posted on 4-Mar-2002 10:34:26 PM
AUTHOR: DMartinez
E-MAIL: shockerdm⊕icqmail.com
DISCLAIMER: Characters portrayed in the following work belong to Melinda Metz, Jason Katims and UPN. Episode IV contains Got You Where I Want You by The Flys. Episode VII contains Forgotten by Linkin Park. Episode XI contains Trouble by Coldplay. Episode XII contains My December by Linkin Park Episode XVI contains Polyamorous by Breaking Benjamin.
RATING: NC-17
SUMMARY: Michael and Liz are all that are left after the others have died and while they work to stick together '->, they run into someone unexpected for a sort of reunion.
CATEGORY: PolarTrucker - Michael/Liz/Zan
SPOILERS: Season 1 and Season 2 through Viva Las Vegas.
NOTES: If I'm going to use the name Polar Trucker... I might as well write a PolarTrucker story. '-)
WARNING: This story is not for the squeamish. Deals with character death and unconventional couples and threesomes.

previous parts on my board. http://pub65.ezboard.com/brealmdm
I'll try to get them on the repost board soon though.

Episode XII

The training part was absolute hell for the following months. Zan and Liz took a martial arts class in the day while Michael continued to work as if nothing had happened. They had to maintain the appearance of normalcy. Liz stretched her leg up on the counter and felt every strand of tendon and muscle protest at the movement. She leaned forward and the pull burned. It had been months and still she wasn't used to the constant strain her body was under. While she stretched, Zan taught Michael to control his powers. They looked adorable as they huddled over a couple of rocks on the floor.

This was how it was going to be. Zan would help Liz learn to defend herself and he and Michael would take care of everything else. They were busy with their speed, changing the colors of rocks in a random but exact pattern. It looked like an alien game of some kind. Liz couldn't resist. "You boys and your rocks."

"Hey, you think this is easy?" Michael snapped, whipped his head around so fast she thought he might whip his head off. "It's quite difficult."

"Quite?" Liz laughed. "Since when do you say quite?"

"Do ya mind? We workin' here." Zan scoffed at her and turned back to the rocks.

"I'm bored." Liz interrupted them as they were about to beginning working again.

"Go get dinner." Michael muttered, averting his eyes from the way she was stretched out on the counter.

There it was. The tension. Liz grabbed her purse and headed for the door. The tension was always confusing. She only saw two reasons he would keep his eyes off of her. The first being he was repulsed by her. The second being he felt the same about her that she felt about him. With the way he had closed up in the past few weeks, she was never going to find out. He would guard that secret closely.

Zan followed Liz's progress out the door. Her walk was different, like she couldn't remember how to walk anymore. That always happened after the tension filled the room. The second the door shut, he smacked Michael upside the head. "She wants you."

"What?" Michael whipped his head up, the rocks under his hands changing so rapidly that Zan couldn't keep up.

"You heard me. She wants you. Practically beggin' for it the way she struts around but when you stop lookin' she's all lost." Zan moved Michael's hand away from the rocks, after which the color changing stopped. "You got it bad, worse than she does."




Zan knew he shouldn't but he couldn't help but take in the view when it was made for him. Even Liz shaving her legs was sexy. Every time she looked up, he would close his eyes and pretend to be dozing. He knew he'd get caught eventually and then there would be hell to pay but he'd get away with it as long as she let him. She startled him awake when he must have really fallen asleep sitting there. "Zan, I'm sorry. I didn't know you were asleep."

"It's cool, what is it?" His sleepy eyes wanted so much to run over her body standing in front of him in only a towel but he dragged them up to her face to stay.

"I'm kinda sore. Can you massage my back?" Liz pointed behind her.

"Sure thang. Park it." Zan spread his legs and sat up a little, hoping whatever erection he still had was no longer visible. Liz sat between his legs, scooting back and then dropping her towel from one side. She held it up in front so it wouldn't fall but so that he could still work at her back. Shivering, she wondered if this was a good idea when she could feel his eyes stroking her back before his hands touched her.

Glancing away for a second, he spotted one of her hair clips and struggled to get the wet mass of dark tresses up and out of his way. He placed his warm hand on the back of her neck and felt all the tense muscles there. Gently, he began kneading her flesh, starting at her neck and moving down her back in widening circles.

Liz had to bite her lip to keep from moaning. And again when he scooted closer behind her and she could feel him throbbing in his jeans against her back. Clutching the towel to her chest with one hand, she placed the other on his thigh to keep herself upright. His hands felt so good and then there was his breath on her neck.

He couldn't believe how easily she came apart in his arms. His caresses grew stronger, bolder and her hand on his thigh gripped tighter. When her back arched, the other hand went to his other thigh, leaving only her breasts to hold up her towel. He couldn't help but press his lips to the back of her neck.

Zan wet her neck with his tongue before moving on to her shoulder, moving his hands down along her waist to caress her stomach. She was the best thing that he had ever tasted. The towel slipped and she gasped when the cool air hit her aching breasts, moaned when he covered them back up with only his large hands, cried out when he teased her erect nipples, pressed back into him and his erection.

The roar of a motorcycle ripped her out of the moment. He only protested a little when she pried herself out of his grasp to quickly get dressed. Before he could stop her, she was racing out the door, yanking on her shoes as she went out into the freezing cold. He sagged against the wall in defeat. It wasn't even Michael's motorcycle that had passed by.

Spearing his hands through his hair, he cursed. He was completely hopeless. Deliberately, he lifted her towel to his nose to smell her sweet scent. He knew he should give it up and let Michael have her but he wanted her too damn much.





Liz stirred the stew on the stove as she talked. "Well, then Max held out his hand and this shield appeared. The other aliens tried to break through but then Tess put her hand over Max's and it... strengthened. It didn't stay for long but it held them off until we heard an explosion."

"You kids did stuff like that all the time?" Diane shook her head.

"Yeah." Liz almost laughed to herself. "We did. It became our normal." She shook her head slowly. "For a while there, if my heart wasn't broken on a weekly basis, something was brewing."

"You really put yourself on the line for them."

"Yeah, I did and I still do." She hadn't meant to say that out loud.

"What do you mean?" Diane stood up. "I thought all this was over. Liz, what's going on?"

"It's..." Liz stopped; she didn't even know what she was saying. "It's never over."

"Liz, what's happening?" Diane pleaded with her.

"Nothing at the moment, which is really scary. Zan and I have been training to physically defend ourselves. Michael's been working on his powers... just no sign of Nicholas."

"This isn't a good thing?"

"We didn't hear anything about Nicholas for two years and then bam! Everyone's gone." She slowly took a seat. "I just hate this not knowing. It makes us complacent and gets me thinking too much."

"Thinking about what?" Diane rose from the table to check the temperature on the stew.

"Nothing. I just think too much." Liz sighed and barely noticed the bowl of stew that was slid in front of her. "Michael's such a great guy and I want to be with him but... then there's Zan and... I just wish I could take a step out of myself to figure things out."

"Ah, I see." The older woman nodded and curled her hands around her bowl. She saw the problem too clearly. "Two men with their own remarkable qualities and each one wants you for themselves."

"Pretty much and I'm with one or both nearly all the time. They don't let me be by myself. I know they're just trying to protect me but it can get suffocating too."

Diane cleared her throat and waited until Liz looked up. "You don't have to make a decision today. That's the point, actually. Which one do you see yourself with in twenty years? Which one do you see yourself with when you're old and gray and looking at your grandchildren?" She tilted her head at Liz. "I went to college. I took several courses in psychology. It all boils down to your instinct. Men and women subconsciously seek each other out based on the children they'll have. It's always been true and will continue to be true. Yes, love exists but so do instincts. Don't worry about it. I'm sure your heart and mind will make the decision for you when you're not thinking about it."




Liz laughed out loud as Zan danced to the rave music pouring from the speakers of their little stereo. It wasn't so much that he was acting funny as much as she was having a good time watching him try to entice her to dance with him. She turned around to finish cleaning up the kitchen only for him to drag her back into the main room.

His playful teasing was exactly what she needed to forget that two nights before they had been on the brink of something else. The longer she knew Zan the better a person she saw he was. He was in many ways like Max but never again would she ever think he was just a clever substitute. Max would have never started grooving in the middle of cleaning up, and especially not to that music... or shirtless.

She let her body twist and turn with his for a minute before twisting out of his reach to finish cleaning the kitchen. She watched him bend over to stack up the mattresses, his muscles rippling with the minimal effort. Zan had a leanness about him that spoke of the troubled life he had led.

Vaguely she remembered a story about the squirrel family. All came from the same progenitor but somewhere there came a rift. Some squirrels learned to fight for their food becoming lean and mean while the others had plenty and became beautiful and fat. Growing up in two very different worlds had shaped the same flesh into two very different men.

She was still watching Zan and smiling when Michael walked in. His eyes darkened before he stomped over to the refrigerator to find something to eat, pretending that it didn't bother him. Liz offered him a small smile and then went to join Zan for a little more dancing. Narrowing his eyes, Michael had to concede to Zan. If he didn't make his move soon, Liz would be elsewhere. Zan didn't seem to be sweating with the way they were dancing. The guy probably didn't care if Michael still wanted Liz or not. She was fair game at this point. Slamming the refrigerator shut, he hopped up on the counter to face away from them. He couldn't watch anymore but he wasn't going to leave them alone.





Liz turned on the hot water to soothe her aching back muscles. The water felt so good and it allowed her mind to drift and not think. Not about evil aliens, not about the two sexy ones she lived with and not about trying to choose between them Truth was every time she trying to picture just one in her future, it was blank. She had to know that they were both going to be there in some capacity.

Cursing, she realized that the shampoo wasn't in the shower. She pulled back the curtain to find her bottle of shampoo, surprised to find Michael standing at the sink washing his hands. Tension, that tension they had been feeling for weeks. They stared at each other for a moment before they were reaching for each other, devouring each other. Kicking off his shoes, Michael stepped into the shower. His hands ran all over her slick flesh, not caring that his clothes were getting soaked.

He pressed Liz up against the wall as they fought to strip him of his wet clothing. In the end, his shirt never cleared the bar and hung dripping onto the curtain. His pants and boxers wound up puddled around his ankles. That didn't matter. All that mattered was where his erection pressed into her folds.

"Michael." She rasped, clawing at his back, trying to pull him inside her body. "Please..."

When he slid home, they both froze to savor the moment. It had been so long for both of them. Shutting his eyes, he thrust slowly, jarring her body up against the wall with the sheer force of each plunge. Gripping his shoulders, Liz shut her own eyes to feel every move of muscle his body made against hers.

The water turned cold as they panted for breath. Their pace quickened and limbs tightened their grasp. She gasped at the quick forceful driving between her thighs and only hoped she could hang on long enough to get them both there. Squeezing him inside her, she let go, trembling around his still plunging body.

Finally, she felt his shudder and then his release inside her. Her legs slipped from his waist to brace weakly beneath her. Michael leaned on the shower wall on either side of her, not sure if he could move just yet. He could feel her heaving chest just centimeters from his. What had he done?

Stepping out of his wet clothes, he bent slightly to pick them up and then turned to leave her alone. Liz sank to the tub once he was gone. That had been fabulous but he hadn't looked at her once they were doing it. How in the hell was she supposed to take that?





Liz's mind had been somewhere else all day and they had completely forgotten about class. Zan insisted that she get a workout anyway to keep her muscles loose and limber. She had agreed before she realized that he was going to help her. He was, once again, shirtless and hands on in his helping.

Zan stretched her leg over her head, leaning into her to provide more resistance. Their eyes locked when his hand slipped down the back of her thigh for a better grip. Tension. Then he was swooping down on her mouth, her leg trapped under his arm. The pull of the muscles and tendons flew out of her mind. He eased her leg down and out of their way as he continued to plunder her mouth.

Their hands tangled as they fought to remove their clothes. Liz had him out of his jeans before he realized she was wearing spandex. He hissed at the feel of the slick fabric against his cock. He wretched the front of her tights open, ripping them off her body. His body pressed into her wet core as his mouth wandered the contours of her chest, sucking and biting. Tremors ran through her body at his every touch and rough caress.

He almost hesitated when he reached down to guide himself into her warm center. Inside with one stroke, he was rewarded with his name on her lips. Her arms immediately went around him, her hands clasping at his back as his lean body moved atop her.

Liz clung to him, her fingers turning white, and hoped she wasn't getting rug burn as he slammed into her over and over again. His mouth lapped at the words and gasps that flew from her mouth. Then he whispered her name. Liz. Not Swee' pea. Nails dug into his flesh as she came while he was still pounding into her. She barely heard his hiss when she tightened around him.

It was a long time before either even thought of moving. Their sticky bodies clung to each other even as their holds released. When he finally broke free of her arms and pushed himself up, he just stared at her long and hard from the top of her head down to where their bodies joined. "I ain't dreamin' this time." Slowly she shook her head. He dipped his head as if he were going to kiss her but then pulled away from her, getting to his feet. "I need a smoke."

Flinched for a second but quickly recovered. She never figured he would be one for cuddling. After his first long inhale, she managed to sit up and pull her shirt over her head. He had already pulled his pants on and turned on the stereo. Gingerly, she walked over to the dresser to retrieve a fresh pair of panties and some sweats. Suddenly it was cold.

"This is my December
This is my time of the year
This is my December
This is all so clear"


She wouldn't even bother to tell him to turn it down. Lying down on the mattress, she shut her eyes. Think. She needed to think. First Michael and now Zan. Either way the sex would be amazing but... she couldn't just lead one of them on. Zan was turning out to be a good friend, sometimes even thoughtful. Michael, with the eternal chip on his shoulder, was jealous as hell but who knew what he wanted, especially after the way he took off after the incident in the shower.

"This is my December
This is my snow covered home
This is my December
This is me alone"


Zan lit his second cigarette with the end of the first and took a long drag. So he had done it, finally. There was no doubt that he enjoyed being with Liz but she hadn't called him on his current cold shoulder. Hadn't asked why. Hadn't said a word since it had happened. Sliding his eyes over to her figure, he wanted to kick himself. He could have said something, anything and now she looked like the world was jumping up and down on her shoulders.

"And I (Just wish that I didn't feel that there was something I missed)
And I (Take back all the things I said to make you feel like that)
And I (Just wish that I didn't feel that there was something I missed)
And I (Take back all the things I said to you)"


If only there was some answer to the situation, a solution to the problem. If only there wasn't the Antarian threat. If only she didn't have to choose. If only there was some other way to figure it out. If only everyone was still alive. If only she could be in Santa Fe worrying about midterms instead of if she'd be alive the next week, instead of wondering if her heart would break again, instead of wondering if she would break the hearts of the only two people who really mattered in her life. If only...

"And I'd give it all away
Just to have somewhere to go to
Give it all away
To have someone to come home to"


At long last, Zan disposed of his butts and sat on the edge of the mattress. He didn't mean to put her on the spot. He was sure she was having a hard enough time figuring things out without him complicating matters by being horny. He could live if she said she never wanted him to touch her again. He could live if she wanted him out of the apartment. He could live if Michael beat him to a bloody pulp but if she wanted him gone... he couldn't live.

"This is my December
These are my snow-covered trees
This is me pretending
This is all I need"



"Swee' pea?"

Silence.

Silence was never good. It permeated the entire apartment, soaked into his bones.

"And I (Just wish that I didn't feel that there was something I missed)
And I (Take back all the things I said to make you feel like that)
And I (Just wish that I didn't feel that there was something I missed)
And I (Take back all the things I said to you)

And I'd give it all away
Just to have somewhere to go
Give it all away
To have someone to come home to"



"Swee' pea?" He took a deep breath and reached over to touch her lips. "Swee' pea, I ain't want you hate me."

Liz breathed in and she could taste his fingers. Smoke. Nicotine. She opened her eyes and stared at him leaning over her. His eyes were so lost.

"This is my December
This is my time of the year
This is my December
This is all so clear

And I'd give it all away
Just to have somewhere to go
Give it all away
To have someone to come home to"



"Swee' pea. I'll take it back. Don't make me leave."

"Give it all away
Just to have somewhere to go
Give it all away
To have someone to come home to"






Michael walked in and did a double take. Liz and Zan lay on the pile of mattresses, asleep... together. He backed right out the door and shoved his hands into his pockets. The cool wind bit into his face as he walked on. Had she made her decision?

That could only mean that he had screwed up royally with that scene in the bathroom before. No more shy glances or fiery kisses. No more soft touches. No more fucking on the kitchen counter. No more whispered words or shared memories. No more...

Hours later, he found himself back in the apartment staring at their forms. Head resting on his hands, he watched them. Liz had her head turned into Zan's neck, their arms wrapped around each other, legs touching. They looked good together. A lot like but different from the way she used to look with Max.

Stung. It stung. Michael had thought that he and Zan had come to be good friends but obviously the guy just wanted Liz. Laying his head down on the counter, he fell asleep. Dreams ripped him apart, showing him flashes of fire, watching Max burn... watching Zan burn. The flames licked around him but never touched him as he strode purposefully toward the dark figure just through the doors. He tried to get up and follow his king but a hand touched his face. 'Not this time Rath.' Then it all went black but he could hear the screams of the dying royal family as he faded.

Stung. It stung. Michael jerked awake and wildly ran his eyes over the room. Nothing. Nothing that he could see.

"No!" Zan leapt awake and over Liz's body, shield thrown wide. He saw Michael and then let his eyes sweep the room. "Nicholas?"

"That's what I'm thinking." Michael edged his way to the pile of mattresses. "Did you dream about that night too?"

"Felt like dyin' all over again." Zan muttered, his eyes peeling the room for a threat he couldn't see. When Michael came within range, he dropped the shield only to raise it back up around the three of them. Liz barely stirred in her sleep.

"I still love her." Michael managed, relaxing only slightly.

"She still loves you." Zan dropped his eyes, bile rising in her throat. "She axed me not to make her choose right now."


Michael shut his eyes and shook his head. His head hurt. His ears echoed with the blasts of a battle long since over and lost. He fought sleep for as long as he could but before his eyes shut for the night, he saw the green shield blink off, signaling that Zan had also fallen asleep.

End Episode XII

[ edited 7 time(s), last at 13-Feb-2003 2:12:15 PM ]
posted on 12-Jul-2002 3:21:53 AM
[center]Aftermath of War Episode XIII[/center]

Liz woke between two warm male bodies. Zan's large hand rested just under the elastic of her sweatpants, their lower bodies flush against each other, his mild erection cradled against her bottom. Michael's chest lay beneath her chin, her leg rested over his hip, where his morning erection pressed into her thigh. Stretching, she gasped. The movement made her back arch and Zan's hand slide into her panties. He stirred behind her, drawing her flush against his body, flexing his fingers against her abdomen, the tips just touching her coarse curls.

The moan wouldn't be contained. The things that both men could do to her flashed through her mind, followed by the things they could do at the same time. This time the moan was loud enough to rouse them from sleep. When Michael opened his eyes to see her face inches from his, her mind was still taking her places that her body longed to go. Something kept feeding the fantasies and her body kept responding, warmth pooling low in her stomach and spreading downward. Reluctantly, Michael's eyes slid down to look at the hand that clutched at his arm, the leg that rubbed against his hip.

Zan had trouble opening his eyes but he knew where his hand was and that her hips kept rocking into it, sending it lower and lower. At last her hips ground into his hand, soaking his fingers with her arousal and it just turned him on. Blindly, he slipped his hand down for a better angle and more pressure. He buried his face in her hair and couldn't stop his hips from rocking against her, his erection growing with each motion against her firm bottom.

As turned on as the situation made him, Michael could neither get up and leave nor muster the courage to touch her. The hand on his arm traveled up to his neck and pulled him closer. Before he could blink, her mouth had latched onto his and her tongue had invaded his mouth. Giving in, his hand met Zan's on its way to the hem of her shirt. Ignoring the other man's touch, Michael slipped his hand up to the tight nipples hidden beneath it.

Liz squeezed her eyes shut and clutched at her pillow. Strong tongue in her mouth, rough fingers squeezing her nipples, urgent fingers inside her… muscled chests on either side of her. Thrusting her hips, she locked Zan's hand between her mound and Michael's hip. Michael's erection hit her abdomen just as Zan rolled to be closer and his erection hit her high on her ass. Zan's mouth found its way to her neck and that sensitive spot just behind her ear. Finally it was too much and she cried out as her body trembled between them.

Recovered, she slipped from between them and knelt to slip her shirt over her head. Standing her sweats and underwear went next. Her eyes were so dark with desire that both men lay frozen as she stood nude over them. Slowly, she reached down and pulled on Zan's pants. "Off." Then her eyes shot to Michael. "You too."

They dared only one look at each other and did as told when she tilted her head at them. Lust, or whatever, drove them to do as told. Lying there naked, neither man could muster the courage to protest, proceed or look at each other while she surveyed the both of them as if one of them were to be her next meal and she had but to pick one. Slowly, she knelt over Zan and took his erection in her hand, stroking slowly but firmly. His eyes shut and his head flew back against the pillow. His breath came out in pants and just when he would have moaned, he choked on it. She was around him, surrounding him, bouncing on his cock with no mercy until he had no choice but to catch his breath and grunt with her.

Michael could only stare as she threw her head back every time she moaned, as her breasts bounced unchecked and her hands ran through her hair and over her throat. Licked his lips and swallowed thickly when he felt Zan thrusting up into her through the mattress, her body jerked in response to every upward thrust and her cries... each one sent a jolt straight to his straining cock. Unable to help himself, he took his cock in his hand and stroked in time with their thrusts.

"No." Liz shook her head and that's when Michael realized that she wasn't oblivious to his presence. "No, don't do that. Let me." When he didn't move she let out a loud cry. "Get up Michael. Stand up." Her voice was so low and husky, he had to squeeze his cock hard to keep from coming.

When he got to his feet, she reached for him and stroked his throbbing cock hard enough to immediately get him bucking his hips into her hand. All the air left his lungs when the intense heat of her mouth surrounded the swollen head of his cock. One hand kept stroking the base of his cock and the other gripped his hip. That's when she began to suck, hard. Moans vibrated through his aching member as she continued to bounce on Zan. Michael felt her mouth move around his cock and then pull him deeper inside her mouth until he felt her swallow around his cock, taking his cock into her throat inch by inch until he could feel her breath in his pubic hair.

Thrusting ever so slightly, he began to pull out only for her to draw him back in. Her bouncing turned into a torturous grind against Zan, driving him out of his mind. Zan's hands found her hips to hold her as he ground up into her, lifting her up just enough to give him some room to push in and out of her. The view of her deepthroating the other man only served to drive him on. Michael let his eyes drift closed as he fought to keep from forcing himself deeper into her throat and mouth, holding on to her shoulders for dear life.

Suddenly, Michael did what he hadn't wanted to. He gripped her head and thrust rapidly and forcefully as he came down her convulsing throat. Shuddering, he pulled his limp dick from her mouth and sank to his jelly-filled knees. He whispered apologies and kissed her gently but she wouldn't have it. Her tongue filled his mouth, along with the taste of his own seed and her grunts as Zan continued to slam into her. Bracing himself, Michael reached down and threaded his fingers through her coarse curls, purposefully ignoring the feel of the other man's slick cock, to find that tight bundle he knew was aching for just the right…

"Holy shit!" Liz screamed as she rode out her orgasm on Zan's thrusts. The quivering and convulsing around his rock hard cock increased until finally his body could hold out no more, he came. Thrusting and pounding, gritting his teeth and digging his fingers into her hips, arching and straining, he came. Zan released her hips and reached down to rub at his sore thighs where she had slammed into him so many times. His flaccid member felt sore as it slipped from inside her warm pussy.

If he had had any brains cells left, Zan might have taken a moment to wonder what in the world had gotten into the splendor that still straddled his legs. Instead he sat up to claim her mouth for his, wincing only slightly at the salty taste of her mouth. Had to growl when she pulled away to kiss Michael but latched onto the skin of her throat. Large hands covered her breasts, kneading and squeezing. Liz finally found her voice. "God, I still need the two of you."

It was like a mad rush the way their hands shot down to her crotch, their fingers mixing her juices and Zan's seed inside her as they thrust into and stroked around her sex. Sapped cocks beginning to stir once more, the men stopped trying to ignore the other's presence and tried to work together to give her what she wanted. She yelped when her nipples were pinched and teased, cried sharply when her clit was stroked just right and moaned deeply when fingers thrust up inside her.

Suddenly, Michael found himself on his back and Liz climbing onto his stomach before sliding along his cock to sit on his legs. She gripped his sticky cock and stroked it gently, coaxing it into hardness. Behind her, she could hear Zan beating off as he watched them. She clenched her internal muscles and felt a fresh flow of moisture between her thighs. Lifting up, she scooted forward to guide Michael's thick cock into her waiting depth. Taking him all in, she stopped and leaned forward, resting her chest on his while she slid slowly up and down his cock. Michael's hips bucked up into her and she stopped moving to feel his plunging.

Liz looked over her shoulder at Zan. Her smoldering eyes had him ready and kneeling behind her in an instant. Gripping her hips, he rubbing his erection between her cheeks, letting his pre-cum slick her opening before inserting a finger. He alternated with Michael's rhythm, her gasps echoing through the room. He added a second thick finger and sped up his pushing in and out of her anus. He had already guessed what she wanted but he needed to hear her say it. Pushing into her with more force to emphasize what would happen, "Liz, you want me to do this?"

Her mouth opened wide in a gasp, her head nodding up and down. "Yes… god, yes. Please…" Michael paused his movement within her slick passage to allow Zan his chance to enter her from behind. Zan removed his fingers from her cleft and slowly eased his throbbing cock inside her. Liz felt like she was going to die, the sensations were too much.

Zan stayed still to keep from cumming immediately inside her tight channel. When the roar in his ears slowed, he moved slowly inside her and then sped up to keep up with Michael below her. Her cried came thick and throaty, urging the men on even more. Sweat poured off every inch of them, slicking their bodies as they rubbed and thrust and counter-thrust.

The burning and the friction and the sliding had her screaming her orgasm soon enough. Her muscles quivered violently as they continued to pound into her body. Suddenly, she was hyberaware of every inch of her body. The scrapes where Zan's piercings hit her back, how Michael's cock kept slipping out and he finally anchored his hand against her to keep it from coming out again, how Zan's hand slipped between her body and Michael's to get her going again, how her hair fell all over and which strands were stuck to Michael and which were stuck to her own body.

Then they were all cumming, orgasing around each other, with each other and ready to fall into oblivion. Panting and sticky, they slowly pulled away. Zan first to collapse on the far end of the mattress, Liz was next to fall between them and Michael couldn't even find the strength to move.

~

Zan felt back on his elbows, panting for breath, thrusting one last time into Liz's mouth as she swallowed him down. If he wasn't so tired, he might get hard again just looking at her nose so close to the base of his cock. He could still feel her throat working around his quickly deflating cock and just fell back on the mattress to sleep. Michael had had the right idea to pass out a few minutes before when she was through with him.

When she had milked the last of him, she pulled her mouth off and lay with her head on his stomach. He stroked her hair until he couldn't lift his arm or his eyelids again. Liz shut her eyes and her breath evened out… 20 minutes later she sat bolt upright, her muscles screaming from every inch of her sweat-dried body. Her thighs cried out when she shifted away from Zan's naked body. His. Naked. Body. Her head whipped around and her throat hurt, which made her realize the salty taste in her mouth. Michael's naked body lay at the other end of the mattress. Another shift brought to mind the intense soreness in her rear end.

Slowly, she grabbed the sheet and wrapped it around her body and very slowly made her way to the bathroom where she immediately lost anything that was in her stomach. Her mind reeled with images of the day. The afternoon light was pouring into the apartment, which meant there had been several hours that she was not completely aware of. The things that she, they, had done.

Shaking, she made her way into the shower stall and snapped on the water. The spray stung her hickey-ridden breasts, bruised hips and quivering thighs. Grabbing the loofah, she scrubbed at her sticky stomach, back and thighs. Shut her eyes against the sight of semen washing down the drain. Her head was about t explode.

Sex. It was just sex. It was just wild, unrestrained sex with two incredible men… at the same time. She had thought about it before but she never would have acted on it… consciously. Hair washed and skin raw, Liz emerged from the shower on sturdier, but not less painful, legs. As quietly as she could, she crept to the closet to pull some clothes on. She had to get out of the apartment before whatever it was took over her body again. With the two of them lying naked on the mattresses, it would be too easy to let it. She needed air and a very slow walk to wrap her mind around the deranged porno fodder that had taken place in that apartment.

The cold air bit at her skin and aided in putting some distance between herself and her actions, conscious or not. Two blocks from home, her hand started shaking. A block after that, it had grown mildly painful. A block from the place that used to be her home the pain grew and spread. Both arms shook and sent a shiver that prompted her legs to quiver. It was then she realized a van was following her. Mustering the last of her strength, Liz rushed down the street and into the Crashdown. Patrons stared as she rushed to the break room where she collapsed on the couch, shaking in pain.

The pain was so acute that she could barely make out her father's voice when he spoke to her. She could only say one thing before she blacked out. "No hospitals, no matter what."

~

Zan was just coming out of the bathroom when Michael came to. His sleepy eyes wandered the room and then he sat up, pulling a pillow over his lap. "Where's Liz?"

"Don't know. Swee' pea was gone before I got up." Zan grab a Coke from the fridge and looked toward the window. "It's getting dark out. She left a sheet in the bathroom. Hot water's good and shower's almost dry, so she's been gone awhile… it, uh… smelled like ralph in there."

"Do you know what that was all about?" Michael grabbed his jeans and yanked them on. "I wasn't complaining but… wow."

"Yeah. Didn't know she had it in her." Zan scratched at his stomach and took a long pull on the bottle. "She usually take off like that?"

"No. Not her. She likes to cuddle but… we've only ever been with each other…" Michael cleared his throat and reached for some clean clothes to take his turn in the shower.

"Yeah, I know. She told me." Zan nodded to his chest. "If she's not back soon… we'll go look for her."

"Yeah." Michael nodded stiffly and entered the bathroom. It was a lot for him to take it. He had just shared Liz with some friend that looked like his first best friend. He hadn't been able to stop himself when it was happening. Anything Liz wanted, she got.

~

Jeff mopped the sweat off his daughter's forehead and turned to his wife. She shifted from foot to foot. "We should take her to a hospital."

"She said not to."

"She was obviously delirious. We should call an ambulance." Nancy reached for the phone, frantic to know what was going on with her only child.

"Sweetie." Jeff took the phone from her. "She hasn't been home in months. She won't visit or call. It must have been really important if she came here to us. She's quite a ways from home, if she could have, I'm sure she would have gone herself but she said 'no hospitals, no matter what.'"

"She looks like she's in so much pain." Mrs. Parker put a hand to her mouth. Her daughter was shaking from head to toe, sweating profusely and whimpering in pain. Suddenly, Liz's body stiffened and she sat bolt upright, gasping for breath. "Lizzie?"

"Lizzie? Sweetie?" Mr. Parker was by her side, brushing her hair out of her face. She sagged against him, barely able to keep her eyes open. "Lizzie?"

"They're here." Liz whispered. "They're here. They're out to get us. They're making this happen. They know who I am, what I was to him and they want me to pay."

"What? What are you talking about?" Jeff looked to his wife but she just shook her head.

"They followed me, they know I’m here. They're doing this to me. I have to keep away from Zan and Michael or else they'll get to them too." Liz swallowed the lump in her throat. "They don't know what I know."

"What are you talking about? Sweetie?" Jeff turned his daughter's face up to look at her but she had passed out again. "Sweetie? Liz? What's going on?" He rocked her trembling body gently as he racked his brain for any explanation that would answer all the questions running through his head.

"I'm calling Michael." Nancy bit her lip and reached for the phone.

~

"'Lo." Zan picked up the phone. "Nah, he's in the shower… Yeah, tha's my name. How'd'ju know? … She there? … We's wonderin' where she was. Why didn't she call herself? … she's what? … Tell me, lady..." He slammed down the phone. "Mikey! We gotta roll!"

"Don’t call me Mikey." Michael muttered and pulled on his shirt as he made his way out of the bathroom. "What's the deal?"

"Liz. She's hurt or somethin'. Her moms was on the phone." Zan grabbed a sweatshirt and was out the door and jogging down the street with Michael on his heels. "Which way?" Zan let Michael take the lead and soon they were scaling a wall and climbing in Liz's bedroom window where her parents were keeping watch.

"What's going on?" Nancy demanded of them. "She's been babbling about someone knowing where she is. That someone is doing something to her and she mentioned you and, I guess, you."

Jeff kissed his daughter's forehead and looked to the two boys, one of which looked suspiciously like a dead man. "What's happening to her?"

"I don't know." Michael swallowed the lump in his throat at the sight of her limp body. "She was fine this morning."

"Are you sure?"

"Sure." Zan and Michael answered at the same time. Michael sat on the edge of the bed. "She left when we were both asleep. We didn't know she was gone until about an hour ago." He looked to Mr. Parker. "What exactly did she say?"

"That 'they' knew who she was. 'They' are out to get 'us.' 'They' followed her and knew she was here. 'They' don't know what she knows." Jeff pleaded that the boy in front of him had some answers. "She said 'they' were doing this to her."

"Nicholas." Zan licked his dry lips. "Let me try."

"Who? What?" Nancy felt the tears slipping down her face. "What is wrong with my little girl?"

"Let's go." Michael motioned for the Parkers to join him in the apartment to leave Zan alone with Liz. The door shut behind them, weak protests and conversations muffled by its sturdy wood.

Zan wiped his sweaty hands on his jeans and laid his hands on Liz. A hand under her neck and the other over her heart, a deep breath and a silent prayer. "Lizzie, swee' pea, you gon hafta come back to us. We neva really got our cuddle time, so you open your eyes for me." Bracing himself, he reached down to pinch her arm. It got her eyes fluttering. "That'sit. Open 'em. Let me in. Let me in."

Placing his hand square on her chest, he tried again but she couldn't keep her eyes open. He shook her a little to get her eyes back to fluttering. She pushed him away a bit and he took full advantage of the motion. It meant she knew where he was in relation to herself. He lifted her head so that his eyes would be the first thing she saw. "Lizzie."

"mmm…" she moaned and her eyes cracked open. Then Zan was in. He was in her mind and body, quickly trying to find the problem. Then it slammed into him, trying to infest him. The internal struggle went on for what seemed like hours. Liz's mind had been fighting it this whole time that it had debilitated her body. All he had to do was get it out without hurting Liz. Images and feelings flew past him and brushed seductively against his mind but he needed to get it away from her.

Finally, it gave up and just… receded from her mind, like the ocean at low tide. Just backed off. Zan carefully extricated himself from her mind to find Liz with her face buried beneath his shirt. Carefully, he pulled his shirt back from her face and looked into her face. "You okay?"

"Yes." She nodded, biting her lip and sitting up. "They were in my head… making me do those things and…"

"Sh." Zan pulled her into his arms and let her sob all over his sweatshirt. He had seen what they tried to do. They were looking for them through her and Zan would be damned if they used her like that. "Sh. S'okay. I ain't gon let 'em git ya."

"Zan… am I horrible?" Liz whispered. "I thought all those things that I did and they used it against me."

"S'okay." Zan lay back with her in his arms. "S'okay to think it, and hey, made my mornin'." Liz reached beside her and pinched his arm. She pulled her arm back and wrapped herself in her arms. Zan held her but she wasn't loosening up. He kinda understood. "Michael don't think you a slut if that what you thinkin'." She didn't answer him. "Me either." Silence. "Your folks probably pacin' a hole in the floor. Let's go let 'em know you s'okay."

"It was Nicholas." Liz whispered at last.

"I know. We'll get 'em." Zan promised her. She had still to relax against him but she wasn't pushing him away. "Get some sleep."

[center]End Episode XIII[/center]

posted on 21-Oct-2002 2:51:22 PM
[center]Aftermath of War Episode XIV[/center]

Michael stared at the worried couple across the table with his arms crossed. It had taken him forever to get them away from Liz's bedroom so Zan could do his thing. They, of course, wanted an explanation. Having only three people to worry about, it made the decision easier but he hated making it. Thought about what Liz would want. Thought that Zan probably didn't care. He hadn't put up much fuss when Liz had told the Evans, but then that had been after the fact.

"Michael." Jeff ran a hand through his hair. "Do you have any clue what she's talking about?"

"Yeah. I do." Michael spoke honestly. In the end it came down to one thing. He respected Jeff Parker too much to lie to him after all the man had done to keep him on his feet in the past few years. "I would tell you but the truth is… I shouldn't."

"Shouldn't?" Nancy wiped at her eyes with a Kleenex and waited impatiently to get on with it.

"That's right. I shouldn't tell you. The fact is, you knowing makes no impact on resolving the situation. You knowing would only put you in danger and make Liz worry about you more than she already does." Michael leaned forward on the table. "It's a choice you'd have to make really. Would you risk your lives to know what's going on?"

"Is Liz in some kind of trouble? What's wrong with her? And why is Max Evans' doppelganger in that room with my daughter?" Jeff felt the anger rise in his face. Michael was giving him the runaround and he wasn't having it. "I need to know what the hell is going on here."

"And before I can tell you one word, I need you to understand the severity of this situation. I don't know what's wrong with Liz, I don't know if we can fix it. What I do know is that you knowing what I do, will put you in harm's way. It's not something that Liz or I want for you but it's ultimately your decision. You can let us take Liz and pretend that nothing happened here and just be grateful she's alive or…" Michael took a quick breath and looked Mr. Parker in the eyes. "You can sit quietly and calmly and listen to the situation with the solemn promise never to speak of it again… to anyone."

"But she's dying. What if she needs help and I have to explain?" Jeff ran a hand over his eyes.

"You can't. Simple as that. When you know, you know. Nothing comes of it. It will put your lives in mortal danger to know the situation. Once you know, you can't ever speak of it, not even to each other. Like I said, you knowing the truth will have no impact on the help anyone can give her. Nothing you do or say to anyone will make any difference."

"And how do you know that?" Nancy burst in. "What if there's a doctor somewhere?"

"There's not!" Michael snapped. "I can't even begin to explain until I am confident that one or both of you will not run out of this apartment to tell the authorities anything. If you tell anyone at a hospital about Liz… she will be taken away and not even Zan or myself will be able to save her then. Do you understand?" He jumped to his feet. "No one can know. The people out there." He pointed to the window. "They know nothing and it makes their perfect little worlds livable. People in the government who know, would only dissect her to find nothing that would help anyone. Doctors wouldn't know what to look for. Our existence, the three of us, it relies on NO ONE KNOWING."

"Michael, calm down." Jeff swallowed nervously.

"Just keep this in mind before you go telling me to calm down. I lost my best friends just before graduation because of this. Six people I knew died because of this. I live every day of my life knowing that I should have died with them or instead of them. It was my job. I was to protect them. I loved them." Michael's tone dropped considerably. "Are you prepared to lose Liz in the same way? I can't guarantee it won't happen to her, too. I will die trying to stop it but you need to know it can happen and there won't be anything that any of you will be able to do to stop it."

"Tell me." Jeff demanded.

"The truth is, given the chance, I would have laid down my life to see Max Evans continue to walk the earth. That was my job. There are people in this universe who would have his head on a platter and for a few months they had their wish. Then they found out that Zan is alive. Zan is like Max's twin. His existence makes living a very dangerous thing on this planet." His throat started to close up. "For everyone who knows who he really is."

"So, who is he really?" Jeff swallowed nervously, wondering if he had made a mistake in wanting to know.

"He's a king. Honest to god royalty." Michael changed his tack suddenly. "King of a place that's been taken over by this… dictator. The people, they don't like him much and would much rather have had Max but Max is gone and it's Zan who's the runner up. Zan has to survive or else all is lost. We thought it was over but it's never over and we'll always be living in the aftermath if we don't put a stop to it."

"What does this have to do with Liz?"

"You're going to tell me that you honestly thought Max fell out of love with her? They were getting back together the day he died. She saved herself for him and he for her and it was taken away from them. They know about her, what she meant to him and what she means to me and Zan. If they take her, we'll come after her. That is why she moved out. They know about her and they'll use her against us… and now… they'll use you, too."

"Use us?" Nancy whispered softly.

"To get to Liz. I don't think they knew about Zan before but they know about him now. With Liz constantly around him, they'll assume that she's his." Michael felt the words pouring out of him without him having thought them up.

"Is this… like the mafia?" Nancy's eyes went wide.

"Kinda." Michael tried to wrap his mind around a way to explain it to them. "Max's dad, his grandfather." He amended, no need to bring up the cloning. "He died over 50 years ago. Max's dad took over and after he was killed, sent his kids here to be raised. Only, we didn't know anything about that until it was too late. Ever since Max's dad died, they've been looking for him. He's the King and unless they find him, they can't take over with the people's respect. We didn't even know Max had a twin until about two years ago. We thought Zan was dead. It meant that Max was absolutely the King. Then Max died, but the people that killed him knew he was in love with Liz."

"This is really out there, Michael." Jeff shook his head.

"It's true. Zan popped up just after the funerals to pay his respects and he didn't want any of it. It was going to be my job to look after Liz and take Max's place. With Zan alive and well, it's up to him. I'm only here because my father was their father's protector. It's a great honor and duty. I'm not backing down now that I've failed once already." Michael watched them carefully. "We aren't what they make us out to be. We didn't even know what we were for until we met Liz. Now, she's the bond that holds us together. If I can help it, we'll save her." He saw the frustration on their faces. "Just know that there's not a thing that you can do but that I will die before I allow her to."

--

Zan marveled at the beauty in his arms. She fit so well, like she was made to curl up next to him. He just couldn't resist pulling her closer and burying his nose in her hair. Even after whatever hell she had been in for the past day, she hadn't hesitated to allow him to put his arms around her. He had already filled Michael in on what Liz had said when the worried guy had wandered in earlier. Michael hadn't said much, just nodded and said that he had told the Parkers part of the truth. That made him think about how dangerous it was to the people who knew. Lost in his thoughts, he barely registered her hand on his ribs, she pulled herself closer into his body and sighed. "They're not stopping until you die."

"I know, Swee' Pea." He tightened his arms and it only made her relax more.

"They can't have you."

"They won't git me. Promise."

"Zan." She looked up at him. "They can't do this to me again."

"They won't." Zan shut his eyes and took in slow breaths.

Michael eased the door shut and then knocked before he opened it again. "You guys okay in here?"

Zan nodded and Michael shut the door again. He leaned on it and fought to keep his emotions under control. Zan had staked his claim and it was Michael's duty to step back and accept it. It was Liz that had reached for Zan. He had to respect that as well. The day had made him see how things were supposed to be. He was the Second. It was his duty to sacrifice for his king.

"How is she doing?" Jeff cleared his throat at the end of the hall.

"Resting." Michael answered without looking or opening his eyes. "She came to a while earlier. Zan's with her. She's fine now."

"Okay." The older man motioned cleared his throat again and waited for Michael to open his eyes before motioning down the hall. "Are you going to take her away?"

"I don't know yet but when we leave here, we're probably not coming back. It's best to not get you involved." Michael rubbed at his eyebrow. "I know you're going to be worried about Liz after we leave but we'll take care of her. She's… great and more help to us than most people think."

"How so?"

"She's got great intuition. She's loyal. She puts us before herself most of the time." He shrugged helplessly.

"You in love with my daughter, Michael?" The old blue eyes measured the pain etched on the young face and he didn't like what he saw.

"It doesn't matter. She wants Zan." The younger man brushed past the older one to descend the staircase into the restaurant. He just needed a little space to think.

--

Liz picked through her things and packed only what she would need. The rest would go to her parents' place for safekeeping. She had to travel light. They weren't running really, just providing a moving target. Her main priority was to keep busy and keep close to Zan. Michael wouldn't even look at her. Every time he refused to look at her, she felt dirty. As if remembering what she had done wasn't enough, he provided her daily proof that it wasn't all as fine as Zan promised it would be. She missed Michael. Zan still didn't know her as well as Michael did.

--

Zan stuffed an extra shirt and a pair of pants into his backpack. Two CDs and his packing was complete. He had watched Liz walk around in a daze for the past day and it tore at his chest. He knew she was thinking about what she had been puppeted into doing and he tried to comfort her but it wasn't his area of expertise and Michael had been surprisingly silent since leaving the Parkers. He wanted to knock the boy upside his head but he didn't want to cause any more problems in the ranks. Gripping his bag, he went out to wait for the van that Michael was procuring from his biker buddies.

Liz sat on the curb, wrapped up in a blanket. She welcomed Zan's body heat and comforting arm as they waited. Minutes flew by and by the time that Michael had arrived, they were ready to get off the cold cement and less ready to climb into the van with a busted heater. They immediately fixed Liz up for comfort in the back while Michael and Zan rode up front. Silence permeated the van as they took to the road. It wasn't until Liz's even breathing could be heard that Michael spoke up. "How long will they have this control over her?"

"Don't know." Zan shook his head and pulled out a cigarette. "Never had to deal wit this shit before." He took a moment to light it and take a long draw on it. "I'm just wantin' to keep our head 'bove water for now."

"No plan?"

"No just yet." A slow shake of the head. "She needs rest and you need to pull your head out your ass."

"What?" Michael's head whipped around.

"Head out for the pod chamber. Sounds good for now."

"What are you talking about? My head up my ass?"

"Yeah. Liz needs you and you ignorin' her. You make her feel like shit-twice run-over." He snorted. "I'm not the sentimental one here and I got stuck with clean-up, you know? I done what I can. She needs you now."

"For what?"

Zan looked at his second for a long moment. "What the fuck is your problem? Your girl needs you to tell her she ain't a slut and you won't even look at her."

"I don't think she's a slut." Michael turned his eyes to the road and kept them there. "She made her choice. I'm just respecting it."

"What fuckin' choice? You think she wanted to do that?"

"That's not what I'm talking about." Michael fumed. "She chose you and I'm stepping away. Congratulations. You won."

"Don't know what the fuck you talkin' bout. She ain't chose nothin'. I's there. You ain't."

"She chose."

"When the fuck did she make this announcement? I sure ain't heard it." Zan brought a hand to his aching head. "Yo, look. I never tried to move in on her. I only been with her twice, Mikey… ever."

"She chose. You win." Michael whispered, resigned to his place in second.

"You're a fuckin' idiot." Zan climbed out of the passenger seat and laid out next to Liz, she curled up to him in her sleep. Then he couldn't sleep. Thoughts ran rampant through his head. Nicholas's threats, Antar, Liz, Michael, protecting family, the meaning of family, the intent of war. They arrived at the pod chamber without him realizing it.

--

Zan stared at the inside of the pod chamber. It made him ache. His family had been dumped in a sewer and left for dead. Michael's family had been warm and cozy inside the cave. If he ever had any doubt, that was stripped when he realized who had been meant to rule. Gripping the pod that had belong to his dupe, he braced himself against it, wanting to rip it to shreds but knowing it would anger his companions. Sinking to the ground, he ignored Liz's soft question.

"Zan?" Liz called again. He charged up off the floor and shot out the entrance to the cave. Michael slid down along one wall and refused to look at her. It made her want to cry all over again. "Michael?"

"Hm?"

"Do you hate me?" She sank to the ground in a puddle of blankets.

"No."

"Then what is it?"

Michael looked at her for the first time in two days and realized she was on the breaking point. "Figured you needed space."

"I don't. I need to know that I can still count on you." The tears rolled down her cheeks.

"You know you can."

"But I don't. You don't talk to me, look at me or acknowledge my presence and it makes me feel like there's something wrong with me."

"There isn't. I know you want Zan. I can respect your choice."

"What choice? I haven't made any choice, Michael. This isn't even the time to be thinking about that. I need my best friend back. I need to know that we'll stand together and I can't know that if you don't speak to me." She held her head in her hands and couldn't help but start when Michael's arms wrapped around her. "I can't think about life without one of you and so I can't just choose."

"Sh." Michael shut his eyes. "Sh." He finally got Zan's anger in the van. "I'm here. I will be here, no matter what." She relaxed in his arms suddenly. Her breathing became even, as if sleeping but then he felt her stretch in his arms. "Zan! Get in here!"

Liz's body arched against Michael, her face nuzzling his chest. Her hands began sliding into sensitive areas. Michael tried to stop her but she kept finding places that made him want to lie back and take it like a man. When Zan ambled in, he froze at the sight. "You didn't call me in here for this, right?"

"It's not her." Michael gave him a meaningful look. "It's them."

"Right." Zan winced and watched her trying to convince Michael that he wanted to take her. "Ice bath?"

"How are they doing this? Why?" Michael grimaced slightly when she pinched his nipple through his shirt.

"What they git out of it?" Zan squatted and studied the two in front of him. "Otherwise occupied. But we could do this on our own." Zan crept forward and put his hand on her head and shut his eyes. Then he abruptly backed away, eyes wide. "She's transmittin'."

"What?"

"They got her rigged to transmit when she's like this." Zan turned it over in his head. "She gets us in the same room and occupied 'til she wears us out. Give 'em time to sneak up on us, pinpoint our locale." He rose to his feet and ran his hands through his hair. "They gon attack. Soon."

"Who?" Michael stopped trying to fight her off and let her molest him.

"Gotta be more than jus' Nicholas. He could come afta us hisself but he's gotta have back up if he's tryin' to use her to get a fix on us." Zan cradled his weary head.

"We'll have to fight." Michael shut his eyes. "We'll lose if he's got a lot of manpower."

"My shield only holds up for so long."

"A blast from me might take out as many as five people at a time… depending on how close they are. If only we knew what he was up to."

"He's bringing what's left of the Skins." Liz murmured against Michael's neck. "They're gathering outside of Roswell… on the other side."

"What?" Zan crept closer and turned her to face him but she just began molesting him instead. "Liz, how you do know his?"

She kissed her way up his jawline to his ear. "I don't know but he's getting ready. They've got 30 men already. Don't know how many they're waiting for."

Zan jumped when her hand slipped into his pants. "Swee' pea, concentrate." He ground his teeth to remain in control. "What do they want?"

"The Granilith."

"Where is it, Mikey?" Zan turned his attention to the other boy.

"In there." Michael jerked his head to the pod rack. "Behind those. We don't know what it does."

Liz murmured as she worked on pulling Zan's shirt out of the way. "It takes us home."

[center]End Episode XIV[/center]
posted on 24-Nov-2002 4:03:52 AM
yeah, yeah. I'm working on it. It'll be mindblowing.
posted on 24-Nov-2002 6:19:58 AM
Aftermath of War Episode XV

Liz woke wrapped so securely in a blanket that she couldn't move. She quickly began to panic. She couldn't see the room, just the wall. "Michael? Zan?"

"She's back." Michael whispered to Zan.

"Make sure before you let her go." Zan whispered back. He was busy examining the Granilith for some useful purpose.

Michael crept out to where they had left her and gently rolled her over. "How are you feeling?"

"Did you do this to me?"

"Yes, I did." Michael nodded. "You want out?" She nodded. "You promise not to molest either of us?"

"It happened again, didn't it?" Liz let her head drop to the floor as he released her from her confines.

"Yeah, but we were able to resist your temptations." Michael helped her to sit up and stretch her limbs. She groaned at his words and the blood rushing to the deprived parts of her. "Zan's trying to come up with a plan. Thing is, we all know the same things about that damn thing. Short of leaving the planet, there's pretty much nothing we can do but stay and face them."

"Why can't we just leave? Surely there's a rebellion up there. Someone who could help." Overwhelming helplessness had begun to take over.

"We can leave but you would have to stay and if you stay… they'll kill you." Michael shook his head and wrapped his arm around her. "We don't do that to you."

"I don't matter in this, Michael." Liz tried to push him away. "You and Zan need to leave."

"What happened to us not running? I thought that was your plan?"

"The plan isn't to get you two get slaughtered by the 30 plus evil aliens on this planet." She scrambled to her feet. "Why would I have to stay anyway?"

"You couldn't breathe up there, swee' pea." Zan spoke up from the entryway to the Granilith.

"How do you know that?"

Zan sat and cross his arms over his chest. "There're different kindsa aliens on our planet. The way Earth's got different colored people wit different cultures, it's like that on Antar… only our differences're more than skin deep. The protectors, they was shapeshifters. Nicholas, we calls 'em Skins because of them husks they wear to protect themselves from the environment here."

"Why can't I go?" Liz whispered.

"Nicholas can't breathe here without his husk and without a space suit, you can't breathe on Antar." Michael told her.

"The Royal family couldn't breathe here either, hence the mixin' wit humans." Zan shrugged. "Me and Mikey would probably survive… you wouldn't." He shut his eyes and ran through everything.

"But the Granilith is more than a way home." Liz protested. "Max used it to come back through time. If it can do that, what else can it do?"

"It did what?" Zan's eyes snapped open.

--

Zan took a breath and touched the keyhole that activated the Granilith. A vision swept through his mind.

[Zan stumbled into the Granilith chamber; weeks of hair growth on his face, hair matted to his head, clothes singed and tear tracks down his dirty face. He kicked the wall before sinking to the ground and looking out into the pod chamber where he could see the bodies of Max and Liz. Four months of working together had gotten them nothing but a few minutes to make a plan based on something that happened in another world.

He pulled the crystal out of his pocket and inserted it. "Ava, here I come.">


"It's no fucking use." Zan bit out and dropped his hand.

"What is it?" Liz whispered.

"This thing. It only makes things worse." Zan pulled her to him. "You died before."

"What?"

"You all died. I was the only one left. I went back and I went to Ava, to warn you guys." Zan squeezed her tightly until she wrapped her arms around him to give him comfort.

Michael kicked the wall. "What use is this thing? Max uses it and we keep Tess but everyone dies. Zan uses it to warn us about the massacre and it still happens." Silence held for such a long time, Michael had to sit and think. An idea struck him. "I'll go back. They gathered before they struck. I'll strike first. I'll kill them and the massacre won't happen."

"Michael, how do we activate the Granilith?" Liz asked softly. "That's a key hole but where's the key?"

"Mikey." Zan cleared his throat. "We, me, Max and Liz, we spent four months workin' together. We barely thought of this and time is runnin' out."

Liz released Zan and turned over ideas in her head. "Max came to me to warn me about Tess leaving. In that world, she led the army that destroyed Earth."

"In the vision, I go back to warn Ava to get to you guys before Rath and Lannie do. I think it was just us." Zan shook his head.

"When Rath and Lannie came to Roswell, they said they needed Max for the Summit. Would they have needed him for the Granilith too?" Liz asked Zan, who shrugged. "You're the only one that can use it"

"What?" Michael crossed his arms, this was sounding worse and worse.

"They cornered us here. They knew we would run to the Granilith if we had it." Liz got to her feet and began pacing. "They know about you. They need you to turn it on."

"With what key?"

"They must have one."

--

Zan kicked the wall that he lay perpendicular to. Nothing. They had nothing. Liz sat between Michael's legs, he was leaning against the wall next to Zan. They had just about given up hope. They were cornered. The time-travel thing would only work if they had a key to work with. The details of what key and how it worked were still a mystery but it was all they had to cling to.

"Liz." Zan whispered.

"What?"

"I'm thinkin' out loud. You the common denominata so far." He shook his head. "Did your futcha Max say if you were alive?"

"He didn't say I was dead."

"Interestin'." He kicked the wall again. "Let's say you were alive in that future. He left you behind to warn you."

"Yeah, I guess. Michael had died just hours before, Isabel a few weeks before that. Everyone else probably long before that." She whispered and reached out to take his hand. "Why?"

"You had just died before futcha me went back to find Ava. Just you and Max. Everyone else was dead. Got the impression that maybe we was all protectin' you." Zan shrugged. "There a reason they would want you."

"Dead maybe." Liz snorted. "I was Max's. I was his wife the first time. We were 29 or something."

"We were 19 this last time. Odds ain't gettin' much better each time but I think we lived longer this time." Zan banged his head against the dirt floor and squeezed her hair. "You doin' okay, swee' pea? You feelin' okay?"

"Yeah. They weren't in any hurry the last time, I don't think." She shrugged.

Michael cleared his throat. "Maybe we should leave. If we do get cornered, this isn't the place we should be."

"Maybe." Zan nodded. "Liz was alive the first time, dead the second, alive now. Max came the first, me the second, unknown now. Michael dead both times, alive now. Max, Liz and Michael were all the last three the first time, me, Max and Liz the second time, and the three of us this last time." He ran his hands through his hair. "Liz three, Max two, Michael two, me two."

"What the hell are you doing?" Michael nudged him.

"Lookin' for a pattern. It might give us some clue what to do or not to do." Zan shut his eyes and thought. "Michael dies, Max and Liz live. Max leaves Liz to die and find young Liz to warn. Max and Liz die, I live. I leave to find Ava to warn. Odds get worse and worse." Clue. "I have to be the one to go."

"You can't warn yourself." Liz advised.

"Okay. So I can't warn myself but who would I warn. Ya'll think I'm dead, right?"

"Yeah." Michael nodded.

"Max might believe me."

"No." Michael and Liz shook their heads at him. They laughed at their synchronicity and their knowledge of the guy. Michael shook his head again. "Max was paranoid."

"You'd have to know something intimate." Liz nodded finally. "Assuming we can do this. You go. You find Max and tell him something that only he would know at that point. We'd have to choose a point to warn him in. You warned Ava too late the last time. You panicked. Max warned me in time but he knew what point it all came together or fell apart. He had 12 years on us. We've only got months."

"Shouldn't we be sure that it can be done before we plan this out?" Michael pointed out.

"Who is Serena? I don't know a Serena and she's the one that figures this out." Liz sat up. "We meet her later."

"We don’t have later." Michael ground out. "You two talk like we have time. Nicholas and his minions are converging. They're using you to get a fix on us. We don't have time to play what if."

"It's all we have, Michael." Liz turned to face him. "We might not survive this and we need a back up plan." Urging Zan to sit up. "Our job right this second is to make sure we can get a key and to keep Zan alive to go back. Both of us have to make sure he can get back here and go back and change this. They can't win, Michael." Holding both of their hands, she pressed them together between hers. "We have to go over everything. It's like Max told me the first time. It has to be surgical, precise, with no room for error."

--

With the van securely hidden, the three of them sat in a dive near Las Cruces. Liz sat between the two of them in their corner booth. On a napkin she had dates and events. When Max had become aware of shapeshifters, when Michael had been forced from his foster home, Tess's arrival, the sighting, the discovery of the Granilith, her own relationship stuff with him.

"Where would you meet this Serena chick?" Michael muttered.

"Don't know. From what I imagine, she was probably an astro-physicist or quantum physics. I have no clue if she was our age or older, or younger." Liz threw down her pen. "Hell, maybe I should have gone to college, maybe I would have met her. Serena, damn, that name should mean something. Science."

"Serena Olivas?" The waitress asked as she set down their meal. "You talking about our town's very own genius."

"Excuse me?" Liz shushed Zan and Michael. "Genius?"

"You were talking about Serena Olivas, right?"

"She's a scientist?" Liz pressed.

"Going to be soon." The waitress glanced back toward her boss and held up her order pad. "That girl can't be more than 16 but she's triple-majoring or something. Getting her first degree next spring. Our desert home's claim to fame."

"She goes to school here. I mean, I could find her and talk to her?" Liz needed to finish the conversation soon. She wasn't feeling too well.

"Probably. She was supposed to graduate with my little sister or something but there was some freak accident and all of a sudden six years ago, she's a genius." The waitress shoved her order pad in her pocket. "Her mom's some protective type so she had to stay here instead of going off to one of those real expensive east coast schools. That help?"

"Sure did." Liz nodded. "Thank you. You're getting a big tip."

"Thanks. No prob." The waitress nodded and wandered off.

Zan rubbed his chin. "You think this Olivas is the Serena we need?"

"I think so." Liz bit at her lip as she thought. "If Max and I got married at 19, then we weren't too far from home. Halfway from Vegas would be Phoenix. Las Cruces makes sense. We were close to home but far enough away to be away."

"Eat. Then we go." Zan nodded.

"Actually, we should get this to go. I need to go lay down." Liz swayed where she sat. "He might be trying to check up on us."

"Aight. Mikey, get the check and the food. I'll take care of her." Zan pulled Liz out of the booth. "Close your eyes, swee pea."

"Zan, it's hurting." Liz clung to him, needing him to keep her on her feet.

"Hurtin'?"

"Being… aroused and not…" Licked her lips and reached for the hem of his shirt.

"Just a few more feet." Zan slid the door open and urged her inside, making sure her eyes were closed before he shut the door.

--

Michael balanced the boxes as he stepped over rocks and sticks on the way to the van behind the restaurant. He stopped dead when he saw the movement of the vehicle, heard the slight creaking of the shocks.

--

Zan felt the tension on the ride to the NMSU campus. Liz slept the whole ride and seemed to be just coming to. Groaning, she made her way to the front of the van. "We there yet?"

"Yeah, looking for visitor's parking." Zan pulled into a parking lot. "Where do you need to be to find this Serena girl?"

"The Union probably." She rubbed at her face. "Drop me off here. I'll find someone to help me. Stay in this area. I'll be back."

"You shouldn't go alone." Michael cleared his throat.

"I can handle myself. Besides, if she's the quiet type… you big men folk will scare her off." Liz straightened her clothes and climbed out of the van. "Stay in this parking lot."

Michael watched her go and the second she was out of earshot, he turned on his companion. "You have fun? You get your rocks off?"

"It wudn't like that." Zan sagged in his seat.

"It wasn't like that? She's not in control of herself and you go ahead and take advantage of her?"

Zan turned his head to face his angry friend. "It was not like that."

"Then what the hell was it like?"

"She was hurting and we have to keep up this image that we're being distracted by her when she's like that." Zan crossed his arms. "Don't get all high and mighty on me. If it was you, you'd've done it too."

--

Serena opened her door with a book in hand. When she looked up, the face wasn't familiar. "Do I know you?"

"Serena Olivas?" The short girl nodded. "I'm Liz Parker… I was wondering if I could ask you some questions."

"Um, okay. Do I have you for one of my classes?" Serena stood back to let the girl in.

"No but… I heard you're triple majoring and the first degree is near completion. I have a quantum physics question."

"I love that stuff. It is so cool. When I turn 18 I'm going to transfer to MIT." Serena opened another book from her bed. "This is one of my favorites."

"I was actually going to ask you about the theories surrounding data crystals and time travel."

"Huh?"

--

"Even if it were possible…" Serena ran her hands through her hair. "Okay. They are experimenting with like… data crystals and stuff."

"Why crystals?" Liz pressed.

"Well, in theory you could hold information inside because of the um, dimensions and the surfaces and reflections. If say you could transmit through a flawless crystal, you could store in a slightly flawed one. They have the potential to hold more information than any zip disc you could ever find." The young Hispanic squeezed her head. "Time travel is just a theory. It could be possible but the ramifications are endless."

"I know… but what would you need? A machine powerful enough to carry out instructions… right? Details… point of origin…. Um, point of destination. Time, date, place."

"Well, yeah, if you were actually going to do it… you'd need a… chamber of some sort… very Quantum Leap like. Exact dimensions of space and solid to be transferred, um… the coordinates of destination. It has to be precise or else you could end up with your body in a shelf… like in the X-Files."

"Okay…" Liz turned the information over in her head. She had all the information she needed… kind of. "What if… I mean, how could I find a crystal to code the information into?"

"You couldn't. I meant it when I said they were just experimenting with this stuff. I couldn't even begin to conceive of the computer you'd need for that. There would have to be lasers and mirrors with data streams and some surfaces would have to be blocked and flawed to keep the data inside." Serena stopped. "Actually, I can conceive it. A CD-burner and a cup to hold the crystal."

"What kind of crystal would you need?"

"Diamond would be preferable. They use them in lasers all the time but the facets tend to be too perfect. I think one good facet on the entire crystal will be good." Serena sat up suddenly. "You have a machine don't you? It's been built? Who do you work for? Can I see it? What language are you using to program it?"

--

Zan pushed off the van when he saw Liz coming with a young girl. "Why'd you bring her?"

"She insisted and she can help." Liz nodded to him. "Serena Olivas, these are my associates… Zan and Michael Guerin. Come on guys, we have an appointment to make and a destination to choose."

End Episode XV
posted on 6-Feb-2003 12:47:03 PM
[center]Aftermath of War Episode XVI[/center]

"You guys sure don't look like scientists." Serena commented as she shifted on her pillow. She wrinkled her nose at the ripe smell inside the van. "You know. I could get in so much trouble leaving with you guys. My mom would throw a fit."

"We are not actually scientists." Liz winced slightly. "They're aliens."

"Right. Onkay." Selena laughed. "Whatever you say." Then no one said anything and they were already headed out of the city. "You are joking, right? I mean the chances of a binary star system with over ten planets is phenomenal but for one of those planets to have the right conditions to sustain life and for those life forms to evolve to the point of civilizations is astronomical. Not to mention the civilization would have to evolve past us and perfect star travel."

"What can I say? You aren't alone." Michael shrugged.

"So, there are aliens and a time machine?"

"S'not a time machine, Smarts. It's a one-way ticket to our planet and you're the only person that can turn it into a time machine so that people don't die." Zan called back from the driver's seat.

"Me?" A nervous chuckle crept into her voice. "Why me?"

"It's like this. We first knew that it could do it when my boyfriend's future self came back from the future…"

--

Liz kept her eyes shut and her face against the cool metal of the van. After listening to the tale, Serena had found a pencil and some paper and began theorizing. They were minutes away from the chamber and the quiet was getting to them. Serena suddenly sat up. "Okay, what language would this Granilith use? To program, I mean."

"Language?" Michael turned to look at her.

"English, Antarian first off but like in English I would use computer code."

"So?"

"It's probably a little detail but since it is an Antarian machine, we'd need to use some type of coding language. Math is obviously the universal language but the symbols would probably be Antarian."

Zan slowed the van as they approached. "None of us knows Antarian. We've all been Terranized."

"Onkay." Selena nodded to herself. "This is gonna be hard to do but I'll try."

Michael climbed out of the van and opened the door for the girls. He stopped Serena. "We think there's a crystal that will activate the Granilith for travel. If we could get a hold of that…"

"It would really help."

They climbed up to the chamber and Serena watched in amazement as a silver handprint appeared and the rock wall slid aside for their entry. Her eyes took in the empty, dried up pods and bits of recovered ship. Behind the pods stood the entryway to the huge shining Granilith. Her hands reached out to feel the slick unearthy metals and then the greenish glowing center. Liz stepped inside and pulled Serena to the keyhole they had found. "This is the shape we need."

"Wow."

"Serena, this is very important to us. Beyond us, we don't know what else they would destroy. We know in that one reality, they took it all just to get to us. We really need you to do this." Liz rubbed the girl's shoulder.

"I will if I can." Serena sighed and let the figures run through her head, not noticing Liz leaning in. The girl had just registered the lips on her neck seconds before Liz was pulled away and out of the chamber.

"Sorry." Michael winced. "It's not you. It's not her. It's something else."

"Onkay." Selena let out a nervous chuckle and returned her attention to the structure in front of her. "These people are really strange."

Michael led Liz out to the main chamber and sat her down. "Stay. We'll be with you in a minute and please don't try to molest the teenager again." The wheels turning in his head, he pulled Zan aside. "Take care of her, I'm going for the crystal."

"No." Zan shook his head. "We ain't splittin' up."

"Look." Michael lowered his voice. "These… spells are getting closer. If you're with her. They'll assume I am too. I'll get the crystal from them and come here when it's safe." Michael stopped and took a breath. "I'm doing this for Liz. She's hurting and she was about to kiss Serena. Just take care of her and make sure she thinks I'm still here."

Zan relented and nodded Michael out of the cave. After a moment, he strode over to the Granilith chamber and tapped on the inner wall. "Hey Serena."

"Huh?" She scribbled things down as she thought of them.

"Um, it'd be a good idea if you stayed in here and didn't come out for a good long while." Zan cleared his throat and she didn't even look up. She just waved him off and went back to her scribblings. Zan found Liz writhing against the wall Michael had sat her against. As soon as he had knelt in front of her, she was climbing onto his lap and slipping her hands beneath his shirt. "We're going to have to make this quick and without interruption, Swee' pea."

"Just be inside me." Liz whispered in his ear before biting his earlobe. "Need you inside… Now." Her fingers flicked against his nipples, flipping his piercings one way and then another. Liz wanted to scream inside. She couldn't control her body and her mouth was begging him. She could feel that he didn't want to but he knew she hurt and he only wanted to help. She tried to reach out to him but something was blocking her way.

Zan tried to be gentle like the last time but she wouldn't have it. Just like the last time, she set the pace, knocking him onto his back. Her hips ground against his before she braced her hands on his thighs and rocked her way into a fast pace. His body could only take so much and she was beginning to really wear on him.

Liz wanted to shut her eyes at the grimaces on his face and kept trying to reach out to him. When the orgasm swept over her body and his seed filled her, she felt a break and rushed through. Zan convulsed with the dual onslaught of orgasm and mental invasion. There was definitely the feeling of being pulled back and forth between Liz and something beyond Liz. All he could do was ride it all out until it was Liz and just Liz sitting on his lap, tears in her eyes. Sitting up, he wiped the tears from her face and began righting their clothes before he held her in his arms. There was something he was missing in it all. Something pivotal.

--

"Impulses." Serena whispered. "That might take too long but it's energy impulse related." Her fingers trailed over the green surface of the cone.

Zan slipped into the chamber and slid down a wall to sit and watch her. She was busy flipping the few papers she had back and forth, scribbling here and there. "Learn anything?"

"Some." Serena pulled a black sheet of paper from her small stack. "I need a date, time and place to send you. For later."

"We don't know yet."

"But…" Serena sighed and set her things down. "I need this information. You said the first time he went back something like 12 years then maybe a year then maybe just days. Is there a limit?"

"We don't know." Zan shut his eyes against the sting. "All I know is that I have to be the one to go back and that Liz has almost always made it to the moment where me or Max goes back. She's key to this. Nicholas and his men are closing in and Liz is hurting because of it."

"They're using her?"

"She's a receiver. She gets visions from aliens and they've flipped her switch so they can find her and us."

"Why?"

"Huh?"

"What's the plan? There was something to do with another girl right?" Serena struggled to put the pieces into place but there were too many missing.

"Tess… I think Michael said that Nasedo or whatever kept pushing the physical on them."

"Max is the king. Tess is the queen. You want them to have sex, why? You have to see your line live on. Insurance. It's been done since the hierarchies began." Her voice was so soft, Zan almost couldn't hear her. "So, you recreate a leader and his bride. You get them to reproduce and bring them home with a set line of succession. But the king and bride are dead now. King's chickadee and his clone are alive. It's damn close. If the enemies get a hold of an heir… they control the house."

"They're trying to get her pregnant." Zan slammed his fist into the wall and he was rocked with vision. Backwards. His hand lowered from the green cone. He pulled the crystal out and rose and exited. He hovered over the bodies of Max and Liz. He knelt and their bodies breathed. Liz pleaded with him. Max whispered nonsense. They rose into Zan's arms and he stood, backing out of the cave and into chaos.

"Zan?" Serena snapped her fingers and her companion snapped out of it. "Who pregnant?"

"You said whoever controls the heir controls the house, right?"

"Essentially… at least in old world customs."

"They killed her last time. Things were different. They had almost made it. She was pregnant and Max was going to take her home with him… but they died. It's bullshit. She can live on Antar if she's got a baby to smooth the transition." Zan ran his hands over his face. "I was wrong."

"So what are we going to do?"

"Things are different if they want her pregnant. They have the upper hand." Zan muttered. "We'll still have to go back… but to who and when?"

"Not to yourself… you'll unmake us all." Liz whispered from the entryway.

"Right." Serena agreed.

"I'm the one going. No one knows about me until after Liz gets visited from the future." Zan thought and thought. "But you guys find out right after… within weeks… and that's after you piss off Nicholas. I…"

"That's it!" Serena slapped her forehead. "I don't have to reprogram anything. It's a trip. It's just traveling. With a machine this sophisticated, the rider would have to know where he's going… and that's basically it. The crystal will have to be blank... I think. I really need to see the crystal."

"I've got it." Liz spoke up. "Max came to me and then Whittaker's buddies find out she's dead. We go and almost get killed." She slid away from the chamber as she thought. "So there is only one night to plan the attack. He vanished one night and two days later we're going to Nicholas."

"But who do I find?"

"Not me because I'm going to be pissed. Not Maria because she doesn't know until a while later. Not Alex because he won't believe you and try to get Max to look like you or something. Kyle would freak. Max is paranoid and would be heartbroken… but if you told him what he saw and what he really saw, he might. Michael's not going to care and kill you on sight and Isabel… It's either Max or Tess."

"But Tess wanted you out of the picture." Serena pointed out.

"But I know she has the potential to change. She did, once." Liz sighed and then glanced around. "Where's Michael?"

--

Michael crept around the warehouse and peered into the windows. It was the eighth one he had checked out and proving to be as fruitless as the others. There were only a couple other places he could check. Only thing that mattered was saving Zan and Liz. If he could do that, he could consider his life well-lived. Hoofing it over a couple of blocks, he hit paydirt. He could see them guarding the warehouse but pretending they weren't doing anything but loitering with a stereo.

[center]"(Let's go)

The day has come to an end
The sun is over my head
My polyamorous friend
Got me in a mess of trouble again

So ..."
[/center]

Thinking back to his lessons with Zan, Michael levitated a small stone into the air and concentrated. Then it shot across the lot to the lower left hip of the nearest Skin. He was rewarded with the sudden… 'poofing' of the Skin and sudden alarm of his buddies.

[center]"Just when you think that you're alright
I'm calling out from the inside
I never heard anyone
I never listen at all"
[/center]

The Skins looked around and started to spread out and investigate and that's exactly what Michael needed. Hidden behind a dumpster, he waited until two came his way. Levitating two more stones, he waited until they were within range. One, then two.

[center]"They've come to get me again
The cloud is over my head
My polyamorus friend
Got me in a mess of trouble again

So ... "
[/center]

When no thundering steps could be heard, Michael made his way to the building. Hiding in the shadows of the falling night and ducking behind abandoned cars. He made his way to a window and peered in. The little runt was in there with a mess of Skins. 15 inside. 20 minus three outside. Not good odds. 33 total. There was no way he'd survive a battle with Nicholas and the alien wouldn't hesitate to remind him of that if caught.

Focusing his energies on a car on the other side, he let loose a burst that lifted the car off the ground and sent it ten feet backward in flames. As hoped, the Skins rushed outside to find out what happened… all but five or so. Michael started looking for a way in. In the back of his mind, he knew Max would berate him for going in without a plan but Michael had confidence that whatever warrior instincts were inside him knew what they were doing. Creeping into a loose panel, he emerged behind his targets.

[center]"Just when you think that you're alright
I'm calling out from the inside
I never heard anyone
I never listen at all"
[/center]

Four went down before Nicholas slowly turned. The kid's smile was malicious. Michael prayed he never saw a human kid with a smile like that. The runt shook his head with a laugh, pointing that finger at his adversary. "And I thought you and human were having a little fun."

"That's not funny. You're hurting her." Michael growled.

"You think you can take us all on?" Nicholas barked out a laugh. "I could crush you myself but there's 40 of us."

"I already got seven." Michael began to panic. "Where are the other three?"

"Doesn't matter." Nicholas shook his head. "I think it's interesting that a human has so much control over her own mind."

"Why are you using her?"

"I can. She's going to get me back into Kivar's good graces. Maybe it is a good thing that you've left her with Zan. It'll make it much easier to ensure the kid is royal." Michael lifted his hand before he'd make a conscious thought about it. Nicholas started laughing and deflected everything that Michael threw his way. It did however make the short alien step back and away from the table he'd been leaning on.

[center]"Just stay away from the white light
I'll tell ya what side's your best side
I never heard anyone
I never listen at all"
[/center]

Michael could feel himself weakening from pushing blasts on Nicholas and throw Skins against the walls hard enough to break the seal on their husks. Then he saw the crystal on the table. All he had to do was get to it.

[center]"Well, how do you know?
Well, how do you know?
Well, how do you know?
Well, how do you know?"
[/center]

Forcing himself forward with more blasts, Michael reached the table and Nicholas saw too late that was what Michael was after all along. One more strong blast to Nicholas and the crystal was in his hand. Pushing over a tall stack of crates, Michael raced for his hidden exit behind them. He ducked blasts and raced into the streets, running as fast as his weakened form would allow. From out of nowhere, a police cruiser spun into his path. Prepared to make a break for it, Michael turned but a voice caught his attention.

"Michael! Down!" Sheriff Valenti loaded his weapon and fired at the Skins chasing the kid. "I remember this part." The bullets did nothing to slow them down but it gave Michael time to get into the cruiser. As soon as Michael was safely inside, Valenti climbed into the cruiser and sped off. Only to have a car bearing down on them as soon as they turned the corner. Michael rolled down the window and fired blasts at the hood of the car.

[center]"Just when you think that you're alright
I'm calling out from the inside
I never heard anyone
I never listen at all"
[/center]

People scattered as the chase entered populated areas. Michael slid back into the cruiser and pulled the crystal out of his pocket. He looked at it a good long while before passing it off to Valenti. The older man just stared at it. "What's this?"

"It's important. Just get it to the pod chamber. Zan and Liz are there. I'll get there as soon as I can." Michael prepared himself to jump out of the car.

"Michael. What the hell is going on?"

"It's the end of life as we know it." Michael shrugged with a harsh laugh. "Just lose them before you go out there. They can't know where the chamber is. They need time to figure things out. I'll be there as soon as I'm able… just make sure no one gets out there." Michael leapt from the vehicle and the car bore down on him.

[center]"Just stay away from the white light
I'll tell ya what side's your best side
I never heard anyone
I never listen at all

(Let's go)"
[/center]

It struck him and he was flying through the air. He landed on the hood with a thump then bounced to roll over the top of the car and smash into the ground on the other side. Tasting blood in his mouth, he struggled to his feet clutching a broken arm to his body. He could hear the footsteps but he kept moving forward and away from the car that had stopped. The occupants climbed out and followed him. Nicholas gave him a little mental push and he fell to the ground. "Now, let's play nice War Commander Rath. We're going to have a little fun."

[center]End Episode XVI[/center]
posted on 13-Feb-2003 2:11:27 PM
I can't describe the way I felt when I read Jen's farewell. It didn't seem possible but here I figured if the mods and such were able to put up with all the conflict that made my head hurt, then I could too.
No pretty words from me. When the Captain and builder of a ship won't stay aboard, it's time for even the rats to go. Consider me a rat, I'm... I'm not comfortable posting here, haven't for quite a while now. Guess I've found my excuse to go.
I've enjoyed the board since I found it way back when three or four episodes into the series. I've tried to follow it even through my own personal trauma. I've grown tired... not of writing (people who know me best will know that I would write if no one but a sand crab and I would read it). I don't like people and I'm tired of dealing with people. If you want to continue reading, you know where to find me. Least there I don't get ranted at for following through with a story line.

Huh. A weight was just lifted. Funny that.

DMartinez