The First time Round [EOTW, CC, POV, Teen] Complete 1/1/15

Finished Canon/Conventional Couple Fics. These stories pick up from events in the show. All complete stories from the main Canon/CC board will eventually be moved here.

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KatnotKath
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The First time Round [EOTW, CC, POV, Teen] Complete 1/1/15

Postby KatnotKath » Wed Dec 31, 2014 6:48 pm

Title: The First Time Round
Author: KatnotKath
Disclaimer: I do not own the rights or anything about Roswell, I’m just borrowing them to play a while.
Pairing(s)/Couple(s): CC
Category: POV, EOTW, CC
Rating: TEEN
Summary: What might have been in Future Max/Liz’s reality, memories of a past that would never be.
Author's Notes: I wrote this for a 2014 (EOTW) challenge on Roswell Heaven. I hope you enjoy it, I’d love to know what you think!

AN2: Some of you know that I have had some issues going on in RL recently. I have a couple of bits of good news I thought I'd share.

1) My portable harddrive containing all my writing has been successfully recovered after it crashed. This has given a definite boost to my inclination to write so I'm hoping for a more productive 2015.

2) I still can't quite believe it, but I recently interviewed for and was offered a new job. The interview process is one of the reasons I haven't been posting on my other fics recently. It's a managerial position, and as mentioned previously a big step up so it's going to be hard work, but I'm really looking forward to it (although with some nerves too). The crazy thing is that I've been put on Gardening leave from my current job though - I don't start the new one until beginning of March. I do have a lot to do in the time I have, I'll need to arrange moving and other good stuff like that, but I am very hopeful that the unexpected time off work may also bring with it a chance to do some serious writing and make headway on WIPs (so maybe keep your eyes out for some new fics from me in the coming months :wink:).

So, all that's left for me to do is say I hope you enjoy the new fic, and to wish you a Happy New Year!

Kat


***


I’m Liz Evans and this is the end of the world…

Okay, well perhaps that isn’t completely true – it’s the end of the world as we know it (not that it hasn’t changed greatly over recent years)… And I’m pretty sure this is the last few hours of my life; one way or another. As I sit by the Granolith, I can’t help thinking about the events which brought us to this point.

We didn’t know it then, but in hindsight it all started that day in the Crashdown when Max exposed himself to me, risking his life to save my own. It began a chain of events that no one could have foreseen. A chain of events that would eventually destroy us all.

To think that it all began with something as simple as the feelings of a boy for a girl. For, however good his heart, I know that Max would never have risked Isabel and Michael’s safety had he not cared for me as he did. When he saved me, he revealed himself, and in doing so brought me, and my friends, into his secret.

Not only that, but he unwittingly initiated a connection between the two of us that would become, for both of us, as essential as the air we breathe. I simply don’t know what I would do without him! Even to think of it just seems…wrong… And right now, as I sit here, knowing that physically I’m alone, I can still feel him with me throughout time and space. When we shared those images, we also shared a part of ourselves and ,over time, it’s as though we became like one whole in two bodies… Meant to be…

I can’t imagine my life without him, and yet that’s exactly what my life, for a younger version of myself, is going to be if Max succeeds in the plan we’ve set in motion.

Looking back, I wonder whether we should have thought more about how our relationship would affect the rest of the group. Whether we should have realised how much trouble it would cause. But then, it’s easy to say that with the benefit of hindsight isn’t it. At the time, what were we supposed to think? – we were teenagers, still little more than kids. It was a simple case of boy loves girl and girl loves him back (ignoring of course the intergalactic flavours of the relationship). We never dreamt for a moment that the stakes would be so high.

For months we went back and forth, wanting and yet believing it could never be. And then, finally…we found one another and once that happened we didn’t want to let go.

We considered one side of the big picture, and the other…well…we didn’t know it even existed at first. We had a few perfect weeks and then everything fell apart again as Tess came into our lives. At that time, whilst I might have hated her for the trouble she caused in our relationship, I had no idea how much a part of everything she was.

None of us did, until that fateful day at the cave. And even then, we didn’t understand how pivotal a role she would play. By the time we found out, it would already be too late.

After watching the orb’s message that day, I honestly tried to walk away, to turn my back on Max and what we had together; I tried to do the right thing. He ran after me, and, turning my back to him and walking away again, was one of the hardest things I’ve ever had to do in my life. Keeping my distance was the only way I could keep myself from turning back and running back into his arms. So I fled; I left Roswell for the summer and tried to rebuild my life without him.

For a brief time, I almost fooled myself into believing that it was working. That I could move past what we had, that I didn’t need to be with Max and that we’d be better off without each other. I tried to climb out of the alien madness but then just as I thought I might be succeeding, I got sucked back in even deeper.

Max just refused to let go and, little by little, he won me around. He sang for me, he brought me flowers – white roses to be exact – and, try as I might, telling myself not to feel for him was like telling myself not to breathe. I loved him, I came to realise. Heart and soul, body and mind, I was his and, whatever I did and however I might try, I came to realise that it would never change…

After that realisation, it was only a matter of time before I broke. And, when I did, I broke big time. The night of the Gomez concert changed everything, again and forever. We were back together, and closer than ever. We hung around together all the time and, even when we weren’t with one another, I could still feel him with me.

There were difficulties and complications of course. Under the circumstances there always would be. But finally we came to the conclusion that together, we were stronger than apart. Unfortunately, as we now know, our relationship wasn’t the only one we should have considered.

We made a choice to be together, forever… I was nineteen when I said those words, and I never regretted them for a second. That night in Vegas was…magical. It wasn’t the fairytale wedding that most little girls dream of. But then I don’t suppose many people have a day that lives up to such high standards. What we did have however, were the things that mattered. My friends, a beautiful dress and the love of my life – the only important thing missing was my parents and that I could deal with…

Don’t misunderstand me. That’s not to say that their absence didn’t affect me. Quite the opposite in fact. But the sad fact is, that when I became part of Max’s family, it seemed almost inevitable that I grew distant from my own. All the lying, hiding and keeping secrets from them had already created a distance that I didn’t know how to even begin to bridge and this final step was like shutting a door on them. Romeo and Juliet – that was us, I told Max. Unfortunately at the time I failed to recognise that as well as a great love story, theirs was also a tragedy; just as ours would be...

We told ourselves that Tess would come around to us being together. We wanted so hard to believe that she, like Max and Isabel and Michael, would want to make her own choices. The problem was, that Max, Isabel and Michael hadn’t been brought up by Nacedo.

She had, we came to realise, been brought up every day with the insistence that she and Max were destined to be together. She was the Queen, his Queen, his wife and she would never believe anything else.

When Max and I married, we naively thought that she would finally have no choice bur to move past that belief and would begin to make an effort to create a life for herself. We were wrong. Perhaps her vocal opposition and pursuit of myself and Max respectively disappeared. She even, in fact, contributed towards a group wedding gift after the event. But the problem was that we missed the fact that she never really connected with anyone.

Stupidly we believed that living with Kyle and his dad, and being involved in our group activities, had helped her to integrate and enabled her to think for herself. We were wrong!

The on-off relationship that she began with Kyle, that had once seemed promising, was nothing more than a distraction to her. Kyle might have hoped for more, in fact I know he did, but to her it was merely a bit of fun… She had no interests, no life outside the group. And, when she realised that she and Max were never going to happen, nothing remained to keep her in Roswell.

She left one night, without any warning. There was nothing out of the ordinary - She and Kyle had been to a movie, they came home, went to bed and in the morning she was…gone… Our first instinct was to panic, to wonder if her disappearance had a sinister reason behind it. The note she left behind told us otherwise though.

'I’m sorry…'

Two little words that told us so much. Looking back, I realise that we had her wrong. It wasn’t, as we used to believe, that she had refused to move on, but rather that she had been unable to… Years later I now know it wasn’t her fault. Nacedo had practically brainwashed her from the moment that she came out of her pod and she simply didn’t have a choice. And, if I speak from a purely practical point of view, perhaps he was right. After all, what is Max trying to do right now?

First, I felt guilty as I saw it from her point of view. I felt as though Max and I had all but chased her away. Then I realised that this was for her, a new start. She had never been happy here and never would be, not really… We could try and welcome her into the group as much as we liked, but her upbringing was too engrained in her being – she was there for one reason and one reason only – Max. And she couldn’t have him. Roswell would never truly be her home. In leaving this was her chance to live her life for herself and no one else. She deserved that, I felt, and wished her all the best.

She left no contact details, gave us no indication of where she would go – I don’t suppose she knew herself at the time - and we never heard from her again. The problem was that, although we might not have realised it then, she was an integral part of our group and we needed her…

For the moment though, we were oblivious and as safe as possible under the circumstances. Our lives fell into a sense of what I can only describe as normal… We were High School graduates. Those of us who wanted to went to college, most taking part-time courses for financial reasons, whilst others found jobs. In contrast to original plans however, and with the exception of Kyle, none of us left the area. It wasn't something that we officially discussed, bit it was as though a silent decision had been taken by each of us – we would stick together! So Harvard and MIT went out, replaced by Eastern New Mexico University, Central New Mexico Community College or even New Mexico State with correspondence courses.

Initially Max and I stayed in an apartment off campus; living at home simply wasn't an option – our parents hadn't taken kindly to our elopement. Later on the whole group clubbed together and we bought this rundown lodge a few miles outside town. We had big plans for it, not only as a home, but a business. But that would take time and it was a big commitment for us to make at that age, as everyone seemed determined to stress. For us however, it was exactly the right thing to do. I think that perhaps, albeit unconsciously, we were making a statement – this was our home and we had no intention of leaving…

Antar still existed, and it’s plight hadn’t been wiped from our minds. But we hadn’t heard anything from Larek in years and we liked to believe that was because things there had settled and that the people had been victorious without any help from us. Again we were, perhaps, too naïve. Silence could have two reasons, as we would soon discover.

The first indication we had that something was wrong was some crazy extremist group that came onto the scene just before the start of our Junior Year. I have to admit, at first I didn’t pay much attention to it all. Max and I were both otherwise occupied, not by thoughts of our studies as you might imagine, but by a recent discovery that we had yet to make public.

It wasn’t as though we lived like monks, but we had been so careful and, when I first discovered I was late, I was quick to brush the obvious explanation away. But then came a certain queasiness, accompanied by the apparent loss of taste buds. Everything seemed to taste like cardboard unless I piled mountains of condiments on top.

Max was the one to actually voice the question and, as much as I might have tried to suggest that it was probably simply a long-overdue effect of the powers I developed as a result of his healing me all that time ago, deep down I knew it was simply an excuse. We already knew that the alcohol intolerance was well and truly in play thanks to one best forgotten incident at a Frat Party when I was still a freshman. Other than that however, my diet and taste buds seemed unaffected even after the boost my powers received when we cemented our relationship.

There was, I came to realise, no other explanation. I was pregnant…

It was...a shock. That’s not to say that we weren’t happy, because we were, but we also knew this was going to change everything again and we just wanted a little time to process it ourselves before we told the rest of the group.

So, the first few attacks were nothing more than articles on the news for us. The next we were appalled by the death toll but in all honesty too wrapped up in the picture from our first scan (courtesy of Isabel who had a part time job as a health care assistant in the hospital) to dwell on it for long. That might sound really dismissive of something so terrible, but please try to understand I don't mean it that way; we just had a lot on our minds.

We were in the middle of a big project on the lodge as a group. When we moved in, it was barely inhabitable and whilst we had done a lot of work in the time since then, there was still a long way to go before we realised the goal of both a home and restaurant business. Each and every one of us was working any hours we could in our respective full-time/part-time jobs to try and scrape together the money we needed to get by. When the already tight monetary situation was combined with the prospect of a new family member, we were…busy to say the least…

Over the first three months, the activities of ‘New World’ as the group became known, trebled. They went from being stunning and shocking to terrifying, and governments all over the world were forced to admit that they posed a definite problem and were a very real threat.

One of the issues was that no one knew what they wanted. I call them extremists because that’s exactly what everyone believed them to be at that time, but other than to claim responsibility for each of their attacks, there had been no actual statements made to their agenda, beliefs or goals. Information about the group, other than the fact they were very dangerous, was near impossible to find.

At this point, as far as we were concerned, we were no more involved than any other concerned and worried citizen. However, that all changed when, at the end of the fourth month, the government released information that the latest communication from the group had contained a symbol – the group’s ‘logo’ they suggested. To anyone else, it was simply a stylised ‘V’ - V for victory or virus some suggested, whilst others mocked that it stood for villain. There were still more outlandish suggestions, alongside a few no doubt realistic ones. But to our group none of the suggestions meant anything - the symbolism was crystal clear – It was the five star system that we knew included Antar.

We were stunned, and not in a good way!

Suddenly, in a matter of moments, we were thrown right back into the middle of alien politics that, upon reflection, we realised that we had never really escaped. And yet, at the same time, we were the only ones that knew about it.

We had, we quickly realised, made an incorrect assumption in the belief that, when we destroyed the skins at Copper Summit back in High School, we had successfully defeated the only major players on the other side.

The number, scale and wide reaching locations of the attacks gave a clear message – we were not alone!

And, just like that, our priorities were shuffled. Within a matter of days, we had initiated training sessions to use the powers which might have become rusty of late due to lack of use. Work on the Lodge was put on hold, and any spare money we had available was instead ploughed into a series of emergency accounts that we took out whilst stockpiling supplies.

The idea was that, if the worst happened, anyone left would have enough money available to them to be able to at least try and flee. Again it was perhaps a naïve thought, to believe that things would be as simple as that, but we had to at least try...

Michael was keen to send Maria, Alex and myself as far away from Roswell as possible. It would be safer, he insisted, to keep us out of the firing line. Of course none of us were going anywhere and we shot that idea down without pause. We were, we insisted, just as likely to be in the firing line outside Roswell as in. To date, ‘New World’ hadn’t made any overt movements to attack us specifically and had popped up in at least five new locations in the past month. When no one knew where they might strike next, how could anywhere be truly safe… In fact, weren't we safer together, we argued, with the rest of the group, where the powers I had could be used in conjunction with the others and act in our defense.

Acting the protective father-to-be, Max tried to convince me to reconsider. There was, he insisted, nothing more important than the safety of our child. I agreed, but had a differing opinion on how ensuring that safety should be achieved. In the end, he relented and the three of us stayed.

By the time I was four months along, our relative normal had evaporated. And we weren’t the only ones. The whole world was in a constant state of terror it seemed. School had been suspended, closely followed by many of the colleges and there were warnings in place about going out if not absolutely necessary. Publicly, governments still insisted that they would bring down this terror organisation, but privately there were some doubts as to how much progress, if any, they were actually making behind the scenes.

It looked, and felt, like something out a disaster or horror movie and we were, we knew, only a short way from Martial Law being declared. Already some of the smaller countries had resorted to this in a last-ditch effort to maintain control, but its effectiveness seemed questionable at best. No one knew where the group would pop up next and, because of this, all efforts to restore and repair affected locations had been abandoned – there was no point in trying to rebuild only to have it decimated again weeks later. There was neither the funds, nor manpower to justify such a pointless attempts. The result was that there were bombed out shells of buildings scattered across the world in alarming numbers.

And that was only the first wave…

The next event of note came a little over a month later and had nothing to do with the fighting. At a little over five months, I felt the baby kick. As awful as you may think I am for even thinking it, one thing that did work in our favour about this whole situation was that with all the terror, thoughts of regular doctor’s visits were far from the top of people’s list of priorities. My parents had asked about the visits of course, but it had been in passing and it was easy enough to stem further questions by showing them the scan Isabel performed for us a couple of months previous. When they asked, we simply said that things were fine, and moved the conversation on.

Now you could suggest that it was crazy that we were still keeping the truth about Max from my parents. And I’m not going to say that you’re wrong but try to look at it from our side for a moment. It wasn’t as though we were doing anything less for his parents. The run up, and Max’s actual experience in the White room all that time ago had left a lasting impression on him. Whilst he would never admit as such, he was worried about pulling more people into a secret that would consequently, put them in danger. So it wasn’t because we didn’t care about our parents, but rather because we loved them and wanted them to be safe. Telling them the truth, we believed, would have made them targets in more ways than one both from humans and aliens alike. We were, at the time, working from the facts we believed we had. It was, we realised too late, the wrong decision…

I had suggested that my parents should close the Crashdown for the immediate future. They had some savings I argued, which would allow them to get by, and anywhere that was a gathering spot was a potential target! In return, they responded that Roswell, New Mexico was hardly the most influential town and they could think of many better places to attack that would make more of an impact. Besides, people needed somewhere to unwind, they told me, and this was something they could do to make things a little better for others, to maintain some sense of normalcy…

Without bringing them into the secret, there wasn’t much I could say to that. How exactly could I explain that Roswell was very probably the ultimate target for those involved? If I could go back and change things, I would in a shot. At the time however, I maintained my silence, believing it to be for the best. I can honestly say it was one of the biggest mistakes of my life.

One Friday night I had dropped into the Crashdown to see my mom. We were sat in the back, watching a show together, when the next minute the screen went blank before being replaced by an image of Nicholas as he put a face to the terror... They were coming out of hiding!

To this day I'm not really sure how he explained who he was or what they were after, because at that very moment they brought the fight to us. There was an explosion in the diner - I'm told two strangers fled right about that time - and whole building burst into flames.

I barely escaped with my life that day. My parents weren’t so lucky. Later I was told that, after forcing their way through the flames to save me, Max and Michael had attempted to reach them but it was already too late. Even as they tried to dampen the flames with their powers, effectively risking everything, they realised they were already gone. My father, working on counter at the time of the attack, had been too close to the blast and my mother had been speared by a fallen beam. It would have been quick and they wouldn’t have suffered, I am told.

As the emergency services appeared on the scene and the ideas of rescue became inconsequential, the guys had no choice but to back off. Not so much because of emergency personnel's insistence, but rather in order to get me out of the way before someone mentioned me and decided I should go to hospital. Complications linked with alien pregnancy was certainly not something to be publicising at that moment in time.

I was essentially unconscious through all of this, and my recollections here are really nothing more than reconstructions based on the descriptions provided by others. We assume that I hit my head or something, but, other than a big bruise on my forehead, I had, it seemed, escaped pretty much unharmed. I had been lucky, people said, although I couldn’t bring myself to agree; my parents were dead, and I couldn't help but blame myself for unwittingly making them a target. Maria insisted that I couldn't have known, and tried to comfort me with even her kind words failed to raise a smile from me.

In the end I wasn’t as lucky as we had all had thought. Max gave me an initial check over, and another immediately we arrived at the emergency camp we had set up at the cave. Both failed to pick up any major issues. But, as I’ve learnt since, not all effects are immediately apparent.

In fact, there’s nothing to say that there was any indication to pick up in the next few hours. These things are…unpredictable and we don’t always know what the cause is. On this occasion though, I can probably say confidently that being caught in the blast didn’t exactly effect the pregnancy positively.

I’m trying to be light hearted and glib here because, if I’m not, I know that even all this time on, I could completely break down. Because a little under a week later, whilst we were still grieving the loss of friends and family, including my parent, and trying to regroup; whilst the rest of the world was trying to come to terms with the new reality that aliens didn’t belong only in books, I went into labour.

I say labour, some might argue I miscarried since I was only 22 as opposed to 24 weeks along. However, since we didn’t know exactly how long the pregnancy was likely to last, and I actually gave birth, we always chose to think of it as labour. The pains started suddenly, without warning, and progressed quickly before there was anything Max could do. I’ve been told since that the process could well have started up two days before, and by the time we recognised what was happening, my water broke.

Our son was born three hours later. He failed to take a single breath on his own. And for all special powers in the group, even Max’s healing couldn’t help him. Whether his lungs were underdeveloped, or if he had suffered trauma in the blast, we never knew. I don't think it was important... All that mattered was that the child I had carried inside me for five months, that we had already loved and cherished, was gone. We called him Jeff, after my father, whose funeral I had been unable to attend the previous week since we were in hiding.

Many people would be destroyed by such an event. And I’m not saying that I don’t understand that. Deep down, I think that it might have been that way for me had it not been for the support of Max and the others. It would have been so easy to give up in that moment, to choose to live in the past, and surrender to the dark pit of dread and fear that lingered.

But this wasn’t just about us. When Nicholas came out, through him Kivar declared war not only on us, but on the whole Earth. And, just like that, the fight from Antar was here on earth. We had suspected it for some time, but to see it spelt out in front of us in black and white was something quite different. It drew everything into sharp focus, and the picture we saw wasn’t a pretty one.

Even Michael, our brave General, was scared. Oh he might not have shown it outwardly, but we could feel the underlying currents that were common throughout the group. Normal simply wasn’t a word that existed anymore. And we realised with a start, our last taste of it had passed without notice. We didn’t recognise how lucky we had been until it was gone. I don’t know what he would have done without Maria to comfort and hold.

Isabel, turned back into the Ice Queen that had reined for some time in school and didn’t say a word for days. I suspect for her, there was a combination of fear of what was to come, and also maybe some guilt, however misplaced, that she hadn’t been able to do more for the baby. It took Alex a whole week to draw her back out and coax even one small smile from her face when he kissed her. It killed him to see her like that, I knew, and even in my own grief, I hated to see my friends like this..

Two weeks after we lost our baby, Larek got in touch. He came this close to getting Brody flattened because Michael was big on the idea of laying low and not having visitors. Not to mention the fact that we were essentially in hiding, so exactly how was anyone we knew going to know where to find us?

Perhaps we should have realised instantly, but then we’d had limited contact with Larek in the past, and from what he had said, Brody could just as easily have been used by one of the other side in this conflict. He had a physiology that made him susceptible…

So, Michael, ever the suspicious one (please understand I’m not complaining, he’s saved my life with that suspicion more times than I like to admit in the intervening years), was all in favour of hit first and ask later. Maria insisted that we had to be sure, but if I’m honest, I think the only thing that saved Brody from an early grave, in truth, was the fact that we knew him personally. I know that sounds really crass and unfeeling, but you have to understand that normal rules of engagement had been suspended. There was just too much at stake and we had already lost too much!

As it was, we put Larek through a game of 20 questions, Michael holding him at ‘gunpoint’ so to speak, and, fortunately, Brody came out alive at the other end. Larek was then able to fill us in a little on the overall situation, and I have to tell you, it wasn’t good…

The message in the orbs, supported by some minimal earlier contact with Larek, had suggested that there was a strong resistance on Antar. Unfortunately, we found, that was the situation years before and recently Kivar’s forces had hit a number of major cells heavily. It was perhaps, why they had felt secure enough to try and widen their reach. And Earth wasn’t the only planet under siege as it were.

Of the five planets in Antar’s solar system, there was only one that wasn’t in all-out-war with Kivar. He had, we were told, grown his forces quietly, hiding their true strength until the first strike. He hit without any warning, and the forces just seemed to keep coming. Many suspected that they still hadn't seen the full strength of his troops and that the outcome of the battles to come was already inevitable.

Larek reported that the forces on our side were severely depleted and that there was little hope of help from that corner. They were struggling too much to stem the tide on their own side without worrying about somewhere on the other side of the universe. More than once, he did mention trying to find a way for ‘us’ (for he was surprisingly accepting of the non-hybrid members of the group) to return, but that required time and resources that were lacking. Besides, each time, without pause, Max declined on behalf of the group . Even without voicing the question aloud,he instinctively knew we weren’t ready to give up on the planet that we knew as home…

This was where we had been ‘born’, grown up and, in the case of Max and I, had even lost a child. Furthermore, we were the reason why Kivar had attacked Earth in the first place and so we couldn’t just walk away… We had to fight!

and yet the reality was, that whilst the support for us was still strong, the practical assistance that could be offered was limited. We were massively outnumbered, as had become clear over a matter of months and, realistically, on our own, it was only a matter of time until they took us down.

It was this fact, that led us to our next move. Considering past experiences. It wasn’t something that we took lightly. On our own, we realised, we could never be anything more than a thorn in Kivar’s side. Which left only one more option; we came out into the open.

We orchestrated it as carefully as we could, acting at distance as much as possible. Initially, we communicated using recorded media, announcing our presence in a manner much like that which Nicholas had used, only initially to a more select audience and without the associated violence. Michael and Alex together came up with a series of electronic and physical drop boxes that we could use to get messages across and slowly we revealed ourselves to the world.

I suppose as a side benefit, as we began to communicate to a wider group of people, we hoped that Tess might get back in touch. The one thing about our current group make-up that Larek had been unhappy about, was that one of the ‘Four Square’ was missing. He didn’t care that Max and I were together anymore than the fact that Michael and Isabel had alternative partners, but the lack of Tess’ powers, he told us, was to the detriment of the group’s capabilities. We didn't have to pair up as had been expected in order to be a competent fighting unit. The problem was, none of us knew where she was. Since leaving Roswell she had essentially disappeared from the map and her old mobile number was out of service even before the fighting began.

We had posted messages in papers under the ‘looking for’ and ‘reunion’ columns that had sprung up in the aftermath of the attacks, and had even gone so far as to make a cloaked reference to her in a number of our first video messages that were to be released first nationally and then globally. Whilst the internet remained, albeit as a shadow of what it once was, Alex had even tried to trace her using some not-so-legal methods, but realistically, we didn’t know where she was or even what name she was going under. Not to mention the fact that certain past conversations didn’t dismiss the possibility she could make more than subtle changes to her appearance making finding her potentially ten times as difficult. Even her fingerprints came back blank; a fact that, upon reflection, Michael pointed out wasn’t so surprising. Unless she were to contact us, we were exactly nowhere…

And she didn’t… contact us that is… To this day we don’t know why that is. But we've never found a trace of her since she left Roswell. She could be getting on with her life, a prisoner or even dead. My guess would be it’s that it’s one of the last two of those possibilities, and most likely by now the last one like everyone else in the group. I strongly suspect that Max and I are the last… Isabel died two weeks ago, Alex and Maria another two before that in our last attempt at attack that backfired disastrously, and Michael only minutes ago on our way to the chamber. There were three, then two, and now with Max on his way only one, and soon, whether he is successful or not, there will be none… I only hope that, despite the cost there will be to us both, that he makes it work.

The first meeting we had in person after revealing ourselves was a tense moment. Thoughts of Max’s experience in the ‘white room’ as we call it, were never far from our minds. The responses we had gained through the indirect communication had been promising, and we had great hopes, and yet we couldn’t rid ourselves of the fear that this was just another ruse to capture and experiment. Realistically, we were probably putting too much emphasis on the thirst for knowledge under the circumstances – government agencies had more importance things to focus on these days. But we had learnt the hard way that it paid to be cautious.

We had delayed the event as long as possible, but those we were in touch with had refused to take it any further without a face-to-face meeting. With the whole world in a state of panic, they couldn’t commit resources to a word on paper or face on screen. It was something that needed to be man to man, as such...

Michael had wanted for me to remain in the background, for protection. But that has never been my style and I refused to let them put their lives on the line if I wasn’t willing to do the same myself. In the end Max and I, representing both sides of the group and, introduced at Larek’s insistence,(I’m afraid to admit) as the King and Queen of Antar, attended the meet. It was a relatively short meeting considering its significance, but, when we left, we felt a whole lot better about the whole situation – we were no longer alone!

Now I look back on it, I’d say again we were naïve, to think that it would make such a big difference. At the time our thinking was based upon the way we had been brought up and the Government was the ultimate authority in that. However, the unfortunate fact is that Earth s nothing more than primitive on a scale that includes Antar. Even if all the world governments worked together – which they didn’t – they were unlikely to make more than a passing effect on the overwhelming forces Kivar seemed to possess.

And yet, despite all the forces he had at his disposal, we found that he still refrained from making an all-out assault on Roswell. We assumed that was because he didn’t know that Tess wasn’t there. Crazy as it sounds, we were told by Larek that the ‘Four Square’ together possessed incredible power that would be able to take down whole units without any assistance. In this role however, I was a poor substitute. I had spent hours training and working to control my abilities but it was to no avail. My powers were undeniably strong, and I could help to ‘charge’ the others if necessary, but the combination was still lacking, and there was nothing I could do about it.

By this point, I would go so far as to say that there was virtually nothing about the world around us that resembled that from before…

Schools and colleges had closed, main streets were deserted. The government had introduced a curfew, but most people only left their houses for emergencies anyway. All the major economies were in melt-down, many companies had folded, currency was worthless and the only way that many people continued to survive were on emergency rations that were doled out at regular intervals. Kids as young as sixteen were finding themselves drafted to the front lines of a war that was a sure-fire death sentence.

For the first couple of months, we actually thought we might be making progress, but by the end of six we knew only too well that we were losing!

The group of us had by this point been moved to a ‘safe’ location – as far as safe was a word in those days… We were working heavily with senior officials in the armed forces, but when it came down to it, in their eyes as ‘special’ as we might be, we were still little more than kids and our influence was minimal.

Day after day, all we heard about was fighting and death tolls. Selected ‘important’ civilians had been moved to underground bunkers and it was clear that at best, our forces were firefighting. Larek did his best to provide some additional help, but it was still a struggle on his side and this couldn’t be counted on from one day to the next.

At the end of the first year, the battle was essentially lost. But we were never ones to give up! – We had lost too much! Even as the governments of the world were indicating that they surrendered, we were shifting things to the relative security, if cramped, location of the cave and contacting Larek. Whilst he hadn’t been able to provide much in the way of practical help when we were fighting an all-out war, a resistance was another matter. It was a different kind of fight!

For the moment, we held back so as not to show our hand too soon. We watched as the world around changed, and the first signs of occupation took hold. We discovered, by chance really, the secret to the almost never-ending stream of soldiers that had appeared to fight our troops – Kivar had achieved a kind of gateway…

Strangely enough, despite the fact they had never launched an all-out attack, it turned out their base was only hours away and the gateway even closer. It was, we realised, only a matter of time before they came for us.

Perhaps that knowledge should have made us run – retreat to fight another day and put as much distance between us and them as possible – but no one suggested such a thing. There was an unsaid agreement that Roswell was our home, and no one mentioned the idea of leaving. Besides, Larek had indicated that the Granolith was very powerful and we were reluctant to leave it unattended for any period of time for fear of its discovery by the other side.

Practically however, there were many issues around lack of space for six adults, not to mention the fact that if we were to pose a real problem for Kivar, if this Resistance was to mean anything, we needed a base.

If, before the world went to hell, you watched any drama series with a similar tale, they would conveniently leave out just how they achieved the impressive bases that were seemingly expected as standard. That, I came to believe, was because it was anything but simple..

Our first base was actually one of the larger caves we found in the area of the Pod Chamber. It gave us space, if not security, and we protected it as best we could as we plotted our first move.

When it came to it, that move was pretty simple, if impulsive. For all the planning we had done, we didn’t use any of our plotting. Instead, our first act as an official resistance movement happened when Max, Michael and I were on a scouting and supply run. As we were passing through town, we noticed an unfamiliar van that was meandering down the streets. There was something about it that caught our eye… We were pretty sure that It wasn’t owned by any of the people in town – few would have still had the petrol to run it if that were the case – and decided to stick around to see what was going on.

Our experience with the official armed forces hadn’t been a complete waste and as a result of lessons in intelligence gathering, we knew how to blend in. Max’s face was too well known and the risk too high of recognition if he wandered around. Michael wasn’t much better. On the other hand, everyone agreed that I looked pretty different from the teenager that Nicolas had once met. My hair had been cut short at that time,my curves both sharpened by our minimal diet and yet also accentuated thanks to my pregnancy.

Due to this combination of facts, albeit not without some reluctance on the guys’ part, I was selected as the one to actually go into town whilst the others would drop back and park the vehicle in an abandoned lot. One of the most important supplies that Larek had been able to supply in his efforts to help were some communicators that we carried at all times. I was to mingle with those in town, find out what was going on and then report back. Michael and Max meanwhile would try and lay low unless they saw a sure-fire opening that came without any fear of discovery.

I don’t mind admitting that I was shaking as I passed around that first corner. It wasn’t until I passed a group of people reporting for a work crew, and was able to join with them, that I felt confident enough to think any further ahead than where I was walking…

The work crews were something of a mystery really. No one knew what the purpose was and they really didn’t seem to have any visible yield except perhaps to maintain control and keep the people downtrodden.

It was incredible, and scary, to see just how much things had changed again in a few short months. Sure, you could see some areas of rebuilding and to the uninformed eye, on first glance, it might even look as though things were going back to normal. However, look closer and you would realise that that rebuilding was carried out under armed supervision, and most of the buildings that still stood were occupied not by the original owners but by unfamiliar faces that, if you were to look, would have that telling flap of skin on their back. Humans were being bartered and traded as little more than stock and those that were still free had vastly restricted movements.

I could go on for days, telling you of the horrors of this new world. But that’s not the point of this. I quickly found out that the van we had seen was indeed no good thing. The occupiers had been moving from one house to another, taking anyone between the ages of 14 and 20 and carting them off in the van we had seen. It had been going on for a couple of days, intermittently, and the woman I spoke to said she had heard of it happening in other locations too - no one had seen anyone taken again,

They were, I realised, taking away the youth that might in time build into a resistance and, in the same blow, ensuring compliance of the older generation with threats as to what might happen to those taken if they stepped out of line. Realistically, most of those taken were probably already dead. But it was enough that a father or mother might believe in a small fraction of those taken that were still alive because, if they did, their son or daughter might be a part of it…

And, as any parent might understand, that could well be enough to maintain compliance because most parents would do anything to keep their children safe.

When I reported back to the guys, we were unanimous in the opinion that we had to try and do something. It would, we knew, be a drop in the ocean. Yet, we had to start somewhere and having come across this we couldn’t leave and do nothing…

Our plan, such as it was, was simple. We had considered making it more ambitious but recognised that it was better to be simple and get out, than to go for impact and die for the cause. Some day, we knew, that might be a choice we had to make but, as it was, our resistance was still in its fledgling stages and to loose one or more of us was a price too high to pay. Besides, most of the ‘bigger impact’ possibilities would sacrifice the vehicle and in doing so we’d only be delaying the fate of the kids.

Instead, we used the cover of darkness that evening to plant a couple of charges near the houses that were most heavily populated by occupiers. Next, we gathered as many of those in the target age range with the help of a couple of contacts within town. Fortunately for us, the skins believed humans to be weak and easily defeated; the guards that patrolled the town during the day were fewer in number at night and there were no physical barriers put in place to prevent moving around. They simply didn’t believe they were necessary.

With most of the preparations complete, Michael left Max and I to go on ahead to the outskirts of town to make final arrangements. Meanwhile, the two of us were left with the task of disabling the few night guards and, perhaps most importantly, ‘acquiring’ the truck.

The whole break, when it happened, took less than an hour. The kids were piled onto the truck; we had offered to take adults too but most had insisted that it was more important that the teenagers and, in some cases, younger children, be saved. We pulled away and, at the first sign of trouble, the charges we had placed around town were set off. It was chaos, and we sailed right through.

Michael’s role was pivotal though, and as we passed the boundary into town, he released another couple of charges he had placed in selected locations across the road and, perhaps more importantly, along a rock cliff. The result was exactly as we had planned – town was cut off, allowing us to make our get-away out of sight of the enemy before troops eventually came scrambling over the top in pursuit. I’d like to think we might have managed to flatten a good couple dozen of the creeps in the process too.

There could be no question when we arrived back at the cave that everything had changed. We had a total of about 20 teenagers and a handful of younger children in tow, with two further and somewhat surprising, (although not unpleasantly so) additions – Kyle and his dad.

There had been no question, after seeing them, that the two of them would accompany our little jail-break group. Kyle had returned home after the colleges closed and the only reason they weren’t already with us was a lack of opportunity. Everyone was pleased to see them. The sheriff’s knowledge and skills were always useful whilst Kyle meanwhile, had developed some powers, albeit to a lesser extent than I had, and would be a vital part of our arsenal.

For now however, our main focus had to be on the kids we had rescued and working out how and where to survive. Our cave hide-out had been sufficient for our small group but with the vastly increased numbers it was pitifully inadequate. The sheriff, in particular, was a real asset here. With his historical knowledge of the region, he was able to identify a large disused industrial area that had been something to do with the airforce back in the day and had an extensive underground complex that was built early last century as combination bomb and fallout shelter.

And when I say complex, I mean complex – there were bunk rooms, linked to a kitchen and cafeteria area via a series of tunnels, in addition to staging areas, command central and a number of other rooms I could only imagine the orginal use for. Jim knew about the place thanks to his father’s rants and I have to say It was ideal for our requirements, Within days we were moved in, after which we turned our hand to doing what we could to camouflage entrances and in some cases create new ones with the use of our powers. By the time we were finished, the original entrance from the complex above was blocked, replaced with a number of escape hatches that led out into the surrounding desert and mountains.

For the sake of the little ones, we tried to put in place a routine that gave a semblance of normalcy, but the older kids were only too aware of the situation and of those that they had left behind. In truth our group had temporarily put any ideas of an active resistance on hold, and had focused on the ideas of safety and security for those we found ourselves with custody of. It was a jarring feeling, to be one of the oldest in the complex and have so many younger boys and girls looking up to us, and all this at the age of less than twenty six.

In the end it was a group of the older teenagers who got the resistance back on track. They insisted that they couldn’t just sit still and asked how they might be able to help. They wanted to train and learn to fight.

With a heavy heart, we acknowledged that they should be able to do both and set about teaching them what we could.

A few days into that teaching, another couple of the younger kids came up to us, and then another and another. Before we knew it we were doing drills with everyone except the youngest in the group and even they had been shown some of the basics, although for reasons of survival only.

Larek was the one who gave us the next prod, as he, in Brody’s body, followed our lead in another town. Then, he sent those freed in our direction. Serena was one of those that just…turned up… She was around our age or a little older and had been doing postgrad study in physics at one of the local Universities before everything happened. She was eager and willing, and hit it off instantly with the rest of the group. Not to mention her knowledge was invaluable when it came to finding the best way to use our limited resources and weapons.

Before we knew it, the resistance was no longer just an idea but a living entity. We weren’t just thinking about how to fight back but actually doing it. We attacked the gateway, even stemmed the tide for a few months, and as months turned into years, people sought us out to join up or set up their own groups that followed our lead. We weren’t sophisticated or particularly powerful, but at least I know we did some good…

No longer were we the naïve teenagers that once walked the school hallway. Even Alex, who at one point would have been the last person to pick a fight, had become a competent fighter in addition to his still growing computer skills. Maria’s role was less active at the front line, but was no less necessary as she worked eagerly with new recruits to get them up to speed and then later helped in plotting attacks and with those who might be subsequently wounded. Isabel meanwhile placed herself in the line of fire day after day despite protests from her ‘brothers’, boyfriend, and, in time, husband.

We held one another together, there is no doubt of that. What I would have done without Max, or for that matter any of my friends, at that time, I don’t know. I think the knowledge that we were all there helped to give us strength in times that could be nothing less than horrifying.

Most of our troops, such as they were, were our age or younger, and my heart swells as I think about how many we’ve lost over the years of the conflict. It was only through a combination of luck and a few of Larek’s ‘toys’ that we were able to remain undetected in our hide-out when they came looking.

But the very fact of that search showed us something – we were hurting them…

And yet, the truth is, that we always knew it was only a matter of time. We could hold out as long as we liked, and hit as many places as we could, but when it came down to it, we weren’t winning the overall fight… One day our luck would run out and it would be over…

Despite this fact, we couldn’t bring ourselves to give up. Not when the first of the planets in Antar’s system fell, nor when the resistance back on Antar was decimated by an attack that took out the bulk of it’s fighters including Larek. With each of these events we knew that the chance of success was fading, but still we fought on.

It was Serena that hit on something that might work… A theory, that turned into a plan. How would things have been different with Tess there? What was the full force of ‘four square’ capable of? She peppered us with questions for weeks, silently assimilating the answers we provided before finally sharing her thoughts to the group.

First she attempted to use the Granolith to amplify my own powers. It took some time, and was successful to a point, but there was still something missing. Accept no substitute as the saying goes… Next she began to further explore the machine, poring over it for hours on end with the hope that she might have missed something earlier that would make all the difference.

Finally after years of exploring any possibility she could think of, she came to the conclusion that we all feared – there was nothing that we could do.

Not unless we could change the make-up of the group. And that change needed to be made way back, before Tess left, before Earth was ever invaded. Even for Antarians time travel was something that was talked about in books but when Serena set her mind to something you didn’t like to bet against her.

Toren, Larek’s successor, assigned the best scientific minds left in his meagre resources to work with her on the task and, before long, they had a working theory. But a theory is a theory, until you try it out. They wanted to do tests and trials, but we didn’t have the time. Serena was caught in an attack last Monday and with her went most of the knowledge we would need to make any further modifications. All we have left are a set of instructions we found that she drafted out and we’ve followed to the letter.

People gave their lives today to ensure that we managed to get back to the cave in order to do this.
Which brings me back to the present, the waning light from the Granolith, the sounds of war and destruction outside. Looking down, I see blood seeping through my shirt at my lower abdomen and grimace. It’s time… Had Max known I was hit he wouldn’t have left me, and he had to go.

He has to make this right, to destroy our past to make another future possible…

My breathing is becoming laboured now, the memories hard to recall. I’m tired and ready to stop. Because what I do now doesn’t matter anymore. One way or another, it’s over, and I’m done fighting. It’s time to lay down, and sleep, and when I wake I know that Jeff and my parents will be with me always with my friends and family that have gone before me.

I’m Liz Parker Evans, and it’s over… Or maybe, I hope, it's just beginning once more…
My fics:

Dreams and Reality
Reality Revealed
Family Connections
When Love and Loss Collide
When Friendship and Love Combine - New!
If Only...
The Important Thing
Home for Christmas
I Knew Him Before (PB fic)
Love Always...
The First Time Around - New!

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