep coming back to home. I have this huge desire to be here. I figured out how I could quit my job and live doing freelance. Everything was so easy to set up. If felt like it was meant to be. Oh man, I sound like Maria now!"
I start giggling.
Maria in shock "OK I feel the need for some cedar oil! Those are the exact same feelings I have had. This irresistible urge to be in Roswell again. And Liz you finally agreed to be in Roswell after twelve years. Are you guys beginning to think none of this is coincidental?"
"We've been in Roswell less than a day and the Pod Squad mentality is already starting!" I state in mock despair. Now to change the subject how is your brother Will doing?" I ask Maria.
“He is so cute. He still has really blond hair and the deepest blue eyes. Will is going to be a lady-killer when he grows up. He has had me wrapped around his finger for years!” laughs Maria.
“Liz there are some issues we need to discuss before we encounter any of the pod squad. How much do we let them know about the last nine years? Can we tell them the truth and more importantly do we want to? All we have done was by choice and I am not expecting anything out of it.” Alex looks at us with such vulnerability in his eyes. “Ladies I just don’t think I could take the rejection again. If I get another chance with Isabel I want it to be on my terms not feelings of gratitude for what I may or may not have done.”
“I agree with Alex. Spaceboy has ruined me for other men but I don’t want him to know that! When I run into him I want to stand on what I’ve achieved outside of the world of Czechoslovakians. I am proud of that period but that is not who I have been for the last few years. Michael is here now but will he stay and make his home here? I desperately want to see him but I dread it just as much. What hurts the most is that I can feel him through our connection but he hasn’t come. I can’t really complain I haven’t approached him but he left me without a word. I am not caving he HAS to come to me this time.”
Their eyes haunt me with the sadness within. “So Liz how do you think we should handle the inevitable meeting?”
Two children rush through the door and head for the back screaming Mommie. They stop in front of us looking expectantly. “Mommie we have waited ever so long for you to finish in space.” I am speechless to say the least. They throw themselves into my arms hugging me.
"Hi Liz." Oh my god, shivers go up and down my spine; it's the voice that has haunted me for half my life. I look up into those amber eyes "Hi Max."
I feel myself drowning in his incredibly soulful eyes. My pulse is racing, my breathing erratic, and oblivious to anything beyond those eyes. How in the world did I walk away from him?
Bella breaking the spell cries, “Daddy!”
“I see that you have met my children Bella and Brendan. I am sorry they interrupted you. It is good to see you guys again.” Max turns to walk away with the children.
Alex looks at me and I nod. “Max why don’t you join us?” He hesitates and Alex jokes, “Come on man can’t you see I am out numbered!”
Max replies, “And since when is that a bad thing?”
Alex holds up his hand to Max “ Never mind! Go away and leave these hot babes to me!” He grins as Maria and I hit him.
Max smiles and sits across from me avoiding my eyes. “Bella, Brendan why don’t you sit at the counter and order your shakes.” “OK Dad,” replies Brendan.
Maria god bless her jumps in to start a conversation. “They are adorable! Except for the blue eyes they look just like you and Isabel. How old are they?”
“Seven” replies Max.
Alex not quite looking at him asks, ”How are Isabel and Michael?”
Max has that smirk on his face, “Oh they are both doing very well.” He pauses knowing the answer is killing them. “In fact there in town right now.”
Maria looks at Max archly, “Call Spaceboy and tell him to get his butt over here right now! And that is a direct quote!”
We all start laughing at Maria. Brendan turns in his chair and tells us, “Dad we all ready told them to come but Aunt Izzy is trying to find the perfect outfit!”
Now we are laughing even harder. It is nice to know some things never change.
“I take it the kids are Czechoslovakians?” inquires Alex.
Max gives a half smile at the old nickname and nods.
Isabel and Michael rush into the café. “Your really here!” cries Isabel as she hugs me close crying. She whispers, “How could you leave without saying good bye?”
“Iz you know I had to go.” I reply.
“Izzy, move over it’s my turn!” says Michael as he swings me into a big bear hug. “It’s about time you decided to come back. I’ve missed you.” Amazed I pull back and look at Michael. “I know just call me Mr. Sensitive.” I laugh and hug him again.
Maria and Alex hang back unsure until Isabel throws herself in Maria’s arms. She saves Alex for last and doesn’t let go.
Isabel looks at everyone tears still streaming down her face, “I didn’t think we would all ever be together again. I have missed you guys so much. Now that we have the chance can we talk?”
I turn around to Dad asking him, ”Would you mind watching the kids while we go upstairs to talk?” Dad just waves us on up.
As I am about to go upstairs Bella stops me. “Mommie you must tell them the truth especially Daddy.” I stare at her in wonder realizing somehow she knows it all. “Mommie you need to go they are waiting.”
Bemused I walk up the stairs. As I walk in I see Alex and Isabel are on the loveseat talking quietly. Max, Maria, and Michael are on the sofa looking uncomfortable. Isabel stands up “Liz, I kept my promise to you but I think it is time for the truth to be told. There are to many misunderstandings in the way for any of us to move forward with our lives happily.”
Max, Michael, and Alex look really confused wondering what Isabel is referring to and why Maria suddenly starts crying.
I knell down in front of Maria and clasp her hands. I make her look me in the eye, “Ria calm down honey what is meant to be will be. Isabel is right all of you are living under misconceptions some more than others. My story isn’t an easy one to tell much less hear. Where to start?” I take a deep breath and look into Max’s eyes, ”Max, do you remember when you caught me in bed with Kyle?”
Max nods. I can feel the pain radiating from him. “Max it was a set up. I never slept with Kyle.”
Sadness turns to fury in his eyes. “You broke my heart on purpose! How could you be so cruel?” I watch him stand up walking towards the door.
Everyone else is sitting in stunned silence watching the drama before them.
“Please Max just hear me out and if you still want to go I won’t stop you.” He stopped and turned to glare at me.
“You came to me from 14 years in the future asking for my help. Your enemies invaded Earth and you lost the war. Michael, Isabel, Maria, and Alex were dead. You, Serena, and I came up with a desperate plan. We used the Granolith as a time machine and you came back to find a way to stop that version of the future from happening. Future Max had chosen me over his destiny and Tess left. Without Tess you were not strong enough to defeat them. The only way to change the future was to make you fall out of love with me. Future Max told me you were going to come to my window the night of the Gomez concert. So we set you up.” My voice broke at the last part. I held my head down crying I couldn’t look at him.
Max walked up to me and tilted my head up so he looked me in the eyes. “Why didn’t you tell me? We could have found a way to be together.”
“Max it was the only way. I loved you enough to give up my future life, husband, everything so we would all have a future.”
His voice is so harsh as he asks, “How could you do it?”
I look at Max with watery eyes, “Because it was you.” He looks into my eyes reading the truth in them. “Do you think I could have given up my soul mate for anything less? I had to leave. I couldn’t stand watching you and Tess grow closer. I was dying inside with the lies between us. So I went to Harvard and buried myself in my studies.”
“Why didn’t you say good bye to any of us?” asks Michael. I can hear the hurt in his voice.
“I had to stay strong. I didn’t want my decision up for debate. Alex and Maria didn’t know I was leaving until an hour before I left.”
“Liz, why do I feel that there is more to the story?” inquires Michael.
I look at Michael a little surprised. He was the last person I thought would ask that question. “There is more to the story of Future Max and I but it is extremely personal. If Max at a later time wants to know all the details I will tell him.”
Max in that gentle voice he only uses with me asks, “Liz where have you been for the last twelve years? I knew you weren’t dead but I couldn’t feel you at all. How were you able to block our connection so thoroughly?”
“I was supposed to die that day in the cafe.”
Shocked “What?” came from just about everyone.
“Max the second you decided to heal me you altered destiny. Before Max saved me all three of you had looked to the stars to find love, acceptance, and a home. When we entered your lives giving you the very things you craved Earth became your home. The balance had to be restored. I had to be removed to start the chain of events leading to your alienation from us. You had to be free of distractions while fighting in the war.”
“Wait a minute how do you know all of this? Did Future Max tell you?” asks Michael.
“No, he disappeared once we had successfully changed the future.”
“Liz, where are you getting all of this destiny, imbalance crap from?” Michael asks perturbed.
“When I got to Harvard I had the CIA, FBI, and Ava waiting for me. Ava knew about my work with you the hybrids and the gandarium. I was recruited to ‘work at NASA.’ I have spent most of the last twelve years in space with her. You know the resistance on your planet approached our government for help. Publicly the government said no but secretly we did. With the help of the resistance we were able to build a base on the far side of the moon.”
“Yes moon. It was undetectable from Earth and your enemies. Part of the plan was to experiment on Ava but she didn’t trust them so she got me involved. Since her genetic make up was so close to yours we tested her for the things we gave you. No one knew how your human forms would react to the environment on your home planet. I made inoculations and envirosuits to protect you from the environment. I did all the genetic coding and markers so you would have access to the secret royal combanks, the royal insignia, etc. Most importantly we protected Ava so that if something happened to you guys a part of the Royal Four was left.”
Max is looking at me like I’ve lost my mind “My god Liz are you crazy? You were supposed to be on Earth protected from harm!”
“Max, I’ve been marked ever since the day you saved me. I was safer on the moon than on Earth.” I look at Maria and Alex to get the nod to reveal their part. “We have all been involved with the resistance. After you disappeared Maria and Alex were just as marked as I was. The resistance offered them both safe houses but they insisted on getting involved. Alex is the computer genius who created your code system. Maria had started making jewelry and it provided a wonderful cover. I sent Maria the metals from your home planet and she made most of the devices you used. Your enemies may have lived on Earth for sixty years but they didn’t understand humans at all. They couldn’t break a human code or defeat our weapons especially our minds!”
Isabel is looking at me thoughtfully “Your Kira.” Max and Michael are speechless at this revelation.
“Who is Kira?” asks Alex. * I am * “Liz are you talking in my head?” Alex stutters. * Yes *
“YOU were the Spy Master? How?” Michael asks incredulously.
* Michael you are mostly human yourself. You all have a separate set of abilities besides the alien ones. When Max healed me he also unlocked the door to my abilities. I went through a lot of training with others who had similar gifts. Ava found out that I could use her healing stones and they boosted my long-range telepathic abilities. No one could find the resistance’s headquarters because they were on the Moon. We were able to set up an untraceable spy ring because I was the only contact. They couldn’t detect my human abilities. *
In wonderment Max says, “Liz Parker you are amazing.” I blush.
“After everything we put you through you still loved us enough to help save our home. How in the world did we deserve friends like you? There are not words enough to say how grateful we are.” Max looks at each of us with misty eyes.
Mischievously Maria chimes in, “Oh I have a few ideas on how Spaceboy could show his gratitude!” Michael blushes to his roots while we laugh.
“I think I have explained enough for now. I don’t know about you guys but I’m starving!”
Michael and Alex the always-bottomless pits agree. As we go back into the café I can feel waves of panic emanating from Max. “Max what’s wrong?”
“I don’t see Bella or Brendan anywhere.”
“Max, it is OK they are with your parents.”
“How do you know?” he asks.
“Bella told me before they left. They were bored and called your parents to come and get them. Your Mom said she would keep the kids tonight. Don’t look so astonished. Bella and Brendan are natural telepaths.”
Alex and Michael have pulled some tables together for us. Maria is fiddling with her necklace covertly watching Michael. Isabel notices the necklace and shows Maria hers. Maria smiles, “I have to say that really is one of my better pieces.”
Confused Isabel states, “Maria I got this on my home planet.”
“Look on back of the medallion the letters L-A-M are engraved on everything I sent to you guys. I wanted us to be on the lam with you in some small way,” says Maria.
Isabel turns the medallion over and a tremulous smile breaks over her face. “Maria I’ve worn this everyday since I received it. Whenever I touched it I was reminded of home. I thought about all of us and hoping we would all be together again.”
Maria looks at everyone ”I made one for everybody. We all needed a piece of home to remind us what we were fighting for.” She looks on in wonder as one by one we reveal our medallions. “It worked and none of you knew what they were for!” Maria is crying in happiness because through it all the six-knot wasn’t broken.
While everyone is chatting I ‘path to Alex **Alex, I need you to hold your medallion in your hand. Concentrate on the word HELP. **
Four heads snap up at Alex’s mental message. “It worked Liz!”
“Each medallion is psychically keyed to the individual and the group. It has no power over anyone it only allows us to communicate with each other.”
Curious Alex inquires, “We’ve had these for so many years why tell us now?”
“Max, Michael, and Isabel already know they are keyed to each other. The medallions boost their telepathic abilities to give them long-range capabilities. They will give you and Maria the ability to contact anyone in the group. The reason I’m telling you about it now is because Khivar has been spotted.”
Isabel turns sheet white “What the hell do you mean Khivar has been spotted? He is dead!”
“Iz, his body was never found at the last battle. From the intelligence we have gathered he is trying to build up support to revenge himself on you. Iz, you are the one he wants. He is in love with Vilandra and he thinks that you betrayed him. He can’t accept that you aren’t her.”
“I thought this nightmare was over with! Will my past life haunt me forever?” cries Isabel. Alex takes her in his arms to try and give some comfort.
Stunned Max demands, “What is being done to catch him?”
“He is hiding on Laric’s world. He is helping us keep an eye on him. As soon as we find out who is still supporting him they will be taken out. As a safety measure I’m here and I’ll be giving you all the information we have immediately.”
I gather everyone’s attention before I continue. “It is necessary to go into Pod Squad mentality. Maria and Alex you are both going to have to practice using the medallions. As you get better the medallion only has to touch your skin to use it.”
Michael is furious “Oh so were just supposed to sit here and do nothing while Khivar is after Isabel? I don’t want to sit here and practice telepathy. I vote we go home and get Khivar.”
Cooly Max says, “Michael, I’m sure Liz has a good reason for Khivar still being alive.”
“I’m not in favor of the plan myself. I can understand the reasoning behind it. Your solar system is tired of war they want to know how much support Khivar still has. All of the leaders have agreed to eliminate the traitors on their worlds.”
Eyes hard Max says coldly “Liz, I did not agree.”
“No but Ava did. You left her as regent while you are on Earth.”
Furious Max says, “Ava has a lot to answer for.”
“She sent me to warn you. She didn’t want to leave her family unprotected. Khivar knows who all of you are and in his quest to get Isabel all of you are at risk. Ava and I decided it was time for me to come back and activate the medallions.”
“What about Bella and Brendan? How do we keep them safe?”
“The other reason I’m here is to teach them how to use their human abilities. Khivar can not sense those abilities.”
Michael smirks at me and says, “Liz, you’ve got to be kidding! What can you do to hurt me?”
I look at Michael very sweetly and move his chair out from under him. Michael is sprawled on the ground looking incredulous. Maria gets the giggles and soon everyone is laughing. He curses under his breath and sits back down. “How?”
“Did any of you sense me?”
“No” they say in unison.
“When you three use your powers the energy build up can be felt. There is no energy build up with what I do. I can teach Bella and Brendan how to protect themselves.”
Max looks at me earnestly “Liz I trust you but these are my children. I need to know exactly what you can do. Will you do a demonstration for us tomorrow?”
I nod in agreement. Max suggests we all go to the lake for the tests.
Maria pipes in “We could have a picnic! Come on the kids would enjoy it. It can’t be all work and no play!”
We agree to meet at the Crashdown at nine and our food finally arrives. As I’m eating I notice everyone is looking at me oddly. “What do I have something on my face?”
Max looks at me intently “Why are you drowning your food in Tabasco sauce?”
“You changed me in many ways Max Evans. Over the years I’ve developed some of the Czechs dietary quirks. I know you want a better answer but please I’m starving!”
I ignore all their looks and dive in.
Alone at last. I am so exhausted I just want to lie down and close my eyes. I am so not looking forward to the tests or the questions tomorrow will bring. I grab my blanket and crawl out the window. Dad told me he had gotten me a new lounge chair. It’s time to try it out.
I spent so many nights out here pondering the mysteries of the heavens. Tonight I find no comfort in the stars pale light. Gazing at the stars where his home world lies I wonder if I have the strength to go through this again.
Given the lengths Max had gone to change destiny because of me the Elders thought it best to keep us apart. And now thanks to Khivar I’m here. Who would have thought I would want to thank him for anything?
I close my eyes I can feel him coming. He knows I’m waiting for him. My body is tingling in awareness of him. The answers I have for him he will not like or truly understand. Can I deny him, my heart, a second time? My soul is screaming with need. The need to cement the life bond is raging within me. Satisfying the need is the one thing I have been forbidden to do.
“Max. I’ve been expecting you. Take a seat and get comfortable.” Instead he pulls me into his arms. HOME…finally. I listen to our hearts beat as one. I am lost in a world of Maxness…his smell, the feel of his skin. We fall completely in each other’s spell again. I don’t know how long we stood drinking in each other’s presence. Finally Max lets go and takes my hands in his. “I have so many questions. I’m not sure where to begin. I understand why you lied but I don’t understand why you left. I had come to accept your decision about us not being anything more than friends. Liz, I was so devastated when you left... you didn’t even tell me goodbye. No matter what has happened over the years I’ve always felt the loss of the other half of my soul.”
His emotions are slamming into me, tearing up I caress the side of his face. “Max, I felt the loss too. There are so many things to explain. Some of what I’m going to tell you won’t make sense immediately. After we talk you are going to have some soul searching to do. When you are ready we will talk again.”
I gather all the inner strength I have left to begin, “We are soul mates but it doesn’t mean we are meant to be together in every lifetime. Each soul has a purpose. In this lifetime I was meant to be the catalyst for you to begin your destiny. Your purpose was to bring justice and peace to your home world. Tess was apart of your soul purpose.”
Baffled Max asks, “Why couldn’t it have been you?”
“After we connected you put me ahead of your soul purpose. The balance had to be restored. As long as I was in your life you couldn’t move on so I left. You could not have won the war without Tess. She was the daughter of a world allied to you. She completed the Four-square. Tess was meant to be your queen and the mother of your children. She had to have the chance to right the wrongs she committed. Tess was the one who truly betrayed you. She was in love with Khivar but he was in love with Vilandra. Khivar wanted your kingdom and he used Tess cruelly to get it.”
“I’m confused Liz. How do you know all of this?”
“The mystery schools.”
I see him start to comprehend the implications. Incredulous, “You’ve been there. You were there and you didn’t contact me!”
“You know Max it would not have hurt you to explore the beliefs of your people. When I became involved with the resistance I had to be judged worthy by the Elders. I asked the Elders why I had to give you up to Tess. Their answers didn’t make any sense to me. So I began to study the beliefs of your world. It took me years to accept their explanation. But as events unfolded I began to see the truth of it. God Max, I never expected to see you again!” I start crying. The pain is still so fresh.
Max gently wipes my tears away. “Liz don’t cry I never stopped loving you. We have been given a second chance and I want to try again.”
His eyes are pleading with me to say yes. I bow my head trying to find the strength to deny him. Tenderly he raises my head with his fingertips, “Liz please. I have been in love with you all my life. I know you love me I can feel it. I don’t know why you are trying to deny it when I can feel your feelings. You can’t lie to me this time. I’m not letting you go. You are the one for me, my life, my heart, my soul. I’ve found you again and I don’t intend to lose you.”
I’ve waited a lifetime to hear those words. Breathe. Be strong. There is so much he doesn’t know about the not so perfect Liz Parker. Will he still love me when he finds out? The question is tearing me apart but it is too soon to confess. I put my fingers against his lips, “Max I am not who I once was or what you are.” Max tries to speak but I cut him off. “We will continue this conversation. You need to go and I must get some sleep. Max I promise I won’t disappear. I’ll see you later in the morning.”
Max leaves reluctantly. I watch him go and wonder how I am going to resist him and stay sane.
“Wake up sleepyhead!” Maria says as she walks into my room.
I throw a pillow at her and bury myself under the covers.
Bella and Brendan scream “Mommie! It’s time to get up!” as they jump up and down on my bed.
“Liz you’re not going to make us be mean about this are you?” I ignore them and pretend to snore. “OK you asked for it!” Maria, Bella, and Brendan gleefully start pulling my covers off. I rise up pillow in hand.
Brendan spies Isabel at the door looking on in amusement. She shrieks as we attack her.
IN THE CAF
“What are they doing? Liz is never late.” Michael grumbles impatiently.
“Dare we invade the depths of a girls bedroom?” Alex wiggles his eyebrows suggestively.
The guys hear Isabel scream and exchange worried glances. They hurry up to the apartment. As they look in the doorway they hear Brendan scream, “Save me Mommie!”
I leave Maria to Bella’s tender mercy and sneak up behind Isabel who has Brendan trapped. She whips around and starts chasing me. I run up on my bed with Iz and Brendan on my heels.
“I’m glad to see you are having so much fun but we are l-a-t-e!” Michael is looking at us so sternly we roar with laughter. Maria gets up and declares herself the winner. As she starts her victory dance Iz and I look at the kids and we attack her.
Michael roars, “ENOUGH!”
I stick my tongue out at him much to the kid’s amusement. “Give me fifteen minutes?”
Brendan looks up with those big baby blues “Mommie can we stay with you?”
“If your Dad says it is ok then it is fine with me.” Max looks at us quizzically but nods his assent.
BACK IN THE CAF
“Ok Max, why are the kids calling Liz Mommie?”
“Iz, I have no idea I’m just as confused as you. Maria, Alex do either of you have any idea?”
Alex and Maria look at each other before Maria speaks, “How much has Liz told you about her involvement in the resistance?”
Max replies, “Basically what she told all of us yesterday.”
Maria takes a deep breath and begins. “We knew Ava had recruited Liz and she was stationed at headquarters. Alex and I were kept together at another base to work on our projects but we were somewhere on Earth. I had no idea Liz was on the Moon. Although it does explain why we almost never got to see her and why we couldn’t communicate directly with each other. If she was pregnant I never heard about it. Being one of her best friends she would have told me.”
Thoughtful Alex says, “Maria she did mention once that someone at headquarters was pregnant. But I can’t even tell you how many years ago that was.”
“So the question is how do Liz and the kids know each other?”
“Iz, I don’t know but I will find out.” Max replies.
AT THE LAKE
We are lazing about after stuffing ourselves on Michael’s scrumptious picnic. Alex looks at Michael, “You really should open a restaurant. I will graciously offer my services as Royal Food Taster!”
Michael quips, ”If you get fat Izzy will have my head on a platter!” Isabel blushes and Alex looks like he found the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow.
** Isabel is so going to kill Michael! **
** Maria do you think Isabel has finally given into her feelings for Alex? **
** Liz I hope so for Alex’s sake. He’s never gotten over her. Like any of us have gotten over them. **
** Does this mean you & Michael? **
** You know my conditions he has to make the first move. He left without even saying good-bye. If nothing comes from this I’m giving up and moving on. **
** Liz? **
** Yes? **
** What about Max? **
** Maria this conversation is officially over! **
** But Liz Max isn’t with the gerbil anymore! **
I am lying on a blanket basking in the sun just letting the warmth seep in. I really miss this part about living on Earth.
“Liz.” Max is trying to get my attention but I’m ignoring him too. “Liz.” I really don’t want to start the tests. I’m perfectly content. “Liz.” Can’t he take a HINT?? “LIZ!”
Groaning to myself I answer, “What?”
“Will you answer a few questions for us?” I crack an eye open and look at Max. “Do I have to get up?” He chuckles and says, “No.”
“Why do the kids call you Mommie?” I am up like a shot. “You really know how to ruin a beautiful day don’t you?” I look at Max knowing he is not going to like my answer yet again.
Michael laughs, “I’ve been telling you guys that for years!”
Max is shooting us really disgusted looks. “Well?”
“Tess told them to.”
Max lets this digest for a minute. “Why?”
“She knew I would watch over them because she couldn’t.”
“When did this happen?”
“After I delivered them.”
Stunned Max asks, “ You what how?”
“Tess conceived in the middle of a war. She knew she had sustained too many injuries to have a successful pregnancy. Tess contacted Ava and we made the switch. Ava was more powerful than Tess. She fooled everyone including you.”
Max extremely indignant, “Liz how dare you I had a right to know!”
“Did you really?” I hear the collective gasp and continue on. “Had you discovered the deception Ava would have told you. Tess came up with the plan. Ava and I were hesitant but Tess was right you never noticed the difference.”
“The survival of the twins was more important than consulting you. Tess didn’t need arguments she needed peace if she was going to live long enough to have Bella and Brendan. We tried everything to help her. The doctors suggested a few high-risk procedures but she wouldn’t put the twins in danger. She had to have energy transfusions. Her body could not produce enough energy cells for her and the twins. She got daily transfusions from me because I didn’t depend on the alien energy cells for power.” During the story I hadn’t noticed the twins crawling in my arms and wiping away my tears. Together the three of us projected the last days of Tess’s life. We let them experience our thoughts and feelings during that time.
The last images are of Tess naming the twins and giving the Mother’s Blessing. Of me swearing oath on blood of my blood that I would watch, care, and love them always. She died joyfully knowing Bella and Brendan were safe and loved.
***KIRA GET THEM HERE NOW!!!!!!!!****
***EVERYONE STAND IN A CIRCLE AND HOLD HANDS. OPEN YOUR MIND AND FOCUS ON ME!***
One by one I watch them appear. I see the confusion written on their faces as their friends magically appear out of the air one by one. The last to arrive is Kira. She collapses onto the floor as she appears. I see him moving to her worry all over his face but Kieran gets to her first. He tenderly picks her up and walks out of the room. “Where are you going with her?”
“Don’t worry Kira will be fine once she has rested. I am Serena. Your Majesty, Your Highnesses, Alex, Maria it is a privilege to finally meet you. If you will follow me to the Star Chamber I will try and answer some of your questions.”
“Well were definitely not in Kansas anymore,” quips Alex. HRH Isabel I notice is shooting death ray eyes at him for breaking protocol.
Bella grabs her father’s hand, “Daddy come on,” and begins following Brendan down the corridor. The adults are not as trusting and move at a cautious pace. I leave them behind I need to rest and I don’t see me getting to bed anytime soon.
I watch them come into the chamber I gauge their reactions to the view before them. King Max and HRH Isabel enter first in a defensive posture until the wonder before their eyes stops them cold. Maria audibly gasps as she begins to circle the chamber. Michael stands at the entrance mesmerized. Alex walks in and I can see the computer in his brain begin to work trying to figure out how it is possible to see what is before him.
“How was this chamber created?” I can hear the awe in Alex’s voice.
“It was built from the designs of Kira and Queen Tess. The Queen longed for an open space to see the sun and the stars. We could not bring her to Earth instead we gave her the universe. You are looking at the Crucible of the Gods. It is raw, primeval the birth place of worlds.” I pause and let them dwell on the swirls of primordial dust we evolved from.
I know I’m not supposed to sit before royalty but to hell with it I’m older than they are! “The chamber can be used in a variety of ways. Kira and Kieran made it possible for us to view what our astronomers are studying. We all have favorite views that have been stored in the memory banks of novas, galaxies, star clusters. This chamber is a retreat for us. We use it to study, relax, meditate, etc. If you all will take a seat and recline back I can show you some of the stored views.”
***Kieran how is she?***
***Serena she has seriously depleted her energy reserves. Can you keep the Royals out of the way for a while?***
***I have them occupied in the Star Chamber but the novelty of it won’t last long. Did she at least pull some energy from the little ones? Never mind I can hear your laughter. Ye gods but your sister is stubborn. She teleported eight people to the moonbase without any help.***
***Like stubbornness isn’t a family trait? So who gets to unload the next few bombshells on the Royals?***
***Not you or I that’s for sure! I think the Elders want to split the group up. The Royals will meet with them and Maria and Alex with Kira. I know Kira needs to tell her own tale to Maria and Alex. They are her first family in this lifetime she desperately needs their love, understanding, and most of all forgiveness. In her heart she doesn’t believe herself worthy of it.***
***Gods no! The Elders want to speak with Kira before unloading that ton of bricks. The natives are getting restless. I am going to try and get them settled in their rooms. Hopefully Kira will be awake by then. I really don’t think King Max will go for it though***
As I feared King Max is approaching looking very determined. “I have been more than patient where is Liz?”
“Kira is in her room resting.”
“I want to check on her myself.”
“I’m sorry your Majesty but you can not. She is in a healing trance right now and can not be disturbed.” Oh boy he is really starting to get irritated now.
“I can heal her. TAKE ME TO HER!”
“I’m sorry your Majesty but there is nothing you can do for her. She just teleported eight people from Earth to the Moon she is exhausted. Will you please just let her rest in peace?” He is beyond angry now. I don’t think I’ve ever seen anyone turn that particular color.
“What are you hiding? Why can’t I see her? I am going to find Liz.” King Max starts to move towards the doorway.
“The Liz you remember doesn’t exist any longer. You know nothing of Kira and the life she has now. YOU HAVE NO CLAIM ON HER! She has a family that will take care of her and YOU are not a part of it. Your Majesty, you need to understand YOU ARE NOT KING HERE! In fact most of the beings involved in the resistance here are not your subjects so get over yourself!”
Lord Rohan walks in stunned “SERENA! What in the bloody hell do you think your doing? You cannot treat any visitor to this kind of abuse. Apologize to His Majesty at once.”
“NO! I have cause and well you know it!” and I storm out of the room.
Ever officious Lord Rohan tries to appease King Zan. “Your Majesty, please accept my deepest apologies. I will not try to excuse Serena’s behavior but she is extremely protective of Kira.”
King Zan quietly tells Lord Rohan, “I just want to be sure Liz is ok. I just want to check on her myself.”
“Your Majesty I am not trying to be difficult but disturbing her in the middle of a healing trance can have serious consequences. When Kira’s body is healed she will wake up and not before. May I show you to your quarters where you can wait in comfort?”
Michael has quietly been contemplating the events so far. “Lord Rohan how did Liz teleport all of us up here? She told us she has powers that have nothing to do with ours.”
“Your Highness I know you have witnessed her ability to astral project great distances. Teleportation is the same concept in reverse but much harder to master. Kira can give you a more detailed explanation of the different powers she has.”
(Conversation between Serena and Kieran)
***Serena, have you lost your mind? I can’t believe you told King Zan off! Kira is going to be extremely upset with you. ***
***I know but it felt so refreshing! I’ve wanted to tell off that so-called soul mate of hers for years. ***
***Refreshing?? Holy Mother I bet Rohan was about to have a coronary***
***Kieran I wish you could have been there it was priceless! And I wasn’t even intentionally trying to get him riled up. I just thank providence every opportunity I get! ***
***Serena no matter how refreshed you feel Kira doesn’t need any added chaos. She needs our support now more than ever. No one knows how King Zan will react once he finds out exactly how much has been hidden from him. The decisions he makes over the next few days will decide the fates of many including ours***
A FEW HOURS LATER…
***Kieran? Serena? *** ***We’re here***
***So it has begun. How much do they know? ***
***Nothing although we’re ready to give King Zan a sedative! He is worried about you and suspicious of us***
I laugh I can imagine the hell Max has put them through. ***Well let’s put Max out of his misery. Kieran will you bring him to my chambers? *** I catch a glance of myself in the mirror. Damn I look like hell. ***Kieran take the long way I need to shower and change clothes***
About 15 minutes later I here a tapping at my door. “Come in.”
Max walks in I can see the worry etched on his face. He pulls me into his embrace. I can feel the tension leaving his body as he strokes my hair. Eventually he pulls far enough away to look into my eyes. “I was so scared. I had just found you again and I didn’t want to lose you. They wouldn’t let me see you which frightened me even more.”
I caress his face before I speak. “Max I really am ok. I am still tired but nothing a few hours of sleep won’t cure. I used a tremendous amount of energy to ‘port us here. My body just shut down to protect me. The Council wants to meet with you. They must have news of Khivar if I needed to get all of you off planet so quickly.”
“I’d rather stay with you. Can I just hold you until you fall asleep and then go?”
“As tempting as your offer is you really need to meet with the Council. Everyone should be here by now. When you are done why don’t you come and wake me up?”
“I like that offer better. I’ll come and wake up my Sleeping Beauty in a few hours and then I’m not letting you out of my sight.”
He has that goofy grin on his face that I love so much. He pulls me back into his arms and plants butterfly kisses on my forehead. I want to keep him here in this moment forever. I know this could be the last embrace after he hears the news from the Council. I pull back a little looking at him through my eyelashes. My gaze moves to his lips and back to those gorgeous eyes. The half smile appears and he leans down to capture my lips. So softly like our first kiss. The connection between us flares to life. Every cell of my being calls to his.
The voicecom buzzes, “Kira is King Zan with you?” No answer is forthcoming we are busy. “Kira are you there? Is everything ok?”
Trembling with need we can barely stand. We groan in unison. “Yes, the King is here.”
“Kieran will be waiting at the end of your corridor to take His Majesty to the Council Chamber.”
Drunk on each other we cling to one another trying to breathe. We feel each other’s loneliness and longing. The depths of our joy to be reunited. Amazing to both of us is the unconditional love we still have and the driving need to cement the lifebond to become one. He lets go first. “If I don’t stop now the Council meeting will not take place.”
Coyly I ask, “Why?”
Max gives me a knowing look but realizes I need to hear the words. “Because I would take you to bed and we’d make love until we died from pleasure.”
He sees my cheeks pinking. “You are so adorable.” He kisses me once more on the forehead and walks out of my chamber.
***SERENA!!!!!!!!*** She walks in and sees me collapsed on the floor. I know she is cursing Max for the state I’m in. I hold onto her for dear life not knowing if I will ever see him again.
***Kieran get Maria and Alex. We need to do this now before she completely loses it***
A few minutes later the door opens and Maria starts talking. “Lizzie how did you get us to the Moon? I can’t believe you have this cool power and didn’t tell us! OMG are you ok? You’ve seen Max. Did he do this to you?”
I can’t help it I laughed. Maria being Maria lightened my mood. I hug her and tell her how much I have missed her.
“I need for you guys to sit down. Some of your memories have been blocked for your protection and others. It is time for you to remember. I am going to put my palm on your forehead and say a word. It will unleash the memories. Just let the memories flow and when it has stopped we will answer your questions.”
“Are you ready?” They nod their heads in assent. I place my palm on their forehead and whisper, “Ciara.”
Onto the Royals and The Elder Council of Keltar
Michael looks at Max nervously, “I have a really odd feeling about this. I know I got out of as many council meetings as possible but I don’t remember there being an Elder Council.”
“Well it’s too late now we are at the doors. Let’s go ahead and link up.” As Max gives the order the chamber doors open.
A booming voice cries out, “His Majesty King Zan, Her Royal Highness Princess Vilandra, and Prince Rath.” They walk into the chamber as their names are called out coming closer to a large semi-circle table.
A voice booms out again, “The Elder Council of Keltar.” They halt stunned for no one of their race has ever been admitted before the Council.
“King Zan be welcome. We have provided chairs if you wish to sit. I am Olcan head of the council. I am sure you are really confused by our presence here. You know from the history of our two worlds that we have never been very friendly nor outright enemies.”
“However we quickly perceived the threat Khivar was to all of us. We knew he had to be stopped. The Council talked in secret with the Queen Mother and a plan was developed. Our scientists gave the Queen Mother the technology to clone your former selves and send you to Earth.”
“Keltar became the homebase of the resistance until the Moonbase was finished. After Khivar’s attack on your solar system we were able to come up with a way to stop him from spreading into our’s.”
“Earth had been chosen for your hiding place because it’s atmosphere is toxic to the skins natural form. Unfortunately Khivar found away around it with the husks. Our world’s atmosphere is similar to Earth’s. When we realized our atmosphere would no longer stop them. We came up with a solution years in the making. We would like your cooperation to execute the plan. But there are some things from your past lives that have been hidden. You have to know the full truth to make an informed decision. With your permission we would like to unblock these memories.”
King Zan nods his assent. “If you three will hold hands I will place the palm of my hand on King Zan’s forehead and speak a word. As the three of you are already linked I can unblock you at the same time. Let the memories flow through you. We will answer your questions afterwards.”
I place my palm on King Zan’s forehead and whisper, “Ciara.”
Liz places her palm on my forehead and whispers, “Ciara.”
I am bombarded with images, thoughts, feelings. It’s like riding an amusement park ride where you drop straight down. I can’t breathe; my stomach is in my throat. Rianna floats through my mind. I almost grasp what it means but I am distracted by Alaric. My brother? No my twin. I am Rianna.
Alaric floats through my mind but something no someone is missing Rianna. I see us playing in the bailey? A woman with long curly auburn hair and a comforting smile appears. Next an austere gray headed man trying to hide his amusement. A flood of images rush through me. My emotions are chaotic bouncing back and forth with each image.
We are now one. Tears new home… Trials of power… Combat … Warlord … Guardian Protector of Ciara.
Treachery, blood, escape with precious cargo.
Sadness, relief as the stars fly by.
We are Alaric and Rianna.
Two halves one whole.
The right arm… Sword
The left arm… Shield
of the One
Stunned comprehension dawns on Alex and Maria's faces. They hug each other fiercely letting their twinbond resurface. "Liz, Serena, Kieran get your butts over here. I can't believe we are all finally together!"
Alex looks at Kieran questioning, "We gave you specific instructions why did you wait so long?"
"When the appointed time arrived Nicholas had shown up in Roswell. We believed Khivar wasn't far behind. Serena and I decided it would be safer to keep you three in ignorance of your true heritage. Going through the transformation would have put you in danger."
"Remember blood calls to blood. As long as you remained unblooded from the Ritual and Revelation Khivar could not sense you. When Max healed Kira he opened up the door for the transformation to start. The process was very slow and Kira fought the changes."
"Once Kira got here she was given the same choices we are going to give you. Kira chose to complete the transformation. If you chose to go through it also you will not be able to go back to Earth until Khivar is dead. And living on this barren rock of a Moon is not very fun. On the other hand it is a perfect place for you to practice your gifts and research your interests."
As for the choice Maria, Alex you have to know the odds are against us coming out of this alive. You can choose to stay and go through the Ritual and Revelation and fight by our side. Or we can send you back to Earth with your memories blocked and you can have relatively normal lives. Don't answer now take a few days to truly think this over."
"Speaking of the Ritual and Revelation Liz you were powerful before but not this powerful," questions Alex.
I wave a hand over my face. Alex and Ria gasp, "You're wearing the full mark of the Mother!"
"When I went through the ritual the Mother blessed me with the power to accomplish the tasks set before me. If you decide to go through the Ritual I think you will have a similar experience."
Alex and Maria take some time to mull over the information. Alex looks at me pensively, "I don't want to bring up a painful subject but what happened between you and Khivar in the end?"
I take a steadying breath. "When you left me in the birthing chamber Khivar still had not shown up yet. He had given orders to one of the midwives to delay my delivery as much as possible. Little did he know I took herbs to start early so he wouldn't be there. By the time he arrived everyone had scattered leaving me and my stillborn babe. When he came in and saw us he went insane. I realized the true depths of his madness. He accused me of killing my own child. He started ranting and raving about how I had ruined his plans. I knew then I had made the right decision about sending Serena with you. Khivar started screaming at me 'Die you traitorous bitch die.' All the while he was stabbing me with his dagger."
"Ria, Alex you CANNOT feel guilty about leaving me. You did as I bade you. Serena had to be saved no matter what the cost. I am eternally grateful for the wonderful job you did raising our daughter. I couldn't have been a better parent to Serena than you guys were."
Alex teases,” But sending us to Earth? Couldn't you have given us a little forewarning? It was a damn long boring trip."
"Alex, I didn't know. The Council made all of the arrangements. I didn't even know where Kieran had been sent. It was for your protection just in case Khivar managed to penetrate my mind shields. But I am so glad you all ended up together and were able to live as a family."
Maria finally speaks, "Does Max know any of this?"
"No, the Council is in the process of enlightening him as we speak."
"Liz he is going to go ballistic. Max already mistrusts this situation. The secrets the Council will reveal will only make things worse. Why aren't you telling him about all of this? He would take it better from you."
"I sit on the Council and it was the majority’s decision for them to tell him. No one was sure how he was going to respond and they felt I had been hurt by him enough. His reaction will determine whether the council lets us see each other again. If he refuses to cooperate then Max and the others will be sent back to Earth."
Maria gives me a significant look, "OMG Liz he still doesn't know does he?"
I catch her meaning immediately. "No Max still doesn't know about Serena or the fact that he is her father."
“I wanted Serena to know Max and I. Before you left with her I transferred my memories to her. I never expected for our daughter to have a chance to know us. I thought I was doing a good thing giving her my memories. I wanted her to know that she was conceived with love.” I am pleading with her, “Serena you blame Max unfairly for so many things. You know I made the decision to leave. You know I never told him I was pregnant.”
Serena begins heatedly, “Mom, I’ve seen both of your lifetimes. In the first he gave you pain, heartbreak, and death. In this lifetime the only thing he hasn’t done yet is get you killed. You have always been last on his priority list. I lost you once because of him and I’m not losing you in this life because of him. When are you going to quit sacrificing yourself for that faithless SON OF A BITCH!”
Exasperated, “Serena, enough! You and I will never agree so let’s drop it.”
Fuming Serena asks, “Did you really have to involve HIM? Couldn’t you have just brought Ria, Alex, and the twins?”
“Serena dear heart we couldn’t just abduct Bella and Brendan. Max is extremely protective of those he loves. We need his cooperation.” Quietly I add, ”And I wonder how he will ever forgive me for putting them in danger?”
Perplexed by the last statement Alex asks, “How are Bella and Brendan in danger?”
“When I was giving Tess energy transfers part of my blood, essence, something went into them too. They are a part of me blood of my blood. We didn’t know this would happen.” My voice is thick with emotion; “I was just trying to keep them alive?”
Realization dawns on Alex, “They are connected to Khivar through our blood!”
Sadly I nod my head in agreement. “Khivar is after them but he has no clue how important they truly are. Bella and Brendan are a mix all three races and have the powers of each.”
“Daddy dearest is about to find out what it truly means to be between a rock and a hard place. If it is discovered by his subjects that Bella and Brendan carry the blood of the Keltari they legally cannot inherit the throne. To defeat Khivar we may need the twin’s power. By doing so he will expose their true heritage. What will he do?”
Thoughtful Kieran says, “King Zan needs to keep his realm stable so he can finish consolidating power. Exposing the twins as part Keltari would be a major blow to his power base. Leaving him with Vilondra as his only heir. Vilondra being heir would not set well with the people. They have not forgotten her past treacheries.” Sighing he continues, “If only Khivar wasn’t Keltari. The people hate him and associate his every evil deed with our entire race. He allied with the Skins our world was never involved. We have publicly condemned him, stricken his name from the House of Ciarramon. Privately we began and funded the resistance.”
Kieran looks at us all determinedly, “Khivar is one of our own and we are the only ones who can stop him.”
Summary: New secrets are revealed to the Pod Squad about hidden pasts and Khivar.
Author's Note: This chapter will introduce more new characters and explain some history.
Lochan-Max/Zan and Isabel/Vilandra's father
Alis- " " " " " mother
Elora-Head of the House of Ciarramon
Olcan-Lord High Chancellor of Keltar
Nikoli/Nicholas (Yes the 14 year old we love to hate!)
(Picks up from chapter 8 with Max, Isabel, and Michael in the chamber with the Council of Elders of Keltar)
Olcan places his palm on my forehead and whispers, "Ciara."
King Lochan excited tells his family, "The Keltari have agreed to send an ambassador here!"
Intrigued Vilandra says,"Father how did you accomplish this? The Keltari haven't had an ambassador here in hundreds of years!"
Bewildered King Lochan states, "I have no idea why they agreed this time. Their High Chancellor Olcan has informed me that Elora of House Ciarramon will arrive next week. Her husband Kavan is joining her."
Queen Alis looks at her husband before beginning. "I've had our researchers busy trying to find what little information we have on them. I have a packet made up for each of you. I'll give you a short run down now and you can do an indepth study later. Keltar's government at the local level is run by the Houses. On a national level the planet is ruled by the Council of Elders. The membership of the council is always kept a secret. The Lord High Chancellor is the public spokesperson for the council."
"Culturally and economically we know very little. The Keltari have not allowed visitors in their solar system for a millennia. All trade and intergalactic diplomacy is done through their trading colony Grania. It is located in the solar system next to their's and is the only habitable planet in the system."
"The Keltari are a race of peaceful warriors. The whole society is trained in warfare and magic or what we would call powers. As far back as our records go there is no reference to any type of warfare. They believe in being prepared. They have land and space based armies and navies."
"As to their powers we don't have any reliable information. They are rumored to possess all of our abilities combined. The other powers I have come up with so far are the ability to cast, block, or remove any spell; the ability to prevent any magical spell being used on them; and the rumored abilities to teleport and astral project."
Rath, Zan, and Lonnie are looking at Queen Alis in astonishment. The King watching them wants to impress upon them the importance of the embassy. "I want to establish an alliance with the Keltari. I am hoping this will deter Gregori. He is pushing an alliance by marriage. Don't worry Vilandra there is no way in hell your going to marry that devil's spawn Nikoli. If they force us into a war so be it."
"I have a feeling that Gregori will send Nikoli to 'visit' at some point during the negotiations with the Keltari. I have given some thought on how to protect Lonnie from Nikoli's advances. I would like you and Rath to enter into a fake betrothal. This would give Rath unlimited access to Lonnie and our quarters. Rath, I would like to bring your brother Rion into this also. It would make sense for him to be around Lonnie when you can't be to 'protect' your interests."
Laughing Vilandra replies, "Sounds like a plan to me father. I can't stand Nikoli and he is scared of Rath!"
"Works for me to. Any excuse to pound on the weasel plus Rion would never forgive me if I left him out of the fun."
Queen Alis looks at Rath, "You do realize you will have to attend ALL of the social functions!"
Rath groans while everyone else laughs. "Lonnie you owe me big time for this!"
King Lochan gathers everyones attention. "The next few weeks may be the most crucial of my reign. This is the last gambit. I am betting on the reputation of the Keltari to be a reality. If this alliance doesn't go through I don't even want to dwell on the consequences."