Shrodinger's (Jamies) Cat. Teen. (UC. Slash) 01/27 COMPLETE

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Post by Patroclus76 » Sat Dec 08, 2007 9:34 am

For a moment it was hard to make out the black dude - standing as he was, motionless, under a large tree in almost complete darkness. You had to do that weird thing you do when trying to look at a nebula through a telescope - look slightly away. Then I could make him out, through the mottled patterns of illuminated leaf and darkness, a tall man standing in a leather coat, the collar up slightly, with black cords of hair streaming to either side. Had he been blue - and not black - he would have looked like one of the Hindu comic pictures of Shiva. He seemed very powerful, blended into his surroundings, curved, talismanic. A predator? I felt a deep erotic thrill, somewhere behind my balls.

`You sure it’s the same guy?’ I whispered, squinting like fuck and trying to look cool at the same time. He was standing so motionless as to be almost invisible. My night vision was pretty shit, frankly. I needed contact lenses or thick boffin goggles mlike you are forced to wear in school science classes!

`Yeah’ said Michael, all casual like, pretending to do something with his phone but looking intently towards the man. `I think he must have been here for some time - perhaps he’s cruising?’

`Excuse me?’ I was not sure if Michael had just meant what he had actually just said! Cruising in gay speak conjures up images of sex and anonymity - but for jocks it might be a technical term for walking on your own?

`Fuck Jamie, looking for sex - come on, let’s get a move on!’ How the fuck did Michael know about these things! I mean I was gay and -

`Do people cruise here?’ I asked - my voice all wobbly and fake - like I wasn’t really interested and was only trying to make polite conversation. It was the sort of voice you used when my parents tried to engage me in conversations about global warming or why Bill Clinton was evil.

`Sometimes -’ we were walking back to the main street.

`How do you know?’ I asked - breathing firmly through my nose. It seemed a rather direct question to ask.

`I get around, I see things, and no - I haven‘t!’ he said sarcastically. We had reached a road. The park lay in solid blackness behind. There was no sign of pursuit. Michael added thoughtfully, `I wonder if he overheard any of our conversation?’

`You think he is involved in this too? The doors, the time shifts, the incident at the Crash Down?’ I asked calmly, changing the subject from sex and parks. However the vision of Michael prowling about at night was a rather powerful one that would be put to good use later!

`Since Max developed his obsession with Liz and the Crash Down, I have never seen a fight like that - and the black dude is not a regular - believe you me - I know every fucking one! So, he sighed thoughtfully, `it’s possible. I mean everything is possible now!’

Finally we got to the corner of the UFO centre and Michael and I parted.
`Remember - if you meet Max, not a word, Jamie. We have to keep this to ourselves. And try not to drool if and when he speaks to you. It‘s a dead giveaway!’

He banged me rather unceremoniously on the back.

`Sure - ‘ I bit my lip with the impact. Michael was clearly the guy to be with if you were ever inclined to choke.

`And if the Agent calls back about Bone Hill House, let me know?’ I shouted. I still felt fucking weird about talking to Michael like this - as if we were actually close friends - somehow I was still wedded to the idea that I was either in a coma somewhere and this was all an illusion, or that - that it was all a complex trick. I watched Michael slip off, oddly back the way we had come. I wondered if he was going off to stake out the park again. And, come to think of it, there was something catlike about him as well. I crossed the road and returned to the Crash Down to find my bike still chained to a post.

As I unlocked it I realised that it was 10:45 pm and that unless by some miracle, my parents had actually enjoyed themselves, been struck down by a missile on their return, or somehow got lost, I was in deep shit. Leaving the house was not actually on the list of options! I removed the lock and thought of Max’s neck, the joy of licking it.

`Hi, Jamie!’ said a soft female voice behind me. I turned quickly and saw Liz Parker, wearing a pretty wool coat and with her hands in a sort of hand muff like it was mid fucking December or something! She had the studied casualness of someone who has been waiting for ages. I don’t know much about girls but one thing I have found out is that they are cunning as fuck and not easily lied to.

`Hi, Liz!’ I tried to recover my mental balance. She beamed a smile at me, like a lazer, over the bows, or at my propulsion system. She was clearly trying to parley.

`I didn’t get time to speak with you earlier - sorry - and then the fight and the shooting!’ she laughed, and then threaded her long black hair behind her ears. She then struck out in another direction. `We’re in several classes together, aren’t we?’

`Yes - we are - I have been trying to get to know people - but - well, I am not very good .’ I felt myself beginning to blush slightly. `I know Alex, we met in astronomy class, he was telling me how brilliant you are!’ I said this too enthusiastically. She let it go.

`And you know Michael as well - very well it would seem.’ she continued with undisguised curiosity. Another typical girl thing - how to get straight to a point, and the strategic use of silence. It hung about us, expansive, like the paving stones to either side.

`Er - yes - ‘ I lied. Evidently I knew nothing about Michael. I had only just found out he was adopted! `It’s a long story!’ I said, still wrapping the chain about the bike seat.

`Do you know Max and Isabel as well? ’ It seemed a curious question to ask me, like she’d been rehearsing something, a line of enquiry.

`No - not yet - I would like to - he seems very -’ I struggled for a word. Fuck it was like we were squaring up to a fight over the same man! `Special?’ I said. It was an ominous word. It dropped with a loud `plop’ into the silence around us. Liz looked at me intently. Her dark face seemed consumed with a kind of grief almost. It was then that I realised she was CRAZY about him.

`He is - ‘ she whispered. We both seemed momentarily stunned as if we had shared a confession. Liz looked down. `I don’t know him as well as I would like to -’

`Really?’ and then, unfortunately, the Jamie curiosity factor kicked in. It is usually my undoing. I always do it. I do it in class. When a teacher fucks up, most people either giggle or let it go. Not Jamie boy. Oh no. Before I can help it the hand is up, the nose tilted, the face of the teacher alarmed and curious - "what now“ I see them thinking - that little know-it-all bastard - `Yes, Jamie?’

`You should ask him out - he’d obviously say yes!’ She looked rather shocked by this indiscretion, coming as it did from virtually a complete stranger. `I mean -’ I added, quickly, climbing on my bike, `You two seemed very intense back there!’ In extremis, I am capable of a sort of selfless gesture. Actually I was signalling with what naval historians would identify as a `Blue Peter’! I was ready to sail - with Max - and with or without Liz!

`Oh,’ said Liz, shocked. . `But - I have a boyfriend, I mean - Kyle?’ oddly she made it a question not a statement of fact.

`You’re going out with the sheriff’s son?’ I briefly pictured the crater faced dude standing looking at Michael as he had accidentally found Jack the Ripper. Liz seemed about to apologise for this when I said suddenly

`Can I ask you something - last May - May 1998, did you come across a cat?’ Liz seemed a bit thrown by this question. Fuck, I would make an awesome attorney! I heard a clock strike 11. If I was not back home soon both parents would call the FBI, as sure as god made condoms.

`A cat?’ she giggled, and then her eyes took on the look of recognition.

`Oh my god! Yes - it came to my bedroom window, over my balcony - a big ginger tom, it was beautiful! He played with me for ages! Was that yours?‘

`No, no - I’m not that lucky - Michael and I were talking about it -’

`Michael?’ there was a note of suspicion now, a sort of verbal frown. Then she laughed it off. `I see, well as you said, how you met Michael is a long story, but I would like to hear it sometime? Perhaps at school in the cafeteria? ‘

`Sure - I mean - we have a lot in common!’ I said. I was thinking of Alex’s description of Liz as the Queen of the Science Geek and her interest in geology, history and biology.

`And don’t forget we have Max, I mean, in common that is, you and I?‘

she seemed to suggest it, grinning mischievously. `I mean, you were very intense back there as too!’

It was my turn to laugh now. Fucking girls! `See you tomorrow at school!’ I said warmly and whizzed off. This was all going to get rather complex. I could see it approaching - complexity - like one of those twister skies.

God was still on my side by the time I hurled up the parental driveway. I mean not only had he introduced me to Michael, given me my first dazzling, breathless audience with King Max, brought me to Liz’s attention and given me access to the ornate time portal - he had made my parents LATE! Thank fuck! None of those painful scenes of restrained incredulity by Army Dude (’But I asked you to stay and look after the place? Which bit of `ask’ do you not understand?’ and Mother’s `disappointed’ look - the culmination of a life spent acting and not saying what she felt!). Thank god for all that!

I rushed the bike into the garage, deactivated the burglar alarm, and then - with the now necessary degree of caution - approached my bedroom. I threw open the door ready to scream intently, hands up and to either side of the face, a la Hitchcock blonde, but all was well. At least until I put the fucking light on, that is.

Having thrown the switch, checked under the bed for Martians or Slime People (a generic category of alien) I sat on the bed and looked at my table and above it, my oblong mirror with the photos of hunks inserted randomly around the frame. My parents are quite cool about this - but they had to have pants on - and they couldn’t be involved in any `overt’ display of sexual prowess. MOTHER policed them and occasionally removed them (to her own private collection, I might add, under the false bottom of her sowing basket). My hunks were my pride and joy. I had given them names, occupations, and days of the week to amuse me. I constructed complex biographies.

But it wasn’t my private male army that attracted my attention and made my nasal hair once more erect and obstructive to my nasal breathing channels: it was the disturbing fact that someone had DRAWN something on the fucking mirror! I sat looking particularly stupid - just for a minute you understand -I think my mouth was flapping open - then I closed it. Someone had drawn what looked like a large S, with a sort of broad deep curve at the bottom, and a smaller crest at the top - so it look very stylised and a bit like a snake. It was drawn in something red as well - which really freaked me out - until I realised someone had used my crayon set. What the fuck did it mean? It looked sort of Native American - well - it looked just fucking weird to be honest.

As I sat trying to compute this I heard the Parental car edge up towards the garage - followed by slamming doors - the jingle of keys trying the lock, being dropped, and then being tried again, and then eventually I heard the distinctly bizarre Austrian-Swizz yodel noise my Mother made when she was drunk. Fuck - that was all I needed now - a drunk Mother. I heard Army dude go `Sssshhhhh’ in a pantomime sort of way. I half expected a studio audience to laugh. I found some tissues and rubbed the mark off the glass. Outside my parents were tiptoeing about theatrically and giggling. (WTF? Were they my parents? I went to the window and looked to see their car on the drive. It was only as I went to redraw the blinds that I noticed a note on the window ledge with my name on it.

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Post by Patroclus76 » Sat Dec 22, 2007 3:49 pm

Happy Holidays to you all! My glorious beta is buried under a giant tree so this posting really is ALL my fault!


I wasn’t sure what was more unusual - the note on the window ledge or the sound of my parents seemingly pissed and having a good time! I opened the note - it was torn from the back of one of my own science project books! Outside, I heard mother drop something and explod into a fit of giggles. I ignored her. The note was written in a strange, slanting hand, with several grammatical corrections and crossings out. It said plainly but in a sort of foreign accent:

Jamie. [Started with something beginning Ch and then crossed out]

There is much that must confuse you at the moment. You have had strange and curious [crossed out - supernatural] experiences, and we [crossed out and replace with an I ] need your help. I and several companions have been stranded here despite the dramatic changes to the time line - we must meet with you!! We are at the old Indian reservation and request [crossed out - demand!] that you come as soon as you can. Please do not bring Michael [crossed out - Rath san] as this will only complicate matters at this stage!! You must seek out River dog!!!!


Brandon? What kind of fuck name was Brandon? Sounded Afro-American - or was it Native American - it could even be Spanish American? And why all those exclamation marks? Who or what was River dog? A place? A person? A national park? I sat down on my bed - jesus what a day! I was desperately hoping that this was the sexy muscled black dude who had been disguised as a tree in the park earlier - but frankly my life has become so complex recently it could be anyone. It could even be the giant panther! Or even the fucking tree!

I felt all hot and breathless. Perhaps this black guy knew Max as well - he evidently seemed to know Michael! (An image of Max and Brandon insinuated itself into my porno subconscious - but it shut down immediately as Mother glided or rolled into the room - like some Greek Muse or rather, some genie.) She asked me if I was alright and if anything had happened `while they had been away’? I almost laughed - are you kidding! - not that Mother would have noticed - she appeared to be afflicted with some sort of facial paralysis. Someone had poured wine down the front of her dress. Fucking adults! Before I could even lie to her, she walked backwards out of the door waving at some imaginary crowd of people. I had a sudden panic attack that my parents might now go and have sex.

I stripped off, got into bed and tried to sleep. Difficult. I closed my eyes and slowly, out of the static darkness behind my eyes the shape and texture of Max took place, the eyes, the smooth jaw line, the hair, the runes of tendons across his neck and shoulder. He was naked, sitting up, his arms stretched down to his right foot. He was cutting his nails. I saw him in astonishing detail, the padded dimple of his buttock, the taut thigh muscles in the extended leg, the arms drawn forward into a rugged Tor of curves and lines - shit! He had a silver of dried semen across his abs and across the dune of his right tit. Max!

Where have you been all my life!

And then, weird or what, I thought of Liz. Her face loomed up suddenly. I sat up quickly, alarmed.


Next day at school I tried to get hold of Michael but trying to find him was like trying to find the proverbial nun in a monastery. He never answered his fucking cell phone either, and he had been consummately vague as to where he lived or what classes he should be in. I hunted and prowled through a bleak time table of double Math and then double Eng Lit without him. Jesus! Hey, while I am in my Virginia Woolf stream of consciousness mood, I might as well tell you a bit about West Roswell High, you know, incidental details, thumb sketches, all that bollocks. When I finish Michael might well have turned up.

The school - which I was still getting to know - was pretty big and sort of rambled about, differing blocks personifying differing periods of American architecture - and god were some of them shit! The place had clearly expanded rapidly in the early 1970s, red brick, no windows, strange modernist chairs. It had then hibernated for a decade of funding shortages - weird partitions criss crossed large rooms and strange folding screens appeared. Desks got smaller. Then it had sprouted forth in a variety of mid 1990s reflective glass and steel - all windows now, as if to compensate for the years of fake lighting and the earlier architectural obsessions with bunkers. It looked like one of those toys kids make out of used kitchen bottles.

The general mess was connected together by covered walkways and random bits of `themed’ areas. Oh, and then there were the mysterious `art features’ that well meaning benefactors had `landscaped’ - amid decorate breeze blocks and lots of shrubs - well - gorse and broom actually. On the long walk from the science block to the art department someone had reconstructed what looked to all intents and purposes like a scaled down version of Easter Island. In the middle of this `masterpiece (not)’ stood the school cafeteria, spreading its gaudy chairs and tables like some form of tribal shrine. Despite looking like a set from Jurassic Park, the cafeteria was sort of interesting.

For a start, along with the lockers in the Administration block, it was the centre of the school universe - a sort of central hub - I staked myself out here whenever the opportunity arose, like some mad zoologist, studying the life forms of some new found continent. Every species passed by at some stage or other. Even Michael.

Sometimes he whizzed through - comet like - or sometimes he sauntered, looking out of the corners of his eyes, like he was trying to score something, or like an old dog trying to bury a bone. He was always one for standing out and causing offence. Shock was Michael’s art form. Whever shock was needed, Michael would turn up. Once he stopped in front of a small island of fluffy cheerleaders and, coughing something up violently from around his feet (given the effort it took) he spat into a bin with astounding venom (and I have to say, accuracy). There were screams and lots of spilt drinks that day. He was magnificent!

I spied others more regularly, the veggy grazers, people who wore glasses or wore chinos. Most frequently was Alex Whitman, moving zebra like with his cohort of geeky band members for company, or the twin goddesses of Liz and Maria. Alex was like a small planet with an utterly regular orbit and daily rotation. He was utterly predictable. If he saw me he would wave and blow my cover, and I would come out from under the metaphorical undergrowth to talk about cephids or the latest news from the Oort cloud. Incidentally, for a while I thought Alex was gay - especially around Liz and Maria, where they would talk about the weirdest shit for hours. But then one day I spied him sneaking a long smouldering look at some blonde, big titted Amazon sitting on her own eating some pizza and trying to read and I thought, `oh yes……’.

I say trying because, apart from Whitman’s sly attention, a small crowd of Jock carrion had gathered not far away and were noisily showing off in a way as obvious as if they were running at each other and butting foreheads. This was Isabel - Max’s sister - it took me two days to positively identify her (it was Liz who told me - dropping her eyes in either awe of fear). I struggled to see any resemblance at all, but there it was. I have to say she looked fucking scary! I was not surprised to discover later that she was one of the only people that could compel Michael to behave.

Max could - but the tension between them was usually unbearable for days after until often, mysteriously, they made up. I often thought of how they made up - of course - but that is a different story. Incidentally, for a while I thought Michael might not only have a thing going for Max, but for Isabel as well. Jesus! What a thought that was! All three of them making out at the same time - god it was like imagining the collision of continents!

Let me see - who else? Oh yes. Kyle and the jock team of base ball goons charged through the cafeteria. Kyle was a bit of a mystery to me. He claimed to be Liz’s boyfriend, but this was about as suspect as the Turin Shroud. Liz played along with it while being so obviously besotted with Max and indifferent to Kyle that it begged the wider question as to whether Kyle was actually physically blind. Even accounting for the usual jock inefficiencies with emotion and sensitivity it seemed an overwhelming case of sensory deprivation.

Once, when Liz and Max were agonisingly trying to speak - I mean bowel shrivelling, teeth pulling, `kill me now’ agonising, Kyle swooped by. He sort of knew me. He knew I was a mate of Michael’s - (and shit did that confuse people!) and he seemed to know that I was also part of the Alex set as well. On this occasion he banged me on the back a bit too hard and looked at Liz and Max, as if seeing them together for the first time, and he had then looked at me slyly as if somehow I was part of their cover.

`If I were the jealous kind, should I be worried about Max or Jamie boy here?‘ he smirked.

All the time he glared at Max as if they were about to fight there and then. Max out stared him, in a way that gave me the hardest and most painful boner of the year - I even thought I saw the hairs on the back of Max’s head go up! But it was Liz’s reaction that was so weird. She got up and said, to me, to no one, actually, `I’d better go’ I watched Max staring after her. She walked behind Kyle as if he had just bought her.
`I’m gay actually’ I said, but Kyle had gone. Max had looked at me and smiled as if I had eaten all my cabbage, and then resumed his silence.

Was does he wait for?

Always Max. Fuck, Max was everywhere and no where. Half the time he was in my head and half the time I wasn’t sure if I actually saw him or hallucinated him! The hours I waited to see him! Jesus. When he didn’t show I contemplated death and extinction, when he showed it was like seeing the sun. Buddha like, sometimes stricken by total silence, attentive, an enigma, sometimes talkative, Max measured out my life. Sometimes he was so fucking quiet that any word spoken to him would be absorbed immediately. He was like a fucking Black Hole. But when he did speak, when he came up to me sometimes, unlooked for, swivelled his ass over a bench, and leaned in to steal a French fry, my heart stopped and I felt for the first time in my geek existence the pure pain of being in love.

Anyway - Virginia moment over - sorry - back to the crisis in hand. Michael, the note, the Brandon dude and the native reservations around Roswell, let alone river dog.

Reservations first.

There were several of these to my mind - and I would need to ask Michael for some clues without arousing his interest - easier said than done. Michael was so fucking suspicious that if you had hay fever he thought it was a cover for something and would go through his `twenty question’ routine.

`What’s that? How long? Whadya take? Lemme see!‘

Anyway - by lunch no signs of Michael. I met up with Liz and we had a breezy sort of chat - we didn’t mention Max once but the omission was sort of obvious - in fact it was probably worse - in the middle of our conversation was a giant sized cartoon hole the shape of Max. I ran into Alex. I asked him if he knew where Michael was and he looked dumb founded.

`You may as well ask me where Elvis is!’

`Ah - I see’.

Then - in the middle of the ritualised humiliation of something called dodge ball, Michael appeared, sweated up in a tight top from some mysterious gym work out. He swayed over in a sexually charged cloud of male sweat and - get this - grass stains on his ass! My fellow geek sufferers parted like the Red Sea to let him through.

`Hey, Jamie - here -’ he passed me a bit of paper. `How’s it going?’

`Ok - we need to talk.’ I whispered, self consciously, feeling all eyes on me, even the Games Teacher, who looked a little boggle eyed as if he expected Michael was about to hit me. Michael made one of his theatrical nods at the paper and then, like some magnificent fucking shark, flipped around and went back towards the changing room. Through a half opened door I saw the muscled smudge that was Max.

He waved.

I waved back - the sort of kewl jock `raised’ palm version, like I was taking an oath - not the girlie screen wiper flick from side to side (shit that was hard though!). When I turned around Alex was looking at me with a strange suspicious glint in his eye. On the paper Michael had written `Meet me in Erasure Room 4 pm.


`Ok, let me get this right - Michael wants to me you, in the Erasure room?’

Alex used his hands a lot when he spoke. We were sitting alone in the lobby, in the Administration block near the school‘s main entrance, and great slabs of red dusty afternoon light was falling into our faces.

`Yeah - ‘ I said, kicking me feet together. Michael was already half an hour late, and Alex had already explained to me that most people used this curious facility to `make out’ in. I played a long with this frisson, not wishing to spoil the effect. The idea was fucking horny! However, Michael merely wanted somewhere private to talk.

`It’s complicated - and he’s late!’ I said. Fuck I really did sound like I had been stood up! Alex was clearly on a roll though. He nodded, like a prosecuting attorney.

`You and Michael are a really weird pairing, you know that? I mean, what is it with you two?‘ Alex sat down. He was waiting for some band rehearsal. `Maria thinks it is some form of attempt by Michael to keep an eye on Liz?’ he suggested helpfully. Then he smiled weakly, as if he's been tactless.

`She does?’ I wasn’t that sure about Maria yet, to be honest, she seemed a little strange, a bit too dismissive of everything for her own good. She had not been over friendly, but merely mooched behind Liz and made bitter one line asides. Before Alex could elaborate, there was the sound of a door slamming and Michael appeared, hair spiked, a black Metallica T-shirt on, and hands stuffed in his jean pockets.

He scanned Alex and said `Hi’ which read as `fuck off’ and Alex dutifully left, darting me a glance that decoded as `What great friends you have!’ I sort of grimaced - but next minute I was being swept by Michael into a small confined space smelling of chalk dusk. Fucking hell!

He closed the door and for a while it was very dark. There wasn’t much room either. I felt incredibly horny, the smell, the way Michael touched me, the heat - but as I struggled with a full on sex overload of all primary sensors, I became aware that Michael was talking - talking and chewing something at the same time - gum - or probably my cock. God - get a grip!

`That snotty estate agent called me this afternoon -’

`Yeah?’ I said, with the right tone of incredulity - as if he might be lying. This is how jocks spoke all the time - dead pan - cautious - as if they rarely recognised each other or needed constantly reminding what they were talking about.

`Yeah - said that this hotelier dude is still not sure about selling but that he was keen about us going up to see the place?’

It was a question - but one that Michael had already answered for himself. I could tell.

`Visit Washington state!’ I spat - as if he had proposed Mars or, worse, somewhere on the East coast.

`Yeah - Wenatchee, we could fly up to Seattle, make a few days of it.’ He ran his hands along the top of a shelf, all casual like, as if he flipped over state lines all the time.

`Michael - it’s a fucking long way! We’re at the beginning of the semester, and it will cost loads -’ visions of trying to steal Mother’s savings loomed up in my mind and then veered off - `And we can’t pretend to be serious about buying the place! I mean - look at us!’ Alex was right - we were an odd pairing. I felt like I had already played the typical useless geek `run away’ card!

`Jamie man, don’t be so fucking defeatist! You’re a child genius and I am’ he came close to me. `a very resourceful guy - remember!’ he flashed a sexy smile like a hundred dollar bill, it cut right into my groin - `besides, wanna know where I’ve been today?’ He heaved himself up onto a shelf and sat, his legs spread and dangling, all coy.

`Sure - it clearly wasn’t English lit class!’

`I was at the Public Library - using their new fast internet servers - did a lot of looking about - lots of Julians in the world, so I had to come up with a way of narrowing the field.’ he looked very pleased with himself, like he had shot his own jizz right up onto his chin. I fought back a smile.

`Really? What did you find?’ I had my hand in my own pocket, where I could feel, apart from the tip of my own cock, the screwed up note from Brandon.

`Well - let’s see.’ he mused, playing his great Gatsby part. `A guy buys a huge fucking house and estate in Washington - why? He picks it at random? He has friends and family there already? He perhaps even came from there? Or some association?’

`Possibly - but we don’t know when he bought it - we are only going on the evidence that in 2006 he considers selling it?

`Sure, sure - but - its obviously sometime between now and 2006! Anyway to cut a long, tedious and uneventful afternoon short, there is a guy called Professor Julian Grey, a world famous geneticist,,‘ he gave the word particular emphasis, `who is currently working on mapping human chromosome 22 for the Human Genome Project - AND’

he raised his voice as if I was about to interrupt him, but I was so delirious with lust I could hardly stand upright `And who happens to be an associate Professor and founder - last year - of something called the Human Genome Institute at the University of Washington!’ he went `dud dud der!’ for effect and we both laughed.

`You got a picture?’ I said, genuinely intrigued.

I recalled the man walking down the stairs in that great chilled hall way, in his dressing grown, the grey hair, the absent minded way in which his spectacles were up on his forehead - there was certainly a genuine sort of academic eccentricity about him - it sounded plausible. - he was exactly how a Professor should look!

`Of course I have a picture! You think I’m an amateur?’

He leaned forward so he could reach into his back pocket and, after tantalisingly feeling his butt for a moment, he fished out a poor quality color print of a man in tweeds standing in the middle of a group of people. It was some form of matriculation photograph scanned onto the homepage of the Institute. I screwed my eyes up in the poor light. There was no doubt at all - although obviously younger - it was the same dude!

`Fucking hell! Michael you ’re fantastic!’ I said, glowing.

`Sure - but it gets better!’ he slipped down and stood next to me, so close that I could feel his heat and smell the gum on his breath. I wanted to swing my face into his neck and kiss his throat.

`The guy has been working on base sequencing in human genes and cross-species hybridisation!’ I felt a little faint now - partly because of Michael’s proximity, but partly because somehow, in some weird and rather inexplicable way, this was beginning to make some sense to me. Or rather - it sounded familiar. Like a name of a place sounds when someone says it. Somewhere in the back of my brain a voice said `yeah - I remember this?’

`You OK?’ asked Michael, scanning my face. He stood back a little.

`Yeah - sure - it’s a lot to take in!‘ I wasn’t sure I entirely understood what Michael has just said either, apart from the echo that I had heard it before. `Where is Grey at the moment. Do you have any idea?’

`He’s just moved to Boston from London, England - I‘ve got an address.‘ again that sounded right, the curious mid Atlantic accent - almost British, but not quite. We both lapsed into silence. Then Michael said something strange, in a soft, low voice.

`His work means a lot more to me than it does to you, probably.’

`Yeah? How come?’ Had the tone of voice been different, I would have thought he was joking, but he stood, struggling with something he could not yet say. I was intrigued.

`Listen Michael, while you consider explaining that last bit to me - I had a little adventure of my own last night!’

He looked up, semi-apologetically. But I screwed up my courage and placed a finger on his lips. He jumped back and frowned, but I felt a twinge of pleasure deep in my balls and pressed on before he had time to recover.

`You cruised the Park, you little pervert!’ he added, rubbing his lips. I ignored him.

`Someone broke into my bedroom and left me a note - ‘ I fished this out of my pocket and handed it to him. He read it quickly, his eyes flashing.

`Fuck! Brandon - you think that is the black dude! Hey - time line - he mentions time lines - fuck - and hey -’ his eyes had evidently reached the bit where it said `please do not bring Michael’ he looked up at me, questioning. I raised my eyes in mock innocence.

`We have to tell each other everything Michael, I mean everything. We start keeping secrets from each other and going off on our own, and we’re fucked - no `separate peace’ as they say!’

`They do?’

`Yeah - when allies fight a war - they often have a pact that they won’t come to a separate peace with the enemy - besides I need your help about where this reservation is - let alone river dog - and you are far too clever to try and get this information out without arousing your, er, your suspicion!’ His face broke into a smile.

`Yeah - I guess you’re right‘ he still looked unsure. `I was going to tell you, actually, as soon as I came across Grey’s identity, but I just wasn’t sure.’

`Ok - no need to rush - you can tell me when you’re ready.’ I said in my special `Mother’ voice.

`I think I am sort of ready now.’ he said oddly. He said it in such a way that I felt the hairs prick up on the back of my neck. My mind went off line for a moment - what the fuck was he going to tell me! He’d killed someone? He took drugs? He was gay? He knew who Brandon was? I must have looked shocked because Michael seemed to hesitate.

`Go on - ‘ I said, preparing to look normal whatever he said.

`I’m not from around here - ‘ he said, scratching his eyebrow and shifting from one foot to another. I frowned now, vaguely disappointed.

`Where are you from?’ I was thinking rapidly - `Mexico - he’s an illegal immigrant, no - he’s from - NO! Florida! Or was he from Seattle, had he some connection there, some link that his search for Grey had unearthed?

I became aware that Michael was pointing towards the roof, like a shy boy putting up his hand for a bathroom pass. I was now genuinely puzzled.

`You were conceived in a plane?’

He shrugged impatiently. Fuck it was like Charades!

`Jesus - you’re Canadian!’

`No - I’m - I’m an alien - we’re all aliens, Max, Isabel - we were found in the desert. We came from outer space’ his voice trailed away. I felt like someone who gets the punch line but doesn’t laugh. I started to laugh

`Aliens!’ , but then I stopped -

`You serious?’

`Yeah. Yeah I’m dead serious! We look the same on the outside, we have certain powers, Max has most of them at the moment, Isabel can do weird shit - I’m a bit wayward - but at the cellular level we are quite different - we know that - we’re always been aware that we have to keep away from tests and hospitals and stuff - we‘re hybrids’

`And so you must be significantly different at the genetic level?’ I finished for him. Professor Grey. Geneticist, a leading specialist in base sequences and gene mapping and species hybrids. The whole puzzle shifted closer together.

`Wow - some connection!’ I said quietly.

`The questions remains is this guy our friend or our enemy?’ said Michael.


`Yeah - if it got out that we’re aliens - the government would get us put away -’

`Wait a minute Michael, slow down -’

`Put us away, prod us and experiment on us - and not necessarily in that order!’ he sounded scared then, saying that.

`But aliens from where? ‘ and then I recalled his question about this name, some place, Antar.

Before I could say anything there came a sudden and startling rap on the glass window of the erasure room door. We both jumped, and Michael caught some cleaning bottles with his elbow and knocked then over.

`Shit!’ he spat - and then a voice, Max’s voice, said from outside -

`Michael? Are you ok?’

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Re: Shrodinger's (nee Jamies) Cat. (UC. Slash) 01/07

Post by Patroclus76 » Mon Jan 07, 2008 5:01 pm

The door to the Eraser room had a glass half panel, frosted and bubbled, so Max appeared as an abstract, smudged outline, a sort of impressionistic dab at perfection. Before I could do or say anything, and before Michael could swing around from having tried to retrieve the bottles, there was a weird glow about the lock, a loud click, and the door swung outwards. Fuck knows what we must have looked like: we both blinked pathetically, like rescued coal miners exposed in the blinding arch lights of the rescuers camera! At least we were both standing and dressed, although Michael looked slightly stooped - as if he has brought his head up suddenly.

I didn’t really know Max. I had only met him a few days ago – and although I had modeled his facial expressions for a whole number of possible scenarios (mostly obscene) I was at a loss as to what he was thinking as he looked first at me, and then, with a sort of native caution, at Michael. I sensed immediately however that he thought Michael was the primary cause of this bizarre behavior. Michael looked back, unabashed, but with a curious sort of defiance. For a moment I was locked out of some private dual. Max’s face was a whole spectrum of emotion, from implied humor (a light about the eyes, a trace of a line, the way his irises looked like twin planets coming out of an eclipse) to a sense of anxiety – a sort of darkness, a firmness, about the mouth and the jaw. God, how I ached to touch him!

I looked at him for what seemed hours. Max’s hair was chaotic, the fringe stuck to the dampness on his forehead, as if he had been running. He was wearing some sort of spray-on crew neck that gathered and fluted around his broad shoulders. I thought fleetingly of his armpits, incised between his pectorals and his front deltoids, hot, damp. I then thought of his cock and balls, snug in his boxers, waiting to be opened like a well wrapped parcel, peeled down. Fuck, Jamie man! NOT NOW!

`Did I just say something?’ I whispered. These fantasy things are pretty intense, sometimes I accidentally verbalise.

`About what?’ Max whispered back, looking me up and down.

`About your crew neck?’

`No - you, you like it?’ Max pulled it down and flexed himself so I could admire. It took me about three seconds to entertain the idea that he might be flirting with me.

`Hi Max’ said Michael eventually, dead pan, as if Max had just found us on a desert island ‘I can explain, it isn’t what it seemed –‘

Max smiled and glanced at his friend, His lips were moist, tentative. I realised now that he was really fucking curious, and I noticed, with some relief, that he was trying hard not to laugh.

‘That’s ok – no problem – I mean you’re just having a few private moments with Jamie, in the Eraser Room, after school – I mean - that’s fine.’ Two divine curves began to appear on either cheek as he watched us both. I looked down, blushing, trying not to smile myself.

‘Yeah, whatever – did you want something?’ Michael seemed oddly pissed. Again I sensed a tone of injured intimacy between them that I did not understand.

‘Not really, except that we’d agreed to go to the Crash Down Festival together? Tonight’s the finale, remember? The costume contest and the alien ship crashing in flames? You know, death, destruction and abandonment?’ Max made a small forward movement with his head, raising his eyebrows. He seemed to be enjoying Michael’s sense of discomfort.

‘Of course I remembered, we’re on our way – ‘ said Michael, who had clearly forgotten all about it. Max leaned in closer towards him, frowning.

‘Hold it - I think you have a hicky on your neck – no – wait a minute – it’s dirt - or’ his eyes fell to the bottle of detergent still in Michael’s hand ‘or cleaning fluid.’ I almost burst out laughing. Even Michael relented slightly at this. He told Max to ‘fuck off’ but he was in on the joke by now, rubbing his neck vigorously for a while.

‘We were planning something, a surprise!’ Michael added as we ran up the stairs and out into the evening. Max laughed and then, then he winked at me. My stomach turned to water.

‘Really – for me? Or someone else? I think I’ve had my surprise this evening, guys!’ Max bound up after his friend, all legs, all movement. I felt my face glowing. Just being near him was like being on some astounding, intoxicating drug – or like living and walking in a dream. Only as he threw an arm over Michael (which, I noticed, Michael allowed to stay for a fraction of a second until, in fake outrage, he shrugged it off), only then did I see Max in the context of Michael’s comments: he was an alien. They were all aliens. Max’s comment about the burning ship seemed oddly coded now. A warning?

The evening was warm, a brief blood red dusk coming in from the desert. Uninvited, Michael clambered into Max’s jeep. Max invited me for a lift - I smiled and nodded at my bike - almost the last beast chained on the school bike rack. And Max winked at me again. `See you at the Crash Down later!’ I watched them drive away. I felt a twinge of jealousy, for Michael’s closeness, the self-evident intimacy they had for each other. I cycled home singing at the top of my voice.

I now have to enter a confession of astounding ignorance. As a supreme geek,) of course I knew all about the Roswell crash in 1947, about the so-called cover-up and the so-called alien autopsy. I mean everyone did. By the mid 1980s Roswell had successful commercialised the whole fucking scene into a whacko version of Christmas, with everyone from California crystal watchers, abductee reunionists and ex-bikers roped into a series of events – the pride of place being a pyrotechnic recreation of the Crash followed by a costume party/dance out in the desert. Even Army dude dad knew about it! What I didn’t do, is make a connection between this and Michael’s confession. As for the confession itself, I believed him, because it was not the sort of thing that someone like Michael would say. Where, of course, it was the sort of thing that someone like me would say all the time (and often did!). I am not normally this slow, incidentally. The fact that Michael was my age and not the age of my parents for example, did kind of throw me off the connection, but later, while sitting in the Crash Down, surrounded by crowds of wall-to-wall abductee weirdness, the penny dropped, rather loudly, and with some slight risk of blow-back (as my Daddy loved to say about almost everything).

‘Fucking hell!’

‘What?’ Michael had been chewing something with a lazy, circular motion of his mouth, like a cow. He looked at me and then rubbed his nose and then looked down his front as if I had spotted something, a splash of juice, a note pinned to his tit, his flies open.

‘The Roswell crash! I didn’t appreciate what you were talking about!’ Michael blinked and then, in about ten nanoseconds, he looked suitably alarmed. Typically the first person he looked at was Max, but Max was in his usual Liz induced coma. Next to him sat Isabel, reading some glossy girl magazine and done up in silver padding and black eye liner. She looked fucking scary – I mean she looked scary most of the time – now she was off the scale. She glanced up at me, her curiosity underlined by the bizarre outfit. She looked at Michael as if he had just farted.

He pulled a face, pursing his lips. He managed to convey to me ‘shut the fuck up, keep quiet, we’ll talk about this later’ and the `all’s well’ look to Isabel with just the smallest movement of his eyebrows. It was a fucking work of art.

Isabel, however, was not so easily deflected.

‘What did you say?’ Isabel glowered, I mean she glowered like embers on a dying fire blown by a very chilly wind. And there was no telling when he would burst into flames, either.

‘He didn’t say anything’ Michael snapped, as my mouth began to form words and then froze. He slouched forward and then shuffled his feet. He then ran his hands rapidly over Max’s face. Max was slumped forward with a straw in his mouth. He hadn’t moved for about an hour, while Liz had managed to come to the table no less than seven times for no apparent reason at all. It was like Ground Hog Day.

`Let us go then, you and I -’ I whispered to Michael.


`To where the evening lies spread against the sky, like a -’

`Prufrock, Eliot - Jamie shut up!’

‘Michael, let Jamie speak for himself!’ suggested Isabel as if I was a small and easily dominated child. She smiled icily. It was her attempt to be nice – sort of – I tried to smile back, but my face was frozen between my eyebrows and my chin. I shook my head in as negative a gesture as I could muster. For a moment she seemed satisfied, then,

‘So, how did you two meet again?’ She had asked this twice since I had arrived and sat down. Clearly it was bugging her. She probably asked Michael the same question every day.

`It is a long and complicated story, but my father and Hank met doing some contract engineering a few years back.’ I said this a very non-committal sort of way, as if I had guessed the time. I could see that Michael was impressed though. Isabel mulled it over and then swallowed.

`Kewl - I mean you’re not the sort of guy Michael usually hangs out with -’ she looked back down at her magazine.

`She means I am usually friendless, Jamie - but actually it’s a choice to keep myself above all this sugar coated High School shit the Evans’ enjoy so much!’ he snapped. I smiled painfully. It was like playing alien Happy Families - and badly!

`Whatever,’ Isabel said tightly. Subliminally, like a cat hears a coming earthquake or the end of the world, Max blinked out of his coma and looked about him. `Everything ok?’ he growled. I had a sort of static grimace on my face as if I had suffered a stroke.

At that stage, Maria and Alex turned up dressed in their alien costumes. They drifted over, stood awkwardly around (since there were no free tables) and then seemed to ignore us. I said hello to Alex, and he made a sort of army salute, Maria glowered and pouted a bit. She was dressed up in a sort of green cape with green glitter make-up on. She looked at Isabel out of the corner of her eyes, and then, shiftily, at Michael. It felt a little like I imagined the security council would feel at the UN on a particularly difficult day.

`You’re not in costume, then?’ asked Liz. She was looking at me intently while concentrating on Max.

`Yeah he is - look - he’s in a geek uniform, from the planet Geek’ snapped Michael, who clearly could take no more. He kicked me under the table. Again, Isabel was all eyes. Liz looked at Michael and then took Max’s untouched drink out of his hand.

`Does Max actually buy anythingin here?‘ I asked. Michael leaned over and said loudly in my ear.

`Only if he succeeds in finishing it - hey we’d better go outside for a while, to get some air?’ I gave him a stupid look. Isabel monitored it. I saw it log straight into her hard disk. Michael widened his eyes, prompting, he made gestures at the air and then deep breathing noises.

Isabel flipped the magazine down with some annoyance. `Michael have you been brain washed or something?’

`Yeah - of course! Some air!’ I said. Max looked at me and seemed to agree, but there was a sort of soft crease line across his forehead and if he was puzzled - puzzled rather a lot.

`You’ll join us at the festival later?’ he asked me as I stood up, knocking people over around us and forming a spontaneous human wave. I nodded, although the question ought best to have been directed at Michael.

Maria had started talking to Liz, stage whispers, complaints, something about Kyle as well. She said `you should ditch him!’ slightly too loud, and it lingered above the noise like a bad smell.

`Come on - ‘ Michael manhandled me and we fought our way through the café towards the doors. It was packed with people - I have never seen so much tight fitting lycra and silver outside a gay club in my life! Oddly - disconcertingly - Isabel and Maria watched us like radars as we left.

`Michael!’ we were outside - amid chairs and tables and people standing on the sidewalk as if they were expecting a parade. Fuck so many weirdoes!

`Come on, this sucks - big time. I say we go to this reservation now and meet up with Brandon - ‘

`Now? You mean this minute - ‘ I could see he was dead serious. `You think you know where it is?’

`Yeah - its got to be the main one off the old high-way - it’s the main tourist trap for Indian dream catchers and weird shit made up of feathers.’

`Oh,’ I said, weakly. I wasn’t entirely convinced that he knew where it was.

`Have you looked at a map? Won’t we need a car?’ IFuck I sounded like Isabel. Some fit looking dude in a tight fitting T-shirt pushed past me and my eyes must have lingered slightly, since Michael said testily,

`I was just about to suggest that - ’

`Max’s jeep?’ I smiled sheepishly, fearing I would blush again. The guy had turned and half looked at me - or so I had imagined.

`No way - I don’t want Max involved in this yet - or Isabel - wait a minute.’ I waited, looking at him. He was staring back into the café through the doors and I could see he was examining Maria intently, as a plan started to form in his head. I though it inappropriate to interrupt. Watching Michael at work was pretty awesome.

`Stay here!’ he barked suddenly and dived into the crowd. Jesus! I stood rooted to the spot, looking at what now appeared to be a sort of Star Trek convention taking place around me. I suddenly worried that I might see Army dude daddy dressed up as a Vulcan - I had long harbored my suspicions. After a while Michael resurfaced next to me.

`Come on,’ he said, with a tone of concentrated excitement in his voice.

`You’ve got a car?’ I asked, and then I added, suspiciously, `it wouldn’t be Maria’s by any chance?’

`She’s cool about it,’ he mumbled. I felt surprised that he knew Maria well enough to ask for her car. It was only when Michael had difficulty in actually recognising it, and then fumbled shiftily inside, eyes glued to the mirror, that I realised he had in effect stolen it. And it was only when he took about fifteen miutes to start the fucking thing and, with my help, turn the lights on, that I realised he didn’t drive much.

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Re: Shrodinger's (nee Jamies) Cat. (UC. Slash) 01/19

Post by Patroclus76 » Sat Jan 19, 2008 5:30 am

I don’t drive, incidentally, not yet, and nor does Michael - or if he does he drives something completely different than a car, a broom handle perhaps, or a star cruiser. He spent a few minutes staring at the steering wheel as if it was a display in a museum, and then he poked about a bit for the lights, until I managed to find the switch. This involved bending down dangerously close to his groin. Michael DID manage to reverse all by himself, as well as pulling out into a blare of horns and flashing lights. We slipped past the crowds outside the Crash Down, and as we started to pick up speed I noticed Maria running in her green cape, waving her hands and shouting some wordless curse in our direction.

‘Unusual reaction by someone who has just leant you their car -’ I said, anxious to avoid openly accusing Michael of stealing it.

‘Perhaps she forget to say goodbye - weird girl. She wears too much eyeliner, she can’t see too well,’ at which he swerved violently, and then careened through a red light.

‘Guess she’s not the only one around here who can‘t see too well!’ we swung off the main drag and the traffic mercifully thinned. I half expected the sound of some cop car, or a helicopter, but after a while, Michael seemed to get the hang of it, and we nosed our way out towards the old highway. There was one scary moment when it looked like we were going to join the interstate - but Michael banked a junction and reversed into oncoming traffic shouting `shit!’ with such skill that we were quickly back on course. Finally, Roswell slipped away from us, the houses first, then the odd curious trailer park and industrial unit, and then the rag bag of empty lots and abandon warehouses that mark the end of any city anywhere in the world. My pulse returned to normal. Soon we were driving in total darkness, Michael’s face profiled by the lights from the dashboard and the odd, comet like glow of passing cars. I felt very intimate and mightily relieved to still be alive.

`You OK?’ he asked, eventually. I noticed his eyes darting continuously to the rearview mirror and then back again, as if he expected Maria to emerge from behind him, probably with an axe.

‘Yeah, sure -’ actually I felt exhausted. I felt like I had been up for a week at some sort of never ending party, or drip fed with caffeine.

`Because you’re kind of quiet, for you that is’ he said.

`It’s shock probably -’

`My driving's not that bad! It’s a manual car for fuck sake!’

`I don’t mean just your driving, I mean the whole alien revelation, Michael! I mean, if you’re from the Roswell crash, how come your not one hundred and ten or something, or green -’

`We were in pods for years - some sort of suspended animation - we hatched around 1989 as kids.’

Normally I would have laughed - hatch is a sort of stupid word - and the idea of Michael hatching was pretty hysterical, but the way he said it, and the image that sprang into my mind, just wasn’t funny. It was sort of creepy instead. I looked outof the window. On either side of the road, gaunt Joshua Trees, made momentarily shadowy and cavernous by the headlights, stretched themselves past us and then were swallowed up by blackness.

`Jesus - that’s weird - so you could all be related - I mean, how do you know that you, Iz and Max aren’t all siblings? Did youcome with some sort of manual or something?’

`We don’t know - except it doesn’t feel like that - I don’t know - I sense Max and Isabel being siblings, I don’t sense my own,’ he struggled for a word - `my own belonging?’

`But why are you here? Where do you come from? Are you alone?’ questions burst inside my head, one after another, like sparks.

`Jamie - I don’t know - we don’t know. That’s why this whole thing with Grey and the doors is so important to me - ‘

I lapsed into silence. I wanted to ask `How can you NOT know what you are?' but it sounded sort of rude. I thought again of Max.

`Max is so strange, Michael - I mean - AND what the fuck is going on with Liz?’

`Tell me about it - you want in his pants don’t you?’ he said this so quickly and so ungrammatically that I said yes and then made a sort of choking sound. But before I could get any qualifications sorted out, Michael was talking again,

`When you came from the future with him, even in cat form, I guessed you were lovers or something, I mean - or you were very close to him. But it was also clear that he was probably by then in a relationship with Liz, or had been -’

Jesus a threesome! God we HAD to get to the future as quickly as possible! I then thought that Michael sounded remarkably cool about the prospect of Max actually wanting me as well. It struct me as odd, somehow. I forced myself to sound professional, disconnected, to return to my original question -

`So what's with Liz? Why hasn’t Max asked her out yet?’

`Fuck knows. She’s going out with Kyle -’

`Crap! I have more of a relationship with you, than she does with Kyle!’

`You do?’ he said, looking across at me. I felt myself blushing. Michael had a bizarre habit of taking things either too literally or not at all.

`I mean, what I was trying to say is that, Liz isn’t interested in Kyle like that-’

`Like what?’ I saw his eyes glint as they moved. Were we lost? Or did he always look nervous like this in a stolen car. Or was he thinking about something?

`I mean sexually - she isn’t sexually interested in him!’ Fuck it was worse than talking to my mother!

`Are you sexually interested in me?’ he moved the car slightly to avoid a pot hole.

`Michael!’ A hot wave of excitement shot up from my stomach. I breathed in deeply. `What I am trying to say is that Liz and Max are like those guys in the movie where each one is madly in love with the other, and yet afraid to make the first move, and so they never tell each other -’

`Oh I see, yeah - I can relate to that.‘

`You can?’ I was still not sure when Michael was being thoughtful as opposed to being sarcastic. They still sounded very much the same to me.

`Yeah - its how Max and I felt about each other, and how I think I feel about Maria.’

My mind shut down for a minute. I heard what he said but then again, I didn’t hear. It was only when I saw his eyes dart briefly in my direction to gauge my reaction that I realised he was FUCKING SERIOUS?

`How you felt about Max?’ I said in what I often referred to as `my strangled voice’. But I had missed my moment.

`Besides, getting back onto the subject of Max and Liz, remember Max is an alien, he doesn’t want to get involved. We’ve all promised not to.’ finished Michael, all off hand and casual.

`Promised?’ shit - this got weirder and weirder. `Like in a pact or something?’

`Jesus Jamie, you’re so fucking melodramatic, no - as in a sort of understanding - hold it,' he slowed the car down. In the thick darkness ahead, a string of colored lights appeared, and then a tourist sign for the main Indian reservation, although the word CLOSED had been hung underneath it. Disregarding this, Michael drove off the road onto a dirt track. We lurched and swerved.

`Well, if you’re right about the future, then they get together some way, somehow! Liz and Max I mean!' The track led straight to a wooden archway and a series of sheds. They all seemed deserted, but once Michael had stopped the car and cut the lights, I noticed groups of people sitting around us, and beyond the desert brush, more lights winking in the distance.

`But isn’t that future now entirely fucked up?’ said Michael thoughtfully, as he clicked his door shut.

I sensed everyone looking across at us. One by one, the groups of people fell silent. I had the distinct impression that we had interrupted something private.

`Perhaps we should have waited until daylight - ‘ I said.

`Nah - it’s ok - we want this River Dog dude, yeah?’ Michael was fluffing up his hair. The car engine tinkled and contracted as it cooled. Someone was walking towards us.

`Perhaps this is a sort of native-American only moment?’

`Jamie, shut the fuck up-’

`Sure - hey - we need to talk about Max again, I think I missed a fundamental piece of information just then’ but before Michael could respond to my whisperings someone was speaking at us:

`We’re closed for the night - didn’t you see the sign?’ The voice was female, but still pissed.

`Yeah, we did see it, but we need to see someone - it’s urgent!’ Michael walked forward to the women. Other people were beginning to come towards us. There was the slight trace of something unpleasant, something potentially ugly. I tried not to think of Invasion of the Body Snatchers, which for some reason darted about the Jamie brain. We’d told no one where we were. They’d never find bodies. And I would never now know what the fuck Michael was inferring with reference to Max.

`We come in Peace!’ I said, in my The Day The Earth Stood Still voice.

`Urgent?’ a male voice spoke behind us, ignoring my first contact procedure completely. I turned to see an old man, wrapped in a sort of shawl, with long wild hair tied up off his face, looming up towards Michael.

`Yes - we’re looking for River Dog, and a man called Brandon?’ Michael sounded cool and together, while my mind had already turned to running back into the car as quickly as possible. There was a heavy silence. Perhaps the name River Dog was just plain wrong, or perhaps it was a place or a breed of hound found, well in rivers, like Irish Setters? Perhaps his first name was River?

`River Dog?’ said Michael again, although this time his voice was less sure. I backed a little, searching out Michael with my hand. I was about to suggest we went to plan F. Then the old man said simply,

`I am River Dog - but I don’t know of any one called Brandon?’ He walked forward. The woman paused, looked at him and then she turned and started to walk back. As if a spell had been broken, the feeling of hostility dissipated and the small knot of people dispersed.

`I come in peace, for fuck’s sake’ whispered Michael close to my ear, `leave this to me -’

`Brandon - big black dude - long hair - ‘ said Michael. River Dog looked at him and a smile came slowly to his face.

`But there are two of you - he wanted to see Jamie.‘ he said.

`I know -’ I spoke up, `We had to come together - it’s easier that way’

`I see. That will complicate things. His name is not Brandon though.’

`It isn’t?’ I said, relieved that at least he was here.

`No - his name is Seeth Sia Om - and he is here with some other visitors, waiting for you.’ Michael and I instinctively looked about.

`Not here, some way away, in a cave.’ River Dog half turned to lead us the way somewhere.

`A cave? How Greek!’ I said, but no one laughed.

`Come - ’ The old man led us away from the car and into a screen of trees. The reservation was situated on broken, rocky ground that rose about us towards a line of hills and the beginnings of Frazer Wood. I presumed the caves would be there. But my knowledge of the area was still a bit ropy and is was impossible to see. It was fucking hard work walking in what was at times pitch blackness. Several times I stumbled and either Michael or River dog came to my aid. After what seemed hours of blundering into trees, low gorse and scrub, we came to a sudden rise of rock. The ground in front of it had been levelled and contained odd looking cannisters and bags. River Dog, his age and agility deceptive, turned and said softly

`Sevak Maia Chabdis ka - Rath Sa keva ka!’ I had no idea who the fuck he was speaking to. And then I realised that standing right NEXT to me, I mean right on top of me, was a very tall something - a man, a tree, and that the man-tree was holding a spear.

`Shit!‘ I exclaimed. Panicking I turned to look at Michael, and as I did so I saw two more tall shapes behind him. There was a flicker of something, a sort of white ball of light. It started in the palm of an out stretched hand and as it grew it lit up a long arm and the face of a youth. It wasn't Brandon. The young man was probably about six and half feet tall, with a sharp, angular face, grey-white, but ashen like, as if he has smeared his face with dirt. His eyes were wide, luminous, and just - just fucking beautiful if not - well - vaguely reptilian. I also noticed, ever the professional, that he had a wide, muscled neck and broad solid shoulders, and seemed to be naked, apart from the cloak. Bur It was hard to see since he held the light at chest level. I tried to remember my Mother's advice about not staring.

`Jesus!’ I gasped, at which the young face, (young? Old? Human?) looked puzzled. It was such a familiar expression amid all the weirdness that I wanted to laugh.

`No. I am not Jesus. I am Seeth Murec Om, of the House of Ra sevak sam.’ and then he turned to Michael and -
Well there was no doubt about this -

He bowed.

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Re: Shrodinger's (nee Jamies) Cat. (UC. Slash) 02/15

Post by Patroclus76 » Fri Feb 15, 2008 4:20 pm

really really sorry about the delay here - chaos and students, in that order!!

As the guy bowed, Michael looked as if someone had either given him the finger or offered him a very large sum of money. But I realised it was the look of a guy who had never yet mastered the art of accepting a complement. Michael made a strange sort of mini-bow, as if his back was out, and then looked at me out of the corner of his eyes. The stranger said, quietly, almost to himself, `Lord Rath.‘

Michal didn’t comment on the title. Perhaps he was called Lord Rath on a regular basis. Fuck knows. I was still staring at the youth with the great physique and the curious hairdo - visible to me as he bent his head down - a sort of native American pigtail and several rather pervy looking ear piercing jingling like a Christmas tree.

`Can we see Brandon now?’ I asked eventually, in as much of my normal voice as I could muster. I was about to explain that we needed to get the car back to its rightful owner before Maria had the National Guard taking over the state looking for it, but I was silenced by the tall, cloaked stranger taking my arm. `Follow me, stay close. The cave is dark, and there are many openings and pits in the floor.’ At this, he turned, a tad too theatrically for my liking, and led us into the mouth of the cave and into what appeared total darkness. Yet as we walked forward, and the sound of our movement indicated that we had entered an enclosed space, the top of his spear glowed suddenly. Not a lot, but enough to illuminate the ceiling, and to show the twisted stone contours of the cave floor. The other youth stayed at the entrance to the cave, as did the old man River Dog. `Be careful!’ he warned, strangely, as if he suddenly thought we were in bad company.

`Fuck!’ said Michael behind me, although it was not clear why he said it or at what. To my evident disappointment, the young man had let go of my arm. I was tempted to take his hand. Given that the light was in front of him, it was impossible to examine him any further. He towered above me, and his glowing staff caused grotesque shadows to ripple and spill about us as we moved. I was, however, aware of a strange smell, not unpleasant, but odd - dry - like sand - or like those weird little sachets of crystals you find packed in with electrical goods to keep the damp out.

We walked for some time, and in a variety of directions, and at one stage we appeared to be going distinctly upwards, as if the cave was leading up into a hill or the top of a hill. I could sense Michael getting impatient behind me. As we paused for a moment (why? Was the guy lost - or did he think we needed to catch our breath?) I thought I heard Michael muttering about Max. I half turned my head.

`What about him?’ I said. My whispered question was amplified and thrown about us.

`Nothing - it doesn’t matter -’ Michael snapped, but then he added, `we should have brought him along with us, that‘s all.’

As he said `us’ the echo revealed that the roof of the cave had lifted away suddenly, and that we were standing in a very large space. I also noticed that instead of walking on a hard, uneven surface, we were now on a soft bay of sand as if we had found some exotic, underground beach. There was also some light, coming from strange stones or pebbles scattered about the floor. I looked about me, as my eyes adjusted to the light. There were several other people now - all extremely like the young man in front of us - and all dressed in very similar outfits. They all had spears. In the low, even light I could now see that they were not naked, but wearing short tunics, and a sort of wide cut shirt that showed off their torsos, like fencing shirts. I also noticed that they were not wearing cloaks at all, but rather long, baggy sleeved gowns, like graduation gowns, that came right down to the floor. Siblings? Clones of each other? A gathering for a remake of Dead Poets Society? I suddenly realised that, to all intents and purposes, they were not so much similar as - as identical. I looked about me, my heart racing with excitement. Several had been on the floor as we arrived, but all had stood and moved towards us. I couldn’t see Brandon. I looked eagerly about me.

`I’ve had wet dreams JUST like this!’ I said to Michael, who had crouched down on the floor as if he was examining tracks.

`Why doesn’t that surprise me.’ he said, before he stood up. `Ok. Where's the black dude?’ he asked loudly.

`I am here - ‘ one of the men came forward. He looked like Murec Om, a smooth, high cheek boned face with pale skin and grey-blue eyes. A curl of white hair fell over his face, until he snaked it back in a way that reminded me disturbingly of Max. He must have sensed my disbelief because he then added, `We are combaloids - shape shifters -’

Michael snorted a nervous laugh, either of shock or disbelief, and at that Murec Om sort of swelled up and broadened and darkened in one magnificent movement. His hair massed up and snaked about him in thick, black tresses, and in an instant, there was Brandon. Even the cloak and the tunic had gone, warped into a black leather coat and a tight fitting sweatshirt. Both Michael and I backed away instinctively.

`It was not my intention to alarm, or indeed to impress you. Brandon is a familiar shape for us, since the musculature is close to our own, and my people have used him as an avatar on previous occasions. New shapes are difficult to acquire and retain, and they take a large amount of energy. ’ he spoke quietly, efficiently, an odd flat use of English almost without an accent.

`You can change into anything?’ I asked eventually. Brandon trembled slightly, like an image on a TV flickers and wobbles through interference, and a Murec Om look-alike was in front of us again, his blond hair curled over his grey clear eyes like a question mark.

`Yes - so long as the mass is the same - I cannot become some very small, for instance, or extremely large. If you have no objection, I would prefer to retain my residual phenotype for a while, especially since we’re running out of nuts.

`Nuts?’ asked Michael faintly. Could this conversation get any more surreal? `You live on, nuts?’

`Yes - we need to consume a large amount of selenium to fuel the changes required in any metamorphosis, and although we can ingest some of the selenium from the rocks in the cave, we prefer to eat nuts - Brazil nuts?’

`Fuck!’ I said, my entire, expansive vocabulary momentarily reduced to expletives.

`Sure - ’ Michael sat down, as if he expected to be here for some time. `Keep your shape, it’s fine. Do you all usually look the same - I mean - identical to each other.‘ As Michael sat everyone else sat, except me.

`We all hatched from the same pods - we are all of the same jati - ‘ said Murec-Brandon. Michael’s face drained of color.

And he said, quietly, `You hatched?’

Before they could answer, I said in my Vincent Price voice, `Fuck! This is fucking unbelievable!’ and then I said, `Fuck!’ again, for good measure. And then more politely. `Where are you all from?’

There were six of them.

`Jamie, sit down for fuck’s sake!‘ sighed Michael. He seemed momentarily overwhelmed by everything. I did as I was told. I noticed that Murec-Brandon’s short tunic had snagged on his muscled thighs, revealing a dark, naked, exotic space between his legs. I thought I saw an extravagant bulge in the gloom. Michael kicked me. Murec-Brandon cleared his throat.

`We are from Antar, the third planet orbiting the star Aneueth, which you call Tau Ceti, in the constellation of Cetus, the whale.’

Michael and I nodded matter of fact like, as if they had just announced they were from Maryland. Nerd like, I visualised iTau Ceti immediately, a third magnitude star, relatively close to us, and similar to our own sun in mass and spectral type. Dimmer, slightly cooler, shrouded in debris. I was looking at Murec’s groin as I thought this. A G class star, 55% less luminous than our own G type sun.

`Is that - is that my home?’ asked Michael softly.

`Yes, in part, or rather half of your home. You, Max, and Isabel are alien hybrids, containing Antarian and human DNA, as is another - ‘

Murec paused. He looked up at me and then at his companions. He looked suddenly very young, in his late teens, not much older than Michael and I. I wanted to touch his face, feel the skin.

`And -?’ said Michael with barely suppressed excitement. Still our companion seemed to hesitate, and then Murec-Brandon said `And a fourth individual called Tess. All of you were sent from Antar during a terrible civil war, along with two Seeth lords as your protectors, many, many years ago. ’

Michael looked from one identical face to another. I could sense his head was about to literally explode with questions.
`Tess? You mean there is a fourth alien?’ he seemed barely able to speak.

`Yes. She was separated from you just after you emerged from the pod chamber, and was taken as the companion of Nasado, one of the protectors. Nasedo is a native American name given to him by the peoples of this settlement, but he is known to us as under his original name.’*

`Holy crap! Nasado? And who's the second companion?’ Michael was gushing slightly. hislips wet.

`It is complicated, my Lord.’ said another youth, in an identical voice to Murec-Brandon. Murec-Brandon nodded, and took Michael’s hand.

`Nasado and Tess are traitors. He was entrusted to ensure that you survived the journey and were protected until such a time that you could return to Antar, but he made a plan with our enemies to deliver you all as prisoners. Tess's involvement is particularly - well - intimate. The other Seeth Lord, known now as Langley, abandoned the mission in the early 1950s and seeks to stay here, on Earth, in California, having assumed the shape of a human. Both your protectors are shape shifters, they are not hybrids.’

There was a rather long silence.

`Protectors! Yeah, right. A traitor and a coward - sounds more like it!’ sighed Michael, bitterly. `Tess is a traitor? And intimate - is she another sister of Max's?'

`No. Tess was Max’s companion and wife on Antar. Isabel, Max’s sister, was your companion and lover -’ Michael made a sort of owl like hoot, as if he was trying to ask something and couldn’t. I sat looking from one to the other, feeling I had just arrived in the Fifteenth Act of a classical Chinese opera. Michael buried his face into his hands.

`Shit - you’ve come to rescue us - to take us back home?’ he asked eventually.

`Not exactly. We are all here by accident.’ Murec-Brandon answered with great delicacy, anxious to not disappoint Michael. He was still holding his hand.

`Fucking hell - another crash? What is with you people!’ I said. I recalled Michael’s driving. Clearly it was some sort of generic trait. `What happened this time!’

`It was not a crash, Jamie.’ the use of my first name shocked me, and the tone was weirdly familiar, as if we disagreed all the time. Even weirder, Murec-Brandon was looking at me with a faint smile on his lips. `We have been marooned in the wrong time line. We are from a version of your future - from the year 2080 AD, when Earth and Antar are in alliance, and when Max is King Zan IV - ‘

`King?’ Michael and I stammered together.

`Yes,’ they all answered together. `And Prophet of our peoples.’

`Earth and Antar, they become aligned?’ I asked, but even as I asked this the image of Max, tall, shrouded in dark beauty, rose up magnificently in my mind like a great crimson flame. It flared up from nowhere, from within me.

`Yes - through your efforts, and the work of Professor Julian Grey - and through the Emissary Seeth Sia Om,’ they all bowed and muttered something together.

`Ah - the Grey dude - and you ' he looked at me. `Your efforts!' said Michael, half to himself. Michael suddenly leapt up from the floor, hugging himself, walking about with great animation. `I knew something weird would would happen some day ! I kept telling Max - we - we must go to Max right away!’ he looked around him. Everyone remained sitting on the floor.

`It probably isn't a good time to go to Max, at least not just yet.' said Murec-Brandon after a while, in a sort of even voice. I sensed some sort of bad news.

`Ah' said Michael again, as if he was seeing clues.

Then, all of them said at the same time, like a Greek Chorus:

`You recall the doors? You recall Max as a cat?’

`Ah!’ I said this time, to relieve Michael. I had forgotten the doors for a moment. The time line. Michael nodded. Max as a cat had left a deep impression on him.

`It all started with the cat.’ our companions said again, more quietly, to their collective selves.

`Please don’t do that -’ whispered Michael, rubbing his head as if he had a pain -

`Do what?’ asked Murec-Brandon,

`Talk together - it’s - well it’s just weird!’

`Sorry - we visualise the same conversation at times like this - we are not very old - we are still Sanjasii - days from the pod. We are linked but separable. We will get more separate.’

`Grey - the doors - Max as a king, fucking hell!’ shouted Michael suddenly, in such a way I was afraid he was going to suddenly lose it, `And betrayal?’. But he seemed to regain his composure - `Ok. Tell us about the cat.’

`Before we do - there is something you should both see - ‘ said Murec-Brandon after one of his curious pauses. I guessed their cause. Alongside his conversation with us, was a parallel mental one with his brothers. It was an intimate form of multi-tasking.

`Come - they gathered about us, closely, their bodies felt cool and dry - their muscles like scales, or plates of armor.

`Where are we going?’ said Michael - afraid that we were about to have another forced march further into the cave.

`We are not going far’ They took our hands, and then they walked with us, past the outlying stones with their strange, ambient yellow glow towards a series of twisting passageways and then, eventually a odd looking alcove. It looked to all intents and purposes like a door. As we neared it we saw a strong slab of light falling on the floor, as if from a opening in the roof. There was no moon that night, and unless we had been here far longer than a few hours, it could not be sunlight. And yet, as we turned an outcrop of rock we saw a wide, long window, perfectly square, flooded with sunlight. The light was so intense that Michael and I screwed up our faces. I looked up at Murec-Om. In the glare I noticed that his eyes had changed completely - they were green with lizard like pupils, unfazed by the brilliance. His face was vivid, extraordinary.

He pointed to the window. It looked into a room. In the middle of the room stood a tall, sun tanned Max with a great bush of hair over his head, and he was embracing a women, shorter than he was, dark haired. She fitted neatly into him, curled in over his shoulders, her nose down on his neck. She looked pregnant. Very pregnant. Or very fat.

`Liz?‘ whispered Michael.

`They cannot hear you.’ said Murec-Brandon

There was a third man. A man that I had seen before. He was wearing his infernal dressing gown and wiping his spectacles.

`Where is this room?’ asked Michael eventually, quietly, as if his voice would shatter the illusion. He walked towards the window with slow caution.

`It is in Bone Hill House’. said the aliens together.

*Nasado's full name is given to Grey and Max by Seeth Sia Om in The Roswellian Codex, following their first audience with the Emissary. By 2080 Nasado's name - like Khi'vars - was not spoken by the Seeth and they went un-named thereafter.
Last edited by Patroclus76 on Fri Feb 15, 2008 4:32 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Shrodinger's (nee Jamies) Cat. (UC. Slash) 04/02

Post by Patroclus76 » Wed Apr 02, 2008 2:09 pm

m REALLY sorry about the delay in this - I promise to get a move on!!


`Bone hill house' repeated Murec-Brandon, `but we are not seeing it now - we are seeing it in the future. In 2006.'

We all stood looking into the room, watching Max and Liz embracing. There was something vaguely embarrassing - pervy even - about a crowd of people watching two people embrace. We all watched in silence . It was like being at a movie! We could not hear them, but I could sense that something distressing was happening. They were talking intently, Max looking up at Grey over Liz’s head. Grey looked both embarrassed and yet profoundly moved. I noticed he looked at Max with a sort of nervous half squinting, as if he was looking into a very bright light.

`Bone Hill House?‘ said Michael, as last. His voice was tight and wound up. The name Bone Hill House echoed and rattled about my head. I felt I had known it all my life - fuck - it even felt that I had grown up there! Michael walked closer to the portal, his mouth open, his eyes frowning. `This is so fucking weird! Liz - is she expecting Max’s child?’ he asked slowly, as if he was scrutinising a painting to find out the artist or the style.

`Yes - the child will be our father - the father of the Seeth race. The entire song line of Antar will be renewed through him, and Earth and Antar will be united through the return of the Seeth to reclaim their child.’

Michael nodded slowly. `And Max is the father?‘ he repeated, as if somehow he wasn’t quite sure.

`Yes.‘ said the pod of Seeth, altogether, again like a fucking Greek chorus. It made no sense to me at all - except the premonition that somehow Max and Liz were destined to be together, and evidently, in 2006, would be. And Liz would have his child. I felt my stomach tighten. There was something more to all this, though, if such a thing were possible. Something weirder than a portal into the future, something tugging at the Jamie brain, a sort of sensation of a second life, a second me. I felt like I had caught a piece of myself and was somehow in the process of peeling it away to find another Jamie underneath. Fucking hell! It was like looking at a photograph and seeing yourself in it, but in a place you had never been and with people you had never met! It was like coming out of the bathroom and seeing yourself in bed! Fuck!

I looked again at Max and Grey. Their intimacy was clear, now, like father and son, or perhaps brothers. Yet at this precise moment, in September 1999, they didn’t even know each other existed! Neither had heard of Bone Hill House. That was so strange. I wondered how they would meet, how exactly their paths would cross and then, with a stab of pain, I wondered where I would be in 2006? Would I be there? Would Max know me? Would we be friends, close friends, as I so desperately wanted us to be? Would I matter to him at all? I started to hyperventilate. At that moment, Max looked up again. He half turned his face and his eyes starred straight at me. I felt a wave of longing wash over me, something so astounding, so primordial, that I staggered slightly backwards. I looked at Max, scared that he would somehow see me, or sense that he was being observed. The events that stretched from 1999 until 2006 were etched onto his face. They were evidently profound and hard fought ones. The pretty boy face had been remade, darkened; aged, somehow reforged: the man who looked at me was beautiful but he was also inscrutable. A king. Like Grey, I shielded my eyes and looked down.

Something about us, in the dark cave, whispered and spoke. We all heard it. Michael looked about quickly, alert. The Seeth lowered their heads. For a moment I thought I heard a word, and the hairs on the back of my head bristled as a chill swept over me.

`What was that?’ I said, the fear evident in my voice.

`It is the wind - it sometimes gets into the cave.’ Murec’s voice was calm. I could feel my heart pounding in my chest as if I have been hollowed out.

`I really don’t understand this - ‘ said Michael, eventually, to my relief. I could feel myself shaking.

`It is complicated,’ said Murec-Brandon. `It involves looking at an event that happened in another time line, in another dimension, in a universe parallel to our own. We can see it all because, for some inscruitable reason, the Granolith wills it so.’

`Granolith?’ Michael and I spoke together. In the picture, Grey was now remonstrating and gesticulating with his glasses. Suddenly, distracted, Max picked up a cell phone and started speaking.

`You have already seen the Granolith, Michael - the giant doors to the library - and Jamie has already walked through them - to Bone Hill House, on the eve of the death of Grey’s wife. ’ as Murec spoke, I recalled the giant doors crammed into my bedroom, an inverted Universe. And then I recalled the bitter chill of the vast stone hallways, the doctor walking down the stairs. I recalled Grey, cautiously asking if she was in pain. `Fucking hell!’ I said. Everyone looked at me expecting more, but for the moment that was all my geek brain could manage. `When did she die?’

`She died - she will die - in 2004.’

`Is the Granolith some sort of time machine?’ I asked. I had seen Grey in 2004, we were now looking at 2006, and my future self and Max as a cat had literally dropped in from 2012!

`Well, no, not really.‘ said Murec, apologetically. Jesus! I would hate to play Charades with these guys!

`It’s more -’ began another Seeth, lifting his hands and making a sort of `big’ helpless gesture with his hands, `it’s more a living entity, a spiritual presence, a threshold - we do not evidently control it, despite the fact that many have fought to gain control it and amend time. It can control time, and it can open up a portal to a different time on its own. In some sense not fully understood, the Granolith is alive’

`Jesus - it sounds like a fucking time machine to me’ said Michael with some impatience. `With a mind of its own!‘

Suddenly Murec and the other Seeth indicated that we were to return to the main cave. I paused, glancing back longingly at Max.

`Come.’ said Murec, touching my shoulder. `He is here in your own time, and he is waiting for you even as we speak. ‘ he said softly. There was a strange and heavy sadness in his voice that made me shiver again. We shuffled back through the darkness. Behind us, everyone in the room had gone, and all I could see was a long gallery in a different place, and in a different time, its windows full of brilliant late spring sunshine.


`So what is all this about - why have you asked to see us - and what does this mean?’ Michael said slowly but with a certain precision. We were in the main cave again, next to the glowing stones. After some more consultation, Murec-Brandon
said, again rather unhelpfully,

`We are not entirely sure - but’ he pressed on, more promisingly, `We know this - the timeline has been changed - although not before we were abandoned here by error, or as we now suspect, design. Let me explain. A few days ago, Liz was killed in the Crashdown Café, -’

`No she wasn’t -’ Michael interrupted, but then his mouth froze, open, tantalisingly kissable. I could see his tongue.

`Exactly. ‘ concluded Murec with evident satisfaction. `In `our’ time line, she was shot dead and Max saved her by bringing her back to life in front of witnesses.’

`Fuck - he can do that!’ gasped Michael. He looked at me, his eyes wide.

`Yes - he also altered her genetic code in a way that made it particularly receptive to regenerating the Seeth Genome, which was part of his mission in being sent to Earth in the first place -’

`Regenerating?’ Michael asked.

'The baby - ‘ I interrupted, `Liz’s child with Max regenerates the Seeth, because - ‘ I felt a rush of excitement, `She adds the missing genetic material to the Antarian code?’

`Exactly - ‘ said Murec, as if he was overly fond of the word. `Although Max also has to die and be reborn himself before his code is sufficiently stable to prevent massive cellular aging that my race were prone to, mostly through their own mistaken genetic manipulation.'

`Humans and Antarians must be somehow related, if the DNA coding fits - we must share a common if not distant ancestor?' I mused.

`Dinosaurs.' said Murec-Brandon. `Raptors, to be precise. There is a slight irony in the fact that human slang for Seeth is skink - which is a form of lizard.'

`ah' I said. Sometimes my own brilliance stunned even me. I was hoping Michael would have witnessed this intellectual tour de force, but he was still struck by the prospect of Max's death.

`Die?’ He whispered, aghast. `Max dies?’ Michael sat down on the floor, cross legged, holding his head as if it would explode. `Who brings him back to life? Me?‘ he sounded hopeful, as if he wanted to demonstrate his love as well.

`Liz brings him back.’ said Murec carefully, as if he sensed a fit of jealousy. `Max then contains an a duplicate set of chromosomes from Wheeler that, when he mates with Liz, generate twins - one pure human, the other pure alien.‘

`Shit! A hybrid produces two different species?’ I stammered. And then I thought of Grey. This was evidently where Grey came in, and came in big time. I had no idea exactly how.

`And now all this has changed? Someone or something has changed it so that Liz didn’t die - ' Michael spoke as if in a daze.

`And in not dying, their love for each other might go unspoken, and even if there are children, the child will not regenerate the Seeth.’ Murec sounded worried. He had every reason to be. His ancestor might well not now come into existence.

`What could have caused this? A random event? Your enemies? You spoke of a war earlier, of us all being sent here for safety?’ Michael was speaking rapidly, as if he was working things out in his mind as he went forward.

`We have discussed this matter for some time.’ said Murec. `Although there have been numerous attempts to sabotage the timeline, and indeed despite being numerous interventions from the future, this seems to have occurred from within the Granolith itself. Everything seems to point to this -’

`Is the Granolith yours?' I asked.

`It is its own thing - but it is sacred to our race and has saved us from extinction before. It is impossible to think it would seek to punish us in this way.'' All of the Seeth then sat down, crouching with their knees about their ears.

`But wait a minute, couldn’t a random event change everything, a sort of the temporal equivalent of the `butterfly effect’? I said, initially to myself, but then more forcefully to Michael: `When I and Max as a cat came forward from the future, we alerted Michael to the fact that he would meet me, and that I would be involved with Max, -’

`Oh great, so now it’s my fault!’ he snarled. The Seeth pod looked at me, thinking together. I could sense them, like a group of computers networking.

`That is an interesting idea - but what allowed you and Max to access the Granolith, and what turned Max into a cat?’

`A ginger tom’ said Michael, seriously.

`He was a black panther in 2004 -’ I added, seductively.

`Really?’ said the Seeth together.

`Yeah - and he was really cool!’ I said and then stopped.

There was a silence.

`Why would the Granolith conspire to undermine the fate of the Seeth on its own?’ asked Murec quietly, but not of me. The shooting of Liz was, well, seminal -’

`You can say that again’ whispered Michael sarcastically. Murec ignored him.

`So much stemmed from this one act of Max’s. His intervention sealed his love with Liz, symbolic of the later union between our two worlds, and yet it revealed himself and the rest of you to government authorities and endangered your lives.’ The Seeth looked down at Michael `It led you on a chase to find your own identity, a journey that led you to Nasedo, and to Tess by unveiling the murders of Nasedo had committed to keep his identity a secret!’

`How important was the meeting with Tess?’ asked Michael. No one spoke. I sensed something unspoken pass between the Seeth.

`A great deal’ they all said, diplomatically.

`Oh my god!' I stammered - `All this from one stray shot?’

`Yes.’ said the Seeth. Another ominous silence fell. Again I thought I heard in the dark recesses of the cave a ghostly whisper, a soft laughter, a voice.

`So what the fuck do we do?’ Michael was scratching his eyebrow, intensively, enjoying it. No one said anything, but I sensed a thought taking shape in the Seeth’s collective consciousness.

The thought was a series of images, at first indistinct but then slowly clearer and more precise. After a moment of shock, I said - more to myself -

`You can’t be serious!’

`Someone has to kill Liz and get Max to save her.' said Murec as if this was th emost natural thing in the world.

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Re: Shrodinger's (nee Jamies) Cat. (UC. Slash) 04/15

Post by Patroclus76 » Tue Apr 15, 2008 4:16 am

I am not sure how long it took Michael to pick up on the implied the plan. He sat holding his head for a while, like he had been smacked down with a baseball bat, and then he looked up, horrified.

`No fucking way!’ he said, spitting slightly, so his lower lip shone tantalisingly in the gloom.

`Look - let‘s all stay calm,‘ my geek brain was struggling for Adult Protocol One; the emergency protocol all adults use when faced with dramatic plot developments: war, break-ins, infidelity: the sub-routine is to call some unknown Aunt or make a pot of coffee. `Besides, it’s getting late,’ I turned to the gaggle of identical looking alien youths, with their Inuit Indian hairstyles and their incredibly sexy faces, boned and smooth like masks. What was the collective term used to address more than one Seeth?

`A pod,’ said Murec, helpfully, like a prompt.

`Or poddlings - although that can be pejorative,’ said another sculptured young man, his cloak pulled tightly around him so the front of his shoulders showed sharp against the material. I wondered what they looked like naked? Where did the cartilage end and the flesh begin? Six pairs of grey-green eyes, faintly luminous, rested on me with a certain degree of what might be called alien irony. I had a creeping idea that my private images were not quite so private. I bit my lip.

`I can’t call you poddlings, it sounds fucking stupid, like I am addressing a bunch of dolphins of something!’ I stammered eventually. `How about Seethii? Is that the correct grammar?’ I proposed eventually.

`Guys! Hello? Like we have all day!’ interrupted Michael, standing now, and blowing his cheeks in and out as if he had burned his mouth. `Can I remind you that I have stolen Maria’s car, that she has probably called the fucking Sheriff by now'

`Fuck yes, I’d forgotten, it must be very late - my parents will be going nuts as well - or rather my mother would be going nuts, I mean, more nuts than usual that is.’

`Jamie is right,’ said Murec, quietly, after another furtive glance between the poddlings. For a moment I thought he was referring to my views on my mother. `We must discuss this further at a more convenient time and place. But we must act quickly. The longer the timeline diverges, the more new variables come into play. We have to deal with the fact that Nasedo, Tess and the skins are all out there, working together, even if you have not encountered them yet -'

`Wait a minute, skins?’ Michael looked sharply at Murec, `Who the fuck are they? Did you mention them earlier?’

`They are your enemies, and ours, they are loyal to Ku’var although they fear him, and indeed many loath him.’

I managed to look at my watch - it was a Star Trek special with a picture of the Enterprise D on the dial face. I was vaguely embarrassed about it. It was almost four am. `We are in deep, deep shit!’ I said, hiding my time piece from Murec.

`Shit?’ asked a Seeth.

`A figure of speech - sorry’ Fuck, I had better watch my language!

`Nasedo is in league with the Skins?’ asked Michael - he had a head for all this - enemies, beatings, blowing things up. He was a fully functional ninja. I had already forgotten who exactly Nasedo was!

`For the moment, yes.’ whispered Murec. It sounded ominous, as if was some sort of tactical alliance prone to breaking down. We started walking back to the mouth of the cave.

`We must meet later today to continue our plans!’ Murec pressed is, his anxiety obvious.

`IT will be difficult, it’s a school day,’ said Michael, as if this made the slightest difference to his life. There was no way I could miss school - I would miss seeing Max!

`After school then -’ Murec suggested, flexible but determined. We were now in the darkest bit of the tunnels, and I was holding onto him and trying not to enjoy it. His forearm was incredibly firm. He seemed to have no difficulty seeing, and when I glanced up I saw his eyes were brilliant, like lamps. It was scary, seeing that; it made him suddenly very alien. I looked away quickly. Shit!

`It is nothing to be afraid of. We are very similar to you - as you rightly noted - we have very similar genetic codes - indeed from the distant time that we have come from - 2080 - humans and Seeth are converging, although we still have a very different reproductive cycle -’

`You do?’ I asked.

`Jamie!’ came Michael’s voice from behind, censorious.

`We’ll have a discussion some time.’ whispered Murec, smiling. I felt my face flush slightly. Bastard Michael! We had reached the entrance of the cave.


Outside the night sky had paled and the air was still and very cold. River Dog sat near the entrance, covered in a blanket. He was wide awake and attentive, like the hound guarding the entrance to hell. There was no sign of the police, the military or Maria.

`When and where shall we meet, then?’ Michael was rubbing himself to get warm. I felt tired, stiff from the chill. Everything was taking on the feeling of a dream, an elaborate, rather beautiful hallucination.

`We shall come to the Crashdown -’

`What all of you? Together?’ I stammered.

`Yes - it‘s best if we avoid meeting here again so soon. Nasedo knows this place, he came here after the crash in 1947 - River Dog remembers him, and it is possible that word may get to him that something is a foot here. He is a dangerous man - we would not want to come upon him alone.‘ They seemed to speak of him with both fear and some awe.

`Where has he been all these years?’ asked Michael, thoughtfully. `Why has he never made contact with us?’

`It is not yet time. Once the pod chamber was established, he set out to wait for your emergence -’

`You mentioned that earlier, the chamber, where I was - born - it must be close by?‘ Every time Murec said something, he seemed to reveal another secret. Every turn and twist in his conversation showed us a new landscape, a new vista. I wondered if he did this deliberately. Michael moved forward slowly. He face was indescribable.

`It is not far from here.' said the Seeth together.

`We really did hatch then, didn‘t we - I think I remember it - emerging together - but I only remember three people - I can‘t recall Tess?’

`Nasedo devised a way of delaying her birth - he did not want you all together. In the original timeline, Tess revealed it to you all not long after you meet her and Nasedo for the first time - in about four weeks time, actuallty, it was part of her conspiracy to betray you all.’

`Jesus - why did Nasedo wait so long to betray us? ’ questioned Michael - `you said earlier that she was Max’s wife - has that something to do with it?’ Why couldn't Max and Tess have the child?' Michael’s face looked preoccupied; thoughtful. Murec brought the discussion to an end.

`Nasedo has his own plans, my Lord, they run deep and are well laid. And Max will never love Tess. On the contrary. But all we need to know for now is that should Nasedo discover a jati of Seethii hiding out in a cave, on Earth, genetically rejuvenated, he will know that something has changed -‘

`So only Liz's baby will do!‘ I said quietly. I was beginning to suspect that Tess and Nasedo figured in all this rather more than Murec was letting on.

`Babies, actually -’ The Seeth youth smiled at me. He looked at me intently. `Are most hathmans like you, Jamie Relph?’ he asked me after a pause.

`No , he‘s unique!’ said Michael, with a hint of sarcasm. We walked towards the car. I was still bothered by something.

`Murec, surely, all these bits of information you’re giving us will keep fucking up the timeline again - ‘

Murec sighed expansively. He looked very cute when he did that, powerfully helpless. `I am afraid we are all very young. We have no idea what happened to bring us back in time to this cave or why it happened. Temporal weapons exist in the future, the Skins perfected many, and there have been many attempts to go back and undermine the time line, but -‘ he paused - `this feels different somehow. I have no idea how much telling you both what ONCE happened will help, or, as you say, fuck things up.’

I bit my lip to stop laughing. Hearing a Seeth swear for the first time was sort of funny. Even Michael smiled.
We walked on, River Dog behind us. I could sense his unease, and the way he looked at the Seeth. By the time we got to the car it was quite light.

`If you do all come to the Café, you will have to look different - the black dude - Brandon - but you couldn’t all look like him, I guess.’ my voice trailed away whimsically. I rather liked Brandon, actually. And six of them - my god!

`At the moment it’s difficult for us to take on different forms,’ - answered Murec - `We will acquire the ability soon, but we are too connected as yet, being so sanyashi sa.’

`Days from the pod,’ I translated, without thinking, for Michael’s benefit. Michael smiled but looked at me cautiously. Even suspiciously.

`Couldn’t we be two sets of triplets?’ suggested Murec. We were now sitting in the car, and his head was leaning in through the open window. Long silvered tresses of white hair fell near my face. His eyes, close to mine, were astoundingly clear now, a light ochre, the shades of the desert. He had a beautiful, firm mouth.

`Yeah right, this is Roswell, for fuck’s sake - we’d have an alien connection in about ten minutes and the place would be swarming with TV crews!’

`We’ll think of something, do not fear.‘

`That’s exactly what I fear!’ said Michael ominously.

`Michael,’ Murec’s voice turned serious. About to start the engine, Michael glanced up quickly.

`We will, at some stage, have to tell Max everything, whatever we decide. But before then, promise us you will do nothing dramatic or - what is the word -’

`Spontaneous?’ suggested another alien.

`Capricious?’ another.

`How about reckless,’ I added.

`Ok, ok - give me a break - but none of you know Max like I do - he’ll do nothing unless he is convinced, and convincing him to do something is fucking hard work! His default position is ALWAYS to do nothing - even if a fucking army of Skins turned up! You have to understand, my Podo friends, that Max wants to be normal.’ I was falling into a sort of stupor. I brought myself round, quickly. One worry was nagging at me.

`Won’t Max be at the café tonight? Shouldn’t we go somewhere else?’ the car spluttered into life. I had a sudden, sneaking suspicion that the Seeth were planning a heist, a surprise killing of Liz or something, forcing the moment. Sensing my thoughts, Murec touched my face with his hand. It was a surprisingly intimate gesture: I jumped back slightly.

`We only want to see him, that’s all - in our time, Zan has long gone on his final journey and we know only his image, his writings, the story from the codex, his life as told by others - ‘

`The codex?’ I felt myself go cold. The idea of Max as a future king seemed so incredible!

`The narrative of the book of Ea, and the testimony of Lord Grey himself. ’ said Murec, and they all whispered something, moving their hands. Michael was impatient to go.

`Well don’t do anything stupid - or reckless - it’s bad enough Jamie boy here having hot flushes every time Max comes into the room!’ He gripped the wheel rather aggressively.

`Hot flushes?' said six voices together. The car reversed, sending dust into the air.

`Farewell,’ said Murec, making an odd sort of improvised wave. `And stay out of - what did you say - the shit, ok?‘

Michael’s face flashed a smile.

`We really ought to mind our language - they clearly are impressionable?‘ I whispered, waving back.

`Yeah - sure - but you swear more than me - you swear all the fucking time!‘ As the car turned around I caught sight of River Dog standing alone under some trees. He was shaking his head slightly, his face alert and full of warning. I felt a stab of anxiety. As we turned to join the old highway, he made an odd gesture to me, a sort of coded warning, before he slipped from view. He looked afraid.


We drove back in silence. Michael chewed his lip while I dozed. Various disjointed out of sequence images kept flitting through my head. The image of Max and Liz in the room at Bone Hill House, the strange physical presence of Murec and his brothers, the cave, River Dog. With each slight swerve and turn in the road my head snapped back and forth and I stammered awake. It was a brilliant, September morning. I became aware that Michael was eyeing me in the mirror rather too secretively for my liking.

`What’s up?’ I slurred. My tongue was furry and kept sticking to the side of my gums.

`Nothing.’ said Michael, but I already knew that look, the eyes, swimming around the road ahead of us, his mouth pouted and slightly twitching, like some dude with Turret’s syndrome, unable to stop himself.

`Yeah right, you think I’m in on this somehow - ‘ I suggested.

`Well, the thought DID cross my mind - I mean, you’re awfully quick on the uptake, even for a boy genius - and you picked up the lingo pretty quickly back there.’

I closed my eyes against the glare of the windshield. He was right of course - all this was pretty suspicious, from Michael’s point of view. Of course everything was suspicious to Michael, but that was one of his great strengths.

`I mean’ he looked at me again, `I saw you and Max from the future, that in itself could have been a trap - you could be misleading me - there seems a lot of fucking betrayal and double dealing in all this -’

`Michael -’ I used my biblical off stage voice. It really ought to have been an octave lower, but I couldn’t quite manage that. `I know I am involved in this, somehow, I can’t explain - I wanted to bring you tonight because we have to trust each other - Murec, Brandon, whatever, wanted me to go alone, but I brought you - you have to trust me - and not go off on one of your wild - ‘

`Reckless?’ he corrected, already beginning to laugh. I loved Michael when he laughed, when he finally abandoned the will to resist.

`Yes, reckless chases! Come on, It all begins to add up - Max’s obsession with Liz, clearly it isn’t a coincidence, but some form of destiny. We obviously didn’t grasp the real significance of his love for her!’

`Yeah, some fucking destiny. She has to get shot for Maxy Maxy, cat boy and alien king, to actually do something! Now we have to do it - jesus!’ he banged the steering wheel with some enthusiasm. `It’s like reading a book or seeing a film completely in the wrong order and trying to make sense of the plot - backwards , I mean,’ he paused, and then said `Jesus!’ again but this time it was because we were pulling up outside the Crashdown to see Maria, a women I took immediately to be Maria’s mother, Max, Max’s parents, Isabel, and Sheriff Valenti, ALL sitting in the window seats looking at us. Liz was standing in the doorway, holding her school bag. It looked vaguely like a scene from Show Boat.

`Act normal,’ I said - as if that were possible.

`I’ll deal,’ Michael said. We walked slowly towards the greeting party.

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Re: Shrodinger's (nee Jamies) Cat. (UC. Slash) 04/20

Post by Patroclus76 » Sun Apr 20, 2008 12:37 pm

We had three gruelling hours of interrogations and various tantrums: the first and most immediate was from Maria, who was so relieved to see the car retuned intact that she started crying and thumping Michael on the head. He took it rather well and the hair gel held up impressively. Bizarrely , when Sheriff Valenti intervened to try and effectively accuse Michael of stealing the car, Maria turned stubbornly supportive and insisted that she had allowed him to borrow it. She even claimed to know that Michael wanted it for a `long ride’. Michael looked genuinely horrified (or moved) by this help - it was always hard to tell with Michael, since affection solicited a form of horror in him. Then Michael got a severe verbal slapping from Maria’s mother, an impressive broadside which amused Sherriff boy no end, to the point at which later he stood with Amie leaning against the patrol jeep, flirtingly outrageously.

Then, when Maria had dragged her mother away and Valenti had extracted his pound of Michael’s flesh, (future boot camps, a life of delinquency, a cheese factory) Isabel waded in with a sort of ex-Wife number, which left Michael slumped in exhaustion. Throughout, Max brooded in the background like a splendid winter storm cloud, flashing eyes, until Isabel took her parents away, flushed and big breasted. Both parents cast killer, dagger eyes at Michael as they drove by. I was entirely redundant to the whole drama - Michael stole the whole fucking thing. If I had claimed at any stage to have masterminded the whole operation it would have raised neither an eyebrow, or redirected fire towards me from Michael - I did try - I tried several times. It was like I was fucking invisible! God I TRIED falling on my sword!

In the end it was just me, Max and Michael, with Liz having sloped off to the bus stop. Mrs. Parker was the only one to cast Michael a sympathetic look and offer him a soda - or it might have been a revolver. He declined on the grounds that the soda might have been poisoned. I felt I ought to make myself scarce, now, but Max would have none of it. He wanted to speak to us both. Michael and I were `up to something’ and we were going to tell him there and then what it was. He stormed at Michael, who stormed back. Both flushed and flashed and growled. At one stage I thought I was going to ejaculate. Max pissed was spectacularly erotic. I mean it was off the scale of the Jamie Erotic Index, well, probably just on the same level with six naked Brandon’s around a café table, spilling ketchup over their pecs. Ok, perhaps not, but God it was pretty high up there! Even when Max raised his voice, it remained a growl, and his eyes flashed from me to Michael and back again. And every time you thought he had finished, he would start again, needling away, nag nag fucking nag.

`What were you thinking!’ he begged of Michael at the end of what seemed like a remake of The Ten Commandments, at which Michael lost his temper again and stormed out onto the street in a display of such love and affection for Max that I was almost moved to tears. God I would have given them ALL Oscars! Max seemed close to bawling his eyes out as well, his face was taught and his lips pressed firmly together. We waited for the emotional intensity to pass.

I tried falling on my sword again.

`It was my fault, Max, I put him up to this -’ I said eventually. The glass door of the Crashhdown was still swinging like a saloon door in a Western.

`Jamie don’t cover for him!’ said Max with effort

`I’m not covering! I wanted to go to the Indian reservation - it was my idea!‘

`At that hour?’ Max frowned and sighed. He ran his hands through his thick mop of hair and came over to me. `Why? What were you doing?‘

What the fuck could I say - seeing aliens - checking out his ancestors?

`Look, Jamie, I 'm really pleased that you and Michael are friends, it means a lot to see him hanging out with someone like you, but he needs careful managing, Jamie, he needs watching -’

`He hates being watched Max - you know that -’

`Jamie! I’ve known him all my life! -’ he sounded exasperated again.

`I know, Max, I know. Look I’m really sorry - but you can’t blame him entirely for this, I was there, I have to get some slapping around as well, it‘s not fair he gets all the attention!’ Max’s dark face, drawn down in a scowl , lightened momentarily. He seemed to relax. He was standing very close to me. I could smell him, like a well oiled machine, it was an enticing smell, not unlike the Seeth, woody, earthy, like smoke.

`So you want your ass slapping as well?’ he said, with all seriousness.

I started to blush. Was he joking? I’d hitch my pants down and climb on his knee immediately!

`Yeah, that would, well, that would do rather nicely.’ I stammered.

Max could not hold his look any longer and laughed, flashing his teeth in a great smile. He sighed, and then turned serious again. `What is it, with you two - first you’re in the Erasure room, then you run off into the dead of night - if I didn’t know Michael better I’d think you were - lovers?’ he half smiled now, but the tone was odd, slightly disingenuous. There was a genuine question buried in there, almost like Michael’s in the drive out earlier.

We stood in silence looking at each other. For the first time since we had met I felt Max notice me, look at me, register me as something he needed to know now,to understand. I also sensed him recognize my obsession with him as well, that I was infatuated. He seemed to taste these sensations in his mouth, thoughtfully. Finally he said:

`We’d better go to school - come on, I’ll give you a ride in the Jeep.’ I followed after him with my head down. God I do VICTIM so well. His hard firm hand had just slapped my buttocks red, and he had pulled my balls for good measure.


But actual punishment was not over yet. When I arrived at school it was to find my mother and army boy in the principals office and my name being poured out of the public address system. To make matters worse, my mother was wearing a silver foil shower cap. I tried my usual line of escape. Once it was explained that I was at a sleep over, I got off relatively lightly, especially when Max appeared like an angel to explain that I had been with him and his sister, that he should have apologised, that he was awfully sorry, it would never happen again - another full on Oscar performance. When Max finished the whole act army boy was stunned while mother was looking at him with a suspicious narrowing of the eyes, as if she recognised he was wearing her dress or something. The Principal looked bemused. I half expected thunderous applause and showers of rose petals as we took our bows!

Jesus - what a day - it was difficult getting through school after all this excitement and drama. I am not sure I would have done had it not been for Max. Max was attentive to me throughout, now, as if he had adopted me or something, or, more likely, that he had decided to watch me like a fucking hawk. Throughout the day he was always somewhere close, ever present, in company, sometimes a solitary soft pawed presence behind me, in the undergrowth. I ran into others who had witnessed our return. Isabel glowered and fumed her way around me, never speaking but glaring and snorting, and coming back to look at me again as if I was some weird animal. (Either I had been inattentive, or her breasts had grown enormously. Did women’s breasts expand? I would have to ask Michael). Every time the bell sounded and classes changed, I came across Liz, Maria and Alex in some sort of sporting hug, no doubt comparing notes, or plotting. Meanwhile, my partner in crime remained missing throughout the day, fuck knows up to what! I was worried he had been more upset by Max than he had let on. Jesus! On top of all this was the constant worry that the Seeth would all turn up like a band of Masi.

Exhausted, I fell asleep several times. One time I fell asleep upright in science class, the only one I shared with Max and Liz. A firm nudge, almost a caress, jolted me awake to find Liz smiling at me, a sort of conspiratorial nod, different from her earlier attention, as if she was jealous of all the fuss. Finally I fell asleep at the John, with my hand on my dick. I was only awoken by the sound of the flush coming on in the latrines and someone coughing loudly behind me. When I looked back Max was playing around with the paper towel dispenser. God knows how long he had been there. There was something disconcertingly paternal about the way he smiled when I buttoned my flies.


I got home eventually. I cycled back in a trance, having set the auto-pilot for HOME. I half expected to be grounded when I announced after dinner that I needed to go to the Crashdown, but once it was established that Max would be there, that Max was going to help me, all was sweetness and light. Saint Max. All very sinister. Meanwhile my mother had started decorating the kitchen and we ate some strange green flan between cans of paint and turpentine slicks of rainbow colored grease

`This Max, this boy - ’ said my mother, as if she was suddenly narrating a Dickens’ movie. `I am sure I have seen him somewhere before, Jamie - ’

`Yeah?’ I spoke through a mouth of green mush. I presume she meant before she saw him this morning.

`Yes. I am quite sure of it - ’ she mused on the problem for some time. Army dude shovelled his meal down as quickly as possible to avoid tasting it. Mother was still ruminating.

`Evans? You are sure his surname is Evans?’ Once Mother had an idea wedged between the synaptic gap it was hard to dislodge it. OCD or something. You had to put a sunlamp in front of her or inject her with Prozac and even then it was likely to reoccur.

`Definitely - but he’s adopted - or fostered - he and his sister were,’ I was about to say the usual line, `found in the desert)’ but omitted it on the grounds that it might overexcite her, or worst still, involve army dude who had a default fascination on aliens and Roswell.

`Reallllllllly,’ said mother, like cops say `really’ in bad cop films, ie meaning `no fucking way!’ I didn’t like the way this was going. I volunteered for some more mush on the grounds that this would deflect her. It didn’t.

`He reminds me of someone - darling,’ she said, fixing her eyes (partly disguised by the shower cap) on daddy. My mother was the only woman I knew who could make darling sound like shitface.

Darling looked like he’d been accused of something. `What was the name of that scientist fellow, that man I met in the clinic.’

`Clinic?’ I echoed. Daddy took a sharp intake of breath and frowned at Mummy, the telegraphic shorthand of `not now, not in front of Jamie!’ but Mother irritatingly persisted. She was on a roll. It would take an entire herd of medics to deflect her now.

`When I had my turn, darling, the bad one, when they had to section me under the state mental health act -’

`Fucking hell!’ I said. `You were sectioned?’ Daddy scowled and started making odd rolling movements with his hands, as if he was gesturing for a F16 to land on the table.

`James mind your language! She wasn’t sectioned, not exactly -’ he said, wincing. `She was kept in for observations.’ My mother nodded, as if this was a mere quibble of detail. The shower cap slipped slightly.

`Wasn’t his name Grey?’ she said suddenly, with clarity. I was in the process of swallowing a wedge of goo which stuck ominously in my throat. This was worse than catching my parents having sex.

`Wrray?’ I said, through another mouthful. Army dude tried his `don’t look at me’ routine and started rambling about the weather. `James, you’d better go - you’ll be late for your party.’

`Study group, Dad, it’s not a party -’ Jesus! Mother was stabbing something on her plate intently.

`Yes - Grey - the man who had been abducted by aliens, darling, the scientist - or was it his son who was the scientist, who came to see him that day - I can’t recall. I am sure Grey was in the bed next to me,’

For a moment she retained a look of intense concentration. Army dude was trying to think now as well. It was like watching a fucking quiz show.

`He lived in a Boston - ’ she said, helpfully. `I am quite sure of it.’ Army dude closed his eyes. Capital of Russia, starts with M. Lots of snow and corruption. Fucking hell! What in god’s name was going on! I grabbed some water to help the flan down its merry, stubborn way, my mind racing. Several things flashed into my mind: They were

a) my mother really was mad and had been sectioned at least once in her life.
b) she seemed to have met a man called Grey who has been abducted by aliens(.)
c)t he man was either Bone Hill House Grey, or Bone Hill House Grey’s father. Unlikely given the current MADNESS in my life to assume it was another GREY entirely.

`Did he wear a dressing gown?’ I asked, in all seriousness. They both scowled at me.

Fucking hell!

At that stage my cell phone came to my rescue, vibrating cheekily in my groin, like the long fingers of Max’s right hand. I snatched it open to see Michael’s number flashing.

`Excuse me, it’s my study group - hey Michael! I stood up and walked away at which I heard Army dude start his whispered reprimand of mother’s candid history. Thank god I was going out. I tried to concentrate on what Michael was saying. Michael was agitated. Either that, or the reception was exceptionally bad.

`Get over (something something) to the Crashdown straight away - your (something something) Seeth buddies have turned up and (something something) ’ he shouted. Was he on a boat? There seemed an awful lot of wind. My heart leapt into my mouth. `Fucking hell - what are they? I mean, what shape are they in. I mean, what shape have they - acquired?' God - grammar!

`You wouldn’t believe it - you just wouldn’t fucking believe it!’ was all Michael said. His voice wobbled, there was a loss of signal and that was that.

`Yeah - try me!’ I said sarcastically to the dead cell.

I raced for my coat and wallet. My parents were now shouting at each other, so I shouted my goodbyes and ran to the garage. Jesus! I got the bike out and raced off into the warm, thick night, crossing pavements, avoiding cars, cats and small children, and eventually making the café in about twenty minutes. I am not sure what I had expected, but it all looked pretty normal from outside. A mini bus was parked next to the shoe repair shop opposite, with the legend `Desert Island Retirement Home’ sprayed across the bonnet in blue, with a picture of a little old lady riding what looked like a surf board and the logo NEVER TOO OLD. I locked my bike up next to it, threaded my way through some light evening traffic, and pushed open the door. Michael was sitting at his usual table, alone, with Maria and Liz in full attendance to a large crowd of geriatrics, all shouting and speaking together at the same time. They took up most of the café and seemed genuinely bemused by the menu. It must be some sort of evening trip from the local old folks home? Most of the noises were not so much orders as `clarifications’. Maria’s fake antennae had slipped down her face. She looked up and then ignored me.

`Michael -’ I sat down, sweating, my dinner goo threatening to make a sudden, unwelcome reappearance, `I thought we had a real crisis on our hands - hey I have somethign weird to report abut my mother and Grey, Julian Grey, or probably his dad - bit weird - Michael? Hey, wheres Murec and Co?’ Michael nodded his head towards the window. I turned around, scanned for anything unusual, saw nothing, turned, and then, suddenly -

I spun around.


Sitting in a single row, facing inwards to the counter, were six identical old women with white hair and thick little round glasses. They all wore blue shawls and were slightly stooped, and they looked like they had been auditioning for the part of the grandmother in Little Red Riding Hood. Bizarrely, they each had a surf board propped up against the window. Moreover, they were all knitting as well, furiously, from six balls of wool that rolled precariously across the floor. They were knitting in synch.

`Don’t stare,’ said Michael, desperately.

`No way!’ I gasped, staring. `It can’t be - it must be a coincidence!’ I thought of the mini bus outside.

At that stage the little old lady in the middle caught my eye, put down her knitting and waved at me enthusiastically.

`Look away' said Michael bewteen his fingers

And then, to my horror, she shouted.

`Hello Jamie dear, what the fuck are you doing here!’

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Re: Shrodinger's (nee Jamies) Cat. (UC. Slash) 04/27

Post by Patroclus76 » Sun Apr 27, 2008 11:27 am

Jesus Christ!’ gasped Michael. `it’s like a nightmare version of Macbeth!!’ I waved back quickly, if only to deter the little old lady from howling more obscenities in my direction.

`There were only three witches in Macbeth, Michael.’ I corrected, pained, ready for another rollercoaster ride of high farce and adventure. Liz and Maria, deeply involved in negotiating and explaining `smoothes’ to the rest of the aged troupe of visitors glanced up at me and then at Michael with a look of bewilderment (Liz), and contempt (Maria). Maria said loudly

`These guys had to be involved in this somehow - they just had to be!’ I think I looked helpless. Fuck, she was such a drama queen - and the shrug routine and pale white face gunk really made her look scary. Even I was beginning to appreciate, however, that she did had a thing for Michael. She clearly hated him far too much! I walked over to the six identical old ladies who were formation knitting - shit, it was uncanny. They even wore the same fucking shade of blue. Behind me, Michael buried his face in his hands and collapsed across the table.

`Murec -’ I whispered, standing slightly to one side to shield myself from the waitresses. `This is not quite what we had in mind - ‘

`No?’ said Murec in such a fantastically sweet old ladies voice that my heart melted. All of the granny dudes stared at me, anxious, their eyes blinking in rhythm like a string of Christmas lights. I felt like I had kicked a small puppy.

`But it’s fine - it’s ok - I mean, the disguise is brilliant - ‘ Murec’s hairy , powered little chin wobbled at this, with evident satisfaction.

`It took us ages to get it just right!‘

`I’m sure it did - ‘

`We came across the bus trip quite by accident -’ said another. `We had to wave it down on the road!'

`How did you get on it?’ I looked around nervously.

`We threatened to blow it up and take the driver hostage ’ said another little old lady sweetly, pulling up a length of wool.

`Oh I see- and where did you get those?’ I looked back at the surf boards - how in the name of God had hey found those in Roswell?

`We robbed a store on the way here - it’s been quite a day!’ smiled Murec, with huge dimples in her little cheeks.

I was aware that Liz was standing next to me with an order book. `So, Jamie, would you like to introduce me to your friends -’ she beamed one of her killer smiles, brilliant white, transformative - her eyes shone at me inquisitively. She was dying to ask me how the fuck I knew this lot. I could tell. I was already subliminally working on a story line.

`Hey, sure I was- ‘ I felt myself starting to get flustered. `This is -’ I looked at Murec blankly, the lead granny: I saw myself mirrored perfectly in her little spectacles, and then a soft masculine voice said in my head, `improvise, don’t blow it!’
`This is Martha, this is Miriam, er, let me see, this is Matilda,’ I was beginning to struggle with the Ms. Murec, evidently attuned to my psychic disorder, smiled his wrinkly apply smile and said, pointing at the remaining three as if they were targets:

`And this, dearie, is Maple, Marsh and - Mellow?’ she ended, sounding rather too equivocal for my liking. `Isn’t that right, Jamie’. I must have looked horrified.

I recovered quickly and beamed a smile of encouragement. Michael still appeared to be lying across his table, unconscious. Liz laughed spontaneously, while I laughed from sheer nervous exhaustion. It was too high and made me sound like a hyena. The night was clearly only just beginning.

`What fantastic names!’ Liz said, getting the better of her giggles. (yeah right!) She was clearly having trouble containing herself. The idea of two identical sisters called Marsh and Mellow was just too fucking weird, but then again, this was Roswell.

`And what ‘s your name, dearie?’ asked Murec, leaning forward and peering at Liz’s name badge. A wisp of white hair snaked down from her perfectly formed little bun and she spirited it back with a sly flick of her hand. I remembered Murec doing that in the cave when we met, the long slender fingers coiling the blond hair back. The movement had reminded me of Max. How could such a physical change be possible? Where had the beautiful young man gone? Murec now looked uncannily like the original line illustration of the white queen in Lewis Carol’s Through the Looking Glass.

`Liz. Liz Parker - ‘ she said, doing a mock bow. I winced and Michael moaned from behind. We braced ourselves. The effect was rather disconcerting. They all sat bolt upright and went `Ohhhhhhhh!’ together, as if someone had started a firework display behind us in the kitchen. Liz widened her eyes and looked beautifully impish.

`Excuse me?’ she said, shyly.

`It’s nothing -’ I said quickly, my heart wedged up in my ears. `They’ve heard a lot about you - I mean - I talk about you -’ shit - `all the time!’

`You do?’ said Liz, frowning as if I was some secret stalker.

`Yes! I mean, well, how kind you are, and about Max and Michael, and how I love Roswell, I mean - it's FANTASTIC,’ again the Hyena laugh, or more of a bray,like a donkey. Fuck I was RAMBLING! I noticed Maria looking at me and made the strange animal noise again.

I then noticed that Liz was watching the Seeth very carefully. I looked at them quickly. it was not clear whether the grannies had exhaled yet. I had no idea how long Seethii could hold their breath for, but from the look on their expressions, it could be a long time. A very long time. Probably a year. They appeared frozen, with their hands over their mouths, a picture of perpetual surprise. Liz was beginning to look distinctly uncomfortable.

`It’s fine - it’s their medication -‘ I whispered, SWEAT pouring over my face, `it makes them - prone to -’ geek words swarmed and multiplied in my brain `catatonia?’ At this stage the Seeth granny at the end of the table started to stand. For one dreadful moment I thought she would prostrate herself or shout Hail to the Holy Mother or something entirely fucking inappropriate. Luckily, Maple (or Marsh) pulled her down by her shawl and everyone breathed out again like an Express train. And then came the addictive language that the Pod had picked up from us:

`Fucking hell!’ said Murec-Martha, `This is MARVELLOUS! But you’re nothing at all like your biometrics!’ And they all clapped their hands on their mouths again as if they were going to scream. Liz was looking quite alarmed by now. So did the entire fucking café. She scanned me for help.

`Photograph - she means photograph’ I whispered, `They get very confused. It’s been along day - order them all weak tea and for god’s sake -’I clutched Liz by the arm, `don’t give them any sugar! It makes them swear like troopers!’

Liz wrote something down, probably SOS, glanced up at me, and then cast a suspicious lick of a look at the granny pack who were still staring at her, each knitting needle poised mid pearl. Once she went off to the counter, I walked over to Michael.

`I could do with some help -’

`Kill me now!’ he mumbled. When he sat upright. I was only mildly irritated to see he had been pissing himself laughing and that his eyes were all puffy and red. I couldn’t help smiling.

`Come on, space boy - I need reinforcements‘ He shook himself and stood up. As we walked over, he looked at Maria who scowled at him, a sort of mock grimace as if he had just flashed his ass at her or something.

`She ‘s go the hots for you - ‘ I said.

`I know - well hello, ladies!!’ he pulled up a chair and lounged down, legs in all directions. The posse appeared to have recovered from their encounter with Liz, or at least they had stopped staring at her. Fuck knows what would happen with Max arrived! They might provoke a riot or something. Or spontaneously combust! We HAD to get them away as quickly as possible!

`We have to get them out of here - we’re bound to attract attention - even for the Crashdown- ‘ I was still sweating like a mass murderer. Michael, ignoring me, started playing with the menu.

`Relax - sit down, Jamie, - hey how long can you dudes hold this shape?’ Michael seemed as cool as a fucking cucumber. He defied analysis. He was either in sleuth mode or on super chill, and always in the wrong mode at the wrong time.

`Not for long - about an hour - if we get too excited or alarmed, we tend to lose the matrix - we get better at as we grow older’ Martha said.

`Ok - and losing the matrix means you revert back to your Seeth form?’ Michael asked, sounding genuinely interested, and as if WE HAD ALL FUCKING DAY.

`Yes,’ they all said together. With the exception of Martha, they had all switched back to ogling Liz like a crowd of sexually deprived jocks. Did they have women on Antar? It seemed vaguely indecent given the fact that she was their mother - or great-great-greath nth grandmother.

`Perhaps we should order nuts - would that help?’ I suggested, recalling our conversation in the cave. I kept looking towards the door, terrified that I would see the brooding darkness of Max slipping in off the street.

`Hey Liz!’ Michael shouted, at point blank range, making me jump. Several customers jumped as well. Liz, conferring with Maria as always, looked back smiling, like Lot’s wife.

`Hey. you got nuts?’


More conferring. Meanwhile, Martha leaned forward and touched my ear, `We need to talk about our plan, about getting Liz killed and restored.’

`Not so loud Martha, this really isn’t a good place to discuss it - ‘

`But we must do something to insinuate the event back into the time line - ‘ Martha’s voice trailed away as Maria approached, her face set in a look of perpetual outrage.

`I’m sorry guys but we ‘re fresh out of nuts, at least of the edible kind - ‘ Michael nodded at her. He was attempting to be nice. All six old ladies leaned forward and said together,

`Then we had better have lots of sugar, dearie.’ Michael and I looked at each other.

`Just bring the entire jar,’ I said. Maria turned back. Michael coughed and sat forward suddenly.

`Hey, Maria - I want to say something -’ She turned back, still mid scowl.

`I wanted to thank you for last night - it was cool.’ He smiled, tightly, his lips pressed close together as if he didn’t really smile too often. We all watched Maria process the complement, analyse it for any trace of sarcasm, and then - to her evident surprise, finding none - she said

`No problem Michael, next time just ask me - or take me with you!’ Liz appeared with tea and sugar. They fought over the sugar like small piranhas. In the end they had to be given their own jar.


It was extremely difficult getting the Seeth to settle. Throughout a long and complex conversation they kept fidgeting and picking things up, packets of ketchup, tartar sauce, salt, and asking random questions all together about anything and everything. With great patience, Michael kept taking things out of their hands and putting them back in their right place, only to find that within minutes they were in circulation again. A major crisis took place when they discovered the Tabasco sauce bottle. For one moment I thought they were going to have some sort of collective orgasm, and several customers complained about the noise. In the end, Liz intervened and gave them some bottles to take home. That restored some sort of order but how long it would last was any ones guess. They remained easily distracted by anyone that moved across their line of vision and they seemed particularly attracted to anyone in bright colors and around my age group. I guess being so young they were just inquisitive, but fuck it was frustrating, almost as frustrating as getting them to understand that it was not an easy question of getting Liz killed and getting Max to save her. They went on and on and ON about this. Just when we seemd to have talked them out of it, they reverted back to the same plan.

There was one aspect of all this though, that I found really fascinating. You see, it gradually became clear that while, in their `future', Max and Liz, and the rest of the aliens were famous and indeed almost religious figures, well known and idolised, it was also clear that our young Seeth didn’t know much about the actual details of their lives. It was a little like a Christian going back in time and meeting Jesus in his youth, armed only with a copy of Luke’s Gospel. Not all was as it seemed to them from the perspective of 2080 AD. For example, they didn’t seem to realise that Max had so far kept his identity as an alien a secret, and they just couldn’t grasp the fact that Max and Liz were not lovers yet. I tried pointing out that they didn't even know each other very well.

`Well that’s just plain stupid!’ snorted Martha with some passion. `I mean it’s 1999, were they not running from the Feds by now?’ I had long ago stopped trying to hush them.

`Max doesn’t know she loves him?’ asked Mellow, playing with a pile of salt on the table.

`Well, yes - but they haven’t made their move yet - you said yourself last night that it was probably the shooting that sealed their fate - ‘ I sounded exhausted.

`Then that's why we have to recreate the event as best we can!’ gasped Mellow. Martha was still outraged about them not `knowing each other'.

`Well, really, how stupid - I have a good mind to give them a good talking too! They need to bond and get to know each other and have sex!’ said Martha, who seemed to be getting carried away with the part. We ignored her. `But he has to save her first -’corrected of the other grannies, Marsh, I think. `or the sex thing won't work!' Michael groaned.

`But last time Max reacted spontaneously, he wasn’t asked to save her -’ I pressed on.

`But if he loves her and someone shoots Liz, he will save her again, surely?’ Martha seemed clear in her logic. Michael, who had remained slumped back in his chair, suddenly leaned forward.

`Look, this is getting us no where - I have a better plan, in fact Jamie and I were working on this before you guys showed up - if I understand correctly, the doors started all this, the doors that both Jamie and I have seen, and they're at Bone Hill House - ‘

The little old ladies pursed their lips so their chins appeared to disappear, concentrating very hard. The place evidently meant a great deal to them.

`So why don’t we just go there and go back through them - the doors seem to have a connection with Jamie, if Jamie goes through it, it might aid him go back and start again -’

`But the doors initiated all this - ‘ said Martha, puzzled. `Why would they put it right? And in going back in time you risk opening up another time line - ‘

`I don’t understand -’ I said. It was getting late now and the general crowd of pensioners were gathering their things about them. To retain their cover, the Seeth would probably have to go as well?

`The Granolith opens up the Multiverse, it would not be evident that you had gone back along your own time line, or merely gone back to the same or similar part of another thread - in order to control the Granolith you would need a high Seeth lord to negotiate the threshold - we could not do it. Max is still too young, and Seeth Sia Om is still in the middle of a civil war working to betray Kuvar when the time is right.’

`Fuck, I wish I had kept notes or something - This Nasedo dude?’ I suggested but they all said `No!’ in genuine horror.

`The easiest thing to do is for you or Michael to shoot Liz and get Max to heal her -’ persisted Martha stubbornly.

`Martha - what would he think of us - besides - even knowing that he saves her, I couldn’t do it -’ Michael gasped, truly horrified.

`Nor could I,’ I said weakly.

`Then we shall have to.’ said Martha. The little old ladies looked up at Liz, outwardly smiling, but I could sense their minds working furiously. The Crashdown was nearly empty.

`This is madness -’ I said, afraid that this was part of the plan all along. `You’ve tricked us!‘ were they planning to have a go themselves? The coach driver was looking at the sisters, and talking to Liz in some sort of hurried consultation. I didn‘t like the look of it. The driver seemed to want Liz‘s cell phone.

`No one has tricked anyone.’ they all replied firmly. `We do not want to kill her, either, not yet anyway -‘ at that moment something odd happened. They all blurred and wobbled, almost like holograms. And Martha said `Oh bugger.' Michael seized the moment.

`Look - let’s try the doors - let us go to Bone Hill House and see if Jamie can’t get the Granolith to work, and if he fails, then you can kill Liz.’ Michael sounded tense, eyeing Liz in the corner wiping tables. The driver was on the phone, looking furtively at us.

`Michael!’ I went to protest, but I sensed he had some additional plan up his sleeve. I looked at Martha. `Could you really kill your own - our own mother?’

`Only in killing her do we ensure she becomes our mother.’ said Martha gently, taking my hand. Disconcertingly the voice was Murec’s. There was a silence. Again, the odd blur and distortion in their outline. `We are losing the matrix -' said Murec, his voice plain now.

`Fuck - ' said Michael - `Ok - we have a plan?’ he asked, rising to go.

`Yes. Very well, first we will try the doors. We will help you get to the Granolith - it is possible that you can go through the portal in the cave - ’ Murec mused. I thought of the long room, bathed in sunlight, silent and still.

`But isn't that connected to 2006?’ I said, anxiously.

`It need not be - ’ Murec replied, thoughtfully. `It might be possible to gain access to the doors in 2006 - it doesn't matter when you leave - it matters where you arrive!' The sound of his voice in the old woman’s body was really freaky.

`We shall see what can be done - if not you will have to go to Washington state, and If this plan fails, we shall revert to our assassination.' Another image wobble, this one much more pronounced. The outlines of the grannies flicked and leapt up, and I could trace the shape of the male Seeth clearly now before they returned to normal. I glanced around alarmed. To my horror Maria was looking as us directly.

`We have to get you out of here -'

At this stage a voice, a deep subliminal voice said from the door


And there, framed in the darkness, a silent, brooding presence, was Max.

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Re: Shrodinger's (nee Jamies) Cat. (UC. Slash) 05/04

Post by Patroclus76 » Sun May 04, 2008 6:46 am


Max stood, half in shade; slightly tensed: the lights from the interior of the café struck his face in outline, teasing out the delicate power of his jaw and cheek bone. It literally took my breath away. And yet now I was taken with the sense of familiarity I had on seeing him, the sense of past (and future) intimacy, like a premonition, as if there was a never a time in my life when Max had not been there. In such moments my life lay in his hands, my purpose bound up with his. I never felt anything to weird or so powerful in my life. On seeing Liz, did he feel like this - on seeing him, did she? How long could such a feeling last - forever? How did people survive having feelings like these? In that brief moment of Max‘s arrival, I tried to calm myself - to trust in the Universe.

Perhaps Max sensed something, like a cat does a coming earthquake, because he frowned beautifully and looked about him. The room fell definitively silent. He smiled his curious, guarded, equivocal smile and looked at me and Michael questioningly, as if he had knowingly hunted down his prey and found them in the act! In the look that passed between Max and Michael there was a vague sense of jealously, touching, raw. For a moment Michael looked sort of helpless. Max then looked at the aged sisterhood - all eyes GLUED on him, and then, half turning his neck, he sought out Liz. Shadows played on the sinews of his throat, the curving tendon from his thorax, the knuckle of his Adam’s apple. It was only as I admired this apparition that I realised he was wearing some weird sort of beige vest - with a green UFO logo stuck on the pocket.

`Hey, Max,’ retorted Michael, casually. Max returned his gaze to the little old ladies and then to me. He looked at me intently, then at Martha, as if he sensed something was amiss. He had evidently noted that all the old women looked identically the same. There was a shadow of a frown, a dimming of the sun - my heart felt on the point of shattering. He walked forward, the door swinging back into place behind him. I thought of Max in Bone Hill House, seven years from now, holding Liz, on the brink of his beginning - our beginning?

`Is the kitchen closed - Liz?’ His voice was tense. He moved his eyes off me hesitantly back towards Liz. Max was not happy. He was ready to leap somewhere, hopefully on me.

`No, but it’s ok Max - ‘ It was Maria who shouted, somewhere close to the rest room. `Liz can rustle something up for you!’ She pushed Liz, bemused, blushing, out from behind the cash till. Her eyes were wide, as if looking at Max robbed her of the speech. A panic of desire clouded Max’s face again. All the time the Seeth looked at Max in frozen awe.

`What with the vest, man?’ asked Michael, smirking - he was half turned and also seemed ready to jump up if the occasion merited it. Max didn’t seem to understand, and then, looking down, he smirked.

`I’ve joined the freak center down the road - and hey - don’t start!’ he raised his voice playfully, anticipating Michael’s outrage. Instead Michael laughed, easing the tension slightly.

`Cool! We all get free lunch boxes! And the color suits you!’

`Yeah? Isabel thinks I’ve lost the plot -’ he walked over towards us. What the fuck was I to do! Max looked at Martha and her sisters, and then at me.

`Aren’t you going to introduce me, Jamie?’ he growled, shyly. My face had the stroke look on it again, the sort of half grimace. I wasn’t sure they needed me to introduce them. And, as if on queue, all the Seeth stood up abruptly and a little too forcefully for a group of people whose collect age was probably about 1,000 years old. The chairs scraped on the floor, the table rocked forward, and Max jumped back, surprised. Liz - who was coming up with some pie and coffee (jesus - how well she knew her man!) looked equally startled.

`Martha!’ I said quickly - summoning what courage I had left (and fuck knows it wasn’t much by now). I tried to sound serious - warning them to behave. `We’ll get you all home now -’ I turned to Max, speaking quietly as if they were all deaf. `They’re from the retirement home - they need their medication - er,’ I looked at Liz, desperately. Maria - coming forward, holding a broom like a lance, pointed to the coach as it pulled away from in front of the shoe repair shop.

`You’ve missed your bus, ladies! Although the driver seems to think you were not actually from the home at all’ she said cautiously.

`Give them more sugar!’ said Michael randomly.

`Sugar?’ stammered Max. The events of the last few days had evidently elevated his sense of mistrust, his suspicion. He stiffened slightly again. `They’re diabetics - they need sugar.’ Michael added flatly. He walked briskly to where a line of sugar jars stood, recently filled with loving anger by Maria. Max looked at me again, but this time with a veil of impatience.

`We know these people Max, we visit them regularly - we were chaperoning them -’ I babbled. The idea of myself and Michael in nursing uniform flashed through my head. The idea that Michael and I were responsible for six other people was, frankly, absurd. Oddly, Michael looked strangely convincing as a nurse.

`Yeah Maxwell, you and Isabel aren’t the only ones who care for the community,’ interrupted Michael, with a hint of sarcasm. It was enough to deflect Max’s growing interest. He looked at Martha.

`I can take you home if you want -’

The sisterhood looked at Max as if he had just removed his head or something.

`All six - in the Jeep?’ interrupted Liz, as if the very idea might kill them with shock.

`Here, sugar -’ Michael handed each one a jar and then, to everyone’s intense interest, they emptied each one straight into their mouth. They didn’t even seem to swallow! Max looked horrified.

`Michael - they’ll OD on it - diabetics can go into a coma if they ingest -’ but he stopped as all the jars were placed on the table together, like tankards after a toast, in one great slam. The Seeth stood looking at Max still. Any minute now they were definitely going to start singing or waving their arms in religious ecstasy. Then they all SHOUTED at the top of their voices:

`Hail Zan VI of the Antarian Imperium!’ Unfortunately the voices were all loud and very male, as if they were a visiting troup of transvestites. Max looked as if he had been slapped hard in the face.

Recovering slightly, Martha added`You look so young, Max. It is so hard for us to believe that you were ever this young.’ I inwardly winced - this is just what we needed now - fucking hell! I tried beaming a mental warning into Martha’s head.

`You know me?’ stammered Max again.

`Yes!’ said Michael quickly, coming between them. `We were just talking about you!’ Michael was twitching with alarm now, his punk boy face shiny with sweat. Fuck knows how we could save this situation from complete ruin - I mean - from complete revelation.

`And Liz.’ said Martha. `We know her as well! Michael and Jamie have been telling us about Liz - and about your love for this women, Max!’ Martha turned to Liz who looked - to be frank - fucking mortified, as if she had been quietly taking a dump in a rest room and a hurricane had blown the walls and door in. She looked up in sheer terror at Max and then at Martha. She opened her mouth but said nothing. Michael made a despairing gesture at the wall.

`It is a mystery to us why you do not disclose your love for her Max, since she evidently reciprocates it - the moment will not come again. Indeed, it may have already passed -’ continued Martha, although it was Murec now speaking. The Matrix was about to snap.

`Nice one, Martha -’ snarled Michael. `You should take up tarot card reading! I can see you behind your little table with the earrings!’

Max - clearly shocked - was also literally speechless.

`It’s the last time we confide in you!’ I snapped at Martha, genuinely angry. I turned to Max. I tried to look helplessly devoted to him, which frankly wasn’t hard because it was entirely true, but he might now have problems believing it! I must have looked very sneaky at the precise moment, tight t-shirt or no tight t-shirt, up to my left nostral in a consiracy.

`Max, I know that this is none of our business, and Liz -’ I turned to include her. Maria, having laid aside the broom, took the tray out of her hand and put it down near Max. `And this will probably embarrass you, but Michael and I have been trying to bring you and Liz together, because it is clear that Liz doesn’t love Kyle, but you, and it is clear that you love her. It is equally clear, however, that left to your own devices, Max, you’d never make a move and say anything! And - ’ I looked into his eyes, wide, dark, flecked with gold `We’re running out of time!’

`Jamie!’ protested Max, visibly stung. He looked at Michael in disbelief, `What the fuck is this! I really appreciate your help, but this is none of your business!’ I felt like I had just been stabbed with a fork.

`It is his business!’ Michael said, standing up and walking towards Max. `It’s mine as well - ‘ he looked about him, desperately, all our ruses spent. `We love you as well, for fuck’s sake, you know that - and we want you to be happy, we both want you to make a move, because -‘ his voice trailed away, `because we love you and we know you need Liz‘ his eyes strayed to Liz `we need you to be together!‘

Max staggered slightly, looking at Liz and then at me. `Michael -’ his voice was full of emotion. Michael , half turned, his face down, was clearly shaken as well. `Michael - ‘ Max touched his friend’s arm and then, suddenly, he pulled Michael gently towards him. There was something astoundingly intimate in the way he held him. `You know this can’t happen -’ I saw Liz’s face darken with almost indescribable pain. Sensing this, Max looked at her.

`Liz I do love you, I have always loved you - but it cannot -‘ he seemed to gasp, `it cannot be -’

`It can be.’ said the six old women together, with great emphasis. `It MUST be, Max. You are laboring under a delusion. All of you here, everyone of you,’ Martha looked pointedly at Maria, `Are bound to one revelation - your love to Liz made manifest. You must follow your heart Max, it will lead you and your people to greatness. Otherwise all is lost.’ Murec spoke with great emphasis. However as I looked at the row of women I noticed that their shapes were blurring. How much worse could this get!

`My people?’ Max looked quickly at Michael and then at me. `I don’t understand? Who are you? Are we related?’

Should we tell him? Was there a better way than further deception, even if such deception was possible? How had Murec gone from `don’t bring Michael’ inhis note to me, to ‘tell everybody everything?’ so quickly, and why? At what point could we not say anything? The tension was unbearable. Martha-Murec looked momentarily confused - perhaps he/she sensed the bewilderment all around, in each one of us, and was momentarily overwhelmed. And then - well then something extraordinary happened.

The six women seemed to glow slightly, as if they were neon outlined, or images on a flat screen. They flickered suddenly, like flames dip and shudder in unison, and then they started to stretch upwards, elongated, like photographs dragged up and enlarged on a PC screen. As they stretched, they began to change into Seeth - young males with long tresses of blonde hair and broad, plated shoulders, their faces grey as if covered in ash. But the images were unclear, animated. Liz screamed, and Max ran towards her while Maria sensibly scrambled under a nearby table. The Seeth continued to stretch and distort, until they were long, translucent shapes filled with air and light, rippling like banners in a gentle wind. As they grew they became even more transparent. Just as they appeared to hit the roof, all the lights in the café exploded, showering sparks about us and there was a strange muffled explosion. Before they finally blew out like candles, Murec threw up his head and shouted `Illuvatar mei san!’ straight at Max, almost like an obscenity, at which Max lit up like a fucking Christmas tree.

I screamed this time, unashamedly as well I have to add, in fact I screamed from sheer exhaustion. I thought for some minute that Murec had struck some weapon at Liz only to miss, but as I threw myself to the floor, kicking chairs in several directions, I realised that Max was radiating out a massive V shaped constellation of stars, as if he kept a sort of personal planetarium stuck in the back of his head somewhere. He glanced around him, thinking at first that the luminous globes of light were attacking him, his hands raised, but slowly in the darkness following the Seeth’s astounding departure, he became aware that the spheres were orbiting him, in slow calm rotations. Max stood at the centre of the Universe. A bizarre total silence fell inside the cafe, interrupted by numerous car alarms coming from the direction of the street.

`Fuck!’ said Michael, anticlimactically. `Perhaps it was the sugar?’

Liz and Max were the only two people standing, holding onto each other, while the glowing orbs rotated around them, again and again. Michael and I stood rather apologetically at the floor, like badly behaved children. We looked at each other, and then Michael nodded slowly.

`You’d better get Isabel, Max - call her over.’ said Michael. `We have to talk - obviously'. I stood. I felt winded and sick, but also in some sense relieved. Perhaps Murec had merely intended to `out’ our conspiracy? I felt vaguely anxious about the Seeth - had they gone? Were they safe? On the top of the table, where Martha had stood flanked by her poddlings, there was one luminous hand print next to the empty sugar jar. A single, right hand print, fingers slightly spread, luminous and silver. Maria stood slowly, and gradually we all closed in around the table. The hand glowed with a curious defiance, willing us to act, and next to it, disconcertingly, was a single tarot card - depicting two people falling from a tower. Liz picked up the card.

`You’d better tell us everything.’ said Max, exhausted, numb. The stars around him faded slowly. It was only as the room faded into darkness again that we saw the strobic blue and red lights of a patrol car and heard the sound of people running towards us. Max, seemingly oblivious, placed his hand on the silver outline as if he was remembering something.