Haulden in Roswell (UC, ADULT) (Complete)

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Patroclus76
Addicted Roswellian
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Post by Patroclus76 » Fri Jan 19, 2007 6:54 am

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As things hot up - in all senses of the word - I have decided to indicate where, if you wish, you can cross reference the time line with the Roswellian Codex. It's a bit rich, referencing your own work, but several people have asked me - otherwise forgive!
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I tried Bone Hill House again, and on a poor connection with a great deal of digital whirling and clicking, I spoke with Wilcox. Nothing had happened in the library as yet, there had been no indication of intruders, and the doors had shown no sign of activity. (He was speaking from the library – Liz and Maria had retired now for the night with Brandon guarding them, and Grey appeared to be in his study).

I could sense however that Wilcox was deeply perturbed by what I had seen in the park. The news that Daniel was the missing Valaen caused further consternation.

`I last saw this individual in Vermont, when Liz saved Max. He had been under cover as a man working for Clayton Wheeler. He’s dangerous, Jamie. Listen can I speak to Max?’ I blinked in surprise. I almost said `You can do that?’ but said instead, rather sheepishly,

`Yeah sure! He’s driving though? I felt Max’s hand caress my own and very gently take possession of the phone.

`Here he is!’ I said, as it was removed from my ear. I looked sideways at Michael who was looking equally incredulous. He shook his head in mock shock. To our combined amusement we heard Max say `Sir?’

`This should be good' whispered Michael in my ear. `Max to Max!’

A rather one sided conversation took place, with lots of `OKs, Sures, will do, I agree’ with Max the Younger nodding a great deal. While in such empathic agreement with Wilcox, he kept eyeing Michael and myself in what I would call a vaguely suspicious manner, partly because we were staring at him, transfixed by the fact he was talking, of course, to himself, and partly because Michael was on the point of pissing himself laughing!

At one stage Max distinctly scowled at us and we both pretended to find something extremely interesting to look at on the floor of the van. There were then the sounds of a conversation coming to a close.

`Definitely, we’ll do that. Yes. I’m looking forward as well, Ok, yeah, sure!’ Max handed my phone back . `What is with you two!'

I took the phone off him.

`Sorry Max.’ I apologised for us both.

`He sounds organised!’ Max said, eventually.

`Oh he is!’ Michael cut in, leaning forward, `although he can be a bit full of himself sometimes!’

`Yeah? How well do you know him?’ Max’s face was half turned, shadowed, expressive.

`I feel like I’ve known him all my life!’ said Michael, straight faced.

`So what did he say?’ I asked, ignoring Michael’s dig in the ribs.

`He suggests we come off the highway and stop over in a Travel Lodge, just before we turn north. He says its too risky travelling at night, the roads are remote and largely empty, and there is only one route through to the Palisades from Wenatchee to the Bone Hill Estate. Sorry guys,’ he said, more generally. `Looks like we are going to have to make a night of it!’ Then Max half turned to me, again.

`He seems to think that this Daniel guy is dangerous? How well did you know him – did – did you sleep with him?’

`No!’ I said, rather louder than I intended. `We were just gym partners – he’s in his forties! He seemed a very nice guy – but since my entire social life has been infiltrated by Aliens Reunited, what do I know about any of them!!’ Max and Michael laughed together.

`And all because of us! Jesus, and you are so ageist! Forty year olds might be really good in bed!’ said Max, rather to my surprise. Then he stroked my thigh. It was in part a typical Max gesture, a simple demonstration of his extraordinary tactility, without thought. But it kicked off every sympathetic nerve in my ENTIRE BODY!

We lapsed into silence. I kept looking down quickly at his hand like you look down quickly at a fucking killer spider! Max was now talking to Michael but as he did so he was BRUSHING my crouch with his fingers and then, when Michael started on some rambling discussion about movies, his hand STAYED there, warm and snug over my balls. He seemed oblivious to the fact I was on the point of hyperventilating. Again I felt he had started some private offensive on my boundaries, on my sense – my none existent sense – of what was or was not appropriate. He shouted over the engine.

`Wilcox suggested we should all try and meditate – something to do with identifying how and when we have been mind warped? Kyle?’ Max looked into the mirror. Kyle moved forward out of the darkness.

`Well I’m your man, although is this a group thing?’

I sighed and closed my eyes and tried to think, as Michael had long ago suggested at moments like this, of mud. But all I could think of - all I could fucking see - was Max of course, naked, his carved body caked in grey, rich smelling mud, oozing between his legs, wrestling me to the ground. Max – obviously aware that I had a grade A boner – simply left his hand on my groin and continued to talk about meditation. Michael was asleep, his head on my shoulder.

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We kept driving, and as the night deepened, the traffic thinned. We climbed up steep inclines and labored through the gears. Numbed by the constant even roar of the engine, and then at one stage, the curious squawking of the windscreen wipers, I half dozed. I heard Kyle and Isabel talking – I think about Jesse – I couldn’t be sure, and all the time I felt the warm, possessive touch of Max on my packet, like it was a stolen wallet or something. The glow of being – there is no other word – owned – was on the one hand disturbing but on the other – so fucking satisfying. I sat nodding and swaying with the van, refusing to look at Max, refusing to say anything, in case it woke me from my ecstasy. God I did `owned’ so well!

Eventually we left the highway and entered Te Creum - I think - and after a slight detour around the usual grid system of roads we found a Travel Lodge – smart but utilitarian. Michael woke up as soon as the engine stopped. He had pleasantly dribbled on my neck, which I took as a sign of affection. After wiping me with his sleeve - `Sorry dude’ - he went out with Isabel to sort out the accommodation, leaving Max and Kyle STILL discussing meditation.

`Did you get any sleep?’ Max asked me, with infinite care, like I was an invalid. He had removed his hand to sit sideways.

`Yeah, sort of!’ I said, puzzled. I was about to add `But your hand on my cock and balls was a bit of a distraction!’ but I thought better of it. Had he noticed he was doing it? Even Max must realise the significance of keeping your palm and fingers curled up there of all places! Perhaps he had very cold hands? Or had he mistaken my jeans for the seat? Fuck, he was so frustrating! But what did he want? I felt cold, slightly grumpy, and incredibly hungry again. I thought about my life fleetingly. What would I have been doing now, if I had been at home? Watching porn, out at the gym, reading up on nanites, probably thinking of Max, actually.

Michael and Isabel returned with the disconcerting news that there were only two double rooms left vacant. It was nearly 11 pm.

`What’s up, are they evacuating Seattle or something?’ Max yawned.

`No, some convention or something! Academics – political science.’

Michael yawned too. `Shit – so we draw lots?’ I realised that he and Kyle had been up for over fourteen hours now. Once out of the warm interior of the van it was indescribably cold.

Max shook himself awake. `No, let’s take it in turns. Jamie and I will stay in the van, someone should keep watch – the rest stay together, try and have a quiet night.’ Max pulled his leather coat on, clouds of steam on his lips.

`God, I hate this,’ sighed Isabel, `it's like we have been doing this our whole lives!’

`We have, sort of!’ suggested Max, rubbing her arm. `Come on Iz, according to Liz, tomorrow we shall be in the lap of luxury! Bone Hill House sounds amazing – its like a palace or something!’

Meanwhile Michael stopped ahead of me and turned. `Max, I’ll stay with Jamie in the van – get some sleep – I’m pretty wide awake’ Much as I loved Michel I was on the point of kicking him violently in the knee. But then he smiled at me sweetly.

`Yeah?’ Max looked at me, as if reluctant to share. `Someone should try and keep awake, we’ll relieve you at’ he flicked hand to see his watch, `at about 3 am?’

`Kyle will sleep with me’ said Isabel, without the least element of sexual innuendo.

Kyle shrugged. `The sacrifices I make!’

Max swung out some bags, `OK, I’ll bring out some food and hot drinks. Low profile!’ They all walked off to checked in. Michael climbed back into the van and started rearranging things, sliding back a small table, rattling around with some cans. I had a sudden, repressed memory of camping with Army Boy father centuries ago.

`Shall I keep watch first?’ I said with about as much enthusiasm as I could muster.
`No, its ok man, I can do it –‘

`Michael! You’re half human, even you need to sleep sometime – I’ll go first! Why don’t you go and sleep with Max for god’s sake, you’ve been up for hours!’

`Nah, he snores, hey – what’s this?’ one of the cans rattled. He shook it again, playfully. He then opened the lid. There was an old sweet smell, buttery, and a series of forgotten buried treasures fell out. A pack of cards, some dice, some old postcards of Oregon, a newspaper cutting of something from 2003, a small perfume bottle – empty - and a disposable camera.

`My poker cards! Well some of them! Hey’ he was looking at the back of the camera, `there 's still some film in here?’

I sighed ruefully. `God isn’t it so strange! This must be the camera – the film!’

`Eh? What are you talking about?’

`The photograph, in Wilcox’s bedroom? The one Max brought back with him - the one I give to him 2032 or something, it will be taken with this camera!’

Michael looked suitably spooked.

`Fuck that is weird!’

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Max soon returned with a take out of hot, piping food and enough caffeine to stimulate the entire US Marine Corp. He told us what rooms they were staying in, and then left us alone in the parking lot, with the van drawn up out of the wind. It was sleeting quite heavily again and I was so cold I felt my skin had been peeled off me.

Michael and I ate for a while in silence, concentrating on our food.

Eventually, Michael smacked his lips and looked at me carefully.

`You’ve got to stop obsessing about Max, Jamie. ’ I was reading the post-cards. They had been written by Liz’s to her mother but had never been sent. Things had been going bad - Liz sounded like she expected to die or something.

`It’s really hard, Michael, I mean – I fucking try! But.’ I paused, stabbing a piece of chicken with a certain precision.

`But what?’.

`Did you see where he had his hand! Just now!’

Michael laughed to himself. `Yeah, but Max does that – he trusts you!’

`Trusts me! Trusts me not to take his fingers and wedge them up my ass!’

`Jamie! Fucking hell!’ we both laughed. `Listen, Jamie boy’ Michael licked his chopsticks and, wiping them, proceeded to stow them away on his person. I had noticed this habit of his. He kept everything, or collected everything he could in his pockets. Packets of sugar, tooth picks, menu cards. `We’ve got to stay focused! You and me man, we’re a team – Max et. al. needs us, I mean this codex shit has got way out of control. And you don’t trust Brandon either – or is it you just want in his pants as well?’

`Fuck, I’m not a sex maniac, Michael!’ I sighed. Michael had started shuffling around, shaking out blankets and pillows that smelled of damp and camphor.

`I’m not sure I trust Brandon either!’ he said before I could reply. I was thinking about his cock, actually, in both Human and Seeth form – was Seeth male genitalia blue, I wondered suddenly? And what was that strange bulge on his back when he was in Seeth form?

`Have you noticed his eyes? It’s like he can’t actually change them into human eyes.’ Michael looked at me. He ran his hands over my face as if I was in a trance.

`Yeah – I have - they spook me.’ I thought of the eyes in the park, the same tell tale flash of silver, reflective in the dusk, was it a trait of all the Antarian races?

`But we have to trust him, Michael, otherwise our relationship with Wilcox will be problematic. I have a theory about Brandon-Sevak, I think he is actually Max’s future alien son by Liz.’

`What the fuck!’ Michael whispered, sitting up, `You mean – what’s his name – Seeth Om?’

`Yeah. I don’t know for sure. But when I touch him, I feel Max inside his head, somewhere, it’s mad! This mind reading thing, it’s extraordinary! For a while I thought it was simply because he is close to Wilcox, and because they have obviously spent a lot of time together – but this morning I sensed he is actually genetically related to Max. When he spoke to Liz and Max this morning, he said that he was cloned from Om, so I could be wrong –and he called Max the father of the Seeth Nation, but I think he was being slightly disingenuous! I think Max and Seeth Om came back together, as father and son.’

`You’re seldom wrong’ said Michael, `Especially when it involves Max!’

`I was fucking wrong about you two, and the gay alien diary!’ we both laughed.

`Fuck that was so funny – the day you told me your theories, when you came to the trailer camp! Fuck I nearly ruptured myself laughing!’ He grew suddenly serious, `But I never thought it would end up here!’ he sounded wistful. `With you all worked-out and super smart, and well, I guess, one of us!’

Michael was complementing me. I felt suddenly touched, embarrassed. I wasn’t sure what to say.

Unaware of my awkward silence, Michael lay down on the long back seat, his arms behind his head.

`You have any theories on the prophecy, Jamie?’

`No – none whatsoever! I think there were clues in the codex, but that’s gone now.’

`Like what?’

`The painting – the one Grey was obsessed about? You mentioned it to me just after we’d `read it’ together? Can you remember?’

`Yeah, yeah I do, the painting of the tomb? The one that Grey kept watch on all his life – fucking weird! When we get to Bone Hill House we’ll have a look around, try and find it, get a better look!. See what’s behind it. Literally!’

`And there is something about the genetics here as well, something that doesn’t quite add up.’

Michael eyed me keenly. `Care to elaborate?’

`Not really, I haven’t really had time to sort it out in my head – but there is something about the longevity of Antar’s involvement with Earth, something, something Grey sensed as well, about the reasons for the abductions and the experiments.’ My voice trailed away. Outside it was snowing heavily again. The soft whispering of ice was soothing.

`I thought the Seeth came to Earth to repair their own gene’s, to save themselves from their own stupidity!’

`They did.’ I said, impressed by Michael’s memory. `But Grey once said something else, about them wanting to be human. Max started this whole adventure off by wanting to be made human as well – I wonder if it is a coincidence? And there is a moment in the codex, just after Seeth Om emerges from the pod, when Grey finds something in the data – can you remember that entry?’

Michael pursed his lips. `Sorry man, it’s all a bit of a blur – is it where he overhears Isabel and her mother arguing about Jesse? [RC April 17th 2006]

`Yes! That’s it – he goes back to look at the data and he finds something – shit I can’t remember it now, but I think it was important. – and now I can’t go back and re-visit the date because the fucking codex is gone!’

`Any theories as to why it vanished?’

`Fucking hell Michael! You’ve had too much coffee! Get some rest!’ We’d both had too much coffee actually. He leaned on his side, yawning.

`I take that as a no then!’ he then turned his back to me slightly, and nestled down into a reef of blankets. My mind emptied. I remembered the codex as if I had lived before, vivid three dimensional memories, real ones, like seeing light through a distant window.

`Michael?’ I said, trying not to shiver. I was wearing several bits of stray clothing.

`What?’ he still sounded wide awake as well.

`How can I stop obsessing about Max?’

Michael swore under his breath and shuffled around to face me again. He lay looking at me carefully.

`Just go and sleep with him, get it over with, I mean –‘ he sat up, `I did see the hand, his hand, I mean, just go for it – he’s been flirting with you for days!’

`Does he ever talk about me, Michael, what does he say?’

`For fuck’s sake – he says you’re fantastically cute and clever -‘

`He does?’

`Jamie! Max doesn’t say much about anything! You know he cares for you – you know he loves you – stop looking for proof when its all around you!’

`But he isn’t gay!’

`That sounds so gay!’ said Michael, rather too profoundly for my liking.

`And what about Liz! I can’t betray her, I love her as well – ‘

`Then fuck both of them!’

`Michael! I’m being serious! I want Max, fuck I want him so much, he’s inside my brain, like a splinter– but its not just the sex, its what it would mean’ my voice trailed away, `its what I would want it to mean. I’m afraid he’d see it as just something on the side, or something he’s doing for me, not for him. Does that make any sense?’

`No, Jamie. It makes no fucking sense at all. Forget that.’ And then he added quietly, `You should really be afraid he’s doing it because he loves you!’

Michael was silent for a while and then he said. `OK, here’s the plan – at 3am, you go and sleep with him. I’ll stay in the van! Max is shit at waking up, he’ll never get out here on his own, Kyle will be out first I bet. ’

`Really?’

`Yes! Now let me get some sleep!’

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I lay awake, listening to the snow. Once or twice I got out of the van and walked about. I wasn’t entirely sure how to keep watch – no one had told me! Should I patrol? Should I wave a stick? I shivered about the parking lot, looking at license plates, bumper stickers, at the strange and weird stuff people put in their cars. It passed the time. In the drifting snow I drew random shapes, and then, to my surprise, I found I had drawn M.E. on a frosted window. For fuck’s sake! I half laughed to myself. At one stage, having looked over Michael carefully, I had stepped out to see the sky clearing and a great array of stars flung over the horizon. Rigil, the white-blue giant in the constellation of Orion, blazed and flashed at me.

When I got back Michael was awake, sort of, sucking cold noodles.

`What time is it?’

`It’s about 3am’. Someone was walking out towards us with hot coffee. It was Kyle.

`Very Shakespearean!’ he said, looking at me covered in a cloak like blanket. `Very Henry V! Did we set a pass word for the Watch?’

`”Kyle is God” I think’ I took the cup off him and felt the steam on my face. `You’re a star!’

`Nice one Kyle – where’s Max?’ Michael took his drink, belching with appreciation, or from the noodle. He looked at me with a crafty little smile on his face.

`The King sleeps’ replied Kyle in a fake English accent. `And I’d leave him, I on the other hand am awake and rested!’

`Yeah? Jamie and I need beds!’ Michael suggested.

`Well both go and rest – seriously – I’m wide awake, and I want to have a look at the engine again, see if anything else has been tampered with!’

`Bless you, Kyle.’ Michael patted his shoulder. He turned to me as we walked.

`I’ll sleep with Iz, Jamie, go sleep with Max and wake him up!’

My heart, newly stimulated by coffee, started a sort of random beat.

`Oh god this is just asking for trouble!’ I whispered stupidly.

`You want to sleep with Isabel, while I roll on top of Max and rest my balls on his chin?’ frowned Michael,

`No!’ I said, emphatically.

`Well there you are then!’

We eventually stood out side the two rooms, having walked past a rather suspicious receptionist.

`Don’t do anything stupid!’ said Michael ominously.

`Like what?’ I said defensively, my hand on the door knob.

`Like call him Wilcox when you cum, or Brandon for that matter, and let him START Jamie, ok, don’t rush in and don’t’ he came close to me, fixing me with his sharp, beautiful, rather cruel eyes,

`Don’t talk too much!’

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Patroclus76
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Post by Patroclus76 » Tue Jan 23, 2007 7:56 am

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Shiesty's work!!
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And indeed there will be time
To wonder `Do I dare' and `Do I dare?
Time to turn back and descend the stair...
Do I dare
Disturb the Universe?
- T S Eliot The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock

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Michael went into Isabel’s room. I was left in gaunt silence. I then walked into Max’s. The room was in semi-darkness, quite plain, functionally furnished. I have been in a million motels like this. Fuck we’d lived in some! A small bedside lamp threw a grey cone of light across the ceiling. It illuminated the corner of the bed, a square of anonymous carpet. There were a couple of blue chairs around a wooden table, a TV, a coffee maker. On the wall was an innocuous print of flowers in a vase. The sudden warmth thawed out my legs and made my face feel flushed, feverish. I stood, leaning against the wall, listening, my whole body tuned, reaching out to touch the sound of Max breathing.

Peering into the gloom, I could make him out, spread eagled in the middle of a full-sized bed; the sheet sculptured around his legs, but pulled low, his chest bare, a tight firm stomach. His hair seemed incredibly black – pooled like liquid on the white linen pillow, a dark halo, and he was half turned, his arm out, as if pulling away from something or someone. Is this how the moon fell for Endymion? Is this why she made him sleep forever?

I stood for ages, my head pressed against the wall, just looking at him. I felt so much for him I could no longer feel. How had I lived those brief years without him? And how, how on Earth could I possibly live without him now?

Incurable in my love, I undressed carefully, removing my pants, folding them silently on a chair. I removed my sweater and shirt. I stank. I felt greasy in the heat, light headed. I crept into the bathroom. Clinically white and clean, a white room, like an operating theatre. Max’s wallet was next to the sink, half open. Loose change had spilled out from it, odd bits of card and folded bills. I could see a small passport sized photo – Liz and Max crammed together into a booth – he was sticking his tongue out – his hair was short. He looked boyish, incredibly young, a place long ago and far away. Liz looked stunningly dark, almost Hispanic, tanned by the Roswell summer.

Was I coming between them? Was I about to un-necessarily complicate the lives of two people I loved?

I looked at myself in the mirror – my face was mossed over with a golden, dirty blonde stubble, my curly hair knotted and tangled. I ran my hands over my cheek and chin. I thought I had a certain haunted look. I stripped and looked at my body, It was lean and taut, good definition in places but still too wiry, no real bulk as yet. Self critical, I showered. The sense of warmth ebbing into me from the spiking water was overwhelming. I tried to imagine the hardship of my friends, years on the road, constant anxiety, the stress of pursuit. What I had experienced today they had experienced for almost four years! And already I felt exhausted! Already part of me was saying `Why? Why are you here?’

I toweled down, and after careful thinking, I put my boxers back on. It was past 3:30am when I stole back into the bedroom. Max had not moved. He had positioned himself almost exactly in the middle of the fucking bed! He looked like a De Vinci drawing, central, powerful, sublime, tracing out the contours of the world. I frowned, breathing through my nose. What was I thinking?

I was pretending to be his concubine, coming to him after a great battle, having washed the filth and stink of war from me, to give myself totally. Is this how Michael came to him, I wondered? If not now, then on Antar? When and how often? God, Max!

Who are you?

The thought – the image – was erotic but disconcerting. I had a weird sense of vertigo, as if various time-lines, various places, were converging.

And then suddenly I had a terrible, sickening recollection of Tess. I am not sure where the image came from. It wasn’t even a memory – I had long gone from Roswell when she finally trapped Max, closed off and alone in his deep sorrow. How long had she planned her seduction and betrayal? What had been her motives? Was I unconsciously about to play her part here – in some way – seducing Max? I sat carefully on the bed, paralysed. All of this suddenly seemed like a massively bad idea, a staggering form of dishonesty.

Would it be best to sleep on the floor? Would it be best to love in darkness?

After an agony I decided the best thing would be to just lie down next to him, and try and free up some of the sheet – although the room was well heated. Slipping in besides him, I thought of mud – whole fucking oceans of mud – and I turned, curling in on myself, away from him, embryonic, so I could not smell him, not sense his heat, not see his dark, undiscovered body. Otherwise I knew all was lost!

As I looked out across the room I saw Max’s clothes – including his boxers – scattered about the floor. Even as I registered the cosmic, off the scale fact that Max was actually naked, I felt him move. I screwed my eyes closed and pretended to be asleep. It was almost like waiting for death.

`Michael?’ his voice was thick with sleep. I tried not to tense. There was an eternity of silence. Could he see – hear – my heart racing? Then, slowly, I felt someone pulling a sheet over me with great care. A hand stroked my shoulder. Stretching over me, Max flicked the lamp off. No questions as to why I was here, no thought that this was anything but normal! I felt like someone who had dived into deep icy water, my breath taken away, like I had exposed my soul, some inner, raw self. Had he been expecting Michael? I wondered what that meant? As I thought about this I felt Max find my elbows, and then gently but firmly push his hands through them, locking arms around my waist. He pulled himself close to me, lifting the sheet away so his bare skin, his thighs and torso touched me. I bit my lip hard. I felt his breath on the back of my neck. One hand stroked across the top of my underwear. A voice in my head was wailing like a siren: what the fuck am I to do! Nothing in my life had prepared me for this moment.

`You awake?’ he whispered, his voice low, a growl, the resonance hit my groin like a hammer.

`No, no I don’t think so – I think I must be dreaming!’

`Yeah?’ he half laughed, his body heat sealed onto me. His breathing – like the sigh of the tide – whispered in my ears.

`Max?’ there was a silence, he was drifting back to sleep – taking me with him. Could Max do this to me and not know how I felt? Did Max understand what being gay was about, what being in love with him entailed for me? Me of all people! Jesus! Or did I not understand what was expected of me, how to behave, how to do without! Max and Liz – that is what mattered! Suddenly I felt angry with myself, for wanting what I couldn’t have, for always wanting to take things further.

And then again, a cold chill of grace – had Tess had any second thoughts? At the moment she looked into his eyes. Had she not seen Liz in Max’s head? I am not her!

I felt Max jolt slightly.

`What was that?’ he whispered.

`What was what?’

`That stab of self reproach?’ I twisted around as best I could. Our noses touched in the dark.

`Max! How did you know that! Fuck, you're so spooky sometimes!’ I saw his eyes, a luminous, flash green, looking at me steadily, as if weighing up the moment. Their cat like quality frightened me a little, a small reminder that he was half alien, that there was a casual link between him and Brandon, the High Seeth. His long hair was snaked under his cheek. I could feel it on my mouth. The feeling of his bare skin on mine was indescribable.

`Hey, who’s spooky!’ he squeezed me, and then he added softly `Perhaps I read you thoughts?’

I turned back, then throwing caution to the wind, I wriggling into him. I thought of his hand caressing me in the van, without affectation. I could try and do the same!

`Do you want some space?’ he asked.

`No! I mean, no, this is fine, Max. Really.’ His breath tickled my neck. I tried to repress it and only ended up shivering, a thrill from head to toe.

`Another stab?’

`No, you’re tickling me!’ We shuffled around and I fidgeted for a while, and when we finally relocated, we were face to face, lying on our sides, with me precariously on the edge of the bed. I was wide-awake.

`Max?’

`Hmmm?’

`Max?’ I whispered his name several times. There was no answer, soon no sign from him at all. I sighed deeply. I waited until I heard him start to snore slightly, until I was sure he was asleep. Michael had warned against talking too much – but –I could talk to myself! That was allowed, surely? So I talked, actually I fucking whispered, deranged, ungrateful, like a man possessed, afraid of forgetting his lines, but I was possessed! I started a speech I had long planned and fantasised about. In my dreams it always took place when Max and I were walking or about to be killed or captured, or find all the answers. I never imagined it would take place in bed!

`Max, listen. I’ve been thinking. I’ve been thinking that, well, you know how I feel about you. I mean you know I love you.’ Was that really the word – did it convey enough, could it? `And I know that Liz loves you as much as I do, well more perhaps in a different way of course, because she is a woman – obviously – and she is going to have your children. I mean, Max, what I want to say is that, well – I don’t think she’d mind at all if we, well if we… In fact I am sure she thinks we might have done it already.’ I stopped.

The room was very silent. Suddenly I felt a wave of utter misery, a sense of despair. Who was I kidding! Was I not in the process of trying to get her lover to fuck me?

`I can’t love you like the others.’ I said finally, softly, in defeat. `I can’t separate your soul from your body. I cannot feel without touching, I can share but I cannot live without!’ I half turned away from him.

`I know it’s wrong of me -’ I felt tears start in my eyes. My speech collapsed in on itself, like a sandcastle invaded by the sea. God I was so happy and so sad, so very, very happy and sad together – how could these two states work together in such perfect equilibrium? How could I be in the arms of the man I loved and not be happy?

`Do you think, possibly, that Liz would understand if we were to – ‘

but what was the point? Could she understand – would it be fair – did I not love her also? And how could Max love both of us in that way?
But is not half of infinity still infinite? And had not Future Liz said to me, in the grounds of Bone Hill House: He has love enough for both of us. Suddenly I realised I had to talk to Liz. I had to go to her, a supplicant; I had to make her understand. I had to give her the right to say no, to ask her permission.

`If we were to what?’ asked Max with soft intensity.

I froze. Max touched my hand, and then he touched my face. `To fuck?’ he asked casually, as if I had just asked the time or the way home. I felt appalled at my discovery!

`Jesus, Max!’ my voice was an octave too high, weird, like someone else's! `I was going to suggest kissing for a start!’

`I kiss you all the time!’ he mumbled.

`I know, I know, but not properly.’ I said, after a while, pedantically. I even thought I sounded ungrateful.

`How do you mean?’ he leaned up, looking down at me. In the gloom I saw his shoulder and neck, curved, inviting, blood warm. I moved in slightly. I lifted my head and instinctively Max slid his arm under me. I wondered if he was talking in his sleep or whether I was hallucinating. Was he awake? Had he heard everything? I looked at him closely. His eyes were half closed, sleepy, but panther like, feigning sleep. He was thinking hard as well.

`You mean lips?’ he said. I felt myself cringe from my own wanton lust.

`Well, well..’ I blustered dishonestly. Actually I had wanted to say tongues.

`Yes, I suppose I do. I mean I love it when you kiss my head and my cheek, and I don’t want that to stop – I mean it's just that, sometimes –‘

`But you want tongues?’

Fucking hell! I sighed in irritation. Was I so obvious! He leaned down, and I swung my head up, rolling over him, my face over his. In the darkness I could see his nest of hair thick about him, the great solid lines of his neck. I felt his body heat radiate from beneath me.

`I mean I like it when you kiss me like this’ I put my mouth on his cheek and then his forehead, brushing his hair aside. `And I love this – ‘ I kissed his neck. I felt the slow pulse of his heart. I glided by tongue up the groove of flesh between his neck bones and his throat. He tasted of salt, of windy, expansive oceans; Odysseus swept ashore an unknown island, a changeling, beloved of the gods.

Again the fear, the fear that I was Circe, Tess.

`But I was sort of wondering whether we could go for the –‘ I screwed up my nerve and put my mouth just above his lips. I felt him smile. His eyes were on mine, wide, all seeing. I lost my nerve, and was unable to move. Then slowly he lifted his head up. Our mouths gently brushed together. I felt his lips, their shape, a texture of stubble. He pulled back slightly.

`Go for the what?’ he asked, in mock puzzlement.

I pressed our mouths together, and I turned my head, gently, into him, hopelessly, like a man abandons reason for faith. As I did I felt branded by him, almost literally, like his mark had been burned into my flesh. Max’s tongue tentatively licked my teeth and then, more forcefully, he pushed it into my mouth as his hand reached for the back of my neck. I responded in kind, feeling the taste of his mouth on mine. Expertly, provocatively, abandoning himself, he pressed his face into me, pushing me up. His hand ran down to my shoulder and down to my nipple, where between finger and thumb he tweaked it hard so my mouth opened wider, his tongue deeper. He kissed me for about ten minutes and then, gently, he lowered his head. A strange web of light laced itself over his face.

I sighed, my head dropping. I thought I was going to faint.

There was a huge ringing in my ears, like giant waves crashing on a beach. I lay by his side and then I ran my hand over his body, across his bare thigh. I felt Max’s massive erect cock arching over his lower abs. Then I ran my hand up a muscled forearm toward safety.

`Yeah, that’s exactly what I want!’

`And fucking?’ he said softly? He put his finger on my lips, and then he traced a line down my sternum, down past my naval, to where my own cock was thick and hard. He stroked it – briefly – just flicking his fingers across it, and then squeezed my balls. Again a soft cobweb of light jumped between us. His tone was cautious, almost a warning.

`Is that what you want as well?’

I didn’t say anything. I looked at him. Deep magic was all about me, powerful, electrifying. He was literally not of this world – or rather – he stood between Earth and Antar, holding them together, a divine injunction, a hinge upon which fate turned. I thought suddenly of the image above the gates to hell, the doors in the library, the youth kneeling down, his arms wide – containing, directing a plan that was beyond my comprehension. I so wanted him, I so wanted to turn, to arch my lower back down, my spine curved up, to feel him mount me, his arms down firm and rooted on either side of my shoulders, but it would be madness now!

To pursue it here would break the spell. Endless, pointless practicalities crowded in, and it felt wrong. Suddenly wrong.

`Not now.’ I whispered, my finger on his full, moist lips. I need to talk to Liz about this.’

`Liz?’ he said without surprise.

`If, when, we make love – ‘ I stroked his hair. `I can’t love you in a corner Max, it has to be in the open, in the broad light of day, and Liz must see it and bless it, everyone must see it.’

Max smiled at me. `And Michael?’ he said oddly.

I flashed my eyes and smiled at him. `Michael already sees!’

Max laughed out with real joy. `That conniving, lovable bastard! I bet he encouraged you!’ He sounded relieved, happy, proud of me – as if I had passed a test. We lay looking at each other in the semi darkness for a long time.

`And if Liz refuses?’ he asked, half teasingly.

`Then like Calypso, I shall release you!'

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Post by Patroclus76 » Thu Jan 25, 2007 4:28 pm

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Thanks SER. In response, first off, congratulations to Chris for winning best slash, and thanks for people voting me for runner up, special thanks to all those who have posted over the year and encouraged me with comments, art work, cautionary PMs! And thanks for all those reading - I hope you have as much fun reading as I have writing. And thanks to me beta for extraordinary stamina and eye for detail!

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Post by Patroclus76 » Thu Jan 25, 2007 4:29 pm

Thanks SER. In response, first off, congratulations to Chris for winning best slash, and thanks for people voting me for runner up, special thanks to all those who have posted over the year and encouraged me with comments, art work, cautionary PMs! And thanks for all those reading - I hope you have as much fun reading as I have writing. And thanks to me beta for extraordinary stamina and eye for detail!

Pats
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Post by Patroclus76 » Sun Jan 28, 2007 8:20 am

Eventually I slept. I did not dream, or rather I awoke without any memories of them. I slept deeply until Max’s cell phone alarm woke us at 8.30, and then for half an hour, we lay awake, locked together, as if our old lives had been shipwrecked and we had been washed ashore, made new. It had snowed again, and the light in the room was blue-white, silvered. I thought of my parents, of my life before Roswell. Before Max.
How far away it all seemed. A remote, silent movie of another child’s life.

I had been secure then, I mean really, incredibly, secure! Despite Army Boy and Mad Mother, or perhaps because of them, I had felt utterly safe, utterly indulged! I had lived totally in the moment, with no anxiety for what might happen tomorrow, and no reflective concern over what had happened the day before. I had not feared debt, or illness, or the loss of my friends. I did not yet understand that my parents were fallible, weak, or diffident (or, in the case of my Mother, stark raving bonkers). I did not understand death or infinity, and love was about being attached to things – material things, toys usually, and often other peoples' toys at that. It was not about giving things away, about giving an oath that would involve commitment and responsibility. And I had yet to understand that things could not last.

Meeting Max had changed everything. Michael as well, and Liz, the whole Roswell gang of course, but Max in particular. How strange time was, the curious intangible webs of causality. Had Army Dad not accepted the posting to Roswell, had I not dared to go the gym that first day to check out the talent, had I not seen God Boy, or ran into the changing rooms, what would have become of me? Where would I be now? Certainly not here, with Max’s arms tight around me. I would certainly not have his taste in my mouth, the sensation of his hard, smooth body around me. I would not really be alive at all. Lying there, in the moment, before I could think and worry about what this meant – how Max might reflect on it – how the others would take it – how it would affect the Codex – I lived in total tranquillity.

Eventually Max stirred, unlocking his arms from my waist.

`Hey!’ he fumbled for his cell. `We’d better make a move!’ he was rubbing his eyes. I turned my head to see him, sleepy, yawning.

`Fuck you look wide awake, Jamie! What have you been up to?’ he smiled inquisitively. He lifted the sheet from me and looked at my groin. Then, sensing my anxiety he kissed me on the lips before I could say anything.

`Don’t think about this too much – not yet – ‘ he sounded stoical.

I frowned. `Sorry Max, it’s the intellectual in me, fighting to come out!’

`Yeah, right.’ He stood up on the bed and stepped over me, provocatively, a vista of buttocks and balls, his cock hung, even when flaccid, and above that, a landscape of dune like abdominals, embossed by the tide.

`Just tell me I haven’t fucked up everything?’ I said, as he walked towards his clothes. `That I didn’t well – ambush you?’ I chewed my lip in a way that made him laugh.

`Hey, no one’s fucked anything up so far as I can remember, and I am responsible too! You’re not the only one who has urges, man!’ Max stood naked, trying to unravel his boxers from his pants. His hair kept falling in his face. Every curve and sinew of his body was a line of beauty. I looked at him as if he was some form of optical illusion, resting one hand on my chin.

`Yeah? I bet my urges are much more primitive than yours!’ I arched an eyebrow provocatively.

He walked back towards me, `Boasting again? My urges can be quite simple. One of my urges has been to tell you that you have dreamy eyes – ‘ He sat on the end of the bed looking at me intently. `Really dreamy, romantic eyes! I’ve always wanted to tell you that their colors change, that sometimes they look blue-grey, sometimes green. Oh, and I have always wanted to pull your hair as well, because its so curly at the back in the nape of your neck.’

`You do?’ I said , scarcely audible. Fucking hell! `You have any more? Urges I mean!’ I said eventually, louder, pleased of course that he had noticed two of my best features!

He laughed, wriggling on a sock. He narrowed his eyes at me in mock suspicion.

`I am not even going to ask what yours are – although I know most of them – in fact, it’s about time I was honest with you, Jamie!’ His face sparkled.

`Oh dear – about what?’ I swung off the bed as well, anxious about the time, about what the day might bring. I walked into the bathroom and lifted the toilet lid.

`I can sense a lot of what you are thinking!’ Max had followed me, and was sitting on the side of the bath. He turned his attention to his remaining bare foot.

I was silent. Was he joking?

`Are you serious?’ I was trying to piss but nothing was happening.

`Sure! It started after we met on the campus, after I touched you – ‘ the memory sent a thrill down me, even now. The bastard!

`So Maxwell, what am I thinking now?’

`Well, as always, you’re thinking several things at the same time.’ He stood up and slipped his T shirt on, throwing back his hair.
`You’re trying not to get a boner and are desperately wanting a piss!’

We both laughed. `Yeah well that much is fucking obvious!’

He walked up behind me, and went to hold my cock as if he was going to finish the job for me.

`Max! You’re putting me off! I’ll damage my bladder!’ He pouted and I felt I was in heaven.

`Ok, so what else – oh yes – you’re worrying about Liz, you’re worried about Michael, you’re slightly worried – no’ he narrowed his eyes `you’re more frightened as to what Isabel will say! How am I doing?’

He was doing rather well, actually. I stood trying to think of running water.

`Jamie, hurry up, I want a piss as well! You’re worse than Michael! Oh wait a minute - ’ I turned to see he had his eyes closed, like a fake medium in circus.

`You’re thinking of something else now! Oh fuck! That's, that's disgusting!!’ he said in mock horror, and opened his mouth in a sort of shocked O shape.

`What!’ I was blushing.

`You’re still wishing that I had sat on your face just then, as I stepped over you on the bed! That I had squatted over you, and wriggled down!’

`I did NOT!’ My ability to lie convincingly had long deserted me. I was all hot and flushed.

`Look Max, fuck off and let me sort out my bodily functions!’ My head was turned towards him, my cock hard and irritatingly uncooperative. Max was smirking in a way that made my legs feel weak.

`I could tickle your prostate? That might help?’

`Max that just won’t help at all!’

He laughed again, a spontaneous sound of great beauty. He walked back into the bedroom and after a moment of agony, I found relief! Jesus! I shook my cock and then washed my hands in scolding water. Max was standing by the window, bathed in sharp cold, white light. He was platting his hair. I sat on the bed and looked up at him. He smiled and winked, his hands busy behind his head. I went to kiss him but he teasingly pulled away. Then he tried to kiss me and I turned my head. I then cupped my mouth, tempting him, like a chick tempts food from a parent. He darted out a tongue.

`God you are so angelic man,’ he said, `I can’t wait to tell Liz!’ and at that he left the room.

I curled up into a ball and screamed into a nearby pillow.

----------

I showered again. I was sure Grey had showers in Bone Hill House, but I wasn’t entirely convinced that they would work. I was sure that the water would dribble out, or would take two weeks to warm up. It would probably be red with rust. I stripped down, and then after the sheer joy of a power shower, I stood dressing. I pulled my pants on, and then looked at myself in the mirror. I was anxious about my abs. They were not as a good as Max’s, and I thought I looked plain, without definition. I needed to try and work out more – but how – when I was constantly being attacked by aliens, snatched through time, offered brazil nuts by Brandon, and route marched by Isabel! Jesus – there were not enough hours in the day! I needed a serious work out – I had a massive incentive to keep in shape! The whole night and morning wheeled before me like a vision. I wanted to cry out.

So he thought I had dreamy eyes! I smiled to myself. I looked at them close up, swivelling them around and trying several looks, moody, angry, and sensuous. I would need to work on the sensuous look. All this passivity was a bit new to me. And the hair – fuck you can pull my hair any time you like, Max Evans! Hard! I gasped with sheer delight! I then caught sight of what appeared to be a slight bruise on my left pectoral, just above the nipple, towards my arm. I looked down, alarmed at its size. Had Max done that? I pawed myself while looking in the mirror.

Suddenly I felt a stab of panic as I realised it was a mark, like a tattoo. I ran quickly into the bedroom and opened the blinds. There was a mirror next to the table. I flexed my pecs to get a better look. It was a tattoo! It was a curious devise, like an S, with a small top curl, and a wide base, like a cube, intricately etched under the skin. In the middle appeared coiled, delicate writing. It reminded me of a chemical symbol, a character in an alien language! I felt myself light headed with shock; at the moment Michael came bursting into the room.

`Jamie, for fuck sake, come and get some food – and get dressed!’ He saw me clutching my left breast and looked at me suspiciously, taking in the bed, the room, the sheets thrown back, in one swift turn of the head.

`What’s up – hey – he didn’t bite you, did he?’

`No, for fuck sake Michael, don’t start!’

`Then why are you hiding your tit!’ He moved towards me with a rather worrying degree of intent.

`Michael I am not “hiding my tit” as you so eloquently put it!’ I was. I tried to resume dressing with my hand stuck to my body. Michael smiled, rather cruelly. He picked up my shirt and offered it to me like an animal tamer offers a chair to a lion. As I went to take it off him, Michael snatched my hand really quickly and got his head in before I could scream.

`What the fuck is that!’ he whispered. I felt scared.

`I don’t know Michael, it just – it just appeared!’

Michael stuck his face close to my nipple as if he was about to suck on it. He then lifted up my arm and looked into my armpit.

`What the fuck are you doing!’

`That’s really weird.’ He turned me around and started fingering my back. I had my fiftieth hardon since I woke up.

'Have you seen anything like it before?’ I asked. Being examined by Michael opened up a whole new vista of games we could play in the van later. Why had I never thought of that before, Max, Michael and myself in `Alien Casualty!’

`Sort of, it’s Antarian for sure – but it doesn’t match anything we saw in the cave, nor in the book – it looks like a letter or a snake?’ He stood back, turning me around, admiring me.

`It looks cool though? ’ he said with heavy irony. I dressed, self-consciously. Michael was watching me with his brilliant brown eyes, all attentive, spiked with adrenalin.

`So – how did you sleep?’ he asked, looking slightly pissed at me.

`Very well Michael, thank you, like a baby in fact!’ I couldn’t help smiling. It started irritatingly in my nose of all places, I’m sure, like an itch, and quickly spread to my mouth. To my immense relief Michael started to smile as well. He looked away quickly, pinching his eyes.

`Good. So, did you make out or what?’

`Michael! Well, we sort of, well there were complications – ‘’

`Yeah? He’s a big bastard, isn’t he? You have to tell him to go slow at first!

`Michael give me a break!' Fucking hell, too much information!

`You have to relax!’ he said, with enthusiasm. `I was thinking about what you'd you do for lube.'

`Michael I am going to lock myself in the bathroom now!’
----------------------
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Post by Patroclus76 » Thu Feb 01, 2007 7:34 am

We abandoned the watch for breakfast. I suggested that even the Renegade Antarians and their Federal Allies would not attack over waffles and bacon. Max’s counterfeit money empire paid for everything. He sat at the opposite end of the table and I was aware that I was trying not to look at him. I was also conscious that I was holding my left chest a lot, as if I had a pain. To distract attention, I kept running my right hand under my nose, because I thought I could still smell Max’s hair on it.

The restaurant was semi-deserted; the convention goers had been herded off to an early morning plenary session. Everyone looked surprisingly rested, even Kyle, who had stayed out most of the night dismantling the Mother Ship. It almost felt like we were on holiday. Michael produced the folded map of Washington state from his jacket and proceeded to tear it up all over again. I was convinced he did this to annoy me. I scowled at him. Meanwhile Isabel had been and interrogated several members of staff, and had managed to find out that Bone Hill House was, indeed, a well-known folly. It lay twelve miles or so to the north-east of Wenatchee, towards Waterville.

Michael snarled magnificently at her indiscretion.

`It’s obvious where we’re going, Michael – ‘ she said, equally brutually before beaming at the rest of us. `It used to be a hotel, and then some sort of country club, and then it was mostly empty for several years until Grey bought it in 2003 – and it’s been in a lot of movies apparently!’ She lowered her voice slightly as the waitress floated by with more coffee. A forest of cups leapt up for attention.

The waitress seemed rather startled. `My, we do need our stimulants this morning!’ she said. There was a slight trace of a southern accent in her voice. She filled up each cup in turn, ending with Max’s.

`Are you a film star?’ she said innocently, wide eyed.

Max looked so beautifully embarrassed I smiled and glanced away. I was not sure which of his looks I liked best, but the self-effacing frown and stammer was one of my favourites.

`No, he isn’t.’ answered Michael before Max could articulate a denial. `Jesus! He’s a pizza delivery boy’ The waitress seemed vaguely disappointed by this news. She changed the subject.

` So, you're off to see the big House, then?’ she looked at Isabel who smiled nervously. It was now evident where Isabel had got most of her information from!

`Yes, yes we are. We’re – we’re friends of Professor Grey, and we’re going to spend some time with him!’

`Whoa, the Professor dude?’ The waitress beamed with delight. `What’s he like? I mean, there’s a lot of small town talk about him, especially up in Wenatchee, about strange experiments going on – I mean – no offence – I’m just curious! And as I was saying to you earlier, the House is supposed to be haunted!’

`Yeah, right’ said Michael, who was proving yet again that he could not fold a fucking map back into its cover!

`The original designer killed himself in the late 1920s, and the first owner, a man named Maitland, killed himself after the great depression – when his timber money collapsed! Hung himself in the library!’ She was evidently warming to her theme. The name of Maitland fell heavily about the table like an omen. We all looked at each other furtively. She fished a small rag out from her sleeve and rather elegantly wiped her nose. `After the club closed, it was deserted until Grey turned up, although I think there was some form of caretaker couple there, I am not too sure though.

`The original owner’s name was Maitland?’ asked Kyle, lightly, as if in passing. `Was he a local merchant?’

`Yeah I think so – but he might have been from out of the state – but Grey is sort of famous isn’t he?’ she seemed rather persistently, like a celebrity stalker.

`He’s rather dull actually’ I said, wishing to head off the conversation before we got into baby killing monster territory, flying saucers or the police. `We studied at university under him – this is a bit like –‘

`A re-union!’ said Max.

`Whoa’ she said again. `Cool! Is it true he was on the run from some sort of trouble back east?’

`No.’ said Michael, irritated. `He retired – and I think that someone wants coffee over there’ he pointed to an evidently empty table. Isabel rolled her eyes.

`They say he has – ‘ she half turned to see if there was no one standing behind her, `a butler?’

I frowned, not sure if that was a local euphemism for some unspeakable perversion or just plain class envy. At that moment a phone rang somewhere. The waitress, sensing she might have unintentionally caused offensive, looked slightly flustered and went to leave. The phone rang again. It was coming from a bank of phones in the lobby. We resumed our breakfast slowly.

`How could Maitland have died?’ asked Michael, `Perhaps she’s just confusing the names?’

`And it’s obviously against state law to have a Butler!’ said Kyle. The phone continued an irritating, intermittent buzz. Evidently annoyed, a male receptionist in a black suit walked to the booth and picked up a blue phone. I was aware of this little drama out of the corner of my eye. I was also attentive of Max frowning at me and nodding at my hand – still clutching my left chest. He mouthed the words `You ok?’ Michael watched us both knowingly. Max looked at him and Michael looked away, smirking!

`Well, we had better hit the road’ said Isabel, conscious of the parting glances around her. `What exactly are you lot up to?' she said, looking at Michael, who started to protest his innocence. We were interrupted by the receptionist.

`Is there a Jamie Relph, or Relphs here? There is a phone call for you?’ I felt the color drain from my cheeks. Everyone was instantly alert. I looked around me, bewildered, on the point of denying my name.

`For me?’ I stood up with Max and Michael, as if we all shared the same identity. The receptionist seemed puzzled.

`Yes – it's urgent, apparently.’ He nodded towards the phone dangling down behind him, swaying slightly, the metal cable snake like. I walked towards it. As I picked it up, Max and Michael closed in with me, one on either side.

`Guy’s please, a little space!’ I whispered, unable to deal with both of my men in such close proximity at the same time!

`Hello?’ I tried to sound relaxed, as if my mother has caught me playing truant.

`Jamie man! Long time no see!’ It was Daniel Goodacre. `Have you given up the gym for good?’ I looked at Max and then at Michael. Michael rolled his hands as if to say speak, play along! I was aware of Max, close to my face, within licking distance.

`Daniel! What a pleasant surprise! How on Earth, as we say here, how on Earth did you know I’d be here!’

He laughed, not unpleasantly . `Nice touch Jamie, “how on Antar!” doesn’t quite have the same ring to it, does it! – and they say space is so big!’

`It’s all relative Daniel, and no – we’re not on Antar, yet.’ There was a momentary silence, a vast electronic buzz. I felt he was improvising this conversation, unsure how to proceed. I sensed Max tense next to me. I rubbed his arm reassuringly. Suddenly Daniel was speaking again.

`Listen to me, young man. You are getting yourself involved in something that is quite simply, quite literally, beyond your comprehension. I don't exactly know what Jonathan told you about me, but I am slightly more than the owner of a gay bar in Seattle!’

`There’s nothing wrong with owning a gay bar!’ I said. Michael made one of his priceless `what the fuck’ looks.

`But it must be curious for a Valaen to end up running such a salubrious outfit, so far from home, what is it, about twelve and half light years to be precise? Oh, and about forty years out of your own time line?’ There was another silence on the end of the phone. I could sense his doubt growing.

`We are all a long way from home, Jamie, remember? “Good, speak to the mariners, fall to’t yarely, or we run ourselves aground”’ I saw my friends frown. I tried to place the quote. I heard Daniel then say curtly `Put Zan-Max on’.

I handed Max the phone and looked around as I did so. Could he see us? Was he in the hotel watching? Max took the phone. He held the earpiece in such a way as both Michael and I could hear.

`This is Max speaking?’

`Your majesty! I wish I had better nws for you. You are running out of time. You will never make it to Bone Hill House. We gave you a night of peace, today we shall be less considerate. However, I want to offer you one last proposal. If you hand Liz over to us and allow us to abort the babies, we shall not harm her and we shall leave you and your friends alone to live out your lives here, as normal human’s – isn’t that what you want?’

`Fuck off!’ said Michael under his breath.

`Ah my regards to Lord Rath! I will not speak to him, yet. Consider this, Max. You can still save your love for Liz, you can return to your family, all we want are the children.’

Max seemed shocked. Then he said slowly, `We have never met Daniel, but who am I to contradict my loyal Captain, or’ his eyes strayed to me `My first science officer!’

I took the phone off Max. The plastic handle was hot from his hand.

`Daniel, my old gym partner, a word of caution! The mind warp will work less well next time! We know who you are!’ I hung up, a tad theatrically. We all stood crammed into the booth.

`Shit’ said Michael eventually. He was looking about us as well.

`What did he mean when he said `speak to the mariners?’ Max took my hand.

`He’s quoting from The Tempest, the opening scene – where the ship is wrecked upon Prospero’s magic island!’

`Why? What does he mean?’

I shook my head slowly. I did not know.
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Post by Patroclus76 » Tue Feb 06, 2007 2:26 pm

Entry to Julian Grey's Diary: Following on from Wilcox's Revelations to Grey after his Return from the Zoo. To make this even more complex, the entry below narrates events that took place on the same evening that Brandon-Sevak `returns' Max outside Jamie's apartment having kept him in temporal stasis)

Sylvia - there are HUNDREDS darling!!!!!!! I have sent Jamie to live with my Aunt until it all settles down.
-----------------------------

So Wilcox is not Wilcox, he is someone else. He is an older version of someone I have not yet met. He is also half Antarian Seeth and half human, the product of a complex hybridisation project stretching over millennia, the goal of which is seemingly to restore the Seeth to their former greatness. Human destiny also fits in here, somewhere. And there is something else, a greater plan, unfolding through eons of time. Something secret. Wilcox is a king, or in some senses (if I understand our conversation correctly) a form of divine being, and his son (a son that has yet to be born, but who is also here, nonetheless, in the form of Brandon – the black youth at the zoo) – his son is even more divine.

And Bone Hill House, bought by me in 2003 was not built by a lumber merchant with a sense of gothic mischief, but by the Shalloth, apparently under the direction of Khi’var, renegade Seeth and for a while – in both the past and future tense – usurper of the throne of the Antarian Imperium. And my library is not just any library – it is not just architecturally novel in that it has a vast collection of rare books and a pretentious, over-designed doorway, it is in fact a Granolith – a sort of temporal portal that can be opened and closed with the use of a crystalline key. It too seems to be divine. It also seems to be alive. When activated it links Earth to Antar, Bone Hill to a mysterious place called Eqbatana, the brooding dark fastness of the Seeth Kings of old.

The Granolith lies at the heart of a deep conspiracy, a convergence of interests that have ensnared both Davies-Maitland and the Shalloth themselves. So – to cut a long story short - I live in what is a sort of magic lantern, in which complex patterns are thrown upon a screen, like the runes on the cave of th Sybil of Cumae. But she tells me not my future but my past.

There is more, of course. About Max, about the Granolith. When not activated for instance, (and the key is currently in the hands of Davies, another son of Zan-Max-Wilcox by another alien-hybrid), the Granolith appears to distort spatial locations and provide `multiple’ doorways to places `within the same time’ – different places in `the here and now’. If you ask it, for instance, it will take you to Seattle. Sometimes even if you do not, it might take you somewhere NOW. It can do this somewhat randomly, apparently, or deliberately for fun, just as it can project or display things that are happening, have happened or might happen.

Sometimes the Granolith loops up with parts of the House itself, or curiously around and about the locality of the Estate. All this makes sense to me because, over the years, I have experienced it withoutu nderstanding it. For instance, sometimes a door to the second floor gallery opens not onto the second floor near the guest rooms, but in the stables, or the kitchens. Sometimes when I sit down to read I hear (and smell) the sea, or I find that I have gained five minutes or sometimes a whole day.

So why was it built? Why is Wilcox-Max-Zan here? I have great difficulty understanding this. Davies and the Shalloth want to stop the birth of Om – of Brandon – they want to prevent the restoration of the Seeth, and through this, they wish to prevent the merger of Earth and Antar. They seem to want to prevent Max-Zan becoming – becoming something more powerful than they can imagine. Wilcox goes silent at this point, as if he is still working on something. `It has taken me a long time to work this out, you see. I think when Seeth Sia Ova discovers the plans for Bone Hill House in the ruins of Eqbatana, she discovers somethign else: somethign she and the Seeth had long forgotten. I think the Seeth came from Earth.'*


I listen to all this attentively. Am I dead? Have I been drugged? Has Wilcox taken drugs? To recapitulate to myself, my rather eccentric handyman, the caretaker of the house who brings me tea in the morning and complains about the roofs leaking, my `butler' has changed from a man who wears overalls, forgets his glasses, and carries around copies of Shakespeare, into a frighteningly beautiful, weathered man sitting in front of me, cloaked and booted. He looks as if he has just materialised from a Burn-Jones tapestry, a pre-Raphaelite hero, a staff in one hand, a raven on the wrist of the other. His image is one made to be carved in stone, not weed the drive or the flower beds of a fussy, boring academic!

For a moment, I find I cannot look him in the eye. It is disconcerting to find that your Butler is in fact half an alien king. And the other half? It is even more disconcerting to find that you have a part to play – rather an important part – in something that has yet to happen! So I listen to Wilcox carefully, as a student might listen to the apparent absurdity of Super String Theory, or the latest theory on branes and the big bang. The curious thing about these revelations is that part of me is not the least surprised by it. Somehow, while it makes no empirical sense whatsoever, it seems intuitively correct, as one's faith stands out, evidently right, but without proof. As a scientist I ought to be methodologically outraged by this. In some curious way I am relieved. I speak as a man without faith, incidentally.

Wilcox lapses into silence. He has spoken softly with great precision. I am aware that I am hungry, that somewhere in the vast labyrinth of the House, DeMarr has probably fallen asleep waiting for his supper. My head is full of strange, sharp questions, like a migraine. I want to talk about my codex. Oddly I want to ask if I was a good man. In the end however, I am too exhausted to say anything. I close my eyes on the enormity of my life, and I feel that if I keep them closed for just a few seconds I shall fall into a deep and vast sleep. When I open them, the great King has gone and Wilcox is sitting awkwardly in his overalls. The room is bitterly cold.

`So what should I call you?’ I say, stupidly. Wilcox laughs with genuine humor.

`I knew you would ask me that!’ he closes the French doors.

`Well I can’t possibly call you Wilcox, Lord Zan perhaps?’

`Good god no! I am sorry all this had to happen, Julian. All the best-laid plans go astray. I had hoped to contain the time line as much as I could – but the breach is too great now. Somehow, it must run its course.’

We were walking back towards the kitchens.

`Should I tell DeMarr?’ I ask as we approach the smell of warmth and food. I feel close to fainting.

`It cannot do any harm – he has already been interrogated by Jamie, and as you know, DeMarr probably knows more about this than he is letting on! I am sure he didn't buy Michael's Grey Society idea! He sees more than he says!’ Wilcox turned as we approached the great kitchens. He looks at me with a certain anxiety.

`Max doesn’t know that I am an older version of him self, no one does, except Jamie and Michael. And no one knows, not even my two co-conspirators, that Brandon is my son. I would rather keep it that way at the moment, although I have to be careful meeting Max, and Liz in particular – they may yet sense it! It may complicate things later. At some stage, I have to return to my own future, if of course, such a future will exist.'

We walk through the archways that separate the hallway from the entrance to the ground floor kitchens. I can see DeMarr has indeed fallen asleep, still with his red coat on, huddled up next to the wood burner. I feel a great tenderness for my old friend.

`What happens if your future no long exists?’

`Then I would cease to exist, or rather, this version of me would cease to exist. Max, Max as he is here, now – Max must go on!’ I looked at DeMarr, I looked about this small alcove of warmth, and then behind me, back to where the hallways moved towards the main body of the House. Wilcox sensed my unease.

`You must have many questions you want to ask – I will try and answer them as best I can?’

I smiled, too exhausted to think. `I think it can wait until morning. I am just worried about the House, the library – it seems suddenly to be – well, enemy territory?’

`It is – in a way. But there is something curious about the Granolith that I have yet to fathom. Thanks to Jamie’s friend, Jonathan – the boy who was killed – we know that the main chamber is in the library – we must have a closer look at the library doors tomorrow –‘ he stifled a yawn. I was oddly reassured that Zan-Max could yawn, could feel tired.

`Try not to treat me any differently, Julian – I mean – it’s difficult to tell you, to explain, how close we will become, and of course, how close we are already!’ I laugh.

`Wilcox, that makes no sense whatsoever! But I think I understand! I really do feel though, all things being equal, that you should not have to bring me tea in the mornings! Or the paper – and all the other chores – ‘

`I enjoy bringing you your Earl Grey tea! I admit I do not like trying to find my way around the House on my own when you send me on one of your missions!’ we both laugh. He is referring to my endless, pointless attempts to bring order to chaos, to catalogue paintings, to find out and map various mysterious leaks of water, to move bedrooms and furniture on a whim.

`Curious.’ I say, softly, getting the better of my mirth. `I have often found you prescient, Wilcox. Little things you have done and said over the years, things I found odd. And this House, when I first saw it – despite the absurdity of the size, I knew I had to have it!’

`And the way it changes? You noticed that a lot, didn’t you? I remember you always saying that the corridors and rooms seem to re-arrange and alter their location! Well now in a sense you know part of the reason!’

We stand looking at each other. He suddenly place his hand on my arm, an unusual gesture. `Go and eat your supper, before DeMarr eats it!’

------

I sat and ate with DeMarr, quietly, alone. Wilcox returned to look at the library doors. I talked to DeMarr about work, as if we were together at the end of an ordinary day. As if, following the revelations of Wilcox my life could return to its normal course, the slow grey midway of a retiring life, the youth of a great river almost spent. But how could I ever return to normal? How could anything ever be the same? Had I not seen something that defied everything I had worked towards and believed in: an ordered, rational, linear universe? I told DeMarr about Wilcox over coffee, slowly, precisely, as if espousing a new theory. DeMarr was not surprised. In that curious, child like innocence of his, he had already grasped the essence of who Wilcox was – a caretaker – someone whose job it was to protect and preserve, a fragment, a manifestation of God. That is exactly how he put it.

I had looked at him in surprise. Surely it was far more complex than that! DeMarr blinked at me. No. It was all incredibly simple. All the bewildering razzmatazz of time travel and space and multiple identities were, for him, just reiterations of one theme: that in whatever shape or form, and in whatever time, there were good people and bad, there was love and there was hatred, and our brief lives were set upon a course wherein, for one burning moment of sentience, we had a chance to judge between them. That was all. If we judged correctly, the universe unfolded as if should, from chaos to reason. If we were wrong, there would be nothing but darkness. He said this as if he thought of these things a lot. I said nothing for a long time. In the end I turned the conversation to the minutia of where DeMarr was going to stay and what arrangements he had made for his pet parrot back in Seattle. He seemed to rather hope that Jamie would be feeding it!

Max as a manifestation of God, a fragment of the divine.
------------------
*The crucial conversation between Grey and Seeth Sia Ova takes place in the library when Grey discovers that the key to the Granolith is hidden in Khi'var's head. It is only many years later - 2044 AD - that Max becomes aware that a critical part of this conversation was edited out, in which Grey works out that a time paradox has already happened because Khi'var knew that Max would come to Bone Hill House before he did. See RC.
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Post by Patroclus76 » Sun Feb 11, 2007 12:10 pm

Professor Grey's Diary.......continues


I left Demarr bouncing on a bed in a long disused gallery, close to a series of reception rooms on the first floor. I had not had visitors here since my wife died, and then not many! Now here was my old friend, and soon there would be Max and his friends, soon the House would have people in it again! And what people? Was this it’s purpose? Had it waited for this moment – the arrival of Max – did it feel excited! What an absurd question, and despite the anxiety, and the worry – the worry of the Granolith – of the all seeing, all hearing alien labyrinth, I felt excited too! I walked about for a long time in my dressing gown humming.

I came across Wilcox sitting outside the Library watching the doors keenly. It was now late – after midnight – and the sound of torrential rain seeped down through the great House about us, and a sound of wind, a curious rather eerily whining. Our breaths steamed in the stone chill. Wilcox seemed unperturbed by this excess of atmosphere. I drew up a chair from a far corner and sat down next to him, like a bridge pair in search of a game. I then felt a thrill of fear run down my spin when I realised that the library doors had turned around again – that they were facing outwards – the ornamental cartouche looking out at us starkly, almost wearily.

`I now realise why you pretended to have insomnia all these years!’ I said after a while. Did Wilcox ever sleep? Did hybrid alien kings need rest?

He looked at me with great affection. `It helps me relax. It gives me time to work on various theories!’

I nodded. The idea that Wilcox hypothesised was refreshing to me. `You must share your theories with me at some stage, although I am not sure I will be of much help! I feel a little like the White Queen in Lewis Carroll’s Through the Looking Glass, who knows things will happen before they do, but not why!’

We stood up together. I felt very cold, despite the fact that the temperature was beginning to warm slightly. After along perambulations through the first and ground floors talking of various issues we arrived in my study. A fire was burning brightly, casting dancing shadows about the room. The great mullioned windows were fogged up with condensation, and chipped white with driving rain. Wilcox had started to talk about Seeth Sia Ova again, and since he sometimes seemed to forget that I had not yet met her, I grew confused! In the end I said rather meekly: `I wish I could be more useful to you!’

`It’s very useful to be able to talk to you about this again, I mean, now, Julian! despite the fact that I have had the advantages of being taught by one of the greatest minds of the 21st century, and having had my sons brought up by the same brilliant mind, I am still not sure I am seeing things as clearly as I should!’

`Who was this?’ I said, sitting down in a soft low Parker Knoll chair. I was thinking about the rather intriguing figure of my future partner in crime, Seeth Sia Ova. But Wilcox laughed.

`You, dear man! I mean you! My sons grow up here, and I and Liz spend many happy years together!’ he looked about the long room, crammed now with the flotsam and jetsam of my academic interests and varied hobbies over the years – models of battleships, folio editions of expensive books, photographs of rose bushes.

`I do so like this room, Julian. It is so very, very comfortable!’ He sat down opposite me, warming his knees.

`I know – I recall you directing me towards this with certain, calm insistence!’

Wilcox smiled again, faintly, as if recalling something long ago or far in the future. `It was here that we first met Professor Grey – well – rather it was outside, in a tempestuous downpour! You were wearing that same dressing gown!’

I nodded at the reference. `I was?'

`Where shall we meet this time, Wilcox? In thunder, lightening or in rain!’ I too looked about.

`Had you not persuaded me to make this into a study, I would have made it a bedroom! But my wife was superstitious about such things! I would have liked to sit in bed and look through the windows!’ I said, laughing indulgently. `And have friends to sit with me and argue!’ I got the better of my mirth. What friends did I have? For a moment Wilcox seemed to grow sad. A complex look crossed is weathered, noble face.

`It will be your bedroom, one day.’ Wilcox said with care. `And we shall sit and talk, but we have many years ahead of us yet!’ He left me as a small ornamental carriage clock on the mantelshelf struck 2 am. There were somethings about the future one did not want to ask.


I awoke to find the cold grey light of dawn about me, even and placid like deep water. The fire had burned low, and my legs and back were stiff with cold. I had fallen asleep in my chair, still dressed, like a student! Everything around me was very still, the incessant rain of the last day or so had abated. I roused myself with difficulty, leaning up to draw my dressing gown over me tightly. I ran my hands over over a radiator. Rather typically the heating had failed again. As I walked to the doorway there was a faint rumble – more a tremor in the air - and the sound of someone in the house. It sounded like Wilcox. I walked towards the main entrance, the grand doorway that opened onto a wide terrace, and beyond, an arch of gravelled driveway. As I came around a corner I saw, standing in the middle of the cold marbled hallway, three young people.


They were not looking at me. One, a tall black youth I had seen yesterday at the zoo, was looking up towards the first landing at Wilcox. He was dressed in a long black leather coat and had great plats of dreadlocks over his shoulders. He looked exotic, slightly theatrical, like a film star, a powerful, handsome face in profile. The other two – both young women – were staring around them in simple amazement as if they had suddenly materialised out of thin air. One was dark, very Hispanic looking, and was in the process of removing her hands from her mouth. I recognised her as Liz immediately. The other young woman was strawberry blonde; pale skinned, with full, sensuous lips. As I came into view, their attention fell onto me, as did Wilcox’s, who started to descend the stair with quiet presence. He looked far more like the owner of the place than I did! I felt utterly dishevelled, and tried discretely to flatten my hair down as I approached.

`I did not hear the door – I am so sorry!’ I said, moving towards them, trying to recover what dignity I could. Maria looked confused, at me and then at Wilcox, unclear who was who. Liz, however clearly recognised me from her research and readings, and she drew herself together with great charm and poise.

`Professor Grey!’ she said. I took her offered hand; it was incredibly cold, and trembling slightly.

`You must be Liz Evans. I am very pleased to meet you.’ I said, feeling suddenly, inexplicably emotional. There was an ominous silence, as if the whole world was holding its breath! `Welcome to Bone Hill House.’ I said eventually. Liz smiled at me, cautiously, then with warmth, and then turned my attention to her companion.

`This is Maria De Luca.’ I shook her hand, taking in her sparkling eyes, with their glint of mischief, of wisdom. She nodded, as if still slightly disorientated.

`And this – ‘ Liz looked at the young man standing next to them quizzically, a man who had been watching me intently since I had first appeared, his gimlet eyes never leaving my face.

`This is Sevak, or Brandon’ interjected Wilcox carefully. I glanced up quickly. Was Wilcox afraid I would call him Om! Well he might! But Wilcox was not interested in me at that precise moment. He was looking at Liz, and with such a profound expression of joy that it seemed to light him from within. I quickly looked at Brandon for fear Wilcox might himself be indiscreet! He was, after all, seeinghis wife as a young woman again!

`Sevak – ‘ I said quietly. There was a flash of silver in his black olive irises. Om had been born here, and he along with his brother Julian would grow up here as children. Sevak already knew Bone Hill House like the back of his hand. He already knew me – what I would become! I could not really come to grips with this idea.

He seemed to sense my confusion. His face softened slighty.

`Welcome home, Sevak.’ I said, eventually. I saw Liz and Maria frown as they looked again at Sevak. Liz had no idea she was standing next to her future son, one who even now was growing in her womb! I felt almost overwhelmed. I was aware that Brandon was still looking at me. His eyes, uncanny and wide, battled with some complex emotion of his own. He seemed younger than yesterday, and slightly taller, or had I simply not paid enough attention to detail? I recalled him running in the zoo, sprinting to the help of his friends, his future father! Here before me, however beautifully disguised, was the restored secret of the Seeth!

I offered him my hand also. He looked at it for a while as if he did not understand the custom. Then, disregarding it, he placed his own hands on my shoulders and powerfully, rather shockingly, picked me up as if I was made of matchwood. His face was a picture of joy.

`Hathman Grey, my old friend and tutor, it is most pleasing to see you again!’ and then he crushed me in a hug.
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Post by Patroclus76 » Thu Feb 15, 2007 5:42 pm

Darling Jeannine - did you grow those yourself!! x

==================================


Greys diary continues............





So Liz and Maria were safely in Bone Hill House! At last! I felt a sense of relief, as if we were back on track, back at the beginning of things. As soon as the introductions were over, Wilcox shepherded them into the long breakfast room and prepared food with that quiet efficiency that I now realised had `alien power’ written all over it! In such a conducive atmosphere, Liz and Maria eventually relaxed, especially once DeMarr showed up, bubbling with enthusiasm. He seemed delighted to make their acquaintance again, although he seemed anxious too for Max and the others, especially Jamie. Liz told us over strong, life giving coffee that they were heading this way in a van – known affectionately as the Mother ship! I tried not to stare at her when she spoke.

Meanwhile, in a corner, busy with things, Sevak-Brandon and Wilcox discussed the whereabouts of Davies at some length. It was widely felt that he would be watching for Max’s departure. It sounded all very complex and un-nerving. I went off and dressed, my head full of the inversion of causality. Actually I felt over-excited, as if I was no longer in control of my life. To distract myself I helped Wilcox sort out the trivial but important domestic issues like bedrooms and working bathrooms. We put them all at the front of the House, above the elegant Breakfast room, well away from the library.

Over lunch I spoke at length with Liz, still rather shyly, trying not to bombard her with questions. She was so extraordinarily charming I found myself feeling oddly flirtatious. Eventually I showed them around Bone Hill estate, walking amid the snowy, wintry showers. The grounds looked bleak and washed of all color. I tried to convey their beauty in the summer – I felt garrulous and rather boring, like a man talking himself up in the world. Yet they were very attentive, Liz, dark, carrying her profound, beautiful secret, Maria, quick witted, funny. We stood near the disused, ruinous swimming pool and lapsed into silence. Bone Hill House lay drawn about us, dark and attentive like the eves of a great forest.


By late afternoon the waiting had been punctuated by a series of phone calls between Max and Liz, and between Jamie and Wilcox, cataloguing delays and problems with the van. They were still in Seattle! Over dinner the tension grew, but DeMarr and Liz had a very engaging, distracting, discussion about basic genomes, and we all put on a brave face. Maria and myself enjoyed some wine. I retired to my study to collect my thoughts. I was now incredibly anxious over the prospects of meeting Max, desperate to see what his younger self would be like but worried I would be indiscreet. My recollection of him, the image in the photograph held by Wilcox, and my own brief sighting of him at Woodland Park Zoo, had been disrupted by the image of Wilcox as Max-Zan. I tried to write my diary but stopped when I realised – with a certain horrid fascination – that I was writing what would surely become the codex! But this would be a different codex now? Already – the changes that had taken place were already being narrated back into an alternative historical time line?


At about eight o’clock there was a sudden burst of activity. Wilcox and Liz both converged on my study, followed quickly by Maria and then Brandon. Jamie was on the phone to Wilcox, while Max was explaining something to Liz carefully and precisely. The sight of these parallel conversations would have been comical had the expressions on the faces not been so grave or distressing. I felt duly alarmed and ushered everyone around the fire, asking for an explanation. It transpired that someone had attacked the van and tried to disable it by removing the distributor cap! Max and company had resumed their journey, but under clear pursuit by the Feds. Liz and Maria took this rather calmly.

Brandon-Sevak was all for winking over and sorting it out. Wilcox hesitated. He then directed Max himself, on the phone, to stay in a Travel Lodge, while he and Brandon tried to think of a plan. I thought how strange it must be to talk to your younger self!

Wilcox clicked his cell phone shut. We were all standing – looking as if we had just had a séance. Liz was looking at Wilcox intently, as if she recognised something. Wilcox, conscious of her attention, stood with his back to her slightly, thinking hard, looking awkward.

`Jamie has disturbing news.’ He said eventually. `The person who attacked the van is a Valaen, one of the ancient races of Antar, with powerful mental abilities. Moreover –‘ Wilcox looked at me keenly `Jamie claims to have seen the doors to the Library appear as the Valaen departed from a park somewhere near the inter-state?’

`What!’ I said, incredulously. `But how is that possible? Surely we would have heard or seen the doors become active, and wouldn’t that mean– ‘ I could hardly bring myself to finish my sentence.

`That the Granolith is active? Or that the Valaen or whatever is already here? In the House?’ Maria finished my thoughts for me exactly.

I felt alarmed. Wilcox, sighing deeply, turned around, his hands in his pockets, as had been his habit since we first met.

`It’s ok Maria. The Granolith connects spatial coordinates together in the same time-space frame even when not activated – the Valaen might have gone anywhere – although we must not rule out the possibility that he will come here! He is the last survivor of the aliens who came through from 2055. But I am sure we would sense him, if he was here?’ the question was directed at Brandon who looked back, elegantly unsure.

`Ought we not to keep a watch on the Library? As a precaution?’ I suggested, not wishing to sound melodramatic, or over informed.

Wilcox agreed. `And in the meantime, Brandon can guard Liz and Maria, and keep them away from the central core of the house! As a precaution?’

`What if other portals lead from the Library into the house that we have not detected?’ asked Brandon calmly, as if he was disputing the weather forecast.

Wilcox did not answer. Brandon eventually opened the door to my study. Liz paused, and then turned to Wilcox.

`If there is the slightest danger to Max, you must go and fetch them all immediately!’

`Absolutely!’ said Wilcox to his own wife. He followed them out, leaving me looking at a loss.


At about midnight I finally retired to bed, but I did not sleep. The whole issue with the Granolith and the Library troubled me. Max and his friends were coming into great danger – why would Wilcox allow that? If Bone Hill House was part of some fantastic time machine, a place that had been contrived by the enemy, why not simply destroy it, or go with me, and DeMarr, to somewhere that was safer? Why was this not Wilcox’s plan? Yet as I lay propped up in bed, glancing through W. H. Auden’s poetry, I realised suddenly, simply, that Wilcox did not want to destroy the Granolith at all. He wanted to use it for some other purpose. This was not just about the child, about the birth of Om, it was about something else? I understood this intuitively, like a thought experiment. He had been looking for it since it was built. How often had I come across Wilcox at night, or at odd times of the day, walking about the House, tapping on walls and removing carpets? How often had I seen him on ladders peering behind paintings and measuring out corridors! Two conspiracies, not one, converged here at the threshold to the library. But what were they?


The clock struck hours filled the great House. At 3 am, wide awake, I pulled on my dressing gown and wandered about, fretting for Max and his companions, and worried about Liz. Eventually, in spite of my determined effort to steer away from it, I found myself in front of the library door. The ornate opening definitely now faced outwards. I looked up at the young man – the depiction of Max – it was definitely Zan-Max. Had Wilcox noticed this? I shook my head to myself. Concentrate on the child, I told myself, concentrate on the genetics, and the rest will follow.

As I turned to go, the doors whispered something. I heard it distinctly. It echoed in the stone chilly spaces around me and my hair stood on end. I screwed up my courage and walked carefully towards them. Again, the whisper – immeasurably old – something distinct but faint. Despite my very real fear, I came close to the panels, my head forward and slightly turned, desperately concentrating. Again, the voice:

`Illuvatar.’

I stood rigid. I did not understand the word. And yet I was sure I had heard it clearly. I screwed up my eyes. Again, clearer

`Illuvatar!’

and then there came a deep booming, far away, like the launch of a rocket or a blast. I stepped back, and then the boom came right behind the door as if something massive had collided with them at great speed– an incredibly deafeningly sound, so much so that I leapt backwards. The doors seemed to have grown in size. Again, a terrible ground shattering boom and a deep voice roared,

`ILLUVATAR!’

I turned and ran and as I did so I saw Wilcox – Zan-Max – running towards me, followed by Brandon, shirtless, wearing just white linen pants.

`Julian! What is it!’ Wilcox was out of breath, but alert. His voice was powerful.

For a while I could not speak. `Did you not hear it?’ I whispered.

`Yes, I heard it.’ At that moment the voice came again and this time – the great doors buckled OUTWARDS with a horrible loud snapping of wood and stone. Again, a fantastic boom shook the very foundations of the House.

`My god, Wilcox – what is it – is something coming through?’

Wilcox stood, his hand raised, looking at where the pressure seemed to be greatest.

`Sevak, return to Liz and Maria and ensure they are safe – take them away if necessary!’ Brandon obeyed immediately. He sprinted back just as DeMarr came stumbling around the corner wrapped in a white sheet looking rather comically like a fake ghost!

`What is going on, Julian? ‘ he gasped. I was about to explain when I heard Wilcox cry out. In the middle panel of the right hand door, a glow appeared, as if someone was burning their way through. The light burned red, yellow, and then a brilliant white and then I saw the outline of a hand, radiant, ethereal. The fingers were out-stretched. It mirrored Wilcox’s hand, held out in exactly the same pose.

My fear suddenly seemed lose within, undermining my ability to think. Meanwhile Wilcox stood tall and solid, the hands moved together as if in some sort of wrestling match. Then – as quickly as the manifestation had appeared – the light went and the doors fell back into place with a great clank, the mysterious pressure gone. There was a soft creak and they opened softly, very slightly, as if moved by a mere draught. Wilcox lowered his hand. I was close to fainting. The doors creaked and moaned, and I felt a cold wind, as if the library windows were opened within.

`Has it gone?’ asked DeMarr, from behind his sheet.

Wilcox made a white light in the palm of his hand and, walking forward, boldly pushed the doors apart. I followed, with DeMarr shielding his eyes still like a child does from a horror film. The great chamber of the library was deserted, but one of the great mullioned windows had been opened, and several papers were blowing about the floor, drifting from the gallery.
`My research papers!’ I cried, in genuine anguish. As I turned to run towards the stairs I saw a book lying on the floor. I instinctively picked it up.

`What is it?’ Wilcox’s voice was not his own, it belonged to the young man I had yet to meet. I squinted at the book in the even white light of Max’s making. It was a novel. It was a novel by John Wyndham. I opened the cover – there was a letter to me. As I closed the book I registered that it has been stolen from a school, from a school in Roswell, New Mexico.

When I saw the title I felt a small screaming start in my head.
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Post by Patroclus76 » Mon Feb 19, 2007 5:48 pm

Jamie's narrative continues.....the morning after the break in at Bone Hill House.


`So what do we do now? Max?’ Michael asked this, slightly impatiently. We had checked ourselves out of the Travel Lodge and were on board the mother ship. In various poses, we were all recovering from the shock of Daniel’s phonecall. The morning lay brilliant about us, raw cold. Pine covered hills, embossed in snow, closed up the skyline. From each direction stretched a quilted, winter landscape. Our faces were vivid, pallid, veined slightly blue. Various attempts to call Wilcox, Liz, and Maria had all failed. There appeared to be no reception.

It would have been nice to blame the terrain, the silent, crowded ridges, but there was a certain ominous coincidence to our sudden isolation and Danny boy’s threat of sudden death unless we co-operated with him. Kyle was at the wheel. I was sitting between him and Michael. Max was sitting sideways in the back, his feet swinging out of the van above the snow. Isabel lay wrapped up in a thick blanket coat on the back seat. Her brother was lost in thought.

`I have no idea’ what to do' he said, eventually. `I mean, why did they leave us alone last night? Why didn’t they attack, and if not us, why not at Bone Hill House? If this Daniel guy can use the Granolith to travel about in, why not go straight to Liz?’ He looked at us each in turn. I was sucking a lollipop with great concentration, having just bought a box of 100 off a guy in the lobby. No one else wanted one. I think it was supposed to be cherry flavored. I became aware that everyone was looking at me.

`I think Daniel is bluffing.’ I said eventually, removing my candy and looking at it. It was slowly turning from red to a sort of lurid yellow.

`Yeah? Why Jamie?’ Max frowned, his face clouded with uncertainty. This particular look always fucking distressed me. It made me feel like I wanted to take out my eyes with steel pins or something. It was like watching a kitten drown! I had to sound confident. I sensed Michael watching me, urging me on.

`Because he was definitely surprised that we knew who he was, and he was evidently not expecting us to know about his mind warping abilities. I mean think about it – you have the Feds to worry about, but you’ve always worried about the Feds. So what about the aliens? Well, they aren’t that many! I mean Davies-Maitland is human. He has no powers at all. If I remember rightly, all the Shalloth who came through the Granolith in the beginning, if there is a beginning of course, are dead – ‘

`Wait Jamie, wait’ Michael swung around in the front seat, his face alert. `Didn’t Wilcox say that one was unaccounted for?’

`He did – but alas we have accounted for him – it was Jonathan.’

`Yeah but who was the bastard at the zoo? The guy who hit me!’ Michael was clearly somewhat obsessed by this guy, but since he had stood up from behind a newspaper and banged him across the head with a monkey wrench, it was probably quite natural. I had no idea who it was. A bystander, a random person, like that woman with the feather boa and the javelin – I mean who the fuck was that!

`So that leaves just Daniel?’ said Kyle, `A 100% alien, with mind warping abilities and fuck knows what else!’

`Come on Kyle, we have an alien King, his magnificent alien sister, his equally majestic Captain, and somewhere in reserve, Wilcox who is –‘ I frowned slightly having nearly said Future Max – I even think I said `Fut’ before Michael barked,

`A fucking Seeth!’ then he said, with less emphasis, slightly apologetically for having shouted `A High Seeth Lord!’

`High?’ Max squinted slightly, always alert now when Michael came to my defence too quickly! Max looked at me, an intimate smile, like a hard tap on the shoulder.

`Very High,’ I said quickly, `and his equally High Captain Sevak-Brandon! Come on, the odds are fantastic!’

`Jesus, it sounds like we’re playing Dungeons and Dragons!’ Kyle shivered. `Who gets first shake of the dice!’

Max laughed and shook his head, looking at me and then at Michael. I stuck my lollipop back into my mouth, triumphant in having lifted away the shadows from around my LOVER, however momentarily, at having made him laugh. I mouthed the word LOVER to myself slightly, like a spell. Michael saw me and shook his head in mock despair.

`There’s one problem with all this’ suggested Isabel carefully, like someone tactfully pointing out a huge fucking mistake, like your clothes were on fire or the wing of your plane had just fallen off. `With all due respect to myself, Max and Michael, Wilcox and Brandon are separated from us by about twenty miles of bad, snowed up terrain!’

`And we can’t even talk to anyone! The loss of the cell phone network is obviously deliberate!.’ put in Kyle.

`Guys! Come on – a little optimism! I can communicate with Brandon – I think – ‘

`You can?’ asked Max, his sense of relief audible.

`Sure! You’ll have to help me meditate Kyle, but we have a connection, a sort of physical link –‘ I beamed indignantly.

`Why doesn’t that surprise me’ said Isabel, a little more pointedly than was probably intended. She touched my arm by way of apology.

` OK. Then do it Jamie, we need the cavalry!’ Max was coming round from one of his momentarily periods of blank inaction.

`How far are we from Grey’s, exactly?’ Isabel asked. We were all aware of a rather gaunt silence about us.

Kyle was squinting at the map again.

`We’re about forty miles from Westville – I think – we can avoid Wenatchee, but the roads are all minor – we’re a sitting duck if we go or not!’

`We could try and get as close to Bone Hill House and then abandon the van?’ Max spoke seemingly to himself, his hair to one side, so he looked like a sage, someone almost medieval. I wanted to nibble his neck, kiss the corners of his mouth, stick my lollipop in his nose.

`No Max!’ said Isabel. `Hate it as I do! I am not going cross-country in this weather; it would be madness! Kyle, help Jamie contact Brandon – let’s get moving – this waiting around is really beginning to get on my nerves!’

`Sure, Ok let’s try – Jamie?’ Max scrambled up, and with his head bent down, he came over to me. Michael climbed out the front seat to stretch his legs and warm up. Everyone started moving, stretching.

Max said softly, `Let Brandon know about the threat to the children. Perhaps he and Wilcox have come up with a theory about the doors, why you saw the library doors in the park, what Daniel is up to?‘ He touched my hand. It was a special gesture, something that moved me deeply.

`Liz is going to be fine, she is in good company.’ I said. He smiled slowly. He took the lollipop out of my mouth and put it into his. I saw Isabel’s eyebrow rise slightly as she walked about, stamping her feet to keep warm.
-------------------------

Kyle gave me a few useful instant tips on `How to Meditate in an Emergency’. Sit comfortably. Clear your mind. Think of an image or a place that is important to me `Preferably not Max’ he suggested. (Jesus!) And then bring Brandon into the picture, slowly, as you last remembered him. Try and think of him in some detail (that would not be hard!) and try and call his name. I did as I was told. It was hard concentrating because of the cold and because everyone was watching me. Michael kept making a stupid face and crossing his eyes.

Eventually I cleared my head of details (Max’s smell, the texture of his body, the way he snored slightly, his stubble, my mysterious tattoo, the sound of him pissing, the way he spat when he cleaned his teeth). Managing to sanitise a small space in my brain, I thought of a clearing – a sort of open pasture in woodland. The image wobbled and blurred slightly. Then it became incredibly clear. It seemed a familiar place, peaceful. I visualised myself standing in tall meadow grass – it was late May, perhaps early June. I thought of Brandon then, slowly, carefully, painting him in.

I then turned and saw Brandon standing close by but COMPLETELY NAKED, with a magnificent hard-on, a thick black rod of cock curved upward across a solid muscled lower stomach. He had a curious wide knotted belly button that made me go slightly weak at the knees (or was it the cold again?) He looked at me and at himself in surprise. He then laughed, flashing his white teeth at me. `Jamie!’

`Fucking hell!’ I shouted. I jumped and so did Kyle.

`What is it!’ he said, surprised.

`I’m not sure!’ I said, blushing like fucking crazy.

`Did you see anything?’ shouted Michael from the side door, `Did you call his name?’

did I fucking see anything!!!!!!


`Sort of! I mean, I think so. Jesus Kyle – I’m sorry about that –‘ but as I went to apologise again, I saw none other than Brandon, fully clothed, standing outside next to the Van. And when everyone jumped in surprise, I realised that they could see him as well.

Max came forward, beaming a triumphant smile. He ruffled up my hair.

`Well done baby!'

Brandon took stock of his new surroundings.

`Jamie?’ he said, his voice deep, surprised, as if he had not expected to arrive at all! He was older than when we had last seen him, about 27, with a fine black line of beard over his sculptured face. His dreadlocks were bunched in a massive ponytail. He was squeezed into a heavy, long coat and he was holding a teacup. He turned to Max and looked at him with such frank affection – and joy – that Max seemed taken aback, almost speechless. For a moment these two beautiful men – father and son – looked at each other. Then Brandon bowed low, respectfully.

`My lord.’

Max nodded at such allegiance.

Brandon turned to me. `You never cease to amaze me!’

I tried to look modest, but was secretly terrified that he had seen my mental image of him naked. I started to blush again.

`Are you under attack?’ Brandon asked, looking at Max, and then, lifting his head slightly, scanning the surrounding hills. Again, the silver-black sheen of the eyes sparkled, as if inside a lens refocused and adjusted.

`Daniel, the Valaen has made contact with us. He called us in the hotel. He claims we will never get to Bone Hill House!’ Max did not mention Daniel’s proposal.

`Can you take us there? I mean, can you do the instant travel bit?’ Michael asked this.

Max leaned against the van. The lollipop stuck in his mouth looked rather incongruous.

`Of course! And yet.’ Brandon paused, thinking hard. He then looked at Max carefully. `Yet there may be an opportunity here to kill Daniel once and for all.’

`Kill?’ said Max and myself together. Then Max said firmly, `No one is going to be killed!’ Brandon looked at him, his face complex.

`My Lord, if we do not kill Daniel when the opportunity arises, he will kill us. He will certainly kill you, and he will kill your children unless we outwit him! I understand your views, and I will do your bidding, but I must also advise you. Daniel is more dangerous than Davies, Davies is after all human.’

`Listen to him, Maxwell!’ said Michael firmly. `This bastard wants to abort your children!’

Max looked unhappily at me and then at Isabel.

`We didn’t choose this fight, Max.’ she said softly. There was a silence. Kyle kept his thoughts to himself.

`What do you have in mind?’ Max looked at Sevak, and then added, more thoughtfully, `Where is Davies, incidentally?’

` Davies is with the FBI, heading here from Seattle some way behind you. You should all know as well that there was a break-in at Bone Hill House early this morning –‘ The news startled everyone.

`Everyone is fine!’ Sevak added quickly – `I was about to come looking for you when, when I received Jamie’s’ he paused, his eyes bright, slightly flirtatious, `summons? Someone came into the library, probably through the Granolith. They tried to steal some of Grey’s medical notes and genetic information, and they also left this.’

Sevak put a large hand into his inside pocket, and fished out a paperback book, worn and creased with age. I could dimly make out the familiar orange spine of a penguin novel, probably from the late 1970s early 1980s.

`John Wyndham, The Midwitch Cuckoos. It contained a note to Grey demanding that he hand you all over to Davies and the Feds!’ Michael came forward, shaking his head. He took the book off Sevak and flicked to the opening page. He laughed in amazement, and then showed me a library stamp Property Of West Roswell High School, on the inside leaf.

`That’s too fucking weird!’ he whispered.

`What is?’ asked Max, `The book title? It’s the one Grey referred to when he was at Boston? With the babies?’

I nodded. `Yes – but it is also a book that you yourselves planted in the library in the original Roswellian Codex, when it was aimed at gaining Grey’s trust. Odd how now it is used for exactly the opposite purpose! In the codex, Liz suggested it.’

Sevak shrugged. `Davies-Maitland edited the codex, he knows that Grey’s second adventure started with it. He has clearly decided to follow this part of the time line for a reason.’

I felt a chill run over me. What of the first adventure? The one without Wilcox? What had that been like?

`But what does it mean?’ Isabel asked this with a sense of urgency.

`I have no idea, no idea at all’ Brandon said, slightly too candidly for my liking.

At that moment we were aware that three people, Daniel, and two men I had not seen before, were walking towards us.

`Time’s up’ said Michael, softly.
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