|posted on 22-Jan-2002 2:43:26 PM|
Well...I've been working on this one behind the scenes for about a month now...and I finally decided to post the first chapter. I didn't PLAN on posting this yet, but call this my moment of weakness...I just couldn't wait anymore, I'm dying to see what y'all think!
It's kind of a different subject for me...not exactly a dreamy fic or anything, so it's been a very slow progress, just to warn you...there may be a bit of a delay between chapters. It's a shorter one for me...I don't expect it to be more than four or five chapters. I'm about halfway through chapter two right now, and working hard.
To give you a little background, this is Post-Behind the Music, Philip Evans POV...
I really, really hope y'all enjoy it! I would LOVE feedback...it's a little out of my norm so I'm very curious as to what you think! Don't hesitate to let me know, either here or via e-mail....whatever
Also, major early thanks to BelieveInTrueLove for getting my muse's juices flowing tonight...I probably wouldn't have posted this yet if it hadn't been for you And also thanks to Deidre for her comments on the sneak peek...definitely helped me along the way too!
Okay...on to the fic!
Title: Behind the Lies
Background: Post-Behind the Music. Philip Evans continues his obsessive hunt for information on his son.
Category: Philip POV
Disclaimer: You'd think after all this time I'd be able to say that Roswell is mine…I damn well feel like it is, but alas, I still haven't figured out a way to worm my way onto the writing team, so I stay here at my computer, writing page after page of fanfiction. Roswell still belongs to Jason Katims, Melinda Metz, Fox, and UPN…at least until the day I become rich and famous and am granted the capability to buy it from all of them and fix it up.
The darkness that fills the night engulfs me as I climb out of my car, carefully locking it before hurrying into the building, and up the stairs to my office. Flipping the light switch on, the darkness is flooded away and I squint and cringe, surprising myself with my drastic reaction to the light. Shutting it back off, I turn on the small, dim light on my desk, and let the shadows consume the room.
I sit at my desk, running my mind over the list in my hands, again and again, double checking myself, wondering if I have any more leads to immediately follow. Setting down the list, I take another drink, and a thought suddenly crosses my mind, a single question that suddenly consumes my thoughts.
When did I become so darkly obsessed with my own on?
His words rush through my mind again and again.
You're not supposed to spy on your own son.
And my silent response follows suit. But are you my son anymore? I don't even know him…I don't even know when it was I lost him…and I can't help wondering if I ever truly knew him. I remember Diane's words to me one night, two years earlier, when she mentioned that Max had secrets, that he couldn't seem to bring himself to open up to her. At the time it saddened me, but I didn't know what to do, I didn't know how I could help.
But her words stayed with me, and for the first time I started to watch and to listen. That was when I started noticing his disappearances. Sometimes it was for a day, sometimes for a week, and always he came back, always he had some excuse about where he was, but somehow I knew that he was lying to me.
I knew I needed to do something, anything to help my son, so I started sending him to the therapist. It didn't last though…one day he just stopped going, and his doctor recommended to me that he didn't return. Max refused to open up about anything…therapy wasn't helping.
Utah was the final straw…my son had truly become a stranger to me, and nothing I could do would get him to warm to me, even after I helped free Liz…and that was when it had happened. I couldn't stop thinking about Max, I couldn't stop wondering what it was he was into, what he was doing. Questions constantly filled my mind: Why did he rob that convenience store? Where does he always disappear to? Is there anyone else involved?
That was when I started the board…I started compiling everything I knew. It started simply, with the board, and my own personal thoughts and suspicions…I was curious, so I started asking questions. I thought I was being inconspicuous…just trying to see what I could learn…but my obsession just kept growing. I hired the investigator, praying that a professional could see more in Max's actions than I did…and I've found his insights intriguing.
Somewhere down the line I got careless though…somehow Max found out.
There is a slight sense of guilt plaguing my thoughts…but I push it to the back. I need to know the truth…I need to find out why my own son is lying to me. I need to help him if I can…get him out of trouble in any way I can.
Again I remind myself that I'm not doing this for me, I'm doing this for Max…for his own good.
Setting down my drink, I pick up my list of leads again, my eyes flying over it as I try to decide what my next move is going to be.
#1. Tess Harding.
I study the name for a long moment. Max's ex-girlfriend is like an enigma to me. I never met her personally, was never introduced to her, although I saw them together more than once. I have no idea when they started dating, or how long it lasted. Most importantly, I have no idea where to reach her.
My eyes flicker over to the phone, as I ponder calling Jim Valenti up, seeing if he found that address for me…or maybe talking to Kyle directly, although I have a feeling that approaching Max's friends might just lead to more trouble. My best bet in dealing with the kids is to make them believe that I've given up, that it's over.
New York…he said she was in New York. I toy with the idea of trying to find her there…but I know it won't be as easy as it sounds. New York is one of the biggest cities in the world. Finding a single teenage girl there would be near impossible.
Sighing, I pick up my pen, crossing #1 off my list. Finding Tess is not an option. The only chance I have is to approach Max's friends, see if I can gather information about when they started going out, when they broke up…when Max got back together with Liz. Could Tess have left because of Max and Liz's reunion? Was she angry, jealous? There's so many questions. Did Max truly impregnate her, or was that just another lie? Call me naïve, but I have a hard time believing that my son would be so irresponsible. Max is many things: secretive, closed off, suspicious, untrustworthy, but irresponsible isn't anywhere near the list. He's always caring for the people around him, always organized, always prepared for anything. It's a side of him that has always made me proud.
Approaching Max's friends isn't an option though…nor is approaching Jim in front of Kyle again, that could have been my initial mistake.
Information on Tess will just have to wait until later.
#2. The Jeep.
My heart clenches as my eyes slide down the list. The situation with the jeep truly hurts, because this is the one time I actually caught Max in the middle of a lie…but why? Why did he get rid of the jeep? What was he trying to hide?
Does it have something to do with Tess?
Tess and the jeep disappeared at the same time, and now that we've found the jeep's ruins, I can't help wondering how Tess is connected..if she's in a similar condition.
I shy away from those thoughts immediately. Regardless of what the clues are pointing towards, I simply can't believe that Max would harm anyone, let alone Tess Harding, his ex-girlfriend…especially if she was pregnant.
I sigh, trying to release my frustration along with the air in my lungs, as I allow the pen in my hand to lightly trace over the words again.
I'm at a stopping point on the jeep, at least for now. The jeep has been found, and the investigator is studying it tonight. Until our meeting tomorrow afternoon I have nothing I can do about that development…I just have to wait.
But waiting isn't an option. I have to do something between now and then.
I pause on the next item…and feel a cold chill seize my heart. This is the hardest one for me to understand. What interest could the F.B.I. possibly have in my son? Why did they show up in Utah? Why did they care so much about the case?
What is Max hiding?
Out of all the developments of the past few months, this is the one that scares me the most…because this is the one that tells me that whatever is going on is big…huge…possibly beyond even my comprehension.
I want so desperately to follow this lead, to see where it will take me, but I have no idea how to proceed. I know the F.B.I. won't tell me anything…they were so eager to cover up the chemical evidence from the convenience store basement, that I know this is the kind of stuff that the X-Files is based on. Maybe not aliens, but it's definitely a cover up, a conspiracy.
I have a feeling that Max could be the only person to give me insight on this development…leaving me with yet enough bust on my list of leads.
#4. The desert.
Dropping the list suddenly, I jerk my desk drawer open, pulling out the file folder that the investigator recently deposited in my care. I take a deep breath, anticipating what waits inside, as I slowly unfold the flap, pulling out the papers within.
A small stack of pictures rests in my hands, pictures of Max and Michael pacing around, working on something hidden from my view by Max's car. Flipping to the bottom of the pile is a single sheet of paper, directions to their location in the desert scrawled in the investigator's messy handwriting.
I glance once more at the pictures, and a fuzzy image in the back catches my eye. The end of a pole, lying on the ground, just barely poking out from beneath the car.
A pole…like the end of a tool…maybe a shovel.
My eyes widen, and I stare at the picture for a long moment, realizing what I'm seeing before my eyes…Max is literally burying his secrets. The question is…what is he hiding there?
Suddenly I know without a doubt what my next step is.
I need to know what Max and Michael were burying out in the desert two days ago.
My alarm rings early the next morning, as I pull myself from what little sleep I had, kissing Diane softly on the forehead before I roll out of bed and heading for the shower to prepare myself for the journey that will consume my morning.
I don't know what I expect to find out in the desert…but all I know is that there's this energy building inside of me. Whatever it is that's buried in the desert, I just have this gut feeling that it's going to be important…that it could change everything.
The excitement is coursing though me as I get into my car and head out of town, turning onto the highway, slowly moving closer to the answers that may lie ahead…closer to saving my son. It seems to be beckoning me on…and I can't ignore the pull. I don't want to.
As I drive, it suddenly occurs to me that in a matter of moments the night before, my entire search has changed. The past few days have been all about finding the jeep, and it was a success. We have the jeep, yet I’m not even thinking about what will come out of the analysis the investigator is going to be presenting to me this afternoon. I believe, possibly even blindly, that this trip to the desert is even more important.
A half hour later I pull off the highway quickly at the sight of the dirt road heading straight towards the strange rock formations that the investigator described in his notes. The road grows bumpier, rockier, but I ignore it, pushing my sedan on, until I finally come to the end of the road. I recognize the terrain from the pictures and quickly throw my car into park, stepping out and stretching as I stare up into the already bright warm sun.
Within moments I'm a man on a mission, searching the ground for any inconsistencies in the terrain which might be signs of digging. I push the dirt around with my sneakers, as I wander…any clues would help. For about a half hour I continue like this until I finally head back to the car in frustration.
I sit down, taking a sip from the water bottle I packed that morning, and my eyes fall on the folder sitting beside me.
Sighing, I take another sip of water. I was so eager to get searching that I didn’t even stop to think, to realize that the answer is right beside me. Flipping the folder open, I examine the picture on top, holding it up and comparing it to the land surrounding me.
“Ah ha!” I cry aloud, as I match up the trees and bushes behind Max and Michael in the picture to those surrounding me. Climbing back out of the car, I start moving in the right direction, studying the ground around me, and comparing the distance to that in the picture.
The tension starts building within me. I know I’m close, probably only steps away from the hole that Max and Michael dug. I just need to find it. It’s not as easy as it sounds, but I persist, searching the dirt to no avail.
Kicking at the ground in frustration, I gasp when I feel the dirt loosely sliding away beneath my shoes. The desert dirt should be packed tightly, rocky, but this is like loose gravel. I study it closely, unwilling to make a mistake, turning and walking a few feet to the left and kicking at the ground there.
It is solid.
I smile widely with pride, knowing without a doubt, that I have found something, as I turn back to my car to retrieve the shovel from my trunk.
The desert heat scorches my neck as I begin to dig. Pausing, I wipe the sweat from my brow, cursing the hot sun. I’ll probably get sunburned today, but it doesn’t matter. My slight irritation will be nothing compared to the relief of learning whatever it is my son is involved in.
The hole slowly grows deeper as I dig on and on…still I find nothing. Max did a good job of hiding whatever it is he was trying to hide. He was not overly careless. I can’t help feeling proud of him. My son is a careful, intelligent man. I wonder how much of that he gained from me, and how much of it stems from his secrets.
My heart races as suddenly, the dust I dig through becomes solid, and I’m brushing it away to find a large, black trash bag hidden in the earth.
Suddenly I pause for a moment, staring at what’s in front of me. For the first time I realize what it is I’m about to do…to literally tear into Max’s secrets, possibly find answers to all that Diane and I have been concerned about for over a year, and for a moment my guilty conscience takes over. Max will not be happy with me for this…hopefully the wall I wedge between my son and I will not be permanent, but I find myself clinging to the hope that maybe in the long run this discovery will be the glue that will hold my family together.
It is with these thoughts in my mind that I continue clearing the dirt around the bag, and pull it from its hiding place, tossing it over my shoulder and heading back towards the car. I drop it into the open, waiting trunk, take a deep breath, and finally, without any more hesitation, I tear the bag open.
[ edited 13time(s), last at 2-Apr-2002 4:38:43 PM ]
|posted on 23-Jan-2002 2:23:51 PM|
|Thanks for the fantastic feedback y'all...|
Just so you know, the next chapter is ALMOST done...depending on the insanity of the real life (god forbid) I'll try to get it out by the end of the week...
You guys rock...I really, really appreciate it!
|posted on 25-Jan-2002 8:46:22 PM|
The investigator across from me is rambling on about the final report on the remains of what used to be my son’s jeep. I have his report open in front of me as he rambles away, and I can’t help wondering, as I tap my fingers on my desk in irritation, if he knows that I’m not listening to a word he’s saying, and I’m not actually reading this report.
I just don’t care about the report anymore, all I care about is the discoveries I made that morning in the desert, and studying them more closely. The box filled with clues is stuffed away in the bottom of my coat closet…for some reason, something deep within me tells me that I shouldn’t let the investigator see what’s in that box.
My irritation level rises, and I realize that now this investigator is just another person standing in the way of what I want to do. I need to get him out of the way.
Standing, I penetrate his gaze with my own intense one.
“Yes, thank you for your time and effort. I really appreciate all of this. I’ll call you if I need anything else.”
“You’re giving up on this? Just like that?” He asks me in surprise.
“No, I just need time to process all of this, and my wife wants me home early tonight for dinner. You understand, she’s getting a little fed up with me being so busy with work. I promised her this one night. Can we talk later.”
“All right.” He concedes reluctantly. “Have a good evening with your wife.”
“Thank you, I will.”
And finally he’s gone. I fall back in my chair, breathing a sigh of relief, as I shove the folder out of my site. It’s just not necessary anymore, not like the things I found this morning in the desert.
I take a sip of water, letting the cool liquid drench my parched throat, as I glance at the closet door. It’s like a beacon to me, drawing me in as I stand and cross the room, slowly moving closer to the answers that I know await me. I open the door, step inside and kneel before the box, dusty not from age, but from the desert sand. Blowing off the lid, I open the box, and stare at the contents.
One by one I take each one out, studying it closely. For the most part they make very little sense to me: five small, unnaturally smooth, amber-colored rocks, a pendant that I’ve seen around Isabel’s neck more than once of a strange swirly design, two metallic, football shaped objects with the same swirly design in it. But it’s the other things that attract my attention the most…the things that I can study closer, try to make some, if little sense out of.
I pick up the first of these objects: a book with metal pages, the front page engraved with the swirly design that is obviously a theme here. I trace the engraving with my finger, wondering what it means, what its importance is to my son, before flipping the cover open.
The book is like gibberish to me. Every metallic page is inscribed with strange symbols that I can’t even begin to comprehend. I imagine it must be another language, another style of lettering, but from where and how I can’t begin to guess. I start ponder the possibility of hiring a language specialist to take a look at it, when I flip another page, and the sight before my eyes halts my every thought.
There are four pictures engraved into the metal page open before my eyes, four pictures of faces that I know well: my son, my daughter, Michael, and Max’s ex-girlfriend Tess. There was a strange design linking the pictures, a line connecting Max’s picture to Tess, and Isabel’s to Michael. I stare at the page for a long time, trying to make sense of the pictures, wondering when they were made, what the links meant, and sighing I turn the page.
The next page leaves me curious indeed, and it leads me to believe that the previous page hints at a romantic connection between each of them. The next pages are engraved with images of Isabel and Tess, obviously pregnant. I feel my anger flare up at the thought of my young, sweet daughter pregnant, when suddenly I remember something…something that I didn’t believe at the time.
“The truth. I... I want to tell you the truth about what's been going on with Max. It's about Tess. Max got Tess pregnant, but she left before the baby was born, so Max may have a child out there somewhere. That night that she left, he was so angry that he just drove all night and pushed his jeep off a cliff because he... Was so crazy. …He would have told you himself. He was just so afraid to disappoint you.”
My eyes instantly fly away from the picture of Isabel and linger on the one of Tess, of an obviously pregnant Tess, and as I remember Isabel’s words I begin to wonder if there is truth behind them…if Max really did get Tess pregnant. Perhaps this book was created after Tess left…or an even more chilling thought crosses my mind.
Perhaps the book is a premonition of what was to be.
I blink the thought from my mind. Isabel is not romantically involved with Michael, and she never has been. She’s happily married to Jesse, and they are quite obviously in love. I am certain that Isabel would never do anything to hurt her husband.
But what about Max?
The idea of Max getting Tess pregnant had always been an absurd thought to me. My son was far to intelligent and responsible to let such a thing happen, plus as much as it is obvious that he was involved with Tess, it’s fairly obvious as well that he wasn’t very serious with her. He has never been as intense with her as he is with Liz. Plus he didn’t waste any time in reuniting with Liz after Tess’s disappearance.
For an instant the next step is apparent to me…Isabel told me this for a reason, perhaps I should break down and talk to my son about Tess? But Max doesn’t trust me anymore. It wouldn’t be an easy talk.
Sighing, I close the strange, metallic book, and set it to the side, reaching for the last remaining object in the box: a blue, spiral notebook. Staring at the cover for a long moment, another memory flashes to my mind, of a day over a year earlier, when I had gone to speak to my son, to tell him that I wanted him to see a psychologist…if he couldn’t talk to me about his problems he needed to talk to someone, that was my theory at the time. It was the middle of the summer, he and Liz had broken up a few weeks earlier, and he had been holed up in his bedroom for weeks. This particular time that I went to speak to him, I found him sitting at his desk scribbling in this blue notebook when I walked in to talk to him. I found it curious at the time, but just blew it off as nothing.
Now that very same notebook is sitting in my hands. It is quite possible that I am holding Max’s own personal thoughts written out on paper.
A sense of guilt fills me as I realize that, more so than anything else I’ve done so far, this is me truly intruding on Max’s private life. What I am about to do could quite possibly be unforgivable. Is this a chance I’m willing to take? Is it worth it to finally know what my son is involved in if he will forever hate me as a result?
A million different scenarios rush through my mind’s eye as I hesitate opening the book. In my mind I am confronting Max, telling him that I know the truth, and he is angry, telling at me, telling me he never wants to see me again, and he turns, runs, and never looks back. But then another thought crosses my mind. I see Max hugging me, thanking me, he’s escaped from his demons, he’s free to have the life he wants. He’s out of trouble, out of danger, and he is happier than I’ve ever seen him.
And it is with that thought that I flip open the cover of the notebook.
I blink at the first page, utterly confused. The secrets of Max’s mind, yet all that’s on the first page is a date in huge numbers across the middle of the page.
Shaking my head I turn the page again, and this time my curiosity is piqued. There’s a photocopied picture taped to the page of a middle-aged man standing in front of a large, dome-shaped building. Beneath the picture, there is a key taped down tightly to the page, and beneath that Max has written:
Died 1959, silver hand print
My eyes fly over the page from top to bottom a second time, studying the picture, the key, and the information written there. It still means nothing to me, just a series of information that was obviously of some importance to Max, but I can’t comprehend why.
The cold hand of fear clenches around my heard as my attention lingers on the word ‘died’. It confirms nothing, but it raises my fear that Max could be mixed up in something terrible, hiding a crime, involved in a life or death situation.
Shaking the thought from my head, I turn the page again, and this time find a large piece of white paper attached to the notebook, folded shut. I unfold it and find myself face to face with hand drawn images of the same symbols filling the metallic book. I glance down at the book quickly, before studying the drawings again. They’re drawn with precision, dotted across the page, as if in a specific formation. Still, they are gibberish to me, so I flip the page again.
The next page has notes scribbled across the whole page, with a small drawing in the center of the page of a series of five small circles placed in a ‘V’ formation. I study the notes, and find my curiosity piqued from terms like ‘healing stones’, ‘River Dog’, ‘Nasedo’, and ‘Mescalero Indian Reservation’. Beneath the pictures Max has written in large, bold, letters: “A map???”
It occurs to me for the first time that my initial suspicions were wrong. This is not a journal, or a collection of Max's private thoughts, rather a compilation of information…information that means something to Max, but so far means very little to me.
I turn the page and my heart pounds as there is another short list like the one a few pages before:
Silver hand print
I sigh and turn the page, wondering if I am ever going to learn anything from Max’s words. The next page is another drawing, of the metallic football sitting beside me. Beneath it Max has written, “The orb. Why did it want to be found? Why did it use Liz?”
I halt, momentarily shocked as I reread the last line again.
Why did it use Liz?
I glance down at the orb beside me, an inanimate object, metal, heavy…probably nothing more than a fancy paperweight, yet Max talked like it was a living thing, like it made choices, like it had feelings.
The thought alone chills me as I suddenly imagine the impossible.
How could an inanimate object want to be found?
Hesitantly I lean my hand over and carefully trace my fingers over the smooth, metal surface, before tracing the symbol in the top. Picking it up, I study it one last time before determining that if it was a lifelike object, it obviously is asleep now. Setting it down I sigh, and turn the page, still feeling confused, and still lacking any constructive answers.
The next page was fascinating, a myriad of information, even if very little of it made any sense to me. The top half of the page was a sketch of a rock formation in the desert, one that I had seen before in the distance from the highway, of some angry looking rocks jutting straight up into the sky. Underneath the drawing, Max had scrawled the words: ‘The Pod Chamber’, and there was another slightly crude sketch on the page, one that looked strangely familiar to me, and in instantly realized from where.
Grabbing the strange, metal book from beside me, I flipped it open to that strange page that had my children and their friend’s faces carved into it, the lines connecting their images. In Max’s drawing, their faces were absent. Instead there were four circles, each with one of the kid’s names prominent in the center of it. Matching up one page to the next, I find myself strangely at ease at the sight of the one connection between the two images. The names and face’s positions matched up perfectly.
My curiosity grows as I study the connection between the two pages, and my patience thins. I need to find something concrete, and I need to find it fast, as with each passing moment I’m growing more sick and tired of the tiny clues that mean nothing to me.
Irritated, I turn the notebook’s page, and see another drawing, this time of both the orbs beside each other. Underneath Max has labeled them as communicators. My frustration grows and I turn the page again, finding a page covered with writing. Quickly I skim the words, my eyes widening as they begin to penetrate. I reread them again, and again, trying to decide if this is real, if I’m imagining it, or if Max’s notebook is just playing me for a fool.
Our first message from home…
If you are seeing me now, it means that you are alive and well. I take this form because it will be familiar to you, and it will help you to understand what I am about to say.
You have lived before.
You perished in the conflict that enslaves our planet but your essence was duplicated, cloned, and mixed with human genetic materials so that you might be recreated into human beings.
My son, you were the beloved leader of our people. I have sent with you your young bride. My daughter, the man you were betrothed to, and your brother's second-in-command.
Our enemies have come to the Earth. You will know them only by the evil within. Learn enough to use your skills, your knowledge, your leadership to combat the enemy so that you can come back and free us. And that I may once again hold you both in my arms. I live for that moment. Help us. I love you.
I reread the page a dozen times, trying to comprehend what it was that the message said. Words, phrases catch my attention: our planet, duplicated, cloned, human genetic material, recreated into human beings.
It sounds like something out of a bad science fiction movie.
I can’t help chuckling to myself at the thought. It’s impossible, isn’t it, that Max could have a message from another planet, stored in some kind of metallic football-shaped orbs?
But then I remember the FBI and their unnatural interest in my son’s legal case.
Could it be possible that Max stumbled upon some sort of alien artifacts? Did the FBI find out and that was why they were following his case?
But then my eyes return to the metallic book beside me…the one with Max’s face in it.
Your essence was duplicated, cloned, and mixed with human genetic materials so that you might be recreated into human beings.
A shiver passes through me as another idea pops in my head…the possibility crosses my mind as I remember my theory from minutes before that the pictures in the book were a prediction of what was to be.
Could it be possible that my son is the leader that is talked about in the message?
My movements frantic, I find myself quickly thrusting through the remaining pages of the notebook, trying to find any concrete evidence that could possibly prove this theory too.
It is impossible, isn’t it…that Max could be an alien planet’s leader?
I finally pause, as much further into the notebook I come to another page with a long message scrawled in Max’s handwriting.
Translation of the Destiny book:
You are the Royal Four. Zan, the King. Ava, his Queen. Vilandra, his sister. Rath, his (counselor). You were created from the genetic material of your alien predecessors and human subjects. You were given human form so that you could live on the planet, undetected, until the time comes for your return. You have been given the Granolith, a transport between this planet and Antar. You have also been given communications technology, which will allow you to access information from your true home. The chamber containing your hibernation pods has been hidden away from human settlement. It can only be accessed by the four of you. You have been provided with a guardian who will protect you from danger and keep you hidden away from your enemies both human and Antarian.
I stare at this page a long moment, before realizing that I can no longer deny the evidence that is right in front of my eyes. I have found out the truth that Max has been trying so hard to hide from me.
My son is an alien king.
|posted on 26-Jan-2002 11:27:12 PM|
I just wanted to say thanks for the incredibly awesome, cool, supportive, interesting feedback I really, really appreciate it.
Just a few comments:
Deidre- Actually the Destiny book translation DOES use the term king...it's the only time it's actually used though, otherwise I wouldn't have let Philip jump to that conclusion ;)
I'm SO there about the show kind of glossing over the post-White Room phase...I'm not going to do that in this fic.
Although yes, you're right, as much as it would be good to read Max's actual THOUGHTS at that time, the notebook is just a compilation of facts, no emotional involvement there.
Araxie- Hi I actually thought about that...that it would surprise people that I let it happen so soon, but yes, a lot of this fic is the reaction to me, and also I don't want to make it a particularly long fic...there's only going to be another 2, MAYBE 3 chapters to this. It's a shortie for me
sunnysundaesmile - I *TOTALLY* agree with your sig line Not the look at the ass on that, but the whole "Is there a POINT in these icons?" I'm glad someone is getting use out of it! LOL!
Thanks again y'all! I'm going to get on the next part...I'll try to get it out soon, but it may take a bit of time! Unfortunately I posted this one so fast I haven't even started the next one yet! Eep!
|posted on 26-Jan-2002 11:51:17 PM|
|Deidre...you probably don't remember it because it WASN'T ever actually outright said. The Destiny translation was never read aloud on the show or anything...I couldn't even get it from a transcript...had to hunt through egroup archives for the translation that someone typed up from a close study of the scene! (yay for research! LOL) But considering that the translation was found in Baby It's You, 20 episodes after the destiny was revealed, it was kind of just slapped on him...I think Nasedo did the slapping there...not sure!|
|posted on 27-Jan-2002 10:44:11 AM|
|Hey all! Thanks again...every time I see more responses pop up it makes me giddy!|
Jane - you DID leave feedback for Pt 1...I remember it...it was really nice feedback, but it got eaten by the board in the crash :( I had to repost Part 1 because it disappeared :( I'm so excited to hear that you're writing a fic about a similar subject! I didn't know there were any others out there...one of the reasons why I wanted to tackle the subject (the other being that I *love* the plotline!) I will check it out this afternoon, thanks!!
I'm really, really glad that you guys are enjoying this...I was really nervous that no one would like it when I started writing it so it makes me SO happy to hear that!
Off to work
|posted on 27-Jan-2002 11:16:52 PM|
Well guess what? I didn't expect this part to be out anytime soon...I expected to have hell of trouble with this chapter...but it just kind of came out!! I hope you enjoy
I think there is just going to be one more chapter after this one...just to prepare you for the impending end...
It’s late into the night, when I finally step into my home, shutting the door behind me, and slumping back against it in exhaustion. Since realizing the truth about Max I’ve already gone through a number of stages: denial, disbelief, admission, acceptance, fear, admiration…but above all I’m confused. I’m not quite sure what to think about it. I don’t quite understand yet where everything I know falls into place.
I sorted through everything a second time tonight, reading through the entire notebook cover to cover, studying all the artifacts that I now know must be alien. I went over all the information I’ve gathered on the board and from the investigator one last time, and now I know that it’s time to pack it all away.
Have I given up? No. I just don’t need any more answers.
Now the only question remaining, is how to I approach the subject with Max? How do I tell him that I know the one thing he never wanted me to know? How do I explain my reasoning to him in invading his privacy, stealing the secrets that he was obviously trying to hide from me?
And what do I tell Diane?
Almost as if she reads my mind, she suddenly appears in the in the hallway, her robe clutched tightly around her body, as she squints at me through slits in her eyes. She’s obviously been in bed already, and probably has been worried.
I stand up straight, meeting her eyes apologetically.
“Where have you been?” She asks me softly. “I thought you said you were going to come home early tonight?”
“I know.” Guilt rises in me as I realize that during my obsession with one family member, I’ve been neglecting another. “I should have called. I’m sorry. I wasn’t thinking.”
“It’s okay.” Diane replied warmly, her worried eyes searching my face in concern. “What happened at work today? You look exhausted.”
“Oh, I am.” I confirm in a weary voice. “But sweetheart, I have something I need to talk to you about.”
“Of course, anything.” Diane insists, rubbing her eyes to try to wake herself up. “Is everything okay?”
She’s still concerned about me, and for an instant I wonder if I should do this to her.
Is it wrong of me to tell her what I know?
It will shatter her world, change absolutely everything. I know it did for me. The secrets were tearing me apart, but finally knowing the truth is almost as disturbing as it is a relief. I don’t know if I can do that to her. She’s got enough to worry about just knowing that our children are out there on their own. But to add intergalactic war into everything else? I don’t know if she can take it right now.
What would Max want me to do?
After the disregard I’ve had for his feelings lately, I suddenly find myself wondering how he’s going to take this. He didn’t want us to know in the first place. Now knowing that I know everything, will he be open to telling Diane?
I know that there is no way I will be able to keep this a secret from her. We have always had a strong marriage, always shared everything with each other. It’s been hard enough keeping my investigation a secret from her these last few weeks, but to know the truth and not tell her? I know that I cannot do that.
But can I tell her against Max’s wishes? Can I tell her when I’m not even sure if I know the whole story yet?
And in an instant I know what I have to do. I have to talk to Max first. I need to confirm the facts that I’ve learned. I have to know everything before I am willing to tear apart Diane’s world. But as soon as I can I will tell her everything. I can’t leave her in the dark forever.
“You know what?” I finally reply. “It can wait. I’m really tired. I just want to get to bed.”
~~~~ ~~~~~ ~~~~
I’ve never been nervous to speak to my own son before, but now, even as I head up the stairs to Michael’s apartment, I’m not quite sure what to say to him.
I tried sleeping all night, but I found myself restless, as I continued to process all of my newfound knowledge about my son.
It’s strange, how one revelation can change your entire outlook on things. I’m afraid that I’m going to knock on the apartment door, Max is going to answer, and I’m not going to recognize him, I’m not going to know him. I’m afraid that I’m going to take one look at him, and I’m instantly going to realize that he’s not the son I raised, but in reality a complete stranger to me.
But as the door swings open, and Michael steps out of the way to reveal Max standing in the kitchen, staring at me in surprise, I know that nothing has changed. I look into his eyes, and I see something there, I can’t quite place my finger on exactly what it is, but in that exact moment, I realize that this thing, this new discovery I’ve made, is nothing new at all. It has always been there, it was always a part of my son. It was just a part of him that Max never allowed me to see.
And it’s clear to me in that second, without a doubt as I look into my son’s eyes, that I’m ready to see this side of him.
“So I’ve got to get to work.” Michael stammers awkwardly. He can obviously feel the thick tension, filling the room. I’m a bit relieved as he makes a hasty departure. This would be more difficult if he stayed. As it is I’m still not sure what to say to Max.
There’s a long moment of tense silence after Michael leaves, before Max awkwardly breaks what has become a long stare off between us.
“What are you doing here, Dad?” He finally asks me in a terse voice.
He’s on edge. It’s painfully obvious to me, and for the first time I begin to realize just how much it effected him to have me investigating him. This is a secret he’s been hiding for his entire life, probably in fear, and then his own family stopped trusting him, his own family wanted the truth that he had been hiding from the whole world.
“Max…I was hoping that you would let me talk to you…about your secrets.”
I can tell that he knew it was coming before I even said it, but even so I can visibly see his entire demeanor change. His body tenses even further, if possible, and I watch as his face hardens. He’s shutting down his emotions, closing himself off as a preparation to avoid the conflict he believes is coming.
“I have nothing to say to you about that.” Max replies shortly, turning his back to me, as if trying to escape my presence. I have him cornered though and he knows it, as he rests both hands on the kitchen counter, his shoulders sagging as he waits for the onslaught of questions I’m guessing that he’s expecting.
“Max…I know the truth.”
He whirls around, facing me again as he stares at me in complete disgust and disbelief, as if he can’t believe I’m trying that tactic.
“That’s impossible.” He exclaims with certainty, smiling smugly at me as he crosses his arms on his chest and stares dead into my eyes. “You’re just trying to get me to tell you the truth. You can’t possibly know whatever it is that you think you know.”
He’s in denial.
“It’s not impossible, Max.” I gently insist. “I know.”
“How?” He asks me, refusing to say it out loud. It doesn’t surprise me. He’s practiced keeping this a secret much longer than I’ve even had the slightest tinkling of a suspicion that something isn’t right with him. He won’t admit to anything until I confirm his fears.
As I begin to explain I can see his entire demeanor slowly changing. Reality is hitting him hard, as he begins to feel the defeat.
“I’m not too proud of this son…I only hope that you can forgive me for what I’m about to tell you. I seriously invaded your life, betrayed your trust. I hired a man to follow you, to figure out where you were at all times, take pictures, notes on your actions. I thought I was doing the right thing, protecting you in the long run.”
“I can protect myself better than you know.” Max told me in a cool voice.
“With your gifts?” I take a huge chance in asking him this, and watch closely for his reaction. His face remains closed to me, but I noticed his eye twitch a bit in response before he replies.
“So you had someone follow me.” He avoids the subject of his gifts, whatever they may be, with natural ease, returning to what he considers to be the issue at hand. “That’s great, Dad. I can tell how much you trust me. So enlighten me, what did he see?”
“He saw you and Michael, digging out in the desert. He took some pictures for me, and I went out there yesterday…found your hole and dug it up.”
This time Max’s expression does visibly change. His eyes widen, and his shoulders drop in defeat, as if with my one admission he knows he has lost. He says nothing though, so I continue carefully.
“You had some pretty interesting stuff buried out there, Max. Of course, I didn’t understand what half of it was, but then your notebook answered a lot of questions for me."
“What kinds of answers?” Max asked carefully, his eyes studying his feet. He knows he has lost, but I can tell that he is clinging to the hope that maybe I think I know more than I do, which I admit could be true, but I still have to take a shot.
“Well, to be honest it feels a bit ridiculous to even say this, Max.” I chuckle under my breath, realizing that if I’m wrong, if it turns out Max is just writing a science fiction book or something, I’m going to come off sounding a bit like a fool.
I can’t quite bring myself to say ‘you’re an alien’, because I’m not sure if I really understand it all. From his first message from the other planet, they make it sound as if he were engineered, alien with some human genetics. I hope that Max can help me understand that properly. It’s possible that he isn’t exactly an alien, just some planet’s king recreated as a human.
“If I understand the clues right,” I finally say, trying to sound certain even if I’m still a bit confused about it all. “And assuming I put all the pieces of the puzzle together properly, then my understanding is that you were sent here from another planet. Is that right, son?”
Max says nothing, he doesn’t even look at me, just nods ever so slightly in confirmation.
For some reason that response, little as it may be lifted a huge load off my chest, as the last doubt dissipates into nothingness.
But although I am at ease, it is quickly apparent that Max is not okay. His whole body is slightly trembling, and his jaw is clenching slightly…in fear? In anger? I’m not sure, but either way I know I need to help him.
“Max…it’s okay!” I try to comfort him as I can see him visibly falling apart before my eyes. I’ve never known my son to be an emotional mess before. He normally seems to be almost unnaturally in control. As he begins to let it all fly out right before my eyes I find myself second guessing my actions again, wondering if I did the right thing for him.
“No Dad, it’s not okay!” Max explodes, his eyes wild in a way that I’ve never seen them before. “Have you even stopped to think about what you’ve done to yourself? Didn’t you think that maybe there was a reason that I didn’t want you to know?”
“Max…I…” He cuts me off before I can respond.
“Do you realize that you’ve signed your own death warrant? Everyone who becomes a part of this is putting their lives at risk…Alex Whitman is already dead because of it! God, you didn’t, did you? You didn’t even consider the consequences of your own actions.”
“I don’t care, Max.” I insist. His reaction has shocked the hell out of me. I expected him to be upset, but Max is completely out of control. The expression on his face is pure rage, his whole body quivering as if he’s holding himself back from an even more extreme reaction. I take a step towards him, desperate to help him. “Max, it’s okay. I can handle this. I’m not going to run away from you, son.”
“You can handle it, but have you thought about Mom?” Max rages. “You don’t get it, do you? You have destroyed your own life. God, I can’t even stand to look at you! I have to get out of here.”
Max’s final words sting me as he rushes past me and out the door of the apartment. I stand there in shock for a long moment…nothing has gone according to plan. Max’s reaction, quite simply blew my mind. I can’t understand why he’s so afraid of me knowing the truth, but I know that I can’t leave it at this. I turn and rush out of the apartment, down the stairs, and out of the building, but freeze as I stand outside on the sidewalk, staring down the street.
Max is gone.
|posted on 29-Jan-2002 9:12:44 PM|
I've been meaning to respond to feedback, but the last few days have been insane!
Aside from the sad, sad news, which I will admit flat out has me an emotional wreck, I've been running around like a crazy person...went to see The Calling and Eagle Eye Cherry last night in an "intimate concert" setting put on by a radio station...there were about 200 of us there total, which is TINY. Fantastic show though...wonderful.
ANYWAY...on to the feedback on the feedback
You guys totally make my day. I couldn't express that enough. You guys all have such wonderful, insightful comments that really make me stop and think about how I'm handling this one, and I really appreciate that level of feedback from you guys...you really, really kick ass.
Max's reaction...I want to say a little about that Some of you guys seemed to think it was really natural while others thought it was out of character...well here's my thoughts!
Actually...that reaction was the basis of this fic. This fic came out of a long discussion I had with Lizzybell (thanks to Lizzybell wherever you are) about Max, Philip, the hunt, finding out the truth, and everything. In our discussion, we basically decided that Max is just a ticking bomb...the way he's been bottling up his feelings, not letting his emotions out, holding EVERYHTING inside, and eventually he has to explode...and I mean REALLY explode...not a little sob fest like the end of Control. So that was what I was trying to get across.
The thing is, from Philip's POV, he can't POSSIBLY understand the depth of Max's reaction...yet. But Max can, so I'm actually going to write a companion to this soon with Max's POV, and then we'll get a little better idea of what's going on in there.
As for waht's going to happen next? You'll see ;) I'm hoping to get on the next part very soon...I want to wrap this up in the next chapter...although I may have too much to say, we'll see how it goes
Araxie - ITA on Pierce and co hurting ANYONE, not just the people who KNOW. I think it would actually protect them MORE to know what's going on, know who the enemy is. Hell...Nicholas can pose as a little lost orphan right now, walk right into the house, and kill them all! I mean, we know the Evans are kind hearted since they picked up M/I on the side of the highway...they could do that again only this time it could be a skin trying to get to Max and Liz.
WOW...that rant came out of NOWHERE. I'm sleepy tonight...my only excuse!
Jo - YUP!! The sig line! Gotta love it, right? Deidre has quite a way with words Thanks for reading!
Jane, errr...BelieveinTrueLove Jane...LOL! I have to remember to specify. I never thought about the whole FBI search thing...you're right, that WAS really dumb of Max. Although I can't say really dumb of Max because it's MY plot twist. Awww hell. Okay everyone, it's out! If I was an alien, I'd be dead already! I'm that dumb! LOL! Also, RE: Max's reaction, I WANTED it to be rediculously harsh...that was what I was going for, so I'm glad it came off that way
Jane, Jane (specifying which one! LOL!) Ahhh...you ask the questions I cannot answer...but I'll try to get the next part out to ease your curiosity quicker! Haven't started it yet, but I will ASAP...possibly tonight if I don't keep myself distracted straight through until Roswell comes on!
Okay...I guess that's it! Thanks again y'all...you truly, truly rock!
|posted on 3-Feb-2002 12:22:03 AM|
|Hey guys...well...hey...check out that subject line!! It DOESN'T say conclusion...you know what that means? NO! It doesn't mean I'm lazy and got sick of writing so I stopped and decided to post, it means that the chapter got really, really long, and I decided that this was a good place to slice it in half...so I lied! 5 chapters, not 4!! Soooo...here ya go!|
I wanted to say thanks to everyone for the ultra-cool supportive feedback...it really, really means the world to me, and is very insightful and fun for me to read...so thanks you guys...I hope you enjoy!
To say that I found Max’s reaction confusing is an understatement.
The way he ran out of here, the harsh words he said…it makes me wonder just how much he has gone through, to react so fearfully, and so unnaturally angry at my admission.
Am I hurt? Yes. Just a little though, because I know there’s probably more going on here than I think. I know that I don’t know everything yet, so I remind myself to be patient.
More than anything though I find myself wondering where Max is, what he’s doing, what he’s feeling. My greatest fear is that I did what I was most afraid of. That I pushed Max to the brink and now I’m never going to see him again.
I know he didn’t mean the harsh things he said to me, but I also know that he probably needs some time to cool. He will come to me when he is ready to…no sooner and no later.
I left Michael’s apartment not long after Max’s explosion. It’s Saturday, and I don’t have to work, so I head back home to spend the day with Diane.
I’m not surprised when I walk into my home to see my wife sitting on the couch watching some old family movies. Diane has always been a nostalgic woman, lingering on the past, sometimes in happy remembrance, and sometimes in wistful longing for days that have long since passed.
Ever since Max and Isabel moved out, it’s been the latter, and more extreme than usual. She is constantly pulling out our old home videos, watching our children play in their younger, carefree days, and although I know she thinks I haven’t noticed, I’ve heard her cry more than once.
And I haven’t reacted to any of it. I haven’t supported her. I haven’t helped her along the way.
We deal with our grief in different ways. For Diane, she retreats into her shell, cries, watches movies, lingers on what might have been. For me, I filled my life with other responsibilities so I wouldn’t have to linger on what I had lost…in this case, I began investigating Max, grew obsessed with him, in order to channel my frustrations.
Because of it, I wasn’t there for Diane when she needed me.
As I watch her sitting on the couch, her eyes glossy as she stares at Max and Isabel’s younger faces, I swear an oath to myself never neglect my wife again.
Silently, I make my way over to where my wife is sitting, and she glances up at me with a curious look on her face. I smile softly at her before sitting beside her, and wrapping my arm around her, pulling her close to me, in a comforting embrace. She leans into me, sighing contentedly, as together, we watch our memories fly by before our eyes on the television set.
We sat there together for hours, only moving to change the tape, reliving all of the happy times in our younger days, in our children’s youth. We watch them grow up before our eyes again, and finally, as the day began to change into the early evening dusk, we let go of our grief and loneliness, and began to smile, to laugh, to talk and reminisce together.
We were so caught up in the memories, that I almost didn’t hear the soft click of the front door opening and shutting…almost.
Diane was talking away and didn’t even notice the tiny sound. Her back was to the door, so she didn’t even see as Max stepped into the hallway behind her, just standing there silently watching us.
My eyes silently met his, and we shared a long look, as I tried to figure out what was going on in his head, but his expression was masked. His face was weary, tired, and I couldn’t help wondering how he had spent the last few hours since our argument.
It was only moments before Diane noticed that my eyes were no longer focused on her, and she followed my eyes, turning to see Max standing in the hallway’s dim light.
“Max!” She exclaimed happily. “What are you doing here? Why don’t you join us? Your father and I were just talking about that trip to Florida we took right after you and Isabel came to us. Do you remember that trip?”
“Yeah.” Max confirmed, stepping into the room, and sitting in the chair across from us. “That was a great trip…until I sprained my ankle and Isabel got sunstroke.”
“Yes, but aside from all of that. We were a family, Max. We were all together, having fun, and everything was absolutely perfect.” Diane insisted with a wistful smile. “Sometimes I miss those days.”
“I’m sorry, mom.” Max mumbled, running an agitated hand through his hair. “I know that everything going on with me and Izzy lately has been really hard on you.”
“Max…you both are growing up.” Diane pressed gently. “It’s something I’m going to have to eventually get used to.”
Diane took the remote control, and switched off the television, turning all of her attention onto Max. “So Max, what are you doing here tonight?”
Max glances at me with a curious gaze in his eyes, obviously wondering if I had said anything to her. I shook my head slightly to indicate that I hadn’t, and watched as Max’s eyes darkened nervously, even as he nodded in understanding.
“Um…well. I was hoping that we could talk.” Max glanced at me one more time, before turning his attention back to Diane. “There’s some things going on that you need to know about.”
I find myself suddenly breathing a sigh of relief as it finally strikes my mind that Max fully intends to tell Diane himself, rather than let me do it. It seems that he has accepted that I know the truth now. I have so many questions I want to ask him, but instead I decide to remain silent, as I take Diane’s hand and gently squeeze it in support. I know that what she is about to hear is not going to be easy for her.
She glances at me curiously. “Why do I feel like I’m the only one who doesn’t know what’s going on?”
I bring our linked hands to my lips, kissing her knuckles gently. “Just listen, honey.” I urged her, and she nods for Max to continue.
“Over the last few weeks, Dad has been…investigating me.” Max’s eyes darken angrily, and as I watch him I know that I’m going to have some serious making up to do later. It may take some work for Max to trust me again.
“Philip?” Diane stares at me in shock. “Is this true?”
I close my eyes, take a deep breath, and try to explain myself. “Yes, it’s true. I was worried about Max after what happened in Utah. I could tell he was mixed up in something terrible, and I believed that if I figured out what Max was involved in, I could protect him, save him. What I did was wrong. I pried into parts of Max’s life that I didn’t belong in.” I turn my words and my attention from my wife back to my son. “I’m sorry Max.”
Max nodded stiffly. “I’m not going to lie to you anymore, Dad. I’m not okay with what you did to me. You had no right…but what’s done is done. I can’t undo what you discovered, so now we just have to work through it together.”
“What did you discover?” Diane asked me curiously. I could tell that a lot of this is still lost on her, so we move on.
“I found out Max’s secret.”
Diane’s curious gaze shifted from my face back to Max’s, as she silently waited to hear what was about to be revealed to her.
I can see the struggle on Max’s face. He’s fighting his fear, fighting himself, probably because he was so used to keeping this to himself, for the entirety of his life. To actually say it, admit the truth, even to his own mother is obviously a strain on his emotions.
“Dad found out…” Max hesitated, struggled over the words, his gaze shifting back and forth between mine, and his mother’s, finally resting on mine as he finally said the words that I had been waiting to hear fall from his lips ever since discovering the truth the night before. “Dad found out that I’m an alien.”
“What?” Diane gaped in shock, staring at Max like he literally was an alien. “How is that possible? That can’t be true!”
I squeeze her hand again for support.
“Diane…listen to Max.” I plead with her. “Let him tell us his story.”
Max took a deep breath, rubbing his brow in obvious agitation, before returning his intense gaze to Diane.
“I was in the 1947 crash. We were, Isabel and I.” Max clarified quickly. “We were in some kind of incubation pods…we hadn’t really been born yet. We were just in some kind of stasis, for 42 years, until we broke out of the pods that night that you found us on the highway. In a sense, that was the night that both Isabel and I were born. We’ve literally never known any other family other than you.”
Max suddenly glances at me. “Be patient.” He pleads with me quickly. “I’m going to tell you guys the whole story, and it might take me a bit of time to get to the rest of what you found out. There’s a lot you don’t know.”
I nod in agreement, but Diane isn’t quite so easy. I can just see the curiosity bubbling loose in her eyes.
“What else do you know?” She asks me insistently. “And how is this all possible? There’s no such thing as aliens.” She turns her pleading eyes to Max. “Please don’t tell us any tall tales, Max. I don’t think I could take it.”
“It’s all true mom.” Max replied calmly. “I’ll prove it to you.”
Max studied their surroundings for a long moment, and for the first time I noticed that it had grown dark in the afternoon light. I pondered getting up to turn on the lights so we could see whatever it is that Max decided to do, when suddenly with a flick of Max’s wrist all the lights in the room flickered to life.
I can feel Diane tensing in surprise beside me, but can barely acknowledge it as I feel my own heart pounding in my chest.
My eyes are glued to Max…to his own intense eyes as he stares right back at me. His gaze is overwhelming, a bit unnerving, as I can feel it beating down on me. My eyes just widen in shock as Max continues, dimming all of the lights in the room with nothing but a tiny gesture of his hand, before leaning to the lamp beside him, and placing one hand flat on the base of the lamp, in clear sight of both Diane and I.
He breaks my gaze, focusing his attention on the lamp, and suddenly the light flares to life, dancing around us as it changes colors from white, to green, to blue, to red, over and over. The dancing colors light up Max’s face in an unnatural gleam, and it appears that his hand is glowing slightly.
I can’t even form coherent thoughts as I watch my son do the impossible. All I can do is watch, soak it all in, feel the air sizzling around me.
But in this moment, as my mind races a mile a minute…nothing penetrates except for one thought, simple as it might be, as Max removes his hand from the lamp and quite suddenly all returns to normal.
I’ve never known my son at all, have I?
[ edited 1 time(s), last at 3-Feb-2002 12:27:29 AM ]
|posted on 6-Feb-2002 3:31:51 AM|
I've been meaning to respond to feedback...and then the damn real life got in the way! Grrrr...but tonight I'm pulling a late night and working on the next chapter, hopefully conclusion of this, so I figured, what the heck, get my butt in gear, reply to feedback
So first of all, of COURSE...thank you so much you guys...you really have no idea how much I appreciate your feedback...It just floors me, really. Makes me want this fic to last forever! LOL! Don't worry...it won't
Araxie - Well...the Isabel issue...this is actually something I debated at length, and talked out a bit too! (Thanks to Deidre for her help!) And my final decision was that I didn't want to bring Isabel into this. IMO this is between Max and his dad more than anything else...Max and his parents in the current situation. Remember, in Toy House Isabel wanted MAx to tell Diane the truth WITHOUT her...she doesn't care that she's there, just that they know. As for Max's POV...yes, yes...it will eventually come, much to the dismay of Max in all my other fics who is feeling VERY neglected right now...
Cin - Very good point about not telling Diane rebuilding the trust between Max and Philip...actually something I never really thought about at the time, but you're absolutely right! Applause to you And personally, I'm glad Jane told me about her fic!! When I started writing this I didn't know there was another one out there on the same general subject...I'm OBSESSED with the whole parent/Philip hunt/secrets revealed/truth coming out plotline...it's really silly. All of my friends have been making cracks about me the past two weeks about how they think of me in every little reference to Philip getting more info, because they KNOW I'm loving every second of it
BelieveInTrueLove - I'm going to do a Max companion piece, but not tell the whole story from Max's POV. It's going to be MUCH shorter I *think*...possibly just a chapter or two. I'm probably going to start it the morning Philip confronts Max, and end it when Max walks into his parents house...that's my theory at least...we'll see how it goes when I actually manage to start it As for where Max went...wait and find out ;)
Jo - definitely not coming back from commercial to have all the info out...that's part of what I'm looking forward to doing...delving into Max TELLING the darker parts of the last few years...lol...not a spoiler...I think I've already mentioned that before.
Deidre - You hit it on the button...I was trying to channel Blind Date...have Max do something simple, but visually impressive, that would prove his point without doing anything TOO shocking
Kath - *evil grin* who says Isabel knows anything about what's going on! hehe...maybe she's in Santa Fe! Or dealing with an annoying reporter...or having sex on the bathroom floor...oh dear...nevermind.
Emily - What can I say other than that I love all your observations...you always hit so many things dead on the needle as I wanted people to get it...sometimes it just blows my mind
Well...that's it for now y'all! I'm working on the next chapter, uh, well not at this exact second, but it's open and in progress on the computer. I wanted it up tonight, but I procrastinated...Rosnight distracted me...but tomorrow is my day off so I would expect it to happen tomorrow
Thanks again for everything you guys...you seriously rock.
|posted on 7-Feb-2002 9:36:15 PM|
|Ummm...not the end again. So what would you guys think if I dragged this out forever ;) All of you who said that you couldn't possibly imagine how I'd be able to finish this in one more chapter, well hell, you were more right then I was! Congratulation, now on to the next chapter...I'm not even going to TRY to say only one more chapter now...I guess we'll ALL just see what happens |
“How…how did you do that?” Diane stammers, breaking the silence, as she stares at our son with wide eyes. “That…it was…Max, it’s impossible.”
“Impossible for a human.” Max corrects softly, in a soft voice. “But not for an alien.”
There was something in his tone, something that made me study Max even closer. A hint of…was it sadness? Reluctant acceptance? Fear?
And suddenly I realize, all in that moment, exactly why Max has never told us. He’s afraid of our reactions. He believes that we won’t accept him for who and what he is. He doesn’t think we love him that much. And now, because of our shocked reactions, he believes that his fears were legitimate.
My heart goes out to my son. There isn’t even any doubt in his eyes, like he knows his fate has been sealed. Yet, unlike this morning at Michael’s apartment, he’s not running. He’s sitting here, waiting to face the music. He’s incredible…I know that for certain. So responsible, so wise for his age, yet so young in so many ways. He knows so much, things that most of the world still denies, but at the same time he knows so little…like the undying love of parents to their children. This time, this parent needs to make things better.
“Max.” I start gently, trying to make my voice as comforting as possible. “I think I speak for both your mother and I when I tell you that nothing is going to change between us because of all of this. We’re still your parents, and you’re still our son. Your mother is just a bit shocked…this is a lot to take in at once, you understand that. I’ve had a little more time to get used to the idea, but she hasn’t. Please, don’t give up on us yet. We want to…we need to know everything.”
Max meets my eyes again, and there’s a nervous light shining in his eyes. Still, he nods shortly, indicating that he will continue.
“Max…how did you do that?” Diane asks in a shaky voice.
“With my gifts, Mom.” Max responds softly. “With my powers. You should know a little about that, Mom. Remember the bird I healed? Have you forgotten about the kitchen fire? You know I’m capable of doing things that normal people can’t do.”
I watch as Max and Diane share a long, intense gaze, before she nods slightly.
“What about Liz Parker?” Diane softly asks. “Did you heal her too?”
It’s a while before Max replies. I can see him struggling again, and I can tell that this openness with us is something he’s still not quite used to. His eyes wander, as he studies his shoes for a long time, before staring off into space and distantly answering.
“I loved Liz since the first time I laid my eyes on her.” Max’s voice was awed, and something in his gaze hinted that he was reliving that moment in his mind, remembering every detail about it. “I was afraid to admit it, afraid to tell her how I felt…because of what I was.” He continued in a soft tone. “I knew that if she ever found out that I was so different, she would turn away from me…she could never love someone like me. I mean, I’m not even human.”
Max paused and I could see the pain in his eyes as everything obviously changed for him. “But then, she was dying, right in front of my eyes. She was dying, and I could save her. She could live because of what I am…and there wasn’t even an instant of doubt in my mind. I didn’t care that the room was full of witnesses. I didn’t even care if I died as a result of it. All that mattered in that moment was Liz…saving Liz. So I did.”
His eyes refocused on mine, and he gave me a shy smile. “That was what started everything…just loving Liz. Michael and Isabel wanted to kick my ass for it…but I couldn’t help myself.”
There was a wistful sadness in his tone that caught my attention, and I knew without a doubt that there was so much more coming, so I gently push him on.
“What happened?” I ask him.
Max paused, studying me closely before continuing.
“Are you sure you want to know? Because there’s something you’re both going to have to understand before we start this.”
Max leaned forward in his seat, his eyes burning with a fire that I’m not used to seeing in my son.
“There are things about my life that you can’t control and you can’t change no matter how much you may want to. You can’t change the fact that I’m an alien. You can’t change the fact that I have powers that most people don’t. And you can’t control the fact that there are people out there that want to hurt me. It’s just a part of my life, and if you’re going to have problems dealing with that then I don’t want to tell you another word, because it’s just going to be that much harder for you to adjust to this.”
Max falls silent, studying us both carefully as if he’s just waiting desperately to hear that we don’t want him to continue. There is a long moment of silence as we both digest this information.
His words struck a chord with me, as he and I both know that the reasoning behind all of my actions has been to protect him…and now that I know he’s telling me that there are things I can’t protect him from. It will be hard to watch Max and know I can’t do anything to help him, but the need to know everything drives me on.
“What happened?” I ask Max, more firmly this time. His eyes widen a bit in surprise, and he meets my eyes, silently pleading with me not to ask him to continue, trying to determine if I truly mean to learn everything.
“We’ll deal with the consequences later, Max. Right now your mother and I need to know all that we can know.” I plead with him softly. “Tell us…what happened after you healed Liz Parker.”
“The FBI happened.” Max finally explained after a long moment of hesitation. His voice was a bit uneasy as he tried to tell his story.
“Do you remember Ms. Topolsky, the guidance counselor at school who mysteriously disappeared? Well, she was FBI, special unit, sent here to watch me and confirm the FBI’s suspicions about the shooting at the Crashdown. Her disappearance wasn’t actually very mysterious at all. The FBI pulled her out when we discovered the truth about her identity.”
“The FBI was watching you?” Diane gasped beside me. I can feel her tensing so I wrap an arm around her to ease her fears…and my own.
I knew that whatever was happening with Max was big, possibly involving the FBI, but to hear that Max was being watched by the FBI almost two years earlier, long before I had any idea that anything was going wrong for him, sends a chill down my spine.
“They were watching us for months.” Max confirms softly. His eyes soften on his mother, and I can tell that he’s upset by how much this is already upsetting her.
Max surprises me by standing and crossing the room to kneel in front of where Diane sat on the couch, covering her hands with his own in a comforting gesture.
She meets his loving eyes and gives him a gentle smile. “I’m okay.” She tries to assure him, but he can obviously see right through it.
“Mom.” Max starts gently. “I know that this is hard for you to hear, and I’ll be honest with you…it is going to get a lot worse. But stop and think about this for a moment. Yes…it’s been unbelievably hard and dangerous for me these past few years…but I’ve made it through all of this. I’ve come out on top. I’ve survived.”
Max hesitates a moment before continuing. “I know I can’t tell you that you don’t need to worry about me, because you’re my parents. You love me and you’re going to worry about me no matter what I’m doing, whether it’s a date with Liz or an alien invasion, but for whatever reassurance this gives you…so far I can handle everything they’ve thrown at me, and I don’t intend to stop handling it now.”
Diane smiled softly, Max’s words obviously hitting a chord with her, as she leaned forward and pressed a light kiss to his forehead.
“I’m so proud of you.” She whispered to him, before pulling her hands from his and wiping her teary eyes dry. Max took a step back, sitting on the coffee table across from the couch and folding his hands in his lap as he continued.
“The FBI watched us for months. There were three or four different agents, always lurking around wherever we went, always watching and waiting for one of us to make a mistake, reveal our identities to them…but we never did, so they just kept watching. After Topolsky left they became less obvious…for a while we forgot that they were there and things just kind of settled down. We were researching some leads on our past, evidence that there might have been another alien besides us.”
“Was there?” Diane asked Max curiously.
“Actually there were two others. Tess and her father, who was a shape shifter. We didn’t expect Tess, it was her father who we were looking for.” Max explained quickly. “But they weren’t quick to reveal themselves to us. Tess was acting very suspiciously…she was doing things to my mind with her powers, and we thought she was the one we were looking for, so we started following her. That was how we found out. We caught her off guard and saw her using her powers, confronted her, and she told us everything.”
“They knew about the FBI too.” Max continued with a sigh. “In fact, they knew a lot more about the FBI than we did…and Nasedo, what we called the shape shifter, was determined to eliminate them. He was…cold, callous. He had no misgivings about killing people. So he turned himself into me and tried to lure the FBI out by kidnapping Liz. I didn’t understand what he was doing, so I followed to save Liz…”
Max’s voice started trailing off, and I could tell he wasn’t paying attention to us anymore, just lost in the memories. There was a haunted look in his eyes, like something terrible had happened that night. My heart started pounding as he continued.
“I couldn’t let anything happen to her, and I wouldn’t take it back, even now. If they had gotten her instead of me…I can’t even imagine putting her through what I went through.”
Max’s eyes were tearing up, and his voice clenched in agony. “Max…what happened?” I ask him carefully, knowing that he doesn’t realize quite what he is and isn’t saying. “What did you have to go through?”
Max turns his head and meets my eyes, causing my heart to stop at the dead look in his eyes.
“The FBI…” He finally grated out. “They captured me that night…and tortured me the whole next day.”
|posted on 8-Feb-2002 8:05:24 PM|
|Ahhhh Scottie....you caught me!! I was hoping no one would notice that Michael wasn't really mentioned. As a matter of fact, as I was writing this last chapter I was swearing up a storm because *I* noticed that and I couldn't really go back to fix it...it didn't fit with the flow now with how far into the discussion we are...so I thought I'd slide over it and pray that no one noticed...I'm probably going to go back to the point where he talks about Isabel and I and add Michael in...sorry to intruige/confuse/frustrate you with that!!!|
Araxie...sorry for the torture...but I know you really love me for it...RIGHT??? right???? aw, man... Don't worry...I've already started the next chapter. I'm going to try to work on it a bit tonight.
Cin... AHHH...I was LOVING that in IMAA!!! ABSOLUTELY loving it!!! In fact, all my friends commented to me after the episode: "You know...I was thinking about you in those Philip scenes...I could just see you sitting in front of your TV having a happy fit!!" LOL...my favorite storyline of the season as well
rollergal - in my authors note with the last chapter I talked a bit about the Isabel thing...but basically I was VERY indecisive on whether or not to include Isabel...but my final decision was no, because for me this storyline is mostly about Max and his dad...the tension between them. And I wanted to have one go between to act as kind of a sounding board for the tension, and I wanted it to be Diane. To me at least, the finding out the truth this season is all about Max/his parents on one front, and Isabel/Jesse on the other front. If we were back in Season 1 I would say not having Isabel there wouldn't be an option, but now I don't feel the need quite as much.
Thanks for the fantastic feedback you guys
|posted on 9-Feb-2002 10:20:53 PM|
|Hey all! Ready for an update??|
Araxie - Ahhhh...if you're talking about my upcoming trips, I have to say I will scream with frustration and tear out my hair if this is still a work in progress when I leave on Thursday! LOL! My goal was to finish it this week...before that it was last week...ACK!!!
Deidre - Wow...what a fascinating idea there! You know...I love it when people find things in my writing that I don't even see! I never even considered the whole "captured" language use...you're right...it is usually referred to animals, creatures, and criminals, yet no one has EVER hesitated to use it in reference to Max's time in the White Room. Hrmmmm. Maybe it's because they treated him so inhumanly during his time there...who knows? Fascinating all the same...something to think on.
It’s a hard moment when you realize just how much you lost control of your own child’s life somewhere down the line. As I look back at Max's life I wonder exactly when it happened for me. I wonder if I ever had any control over his life at all. There’s just so many questions, so many doubts.
A year and a half ago, my son was tortured by the FBI…my son, a kid, a minor who I should have been protecting. I should have been able to stop them, yet at the time I was completely clueless to all of this.
And what’s worse is that when he came back to us, I didn’t even know. I could tell something was wrong with him, he was depressed, carrying around piles of baggage on his shoulders, but I never knew it was anything this heavy.
I sent him to a psychologist, hoping that if he couldn’t talk to me, he could talk to someone. Had I really been that naïve back then to think that Max’s problems were the kinds of things he could talk about? Now I just feel stupid in retrospective. Of course the doctor didn’t help him…you can’t just sit down in his chair and tell him that his own government tortured him.
Max is still talking, his shoulders slumped, his eyes glued to the floor. He refuses to make eye contact, completely absorbed in his past pain, just mumbling away softly.
“When they took me she was right within my reach, and they came from behind, slamming me up against the glass. I could see Liz behind it. Nasedo was taking her away, and I couldn’t even struggle. They injected me with something, and loaded me into their vehicles. I was barely conscious when they wheeled me into their facility, and I passed out soon after.”
“When I awoke I was in a white room, and there were voices talking to me over a speaker. Faceless voices, pounding me with questions I didn’t know the answers to. They knew what I was, knew my strengths, knew my weaknesses, but they didn’t know that I didn’t know anything about myself. They even knew more about me than I did. And when I couldn’t answer their questions, they…” Max’s voice started cracking, and his whole body started trembling. “They started hurting me. I’ve never known pain like that before.”
In a swift, unexpected motion, Max pushed his shuddering body to a stand, turning and stumbling away from us before stopping halfway across the room and falling to his knees, sobbing loudly.
“God…they wouldn’t stop hurting me.” Max cried in anguish, his loud, gulping sobs the only sound filling the room as Diane and I stared at him in complete shock. Neither of us were used to this, to seeing our normally in control son break down so completely. Neither of us had ever seen him fall apart like this, and we were frozen in place, unsure at first how to react.
Diane was the first to move. Max’s earlier words must have calmed her more than I thought, because in an instant she was up from the couch, crouching over Max as she knelt beside him and wrapped her arms around him. He was instantly in her embrace, his face buried against her chest as his violent tremors coursed through his body. Diane stroked his head comfortably, whispering soothing words in his ear, while I watched them through tearful eyes.
~~~~~~ ~~~~~ ~~~~~~
Time is a funny thing.
Sometimes time can speed up, and pass so quickly that you don’t even know where the days went. That’s the way that Max and Isabel’s childhood was to me. It came and went so quickly, and I find myself constantly grasping at the last remaining strands of their youth so often, only to have them slip through my fingers with the harsh reality of my children’s lives catching up to me…Isabel’s marriage…Max moving out.
But sometimes, the clock can seem to completely stop, and time stands still, a single moment lasting for an eternity. Five minutes can seem to be hours, and hours can seem to be days. A single moment can stay trapped like a photograph, an image burned in your mind for all of time.
For me, the sight of Max’s emotional breakdown in his mother’s arms is a moment that I will never forget. I’ll never be able to erase it from my memory.
It seems to last forever, hours, days, as Max shakes in Diane’s arms, but then almost as suddenly as it began, it ended, and Max was unlocking himself from his mother’s embrace. He pulled away, wiped his eyes, and took a few deep breaths, before turning back to us.
“I’m sorry.” He apologized bashfully, his cheeks turning slightly pinker than they already were in their emotionally puffy state.
“Max…it’s okay.” Diane responds gently. “You don’t have to be strong all the time.”
“Yes I do.” Max replied firmly, moving back to his perch on the coffee table. “The others count on me to be the one in control. If I lose it we’re all dead.”
“But they didn’t always have you, Max.” Diane reminded him. “You weren’t in control when the FBI had you I’m assuming.”
“No, you’re right.” Max replied with a wry smile. “I certainly wasn’t in control then…far from it in fact.”
“How did you escape?” I ask Max softly, speaking up for the first time in a while. He glances my way, and sighs, rubbing his head awkwardly before continuing.
“Everyone worked together to break me out.” Max explained. “But the FBI was still after us. So we tricked the head of the special unit into walking right into our hands. We trapped him, and he struggled, tried to kill me, but…but Michael killed him first. Nasedo shape shifted into his form and took his place in the FBI, ordering the unit off our tales, and the FBI hasn’t been a problem since.”
“Except in Utah?” I wonder aloud.
“Not even in Utah.” Max clarified quickly. “The only interest the FBI had in Utah was to protect what they were hiding in that basement. They knew nothing about me, other than that I had an interest in it. Even that was just suspicions of theirs though. They have no real evidence on me.”
“What was in that basement, Max?” I press without a moment’s hesitation. It seems like the right time, like Max is finally willing to answer the questions that have been plaguing my mind for months. “Why did you rob that store?” I suddenly find myself feeling desperate…pressing on without even stopping to think about what I’m asking. “What happened to Tess? And why did you destroy the jeep?”
Max chuckles and shakes his head in amusement. “Dad…we’ll get there. There’s a lot more that kind of leads up to that stuff. Patience.”
I nod for him to continue, but can’t help noticing Max’s present appearance. Only minutes earlier he was an emotional wreck, but now he seems to have it together again. The half-smile on his face, the way he laughs at my eagerness, the way he’s sitting, looking us both straight in the eye. The only hint of his meltdown that remains is the puffiness under his already drying eyes.
My son is a master of control. Something he’s probably taught himself very carefully over the years.
“When I escaped from the FBI we got our hands on the second orb…which I’m guessing you found in the desert, dad. Liz and I had found the first one a few months earlier. The orbs were communicators. They only worked together, so when I escaped from the FBI we decided to test them out. We activated them, and it turned out that they contained a hidden message for us.”
Max paused and took a deep breath, hesitating before continuing.
“The message was from our birth mother. She told us who we were, why we were here…questions we never knew the answers to before that day. Answers that to this day I sometimes still wish I had never gotten, because it wasn’t anything like what I expected to hear. It changed everything for me.”
“What…what did you learn Max?” Diane stammered.
“I learned that I was created for a purpose…created being the key word there. I wasn’t born…at least in this life. I lived before, back on my home planet, and I died there. The thing is…I was important to them. I was their leader, and my death basically sent the whole planet into chaos. So they recreated me by taking my alien essence and mixing it with human genetic materials and then sent me to earth to grow up safely so that I can return and save them.”
I’m silent. This isn’t news to me since I read the transcript of his mother’s message in his notebook, but I imagine it’s nothing like what Diane was expecting to hear. She is frozen beside me as well, staring at Max in absolute disbelief.
Max notes both of our reactions after a long moment of awkward silence before stumbling on.
“I know it sounds like something out of a bad science fiction movie or something…but it’s all true. It’s who I am, and I can’t change that, as much as I may want to. We learned other things as well. Isabel and Michael were engaged in their past lives, and Tess…well, Tess was my wife. And she was determined to be with me again in this life even though I didn’t feel anything for her.”
Max sighed, raking a hand through his hair before softly admitting the final blow to his life that day.
“That was when Liz left me.” He mumbled sadly. “She was determined to do what was best for me and in her mind that was leaving me to be with Tess…as if I wanted Tess at all. She left for the whole summer, and I was miserable the whole time. I spent all summer trying to figure out ways to win her back…but none of them worked. She finally broke my heart in an attempt to get me to back off…and it worked. She pretended that she had moved past me…that she had gotten involved with someone else.”
“That was when I stupidly gave up on her…and that was when Tess started worming her way into my life.”
[ edited 2 time(s), last at 9-Feb-2002 10:29:09 PM ]
|posted on 10-Feb-2002 8:56:49 PM|
But while I'm shamefully bumping...
LINDA - WELCOME I always adore your feedback, my friend!!! And for the record I'm going to be missing you on my LA excursions these next few weeks *sniff* It just doesn't seem RIGHT to be going without you!!!
Araxie - I didn't give any hint 'cause I'm sick of predicting and being wrong! LOL! I'm just going to write until I'm done. Hopefully sooner rather than later. I'd LIKE to predict one more chapter...but God only knows how much I can ramble! LOL!
So speaking of rambling...how about I go write ;)
|posted on 13-Feb-2002 11:56:21 PM|
|Well pooh you guys...no more updates for a bit. I really, really wanted to get another part out before today, but it's just not going to happen! I'm heading down to Covina in the morning, so alas, I won't be back online until Sunday night...so no updates until sometime next week. Sorry guys.|
Thanks for all the awesome support!
|posted on 2-Mar-2002 6:47:58 PM|
|Yup, I'm back....but I haven't been able to write a single WORD since coming back! urgh. I'm hoping to try to get SOMETHING done this weekend, but it's been taking some time getting back into the flow of the real life, so I can't make any promises until I've actually been able to open my fic and take a look at it...I'm hoping to start updating things again this week.|
On THIS particular fic...it may not be the first I'm going to update :( BUT it's a priority to me since it's so close to finished to get my butt in gear on it.
|posted on 5-Mar-2002 4:49:56 PM|
|Hey all |
I just wanted to say a huge thank you for the new awesome feedback I'm glad I haven't been forgotten in my "writing hiatus" which I've decided I'm going to call the month of February! LOL!
I'm HOPING to post a new part of this tonight...I didn't get QUITE as much done on it last night as I wanted to, but hopefully tonight it will all come together home free...so look for an update late tonight
Also...if I could get my ass in gear I may even have some pics to share from my trip I've got the most adorable pic of me and Shiri!
|posted on 5-Mar-2002 9:47:39 PM|
|Author's Note |
WARNING: This part contains significant conversation relating to Tess...if you can't deal with reading that name...then you might not want to read this chapter!
On a side note...look! I'm back!
And on an even further note...if anyone would like to hear about my LA trips to the Shiri/Majandra autograph signing and the LA Gathering feel free to e-mail me (dreambehr⊕yahoo.com) and I'll share all!
Max’s face contorts in disgust at the mention of Tess’s name, and for the first time a thought strikes my mind.
Max never once showed any remorse for Tess’s disappearance.
Normally when a friend, an ex-girlfriend at that, leaves town, you talk about them in remembrance, you miss them, you wish they were still there. It’s one of the reasons why Tess’s disappearance has always seemed so mysterious. Tess left, and everyone went on with their lives as if she had never even come to Roswell.
Max’s reaction reminds me once again that we still don’t know exactly what happened to her. I feel a chill fill my heart again as I remember the theory I had that I’ve been desperately trying to ignore…
Is Tess even still alive?
Quickly I push the thought from my head. I may not have known my son as well as I thought I did all of these years, but I still hold myself to the belief that my son is a good person…that he would never murder someone.
There are still so many questions…
“Tell us about Tess.” I prod Max gently. “Tell us what happened with her…where she is now.”
Max sighed, rubbing his forehead awkwardly. “I guess now is as good a time as any.” He paused for a long moment, closing his eyes, as if he’s trying to clear his head or focus his thoughts. Diane and I both watched him, patiently waiting for him to continue. When he reopened them and met our gazes again, I sucked in a breath in shock at the haunted look in his eyes.
“I’m sorry.” Max apologized softly. “The whole situation with Tess is…difficult to say the least. Tess is not a good person, and the effect she had on our whole group still has lasting effects today.”
“I guess the best place to start is by explaining to you a little about our powers. A lot of the basic stuff we can do is the same…manipulating molecular structures for example, like what I did with the lamp. We can all do that stuff, but each of us has certain powers we can do better than anyone else. For me it’s healing. The others can all do the basic scrapes and bruises, but none of them are capable of saving a life like I am. Isabel can see into people’s dreams…and Michael can…uh, well…blow things up very well.”
“What is Tess’s power?” Diane asked gently.
“We call Tess’s power mind warping. Basically she can make people see whatever she wants them to see using her mind. The problem is that this is a massive amount of power, and Tess wasn’t responsible enough to have it in her hands. She was power hungry and she used this power to her heart’s content, even to hurt those of us around her.”
“When Tess first arrived in Roswell at the end of Sophomore year, she focused all of her attention on me…on using her powers to seduce me into leaving Liz for her. It was…disturbing.” Max paused, closing his eyes and shaking his head, like he was trying to shake the memories out of his head. “It was one of the most disturbing experiences of my life. I would be sitting in class, and then suddenly I wouldn’t just be sitting in class, I’d be making out with Tess on top of the teacher’s desk. Or I’d be kissing Liz, and she would turn into Tess.”
“I felt…dirty, all the time. It was as if I was cheating on Liz mentally, against my will, and I just couldn’t keep myself under control. I thought I was going crazy…until we found out who Tess really was. Then it all began to come together.”
“If Tess was doing such horrible things to her, why did you keep her around?” Diane suddenly asked, studying Max thoughtfully. “What changed with her?”
“Well…that’s the thing. Nothing changed with her, we just got careless.” Max explained simply. “The moment we discovered that she was like us, we were blinded by the fact that there was another one of us…someone who knew a lot more about who we were and where we came from. She knew answers to questions that we had spent years searching for with absolutely no leads. We quickly forgot all the bad stuff and just accepted Tess into our circle.” Max scowled down at his feet for a long moment before continuing. “It was the stupidest thing we had ever done, forgetting how untrustworthy she was.”
Watching Max talk about Tess, I find myself awed by how many secrets there were, how much we were unaware of all these years. Never once in all the time that she spent in this house, would we have ever guessed the darkness that seemed to lie beneath Tess Harding’s surface. Max’s point was coming across clear though…she had the perfect situation with Max and his friends, and took advantage of it to every end possible. Even Max hadn’t been able to see through her.
But something more had to have happened there. What had led her to leave Roswell?
I voice my question aloud. “Max…I don’t understand something though. What more happened with Tess? What happened between you and Tess? You did date, right?”
“I guess you could call it that.” Max replied hesitantly. “We spent a lot of time together. Tess was trying to help me remember my past life. To be honest, I don’t know anymore whether any of it was actually memories from me or whether she was just mindwarping me into thinking I was remembering things, but at the time it was very exciting, so we formed a strange relationship based on those memories.”
“When exactly did all of this happen, Max?” I ask him curiously. “I’ve never been able to figure out exactly when you two started dating.”
“It was right around the prom.” Max answered quickly, frowning in retrospective as he continued. “When I was with Tess, it was about as different from my relationship with Liz as night and day. It was…mechanical. I guess that’s the best way to describe it. I only touched her when I needed to touch her. I only kissed her when absolutely necessary. It was just like going through the movements I knew I was supposed to for a relationship, but there was no heart behind any of it at all.”
Max paused, chuckling under his breath before continuing. “You know, to be honest I can’t figure out for the life of me why I was with her…” His voice grew serious, his eyes distant, as the life slipped out of his voice. “Except for one thing. It was right around the time that Alex died. Everything was so messed up then. Liz and I were getting along worse than we ever had before, and it was killing me. Isabel was thinking of running away, and Michael was basically nonexistent because he was so busy taking care of Maria. I basically had no one except Tess.”
“Then it happened.” Max’s voice was lifeless, and I couldn’t help watching him even more closely as his eyes dropped to his feet in shame. “I was at my absolute weakest that night. I was distant from everyone. Isabel and I had gotten into a horrible fight that morning, followed closely by the worst fight Liz and I have ever had. I just felt lost…I didn’t even know who I was anymore. And Tess knew it, she knew how weak I was, and she took advantage of the moment, and seduced me into sleeping with her.” Max choked out the last words in disgust, before crying out. “It was the worst mistake I have ever made in my life and I will never, ever stop wishing that I could take it back.”
“Isabel told us the truth.” I gasped under my breath, suddenly realizing what Max was getting at. “Isabel told us the truth when she said that you got Tess pregnant.”
Max looked up from his feet and stared up at me through tearstained eyes and nodded silently.
“I couldn’t believe it…I was certain that she was lying…that you couldn’t possibly be that irresponsible.”
“I was.” Max choked out the confirmation again. His eyes are back on his feet, his head hung in shame.
I can tell just by looking at him that the baggage of his mistake has been weighing heavily on his shoulders. As much as my initial desire is to shake him and tell him how disappointed I am in him, I know that he’s already disappointed enough in himself…that he feels the consequences of his actions. I can’t make it any harder on him.
Diane is silent beside me, frozen in shock, her eyes wide as she stares at Max. Her reaction was the same as mine. She couldn’t believe that it was even possible…but now that she has confirmation it’s like a slap in the face to her, by her reaction.
I quickly try to move past the event. We need to not linger on it, for Max’s sake. So I ask him another question.
“What happened to Tess, Max? Where is your child?”
Max finally looks up and smiles wryly at us. “Well…that’s a whole story in itself actually. We found out quickly that Tess was pregnant because the baby was killing her from the inside out. Apparently, alien babies don’t deal well with the earth’s atmosphere…which is probably why we were in pods until we were six. Tess needed to get off the planet, and Liz, Michael, and Maria actually found the key to getting away. It was in the translation of the destiny book…which I’m guessing you read?”
He looks at me pointedly and I remember the metallic book hidden in the box in my office, which I’m assuming he’s speaking of. I nod in affirmation, remembering the translation which answered so many questions for me…and Max too it seemed.
“It turned out Alex had been working on the translation before he died. So we were set to leave the planet for good…all four of us.”
“You were going to leave us?” Diane asked hoarsely. “Without even telling us?”
“We…we were going to tell you.” Max stammered. “We were afraid you would try to stop us…and it would be too hard to tell you everything before we went…so we made a videotape explaining everything.”
“Max…that’s not good enough!” Diane exclaimed, her cheeks pinking angrily. “We love you, Max. Leaving us like that…without even saying goodbye. What if something went wrong with the tape? What if we thought you were kidnapped and called the police or something? What if…” Diane struggled to get herself under control before finally crying out. “Max we would have never seen you again!”
“I know.” Max replied softly. “And I’m sorry…but we didn’t end up going, that’s what matters now. We’re here and we’re not going anywhere. We can’t go anywhere as a matter of fact. We lost our only way home. We’re here to stay.”
“Why didn’t you go?” I press Max on, curious to find out what changed, and of course, where Tess is.
“We found out the truth just in the nick of time, thanks to Liz, Kyle, and Maria.”
“The truth about what?” I ask.
“The truth about Tess’s true nature. They figured out that Tess murdered Alex…that Tess killed one of our best friends. I was literally sleeping with the enemy.”
[ edited 1 time(s), last at 5-Mar-2002 10:52:37 PM ]
|posted on 6-Mar-2002 12:22:17 AM|
I do have to say by the way that I think that the baby couldn't survive on earth thing was like the stupidest plotline ever. If Max can survive on earth and Tess can survive on earth, the baby should be able to as well...
BUT I can't change that plotline 'cause I'm going by the show's world here...so that was my way of explaining why Max accepted it! I'm glad it worked for some of y'all
|posted on 6-Mar-2002 1:12:11 AM|
|LOL! I'm only teasing YOU Araxie ;) No one else!|
Actually...I'm dragging it out because this is all stuff I wanted to address...and I'm not sure exactly where I'm going to END this yet. I'd better figure that out soon...I'm almost up to date here!
|posted on 6-Mar-2002 7:16:32 PM|
|Cin - For the record I'm glad my writing hiatus is over too...not writing LITERALLY drives me nuts!!! LOL...although then again I wouldn't take back meeting Shiri either...she was very awesome.|
Araxie - Lots and lots of pages? Well hmmm...how about lots and lots of updates...would that satisfy your spoiled youngest child needs (you know...me speaking as the ignored middle child and all)? LOL...I'm working on UTEOT right now, and I've already started the next chapter of this one...soooo...hopefully you'll be seeing updates from me regularly again now.
ANYWAYS...thanks to EVERYONE for the fantastic feedback...I think I've been going through feedback withdrawls lately...isn't that strange how that works? You have to actually WRITE once in a while if you want feedback...LOL...I think I learned my lesson!
[ edited 1 time(s), last at 6-Mar-2002 7:19:45 PM ]
|posted on 9-Mar-2002 5:54:25 PM|
Guess what? Excitement, excitement...I have a little story for you!
So today...is my day off! I'm so happy and nice and relaxed, and I'm planning on WRITING. WOO HOO! Soooo...I get on the computer this morning and start sorting through my 60 odd e-mails, and the most HORRIBLE thing happens...my computer SPAZES out on me. It locks up, it shuts down, it does all this horrible stuff to me...so I'm forced to run some upgrades and whatnot that take TWO HOURS.
So what do I do for that two hours? I think. I brainstorm, and I think I FINALLY see the big picture here...I'm seeing 2 more chapters only on this right now, and hopefully if I can get my butt in gear one of them will be up either today or tomorrow...
So I hope you guys are ready to see this wind down...it's been a fun one for me...I'm really glad you've been enjoying it!
|posted on 9-Mar-2002 8:47:48 PM|
|Don't kill me Araxie...I know it's another short chapter...but you still get one more after this...that's exciting, right???|
Thanks a lot for the awesome feedback and for reading y'all...the reaction you guys have had to this story has totally made it more fun to write than I ever expected it to be...it was a HUGE struggle for me at first, but I really, really WANTED To write it, so I just pushed myself and pushed myself...but your feedback made it so much easier. You guys really, really rock!
I could literally feel Max’s disgust in himself radiating throughout the room, and suddenly it all began to come clear to me. It made sense why Max hated his ex-girlfriend so thoroughly, why nobody looked back when she disappeared.
Nobody wanted to remember Tess Harding because she had taken something away from them all…something deep, important, and absolutely irreplaceable.
She had taken Max’s innocence. She had taken Isabel’s friend. And in a lot of ways she had taken all of their youth.
I wanted to tell Max that everything would be okay, that he could let go of his hatred, that it was long over, but I couldn’t find the words. What Tess had done to them all was not okay. What Max had lost to Tess he could never get back. And no matter how many times I could tell Max that he shouldn’t be disgusted in himself, just in her, I know it wouldn’t do my stubborn son any good.
Max had already been holding onto his feelings for so long, hiding them beneath the surface, and trying his best to ignore it, when even he knew that it would never truly be forgotten. It would take time, and lots of emotional healing to get past what Tess had done to him.
“It turned out that Tess had been working against us all along.” Max continued in a pained voice. “She had made a deal with our enemies back home…to get pregnant and deliver us back to our planet to be murdered. Then our enemies could raise my son as a false figurehead and regain control of them planet, and we would be dead and completely out of the picture.”
Diane gasped beside me, and I shake my head in disbelief, shocked at how close we came to losing our children, and not even knowing it.
“We were literally walking into a death trap.” Max emphasized. “And if it wasn’t for Liz we would all be dead right now.”
“What did you do to Tess when you found out the truth?” I press anxiously, wondering again if my earlier suspicions of Tess’s demise were correct. It doesn’t seem quite so unbelievable anymore if Max had killed her…after all she almost murdered him
“I should have killed her.” Max tells me flatly. “I wanted to kill her, but I couldn’t. She was carrying my child. I couldn’t murder my own child. So I sent her home without the rest of us. We stayed, and she left.” Max paused, taking a deep breath before laying the main point on the line for us. “It was our only way home.”
Max sighed, raking a hand through his hair awkwardly. “I realized almost immediately that my decision had been a stupid one. Yes, Tess couldn’t be trusted, but she was also carrying my child. I sent my son alone into a war zone with no one to count on except his murderous mother. God…I can’t even imagine what he’s already had to go through in his short life.”
“He’s already been born?” Diane asked curiously, calculating the time in her head “How is that possible, Max? If what happened between you and Tess happened around the time of prom, then it’s only been seven months since you....” Diane trailed off awkwardly, obviously still having trouble speaking about what had happened. “Your child shouldn’t be due until January.” She finally determined.
“We’re talking about an alien pregnancy, mom, not a human one.” Max corrected her gently. “Normal laws of human development don’t apply. The baby was already growing fast before we had decided to leave. We estimated that he would probably be born in about a month. And I felt it…the day he was born.”
“Wait, you felt it?” I exclaim loudly, barely believing my ears. I have a feeling I still have a lot to learn about alien abilities.
“I can sometimes connect with my son…he send me visions, stuff like that.” Max explained softly. “The first time it happened was just a few weeks after Tess left. I was with Liz…we were trying to fix things between us, and it just happened. I could feel that he had been born, that he needed me. It was the first time I realized that by sending Tess home I had literally abandoned my child to his fate.”
“I felt so helpless!” Max cried sadly. “I needed to do something to try to get him back, anything. I guess you could say I grew obsessed with trying to find another way home. I was constantly searching through every alien resource we had trying to find more information. Something…anything to give me a lead towards finding my son. Searching through Tess’s things one day, I found one.”
“You found another way home?” Diane asked fearfully. I glanced at my wife, knowing that the worst possible images of losing Max were already flying through her mind. Gently I take her hand and squeeze it in support as Max continues.
“Yes.” Max confirmed. “Or at least I thought I did. It didn’t turn out to be as easy as I hoped. Tess had notes on our original ship…the one that crashed in 1947. The government had been studying it for years. They were fixing it up, trying to figure out the technology. It was a top secret project…no one was supposed to know…but Nasedo did and he left the information with Tess. I needed to find it…I wanted to use it to go home and get my son back. It took weeks of research, but we finally tracked down a list of possible hiding places for the ship. That was what Liz and I were doing in Utah.”
My curiosity piqued as we’re finally getting to the part of the story that led me to start this search for the truth, I look up, and meet Max’s eyes. Slowly the pieces come together in my head.
“The storage shed, under the convenience store…” I realize suddenly. “The ship was down there, wasn’t it?”
“It was down there the day Liz and I robbed that store.” Max confirmed. “I saw it with my own eyes. We didn’t actually steal anything that day. Liz was just distracting the clerk, while I went down there to check it out. We were going to be fast…we never planned to get caught. But I guess it proves that things don’t always go according to plan. The police arrived much earlier than we ever anticipated.”
“It wasn’t there when you went back though.” I realize. “The government figured out what you were up to.”
“They were suspicious enough at least.” Max agreed. “They moved the ship, and I had to start over from scratch all over again. That was why I went to Los Angeles. I had another lead that took me there.”
“Did that one pay off?” I ask curiously.
“Actually, it did.” Max replied with a bitter laugh. “I found the ship again, and I gained access to it long enough that I almost left in it…until discovering that it didn’t have enough juice in it to fly more than two feet. It was a dud, a complete waste of my time. We robbed that store, put our futures in jeopardy for absolutely nothing.” Max paused, his eyes downcast. “I just feel stupid in retrospective. I was acting like an idiot.”
In that exact instant I’m staring at my son, the weight of his very complicated world heavy on his shoulders, and suddenly it all doesn’t seem quite so complicated anymore. I had thought I had lost my son, that I didn’t know him anymore, that he was a complete stranger, and now as I look at him, the emotions that are clear on his face are slightly reminiscent of my own feelings.
I thought I had lost my son, so I went to crazy lengths to try to get him back, to find out the pieces of his life that he wasn’t allowing me to be a part of. I did some things that I’m not very proud of…all because I loved my son and I wanted him back. Just as Max has made so many mistakes to fight for the life of his own child.
Max is me…and I am Max.
We’re the same.
My voice is soft, gentle even to my own ears as I softly reply to him.
“Sometimes a man will do crazy things for the love of their child.”
Max’s head jolts up and he stares intensely at me for a long moment, before nodding in agreement. We don’t say anything more, but I know we understand each other now.
And for the first time all day I begin to realize that everything is going to be okay from now on between us.
I have my son back…maybe for the first time.
|posted on 9-Mar-2002 11:40:59 PM|
BelieveInTrueLove originally wrote:
I'm dying for an update on ToF. Not to mention that you have to hurry and get Max and Liz married in UtEoT. Am I being toooooooooo
pushy, it's not like I'm asking for na update on Safe At Last.
ROTF Jane!!! You crack me up
Actually...I was working on TOF right before the madness that became the month of February for me! I'm ALMOST done with the conclusion to this...I haven't really put it down all day, then I think my gameplan is to get the next chapter of UTEOT out (because I've been brainstorming on that) and then take another look at TOF!
Safe At Last...well...that might take a miracle...LOL! Someday I will...I swear!
Thanks for the awesome feedback you guys...your comments have totally made my day!
I LOVE that you guys GOT the revelation...that wasn't planned...it just kind of hit me in the middle of typing and I just kind of paused and went: "Whoooooaaaaaaa...." and then reread what I just wrote and nodded in satisfaction. I couldn't believe that it NEVER occurred to me before now how they would relate on that front...considering how much time I spend ANALYZING the parent/alien relationship! LOL!
Now that I'm grinning like a chump or something I'm going to go BACK to working on the conclusion. It could be up tomorrow
|posted on 10-Mar-2002 8:16:21 PM|
|Woodwinds - LOL! You crack me up! Now...wishing more computer trouble on me is a very evil thing to do, because dammit I have enough! BUT it's okay to be thankful for yesterday's computer trouble...I sort of am! It gave me the time I needed to figure things out |
Here's the conclusion everyone...I just want to say thank you guys so much for reading and being so supportive. I'm not even exaggerating when I say that y'all's responses have LITERALLY blown me away...I love that so many of you loved this fic.
So thanks for everything, and enjoy the end
The bell on the Crashdown door rang loudly through the café as Diane and I entered the restaurant that had been such a major part of our children’s lives. Ever since they were young they always seemed to be hanging around in the alien themed restaurant just to waste time and be with their friends, and this morning was no exception. Max and Isabel were sitting there at the bar counter with all of their friends, laughing and talking in happy, carefree tones as Jeff Parker served out their breakfasts.
It was early in the morning, New Year’s Day, and without Max or Isabel around to keep us on our toes until midnight, Diane and I had called it an early night. We rarely went out to eat, unlike our children, but it was a holiday. Holidays called for breaks in our regular routines.
I met Max’s eyes across the room as I walked in, and he nodded to me in solemn greeting, before returning to whatever conversation he was involved in. Diane and I took a seat in a booth across the room from them, not wanting to intrude in their happy moment.
Ever since the day that Max had told us the truth, over a month earlier, there had been a sort of quiet alliance between me and my son, an unspoken understanding and respect that we had both found since we realized how similar we were in so many ways. We’ve never spoken of my search again. Once I learned the truth, Max had decided it was forgotten, in the past. He seemed content to move forward and live his life in the present, rather than lingering on either of our past wrongs.
Liz popped up from her stool and strode towards us purposefully, with a broad smile on her face, pulling my attention away from my reflections. Max’s girlfriend was out of uniform, but still seemed to take it upon herself to take our order.
“Hi Mrs. Evans, Mr. Evans!” She greeted us cheerfully.
“Hello Liz.” Diane smiled warmly at the girl who had accepted our son and supported him at his lowest. “Did you and Max have a nice New Year’s?”
“Oh, well mine wasn’t all that great.” Liz replied with an honest laugh. “I got stuck working and then baby sitting a sick Michael. But I know Max had a memorable night last night. I’ll let him tell you all about it though.”
“I’m sure he will.” I chuckle, still slightly amazed to realize that I am sure that he will. In the weeks since Max told us everything, our bond with our son has grown stronger than it ever has been before. Max no longer seems mysterious or reclusive…he talks to us about everything, and we support him however we can, or talk him down from doing things that are a little too extreme. A week earlier while talking out a new lead with Diane and I, Max admitted that he liked having our opinion on things…that we help keep him grounded.
It has been one of the most heartwarming feelings in the world to Diane and I to know that our children still need us.
Liz walks away with our order and is quickly replaced by Isabel, sliding into the booth across from us, leaning forward and greeting us with quick, loving kisses on the cheek before taking her seat.
“Hi Mom, hi Dad.” She greets us happily. “How was your New Year’s?”
“Oh, nothing special.” Diane laughs. “You know us boring, old fogies…partying just isn’t our style. We just went to bed early. How about you sweetheart? Did you have a good night”
“Yeah.” Isabel replied cheerfully. “I actually did. Kyle and I hung out…Jesse’s flight got canceled so he didn’t get back until this morning.”
“Oh sweetheart!” Diane exclaimed. “I’m so sorry! You had a big evening planned with him, didn’t you?”
Isabel sighed, glancing across the room wistfully to where her husband chatted with Kyle before returning her focus to us.
“I was going to tell him the truth last night.” She admitted. “Oh God…I want to tell him so badly! I’m sick of having this secret between us! But every time I decide that the time is right, something happens and it doesn’t work out.”
“Maybe the timing was just wrong.” I suggest to her gently. “If you were meant to tell him last night then he would have been there. Maybe fate was just stepping in and holding you back.”
“Yeah…maybe.” Isabel sighed. “Thank you for convincing Max and Michael to let me tell him.”
“Well somebody had to show those boys where their priorities should be!” I insist stubbornly. “I can’t believe you listened to them in the first place. A marriage based on lies is no marriage at all!”
“Well, thank you all the same for teaching them that lesson! Next time something like this comes up I’ll remember not to listen to Max and Michael.” Isabel teased.
“That’s right!” I insist jokingly. “You should never listen to anyone except your dear old Dad.” Diane jabs me in the side with her elbow, and I yelp softly before laughing and correcting myself. “Dear old Dad and Mom that is.”
“Thanks Daddy.” Isabel repeated with a smile, leaning over to kiss me on the cheek one more time. “I’m going to go back to Jesse. You never know what kind of mischief Kyle is trying to talk him into. I don’t trust them together!”
As Isabel crosses the room back to Jesse’s side, I lean back into the booth, taking in the scene before my eyes contentedly.
I had noticed it weeks before, how my children seemed to be growing up much too quickly. How their lives had started to take twists and turns that no mere teenager should have to deal with…and not just Max and Isabel. I could see the signs of it in Liz Parker, in Michael Guerin…but most prominently in my own beloved children.
They had grown up much too quickly because it had been forced on them by the circumstances life seemed to throw at them.
And suddenly it didn’t seem as fearsome as it had the day of Isabel’s wedding.
Yes they were young, but they were much wiser than their years. They were adults living the lives of teenagers. Sometimes they made mistakes, but everyone makes mistakes. I make mistakes on a daily basis.
The mistakes that my children have made seem bigger to any outside observer, but when you know the truth behind the events that led them to the moment…when you know the truth behind the lies, it all comes clear.
Circumstances forced my children to grow up early.
But as I watch them sit around and talk without a care in the world, my heart lifts, and suddenly everything seems okay.
The weight of the world may be resting on my children’s shoulders, but that doesn’t mean that they aren’t still capable of living a normal life, of having fun. In the mere twelve years that Max and Isabel have been in this world, they have lived their lives to the fullest. They’ve fallen in love. They’ve had their hearts broken. They’ve experienced pain, loss, birth, endings, beginnings…their lives may be dangerous, but they’ve done and seen more than even I have in decades longer. I admire them for their courage, their strength, their bravery.
And I know, without a doubt, that whatever differences may lie deep within my children from the rest of the people around them, it doesn’t matter. I’m still the luckiest father in the world…the universe even.
|posted on 10-Mar-2002 9:27:03 PM|
|Thanks for the awesome feedback you guys You make me smile...|
Cin - of COURSE you can save it on your hard drive! Enjoy! In fact...if you give me your e-mail address I could send you my word file of it if it helps...I'm going to actually do a reedit of this for a project I'm working on...fix some errors and whatnot, and then I could send you that...drop me an e-mail if you want me to do that dreambehr⊕yahoo.com
woodwinds - I'm glad to hear you're enjoying reading everything...I'm grinning And I'll even help you out there too! I have an ALMOST complete archive of all my fics...minus Tangled Webs, Until the End of Time, Twist of Fate and this one... (all of which are on this board). ANYWAY...anything to help you out ;) Here's the link to it! http://www.angelfire.com/tv2/dreambehr/fanficarchive.html
|posted on 10-Mar-2002 9:33:12 PM|
Araxie HRH originally wrote:
BTW I saw you left a big ass post for javagin on EYA. I'm so glad that you read it!!!!!!! It ROCKED didn't it?
Hee hee...yes, I read it...big ass post is a good way to describe that feedback. I was absolutely addicted....I read until my eyes were blurry every day until it was done ;)
|posted on 10-Mar-2002 9:35:00 PM|
woodwinds originally wrote:
Oh thank you! Thank you! Thank you! Thank you for the link! I'm going to head over there right now and check everything out!! YAY! You just made my day!
LOL!! Glad I could help!! Enjoy! Pages upon pages of dreamy gushiness...gotta love it I know I do!
|posted on 11-Mar-2002 6:58:44 PM|
|I just wanted to pop in and say thanks again for the awesome feedback. I LOVE reading everyone's comments...you make my day!|
On a side note, I AM toying with the Max POV companion in my head. It won't be as long as this one...if I do it it's literally going to tell the story of what Max did from the moment Philip told him he knew until he started telling the story to them...so it covers a much shorter chunk of time.
I'm going to work on a few other projects first and then come back to the Max POV, but keep your eyes pealed for it in a week or two