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PostPosted: Sun Sep 25, 2005 1:10 pm 
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Dorkus Maximus and Super Wuss
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Part 40

Michael tried to cast his line into the water but it fouled and snagged a nearby bush. He cursed under his breath and tried to detangle the line for what seems like the thousandth time.

“Need some help there?” a friendly voice asked.

Michael squinted into the sun, trying to identify the voice. Holding his hand up to shade his eyes he answered, “No thanks, I think I’m all set,” as the man moved closer.

“You staying here at one of the cabins?” asked the stranger.

“Yeah,” said Michael cautiously.

“I’m looking for some friends of mine. The six of us are supposed to be having a party out here today. Have you seen anybody around here setting up for a party?”

Alarm bells started ringing in Michael’s head. This guy didn’t look like any of the other guys that had been following them, but still, you couldn’t be too cautious.

“No, I’m sorry, I can’t help you,” he said as he heard the cabin door slam. Michael turned to see Kyle walking down the path to the lake. He struggled to contain his laughter as Kyle drew closer, wearing a pin short-sleeved golf shirt, with a yellow scarf knotted around his neck.

“Whoo hooo, Harry!” Kyle yelled, fluttering his hand delicately. “Harry, you didn’t start without me, did you?”

He walked over to Michael and placed a possessive hand on his forearm.

“I’m so sorry Harry, I over slept. I guess last night really wore me out,” he said in a suggestive voice. He turned and looks at the unidentified man, and then turned back to Michael. “Who’s your friend Harry,” he added, suggestively. “He’s kind of cute.”

The stranger began to back away nervously. “I guess I’m in the wrong place. I’ll just leave you two alone.”

“Toodles,” said Kyle. “Harry, you forgot to wear a hat. You don’t want the sun beating down on those beautiful blond curls of yours, do you?”

Michael watched as the stranger rushed up the path and climbed into a nondescript black sedan and drove away.

“I don’t know if I should punch you or hug you,” he said to Kyle.

“If you kiss me, I’ll kill you. I can do that now you know,” Kyle replied. “That was one of the guys from the CrashDown. Liz spotted him when he pulled up. We knew you had no idea who he was, and figured a heads up wouldn’t hurt.”

“Thanks, but what the hell is all this?” he asked gesturing to Kyle’s clothing.

“You can thank Isabelle for this. It was her idea to send me out here like this. She figured if that guy thought we were together, it would totally throw him off.”

“Well, it worked, and it freaked me out too. God, will you take that stupid scarf off. I’m going to have nightmares for a month,” he muttered stalking back towards the cabin.

Kyle removes the, oh so stylish pink shirt and balled it up in his hands. He twisted it a few times and when he unfolded it, it was restored to its original navy blue. Out in the middle of the lake, he spied a boat, with three men in it. The boat made its way to the shore and Philip Evans shouted out “Hey, having any luck today?”

“Nah today’s just not a good day for fishing. I’m thinking of heading into town for a pizza or something,” Kyle shouted.

Jim pushed his hat back on his head. “There’s a pizza place called The Flying Pepperoni that isn’t too far from here. My lady friend and I go there a lot.”

Kyle nodded to show his understanding. “Maybe I’ll see if my stepsister wants to join me. She loves pizza too. But I bet the rest of our friends will probably go for a burger or something.”

Michael came back down the path and joined Kyle on the lakeshore.

“It’s ok, the coast is clear. Look, Kyle, why don’t you and your Dad take the boat back and head back into town? We’ll bring Maria and Isabelle with us. We can meet at the Road Kill Café. Maria is dying for some French fries. Is that ok with you,” he paused for a second and that added, “Dad?”

“That sounds really ok with me,” said Philip, climbing out of the boat. “Are Max and Isabelle and Liz inside too?”

“Max and Liz took the car and went to town already, Maria and Isabelle are inside. Damn,” he swore, “We’re going to have to use the camper to get back into town. “We’ll stick out like a sore thumb.”

“Don’t worry,” said Philip. “There is a bunch of people in town for a UFO convention. There are campers all over the place.”

“Cool,” said Michael as they watched Kyle and Jim motor back across the lake. “Hey, where’s Liz’s dad? I though the was coming today too.”

“Jose called in sick today, he didn’t have anybody to man the grill, and so he had to bow out. He was really upset because he wanted to see Liz again.”

“Well, then he’s in luck. Liz and Max are on their way to the Crash Down. Liz needs her microscope and some other science geek stuff she has. I’ll explain it all inside,” Michael explained. He started to walk back up the path, but Philip put a retraining hand on his shoulder.

“Michael, Diane and I want you to know how pleased we are that you signed that paperwork, but even if you hadn’t, we would still have considered you our son. We should have done this so long ago. We were wrong not to try and step in and help you before.”

“Hey, don’t worry about it,” Michael said with false bravado. “Living with Hank wasn’t that bad, and anyhow, I was at your place more than I was at Hank’s.” He ducked his head to try and hide the tears that had begun to well up. “Look, we need to head back up there before Isabelle and Maria go crazy. When we get up there, climb right into the back of the camper, and I’ll get Isabelle and Maria out as quick as humanly possible.”

Philip put his arms around Michael and hugged him tightly. Michael automatically stiffened and started to pull away, but after a moment, relaxed and allows himself to hug Philip back.

“Welcome to the family son.”

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It all started with a boy, a girl, and a silver handprint.


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PostPosted: Sun Sep 25, 2005 1:11 pm 
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Part 41

Liz and Max walked down the crowded streets of Roswell. A sign on the UFO center caught Max’s eye.

“I guess Brody must be hosting another UFO convention,” he sai to Liz.

“Well, that will make it easier for us to blend in. Strangers won’t be as noticeable.”

“Yeah, but it will make it harder to keep track of whoever is tailing us too,” said Max. “Are you up for this? We have to make it look good.”

“I’m up for whatever it takes to finally end this,” said Liz.

Max opened the door to the CrashDown and held it open for Liz to enter. The two took seats at the counter. Liz looked into the kitchen and sees her father working the grill. She waited until she caught his eye, and gave him a slight smile and a wink. Geoff smiled back cautiously, hoping that the red head smiling was Liz, but unsure until the order came in for pancakes in the shape of Mickey Mouse. He flashed her a big smile and set out to make Liz her favorite childhood breakfast.

Liz checked out the restaurant and noticed her “friend” Agent Feltcher sitting in a booth with one of the other guys from last night. She pointed him out to Max.

“Well, where’s the other one then?” he whispered. “The one who was here last night?”

“I saw him pulling up by the lake right before we left,” Liz admitted.

“Why the hell didn’t you tell me that then?” Max whispeed in a fierce voice.

“Because I knew there was nothing you could do about it, and if you did know, you’d freak out, like you’re doing now. Besides, I let Kyle know. He and Michael can handle it, you know they can.”

“Damn it Liz, you can’t micromanage our lives like that. Withholding information doesn’t help. I thought you would have learned that last time,” he snapped.

Liz looks down at her plate, the tears pooling in her eyes. “I can’t believe you would even bring that up, you jerk,” she hissed. “Fine, then, if I’ve upset you that much, I’ll just leave.”

Liz slid off her stool and rushed from the restaurant out onto the crowded sidewalk. A concerned Geoff watched from the kitchen and shot Max a concerned look. Max just shook his head and continued to eat. Their plan had been to stage a fight and have Liz leave the restaurant and go around back and climb up the fire escape to her room. Unfortunately, the fight was more real than Max would have liked, but he knew Liz well enough to know she wouldn’t deviate from the plan.

As he finished his meal, a waitress walked over to the table where the two agents were sitting. She cleared their plates and began to walk back to the kitchen. Max stood up just as she walked past and bumped into her, causing the dishes she was holding to fall first against her, and then to the ground. Max immediately began to apologize and bent down to help the waitress pick up the mess. Geoff came out from the kitchen with a mop, and saw Max slip two forks and two straws into his jacket pocket.

“Kelly, why don’t you go change, I’ll get this,” Geoff said to the waitress.

“I’m really sorry Miss, that was entirely my fault,” said Max. “I wasn’t watching where I was going.”

“It’s no problem sir,” said the waitress. “I’ll just go grab another uniform out back Mr. Parker, I won’t be a minute, thanks.” The girl hurried off. After he made sure nobody was listening, Geoff whispered to Max, “Where is she?”

“Upstairs, she needs to analyze these,” he said pointing to the items sticking out of his jacket pocket.”

Geoff nodded and finished picking up the last few items on the floor. “Go,” he said. “I’ll make sure those to don’t leave for a bit.”

Max smiled his thanks and walked out the door of the restaurant. He took a quick walk around the block to make sure he isn’t being followed. After he was certain nobody was watching him, or the fire escape, he made short work of climbing up, and entering Liz’s room through the open window.

“Liz,” he said softly to his wife who was lying on her bed. “I’m sorry. What I said was wrong, and I said it strictly to hurt you. Will you forgive me, please?”

“Yes Max, you know I’ll forgive you eventually, but excuse me if right now, I can’t even stand to look at you,” Liz snapped. “I wasn’t trying to keep information from you Max. I mean God, if it was something life threatening, you know I’d let you know. But for crying out loud, it was one agent, or whatever he is, driving up to the lake. I think the others could handle it!”

“You’re right Liz. There isn’t anything else I can say except for you are right. I’m just going crazy right now. There are so many things that could go wrong, and it’s really starting to get to me.”

“Fine, whatever, I can’t deal with you and your insecurities right now. Did you get the stuff?” she asked.

“Yeah, here,” Max said, removing a plastic bag from his pocket. Liz reached into the bag and removed the two forks and the two straws.

“The bag was a good idea Max. We have a better chance of getting a good sample now,” said Liz. She grabbed a swab off of her desk and rubbed it against one of the forks and then onto a microscope slide. She did the same with the other fork, and the two straws. She inserted one of the slides under the microscope and then peered into the eyepiece. She didn’t say anything, but quickly removed the slide and inserted another. ]

She looked up from the microscope, and grabbed another slide and a small needle. After swabbing her finger in alcohol, and sterilizing the needle, she quickly pricked her finger with it and allowed a small drop of blood to fall onto the slide. She motioned to Max and swabbed his finger, and the needle and pricked his finger to get a blood sample.

She looked at the two samples under the microscope. Growing more excited, she took Max’s sample, and another sample from a straw and placed them on one slide, side by side. She looked into the microscope one more time and moved over so Max could look as well. He adjusted the viewfinder and peered into it. The sample on the left he easily identified as his own blood, but the sample on the right is something he’d never seen before. It wasn’t human, and it wasn’t alien.

“Liz, what is it, what are they?” he asked.

“I’m not sure, but they’re not human,” was all she said.

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It all started with a boy, a girl, and a silver handprint.


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PostPosted: Sun Sep 25, 2005 1:12 pm 
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Part 42

“What do you mean, not human?” Max demanded. “What else is there?”

”Max, look closely at this slide,” Liz said sliding another slide under the microscope. “There are three samples on the slide. Yours, mine, and a sample from one of the guys in the CrashDown, what do you see?”

Max peered into the microscope and looked at the samples. Again, he identified his sample. He looked at the next sample which he identified as Liz’s, similar to his, but with a color change. The third sample showed triangular cells floating in a turquoise substance. “Ok, tell me what I’m supposed to see here. What am I missing?”

”Max, your sample is similar to mine. You can see the differences, but you can see some similarities too,” said Liz. “But now, compare your sample to the third sample. What do you see?”

“Well, some of my cells are somewhat similar to the other sample, but some of them are similar to yours too. And the color difference between yours and mine is very noticeable, but between my sample and the agents, there are some similarities again. Damn it Liz, you’re the scientist, not me, tell me what this is!” Max began to pace around the small bedroom. “Am I just being dense or what?”

“Max, calm down, will you,” Liz said softly “I don’t think you are being dense, but I do think you see what this is, and just don’t want to admit it. There are enough similarities between his sample and yours to just about confirm it. He’s Antarian. They’re here on earth.”

“God Liz, what does this mean for us now. It was bad enough when we were fighting the skins, but at least they had a weakness. We don’t know anything about these people, or how to fight them.”

“Max, don’t take this the wrong way, but will you shut up please,” said Liz. “First off, think about this, the Special Unit isn’t chasing us, that’s a plus. Secondly, these people aren’t human, and to be honest, I think this battle is going to be a battle to the death. I’m not planning on dying any time soon, so that means they’re going to have to, and I for one, feel a lot better knowing that what I’m going to be killing isn’t human!”

“Ok, you’re right, we need to round everybody up and let them know what’s going on. Lets head downstairs and talk to your parents and see if we can find everybody else. But, one more thing before we go,” Max said, passing his hand over Liz’s hair, restoring it to it’s original long dark shining glory. “No more hiding. If we’re going to have a war, it’s going to be this way. I want them to see me when I bring them down.”

Liz smiled at her husband, watching as he turned back into a king before her eyes. Not his outward appearance, but the way he carried himself. Liz smiled, and stood on tiptoe and changed his hair back to normal before pressing a kiss on his lips. No matter what happens, she knew she loved him, and he loved her, and they would both die to protect each other. Stepping away from him, she went to her closet and pulls out one of her favorite outfits and began to change. “Hey, if I get to be me again, I want to be comfortable at least,” she said with a grin.

“Hey, that’s no fair, what about me, do you think I like wearing stuff like this?” he asked in a mock whiney voice as his fingers plucked the Izod style shirt away from his chest.

“Not a problem,” Liz said, rummaging through her drawers. “I think I can help you with that. Here,” she said, pulling out an old faded heather green crew neck tee shirt that belonged to Max. “You left this here one night, and I saved it. I used to sleep in it sometimes because it smelled of you,” she admitted, almost shyly.

“Liz, you are a wonder,” he said holding her close. The two stood locked in their embrace for a few moments. Regretfully, Max released his wife and removed the shirt he was wearing and pulled on the comfortable reminder of his past. “No more hiding?” he asked Liz reaching for her hand.

“No more hiding,” she agreed, taking his hand. Together they walked hand in hand out her bedroom door and down the stairs that led to the café.

Liz and Max entered the employee section of the restaurant, and caught her mother’s attention. When Nancy saw them, she left the register and rushed over to them.

“Are you two nuts, what are you doing here looking like that? Those FBI guys are in the corner,” she cried.

“Mom, they aren’t FBI agents, actually, they are aliens,” said Liz

“More of those skin things?” Nancy questioned, making a face of disgust.

“No, actually Mrs. Parker, Liz thinks they are from the same place I came from. They’re Antarian.” Max turned to Liz with a thoughtful look on his face. “Liz, could they possibly be shape-shifters?”

“You mean like Nescado and Cal Langley?” questioned Nancy.

“Wow, you did do your homework Mom,” joked Liz. Turning to Max she answers, “I don’t know, I never studied their physiology, but I suppose it’s possible.”

“Well, whatever they are, they need to be destroyed,” Max said firmly. “Mrs. Parker, do you know where the others might be, have they been to town at all?”

“Max, will you stop with the Mrs. Parker stuff, you can call me mom, or Nancy, but NOT Mrs. Parker. And as for the others, Jim and your dad and Kyle are with Michael, Maria and Isabelle at the Road Kill.”

“Ok, great, can you call them and tell them to meet us here tonight, after the CrashDown closes. My mom and Maria’s mom too please,” Max asked.

“Of course Max, but what are you and Liz going to do?” asked Nancy, her face filled with concern.

“We’re going to lead those two bozo’s out there on a wild goose chase, that’s what,” he said, reaching down and taking Liz’s hand in his. Together, the two of them walked out into the restaurant, smiled at the two aliens and walked out the door.

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It all started with a boy, a girl, and a silver handprint.


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PostPosted: Sun Sep 25, 2005 1:12 pm 
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Part 43

Jim had to get to work, so after making arrangements with the others to hook up later, Kyle walked down the street, taking in the sights and sounds of all the people in town for the UFO convention. Stopping, he shook his head at some of the strange people walking past. He also kept his eyes peeled for any agents that might be watching him. The hot sun beat down on his back as people jostled their way past him. The honking of a horn from a passing car shook him out of his reverie.

“Excuse me,” said a man as he brushing past Kyle.

“Oh yeah, sure, no problem man,” said Kyle, absent-mindedly. Continuing down the street, he spied a familiar silhouette crossing at a light ahead of him. Kyle rushed to cross the street ahead of the figure, knowing that he wouldn’t be recognized thanks the presto chango job he did on his appearance.

Looking back to make sure he is still ahead of the figure he saw, Kyle ducked down an alleyway and turned so he could watch the figure approach. When the man was at the entrance of the alley, Kyle reached out and yanked him into the alley, pulling him behind a dumpster out of sight, and slamming him into a wall. He curled his hand into a fist and slammed it into the man’s face several times. Silently, Kyle proceeded to beat the man senseless.

Dropping the now unconscious man in a heap, he reached into his pocket for a handkerchief. He swabbed the man’s face with the handkerchief, covering it in blood. He then took his fingers and raked his nails across the man’s face. “Consider this a gift from Isabelle,” he said to the unconscious figure of Jesse Ramirez.

Walking away from the man, Kyle stuffed the bloody handkerchief in his pocket, and smiled to himself. Liz ought to be able to get a sample from this blood, and the skin under my nails, he thought to himself.

“I can’t believe Michael arranged all of this,” Isabelle said to her father as they sat in the back of the RV. “Dad, it is so good to be able to sit and talk with you.”

“Isabelle, honey, your mother and I have been so worried about you,” said Philip as he hugs his daughter. “When we got Liz’s cryptic message about Jesse being and FBI agent, our hearts broke. We know how much you love him.”

“Look Dad, I really, really can’t talk about this right now. Jesse may not even be an FBI agent, he may not even be human.”

“What? What do you mean, not human?” cried Philip.

“Just what I said,” said Isabelle. “Liz has some weird theory about the agents being Kivar’s men or something. She thinks Tess led them right to us when she brought Zan back. All this time, I was married to him, and I never even realized he wasn’t human.”

Philip just hugged his daughter closer, unable to find the words to console her. There was a knock on the door of the RV. Michael opened the door and stuck his head inside.

“Maria’s just about eaten all the grease this wonderful establishment has to offer. We really should head back to the cabin and wait for the others, and we still have to hit the CrashDown and pick up Kyle,” he said.

“Ok, Michael, what about Amy? Doe she need a ride, or did she head back into town with Jim and Kyle?”

“She’s going to ride with us. Her and Maria are having what Maria called a gabfest. There just isn’t any stopping them. Believe me, I tried. I couldn’t get a word in edgewise,” said Michael. “Anyhow, we’re going to drop you a few blocks from the CrashDown, park this thing, and we’ll meet you there.”

“I hear my name being taken in vain,” Maria cried as she climbed into the RV, followed by her mother. “Here Isabelle, you didn’t get anything to eat, so I brought you some fries.”

“Oh. Gee, thanks Maria,” Isabelle said doubtfully. “The bag looks wet, did you, ah, drop them?”

“That’s not water, that’s the grease soaking through,” Maria laughed.

“Oh yum,” said Isabelle sarcastically. “My arteries can hardly wait to harden.” Nevertheless, she opened the bag as Michael starts the camper and backed it out onto the highway.

Driving back into Roswell, the group was strangely quiet until Michael pulled up to a curb several blocks away from the CrashDown. “Ok, you guys head out, and we’ll meet you at the CrashDown in a few minutes.”

Amy hugged Maria, while Philip patted Michael on the back, and dropped a kiss on his daughter’s forehead.

“I hate letting any of you out of my site for even a minute,” he said as he followed Amy out of the camper.

“Don’t worry Dad, we’ll see you in just a few minutes, I promise,” said Isabelle.

After making sure their parents are safely away from the vehicle, Michael pulled away from the curb and parked in the municipal lot once again. The three climbed out of the vehicle and took the back way to the CrashDown. As the approached the back of the restaurant, Maria spied someone climbing the fire escape to Liz’s room.

“Michael, look,” she cried grabbing his arm and pointing.

“You two get to the restaurant and come up from there. I’ll get behind him and block his escape route!” shouted Michael as he took off running.

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It all started with a boy, a girl, and a silver handprint.


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PostPosted: Sun Sep 25, 2005 1:13 pm 
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Part 44

Once they were sure the two alien/agents noticed them, Max grabbed Liz by the hand and pulled her through the restaurant. At the same time, Liz turned back and blew kisses at them. Once they were outside the door, they ran across the street into the UFO center. Making sure nobody was watching, the two quickly changed their appearances and stood back and watched the two aliens search the crowd for them.

“Look, there they are,” Liz pointed. “I don’t get it, they know we know who they are, why don’t they try and change the way they look?”

“Maybe they can’t,” said Max. “I wonder if that particular skill of ours developed more because we are on Earth?”

“Max, look, they’re heading towards the door. How do you want to handle this?”

“Well, my first instinct is to take these two down right now, and get rid of them, but we can’t. I want all of them together in one place, then we kill them.”

Liz shivered a little at the coldness in her husband’s voice, but she knew he didn’t like the idea of killing anybody any more than she did. It’s just become a necessary evil at this point. Tugging on his sleeve, she motioned for him to follow her they two walked over to where their pursuers stood. As they walked past them towards the door, Liz reached out a hand and hit one of them on the shoulder. “Tag, your it,” she said as she and Max took off out the door.

Outside the door, Liz removed her jacket and changed her hair again, while Max changed the color of his shirt to a blinding yellow.

“Yellow?” Liz questioned. “Since when do you wear yellow?”

“What can I say, I’m a man of mystery,” Max responded watching as the aliens came out of the UFO center and searched the milling crowds for them.

“Ok, Liz, I want you to head back to the CrashDown. I’m going to follow these two alien rejects for a while and see where they go,” said Max

“Max, I don’t want us to split up again,” Liz replied.

“I don’t either, but we have to know where they are going, and you need to study those cells some more. See if you can find a weakness or something,” said Max. He leaned down and kissed her passionately, pulling her close to his body, savoring her warmth.

“Max,” she groaned. “You expect me to let you leave after that?”

He bent down to kiss her again, when he spied the two aliens walking away out of the corner of his eye.

“Damn it Liz, when we finally finish this thing, I’m going to find some secluded hotel, with room service 24/7 and lock us in and never leave.” He quickly pressed a kiss on her lips and pulled away. “Their leaving, I have to follow them.”

“I know, but Max, check in, please,” she whispered.

“I’ll will. I love you Liz. Forever!” he said as he pulled away and walked off into the crowd, following the two aliens.

Liz watched until he disappeared out of site and headed back to the CrashDown. She opened the door and walked in, only to be pushed to the ground by two girls who came flying through the door behind her.

“Hey!” she shouted, but neither girl stopped running. They head towards the staircase that led to the upstairs living quarters. Liz jumped to her feet and took off after them.

“Who the hell are you? Stop!” she yelled. The smaller of the two girls turned to look back at her.

“Liz? Come on, we saw someone climbing the fire escape to your room.”

“Damn, the samples,” she muttered as she rushes up the stairs. Outside her bedroom door, she pushed past Maria and Isabelle and pushed open the door. She saw someone climbing through her window, and she raised her hand to blast him when Maria grabbed her arm.

“Liz, no, that’s Michael!” Maria shouted

“Where is he? Where is that guy, I was right behind him?” Michael said, gasping for breath. “He climbed through the window, I know he did.”

“Well, nobody passed us on the stairs,” Liz said. A crash from the bathroom caused her to spin around towards the door, arm upraised.

“Ah guys,” a voice called out from the bathroom. “I’m going to open the door, and I’d really appreciate it if you didn’t kill me.”

“Kyle?” asked Isabelle. “Oh my God, you jerk, why didn’t you let us know it was you?”

“Well, that’s kind of what I’m doing now,” Kyle responded from behind the bathroom door. Now do you promise that Michael isn’t about to blast me?”

“He’s not going to blast you Kyle but I might,” said Liz lowering her arm. “Get out here now! What the hell are you doing climbing up here that way?”

“Come on Liz, it’s the way we always get into your room, besides, I didn’t want to play hide and go seek with the agents downstairs,” answered Kyle, opening the bathroom door.

“They’re not agents, we ran some tests today, they aren’t human at all,” said Liz, throwing herself on her bed. She no sooner found a comfortable position than a knock on the door caused her to jump back up. Michael grabbed Maria and shoved her behind him over by the window so she could climb out quickly if needed. Kyle and Isabelle raised their palms toward the door, while Liz prepared to open it.

“Lizzie, is everything ok?” her father asked from the other side of the door. Liz relaxed her posture slightly and opened the door to her father.

“Yeah Dad, sorry about that, we’re fine. Michael, Isabelle and Maria saw someone climbing up the fire escape so the where chasing him. They didn’t realize it was Kyle.”

“You kids, I can’t imagine how you have managed to live like this for so long,” Geoff Parker said, entering the room. “Wait, where is Max?”

“Yeah, where is he?” asked Michael.

“He’s tailing our two buddies from downstairs,” Liz replied.

“Ok, look, I have a very worried Philip and Amy downstairs. Apparently, you three,” he said nodding towards Michael, Maria and Isabelle, “were supposed to meet them here.”

“Isabelle, why don’t you go downstairs and talk to your dad for a bit and tell him what’s going on. Let him know you are ok,” said Kyle. “That way he can see for himself that nothing’s wrong.”

Isabelle shot Kyle a strange look, but agreed and followed Geoff Parker out the door. Once he was certain she was out of hearing, Kyle pulled the bloody handkerchief out of his pocket.

“Oh ick! Kyle, that is so disgusting,” said Maria. “Why are you showing it to us?”

“Liz,” he said, ignoring Maria. “This is Jesse’s blood. I also have some of his skin under my fingernails. Is that enough for you to see if he’s an alien too?”

“Jesus Valenti, how did you get that?” asked Michael.

“How the hell do you think I got it you moron. I beat the crap out of him.”

Michael gave Kyle an approving look. “Damn,” he said. I wanted that job.”

Liz took the handkerchief from Kyle and then took his hand and scraped some pieces of skin from under his nails. She walked over to her desk, mixed a solution and dropped the skin cells into it. She then placed some of the liquid on a slide and examined it under the microscope. Turning to Kyle, she motioned him over to where she worked. She took his hand, swabbed it with alcohol and pricked it with a needle before he was aware of what she was doing.

“Ow, that hurts,” he whined.

“It’s all in the name of science,” said Liz. She placed Kyle’s slide under the microscope and studied the sample. She removed Kyle’s slide and replaced it with the slide containing Jesse’s sample.

“Maria, get downstairs and make sure Isabelle doesn’t come up here. I don’t want her to hear this.”

“Wait a second, I’m not leaving until you tell me what you found,” Maria demanded.

“And I’m not letting you make those kinds of decisions for my Liz,” said Isabelle from the doorway. “What don’t you want me to hear?”

“Isabelle,” said Liz. “It’s not that I didn’t want you to hear, but I wanted to talk to you alone, really.”

“Well, it looks like that won’t be happening, so what is it?”

“Well, we have a sample of Jesse’s blood, and I just tested it and compared it to the samples from the other aliens. Isabelle, I’m sorry, Jesse isn’t one of them.”

Isabelle’s face turned a deathly gray white, as the blood left her face. She sat down quickly on the chair. “So, he just willingly betrayed me, is that it?”

“It looks that way Isabelle,” Liz said softly. She moved across the room and knelt down beside the older girl to comfort her. Maria grabbed Michael and Kyle by the arms and pulled them out of the room and closed the door softly.

“I’m not getting this,” said Michael. “She wanted him to be an alien?”

“Yeah,” answered Maria. “God Guerin, haven’t you learned anything in all the years we’ve been together. If he were an alien, it would mean that he never did love her and he was here to destroy her. Being human makes it so much worse. He betrayed her, gave up on their love. Do you get that?”

“Yeah, actually, I think I do,” said Michael. “It’s like she feels like there is something wrong with her. Something bad enough to make the man who supposedly loves her sells her out.”

“Very good Space Boy,” said Maria. “You may now pass Go and collect $200.00. The question is what are we going to do about it?”

“That’s simple said Isabelle, opening the bedroom door. We’re going to take him down!”

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PostPosted: Sun Sep 25, 2005 1:13 pm 
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Part 45

Isabelle pushed past her shocked friends and started down the stairs. Wordlessly, they all followed her down to the restaurant and pushed together in a booth.

“I’m, excuse me, but isn’t this a little obvious?” asked Maria. “We’re even sitting in our old booth. When those guys come back, they’ll figure out who we are.”

“They already know Maria,” Liz answered. “I haven’t had a chance to tell you what happened today. Max and I let them see us on purpose. We changed back to ourselves and got them out of here to follow us. We hid in the crowd at the UFO center and disguised ourselves again, and Max followed them to find out what he could about them.”

“Liz, why the hell did you do that?” demanded Michael. “Do you know how risky that was?”

“Come on Michael, it wasn’t risky, and you know it. We all agreed it would be better to be proactive, go on the offense rather than keep running.”

“I don’t know girlfriend,” said Maria. “I’m kind of agreeing with Michael here, which in itself is kind of scary. It sounds pretty risky.”

“Kyle, what about you, what do you think?” Liz asked.

“Well,” said Kyle, idly spinning a fork on the table. “Much as I hate to say it, I think I’m in agreement with the alien general.”

“That’s a bunch of crap,” said Isabelle as she slammed her hand down on the fork Kyle was spinning. “You’re just pissed because Liz and Max got the opportunity to do this, and you didn’t. They saw an opportunity and they took it. What’s wrong with that?”

Liz gave Isabelle a surprised and grateful look, happy for her support. Michael, Kyle and Maria looked at each other and nodded ruefully.

“I guess we all just wanted to be the one to make the big play,” said Kyle.

“Well, just tell me you did it with style Chica,” said Maria.

“Well, does blowing them a kiss as I walked past their table count?” asked Liz. The others burst out laughing, as Geoff, Amy, Nancy and Philip watch them with fond indulgence from across the room.

“Maria, Isabelle, come with me,” commanded Liz, standing up suddenly. The other two girls got up and followed Liz across the room to the woman’s room.

“My God, they really do go in a pack,” said Kyle as he and Michael sat back to wait. It wasn’t a long wait however. Several moments later, the restroom door opened and the three girls walked out looking the way they did before they started running.

“Hot damn,” said Kyle as he dropped the fork he had been playing with on the floor. He reached under the table to retrieve it and when he reemerged, he looked like himself again.

“Well, hell,” Michael said under his breath. He stood up and stalked across the floor to the kitchen. When he returned, his hair was restored to its typical shade and non-style.

“Michael, what exactly are you doing?” asked Philip with concern.

“Apparently, we’re taking back our lives. Don’t ask me, I don’t know anything anymore. All I know is when we left, I said we should leave and go quietly into the night. Did we do that? No, of course not. We go out in the biggest way possible. I said we should sneak back into town and stay underground for as long as possible, and what are we doing, having a sock hop at the CrashDown.” Michael continued muttering under his breath as he walked back to the booth and sat down with the others. The four adults bust out laughing at Michael’s diatribe when the door to the restaurant opened.

Max ran in, gasping for breath, and headed directly for the steps leading to the upstairs. Stopping suddenly, he turned back and saw everyone sitting and watching him. He grinned sheepishly, pulled up a chair and sat down.

“What did you find?” asked Liz.

“There are about ten of them, in an abandon building outside of town. I didn’t see Jesse anywhere Isabelle,” he said, looking at his sister. “Hey, wait a second, why do you all look like yourselves?”

“Glad to see our fearless leader is so observant,” said Michael in a dry voice.

“No more running Max,” said Liz, taking his hand.

“No more running,” he agreed. “Ok, like I said, they’re in an old abandon building, and it’s pretty isolated. There’s only one-way in and out that I could see, from an access road that runs off of 285. I scouted around the building, and there are entrances in the front and the rear of the building. I don’t know if it has a basement of any type. Kyle, maybe your dad can get us that info.”

“Maxwell, that’s great information,” said Michael. “I think, if we can,”

Suddenly, Kyle stood up and climbed out over the back of the booth. “Max, Michael, come with me.”

A grinning Michael caught on immediately and he pulled Max to his feet and the trio proceeded to the men’s room.

“Um, why are we all in here together?” asked Max. “Are we exploring our feminine side or something?”

“No,” answered Kyle. “The biggest reason we’re here is to bust on the girls for a few minutes, but I also wanted to tell you, I saw Jesse today.”

“Yeah, what was he up to?”

“Mostly bleeding. Well after I beat the shit out of him, that is,” said Kyle in a matter of fact voice.

“Oh,” said Max, barely blinking at the news. “What did you do that for?”

“Well, for Isabelle, and to get a sample of his blood for Liz. She tested it already, while you were gone.”

“What did she find, is he an alien too?”

“No such luck. He’s 100% human,” said Michael. “Isabelle’s taking it pretty hard.”

“Why? Shouldn’t she be happy he isn’t an alien?”

“Maxwell, don’t you know anything about women?” asked Michael in a patronizing tone. “If he had been an alien, it wouldn’t have hurt so bad because his whole purpose would have been to betray her. Instead, she is stuck wondering if he betrayed her because of something she did, or didn’t do. She doesn’t have any real closure on their relationship.”

“Oh,” said a still bewildered Max, while Kyle tried unsuccessfully to hide his grin behind his hand.

“Look, why don’t you change yourself back to you, and we’ll head back out. I’m getting the creeps hanging out in here with you. What do they find so fascinating about bathrooms anyhow?” asked Michael.

“It’s just one of the great mysteries of women that we’ll never understand,” said Kyle.

Max passed his hand over his face and hair, and restored himself back. Opening the door back into the restaurant, they found that Geoff had closed early, and all the parents were there armed with maps, walkie-talkies and various other items. For all intents and purposes, their war had begun.

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PostPosted: Sun Sep 25, 2005 1:14 pm 
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Part 46

Isabelle walked slowly past the apartment that she and Jesse used to share. She paused to stand underneath a tree and watched as a man a carrying a gym bag exited the building. As he drew closer, she realized that it was Jesse. Without thought, she started walking several paces behind him. They passed through the residential district where their apartment had been located, but instead of heading toward the downtown area, Jesse instead turned down the street, which led to the cemetery where Alex was buried. Isabelle’s steps faltered, she wasn’t sure if the cemetery was where she wants to go, but with her new found resolve, she pushed her grief for Alex aside and continued to follow Jesse.

Isabelle followed Jesse in horror as he unerringly took a direct path to Alex’s grave. What is he doing here? she wondered to herself. I swear, plan or no plan, if he does anything to Alex’s grave, I’ll kill him where he stands.

Isabelle moved behind a nearby oversized gravestone, which provided her with cover, but still allowed her to see and hear Jesse. The snapping of twigs alerted her that someone else was approaching, and she hunkered down behind the headstone, and tried to still her breathing.

“Jesse, good of you to meet me here,” said a voice. Isabelle was positive she had never heard this voice before, but it sent shivers of fear down her spine.

“You know I’ll do whatever it takes to ensure the success of this mission Dr. Henderson,” replied Jesse.

“I found it rather fitting for us to meet on the grave of Vilondra’s dead lover.”

“No sir, they were never lovers. He was just a stupid boy that she enslaved with her cunning and her guile, like she did to so many others,” Jesse said, his voice devoid of emotion and expression.

This shocking assessment of her character caused Isabelle to cover her mouth with her hand to stifle the small cry that threatened to escape.

“…Much like that insipid Valenti.” Isabelle forced herself to focus, realizing that she just missed something important about Kyle.

“Valenti is nothing,” said the man Jesse called Dr. Henderson. “He is just another pawn in Vilondra’s little game. He is going to die, they all are, so it is no matter to me.”

“Including Vilondra, sir?”

“Yes, I no longer need her, or any of them, and I no longer want her. She is nothing to me. I am here only to destroy them. Once the people know they are dead, I will be able to assume my rightful position as King of Antar.”

Isabelle peered over the headstone, trying to get a look at the man with Jesse. He was a handsome man, with a scar bisecting his left cheek. A lock of his blond hair falls over his forehead, and his eyes, a piercing steel blue caused her to shiver and duck behind the gravestone once again.

“Zan made the mistake of allowing himself to get involved with you stupid simple humans. That alone should prove he could never be a leader. The only thing he did on this backwards planet that could be construed as intelligent was getting rid of that stupid bitch Ava. And Rath as usual is following his King blindly. That man never could think for himself. It’s hard to believe there was a faction that wanted him on the throne. Our world would have been destroyed in no time if that had happened.”

“What about the other humans, sir? What are you going to do with them?” asked Jesse as he silently tapped his fingers on his gym bag.

“They too will die. They’ve caused me to many problems for me to allow them to live. Although, I am toying with the idea of allowing Zan’s wife to live and bringing her back to Antar to be my whore. Now that idea has some merit.”

“As you wish sir. How do you wish to proceed?”

“The men will assemble tonight at our headquarters. There was some concern that the royal simpletons found out we are here, but I’m positive that isn’t so. At first I was concerned to find they had changed themselves back to their original appearances, but I’m sure they have just grown complacent. They think they’re safe here. I must say, I am envious of this ability they have to change their appearances that way. It is a shame we can’t do it as well. It must have something to do with how their powers developed here on Earth.”

“Are there any other differences in their abilities Dr. Henderson?”

“I don’t think so, I’m sure their ability to destroy things tapers off after a short while as does ours. I think it has something to do with the atmosphere of this backwards planet.”

“I know that when Vilondra and I were together, she often complained about that,” said Jesse. “That her powers would weaken after she used them. She was also afraid because other than their ability to make things explode, they had no way to protect themselves.”

“Interesting,” said Henderson. “So, they have no shielding powers? That’s good to know because ours weaken after about five Earth minutes. Good, it won’t take long to kill them. Ramirez, will you stop that incessant fidgeting with that bag of yours! Yours is such an inferior race, you can’t even manage to stand still for any length of time. Very well Ramirez. Let’s leave this place, it’s starting to annoy me.”

Isabelle sat in stunned silence listening to the exchange between the two men. Jesse knows exactly what my powers are, she thought to herself. What all our powers are. Why is he telling that Henderson person differently?

She peeked over the headstone to make sure they were leaving, and she saw Jesse staring intently in her direction. Smothering a gasp, she ducked behind the stone again and waited in fear. After several more minutes pass, she looked again and saw that they had left.

Marshalling her courage, she got up and ran in the opposite direction, back towards town. In her haste to escape the cemetery, she failed to notice a man standing behind a tree observing her.

“Isabelle,” he whispered as his fingers drum silently on the tree beside him.

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PostPosted: Sun Sep 25, 2005 1:14 pm 
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Part 47

“Ramirez, stop skulking behind trees, and lets get a move on,” said Henderson walking back towards Jesse who was watching Isabelle leave.

“Yes Dr. Henderson, I’m sorry sir,” answered Jesse, woodenly.

“And will you stop calling my by that ridiculous Earth name. Vilondra’s gone, and there is nobody here that we need to worry about. Call my by my true and royal name.”

“Yes, Kivar, I’m sorry,” answered Jesse.

“Do you think my beautiful and witless Vilondra believed our performance?”

“Yes Kivar, I know she did. And now she’s running to let the others know that they are still safe for now. Allowing her to think we were unaware of them was perfect.”

“There stupidity, along with their underdeveloped powers will be their undoing,” said Kivar. “I will destroy them all.”

“What’s next sir?” Jesse asked in a toneless voice.

“Why, we set our trap of course, and deliver them to Antar to be executed publicly. That will prevent any other usurpers from coming forth. Come, let us return to town.”

“Yes Kivar,” said Jesse, tapping his fingers against his let as he struggled to overcome the powerful mind warp Kivar had him under. It was hard, so hard, and several times, he found himself succumbing to the powers of Kivar’s mind, but his love for Isabelle was so much stronger. He would hold out. He had to; he would do anything to save her.

** * ** * **

Isabelle rushed into the CrashDown, looking for someone, anyone who could help her make sense of what she had just seen and heard. Maria and Liz ere sitting at a booth, eating, and she rushed over and joined them.

“Isabelle, what’s wrong?” asked Maria.

“Jesse,” gasped Isabelle.

“Jesse? He’s following you, he found you?” Maria babbled.

“Maria, shut up, and give her a chance to answer,” said Liz.

“He-He’s not working against us,” Isabelle managed to get out, in between gasps of air.

“What do you mean Isabelle? How do you know?” Liz asked the other girl, gently.

“I was at our old apartment, when Jesse walked out, I followed him to the cemetery, to Alex’s grave. I hid behind another headstone, and after a few minutes, another guy showed up.”

“Who was the other guy Isabelle, have you seen him before?” asked Maria.

“I don’t know, his name was Henderson, he was really good looking, with blue eyes, and a scar.”

“A scar on his left cheek,” Liz interrupted, softly.

“Yeah, how did you know?” asked Isabelle with a puzzled look on her face.

“He was my boss at the last hospital I worked in,” said Liz. “I can’t believe it. All that time, and I never knew.”

“Well, he may be calling himself Henderson, but I think he’s Kivar,” says Isabelle. “Look, none of this is important right now. We need to get everybody together and figure out a way to rescue Jesse.”

“Look Isabelle, I know you aren’t going to want to hear this, but I don’t think that’s such a great idea. Did it ever occur to you that the whole thing was a set up?” said Maria.

“It’s not a set up Maria; I know it isn’t. Jesse’s my husband; we have to save him. Would you even think about saying that if it were Michael? No, you’d be whining and nagging until we did something about it.”

Maria looks at Isabelle, and her eyes filled up with tears. “I can’t believe you would even say that. God Isabelle, will you ever realize the world does NOT revolve around you,” Maria cried. She grabbed her purse and ran out of the café, tears streaming down her face.

“Damn, I didn’t mean that,” Isabelle said, looking at Liz.

“No, I think you did mean to say it,” Liz said, reasonably. “It wasn’t the best thing to say, and it sure wasn’t tactful, but you did mean to say it.”

“What, do you all think I’m an unreasonable bitch?”

“No Isabelle, that’s not what I’m saying at all. You’ve been under a huge amount of stress and strain. You’ve been betrayed by the one person you thought would never do anything to hurt you, and now there’s a chance that you weren’t betrayed at all. I’d say you were about due for an explosion.”

“God Liz, are you always so damn logical?” Isabelle asked with a hysterical giggle.

“Oh yeah, me and Mr. Spock. Seriously though you should have seen the fight Max and I had the other day up in my room. We both said some things I thought we’d never say to each other. Don’t worry, we’ll work this out, we always do,” said Liz reaching out to take her sister-in-law’s hand. As she did, the door to the CrashDown opened and in stormed Michael Guerin, followed closely by Max and Kyle.

“What the hell did you do to Maria, Isabelle?” he snapped in a rage.

Isabelle looks at Liz and drew a breath. “I said some rude and hateful things, and I need to find her and apologize. Is she outside?”

“Uh, yeah,” said a deflated Michael. “She’s at one of the outside tables.”


Isabelle excused herself and headed outside to Maria while the others arranged themselves around the table.

“Liz, do you know what happened?” asks Michael.

“A little,” she said and proceeded to fill them in on the details she does know. Max and Michael began to make tentative plans, while Kyle sat silently with a sad look on his face.

“You ok?” Liz whispered under her breath.

“Yeah,” Kyle said. “I hope for Isabelle’s sake, she’s right. I’d hate to see her hurt again. Her happiness is what matters to me.”

“But Kyle, I thought,” Liz began.

“I know what you thought, but I knew a long time ago, that Isabelle would never see me as anything other than a friend. I accepted that. Her friendship is very important, she’s very important. I would do anything to keep her safe and happy.”

“Kyle Valenti, you are a wonderful person, did you know that?”

“Yeah, so I’ve been told,” Kyle said with a slight smile, as Isabelle and Maria walk back to the table. “So, are you ladies ok, or are we going to get our own personal and private episode of GLOW?”

“Glow?” questioned Liz with a slight frown.

“Glorious Women of Wrestling,” chorus Maria, Isabelle, Michael and Kyle.

“No, I apologized to Maria, I was wrong,” said Isabelle, simply.

“I was wrong too, if Jesse’s in danger, we have to rescue him,” added Maria. “So how do we do it?”

“We don’t,” said Max, as the others turned to stare at him.

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PostPosted: Sun Sep 25, 2005 1:15 pm 
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Part 48



“What do you mean we don’t rescue him?” hissed Isabelle. “Max, he’s my husband.”

“Isabelle, I know, but we can’t just rush right in blindly. I know you think Kivar is warping him, but until we’re certain, we have to play this one close to our chests. For all we know, Jesse really is working for them, and this is all a plan to lure us in.”

“No Max,” said Isabelle, her voice trembling, you’re wrong this time know it. If you won’t help me, I’ll do it myself.” Isabelle walked away from the table and took a seat at the counter. Liz excused herself from the table, shot Max a baleful look and took a seat next to Isabelle and placed a comforting arm on her shoulder.

“Isabelle?” she asked. “Can I speak with you for a second?”

“Not if you’re here to plead my loser brother’s case,” Isabelle answered.

“Look Isabelle, I’m not about to interfere with what’s going on between you and Max. First, because I know I’d be royally peeved if you interfered in an argument between Max and myself, but secondly, I really can see both sides of this. Max was a complete and total ass, and appears to be suffering from a terminal case of foot in mouth disease lately.”

Isabelle gave an undignified snort at the accurate description of her brother and her shoulders relaxed a little as she let down her guard with Liz.

“Max does seem to be opening mouth and inserting foot more often these days,” she agreed with a slight smile.

“Listen, I didn’t even bother talking with Max, and I wouldn’t presume to speak for him, but what I think what he was saying is we can’t walk out of here right now and go rescue Jesse. We need to reconnoiter a little, and see what we can find out. Does that make sense to you.”

Isabelle gave a grudging nod, and Liz decided to continue. “If Jesse is being mind warped, we’ll do whatever we can to get him out Isabelle, you know that. But we do have to make sure that they are controlling him. We still don’t even know the whole story yet. Do you think you can come over and tell us everything again?”

“And again,” continued Isabelle smiling for real now. “If I know anything at all about my control freak brother, he’s going to want to analyze this to death. Yeah, I’ll tell all, but first let’s make him suffer a little bit. Want to split a plate of fries with me?”

While Liz was talking to Isabelle, Maria took the opportunity to blast Max for all she is worth.

“You stupid jerk,” she said punching him on the arm. “What the heck are you doing, telling Isabelle we won’t rescue Jesse? Are you stupid or something?”

“Maria, what are you talking about, you weren’t crazy about the idea either?” said Max, rubbing his shoulder.

“Yeah, but I’m not her brother, d’uh,” she said rolling her eyes. “Think Max, think. Use that kingly brain of yours for once in your life. What did you say to Isabelle? You said NO; we’re not doing anything. Real compassionate of you.”

“I only meant we need to check things out, assess the situation, and then make our move,” Max said in defense of himself.

“Yeah, well, maybe you should say that to Isabelle, and not to me,” Maria said. She climbed out of the booth and joined Liz and Isabelle at the counter. “Hey girlfriends,” she said climbing up on a stool. “Pass the fries please.”

“How’d it go over there?” Liz asked. “Is my dolt of a husband feeling suitably guilty yet?”

“Oh yeah,” said Maria grabbing a fry and dunking it in a pool of catsup. “I learned guilt at the knees of a master. I am valedictorian of the Amy DeLuca School of guilt. Max will be in full grovel mode in about five minutes.”

“Have I ever told you how wonderful you both are?” asked Isabelle.

“No,” both girls answered with alarming promptness, causing Isabelle to look at them, her face flushed.

“We’re kidding Isabelle, relax,” said Maria. “Face it, we’re all wonderful, we have to be to put up with those three bozo’s over there.”

“Speaking of which, Isabelle, how about heading back over there and putting Max out of his misery,” said Liz. “I’d like to have a happy husband tonight.”

“Um chica, if you think it’s his sister’s responsibility to make him happy, then you have a serious problem,” Maria chimed in.

The three girls burst out laughing, and slid off their stools and crossed back over to the booth where the guys were waiting. Max waits until they all squeeze in before turning to Isabelle.

“Iz, I’m sorry, what I was trying to say came out all wrong. Of course we’re going to figure out a way to save Jesse, we just need to be careful.”

“I know Max, now why don’t I tell you exactly what happened, and then we can try and make some plans.”

Isabelle recounted her story time after time, until everyone is sure they could tell the story themselves.

“Look, we’ve been here all day, eating Liz’s folks out of their profits, plus we aren’t exactly keeping a low profile,” said Michael “How about we get some take out, and head back to the cabin. I’m up for Chinese.”

Everyone else nods in agreement, and Liz got up to let her father know what’s going on. She returned in a few minutes with a slight smile on her face.

“Um guys, apparently, Chinese take out is already waiting for us back at the cabin, courtesy of our mothers, and our dads will be joining our strategy session later on.”

“Could someone explain to me how for three years, we kept them totally in the dark, and now, nothing is getting past them?” asked Maria to nobody in particular.

“I don’t know, but it feels kind of nice,” said Max as the group walked outside.

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PostPosted: Sun Sep 25, 2005 1:15 pm 
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Part 49

“Ok, the way I see it, if we try and come around the back of the building,” said Michael as he shoveled a forkful of sweet and sour pork into his mouth, “we can sneak in after dark, and they’ll never see us coming.”

“Michael as plans go, that one pretty much sucks,” said Max. “Pass the mushu pork please.”

“Max, your lack of tact is showing again,” said Maria passing him the spicy pork dish. “And Michael, stop talking with mouth full of food, it’s disgusting.

“Sorry, it’s just that this is so important,” Max said to Michael, who was busy showing Maria the large chewed mass of food in his mouth. “We can’t afford to make any mistakes.”

“Excuse me, but do people think you can grow up!” shouted Isabelle. “Look, Max is right about one thing, we can’t afford to screw up. We have too much riding on this, like our lives.”

She stood up and walked over to the window and peered out at their mothers who were sitting at a dilapidated picnic table, talking.

“We can’t waste time sitting around, making jokes and acting like a bunch of stupid kids. We have to act, not react.”

“Isabelle, spare me the motivational speeches please,” Kyle snapped. “We’re all aware of what’s at stake here. You’re not the only person with something to lose.” He pushed past Isabelle and walked out the door; slamming it behind him with a force so hard it rattled the cabin.

“What’s wrong with him?” asked Isabelle, looking blankly at the others.

“Isabelle, you’ve got to be kidding, right?” Maria asked. “Never mind,” she added, shaking her head. “Just leave him alone, he’ll be back in a little while, why don’t we just get this stuff cleaned up and get to work?”

They made quick work of cleaning up the remnants of their meal and were just sitting down to start planning when Kyle walked back in.

“Hey, did I miss anything?” is all he said, ignoring his earlier outburst.

“No, we’re just getting started,” said Liz. “Is the mom patrol still outside?”

“Yeah, actually, it’s the mom and dad patrol now. They said to tell you they’d be in shortly.”

“Ok, first order of business is a plan to get into the building where they are located,” said Michael. “I still don’t see why we just can’t walk in through the front door.”

“Maybe because we don’t want to die, Space Boy,” Maria said, kissing his cheek to take the sting out of her comment.

“Actually, it’s a damn good idea,” said Jim Valenti as he walked through the door, followed closely by the other parents. “Some of us could go in through the front door, and the others could slip in unnoticed through the shipping and receiving area.” He spread a blue print of the building on the table and pointed to the loading docks.

“But what reason would we have for even being there, never mind going in through the front door? Liz asked, as Max yelled, “Us, there the only us going in there is us, not you!”

“One thing at a time,” said Geoff Parker calmly. “The building is for lease, we checked with a local agent, and it’s been on the market for several months. Nobody has any idea your friends are staying there. Two of you can get in there with one of us posing as a realtor and prospective customers.”

“Right, and a second group can go in through the loading dock, while the others will be on the outside, guarding the perimeter, making sure nobody escapes,” Jim said, picking up where Geoff left off.

“The point you seem to be missing is that we’re not letting you out there,” Max said. “You have no way of defending yourselves against them. We can’t risk anything happening to you.”

“Max,” his mother said gently. “This isn’t your decision. You kept us out of everything that happened before, when we could have helped you. We’re not going to let that happen again. You’re our children, and we love you, and we’ll do anything to protect you. You, above all others should know what a parent would do to protect a child.”

Max walked towards the kitchen area as he mulled over his mother’s words. On one level, he knew she was right, he would do anything, including die to protect his son. But on another level, he didn’t want to put his parents, or any of the parents in the path of danger.

He reached into the fridge and pulled out several sodas and walked back over to the planning area and handed them out.

“I can’t stop you, and I won’t speak for the others, but I just want to go on the record as saying I don’t like it at all. I couldn’t stand it if anything happened to you because of us.”

“Max, we’re adults, we can take care of ourselves, and we know the risks. We’re not going into this blind,” his father said. “Besides, there is something you don’t know about that may help just a little. All of us are crack shots with pistols and rifles. After you all left after graduation, and we found out what was going on, Jim took all of us out to a shooting range and made sure we had at least one way to defend ourselves.”

“Yeah, but guns aren’t going to be any match,” began Liz.

“Against the powers they have. We know,” interrupted Amy. “But they are not going to be expecting it, so it can’t hurt either.”

“Mom, you, the uber-pacifist using a gun?” Maria cried in shock.

“Amazingly enough, she’s the best shot out of all of us,” Nancy Parker said with a laugh. “She’s a regular Annie Oakley.”

“I think I need some cedar oil,” Maria said faintly.

“Ok, we have a plan to get in there,” said Max. “But what about Jesse? We really should try and get some more information about him before we do anything.”

“What about Jesse?” asked Philip and Diane together.

Isabelle explained about her expedition to the cemetery and everything she overheard.

“So we don’t know for sure if he betrayed us, or if he is being mind warped. We just don’t know what to do.”

“Well, you are positive he is a human, right?” asked Geoff. When the others nod, he continued, “Why not try taking him alive, and getting him out and containing him. We can restrain him with Jim’s handcuffs and keep him here until we know for sure what the situation is.”

“And what if we find out he is a traitor?” asked Isabelle. “What do we do with him then?”

Kyle walked up the distraught girl and took her hand. “We deal with that when it happens Isabelle, and not a moment before. We can’t play the what if game with this. The important thing is to get him out of there and keep him safe. Don’t waste time or energy worrying about anything else right now.”

Liz sat back and looked at Kyle in amazement. Even with his heart totally destroyed by this new turn of events, he still had Isabelle’s best interest at heart.

“Kyle’s right. We can’t think about anything right now about getting in there. I really wish there was some way we could check that place out some more. Maybe get an idea of how many people they have in there and where they are located,” she said.

“How about if we spend tomorrow checking the place out?” asked Michael. “We can break up into teams of two and keep it under surveillance. Four hour shifts, with one of us and a parent on each team.”

“That is a great idea Michael,” said Jim. “Why don’t you break us up into teams? I have to run out to my truck for a second. Philip, Geoff, want to give me a hand?” The three men walked outside while Michael grabs a pad and started making a surveillance schedule.

Midnight – 4:00 a.m. Michael-Amy.

4:00 a.m. - 8:00 a.m. Philip – Liz

8:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. Kyle – Diane

12:00 p.m.- 4:00 p.m. Max – Nancy

4:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m. Jim – Geoff

8:00 p.m. – Midnight Isabelle – Maria

Michael scribbled some quick copies and handed out assignments as Jim and the others walked through the door, the arms loaded down with loaded duffle bags. They placed the bags on the floor and pull ed out walkie-talkies, night vision goggles, and binoculars. In another bag, the kids got a glimpse of guns, holsters and boxes of bullets.

“Holy shit,” Kyle exclaimed. “Were you planning on starting world war three or something?

“I started amassing all of this stuff after you left. I didn’t know if you’d be back, but I figured if you did come home, it wouldn’t hurt to be prepared. Ok, each one of us gets a gun. We are licensed to carry one,” Jim said, glancing at the surveillance schedule Michael handed him. “Isabelle, Maria, neither one of you can carry a gun legally. Michael, would you mind if I moved Maria around in your rotation and took her with me and Isabelle and Geoff go together?”

“Yeah, that makes sense, that way you have someone with our powers, and someone with a gun,” Michael agreed. “Ok, Ms. DeLuca and I have the first shift. We should probably head over there now, if you’re ready.”

“Just a minute,” Amy said as she grabbed a gun and holster from the bag and straps it on. She checked the weapon and loaded it and set the safety on. She then grabbed some ammo and stuffed it into her jacket pocket.

“Ok, now I’m ready,” she said. Nancy handed her a pack filled with water and snacks, the night goggles and a walkie-talkie. She took the pack, flung it over her shoulder and headed for the doorr.

“I really, really need some cedar oil now,” whispered Maria as she hugged her mother and Michael goodbye and watched as they walked out the door.

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PostPosted: Sun Sep 25, 2005 1:16 pm 
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Part 50

Michael and Amy parked their car about a half a mile from the empty factory building where the Antarians were hiding. Michael hefted the backpack onto his shoulder and he and Amy hiked towards the building. As luck would have it, there was a small grove of trees about 100 yards from the building, and Amy and Michael set up camp there. Amy pulled the night vision goggles out of the bag and passed them to Michael. He took them and looked at them, and Amy, oddly.

“Um, don’t you want them?” he asked. “After all, you’re the expert at this stuff.”

“Hardly Michael, what I am is a scared mom who will do anything to protect the people that she loves. Much like you would do anything to protect the people you love,” said Amy, her voice trembling slightly. Now what I want you to do is tell me everything that you see, and I’ll jot down some notes. Maybe you could also sketch some pictures of the people in there.”

“Uh, I’m not really very good at drawing. The only thing I’ve ever drawn is that dome thing.”

“That’s bull Michael, and I don’t want to hear it. You can do it and you know it. You just don’t do it because you don’t want to make yourself vulnerable through your art,” Amy snapped at him. “Now you’re a part of my family, and in my family, I’m the boss. So don’t give me any crap. Pick up those glasses and start looking!”

Michael quickly complied and for the next four hours, he and Amy observed and took notes. Shortly before 4:00 a.m., Philip and Liz arrived and carried on a whispered conversation with Amy and Michael, as they shared their observations with the two newcomers. Amy and Michael trudged wearily back to their car, while Liz and Philip set up their own observation center.

“Well, I don’t have Michael’s artistic ability, but I do have a camera with a telephoto lens so we can snap some shots of the bad guys,” said Philip.

“Cool, where’d you get that Mr. Evans?”

Philip had the grace to look ashamed as he admitted to buying to use when he decided to spy on Max. “But it’s being used for a far more noble purpose now,” he joked with Liz. “And Liz, I know we’ve never really had the opportunity to get to know each other, but you are married to my son. Do you think you could manage to call me Philip?”

“I’d like that,” Liz said shyly.

For several hours, they make small talk, and jot down several observations. Shortly after the sun began to peak over the eastern horizon, Liz started to stare intently at the building.

“Wait, something’s going on over there.” She grabbed a set of binoculars and focused on the front door. “That’s him,” she said under her breath.

“That’s who?” asked Philip, looking through his own set of binoculars.

“Well, I know him as Dr. Henderson. He was my supervisor at the last hospital I worked in, but Isabelle thinks that he’s Kivar. He’s the monster that started all of this.”

Philip looked again through the glasses, then grabbed the camera and snapped a few photos of the man. “Well, monster he may be, but if it wasn’t for him, we wouldn’t have Max, Isabelle or Michael.”

“Well, that’s true, but that doesn’t stop me from wanting to kill him nevertheless. I wonder if I could blast him from here?” she mused out loud.

“You’re not really going to try that are you?” Philip asked, worriedly. “We are just supposed to be observing here.”

“Don’t worry,” she laughed. “I won’t really, but it sure feels good thinking about it.”

There was more movement at the building and Liz raised the glasses to her face again.

“Oh look, there is the estimable Agent Feltcher on the left. I don’t know who the guy is on the other side of Kivar.”

Philip raised the camera and snapped photos of the two new arrivals. “Who’s Feltcher?”

“Well, as far as I’m concerned, he’s more like Barney Fife than anything else. He is a total bumbling idiot. He was the one tracking us the last place we lived,” said Liz.

“Well, he couldn’t have been too incompetent if he managed to trail you this far.”

“Not really, they planted tracking devices on us, but we found them and got rid of them.”

“And yet, here they are,” Philip countered.

“That’s true,” she admitted. “I guess we’re just working under the assumption that they knew we’d eventually come back here.”

“Maybe, but it’s something that bears looking into,” Philip said as he looked at his watch. “Hmmm, it’s 7:30, Kyle and Diane should be showing up anytime now.”

“Are you speaking of us,” whispered Diane as she and Kyle approached the stand of trees.

“Prompt as always,” joked Philip. “Remember that Liz, men love a woman who is on time.”

“We moved your car to an access road about a mile in that direction,” Kyle said pointing to the left, after greeting Liz and Philip. “We figured there was bound to be some activity on the main drive here and we didn’t want to take any chances.”

“Good thinking,” Liz said. She proceeded to fill Kyle and Diane Evans in on what they saw during their shift. She showed them Michael’s sketches, and Philip showed them how to work the camera.

As they were preparing to leave, Diane hugged Liz and whispered “Thank you for bringing my son home.” Liz just hugged her back and smiled at her.

Kyle and Diane’s shift passed uneventfully, as did those of Max and Nancy and Geoff and Maria. All three groups snapped photos of unidentified Antarians and noted down the comings and goings, but that was it. Jim and Isabelle arrived for the final shift of the night and settled down.

“I’m sorry I had to switch with Geoff tonight Isabelle, but I got stuck pulling an extra shift today. I hated like hell to leave Maria and Geoff out here, but there wasn’t any way around it.”

“Well, if it’s any consolation, they all had a really quite day,” Isabelle said. “Maybe we’ll have a quite night as well.”

Both hope for an uneventful and quiet night, but they don’t get their wish. At around 10:00 at night, bright bursts of light began to emanate from the building.

“What the hell was that?” questioned the sheriff.

“I don’t know, but we need to get closer and find out,” Isabelle answered.

“Isabelle, we can’t. It’s too dangerous for us to try that.”

“Damn, I know, but I feel so helpless just sitting here.” She grabbed the night vision glasses and raised them up to her eyes.

“Oh my God! Jim, how many people did everyone observe during the day?”

“Between eight and ten I think? Why?”

“Because there are at least 20 people in there now. I think those flashes of light we’ve been seeing are more of Kivar’s army joining him. He’s preparing for a war!”

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PostPosted: Sun Sep 25, 2005 1:17 pm 
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Part 51

Jim and Isabelle didn’t waste any time discussing the situation, they just grabbed their belongings and headed out to the car. Panting slightly from the exertion, Jim asked Isabelle to explain again what she saw.

“Look, lets just get out of here. I’ll explain it all again when we’re all together,” she said as they reached their hidden vehicle.

They stowed their belongings in the back, and were just about to climb in when Isabelle raised a cautioning hand to Jim. In the distance they heard the indistinct sound of voices. Isabelle quietly made her way in the direction of the voices, motioning for Jim to stay behind. Jim didn’t want Isabelle going anywhere on her own, but there was no way to stop her without drawing attention to them.

After fifteen long agonizing minutes, Isabelle snuck back and climbed into the car. She nodded to Jim, and he started the SUV and the two headed back to the cabin.

“Isabelle, what happened, what did you hear?”

“I don’t want to talk about it now, Jim. Please, lets just wait until we’re all together.

Jim agreed because he knows arguing with Isabelle was nothing more than exercise in futility. Within a short time, they arrived at the cabin. Isabelle jumped out of the vehicle before Jim even had a chance to stop it completely, and rushed inside. Jim made quick work of parking and rushed inside to join the others. Isabelle was sitting in a chair, her face dead white.

“Dad, what the hell happened to her?” Kyle demanded as he tried to get Isabelle to drink a glass of water.

Jim quickly filled them in on what they observed inside of the factory. When he explained about the arrival of more Antarians, Isabelle stood up and started speaking.

“There was a flash of light, which was almost blinding because of the night vision goggles, but when I looked again, there were more people in the room,” she said.

“Well, maybe they were like the second shift and had been sleeping all day,” Maria contributed, hopefully.”

“No,” said Isabelle, shooting her a look of disbelief. “Not dressed in the nice shiny space suit things they were wearing.”

“Didn’t anyone tell them the correct phrase is beam me UP Scotty, not beam me DOWN,” quipped Kyle, trying to break the tension.

“Shut up Valenti,” Michael said. “Iz, what happened after that?”

“Well, we started to get out of there, but I heard a noise, so I left Jim back at the car and went to investigate.”

”You what?” her father exploded. “Don’t you think that was dangerous Isabelle?”

“Right Dad, like my whole life hasn’t been dangerous. Anyhow, I snuck closer, and it was Jesse and another guy, and they were arguing. The first guy kept asking Jesse what he had told Kivar, but Jesse wouldn’t answer him. The argument escalated, when suddenly, the other guy stepped back from Jesse, and he started to really concentrate hard, then he asked Jesse again what he had told Kivar. Jesse finally answered and said he told Kivar exactly what he wanted to hear.”

“Oh Isabelle,” cried Liz, rushing over to hug her sister-in-law. “I’m sorry, I really, really am sorry. Is there anything else you want to tell us, or do you want to stop for a while?”

“No, I’ll keep going; I just want to get it over with. This guy, I think Jesse called him Naloch. Anyhow, he asked Jesse to tell him exactly what he told Kivar, when all of a sudden, Jesse passed out. This Naloch was really angry and complained that he was having a difficult time using his powers in our atmosphere, and that he hoped they stabilized after a few days. Then he grabbed Jesse and started dragging him back to the building. That’s when I took off.”

“Ok, this is good,” said Michael. “We can use this.”

“How can you say it’s good Michael?” said Maria. “Look at Isabelle. She’s torn apart. How can any of this be good?”

“Because we know Kivar’s bringing in reinforcements, and we know their powers are out of whack. If we act now, we stand a good chance of bringing them down.”

“Michael’s right” said Max. “We can’t put this off any longer. We have to move in tomorrow. Is everybody clear on their roles?”

The others nod in agreement. “Well then, I suggest we all get some sleep. Tomorrow’s going to be a busy day,” he said grabbing a sleeping bag. He looked at Liz and she wordlessly followed him out the door.

Once they were outside, Max took her hand, and they walked down by the lake to a secluded little stand of trees they had seen earlier. Spreading the sleeping bag out on the ground, they quickly shed their clothing and climbed inside together.

“Max, I love you,” Liz said as she pressed kisses along his neck. “I don’t think I want tomorrow to come.”

“I don’t either Liz, but it always does, nothing will ever change that, and live or die, the tomorrows keep coming.”

“Cut the profound crap Max and take advantage of me already,” Liz said.

Max willingly complied with her request, and began to kiss her passionately. After their lovemaking was complete, they laid together, wrapped in each other’s arms.

“Max,” she whispered. “Are you asleep?”

“No,” he said in a drowsy voice.

“Good, listen, I was wrong before. I don’t care about tomorrow anymore because we have right now, and nothing can ever be better than that.”

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PostPosted: Sun Sep 25, 2005 1:17 pm 
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Part 52

The sun peeked over the horizon, lighting the sky with the palest shades of gold and pink. Max kissed his wife awake, and the two of them greeted the dawn in their own personal way. After the sun had fully risen, they climbed from their sleeping bag and headed back into the cabin. Michael and Maria were sitting on the steps with steaming mugs of coffee in their hands, also enjoying the new morning.

Wordlessly, Michael pointed towards another part of the beach where a large flat stone rested. Max and Liz looked to where he was pointing, and saw Kyle sitting on the rock, facing the newly risen sun while he meditated. Coming down the path at a fast clip, Isabelle finished her morning jog and started stretching to cool down. Kyle finished his meditation and walked back to join the others. Silently, the six friends sat, not speaking, but enjoying these last few peaceful minutes together. Each one knowing, it could be their last.

From inside the cabin, Nancy Parker peeked out through the curtained windows to watch her daughter and her friends. Tears slowly slipped down her cheeks. Geoff joined her at the window and slipped his arm around her waist.

“Look at them,” he whispered. “They’re so accepting of what may happen. How did they get so strong?”

“They’re that strong, because they had to be,” said Jim joining them at the window. “Max Isabelle and Michael worked so hard to keep everybody out of their little circle, but all of that changed the day Max saved Liz. Michael and Isabelle were so certain Max had made a mistake, and had jeopardized them all, but now they all know that together they are far stronger than they are apart.”

“Those poor kids, they’ve had to face so much. Things nobody should ever have to cope with. It’s amazing that they’ve survived this long,” said Philip from the sofa by the fireplace.

“Not poor, never poor,” said Jim. “They don’t think that about themselves, and I’ll be damned if we’re going to start thinking that way now! Those are six of the strongest kids I have ever seen. They’ll get through this like they have every other crisis they’ve faced. With strength, grit determination, and a lot of luck!”

Amy was about to say something when the door opens and the six kids walked inside. By unspoken agreement, each one of them went to stand by their parents. Michael hesitated for a second, but Diane reached out a hand and pulled her to him and hugged him tightly.

“It’s 6:30,” said Max, finally breaking the silence. “You all had best head back to town, and get ready. We’ll meet you at the CrashDown at 9:00. At that time, Mom, you’ll act as the real estate agent and escort Michael and Liz into the building, along with Geoff. Dad, you, and Maria and Nancy and Amy will hold down the perimeter, making sure nobody slips out. Jim, Isabelle, Kyle and I will sneak in through the loading docks. Is everybody clear on what they will be doing?” One by one they nod, Maria started to speak up, but had second thoughts, and closed her mouth abruptly.

“Maria, I know you want to be on the inside, but you don’t have any powers and you can’t handle a weapon very well. We need you outside for your own safety,” Max said, answering her unspoken comments. “Besides, we need you on the outside. You’re coordinating the communications. Kyle, don’t forget, you’re role is key here. Try to keep the lines of communication open with Liz or Michael at all times.”

“I’ve been meaning to ask, how is he going to do that. Won’t a walkie-talkie be noticeable?” asked Jim.

“Oh, didn’t I tell you dad,” said Kyle with a small grin.

“Tell me what?”

I can talk to you telepathically now. See look, no lips, Kyle said in his father’s mind.

“Jesus, Kyle, tell someone before you do that. Great telepathy, is this something I have to look forward to also?”

“I don’t know Dad,” Kyle answered. “Liz didn’t get it, but she gets the visions instead.”

“Yeah, speaking of which, has the Crystal Ball gotten anything lately,” asked Michael.

“Don’t call me that Guerin, and no, I haven’t had a vision since that last one where Maria, Kyle and I were trying to hook up with Max and Isabelle.”

“Damn, that would have been to helpful I suppose,” Michael grumbled.

“Come on Michael, it’s not like I can turn it on like a television you know,” Liz said.

“Will you all just shut up!” Isabelle spoke for the first time all morning. “I can’t deal with your childish squabbling right now. I just want this over with.”

“Look Isabelle,” Liz snapped, her eyes flashing with anger. “We’ve excused your behavior time and again because God knows what you are dealing with right now is horrible, but guess what. We’re all dealing with it too, and if this childish squabbling as you call it helps us get through it, then so be it.”

An uncomfortable silence filled the room. Liz grabbed a jacket and headed outside. I don’t care, she thought to herself. Someone had to say it. She isn’t the only one trying to cope with a lot right now. I don’t even think she realizes we all might die today. All she can focus on is Jesse. A door clicked behind her and in a matter of moments, Isabelle joined Liz outside.

“Liz, I’m sorry. I overreacted, that’s all there is too it,” said Isabelle. “There isn’t anything I can say to excuse myself. To be honest, I don’t want to excuse myself. I said it, it’s over with, and I just want to move on. Can we do that?”

“Yeah Isabelle, we can do that. Life is to short to worry about stupid outbursts on anyone’s part. Especially now.”

“Especially now,” Isabelle agreed. The door opened again, and the parents walked outside to head back to town. Isabelle and Liz hugged their parents, and watched as they drove off in their cars.

“Well, this is it,” Liz said. “Lets head inside and get the others. One way or another, it all ends today.”

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PostPosted: Sun Sep 25, 2005 1:17 pm 
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Part 53

Isabelle took one last look around the cabin, to make sure they haven’t left anything behind. Over on the table she found a Boston Red Sox cap that belonged to Kyle. She picked it up and looked at it wistfully. Kyle, climbing down the wooden ladder to the loft, saw the look on her face.

“What’s up Isabelle?”

“Oh, Kyle, I thought I was alone in here.”

“Well, obviously, you’re not. Now come on, what’s up? Is it Jesse?”

“Yes. No. I don’t know,” she cried.

“Well, that really cleared it up for me, thanks Isabelle,” he said as he continued down the ladder. “Look, if you want to talk, I’ll listen, I always do, but I can’t deal with this wishy washy attitude poor me attitude you’ve had lately.”

Isabelle whirled around, her eyes flashing fire. “MY WHAT!” she shouted. “Excuse me for being in conflict here. My life is in a shambles, I may die today, my husband has either betrayed me or is controlled by my lover from a past life who is here bent on destroying us, and you are saying I’m having a wishy washy me attitude. Well you and all the others can just shove it up your!”

“Isabelle,” Kyle interrupted. “Do you feel better now?”

“No, I feel damn angry, that’s how I feel. I am sick to death of everyone criticizing me right now. I know I’ve been kind of a bitch lately, but I can’t help it. It’s not like I’m acting this way on purpose. And personally, I think all of you have been pretty damn selfish about recognizing the conflict I’m trying to deal with right now.”

“Isabelle,” Kyle said.

“And another thing, I thought all of you liked Jesse. Why is everyone so quick to doubt him and assume he is a traitor? Why aren’t you all just jumping up ready to save him?”

“Isabelle?”

“And another thing, why is it that,”

“ISABELLE!” Kyle shouted. “Will you shut up for a second and listen to me. Did you ever, for once think, and I mean really think about how this is affecting everybody else? They’re just about as torn up as you over Jesse. Maybe even more so on some level. We managed to protect everyone except for him. How do you think that’s making us feel? He risked a lot to help us escape and this is how we repay him, but letting him get captured by Kivar and mind raped. And just suppose he has been working willingly with Kivar all along. Isabelle, he fooled all of us. Every single one of us gave him our seal of approval, so if we’re not acting appropriately according to the Isabelle rule book, that’s why.”

“I, I never thought of any of that,” Isabelle said slowly.

“No, of course you didn’t, and none of us expected you to. We get how hard this is for you right now, but I think, we all think you should know us well enough to excuse a momentary lapse on our part.”

“God, I’ve been such an ass, haven’t I?”

”No, you’ve been a woman torn apart; it’s understandable, really. But, we’ve been struggling with it too, and I think you are forgetting about that.”

“No, Kyle, not forgetting, not even thinking about it,” Isabelle admitted ruefully. “I guess I have been kind of selfish at that.”

“Damn it, Isabelle, that’s NOT what I’m saying, now will you pay attention!” shouted Kyle. “Just once, see what’s right before your face.”

Isabelle took the baseball cap she’d been holding all this time, and placed it on her head.

“I think I get it Kyle, I really do. Do you mind if I wear this for luck? That way, if something does happen, and I don’t make it out, I’ll at least have a piece of my very best friend with me when I die.”

Kyle felt his heart plunge to his feet once again, but he dredged up a smile and reached over and adjusted the cap on her head.

“You’re not going to die, and of course you can wear my hat. And Isabelle, I’ll always be your friend. I only wish,” he paused.

“I know Kyle, I really do, but it isn’t, and in a way, I’m glad. I couldn’t stand it if anything got in the way of our being friends. You know, there are things you know about that I never told Jesse. I love you Kyle, and I always will, no matter what happens in our lives. There is something between us, a bond, and it can’t be broken, not ever.”

Kyle said nothing, there wasn’t anything to say to that. He stood up and held his hand out to Isabelle. She reached out and slipped her and in his, and they walked out of the cabin together towards a very uncertain future.

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PostPosted: Sun Sep 25, 2005 1:18 pm 
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Part 54

The nondescript sedan with Roswell Realty on the door made it’s way up to the building.

“Sir, someone is approaching, should I notify Kivar?”

“Wait just a moment Janid, let us see who it is,” answered Naloch. “No sense in bothering His Excellency if it is something trivial.”

“What is trivial?” asked Kivar as he entered the room.

“Possibly nothing Sir,” said Naloch as both he and Janid bowed respectfully. “A car is approaching, and I thought it best to assess the situation before we disturbed you.”

“That is wise Naloch, I have far more pressing matters to deal with than the,” he paused to look out the window at the car. “The Roswell Realty Company. As soon as you are certain this isn’t something dreamed up by that idiotic Zan and his band of simpletons, send them on their way.”

“Aye Sir,” said Naloch, turning towards the stairs. “I will handle it with the greatest expediency.”

“Naloch, wait,” Kivar said raising his hand. “I’ve changed my mind. I believe I shall accompany you to greet these people.”

Naloch’s face betrayed nothing as he followed Kivar down the stairs. In the lobby, they waited and watched as three people emerged from the car. An older woman emerged from the drivers seat, her black hair is swept up into a no nonsense bun. From the passenger seat, an older man, wearing a black Stetson hat and a duster emerged. From the back seat, a young woman with blonde hair styled in what could only be called 80’s country music big hair scrambled out. Her feet were encased in red leather boots, into which skintight blue jeans have been tucked. Her shirt, or what there is of it was cut tight and low, to make the most of her obvious assets. The three walked towards the building.

“I’m assuming Sir that the older woman is the realtor and the gentleman is her customer. As to the identity of the younger woman, I cannot wager a guess.”

“Naloch, Naloch, I must be working you too hard if you can’t guess what she is,” laughed Kivar. “She is obviously what these simple Earth people call his midlife crisis. On second thought, don’t hurry them on their way, this could be quite entertaining.”

From the outside of the building, Diane fumbled with the key and finally opened the door. Walking inside, she continued the mock real estate spiel.

“And as you can see, the lobby is very large, and will enable you to have a large reception,” she paused, looking at Naloch and Kivar.

“Hello, are you here to see the building as well? I don’t recall setting up any other appointments for this building today.” She paused for a moment before continuing, “Oh wait, I bet you talked to that no good tramp Tammy in the office. She’s forever trying to steal my listings. Well, if you’re interested in this building, you’ll have to go through me. My name is Betty McCarthy, and you are?”

“Oh, please excuse my most appalling manners. I am Gerald Henderson, and this is my associate, Ben Nabor. We are indeed interested in this building,” answered Kivar.

“Now just one danged minute there!” shouted Philip. “I’m J.C. Simpson from Dallas, and I’m interested in this here building. I had an appointment and if anyone is buying this building, it’s me!”

“Well, of course Mr. Simpson,” said Kivar smoothly “I completely understand. You have an appointment with the realtor, and we are merely interlopers, but perhaps you will allow us to tour the building with you, and if you are not interested, my associate and I will most likely make an offer.”

“Well now, I don’t know about that. Ms. McCarthy, what do you think?”

Diane paused for a moment, unsure of how to answer when Liz said, “Oh J.C. you silly thing. Let these fine gentlemen join us. That way I’ll have someone to talk with while you and this nice Ms. McCarthy talk.”

“Well lamb chop, if you want it, you’ve got it. Anything to make my little Candy happy. Gentlemen, allow me to introduce Candy. She’s my secretary,” Philip said with a wink.

“We are pleased to meet you Candy, and we are both delighted join you on this tour,” Kivar said, smoothly.

“Well, yes, then why don’t we begin,” stammered Diane. A loud crash from the upper level of the building startled all of them.

“Oh, I believe that is some loose shelving,” said Kivar smoothly. When the others look at him questioningly, he continued. “My associate and I had already begun to explore the building when we saw you arrive. Why don’t I just check upstairs to make sure that’s all it is? Ben, if you would please?”

Naloch and Kivar walked quickly up the stairs. As soon as they were out of sight, Philip grabbed Diane and started to push her towards the door.

“Get out now, before they come back. Meet up with the others and let them know what’s going on.”

“How are you going to explain my being missing?” she asked.

“Simple,” answered Liz. “Walk out the door shouting
back to us about some contracts you left in the car.”

“Be careful you two,” she said softly, then in a louder voice, “Mr. Simpson, I left the contracts out in the car, I’m just going to run out and get them.”

“Take your time Ms. McCarthy. Candy and I are just going to take a look around.”

“Where is Ms. McCarthy going?” a voice from above questioned. Philip looks up and seed Naloch looking down from the upper level.

“She left the contracts in her car, so she went outside to get them. I tell you, it just proves my point that women are just too scatterbrained to work anywhere. They just don’t have the head for big business.”

“J.C., I’m bored,” Liz, whined in her best airhead bimbo voice. “You promised me we’d go to Vegas today.”

“We will kitten we will. I just need to take care of a little business. I’ll tell you what, why don’t you take a look around this floor and find a nice place for your office.”

“What a wonderful idea,” said Naloch. “And please, don’t be afraid if you bump into anyone else. We brought several contractors with us to look over the building before making bids on its renovations.”

“Ok,” said Liz, flashing him a big smile. Turning to Philip she nodded slightly and then crossed the lobby and opened a door to the interior of the building. She opened a small office door, and the first person she saw was the erstwhile Agent Feltcher.

“Hi there,” she said brightly. “My name’s Candy, who are you?” She held out her hand to shake his, but when he stepped close enough to take her hand, she placed her hand on his chest and focused all her power into that hand. Within a matter of seconds Feltcher falls to the ground, and his body disintegrates into a pile of ashes.

“Cool,” Liz giggled slightly hysterically. “Just like Buffy.”

Grabbing a folder from an abandoned desk, she flapped at the ashes and sent them floating throughout the room.

’Well, cleanup’s a snap,’ she thought to herself.

Liz, what’s going on, Kyle’s voice says in her head.

I’m inside. Max’s dad is in the lobby. Kivar and one of his henchmen are upstairs, and Max’s mother is on her way out to meet up with the others. Listen, I killed one of them already.

You did WHAT?
Kyle shouted. You killed one of them. What happened, are you ok?

Shut up and listen. I put my hand on his chest and focused all my power into that one hand, and he just, well, he disintegrated. If we can take some of them out that way, we stand a better chance of surviving.
God Liz, be careful.
I will, you too, and tell Max…
I know you love him. I will, and just to save time, he loves you back.


Liz smiled a little as she felt the connection with Kyle break. She opened the office door and peered into the corridor. Once she was certain nobody else was there, she stepped out and continued down the hall. Opening another door, she found three others inside. Three of them? she thought to herself. How the hell am I going to manage this one? Suddenly, she got an idea.

“Hi, I’m Candy. That nice Mr. Henderson said it was ok for me to look around, but now I can’t find my way back to the lobby. Would one of you kind gentlemen help me?”

The three Antarians looked at each other, unsure of what to do. Finally one of them steps forward and grabbed Liz roughly by the arm.

“Come with me, I’ll take you to him. Bashton come, help me escort this person to Henderson. The shortest of the trio stepped forward and took Liz’s other arm, and the two dragged her out into the hallway.

Pretending to stumble, she yanked one arm free from her captor and placed it on his chest. As before with the first alien, he crumbled into a pile of dust. Whirling around, she placed her hand on the other man’s chest and repeated the procedure. She then opened the office door and stuck her head back inside.

“Um, we seem to have a little problem out here, can you help us?” she asked.

The unsuspecting Antarian walked over to her. Again, Liz placed her hand on his chest and focused, but nothing happened.

“Oh shit,” she yelled as she ran for the door, but she wasn’t quick enough, as the Antarian reached out and grabbed her and shoved her to the ground.

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PostPosted: Sun Sep 25, 2005 1:18 pm 
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Part 55

Michael held up a hand, signaling the others to wait for a moment. He scouted ahead, then came back and signaled the others to follow him. As one, Max, Isabelle, Kyle and Jim moved forward and climbed up on the loading dock. Kyle pointed over to a door and telepathically let Michael know that it was the door to the sub-basement that they had seen on the blueprints. Michael nodded, and Kyle made his way over to the door and opened it. He headed down to the sub-basement and in a moment the others heard his voice in their minds telling them it was safe to come down.

Almost as if they were a single unit, the others moved towards the door and descended into the sub-basement.

“Great going Kyle, you found this place with no problems,” said Max moving towards Kyle, but Kyle ignored him. He concentrated, his eyes focusing on something unseen, and his lips moved silently.

“Shhh,” whispered Isabelle. “He must be talking to Liz.”

“What is she saying, is she all right?” Max questioned.

“Max, be quiet and let him concentrate, will you,” said Isabelle.

Kyle turns to look at Max and the others.

“Well, first off, she says she loves you,” he said.

“Tell her I,” Max started.

“I already did,” Kyle answered. “Now, your Mom’s outside, your Dad is in the lobby, and Liz is inside, checking things out.”

“That’s great,” said Jim. “Sounds like things are proceeding according to plan.”

“Well, there’s more,” said Kyle. “Apparently, she killed one of the Antarians.”

“What!” yelled Max, his voice echoing in the cavernous sub-basement. “How did she do that? What happened?”

Kyle waited until Max calmed down and then proceeded to tell them everything Liz had said leaving out how shaken she had sounded when he first contacted her.

“Cool,” said Michael. “That will make things a lot easier. Score one for the walking talking crystal ball.”

“Yeah, but can we all do it?” asked Jim. “I haven’t really practiced too much with my powers yet. It hasn’t been safe.”

“All we can do is try,” said Max. “But make sure you stick with one of us at all times. We can’t risk anything happening to you Jim.”

“Ok, we really should move out,” said Michael. “Isabelle, you and Kyle take that staircase, and Max, Jim and I will go up this way,” he continued, pointing to the stairs in the back of the basement. “Kyle, make sure to check in with us every 15 minutes or so, okay?”

Kyle nodded, and the two groups split up and went their separate ways. Michael led the others up the stairs. Using his powers, he opened the locked door and eased it open slightly. He peered around the door to make sure nobody was around. He was just about to motion to Max and Jim to follow him, when a door opened and a man stepped into the hall. Michael waited until the man was almost right in front of him, and reached out and pulled him into the stairwell.

Holding one hand over his mouth, he used his other hand to press against the man’s chest and pushed him against the now closed door. He focused all his energy they way Kyle described and felt it flow down his arm and into his hand. Just as Kyle had said, the man’s body simply crumbled up into a pile of dust.

“Wow,” Michael said, his voice trembling a little. “That could be considered almost cool, in a really sick way, that is.”

“Well, it certainly does even up the odds a bit, doesn’t it?” asked Jim. “If we can take them out one by one, it will be safer for all of us.”

“Yeah,” agreed Max shaken by what he just witnessed. “Michael, are you ok?” he asked, showing concern for his friend.

“Yeah, I’ll be alright, and Max, Liz will too,” he said, reading his friends unspoken worry for his wife. “She’s a strong, strong woman. She can handle this.”

“Thanks Michael,” Max said, his voice ripe with gratitude.

“Do you want me to take the lead for a while Michael?” asked Jim. He too, was shaken by what he has seen.

“No, I’m ok, lets just get the hell out of here and find that bastard Kivar,” said Michael, his voice unwavering.

He opened the door again and looked out and made sure it was safe. Nobody was in sight, so he stepped out into the hallway, followed by Jim, then Max. Moving down the hall, they looked into the various offices, only to find them empty. The next door they tried was locked. Michael looked back at Max, and he nodded. Michael placed his hand over the look and the door popped open.

Cautiously pushing the door open, he peered inside. Lying on the floor was a body. He stepped inside and reached for the body to roll it over. When the face came into view, he saw that it was a badly beaten Jesse. Max came into the room and knelt down beside him, while Jim guarded the door.

“Jesse, wake up,” he said slapping him lightly on the cheek.

“Max, it’s no good, he’s out cold,” whispered Michael.

“Ok, look, I’ll heal him as best I can, you get him out of here. Take him to Maria, and tie him up good. We don’t know if we can trust him, but I’m not going to leave him here,” ordered Max.

“No way, let Valenti take him. I’m not leaving you,” Michael argued.

“Michael, you have to. It has to be you. We don’t know if Jim has enough control over his powers to send him off alone. Besides, we have to do this for Isabelle. She’s right, if it were Maria or Liz, we wouldn’t hesitate. Jesse deserves the same. He put himself on the line for us. We have to get him out of here.”

“Max, he could be the one who betrayed us!” Michael whispered, fiercely.

“Yeah, he could be, but there’s also a chance he’s being controlled by them. Michael, we have to do this, youknow that.”

“Yeah, I do,” he admitted, but I hate leaving you here.”

“Listen, we’ll go back to the basement and wait for you there, and we won’t leave unless we have to. If Kyle contacts you, let him know that we got Jesse out. Have him tell Isabelle he’s safe,” said Max.

“Ok, but don’t leave that basement unless it’s an emergency. Now, if you’re going to heal him, hurry up and do it so we can get out of here,” said Michael.

Max quickly did what he can to heal Jesse’s wounds, then he and Michael lifted Jesse up under his arms and started to carry him out. With Jim in the lead, they made their way back to the basement and up the stairs. They helped Michael get Jesse off the loading dock and then headed back inside to wait. While they were waiting, Max and Jim discuss Jesse.

“I still can’t believe Kyle did that much damage to Jesse,” Max said.

“I don’t think he did,” said Jim. “Some of those wounds were fresh, but you could see where Kyle dragged his nails across Jesse’s face had already started to heal. I think your friends up there did that.” He looks at Max, but he appears to be listening to something other than what he was saying.

After several minutes, he turns to Jim. “That was Kyle,” he said, needlessly. “He and Isabelle are fine, and I told them about Jesse. They haven’t run into any other Antarians yet, and he’s going to try and contact Liz now.”

“I wish we had a better idea of how many people they brought down,” said Jim.

“Never mind that,” said Max urgently. “Kyle just contacted Liz, she’s been captured. We have to find her, now!”

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PostPosted: Sun Sep 25, 2005 1:19 pm 
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Part 56

Michael carried Jesse into a stand of trees where Maria wass hiding and guarding the perimeter with Geoff Parker.

“Oh my God,” she exclaimed. “You got him out.

“Talk about stating the obvious Maria,” Michael shot back. “Look do you have any rope in any of those packs? Max doesn’t want us to leave him unless he’s tied up.”

“Yeah, here’s some,” said Geoff, rummaging through one of the bags. “Here you go.”

The two made short work of tying Jesse up, and Michael explained what occurred inside, trying to edit out Liz’s role for the benefit of Mr. Parker.

“Look Michael, I know there are things you’re leaving out. How is Lizzie doing? Has Kyle contacted you about her?”

“Yeah, actually he has,” Michael admitted. “She’s the one who figured out how to kill these guys.”

“Damn,” Geoff said. “None of you should have to deal with any of this.”

“Yeah, well, we do,” Michael answered, simply. “Hopefully, it will all end here. Can you make sure those ropes are tight Mr. Parker. I don’t want to leave him here with you and Maria unless I know he’s secure.”

As Geoff bends down to check the ropes, Michael pulled Maria aside.

“Maria, shut up and listen,” he whispered. “Kyle contacted me just as I was coming out with Jesse. Liz has been captured. That’s all he knows. He can’t seem to contact her anymore.”

“I’m going in with you,” Maria said.

“Maria, you can’t, it’s too dangerous.”

“Look Space Boy, you knew this was going to happen when you told me, and you know I’m going to win, so just save the arguments and let’s get back inside,” Maria argued

Michael, who knew he was beaten before this battle had begun, capitulated, and then asked, “How are you going to explain this to Liz’s Dad?”

She shot him a look that clearly stated that he’s an idiot and said, “Simple, just tell him Max contacted you via Kyle and wants me in.”

She walked off, shaking her head, wondering how Michael Guerin had survived for so long before he knew her.

Michael followed Maria’s plan and told Geoff that Max wants her in. The older man was clearly unhappy, but agreed and watched as the two snuck back to the loading dock. Once inside, Michael looked around, found a piece of pipe, picks it up and handed it to Maria.

“Use this if you have to Maria, promise me.”

“I will, believe me I will. If those bastards have hurt Liz in any way, I’ll kill them all myself,” Maria said, her voice full of resolve.

Michael didn’t have any reason to doubt her at all.

“Hey,” said Maria looking around the dank basement. “Where are Valenti and Max?”

Michael snorted and looks at her. “Did you really think he was going to wait when he found out she was in danger? He would have waited about as well as you would have stayed behind.”

“No, I suppose not. Well, come on,” she said, tightening her grip on the length of pipe. “Lets go find them and kick some alien ass.”

Michael retraced his path back up the stairs to the door. Again he peered around it to make sure they are unobserved, and he and Maria step out into the hallway. Michael retraced the path that he Max and Jim had taken earlier. Along the way, Michael pointed to a pile of dust and told Maria that was the alien he destroyed.

“Nice,” she commented. “Remind me to invest in vacuum cleaner stock.”

Done the hallway, a door opens. Michael grabbed Maria and shoved her into an empty room. Looking out through the partially opened door he tried to see who was coming. Without warning, the door was pulled from his hands and flung open. Maria didn’t hesitate, but raised the pipe and prepared to crush the skull of whoever passed through the door.

“Jesus Maria, will you watch where you’re swinging that thing,” Kyle said, stopping the pipe with his hand. “I only have one skull you know.”

“Kyle, Isabelle, any word on Liz?” Michael asked.

“No nothing,” said Kyle dejectedly. “I can’t get anything from her. It’s like she’s unconscious, or worse.”

“How about Max, do you know where he is?”

“Yeah, he and my dad went the opposite way down this corridor.”

“Ok, look, contact them and get them back here. We need to be together now. Liz said we’re stronger together than apart, and she’s right,” said Michael.

Kyle contacted Max and in a short time, everyone was together. Max isn’t surprised to see Maria there. He doesn’t say anything, but he hugged her tightly.

“Don’t worry, we’ll find her,” Maria whispered.

“Michael how was Jesse?” Isabelle asked.

“Well, he hadn’t regained consciousness before we left, but he’s with Liz’s dad. He’ll take care of him,” said Michael.

“Thanks for getting him out.”

“What else did you expect us to do?” he asked, and in the next breath, “Never mind, don’t answer that.”

“Look we need to focus on Liz right now,” said Jim, bringing everybody back to the terrible reality they faced.

“Jim’s right,” said Isabelle. “We have to find her. Kyle and I came down this corridor, and it’s completely empty. Max, what did you and Jim find?”

“Well, we had just come to another stairwell when Kyle contacted us. I think we should head back there and see what we can find.”

They all agreed and made their way down the deserted hallway to the staircase. Michael took the lead and climbs the stairs. At the next level, he opened the door and stepped out into a dark hallway. At the end of the hallway was a glass door. He moved quietly to the door and peered out into the lobby of the building. Max’s father was nowhere in site, but he did see two other men standing there. One of them, Isabelle identified as Kivar, but she wasn’t sure who the other one was. Kivar looked as though he was yelling at the other man. Kivar raised his arm to strike the other man, but he managed to duck the blow by moving. As he stepped away from Kivar, the others are able to see Liz’s body, lying on the ground.

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PostPosted: Sun Sep 25, 2005 1:19 pm 
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Part 57

“Get out of my way, I have to get to her,” Max shouted as he tried to shove Michael out of his way. Jim and Kyle grabbed him and held him back.

“Max, get a hold of yourself,” Jim said, shoving Max against the wall. “You can’t go rushing out there. Give us a few minutes. Let’s assess the situation, and we’ll figure something out. We’re not going to leave Liz there.”

”Max, Jim is right, we’ll get Liz. We’re not going to leave her behind, but you’ve got to give us a chance to figure everything out. If you go rushing out there, you are going to get yourself killed. What good is that going to do?” said Isabelle.

“But it’s Liz out there, I have to get to her!” Max cried.

“Right, and not too long ago, it was Jesse, and you got him out. We’ll get Liz out to,” Isabelle said to her distraught brother. “Now shut up and let us come up with a plan.”

“Um, I think you should all shut up for a minute and listen to me,” said Maria. “Liz is awake out there. She’s not unconscious.”

“That’s impossible,” Kyle said, hotly. “I haven’t been able to contact her.”

“Look, I don’t know about earlier, but right now, out there, she’s awake.”

“Maria,” Michael said. “How can you be sure?”

“Ok, when we were in junior high, I had an awful time with spelling, I still do as a matter of fact. Anyhow, Liz and I were studying sign language and we learned how to spell things out with our fingers. We used it then so she could help me with my spelling tests.”

“As interesting as this trip down memory lane is Maria,” snapped Max. “What does this have to do with anything?”

“Look at her hands, she’s trying to tell us something.”

Max whipped around and looked back out the glass door and sure enough, Liz was lying on her side, using her body to block her hand from view.

“Well, what is she saying?” he demanded.

“God Max, give me a second, will you. We are talking something we did in junior high, in far less stressful circumstances.” Maria moved closer to the door and concentrates. “A-L-L-I-E-S. Allies? What does she mean by that? Wait, she’s spelling something else. W-E-H-A-V-E-A-L-L-I-E-S.”

“We have allies,” said Jim. “Damn, what does she mean?”

“I don’t know, but we can’t sit here all day trying to figure it out,” said Max. “We have to figure out something, and we have to do it fast.”

“I’m afraid we don’t have time for that Max,” said Maria. “She says we should attack now.”

Without hesitation Michael pushed to the front and opened the door, and charged out, flanked by Max and Kyle. Jim and Isabelle followed them, leaving Maria to bring up the rear.

As they charged forward, the lobby filled with bodies. Kivar called his men to arms, and they lined up in formation against the others. With Kivar’s attention focused elsewhere, Liz took the opportunity to stand up and move beside her husband for their final showdown.

** * ** *

Outside the building, Geoff kept watch over Jesse who had finally woken up. For the longest time, he was incoherent, but as time passed, his speech cleared up, but what he was saying terrified Geoff. Making a decision, he radioed the others to rendezvous with him. In about fifteen minutes the others arrived. Amy noticed right away that her daughter was missing.

”Geoff, where’s Maria?” she asked, her voice trembling slightly in fear of the answer.

“She went back in with Michael. They said Max contacted them via Kyle and he wanted her in there, but I’m not sure if I believe it. I think something happened in there. I think they have Liz.”

Nancy gasps in shock, and Geoff hung his head with his pronouncement and then looked back up at the others. “But that’s not why I called you, it’s this.” He stepped aside and they saw Jesse, tied to a tree.

“Jesse!” Diane gasped as she instinctively moved towards him. Philip grabbed her by the arm to hold her back.

“He’s dangerous honey. You heard what the kids said. They think he’s a traitor.”

“I’m no traitor,” said Jesse. “That’s what I keep trying to tell Mr. Parker. I never sold them out, never. I love Isabelle. I’ve been trying to protect them.”

“What about the papers Isabelle found in your office in Boston?” demanded Philip.

“They were planted by Kivar. I’ll admit he had control over me for a time, but I fought it. I’ve been fighting it for so long, trying to feed him as much misinformation as I possibly can. But he figured it out the other night. I don’t know how, but he took great pleasure in beating me, and torturing me beyond belief.”

“Well, you’re looking pretty healthy now,” said Philip, looking at Jesse’s unmarked body in disbelief.

“Max healed him before they got him out,” Geoff said. “Michael told me, so he’s telling the truth about that anyhow.”

“Look, you need to believe me. Kivar knows they’re here, and he is hell bent on revenge. That entire building is wired to explode. He’s planning a massive battle, and he wanted to ensure a win at all costs. He decided to make sure he’d win no matter what. If it turns out that Max and Isabelle are winning, he is going to blow up the building. We have to get in there and warn them.”

“I don’t know what to believe anymore,” said Geoff shaking his head. “We need to decide this one together.”

“I think we should believe him,” said Diane.

“Me too,” said Amy. “I don’t have anything to base it on other than intuition, but I think he’s telling the truth.”

“Philip, what about you?” asked Geoff.

“I don’t know,” he said, shaking his head. “There are just so many variables to take into consideration.”

“We need a decision Philip,” urged Geoff.

“I say let’s trust him. If he’s telling the truth, then I’m going in there myself to help our kids, and I’m taking him with me. If I find out that he’s lying, I won’t hesitate to use this,” he said, pulling a gun out of the waistband of his pants.”

“Nancy, what about you?”

“We have to trust him, we have no choice. Geoff, we need to get in there and help them,” her voice caught on a sob at the though of her daughter in danger.

“Well then, we agree,” said Geoff, bending down to untie Jesse from the tree. The last rope falls away, and Jesse shoved Geoff out of the way and takes off running towards the building.

“Isabelle!” he screamed.

The others took off after him, running towards the building. Jesse, with his head start got there first and pulled the door open and ran into the lobby.

“Isabelle, run, it’s a trap,” he shouted, throwing himself into the air between Isabelle and Kivar.

Kivar stood poised, his arm upraised, ready to take fire at Isabelle. He let loose with a bolt of energy, which was blocked by Jesse’s body passing between the two. Jesse crashed to the ground as bolts of energy begin to fly from both sides. The parents rushed through the door and into the battle, with guns drawn. They immediately deployed to the perimeter of the room and began to fire at the Antarians. Several bullets managed to find their mark before the Antarians realized what was happening.

”Naloch, where are you?” roared Kivar. “Take care of these useless humans.” Kivar spared a second from the battle, trying to locate Naloch, but was unable to see him anywhere. Suddenly, a figure appeared on the balcony of the upper level.

“True Antarians, take heed, the true King is among us. All hail King Zan!”

At his words, the lobby fills with more Antarians. They rushed to side with their king and began to fight against Kivar’s soldiers. Naloch leapt down from the balcony to stand by his King.

“Your Majesty,” he shouted over the sounds of the battle. “Kivar’s men can’t be killed by energy blasts, they are able to absorb the energy and send it back to you. You must touch them to kill destroy them!”

At Naloch’s words, Max threw up a protective shield to block the energy bolts from Kivar’s men.

“We have to touch them,” he shouted to the others. We’ll move up as one, and as soon as we are close enough, I’ll lower the shield and grab them!”

Max raised his hand and puts up a shield, and the others form an offensive line and moved forward. As soon as they were in range, Max lowered the shield and they rushed forward and began to grab Kivar’s men. With the help of the loyal Antarians, they managed to destroy most of Kivar’s followers. Soon, all that was left was Kivar himself, and several of his men who are crying for Krecha.

Max shot Naloch a questioning look and he explained that Krecha is the Antarian word for surrender. Before Max could say anything, Kivar reached into his pocket and pulls out a compact device.

“I still win Zan,” he said with a sneer. “Welcome to your final resting place. He moved his hand to depress a button located at the center of the device.

Jim, acting instinctively, drew his gun and was poised to shoot Kivar when Jesse pulled himself up and launched himself at Kivar shouting, “It’s a bomb, run Isabelle run. Get out!”

Kivar blasted him again, and Jesse crumpled to the ground. Isabelle bent over his body, crying, when suddenly, Kivar fell forward. Looking up, the others see Maria; standing behind him with the lead pipe Michael had given her raised over her head prepared to hit him again if necessary. Naloch rushed forward, and puts his hand on Kivar’s chest and Kivar’s body dissolves into dust.

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PostPosted: Sun Sep 25, 2005 1:20 pm 
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Part 58

“Jesse,” Max shouted, running over to the body of his brother-in-law. He placed his hand on Jesse’s chest, and tried to heal him, but it was too late. He looked up at his sister and shook his head, tears glistening in his eyes.

“I’m sorry Isabelle, there wasn’t anything I could do.” Isabelle knelt down before the body of her husband and placed a kiss on his lips.

“I know that Max,” she said as the tears streaked silently down her face. “He died saving me, saving us. He wasn’t a traitor at all.”

“Indeed he was not,” said Naloch, stepping forward. “Jesse fought the power of Kivar’s mind warp for a very long time, and he was quite successful. He consistently fed Kivar misinformation that made capturing you all the more difficult. He also misled Kivar regarding the strength of your powers. He is a true hero, and his name will long be remembered in the annuls of Antarian history.”

“Does somebody mind explaining what in the hell just happened here?” shouted Max. “Who are you people and what is going on?”

“Your Majesty,” said Naloch, bowing to Max. If I may explain?”

“Uh yeah, please do,” said Max sarcastically. “And make it the long version please.”

“We are a band of freedom fighters from Antar,” began Naloch. “From the time Kivar’s dictatorship began, there have been those who have worked tirelessly to depose him and restore the true ruler to the throne. As you are by now aware, you were created by mixing your essence with human DNA. We’ve been watching you as closely as possible since you emerged from your pods. Our scientists have been working day and night to develop the technology to allow us to travel to Earth to protect you from Kivar and his forces. However, we had no sooner mastered the technology than Kivar’s people stole the information from us. Fortunately, we have always had a large network of spies who had infiltrated Kivar’s army. When we found out he wanted to use the technology to come to Earth to destroy you, we knew we had no choice but to act.”

“Well, why didn’t you just tell us what was going on?” asked Liz.

“Would you have trusted us?” Naloch responded, dryly.

“Probably not,” she admitted.

“And that is why we didn’t contact you. In fact, you made it remarkably hard to trace you. All of you were very skillful in eluding Kivar’s men.”

“Look, all we want to know, is are our children safe?” Philip asked.

“Yes, they are safe from Kivar’s men.”

“What about the FBI special unit?” asked Amy, stepping forward from where she had been comforting her daughter.

“There never was a special unit of the FBI, or rather, there hasn’t been for a number of years. Those people who captured Max were Kivar’s men. They had been sent here many years ago to track down the royal four and eliminate them. However, they didn’t count on all of you being quite so resourceful.”

“So we’re safe. We can have our lives back?” asked Max. “We can come home to Roswell and just be ourselves again?”

“Well, we had rather assumed that you would want to come back to Antar and take your place as the rightful King,” answered Naloch.

“What!” shouted Philip. “They can’t leave, they belong here with us. We’re their family.”

“Be that as it may,” said Naloch. “King Zan has a destiny to follow, and a world to rule.”

“Not that I’m saying I’m going, but how would I even be able to get there? Do you have a ship nearby?” Max asked.

“No Sire, we no longer need a ship to travel from Antar to Earth. That is the technology our scientists have mastered a way for us to teleport, thus eliminating the need for travel by spacecraft. It is not without risks, but not as risky as traveling by craft.”

Max looks at the others and steps forward. “I can’t speak for the others, but I want to go.”

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It all started with a boy, a girl, and a silver handprint.


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PostPosted: Sun Sep 25, 2005 1:20 pm 
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Dorkus Maximus and Super Wuss
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Part 59

Shouts erupted around Max as everyone became aware of what Max had said to Naloch. Shouts from everybody except Liz that is. Instead, she moved closer to Isabelle and slowly stepped between the taller girl, and the crumpled body of her dead husband.

“Isabelle,” she said softly. “Come on Sweetie, there isn’t anything you can do right now. Why don’t you come over here with me for a while,” she said, leading Isabelle away. As she did, Diane Evans and Nancy Parker as well as two of the Antarians place a blanket over the body to hide it from view. Across the room where Max and the others were standing; a loud outburst occurred. Liz looked over see her husband trying to explain why returning to Antar would be a good thing.

“Look, I’m not talking about right now, and I’m not talking about forever, but I think we owe it to ourselves to see where we came from,” Max said in a slightly belligerent tone of voice.

“Sure, great plan Max, and what about us?” shouted Kyle. “We’re not from there, but we sure as hell don’t fit in around here anymore.”

“Well, I, uh,” Max stuttered.

“Glad to see you thought about us,” Kyle said darkly as he walked away from the others.

“He’s right you know,” said Michael. “We can’t go, actually, we don’t have any reason to go. Home is here.” He put his arm around Maria’s shoulder and placed a gentle kiss on the top of her head.

“I had a chance to leave once before, and I didn’t because everything I wanted was right here. That hasn’t changed.”

Maria looked up at Michael and saw the love shining in his eyes. “I love you too, Space Boy,” she said.

“If I may offer a suggestion,” Naloch said. “You have made your lives here on Earth, and it is understandable that you would not wish to leave, but you should realize that our new technology makes travel to Antar almost instantaneous. You could travel to our world in a very short time, and return back to Earth with no trouble. This will allow you to learn about your home planet but still be able to return to Earth.”

“And we could do this whenever?” asked Max.
“Yes, and your families would be welcomed as well. Our atmosphere presents no danger to them.”

“Michael,” Maria said. “If you could go, and come back at will, it may not be such a bad idea. Especially if I could go with you.”

“Indeed, all of you will be revered as the heroes that you are, and the people of our world would be honored indeed if you chose to visit our world,” said Naloch

“Well, when it’s presented in that way, it makes a little sense,” Philip admitted. “But Max, why? Why were you so willing to go back before you knew if you could come back? And more importantly, how could you make such a decision without talking to Liz?”

“It’s simple,” said Liz who had been observing the conversation ever since she had gotten Isabelle away from Jesse’s body. “Max is looking for something, for some sort of purpose to his life.”

“What do you mean, some sort of purpose, he’s married to you, he has a purpose!” shouted Geoff Parker. “His purpose is to get a job and support his family!”

“Liz is right,” Max said in a dull voice. “I feel so lost now. For so long, we lived to keep our secret a secret from everybody, then we were fighting to stay one step ahead of the special unit, and just survive. Now it’s all over. What comes next? I never really allowed myself to think I could have a future, and now it’s staring me in the face. I don’t know what to do next.”

A slightly mollified Geoff Parker placed his hand on Max’s shoulder. “We’ll Max, extraterrestrial aspects aside, you are now facing the same dilemma every youth in the world has had to face. It’s called the ‘What do I want to be when I grow up syndrome.’ You don’t have to make any decisions now, but I will give you one piece of advice. You’re married now, don’t go making unilateral decision, discuss things with your wife, unless you want to find yourself sleeping on the sofa.”

Everyone burst into laughter as the tension dissipated, slightly. Maria grabbed Liz by the arm and pulled her across the room. “How did you know that’s what Max was feeling?” she demanded.

“Simple, he’s my husband,” responded Liz as she pulled away from Maria and walked back towards Max. Once she reached him, she slipped an arm around his waist and smiled up at him.

“Liz, you know me better than I know myself. How do you do that?” he asked, hugging her tightly.

“It’s like I told Maria, you’re my husband.”

“Sire, we need to return to Antar to share the news that Kivar is dead. We will leave you with these communicators so that you can contact us when and if you wish to come to Antar.”

He held his hand out, and one of the other Antarians gives him a bag made of a shimmery metallic material. He reached into the bag and removed a stone with the ORB symbol on it.

“We have those,” said Max. “But we never really figured out how to use them.”

“I will instruct you on their use then. They are not difficult to use, once you are aware of their capabilities.”

For several minutes, Naloch proceeded to instruct the others on the use of the ORBS. Once they were all certain they understood how to utilize the stones, he and the others prepared to leave.

“By your leave Majesty, what are you going to do with Jesse?”

“I’m not sure,” admitted Max. “We can’t leave him here.”

“If I may make a suggestion then?” asked Naloch. Max nodded and Naloch continued. “We can modify the memories of his co-workers in Boston, as well as those here in Roswell.”

“Forgive me Naloch, but I can’t see how mind warping all these people will help,” said Michael.

“First we will modify the memories of the people in Roswell to forget what occurred during graduation. We will make it so that people think Isabelle and Jesse simply moved to Boston so that Jesse could accept a better job offer, and that the rest of you went off to make your own way in the world. We will also create the illusion that Princess Isabelle came home for a visit. We’ll place Jesse’s body back in Boston and make it look as though he were the victim of random violence.”

“Look Naloch, that sounds all well and good, but we haven’t had the greatest experience with mind warping,” said Max.

“King Zan, on Antar, there are special, gifted people who are trained in the art of memory modification. They have taken an oath to never use these powers for evil, and in fact, can be punished by death if they do so. It would be them who perform this memory modification, and it would be done in the most uninvasive way possible.”

Max looked at the others, and they all nodded. He walked over to Isabelle and took her hands in his.

“Isabelle, are you ok with this? It seems like the best way possible to deal with everything,” he asked her, gently.

“Yeah, I’m as ok with it as I’ll ever be,” she answered. “My husband is dead, killed by evil aliens. There really isn’t any way to explain it, now is there? Do what you have to. At least this way, Jesse will be able to be brought back to Roswell for a decent burial.”

Max hugged his sister tightly and then turned to Naloch. “Do it Naloch.”

“As you wish, Majesty. When we return to Antar, I will have it done. Now if I may make another suggestion, you and your family should go home and relax, and try and pretend as if nothing has happened.”

“Thank you Naloch, and we will be in touch about coming to Antar,” said Max. “I do want to see your world, but right now, I have to find my place in my own world.”

Naloch and the other Antarians bowed to Max and the others, and in a beam light, all evidence that they had ever been on Earth disappeared.

_________________
It all started with a boy, a girl, and a silver handprint.


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