Moonset at Meridian(AU FutureMax/Liz/WA/TEEN) COMPLETE

Finished stories set in an alternate universe to that introduced in the show, or which alter events from the show significantly, but which include the Roswell characters. Aliens play a role in these fics. All complete stories on the main AU with Aliens board will eventually be moved here.

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cherie
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Moonset at Meridian(AU FutureMax/Liz/WA/TEEN) COMPLETE

Post by cherie » Thu Oct 20, 2005 3:21 pm

Title: Moonset at Meridian

Author: Cherie

Rating: Teen

Category: (AU FutureMax/Liz / WA /TEEN)

Disclaimer: I don't own these characters. I'm only borrowing them for a little while. No infringement intended to Melinda Metz, JK, UPN or WB...

Summary: Where did Future Max go when he disappeared? And what about Future Liz? We never got to see that. What if someone had the power to set everything that went wrong on the right path again? And at what cost?

Author's Note:This will be a short story.. and short chapters. Probably 4 or 5 parts at the most. It's just something I can't get out of my head.

Beautiful banner by Sheisty 23. Thank you so much...

Image


Every person should be, at least once in their lifetime....

Kissed by the wind
Twinkled by stars
Colored by rainbows
Fashioned by moonbeams
And suspended by time.

Drifted by snowflakes
Sprinkled by raindrops
Full of innocence
Lost in loneliness
And captured by rhyme.



Moonset at Meridian


Chapter One

There's a sadness that fills my heart as I watch her from the window. And I think about endings. The little deaths along the road she traveled to their last goodbye. Summer stretches out across the tawny hills like a sleeping lion, tired and spent, while she stands brave and resolute among the tiny diamonds of raindrops that sparkle on the emerald of the lawn. She's been doing this for as long as I can remember. Summer for her is an old song that plays on her heart. It sings for her of still velvet nights, the boy of her dreams, the bend of the moon as it rises from the desert floor and all the other foolish sentimentality that makes youth painful and life bearable.

I never knew him. I never knew any of them. Because they never existed. The world that she came from simply vanished on the night that he left. My father. He never knew about me, either.

"I would never have sent him away if I had known about you." She's told me this a hundred times.

But it still hurts. It hurts to see my mother walk the night...waiting for a man to step out of the shadows like some knight in shining armour to carry her away. I know she believes it's only a dream..a fantasy.. but she clings with such ferocity to his memory that I cannot bring myself to tell her the truth.

"He would have loved you so." She's told me that a hundred times, too.

By all rights, neither of us should exist at all. She should have died, I should never have been born. I suppose I should thank my alien heritage for the very fact that we are alive at all. I used to wonder sometimes..when she looked at me... if it hurt her that I look so much like him. That I'm a constant reminder of the man who was and shall always be the love of her life...no matter what timeline she's lived in. But then I realized she would never feel that way. She's amazing, my mother. And I love her so much that she is the reason I'm going to do what I know has to be done.

I always knew I was different. My first real experience with my..differences..was the spring of 2021, when I was seven. I found a puppy on the way home from school that had obviously been hit by a car. It lay shivering and crying against the curb, and I could tell when I touched it that it's back was broken. I wrapped the puppy in my jacket and took it home, wanting nothing more than my mother to make it better.

"I can't fix the puppy, sweetie," she had told me. "but you can." She held the puppy in her lap, tears misting in her eyes as she took my hands and taught me how to heal. The golden glow of the light that shimmered across my hands had frightened me at first, but once she told me how my father had healed her one September morning as she lay dying on the floor of her parent's resturant when she was sixteen, I finally understood where my abilities had come from.

Tomorrow will be my eighteenth birthday. I must admit that I've had a wonderful life. Because in that last moment they had together, the moment their palms touched against the wall of the Granilith, somehow my father had managed to send her to the place where we are now. To this new timeline where I was born. There was never a threat of Skins or Kivar, or the FBI, or any of the dangers that my mother and father had to face when they were growing up. There was no war with Antar, no end of the world. At least not this one, anyway. On the night that Serina modified the Granilith and my mother sent my father back in time to change the future, I'm sure they had no idea that my mother and I would be the only ones to survive that timeline.

"We had so little to time left." I remember her voice trembling when she finally told me about that night. "Everything had been lost, everyone was dead. Michael, Maria, Isabel, Alex; the earth was being destroyed around us and Roswell was nothing more than a pile of rubble."

I listened to her story as she painted a picture of their desparation as the world crumbled around them. How they had come to the decision that if Tess had stayed and completed the Foursquare, perhaps the future that they had lived in could be changed. Monumental screw up, if you ask me. How do you make a person fall out of love with you? Is it even possible to unlove someone?

Watching her now, I know it's not possible. She will love him forever and then some. She looks so fragile as the night wraps itself around her. But she is the strongest person I know. And she will never give up the hope that someday he will find her, that he will return. That's why I haven't told her about the dreams, or the voice that lives in my mind. Because if she knew that in order for him to come back to her, I will have to forfiet the life that she's struggled so hard to provide me, it would break her.

"Mom," I call to her. "it's time to come inside now." She turns and looks up at the window and smiles as she walks across the lawn toward the house, the red Irish Setter that I healed eleven years ago following closely at her heels. I smile back at her with tears in my eyes.

"One moment in time." the disembodied voice in my mind reminds me. "You have to choose which moment that will be."


TBC
Last edited by cherie on Sun Feb 26, 2006 1:56 am, edited 8 times in total.
cherie

If all is not lost, then where is it?

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Post by cherie » Wed Oct 26, 2005 3:11 am

AN:Once again, I am blown away by your feedback. Thank you so much, everyone. You have no idea how much just knowing you are reading is appreciated. You guys are awesome.

I also wanted to share this new banner that Shiesty made for me. She made the first one as well. I love them both. Thank you.



Image







Moonset at Meridian



Chapter Two



How strange it is that one must
bruise the petal of the rose
to smell it's fragrance sweet.
How sad that my dreams are dust
on the velvet wind that blows
across this lonely street.




I've finally stopped looking over my shoulder. When I first came to this place I had these wild, sweet fantasies that she was only a heartbeat behind me. And If I turned quickly enough I could almost imagine her running to catch up to me, the wind reaching out to dance with her hair... the sparkling burst of a smile erupting across her beautiful features, like the last of the fireworks that illuminates on a crowd of upturned faces before they fade away. Of all the memories I have, the ones of her are the most vivid. My love... my life... my Liz.

Morning kisses raining on my lips, tangled limbs and sheets pressed together like flowers between the pages of a book. Sultry summer afternoons that stretched from August to forever when she loved me. I can still see the stars floating, reflecting in the depths of her eyes and the soft shadow of the moon that fell across her cheek as she lay breathless beside me on that one last tonight with no more tomorrows to go.

It wasn't something that either of us wanted to do. Thinking back on it now, I realize that Liz really would've preferred that both of us would have died together that night in the Granilith chamber. And there's a part of me that wishes we had. Caught up as we were in the desolation and desperation of the situation, I wonder what else we could have done.

Everything was gone. Everyone was dead. I couldn't let Liz die. I hope that wherever she is, she understands why I did what I did. And I hope that she's forgiven me and moved on with her life. It's sad to think of her alone in a strange new world, but my only thought was for her to live.

Only moments before Serina slipped away,she had pressed the tiny chip inside my hand that would open another portal in time to send my Liz somewhere safe, and send me back in time to change the future. To destroy our timeline completely.


"Have you told Liz what you're going to do?" she whispered to me as I held her broken body in my arms.

"No." was my answer. "She'd never agree to it, you know that."

"You have to remember what I told you, Max. About the lines." her voice was ragged as she gasped for air.

"I'll try to remember." I promised. "I just don't know if I'll be able to..I don't know what's going to happen."

"The Meridian lines, Max. Remember..." those were her last words before she died.



There's an old gnarled scrub oak that stands alone against the barren and savage landscape that surrounds me. It's lower branches reach outward to encompass the small hill where it grew, some of them bending downward to touch the ground. The upper branches stretch upwards like tall brown arms as if to touch the sky. It's the one thing here that I love. Regal and majestic, I like to think of it as a testament of strength that has stood the ravages of time. And then again, sometimes I think it rather ironic that the only two living things here are me and that tree. Maybe it's a reminder of the past. That once I took a step forward..and risked everything for a chance to be with the girl that I loved.

I never meant to break her heart....to crush her dreams and still the song her heart was singing. She was so young and vulnerable, and loved the younger version of myself as much if not more than my Liz had loved me. What I coerced her into doing to help me is the one thing I regret more than anything else I've ever done. My Liz was safe, I wasn't sure what would happen to me, but not knowing what happened to younger versions of us in that other timeline will haunt me forever.

I should never have told her as much I did. That we had married...and had fourteen years together. It was wrong, and I knew it. But just being around her, seeing her, touching her... the way she looked at me. And when we sat on her balconey and she told me that I would always be the love of her life and anyone else would be second best, I wanted so much to be able to take back what I had done. But it was too late. The damage was already done.

A few precious days, and a dance that should have never belonged to me. I see her still, feel her still in my arms as the soft music of that song plays in my mind. The sweet sway of her body as she moved, her brown eyes full of forgiveness even then as she began to fade from my sight. One final turn, one last brush of her beautiful hair against my arm, and then she was gone.

I don't have a clue as to where I am or why I'm in this particular place. Or why I even still exist at all. I suspect it's some kind of limbo. And I know in my heart that Serina made this happen. That she pulled a fast one on me the same way I did Liz. I'd like to believe what Serina told me about the Meridian lines. But I haven't seen them yet. There is no sense of time in this place. I simply am, and I don't know why. So I wait. For the lines to appear like she said they would.


TBC
Last edited by cherie on Wed Oct 26, 2005 6:37 pm, edited 1 time in total.
cherie

If all is not lost, then where is it?

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cherie
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Post by cherie » Tue Nov 08, 2005 9:20 am

Thank you, everyone for the wonderful feedback. I am humbled by your response to this story.




Stardust...
See how bright the blazing trail
of the shooting star that is falling
flashes across the edge of night?
Remember? You wrote my name
along the curve of the milky way
with the silver dust of dying stars.
I was too blind then to know
what the stars have always known.
Life will come full circle. We had
one moment, one last bright
flame before we fell. Now we are
ghosts and dreams. We've become....
Stardust.


Moonset at Meridian

Chapter Three

I kneel beside his bed as he sleeps and I can't help but smile. He looks so much like Max. I brush the dark hair back that falls across his forehead with my fingertips and he stirs a little, his eyelashes fluttering softly across his cheek. He thinks I don't know what he is planning. That I'm not aware of the dreams he has or the voice he hears. 'Damn Serina', I curse to myself... but I know I really don't mean it. There would be no hope at all if it were not for her.

The light from the hallway filters through the crack in the door, and in its muted glow, I can see the charts and graphs scattered atop his desk. The uncapped red felt pen that he has used to follow the Great Circle and to indicate the pathway catches my eye. I can feel the energy rippling across the paper, and the thin red line leaps off the the map beckoning me to come closer. I raise myself up from the floor and move silently across the room praying that he won't wake up.

Looking at these star charts that my son has configured with unerring accuracy takes me back to the day I met Serina. She was a cartographer with an uncanny interest in astronomy and quantum mechanics. Max had heard of her through various leaders of the resistance and set up a meeting. Originally, we had planned to use her maps to find the location of Kivar's armada and blast every last ship that threatened Earth from their orbit. Unforunately, Kivar was one step ahead of us. In a brilliant display of firepower that fell from the sky, the last remaining forces that had fought so valiantly to save the world were struck down, the cities obliterated. That was the day that Isabel died and Michael was taken prisoner. Max, Serina and I sought refuge in the Granilith Chamber, desperately trying to plan for what we knew would be our last stand.

On that last night, Kivar sent one of his commanders to negotiate our surrender. With Max's refusal, we were sent a last message, loud and clear. Two bodies. One of them was Michael. I watched with tears in my eyes as Max held his body and rocked him back and forth gently in his arms. The other body was Tess. I wondered briefly how she had ended up as one of Kivar's prisoners. We hadn't seen her in years, not since she'd left Roswell after Max and I eloped to Las Vegas. It was then that I realized that had the four of them stayed together, the Foursquare would have been complete and Kivar would have been defeated. There would have been no end of the world. If Max had followed his destiny, none of this would have happened. But he had chosen me over Tess, and that was the beginning of the end. That was when I asked Serina if she could modify the Granilith and send Max back in time to change this future.

I knew of her fascination with the Meridian lines and time travel. We had talked about the possibility many times of one of us going back and what should be changed if that were to happen. I knew that person would have to be Max. He would have go back and make my younger self reject him. He would have to fulfill the destiny that had been written for him all those years ago and be with Tess as it was meant to be. He was dead set against it at first, but when Kivar's forces breached the outer chamber where the pods were and Serina was felled with a blast that she could not possibly survive, our fate was decided for us by an enemy we had no chance to defeat. I didn't know then that Serina had conspired with Max to save me as well, or that I was pregnant. I had every intention of facing my death with as much dignity and courage as all of those who had fallen before me, once he was gone.

He thanked me. For every kiss... for every smile. In a world gone mad around us, he said he had no regrets. Even in that last moment, he reached out his hand for me. And though I knew the contact would not be physical, I placed my hand against his on the cold surface of the Granilith. The connection between us blew wide open, and he mouthed a last *I love you*, sending a burst of energy that slammed into my body and was forceful enough to knock me to the ground. I barely had time to grab the crystal and pick myself up off the floor of the cave before Kivar broke through the wall and was standing in front of me. I could feel the anger surging through him as he realized what we had done. That Max had escaped and I was the only one left. I knew I would be on the recieving end of that anger, so I steeled myself for what I knew would be my final breath as he reached for his weapon and pointed it straight at my heart. I smiled at him, and a chill went through me as he stared at me with icy black eyes full of hatred.

In one last act of defiance, my hand shot up to slap the smug look off his face. To say that both of us were astounded when my hand found nothing but air where he should have been would be an understatement. He vanished before my eyes, and I know now that I did the same. I simply disappeared from his sight. I woke up in a field outside of Hondo with the midday sun shining down on me. It had been years since I had seen the sun. The war that had raged on Earth had polluted the atmosphere with thick clouds of toxin and we had lived in darkness for so long, I'd almost forgotten how wonderful it felt to be bathed in its warmth. It didn't take me long to figure out what had happened. I was in a different timeline. Once I had made my way into town, I discovered how different it was.

For one thing, the town of Roswell, New Mexico didn't exist, nor did any of the people I had once known. There had never been a crash in 1947. I was angry at first to think they had tricked me, but somewhere deep inside me, I knew there had to be a reason. And needless to say I truly was shocked when I found out the real reason Serina had sent me here. I had only the clothes on my back, my wallet, an alien crystal..and a folded letter from Serina with a tiny chip inside that I found jammed in the pocket of my leather jacket. It wasn't hard at all to secure a job at the truckstop outside of town as a waitress. For the first few weeks, I slept in the field where I had been sent, hoping against hope that somehow Max would find me. Then I discovered I was pregnant, so I found a small house on the outskirts of town not too far from the field and Dorian and I have lived here ever since. I've lived a very quiet life..never drawing attention to myself.

Dorian... today is his eighteenth birthday. August 15, 2032. And today is also the end...or is it the beginning? I move towards his door, closing it silently behind me as I make my way down the hallway to my room. I open the closet and push aside the loose panel of wood where my box of treasures lies hidden. To the naked eye, it would appear that there are only four items inside. An oblong crystal that most people would hang in the window on a piece of fishing string to catch the sunlight...a tiny chip that might have come from the back of an old transistor radio, a faded picture of a boy and girl taken in one of those old photo booths. And a folded letter, yellow with age. These are tangible things. But inside this box are intangible things that others will never see.

Memories. Of nighttime moonbeams and daytime rainbows that we chased. The sweet sudden warmth of a lover's kiss, refrains from a song that we danced to on our wedding night. The love in those beautiful expressive golden eyes when he smiled at me. And the touch of his hands... so gentle and warm when he healed me. Those hands that would have lifted and cradled his son against his chest with such tenderness it makes me want to weep. These are things that only I can see, and there are times when I go wild with wanting and wishing and dreaming about him. I know that Dorian worries about me on the nights when I wander the field or sit for hours with my back against the big scrub oak that I've grown to love, or when I sometimes stand on the lawn watching for falling stars to make wishes on. I reach inside and pull Serina's letter out to read it once again.



Liz,

I know that when you wake in the new world I have sent you to, you will not understand at first. Even if Max had not come to me and begged me to give you another chance at life, I would have done it anyway. It was meant to be so from the beginning. What I am about to reveal to you will probably come as no surprise. After all, you believed in aliens, didn't you? And you may hate me for what I did, but I hope you won't. Just as you were willing to sacrifice everything for your world, so was I.

I came from the future to put in motion the events that would assure the complete obliteration of your planet. The timeline you and Max came from should never have existed and it was my mission to see that it was destroyed. In order to save my people and their world, I had to destroy yours. It wouldn't have mattered if your Foursquare had been complete. Kivar was a pawn that we used to in order to restore the Reconnection of the universe. And though it saddens me to tell you this, you, Max and the others were pawns as well. I needed Max to go back, it was necessary for the survival of my race. I used him, just as he will use the younger version of yourself to save her world.

We've spoken many times of the Meridian lines, so perhaps I should explain to you their true purpose. When life first emerged in the universe, my race was appointed to be the guardians of the Reconnetion. It is a fifth dimensional energy field that connects all living things throughout the vast regions of space. Originally, all beings had twelve strands of DNA which connected them to the universe. When space travel began and other races merged through procreation much of the DNA became muted, and many races now function with only two strands. In the process, these beings became seperated from Creation.

Each living thing has it's own Meridian line, be it a biped, an animal, a plant, or even the smallest of insects. Nothing is insignifigant. These lines also circle the planets, each one matched to it's living counterpart. It might be easier for you to picture it as a grid, with the lesser lines inside the body, the greater lines circling the planets, and the major lines merging together in space to form what we refer to as The Great Circle. The Reconnection lines are then sent out into the universe keeping order and preventing chaos of a magnitude you could not even imagine. Were it not for these lines, the universe would collapse upon itself.

When Max and the others were recreated after their death on Antar and sent to earth, their DNA was altered, giving them four strands. Because the Antarians tipped the scales and changed the natural order of creation, defying the edict that my father had sent them, my world came under attack and millions died at the hands of Kivar. So you see, Liz, it fell to me to take matters into my own hands and to do that I became the Azuth. The high guardian of the Meridian lines. And I used Max to change the future of the world I came from. When the Granilith transported him, I opened a portal and sent you to this place. It also transported all the Meridian lines of my race back in time as well. They were secreted away inside a chip similar to the one I have left you in this letter.

I have also sent your beloved Max to a place of safety. Partly because it was within my power to do so, but mostly to ease my own guilt that I felt for deceiving you and betraying your trust. I have reconstruted all of your Meridian lines to merge when the Reconnection lines reach their zenith. This happens only once in every millenium, and the date you must remember is August 15, 2032 between the hours of 10 PM and midnight. Be at the exact same spot you were when you first woke up after transporting. Bring the crystal and the chip. I will be waiting.

Serina




Everybody makes mistakes. Even Serina with all her power and knowledge hadn't known I was carrying Max's child. Dorian wasn't part of the equation when I was transported here. 'Oh, Serina," I whisper into the night as I fold the letter and put it back in the box.'What must I do to save him?'
Last edited by cherie on Tue Nov 08, 2005 8:34 pm, edited 1 time in total.
cherie

If all is not lost, then where is it?

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cherie
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Post by cherie » Sun Feb 05, 2006 2:32 am

You are the dream that haunts me in my sleep
with all the promises I meant to keep.
You are the constant memory that crawls
along the corridors and broken walls
of this, my fugitive heart, and makes it weep.

As dust of the universe drifts upon the sand
I recall the stain of your blood on my hand ,
the echo of your soul inside me still remains
like a liquid longing coursing through my veins.
Forgive me, love. This wasn't what I planned.


Moonset at Meridian

Chapter 4

"Momma." I say softly from the doorway of her room. It's been a long time since I've called her that. Not since I was nine, I think. I remember how she raised her eyebrow at me when I first called her just mom. Is that sweet moment when I last called her momma tucked away inside that box of memories she's holding on her lap? It isn't until she raises her eyes to mine and I see the anguish sweep across them that I realize with certainty she knows about the dreams. She knows about the voice. She's always known. My heart begins to beat rapidly against my ribcage as she pats her hand against the bedspread signalling me to come sit beside her. But I can't do that. Can she see how frightened I am? Can she hear my heart? I shake my head no, close my eyes and straighten my shoulders, running my hand through my hair as I turn to leave. "I don't have time, Momma, I have to go to work." I cannot look at her when I say it, because she'll know that I'm lying. I had told her earlier at dinner that I had agreed to fill in for one of the busboys at the truck stop where we both work from ten till three. But that was a lie. After studying the charts until my eyes became bleary, I had lain down to rest for just a little while. The beeping of the alarm woke me and I stared at the bold red numbers flashing from the face of the clock. 9:15--9:16--9:17. I had forty three minutes until I came face to face with the voice. And my destiny.

"It's heavy, isn't it?" she says, her voice barely a whisper as it floats across the room and reaches my ears.

The question catches me off guard. "What?" I question back as I raise my arms and brace myself in the doorway. I think back to all the times that soft voice sang me lullabies and soothed me when I was small and frightened of the dark.

"The burden you think you have to carry alone." she answers. And before I even have time to hear the shift of the bed or the sound of her feet hitting the floor, she's spun me around and has me pinned to the wall, thrusting an envelope into my hand. "Read this." is all she says as she releases me and turns to grab her old leather jacket off the back of the chair where it's hung for years. She shrugs it onto her small frame and shoves something into the pocket. I watch her for a moment, then pull the letter from the envelope and read it.

"This doesn't change anything, you know." I tell her quietly after I've read the letter. "I'm still going to take his place and send him back to you."

There's nothing soft about her now, and I curse beneath my breath for letting myself forget for even a moment that even though she is my mother, she lived many lives before I was born. She has witnessed horrors I can only imagine... and has loved someone so fiercely and deeply that no one will ever replace him . Not in this lifetime or any other. She was the wife of a King...a warrior who fought by his side to save her world. Her dark eyes are sharp like flint and her voice is cold as steel. "Like hell you are." she tells me. "He's my husband, Dorian, and I can tell you now that he would never allow you to sacrifice yourself, even for the chance to be with me again. And neither will I."

"You don't understand, Mother." I reply angrily. The anger is quickly followed by a rush of shame. I have never spoken to her in such a tone, but I continue on even though my voice is shaking. "Serina, or whoever it is inside my head that sends me the dreams about a new world and you being with my father again was very explicit. It's up to me. I'm the one.The only one that can merge the Meridian lines and complete the reconnection. I'm the missing link."

"Don't tell me you didn't notice the date." she answers, and I catch the irony in her voice as she stands before me with her hands on her hips. "It's no coincidence that it just happens to be your birthday." She cocks her head at me, waiting for my reply.

"Of course I noticed." I tell her. "I think that's why she chose me to be one to determine the moment in time that will make it possible for you and my father to be together again."

"She told you that?" she asks with a sardonic smile, her eyes narrowing and I see the anger flashing across them. "She's using you, don't you see that? You weren't part of her magnificent plan in the beginning. And when she found out about you, she invaded your mind and filled it full of nonsense. God, Dorian, you should have came to me when you first began to hear the voice."

She's pacing the floor and I cross the room and take her in my arms. I just need her to understand. "It'll be okay, Mom." I whisper in her ear, trying to make my voice calm. I run my hands up and down her arms trying to soothe her. The cool leather of her jacket is soft against my palms and the flash hits me so suddenly it makes my head reel. He's touched her just like this. On the night he left he did the same thing I'm doing now, trying to comfort her and make sense of what was happening to them.

She jerks away from me and I see the shudder run through her body as she speaks. "We don't have much time. we need to go. I need to see Serina."

She's been waiting for this moment for over eighteen years, and I realize that there will be no stopping her. For me to even try would be futile. I shrug my shoulders in resignation and hold out my hand to her. She takes it with a smile and a reassuring squeeze and together we walk from the house and head for the field where the old oak grows. I glance over my shoulder to look at the home I grew up in one last time. Red, my irish setter watches us with tired eyes from where he is curled up on the porch. He wags his tail in anticipation of a run through the field, but I shake my head no and he drifts off to sleep again. "Goodbye." I whisper.

**************

She's walking through my soul again. My Liz...with her lips kissed by starlight and her hair as soft as the wind that just barely brushes your skin on it's journey to find a home underneath the wings of birds. I stand still with my eyes closed and let the sheer joy of her presence engulf me. The sweet sound of laughter rises from her throat and her eyes are dancing with the knowledge of eternity. These are the moments I live for, the times when my thoughts are consumed with the memories of her.

There's something different about this time, though. It's almost as if she is really here..and I feel the connection that's been silent for so long ripple through my mind with such force that it almost brings me to my knees. The air around me is crackling with an energy I have not felt before in this place. I open my my eyes slowly and find myself staring at my tree. It is alive with color and there are lines careening through the branches. In the shimmering glow that surrounds each line, I see the faces of all the people I have loved and lost. And the strangest thing is that I see Liz and me, two sets of us. One when we were young, and the other as we were on the night I left in the Granilith.

I can hear their thoughts. All of them. Once they knew other worlds, but all that is forgotten. They remember children, but there were none. They remember days of joy and laughter, but there was only sorrow and death. They remember words that were spoken, but there was only silence. They stand in rows in the lines and they dream. My ears are full of the sounds of their lives and the dazzling colors wash my eyes with remembrance of all that once was, would ever be, and will be again.

"Max." I hear the voice and I turn, coming face to face with the woman who had died in my arms. The grey eyes that I remember clouded with pain are now bright and smiling at me.

"Serina." I whisper, barely able to contain the crack in my voice. "I thought you were dead."

She shakes her head and moves closer to me, placing her hand on my arm. It feels strange to be touched by another person, it's been so long. "These are the meridian lines I told you watch for." she tells me as she points to the tree that is quivering against the dark of the night, and a mist begins to form around it.

"I cannot die, Max, but it was neccesary to make you think I did." she informs me, and I don't even have time to to question her as to why she would play such a cruel trick on me, when I see two figures moving through the haze, walking towards us. The light changes and the colors are dispersed as the lines hover and send shadows through the branches that fall upon the ground amid the air that sighs with a little rush of sound. I know that the sound is coming from me as Liz steps through the shadows followed by a young man that could be me, but is not.

I want to rush to her, to hold her in my arms, but Serina grasps my arm and holds me back. "Not yet, it's not time." she says."They will not be able to see you until I will it so."

"Who is that with her?" I ask, but I already know before she answers.

"He is your son, Max." Serina answers. "And he's come to bring you home."

TBC
Last edited by cherie on Mon Feb 06, 2006 11:56 am, edited 4 times in total.
cherie

If all is not lost, then where is it?

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cherie
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Post by cherie » Sun Feb 26, 2006 1:27 am

On the field of battle where the old oak stood
She carved their tomorrows into the wood.
She stitched their lives with unbreakable seams
Tempered with wisdom, and dust of their dreams;
And into the branches she wove a motif
Entwining the essence of laughter and grief.
Fragments and memories of what they loved most,
Tokens and vows..the real and the ghost.
Too long, too lonely,she counted the years
Waiting for the return amid bitterweet tears.
Slow days came and went, not destined to stay
Like smoke from a fire they drifted away.
The long sleep is over. The stage has been set.
Moonset at Meridian...the end of regret.


Moonset at Meridian

Chapter 5 (Conclusion)

I know he does not understand. Inside his heart, inside his mind, he sees only her and the boy that he realizes is his son. He struggles against my grasp trying to breach the barrier that seperates them. And once again, I must make him wait. "Not yet, Max." I tell him forcefully. "I need to speak to Liz and Dorian before you do."

He shoots me a look of utter disbelief. "Why are you doing this, Serina?" he asks with tears in his eyes. "Why?"

"Please trust me." I plead with him. I know it's probably the worst thing I could say at this time, and the hollow laugh that flows from his mouth only serves to reinforce how true that is.

"I think I made the mistake of trusting you a long time ago." he bites back at me bitterly. I cringe at his words, but I know I deserve them.

"And I'm going to rectify that mistake, if you'll believe in me." I tell him.

He raises his gaze to mine and attempts to stares me down. I see so many emotions swirling inside those golden eyes . Sorrow, regret, anger. A glimmer of hope. I watch, fascinated by the intensity that rises up from the depths of his soul and manifests his feelings through their beauty. And then, I see the resignation in them. He shrugs his shoulders in defeat.

"Do whatever it is you have to do." he says. "It's not like I can stop you. Just make it quick and painless for us."

Where did it all go wrong? He thinks I'm here to destroy them. To close the lines and wipe away any evidence of their existence to satisfy my own plan. Oh, Max.. if you only knew. I want to tell him, but it will have to wait.

I shake my head yes as I prepare to cross the to the line where Liz and Dorian wait. When I feel his hand on my shoulder I stop, but I don't turn to face him. "Promise me that I can hold her one last time." I wish that I could cry.

*********
They cannot see him. Yet. But they do see me. As I step through the mist, Liz has already started running towards me, Dorian only a step behind. I'm not the least bit suprised when her hand connects with my cheek in a solid slap. Dorian places himself in front of her protectively waiting for my reaction. I only rub my face and give them both a smile.

"Hello, Liz." I say with a slight nod. "Dorian."

She's furious. "What have you done with Max?" she asks, her voice low and full of venom.

"He's here." I tell her softly, raising my hand and pointing towards the old oak. "But before I let you see him I'd like to explain.."

She cuts me off before I have a chance to say anymore. "You can't have Dorian." she hisses at me. "I won't trade my son for Max. Not now, Not ever."

"Is that what you think I intend to do? " I ask.

"Wasn't that your plan from the beginning?" she answers with disdain. "To take our son as a sacrifice for your screwup?"

"Of course not." I reply, shaking my head. "That was never my intention." I reach out to touch her arm and Dorian pushes my hand away.

"Don't touch my mother." he says, his eyes flashing with anger. "This is between you and I." The bravado of youth is such a fragile thing. It dawns on me then that they will not cooperate until I prove to them that Max is really here.

Time for this to end. Before either of them have time to react, I open the barrier and Max walks through.

I have seen many wondrous, beautiful and unexplainable sights in the span of my existence. And always, always, the opening of the connection between the two people that I have wronged the most has never failed to touch me.

She has never been anything less than beautiful to him. He has never been anything less than the love that completes her and makes her whole. The merging of their souls as he enfolds her in his arms and brushes soft kisses across the gray that peppers her hair is magnificent. He reaches for his son and pulls him close and the aura that swirls around them dazzles with such brilliance that even I am stunned by it's power. I wait quietly for the moment to pass, and for the questions that will soon begin. But they are lost in the sensation of love and touch and being together again, and I know I must make the first move.

Behind me, the moon is sinking low against the horizon. I clear my throat to catch their attention and they turn to face me.

Liz is the first to speak. "What happens now, Serina?" she asks and I sense the uncertainty in her question.

Max pulls his family closer to him. "Whatever it is, we'll face it together." he tells them with convicton. And the three of them stand tall and strong and proud, ready for what they think will be the end for them.

"Have you chosen the moment, Dorian?" I question. He shakes his head yes. "I have." he replies curtly.

"Did you bring the chip and the crystal as I requested, Liz?" I ask. She nods and pulls them from the pocket of her leather jacket. She hands me the crystal, but pulls back when I hold out my hand for the chip.

"Before I give this to you, I want to know what it is and why it's so important that you left it in my care for all these years." she says.

I hesitate, just for the briefest of moments, and she reaches down and picks up a small rock and holds it over the chip that rests in her palm. I step forward to grab for it, but Max stops me.

"Tell her, Serina, or I swear I'll have her crush it into a thousand pieces." His voice leaves no room for bargaining. The time for truth is here.

I take a deep breath and close my eyes. "Inside that chip rests the souls and the Meridian Lines of the six billion people and all the creatures and other life on Earth that I destroyed to save my own people. Now I must pay for that rash decision that was not mine to make. Even we Guardians must face retribution when we allow personal feelings to interfere with the forces that control the balance of the Universe. To restore their lives, and what would have happened had I not used you to rectify my own losses, my existence is forfeit. I have been stripped of my powers as the Azuth. My Meridian Lines now belong to you and the reconstrution of what should have been."

There isn't much time left. With a flick of my wrist I lay them prone upon the ground beneath the oak. They are aware, but they cannot move or speak.I kneel down beside them and take the chip from Liz. I place her hand above Max's heart, then I lean down and press my fingers on each side of Dorian's temples and I extract the moment he has chosen for me from his mind. I smile. He has chosen well. "you were never meant to be the sacrifice, Dorian." I whisper into his ear. "That distinction belongs to me."

I gather all my strength. It wells up from my soul and flows from my mouth like a wisp of wind. With my lips I kiss each of them, transferring all that I am, all that I was inside their bodies. The soft flutter of their lashes as they drift into sleep is highlighted by the setting of the moon. I fuse the chip into the crystal and burn it into the trunk of the tree. My debt is paid.

*******

"Time to wake up, sleepyhead." I hear the soft voice and feel her hand resting just above my heart. I pull her closer and run my hand through the softness of her hair. The tiny swell of her belly brushes against my side as I attempt to draw her down for a kiss, and my heart fills with joy. I think back to the summer when she left me and went to Florida to visit her Aunt Serina. I thought I'd lost her forever. But when Kyle and Tess ran off to Vegas, lied about their ages and got married in the Elvis chapel , Maria called her and she came home. We drove to Phoniex and danced the night away celebrating. After that, our bond and our love only grew stronger.

Of course, she never lets me forget the night I stood beneath her balcony and sang Tres Diaz to her accompanied by a mariachi band. She swears and be damned that I came to her later that night dressed in a black leather costume and a funky looking wig. She says we danced that night away as well. Never happened. I've spent years trying to convince her it was a dream. She just smiles and shakes her head to indulge me.

We married shortly after graduation, and Dorian was born a year later. He's seven now, and the light of our lives.

These last two weeks have been full of surprises. When the letter from the lawyer came that Liz's Aunt Serina had passed away and left her a house in Hondo it was such a shock. Even Jeff and Nancy hadn't known that Serina had property in New Mexico. There were two stipulations in the will. One was that the tree that grows in the field by the house is never to be destroyed. The other was that we care for the irish setter puppy that had been abandoned on the property.

We walked to the field this afternoon, and sat with our backs against the oak, watching Dorian play with Red. That's what he named the puppy. Liz laid her head on my shoulder and drew my hand down to her belly and I could feel her smile on my skin.

"Ready for another addition to the family, daddy?" she asked.

"Are you...?" I stuttered.

"Yes, I am." she whispered against my neck. "Are you happy about it?"

"God, Liz, of course I am." I replied. After talking for hours and watching the sunset, Dorian, Liz and I had spread a blanket on the ground and watched the stars come out. Red curled up at my feet and I was so full of happiness and contentment that It felt like I was floating on air. I guess that's when I fell asleep. I'm not sure I should tell Liz about the dream I had. Maybe someday I will, but not just yet.

It was strange, to say the least. The woman I saw came from inside the tree. She was quite beautiful, and I was sure I had seen her somewhere before. She smiled at me, but didn't speak. She placed her hand just below the first branch of the tree and motioned for me to do the same. As I did, I could feel the heat radiating through my palm, and a gentle warmth swept through my entire body. I closed my eyes for a moment and when I opened them, she had disappeared. I removed my hand and stared at the words that were carved in the bark.

*Your love has withstood the wildfire
Of forgotten memories and other lives.
Songs once sung on a dream filled night,
so ancient, it is written in the stars.*

I used to wonder who and what I was, but I won't do that anymore. As I walk toward the house with my sleeping son in my arms and my wife by side, I know who I am. My name is Max Evans. And I'm happy.


The End
cherie

If all is not lost, then where is it?

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