The Rebel *Sequel* (CC ALL, YTEEN) Ch. 17 - pg. 15 - 9 / 20

This is the place to post all your General Roswell fanfiction. Any Canon fics, which pick up directly from any episode of the show and that focus on Max/Liz, Michael/Maria, Isabel/Alex or Isabel/Jesse, Kyle/Tess, or all the couples together! Rule of Thumb: If Max healed Liz in the Crashdown in September 1999, then your fic belongs here. If it picks up from the show in any way, it belongs here.

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Re: The Rebel *Sequel* (CC ALL, YTEEN) Ch. 13 - pg. 12 - 2 /

Postby Timelord31 » Sun Mar 01, 2015 4:44 am

Dang.. that was a great chapter.. Cant wait for more

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Re: The Rebel *Sequel* (CC ALL, YTEEN) Ch. 13 - pg. 12 - 2 /

Postby keepsmiling7 » Wed Mar 04, 2015 9:22 am

So glad to see this update, and now I need to catch up.
Thank you,
Carolyn

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Re: The Rebel *Sequel* (CC ALL, YTEEN) Ch. 13 - pg. 12 - 2 /

Postby Misha » Fri Mar 06, 2015 9:42 pm

I'm so happy to see you guys! With so few fics still around, I'm starting to fear I'll write "The End" and no one would see it :cry:



Part 14: The Other Half
April 2007 - London


1 : Isabel


The hotel room was luxurious to the last detail. If someone had told Isabel four years ago that making a deal with Dave would lead to this, she would have agreed to it a whole lot faster. If only it didn't have so many strings attached.

"You—you look gorgeous," Jesse said, hugging her from behind. In her hands, Isabel held her international law diploma. Her fake international law diploma, to be exact. She'd gone to no university, attended no tests, midterms, or even one single class. She loathed that diploma with a vengeance.

Going out to celebrate her fake graduation made her feel like such a liar.

Jesse sensed her change of mood. He could always tell when she was feeling down.

"Look, I say you're ready. No one has ever studied as hard as you did. I trained you well; Dave's other lawyers trained you well. Susseth said you know the law better than she does, and that's saying something."

"I know, I know..." she whispered, still with half a mind to burn the piece of paper she held in her hands. "It just—It just seems so unfair..." she said, tears stuck in her throat.

"Hey, if it makes you feel any better, I'm sure Dave can get you a private test at Harvard so you can see you know everything there is to know. I'm that confident in you. Plus, do you think Susseth would let any inexperienced pretty face take over the tasks she's assigning to you? Look, this paper you hold here? It only states that you know what you know, and that’s real."

She stared at it. Isabel Amanda Evans. Was Isabel even real? What about Vilandra? What about the pieces of paper she had held while being Antar's princess? Were they more real than the paper she was holding now?

"Taking an actual test would make you feel better, wouldn't it?" Jesse said after a second, realizing that might be exactly what she needed.

She sighed. She didn't really know.

"Maybe is not just—not just this fake diploma. Maybe it's what it represents. I only went to college for a year. This—this represents everything we lost. The college years, the actual experiences a twenty-year-old should have. Growing up, moving out, meeting new friends. All we have is a collection of fake papers."

"Hey, hey... I'm here. I'm real. The knowledge you have, that's real, too. Just because some Harvard or some other big honcho didn't sign it for real, doesn't mean you don't deserve it."

She turned to look at him, not knowing what to say. She'd been having flashbacks all week long. Sooner rather than later, she would be sucked into one of those memory scenes she dreaded so much. And what would she see?

She wouldn't even be able to tell him. She might try to dreamwalk Max and ask him for something, anything, really, just an excuse to see her brother. To know that he was well and alive. She might try that, yeah, but the man in front of her would not be the one comforting her in her darkest hours. No one would ever chase away her demons.

"Jesse...." she said, wondering if now was the right moment. If now was the moment where she would come clean, explain about Vilandra, about her visions, about memories of a place so long ago yet so close to her heart. The real events might have occurred eons ago, but when she was coming back from one of those flashbacks, they would feel like yesterday.

"Honey, everything will be okay," he assured her, smiling that grin of his that melted her heart. How could she take that away? How could she ask him to deal with something no one could help her with?

"Yes, yes you're right. I'm being an idiot. Maybe I didn't go to the fancy school, but I sure can beat any lawyer they can throw at me," she said with fake enthusiasm. Because he wanted to believe it, Jesse didn't question her lie.

"Okay, I’ve made the reservations, so we'll be going in about five minutes. I just need to..." he kept talking, walking to the bathroom. Whatever else he said, she didn't get to hear it.

Instead, it was the palace walls that met Vilandra’s eyes. The hall was empty, and she was entering her rooms. The bright sky met her on the open doors of her balcony, along with someone else. Ava.

"I did promise to swing by with all the details," Ava said with the accent that all Northerns had. Vilandra found it endearing.

"You and my brother are going at it a bit fast, don't you think?" Vilandra asked, walking to her. The city glistered silver and blue, the colors her brother preferred. It was at her feet, just like she liked it.

"Hey, I'm not the one planning a thing. He just got into his head he wanted this marriage to happen as soon as it could. And once he gets a plan in his head—"

"—He'll see it through. Doesn’t it scare you, even a bit? That he's such a—"

"Planner?" Ava elaborated.

"Predictable is more likely. Zan never does anything unexpected. I was actually surprised he asked you out on a second date."

Ava smiled, the memory obviously a fond one. "He did invite our representatives for talks. You know things have been a little on the rough side in my hometown."

"You Northerns are always so rough on everything," Vilandra said with a smile. "I wouldn't mind looking at one of your escorts. You seem to know how to grow them."

Ava's eyes sparkled with an idea.

"There are other people who would love to come to the Palace and talk to you. Maybe I can arrange something? I’m sure I can find a suitable candidate to have a fun evening with…"

Vilandra smiled at that, already liking the idea. Somewhere, at the back of her mind, she felt horror building. She shouldn’t meet this man. She couldn’t meet this man. It wasn’t Vilandra who looked down at Ava, it was Isabel. And just as she realized what was about to happen once Khivar gained access to Vilandra’s good graces, the memory vanished.

"—ready to go," Jesse said somewhere by the room’s door. She wanted to go to the bathroom and throw up. It wasn’t just the memory, but also the disorientation of breaking through the flash that made her physically ill.

"Isabel?" Jesse asked, coming to where she was. "You look pale. Maybe we should stay here," he said with concern. He knew she never got sick, at least that much he was sure of. She wanted to tell him that everything was all right, she really did, but the words wouldn’t come. Tears escaped her eyes. Tears for the betrayal that awaited a naïve princess long ago in the memories locked inside her. Tears for the guilt she carried, hoping someday Zan might forgive her. Tears because she wasn’t being honest with Jesse.

"Hey… hey…" he soothed her, hugging her. "We don’t need to celebrate, don’t worry."

"You deserve better…" she whispered, hugging him tight.

"I’m the luckiest man alive," he said with a firm tone. Somewhere, inside her, she felt warmth. Warmth wrapping itself around her heart. Warmth filling every corner of her lonely soul. Lovely, caressing, warmth. Jesse’s eyes opened a second later. "Are you—are you doing—something?" he asked hesitantly.

"I—no," she whispered back. But the more she felt it, the more she wanted it. "What are you feeling?" she asked eagerly, a smile trying to form on her lips.

"Like—like I feel you. I mean, it sounds crazy, it is crazy, I just don’t have any other word to describe it to you."

She laughed delighted, the tears forgotten. "I think we have a connection," she said, feeding the feeling in her heart more. This was Jesse’s love. So warm, so hers.

"Wait, like—what Max and Liz have?" Jesse asked, frowning. Isabel nodded, the grin in her lips impossible to wipe out. Jesse’s matching grin came a second after. "This we gotta celebrate!"

And just like, Vilandra was forgotten. At least for that night.


2 : Jake
May 2007 - Paris


The phone rang for the third time in a row. Jake ignored it. On his other phone he had a very cheerful Sybelle telling him the story of her life. Or rather, the story of last weekend.

Dear ole Sybelle, who was at most polite with him when they were together, sounded like a six year-old on Christmas day. She was in love, she said, could he be-lieve that?

Oh, he could. Girls who were nineteen-years-old should be in love, if for nothing else but to celebrate they were young and carefree. Girls should also not have a spoiling godfather like Dave, because all he ever did was to, well, to spoil.

Jake wondered how Dave was going to take it. This was Sybelle’s eighth boyfriend since she had started dating four years ago, but none of them had had her squealing on the phone—to Jake of all people. The problem was, this handsome young man, might be handsome but certainly not young.

Dave had very few vulnerabilities, and Sybelle was one of them.

She was one of Dave's best kept secrets. As far as Jake knew, she wasn't even in the Level Six codes, but something must have tied her to Dave. A picture here, a call there. It was inevitable. He made a point of spending time with her at least one week a year, usually taking her to some exotic location. It was always risky, and always made Ray twitch.

Sybelle wanted to impress her godfather with her athletic skills, so she would usually pick an extreme sport in the vein of parachuting and bungee jumping. Dave always declined, of course. She said he was too old. He said he agreed.

It was always an odd thing to see. Dave, so preoccupied with his grand schemes for the world, came down to the level of a nineteen-year-old and actually understood her. She embodied what he never got: freedom. The kind of freedom that came without fear, without looking over one’s shoulder. She was free. And she also knew she was free because of him.

She had been only six when he had taken her out of her world. An orphan, a thief, and a girl. All a very bad combination for a six-year old lost in some little dusty town. She knew she wouldn't have had the life she now had without this man's care. And in Dave she not only saw a friend, but also a savior. Nothing was too farfetched, too dangerous for him. He was never stern—he never could be with her—and that amused Jake to no end.

Poor Dave, designing motorcycles and promising to sign her up for a trip into space some day in the future, when it wouldn't raise too many questions.

"And I want him to meet Dave," she was saying, after nine uninterrupted minutes of describing Mister Wonderful Boyfriend.

"I'm not sure Sybelle, he's never met any of the other guys..." No, he just have them followed and investigated, just in case he needs you to understand they are not good for you. "What’s different this time?"

"I know he hasn't. But this one is so worldly. They're so alike," she whispered, all excitement behind those words.

"Worldly, uh? Has he traveled farther and further than you have?"

"Of course not," she said with mock indignity. "Well, maybe a little... I don't know. We haven't gotten to that part yet. But I told him about my wonderful godfather who has been in more parts in the world that I can remember, so he said he sounded interesting."

Jake nodded, going to the fridge. His cell phone announced he had another incoming call, but he kept listening to Sybelle instead.

"A lot of people would find your godfather interesting," he said, finding it interesting himself to be talking to Dave's secretive goddaughter.

"I know! And he's very insistent about it. He says he wants to brag about what he's seen with the man in front. And well, I know Dave listens to you..."

Ah... so I'm just a messenger here...

"Yes, he does. He also listens to Susseth, and she's not letting him out of her sight for a few months. You know he schedules his meetings with you way ahead."

"Yes, yes... I just—well... Things are always so much more dynamic when Dave's here , and… Jake, he might be the one, you know?" she whispered, maybe afraid that he would laugh at her.

Jake nodded as if she could see him. And then paused. "Wait... is he really insisting on meeting Dave, or are you just wanting bragging rights?"

She paused, maybe thinking the same thing Jake was thinking. "Well, I have been bragging about Dave quite a bit. It's hard to keep him secret when all the best parts of my life are linked to him. It's only natural that John's insisting now."

Secret being the imperative word, Jake thought. That someone might use Sybelle to get Dave was not really probable, but if Sybelle was spilling the beans here and there…

"Okay, girl, this is what we're going to do," Jake said, trying to still sound casual, while his blood had chilled. "You're going to tell me where exactly you are, what his full name is, and I'll have Susseth rescheduling for Dave and you and Mr. Nice Guy. It might not be tomorrow, but I'm sure you'll be seeing Dave by next week."

She squealed so loud in his ear, he had to take the phone away, a slight ringing persistent in his ear. What she didn't realize was that a week was all the time Dave needed to check this guy out, and declare him safe.

Or take him out of the picture indefinitely.


3 : Kyle
June 2007 - Berlin


It was a beautiful day. Sunshine and green grass all around, with brick buildings and wooden benches scattered all around campus. People younger and older than himself walked all around, talking on a cellphone or to one another. All college girls looked fantastic. And Kyle Valenti had no idea what the hell he was doing here.

Twelve hours ago, Ray had called them about a possible security breach. He'd given out a story of a girl who needed to be rescued. Ray needed someone on short notice who wouldn’t stand out on a college campus. The important part was that Dave would owe that person a favor.

It also stood to reason that Dave would want someone with superpowers if the girl meant that much to him, not that he knew that two of the human elements of this team had a psychic touch. Whatever the reason, this was the first time they were out in a mission where something could happen, with a real follower and a followee. Kyle hadn't been shot at in so long that the idea gave him the chills.

Nothing's going to happen, he told himself for the millionth time. Just blending in, nothing to see here, folks.

The plan seemed simple enough: They were picking up the girl somewhere on this campus. She was being followed, she knew she was being followed, and they needed to know who the follower was. Once they made contact, they would accompany her to the subterranean parking lot, and get her out in a van. No drama, no shotguns. Just a nice, easy rescue mission.

Her picture wasn't recent, Ray had told them, the smile of a fifteen-year old on a yacht somewhere all Kyle clearly remembered. Dark hair, dark eyes, tanned skin. She was twenty now, and she would recognize them. He also said that once she had made contact, they would know it was her. "She's... well, she's one of a kind," Ray had said simply.

Now, standing in the middle of the campus, everyone seemed to be one of a kind. This was one of those Universities where apparently only the bright and the weird were let in, usually in the form of geeks, nerds, and no jocks. Though apparently, bright and weird girls were also very nice to look at.

Either way, they all looked good-weird. It was either in the big glasses, the big hair, the big backpack... Each and every one of them looked as if they belonged to a mad scientist lab, or NASA. Or some movie where scientists were hot. Yeah, you could so be there... he said, eying a tall brunet who smiled at him from a far.

Unique was starting to seem highly normal around here. Weird girl... Weird girl... he kept chanting as minutes went by.

His group had gone their separate ways. Although the college wasn't big, it did have three main entrances. Ray was waiting in the van. They would take Mystery Girl to him, and never see her again.

A sound came down the street. A purr, really, something that sounded like a cat making happy sounds on one’s chest. It was the purring of a motorcycle. He would recognize it anywhere. He turned to look at the bike with the wonderful sound. And there it was: the most detailed lines, the best curves. The light reflected from the chrome parts, the silver and blue and black coming together in the most perfect machine on two wheels ever made.

He was mesmerized. The sound that motor made was like music to his engineer’s ears. It had the right balance, the right color, the right size. Every single part of it was glorious. But beyond all that, this was not the first time he’d seen this bike. He would never forget something like this. He’d seen it four years ago, in Dave’s compound. This had been a gift from Dave.

The driver stopped six feet in front of him, her helmet still on. She was dressed all in black, from her boots to her polarized helmet, which made it difficult for him to tell what she was looking at. What he could tell was that the bike was forgotten once she got off it, and walked towards him.

Unique.

Oh God, please tell me that woman is the woman I'm supposed to take.
Wasn't she a girl? A voice whispered in the side of his ear. He had no idea why Ray or Dave would consider her a girl, but this goddess walking towards him was nothing short of a miracle. And by God, was he glad he was not a boy anymore, either.

She took her helmet off, her long hair cascading behind her in slow motion. "I think I'm supposed to take you for a ride..." she said.

For one glorious second he thought she was talking about something else.

Her eyes were red. Her nose puffy. She’d been crying her heart out for possibly the past twelve hours and it showed. Kyle kicked himself for not noticing that the instant he’d seen her face. She was not wearing any makeup—that had been washed half a day ago—and she was certainly not looking like some happy spy who was doing her job, bringing the bad guy here.

"You do work for—for Dave, right?" she asked, uncertain, her voice slightly breaking at mentioning Dave.

More like doing him a favor, actually, he thought, getting closer. He nodded in response, words failing miserably in his own mind. How do you talk to an angel lyrics got stuck in his head.

"Yeah," Kyle finally found his voice. "We—we're supposed to talk a little, and then I’ll—I’ll take you to Ray…"

She looked so lost, so fragile. She was suffering, and this was making her suffer even more. What had Dave done to her?

They were facing each other now, even if she was too miserable to care.

"I’ll kill him," he whispered, meaning it. The next time he saw Dave, he would make the bastard pay. She slightly smiled at that.

"That’s what Dave said…" fresh tears started to threaten to fall, and Kyle panicked. He did what any sensitive guy would do: he hugged her, all the while thinking if there must be two Daves, because otherwise, they were thinking about the same person doing the exact opposite thing.

She cried a bit, hugged him a little bit more. Two minutes later, when her sobs completely subsided, she whispered, "You’re a good actor."

"What?" he asked, bewildered. "I’m not—I—I mean, I’m not—"

She dried her tears with the back of her hand, and smiled at him, more to convince herself that she was okay than anyone else.

"I think we should be going to Ray now," she said, nodding to emphasize her words. Kyle nodded a second later, unsure of how to tell her he wasn’t faking this. That he was not a goddamn actor. She walked back to her bike, and handed him a black helmet.

"You do know I—I genuinely care about your safety, right? That you get home safe." Their eyes met, and she gave him a different kind of smile this time. A dark one.

"Oh, I know… Everyone cares what happens to me. That’s the price to pay when you’re Dave’s daughter."

Kyle’s heart froze for a second. She had to be kidding, he so desperately hoped. Because no matter who her father was, he was already falling in love with her.
"There's addiction, and there's Roswell!"

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Re: The Rebel *Sequel* (CC ALL, YTEEN) Ch. 13 - pg. 12 - 2 /

Postby keepsmiling7 » Sat Mar 07, 2015 9:33 am

Great new part.
Isabel's fake papers.......and the memories that were now taking charge in her mind.
Oh, and Kyle is falling in love.
Looking forward to more,
Carolyn

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Re: The Rebel *Sequel* (CC ALL, YTEEN) Ch. 14 - pg. 13 - 3 /

Postby Timelord31 » Tue Mar 10, 2015 7:24 pm

lol great part.. and poor kyle

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Re: The Rebel *Sequel* (CC ALL, YTEEN) Ch. 14 - pg. 13 - 3 /

Postby xmag » Sun Mar 15, 2015 11:41 am

Don't worry, I'll be here until the end of that story. I stick by it, no matter what. I've been here from the start, you know. I have always loved that story, that hasn't changed, I still think it's one of the best I have read in this fandom.

So, is Miss Sybelle crying because the one with the generic name (too generic?) John wasn't the one, after all, but was after Dave? I wouldn't be surprised. Girl has to learn that she can be used to approach her famous adoptive father.
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Michael : From day one, I knew you were the girl for me, I never wanted anyone else.

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Re: The Rebel *Sequel* (CC ALL, YTEEN) Ch. 14 - pg. 13 - 3 /

Postby Timelord31 » Fri Apr 24, 2015 7:01 pm

ok.. whens the next part?

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Re: The Rebel *Sequel* (CC ALL, YTEEN) Ch. 14 - pg. 13 - 3 /

Postby Misha » Fri Apr 24, 2015 8:32 pm

Hopefully, tomorrow :)
"There's addiction, and there's Roswell!"

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Re: The Rebel *Sequel* (CC ALL, YTEEN) Ch. 14 - pg. 13 - 3 /

Postby Timelord31 » Sat Apr 25, 2015 2:31 am

looking forward to it

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Re: The Rebel *Sequel* (CC ALL, YTEEN) Ch. 14 - pg. 13 - 3 /

Postby Misha » Sun Apr 26, 2015 12:48 am

YAY! It's still today! :mrgreen:






Part 15 : Stranded
November 2nd, 2011 - New York


1 : Dave


"Turn to your left." Dave's eyes looked at the cars behind them, easily memorizing them. "Let's see how many are really following us."

Daniel did, and continued to follow Dave's directions about turnings for the next twelve minutes in complete silence. Danny had always been the quiet type, but something about this didn't sit right with Dave.

"You happy now?" his driver said in a somewhat annoyed tone. Ah yes, you were never one for patience in games, were you? Hackers could be the most patient people in the world when it came to cracking codes, but mundane things like losing a tail had to be done in two minutes or less…

Was I this annoying when I was your age?

"McKay can be very creative when it comes to finding out where I am."

Daniel didn't answer. He didn't even shrug. He just kept watching the road.

"Not that I'm not grateful, but I'm pretty sure you getting me out of jail is not free."

"Not everyone is like you," Daniel said in a flat tone.

Angsty, much? Dave glanced at Danny before returning his eyes to the side mirror. With Danny in the equation, the whole game changed. "What exactly did you get to see in my files?"

"Does Antar ring a bell?" he said nonchalantly.

"It does. The question here is, how much does it ring to you?"

The silence went for another two minutes, while Dave still checked for conspicuous cars. Daniel finally sighed.

"I only got your side of things... I knew there were... Antarians, here—That you made a deal with them to protect their royalty. I actually thought it was a sci-fi novel you had in your level six codes. Like it was so secret you really didn't want anyone reading it." Danny chuckled humorlessly at that. "But then... then I did a little digging on my own. Turns out Max Evans is quite real. Suddenly, every single bit of data I found matched up with something in your sci-fi files."

"Would have been a best-seller," Dave said, part of him trying to figure out how Danny had gotten there, part of him wondering how he was going to deal with this.

Night had fallen in Manhattan, and the city came alive with a hundred-thousand lights. Driving in a widening spiral, they were systematically getting out of the city and towards the only safe-house Dave felt sure about. Ray would know by now he had been missing, but he wouldn't know Dave was already out. He didn't dare to call Ray yet, though. Not until he knew how McKay had found him in the first place.

"Yeah, but only if Earth is not blown up at the end of the story," Daniel pointed out. He'd grown so much since Dave had last seen him five years ago.

"So you got the entire scoop." It was a statement. Daniel nodded.

"I think so. I've been monitoring your communications, of course. Pure curiosity about what aliens really look like, I guess, how they act, think. But then, you weren't making much sense. Van wanted his brother back and you were keeping him at arm's length, playing for time." The car stopped at a red-light. "And the thing is, I know you, Dave. You would've given Van whatever he wanted the second he asked for it, if you had had it. But Max isn't Van's brother, is he?"

Dave sighed. It's complicated was not going to explain it. "He is. Just not the brother Van is hoping for."

Daniel's eyes bulged at that. "No fucking way! You've been playing stupid with that alien rebel lord all this time while you had what he wanted from the beginning? That takes some balls."

Dave cringed internally. That language was the least of Danny's problems, but it was the most obvious one.

"Let's just say that the endgame is worth it."

"Tell me about it," Daniel grunted. He had stopped watching for cars six minutes ago. Always thinking he was untouchable. Carelessness was Daniel's trademark when it came to difficult, long tasks. "So, I saw they were actually coming, like they did in 2002. I got really excited about that. If it was a public place, maybe I could take a look at them. I know they were coming to meet you, and I bet you were going to get Max on board...?" That was more like a question.

"Something like that," Dave said evasively. Had things gone according to plan, Dave would have met with Van in two days from now. With Max by the end of the week.

"Anyway, I saw the Network coming down this morning. That was the most unusual event in the last six years. Every single Keeper was on instant alert."

"As well they should be. I've trained them well. You included." Maybe too well... if Daniel had been monitoring his Level Six activity, that couldn't be good. Maybe no one had betrayed him with McKay. Maybe Dave just had a sneaky back door he hadn't really paid attention to. Regardless, Daniel was here, he would show him where the breach was, and Dave would close it. Forever.

"I couldn't just sit back and do nothing. Antarians were coming, the very same who had warned you if 'Zan' was not ready there would be consequences."

Oh, that message… Van made a point every once in a while of reminding Dave that he was walking a fine line by deciding to be Zan’s protector. The fact that Kal was his partner in this only put him in the light of being partners with a traitor. Kal would usually roll his eyes at being reminded of his treason charges, but as the date got closer for Van to meet Zan, Kal had been more and more serious about his role.

Max will do the right thing, Langley had told him, he’ll convince Van I did the right thing as well.

Betting on Van’s blind trust in Max’s words was a dangerous gamble, to be honest, but there was no way around it.

"So, that explains why you're here, in Manhattan. But not here, rescuing me from McKay's hands."

Danny smirked at that.

"You're welcome, too, by the way." It was rare for Dave to say thank you, and Danny was savoring it for all it's worth. "When the Network went down, the logical place to look for you was with your enemies. I got into the Unit’s files while I was at it. Saw all the activity going on. And then, I found out where you were."

"And you came for old time’s sake?" Dave asked, knowing that wasn't the answer. If anything, the last time he'd seen Daniel, the kid had warned him to stay the hell out of his life—in no uncertain terms.

"I came because no one else could've been as fast. Because right or wrong, you're the one who knows what’s going on. The Unit would kill Max, right?"

"They would have in the past. They sure as hell will try now…"

"And Van won’t sit back and watch it, will he?"

"No…" Dave shook his head grimly, his eyes still glued to the mirror. No one followed them.

"Plus, I figured… for saving your life I get to stop hiding."

"I’ve never followed you. Not once. You wanted out of the deal, and I didn't want to let you out, I know. I was an idiot. But once you left, I never went against your wishes."

"Yeah, that’s all good and shit for you, but not for Ray. He’s got a tail on me every time he pins me down. Either you kill me off, or I’ll go back and kill your system, and you know I could."

"I’ll talk to Ray."

"I bet you will," Daniel said, turning into another left. By now he knew the pattern Dave was following and didn't need directions. "There—there might be something else."

"You can’t possibly want money," Dave said, the last glance in the mirror showing him they were in the clear. "You already left with a pretty decent bank account last time you asked for 'something else'."

"No… nothing that money can buy, actually… I want to meet this Max, " Daniel said, the most serious Dave had ever seen him. "I want to meet him, and I want him to heal me."


2 : Van

Relying on his other senses was turning out to be difficult beyond measure. The leader of the Rebellion had been in tight places before, been hunted like a dog by Khivar, been the first man to approach an ambush, and the last man to leave the scene. But this was beyond any injury—beyond any prison—Van could ever have imagined.

Trapped without walls, he was a prisoner who needed no guards to keep watch on him, because he couldn't keep watch on anything. His captors were not mindful of his lack of vision, letting him stumble through uneven terrain, shrink at unknown sounds, and recoil from anything and anyone who touched him.

His earlier confidence that Jet was with him was dwindling by now. His would-be bodyguard had not made a move to communicate, and by his estimation, about forty minutes had passed since he'd been tossed into the car. What if Jet is not here with me?

More importantly, what if his sight did not return?

Escaping on his own was impossible, period. If no one helped him out of here, he would become the perfect prisoner.

"Move," someone said menacingly in his ear, yet Van remained exactly where he was. One of his guards had to guide him all the way, and Van was not going to move without that guide. What was in front of him? A wall? A stair? Furniture?

Rough hands pulled him to his left, guiding him in this new direction. Through all their journey, he'd heard their doubts about his blindness, and how to deal with a handicapped prisoner.

The sound of hinges told him a door had been opened, and a second later, he was pushed inside. Balance was tricky when every step felt like walking into an abyss, and in an uncharacteristic move, Van cringed.

Silence. Years of living in constant danger informed him that he was being watched. His sensitive ears picked the slight movement of three men, one who was getting uncomfortably close to his position right now.

Behind him, someone grabbed him by the shoulders and sat him down so fast he felt dizzy. His hands were un-cuffed and cuffed again behind the back of his chair, while someone took a seat so close he could smell his cologne.

Van kept his mouth shut and his eyes pinned to some random point in the darkness while silence filled the room with the weight of the unknown. He could hear the rustle of clothes, the ticking of a clock somewhere. He concentrated on the bite of the cuffs on his wrists and ignored the hands on his shoulders that kept him still.

"There's no response from the pupils. He's telling you the truth, sir. He's blind."

"Huh… Could he be faking it, doctor?"

Van didn't need eyes to know who was in command in this place. This voice invited fear, and its owner knew it.

"I don't see how, sir," the first man said. Silence again. This time, Van could discern the breathing patterns of all three men in the room.

"Dismissed."

The men filed away, but the room grew heavy with the presence of his captor.

"I know what you are," the man whispered right behind Van's ear. He closed his eyes, the only part of himself he was sure this man was not looking at. "The question here is," the man continued a moment later, pacing around Van, "What are you doing here? Paid muscle by that traitor? Reinforcements for that alien trash?"

Alien trash. Well, there's a term that fits this entire world's population perfectly.

Van had never been captured by Khivar's forces, but he'd been trained extensively on how to handle interrogation. Luke was a good teacher, and Van was not afraid of whoever this human was. Yet he could not afford to underestimate him. The men under this alien had managed to scatter to hell all his plans to reunite with his brother, not to mention they had shot him and blinded him in the process.

"Who are you?" This time the man was inches in front of him, the hot breath of his words uncomfortable on Van's sensitive nose.

"You won't like the answer to that question," he said in an even tone.

The man chuckled in an amused way.

"Won't I, huh? I think I'm going to have a lot of fun getting that answer out of you. Bring him in!" he barked. This new addition to the room was more than likely his chief interrogator, coming with sharp blades and painful tricks. Luke had taught him that imagining what was going to happen was the first stage of torture. Now, imprisoned in this darkness, Van had nothing else to do but imagine everything, and all that came to his mind was a nightmare.

His heart accelerated. He wasn't afraid of these men or his own immediate future. He was afraid of the unknown after this. About the Rebellion. About Antar. About Zan.

The hinges shrieked again, two men coming in.

"I'd like a second opinion on this man's blindness, doctor." Contempt dripped from those words. Van remained still. Whatever happened, he was not going to give them the satisfaction of seeing him flinch.

Movement. People walked around him, giving Van an idea of how small the room really was. Minutes stretched into infinity as he waited for the torture to begin. In front of him, a chair scraped the floor, hurting his eardrums.

"Hi, I'm going to flash a light on your eyes, so tell me if you see anything at all." The voice sounded deceptively friendly. Seconds went by and nothing happened, except Van's hope getting irrationally crushed.

"He's blind. I take it this isn't normal?" the doctor asked.

"He was supposed to be unconscious. But this might be the next best thing. The possibilities are endless." The more that man talked, the more Van despised him.

"What do you want me to do?" the question came with a strange mix of challenge and fear. Like a soldier confronting a shifter knowing he had no way to win.

"Ah, that is the question, isn't it? We're going to have some fun with our alien friend here, but I don't want him dying on us too soon. So, how about this? If he dies, you die soon after. Would that be incentive enough?"

In the darkness, Van could hear the change in his doctor's breathing, the sharp intake of someone who's about to protest. Nothing came but silence. Even without his eyesight, Van knew that these men were having a staring contest of sorts.

"I'll need better equipment if you want to go somewhere with this," his unlikely partner said, his voice resigned. "For now, all I can tell you is that some sedatives have blindness as temporary side effects. It might just wear off on its own."

It might not be temporary at all. The whispered thought wormed itself to the front of his ever changing fears.

"That's okay, we know how to blind him again, don't we?"

The cuffs bit into Van's wrists. He had enough strength to break them, but not without considerable damage to his hands. Either way, he could not attack this man without knowing where the others were, or what to do next.

"You're sick, Mckay," his doctor stated, bewildering not just Van but everyone in that room.

"I'm sure this is rudimentary by your standards," McKay said, ignoring the comment, "but it should do the trick. I know he's not like the others, so I'm dying to know what makes him tick. Let's see how you run your tests."

Van tensed at that. It was one thing to be a prisoner, another entirely to be a lab rat. Zan went through this. He must have been terrified his entire life, and then it actually happened.

Movement. Chairs scraping the floor, people repositioning themselves. Van willed himself to remain still, even when he felt someone getting close to him. Maybe too close.

"Don't touch me," Van said, reacting to the intruders' hands on his left wrist. He said it as much out of fear as out of authority. No one ever touched him without his permission.

"Oh, we're going to do more than that," McKay's words dripped with sarcasm as Van's sleeve was rolled up. "We're going to do so much more—"

His captor never finished taunting him. An alarm shrilled somewhere in the building to Van's right. Barely audible, it sounded dangerously like hope to his ears.

McKay cursed as the door opened. "What the hell is going on?"

Whatever the answer was, it was lost to the sound of the door being shut so hard it made Van wince. In the room at least one of the guards and his doctor remained.

"You can't let McKay get under your skin," his unlikely partner said with resignation. "Listen, I can't imagine losing your sight is something you've experienced before," he continued tiredly, "but I'll do anything I can to help you. You'll have to help me, though."

Out of habit, Van narrowed his eyes. "What are you going to do?"

Van felt rather than heard the man getting close to him. "How about the basics? What should I call you?"

After a moment's hesitation, he finally answered. "Van."

Silence followed that statement. The stunned kind of silence Van was used to when he introduced himself to someone new in the rebellion.

"Well, Van, I think you and I have a friend in common. I'm Jake."


3 : Jake

Few things were more dreadful to Jake than his past catching up with him. Dave had faked his own death and built an entire empire to live the life he wanted, yes, but also to place enough walls between them and McKay. That man still haunted Jake's dreams on occasion, and surely haunted his best friend's as well.

Mildly put, McKay was a bastard who had used kids to plan his dirty work. It didn't matter that Jake's IQ doubled McKay's, he'd been a kid and the man an adult. Worse, an adult with all the power to make Jake's life miserable after his mother had died. A ward of the state had translated into a slave of the military. All perfectly legal. All perfectly confidential.

And now, after thirty-six years of running, McKay had found him on a corner in a Starbucks café, having a double latte, with three sugars and whole milk, staring at his useless phone while Dave's Network was still down.

That had been an hour and a half ago— one hour, twenty three minutes, three seconds and counting, as Dave would have pointed out—but Jake doubted Ray knew McKay had taken him prisoner. Getting the kids back was his priority. The Network came next. As far as their security commander knew, Jake was safely tucked away, waiting for Rochelle to pick him up. And once he realized Jake was missing, where would he start looking?

The one silver lining in this whole nightmare was that he'd found Dave, in a roundabout way. When he'd been brought in, McKay was chewing out the guards for letting Dave escape.

Dave will know, Jake assured himself. Dave will always know where to look for me.

That did leave him with the question of how had McKay known where Jake had been. Or the kids. Or Dave, for that matter, since he'd been taken prisoner.

Of course, Dave being Dave, he hadn't stayed in prison for long. Maybe six hours, maybe. That did get Jake's spirits up, and for the past couple of hours, he'd been reviewing everything Ray had told him about escaping situations like this. Half of it involved alien powers that he was sorely lacking, but he had a very clever brain to work with, and that was all he needed—and all he had.

Patience was essential to escaping, so Jake wondered how exactly that had worked for Dave for the space of six hours. Right in the middle of that thought, he was brought to this room, and the game had changed once again.

He had spent years studying the human body, but the man cuffed to a chair was not part of humanity. Maybe if Jake hadn't known about aliens and alien-human hybrids, he would have doubted his conclusion. But not today. My God, Dave, what the hell did you unleash?

The room they were in was actually a small clinic, but to treat blindness caused by a sedative, Jake would need far more than what was in here.

He longed for his labs. Any of them.

Whatever had trigged the alarm, it didn't sound like a grand scheme to get them free. By the way Van's head slightly inclined, Jake knew his fellow prisoner listened with intent. Their guard kept glancing at the door, his hand on his gun.

Whatever McKay intended to do, Jake did have to treat Van's blindness however he could. Besides, searching the cabinets and drawers for useful instruments gave Jake a moment to gather his thoughts. Their guard kept his eyes on him, having reached the conclusion that Van was not a danger. Jake knew what his kids could do. He had no idea what a full-blooded Antarian was capable of.

Dave had only mentioned Van by name once last week, but that had been all Jake's memory needed to recall him. Van, the leader of the rebellion that was just about to overthrow Khivar. Van, who'd ordered the execution of everyone who had been a member of the Special Unit when Max had been tortured. Van, who wanted to destroy the Earth for crimes committed against his half-brother, his king.

That Van.

"I'm afraid this might sting," he said, taking his seat once again in front of his new patient.

"I've been faced with far harsher threats," Van said in perfect English. Jake smiled at that. "You're Dave's Jake," Van murmured, frowning slightly.

"I am, I guess," Jake chuckled at the odd phrasing.

"He says Zan trusts you. Is that true?"

"I'd like to think so. Max has a hard time sometimes, with some things he doesn't wish to burden Liz or Michael with. So I'm the next best thing, but certainly not the first on his list."

"But the first outside his first circle," Van said with approval. "What will you gain by taking my blood?" he asked, just as Jake tightened the cord on Van's arm, bringing alien veins to the surface.

"I need to see how much of the sedative is still in your bloodstream. Although to be honest, without a baseline, I might not get a clear answer."

The needle went in. Van didn't flinch. Instead, he said, "If this is going to wear off, how long would it take?"

"Anywhere between a few hours to a couple of days. It depends on how fast your body can metabolize it."

Van nodded to himself. "So anything between an hour and seventy-two?"

"That's a good guess. They know—" you're an alien, "where you come from, so depending on what McKay has in mind," how slow he wants you to suffer, "the next couple of days might not be comfortable for you."

Van chuckled without humor.

"No wonder Dave regards you so highly," Van said. "You're very good with words and dressing up ugly truths."

Jake bowed in mockery with his head, until he remembered Van couldn't see him. "Dave was here before you were brought in," Jake confided, glancing at the guard by the door. "From what I heard, he escaped."

Van frowned. "That means their security would be tightened."

"True, but it also means he will have a pretty good idea about where we are when he finally realizes we're missing. You—I mean, McKay has a big prize in you, and that means the number of places where he'll want to take you is limited. That gives us a few hours before we are moved to somewhere else."

"I'm confident we won't be here for long," Van whispered as Jake pressed a small ball of cotton.

What do you know that I don't? Jake thought, looking at Van's unfocused eyes. What kind of punishment would you unleash on Earth if you're left blind for good?

"You know, there's a good chance Max can bring your sight back," he said, hoping healing this kind of induced blindness was inside Max's own limits.

Van moved slightly back, as if the idea scared him.

"Zan—Zan is not inclined to heal."

Ah. Of course, Dave would have told you that.

"Max," Jake emphasized, refusing to play along Van's hopes, "will do it for the right reasons. Max would do anything for the right reasons. It's kind of scary how intense he can get about that, and how he forgets about himself in the process."

Van nodded in understanding, his shoulders a little less tense. Here was a man who could never afford to lower his guard, suddenly vulnerable and with no way to see where trouble might come next. Now, who does that remind me of? He chuckled at that.

"What?" Van asked, narrowing his eyes. Probably an ages-old habit.

"I was just thinking that for all your differences, you and Max are a lot alike."

"We are?" Van asked, and for a moment, he looked younger and more hopeful. To live in Zan's shadow could not have been easy.

"Yeah. You both care deeply, are stubborn, and have a practical view on things. You do what needs to be done."

Van smiled slightly at that.

"On the other hand," Jake continued, taking the vial to what passed for his work station, "the world is out to get you. You've both dealt with life and death situations. In some twisted way, shadows are both your friends and enemies: where you can hide, and where they can hide."

The guard glared at him, a clear sign to watch it.

"It sounds like you have practice with shadows," Van said, back to his usual self. He wouldn't look foreign on a royal throne somewhere, Jake noticed absently.

"It's funny, you know? I didn't know you existed, or know about Dave's deal with you, until a week ago. All this time, I thought I was helping Max, Michael and Isabel to reach their potential so they could defend themselves in a situation like this. And here we are: two prisoners of a ruthless man."

"Tell me more… about Zan," Van asked. For a man used to give orders, asking came out awkward.

Van's blood seemed human at a simple glance, but as Jake worked with it, he noticed it was thinner. Antarians might be prone to heavy bleeding, his scientific mind concluded. Unless their coagulation factor is also high.

"He loves Liz," Jake said out loud.

"He used to love Ava," Van stated, almost as a challenge.

To antagonize the man who could very well have the fate of humanity in his hands was not the way to go. Jake sighed inwardly. He did not envy Max's position of dealing with his "brother".

"He's very organized. I always waited eagerly to see how he would resolve Ray's training scenarios. He could be quite creative when it came to the use of his skills."

Van listened intently, and then his face changed as an unpleasant thought occurred to him. "Something's wrong with Zan," Van said while Jake started the blood tests.

"I doubt that very much," he answered, mentally mapping what tests he needed first.

"I saw him today. He fainted. We were moving him to headquarters when we were ambushed."

"They don't get sick," was Jake's automatic response. "What did he say?"

"He didn't know what was happening, either. He seemed off, sometimes, while we were talking. Are you hiding something from me?"

The menace was so implied, the guard actually reached for his weapon.

"Max has never fainted. None of them have."

Van frowned at that. "Too many things are converging today… Khivar, the ambush, your enemies, and Zan's health. I don't like it."

What do you know? I don't like it either.

Somewhere, someone turned the alarm off.


4 : Liz

"Okay, we'll take a taxi—" Kyle said, supporting most of Jade's weight for a second, before the shapeshifter managed to stand on his own.

"We'll get two taxis," Maria interrupted him. "We can't stay in the same place for long, and that includes taxis."

"We could just steal a car," Jade offered, for the first time in ages looking more alert, his grip on Liz's wrist still strong. He was not letting her out of his sight and it was mildly annoying by this point. She tried to ignore it, instead looking at every face, every car, every shadow that crossed her way. It didn’t matter that their phones had been thrown away in the subway, they weren't far enough to consider themselves safe.

She passed two Asian girls, a group of kids, men with briefcases. The more they walked, the more she felt that every single person out there watched her.

Stop it, Liz. You can't afford to be paranoid right now. Get in the taxi, get to the safe-house. That's the plan.

She passed a blond woman in a red suit, and for an instant Liz thought it was Isabel. She stopped and turned to make sure, making Jade stop as well. It wasn't Isabel, but when Liz turned to apologize to Jade, the whole world blurred except for one person.

Max!

Their connection flared to life with a new intensity. For one glorious moment, Max was there, right there.

And then he was gone.

No! No, no, no, no, Liz thought, the world and its people coming back into focus, Kyle and Maria already ten feet ahead of them. Whatever that had been had left her with a desperate need to reach for Max.

Max! she shouted in her mind.

"Liz?" Jade asked, alarmed.

"Do you have to look like him?" she asked, staring at him for a moment, wishing it was her husband and not a stranger who held her hand.

"I—"

Liz. This time, she was not going to let their connection die. She turned, focusing on feeling Max, and sure enough, he was there again, looking rather lost.

A man passed between them and he was gone again.

Come on, Max, come on… she silently coached him, while Jade said something or other about why he was still shifted as Max.

She stood as still as she could, looking at one empty spot, barely breathing. Her connection flared again, but this time, she was prepared. If she was guessing right, Max was projecting himself the same way she used to do before he took her powers away, and she knew from experience how disorienting that could be.

It didn't matter what was going on, she needed him to know one thing, and one thing only:

"TRASH YOUR PHONE!"

He saw her, and just like eleven years ago, on another New York City street, he frowned without understanding.

TRASH YOUR PHONE, DAMN IT! She shouted in her head. He flinched, and for one second, they looked at each other.

Oh my God, you heard me… she mentally whispered, longing for his voice, longing to touch him, longing for this whole day to be over. He vanished before he could say anything back, but their connection remained strong.

Max? she tentatively called.

"Liz?" Maria asked, interrupting Liz's concentration. Around her, Jade, Kyle and her best friend stared with eyes full of concern. "Are you okay?"

"Max was—I mean, I saw Max. He was projecting himself, somehow. Did any of you see him?"

Three heads shook.

"Well, that explains why you were shouting to no one in particular to throw their phone…" Kyle muttered, eyeing an upcoming taxi.

"What did he say?" Maria asked, anxious.

"Nothing. I think he heard me though, about the phone. I'm trying to get him back, but—"

"Standing in the middle of a New York street is not the place to do it," Jade interrupted her, eyeing a parked car. "What's it gonna be? Taxi? Or a free ride?"

"We can't just steal a car!" Liz whispered, indignation coloring her words. Jade gave her a look that said, Watch me "The last thing we need is the police stopping us for grand theft auto."

"Taxi it is, then," Kyle said, promptly stopping the next yellow car.

Jade was right, she couldn't stand in the middle of the sidewalk, wishing for Max to appear. For now, their connection was strong. She clung to it in the same manner that Jade clung to her: with pure determination. She was not going to let Max out of her sight, in whatever form that sight came.


5 : Max

Two quiet shapeshifters came to focus once more. A long haired Asian woman and a lean black man. Parked on a street he didn't recognize, his Guards waited for whatever news he had gathered.

He frowned. He felt Liz's pull on their connection but couldn't follow it and connect. He knew where she was, in what direction she was moving, but he couldn't reach her again.

Closing his eyes, he attempted to project himself once more. He hadn't been trying to do that two minutes ago, exactly, but now that he'd done it, he had to try it again.

And again.

"Damn it!" he said exasperated, the words reminding him of Liz's own warning.

He took his phone out, the Network still down. "She said we should trash our phones," he explained, and turned to look at them. "How did Van send that message to me? About meeting him at the Empire State Building, as if he were Dave?"

They looked at each other, and then at Max's hand as he disintegrated the device without breaking a sweat.

"Dave left a backdoor for Van," the woman said.

"Van wanted to talk to you in private," her partner continued. "When Dave went missing this morning, and Khivar's attempt to murder you became real, Van decided he needed to act fast. The fastest we could arrange for everything was 4:00 o'clock."

"So they're working together," Max exhaled, the many paths of his life converging in that one sentence. Since the moment he'd woken up in that blue room eight years ago, to the moment he'd gotten that fake message on his phone this afternoon, he'd been lied to. Trapped in a web of lies so complex, everywhere he turned was orchestrated. He felt voiceless.

How had they met? Since when? And most importantly, why? He didn't have time to ponder these questions, or even to second-guess all of Ray's training and all of Jake's advice. His Guards were here, his half-brother wanted him back. Whatever Dave wanted, it didn't matter right now.

He wished this was the single, most shocking event this day, but he had worse problems on his mind. "What about Khivar? Is it possible that he could control me?"

"Well—"

"Maybe—" Both Guards said at the same time, uncertain.

"Your Highness, it doesn't work that way. It only works on humans," the woman said, turning to look at the other shapeshifter, who nodded.

"I am human. Most of me, anyway. If Khivar takes over my mind, he could order you around. He could make me do anything he wants. Hell, he could crown me and still keep control."

"The Seal would protect you, sir," she insisted. "Human or not, that's not debatable."

To his right, he felt Liz moving rather fast. She's in a car, he absently thought, noting she wasn't coming this way.

"What does Khivar want more than to rule?" Max asked out loud, not knowing the answer.

"To have your head," the man responded without a trace of hesitation.

Max locked eyes with him, suddenly knowing the solution to the riddle.

"This is how he's going to kill me."
Last edited by Misha on Fri May 01, 2015 9:42 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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