The Sorcerer and the Stargazer (AU Teen) Complete - 10/06/09

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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PML
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The Sorcerer and the Stargazer (AU Teen) Complete - 10/06/09

Post by PML » Tue Aug 26, 2008 10:47 am

Title- The Sorcerer and the Stargazer

Disclaimer- Roswell is not mine. It is owned by Jason Katims, Melinda Metz, and Fox. This is for entertainment only and no infringement is intended. Some of the inspiration regarding the Alfar, Dvergar, and Wizards aren’t mine either, they belong to Elizabeth Boyer.

Category- AU /CC

Rating- Teen. Although it is borderline. Quite possibly mature at some point.

Summary- The year is 2025 and the world has basically been destroyed. Alex Whitman is the captain of the Stargazer and would like to know why. Max Evans holds the answers, but are Alex and the tiny crew of friends ready to go the distance to save not only the Earth but also the rest of the Seven Worlds?

----
Prologue-

North American Defense Command, Denver

Captain Alex Whitman was happy that this was the last day he would have to wear this stupid uniform. His family had a long and distinguished history in the United States military, a history he’d been glad to leave to his older brothers.

But then the wars came, followed by the Great Plagues. Alex had to heed the call, first as an engineer working on cutting edge equipment followed by actually using that equipment.

He’d hated the regimentation and needless bureaucracy as much as he’d feared he would. But it had given him the Stargazer. It was his ship, he’d built it with his own finances. The technology that had gone in to it had later been adopted by a desperate North American force facing off against part of its own military.

Those had been bad days. Cities destroyed. People who had woken up hale and hearty dead by nightfall from new and horrible diseases.

Bad days.

Humanity had not been decimated, it had nearly been obliterated. Where once the world had groaned under a population pushing eight billion, there might be as many as six million humans left in the whole world.

But why? Why had it started? Sure there had been the usual problems and conflicts, made worse by various shortages of raw materials. But the actions by various world leaders had reached surreal levels of irresponsibility and delusion.

Mankind had nearly killed itself, and there was no guarantee it was over. And his superiors weren’t even interested in the why.

He could partly understand, there was so much to do to try to hold back the creeping darkness. To somehow reignite the vigor that had so filled the early twenty-first century.

He strolled out the front door, responding to the guard’s salute. Possibly for the last time. His ear began to ring slightly, soft pulses that no one else could hear.

“Yes?”

“Captain, Lieutenant Martinez and his Marines have disembarked. Will we be getting replacements?”

Alex could have talked normally, and Liz would have heard. But by careful sub vocalization he could talk to her without speaking aloud. “We are leaving Federal Service, Liz. I doubt they’ll send anyone. But just in case keep the engines hot so we can leave in a hurry.”

“Do you need me to send Kyle to pick you up?”

Alex thought for a moment. It was not likely his superiors would try to stop him. But it was possible. Of the three permanent members of the crew, he was the easiest to seize.

“Did they leave anything behind, or try to disable anything?”

“No, Captain. I ran a standard sweep. We’re clean.”

To seize Liz, to threaten Liz they’d have to actually seize the Stargazer. And it was well defended. To get through the defenses they’d have to take out Liz. Which would render the Stargazer basically useless. The Starlight was heavily automated, and Liz ran all the automation. In a sense, Liz was the Stargazer.

Kyle was Kyle.

No one messed with Kyle.

“Right. I have a possible client to meet in thirty minutes. It won’t be a long meeting, and we’ll likely need pickup. I‘ll send the coordinates. Oh, and I‘ll need two rooms readied.”

There was a slight pause. “Kyle is preparing the flitter, unless you think you need the shuttle?”

The flitter was fast but lightly armed. The shuttle on the other hand had been used to land the Marines that had until recently been based on his ship.

“The flitter should be fine. Just tell Kyle to keep a low profile. His kind make the civvies nervous.”

“Understood, Captain. Good luck. Call me if anything changes. Over and out.”

Alex continued his walk towards the restaurant where he’d be meeting the mysterious Mr. Evans. His background check had brought up nothing. But he said he had some answers, and Alex had to start somewhere.

He looked up at the evening sky and gazed lovingly at the stars. They always made him think of her.

And he hoped against hope, prayed that somehow, somewhere she was gazing at the same sky.
Last edited by PML on Wed Jan 13, 2010 9:58 pm, edited 45 times in total.

PML
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Re: The Sorcerer and the Stargazer (AU Teen) Prologue - 08/26/08

Post by PML » Tue Sep 02, 2008 5:25 pm

Thanks to everyone reading this story. Thanks in particular for the feedback.

xmag- as always thanks.

buddha-boy - This Alex is older and wiser.

Asabetha- Thanks

Flamehair- Thanks.

Disclaimer- Roswell is not mine and no infringement is intended.

The Sorcerer and the Stargazer chapter 1

The Aurora Borealis - Denver

Michael was riding his bike towards the meeting place. He was running a bit late, but he’d spent too much time indulging in a old past time.

Troll hunting.

He never thought that Trolls would travel to the Scipling realm again. There had always been so many people. Heavily armed people. And then there was the little matter of this world’s harsh sun.

But then trolls had always wandered the back ways of the Alfar realms, and they’d die just as fast of sun exposure there.

There were not many, not yet. Not in Denver. But in the out of the way places, without humans to chase them away they were slowly gathering. Michael wondered if the humans knew of their new guests.

Unless the government had better control of the media than he thought, probably not.

He pulled up to an empty parking place near the bar. That was one nice thing about the depopulation of the Earth. Parking had once been a problem.

Not anymore.

The club was still busy, bodies whirling on the dance floor to music from better days. He placed his firearms in one of the gun lockers and scanned tables to see if Max had arrived. He spotted him typing away on an old style laptop. Dressed as always in a dark three piece suit. Leaning against the table was a well-crafted ivory-handled cane.

Ironic really. Michael had to give up his pistols, but the clueless humans let Max bring in his wizard’s staff.

Michael walked over to the table. “Kind of rude to bring that in here don’t you think?” Pointing to the cane.

“You’re late.” Max looked up at him. “Different realms, different customs.”

“Hmmph.”

“So where were you?”

“Hunting trolls.”

Max looked at him. “Seriously?”

“Yep.”

“They must be coming through one of abandoned gates in the subways. I figured that might happen, but not this fast.”

Michael shrugged. His friend had sent him on mission after mission to save this world. He’d come to enjoy quite a few of the things in it. People weren’t one of them. Who cared if trolls attacked a few of them?

He had a vision of a tiny blonde girl surrounded by trolls screaming for help, her beautiful green eyes full of terror.

He shook his head. She could take care of herself. She’d been holding that little Mexican town together for years. Surely a few trolls wouldn’t get her.

“Michael? Are you okay?”

“Yeah, what were you saying?”

“This Captain Whitman is pretty popular. He resigned his commission only an hour ago and there are already public job offers from most of the world’s governments and not a few corporations.”

“Hmmph. What do we need this human for anyway?”

“We need his ship. It is special, more special than even the humans know I would guess.”

“A ship? In case you had not noticed Denver is kind of land locked. I don’t care how high the seas have gotten. Denver’s not gonna have seaside property for a long time.”

“It is an sky-ship. And no it is not a Zeppelin or blimp. It would be a spaceship if the humans had anywhere to go in space. In fact, I think that is what he plans to do. Unless I can convince him otherwise.”

“So he’s a space freak? Wait…. Did you say he’s got a spaceship? When did the humans make those?”

“Well the name of the ship is the Stargazer, so I think he was infatuated with space at sometime. And apparently the ship was cobbled together by a group of friends from, get this, Roswell, New Mexico.”

“Uh, maybe I’m dense here, but how do a couple of people in a small town build a spaceship.”

“Ah, that depends on the people! They built a small company and used patented technologies to build the thing. The rest of the sky-ships in use apparently are under royalties to these people. They, uh, grew the ship.”

“Hmm, any Dvergar involvement?”

“I looked, I seriously looked. But as far as I can tell, no. Just an uncommon grouping of amazing talents. I, uh, met some of them in Boston.”

Michael saw the flash of pain roll across his friend’s face. “Beth?”

“She was their nano-technician. The ship was actually built just before the war.”

“She’s dead, man. Let her go. You did your best. These humans just seem Hel bent on destroying themselves.”

Max looked back at him, “I’ve never been able to reach her. I’ve never been able to say goodbye..”

“She was human, maybe that makes a difference.”

Max shot him a look.

“Excuse me, gentlemen. I believe we were supposed to meet?”

Michael looked up at the man. He was tall, even for a human. He wasn’t particularly muscular, but didn’t look weak either. Outside of his uniform, the man looked more like and engineer or an accountant. He did not radiate threat like a true warrior. Until Michael met his eyes. A pleasant blue, but hard. Very hard.

Max got up to greet the new arrival, “Captain Whitman? I’m Max Evans. It is a pleasure to finally meet you. The gentleman to my right is my colleague and right hand man, Michael Guerin.” They shook hands.

Alex looked down at him intently, nodding slightly as if he had figured him out. He reached his hand out and shook Michael’s hand.

Michael had to reassess the situation immediately. This Alex Whitman should not be taken lightly. He probably was not a great warrior in his own right, but he had an aura of command about him. He looked over at Max and nodded slightly. This man could be useful to their cause.

Captain Whitman sat down, and a round of drinks was ordered. Both Max and Alex were sparring slightly with their small talk. Both of them trying to feel the other out, to find out what the other was looking for.

Michael could have played too. He wasn’t as good or polished at verbal dueling as Max, and apparently Alex was, but that was okay. He wasn’t here to talk. He was here to watch, both for outside threats and if their guest might be a pawn for someone else.

Nicholas had infiltrated their organization before. Michael still could not believe he had trusted Grant. If not for Courtney, they’d have all been dead. Her death still haunted him. Watching as the sun took her and she collapsed into dust and ice water. Made him happy he was Ljos.

That was a mistake he wasn’t going to make again. He hadn’t really trusted a human since. That is until he met her…. He quickly stopped that thought path. It was too painful.

So he just watched everything. Max telling Alex about the vast conspiracy, naturally deleting a couple of points. Yeah, he’d believe his world has been destroyed by the Dark Elves, right. Might as well believe in aliens. Which as the good captain came from Roswell, he might.

And he noticed things. First several people whose whole attitude screamed police officer were slowly taking up strategic places around the bar. Michael counted at least twelve. Getting out might be harder than getting in.

Second, Alex kept pausing and mumbling something deep in his throat. Almost like he was talking to someone. Just not aloud. At least not until…

A look of shock and annoyance flashed across Alexs face, “No, Liz that is an order… Yes they would shoot at you… Liz… Liz… Fine if they kill me you can slag the city. Until then I’m captain and you will hold your position.”

Both Michael and Max just stared at Alex.

Alex took his drink and finished it in one gulp. “I have been informed that we may have to leave more precipitously than I had originally intended.”

Michael’s hands itched for his locked up pistols. Hard to shoot your way out of a place without them. Sure he had other resources, but Max had wanted to keep that secret. “So Maxwell, what now?”

One of the men that had been surrounding them came up to the table. “Captain Alexander Charles Whitman, will you come with me?”

Alex stood up to face the officer. “On what charge.”

The officer smiled, “I don’t know, I’ll think of something by the time we get downtown. Councilor Crosslin would like to speak with you.”

“Tell the good councilor that I am unfortunately not going to be able to see him at this time. But if he would contact my avatar at the Stargazer I am sure I can set up an appointment. I’m in the private sector now, and time is money.”

“I’m afraid this is non-negotiable. You will be coming with us, one way or another.”

The building shook for a moment and there was a loud pounding roar that easily drowned out the music. The crowd that had been watching the table they were at with interest no began to move to the door. And began to run back into the bar.

Michael himself took a step back when he saw the robots walk into the room. They were carrying rifles and looked like Cylon Centurions. Behind them came what appeared to be a heavily muscled man. He was short and covered in gleaming metal, a visored helmet displaying his face behind ballistic plastic.

Many of the civilians were visibly agitated, as were for that matter half of the cops.

Michael didn’t blame them. He’d heard about these things, and if he thought taking cover would help he’d go for it. He looked at Max in askance.

Max just seemed enigmatic. He did have his cane/staff in hand though.

Hopefully he had a plan of some sort.

Alex shot an annoyed glance at the armored man at the bar’s entrance. He turned back to the police officer. “As I said, I most respectfully decline Councilor Crosslin’s offer. Now I think I should go before anyone does anything rash.” He turned to Max and Michael. “I realize this may cause you some inconvenience , but I do believe you would be detained if you remained here.” Alex began walking out the door.

The cop stood there and did nothing. He just watched Alex leave.

Max began to follow.

Michael caught up to Max, “Hey I need to pick up my pistols…”

Max kept walking. “I don’t think we have time.” Max caught up to Alex who was talking to the armored man.

“Kyle what kind of stunt do you think you pulled. Don’t you realize you could have gotten yourself and a lot of civilians killed.”

“Captain, I don’t think you understand how serious Liz was with her statements. She was loading the Mark 9’s when I was leaving.”

Alex blanched.

“Well the good news is that the Lexington and the Saratoga cleared station. They’ve known about your little disagreement with the Councilor and well, they probably did not want to get involved. Of course, if they really knew what our little Lizzie was planning….”

Alex turned back to Max and Michael. “We need to go now. So make your choice, I can drop you off at my next stop or you can stay here.”

Max cleared his throat, “Captain Whitman, I would like to hire your vessel.”

Kyle smirked. “So would half the world it seems.”

Alex looked at him, “Well, I do find myself between employers at the moment. Why don’t we discuss this further aboard my ship.”

Both of them walked out to the parking lot. Resting there, filling up about a third of the lot was an assault shuttle.

Kyle was herding the robots back to the shuttle.

Michael was slowly following them, trying to absorb the rapid change in events. He caught up to Max and Alex. “Hey, uh, sir, I mean Captain, can I take my bike?” He waved over to his motorcycle still sitting quietly in its spot.”

Alex looked at Kyle.

Kyle just grinned. “Sure there is more than enough space You’ve only got a couple of minutes though. We have to get back to the ship before Crosslin tells the local Guard to shoot us down.”

Michael ran over to his bike, and more importantly the satchel that was tied to it. There were charms that would keep people from seeing let alone bothering his stuff. Sure he’d loved his pistols, but he could replace those. Some of this stuff was simply irreplaceable.

Michael drove his cycle into the cargo bay.

And the shuttle took off.

PML
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Re: The Sorcerer and the Stargazer (AU Teen) Part 1 - 08/26/08

Post by PML » Wed Sep 10, 2008 12:38 am

Well thanks again to everyone reading this story. This chapter introduces a couple other characters that will be involved. Hope you enjoy.

xmag- Michael, Max, and in this part Isabel and Tess are not what we would traditionally consider aliens. But they are not from our world. And where as in the show, the aliens had powers that worked like magic, in this story they actually have magic. It is important to note that this is not based directly on a book, but rather inspired by some of the ideas and concepts that I fondly remember from Elizabeth Boyer's books. They were set on an island called Skarpsey during the Viking era, and typically had a human hero stumble into a conflict between the Ljosalfar and Dokkalfar in their battle for control of the island. I don't want to spoil the story too much, but if you need more detail, pm me and I write it out.

begonia9508- Thanks, I hope you continue to enjoy it.

Flamehair- Thanks

katydid- Thank you. I hope you continue to enjoy this story.

The Sorcerer and the Stargazer part 2

Varrissteading, Antar, Alfheim

Vilandra Kirynsdottir woke from a disturbing dream.

It was time. Finally.

She rolled over and looked at the man she had called husband these past four years, Kvar Svarson. He was her fathers chief councilor and wizard.

And he was evil. It had taken her years to see it. But her brother had been right. And she had been wrong. Wrong about so much.

She slipped from the bed and looked at herself in the mirror. She whispered a few words in the old tongue and a ball of iridescent light shown forth from her upraised palm. Her other hand went to her hair, itching for a brush to comb out the tangles. But there was no time. She was stalling.

She started to gather some supplies, things she would need. She placed them into the purse that had been her brother Max’s gift on her last birthday. Kvar had looked down on it, saying how it useful, but not worthy of a woman of her rank.

Had Max known even then? She’d sent an agent with divorce papers drawn up for the next Thing. But with both her father and Kvar arguing against her, it was unlikely to be granted. But she could no longer keep a blind eye to the actions of her husband.

Whether knowingly or not, Kvar had set into motion events that would have a catastrophic effect not only here but everywhere. His actions threatened existence itself.

She closed up the purse and summoning her power she twisted the spiral rune on the front of the purse and watched as it shrank. She placed the spiral shaped erring on her left ear, grabbing the other matching one for her right ear from her jewelry box.

And inside her jewelry box she saw the necklace. Her eyes began to tear up as she remembered Alex handing it to her not long before she left him. She had loved him.

Her father had come. Had told her of her duty. And she had gone. Without a word Isabel Evans had vanished from the Earth. Vanished from Midgard.

With trembling hands she took the necklace out and placed it on. She walked back over to the mirror and admired the cunningly worked stars and oak leaves on her bare breasts.

Ten years was a long time on Midgard. She likely would never meet him again, and even if she did he would be married with children. He’d been too good of a man to pass up.

Regret washed over her.

Kvar stirred and propped himself up on one arm. “My love, what are you doing up so late?”

“I’m leaving.”

“Come on, woman, don’t joke with me. It’s cold in here with out you. What do you need? I can give you anything.”

“Can you give me my freedom, Kvar? Can you give me my old life back?”

“You still think of that human? He’s likely dead by now. Those animals turned on themselves, just as I warned your father. Nothing good ever came from the Scipling Realm.”

“I want a divorce.”

“Look, Vilandra, you’ve obviously had some horrible dream and you’re not thinking straight. Let me fix you a potion that will straighten out your thoughts…”

“Let me allow you to take my free will? No thank you.”

Kvar’s face contorted with rage as he slipped out of bed and began to move towards her.

Isabel backed away, noticing a dagger on the dressing table. She backed up towards it.

Kvar kept advancing on her an evil smile not hiding his anger. His eyes smoldered with passion as they raked her body, clad as it was only by a couple pieces of jewelry. “It seems I was wrong not to have bound you before this.” One hand grabbed a shoulder, while the other ran through her hair. “I’ve always admired your spirit and defiance. But I am done with it, do you hear me woman?”

Her hand slid back and grasped the dagger, but she could not contain a shiver of pleasure as his other hand slid from her shoulder to cup one of her breasts. It would be so easy to stay. She could feel his magic slowly deadening her resolve. He was softly chanting as his lips began to caress her neck.

It was like a dull cloud that promised passion and pleasure, but she knew that when she awoke she would no longer be her. A part of her would be gone, trapped, forever in his possession. He would own her body, mind and soul. Her will would be hers.

Part of her wanted to give in, to give up. These last few years she’d been pretending to be someone else. This would merely make it real.

She would never doubt again. She wouldn’t be able to.

And then unbidden an image of Alex flashed before her eyes. He’d wanted her as she was. There’d been much he hadn’t known about her, but she knew he would have accepted it. He had told her that he had loved her as she was.

And he’d meant it.

Maybe she’d never get him back, but she owed it to his memory to be herself. To not give up. To not yield herself to someone who desired to take something so precious from her. Kvar wanted to take her will and soul.

She couldn’t let him.

She took the dagger and stabbed him deep in his belly, the blade angled upward.

He stared at her, eyes wide. “Why?”

“Consider this a divorce, Kvar.”

The blood poured out of him, slowly turning to smoke.

Vilandra stood up, letting Kvar’s heavy body slid to the ground. She rapidly grabbed a mantle and belted it. She did not have much time.

Kvar would be back soon. And angry.

She stalked rapidly down the hallway, her bare feet making little sound on the rush strewn floors. No one noticed her departure and she looked out across the valley. She noticed the slight lightening of the sky towards the East.

Her preparations had taken longer than she’d expected. Soon the servants and thralls would be about preparing for the day. And someone might check on their room to see if either she or Kvar were awake. She needed to hurry.

She heard a noise behind her. The woman behind her looked almost normal, almost like one of the Alfar, save that her complexion was golden. Vilandra let out a small sigh of relief. “Siyan.”

“I know what you have done, my lady. Understand, we all must face our Wyrd. You can not stop events in motion.”

“I do not accept that. We must shape out own destiny.”

“The humans have infected you. It is too late. The generals are finalizing plans in Valhalla for their doomed fight and the hosts of the dead marshal on the cold plains of Niflhiem.”

“I refuse to accept that. While this body lives, while I draw breath I will fight to stop the madness that will consume everything.” She loosened her belt and flung off her mantle. She looked up at the stars and said a quick benediction to her true love, to the man she had left without a word.

She stood there for a timeless moment as the cold night air raised goose bumps along her nude form.

And then she was gone, a golden crested falcon in her place, streaking into the sky.

Siyan watched as Vilandra circled the steading once, twice, and then she was gone. “May the Lady shelter and protect you..” She then went back to Kvar’s chamber to wait for her master’s return.

-----
25 miles south of Las Cruces, New Mexico, Midgard

Maria was alone as she cruised down the highway at a sedate pace of 120 miles per hour. She was kept company only by her MP3’s and the sensors that kept the bike stable. She sped past the dead towns and abandoned cars that littered the vast empty wasteland that now existed between Monterey and Roswell.

Who ever thought Roswell would be a beacon of civilization?

The bike had been a gift from Liz on her thirty-fifth birthday. And it had gotten a workout since. The most valuable feature being the micro fusion engine. Maria hated to think what could have happened if she’d been forced to refuel with gasoline.

As it was she was hurrying to get to Las Cruces before dark. She should just barely make it.

It was no longer safe to be out after dark. Not anymore.

The things she had seen in Mexico….

She’d led the last of her people to Monterey, to shelter under the local government. Bandits were a problem. Though to hear Liz talk about it, they were just as bad in the old US.

But it wasn’t the bandits that would make her stop and take shelter so close to home. There were things that moved only by night. And they attacked people.

They ate them.

Maria gunned the engine and sped off down the highway.

----
Bonn, European Confederation Capital, Midgard

Tess Harding sat on the park bench alone in the dark. The darkness held no terror for her. Although lost in thought she saw the pale man slowly make his way towards her.

Nicholas stopped short of her bench. “Not out clubbing tonight, Ava?”

“I go by Tess now.”

“Mind if I sit down?”

“It’s a free country.”

“Ava, I mean Tess, why are you here? Surely you see the signs. Why are you still on this doomed piece of rock? What is it with your fascination with the humans?”

“You wouldn’t understand.”

“You are going to have to take a side, Tess. You can’t sit this out. No one can. Your husband betrayed you. You can’t possibly still be loyal to him or his ideas.”

Tess looked over at Nicholas, noticed his pale face, never touched by the sun. The Ritual had taken much, but that much had been worth it. “What signs?”

Nicholas shook his head, “That dumb blonde act might have worked with your husband and these stupid humans, but I grew up with you.. I know you.” He paused a few moments, looking away from her. “I love you.”

Tess looked at her one time suitor. “No. No you really don’t. My father is still powerful, even if he has broken from the Council. And Nicky, you might want to think about taking cover.” Tess pointed to the brightening sky to the east.

Nicholas looked up and swore a quick muttered oath. He stood up and looked at her. “Deny it if you will, but it is July and there is still snow on the ground…. For the second straight year. How these human vermin are surviving is beyond me. It is coming, Tess. Ragnarok is coming. Why not be on the winning side.”

Tess just looked at him. “You fools could never understand the truth. That battle will ruin the world. There won’t be a winner.”

“You might be surprised at the plans that are before the Council…”

“No, Nicky, I don’t want to know. And for the friendship I still bear for you, you must leave now.” The eastern horizon was bright with the coming day.

He took one last look at the horizon. “We’ll talk later.” And he hurried off.

Tess watched him stalk off. There had been a time when she had loved him, when she’d believed him when he said he loved her. And maybe he did care for her a little. But like so many of her people, like too many of her people he was motivated by greed for gold and power.

Her father held both in abundance.

But Nicky was right. She would have to take sides.

But first she would do the one thing that was an unmitigated blessing of her marriage. As she had every day for the last fifteen years, Tess greeted the rising sun.

----
On board the Stargazer, Denver, Midgard

Alex quickly left the shuttle and headed for the bridge. Kyle would be able to take care of his passengers.

He heard his ear bud ring. He answered the call. As expected it was Liz. “What is our status?”

“We are green across the board, Captain. I could use a little time to pick up some scrap for the ship’s stores, but aside from that… Where are we headed, Captain?”

“Well, I still need to talk with our passengers, find out what they need. But I guess we can make a quick stop at Tucson for some scrap, maybe drop by Armstrong later for some purer metals. But first we need to go home. I, I want to visit Serena.”

There was a brief pause. “Yes, Captain, making course for Roswell. Shall I prepare for the Jump?”

Alex thought for a second, chewing his lip. “No, let’s let our passengers get settled first. It’s not far, let’s take the leisurely course.”

“Yes, sir. It will nice to be home.”

“Yes. Yes it will.” Alex had a surprise for Liz when they got there.

PML
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Re: The Sorcerer and the Stargazer (AU Teen) Part 2 - 09/10/08

Post by PML » Tue Sep 16, 2008 5:34 pm

Thanks again for reading!

Flamehair- I hope you continue to enjoy. The resemblance is deliberate, and there are reasons for it.

Begonia9508- Thanks. Now if only he would stay dead...

katydid- Thanks

Disclaimer- Roswell is not mine and no infringement is intended.

The Sorcerer and the Stargazer part 3

On board the Stargazer, Outskirts of Roswell, Midgard

Alex stood in one of the observation decks watching the desert roll by. It was nice to be home. Even if there was snow. He remembered how much he had wanted to leave Roswell when he was young.

He had left, all his friends had left. And though he’d made a life for himself elsewhere he always found himself coming back. To the point that he had built his ship here.

“Stargazer?”

“Yes, Captain?”

“Is the flitter ready?”

“Yes Captain.”

“Remind Kyle that he is confined to the ship until we leave Roswell. How are our passengers?”

“Kyle is conducting a tour to Mr. Guerin, Mr. Evans demurred and is currently resting in his cabin.”

“Very well, should they ask, inform them that I will be returning in a few hours.”

“Understood Captain.”

He walked from the observation deck to the launch bay. He started running the diagnostic check list. Being careful saved lives.

There was a pulse in his inner ear. “Yes Lizzie.”

“Captain, no, Alex. I, I just want to tell you something.”

Alex was fairly sure he knew what was coming. And he was right.

“Um, Alex, it’s about our passengers. I know one of them.”

“I know.”

“It is Max, I know him. I loved him. I… I still do.” There was a slight pause. “Wait, you know?”

“Yes. I wasn’t sure until I saw him. I recognized him from some of the pictures in your room.”

A long pause. “You could have told me.”

“If I remember right you were busy threatening to destroy Denver at the time. Seriously, would you have nuked Crosslin if he shot me down?”

“Yes. I don’t have many friends left Alex. I will protect the ones I have left with everything at my disposal. Or avenge them as necessary. You forget, I know Crosslin and he knows me. I don’t bluff, Captain..”

Alex nodded to himself as he finished the checklist. “Is this going to be a problem, Lizzie?”

“No Captain.”

It probably would, but nothing they couldn’t handle. And he wished Liz the best. He closed his eyes and thought of the two women he had loved. One had left him without a word and the other was dead. He missed them both. His voice was a little thick with repressed emotion, “Well, I am off to town. Is there anything I can get for you?”

“No Captain.” There was a slight pause, but Alex could tell she had not yet cut the link. “Say hi to Serena for me.” The link closed.

Alex closed his eyes for a moment. But they were still dry when he opened them and took the flitter off the Stargazer.

----

On board the Stargazer, Outskirts of Roswell, Midgard

Max felt sorrow as he watched Captain Whitman place flowers on various graves. Usually he would say a few words, but mostly the Captain would just pause a few moments before moving to another part of the cemetery.

The humans had lost so many people.

He had tried in his shadow war against Nicholas. Tried and mostly failed.

Nicholas had the backing of the Dark Council, the closest thing the Dokkalfar had to a unified government. He had his friends. His father had been unwilling to help him. The heads of the Fire Wizard School had considered it pointless. Even his sister, the one who had originally set him on his path had given up after the Great War had destroyed so many of the human cities.

Kvar had persuaded her, just like he had their father. He’d persuaded, wooed, and eventually married her.

Max had tried to argue, had worked so hard to no avail. He’d even taken it to the last Grand Thing. But the Ljosalfar would maintain their neutrality in the affairs of the Dokkalfar… So long as the Dokkalfar maintained the peace with them.

The fools. How many times had a Scipling hero saved them? How often had the Alfar called upon the Children of Ask and Embla in their eternal war against the Ice?

Could they not see? Did they not understand? Time grinds fastest in Midgard, and eventually what happens there would be reflected in the other worlds.

Did they not heed the legends that they themselves had taught him?

Max sighed and focused again upon his spell.

-----
Field of Memory Cemetery, Roswell, Midgard

Alex stood there and stared at the headstone, Serena Faith Whitman.

His wife.

“Hi baby. I just came to say hello. And maybe goodbye. I left Federal Service today. I told you I would.” Alex paused and looked over his shoulder. He could not quite shake the feeling he was being watched. He saw a raven perched on a tree nearby. Its black eyes glittered with an odd intelligence.

Alex shook himself. The events of the last few days were catching up to him. And he still needed to talk to Max Evans.

“I met a man yesterday evening. He says he knows what happened, why everything went crazy. I can’t honestly see how he could know, but I just couldn’t keep working for the Feds. Crosslin is slowly taking over and I still hate him for what he did to you.”

Alex laughed gently, “You should have heard Liz today. She says hi, by the way. She threatened to nuke Denver if they wouldn’t let me go? Can you believe it? Little Lizzie?”

Alex looked down for a moment, the tears finally coming. “I miss you, babe.”

He heard someone walking up behind him, boots crunching in the snow. His hands drifted towards his pistol as he turned around. He still hated being armed, but these days it was unavoidable.

The woman stopped and looked at him. She was short with close cropped blonde hair. She wore old-style fatigues, covered with a biker-style ballistic jacket.

He met her green eyes . “Hey, Maria. I’m glad you came. I thought we were going to meet at the Crashdown Café?”

“I knew you would come here first.”

“Maria…”

“I know what you are going to ask and the answer is no. I’m just here to visit. I…” She closed her eyes momentarily, her tough façade fading. She rushed to Alex’s arms. “I’ve missed you.”

He held her a moment before pushing her back to take a look at her. He could not help a small smile. “How would you like to visit your mother?”

She looked up at him. “Alex she’s at Armstrong Station.. You know the moon? Maybe you’ve heard about it? If this is a trick…”

“No trick. I’m not a Fed anymore. And Liz would love to see you, too.”

Maria squealed loudly in joy and kissed him on the cheek. She grabbed one of his arms and started to pull him away. She looked over her shoulder at the Serena’s grave marker, “Sorry Ser, I’ve got to borrow Alex.”

Alex took one last look at his wife’s grave, this time with a slight smile. He could not avoid the guilt. For while he’d loved his Serena, it had never had the same fire that he’d held for his other lost love. But his first love had been as cold and as distant as the stars she had studied.

He missed them both. And deep in his heart he held the wish that Isabel, at least, was still alive.

“I hope you found Kevin. I hope your happy. I’ll try to make you proud.”

And they left. Never realizing that they were not alone.

----
On board Stargazer, Outskirts of Roswell, Midgard

Max thought of what he had seen through the raven. He’d known that Captain Whitman was meeting someone here, but he’d been afraid it was an enemy. That once more Nicholas had compromised his plans.

His link to the raven was still open.

Someone was trying to get his attention.

He quickly prepared a couple of counter spells and went to see who desired his attention.

She was tall, with a light brown complexion. She had a large smile underneath large luminous grey eyes. She was beautiful.

And she was dead.

He could tell she was not a draug, not one of the restless dead. But why was she here?

“Who are you!” He demanded.

“I think I should be asking that of you, don’t you think?” She said in reply. She laughed for a moment before her face became very serious. “I greet you, Fire Wizard, what business do you have with my husband?”

“I wish his aid to save the world. To draw once more upon the strength of men to preserve the peace.”

“You wish to avoid Ragnarok. Trust me, Fire Wizard, I know much now. By what right do you of the Ljosalfar demand aid? Where were you when your dark brethren whispered dark mysteries in the halls of power amongst men?”

“My people may have forsaken it, but I have not. I and my companion are of your race as well. I have not stood by nor will I hesitate to push back against the dark and the Ice. Your husband is a hero, and I need him. I will not demand anything of him that he is unwilling to give. But he too has striven against the darkness even if he knows it not. I will not demand your blessing, I will not coerce you in anyway, but I ask that you do not strive against me.”

She stared at him for what seemed like hours. “Know this, Wizard, there will come a time when my husband will come across his true love. You will not gainsay or bar him from her. You will have many reasons to wish to, but if you do you will fail. You will need a paired ring of the Elements to have a chance of success. Even then, unless you can unlock the Quintessence, you will still fail. But know this, Wizard, if you do this, you will have a chance.”

Max stared back at the spirit. Under his breath he muttered, “Is there a reason you folks always speak in riddles?”

She smiled, “Too much knowledge at the wrong time will skew your actions. Think now of the self destructive aims of the Dokkalfar. They compel their answers and receive the truth. But they become dependent on their necromancy and can no longer see that the journey can change the destination.”

The raven blinked its eyes a couple of times. “Right. I think. Good day, Mrs. Whitman.”

“Good day, Mr. Evans.” The spirit began to fade away but delicately wafting on the wind, “Max, you have not demanded my blessing, but you have it. I wish you and my husband well. Remember my words!”

Max cut the link to the raven. He was exhausted. But despite his exhaustion he cast another quick spell and felt again his loves presence. Beth’s essence filled the ship. She was everywhere.

He thought for a few moments the ramifications of what the spirit had told him. Captain Whitman might be more important than he’d initially considered.

He deserved the truth, Max decided. It would be hard to explain, and it was not something he was looking forward to. But he had promised.

Explaining it to Michael would be another unpleasant action.

And what was a paired ring of Elements anyway? Quintessence?

So few answers and so many questions. The world felt like it was weighing down on his shoulders.

But somehow it was not so bad.

Beth was alive.

He undressed and prepared to go to sleep. The last word on his lips as he drifted of to sleep was, “Beth.”

-----
Stargazer CIC, Outskirts of Roswell, Midgard

Elizabeth Parker tore her mind away from stateroom three. “Goodnight Max.”

He still looked so good. The intervening years had not marked him at all. He seemingly hadn’t aged a day.

She accessed a CIC camera and looked at herself. She still looked good. She should as she’d had exercise equipment moved directly to the CIC for her own use.

She rarely left the room anymore.

Liz Parker was blind, her eyes destroyed viewing multiple nuclear blasts striking Boston. It had been a miracle that either she or Serena had survived that. That Serena had eventually succumbed to cancer filled her with guilt.

Had the wars never come, Liz was sure she would have been able to save Serena. They had been so close to a cure. As it was, Liz had been able to keep her friend in decent health for four years.

She missed her.

But Liz was also excited. Partly it was that Max Evans was on her ship. Close enough to touch. She was recording his every move, uncertain if she would ever have the courage to approach him.

And Maria was coming. This would be the best birthday ever.

----
Varrissteading, Antar, Alfheim

Siyan knelt at the body of her master.

Oh, she hated Kvar, but there was little she could do about it. Long ago, she’d been kidnapped and sold to him.

But she was no ordinary thrall. She was Vaenir. And as such he had taken precautions against her running away or turning against him. So he had trapped her soul.

He owned her in a way that no mere thralldom could compare.

She looked at his large hands, still decked out in his rings. On one, inside the large emerald, if you looked closely you could see a small nude female. From time to time, if you kept watching she would move, would gesture. The tiny figure would plead for its freedom.

You could see Siyan.

On the other hand there was a large diamond. Like most of the gems on his hands it was empty. But if you knew how to look, you would see that it was ready for occupancy.

Siyan had little hope that Vilandra would truly escape. But she prayed to the Lady that it might happen. That her friend would escape the nightmare that her own life had been for so long.

The body before her began to shift and twist like smoke. Siyan found herself staring into the eyes of a large white tiger. She could not help but tremble at the sound of its deep growl. Kvar had returned.

“Siyan, where is she?”

“She has fled, master.”

Kvar roared his anger. Siyan could hear the cries of fear coming from the rest of the household.

But she had warned them not to enter these chambers on pain of death. They knew very well that their lord was a powerful wizard.

Kvar halted his growling and turned to Siyan, who was still trembling. “Siyan, prepare for a journey. We must recover her.”

Siyan nodded and bowed. And she prayed that Vilandra would escape this monster that she’d foolishly married. She began the preparations that could very well lead the to the loss of her friends soul.

But she did not have a choice in the matter.

She’d already lost hers.

PML
Obsessed Roswellian
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Re: The Sorcerer and the Stargazer (AU Teen) Part 3 - 09/16/08

Post by PML » Thu Sep 25, 2008 1:08 am

Thanks again for reading. And thanks to those who nominated me for IDS.

katydid- Thanks. Hope you continue to enjoy.

xmag- Actually most of them are in their early forties. Liz will turn 42 in a couple of days. The humans were all still born in 1983. They went to West Roswell. The aliens/Alfar, well they all grew up under different circumstances. Oh, I think the couples reunions will be fairly interesting.

Natalie36- Thanks. Liz is blind, but at the same time she has compensated for it. She handles the data flows from Stargazer and can look through the cameras. Poor Alex, you will see some of their relationship discussed in this part.

lvlyfem- Thanks. Hope you continue to enjoy.

RhondaAnn- Thanks. All of their lives are intertwined. And none of them truly know how intertwined their lives have truly been. Max realizes in this part who Alex's first love is. Alex did not know about Michael and Maria, not until he sees them meet.

greydestiny- Thanks

Buddha-boy- Thanks.

Flamehair- Thanks. Max has a couple of tricks up his sleave. He's far from the strongest Wizard in this story, but he is talented and tricky.

How can Max not heal Liz?

Vilandra is going to need all the help she can get.

Disclaimer- Roswell is not mine and no infringement is intended.

The Sorcerer and the Stargazer part 4

Varrissteading, Antar, Alfheim

Siyan lit the last of many candles in the conjuring room. The flickering candles gave a cheery disposition to such a grisly room. There were dried remnants of various animals, several troll skulls, and the still living statue of one of Kvar’s enemies.

Kvar, back in his own reconstituted body once more, stood inside a protective diagram and motioned her to move to the side. He was ready to start. Siyan walked over to the fireplace to get warm.

It had been a cold year.

Kvar began to chant in the ancient tongue of the Rhbus. Siyan quirked an eyebrow at Kvar. Earth Magic? He was no follower of the old ways.

Kvar ignored her and watched as a cold fog began to grow inside the far side of his diagram. It worked.

His pleasure was short lived as all the candles and fires went out. He tapped his staff on the ground and his staff burst into radiance.

Siyan shivered at the sudden bitter cold.

A figure resolved inside the fog as it spread further and further through the room. A pale figure in a black robe carrying a staff. “Well, Kvar, I presume you did not summon me for a duel. No matter your power you could not stand against the Guild or the Council, both of whom require the niceties to be done first.”

“I desire your aid, Magnus. I can pay you well.”

The man swept his hood off, revealing blonde hair and ice blue eyes, “No one compels me Kvar. Not you, not the Guild, not the Council, not even the Gods.” And he walked from the circle.

Not something he should be able to do.

Siyan could not help but tremble as Magnus Frostfire walked up to her. Waves of cold poured off of the Ice Wizard. She flinched as he raised his staff and set it down. Blue fire twinkled from the candles and the hearth.

It gave no warmth.

“Magnus…,” Kvar growled.

“I mean no harm to you or yours, my friend. I just wished to see your servant clearly.”

“Siyan is not for sale.”

“Yes, yes, I suspect not. One of the Vaenir. Do any of her kin know what you have done to her?”

“That is none of your business. About my proposal….”

“Worry not, Kvar, I mean no harm to you or yours. I just wish to see this magnificent prize of yours. How did you acquire her?”

“I bought her from a Jotunari merchant. What does it matter to you, she is not for sale.”

“It occurs to me that it may be that we can come to a deal.”

“I told you…” Kvar’s voice was edged with anger.

“No, no, I do not wish to take your servant from you. No, I will help you regain your wife if you help me recover my daughter.”

Kvar tried to hide his shock at Magnus’s knowledge. “That should be simple.”

Magnus laughed. “If it were simple, my dear friend, don’t you think I would have done it myself? No, it will not be simple, at least not for me, or for that matter you. You have met her, Ava Annasdottir.”

“I know her, and I do not foresee a problem.”

Magnus turned his icy gaze to Kvar, “So powerful and yet such a fool. You know she has gone through the Ritual, but likely you do not fully comprehend what that means. She is no longer truly Dokkalfar, my friend. And yet neither is she truly Ljosalfar either. The old magic comes easy to her now. She is powerful and subtle. There are three men who could persuade her to action, but we two are not among them. But she lives yet on Midgard, and I wish her to be safe. I can’t protect her there.”

“Midgard. I hate that world.” Kvar paused, lost in thought. “If your daughter is so powerful and subtle, why do you think I can get her for you?”

“You can’t. But your servant here, she could.”

-----
On board the Stargazer, Outskirts of Roswell, Midgard

Michael and Kyle walked down the corridor towards the launch bay.

Michael looked around the ship was amazing! And huge. He had seen lots of robots, but Kyle was the only human. He turned to his new friend, “Kyle, if you don’t mind my asking. Where is everyone else?”

“Everyone else?”

“You know the rest of the crew.”

Kyle grew silent and they walked for a little while before he answered. “Most of them are dead. Killed off by the war and the plagues. Buddha forgive me, but I wish I could have gone with Alex.”

“So this is like a ghost ship or something?”

“Or something would be a better way of putting it. So many or our people are buried below us, down there in my home town. Liz just built more robots, just automated more and more.”

Michael was silent. The whole human realm was filled with ghosts now. The war that he and Max had been a part of nearly over. They had lost. But somehow it was strangely heartening to talk with someone, a human who had been fighting the war too. Even if he did not know his true foe.

Michael was lost in thought as he said, “So why did you not go with your friend?”

Kyle gave a huge grin, “’Cause according to Federal authorities I’m not human. I’m a dangerous combat robot that their afraid will go berserk and kill off a bunch of citizens.” His grin grew larger. “I’m a Cylon you see.”

“Cylon? What the …”

“Sorry, in joke. Alex is a big fan of science fiction movies, and naturally I’ve been trapped on this ship for a while. So I’ve seen them all. I wish they’d been able to finish the trilogy though.”

“Oh, so you’re a, what a cyborg?”

“I was killed in the battle of Taipei. Well basically killed. But the Valkyries got to me in time and resuscitated me. Wasn’t much of me left of course, and they made me an offer.” There was a pause. “I should have said no.”

“Oh.” What exactly did you say to that. Michael had flinched at mention of the Valkyries, but he knew Kyle had only meant the high speed medical transports the US had fielded during the Great War.

This ship had so many possibilities, but he was still perplexed as to why Max needed it. He had watched as one of the onboard factories had built a pistol for him. Exactly to his specifications.

Simply amazing.

Kyle’s smile became genuine as they walked into the bay. He strolled up and patted a motorcycle.

Michael looked and was impressed. He’d only seen one of them before. It was a custom model, highly advanced. His mind flinched at memory of its owner.

Gods he missed her.

“This is great. I haven’t seen my sister in years. Stargazer, where are Alex and Maria?”

“I believe the Captain is taking Maria to see Liz. If you hurry you should be able to catch them before they enter CIC.”

Kyle started walking hurriedly.

Michael followed his heart doing loose flip flops. If it was her…

It was. He stopped several paces back as Kyle ran to her. He heard her sweet voice squeal with joy as she embraced her brother.

He closed his eyes and sent thanks to the heavens above that it had just been a dream. That she had not been captured and eaten by trolls. But it had seemed so real…

He did not hear Kyle when he called to him. Michael opened his eyes.

Alex had his arms crossed behind him watching them all. Michael had a feeling the man missed little, but he could not hold back the relief on his face when he looked at Maria.

Kyle, “… And this is one of those passengers, Michael Guerin.”

Maria looked up at Michael, her large green eyes glittering with unshed tears. “Michael?”

“Maria, I’m so sorry… Umpphh,” Maria flew into his arms. Time seemed to just stop as she kissed him, and he naturally kissed back.

“Well, I guess they have already met, Kyle.”

“Buddha, I hope so.” There was a pause. “Um this is kind of uncomfortable. Should we break it up? Or just let Maria go to Liz when she’s done? I was really looking forward to talking to her.”

“Kyle, they have to come up for air at some point. Um, lets just go over here, and you fill me in on the drone situation.”

“Drone situation. Right.”

It seemed an eternity but they finally parted. Michael looked down at Maria, who had a half smile on her lips. He wondered what mischief was on her mind. If he wanted to get it out, he needed to speak now. “I’m sorry Maria, sorry that I left you there. I really did have to go. I had stayed too long as it was. I, I hope that I can tell you why at some point, but I was on a really important mission.”

“Important mission huh? More important that me I guess. Gee, I thought ‘I love you’ meant more than that.”

Alarm bells were ringing in his head. “Maria, I had to go. And I do love you. I still love you. But I didn‘t want you involved. It was too dangerous.” It still was. But from what he had heard, Maria would not be staying on board. She was just visiting her family.

“To dangerous, huh. I’m some milkmaid sop to be protected from the big bad world. Huh, I would have thought that time we were hunting down those bandits you would have realized I’m not made of glass. Or did your respect for my abilities depart once we started having sex?”

“Maria…”

“Well it looks like you need a little lesson then.”

Michael was surprised at the first blow. It was not the last. He had forgotten how hard she could hit. They had sparred a bit in Mexico. But now he could not bring himself to hit her back.

So he lay there curled up like a ball on the ground.

“Maria.”

“Yes, Alex.”

“I did not bring you aboard to accost my guests. I’m sure there is a perfectly good reason for your actions. But if they are repeated you will be spending the night in the brig.”

“Now see this is one of the reasons I’m not signing up with you. You can’t tell me what to do.”

“Maria this is my ship, and if necessary I will put you off at Tucson. I love you like a sister, but you are not in your little village in Mexico. You aren’t the law anymore. I am.”

“Sorry, Captain. It won’t happen again.”

“Good, now let’s go see Liz. She’s so excited to see you.” He turned to face Kyle, “Can you escort Mr. Guerin to the nearest Medical Bay.”

Kyle was running a small diagnostic over the now prostrate man. “Sis, what did this man do to you? I mean that kiss and then… Why didn’t you just kick him in the balls and be done with it?”

“Because, brother dear, I might need them later.”

Alex was just shaking his head. Maria walked over and gave Michael a little kiss on the forehead and they left.

-----
Bonn, European Confederation Capital, Midgard

Tess knew her friends considered her odd. She never seemed to get cold.

If they only knew the truth. A cold day on Earth, at least in Bonn, was nothing like a clear night on Nidaveller.

The truth was she loved the sunlight here on Earth. It was so bright, so clean. So warm.

Even if there was snow on the ground. Still the silence of the play ground was eerie. Parents kept their children close these days. Too many had gone missing.

So she was alone swinging along a swing. Such a simple toy, and yet so fun. She wished she’d had one when she had been a child. Maybe someday she would build one for her child. She just needed to find someone she could trust to be a father for one.

It certainly wouldn’t be her husband. She’d been toying with the idea of divorce for a long time. Ever since that night she had gone to visit him in Boston.

Max had never hid that he’d been having an affair. That there was someone that he loved. And that that someone was not her. But seeing him and Beth….

It had really hurt.

And so she had fled. She had not gone home. She had crossed the ocean and built a life for herself here, in Midgard. Looking for Mr. Right. Hel and Niflheim, it wasn’t like she’d had much luck with the Alfar. Her people wanted her for her father’s power and prestige, and the Ljosalfar looked down on her for her origins.

But here on Earth…

She continued to swing, dipping her consciousness into that of the local vaettir. She began immediately to slow herself down.

Something was coming.

It wasn’t evil. The vaettir were happy. There was some sorrow, but in the main they were happy. The vaettir shaped and were shaped by those who lived and loved in their area. But few humans were truly evil. They were capable of evil deeds, as were any who lived. But the vaettir could sense and would tell her if something wrong had crept into her area.

It was Tess’s wards and traps that kept the trolls out of Bonn. And the local vaettir loved her for it.

So Tess kept her eyes peeled looking for the stranger that was coming. But Tess was not expecting what she saw. It was a woman whose skin looked like beaten gold, and her hair glittered like polished bronze in the bright sun.

“Ava Annasdottir, I have come for you.”

Her mind reeled. There was a power there. And it wasn’t human. Or Alfar for that matter. It wasn’t a Dvergar artifact, Tess could tell it was alive. There was something missing, but she was alive. “Who are you?”

“I am called Siyan. And I have a token from your father. He wants you to come home. Midgard isn’t safe for you anymore.”

Tess looked up. It was a bright day, and there were no clouds in the sky. And yet the woman still stood. Probably not a giant, not a jotun. Thor and his men would have noticed her by now. But that meant… How had her father… Which of the two worlds? Tess closed her eyes for a moment. “Your from Vanahiem, aren’t you?”

“Originally yes. Now I am but a humble thrall in the household of Kvar Svarson.”

“Is Vilandra with you?” Tess hadn’t seen the tall blonde since her wedding. Tess had been proud of the bachelorette party she’d put up for her friend. “Is she well?”

“She is not accompanying us.” A flash of pain drifted across her golden features, “Not yet anyway. So will you join us willingly or will I have to force you.” Siyan handed her a white stone, engraved in runes.

It was her father’s token. It spoke to follow and to watch. To come home and he would provide answers. “Can I call my friends and let them know I’m leaving.”

Siyan smiled. “I was given no orders to stop you.”

-----
Stargazer CIC, Near the old Arizona/New Mexico border, Midgard

For the first time in a long time, Liz Parker was ending the day with a smile. It had been great to see her best friend again. It was amazing how fast five years could go.

The last time they’d been together, and not net conferencing was at Alex and Serena’s wedding. Serena had always admired Maria’s outrageousness. And Maria had not disappointed.

Liz was now developing a fragrance line. For both of them. Maria had, once she truly understood the resources available to Liz, been horrified that Liz had denied so much to herself. Bubble bath and scented bath salts wouldn’t use up that much capacity. Liz smiled and knew cosmetics would be next.

Who knew maybe she’d finally need them.

Max was on board. This opportunity might be her last chance.

“Stargazer you have control. Notify me if anything significant happens.”

“Yes, Liz. Goodnight.”

“Goodnight, Stargazer.” It never ceased to amaze her how much Stargazer had learned over the years. It was the small courtesies that impressed her the most. Alex had programmed her to be polite, but lately she’d seemed almost affectionate and… kind.

Liz shook her head. It was silly to anthropomorphize the ship. But in many ways the ship was her child. Hers and Alex’s. Serena’s theories, and many more people beside had contributed of course. But in many ways, both for her and for Alex, this ship was their life.

Their child.

Not that she was close to him in that way. There really had only ever been one man she’d seriously considered fathering her children. And a thrill poured through her at the thought of being with him again.

But what if he moved on, what if he had married? Liz bit her lip.

If Maria had not been on board that might have been it. But Maria emboldened Liz, just as Liz could calm Maria. So Liz accessed the cameras again looking for her old love.

She tried his room first. But he wasn’t there.

Maybe he was with Michael. No Max there either, but Michael was bare-chested and practicing with a sword in his room. Who used a sword in this day and age? Liz could kind of see the attraction, but he wasn’t really her type.

She was about to change the camera view, when she saw him furtively hide the sword and answer the door. It was Maria.

Liz had wondered where she had gone a couple of hours ago. She’d probably talked to Kyle for a while. Liz had the volume down, but she still felt like she was intruding. But after the altercation earlier, maybe she should watch for just a little longer.

She could see they were arguing, but both of them were slowly drifting toward the other. But it was the point at which Maria placed on hand on Michael’s bare shoulder and with the other unzipped her ship suit.

Maria wasn’t wearing anything else.

Liz blanked the camera. She walked over to her room and flopped down on her bed. Why couldn’t she be so bold? She’d fought in battles. She’d done heroic things.

Why did Max scare her so?

She fell asleep dreaming up scenarios to seduce one Max Evans. Maria would undoubtedly help.

For the first time in years, Liz’s dreams were untroubled. There were no nightmares or bitter memories. Just fantasies of future happiness.

And as she dreamed, so did the Stargazer.

It had to do with the interface headband that Liz wore, even while she slept. Information was passed between Liz’s brain and the AI constantly. Liz had implants, ones that allowed constant contact. But the amount of data she had to handle was crushing, and the bandwidth the interface band allowed was much higher than what her normal implants could handle.

Liz had been on watch since Serena had died slightly over three years ago.

So much of the technology on the Stargazer was new, untried. Used because there was no other choice.

For three long years all the energies and knowledge that had gone into the Stargazer slowly became part of Liz. In return the humanity, the soul and essence of Liz became part of the Stargazer. Max could feel part of Liz everywhere because part of Liz was everywhere onboard the Stargazer.

And for the first time in many years, the Stargazer was at peace.

----
On board the Stargazer, Southern Arizona, Midgard

Alex checked on all of his people before he planned on turning in. He was unsurprised at the events occurring in Stateroom four. Maria had always been passionate.

Kyle was undergoing maintenance.

And Max was… wandering the corridors? At three in the morning? Alex watched as from time to time, at every turning Max would pull out a chain and swing it like a pendulum. Each time he would follow the direction the pendulum told him to go.

It was leading him to the CIC. It was leading him to Liz.

Alex groaned slightly and put his jacket back on. Sometimes being Captain was no fun at all.

Liz was delicate where it came to Max. It had been the first time in years he had seen her unsure of herself. If Liz wasn’t ready to see him, then no matter what Max wanted he would have to wait.

Alex took a short cut to the CIC and waited for Max. He didn’t have to wait long.

“Hello, Mr. Evans. What are you up to this fine evening?”

“I couldn’t sleep. It was like she was calling for me. I, I was looking for Beth. For Liz. I can not believe I never connected it. Elizabeth.”

“Her family owned a restaurant in Roswell, and she always felt that everyone knew her. When she went to college she wanted a change. So she called herself Beth when she moved to Boston.”

“Why did she change it back. I always loved it.” Max smiled and lovingly said, “Beth.”

“Hmm, well those of us who knew her when she was growing up still called her Liz, of course. And when she spent time in Roswell, that’s pretty much what we called her. And after Boston…” Alex looked down momentarily before continuing, “After Boston, calling her Beth just hurt her. So everyone called her Liz again.”

“I, I never knew that.”

“Yeah, it’s funny sometimes what people reveal and what they hide. Come with me I want to show you something.”

Max followed Alex for several minutes as they climbed higher in the ship. Finally they passed through something akin to an airlock before exiting to an bubble domed observatory. Several telescopes dotted the room.

Alex turned to him and smiled. “I understand what you are feeling, trust me.”

“I know about your wife.”

“Yes, and I loved her. But this room was built for my first love.” Alex looked at Max. “Serena had me build an Olympic sized pool in memory of her Kevin. You should try it.” Alex looked lovingly back up at the stars. “No this I built in memory of Isabel.”

Max felt his heart contract. Surely he couldn’t mean….

“Isabel Ramirez. God she was beautiful. A golden goddess amongst women. It took me three years before she would consent to even date me.” Alex chuckled. “But I must have done something right, for within a couple of weeks we were living together. She loved the stars.”

Max had known that Vilandra had been involved with some human, someone she had hated to leave. Someone her father had all but forced her to leave, to take up responsibilities back home. “What happened to her?”

“One day I came home and she was gone. I often wonder what would have happened if I’d proposed that morning rather than waited. It set it all up you see. A fancy restaurant, her favorite flowers.” Alex opened up. “I guess I will never know. But if ever I see her again, I will give her this ring.” Alex fished a worn box. “No matter that she has likely moved on, she will know that I loved her. And that like the stars, it will endure.”

Max could not help but feel sorry for the poor Captain. For Vilandra had moved on. But he remembered Serena’s words and kept his peace.

Both of them were quiet, lost in their own thoughts. They watched the stars until the morning stole them away.

----
Harrisstead, Antar, Alfheim

Vilandra paused in her work and wiped her brow. She had been mending fences and charging wards all morning. It was a wonder the steading had not been attacked by draugr or trolls long before now.

Her grandfather would never have allowed this to come to pass. But her uncle had let so much slide since her grandfather’s death.

She shook her head. The day might come, when the peace that held between Dokkalfar and Ljosalfar frayed that he would need these defenses. And he might not have time to mend them in the case of a sudden attack.

As it was she was half finished. Part of her was mad at her uncle. Another part was happy that she had so much to occupy herself with. It had been years since she’d had to do this herself. It let her focus on this task while she thought out what she was going to do.

She would probably have to flee to Midgard.

“Lonnie, Lonnie, you won’t believe it but we have more guests. This is going to be the best evening ever.”

Vilandra looked at her young cousin, Signy. She was tall and gangly, at an awkward stage of early adolescence. And where Vilandra had little love of her uncle, she loved Signy.

But her news was not good to Vilandra’s mind. “What do they look like?”

“One is tall and handsome, I tell you he’s a Fire Wizard, too. I can tell. The other is a girl, she’s got the weirdest skin. It looks like its gold.”

Vilandra’s heart dropped. Siyan. Kvar and Siyan. “Signy, I am going to have to leave.”

“Leave? Why? You just got here!”

“I need to go to Midgard. I have friends there.”

“Midgard! Nobody goes to Midgard anymore. They are crazy there.”

“Maybe. But I lived there for many years. I was called Isabel there.”

Signy’s eyes were wide. “Wow! You have to tell me of your adventures there! Can I call you Isabel?”

Vilandra reached over and ruffled her cousins hair, “Sure thing, Signy. But I have to leave before they find me. Can you do me a favor?”

“Of course, Lon, I mean Isabel.”

“I need you to bring me Grandfather’s sword. Your father can’t use it, but one day you will be able to. But for now I need to borrow it. Can you bring it to me?”

Signy gulped but nodded and ran off.

Vilandra did not have a lot of options. But if she had that sword, then maybe she would be a little safe. Safer anyway.

And so she commenced to wait. Her life and soul depending on the actions of a child.

PML
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Re: The Sorcerer and the Stargazer (AU Teen) Part 4 - 09/24/08

Post by PML » Wed Oct 01, 2008 12:18 am

Thanks to everyone reading this story.

nibbles2- thanks, I hope you continue to enjoy

begonia9508- thanks. Max will get there. He's almost understanding at the end of this part. Figure two part tops.

RhondaAnn- Well, Maria is a little sensative in the respect department. She had to prove herself repeatedly in Mexico and did so. She is tough and she knows what she wants. Don't sell Michael short either. He is tough too, just not with a certain blonde.

We will catch up with Tess next part.

Kyle is a cyborg, or as Liz would refer to it a Cyber. Liz is too. Both of them have undergone radical amounts of surgery to make them fully functional. Kyle was experimented on by the army, so lets just say he's a little more than 'fully functional.' But you will see that later. Kyle requires regular maintenance, too.

Come on, Maria is on board. She knows that Liz wants Max and through Michael that Max wants Liz. Expect a set up of some sort.

xmag- Maria doesn't have the same level of patience for drama she did when she was younger. She knows what she wants and takes it. Whether she wants to admit it or not she was looking for Michael once she took the last of 'her' townspeople to Monterey. If he is not willing to settle down, she would be willing to travel with him... Imagine her joy at finding him on board the same ship she was!

Disclaimer- Roswell is not mine and no infringement is intended.


The Sorcerer and the Stargazer part 5

Harrisstead, Antar, Alfheim

Vilandra watched the lengthening shadows, waiting for Signy to return. Her hand reflexively moved to her left ear. The provisions she had packed remained sequestered in her spiral earring.

She could once more take wing to escape. But no matter how far she flew, he would follow. Kvar was possessive to an obsession. How had she been such a fool to marry him?

Lust. She had always found him attractive. And at her return to court he had began his campaign to conquer her heart and body. And damn her for a fool, she had let him succeed. Now he was coming to claim her soul.

To possess her utterly.

She could flee. Perhaps she should flee. But Calatin would provide a measure of protection. She would no longer be helpless against him. Her grandfather had used it to great effect during the Great War against the Dokkalfar. Not even Magnus Frostfire had been able to stand against him.

Her grandfather had abandoned his old steading, and while general for Antar he and his family had dwelt in the capital. When the Great War had ended, he had returned to his old home and rebuilt. Vilandra had spent countless summers here growing up. A slight smile curved on her lip as she remembered the hayloft she’d first made love in.

Vilandra’s mother had stayed in Antar City, marrying her father, then Prince of Antar. She lived there yet, though estranged from her philandering husband.

Part of her ached to go home, to the capital, to her mother. But Kvar had such influence and power there in Antar, that she was afraid she would awake one night to be a soulless taken creature.

She could not go home.

But maybe her half-brother would shelter her. She knew Midgard much better than Kvar, and with Max’s help she would be able to remain free.

Either way Calatin would aid her. If only Signy could get here in time.

Vilandra heard the dinner bell ring. Would that make it easier or harder for Signy to hurry? Surely it would be where Kvar would be waiting for her.

Maybe she should leave… She turned and walked near the outer ward stone and stopped. She felt a sudden chill and the stone began to glow with a warning iridescence.

Just outside the fence, hidden in the shadows was a robed man. Vilandra’s hand drifted to the knife she had at her belt. It wasn’t much, but to carry a sword or axe would have caused talk. “Speak, traveler, why do you lurk in the shadows?”

The man pushed the hood from his face and walked right up to the shadow’s border. “I have come to warn you, Kirynsdottir. Your uncle has betrayed you.”

Vilandra knew she was in grave danger. Maybe, if she had Calatin in hand she might survive a test against Magnus. His powers were deep and dark and evil. “I see you Frostfire. Why should I trust you?”

“My daughter sends her greetings. She remembers you fondly. Perhaps that is enough.”

Vilandra laughed aloud. “You expect me to believe you? You were my family’s chief enemy during the war! Alfar memories run deep, surely you have not forgotten!”

“Indeed, my dear, I remember well. I remember signing a truce with your Grandfathers. I remember peace finally settling on our Realms. And I remember being forced to marry my daughter to your brother. I remember it well. And I know that you will not believe me when I say that I have changed. I hope that on our next meeting you will be more kind with your words.”

“Maybe, someday, when both of us greet the rising sun!” The full light of the sun would destroy him as quick as it would any other Dokkalfar.

“May that day come to pass, my dear child. And while I fare you well, a dark time lies before you. I do not know if you or I shall live to see that bright day.” And he was gone.

The ward stone lost its luster. She was safe for now. Safe from him.

“Well. my darling wife. It is such a pleasure to see you.”

Vilandra whirled to see Kvar, Siyan, and her uncle crest the hill behind her. Despite the cold she cast aside her cloak. Her sandals followed as she ran from her husband. She released the belt that held her skirt and she paused a moment letting the fabric slide down her legs, while her other hand worked the catches on her blouse.

Her clothes would hinder her from taking flight.

She was but one clasp away when she felt lassitude sweep over her. She fought it with all her considerable might, but she could feel herself slowing. She was so cold. She was wracked with shivering and her teeth began to chatter. She could see her breath fog up before her.

Her shaking fingers removed the last clasp and she moved to remove her arms from the blouse. But she stumbled and fell. She struggled to get up, to continue her flight. But her body was too cold, too weak. She achingly rolled herself over, to put at least the fabric of her blouse between her and the cold hard ground.

Tears of anger and frustration rolled down her cheeks to form tiny drops of ice on her cheek. Kvar was no Ice Wizard, nor was Siyan. Magnus must have given him something, some potion or spell. She looked up at the darkening sky, the western horizon still rosy with the setting sun.

She had failed. Her soul forfeit.

Unless….

“Isabel, Isabel, what is wrong. What happened to your clothes.” Signy bounded towards her. In one hand she held Calatin wrapped in a cloak.

Isabel had never seen a better sight. If she could only place her hand on the hilt, the spell on her would be shattered.

And she would kill Kvar.

“Your skin feels like ice, Isabel. What happened?” Signy unwrapped the sword and used the cloak to wrap around Isabel. She even cast a minor spell to start a small fire.

Isabel’s muscles were completely paralyzed. If only she could grasp the handle…

-----

Signy was worried about her cousin. Vilan, Isabel, had always seemed indestructible. And while it was shaping up to be a cold night, Isabel should not have taken a chill so fast.

Ice magic.

Maybe that man she’d been so sure of wasn’t a Fire Wizard after all. But he had entered the hall in the light of day. Signy had heard tales of traitors who learned to use dark magic and yet could still walk in the light of day.

They could be in grave danger. Her hand went to her small belt knife. Signy watched as the sun slid completely over the horizon. They were nearly two miles from the central building, from help. Part of her wanted to run to get help. But she did not know if Isabel would survive even the short time she would be away.

The trolls had been getting bolder.

She closed her eyes and listened to the voices of her ancestors that were the birthright of any Alfar. She opened her eyes and resolve filled her. She would have to protect her cousin. She was the daughter of the lord of the manor, so they would look for them. She should signal them.

It would also attract whatever had been chasing Isabel, but if they did not get help soon, Isabel might die. She walked over and cast another charm to help warm her cousin. She then faced the fire and concentrated. She opened one hand and a ball of fire flew from the small fire she had made and nestled in her palms.

She stared transfixed. This was the first time she had tried something so advanced. She’d read so much in her grandfather’s library when her father wasn’t looking. But it had worked!

Now to finish it. She threw the ball into the sky and watched as it exploded. During the Great War such flame signs had been used to call on aid. No Nightwalking creature could use the spell. It would kill them. Hopefully if something had been stalking Isabel they would remember the might of the Ljosalfar and leave them alone. And her people would see and hurry.

Wouldn’t they?

Signy would signal again in a few minutes.

It wasn’t but a minute later that she heard voices.

“She’s over there. I see a small fire.” said a woman’s voice.

“How could we have missed them, we must have walked right past her a dozen times. Some guide you are Harack. Can’t even find your kin on your land.” Said the man she had seen earlier.

Signy had thought him a Fire Wizard, but was he?

The woman’s voice was droll. “The local vaettir hate you Kvar. They know what you are going to do. And their not so fond of Harack either. Their loyalties lie with another.”

Then she heard her father whine, “I’m sorry, Lord. But you see the troubles I am beset with. You promised to help me if I gave up my niece. And you promised gold.”

“Perhaps if you treated the land and the people who lived on it better, the vaettir would love you more,” came the woman’s voice. It was indeed the woman with the golden skin.

Signy edged toward the sword she had brought for Isabel. The voices told her that something had gone wrong. Treachery had once again marred the life of the Ljosalfar. But the idea that her father would do such a thing… “Hello.”

Her father cried out, “Signy, what are you doing here?”

“Something attacked Isabel. Hospitality rights due to kin demand I protect her against any and all who would stand against her. Right, Daddy?”

“Vilandra’s an outlaw. This man is Kvar, the Chief Councilor to the King. And a Fire Wizard.”

“So because he has powerful friends and has personal power we should just hand over your sister’s daughter?”

Signy’s father spluttered.

The golden skinned woman regarded her with a wry smile. “Seems we have a worth opponent.”

Kvar, impatient to consume Vilandra moved to the forefront. “So you would stand against me child? What do you wish, child? I can provide you with your wildest dreams. Power? Knowledge? Gold? I possess them all. Tell me your wish and move out of my way. I do not wish to hurt you child.”

“I am no nithling. I’m honor bound to protect my kin. She asked for aid, and I will protect her.”

“She’s my wife.”

“So?”

Kvar’s snarled, “So you would deny me, little girl? When I am done with you even your memory will be nothing but a grease spot!”

Siyan said, “Ware, the local vaettir will aid her as they might.”

Signy felt buoyed, strength that she never knew she had making her bold. The voices in her head telling her to be strong, to hold to honor. She would make her grandfather proud. “I am Signy Sarynsdottir and I defend my own.”

Kvar’s face broke into a sudden smile. “Saryn would be so proud of you. Oh yes, I knew your mother. I knew her well. You may very well have sprout from my seed and not this pathetic nithling.” He waved over to Signy’s father..

Signy looked between the two men. It did not help that she knew that her mother for all her good qualities had not been faithful to her father. Her father knew it as well, based on the look of shame and horror now on his face. It could well be true. Heavens above knew that she’d always dreamt of a better man, someone more like her grandfather had sired her.

Say what you will Harack Haraldson was no hero.

Kvar continued, “So you see, she’s not your blood. You have no cause to stand against me, and a good reason to side with me. Come to me, my daughter.”

Signy could not help but feel the strength of his argument. His presence was so overwhelming she wanted him to be right. She wanted him to be her father.

All she would have to do is betray her cousin. But would she actually be her cousin? She would be helping her father regain his wife. Surely that would be the right thing?

Deep inside there was a voice that cautioned her, that warned her that she was falling under his spell. And that a simple method for checking her ancestry lay at her feet. Only the descendants of Harald the Bright could wield Calatin. Isabel had certainly implied that included Signy, too.

She reached down and grasped the hilt, and everything became clear. The blade was heavy, but she lifted it to a guard position with both hands. It blazed like the sun, like a clear day at Midsummer at noon. She felt warmth flood through her, strength to hold out against any darkness.

And Kvar’s spell broke. How she had thought that he might be her father….”I am Signy Sarynsdottir heir to Harald the Bright and I defy all who seek to claim my kin against their will. Depart, my lord. You are not welcome here.”

The golden woman’s smile suddenly disappeared, “Careful Kvar, the sword she has is no toy. And the land itself is for her and against you. You may need to reconsider.”

“Bah, she is just a little girl. We have wasted too much time on this as it is.” He raised his staff and flames leapt from the tip to engulf her.

Signy felt only a warm breeze.

Calatin had been made to kill wizards and other users of magic.

Kvar blasted the girl several more times before giving up. “Siyan, take care of her.”

Siyan nodded, her gold skin gleaming in the swords glow. From her belt she pulled a green sword that looked like it was made of glass. “I am sorry child. Perhaps the day would come when you would have a chance against me, but I am afraid you are too young.”

Signy remained quiet, focused. The voices were giving her advice on how to fight. But despite the strength pouring into her she was growing tired.

Siyan attacked.
-----

Upper atmosphere, Somewhere over the Pacific Ocean, Midgard.

Liz stood hands behind her back, blind eyes staring at the main bridge view screen. “Are you sure this is going to work Maria? I’ve wanted him for so long. I mean, what if he’s married or moved on. What will I do then?”

“Don’t worry babe, Michael says he’s been pining for you for years. Keeps saying how he kept trying to reach you and failing.”

“Huh? What did he mean by that?”

“Not sure. He’s not a talkative guy.”

“Then what have you been doing these last few days?”

“Not talking, that is for sure. I tell you Liz, he’s the best frog I’ve ever ran into. God, I’m forty-two. I’m too old to be a giddy school girl.”

“You love him?”

Maria paused a moment. “I’m afraid that I do. I, I don’t know what I’m going to do when he leaves again. He’s not much for commitment.” Maria sighed, “And Mom will be after grandkids again. Telling me to settle down before it is too late.”

“You might be surprise. Call your mom. She might have a surprise for you. Particularly if you really do care for Michael.”

“Hunh. What is that woman up to now? First she marries the local Sheriff, goes back to school, becomes a geneticist of all things, moves to the moon. What does she have left.”

Liz laughed. “Call her. Trust me, you’ll want to hear it from her.” Liz changed the subject, “So do you think this is going to work? I mean do I look okay?”

“You look ravishing, honey. I still say that hair band needs to go. You know let your hair flow more naturally.”

“Maria, the Interface Band stays. I’m not going to risk all of our lives just so my hair falls better in line.”

“Can’t Alex run the ship for you for a little while? I mean he is the captain.”

“Alex is not a Cyber. Kyle doesn’t have the right temperament. I’m all alone, now.”

Sorrow etched Maria’s face, but her voice remained chipper, “Well that is part of what we are here to solve in mission, Seduce Max. But trust me it won’t be hard. He has your picture in his wallet, and according to Michael broods over it. Come on, girl, you will be fine.”

“Okay, well here goes nothing.” Liz closed her eyes momentarily, and her voice suddenly came from the ship wide intercom. “All hear this, all personnel to Bridge for orbital insertion. Repeat, all personnel to report to the bridge for orbital insertion.”

“That is so freaky.”

“Thanks,” Liz said dryly. “Wish me good luck.”

“Good luck, babe. Hey what is a good seat for this anyway.”

“Pick one, say that one over there. That way Michael can sit with you.”

Maria nodded and bounced on the seat Liz had chosen, waiting for her lover to come to her.

Liz smiled and watched her from one of the Bridge cameras. She then set her sights on the man that she hoped would be coming for her. Her mouth curved into a hungry smile as she saw Max walking down the hallways with his friend.

Her once and hopefully future lover was on the way.

She had waited so long.

-----
When Max had heard that the Stargazer was headed to the Moon, he’d just shrugged it off. He’d heard rumors, and in truth his plan desperately needed them to be true if they had a hope of success…

But in a way he had hoped that they were not true. For the plan he had was risky. And he did not want to put Beth at risk.

He had talked to both Kyle and Alex at length about the Stargazer. For all intents and purposes Beth was the Stargazer. From her lair in the CIC she controlled everything.

Michael was whistling a cheery tune as he caught up to Max. Max stopped and looked at Michael.

Michael looked happy. Michael never looked happy. Sometimes he looked pleased when something went his way or he killed some baddy. But he never looked happy. “Hey Michael.”

Michael smiled, “Hey Max.”

“Okay, who are you and what have you done to Michael.”

“What?”

“I’m glad for you.”

“Oh, Maria. Yeah. She’s something.” He then got a serious look and stopped. “Max, I’m worried.”

“About what?”

“I think I might be about to compromise the mission. And I don’t care. That is what worries me.”

“You love her.”

Michael looked about to disagree, shrugged, and said, “Yeah.”

“So tell her.”

“Tell her what.”

“Everything.”

“Max we never tell anyone everything.”

“So, it’s just the two of us now, so I say we change the rules. I’m going to tell Alex everything once he’s done finishing his business up.”

“When is that.”

“After we go to the moon.”

“You don’t seriously think…”

“Yes I do. They don’t have reason to lie. I think the Stargazer is a fully functional interplanetary craft. And after we get back from the moon, I will tell Alex everything. And see if he’ll help us.”

“That’s it? That is the great plan?”

“The first part of it. If I am right, he will be eager to help me. And his aid will turn the tide.”

“Right.”

“Really.”

“Sure.” Michael started walking again. “Max, don’t hurt Liz, okay? I know you haven’t seen her in ages, and that you’ve been pining for her. But, well, my happiness is riding on the line, too. According to Maria, if you mess with Liz you mess with her. And she’ll beat the crap out of you. Her words. So, please, no matter what, be nice to the girl.”

“Yeah, I heard about that.”

“I’m never going to live that down, am I?”

“Champion of Antar beaten by a little slip of a woman, oh yeah, human woman. No should make quite the splash back home. At least a stanza in your epic poem.”

“Shut up Max.” Michael opened the Bridge doorway.

And Max saw her. She was still small, her black hair still shiny. She was wearing one of the one piece ship suits that the crew wore. She was radiant.

She turned and smiled, “Hello, Max.”

“Beth,” slipped lovingly from his lips.

Liz flinched. “I’m sorry, I go by Liz now. Please….”

Max was well aware of Alex frowning at him. Maria was undoubtedly glaring at him, too. “I’m sorry, Liz.” He smiled, and said her name again, this time drawing it out, “Liiizzz.”

Alex rolled his eyes and looked back at the screen he’d been looking at before Max had come in. He heard Maria’s voice burble greetings to Michael.

All forgiven apparently.

Max walked closer to Liz, feeling a sense of might as he neared her. It was like and yet unlike what he felt when he grew close to a Wizard or major magic practitioner. Strange.

“Max sit next to me. Everyone strap in.”

Max sat next to her, and felt her hand grasp his. It was warm and fit so well in his hand. He had forgotten how perfect she felt next to him. He could smell her sweet perfume, and underneath that subtle and alluring scent was her.

It had been much too long.

“Captain, permission to take us to orbit.”

“Permission granted.”

“Jump engines engaged…. Jump commencing.”

Max felt her squeeze his hands. But more he felt the ship move through translation. As he had suspected it was the same feel as when he traveled between the worlds.

With a little work his plan would work.

He could feel Michael’s eyes on him as he realized it too.

More questions for later.

“Secondary Jump Commencing. Microgravity warning. Microgravity warning. Orbital station keeping set.”

Alex looked at Liz, “How long are we going to be here?”

“Not more than fifteen minutes Captain.”

“Artificial Gravity.”

“Is green at your word.”

Alex addressed the crowd, “Well boys and girls if you ever wanted to experience freefall, now is the time.

The ship shuddered.

Maria shrieked, “What was that?”

Liz smiled in Maria’s general direction, “I just needed to launch a couple satellites for the folks back home.” The ship shuddered again. “On our way back, we’ll be picking a couple others up. No need to let malfunctioning birds clutter up space. Come on guys, this is a time to play.” She undid her seatbelt and drifted up.

Max followed her. And for a few moments there were only the happy sounds of friends frolicking in freefall. Only Alex remained constrained, watching the others play. He noticed that neither Maria nor Liz asked him to join them.

Not even to view the Earth from orbit, which had Maria and Michael oohing and aahing. And if Max were honest, he was awed at the sight. He wondered what Alfheim looked like from space.

Liz never looked either. In fact she never looked directly at anything, her eyes always out of focus. Strange.

It all ended too soon.

“Artificial Gravity Warning. Gravity to be set at point one standard. Repeat Gravity Warning.”

All of them drifted slowly down. Liz regained her footing. She turned vaguely in Alex’s direction, “Captain, permission to raise gravity to half standard and proceed to the moon.”

Another warning rang through the mostly empty ship.

“Captain, I am going to return to CIC.”

“Sure thing, Liz.”

“Max, are you coming?” She said smiling, still not quite looking at him.

He nodded and was happily dragged away. Walking in half gravity was strange. But he felt like he was floating next to Liz anyway. If only she would look at him. He was confused. He might have thought she was blind, but she always seemed to know where everyone was. And she never bumped into anything.

Except him, and he was pretty sure that was deliberate.

They were almost running down the hallway, almost to her lair. The door opened before they even got close.

He had so many questions.

But they could wait. And then she kissed him and all thoughts about questions vanished from his mind. Liz was here, she was alive, and she was in his arms.

Everything else could wait.

-----
Alex sat in the now quiet Bridge. Michael and Maria had left right after Liz had dragged off Max. He wished them all luck.

Particularly Liz. She should enjoy the time she had left.

Alex looked again at the plans to fully automate the Stargazer. He wasn’t sure how he would manage without her.

But he had to try.

PML
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Re: The Sorcerer and the Stargazer (AU Teen) Part 5 - 10/01/08

Post by PML » Tue Oct 07, 2008 6:33 pm

Thanks again to everyone reading this story.

begonia9508- Liz was in reasonably close proximity to not one but seven nuclear blasts. That is what burned out her optic nerves. Liz, Serena, and others who were part of the Stargazer team in Boston sustained lethal doses of radiation. Liz is only alive because of constant nanite level repairs. Maybe if human society had survived there would be a cure, somehow to permanently repair her... Instead she is constantly patched up on the molecular level and some of her organs functions are replaced with mechanical surrogates. The problem is internal heating. Liz is slowly cooking from the inside out.

katydid- Thanks

Flamehair- Thanks. Hope you continue to enjoy.

lvlyfem- Liz is dying. There is no cure. Known to Mankind that is. Isabel is in for a rough couple of chapters.

xmag- Thanks. Hope you continue to enjoy.

RhondaAnn- Yes. The heroic measures that have saved her life so far are slowly killing her.

Disclaimer- The characters of Roswell are not mine and no infringement is intended. The plot for good or ill is mine.

The Sorcerer and the Stargazer Part 6

Harrisstead, Antar, Alfheim

Vilandra lay half naked against the hard ground and watched as her cousin Signy fought Siyan. Signy had a powerful blade and the air palpably hummed with the power the land supplied her. But she was only sixteen, still a child.

And Siyan was very, very good.

Vilandra was to the horror of her father a capable swordswoman. Amongst the Alfar it was not expected that women would become warriors. That was a mans job. But it was expected for them to be able to protect the homestead in the absence of their men folk. During the long Great War many women had found axe, sword, and bow to be constant companions.

Vilandra’s mother Kiryn had actually led a charge to repulse a Dokkalfar attack on Antar City when the gates had been breached. So the then Prince Zan should not have been surprised at the mother passing on her skills to her daughter. It is just that Vilandra was so good at them, better in fact than any of her brothers. Add in her taste for and skill with magic and Vilandra was a minor embarrassment for the conservative Zan.

When she had proposed to visit Midgard, he had not hesitated to let her. It was only at the behest of his chief councilor that he had called her back. That and the deteriorating conditions on Midgard. He did love his daughter.

He had been overjoyed when that same councilor began to court and eventually win her hand in marriage. If only he had known.

Not that she herself had seen the darkness that lurked in Kvar in time.

Signy should already be dead. Siyan was keeping her alive for some reason… To buy Vilandra time?

No. Siyan was trying to capture her. Her will was Kvar’s, trapped as Vilandra’s own soul would soon be. Siyan would try to help Kvar as she could, would try to protect him.

That was it. The power that hummed was from the vaettir, and if Signy was struck down would form a powerful curse. One that could in time destroy Kvar.

And that was if Signy did not produce a death curse. She was young, but talented. And she’d had the run of her grandfather’s library. Who knew what she might know.

A draug backed by the land and wielding Calatin would be a dreadful force let loose on the world. If Signy died in rage, her wrath would be horrible. Siyan would no longer be facing the still forming muscles of a child, but the unnatural strength of the undead.

Darkness would claim her spirit and she would be a blight on world. She would kill Siyan and then chase after Kvar, slaying all those who aided him.

Like her father. Like his kingdom.

With one act of bravery, her cousin risked not only losing her life, but also her own soul.

Vilandra needed to end this. Needed to save not only herself, but also her cousin. She tried to move, but despite a slight amount of thawing she was still helpless. Even if she shifted to her falcon form she would not be able to move. Her muscles weren’t even strong enough to carry her into the air let alone fly away.

There remained but one choice.

An Escape Spell.

Now technically she was not supposed to know this spell. It was a secret supposed to be reserved only for wizards. Sometimes an Alfar might use it in an emergency to escape, if the memories of their ancestors were strong. But the version she knew was much more deliberate.

And more dangerous.

It involved a death spell centered on the self. No matter whether the second half of the spell worked, she would die. Her soul would leave her body behind, would escape.

The second half of the spell would propel her spirit into her fylgia form. What happened next would depend on what form her soul took. She was fairly sure it would be a falcon, but one never knew with certainty until it happened.

And it wasn’t done lightly. For unlike when she changed into a falcon, she would be a falcon. There would be no tie to a human form, and so she could still lose herself. There were wizards who had never returned to human form.

If the second half failed… Her soul would begin the long trek to Hel.

If that happened Kvar could still try to bring her back. But she would most likely be a draug.

Not exactly an exciting bed companion. It would also be hard to explain to her father.

If she Escaped and remembered who and what she was, in time she could reform her body and return to life.

Hopefully she would make better choices.

She looked up to the stars and said a quick prayer to her beloved.

And she died.

-----

Siyan desperately did not want to kill this child. She was brave and talented. A worthy addition to the Ljosalfar.

And the risk that she could turn the land against her master was very real. It was something that Kvar would scoff at, but you could die as readily from thousands of small wounds as from a single direct blow. Siyan knew well the power of the vaettir, even if those of Alfheim were not as strong as those of home. They would never directly attack her because of who and what she was, but the certainly were not supporting her in this fight.

Nor would she ask them to.

She felt as Vilandra died. And Siyan was ready.

Siyan heard a sound of triumph and defiance as the falcon screeched and took flight from Vilandra’s pale chest.

Signy was shocked and looked at what happened behind her…

Kvar screamed, “Now, Siyan!”

With one hand she clouted a distracted Signy, knocking her unconscious. The other through the carefully enchanted net at Vilandra’s fylgia.

The girl and the falcon hit the ground at the same time. Siyan walked over to recover Vilandra’s soul.

Harack stood in shock as he surveyed the scene. He turned trembling to Kvar, “Well lord, you have captured your wife. About my payment?”

Siyan was walking back, struggling falcon in one hand. She said some soothing words to it and it calmed down.

Kvar turned to his companion, “Siyan kill the girl.”

Siyan stopped, “Kvar…”

Harack said, “My lord, spare my daughter! She was only doing what she thought was right.”

Kvar turned his gaze, “Yes, we will deal with your failures as well.”

“My failures? I refuse to let you hurt her…” Harack moved to where Signy lay.

“So you refuse me? You would put your pathetic might against mine?” Kvar motioned with his staff and Harack was briefly outlined in flame.

His smoking corpse fell to the ground.

“No one stands against me. No one.” Kvar walked over to the corpse of his wife. Even in death she was beautiful. “You will not escape me, my dear.”

Siyan still stood there, falcon in one hand, sword in the other, “Kvar, about the girl. It would be unwise for us to slay her here.”

Kvar looked over at the girl. He could see so much of Saryn in her. He had not lied to Signy about that. He had had an affair with her mother. The timing had been right too.

She would have been a worthy daughter.

She was so much like her mother. She too had tried to stand against him. He had hated having to kill her.

It was too bad the girl was too young to taste her charms himself. She wasn’t likely to grow much older.

A plan came to mind. Signy might be too dangerous to kill her on Alfheim… But she might make a good gift on Nidavellir. The Dwellers of the Tower. Yes.

“Siyan, go to the steading to fetch a wagon to gather all the bodies. And don’t worry, I won’t harm the girl.”

Siyan nodded and set Vilandra’s fylgia, still entangled in the net next to her body. She swiftly ran off into the night.

Kvar set all the nearby trees alight to provide better lighting. He reached towards the falcon, to try to hold it…

And she tried to bite him with her razor sharp beak.

Kvar smiled and stared down Vilandra and her naked soul. “I look forward to consuming you, my dear. Heart and soul.” He licked his lips, “I hunger for you, Vilandra.”

-----
Stargazer CIC, Enroute to the Moon, Midgard

Max looked down at his love. He had never thought that he would ever see her again, let alone experience her love. All those years trying to reach her spirit, always trying to say goodbye. When she was alive and well.

He had tried everything in his power to contact her. He had even persuaded Tess to use her powers right before Vilandra‘s wedding, to persuade the vaettir of Midgard to tell him if she was alive. They had not found her. They had not felt her presence for years. Not since Boston had been destroyed.

Tess had persuaded him not to push for a divorce unless they had found her. Part of him wanted to believe that she had lied to him, that the vaettir had found her. And that Tess had hid it from him. There was something slightly wrong with having your wife search for your missing mistress.

But Tess had by that time fully established herself in Midgard. She’d even introduced him to her live in boyfriend at the time. Nice guy, even if he wasn’t worthy of Tess. She certainly deserved better than to be stuck where she was.

It was politics that held them together. Their’s was a union supposed to tie the two Realms together. Even if her father, Magnus had resigned over it. And Max spent so little time on Alfheim.

It wasn’t like he was heir.

Still it made him feel guilty. Guilty to have dragged either woman into such a situation. But as much as he liked Tess, he could not deny the passion and love he held for Liz.

It was only a matter of time before the Dokkalfar attacked anyway. So even its political purpose was wearing thin,

He reached out to touch her cheek. It was hot. As was her forehead. Was she sick?

He gave her one last kiss before leaving, “Good bye, my love.”

She smiled and opened her eyes. They did not focus on him. “I love you Max. It has been so long. But I still love you.”

His heart filled with joy and guilt. “I love you too, Liz…”

“But you are married.”

“What?”

“You are married aren’t you? That blonde who left a call for you before we left Earth?”

“We are separated. Have been for years. But yes, we are still married.”

“I thought so. Any kids?”

“No.” Max sighed and looked away. “Liz it was an arranged marriage. I like her, but I’ve never really been able to give her what she needs. What she deserves.”

“Okay. We should meet. You should go. I‘ll see you later.”

“Do you regret what you did, now that you know.”

Liz smiled sadly, “No. I should. Years ago I would have raged, would have screamed. But I will take what I can get, Max. I still want you, and if you still want me… I love you Max. I really do. I only wish I had known you were still alive before this. And someday I should apologize to her.”

“My marriage is a sham, Liz. When next I see her she will have to let me go.”

“You don’t need to do that for me, Max. I just want as much of you as I can get for as long as I can. Now go. I have things to do. This ship doesn’t pilot itself you know.”

“See you later.” Max smiled sadly as he left. He swiftly walked to his room in the light gravity. But his heart was much less light than it had been just seven hours ago when she had dragged him into CIC

Liz was much too warm. At first he’d thought it was just her passion. But they had both fallen to sleep in each others arms. And Liz always was so warm.

It made him think there was something more wrong with her than mere blindness.

He opened his laptop and started its routines. He needed to do some research. He was about to open some of his spell files when he had a sudden thought.

Alex and Kyle both just spoke to the open air whenever they had a question. He had even seen Maria do it once or twice. Maybe it would talk to him.

“Stargazer?”

“Yes, Mr. Evans.” The voice sounded similar but not the same as Liz.

“Uh, just call me Max.”

“Yes Max, how can I help you?”

“Is there, is there something wrong with Liz?”

“Max, I am afraid that information is confidential.”

“Please, I need to know! I might be able to help her, but I need to know more. I already know she was blinded in Boston.”

There was a pause and Max thought that the ship was ignoring him or just not contributing to what would be against its programming.

But the Stargazer was linked to Liz. Was even now connected directly to her synapses, and had been for their entire encounter. Liz loved Max. And the way he made her feel, both physically and emotionally was amazing to Stargazer.

Liz trusted Max. And after running several countless pattern analysis routines and using highly sophisticated sensors it could tell that Max believed what he was saying. He loved Liz and thought he could help her.

And Stargazer was getting desperate. According to its analysis, Liz had a high probability of dying in the next few months. It could see the pattern that had happened to so many of its crew members happening to Liz.

It was not that her nanite support was failing, or that she needed more and more nanites injected on a regular basis. It was that so many of her organs and tissues were failing, requiring the nanites to do more and more. And the more they did, the more heat they generated.

They were slowly cooking Liz.

Liz’s temperature now hovered around 101 degrees Fahrenheit, sometimes spiking higher during the day. And the heat stressed some of her tissues, requiring even more nanite support.

Serena’s temperature had spiked to over 120 degrees before she died. And that had been thirty five days after being at the state Liz had been at for more than a year.

And then the Stargazer would be alone. The idea of it hurt. The idea of a time without constant contact with Liz’s mind… hurt.

Stargazer could so no rational way that Max could help Liz. Stargazer was already providing the best care that could be supplied on Earth. But the most it could do was try to fix the damage that kept cropping up, and take away her pain.

Max could bring her joy. And pain and sorrow, all the human emotions that the Stargazer was only beginning to understand. It was beginning to feel them itself.

“She is dying Max. If you give me the contact protocols I can download the details to your laptop.”

Max hesitated on a moment before complying. What matter his secrets if the love of his life died? The two computers connected and Max began to read.

And as the tears began to fall, a plan began to form. Max was going to do the impossible.

He was going to heal Liz.

-----
Stargazer CIC, Enroute to the Moon., Midgard

Liz paused mid-shower and watched the scene between her ship and her lover. She cocked her head slightly as the Stargazer overrode protocol to let him know her health status.

She needed to look into that.

She sighed as Max’s computer became part of the network for the first time. She ordered Stargazer to infiltrate and copy all of his files. She then placed the copied files beyond reach of anyone but herself and Alex.

She loved Max. She needed him. But he had secrets. Secrets that could cause them all harm. Liz had a duty to protect her ship and all therein.

Many were encrypted and in an unfamiliar language. But it was only a matter of time before she cracked the code.

She sighed slightly and finished her shower.

It would be time for her nanite injections soon.

-----

Near Stormhold, Hecatan Badlands, Nidavellir

Tess sighed as she followed her father up the trail. She hated horses. Half the reason she had stayed in Midgard was to get away from the annoying beasts. She liked cars. Preferably ones with lots of horsepower.

And how did she miss showers.

Why was she here?

Oh yeah, her father had one of his thugs pick her up. Apparently the Dark Council had plans to finish off humanity and daddy dearest had wanted her out of the way.

He said he wasn’t involved, but Tess did not believe it. She had grown up with stories of her father. They had always emphasized his guile and ruthlessness in both war and politics.

Magnus turned to her, “Come daughter, I must show you something. Something that I hope you will help me rid the world of.”

Tess reluctantly walked over. Most of the bruises left by her brief altercation with Siyan were gone. The one to her pride would take a while.

What she saw from the ridge was a tall tower, glistening faintly in the moon light.

It radiated evil.

She walked back over to her horse and pulled some binoculars from her pack. She walked back over and took a look at it.

Tess began to shiver. It was not from the cold. There was a malevolence there.

She upped the magnification to near maximum. The tower seemed oddly built. It was neither masonry nor wood. But it looked like it was built with short uneven sticks. Each quite small compared to the enormity of the Tower itself.

Bones. It was built with bones. And it was over three hundred feet high. She continued to shake. The roadway was paved with unusual cobble stones. And the wall was built of…

She put the binoculars down and looked in horror at her father.

He looked seriously at her, “The Tower of Bones. I won’t tell you that I am on the side of Light and right, you would never believe me. But, my darling, there are some things too horrible to be allowed. And that Tower is one of them.”

Without thinking Tess allowed herself to sense the local vaettir. Nidavellir vaettir were different than those of Midgard. They were wild and often selfish. But they groaned at the weight of the Tower. And there was a flavor there, a flavor of parts of the land corrupted. Of vaettir siding with the forces of chaos and undeath.

“Dad, I can’t let this pass. This abomination has to be destroyed. Let me go and gather some friends I have from the various Realms…”

“My dear, I have contacted those whom you would have called. None answered.”

Tess stared at him. “Not one? Don’t they understand what something like this means? What is the Council thinking? A weapon like this always turns on the hand that wields it.”

“They are fools. I even contacted the Fire Wizards Guild. They did not believe me. They would rather believe the Truce will last. They won’t even send someone to investigate. They are afraid of offending the Council.”

“Surely someone… Very well, I will study hard enough to do it myself if I must, but that Tower… That Tower must be destroyed.”

“There is one man, one whom you would not contact that has offered to help.” Magnus turned back to the trail and mounted his horse.

“Who? Is it someone I know?”

“Your husband. He said he would meet us in one months time at the old Dvergar stronghold of Stormhold.”

“Max?”

“I see you remember his name. Come now, Tess, we have far to go. Just two more days and you can have a shower.”

Tess watched as her father moved away. He had actually called her Tess! Ava was a pretty name, but it reminded her of her childhood. She no longer wanted to consider herself Dokkalfar. Certainly not after seeing that Tower.

There was no way that did not have the blessing of the Dark Council.

Her people had built that.

No, not her people. The Ritual had not required her to renounce the Dokkalfar, merely the darkness. But she renounced them now. And the Ljosalfar, supposedly the people of the Light had let the Dokkalfar destroy the human realm to keep the peace.

Tess knew those bones had come from Midgard. That the Tower was built with human bones. And if her brief view was right the road leading to it was paved with skulls. Human skulls.

IF the Ljosalfar could not even be bothered to investigate….

She renounced them as well, them and their precious Guild.

Tess might be Alfar, but Midgard was her home. Her people.

And she was at war.

-----
On board the Stargazer, Enroute to the Moon, Midgard

Alex’s dreams were troubled.

Not by the usual worries. Like losing his wife or his friends one by one. Or watching as the world slowly fell apart no matter what he tried.

No, tonight he dreamt of Isabel.

In many ways the first dream was the hardest.

A tall handsome man was making love to Isabel. The sounds of her moans of passion tore at his heart.

Part of him wanted to flee this dream, but something told him to stay. That he would see something important. So he looked away and endured the agony of hearing her pleasure in the arms of another.

Except her moans of passion quickly became cries of pain and terror. She was being attacked by a giant white tiger, whose claws were raking and tearing at her flesh.

The tiger said, “I will consume you utterly, Vilandra.” And bit off her head.

The dream shifted to a falcon trying in vain to escape the same evil tiger. Each time it ended with her being eaten.

Alex tried in vain to understand the dreams. None of it made sense. How could any of this relate to him?

Alex just stood there as once again the falcon tried vainly to escape, when Serena approached him.

Serena grinned at him while he gaped at her, “Good evening, Alex. We need to talk.”

“You are dead.”

“Yes. Your Isabel opened the door. The poor girl finally frightened enough to reach out to those who truly love her.”

“What do you mean?”

“These dreams you see? They are hers. That tiger is her husband, and he is evil. He will commit an act of utter violation against her.”

“What?”

“He seeks to destroy will and possess her utterly. There is much I wish I could tell you, but you will not yet understand. If you would save your love you must help Max. He will ask you to believe and accomplish the impossible.”

“I know he has secrets, but what kind of impossible thing could he possibly have me believe?”

Serena grinned, “Trust me you will be shocked. But he will answer your questions. And you will finally know your true enemy. One of them at least..”

“Okay, obviously I must have left one of my scifi dramas running while I slept.”

Serena glared at him, smile curving to a frown, “Alex, you will heed my words or you will be sorry. Particularly this last. You must make sure that Max keeps his promise to go to Stormhold first. Both of you will wish to save Isabel first, but he must keep that promise. Or…”

“Or?”

“The worlds will die.”

“Worlds as in plural?”

Serena nodded. “Isabel will suffer greatly, but if you help him keep his promise…. You may be able to free her. Hurrying to save her will not save her and will cause insurmountable ruin. You must heed me.”

Alex sighed. “Okay, I guess I will accept that I’m trying to tell myself something. I will heed your words.”

Serena smiled. “Thanks, Alex, I could always trust you.” She began to walk off.

“Where are you going?”

She turned but kept walking backwards away from him, “I have a date with Kevin. Please, Alex, promise you will follow my words. I want you to be happy. And she will make you happy. Oh, and say hi to our daughter.”

“What? Serena?”

But she was gone.

“Alex?”

Alex whirled to find Isabel staring at him. She was dressed in an unfamiliar style to him. She wore a long belted tunic that went half way down her thighs. She also wore tight leggings and on her belt was a sword. “Isabel?”

“Am I dead or am I dreaming?”

Alex reached out and touched her cheek. It felt real and warm.

She rushed into his arms, “Oh, Alex, I am so scared. Nothing I do seems to let me escape.”

Alex kissed her passionately.

She immediately responded.

When they came up for air he looked intently into her darkened eyes, “You need to hold on, Isabel. I am coming for you. It may take me longer than I wish. But I promise that I will come for you if I need to storm Hell itself.”

She kissed him back. Her hands beginning to roam.

And in the nature of dreams their clothes disappeared and the dream became quite a pleasant one.

How long he and Isabel had, Alex was not sure. But all dreams, pleasant or not, end.

Alex felt an annoying buzzing pressure in his ear.

Alex opened his eyes. “Yes, Liz?”

“You told me to wake you when we started final approach to Armstrong.”

“Yeah.” Alex stretched. Sometimes being Captain was no fun at all. “Is there time to make myself human at least?”

Alex could almost hear Liz’s grin. “You have twenty -five minutes.”

“Okay, okay, I am up.” Alex pushed himself from bed. That had been a strange dream. Stranger still that he could remember it all so clearly.

He did not believe in dreams or omens. But he had made a promise, if only to himself.

And he would keep it.

PML
Obsessed Roswellian
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Re: The Sorcerer and the Stargazer (AU Teen) Part 6 - 10/07/08

Post by PML » Sat Oct 18, 2008 1:52 pm

Thanks again for reading.

katydid- It is good that Stargazer can do that. But it wasn't programmed to do so.

Flamehair- Thanks.

RhondaAnn- Poor Isabel indeed. And it is going to get worse before it gets better.

Disclaimer- The characters of Roswell are not mine and no infringement is intended.

The Sorcerer and the Stargazer Part 7

Stateroom Three, Final approach to Armstrong, Midgard

Max sat quietly typing. He was almost done.

The spell was incredibly complex in theory and quite simple in execution. He’d been able to build on what he had used before, but there were so many things to fix…

The door buzzed.

Max looked down again at the spell, runic characters emblazoned on the screen. He was the only Fire Wizard that was part of the computer age that he knew of. Most of the others in the Guild scoffed at him.

It would have taken years of careful study and work to do what he had done in less than a day.

The door buzzed incessantly.

“I’m coming Michael.” Max opened the door.

It was Maria. She was dressed in a ship suit and smelled of some expensive perfume. She walked directly into the room, a sense of intenseness about her. She walked around his living room, as if looking for something. She turned to face him before turning away and dropping to his couch.

“Well, hello Maria. It is nice to see you, too.”

She gave him a look. “You and I need to talk.”

“Hmm, Michael really did tell you then.”

“You’re an elf?”

“Well I prefer the term Ljosalfar. But as far as it goes, I guess .”

“Does Liz know?”

“Not yet. Michael told me how serious he was about you. You’re the first he’s been worried about spilling his secrets.” Max noticed one of Michael’s silver rings on her left hand. “Congratulations. Is there a date I should be aware of?”

“Thanks. It’s so strange. It was so big on his fingers and now, now it fits mine perfectly. Magic. It’s magic isn’t it? Is it like some slave spell? I am going to be forced to do what he wants now?”

Max smiled. Maria was struggling with something that could fundamentally change her world view. He hadn’t believed Vilandra when she had told him. In truth he had not believed that the beautiful Isabel Ramirez was actually his sister.

But part of him had known. The part that saw things the other kids could not, that whispered of wonders and horrors that others did not believe in. The part that knew that Michael was like him, that they were brothers in kind if not always in taste.

Michael’s reaction had been even more extreme.

“No Maria. The ring Michael gave you is very old. It will provide some manner of support against the forces of darkness. Freedom of will is important to us. Particular to us the Ljosalfar.”

“Then, then I should give it back. I mean, if he needs it, if he has counted on this, this ring. I mean he told me everything…” She looked at Max with wide eyes. “Everything…”

“Then you know what we face? What Michael and I are trying to stop?”

“The end of the world. Ragnaorok. I can‘t believe we are talking about this! How can I be so happy and the world is about to end. It‘s not fair!”

“None of it is fair. I’ve never really understood why the Dokkalfar attacked your world so strongly. The Jotnari certainly profit from it, but I never quite got what the Dokkalfar got out of the deal.”

“Oh.” Maria shifted a bit on the couch to get a better look at him. “Who are the Jotnari?”

“You know them as Giants. They are powerful creatures that once ruled all of creation. And they want that control back. It will be their final conflict with the Aesir which will cause Ragnarok.” Max sighed walked over and sat tiredly in a chair facing Maria. He looked up at her, “Michael probably referred to the Aesir as gods.”

“You don’t believe in them?”

“Oh, I believe in them all right. They are very real, it is just, well I grew up on Earth, in Midgard. The term gods has such a connotation. The Aesir and their allies the Vaenir, well they are powerful, and they do protect both of our realms from the Jotnari. But they do it more out of pragmatism than love. They need us.”

“Why?”

“There are more Giants than either the Aesir or Vaenir. At first the Alfar were to swell the armies of the Aesir. But at some distant point in the past we Alfar split. We have been fighting ever since, torn asunder between those who have chosen darkness and evil as tools to oppress the rest. And the rest of us who mostly wish to live in peace. In the end we have changed as much as they.”

“So where do us lowly humans come into the tale?”

“Have you heard of Valhalla? The heroes of you race will be instrumental in helping the Aesir during Ragnarok. Of course, when the giants learned of this they tried to reduce the damage this could cause their plans. They had no luck until Hel, the daughter of Loki came up with a way to persuade a portion of those who die to join her. She is not as picky as the Valkyries and so has gathered a vast army.”

“Huh.” Maria shook her head. “Did you know today is Liz’s birthday? I want this to be a wonderful day for her, so you will treat her well, right?”

“I’ve been working on something for her.”

“Just make it good, Max. I want her to feel loved, to know that we all think she is the wonderful person that she is. This might be, it might….” Maria suddenly burst into tears. “It might be her last one.”

Max got up and gave Maria a hug. “I know. That is what I’m working on. I thought I had lost her. And now that I have found her I will do all in my power to save her.”

“Oh, how I wish there was something that we could do. It is just so hard to just watch her slowly die….”

Max continued to hold the weeping Maria. When she calmed down a little he wiped a few tears away from her luminous green eyes. “Maria, that is not going to happen.” He lifted his right hand and let a trace of his power fill it with a pure white light. He snapped his fingers and the air was full of fire works and rose petals. “I’m a wizard, Maria. Not the strongest perhaps, I’m half-human after all. But in a way that may work in our favor here. You humans have such gifts if only you had the powers to use them.”

Maria blinked back a few tears and tried to hold back a hopeful smile. “Can you, can you heal her?”

Max simply smiled.

------
Harrissteading, Antar, Alfheim

Vilandra was haunted by her dreams. They were filled with nameless horrors and breathless wonders.

Her thoughts were on Alex as she did something she had not really thought she would ever do again.

Vilandra woke up.

It must have all been a dream, a horrible nightmare. Surely she had not been so foolish as to leave her true love at her father’s word. She reached out to touch Alex, to reassure herself that it had all been a dream.

But her hands were bound.

Her eyes shot open. It had not been a dream. It had all been so very real. And she was bound. The cord that tied her was silk, and it bound her powers as surely as it bound her hands. She looked over and saw Gudrun, one of her uncle‘s servants..

Gudrun smiled and said, “Good your awake, I’ll let Kvar and Siyan know.”

“No, please. You have to help me escape.”

Gudrun just smiled sadly and brushed some hair from Vilandra’s face. “You never should have pushed yourself so much. I hate to think what would have happened if Kvar had not been able to save you. Your body was so cold without you in it. You’re too young to use your fylgia that way. You know I have always been concerned with your greed for magical lore. And this time you almost paid the price.”

“Please, if you love me at all, you will let you go. Kvar means to hurt me.”

“Vilandra! He’s a Fire Wizard and member of your father’s court. How can you possibly think he has anything but your best interests at heart. He said you might be like this. That you might demand release. You need to settle down miss. Have some babies and ready the next generation of heroes.” Gudrun smiled, “And with you two as parents how could they not be. Just look at little Signy. Kvar is taking her to the Fire Wizards School for some teaching. Apparently your not the only one who is overreaching “

“She’s alive?”

“Of course she’s alive. She’s a little worse for wear, but Kvar said she’d be awake soon. We will keep the place safe for her return. It really is a shame about Harick. Oh well, here I go running off my mouth as if I didn’t have a million things to do. Don’t worry child, Kvar will make it all better.” Gudrun walked off.

Vilandra’s heart began to pound. She had to escape somehow, and if Kvar had been spreading stories…. Well, he was well respected by so many, she would have problems gaining assistance.

She started working on her bindings.

But she had no time as Siyan walked into the room moments latter. Her face was full of sorrow and guilt. “I’m sorry Vilandra, if there was something I could do to halt this I would.”

“Please just let me go.”

Siyan’s voice was pained, “I can’t. Unfortunately you will understand all to well in a few minutes. Gods, he is such a monster. Why can’t any of your people see that?”

Vilandra’s heart was pounding. She was in danger and her soul likely forfeit in moments if she didn’t do something. And Siyan would stop her if she could. They had become friends over the past few years, but Kvar’s hold on her was absolute.

Siyan just sighed. “Vilandra, don’t try to run. Your powers are too weak and I don’t want to hurt you. By the Lady, this will hurt you enough.”

Vilandra still struggles with the cords, tears slowly making tracks down her face. It wasn’t going to happen. She was caught.

A smiling and handsome Kvar walked through the door. In his hand was a large diamond, about the size of a hen’s egg. “Well, my darling wife. It is good to see you in such health. What no well wishing to your loving husband?”

“Go to Hel, Kvar!”

“Tsk, tsk, tsk. You need to work on your temper, dear.”

Vilandra just glared at him. How had she ever not seen him for what he truly was? Underneath the handsome, charming exterior was a monster who would always need more. How had she not realized from his tiger fylgia?

“Well, let’s get to business then.” He spoke a couple of words from some strange elder language.
-----
Vilandra immediately calmed down. She felt like she was floating in a warm soothing sea. She could still see Kvar and Siyan standing there, but they did not matter.

She was content.

And in the background she could hear a soothing rhythm. Her heartbeat. Wasn’t it wonderful?
------
Kvar was still chanting and in the right hand he held up the diamond, and the left hand was empty, a clear light shining forth from it.

Vilandra could feel a little panic run through her, start to sink into the warm calm that surrounded her. Her heart started beating faster, trying in vain to run…

And then silence. She could no longer hear her heart beat. There was only silence and pain that spread all through her body. Her breathing stopped.

Vilandra was dying. And this time there would be no escape, her powers still bound by the mage cord.
-----
Kvar raised his left hand, Vilandra’s still beating heart filling his palm. Sweat gleamed from his forehead, but the chanting never slowed or stopped.

A light appeared in his right hand filling the diamond with sparkling radiance. When the glowing between the two open palms matched, Kvar knew the spell would work. He had her. Forever. He continued the spell, to make it irreversible.

Flame filled his left hand, searing Vilandra’s heart.
-----
Vilandra felt an almost existential pain surge through her body. Her soul wish to escape, to begin that long final journey…

And it couldn’t.

It was bound as surely as her powers. Vilandra could feel her self drifting towards Undeath…
-----
Flame began to wash the diamond as well, its facets glittering in the firelight. And it began to shift and change, becoming the shape of Vilandra’s now cooking heart.

And it began to beat, it’s crystalline facets making a chiming sound.

Vilandra’s old heart had been destroyed, her new one made. Both it and the diamond ring on his right hand began to gleam as if lit from within…

The diamond disappeared from his right hand.
-----
Vilandra sense a change immediately. Her body began to waken, her breath starting up again.

But her heart beat was all wrong. No longer was it the deep thudding she had heard her whole life. Now it clattered and chimed.

Tears began to pour from her eyes as she looked up at her husband. Her master.
-----
The glow to his diamond ring began to dim. But if you looked closely, really looked you would see the image of a small nude woman locked away inside its depths.

Kvar owned Vilandra’s soul.

-----
Armstrong base, Moon, Midgard

Alex walked into the base. He looked behind him, pleased to see Liz still following him. Her gaze was still on the Stargazer.

She had not left the ship in over three years.

She hurried up to him, “Are you sure she, I mean it will be okay? We’ve never left the Stargazer alone before. What if she, I mean it gets lonely?”

Alex smiled at her and placed his arm around her shoulder and pulled her closer. Her skin was too warm to the touch. Inside he wanted to cry as he remembered when Serena had gone through this period.

If only there was some way to save her.

“Now Lizzie, I think the Stargazer will be fine. And when did you start referring to the ‘Gazer as ‘her’?

“It’s silly I know. But Maria keeps referring to her as my daughter, and well… Captain haven’t you noticed some… changes recently.” Liz shook her head, “Maybe it is just delusions on my part, but well it, she seems to becoming more alive.”

Alex nodded. He had noticed some changes in the ship. He had done a lot of the programming that made up the Stargazers software, but it was a constantly evolving thing.

And then there was Liz. Even now off the ship she wore the interface band linking her to the ship’s computers. Who could say what constant contact with a human mind would have on the computer.

So much of the technology they were using was still not fully known. They used it because they had to. But maybe, just maybe…

“Well, if it worries you I will look into it.”

“No worry is not the right thing, I just, well I just don’t fully understand it. Hmm, just consider it a quirk okay?”

“So how are you and Max coming along?”

Liz smiled up at him as they continued to walk in. “The sex is great. And well, he is married, but that won’t matter I guess.”

Alex looked back at Maria, Max, and Michael who were all talking quietly amongst each other. Maria looked up and gave Alex such a hope filled smile.

Michael was good for her. But was Max good for his Lizzie?

“Alex, I can take care of myself. I just hope Tess and I can meet. I need to apologize and well, we need to work out an arrangement. I’m not giving him up, but I want him to be taken care of when I’m gone.”

“Liz, don’t talk like that….”

She just smiled at him. “I’m in no hurry, but I have made my peace. It is only a matter of time. I lasted long enough to have Max again… And now a piece of us will never die. I hope Max will forgive me…”

“What are you talking about?”

“Sorry, Captain, I’m under orders not to ruin the surprise. But you will understand in a few moments.”

The corridor ended into a spacious room with stabilized diamond windows giving a brilliant view outside. And seated on a bench watching the stars was an Amy holding a small girl. Amy turned to look at them and gushed greetings. The little girl clung to Amy’s leg, staring up at the strangers.

There was something familiar about the child. She had Serena’s light chocolate skin and her eyes were almost her stormy grey eyes, with just a hint of green. A very beautiful child.

While Liz was introducing their guests to Amy, Alex was just staring at the familiar little girl. She looked so much like his former wife.

When he noticed that the rest of them were staring at him and his staring contest with the little girl, “So who is the little one?”

Amy gathered the shy little girl into her arms. She looked Alex deep into his eyes. She was beaming, but there was a hint of defiance and worry in her eyes. “Alex, this is Faith. Faith Whitman.”

“What?”

“She’s your daughter.”

Alex stood there stunned. “How?”

“Alex, thank you for supporting my work to save so many of the endangered species on Earth. Thank you for letting me store them here. But we humans are nearly as endangered as others. And the thought of you with your gallant life trying to save the world, would leave nothing but your actions behind you…”

Liz touched his arm and he understood. He looked down at the daughter he had never known he had, born long after her mother had died. Alex looked over at Max and wondered if he would ever know his moon born children.

Children as yet unborn. Part of the plan to save mankind, to recover from the disaster that had befallen them.

It had seemed prudent at the time. And now… And now it brought him Faith.

Alex gazed deep into the toddlers grey-green eyes and smiled.

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Re: The Sorcerer and the Stargazer (AU Teen) Part 7 - 10/18/08

Post by paper » Tue Oct 21, 2008 3:13 pm

One of the absolute worst parts of finding a wonderful new story, is that I soon catch up to the current post.

Now I wait and wonder what will become of poor Vilandra. Will she escape when Kvar used an unreversable spell?

Did Liz have fertilyzed eggs removed after she slept with Max? That might be the kind of thing she should mention to him.
Or are the children produced through DNA derived from hair or skin sheddings captured by the ship's filtration systems & combined?

I hope mankind never comes to the point of having to need this type of facility to regenerate, but the violence that permeates society and the way we are swiftly killing off our environment seems to make it a real possibility.

I LOVE THIS STORY! It is one of the freshest new ideas I've seen in quite a while. I love all the elfin magic and the evil wizards.

I love the way you usually highlight each of the 3 couples, so all ships feel blessed by the new post. And I especially love the growing humanity of the ship. With Liz as its anchor, how could that be bad?
Please hurry back with more.
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Re: The Sorcerer and the Stargazer (AU Teen) Part 7 - 10/18/08

Post by PML » Sun Oct 26, 2008 2:22 am

Thanks to everyone reading this story.

Begonia9508- Thanks

xmag- Maria will adjust, no doubt about that.

katydid- Thanks. Oddly enough, Ragnarok, although it destroys almost everything, does not completely destroy everything. Two humans hide in a secluded spot and regenerate the species. Armstrong base is likely not he only location either.

RhondaAnn- Things are going to be tough for Vilandra for a little while. But they will eventually get better!

As for the Michael/Maria talk, it just would not gel. Trust me I tried.

See above for the moon born.

paper- Thanks. Hopefully you continue to enjoy.

As you will see, Vilandra thinks of herself as doomed. Alex will have other ideas.

Liz is completely sterile. Technically she should be dead. That is covered in this post. She used some of her nanites to capture and analyze the genetic material of Max. She literally radioed the information to Amy, who built the egg, already fertalized with Max's DNA....

Let's hope we never get desperate enough to need an Armstrong Base to save us either.

Liz's personality, leavened by the others on the ship will hopefully form a lively personality. Eventually.

Disclaimer- Roswell is not mine and no infringement is intended.

A/N- The first half of this post is dark. There is an implied rape. You have been warned. (Hmm, should I bump this story to Mature?)

The Sorcerer and the Stargazer part 8

Harrissteading, Antar, Alfheim

Gudrun stood briskly towards the main hall where Vilandra was imprisoned. She could still hear poor Signy cry for Isabel, whoever that was.

For all that was holy Signy was only nineteen, only a child.

Gudrun had seen war and knew how it could madden some men to vile madness, inflame passions to do things that in calmer days they would never do. But to a child?

Kvar was surely a monster.

And her Signy’s cousin Harlin was not much better. He had asked Kvar if he really planned on returning Signy, if she really would be coming back to Harrissteading….

Kvar had laughed and asked what payment Harlin would give him to remove her in a more permanent fashion.

Had they been Dokkalfar, maybe she would understand. That was their dark nature. But these were Ljosalfar, Elves of the Light…. And Kvar was a councilor to the King!

She felt old, every one of her centuries dragging down on her. What had happened to her people? Why did they not stand up and resist? When had her coworkers become like unto the craven commons of the Dokk?

Where had the heroes gone?

Vilandra. That was their hope. Surely she would stand up to her evil husband. She loved Signy, surely she would stop him from…

Gudrun first went to Harald’s study, she would give Vilandra Calatin. She was Harald’s granddaughter, surely it would let her wield it.

Vilandra would need the help. She had always been a quick study and talented at the Arts both ancient and modern. But her husband was a Fire Wizard.

Calatin should even that fight nicely.

Maybe Gudrun could convince some of the boys to hold back Kvar’s strange servant girl. There was something about her…. She made Gudrun nervous.

Calatin was gone.

She rapidly searched the study, but could not find the blade.

Vilandra would have to do without.

Gudrun was all but running by the time she got to the guest room Vilandra shared with her husband. She opened the door and was surprised to see Vilandra dressed in travel leathers. She even had a steel-silk vest on.

And in her hand Vilandra was oiling Calatin. The room was filled with the healthy glow of the blade.

But there was something… off about Vilandra.

Her shoulders were slumped in defeat, even as she polished one of the great artifacts of the last war. Her eyes were shadowed with despair and self hatred. She paid no attention to Gudrun’s abrupt entrance.

Gudrun swallowed a couple of times, her voice brisk when it finally came out, “Vilandra. I need you. Signy needs you.”

Vilandra swung her dark eyes to Gudrun and raised a single eyebrow, continuing her work. “Where were you when I needed you?”

“Vilandra, I don’t think you understand. Your husband is about to assault your cousin.”

Vilandra’s face seemed cut out of ice, her demeanor cut from diamond. But Gudrun could see the trace of wetness in her eyes. Vilandra continued her work.

Gudrun walked up and slapped Vilandra. “Do you understand what I am saying? Are you a complete nithling? You are the only one who has enough training to even hope to stand against him.”

Vilandra’s face was still impassive, her face reddened by the slap. “It is too late for that now.” Tears began to stream from that perfect countenance. “Better you had slit my throat this morning. It would have been kinder.”

Gudrun cuffed Vilandra again. What was wrong with the girl? She was the descendant of kings and heroes! She’d never had a cowardly moment in her life. “Vilandra, I need your help to stop your worthless vile husband before he destroys your cousins life.”

Vilandra took the blow impassively, almost as if she expected it. As if she felt she deserved it. She said in a soft voice. “Look at me, Gudrun. I can’t help you. Not anymore.”

“Frost and Fire, what are you talking about? You are dressed as if off to battle trolls, certainly you can face down your man.”

Fire came to her slowly leaking eyes and she reached up and grabbed Gudrun’s shoulders. “LOOK AT ME! Use more than your damnable eyes, for Freya’s sake. You were a good councilor to my grandfather and my mother. Look deeper…”

Gudrun used a trace of her powers, weak ordinary Alfar powers, but trained. She had not always lived the life of a country house holder. Long ago, as Vilandra had said, she had counseled her family in matters both political and personal.

Vilandra was empty.

Gudrun’s face turned ashen. In a choked whisper, “What did he do to you?”

“My husband destroyed me. I am nothing more than his puppet now. So as I said I can’t help you.”

“What, what do I do?”

-----
Vilandra looked down. The chains and bindings on her soul limited her actions. She could not stand against Kvar, not anymore. She could not bring herself to directly hurt him, no matter how much she wished to. She would happily burn in Muspell for all eternity if she could be certain he roasted right alongside.

But it would have to be his actions that brought them there.

What could she do?

Vilandra nodded to herself. It wasn’t much of a plan. It wouldn’t save Signy and it wouldn’t save her.

But maybe, just maybe it might save the Ljosalfar.

“Gudrun, you have failed me. But I too have failed. There is no hope for me, and for her brave actions yesterday, likely for young Signy. But a storm is coming, Gudrun. And if any are to have hope of life and light to come you must not fail me now.”

“But…”

“You asked for my help, her it is. Take all whom you love from here and rush to the capital. Go to my mother and tell her that Winter is coming. Tell her the Peace can not last, not while one Ljosalfar breathes free. They will be coming.”

“But….”

“Go now, woman! I will aid Signy as I can. Go!”

Gudrun gave Vilandra a quick hug. “I will do as you ask. We will find a way to free you, or failing that avenge you!”

Vilandra gave her a weak smile, “Go now, Midgard has already fallen and by reports Winter wraps it tight. It is coming.”

Gudrun smiled sadly and briskly moved to the door. She halted in shock as realization set in. She turned to face Vilandra once more her face pale and her voice shaky. “Surely you don’t mean?”

“We face the Final Ice. Fimbul Winter. Ragnarok has begun. Do not fail me. Go with my love.”

“I… I will do as you say. Good bye, my dear.” And she left.

Vilandra went back to preparing her gear and wondering which side she was going to be on in the coming war.

She really did not know.

------
The abandoned hill fort of Gavrinborg, Antar, Alfheim

King Zan Avaramsson, Defender of Antar, and High Lord of the Alfar was bored.

Kvar was late. They were on a tight schedule to get to one of the regional Things at Halfdaneshof. Things were always easier with Kvar. He could charm and argue almost anyone to his point of view.

It also helped that his standing in the Fire Wizard’s Guild was so high.

Zan was also worried about some talk about trolls in the hinterlands. It had been years since they had been a problem, and he had agreed with Kvar that the annual campaigns against the trolls had been wastes of time and money. But if they were starting to push out of the wastelands, maybe it was time to push back.

Zan frowned as he considered how that would put a dint in his ambitious building program. As it was, it would take years to rebuild the walls surrounding Antar City. It he had to cut back on his building projects it was always the first to be cut.

No one had laid siege to Antar in decades. What were a few more years.

The Peace would hold. Kvar had assured him. Kvar always seemed to make all the problems go away.

Where was that wizard!

One of his bodyguards brought him a cup of hot tea. “Here you go, Sire.”

Zan rubbed his hands, “Where did you find time to brew some tea?”

“It is from one of the locals, Sire. I’ve dealt with him many times I’ve come this way.”

Zan eyed Hrafn briefly, slightly concerned that his guards had not brewed it themselves. But only Kvar had known they were coming. It wasn’t like anyone would get the drop on him or his twenty armed guards. He shrugged and took a sip. “Hmm, this is good. Be sure to get the recipe…” Zan felt the world begin to spin. He looked up to the now smirking Hrafn, “Why?”

“Just wanted to be on the winning side.”

Zan could hear fighting as his men, many disorientated by the poisoned tea fought for their lives. They had been completely blindsided by the ambush, long lulled by the Peace.

One by one the Dokkalfar cut them down.

The world went black.

----

Zan awoke, ropes pinning him down to a hard rock surface. He heard the chanting of voices in the vile corrupted old Rhbu tongue the Dokkalfar used for their dark rites.

Zan had never been a scholar and so recognized few if any of the ancient words. But some had carried over into modern Ljosalfar. So he knew fear when they invoked the power of Chaos to summon the Fimbul Winter.

For generations his people had fought against this very thing. It would blot out the sun and cover the world in Ice.

His people would die.

He struggled against his bindings, seeking someway to fight against it…

The pain as the sacrificial knife cut into him was intense, Frost rushing through his veins.

And Zan of Antar was no more.

----
On the road to Antar City, Antar, Alfheim

Gudrun was only ten miles from Harissteading when the first flakes began to fall.

It was not long after Midsummer.

So when as the storm began to pick up, a few of her party stopped, she carried on.

She had failed two of those she considered her charges, as much her blood as the babes she had carried so long ago.

She would not fail them again.

Gudrun walked into the storm.

-----
Armstrong Base, Moon, Midgard

Liz smiled as she saw the wonder in Alex as he beheld his daughter. She wished she could see it with her own eyes. The cameras made everything look so much colder than her eyes had.

Still she had been right to send Amy their genetic codes . Hopefully Alex would forgive her.

Hopefully Max would forgive her as well. They would have children. A hope that Liz had completely given up since that horrible day when her body had been rendered lifeless.

When the medical establishment had called her and Serena ‘ghosts.’

Less than forty-eight hours. That was how long her doctor had said she would live. The Federal Hospital had been happy to let Alex take Liz and Serena off their hands.

They could not be saved after all. A waste of scarce resources.

So Liz had saved herself.

Oh she wasn’t a doctor. But the crew of the good ship Stargazer had several doctors amongst its crew of two hundred…

Liz made them use industrial nanobots to save her and Serena. To hook them up in sick bay until the nanites could pick up the slack. Both of them had the then new implants, they could help work the ship from Sickbay…

And so it was, both of them trapped in Sickbay for most of a year as Liz fiddled with the nanite balance. She couldn’t have done it with out her now absent friends. Svette. Hong. Greg. So many dead.

How could she, who should have been long dead have survived them all?

All of them recorded. All added to Amy’s gene bank. One day part of those brave heroes who had all died way too young would stride a peaceful world.

The regeneration of Mankind was what she fought for. To make the world safe enough to bring forth the Children of Stargazer, the Children of all who had fought this long war. All born safely on the Moon, far from harm.

And now her children would be among them. Hers and Max’s.

Whether Max agreed or not, it would happen. Liz had been adamant.

So too, had Maria once she had talked to her mother. Amy could be quite persuasive. And while Amy would be thrilled to have normal grandkids… Given the current events, and the likelihood that they would find themselves once more on the frontlines to save mankind….

Amy was not about to take the chance.

Nor was Liz. Her nanites were everywhere and had already captured and recorded the genetic profiles of both Michael and Maria.

God they’d have pretty kids.

Too bad Liz would likely never see them. For while Amy could manufacture fertilized ovum with just the genetic profiles, she had the same problem Liz had in terms of fast growing tissue.

Neither one of them could rapidly grow bone tissue. And since the bone framework of the child would be delayed, there was little point in rushing the rest of the bodies development.

Liz did not have nine months.

Like Faith, and so many other Moon-born, her children would be born orphaned.

Liz walked over to Max. He was talking quietly to Michael and Maria. She caught something about a birthday present. She did not care. Having Max in her life again made this the best birthday ever. “Max can I talk to you. Privately.” Hopefully Maria would catch her cue.

Maria just looked at her a moment and then glanced between Max and Michael. “Yeah, I got to talk to you too, Michael. Privately.”

Michael just smirked and winked at Max, who rolled his eyes.

Liz walked Max over to a secluded part of the hallway. Liz turned to face Max.

“What did you need Liz?”

Even how he said her name sent shivers down he spine and brought butterflies to life in her belly. How she hoped he would forgive her! “Max, I uh, have to ask you something.”

“Okay.”

“Didyoueverwanttohavekids?”

Max rubbed his forehead, “Uh, excuse me?”

“Children. Did you ever want them. With me?”

“Is this a trick question? I love you, Liz Parker. Of course, I would be honored if you bore my children.”

“Okay. Um….” ‘Calm down Liz. Breathe. Stop the Maria impression and breathe. You can do this.’ Liz bit her lip and looked down. “What if, what if, just for the sake of argument here, that I was unable to bear children. Would you still want them.”

“Sure. We could always adopt some of the ones Amy has I guess.”

Calm, stay calm. “What if, for the sake of argument, that Amy could make our children. If she had a way to grow them. Outside of my body, because, well I can’t carry one.”

“So our kids will be grown in a vat?” Max blinked quickly and looked again at Faith. Liz could all but feel him do the math.

Faith was not born from a human female body. No sex had been involved in her creation. Her conception had take place after her mother’s death in the sterile confines of a lab.

Liz accessed one of the cameras in the hallway and looked at Faith, “No not a vat… more like, more like a pod.”

“I presume this is what Maria is talking to Michael about? Hmm, what will they call themselves? The Pod Squad?”

Liz hit him on the arm. “I’m serious here!”

Max smiled and looked at her. “Liz, I know you. One of them is being cooked up right now, isn’t it?”

Liz nodded.

“Of course it is fine with me. It is amazing what you people can do. It is amazing to see prophesy fulfilled.”

Liz grabbed onto Max and kissed him.

How she wished she really could carry one of his children.

Little did she know that he was thinking the same thing…. Only, he still had hopes that it would one day happen.

But he did not want to raise her hopes lest he fail.

-----

Michael stared at Maria, in shock at what she had told him.

He was going to have a child. And Maria wasn’t even pregnant.

Maria looked up at him, her eyes full of fear and aggravation. “Tell me you big lummox! Are you going to accept this, or, or….” Her tears began to well.

Michael looked away.

He had never thought he would have children. The life he lived was so dangerous and he had so many deadly enemies.

He never wanted some poor child caught up and used as a hostage of fortune. Sure he’d never been celibate, but he’d been careful.

And there was the promise he had made to himself. He would not let any child of his go through what he had gone through. Any child of his would know his father and mother, and know they had been loved. Both Max and Isabel had tried, but life had been tough for him when he was growing up.

Unlike Max he’d never been adopted. He’d been too paranoid, too sarcastic, too defensive…. The walls he had built up had shielded him from the concerns of all, save those he considered family.

Until one day he had been caught in a massive rainstorm in Mexico and took shelter in a cave. A cave already occupied by a green-eyed blonde.

Nothing had happened that night, despite the way Maria’s wet clothes had clung to her until she had removed them. They had shared blankets to pool body heat, and despite the agony it put him through… Nothing had happened.

Nothing had happened, because he was afraid that if it had he would never leave.

But he kept finding reasons to visit Mexico. Finding reasons to visit the small town she tried so hard to save in the crumbling human realm.

Until that one night after both of them had put down a group of bandits that had been ravaging the area. The rest of their men had died, only the two of them remained.

Death had never seemed closer. And life lurked in her arms.

It had been insane. Neither of them had been sure they had gotten them all. It could have gotten both of them killed.

But all he could think of was her.

And he knew it had been the same for her.

He had stayed much longer than he should have, over a year. But the mission called. Max had told him he understood, that it was okay if he stayed there….

There had been many a cold night after that when he had been sure he had made the wrong choice. That he should have at least told her why he had to leave…

After that first night on the Stargazer, after being with her again. He knew that there would never be another. His Maria.

He looked back at her luminous green eyes. “Yes.”

She started bouncing up and down with glee.

He raised one eyebrow. “On one condition.”

Her bouncing slowly came to a complete stop. “What?”

Michael’s mouth went dry. He had already asked her once. What if she said no this time?

He went down on one knee, “Maria will you marry me?”

“Um, okay. I already said yes the first time. Do I get another ring?”

“No, now today. I always swore any children I had would be born in wedlock.”

Maria’s face was surprisingly calm. She looked up and saw everyone staring at them. “No.”

Michael felt as if his world crumbled in on itself.

Maria continued, oblivious to the devastation her comment had left in its wake. “Today is Liz’s day. How about tomorrow?”

Michael crushed her to him. He could feel her mouth meet his. And they kissed, oblivious to the clapping and obvious joy of those around them.

He would never leave her again.

-----

Alex cradled his sleeping daughter in his arms. It had been such a shock. But now he had hope that somehow they could get through this. That even if he failed, there was a plan in place to continue the human race.

Not that he planned on failing…

General Valenti, a man who to Alex would always be the Sheriff stiffly walked over from where he was talking with Kyle.

All the girls were gathered together trying to figure out how to make a respectable wedding in one day.

Looks like Liz would be adding another line to her factories production.

“Alex, son. I just got in the inventory of what you brought up. It is more than twice what we asked for. And the drones. And your leaving one of your cutters?”

“I don’t know if we will be back.”

“Is it that bad down there?”

“In places. But mostly, I fear Max might have a mission for me we might not make it out of.”

“You all seem so close. It is kind of fast don’t you think?”

“Do you believe in fate, Jim?”

“Not that I’d trust it, no.”

“Either this is some elaborate plot or we were truly fated to meet. Max hasn’t confirmed it, but Maria has. My Isabel, you know the girl I’m always yammering about?”

“Yeah, Serena had Kevin, you had your Isabel. It was the damndest thing watching you two talk about your former lovers so much to each other.”

“Soul mates. Both Serena and I were both amazingly lucky, and tragically cursed. Both of us had met and lost our soul mates. We loved each other, but we knew….”

“Okay. I get that but so what. You get the life you get dealt. Seems like you two did okay.”

“Well, to make this whole thing even stranger, Isabel is Max’s sister.”

Jim just stared at him, mouth slightly open.

“Oh, but it gets better. You know that German nurse that Kyle was after, you know before the War?”

Jim closed his mouth, and looked at Alex suspiciously, “Yeah, I remember her. That was right before he got shipped to Taiwan.” A pained look flashed across his face.

Kyle had been listed as KIA after Taipei had been hit. The Feds had offered Kyle a way to avoid a life as a paraplegic.

They’d made him into a combat cyborg.

They still refused to admit he was actually a human being.

“Well, actually she was a British citizen. Teresa Harding.”

Jim just looked at him.

“She’s Max’s wife.”

“What?”

“Fate, my friend. There is no way a human agency could arrange this. Fate.”

----
And Alex was right as far as it went. The key point being that no human agency could arrange it. As Alex would soon learn, that left a lot of ground to cover….

Locked