Choices & Consequences(M/L,Teen/Mature) A/N [WIP]

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Zanity
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Post by Zanity » Thu Jun 08, 2006 11:55 am

A/N: Hi, everybody thanks for the feedback sorry about the delay between posts... I'm trying to do better.

harroc83 - Don't worry Tess will be good from here on in.
Timelord31
maxandlizforever
Jennifer24
angeleyes
L-J-L 76
Luna_Seer - Well Max is 17, and Liz will be shortly...
blackknight1864
bluesands
SarahWhitman - Never I may ocasionally suffer from WB and RL, but I have this story all mapped out I have every intention of finishing it.

So with out further adu....


Chapter 11 -- Early Battles

Riandra found herself at the Temple of the Granolith for only the third time since Khivar’s insurrection. The first time had been over fifty years ago when she had helped engineer the rebirth of her children and sent them off to Earth with the Granolith. The second time had been mere months ago right after she was first contacted by her son and his queen.

Two days ago they had contacted her again. This time they informed her that they were once again in Roswell and the immediate threats had been dealt with. Now it is time to spread the word. The war for Antar would begin tonight.

General Volar was upset at her plan, but he was a practical man, and what she planned to do tonight was simply impossible. But what Volar failed to realize is that tonight the land they were reclaiming didn’t belong to the king nor did it belong to the people. Tonight they were reclaiming the continent of Nizo… and Nizo belonged to God.

Riandra may never have carried the seal as the current queen does, but she was bonded to the man who did for over sixty years. It left her sensitive to the workings of her Lord. Tonight the One who owns all the worlds and gives them to whomever He pleases will reclaim what is rightfully His.

It didn’t matter that what she was planning was impossible because Asheryah was a God who delighted in the impossible. It was He who would give them the victory tonight. All He requires is a few souls to stand in the gap and believe.

So here she was gathered with seven other dreamwalkers and thirteen mindbenders to accomplish a task that should take an army of millions.

Nizo is a continent about the size of Earth’s North America, shaped similar to Earth’s Australia. At the center of the continent is the mountain after witch the continent is named. On top of Mount Nizo is the city of Serejalmu, inhabited by half a million; in the center of the city is the Temple of the Granolith. Surrounding the base of the mountain and stretching out to the sea is one large city, Ramasia, inhabited by 1.5 billion people.

Some of Khivar’s most highly trained soldiers were stationed here, because this was the holy land and the religious order made no secrets about where their loyalties lie. They were loyal to Asherya and the king He anoints with the royal seal. Therefore Khivar new this land would be ripe for revolt against his reign.

Riandra stood in the center of the now empty Granolith chamber. The other dreamwalkers formed a circle around her and the mindbenders formed a circle around them.

Antar had grown strong and prosperous under the blessing of the Almighty, but they had also grown prideful. And in their pride they thought themselves self sufficient and they forgot their need of Him that blessed them. As a result Asheryah removed his hand of protection and allowed Khivar to teach Antar of their need. Now she needed to reverse their mistakes.

She dropped to her knees and interceded on behalf of her people, “Creator of all things, all mighty Sovereign, tonight we come before You and ask for You to shine Your favor once again upon us. Aid us this night as we cleanse the holy land of Your enemies. We ask for Your mighty power to fight with us tonight so that the worlds may know that the time of your servants reckoning is come to an end. That once again Antar’s king shall reign to Your glory.”

After her prayer she sent a signal to General Volar, and he raised the newly installed shield around the continent. The continent of Nizo was now isolated. All intercontinental transmat activity was interfered with except for the thirteen new transmats that were powered by the shield itself and controlled by the resistance. The shield would also act as a barrier to all matter, as well as to all energy above a certain intensity; effectively preventing any attack on the continent from the outside.

The mindbenders in the outer circle formed a connection, the dreamwalkers in the inner circle formed a connection, then both circles lent their powers to Riandra. As Riandra reached out with her mind she felt the Almighty’s power come and strengthen her further… she had known she would.

She began in the temple and circled outward toward the shores. She entered the mind of every individual on the continent. Those she found that were loyal to the Creator and therefore her son she left untouched. For those she found that were loyal to Khivar, she merged their conscious and unconscious minds putting them in a semi-permanent coma. For those she found who had neither loyalty, she mindwarped into reporting to one of the new transmat stations and leaving the continent.

All night she worked, sorting through minds one at a time. She completed her task just as morning was approaching. Once finished with the primary task she performed one final duty before collapsing into an exhausted sleep. She broadcast a message to everyone on the planet. A cross between a mindwarp and a dreamwalk, her image appeared in the clouds as she spoke, “People of Antar, Nizo is free of Khivar’s influence. King Zan lives and he has found the queen he had always been searching for. Khivar’s reign will soon come to an end.”

By days end, war had broken out all over the planet. Some entire cities immediately declared their loyalty to King Zan, in other cities there was a coup before the same result was achieved. In still other cities there was mass bloodshed between those loyal to Khivar and those King Zan; with the outcome still pending.

Nizo, the holy land, may have been freed in a night, without the loss of a single life, but the war for the rest of the planet would be long and bloody… and it began today.

When Riandra awoke she was in her chambers, General Volar was watching over her. She smiled up at him, “Do you believe now? Asheryah has reclaimed His holy land, now it falls to you and my son to reclaim our planet.”

General Volar was still incredulous. Yes he’d read in the sacred texts of when men and women of faith had been empowered by the Creator such that one could overpower a thousand and two could overpower ten thousand… but those were stories. Now he had actual proof of such a feat. Nizo overnight had become a safe haven for those who support King Zan. Anyone who wished to come in had to be transported through the shield via the transmat booths they controlled, and anyone coming in from the outside was mentally probed by three guards.

The news has spurred the war which had been cold for so long into a fiery battle. He already had heads of cities and military bases all over the planet reporting to him to coordinate the next stage and help free those cities which are currently of divided loyalty.

*Do I believe now? How could I not?* “Yes, I believe. Please forgive my earlier unbelief.”

Riandra dismissed his apology with a wave and asked, “How has Khivar responded?”

Volar answered, “Khivar has been moving troops around, squashing rebellions beginning with the cities in which he has the most support and working his way to the cities in which he has least support. We are doing likewise. Lines are being drawn, by current estimates it will be at least three months before each city has chosen sides and cleared out all the opposition. Then war will become a city by city siege as each side tries to take land from the other. There’s no telling how long that will take. But the war has most definitely begun.”

*********

October 15th, 2000

I’m Liz Evans. Next Monday is my birthday… I can’t wait. I know Max has been making plans for it, but he flags those thoughts private and asks me not to look. I can’t tell you how tempted I am to look anyway, but Max really wants this to be a surprise and I don’t want to ruin it for him. He is still walking on eggshells around my parents. We hold no delusions to the fact that they aren’t entirely happy about this marriage. We both know the only one of the parents truly supporting this marriage is Diane. (She insists I call her and Philip by their first names because Max and I are Mr. and Mrs. Evans now.)

However Philip has just about as much trouble saying no to her as Max has saying no to me. Therefore he signed. And the only reason my parents signed was because Max’s ability to manipulate and control a situation had been at its best.

First he had shocked them with proof that he had no trouble taking me out of the country, then he had described a worse case scenario where he indicated we were willing to run away again and, if that failed, go to great lengths to fight for our marriage. Then he had bribed them with not losing me by telling them we wanted to live under their roof and a willingness to take responsibility and pay rent. Then he’d played on their sympathies with our declarations of love. Then once his parents supported them, well he’d mentioned enough legal loopholes that would allow us to stay married and my parents didn’t know how difficult it would be to get those, but they did know his parents were lawyers and could make it easier. Then finally he had resorted to begging. No, my parents definitely do not support this marriage. Max merely managed to convince them that it was the lesser of the available evils. I think my mother is softening, but dad still doesn’t bother to hide his disapproval. I hope they can at least put it aside for one day next week so I can have a happy birthday. Max is coming to bed now so that’s it for tonight…


*********

Max woke up and smiled has he felt his wife snuggle closer to him. It was their morning ritual. The both left their dream world at the same time every morning. As they woke they teased each other before they made love and fulfilled each other’s needs. Then they took a shower together which usually included another round of love making.

On school days, they would then head over to the Parker’s dining room for a family breakfast.

He figured it was both a good thing and a bad thing that Liz came to breakfast blissfully happy every morning… A good thing because the Parkers would want their daughter to be happy; a bad thing because they could probably figure out the cause of that happiness and they probably weren’t too thrilled about that.

He knew they worried about Liz becoming pregnant too soon. But it’s not like he could tell them that because he was and alien, they had access to birth control methods that were fool proof.

But it seemed that the Parkers were gradually warming up to him. He assumed the fact that he and Liz were still doing well in school, and that they had started attending church services regularly, and the “Aura of Love”, as Maria had taken to calling it, which he and Liz exuded was helping. Nancy was definitely starting to come around… she’d even asked him to call her “Nancy”. Mr. Parker however was another story. Max decided he would have to talk to Mr. Parker and see if he couldn’t get him to put their differences aside for next Monday. After all it was Liz’s first birthday as his wife and he wanted it to be perfect.

As he began to make love to Liz he let his tension slip away, his nightmares of the white room had stopped after the experience with the Granolith. But lately other thoughts troubled his mind, namely the rising death toll back on Antar and the fact that there were enemies on Earth that they had not encountered yet… enemies that thanks to the orb transmission now knew their location.

He had made sure the five of them that had powers trained with them regularly. He knew that soon the danger would be here and they needed to be prepared. But for now he would put that aside and lose himself in the love of his wife.

It still amazed him that Liz was here with him, granting him unlimited access to not only her body but also her heart and mind. For as pleasurable as he found her body, and that he found very pleasurable; he derived even more pleasure from searching her mind for her dreams and fantasies and fulfilling them for her. And as pleasurable as that was he derived the most pleasure from knowing her heart.

She denied him nothing in that regard and he could experience all her emotions first hand. It amazed him that nowhere in her did she harbor even the slightest fear or disgust at what he was; that she trusted him implicitly; and she loved him completely. That any human knowing his secret could feel the way she did about him amazed him; but to know that the one that did was his dream girl herself… It was the most precious gift he’d ever received and he thanked God every chance he got that he’d been sent here… that he’d been allowed to marry this most amazing woman.

*********

Breakfast was subdued that morning and Max purposed again to talk to Liz’s parents to see if there wasn’t something he could do to fix this. After the meal he turned to Liz, “Go ahead and finish getting ready. I’ll join you in a little bit.”

Liz knew what Max was about to do and she loved him for it. As she left the room Max turned to the Parkers, “Nancy, Mr. Parker, I need to speak to you.”

Both of Liz’s parents looked resigned as they accepted his statement. Jeff spoke up, “What is it?”

Max looked thoughtful for a moment as tried to think how to begin this conversation. Quickly coming to a conclusion he began, “Do you remember the day you two agreed to sign our marriage consent forms?”

If looks could kill Max would have died from the glare he received form Mr. Parker. Max swallowed accepting their silent answer and asked rhetorically, “Do you remember Liz’s reaction to the news?”

Then he answered his own question, “She smiled so brightly it lit up the room, with a smile so genuine her eyes sparkled. Do you remember what I said next?”

He paused for a moment, meeting each of Liz’s parents’ eyes. “I said that I lived to create smiles like that. That’s still true today and I’ve made sure Liz has come to breakfast every morning with a smile like that. But every morning Liz leaves the breakfast table with a twinge of hurt in her eyes.”

“Now I can understand you’re not happy with me, and I understand why. I hope to have a sixteen year old daughter just like Liz twenty-five years from now, give or take. And if some boy does with her what I’ve done with Liz…” Max shook his head trying to refocus his thoughts, “I’m not sure how long it would take me to forgive him, but it would be a long time.”

“Liz doesn’t look at it like that though. All she sees is that the two men she loves most in the world can’t seem to get along, and it hurts her.”

“Now Liz’s birthday is coming up and I need twenty-four hours. I need twenty-four hours where you and I put aside our differences and act like we get along; twenty-four hours where two facts become more important than everything else. One, we both love Liz and two, we both want her to be happy.”

Max took a deep breath and continued, “I know I’m asking a lot; but if the German and British soldiers at the front lines in 1914 could call a cease fire to World War I and have a cross battlefield gift exchange for Christmas Eve then we should be able to do this.”

“So I need twenty-four hours where whenever we’re in Liz’s presence we act like we get along… so what is it going to cost me to get it.”

Max looked back and forth between the two parents faces. He broke the silence that followed his question by offering, “I could double this months rent, or I could work some projects around here, or maybe I could just arrange us some time alone together so you can yell at me till you’re blue in the face, or anything else you need. But please tell me what I need to do to make this birthday perfect for Liz.”

Max’s speech was the last straw for Nancy. The last of her resolve finally melted and she admitted to herself that Liz had chosen well. She’d been watch for the last month and a half and she knew what Max had said was true and more. She knew Liz was smiling happily not only when she came to breakfast with Max, but just about anytime Max was at her side. She’d noticed the devotion that flowed off them in waves… and truth be told, she wished that she and Jeff had what was so clearly visible between these two.

Her mind was made up she would support Max and Liz from here on in. She looked cautiously to Jeff and saw the obvious struggle on his face. She knew him well and she could just see the battle taking place inside him. The battle between the part of himself that didn’t want his little girl to be grown up yet; and the part of himself that knew the truth of Max’s words, that he, Jeff Parker, was the one currently causing his little girl pain.

It was clear when the battle ended because Jeff slumped his shoulders in defeat and dejectedly spoke, “Don’t worry about it Max, just keep her happy and be careful with her and we’ll be ok from now on.”

As Max’s words echoed through his mind, *One, we both love Liz and two, we both want her to be happy,* he reached out his hand for Max. Max understood and eagerly accepted it. Those two facts would be the bases of their new relationship.

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Zanity
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Post by Zanity » Sat Sep 02, 2006 10:20 am

A/N: Ok.... Sorry for the long delay! :oops: :oops: My muse joined a union and went on strike. But I finally got him to go back to work. I'd like to thank all my readers for being patient with me. I'd also like to thank Timelord31 who I don't thank nearly often enough for betaing this for me. And without whom I probably never would have posted any fics. And a special thanks to Roslover39 for her help with one of the scenes in this chapter.

Now on to the feedback, Thank you everybody...

harroc83 -- Thanks, sorry I wasn't back sooner.
Timelord31
83 AlienAngel -- Looks like I might have worried you again.. Sorry.
Asabetha
Jennifer24
Luna_Seer
Alien_Friend -- Welcome to the fic :)
sylus27 --Welcome to the fic :)
haveapancake -- Thanks for de-lurking... I'm glad you're enjoying this.
greywolf Thanks and welcome to the story.

And now without further ado...


Chapter 12 – Love, War, and the Abyss

Max and Liz woke up to their usual routine… usual that is until Max blindfolded Liz on the way out of their apartment. Liz squealed as he picked her up bridegroom style and began carrying her.

When Max finally put her down and took off her blindfold she was nearly deafened by the cheer of “SURPRISE” that echoed through the diner. She looked around the Crashdown shocked by the friends and family, both hers and Max’s, which she found herself surrounded by. Many of the people around her were people she’d been steadily drifting away from ever since Max saved her life and she started hiding his secret.

She turned to her husband with a scolding look. *Max we don’t have time for this.*

Max smirked. *Yes, we do. I set all our clocks ahead two hours last night so we’d have the extra time and I could maintain the surprise. Happy Birthday.*

She mockingly glared at him before looking back to her friends and family, “Thank-you everybody. I don’t know what to say.”

Maria shrugged, “Then don’t say anything. It’s your birthday, just enjoy it.”

Liz smiled brightly. Everyone had breakfast on the house, and after breakfast there was cake and ice cream. Then finally, Liz opened her presents before mingling and catching up with friends, some of which she hadn’t spoken to in months, for others it had been nearly a year.

After she spent time with her friends and family, Max escorted Liz to his family and made the round of introductions. This was the first time most of them had met his wife.

When it was time and everyone began leaving for school, Liz looked up at her husband. “Thank-you Max!”

Max shook his head and smiled. “No thank-you. You’ve given up so much to be with me, I just wanted to try and give some of it back. Besides, this is your first birthday as my wife and now I get to spoil you all by myself tonight.”

Liz shivered in anticipation.

*********

After school Liz got a ride home from Maria, as per Max’s request. Shortly after she got home, Max walked in with two bags of groceries.

He set the bags down in their kitchen, before giving Liz a breath stealing kiss. “Tonight is for you Liz… all for you.”

Max pulled up a seat for Liz to sit on while he prepared a spaghetti dinner for the two of them. As he was making the sauce, instead of tasting it himself he would put some on his finger and give Liz a taste… tasting it with her through the connection, then adjusting the sauce so it would be perfect for her.

When he had time he set up the table with a nice tablecloth, candles and a bottle of sparkling cider. He cued up the CD player to Gomez.

Soon the spaghetti was served along side fresh baked French bread and a salad. But Max left it on the table for a while as he took Liz into his arms and began to dance with her.

After a couple of songs they sat down and ate in a companionable silence as they let their emotions flow back and forth across their connection, allowing them to do the talking.

When dinner was over, Max brought out strawberry shortcake for dessert. They fed each other the tasty treats until they moved into their bedroom for an entirely different kind of dessert.

*********

Khivar’s very limited patience had been exhausted. Day after day his trained soldiers were losing ground to rabble. His men couldn’t even get back in to Nizo.

He’d lost 50 major cities around the world on that first day. Within a week he’d lost hundreds more. Then the sieges came, and Zan’s supporters started claiming even more cities.

*How did they take Nizo so quickly? I had my best troops stationed there. They couldn’t have used the Granolith. I know for a fact that it’s not there. How on Antar did they take Nizo so quickly?!? And how am I going to fix this?*

Over and over the thoughts ran through his mind, but he couldn’t come up with a solution.

He was going nowhere and getting there fast. *Maybe new information will help.*

“STATUS REPORT!” Khivar hollered.

General Rolan quickly entered the room and snapped to attention, “SIR, We’ve successfully fortified the capitol city Antara, as well as the cities of Brikar, Celestia, Forgalis, and Reman. But Zan’s supporters are prevailing in the other cities. The fact that we lost Nizo overnight and that Zan’s supporters claim it was and act of God, that Zan lives and Ashera is not only supporting him, but also fighting on his behalf gives them tremendous support with the populous.”

Khivar fumed as his thoughts ran though the same circles that had been driving him mad. *How did they take Nizo so quickly? I had my best troops stationed there. They couldn’t have used the Granolith. I know for a fact that it’s not there. How on Antar did they take Nizo so quickly?!? And how am I going to fix this?*

As Khivar’s anger flared the general feared for his life. Khivar had been known on occasion to kill the messenger. An idea struck him and Khivar smiled wickedly. He ordered, “Contact General Nicholas I want to speak with him NOW!!!”

Immediately Rolan went to fetch an orb, hoping that meant he was off the hook, that Khivar would focus his anger elsewhere. While he was gone Khivar’s thoughts again began to plague him.

His frustration grew as his mind traveled the same path over and over with no end in sight. He was actually thankful when his thoughts were, at last, interrupted by Rolan returning with the orb he had summoned. Rolan quickly activated the orb before quietly leaving the room hoping to escape any further incurrence of Khivar’s wrath. Moments later a bright blue light bathed the room before a holographic image of Nicholas appeared.

“REPORT!” Khivar snapped.

Nicholas bowed his head. “You excellence, all goes well. We’ve located King Zan. Dhardn has made contact with him, Vilandra, and Rath. If all goes according to plan, Ava will soon be carrying the heir and we can finish them off for good.”

Khivar was furious, “FOOL! Zan’s supporters are claiming he has bonded with the queen of his visions. Now I don’t believe that for a second; but if they’re claiming it you can be sure that Zan has bonded himself to some human. If it was Ava he’d bonded with everyone would know it’s false. And if Zan is bonded to a human there is no way Ava will ever carry his heir. Capture the human girl and bring her here, she will be Zan’s undoing.”

With a wave of his hand, Khivar banished the image of Nicholas from the room.

Khivar sat back with a twisted gleam in his eye. He began to relax for the first time in weeks. Now he had a plan of action. Zan would come to him. He would use Zan’s mate as leverage and Zan would simply surrender. Then Zan would be killed. Khivar’s smile broadened maybe he would keep Zan’s widow around for his own pleasure.

He stayed there for hours plotting the hoops he’d make Zan jump through before killing him anyway. In fact, when sleep finally overtook him it was those thoughts that kept him company in his dreams.

*********

Nicholas was enraged. The last time he had spoken to Dhardn, everything was going according to plan. Things had obviously changed. And he hadn’t been informed.

“Lieutenant Greer!”

Greer immediately entered the room and stood at attention, “Yes Sir!”

Nicholas ordered, “Dhardn has failed us. Get in touch with him and find out what he has to say for himself, then prepare the troops, and begin making plans; we’re headed to Roswell to take care of things ourselves.”

Greer nodded, “Sir, yes sir!”

As Greer turned to leave, Nicholas amended, “And Greer….”

“Yes, Sir?” Greer asked.

“Zan has apparently bonded with a human. Khivar wants us to capture her alive. Work that into your plans. Dismissed.”

*********

Maria and Liz were talking when out of the blue Maria asked, “So what’s it like?”

Liz glanced over at her questioningly and asked, “What’s what like?”

“Sex” Maria stated bluntly, “’Cause Michael and I are thinking about it.”

Liz immediately became concerned for her friend. She looked worriedly at Maria, “Oh, be certain Maria!”

Maria curiously if not somewhat incredulously asked, “What’s that supposed to mean?”

Liz answered with a question of her own, “You’re getting flashes from him, right?”

When Maria nodded Liz explained, “If you’re getting flashes then when the two of you make love you’ll bond. It’s the Antarian equivalent of marriage, and Maria, there is no Antarian equivalent of divorce.”

Collecting her thoughts Liz continued, “After Max proposed to me he gave me a choice. I could choose to marry Max Evans, teenage alien hybrid, and he would make fulfilling my hopes and dreams his top priority. We’d go to Harvard together and everything. Or I could choose to marry Max Evans, King of Antar, and become his queen and stand beside him as he saves his people.”

Meeting Maria’s eyes with her own she stated, “I chose that latter. I chose to be his queen. I chose to jump feet first into the alien side of his life; and now it’s very likely I’ll never go to college. It’s possible that I won’t finish high school; because one day soon it will be time for Max to go home, and for me to go with him.”

Taking a breath she declared, “Now I don’t regret my decision… but then I have been willingly jumping into the ‘Alien Abyss’, as you call it, ever since Max saved me. At every opportunity I have been trying to get further into it. I want and have always wanted to share his life with him.”

Looking at Maria’s face and realizing it was time to put all her cards on the table, Liz got to her point, “Since you’re getting flashes from him, you probably know Michael better than either Max or I. But from what I know of him, when Max goes back to Antar, Michael will probably be going with him.”

“Are you prepared to give up all plans for a life on Earth and go with him? You out of all of us have been least comfortable with the alien side of things. You tried to keep me out of it; you kept telling me I didn’t know what I was getting myself into, that it could be dangerous. Are you now prepared to jump into it permanently?”

“’Cause if you bond with him your souls will be in permanent contact. Do you remember when we said contact between souls accelerates the changes? If you do this your changes will accelerate so fast that if you made love tonight they’d probably be complete by tomorrow night. And when the time comes for us to leave you and Michael won’t be able to be separated.”

“One of you is going to have to give up their home world. That’s not to say after the war we won’t be able to come back to Earth and visit from time to time but for the most part Max and I will be living on Antar. Unless you and Michael can agree on which planet you’re going to live on when the time comes, and whether or not you’re going to help Max fight the war, then I don’t think you should do this.”

Smiling now that she was finished with her words of warning, Liz concluded, “But if you’re ready to jump into the ‘Alien Abyss’ and never look back… Then it’s the most amazing thing you’ll ever experience. It’s like finding something you never even knew you were missing and realizing how incomplete you’ve been and finally becoming whole. It’s indescribable. It’s heaven…” Then turning serious again cautioned, “But only if you’re certain.”

At that point Liz went to go find Max… and her own little piece of heaven, while she left Maria to consider all that she had just said.

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Post by Zanity » Mon Mar 26, 2007 6:55 pm

A/N: Great news everyone!! I'm back and I have the new part! I'm sorry fro the incredibly long delay... I just want to say how touched I am at all your FB and support in my absence. This fic is winding down 3 more parts and an Epilogue left after this one... with any luck I'll have them to you real soon! So thank you to all my regulars for their patience, and welcome those of you who are new. I hope everyone continues to enjoy!

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Chapter 13 -- Sacrificed Dreams & Realized Nightmares

Maria sat there stunned for a few moments after Liz left. She really hadn’t thought about it that way before. She had always just assumed the alien side of things was something she had to deal with and tolerate if she wanted Michael. But Liz had chosen the “Alien Abyss” over her dreams.

And what amazed Maria even more was the fact that it wasn’t a choice that Liz had made between Max and her dreams. Max was going to be with her whatever she chose and she chose aliens.

Maria stopped to consider all the times she’d tried to keep Liz from falling into the abyss. She remembered their conversation when Max had first invited Liz into the eraser room, their conversations around the time of that camp out, and even when Liz had been getting visions and glowing hickeys. As she looked back upon it, every time Liz had wanted what was happening but Maria had been afraid.

And now Liz just told her she’d given up her dreams of Harvard and Molecular Biology, not for Max, but for an unknown population of aliens she’d never met. And Liz’s dreams had been well formed, well developed. Liz had planned them out and knew exactly how to achieve them, she could have them if she wanted them but she chose to jump into the “Alien Abyss” for good instead.

Then Maria considered her own dreams, by comparison her dreams were just that dreams. Sure she’d like to be a singer one day but that was an iffy profession, you had to be in the right place at the right time, and be heard by the right people if you wanted to make it. And she had very little to no idea how to accomplish that.

She didn’t know if she’d ever get her dreams even if she didn’t have aliens to deal with. But she could have Michael, no ifs or buts or maybes about it. Liz was probably right; Michael very likely wouldn’t give her the choice Max had given Liz. Being with Michael would mean living on Antar one day.

*Am I ready to give up any future I might have on Earth for the life Michael has to offer me?*

She thought about it for only a few moments until the answer became abundantly clear. And the answer changed her world forever, because the answer was a resounding YES.

She would no longer complain about the “Alien Abyss”, she would no longer complain about the complications the Czechs made to her life; because she was ready to sign on, and sign on for good.

She made her way to Michael’s apartment and knocked at the door. When Michael answered she literally attacked him. Her lips fused to his, her arms wrapped around his neck, and her legs wrapped around his waist.

This would be the first time she ever tried this but she wanted him, needed him to know and for once in her life, she didn’t have the words to explain. She opened her mind to him hoping, praying that he would see, that he would understand.

And he did.

He saw the images of her talk with Liz. He felt the soul searching she had done afterwards. And he understood what this was.

He carried her back to his bedroom never once removing his lips from hers. They fell on his bed together. Their love and passion for each other consumed them as they continued their lover’s duel, slowly but surely divesting each other of their clothing.

When they were both completely naked, before Michael entered her he asked, “Are you sure?” He already knew the answer, their connection was open and he could feel it surging through her, but he needed to hear it out loud. This was the point of no return and he needed both of them to be certain.

Her answer, “I’ve never been more sure of anything,” was music to his ears.

The time for hesitation was over and gone, and he entered her and joined them together… forever. Fires of passion and desire burned brightly within them for the rest of the night.

*********

It had been two days since Maria and Michael had bonded and this was going to be the first time she joined the vision conference with the others. She closed her eyes briefly and did as Michael instructed.

When she opened her eyes she looked around at those assembled before her, Max and Liz, Isabel and Tess, were already there and Michael was standing at her side. The group of six friends all joined hands and began the journey to Antar’s vision plane.

Maria gasped with awe as she saw the Alien landscape for the first time. Moments later four figures seemed to shimmer into existence.

Michael introduced her to his father; Liz introduced her to Riandra who then introduced her to Altrena and Malora.

Malora focused on Maria as she spoke “I am a master of the arts of altered equilibrium. Wind and lightning, earthquakes and tides and even volcanic activity are all manifestations of the environment around us trying to reach equilibrium under ever changing conditions. You and I have the ability to alter that equilibrium and thus control those manifestations to an extent.”

By the end of the Vision Conference Maria had connected to both Altrena and Malora.

Tess had needed training from Altrena when she first joined the Vision Conferences. Dhardn hadn’t trained her in blocking out others. He had however trained her quite well in her specialty of mindwarps so no further training had been needed there.

As they returned to Earth’s vision plane Max and Liz made used the Granolith to give Maria the immunity to mental intrusions. They’d already immunized Tess shortly after she’d pledged her loyalty to them.

*********

Liz and Max woke up with a start… They’d both seen the same thing. It was time to alert the others their enemies were coming. They contacted Riandra and Volar first to find out if they could give them any advice about what to expect. Then they started contacting their friends for a meeting.

*********

Everyone was present out at the quarry as Max addressed them, “Well we have bad news and good news and more bad news. Our enemies are coming to town and they’ll be here soon. The good news is we won’t have to worry about a cover story on this one, Volar says they’ll use a device that lightly pushes sentient life out of time. A sentient mind will fight it automatically but most humans won’t make it past the initial blast. It takes energy to fight it and those of us who have powers or are developing them should have enough energy to stay… the rest will be pushed slightly out of the time flow until the device is turned off when they’ll return.”

“To them it will seem like no time has passed. Just like when the mind sees what it expects to see in optical illusions, being pushed in and out of time stimulates the self correcting abilities of the brain. The mind anyone who disappears will automatically make any necessary memory corrections to make the event seem normal to them.”

“The bad news is this means that some of us here might disappear too. The aliens and anyone who has completed the changes will stay; those who have started changing may or may not stay depending on how far along you are.”

“We need to start planning strategy. We have the home field advantage; let’s figure out how to use it!”

The meeting went on while they planned out their strategies for the upcoming battle.

*********

Two days later…

It was the middle of the second period when all of a sudden there was a bright green flash of light and nearly everyone disappeared.

Max, Michael, Isabel, and Tess all met up in the quad and formed the original foursquare. They had determined this would make them the strongest because Liz and Maria would still be connected to the foursquare by their perspective bonds.

Liz and Kyle were the next to reach the quad moments before Kyle vanished. Maria and Alex showed up moments later.

For Alex’s benefit Max spoke out loud, “Ok, Kyle made it past the initial blast but disappeared after… Alex we don’t know how long you’ll be around for, so be careful and try and do what damage you can. The rest of you… this is what we’ve been preparing for… it’s time.”

Michael scanned the roof of one of the near by buildings and teleported over to it. As he spotted the approaching army he tapped the energy of the foursquare and let out the biggest blast he could summon. Immediately a large group of them vanished into dust, but the rest spread out and kept coming. Soon blasts of return fire were headed his way and Michael would teleport from one roof top to another blasting only once at each location to stay a head of the return fire.

Tess used her mindwarp abilities to make the rest of them appear invisible while Max blasted away at the enemy and Maria summoned lightning strikes against them. Isabel was trying to invade their minds and figure out their strategies but they were well trained. Liz was opening her mind to the future trying to get and pass on much information as possible.

The effect was like having extremely enhanced reflexes and they could dodge any incoming attacks… when Liz new they wouldn’t dodge in time she’d throw up a shield to protect them.

Everything was going well until two more groups of enemy aliens came into the picture from different directions.

Alex was hiding with a stash of pre-loaded shotguns. He wasn’t too good with weapons but Kyle had explained that with shotguns he didn’t need to be. Shot guns didn’t fire bullets; they fired buckshot with dozens of little pellets that spread out as they travelled hitting a much larger area. So instead of having to aim carefully and make precision shots like he would if he were shooting bullets out of a rifle or handgun, he merely had to point the barrel and shoot hoping that one of the little pellets would hit the seal.

He missed a few times but he still managed to take out four members of one of the new groups using the shotguns before he too vanished.

The group split up Max, Tess, and Isabel tapping Michael’s teleportation abilities and positioning themselves to better strike out at their enemies. Liz and Maria ran from street to street taking out as many as possible.

A series of huge blast came their way and Liz held a shield up while she told Maria to run for cover.

It was a mistake.

It was what Nicholas was waiting for. They knew what Zan looked like from their dealings with Dhardn. Greer posing as a tourist had no problems identifying who he had bonded too. Nicholas aimed the weapon in his hand at Liz and fired.

A different kind of blast hit her shield and the shield expanded to encapsulate her right before it vanished. She could still feel Max through their bond connection but she no longer had access to his powers.

Nicholas and Greer were suddenly at her side one grabbing each of her arms. She could sense their power and she knew she could take either of them on her own but without Max’s power at her disposal the two of them together would be too much for her.

Then an idea struck her and she reached out to the Granolith, trying to summon its power to her aid but instead of the surge of power she expected she instead got an intense feeling of peace, and a certainty that this was meant to be. She heard Asheryah whisper in her soul, “Have faith my beloved.”

The fight instantly went out of her as she allowed the two men to take her where they wished.

Max felt the moment Liz’s powers were severed from his own; and he teleported himself up into the air… standing on a shield he projected. When he saw Liz being lead away in the distance, fear and rage shot his system full of adrenaline. He looked around him and knew that he had to take out the enemies around him before he could rescue Liz.

His patience was at an all time low. He summoned every last drop of power he could, siphoning it though the foursquare, the Granolith and he even managed to siphon it through Maria’s connection to Michael.

The storm that was unleash was a series of energy blasts and lighting bolts that homed in on everything that Michael’s powers could recognize as an enemy. In mere moments the invading army had been reduced to dust… all except the two taking Liz that were out of range.

Max teleported to his jeep and followed them out into the desert, they were too far ahead for him to see but his connection to Liz was his guide. When he finally caught up to them it was too late… He watched the spaceship taking off; leaving Earth with his heart inside.

Locked