Haulden in Roswell (UC, ADULT) (Complete)

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Patroclus76
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Post by Patroclus76 » Sun Oct 15, 2006 3:05 am

28th January 2006 or Jamie's Longest Day.

Max stoood up and walked blindly to the bathroom......



We all watched Max leave. After a few seconds, Liz stood up and followed him. We heard her tap on the bathroom door and then go in. I looked at Michael helplessly.

`OK, let's have a short break shall we?’ he said, clapping his hands together. Kyle nodded, and then Michael went to see Max as well. They would know what to do, what to say. I was shocked however, to feel a certain bitterness, a sense of rejection. DeMarr, suddenly conscious that he might have said something to offend his hosts, looked alarmed, turning to Isabel anxiously.

`It’s all right, Louis. Max has not been feeling too well recently.’ She smiled efficiently. I couldn’t bear the silence. I walked out of the apartment into the corridor as I heard Maria ask if people wanted any coffee. My nerves were almost entirely shot by the look of horror on Max’s face, and the fact that, despite Wilcox’s advice to me, I couldn’t stay close to him. Liz and Michael were there instead. I felt selfish and ungrateful. We weree all friends, we all loved each other - there was no other word - why did I always want more?

I walked passed the lifts and the stairwell to the fire escape, a narrow flight of stairs that flanked the end of the apartment block. Through the windows I could see the excess of weather, the wreath and fume of cloud as the air warmed up. Great piles of dirty, grey snow lay on the sidewalks, stained black with fumes. I felt emotional, close to tears. I needed something to eat. I heard someone walking up behind me. It was Jonathan. He leaned his head on the glass, his forehead touching the curious ghost of his reflection, and looked out with me for a while. Our shoulders rubbed. When I glanced at him I saw he had a spliff behind his ear. He caught my eye and widened his in fake surprise.

`Well that went well.’ I turned around, looking back along the dingy corridor. Jonathan remained looking over Seattle. We looked like a composition, a photograph, a curious study in both intimacy and estrangement: two young men facing in opposite directions.
Jonathan sighed, his blue-green eyes incredibly clear in the grey, angled light. He removed the joint deftly and put it into his mouth. He fetched out a green, disposable lighter from deep inside his pocket, down near his alien balls, and, clicking it, lit up and inhaled deeply. I watched the smoke curl from his mouth. There was something incredibly erotic about watching Jonathan smoke – pathetic as it was to acknowledge it. He passed it over to me.

`Here, you probably need this more than I do.’

I took a sharp drag. Above us was a large NO SMOKING sign. I nodded. Jonathan had mixed it perfectly, enough weed to get a buzz, but not too much to spin me off into some sustained panic attack. I returned it to his lips, and felt an erotic thrill pulse through me.

`I have to give this up, it might affect my chances of getting the Nobel prize.’ Rain spattered across the glass, ghostly bars of sunlight rolled and bled over the city. I thought I heard a sound of thunder out over the sea.
`Would you have shot me, Jonathan? I mean, how close did you get?’ he passed the spliff back. Before he did he brushed my mouth with his, a ghost of a kiss.

`Pretty close, but you are too beautiful to kill, Jamie, and besides, I partly saw the codex with you. I realised then I was making a mistake.’

`About the children?’

`About Max, about Grey, about the centrality of Earth to Antar, you know, sex, drugs and fun.’

`Is there no fun on Antar?’

`There is now – or rather – there was from the time-line I returned from – and I intend to keep it that way.’

I saw the door to my apartment open and Michael appeared. I had a curious urge to stub the spliff out and hide it, but I was still holding it out to Jonathan when he loomed up on us. We must have looked furtive, like schoolboys breaking the rules because shark boy smiled in that beautiful smirk he had, as if he had an obscene imagination and was bad at hiding it.

`How is he?’ I asked, my voice uneven. Michael looked up at the no smoking sign but said nothing. I felt a curious urge to trace the outlines of Michael’s lips with my finger.

`He’s ok – Liz and I managed to prevent him laying the weight of the world on his shoulders for once! The children survived, that cheered him. As yet he hasn’t gone into the dark night of the soul act that really, really pisses me off.’

`They were cured as well.’ I added, `Grey managed to demonstrate his theory. Did Max catch that bit of the story?’

Michael nodded to himself, a small gesture, as if acknowledging a private conversation. `Yeah he did. Weird or what, though.’ He looked at Jonathan for the first time. `I wonder if Jesse would have told him this, about the children, if we had contacted him as we had planned last week?’

`Time is a curious entity’ whispered Jonathan. `Perhaps this is how Max got to know the first time? This is the first time, after all, for Max. And time is not always so easily altered. Sometimes she insinuates an earlier time line, reiterates it, in a different way, because something’s are not left to chance, but are meant to be. Sometimes there is no coincidence.' He half turned to me, so the light caught his blond hair, curled close to his high forehead, and a hollow curve in his left cheek. He continued talking to his reflection.

`The Shalloth tell a story of an Antarian Lord who changed time to try and save his wife from dying. He changed it constantly, the course and color of the years, the flow and ebb of entire civilisations, and on each intervention he changed the nature of her death, the exact time and place wherein she crossed the threshold, but never the act of death itself. Despite the enormity of his power, he could not save her. It is known as illuvatar –‘

`What did you say?’ I asked. I saw suddenly, vividly, my dream: Max as king, this very word on his lips, the cold grey dawn across the Bone Hill House estate.

`Iluvatar? It is a Seeth word,– ‘ Isabel’s head appeared, calling us back to the meeting.

`You’re a spooky bastard sometimes, Jonathan.’ Michael wafted imaginary smoke from out of the corridor as we walked back to the meeting. Jonathan looked slightly upset.

` It's ok,’ I whispered `when Michael says that, it means he likes you.’


I tried not to look at Max, since everyone else was doing that, furtively, but as chance would have it when DeMarr resumed, I found myself sitting next to him, with Jonathan and Liz on the other side. I rubbed his arm gently, supportively. Max took my hand and held on to it tightly. I closed my eyes and felt very strange, as if all these emotions were new to me. As if I could barely cope with them. DeMarr was talking about the download. He was describing the evening when, amid the first blizzard, Davies had called him into his office.

`He said that someone had just hacked into the mainframe and that we were to shut down all the networks to avoid a computer viral infection.’

`Did you believe him?’ asked Michael, like a lawyer examining his star witness. DeMarr looked at us as if we were indeed the jury. Maria smiled encouragingly.

`At first yes, yes I did. We have had several attempts over the years to compromise our security, usually by social activists who believe our work is unethical. Then I discovered that someone had sent a massive download across the whole Genome Institute intra-net. I was with Davies when he identified a very large rich text format document. He seemed too surprised in a way, too fake, and I remember thinking he found it too easily.’

`Have you read the download?’

`Yes. I gave Jamie a copy later that night. I had read the download quickly, schematically – have you read it yet, Jamie?’ I looked up, lost in thought.

`Yes, briefly, -‘

Michael gallently asked DeMarr to summarise his thoughts on the document to spare me having to bullshit my way through it. Poor DeMarr was beginning to get a little flustered. Yet Michael beamed him a charming smile, to reassure him. It worked. `Just tell us your impressions, Louis.’ DeMarr smiled. Thank god Michael was here. Thank god he had overheard Jonathan’s attempt to kill me! Perhaps that was illuvatar as well!

`I recognised it almost immediately. Much of the work was Grey’s, from Boston. It had to be. Even the conventions were the same. Yet Grey had destroyed all copies of his work and had the originals at Bone Hill House.’

`Where he lives?’ asked Isabel.

`Yes, in his great library. So I was surprised. Yet there was some additional material that seemed new, startlingly innovative: the recoding did not use retro-viruses, which had been so problematic, it used t-RNA from the host cell itself, so remarkably easy, so breathlessly simply –‘

I made a small gesture with my hand, a circling motion, the gesture I did in lectures when DeMarr went off his notes. He noticed immediately.

`Oh dear, I am rambling I am afraid, sorry – but to return to Davies. Yes. Davies,’ he concentrated hard. `He asked me to leave all the copies with him that night, because he felt the need, as the director of the institute, to read it first and organise a press release over the nature of the breakthrough.’

`He used that word?’ I asked suddenly.

`That precise word, which I thought very odd since he could not have read it yet - a stupid mistake. So I went to my office and took copies, reading as I went. It was a curious form of hoax. In fact, a lethal one’.

`You found it contained a virus that could kill?’ Max said this, in good faith, since Michael had told him earlier. I pulled a face, ready for some form of intervention to deflect Michael's lie, but to my surprise DeMarr agreed.

`Indeed, very good Mr. Evans, or did Jamie tell you! He is so bright, you know, so clever!’

`Actually, I told him’ said Michael, evidently surprised.

`Well, well, what a room of scientists! The profile of the recombined genetic material leads to a deliberate viral mutation, but it is very specific, it is not pathological for humans.’ He said this easily, as if he discussed non-humans all the time. Isabel looked around her and then at DeMarr.

`Sorry? I don’t understand?’

`Grey recognised in Boston that the base sequences in the children’s DNA was alien. The same sequences were here – three bases unknown to us – one a derivative of thiamine, so the virus was designed to target a specific sequence of bases. I could not understand this, at first. I tried to contact Grey to ask him if he knew anything about it, or if he had experienced any break-ins at his library, but he would not speak on the phone and suggested we meet. ’

`So only aliens can die of this virus?’ asked Maria.

`Yes, or hybrids of aliens.’ Said DeMarr innocently, seemingly using his tongue to get something out of his teeth.

`Have you told Davies about this? That you discovered the virus?’ Liz said his name cautiously, her distrust evident.

`No. I told Davies we needed some further studies, but the press were all over the building last night. The spin given to the incident in the press was also very curious: the reports stressed the breakthrough contained in the download without mentioning the incident itself, as if it was normal institute research, and it stressed the centrality of gene modification and `switching’. All the reports I saw identified the work as being able to `cure’ people with genetic disorders, which of course was nonsense, nonsense!’

`What do you think this means, DeMarr? ‘ I half expected Michael’s question to be over-ruled by the rap of a hammer. Instead DeMarr looked on the brink of over-excitement.

`Which bit, dear boy?’

`The whole episode, from Boston to the download?’ I saw Maria looking at Michael with a far off, thoughtful smile on her face.

`What do I think?’ DeMarr said slowly, playing with his over large wristwatch, as if he was still not entirely sure what was being asked of him.

`I think this. I think that Davies works for the FBI. I think Davies believes somehow, that the children that Grey rescued from the Boston explosion are here, in Seattle. He thinks he can lure them to his institute through rumor of a cure, only to kill them. I don’t know why he wants them dead. And, of course, he doesn’t know that Grey has already `cured' them – that is – made them `normal’ again, perhaps they don’t know this – or perhaps there are other children here that Grey has not yet met but Davies knows of? It is an imprecise hypothesis, but I believe the downloads is part of what used to be called a honey trap.’

We all sat deep in thought. Max was looking keenly at DeMarr. Althugh wrong, DeMarr was just about as close to the truth as you could get through deduction. My respect and admiration for my odd, quirky supervisor almost overwhelmed me.

`That is a very interesting idea.’ said Liz, looking at me.

`What else do you know about Davies, was he actually involved in Boston somehow?’ Max let go of my hand and stood up, he walked towards where DeMarr was sitting and leaned against one of the kitchen units, long limbed, tall, his hair curtained forward.

`I don’t know. I am afraid he is a bit of a mystery. Grey dislikes him, and tried to resist his appointment to the Institute earlier this month. I am not sure Davies is trained in bio-chemistry. From what I can tell, he was trained in pharmacy. He used to work for a South-Western drugs research company, I forget the name. It was run by that odd man, the billioniar, the one who’s wife was found murdered in Vermont.’ DeMarr put his hand to his lips and muttered, something he always did when he tried to recall something.

`Wheeler, Clayton Wheeler.? Isabel said. I sensed the atmosphere grow tense around me.

`Yes! The very same! If I recall she had earlier burned down his research facility in – where was it!’

`Roswell’ added Max, delicately, looking at DeMarr. Max seemed in charge of himself again, renewed, he was calculating something in his mind as he spoke, some risk or gesture, like a chess player.

`Yes! My you are all so well informed! An insurance scam, I believe.’

I was aware that Michael was tapping his wrist. It was just past 1 pm. I went to alert DeMarr about his meeting , but Max asked suddenly:

`Tell me about Grey, DeMarr. Grey worked for the FBI, and although he turned against them, why have they left him untouched for so long? Do you trust him?’

`I don’t know the answer to that.’ DeMarr said, disarmingly `And nor does Grey either. He believes they will have need of him, which is why he guards his work, so he can use his genius as a form of insurance. But in truth he waits and watches all the time, for some form of unfinished business. He has never been the same since Boston. He lives like a recluse in a vast, utterly bizarre place, Mr. Evans, utterly bizarre: and when his wife died he became even more withdrawn. His only company is his valet, a beautiful, gentle man called Wilcox, charming and kind, so clever and thoughtful, like Jamie is to me!'

Max smiled beautifully, showing his teeth, he looked at me and I felt myself coloring. As if he was agreeing entirely!

`And a house keeper, but she died as well I believe. But I trust him. I would trust Grey with my life. He is a special man, with all the faults that such men have.’

Neither Michael nor I could have defended Grey any better. I knew that Max was moved. I could see it. And amid all the madness that had overtaken my life since I had seen the ghost of Isabel in this apartment, I felt hope – that things would now approximate to the old time line, however re-ordered, however changed. That the meaning, or rather, the consequence, would be the same.

`So if I was such a child as the Midwich Cuckoo, a child with special powers who wanted to be protected or made normal, or who wanted help. would you suggest I go to Grey?’ Max asked this beautifully, his eyes wide, their intensity arresting.

`Most definitely, Mr. Evans. It would be the only answer.’ And then DeMarr asked `Do you know where these children are?’

Michael looked at Max. It was a glance between two people who, in extremis, had come to know each other intuitively and intimately. Max then , oddly, looked at Jonathan. Hew held Jonathan’s gaze for some time until, eventually, Jonathan looked away, down at the floor. I felt a chill run over my spine. Max turned to DeMarr and said.

`We are all around you, Louis.'
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Patroclus76
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Post by Patroclus76 » Sat Oct 21, 2006 6:39 am

3rd February 2006.

When Max Met Wilcox - or zero to 1,000 in 3 seconds.

I have no idea why Max said that. No idea why he revealed himself to DeMarr in the way he did. It seemed so out of character. And what was weirder was that he did it with Michael’s consent. Max had, with a wide sweep of his arm, brought the whole room to DeMarr’s attention. Was he tired of running, or did he in some complex way sense that the end was close now? He held his arm out, a powerful gesture, in his dark beauty he seemed medieval, like a Plantagenet King. Even I was included, and so to, in a rather eerie way, was Jonathan, as if had been recognised. Did Max know that Jonathan was not human, could he sense it? Smell him? I had a disconcertingly erotic image of them circling each other, sniffing, snarling, butt naked, their cocks thick and hard and slapping against their abs. Oh god!

And then there was this new sudden harmony between Max and Michael, Rath and Zan! Here, in my kitchen, Michael drew together with Max in a way that was extraordinary – contrapuntal, but harmonious, a creative tension, and we all lay around them like a great spiral of stars, rotating lazily, commanded by Max’s gravity. Michael on a mission was a sight to behold! But when he was with Max, it was off the Jamie porn scale. I suddenly realised that my long, not so secret adolescent urge to imagine Max and Michael having sex together had not abated one bit. When I came to from my momentary daydream I had a painful erection and Isabel was looking at me in a suspicious, rather censorious manner. I pulled myself together and looked at my supervisor.

Poor DeMarr! When Max had touched my face he had changed my life, he had shown me something that was bigger than me, bigger and more powerful than I could imagine, but something in which I had a part, however small. Now, for DeMarr, bewildered, blinking in such a way that implied either total panic or total incomprehension, he too had been drawn into the alien chaos, the cloud of debris and ash that surrounded the Roswellians, the hot expansive ether of the universe. In this moment of creation, DeMarr had licked his lips, rather lizard like it has to be said, and looked at me. He looked like a man who had just been offered an astronomical bribe.

I felt inclined to tell him that I was actually entirely human, but at that stage the poor man fainted away, to be rescued by Liz and Isabel, who crouched down wafting his face and undoing his rather curious red bodice. I thought they looked like a parody of Benjamin West’s Death of General Wolfe. With DeMarr center stage, pallid and in a white wig. Liz had looked up quizzically at Max. He was far off, remote, lost in his own mystery. I knew that he was thinking of Clayton Wheeler, and Roswell, and the curious sinister presence of Davies. If only you knew Max, if only you knew. He caught me looking at him and his face warmed, a ghost of a smile.

DeMarr finally revived to Liz’s rather firm, persistent slapping about the cheeks, (Nancy would have been proud – I wondered how Liz’s bed tucking was coming on?) but he proceeded to make strange gold fish motions with his mouth.

`Is he having a seizure?’ asked Maria, to which I replied he always did this when shocked.

`I’ll get him a glass of water’. I walked to the kitchen. As I passed Max he pulled me into him, in such a way that I was looking out, with his face in my neck, and his arms about my waist. It was a rather bizarre gesture, entirely unlooked for, intimate, but rather absent minded. I tried to look as if this happened all the time, but Maria gave me one of her rather beautifully ironic looks – a long one. Max eventually whispering `water’ in my ear and releasing me spared me any further embarrassment. The sensation of his breath on my neck caused almost TOTAL loss of control. I could see that even Michael thought something was odd here. Liz however was literally beaming.

Kyle, who still had the tabla between his thighs and was tapping it vacantly, tactfully returned our attention to the agenda and suggested that we should all go to Grey immediately. Michael nodded and said his plan – now redundantly scheduled under reserved business, was to propose that we all went to Wenatchee, the nearest town to Grey’s mock ancestral home, and prepared to meet him on our terms. Max, who had remained deep in thought, looked up at this stage.

`Why don’t we just walk up to Grey and ask him to change us? To switch us off?’

`Is that what you want, Max?’ Liz asked this. I was at the sink filling a glass.

`To be normal, to be human?’ Isabel sounded unsure now, as if she felt surrendering her Antarian side might not be such a good idea after all.

`We have discussed it Iz, we agreed to approach DeMarr, now DeMarr leads to Grey.’ I turned with the glass in my hand; I was unaware at that moment that Maria was opening the freezer door.

`We can be normal, it doesn’t mean that the feds will give up the chase, but it strengthens our case to prove we are human – there would be no evidence – we would pass for humans –‘

`At a cellular level? Is that right, DeMarr?’ asked Liz. My supervisor seemed to nod, but rather vacantly, like a very bad medium in a fake séance.

`We could challenge the feds to a public examination, and suggest that everything else to this point was a massive fake – from the beginning – and what evidence they had to challenge us would hardly be admissible?’

Max was thinking out loud, following one thought to another, like a boy jumps a stream, stone by stone.

`But would we be any safer?’ Isabel stood up. At that stage I saw with absolute horror that Maria was holding the ice tray over my glass of water and attempting to push out several solitary ice cubes. I was alerted by Michael, who did an urgent nod with his head at Maria, and then pretended he was picking his nose. He was trying to point with his nose like a retriever. Max’s massive seminal load, now frozen in the condom and looking not unlike a rather curiously deformed icicle, was just about to be dropped into DeMarr’s glass!

`Maria!’ I half screamed this, so that everyone turned around as if an axe murderer was behind her.

`What?’

`That’s really not safe – ‘ I snatched the tray off her, trying to hold it in such a way as to hide the rubber.

`Jamie! It’s ice, man!; she sounded really pissed.

`Its special ice! It's an experiment that Jono and I are conducting...’ I said, slamming it back into the freezer. My look of relief was enough to make her look at Jonathan.

`What do you guys do with ice?’

`You wouldn’t want to know, Maria, believe me!’ Michael smirked at me and then said casually `I agree with Max, but we can’t just walk up to Grey, he is suspicious, especially now, we need to carefully prepare a meeting and give him some clue as to who we are and what we want? We have to make him trust us?’

`Grey,’ said DeMarr rather theatrically, as if he was possessed, `Grey...zoo.’

`I think he’s delirious,’ Kyle joined the small gaggle of people over Louis.

`No, he’s meeting Grey at the Woodland Park Zoo very soon, at 2pm.’

`In like fifteen minutes!’ asked Max, incredulously, `how the fuck did you know, Michael?’

`Louis told us when he arrived, he said he needed to go to meet Grey in the ape house, I was going to suggest that we go with him, Jamie and I, and report back? We could even get DeMarr to help us arrange a face to face meeting?'

Max looked suspicious again, and looked at Michael and then at me.

I smiled and nodded. `He was, really? Its just that everything has been so mad! We just haven’t had time to tell you!’

Max considered my offering carefully, like he was tasting something to see if he liked it.

`Well why don’t we all go?’ He said, sounding disconcertingly keen. `Why don’t we just go to him, and demonstrate our powers to prove who we are – ‘

`Max, for fuck sake, where’s your native caution!!’ Michael was scratching his fucking eyebrow again. It was such a well-known gesture that he might as well telegraph PANIC above his head in lights. `We can go and check him out, if we all turn up now it will scare him off –

`We can pretend to be visitors?’ suggested Isabel. `I mean it’s a zoo for God’s sake!’

Help came from the unexpected quarter of DeMarr, who, apart from sitting up and taking the glass of water out of my hand, said between gulps

`I think…. something …..is very …..wrong, I think …….Grey has ………..discovered something about Davies, and it is more than likely that Davies monitors…….. Grey’s phone –‘ It felt like the equivalent of reading a telegram out loud, stops and all.

`Take that glass off him’ said Michael as if DeMarr was a pet.

`Shit! So the feds might be there as well?’ Kyle whistled, `The ape house is going to have a lot of fucking visitors.’

`Is Grey in any danger? Will Davies try and harm him?’ Max asked this question to DeMarr, who was still spread eagled on the floor.

`I do not know Mr. Evans, if very much depends on what Grey has found out.’

`Then he may well need our protection!’ Max said this splendidly, I recognised the way his voice changed, deepened, as if he was talking to himself.

`Max listen, Jamie and I can go and have a look – we can take Jonathan along now, since he is involved in this –‘ This was Michael’s final gambit to head Max off. It was the equivalent of pissing in the wind. We both knew it.

Max looked at Jonathan again, with that curious, intuitive glare. `You are taking this very well, Jonathan. You ok?’ It was half a question.

Jonathan looked up and said softly, `I am fine Max, it's fucking weird but I am half stoned so that’s cool. It makes more sense this way!’

Liz smiled and stood up defiantly. As she did so my cell phone vibrated.

`Ok, look it's almost 2! What’s the plan? We need a plan guys, and quickly.’ she curled her hair behind her pixie ears and pressed her lips firmly together. A woman of action, god these guys gave me such a rush! Max stood forth, taking Liz’s hand. When he spoke his voice was clear and decisive.

`I go with Michael, Jamie and Jonathan to spy out Grey’s meeting with DeMarr–‘ he raised his voice over Michael’s objection, `to spy only, we’ll be discrete. The rest of you stay here - when we get back we'll prepare to break camp and meet on the east side of town, where we have hidden our beloved van.’ There were general groans.

`Back to the mother ship so soon?’ said Kyle.

`And what if this is some sort of elaborate trap, with Davies and the feds waiting for you?’ Isabel sounded upset, angry. `Davies clearly knows all about us, he seems to have been involved with this for a long time. He knows all about you! This has special unit written all over it.’

Max looked at his sister thoughtfully.

`Then we will escape it and know that Grey is most likely not to be trusted!’ DeMarr made a sort of gargling noise at this stage, and my cell phone vibrated again. Then several things happened at once.

Michael helped DeMarr to his feet, and suggested that we should be getting on our way. It was late. Had Grey a cell phone? DeMarr’s look implied that this was profoundly unlikely. I almost said he had enough difficulty answering a landline but thought better of it.

I removed my cell phone and saw a text message from Wilcox saying, somewhat uncharacteristically, `where the fuck are you all – Grey is here and looking extremely anxious!!’ I was mid way through texting back that there were now complications and we would be a larger party than had been initially planned when Michael dragged me into the bedroom. Maria, moving passed us to go to the toilet, said to her boyfriend `Just go steady on him, Michael!’

`What do we do!’ was Michael’s first exasperated remark when he closed the door. He was holding me by the lapels in a way that approximated to affection. I made a sort of helpless expression, like someone had just asked me the way to the moon. There was a tap on the door and Jonathan appeared. `He knows I am a skin!’ he said. We both looked at him.

`What?!’ Michael and I spoke together. Fuck we were becoming spookily coordinated. Michael was still holding my jacket. `We are spending way too much time together!'

`He knows!’ said Jonathan again.

`He can’t know,’ Michael patted Jono’s arm, but one look at me and he seemed less decisive, less sure. `Can he?’

`I don’t know – perhaps we should tell Max everything?’ I said, `I mean how much more complex can this get!’

`Well let's see: in about half an hour, Max is going to run close to his future self, both will possibly be close to a son that only one of them knows about, and Grey will turn up with a photo that has yet to be taken – so I think it's going to get a lot more fucking complex!’

`Michael?’

`What?’

`I need to eat something. Now’

`Chew on this.’ He held out his hand.

`I’m serious!’

`Fuck I am starving as well! I’ll get you some candy from the zoo shop – come on – duty calls!’ He patted my face like a child. My cell phone vibrated again. Michael left. Jonathan hugged me.

`You ok?’ I thought I felt him shiver. Wilcox had, in extremis, reverted to Max in his use of expletives. `WHERE THE FUCK ARE YOU?’

`Yeah, but I want Max to know who I am!’ he said with sudden passion.

`I think he knows. Let's see what happens. He knows, I think he knew from the time he saw you in the bedroom with me.’

`Jamie?’ I looked at Jonathan sharply.

`If Max gets genetically modified before he gets Liz pregnant, Om and Julian Evans will never be born.’

I nodded.

We walked out into the hall. DeMarr was in the doorway with Michael and Jonathan, anxious now that he would miss the meeting, anxious that so many of us were going. We looked like a fucking school trip. Liz, helping Max haul up his leather coat over his grey hoodie, glanced at me and said in her fake matter of fact voice,

`Jamie you have to allow the girls some of the action you know, I mean, all this male bonding, it can turn a woman’s head!’

`What Liz is trying to say Jamie, is that she finds it all a bit of a turn on.’ Max said. Liz stuck her tongue out at me.

`Liz!’ I sounded tired. She mouth a silent apology and walked away with Jonathan. I was alone with Max.

I reached for a jacket although the weather was now considerably warmer. I passed close to Max’s shoulder as he was buckling his jacket on. He smelt of leather. In the semi dark, his eyes were luminous again, that extraordinary, intense bestial quality that made me literally weak at the knees. His presence seemed to stab me in the heart. He threw his hair back, and stood in such a way that he half blocked me as I shut the closet door.

`What are you up to?’ the tone of his voice alarmed me. It was a soft, purr of a question, but coiled up tight on itself. I didn’t really know this Max. Dangerous, powerful.

`I don’t know what you mean – I’m not up to anything!’ I tried to sound normal, tired. Yet when I went to walk forward Max didn’t move. Our shoulders collided. I looked at him, concerned, his face was cautious, as if he was trying to see inside my mind. Was he angry with me? For a moment my feelings chocked me.

`Max?’

`You and Michael are very thick at the moment?’ he said it in a way that implied almost jealously. Or was he teasing me. I felt suddenly angry.

`You asked for my help, Max. I am helping you.’ It seemed so inadequate to say that. There was so much I wanted to say to him, always so much, and yet always there was a silence. Always there was my inability to say anything that came even close to articulating how he made me feel.

`Do you love me?’ he asked suddenly.

I looked exasperated.

`How can you even ask that?’

He moved his face close to mine. He leaned forward and, gently at first, but for a while quite firmly, kissed my cheek.

`The ways of a king are often inscrutable. Lead the way.’ he said, eventually. I remained standing,our faces close, his heat next to mine. I had screwed up my eyes to hold in my tears.

`One day you’ll do that once to often, Maxwell, the kiss on the cheek routine, and I’ll -’ he gently pushed me forward. We could hear Michael complaining outside.

`And you’ll do what?’

`I’ll, I’ll swing my head around and get you on the mouth, bastard.’

`Yeah? You think you could do that? You think you're quick enough, Jamie?’

`Yeah I do, I am getting impatient with your foreplay!’

Max laughed, light, young laughter. and then he said with exquisit meaness, `I’d pull my head away!’

`I am quick, and I have a long tongue’ I said this defiantly, a boast, to tempt his interest.

I was unaware that the door was open and that Michael, Jonathan and DeMarr were blinking and twitching at us, like freshly landed fish. Eventually Michael, deadpan, laced with mock jealously, said `He has as well, Maxwell, I’ve seen it – its like an eel - but, if you guy’s are ready – lets go to the zoo.’

I thought then - in existential irony – that we never had left the fucking zoo. This was the zoo - this was the ape house.
Last edited by Patroclus76 on Sun Oct 22, 2006 2:58 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Post by Patroclus76 » Wed Oct 25, 2006 7:55 am

So we go to the zoo. We stand on the corner of the sidewalk like a bunch of college kids and Michael hails a cab like he is in a movie. He hails several actually, because there are five of us and, for the first time, I realise that to the non discerning eye of Joe Public we look like trouble: Max, dark, hoodie, black lank hair fringing his pop star face, Michael in denim, agitated, loud, Jono blonde, skateboard dude look alike, evident dope fiend, myself – what? Geek cum emergent pretty gay boy? A nerd with attitude, a lamb in the company of wolves?

And DeMarr, poor hapless DeMarr, one of the leading experts of genetics, looking not unlike he has escaped some sort of day care facility. He is wearing so many coats he is sweating now and looks unwell, like he is infected with some sort of interplanetary bug: Michael’s earlier attempts to remove various layers of his clothing have resulted in a sort of `molting’ effect. No wonder three taxis speed up and drive past us as Michael, ducking puddles and polluted snow, waves and shouts like he is landing a light aircraft. These are my friends now, my intimates. Three very hot looking male alien hybrids! God have I ever been so alive! Amid lack of food and sleep (and most possibly(probably) suffering from dehydration) I feel enormously horny, like filthy horny, sex is every where. My life is one long wet dream.


Eventually we pile into a car, Jonathan in the front, the white wires of his iPod showing over his throat, Max, DeMarr, Michael and me into the back. Michael asks for the north entrance to Woodland Park Zoo. I tap Jonathan on the shoulder. Max is doing something weird with a bunch of one dollar bills. He sees me watching and pretends to hide what he is up to, `Look away or I will have to kill you.’ he says in a fake English accent.

`What are you listening to?’

Jonathan swings around and looks straight into my eyes. I think his have changed color or it might be the light. He removes his earplug and I repeat the question.

`Gayboy techno – Danni Minogues remix of Is this the real life?’ He plugs my right ear for a moment. It sounds like my theme song.

`Highly appropriate.’ The car swerves and lurches.

I lean back and listen with closed eyes to Michael briefing DeMarr, suggesting possible lines for introducing us into the conversation with Grey, indicating our desire to organise a meeting. Max keeps interrupting. DeMarr repeats every last word that Max says. Michael gives up. In the front of the car the taxi driver, a Sikh, has struck up a conversation with Jonathan despite the fact that Jonathan cannot hear but nods anyway. It is a curiously angry monologue about the failure of Seattle to deal with the recent weather. I ponder on the oddity that a Shalloth hybrid is gay and likes remixes of old Queen songs. Special spy training on Antar?

I am now so hungry that I feel I am ingesting my own stomach.
Something nudges my mouth, and I snap open my eyes to see Max poking my lips with a Hershey bar. His second sight is disconcerting, but so too is his recent constant rule breaking over physical boundaries! What is this about! Did it start after he touched my face in the park? I go to open my mouth but the sexual innuendo is too much and I start laughing. He is already grinning. When he teases me like this I fear he is testing me somehow. Michael takes the bar off him and, snapping it into bits, passes it around to everyone, including the taxi driver, who swallows while still denouncing the city authorities and their failure to act quickly enough. Max wipes something from my mouth. `Will you two cut it out!’ Michael says, sounding like my fucking mother. DeMarr appears to have gone into a catatonic shock.


We get to the zoo at 2:35 pm. It looks pretty deserted. I see Grey’s Rolls Royce parked just off N 59th St, on the corner with Phinney Avenue North, near the north entrance. It is causing the usual small crowd to gather around it. Max notices it as well, as we stop in the parking bays for taxis. `Hey, Michael look!’ It sits as disconcerting pre-modern here as it did that fateful morning outside the Human Genome Institute, emblematic, breathlessly elegant. DeMarr says `That is Grey’s car. Thank goodness he is still here!’

`Wow!’ Max pays off the Taxi driver and asks him to wait.

`It will cost you!’ The driver wears a great blue turban with a white middle. It looks alike a boat. `I have a family to keep you know!’

`That’s cool, just stay here.’ The Sikh narrows his eyes as Max shoves his wallet into his back pocket. `Hey do I know you? Are you famous or something?’

`In his dreams.’ says Michael, and we all stand with DeMarr, trying to get him ready.

`Listen to what Grey has to say, then tell him whatever you need to tell him, the idea is to get him interested in us?’ Max pats DeMarr on both shoulders, like he is about to be dropped behind enemy lines. `And we will be watching you Louis, so nothing can happen?’ I turn my cell phone on and there are enough messages from Wilcox to sink a small battleship. Meanwhile Max is looking back at the Rolls,

`Jesus, he drives that? What a thing of beauty!’

`Usually Wilcox drives?’ says DeMarr, between repeating Max’s instructions, `Just…listen……to ………what he has…….to say.’

`Who’s Wilcox?’ Max asks this, walking backwards, hands crammed into his pockets, hoodie up. Anxious parents remove their children from his wake while looking at him. Everyone looks at Max. Does he know this? Does he not sense the way he disturbs everything, re-arranges it?

`He’s Grey's handyman’ says DeMarr. Michael smiles to himself, catching Jonathan’s eyes. `It’s unusual he came alone so far on his own.’ Jonathan has disconnected his iPod and is looking extremely attentive, glancing around, pretending to take in the scenery. He is looking for Davies, the errant Skin and one Valaen.

Michael pays for us, grudgingly; trying to get a 'senior discount' for DeMarr on the grounds he is `old’. The women in the kiosk says no. Michael then tries to get a `group discount’ despite the fact we need five other people. In the end Max says,

`Michael just pay, for fuck’s sake! And make a donation for conservation projects!’ The woman looks shocked. I smile stupidly as I pass her, afraid she has already pressed the panic button. Once inside on the main loop we allow DeMarr to walk ahead through small regimented lines of school children. The park looks bleak, the grey sky is oppressive and now oddly warm. I am looking at a map. Max and Michael, then a gap, myself and Jonathan. We look oddly like courting couples with DeMarr as chaperone.

`I can’t see an Ape house as such.’ I say. The zoo is organised by climatic regions, and there seem to be several monkeys about. Jonathan puts his arm around me and looks at the map. I notice with alarm that a dry patch of skin has started to appear across his cheek.

`Jono man, you’re starting to peel?’

`Shit, am I?’ he feels his cheek and looks alarmed. `Fuck, I thought the moisture in the air would help – ‘

Max and Michael are heading for the Rain Forest Food Pavilion. I might actually not make it that far. We approach the penguin pool, where the inmates are lined up looking bored and indifferent to several children attempting to draw them. We make it to the pavilion as my legs give out. Max and Michael sit on one table outside, some recyclable wood job with bright colors on the chair backs. Max indicates that we sit on another table though, so we both have views of the walk towards the gorilla pens. DeMarr is loitering slowly and rather irritatingly, keeps looking back. `God Grey will spot something is up’ I whisper to myself. I try and will my supervisor to relax.

There are a few other customers around in the restaurant, the odd family, frustrated mothers trying to placate babies, young husbands being bullied by small children. We pass one young mother wiping food off her face with a look of almost divine stoicism. As she finishes the child throws more ice cream over her. I see Michael’s eyes narrow. We sit down on our separate tables. I have already mentally ordered the entire menu.

`Fuck what am I going to do?’ Jonathan peels a bit of his face off and discards it like people discard snot, secretively, hiding it in their hands for a while and throwing it under the table.

`Have you no emergency moisturising kit?’ Normally I do, but in the excitement I have left it under my bed. I am signalling to Michael that Jonathan’s face is about to come off and that I need some money but he is ignoring me. After some sort of pantomime, he comes over looking horny and pissed, like someone has just hauled him off Maria to answer the door.

`We’re supposed to be in separate parties, Jamie, – fuck Jonathan!’ He looks suitable horrified.

`Quite,’ I say, `Go and see if you can get something from the shop in the restaurant, and order me the whole meat section of the menu –‘

`It’s self service’ Michael stuffs 200 dollars in my pocket. `How bad is it?’ He is looking at Jonathan again who is beginning to crack in several places. Its pretty noticeable now. He looks alike a mummy.

`It’s bad – I need to fix it quickly or go home!’

`We need you here, there’s a rest room inside, but let me check out the shops.’

Max meanwhile is sitting in glorious isolation. He has taken his hoodie down and his hair is out, and he is leaning forward so his leather coat is gathered at his shoulders. He is looking at us just as a stranger might look at someone, fleeting glances. He is trying to be anonymous. A small child, a girl with curly blonde hair runs and wobbles over to him and starts gurgling some form of greeting. The mother, alert as well as apologetic, goes over. Max and the child are smiling, and the little girl has her hand out, spread, like a salute. As the mother goes to retrieve her child, her sense of urgency has gone and she crouches next to her daughter for a while, talking with Max and exclaiming surprise. `She never really does this!’ God how many times have I heard this, seen it, watched Max like the Piped Piper, draw everything to him?

I have a sudden, nostalgic memory of watching Max eat at West Roswell High, often on his own, or with Michael and Isabel, with Liz, eventually with Tess. Is this dark man the same shy boy? Is it possible? I want to wave at him and make the woman realise I am with him as well. I play a game that I am secretly cruising him. I look at him hard through the corner of my eye and then through my fingers. I try and get him to look at me. I think hard in my head `look at me’ and then I think `I LOVE YOU’ in massive glittering lights that flood up over the sky like the northern lights. He pretends not to notice, but his head is down and he is smiling suggestively. I feign a head move and, tricked, Max looks at me. I laugh to myself. Jonathan is watching this with an air of bemusement. He suggests I go and order food. He is holding his head down like a man tries to hide a scar.

I walk in and order food – loads of it – at one stage the guy taking the order looks out to see whether an entire bus load of people has turned up without him knowing it. The smell of cooked food makes my mouth gush with water. I feel like something out of Aliens, that my saliva will burn through the floor! He tells me to go backto my table and he will bring out the food when it is ready. As I turn to walk away a middle aged women in a sort of matching dress and jacket theatrically bumps into me quite deliberately and says

`Look where you are going! You could have knocked me over!’

`You walked into me!’ She is brushing back blonde white wisps of hair. She is a good looking woman. If I was straight and ten years older I would start charming her and saying how I liked the dress. She looks sophisticated, with clever eyes and a well kept figure.

`Don’t be rude!’ she snorts, all bitchy and then swoops down to me and says urgently `And check your fucking cell phone!’

`Wilcox?’ I gasp, amazed at the quality of his breasts until I realise of course that Wilcox has probably changed into a woman. I mean, a la Tyresius, transformed into one, shape shifted.

`That’s a fantastic job, Wilcox!’ Wilcox – or Miss Wilcox now, I guess, is fussing pretending to wipe something off her skirt and is talking to me all the time. I am unable to take my eyes off her breasts. God if I was a shape shifter - jesus - I would turn into Max and lock myself in the bathroom for A MONTH.

`Go and sort Jonathan out, Grey is talking with DeMarr, Davies is here somewhere, I lost him in the Savannah. Max or Grey might be in danger!’ She then says loudly

`No damage done, but I suggest you look where you are going in future young man, I could have been elderly!'


Max has not seen any of this because he is watching DeMarr talking with a tall, white haired man wearing a beautiful dog-toothed tweed coat, the sort you wore to `motor in’ during the 1930s. Grey looks elegant, a red and gold scarf showing, his hands behind is back. He is talking earnestly. He is now showing DeMarr something, a photograph, drawing it from inside his coat pocket. He wears red leather gloves.

Max watches intently, like a panther, he seems to drawn into himself before striking. Michael returns with a carrier bag and a tub of nappy wipes. `Its all I could find – but it says it contains Aloe Vera.’ Jonathan thanks him and sets off for the rest rooms. I then notice a man, in his mid forties, early fifties, standing at some display on the role of zoos in conservation. He is in a suit with a brolly. Desite wearing a hat I recognise Davies. He is looking at something in a way that implies he is not reading it. I then see that he is looking at Max. Our food arrives.
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Post by Patroclus76 » Mon Oct 30, 2006 2:48 pm

Entry from Julian Grey's Diary 28th January 2006.

I drive to Seattle through a landscape that looks oddly as if it has been under water. For the first time in three or four days I glimpse green countryside, but edged white with great mounds of snow. The freeways have been cleared, but sand lies caked up on the verges and on the central reservations. The state looks beautiful, but everything is bleached of color and texture, like the photograph I have on me, sequestered away in my pocket. I pass through drab blotches of suburbia in between wooded hills.

I think of Wilcox. My heart races and I concentrate on driving. I find it reassuring. Whoever he is, Wilcox has kept the Rolls in perfect order, it purrs like an airship and fellow drivers stare as I press west towards the city. I am self-consciously admired – or do people see a vain, affected man driving an old, redundant status symbol? As I approach the outskirts of Seattle, the traffic thickens, and I start trying to rehearse my conversation with DeMarr. He sounded odd on the phone, clearly only half surprised that I had requested to see him earlier than planned, oddly expectant.

I find signs to the Woodland Park and, delayed by endless traffic lights, I arrive at 1:45 pm. I am hungry and tired. I climb out and walk into the North Gate and buy a ticket. I feel conspiratorial. The woman in the kiosk looks at my coat and scarf and keeps looking at me as if she is trying to put a name to me. I walk off, attentive to the few creatures that have ventured out on this bleak, atmospheric day – the sky is swirled up with clouds, and the light is strange: almost March like, as if we have missed out February completely.

I get to the food pavilion and order myself some exotic sandwich. When I look at the menu I simply do not recognise any of the items. I feel like I have been locked up in an institution for years, oblivious to the change in fashion and time. Even the youth at the counter takes my order as if I am an anachronism. He asks me if I like Washington and the US in particular? I look at him like a foreigner looks, unclear as to his meaning. He blushed slightly. It transpires he thinks I am British.

I correct him politely, not wishing to undermine him. I tell him I am at heart an anglophile. There is no sign of DeMarr. I sit and eat – I feel as if I am on vacation. Children surround me. I cannot look at them without a feeling of sickness. When I do, deep hideous memories emerge out of my sub-conscious, the memories of children, special children. I resist the urge to look at the photograph. By 2:15, anxious that something has happened, I walk off towards the gorillas. There are no cages, ha-has and fencing carefully blend in with the various habitats.

Both the male and female apes are out, sitting nonchalantly together. How powerful is the tendency to anthropomorphise the behavior of animals, especially primates? I stand back looking at the female, almost shyly. Her DNA is almost exactly the same as mine, less than a 2% variation. We look at each other. How curious to think that we evolved from a common set of ancestors? I turn around, impatient now, anxious about the drive back. Still no sign of DeMarr. I wander about aimlessly, concerned I look suspicious, even slightly criminal. I feel I should have brought a child – I would have felt less conspicuous. I could have pretended to show it things.

There is a woman standing not far from me, on her cell phone, her body language one of tension and anxiety. She is attractive, her age inscrutable, her clothes neat, expensive. She sees me looking and smiles politely and turns, waiting for someone to pick up. I think of Boston. When I first encountered the children from Phoenix, I thought I had come across the next evolutionary stage in human development – evidence of that sudden step like change in DNA and physiology that marks a new species. Then I had realised that I was dealing with aliens. Somehow the news had not surprised me. My complex, tortured relationship with my father had prepared the way for that particular revelation.

Yet how had alien DNA insinuated itself into human children? Was it some sort of random event? Or was it the next phase in a process that had deliberately altered the DNA of a common ancestor long ago, the continuation in a sort of complex deliberate eugenics program? Aliens and evolution planned together as if we part of some elaborate experiment? I smile at my train of thoughts, but this is not the first time I have had them. It was past 2:30.

I suddenly see DeMarr approaching, looking somewhat disheveled – several of his coats are off and he is wearing a bright red plastic ski top. He looks distressed, anxious, and keeps looking behind him. My anger at having to wait dissolves into concern for my old friend. I raise my hand carefully, he sees me and seems to visibly relax. We are almost alone. There is a small clutter of children doing some sort of school project . The woman has walked off towards the pavilion. Someway away ahead, there is a tall black youth, his head an elaborate forest of dreadlocks, reading a display on tropical rainforests. DeMarr draws along side and looks happily at the gorilla. He is sweating profusely.

`Louis, are you alright? You look unwell?’ I take him and lead him off, so we can walk around the `tropical rainforest zone’. The black youth is now also on his cell phone. I feel a sudden, intense dislike for this technology – and its strange creation of isolated, anti-social communication. As we pass the man I hear him using a strange language. He face is smooth, intensely black, with a strange line of stubble edging his face from ear to ear. I think it is a sort of fashion. He looks at me with studied indifference, and something about his eyes disturbs me. There is an illusionary glint, as if he is wearing contact lenses and as we walk away, his irises change color. The effect is like moving away from a liquid crystal display screen, the hue changes, and then they go matt, empty. He turns sidewise to me, looking briefly at DeMarr. I have an utterly irrational feeling he is talking about me.

`Louis, this morning I came across Wilcox with a the former housekeeper, Miss Clever – can you remember?’

`Yes! But didn’t she die Julian, I seem to remember she died sometime –‘ he seems about to mention my wife but stops, blinking slightly.

`She is very much alive, Louis. And moreover, I saw Wilcox in the company of your student, James Ralphs? And two other young men as well.’

`Jamie? At Bone Hill House? Jamie is a very clever young man, if it was him you probably saw his boyfriend as well, a tall blonde man called Jonathan.’ DeMarr says this progressively and without any emphasis, as if many of his male students have boyfriends.

`Oh – I didn’t realise he was a homosexual.’

`Gay, Julian, he prefers being called gay – he says that being called a homosexual makes him sound like a house plant.’

`Oh. Does he?’ I think of Wilcox. I feel confused, my planned conversation in the car already undermined. I ask, rather randomly `Do you know if Wilcox is homo- I mean, gay? I mean, I know he was with Miss Clever, but.’ I think of the photograph. I say gay in the wrong sort of way, it sounds like I have italicized it.

`I have no idea, Julian.’ DeMarr is looking at a group of small chimpanzees, huddled together and visibly grumpy. `I mean, people are often very complex!’

`Quite – anyway, Wilcox is clearly up to something – I mean I saw Miss Clever with my own eyes, what was he doing with her and with Jamie and his, his boyfriend on my estate? Doesn’t it imply he has some association with the institute –‘ my voice faltered, I sounded like I was grasping at straws. I had kept these various narratives so long in my head that I was only now aware that they made almost no sense.

I start again.

`Louis, the more I think about Wilcox, the more I suspect him of some links with Boston, the experiments –‘ I fought down the sense that I sounded almost hysterical. `When we met in 2003, he was so attentive, so – aware of me in a way, and he has been so oddly secretive. And the House’

DeMarr looks at me, surprised by my random observations,

`The House? Bone Hill House?’

I sigh, alarmed at my emotional state. I feel my hands shaking a little in my pockets.

`Oh Louis, sorry – I am not making much sense. I am not sure what I am worried about – the House has been growing on me for a while, as if it is watching me, and I think it changes sometimes, I think...I mean this morning I was convinced that the library doors had turned themselves around!’ I half laugh; embarrassed. Why had I said that!

`Around?’ says DeMarr, as if I have proposed a very novel theory.

`God I sound mad. Forget it. I ought to get out more!’

`It’s too big for you, the House, the estate, Julian – you should think of moving into a town apartment and buying a pet bird, pet birds are such good company, or dogs. And fish are good. Jamie is going to help me make a huge aquarium inside my living room soon!’

`Do you think Wilcox is involved with Davies? Have you ever seen them together?’ I sound rude, but once on the subject of fish, DeMarr will be unstoppable.

One of the chimpanzees suddenly looks alert and stands forward. It is a young male. It starts to pace close to the low fencing, grimacing and hissing. I look about me. The black youth has moved away slightly, but he is still talking in a tight angular language, sharp and nasal. He is standing between us and the walk back to the pavilion, half turned, his dreadlocks make him look exotic, powerful.

`I don’t believe Wilcox could be involved with Davies, Wilcox is too kind, Julian. He is such a nice man, wary at times, for sure. But kind.’

`I wish I knew who he was, Louis. I suddenly realised this morning that even after almost three years I have no idea about Wilcox.’

DeMarr, worried that the male chimp is unhappy, is only half listening. He says something, distracted

`But you know who Wilcox is, Julian. He is the caretaker of the House, he keeps it all in order, he keeps it running to time.’

As he says this I have a powerful image of Wilcox protecting me. The image is at once ludicrous and yet entirely plausible. I think of him that first day, with my wife and I standing on the drive, welcoming us to Bone Hill House. Suddenly here now, with DeMarr, I have a shocking revelation that Wilcox had been waiting for me. The thought is both reassuring and yet deeply disturbing. When Wilcox had taken my hand the first word he had said to me was `Julian’. And he had taken me to my study. Had he known me before? Somewhere else? I felt suddenly dizzy with an overwhelming sense of déjà vu, of being nudged into a place I had to be. What if the picture I had was part of another life? A clue to a place I had been before or would go to again?

I reach for my inside pocket.

`Look, I removed this photograph from Wilcox’s room before I left this morning.’ I hand DeMarr the picture. `Do you recognise anyone?’

The chimpanzee is screaming and beating the ground. I have a curious, sixth sense of danger, like something is coming up on me from behind. DeMarr is holding the picture close to his eyes and muttering to himself.

`Well, let me see – yes. I know all of these people.’ I stand along side him, a gloved hand on the edge of the photograph.

`One is Jamie?’ I prompt, un-necessarily.

`Yes, yes that’s Jamie, look! Such a handsome clever boy, and this is Michael. Michael is a very loyal man, very articulate in his way,’ He points to the long haired youth I saw walking with Jamie through the birch trees, black shapes against the intense winter white. He looks Nordic, or German, like the woman next to him.

`And that is Isabel, Isabel Evans.’ DeMarr smiles warmly, speaking slowly, like he has just memorised these names.

`And who is this?’ I point to the dark haired man, standing in the center, smiling shyly, his posture striking, enigmatic. My eyes are drawn to his face.

`That is Max. Max Evans. Did Wilcox take this picture? He ought to have preserved it more, its badly faded.’

`I believe he did.’ I want to say – with growing conviction - `I believe he will.’

I look at DeMarr, slightly mystified by his familiarity with these people, almost overwhelmed by a sense of time, of causality, and then quickly I look behind me. I feel a chill cross my spine, and I think I hear someone calling my name.

`Who is Max?’

`Max? Max is special, Julian. I mean all these people are special, but Max…he is the most special of them all!’

I frown. I take the picture back. I have a sudden, terrible sense of doom. I look at Max closely. I look intently at his face. He is half caught in sunlight.

`Max is a friend of Jamie’s?’

`Oh yes, they are very close friends.'

I have turned the photograph over in my hand, glimpsing the writing. `To Max from Jamie’

I think about the two dates. I construct an absurd hypothesis. In a few months time, in March 2006, someone will take a photo of a group of friends, on holiday, travelling, and someone will keep it safe, a treasured possession. Evidently Jamie. A token of a great friendship, a special moment. And one day, long after, in a different and perhaps more serious time, Jamie will find it. And he will send the picture to his old friend in honor, a token of love.

To Max from Jamie March 2037.

I am about to dismiss this utter stupidity when I suddenly realise that I have seen Max before. These revelations are lucid.

Max is the man above the door in my library, the marbled figure above the gates of hell at Bone Hill House. It represents him. It is not even a stupid irrational fantasy. I know it. I have no doubt. The figure calling down, holding the forces of good and evil in the palm of his hand, like Blake’s picture of the Divine compass. Max is waiting for me, trying to get my attention.

`And why is he special? ‘ I said faintly, with great precision. Do I dare disturb the Universe?

For a while I am not sure that DeMarr has heard me. He is concentrating hard, thinking of something, like someone tries to remember an equation or a direction. And then he says, looking at me in his shy way

`Because he is a hybrid, Julian – they are all hybrids – they are like the alien children sent to Boston. Max is their leader.’

I feel my heart freeze on me. I am about to say something when there is a sort of distant commotion in the pavilion, and someone screams. I spin around to see that the black youth is sprinting back along the path, having dropped his cell phone. He shouts something as he runs – a hard word – its seems cut into the air. I then hear more screams, those of women and children and people start to run. I squint hard and can dimly see a struggle taking place between a group of youths and a man. The man has what appears to be an umbrella raised javelin like.

I start to run, with DeMarr shouting something. Then there is a curious noise, like an air rifle, and then a sudden brilliant stab of white light – impossibly intense - like a small explosion and one of youths appears to vanish. There is a ominous silence, and the air is filled with strange flakes, like feathers, or dried skin. There is then a pulse of green, oddly florescent, a light I have seen before, and then further silence.
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Post by Patroclus76 » Sun Nov 05, 2006 6:56 am


DO NOT FEED THE ANTARIANS...............





The food arrives. I tap Michael’s foot and look straight into his eyes – a sort of impertinence still, after all these years. I screw my face up and get him to shift his diamond-cut, penetrating gaze towards Davies. I am now so hungry that I have reached a sort of twilight nausea, in which my stomach feels so empty as to exclude the thought of hunger itself. Yet I am incapable of rational action. I think for a moment I might actually heave, but a wave of heat passes over me and the next thing I know I am eating, or rather grazing, with Max and Michael, our heads bent slightly forward. We had abandoned the idea of separate tables as soon as the first plate arrived.

But has Michael spotted Davies? Did he get the message I tried to think to him? I tap his foot again and try inclining my head as if I have some form of nervous tick.

`Jamie!’ it’s a sort of snarl, as if am pulling a bloody carcass from his mouth after a fresh kill.

`Davies is standing at the displays looking at us.’ I say this, head down chewing, in the classic `Don’t look now but that woman behind you has just set fire to her hair and killed the waiter’ style. Typically, Michael looks.

`Shit – what the fuck do we do? Is there anyone one with him?’

I look up. The place is now quite empty – a few children, a man reading a paper, a businessmen, out on an extended or late lunch.

`Let’s just sit here and eat. Keep an eye on him, Jamie.’ Max says this. He is looking at me, frowning, lips red. He turns and scans Michael, sort of older brother mode, as if he is going to wipe something off his face or straighten his shirt. Michael gives him that blank `hey what? What!’ look, while moving his jaw like a camel. They stare at each other like this for what seems an age. Do they commune in this way? I have, through Max’s mind meld, some insight into this extraordinary relationship. What does Michael think? They are still looking at each other, although it appears that Max is looking at Michael’s mouth. Is Michael saying something in code? I love you? Pass the salt? There is a man behind you who is your son, and who evidently wants you dead?

There sits between them the intense disinterest of lovers. I do not understand this type of love. I want to, I want somehow to get inside it, but I can’t get my head around the concept. It exists in another dimension to my sexual lust/love conundrum – in a sort of parallel universe that never quite touches me. I wonder if Max and Michael have ever kissed or touched each other , or jacked off together? In what way do they love?


At times during the full on, roller-coaster West Roswell High Years, I often thought I felt Michael jealous, not just of me, but of Liz. I remember a vivid incident – Max in hospital after the crash with Liz in the jeep on the old highway – the whole fiasco of the vial and later, my discovering of what, of who, Max was. Yet what stuck out in my mind most dramatically was the look on Michael’s face when Max introduced Liz to his mother. She was standing just in front of Michael, with Diane at her son’s shoulder. I was already leaving, looking back – and when Max introduced Liz there was such a shadow of pain, of loss, over Michael’s face it seemed almost palpable, like a cloud crossing the sun. Max and Michael, like a concerto, a tightly writ musical score for two instruments, a complex and yet beautiful piece, or are they the overture and coda for the great Roswellian symphony? Am I drawn in to this now? Is there a line for me there as well? Jamie, second violin, C minor?

In the current context this daydreaming is absurd. I have my twentieth erection since we arrived. I scan Davies again, to try and re-focus my attention. He does not appear to have moved. I settle into a pattern of consuming and watching with equal measure. Perhaps Davies is really, really interested in the conservation plans of Woodland Park? Or is it that seeing his father as a beautiful young man has confused him, sapped his anger? His desire to carry on with whatever he has planned?
We have the intense concentration of a herd of bison. For about ten or fifteen minutes no one speaks, and then I notice that Michael’s head is up, like a prairie dog, scanning for predators. He is not looking at Davies. He is looking into the middle distance as if he has heard something.

I am deep into a tuna bake, and some divine salad with relish. Max’s head goes up as well. I turn around slightly; I can still see Grey and DeMarr in conversation. There is a strange atmosphere around us suddenly, as if there is about to be a massive downpour.

`What’s up?’ We eat like a pack. Perhaps we should pay for people to watch us? I am aware that Jonathan has not yet come back from the restroom. At our current rate of consumption, he might have to order again.

`Is Jonathan ok?’ asks Max, to no one in particular, again as if he has been following my line of thought. `And what’s Davies doing now?’

`Yeah, Jonathan’s having a dump or something. Davies appears to have gone into some sort of suspended animation.’ Michael adds thoughtfully.

`The boundaries between eating and defection are central to any civilised culture.’ I start to say. I am thinking of Levi Strauss and structural anthropology – The Raw and the Cooked - I am thinking of Max and Michael’s boundaries and my own.

`Thanks, Einstein – just eat your lettuce, and stand by for action.’ Michael leans over and takes some tuna, looking at me defiantly. My cock, emptied of blood through the dreariness of structural anthropology, fills up again.

`Anytime, Michael. I am a source of endless information.'

I am aware of the intensity of Max’s stare. He is watching Grey. I can almost see Grey reflected in his giant brown eyes. Max is so still – he has the vast reflective presence of still, deep waters. If ever Max fucked me – if ever he did – I mean not that I still want that to happen, (yeah, right) but if he did – it would have to be in such a way that I could look into his eyes. No doggy style, nothing elaborate like chairs or swings, or being thrown up against walls. Just me on my back, my legs up and crossed behind his back, his hand firm under my neck, lifting my face to his, so I would see his sensation as he filled me. And if he kissed me – I mean – properly –

`Oh shit. I don’t feel very well.’ I murmur.

`You’ve been eating too quickly.’ Snaps Michael, `Chew more and breath through your nose – like this.’ Max shrugs playfully at me, as if to say `He knows all about this, Jamie!’

Jonathan appears, looking decidedly better. He has discretely disposed of his nappy wipes and seems his usual radiant self. I wonder how Skins moisturise and more vaguely why. Yet even as I think about this, after a brief moment of hesitation, just the slightest pause, Davies charges like a rhino straight at Max – knocking over the stand.

Michael reacts by jumping up, and I go to half stand – it is not clear that Max has seen anything yet, because Davies is slightly behind his line of vision, and Max is still absorbed with Grey. Davies is holding the umbrella like a spear and roars as he runs. Max turns, alerted, as Davies hurls forward like a fucking express train. Several people scream as Michael grabs Max by his coat and pulls him sideways, onto his lap – the umbrella impales itself on the chair seat, missing Max’s thigh by millimetres. There is a strange snapping sound and I realise that the tip of the umbrella is some form of hypodermic, that it has injected something into the seat. I cry out, half in terror and rage, and run at Davies, as Max and Michael scramble away from the chairs, a movement complicated by the fact that they are fixed to the table and the floor.

My hand grabs half a jacket and I tug it violently so that Davies slips sideways, but he then punches me hard in the face and my nose pops and suddenly, instantly, blood is everywhere, choking my throat, covering my face. I wheel off, as Michael discharges one great stab of light that knocks Davies backwards.


At this, children and parents are running away back up the main loop pathway. I think I see Grey through a film of blood. Davies pulls a gun as he staggers to his feet – he points it straight at Max, who radiates a great green wall of light straight out in front of him. A bullet pin pricks this skin of energy right next to Max’s throat but bounces away. Michael goes forward but suddenly from behind him, some complete stranger – a middle aged man, the guy reading the paper, – bangs Michael hard across the head and shoulders with a metal bar. Max shouts and runs forward, kicking the man in the face hard. His whole body crumples down. Pushing forward, Max projects the screen out so that he stands over Michael, protecting him as he lies holding his head, dazed but still conscious. I feel as if I am hallucinating.

Meanwhile Davies is firing bullet after bullet at Max’s face. I go to kick Davies, but as I blunder forward Jonathan throws himself into the line of fire. He staggers under the bullets and raises his hand to blast Davies but as he does so, a stray shot, some random projectile ricochets and hits the seal between the husk and the host and Jonathan literally explodes in front of my very eyes – a great cloud of skin – like snow. I scream – I see the horror and incomprehension in Max’s eyes. Bizarrely, his iPod and mobile phone clatter to the floor.

`Fuck! Jonathan was a Skin!’ he gasps this, the green aura over his body weakening. I hear people running up behind us, and I turn expecting a fresh assault. I see two people approaching. One is a tall, black guy, with Rasta hair, powerful, galloping towards us like a wild horse. There is no way I can do anything useful against him except perhaps trip him up. Behind him is Miss Wilcox. I catch a strange background shot of Grey running as well, with DeMarr running while holding his eyes shut.

Disorientated by the death of Jonathan, blinded by the snow storm of dead flesh, Davies tries to get to his feet but another flash of energy knocks him over and stuns him. Wilcox? I swing around to see it has come from the out stretched hand of the black youth. Max’s face is one of utter confusion. The shield wall collapses and Max is standing, arm out, hesitant, bewildered.

`Eta seleq matta hia!’ the youth shouts – I think he is addressing me – but he is shouting to Max.

I hear Wilcox say `He will not understand!’

Max drops his hands onto Michael to heal him as best he can. I have blood and tears in my eyes and am watching Jonathan blow slowly around the park, like cherry blossom, or perversely, like confetti.

`Understand what?’ says Max, he is helping Michael up to his feet, but as Michael stands, Max shimmers slightly, and then vanishes.
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Post by Patroclus76 » Sat Nov 11, 2006 9:19 am

Jonathan was dead – Jonathan was now in several thousand small, desiccated bits of skin whirling and eddying about the zoo. Max had simply vanished, and I screamed again, in a slightly undignified, girlish manner – or rather I think I did – I am no longer sure. I think Michael screamed as well, slightly more manfully, or rather shouted Max’s name, as if Max had just done something deeply inconsiderate or thoughtless, like farted or pissed on his shoes. He called his name as a form of reproach, just as he sort of winked away into nothingness. Miss Wilcox cut through my blanket, floor-to-ceiling hysteria:

`It’s alright Jamie, Seeth Mia has momentarily dislocated Max from the current space-time continuum.’ I was not sure I understood what that meant, and even if I did, it didn’t strike me as a self evidently helpful thing to do. Michael, riled up, spat out. With Max gone, he's sat down again, as if in protest.

`Who the fuck are you!’ both to Wilcox and the black dude – evidently Seeth Mia in erotic human form – who was looking rather biblical actually, shoulders square, long hair down to his back (perhaps I should grow my hair?). We could hear the sounds of sirens approaching.

`It’s me, Michael, Wilcox – Max 2 – relax, we haven’t much time!’ Michael blinked defiantly, his mind trying to get back into gear.

`Yeah and I’m fucking Bill Gates!”

`It is Wilcox, Michael.’ I said. `He has changed shaped.’

`Wilcox?’ Michael said slowly. Like me, he was looking at Wilcox’s tits.

`And this is Seeth Mia Sevak, Brandon, the guy we had planned to meet in Wenatchee, at The Companion bookshop, but all our best laid plans are going astray at the moment.’

Seeth Mia – Brandon – walked slowly and pulled Michael up to his feet. He then lowered his head and said `Lord Rath. Forgive me, I shouted a warning that I was going to have to displace Max for a moment, but I forgot you do not yet understand your native language.’ Michael looked curiously at Brandon’s obvious supplication. Michael – Lord Rath – the name seemed to transform him.

We then looked at Davies who was still unconscious on the floor. I tried to find a likeness to Max in his face. It was difficult to see one from this particular angle.

`Quickly, we are going to have to go back to Bone Hill House, -‘ Miss Wilcox seemed to gather herself together.

`What about Max?’ I said slowly. I was crying silently, without knowing it. I bent down and picked up Jonathan’s mobile phone and his iPod. His iPod was still whispering and sissing music.

`He is safe for now – he is suspended in the moment - we can bring Max back when you return to your apartment. It is vital that Max doesn’t remember what he saw here – especially –‘ Wilcox’s voice changed slightly `About Jonathan being a skin.’ There was a silence. Michael walked to me and hugged me, suddenly, with real feeling.

`I am sorry man, I am really sorry – ‘ It was an unlooked for moment of tenderness, that momentarily made me cry even more.

`He gave his life to save Max, the shield wall would have collapsed and Max would probably have been killed.’ People were shouting and calling now, and I caught a sight of Grey, who had walked up to the side of the pavilion building and was watching us. DeMarr was next to him, but in a sort of crash position.

`Why does he want to kill you?’ I asked, looking up from Michael’s shoulder at Miss Wilcox.

`I am note entirely sure – it is clear that what persuaded Jonathan to sacrifice himself was the realisation that Davies wanted to murder his own father, whatever the specific deal Davies had struck with the Shalloth.’

`Let’s just kill him now and be done with it.’ Michael walked over to the spread body of the director of the institute. He looked like he was proposing to jump on his head.

`No, we don’t have to do that. Because he can be saved, he has been manipulated and lied to. His life has been one long misery of abandonment –‘

`I knew you’d say that! Max – I mean you – you didn’t abandon him –‘ Michael started to say something but suddenly all went dark around us, there was a sort of wrinkle in space and we blinked to find we were in the library at Bone Hill House, its cold vast space heavy about us. We stood for a while, entombed in its silence.

Wilcox had changed back into Wilcox, somehow he had even managed to change the top and skirt into his overalls, the strange ones with what appeared to be a club monogram on the breast pocket. His grey hair was thrown back over is head and he looked a little mad, or vaguely mad, like an artist.

Brandon – Seeth Mia Sevak – had also changed in the process of moving through space, but the change was both severe and rather more breathtaking. The black youth with the dreadlocks and the streetwise, lose limbed body language had been replaced by a tall creature – predominantly humanoid, and seemingly male, if not one of indeterminate age. Sevak stood before us in a grey cloak, worn over a white tunic and a sort of sarong. The tunic exposed a powerful, grey-blue muscular neck, and broad shoulders with deep sinews showing under what I thought was a form of armor. Then, on close examination, I discovered these were part of his body.

I looked up at his face, embarrassed to be starring, but intrigued. Sevak’s looked back at me impassively, young but oddly timeless, blue eyed, a handsome but utterly alien face, with prominent cheeks and long plats of white hair. On his forehead were a series of tattoos. I wondered if that is why he had gone for a black American with dreadlocks – a sort of continuity? Michael was starring as well, which made me feel less embarrassed, but I looked away, conscious I had also been looking at his physique as much as anything.

`Brandon is an Antarian Seeth, he is one of my protectors. He has been helping me protect you since 1999!’ Wilcox was speaking to Michael. Michael still looked unsure whether he owed Brandon – or Sevak – his life or whether he was inclined to punch him. Wilcox meanwhile lit a fire with a sideways flick of his hand. It flared up beautifully in the massive ornamental hearth and gave some comfort. In daylight the library was only slightly less scary than at night. It seemed altogether too large.

`Where is Max again? Is he safe?’ I asked this plaintively, like a child, asking repeatedly to go home.

`He is safe, Jamie.’ Sevak said, with extraordinary tenderness. His use of my name surprised me. I realised then that I had seen him before, or rather, his species, they were the soldiers in my dream – with Max and the red cape – standing around Bone Hill House. The memory chilled me. I remembered the codex’s description of the birth of Om.

`I shall bring him back with what appears to be the symptoms of concussion, and you and Michael will have to play along – he will not remember the moment when Jonathan intervened. But before we return you to your apartment, we must sort out our next move.’ Sevak spoke slowly, a deep voice, one that made the English language seem earthy and warm. Michael collapsed into deep leather sofa by the fire, and I joined him.

`So what the fuck do we do now, Wilcox? How bad is all this – what did Grey see?’

Wilcox had been standing looking into the fire. At first it wasn’t clear that he had heard Michael, and then he said ruefully.

`Ah, Grey – I just hope he doesn’t run anyone over on his way home or run out of gas. He saw enough to show him that this is about aliens, about Boston, and about his father – the links will drive him to Max now, of that I have no doubt. And in that sense it’s not too bad. His curiosity will overcome his fear – he might even seek you out at your apartment before he returns. I suspect if DeMarr hasn’t told him about you, he will after the fight.’

`Ironic, isn’t it.’ I whispered, my head back, starring up into the gathering gloom of the high, vaulted ceiling. `That in the first codex, Max sought out Grey’ I had a sudden vivid image of Max and Grey on the terrace, rain thundering down around them. `Perhaps this time the order will be reversed?’

No one answered, so I asked

`And what of Davies?’ Michael had put his arm around the back of the sofa, including me in its wide sweep. I liked the sense of intimacy it entailed, the casual touching. Once Michael would have moved back or flinched. Now, like when he was with Max and Kyle, he left it, his arm across the back of my neck.

`We can safely allow Davies to be arrested for a while. It will buy us time until his friends in the FBI ensure his release. Knowing now that Jonathan has betrayed him, he will suspect we know about the Granolith, and where it is hidden.’ At that moment there came a strange noise, a sort of whisper – as if someone said the word Granolith – but in a curious accent. I swung around. The noise seemed to come from behind me.

`It is the doors -' said Wilcox without looking up, `they are sensitive to our words, and the panels are the portals through which we can travel through time. They are listening.’ I looked confused, but my spine shivered involuntarily. In the gloom behind me the great entrance doors towered above us, and for a moment I thought they seemed slightly iridescent, the outlines of the elaborate carvings shimmered and then sank back into the winter dimness of the great, uncompromising chamber.

`They are sentient beings? I mean, is the Granolith – alive?’

`In a sense.’ Answered Sevak, `As pure energy it is a live, and as something held constantly on the threshold of time, it seeks release – to be, or to have been, or to be again.’ He paused, rather magnificently, and then looked at me directly.

`Max must sleep with Liz and impregnate her.’ He remarked, as if this was a perfectly natural thing to say.

`He won’t do it!’ replied Michael. `Especially now knowing about the fate of the Midwich cuckoos, he will never have children now, not until he gets Grey to modify his genes.’

Wilcox nodded in agreement. `I fear you are right. The advanced aging of the children will deter him. And I am sure now that Liz too, will have second thoughts, for she grasped the principle of the thing.’

`So none of this has helped our primary objective at all?’ Michael sighed, `Oh fuck!’

I coughed slightly. `I have, or rather, Michael and I have, set up a contingency plan.’ Michael was going to protest, but then flared his nostrils as if trying not to sneeze (or laugh).

`You have?’ Wilcox sounded intrigued.

`We found a used rubber and, well, Jamie froze it.’

`A rubber?’ Sevak moved towards us. I noticed he had ear-rings and some jewelry on his neck. He tinkled as he moved, like a Christmas tree. I thought how extraordinary erotic he seemed, like a young warrior, but how old was he? I thought – is this how Max’s alien side will look?

`A form of contraception?’ I suggested, in that curious early 21st century habit of making a statement of fact sound like a question, the tone rising towards the end. Wilcox smiled, and said something to Sevak in a brittle, sharp language that felt like glass shattering. To my surprise Sevak laughed – beautifully, his teeth white and even.

`Did he allow you to remove it from him? As a gift?’ he asked in utter seriousness. I think that both Michael and looked horrified together, and I had the additional image of Max, turning to me, his cock encased in his rubber, with Liz holding out to me a small silver plate – was this a common form of Antarian bonding! I colored instantly,

`Good god, no – we found it under the bed.’ Sevak looked bemused by this, or vaguely disappointed.

`Discarded?' he asked, as if Max's semen was like gold leaf.

`Do you use rubbers on Antar?’ I asked stupidly, as if we were cultural exchange students.

Wilcox laughed this time and said something again in the angular, razor like language of the Seeth. Sevak seemed to deepen a shade of blue and then his face brightened.

`Ah, no. No, we do not Jamie. The Seeth hatch and form same sex relations in which the exchange of geentic material is not necessary. - Malaq Eqendas?’

Sevak looked at Wilcox, who was obviously trying to translate

`Prides? Or male collectives? Something like that?’

`We bond in large groups and have non-reproductive sex before we become female and become pregnant. –‘

`Fucking hell!'

`Don't over-excite him!' cut in Michael, rolling his eyes.

I was utterly intrigued by this information. `So Seeth have same sex relationships, I mean with the sex?’

`Jamie, for fuck’s sake!’ Michael sounded borderline embarrassed. `Can we stick to planning heterosexual intercourse first!’

Wilcox interjected `Even if the semen has survived the freeze, how do you propose to inseminate Liz?’

Michael put his face in his hands. `I can’t believe any of this – I can’t believe we’re having this conversation!’

`I sympathise, Michael.’ Wilcox sat down opposite us. The sofas were placed around the fire to create a sense of intimacy, but they were dwarfed by the sheer vastness of the Library, and the effect was not so much comical as slightly sinister. I felt we were being watched from the stacks and listened to by the doors.

`Couldn’t you shape shift in a younger version of Max? – ‘ I asked.

`That would not be ethical, and it would lead to difficulties with Max now, in this time – especially if he always used contraception.‘

`Couldn’t you make him forget it, like you are about to do with the zoo incident?’

`I’d rather not – but it is possible, I suppose. If all else fails.’ Wilcox sounded unhappy.

`Could you not risk telling Yantra Parker the truth and asking for her cooperation with the insemination?’ Sevak asked this. Michael was deep in thought.

` It's too risky, we have already completely lost control of this intervention into the time line. If Jonathan was alive he would caution us about proceeding – ‘ It felt weird hearing Michael use his name, it reiterated the shcok - that he was dead.

`Can you not compromise the contraceptive device?’ again Sevak asked this as if he was proposing modifying a car engine.

Michael ran his hand over his mouth and pulled his lips out with his fingers. `He’d check. He’s a fucking control freak, he only uses one brand anyway because his cock is sensitive –‘ Michael’s voice trailed off as he sensed my eyes on him.

`He, he told you that?’ I asked, in what my mother would have called ` a small voice’.

Michael ignored me. ``How about getting him drunk? That worked once, and he couldn’t remember anything!’

`That is an interesting idea – ‘ mused Sevak `Seeth males sometimes drink Sasah which is a form of stimulant, although it is frowned upon. ‘

Jesus – get me to these Antarian Parties now! `Is that before the sex bit?’ I asked.

`But it might effect his powers too much?’ Sevak ended, ignoring me. I was about to ask about Sasah and exactly what it stimulated but Michael got in first.

`What is Sasah? Can you get any here, on earth?!’

`Yeah, he means alcohol.’ Said Wilcox. We had a plan – I think. Actually, speaking frankly, I had several.
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Post by Patroclus76 » Sun Nov 19, 2006 12:26 pm

We sit (or in the case of Sevak, stand) and talk and plan. We plan pointlessly and without enthusiasm until my feet are cold and until Michael looks hungry again, a sort of shadow in the corners of his eyes.

As we plan the library misbehaves. It changes shape and color and grows big, so big that it contains trees and cities and a vast curve of space. At one stage I think I see a great plane of dunes, deep blue-grey, like the color of Sevak’s neck muscles. At one stage, over what appears to be a strange balcony or gallery, I see a grey disc of a planet, like a new moon. I am evidently hallucinating. Small triangular wedges of metal like ships move and curve above us, and there are odd flashes and explosions, as if we are seeing a battle.

`Is Antar mostly desert?’ I ask without any purpose. We have all been watching one great ship blasting upwards. Sevak fixes me with his too human eyes and nods in the affirmative.

`It is an ancient world, of buried hopes and secrets, like a great tomb.’

Michael’s arm is hot against the back of my neck. I am conscious that my face is caked with blood and that my nose is probably broken.

`I look forward to seeing it.’ I say.

Wilcox smiles at me, a soft expression of great intimacy as if he is remembering. The blue-white disc of Antar swells up momentarily and then fades into a great wall of books. The ships vanish, or morph into the latticed shadows on the ceilings.

`Malaquev Zan tar mei sai!’ whisper the doors, to no one in particular.

`Does Grey see and hear all of this as well?’ Michael asks as if all this weirdness is getting on his nerves.

`I am not sure – the portals seem particularly active today. It may be Seeth Sevak’.

Sevak, standing, arms folded, turns his splendid neck to look behind him.

`Perhaps it is Jamie.’ He says, to himself. We are silent for a while, as the library – seemingly conscious it has been observed – reforms into the contours of Bone Hill House like a animal settling down to sleep.

We have been here for three hours. Grey is probably well on his way home now. The plans discussed so far:

1) We get Max drunk and hope that somehow he forgets a rubber and consummates Liz in the old fashioned way. Or we prick a rubber and hope he doesn’t notice. Numerous objections, mostly from Wilcox who of course is Max. Most significant objection is that Liz would be sober and, given the prospect of having a mutant child, would probably not co-operate with Max, no matter how sexy and hard or ingenious he was. (I imagine all three).

2) We get Liz and Max both drunk, naked and in bed and hope that they both stumble into a pretty basic missionary position and `do the deed’ with the minimum of fuss. Numerous objections, mostly from Sevak, who appears to have `studied’ human procreation like one studies gardening or flower arranging. Michael frowns distastefully over each point. General (and damning) problem: how do we ensure they don’t just fall asleep or miss? (`how can you miss, Michael?’ I ask. My question goes unanswered).

3) We get Liz drunk and I (or Michael) or – Maria (!) – assist in artificially inseminating Max’s frozen rubber via a device I have yet to invent. Michael suggested a turkey baster. Wilcox suggests a spoon, Sevak suggests something that sounds like an Antarian sex toy (a Wel quav?). Wilcox then holds his head and says rather plaintively that it sounds `sordid’. Michael agrees. General problem: how does Liz explain to Max she is having his child. Immaculate conception? Joke wasted on Sevak who wants it explained. I ask Wilcox how it happened in the first place and all he does is blush!! (`Oh yes’ whispers Michael).

4) I suggest that we get Liz and Max completely and utterly wasted and that Michael and I align them in a standard heterosexual coupling position and manually do the business for them. `It would be as easy as lighting a fire with two dried sticks’ I announce triumphantly. Numerous objections and outrage – mostly from Michael. Sevak asks me how I proposed to get Max erect or keep him erect and I suggest I could tickle his scrotum. `Only you could have thought of that – you perve!’ but somehow being called a perve by Michael is a complement and I wink at him and his face, dark, strong, half shadowed in the fading light, glows out in a smile. `I’ll demonstrate later, Michael’ I add, to be elbowed in the ribs).

Result: No plans.

Sevak ends on a final point. Somewhere behind us a great heavy chime sounds the hour – it is later than we think. The Antarian Seeth, drawing his cloak tight around him, asks whether we ought not simply to ask Max and Liz to have a child and be done with it. He is looking at Michael and me.

`You mean like a delegation?’ I have visions of Max in bed, a sheet up to his pectorals, naked shoulders, his hair black against a pillow: Michael on one side, me on the other. Liz is showering. We are putting our proposal to him as if we are selling him life insurance. (and in a way, we are!) Max has that exquisitely guarded look, like he always had with Michael in the early days, trying to guess what he is doing, coaxing him off the edge of something wild, back into safety, into his arms?

Michael thinks about it for about 3 nanoseconds. `It just wouldn’t work – come on Wilcox, what would you have thought! You’d think I was hiding something and you would be right. Perhaps we might stand a better chance with Liz –‘

`Can’t you get Maria to ask Liz?’ I ask.

`Without telling her why?’ Another slab of silence.

`We had better leave – I shall go ahead to see if the location outside your apartment is clear, then we can materialise, with Max.’ Sevak literally begins to fade from the legs up.

`But what’s the plan!’ I ask, desperately. He winks out, like a flame on a candle, and then he reappears.

`Come, it is safe. Hurry!’ We all stand up, and there is the familiar visual twisting as we appear to corkscrew into the corridor outside my apartment. Sevak – far more consummately skilled in this than Wilcox – has relocated us at exactly the same time as we left. Sevak takes Michael and I as if we are about to rehearse something, positioning us carefully as Wilcox looks on.

`I shall bring Max back here, so he shall fall into you, like this!’ He throws himself at us. Touching his arm I feel the powerful muscles wrapped around the forearms and the bone cuirass that sheaths up towards his shoulders. I want to feel up towards his shoulders, just to see what they feel like. I am momentarily distracted. I am wondering what a Seeth male looks like with a hard-on.

`So both catch him – he is heavier than he looks, try not to drop him!' adds the Seeth, as if he catches Max all the time. `Jamie?'

`He'll want to know what happened!’ Michael looks flustered. I can hear Maria and Kyle singing in my apartment, or is it the television?

`You must tell him he was unconscious. We have been gone nearly four hours, for Max the attack in the zoo is still immediate – are you ready? Jamie, you can release my arm now?'

`Oh, yes, sorry!'

Wilcox stirs.

`I had better return to Bone Hill House and await Grey, another complication we could have done without!’ Wilcox sounds tired. He turns to me. `Jamie are there any apartments in this block that are empty?’ For a moment my mind is blank. I have almost entirely forgotten about my apartment and that I lived here in normal times.

`I’m not sure – I think 37 – on the next floor – is empty and up for sale to rent?’

`Sevak my friend, can you check that out? I want you to remain here and keep an eye on things until you all come to Wenatchee, which you must do in the next few days. Brandon here will still sort out the accommodation until, somehow, we get back on track with the original codex?’

`How the fuck are we ever going to do that, Wilcox! I mean, look at us!’ Michael shrugs in such a way that I smile. We all smile.

`Illuvatar.’ I say, thinking of Jonathan suddenly. `We must have faith.’ Sevak looks at me keenly and goes to say something, but Wilcox interrupts.

`Sevak Sai, stay on site here, and resume your discussions on the plan – I shall report back when I have seen Grey. Until then, watch out for Davies!’ At that he too vanishes.

`Always on the fucking go, isn’t he!’ sighs Michael. We are both rehearsing catching Max.

`Are you ready?’ asks Sevak quietly. We nod.

`As Max reappears, I shall disappear of course but I shall hopefully be upstairs at some stage – I will contrive to introduce myself as a new neighbor.’ says Sevak thoughtfully.

`You can complain about the noise as Jamie tickles my scrotum’ adds Michael.

`But Max will recognise you?’ I ask, ignoring Michael as best as I can.

`No – I have mind warped Max so he can not remember seeing Jonathan or me, just Davies with the gun, you and Michael – ok – here we go!’

Several things happen at once. Sevak vanishes and – at the same time – there is the smell of cold air, of space, and then the smell of leather, and of Max, like his taste, and a rushing noise falls between Michael and I with some speed, like a train coming down the coridoor. We both buckle under him and Max is suddenly HERE, throwing his arms up seconds after seeing Davies open fire at almost point blank range. Bewildered, he screams a command and goes to hit Michael.

`No, no, no, hey Max, it’s me, man! Don't hit me!’ Their faces close together and Max shakes his head, recognising Michael. I am holding his arm. Max spins around to me and says `Jamie? Jamie what the fuck’s happened to your face! Where am I!’

Doors open. Someone across from my apartment sticks their head out, goes to complain, but then shuts the door again. As I am blurting out an explanation about how he was knocked out cold, and how we are bringing him back, Kyle opens the door and says simply,

`Fucking hell!’

Then, behind him, as Max, standing now, slightly winded, goes to walk in, Isabel sees him and me and screams `Oh my god!’

`It's ok, it's ok –it's.. worse than it looks!’ I am suddenly aware my nose is swollen and my voice is nasal and distorted. Max is covered in bruises. Michael has blood dried on his neck where the man hit him with a metal bar. I only notice this now as Liz rushes in and grabs Max as if to assure herself he is safe. They collapse together in a tight embrace, her head against his chest.

Then, after a momentary buzz of panic, my Roswellian tribe kick into emergency mode – all efficiency and motion. Before I can say anything, Max’s broad cold hand is across the bridge of my nose and I am full of a giddy warmth, thick and sweet, and I am healed. I find this somehow shocking, the revelation of Max’s power always disturbs. As he removes his hand, his finger traces out the top of my lip playfully. He then peels back Michael’s jacket and shirt and exposes the broken skin just above the top of his spine. `That was a close, Michael.’ Michael submits, and is healed quietly without fuss. Max and Michael. I watch them as I feel my nose and face. Max’s hand remains for a while, even after the blue black shadow and the black blood has gone. Maria comes in with coffee.
`Thank you, Maximilian.’ Max kisses the base of Michael’s neck. The look on Michael's face is complicated but I see him catch his breath.

`Thank you, thank you both’ He snakes an arm around me. `That was not one of our most successful missions! Where is Grey?’

`On his way back to Bone Hill house probably, he met with DeMarr and witnessed Davies trying to shoot you! But he is safe for now.’

After a pause in which he again embraces Liz tightly and she smothers his lips in kisses , he asks quietly,

`Where is Jonathan?’

There is a strange silence. Max’s expression sharpens and he looks to me. It is a command to speak.

`He’s dead.’ I say. There is a sort of gasp around me.
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Post by Patroclus76 » Thu Nov 23, 2006 1:19 pm

`Malaquev Zan tar mei sai!’ whisper the doors, to no one in particular.


Scottie - I pm'd you but thought I would post a version here since I have been asked this same question several times - and don't want to look obscure.

The doors have just said, roughtly translated, and re-translated again since I pm'd you, the following:

the ships of Zan's generals leave to celebrate the birth of the star child

the scenes that Jamie et al witness while trying to plan Max and Liz's `copulation' are the doors showing the departure of Seeth Sia Ova with the head of Ki'var as narrated in the Roswellian Codex. The doors are being ironic or deliberately mischievous, since they have listened to the desperate plans of Jamie et al to make sure the `star child' - Om - is born at all! The doors are revealing what has just taken place on Antar, or is about to take place.............


(I would like to thank Max for helping me with the Antarian Seeth language in what he tells me is a curious dialect)
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Post by Patroclus76 » Sun Nov 26, 2006 12:34 pm

I told Max the sad story of the death of Jonathan. Rather Shakespearian in its way: but we were not sitting on the ground, we were sprawled across the living room, and there was not much heroic and powerful about Jonathan’s end in my version. Wasn’t he shot trying to save his king? I omitted that bit. I made his death sounds sort of useless. (And yet I wondered later, alone in my bed, did he hesitate? Was there a moment when Jonathan stood, waiting? Why had he paused – what had he been thinking – what does one think about running to ones death? There was a sort of missing moment in my recollection. Time had been distorted. All I saw when I closed my eyes was a cloud of ash like skin.) Max listened with a cold drained face, mask like, indecipherable.

It was their – our – first loss since Alex. Michael helped me with the details, when I faltered, or when there were too many interruptions that I grew confused, in danger of contradicting myself. I remembered all the lies I had to tell at Roswell High, but somehow then it was fun. I so hated lying to Max. It tore into me like a knife, and it made so little of Jonathan’s moment. When I finished, I felt Max touch my arm.

`Where is Davies now?’ asked Isabel. It was dark again, the short winter day spent.

`Probably about to be released from prison – his friends in the FBI will get him out, so we had better resume our plans to leave and head west.’ Michael was having his hair stroked by Maria.

`Grey.’ Max said the word as if it were an incantation. He was now holding my hand, with Liz curled into me on the other side. `What will Grey make of all of this? He saw everything?’ I wasn’t sure. I looked towards Michael.

`Fuck knows, but on the old principle that the enemy of his enemy is a friend, he will probably be more favorably disposed to help!’ Michael stretched out, yawning. Kyle agreed. He clearly regretted being left out of the action. He was visibly upset by Jonathan’s end.

`Then we still head for the van and make it out of here?’ Kyle mused, looking at Max.

`Yes.’ Max spoke with sudden finality. `Davies will certainly try again – and we are not safe here. I suggest we rest up and then head out to Grey’s estate. Let’s listen to the news, and see if we can find anything out. Kyle, Michael – can you go get the van tomorrow?’ They nodded.

Isabel switched on the television and pointed with the remote. Liz shuddered. `He tried to inject you with a virus, Max! God that is so, so scary!’

`He failed.’ I said, hugging her. The image of Michael pulling Max away sprang vividly in my mind. Just a second delay and Max would have been infected.

`Anything happen here while we were away?’ I asked her eventually, trying to make light of it. She looked serious and remote, lost in thought. Then she caught my joke.

`Oh! no, not much! Your neighbor from across the corridor came to complain about the noise and said that these are one bedroom apartments and that it’s against health and safety to have so many people in such a small space!’

Maria, fending Michael’s hands off somewhat ineffectually from her breasts, added `Nosey bastard.’ Max leaned up, his back tensed while he watched the blizzard of news channels. I was conscious of Liz, of her kissing my neck, in a sort of absent minded way, as if I might be someone else. I suddenly thought of my dream – of having sex with her, of being joined to Max through her. I felt flustered.

`What?’ she said, as if sensing me tense up.

`No, nothing – Isabel – back a station – there it is! Channel 5!’

Isabel switched the remote and we were looking at some anchor dude standing outside the pavilion restaurant at Woodland Park.

`Why is it that all anchors look exactly the same!’ said Maria, to be shushed by everyone.

`What an extraordinary afternoon we’ve had here in Seattle’s famous zoo! Professor John Davies of the Human Genome Institute was arrested in Woodland park at approximately ten minutes past three this afternoon after shooting at a group of youths who were eating here, on these very tables in front of me. It is not yet clear what provoked the incident, but Davies claims he was mugged and fired in self-defence. No casualties have yet been reported, although eye witnesses say that one of the youths, a tall blonde male, exploded in front of them! No physical remains of a body have been found. Davies is helping police with their enquiries. The police are also looking to contact a middle aged professional woman and a black afro-Caribbean male in his late twenties or early thirties who were also allegedly in the proximity of the incident.’

There was no mention of Grey or DeMarr, who both appeared to have escaped unseen.

`Exploded?’ Max said softly, in horror. He had leaned his head back in my general direction `Where is Jonathan’s body?’

`I can’t remember – it was next to Davies, he fell.’ I was on the brink of telling him the truth, of just blurting out the whole fantastic, improbable story.

Help came from the unexpected quarter of Kyle, who said `They just lie about these things, come on Max, this has the FBI written all over it. They’ll be saying they saw flashing lights next.’ Even as Kyle spoke, the anchorwoman mentioned that several witnesses also spoke of a `strange white light’ over the scene.

Max sighed deeply. `He died saving my life, Jamie. The shield wall would not have held. Davies was firing repeatedly at close range – that bit I do remember!’ There was a silence, the news had already shifted to national staples, gossip from Washington DC, republican nominees to something or other, the soft buzz of common sense, everyday greyness. `I need to eat again.’ said Max quietly.

There was a consensus for a pizza, so I suggested we rang my local fast food joint. But Isabel and Maria wanted to go for a walk and get some air and managed to talk (or nag) Max around to the idea. He was all for remaining holed up here until morning, keeping watch. He seemed tired and distracted. Kyle joined the women in the end, leaving Max asleep on the sofa, and Michael and Liz reminiscing in the kitchen. I thought I saw Michael eyeing the freezer. I caught Liz looking at me, thoughtfully and carefully. As I left to go and lie down on my bed I thought I heard them mention my name. I wondered if Michael was beginning to favor a direct approach.

I curled up in darkness but couldn’t sleep. I had no idea what time it was, or what day it was. Some of Jonathan’s things were still scattered about, randomly like a still life or a crime scene. Was it February yet? Or was it still this endless January? I thought of Jonathan. Skins could survive bullets. I remembered that from my Roswell days. Jonathan must have been singularly unfortunate, or had it been deliberate? That was a stupid thought – but it stuck out in my mind. And Davies? Davies would have seen the moment of betrayal – what consequences would now follow from that? I stuffed the pillows and turned.

Would Davies suspect Jonathan had revealed the whereabouts of the Granolith to us? Would he suspect that Max knew everything – even who Davies was? My mind then wondered to the extraordinary dark symmetry of the library doors, and the bleak vastness of Bone Hill House. How could Grey live there, virtually alone? I thought of Grey in the park, a sharp, intelligent face, a lifetime of secrets. Then my mind returned to the visions of Antar and the ships. They worried me to be honest. Did it show what was actually happening? I recalled the scene in the Codex where Seeth Sia Ova explained to Max his departure: the murder of Ki'var, the realisation that Yantra Parker would be with child, the head in the jar. Fuck! I felt my head was literally going to explode. And then I thought: what if Seeth Ova comes to earth to find there are no children! No restored Seeth genome! Perhaps Seeth knows now – and will not come? No child?


I sat up and put the light on, sickened with a wave of panic that tightened my chest and set my heart racing. I tried to think of Wilcox, his calm, slightly eccentric manner, his overalls, the way he smiled at me. I thought of birch trees and fresh green early summer grasses. I thought of my first meeting with Grey in the swirling snow. I thought of Sevak, powerful and silent, like an angel. We must keep faith. I had an alien king – that had to count for something – although in the current predicament the alien king was the problem. I heard the door open and Kyle laugh.

`Jesus, Isabel – he’s a bit young!’

`He’s 19! I asked him!’

`Remember being 19, Kyle?’ Maria added sarcastically. They crowded off into the living room. After about a minute or so Kyle put his head around the bedroom door and announced food was ready. I didn’t feel hungry. I went through and chatted for a while, inconsequential talk, and then I announced I was going downstairs to the gym and sauna to chill out.

`There’s a gym and sauna?’ asked Isabel, a string of cheese across her mouth.

`Yes, it’s a bit small – and there is no way it justifies the service charge here – but.’ I drank some water.

`Can anyone use it?’ asked Kyle.

`Sure – it’s not bad for an emergency work out, and it rarely gets busy.’ I was in the hallway stuffing a towel into my gym bag. I ignored Jonathan’s, and the smell of weed that emanated from it.

Kyle started to say `Isabel has an instant crush on one of your neighbors – ‘but she pinched his arm.

`Aghhh, killer grip! What’s wrong with a little crush!’

`Which neighbour?’ I asked. All of my neighbours were in their mid 40s, except for the couple at the end who were considerably older, and unhappy as well for that matter.

`Number 37 if you must know, and it's not a crush – he was really charming and helpful!’ Isabel sounded self conscious. Michael – picking bits of topping of Maria’s pizza amid general protests, coughed and looked up sharply.

`Don’t start Michael!’ Isabel said quickly,

`I wasn’t fucking starting at all – ‘

`Is he the black dude upstairs?’ I said, casually, as if Seeth Sevak had lived here for ages. I assumed she was talking about my new Antarian neighbor.

`Yes, we met him coming back in the lobby. Please don’t tell me he’s gay!’ she pulled a face.

`He might be – he lives alone and he’s in his early thirties! Always a bad sign, Isabel, and gay men are so helpful!’ I teased.

`He’s 19, Jamie, and has really sexy dreadlocks!’ Maria and Liz made cat like howls and someone threw a pillow.

`See you all in a bit.’ I waved. How Isabel thought Sevak was 19 was just weird! Max’s eyes followed me to the door, his face full of concern. I smiled at him and frowned as if to say `it’s alright, really!’ What I really wanted to say was of course: `Max please, please, please, have unprotected full on sex with Liz. We are running out of time’. I saw Michael look at me as well, as if his thoughts were drawn out along the same trail. All that alien fecundity! Max seemed reassured by my look though, and, drawing back a thick coil of hair and tucking it behind his ear, he smiled back at me. Michael made a curiously thoughtful nod at me.


I went down and found the gym lifeless and dark. I switched on the sauna, changed and warmed up on the treadmill and then did a reasonable if somewhat bitty workout. Crucial weights were missing – I found the 20 kg dumbbell propping open the laundry door. It seemed to be the first time I had lifted a weight in centuries. I wondered if Daniel of Old Possums, my old workout partner, was missing me? Was anyone at the institute missing me, had there been time? After about an hour I went and sat on the hot creaking wood of the sauna and leaned against the dry walls, wrapped in a towel like a senatorial toga. I felt better, more centered, more able to cope. I also felt a lot sadder – as if I was suddenly aware that Jonathan had gone – that he had died – for Max.

As if on queue, Max appeared at the small window in the door and waved. I was sitting with my legs stretched out, thinking of Antar (as one does). He climbed into the cabin like room, wet from a shower. He was naked except for a small green towel stretched rather unconvincingly across his waist. His body was dark, smooth, etched with fine definition. In the raw, Max looked incredibly powerful, each posture vibrant with sinew and muscle. I tried not to look at him, to avoid seeing his neck, the runes of bone and hot flesh that stretched across his shoulders, and the thick wild hair long and warrior like, threaded into a make shift ponytail. I thought I might turn to stone or explode. Where his shoulders curved into his pectorals, two little dimples shadowed his chest. I remembered my first glimpse of him, in the showers at Roswell, after our first doomed meeting in the gym. He was bigger now, older, more dangerous, darker. I felt a huge surge of emotion.

`For someone who doesn’t spend hours pumping iron, Max, you have a fantastic body – have I ever mentioned that before?’

`Once or twice.’ He sat down heavily, his arm touching mine. `It’s genetic, Jamie.’ I smiled wistfully. If only you knew, Max. I looked at his shoulders and thought of Sevak’s powerful physique, with his curious armory of bone. I pictured Max as an Antarian Seeth, his face painted and with elaborate piercings in his ears. Here he looked very close to one already. I raised my knees gently to hide the usual, irritating stiffy that, despite exhaustion and anxiety, stirred between my legs. I sat in the semi-dark, in silence.

`Do you know anything about Wittgenstein?’ I asked eventually.

Max, pressing his back into the wall, brought his knees up to hug, and the towel uncurled innocently, parting about his left thigh. If he noticed it he did not move.

`Jamie, you love me for my body, not my mind, remember? Remind me who he is again?’

`He was, among other things, a linguistic philosopher, who in the early 1920s devised a novel view about the relationship between language and material existence – he argued that the limit of language was the limit of the world, that outside of language, there was no reality.’

`Fuck, I love it when you talk like this, Jamie, you are so sexy and so clever! Liz always used to excite me in science class like this, the way she refocused the microscope, the way she said slide!’

`Max, please don’t tease me!’

He seemed taken aback by my reproach. `Hey!’ he brushed my face with his hand, `I’m not teasing you!’ He rested his hand on my cheek and allowed me to lean into it. He was watching me carefully, trying to judge my mood.

`Do you agree with his argument, that language is constitutive of reality?’ he whispered eventually. I turned my head so I could look at him. I could see his thigh dimpled as well now, where it was raised and where the muscle was knotted. I wondered what it would be like to rest my head there and look up at him.

`I did until I met you.’ He looked surprised by my answer, and swung around to face me – his legs went under mine. He made no effort to retrieve his towel as it fell to the floor. We were now at right angles.

`Now who’s teasing! How did meeting me change your mind?’ he spoke very softly and deeply, as if deliberately casting a spell on me. I sighed.

`Because before I met you, I thought I knew what love was, what the word conveyed and how it was to be experienced, but after meeting you, I have no words for this feeling – for the way you make me feel – or for how I experience the world knowing that you are in it. The meaning is beyond words’ I had felt tears again, always recently a curious presence whenever I thought hard about Max. He lay back, his eyes closed.

`But if I remember rightly Jamie, Wittgenstein changed his mind later, and adopted a less formal logic to meaning – words were approximations to the world, improvisations, fleeting moments, reality was too fluid to be captured.' He raised his eyes, acknowledging my surprise in a mischievous smile.

`But my point is –‘ I started to say, aglow, radiant, wanting this moment to last forever.

`But what is it like knowing that I love you as well, Mr Clever Person?’ Max spoke over me, `That my love is as equally indefinable?’ There was a silence.

`It frightens me, sometimes. It frightens me because I am not sure where the boundaries lie, Max, where one sort of love starts and another begins.’ I thought for a moment I was being too abstract, too fucking obscure, but Max was following my thoughts keenly.

`Why does that worry you? You think too much, Jamie, you live too much in your head!' And then he said, after a pause `Is this because of Liz?’

`Yes, and because of Michael. I want to love you like Michael loves you, I want it to be that way – without touching.’ My voice trailed away.

`But you are not Michael.’ He said simply. He lifted his leg and rubbed it playfully against mine. `And who said he does not touch me?'

I caught my breath, but before I could say anything, he was speaking.

`Why are you thinking about all this Jamie, is this because of Jonathan?’ I leaned forward and poured a small saucer of water on the electric coals. Wraiths of steam hissed about us, obscuring the Antarian king sitting next to me.

`I guess, but I guess it’s because you nearly got killed today and I am not at all sure how I could have dealt with that.’ Max leaned over with one long arm, and he took my hand. He was naked now, his groin shadowed, the flat lower abs tucked into a soft dark smudge of pubic hair.

`I think you were more prepared than most of us, except probably Michael.’ He said suggestively. I looked at his face, recalling our conversation before we left for the Park, when he confronted me, half seriously, half playfully, as to what exactly I was up to with Michael. This was the closest he had come to saying he thought there was a conspiracy. He was daring me to deny him.

`Max, do you trust me?’

`With my life.’ He said gently, without emphasis, as if it was the most natural thing to say. I felt like someone was squeezing my heart. I sat in complete silence, suffocating on the steam and my own indecision.

`What’s going on Jamie, I mean, I know something is going on, and my beautiful Michael is in the middle of it, and so was Jonathan before he died, I sensed something about him the first time we met. And my blackout at the park, very convenient in a way, and I keep seeing Michael and you watching each other – it’s kind of making me jealous!’ he frowned

`Max, I want you to do something for me. I want you to do it without asking me why because at the moment, I cannot tell you why. I cannot explain it, and I cannot justify it and it would place you in danger if I did. Moreover it seems to go against everything we have learned in the last few days, about the Boston experiments, about the Midwich cuckoos, about Davies - but it has to happen. It has to happen for –‘ my voice faltered,

`For what?’ Max’s voice was now subliminal, it was something I felt, no longer heard.

`For us to live the life we want to live.’ I answered cryptically. `It’s about destiny, about being a King.’

`Jamie I am not a king, I renounced the throne – on a cold morning sitting outside the pod chamber, and a long time ago it seems I can tell you!’

I sighed heavily. `Perhaps it is not as easily done as that.’

He leaned up, resting his face on his hands, his hands on his knees. He looked like a sculpture, a 5th century Athenian statute of an athlete. He watched me keenly.

`Ok, now you are beginning to really intrigue me Jamie. So what do you want from me? Does this involve me giving you a blow job perhaps?’

I laughed, despite my mood. `Not immediately, and it doesn’t involve me giving you one, either!’

`So? You want more pants?’

`No, I want you to be a father. I want you leaving this room, taking Liz into my bed and have spectacular hot alien sex with her, and get her pregnant.’

`Are you serious? But the child would probably suffer the same fate as the Midwich cuckoo children?’

`Not necessarily. Your child with Tess was human. This child - I mean – Max – please - I have never been more serious in my life. I don’t want Jonathan to have died for nothing.’

He looked at me again, seriously, probing my mind almost. `I would not want that either.'

He looked away down his chest at his cock and balls snugly between his legs as if he was mustering up the energy to carry out my request.

`Would this explain the frozen condom I found just now while trying to get Maria some ice?’ I thought his eyes gleamed a little.

`It would.’ I bit my lip. Shit!

`And would it explain why Michael had that spectacularly fake `this has nothing to do with me’ look on his face when I asked him about it?’

`It would indeed .’ I suppressed a smile.

`And it probably explains why Michael and Liz have been plotting something for the last hour and why Liz had just sent Isabel, Kyle and Maria to see the new neighbor in Number 37 and is running a hot bath?’

`Jesus!’

`You are quite a team you two! What were you going to do with the condom incidentally?’ he asked, his mood indecipherable, but he looked as he was either slightly angry or on the verge of laughing out loud.

`I have no idea. We hadn't come up with - ’ my voice froze on the word we. Suddenly he laughed, shaking his head slightly.

`Ok, keep your secrets Jamie. I won’t ask, yet. Who am I to disagree with my First in Command and my Principle Science Officers! As it happens Liz is especially fertile for the next few days, so I better go do the business now then!’ He stood up. He stroked the sweat and water off his torso, moving his hands over his body provocatively. I thought he was joking but as he stretched he flapped his cock about, playfully, `And who am I to stand in the way of destiny! Do I need to produce any evidence, a stained sheet or a photograph? Do you need to be there?’

`Max! Only if you insist, and then I guess Michael ought to be there, in case I faint or something.’

But he had already gone. I picked up his towel and buried my face in it.
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Post by Patroclus76 » Sat Dec 02, 2006 7:53 am

I come out of the sauna exhausted but elated, as if suddenly we are back on plan. As if, after a series of profound and unlooked for setbacks we are now on target – or rather – that Max is on target. I am contemplating a quick, celebratory jerk-off when Michael appears, looking equally pumped up, although in his case already post-coital. I look at him with a curious combination of half censure, half praise. I am immediately disarmed by his grin. He raises his hand, palm out, and I instinctively slap it (fuck – I’m a jock!)

`Way to go’ he says, before scratching his eyebrow, and sitting down, sighing as if he has just eaten a huge meal or released a particularly long, melodious fart.

`We’re spending far too long together Michael – we coordinate without even thinking!’

`Yeah.’ he was grinning still. `When Maxy Maxy found the rubber I thought we were fucked big time, but I had already insinuated my plan into Liz’s sub-conscious. She was all ears! And Max had that fantastic `you bastard I know you re doing something’ look!’ I sit down next to him on a gym bench.

`Yeah – I love that look as well.’ I sigh. `It makes me want to rub about his legs, jump up and lick his face!’

`It does?'

We both lean forward, elbows on knees like we’re course fishing or something. Michael looks at me.

`So how did Max go – what did you tell him? You were in the sauna quite a while?’ there is a trace of irony, sarcasm, or is it jealousy?? I look modestly indifferent.

`We talked about Wittgenstein.’

`The early or the late Wittgenstein?’ he asks, smirking. I laugh. I want to kiss him – actually I nearly do – I have to physically restrain myself.

`Both actually – and then I sort of begged him to do the business!’

`Fantastic! Have you phoned Wilcox yet? Told him the good news?’

Michael is toying with a dumbbell, half doing a bicep curl, without thinking.

`No, I haven’t – he might have his hands full with Grey – besides, we need to make sure that Liz actually gets pregnant.’

A small cloud momentarily blots out Michael’s sun.

`What the fuck do you mean? What can go wrong now?’

`Well, let's just not count our chickens – or whatever the appropriate metaphor is for this occasion!’ We sit in silence. We both seem preoccupied. Eventually I ask how the Roswellians have taken to Brandon-Sevak. Michael pulls a face.

`Iz is much taken with him, that much is obvious. The rest like him, and his apartment is bigger than yours – or at least it looks like it. Weird dude, he is definitely younger than when he was at the zoo, he hasn’t quite mastered the human condition on age.’ Michael swings the weight down.

`Really? So he might actually be 19?’

`Yeah – looks like it. Iz and Maria went up and introduced themselves, and Kyle went along for good measure – Sevak was sitting on his bed in a sarong eating nuts.’

`Nuts?’ My mind lingers on the image of Sevak, bear chested, a forest of dreadlocks, and then half lingers on the tantalising images of what might be going on in my bed.

`Yeah, brazil nuts. He says he eats his own body weight in Brazil nuts every day.’

`Are you serious?’ I raise my eyebrow.

`Sure! He told Kyle he is a vegetarian, he eats loads of oats and there are bags of nuts everywhere.’

`Fucking hell – perhaps he keeps pets? Or it might be that he requires a huge protein intake, or - ’ I wrench my imagination away from the image of Max and Liz, his powerful hands working her slowly, he body yielding, reciprocating. `It might be because he requires large amounts of selenium.’

`Huh?’

`Selenium? It occurs in high concentrations in nuts, in Brazil nuts actually! It is an essential element related to the production of thyroxin - which controls metabolism, but too much for us can cause illness. Interesting – the Seeth must use huge amounts of energy to shape shift – I have often wondered about Max’s metabolism.‘

`Yeah, sure you have.’ And then he leans into me, conspiratorially, and says `Just think of those Antarian stud balls full of priceless seed!’

`Michael! For fuck’s sake!’ but I have been thinking about the very same thing.

`Well it is sort of interesting’ I say weakly. My mind firmly on Max and Liz. So evidently is Michael’s. There is a silence. Then Michael says,

`Do you think we should go and keep guard or something?’

`Excuse me?’ we are both looking at each other with evident if not subliminal excitement on our faces. It’s as if Michael has just suggested we watch a really good porn flick together.

`Well – I mean – we don’t want Davies or the Feds bursting in do we, and kind of catching our heavenly couple mid-fuck! That would really put a spanner in the works, so to speak!’

`Sure – but – how do you mean, keep guard – I mean how do you propose we do that, exactly?’ I am anxious that I might sound short of breath.

`Well, we could sit in your hallway, near the bathroom, outside the bedroom door.’

`Sure’ I say, slightly disappointed – but the idea appeals. `I mean, no one could climb in the window could they?’

`Why, were you thinking of sitting in the bedroom?’

`No, no!’ I say – too quickly – because Michael’s laughs and slaps my thigh rather painfully.

`Yeah right Jamie, don’t try to lie: “Hey Max, Liz, don’t mind us – nothing on the tube so we thought we’d sort of watch and cheer!” ’ I go all hot and bothered in one great rush.

`Come on!’ I say, grabbing his hand and we both run out into the hallway towards the elevator.

When we get to my apartment, the place is quiet. I unlock the door and we sneak in. The kitchen lamp gives us some illumination, and there is an uneven glow from under my bedroom door – evidently candles. Otherwise everything is dark. We sit down, cross-legged, trying to look indifferent. For a moment all I can hear is my own heart thundering away trying to even out the unprecedented amount of blood wedged in my groin. Gradually we can make out murmuring, soft talk, the creaking of my bed, Liz giggling. There is a sort of hard snap of a slap and Max goes `Ouch! Liz! That fucking hurt!’
And she whispers `You big baby!’

`Oh dear!’ says Michael. `This could be a long job.’

`I hope to have impressed him with a sense of urgency!’ I whisper. As if on queue there is a deep moan, from Max, as if he has been struck again, or swallowed or kissed. I look at Michael in the semi-dark.

`Michael?’ I whisper.

`What?’

`Can I ask you something –‘

`Sure –.'

There is a sound of something being knocked over, and a moan from Liz and Max in unison, and then a sort of thud. I gather that my bed side table has been demolished.

`I mean sort of personal.'

`Yeah sure – well, how personal?‘

`Have you ever – I mean – have you and Max, sort of, well – been together?’

Liz screams playfully and giggles and Max says, decisively `right! You little bitch!’ – straight sex seems a lot more fucking complex than gay sex – there is a lot of growling and Liz purrs and says with incredible yearning `Say that again!’

`Been together?’ prompts Michael.

`Ever sort of played around together, or – oh never mind, forget it!’ I am embarrassed suddenly, aware of Michael, but also aware that Max is moaning again, slightly rhythmically, a deep sound that sends ripples of pleasure over me, or is it pain?

`Jamie! For fuck sake!’ Michael is looking towards the door as he speaks, as if he is trying to see through it.

`But I mean you’ve seen him naked and stuff? I mean shared bathrooms and - you know.’

Liz releases a single clear note of pleasure, like a tuning fork, as if Max has touched some deep intimate part of her, her breasts, her thighs, her soul. We both jump slightly.

`Sure – we grew up together, Jamie, for fuck sake – after our initial separation following their adoption – I spent a lot of time with Max and Isabel, and I often slept over with Max –‘

`What in the same bed?’

`Sometimes! Initially on the floor – remember – isn’t this where you came in! Spying on Max’s window!’ he smiles, and I half smile. We both hear Max say to Liz `Liz I love you’. He speaks softly, an infinite promise.

`You think we jacked off together or something? Shared porn and stuff? Come on – Max was too timid to look at a porno mag until he was 17! And even then he blushed like a fucking girl!’

I look evidently disappointed.

`What do you want me to say?’ asks Michael. He sounds suddenly serious, as if I am intruding on something.

`I’m sorry Michael, I am just – .‘

From next door comes a regular creaking and moaning, Max and Liz, entwined together, gasping and talking to each other, their words blurred and wet. They are thrashing and rolling, and have definitely fallen on the floor, because they roll rather close to the door.

`But you love him, Michael, don’t you – I have seen it – I saw it in the hospital that day – all those years ago, I know that look – I invented it! You were jealous of Liz – I mean, have you ever wanted to touch Max, I mean –‘

Liz finishes my sentence by saying `Oh God Max, just fuck me!’ very close by, still rolling, because there is a sort of Doppler effect. Someone knocks on the floor from below.

`Of course I love him!’ says Michael, and then he says softly, to himself, `And yeah I have touched Max, but I am not sure what it meant – and I am not sure what it means now –’

`But?’ I ask, distracted. There is a strange throbbing noise in the air, and either the ground is vibrating silently, or I am having some sort of neurological disorder in my legs and ass.

`It’s complicated – I mean’ Michael hesitates.

There is a bang as someone – Max – hits the door with his head and cries out. Luckily it opens inwards. Liz laughs and asks him if he is all right. He has evidently rolled over a candle.

`I mean when I stayed over I used to start on the floor, but when he was asleep I would get into his bed because I was lonely and unhappy – I had a shit childhood Jamie, I mean I know yours was difficult – Hank was an bastard, and only Max helped me, well and Iz. But Max was a role model to me, someone I could look up to, someone who could protect me! Until he met Liz, and we all got dropped into the alien abysse, he was my brother and also a sort of father to me'

The strange pulsing noise returns, and the lamp in the kitchen starts to oscillate. Michael is looking wistful. Then he leans to me and says with real affection:

`I used to lie next to him and hope he would touch me or hold me, and sometimes I would try and put my hands around his waist, and then, one morning, I woke up to find I was in his arms. I had my head on his chest and he was wrapped tightly around me and me alone – you know what that means – to have him entirely to yourself, to be under his wing. It was the happiest moment of my life, man.’

I feel a sort of pain in my heart. It is both a sense of relief and jealously.

`What did he say?’ I say softly I wanted to ask if either had an erection but it seems somehow such a trivial think to ask. So I say instead

`Did Max say anything to you about it?’

`No, never – not even about the morning wood!’ – Max and Liz are clearly on the home straight now – in the deep throws of some unimaginable passion.

`Morning wood?’ I say thickly, as if Michael is proposing a bonfire. He ignores me.

`And we kept it up until he started obsessing about Liz in August 1999. There was a moment when I felt I could no longer climb in besides him, and I missed that – I missed – ‘ he pauses, `I missed his smell, Jamie, I missed the way he looked in the morning, the way he always slept on top of the fucking sheets for ages, and the way he would nudge me with his head to hold him, like a dog, with those big eyes.’

`Shit Michael, tell me about it!’

`And the way his voice would crack because he is speaking so quietly?'

`Oh god.' I close my eyes.

`When he and Liz started going out – I mean before he sort of ditched her the first time – I even stole his fucking pillow!’

Max lets out a deep groan and Liz gasps and the kitchen light shatters. The electricity shorts in the corridor outside my apartment and there is a sort of earth tremor as if the Earth itself has ejaculated. The entire building shudders.

`What the fuck!’

`Fantastic, I think they’ve cum! an alien thing – the power will come back on soon!’ I see Michael very discretely re-arrange his groin.

There was silence in the bedroom, a soft panting, like animals after a long chase. After a while I think I hear Max asking Liz if she is ok. Michael is looking thoughtful.

`And yes I was sort of jealous of Liz, because she took him away from me. That day when Max introduced Liz to his mother I knew she was the one – and he looked at me as if to apologise. But then I realised after all the shit with Tess, that he and I were lovers in a sense, that we would always be lovers, whatever happened. And I realised that in Liz’s love for him was mine also, like one of those Russian dolls, you know, that you open to find another inside and then another inside that.’

I nod. Do I wish to see my own wooden image small and intricate at the very heart of them all?

`You know I used to fantasise about you and Max a lot – in fact to be honest I still do – ‘ rather irritatingly Michael nods as if this was fucking obvious, but he then says in all seriousness,

`But you want sex with him, don’t you? I mean – ‘

Before I can answer, the bedroom door opens and the main bedroom light is switched on, and Max is standing, stark naked, polished with sweat, toweling himself down. Semen has caked his lower abs, matting his pubic hair, and his cock, semi hard, gummy with sex, is snaking down the inside of his thigh. It looks thick and sculptured. In the semi-dark, the strong shadows highlight his shoulders and a line of cheek. His face is obscured by his long hair, falling across his brow as he looks down, concentrating on cleaning. He sees Michael first and then me.

`Hey Maxwell!’

`Well well well, if it's not Castor and Pollux, the heavenly twins themselves!’ he says, but it is half playful, as if in someway he anticipated we would be here. His word twins is oddly prophetic. Liz ‘s head appears around the door almost at floor level.

`Hey Michael! Jamie! What’s up?’

`Nothing, we decided to keep guard – in case of a surprise attack, Maxwell. It was Jamie’s idea!’

Max, completely unembarrassed by our presence, walks by towards the bathroom wiping his hands dry over his legs and buttocks. He hands me the towel. `Yeah, right! Here Jamie, you might want to freeze this. I'm going to keep a very close eye on you two from now on.’

`Not as close as they do on you, Max!’ pipes in Liz, who is frowning at us.

`What is it with you two!’ She looks aglow, literally, and her skin seems to sparkle as if she has been covered in glitter. There is an impish self contained calmness to her.

`It’s a state secret – besides it’s an ancient custom of Antar to be present at the conception of a child!’ chips in Michael. `Or two’ he whispers to me.

Through the bathroom door comes the thunderous noise of Max pissing. I feel close to fainting.

`Hey Jamie!’ he calls, the noise abates, a dribble, and then another roar.

`What?’ it’s a sort of half whisper. I am lying on the floor.

`Come here a minute.’

Michael shakes his head slightly and I CRAWL at glacial speed towards the door. Max is standing with his back to me. I see the broad shoulders, a neat padded lower spine and a fist of buttocks, tapering into his thighs. He is shaking is cock thoughtfully. I see he has candle wax over his ass cheeks.

`Yes?' I say in a very small voice.

`When do we know that this has worked?’ He looks earnestly at me.

Perhaps I died earlier, in the sauna. Perhaps this is all one long massive wet dream.

`In about a day.’

`Kewl'

`Otherwise we'll have to do it again'
Last edited by Patroclus76 on Tue Dec 05, 2006 3:18 am, edited 2 times in total.
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