Haulden in Roswell (UC, ADULT) (Complete)

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Patroclus76
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Post by Patroclus76 » Sat Feb 24, 2007 5:21 pm

On the face of it, Daniel had not changed since our last encounter. Admittedly he looked a little blue around the gills, but I put that down to the –10 degree fucking wind chill, and the not so charming company he was evidently keeping these days. His two companions looked human enough but of course there was no way of knowing. After all, the guy who had been my gym partner was now the ringleader of the original Antarian conspiracy – and he was evidently here to kill or maim us! I felt rather pissed off by this thought. A few weeks ago I would, for instance, have shouted over something like `Hey, Daniel, how’s it going?’ or `Cold up here, isn’t it?’ Now he, and two complete strangers, were trying hard to kill me! Had it not been so bizarre and frightening it would have been fucking hysterical, like a snow bound western.

As the three approached, Michael, Max and Brandon stood forward slightly, attentive, like buck deer that have picked up a scent. Brandon whispered `Se’ie mia k sia kel!’* seemingly forgetting that no one else would understand him. Seeing Michael bristling with adrenalin always threatened to divert my own fight or flight resources in the wrong direction. Yet here was Max AND Brandon stoking up for a major showdown with the self-confidence of guys who know that – well – how can I put this – that size matters! Despite the gravity of the situation a fleeting, tantalizing image of Brandon’s erect cock flitted through my imagination, like a colorful butterfly innocently skipping between the lines of two approaching armies. And I thought of Max as well, naked, hot, lying next to me earlier, curled into sleep.

`Everyone get ready to move into the van quickly.’ Said Brandon, quietly, this time in english, although I was not sure whether he spoke these words or whether these words formed in my head. Everyone heard him. I saw my friends nod together.


Daniel stopped about ten feet from us. His two mates included the one who had whacked Michael out at the zoo. They looked in their mid twenties, well built, but slightly edgy, as if they were not sure what they were doing out here. They stayed back as Daniel came forward. He ignored me, and he ignored Max. Instead he looked straight at Brandon. Did he know who Sevak-Brandon was? He must, surely – these two had been fighting it out behind the scenes even as I first lusted over Max in the school gym two centuries ago! Isabel and Kyle were standing slightly behind me, so we formed a weirdly defensive shape of three, one and then two. I felt myself shaking slightly.

Daniel spoke in what I now recognised as the Seeth language, an angular, brittle flow of words that seem to stick for a while at the back of the nose. It was a language designed to spit out. There were a lot of curiously sharp M sounds (like Mac, Mek and Muk, and lots of razor Zaa words that bubbled around the ears for a while or whistled past like knives). Brandon’s face was expressionless throughout; Max’s attentive, while Michael looked mildly amused as if he might threaten to laugh at any moment.

Daniel spoke for a long time and then, nodding, turned around and walked away. I sensed a slight anti-climax. I was not the only one.

`Well?’ asked Michael impatiently, as they continued to walk away. `I take it they weren’t asking for directions back to Seattle!’

Brandon smiled at Michael and flashed his eyes.

`He reiterates his claim to Liz’s children, Michael. He has also informed us that we are now isolated from Bone Hill and also out of temporal sequence with the rest of the planet – which means...’

`We know what that means –‘ said Isabel, not unkindly. She was no doubt recalling the strange day in Roswell when the Skins attacked and isolated the town by using a temporal weapon. `So that’s why it’s so quiet.’

At that moment Daniel swung around and discharged a huge ball of white light at Brandon with immense force. It seemed to shatter normal space, as if it was ripping through a picture as it moved – leaving shards of black nothingness about it. Max, intuitively released a great wall of green energy, throwing it forward like a net, and Isabel and Michael both opened fire at the two companions. The pyrotechnics was astounding! The human to the right of Daniel staggered, pulled a gun, but exploded into bloody pieces immediately. The other one vanished. Daniel’s white ball snarled up in Max’s web, pushing it back, and then fragmenting into small spheres that swarmed over Brandon.

`What shall I do!’ screamed Max, as if into the teeth of a gale. Brandon, distracted, glowed brilliant blue, and then seemed suddenly to fracture, like an image on a TV screen moves out of focus, doubling and trebling up, fogged over by static.

`Disrupt the source, Max! I am being pushed out of time.’ Brandon gasped, clearly in difficulties. He whirled about with his arms, knocking away each individual discharge as they crowded over him.

`Beware of a mind warp!’ he added to Max, who in response fired a great line of power at Daniel, a vast crackling cord of electricity. Brandon struggled to retain his position. He was beginning to fade amid brilliant flashes around his head. I felt absolutely fucking useless. I was about to run at Daniel when I heard Brandon shout to me `Jamie, give me your hand!’

At that moment, the guy who had vanished re-appeared right in front of my fucking face – so close and so suddenyl I reeled back. Instinctively I punched hard into his groin and he doubled over. As I was about to consider my next move, Michael killed him dead with a massive, Zeus like stab of lightening that ripped his head open.

`Sorry!’ he shouted, as if he had overdone it slightly.

`Kyle!’ Brandon’s voice was breaking up, `Get away if you can – everyone – into the van!’

Amid the explosive fire, Kyle scrambled into the driving seat and started the engine. To give cover, Isabel and Max aimed an astounding bombardment at Daniel – multiple slabs and splinters of power –snow and ice was thrown skywards, steaming immediately. Yet Daniel seemed unmoved, even as Michael joined in. I forced my hand into Brandon’s and immediately became aware of the massive wedges of pain coursing through his body. I was also aware of something else – a huge heat on my chest, where the mysterious tattoo had appeared. It seared its heat into me. I screamed – a horrible animal sound – for the pain literally knocked me sideways.

`Fucking hell!’ I gasped. Inside my head, a black-red throbbing clouded all rational thought. Then I heard Brandon say simply:

`This will not work – let me go Jamie – I will think of something else – get away!’

The thought seemed definitive.

`I know who you ARE!’ I screamed the thought into Brandon’s head. `You are Max’s son! I will not leave you!’

`Meva k sia mien!’ said Brandon. His face was drenched with sweat. He looked up carefully, watching Daniel, through the fog of his agony. I thought I saw a look of panic, of concern, as if Brandon had been out manoeuvred. And then there was a massive explosion – right next to me or inside me– as if Brandon had gone up like a mine. Thrown clear, I saw Max, Michael and Isabel scatter as well. I also saw Daniel hit with the full force of the blast, thrown backwards, blood streaming from his eyes and his nose. He screamed now – something either in amazement and anger – and then all was darkness.

---------------

I came around almost immediately. On the floor was a dead man, surrounded by a pool of thick, steaming blood. Away from him lay what appeared to be the remains of another human being, hideously mutated. Isabel and Max were lifting me up, dragging me into the waiting van. There was no sign of Brandon or Daniel.

`What the fuck just happened, where is Sevak! Sevak!’ I shouted. Max held me tightly, forcing me to look into his face.

`Jamie they both vanished!’

`What!’ I tried to break free, but Max was too strong. `What are you saying?’

`Jamie, Jamie!’ I stopped, shattered, looking into Max’s brown, amber rimmed eyes. `

This is not helping me!’ he said quietly. He pulled me forward and hugged me, holding my head like one does a baby. `We have to get away!’

`Is he dead?’ I asked. Max did not answer, `Max!’ but he was pulling me into the van.

Michael was the last to climb on board, looking about, gathering intelligence, eyes sharp and angry. He slammed the door, shouting `Go, go go!’ Kyle revved the engine up to avoid stalling and swung the van around, back towards the road. People – real, normal people, were running towards us. Normal time seemed to have been restored. We skidded and stuck at one stage, as several bullets whizzed passed us.

`Shit where’s that coming from!’ shouted Max, as loose snow spouted about us.

`Feds probably, but hey the phones are working’ said Isabel, adjusting her hair. We had made the main road.

`Get us back on the interstate’ commanded Max. Michael was trying to call Wilcox.

`Jamie?’ Kyle’s voice sounded unsure. `Everything ok? Keep concentrating, be careful of a mind warp! It only takes one of us to break it!’

`OK ! I think everything is ok – ‘ but where was Brandon! How could he be dead! I became aware that my face and neck were covered in blood. Was this real? Were we under attack, or had Daniel assaulted our minds? Yet before I could say anything Michael said quietly, almost to himself, and in a tone almost of defeat,

`Now what the fuck is this!’

I looked forward.

It is hard describing what we saw. Ahead of us the road curved dramatically upwards, as an image does on a curved mirror. And yet the curve receded from us even as we approached it, like an optical illusion. At the same time, the road seemed to widen and the light to fade.

`Max, what should I do – should we stop?’ shouted Kyle, close to panic, but even as we spoke, a massive force pulled the van forward and upwards at great speed. Isabel screamed, as we started to turn and fall about as if in free-fall. Max crawled forward, amid falling bags and cases, trying to get up front, shouting: .

`Kyle! Turn into the skid, man!! Turn into it!’ But we were not skidding. We were no longer on a road. And even Michael was screaming now, for in one sickening moment, the side door of the van was torn off, revealing a gaping hole, tattered like a wound, with bits of metal and insulation flapping about. And through it we saw, unmistakably and without doubt, the blue-white curve of the Earth and beyond, the vast blackness of space! The van seemed to rotate.

`Fucking hell!’ I shouted, catching Max just in time as he stumbled and started to fall down. Several boxes and odd belongings literally fell into space and streamed behind us. It was Earth definitely, I caught sight of Africa, cloud wreathed, set in the vast azure blue of the south Atlantic.

`Where the fuck are we!’ Kyle abandoned any pretence of driving.

`What the fuck is going on!’.

`We’re in space!’ gasped Isabel. `But how are we breathing! How can we have air?’

`All of us, concentrate!’ Max shouted. `Isabel, Michael, this is a mind warp! It has to be! Jamie, Kyle, you must help me break it!’ but even as he spoke the van literally began to break apart under the sheer stress of being pulled forward at immense speeds. The roof snapped opened and Michael’s passenger door crumpled away, sucking him out into the abysses. Isabel followed as the back gave way, and one by one, we fell into the void, arms and legs forced back, careening over the rind of blue-white ozone.

We lay suspended, and yet falling, at great speed, streaking across the face of the blue, cloud speckled Earth. I had never seen anything so brilliant, so utterly luminous, so radiant with life! Yet when I looked away I saw that the van was a ball of debris, breaking up into sparks and fire, like a meteor shower, and we were strung about it, tiny and alone, like broken beads. I saw Max, his arms and legs out stretched, trying to catch hold of his sister. I tried to shout his name, to shout my great love to him before the end, but I could say nothing. I had no voice.

I looked again at the Earth, so beautiful and immense. This vision was a revelation to me, like the face of God. And yet even as I looked I noticed that we were falling between it, and another, inverted, mirrored disc, something dark red, but oddly the exact size of the Earth itself. There were two planets co-joined, utterly different: one was blue, a watery world of vapour and air, the other was dry, desiccated, immensely old, like a vast tomb! And I knew it was Antar. I knew instinctively I was looking at the two worlds that made up Max’s universe. The scale of the vision was indescribable. And yet as we spiralled towards the horizons of these two worlds, toward the centre of this mysterious conjunction of the two planets, there also appeared the vast, massive doors of the Granolith, an immense ghostly outline superimposed in such a way that the two spheres appeared as decorations on the panels of two great slaps of stone.

And then they started to open.

As they opened a great line of brilliant light appeared, stabbing through space, sending shadows over the Earth, and over Antar, over the seas and the deserts respectively, a wall of brilliant lazer whiteness. We were falling into the doors. We were going to die. There would be no children born, there would be no Bone Hill Accords, there would be nothing. We were cocooned in color, as we rushed towards our fiery, angry deaths, burning up like stars. As the galactic doors widened, I sensed I was looking into Hell itself.

The Gates to Hell.

I turned away, lazily almost, like a leaf swirls and turns in a breeze, I wanted to close my eyes as the end approached. Yet as I turned away, looking up into the great racing shadows about us strobed with speed, I saw a naked man, his legs together, his arms stretched out to either side of him, as if he was preparing to dive. Black cords of dread locked hair swirling about his muscled, contoured shoulders and he seemed immense, huge, like a statue. I squinted, the harsh brilliant light of the opening Granolith made it almost impossible to gauge the vast, nauseous distances around us. I forced my eyes to open.

It was Brandon, blue, from head to foot, radiant and a glow, as if he was made from molten metal. As his name took shape in my mind, he brought his arms together about his head, and then plunged passed us – through us – and then we all saw him open his arms wide again beneath us, a human crucifix, silhouetted against the doors, slowing his speed, utterly black against the opening chasm. He stretched out his hands, reaching out to bar their opening. He seemed to stay, suspended for an eternity, and then slowly, slowly, the doors stopped, the spear of light began to thin and they began to swing back to a close.

Brandon curved his head and arms back, in some vast exertion as if trying to slow his fall. Something appeared to tear through his back. As the light dimmed I saw him beneath me, I saw his upper back blooded and torn and I felt Sevak scream with pain. I screamed as well. The pain tore through me as I saw two huge black wings burst forth from his shoulder blades and spread out on either side, vast, intricate structures, white hot, weeping fire. He swept them down around him, to help break his fall, and we all slowly caught up with him. Tears were streaming down my face, and yet I saw as I came close to him, to the vast shadowed wings of bone and feathers, that it was not Brandon, it was no Sevak – it was Max.

We came to scattered about the van. We had not even left the hotel car park. Kyle was crouching next to me, vomiting with shock and exhaustion. Michael was next to him, his eyes raw as if he had been sobbing. I looked about me, slowly, as one looks up after a crash or an accident. Next to me was a dead body of an alien, flat, its head missing. Isabel was leaning against the van, holding her head. And Max – Max was standing, his clothes torn and his face bruised, looking at the alien body in horror. And between Max’s legs, clinging to his thighs, was a child – a boy – sobbing wildly.

------------
*`You must always look Death between the eyes'
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Patroclus76
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Post by Patroclus76 » Mon Mar 05, 2007 6:03 am

For a while Max seemed oblivious to everything, to me, to his friends, to the child between his legs. He was looking at the headless alien, his face pale, a thin pencil line of blood drawn from his nose down to his lips and chin. His hair, tasselled and knotted, lay thrown forward as if he had been dropped from a great height. There seemed to be marks – bruises – on his cheek. I walked – stumbled – towards him. He was in shock, bewildered. He looked like he’d come down from a really intense and unpleasant trip.

`Max? Max!’ My own voice seemed to come from a long way away, like an echo. Max fixed his eyes on me but they were out of focus, his pupils dilated. I put my hands onto his face and looked at him. For a moment he seemed not to recognise who I was, and then suddenly he looked down at the child, peering up at him tentatively, as if unsure whether Max was a friend or a foe.

`Jamie?’ His voice was unsteady. Max looked again at me.

I smiled, weakly, my eyes watering. Then Max turned, and in one feline movement, picked up the boy by his shoulders and up into his arms. Only then did I realise that the child was naked and evidently very cold.

`It’s ok, it’s fine – ‘ Max whispered paternally, and turning, still unsteady on his feet, walked to the van. Michael, shaking himself awake, looked up in amazement.

`What the fuck just happened!’ he said to no one in particular. His clothes were torn, and his head was cut slightly.

`I have no idea’ whispered Kyle. Max put the child down on the back seat and then took off his leather coat and wrapped it about – Brandon? Was this Brandon? The child – wide-eyed, angelic, shivered and drew Max’s gift around him like a cloak.

`Did you see?’ Isabel said quietly. She was, or had been, crying. `Did you see what I saw?’ she looked about us. Without speaking we were all aware that we had seen the same thing – the vast expanse of space, the mirrored image of Earth and Antar, the falling angel. A prophecy? I closed my eyes and felt the giddy spectacle before me again, pregnant with meaning.

`Max? Did you see?’ Isabel sounded insistent, as if she was still troubled. No one could speak. The enormity of the vision made our throats tighten.

`We all saw’ said Max, in disbelief.


Eventually, Max spoke to the boy. He spoke carefully, just his name, as if he was a foreigner or a stranger. The boy stared and then he touched Max’s cheek, tracing it down to his lips. He touched the blood tentatively, but gently. There was a soft, candescent glow and the wound was healed. Max smiled and whispered

`Thank you.’

`Is this Sevak?’ Michael seemed to have regained his senses; he shuffled forward and stood next to his King, his captain. The boy looked from Max to Michael with wide, ironic eyes.

`I think it is – somehow – how old do you suppose he is?’ the question seemed aimed at Isabel.

`He must be about six? Six or seven?’

`Can he speak?’ persisted Michael, waving his hands in front of the boy’s eyes as if he was having a medical examination.

`Hey you’ll frighten him!’ said Max softly. Michael pulled a face and then looked back to wear the alien body was oozing black blood into the snow.

`Is that Daniel?’ he asked casually.

`I have no idea –. ‘ Kyle walked over and squatting down, looked carefully at the remains. We all still felt disorientated, almost jet lagged.

`Jamie? What do you think just happened?’ Isabel asked. All the time the boy stared at Max.

`Come on Science Officer, hypothesize!’ said Michael, eventually, slapping my arm. I pursed my lips.

`All of what we saw was a mind warp – everything from the moment when Daniel came towards us, to from when Brandon seemed to explode. Afterwards we were in some sort of illusion. Somehow Brandon saved us, he came back, but the cost has been to throw him back in time?’ I was speaking carefully. `I have noticed he has had trouble fixing himself in terms of human age generally?’ I asked, partly to myself.

Looking back towards Kyle I was suddenly aware that there was human blood everywhere – scarlet splashes in the snow – it looked like there had been a massacre. How long until people from the hotel noticed? And were we safe?

`We had better move, Max – I mean the feds might be behind us – who was shooting earlier?’ Max seemed lost in thought again.

Then the boy spoke. He said to Max.

`Is it now?’

Max frowned, and stroked the boy’s head affectionately. `I don’t understand?’

`Is it now?’ he repeated. The boy spoke with a curious accent. He then looked at me, and the way he looked at me seemed to stop my heart. The look of recognition in the boy’s face made my face glow.

`Jamie!’ he said, in simple affirmation. Max grinned, and turning to me, winked.

The child reached out and, resting briefly on Max’s arm, stepped out of the van in his coat and waded towards me. He took my hand, ignoring my bewildered shrug, and marched me over to Kyle. Max’s coat trailed behind him, as if he was dressing up, or performing in a pantomime.

`Is this Daniel?’ I asked Brandon. `Is this iwhat Daniel looks like?’

The body was elongated and grey, wrapped in a tissue like cloth that was either flesh or some very fine form of material. The limbs were reed like, and almost translucent.

`A Valaen?’ I ventured, trying to get some form of response. Had not Wilcox told me that the Valaen’s were the most human of the Antarian races? The corpse in front of us seemed utterly alien – and where was the head? Everyone gathered around.

`He is not a Valaen.’ said the child with beautiful simplicity. `It would appear that Daniel was a Renegade Seeth. A deception within a deception.’ Brandon looked up at me. `Jamie – the codex – remember the codex?’

`Yes?’ I said, a slight trace of panic in my voice. Which bit? But I was saved by Isabel who suddenly, in a half scream, gasped `Oh my god! Max!’

`What!’ He sounded alarmed, but Michael and I had already worked it out.

`It’s Khi’var!’ Isabel squatted down in the snow. `Oh my god!'

`Daniel was Khi’var?’ I said, looking at Brandon for an explanation. `Shit! But –‘ what about the ships on route to Earth! I felt a tight knot of panic in my throat again.

`Jesus! Is Seeth Sia Ova coming without the head? Is she coming at all?’ I looked at Michael urgently

`How can you tell it's Khi'var?’ asked Max, looking at us all in turn.

`I can tell!’ spat Isabel decisively, with cold malice.

`Well in that case’ said Michael slowly, to me, `it looks like Seeth Sia Ova will arrive without the head!’

`SO what about the key? This wasn’t suppose to happen like this!’ I said rather pedantically.

Max looked utterly mystified. `What are you two talking about!’

`Max, it’s a long story – it's about what happened before, in the codex. Seeth Sia Ova comes to Earth having killed Kh'ivar, and having hidden the key to the Granolith in his head! She presents it to you in Bone Hill House as a token that the war is over!'

`She, she does?' said Max softly.

`Dead!.’ Said Brandon, in his high child’s voice. `Mei K’ ein ava Kar*!’ and the boy turned and marched to the van. He clambered on board and then glanced back at us. `We must get to Bone Hill House, I believe I have many of the answers we have been looking for!’ He was shivering slightly; his dark skin blotched with cold. `I am too weak to transport us – we must drive – the Feds will be here with Davies in a few minutes!’

We had entirely forgotten about Davies.

Max was still looking at the body. `Where is the head? Why has someone removed the head? Jamie, Michael, what does it mean?’

`I have sent the head to Antar!’ shouted Brandon back at us with great glee. `Hurry now, we must drive – we must drive like the wind!’ and he smiled a brilliant white smile.

I looked at Michael in disbelief. `How? How did you do that!' but Brandon was showing signs of impatience, and we were nudged forward by the distant sound of a helicopter.


---------------------

Once inside, Brandon wanted Max to hold him. He seemed shy of Isabel. Seeing him in his father’s arms brought me close to tears – did he know – could Max not sense it? The van started and lurched forward. I closed my eyes and recalled the sense of it disintegrating, of it breaking up all around us. Max kissed the top of the boy’s head. He looked up at me and blew a kiss.

`Remind me never ever to smoke weed again!’ I said definitively, `I have had enough hallucinations to last a life time!’ Kyle laughed, tutting slightly.

`Hallucinations?’ asked Brandon as we made the interstate. I did not like the implication of his question. And then I I felt an odd sense of elation. I asked curiously.

`What is the length of the tropical year on Earth, Brandon? Equinox to equinox?’

Brandon smiled slowly, as if I was proposing a game. `365.25 days.’

`And the mean orbital velocity of the Earth?’

`66,000 miles per hour!’

`What is the mass of the earth?’

Brandon narrowed his eyes carefully. `6, 600 million, million, million tonnes.’

`And the polar diameter?’

`That's easy! 7,900 miles!’ he laughed and clapped his hands. `With an obliqueness of 1/298th from the equatorial diameter!’

`Very clever – one final stab - what is the mean escape velocity of the rotating Earth?’

`7 miles per second’

I was aware that everyone was watching us.

`And Antar?’

Brandon’s face grew serious.

-------------------------
*Brandon says `Dead and headless' in Antarian seeth, but punned on headless, which also means crownless - without power.
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Post by Patroclus76 » Sun Mar 11, 2007 1:32 pm

I stopped my combined hard cop, soft cop interrogation routine. It seemed a bit showy and vaguely shocking. Shocking because finally, in some sort of random way the penny dropped about the whole prophecy thing – to use a colloquial, or more precisely, I finally understood part of the vision! I felt like the guy who had worked out the answer to a midterm a week before he sat it! And I must have looked vaguely post-coital because Max was frowning in that staggeringly beautiful, sunlight on water way, that only he could frown in. Brandon had dropped his eyes and was looking puzzled and a little vague. Isabel and Michael were looking blankly at me as if I had just sung an aria. Or rather, as if Brandon had just sung an aria, which in a way of course, he had! In fact he had just sung an entirely new form of song altogether!

`Whatever.’ Michael sniffed loudly, and shook his head like a horse ready to lead a stampede. Kyle started the van and we resumed our journey. This journey was real of course, as opposed to the first one, which was an illusion – or was it? The Boy Brandon had implied that somehow, in some complex way, it might have been real? The possibility that we had actually experienced those events made my head lurch. We drove off in silence. No one asked any more questions – they seemed impossible to articulate, and equally impossible to answer. What was the meaning of all this? My brain ached. Once the fear of pursuit lessened, a huge exhausting drowsiness overcame me. My head nodded and swayed forward. I think I might even have dribbled. I was aware sometimes of Michael looking at me, as if he was trying to project some question at me. I loved his eyes like this, rather cruel and yet ironic. I smiled once, to reassure him, and he smiled back. For the first time in many years I thought he looked tired, drawn. We sat looking at each other, unabashed, lost in our respective thoughts. He, like me, was thinking about the vision earlier.

Brandon eventually fell asleep, sitting on his father’s lap, face buried on Max’s shoulder, with Max’s pectoral for a cushion. Max too seemed to sleep, although beneath his thick eyelashes there was a glint of life, a ghostly wet glimmer. Isabel was looking out of the window, her face expressionless, like one still in denial or working out a seating plan for a very complex dinner party. What was she thinking? Was she thinking, as I was, that Daniel had been a Seeth, disguised as a Valaen? And he had not just been any Seeth, but actually Kh’ivar himself! (or was that herself? Were not Seeth female at this age?). I thought of the original codex. How had Khi’var managed to get here? What was happening back on Antar? When Seeth Sia Ova finally overwhelms the Monastery of Eqbatana, what does she find? That Khi’var has gone? And if so, how can the war come to an end if the main instigator has escaped? I felt panic growing within in me, snaking up from the pit of my stomach. Then I thought of Brandon’s simple, glittering statement: `I have sent the head back to Antar’ as if he had simply returned a letter or a parcel! Why? How? To ensure that some of the old time line was salvaged? To ensure that the war on Antar would be concluded, and that Seeth Sia Ova would come to Earth as the emissary? That the logic of our lives would unfold as it should? I closed my eyes wearily and watched the landscape slide past.


We drove up through the broken hills; snow piled and iced high on either side of the road. It was a brilliant, brittle landscape, wild and deserted, as if we have climbed onto the roof of the world and found it empty, newly made. What settlements and villages we passed through were few and far between, drawn down low into steep valleys, inhospitable, their backs to us. The van labored and spluttered up the inclines, amid the silence of pines and watchful evergreens. After the events of the morning it seemed weirdly anti-climactic. Eventually we picked up signs for Wenatchee, and headed to the north-west of it, through narrow roads untouched by plough or gritter. Twice we got stuck. Finally, around noon, we came to a high point where signs pointed to Roosevelt Lake, and beneath it, we spied a small finger post saying Bone Hill Estate. It was rather spooky seeing the name there – a sense of destiny hung about us, as gaunt and expectant as the landscape. We gave a collective sigh of relief. Just past the sign Kyle pulled off the road under black, dripping trees. `I need a piss, guys, sorry!’

`I do as well’ said Michael, `Jamie?’

`No, I’m fine man, thanks.’ I was again hungry beyond words – breakfast seemed as remote as the last century.

`You sure?’ he said with that weird look tattooed onto his forehead ads if I had given the wrong response to a multiple-choice question.

`Of course I’m fucking sure –‘ and then I managed to translate the subliminal message being beamed at me, eyelash by eyelash. `Oh wait a minute, I think I do, actually?’

Max looked at me with mild suspicion.

We walked over to a ditch, and rather typically stood in line, each fumbling at our flies.

`Aim away, aim away!’ said Kyle, referring to some incident long ago.

`So what are you thinking, Jamie? What with the twenty question routine earlier?’ Michael sounded serious, thoughtful. He added cautiously, `Was that Max?’ He peeled out his cock, pulling on it slightly like one pulls a cord on an outboard engine.

`Yeah, it was Max eventually. With the wings!’ it seemed incredible. Kyle looked up.

`So what were you getting at Jamie, I mean, apart from revealing Brandon is a child genius?’ Kyle arched his piss artistically away against a tree, like a fireman playing into the heart of a blaze.

`Well – Brandon’s answers were entirely correct – for Earth , but also I think for Antar! In the vision we saw Earth and Antar are mirror images.'

Michael frowned and then relaxed, and started hosing lines into the snow. I felt an evil hardon start and dry up my piss straight away.

`You mean Antar has all the same physical attributes as Earth? Mass, size?’

`Yes in effect they are the same – they’ll be differences, such as albedo, because of the apparent lack of surface water on Antar.’

`Albedo?’ Kyle had finished and was adjusting his trousers.

`The reflectivity of a non-luminous body’ put in Michael. `Earth’s is what? Less than 0.5?’

I grinned at him. `0.39 darling, to be precise, but very good! Antar’s would be much higher, about 5.3’
He stuck his tongue out at me. I liked patronising him. It made his eyes flash and his lips thin and sharp.

`But what does such a similarity mean?’ Kyle had half turned and was looking at the van in the clearing. Through the open side door we could see Max and Isabel talking.

`I think it means that Earth and Antar are twin planets. There is a connection between them, and I think we shall find that there is a connection between the Seeth, their creation of the races of Antar, and human evolution on Earth. They are linked through the Seeth, through Max somehow.’ I saw again the image of the angel, wings wide, holding back the doors and the great discs of Earth and Antar to either side, identical, emblematic.

`And this prophecy malarkey? Is it about Max or about Brandon – who is, as you suspected, Max’s future son.’ Michael had turned also. It was only a question of time until Max sensed he was being talked about.

`I am not sure. I mean, I think the answers lie on the doors to the library, and in the painting – the tomb – Max was sent back here for a purpose?’

`To have children?’ Kyle suggested tentatively. `We know that already’.

`Yes, but also to – ‘ I tried to think of a word that would be appropriate, that would somehow slot into place. `To restore Antar.’ I looked at Michael. `Have you ever wondered why, in all the endless planets throughout the galaxy the Seeth sent you all to Earth? Why and how they had come to get involved here?’

`Yeah of course, loads of times! And you were saying last night that you think the Seeth want to be human, somehow.’

`I think it’s probably more than that: I think the Seeth were human, once long ago, perhaps in legend. I think they originated from Earth.’

`What!’ Kyle frowned, his blue eyes glinting in the sunlight. `Do you have any evidence of that at all?’

Max was looking at us. I waved at him, as if we had not seen each other for ages. I had finally recalled the missing parts of the Codex that had earlier eluded me.

`When Grey re-examined the genetic data, the day of the argument between Isabel and her mother, he discovered that the base sequences he had taken to be entirely alien, the ones he had first encountered in Boston, were in fact the same as early amino acids found in ancient humanoid remains on Earth. The Seeth returned to Earth to effectively find the necessary genetic fix, but not by randomly finding it, but by returning to their point of origin, to the home of their ancestors.’

There was an ominous silence.

Michael started to walk away slowly. He then noticed I was still standing with my cock out.

`You ok, you want a hand with that?’

`Michael! I obviously didn’t want to pee at all!’

Kyle still looked bemused. `But what does that mean, Jamie?’

`I am not entirely sure yet. It might be that Earth was forgotten, perhaps deliberatelyand that somehow, either though prophecy or time travel, some of the Seeth remembered it or rediscovered it as their home? It might be that somehow to restore the Seeth genome after the Era of Experiments, Earth and Antar had to be brought into alignment, somehow – or, perhaps, Earth was Antar, just as the Seeth had once been human?’

`Fucking hell Jamie, you’re giving me a headache!’ Michael stomped off.


`All done?’ asked Isabel, her voice laced with sarcasm.

`Yes, Jamie failed the test – I still have the longest aim point of all us!’

`And why is that men always urinate in groups?’

`It’s the pack instinct!’ Michael climbed into the driving seat `I’ll drive for a bit, Kyle!’

Kyle sat down next to me and then jumped slightly. He had sat on something. He rummaged about and produced a disposable camera, the cardboard covering slightly dented. `Hey look! Hey, there’s some film left in it!’

`There is?’ asked Max. `Perhaps we should have a photograph to celebrate the death of Khi’var – if he really is dead of course?’

`And if he really is Khi’var?’ I added. Kyle stood out into the snow again, clicking the camera forward.

`Come on, come on!’ We stepped out, Isabel complaining, Max carefully holding Brandon who was still deeply asleep. As we lined up, Isabel and Michael, Max and myself, a great wall of sunlight rolled out across the van. I looked up at Max, blinking, past the small pale white soles of Brandon’s feet sticking out the side of Max’s arm and felt my love all around us. He made a coy expression.

`Isabel – for fuck’s sake – smile!’ She smiled, the camera clicked, and then both Michael and I gasped and looked at each other.

`Fucking weird’ we both said.

`Of course it won’t be exactly the same picture’ I said, in awe.

We drove on and as the day wore away we came to a narrow road heavy with trees and an ornate gate house, set back, gloomy and baronial, with snow heavy on the lintels. Kyle initially drove past it, until Isabel shouted for him to stop. Brandon, awake and eager to get back, confirmed with glee that this was Bone Hill House.

`It’s a bit small?’ suggested Michael, until he was told this was just the lodge. Max scrambled about the ivy and found a relatively new electronic buzzer. He rang it. After a while Liz’s voice came out, excited but anxious. When Max announced us she screamed in delight. I saw his face light up when he heard her. With a soft click, the doors opened and Kyle swung the van in. In front of us a great treed over drive snaked away into the descending gloom. Brandon was jumping up and down, excited. Max, infected by Brandon’s enthusiasm, was peering to catch a glimpse of House.

`Where is it, Jamie?’ he grasped my shoulder, and then, putting his arm around my neck, pulled me towards him, cheek to cheek, looking out.
`I have never seen it, I mean not like this!’ And as I said that, as I thought how odd that sounded, the trees thinned and the road, rising between snowy lichen walls, turned upward and there – drawn out across the horizon – was a vast array of turrets and mullioned windows, all stained red in the receding sunlight. The sight literally took my breath away. It seemed both vast and ancient, and utterly beautiful, the honey yellowed stone dark and forbidding.

`Fucking hell!’ Michael exclaimed, leaning down and craning his neck through the window. Isabel simply said `Good grief!’ And then Brandon, impishly jumping over his father, said somewhat incongruously,

`And so it begins again!’
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Post by Patroclus76 » Sat Mar 17, 2007 2:10 pm

Forgive indulgence, but before we enter the final course of HiR, a rather long and complex summary might be useful. This will be in two parts. Here is the first part. I will post the other quickly.




The Roswellian Codex I (Bone Hill House) is set in 2055 A.D, and consists of a series of flashbacks. It begins with a communication from the Attorney General – Henry Maitland - to the President of the US Federated Territories – a future version of the US – stating that the Supreme Court has agreed to publish a series of documents known as the Roswell Codex. The world in which the Codex is to be published is one in which Earth and Antar are in close alliance, in which Earth is assisting in healing the scars caused by the Antarian Wars, and helping to mediate with divisions between the various Antarian races. In return, Antar has provided massive scientific and technological assistance to an Earth divided into three main power blocks, with the European Federation and the US Federated Territories running a new variant of the cold war.

There has been controversy over publishing the Codex because of possible security issues concerning the founding of the Earth-Antar Alliance, the so-called Bone Hill Protocols, signed in 2006. The compromise is that the Codex will be published with certain omissions. In the absence of Max, who has been missing since 2044-5 AD, Maitland agrees to oversee the editing of the code to defend Grey’s privacy. Presumed dead, Max vanished in a space flight accident in the Antarian system. There were rumours that he was involved in some sort of discovery before the crash. Many believe he is not dead but in hiding.

The Codex consists of the journals and diaries of eminent scientist and geneticist, Professor Julian Grey, and concerns his encounter with Max et al. in the spring of 2006, following Liz’s discovery that she is pregnant. The pregnancy is unusual in that the development of the foetus is massively accelerated. In one of his rare communications with his ex-wife, Jesse Remeris, advises them to seek out Grey, who lives a solitary life in a vast House in Washington State. Grey worked on a secret cloning experiment in Boston from 2002-3 involving, unbeknown to him, four of the children that Max had previously cured of cancer in Phoenix, Arizona.

The children were sent to Grey’s institute when they began demonstrating unusual powers following their recovery. Grey discovers that the children containan alien DNA sequence hybridised with human DNA, (although he had no knowledge as to why). Before he can conclude his own research, the FBI take over the experiments and create clones of the children and then cross-bred the genetic material in an attempt to produce a pure alien genotype. Yet the foetuses age rapidly and – because of their extraordinary alien powers – have to be destroyed along with many people working at the facility. Grey objects, but is threatened and forced to close down. Remeris acts as Grey’s lawyer in is attempt to save his research, and through this, gets to know of Grey’s expertise and his personal vulnerabilities. The project is code named the Midwich Cuckoos, after the 1950s science fiction novel by John Wyndham.

Guilt ridden, and ashamed of his earlier involvement with the Feds, Grey retires to Washington State where he is soon widowed. It is here that the gang approach him in early 2006. In a critical meeting with Max, Grey agrees to examine Liz to see if the child she is carrying is suffering from the same conditions he diagnosed in the Boston babies. More vaguely, he also agrees to see if he can help modify Max and the hybrids to make them `human’ to allow them to live a normal life. Hindered somewhat by Wilcox, Grey’s butler and inherited handyman, who Michael distrusts and feels is spying on them, Grey identifies that Liz is in fact carrying twins, one human and the other Antarian.

Grey further discovers on examining Max’s DNA that it is highly unusual, and distinct even from his sister and Michael. Something too appears to have altered Liz’s DNA to facilitate inter species procreation. Finally, Grey realises that, somewhat prophetically, Liz has managed to produce exactly what the Boston experiments set out to achieve: a pure alien - but will the results be as equally catastrophic? As the Feds close in, a decision as to how to proceed with the births in the difficult conditions of Bone Hill House is avoided by the sudden arrival of the Antarian Seeth, Seeth Sia Ova, and a fleet of Antarian ships, as an emissary from Antar looking for Max, and more importantly, looking for the Antarian child that is about to be born.

Seeth Sia Ova had news that Liz was mostly likely to mate with Max, and thus bear his children, because of the return of Ava (Tess) to Antar with Max’s child and information extracted from her during the examination of her son by Khi’var. On reaching Earth, Seeth Sia Ova presents to Max not only the severed head of Khi’var, who has been finally defeated, but also reveals the news that the sending of the hybrids to Earth was part of a complex plan to restore the Antarian Seeth race, following the disastrous and unforeseen consequences of genetic engineering practice by the Science Guild during the Era of Experiments, which has produced sterility and rapid aging. The Antarian child is thus the acidentally successful outcome of a long genetic project to save the Seeth from extinction.

Seeth Sia Ova reveals that the Seeth created the Skins (the Shalloth) and the other races of Antar in a highly structured, hierarchical society, before engulfing the planet and Imperium in a bloody race war that led to Kh’ivar’s betrayal and the death of the royal four. In seeking to make recompense, Seeth Sia Ova volunteered to lead the peace mission to Earth, and is herself undergoing trial for war crimes. Back on Antar, the Seeth and the Shalloth co-exist uneasily during a brittle peace. Despite initially siding with Khi'var, the Shalloth supported Seeth Sia Ova's coup but remain anxious.

The children are born, and somewhat mysteriously, the rapid aging does not manifest itself for reasons that initially confuse Grey and his now Antarian accomplice, Seeth Sia Ova. After a complex and elaborate re-birthing, Seeth Sia Ova proposes that the Antarian child return with Max and Grey to Antar, in order to establish peace and to involve Earth in the restoration of government. Grey goes along with this, realising the opportunities this opens for his research, but also out of a deep attachment to Max and the children. The Antarian child is named Seeth Sia Om, a beautiful, bejewelled creature that represents the greatness of the Restored Seeth, and the human child is called Julian Evans, after the Professor.

Just prior to their departure, Seeth Sia Ova reveals to Professor Grey that, hidden inside the head of Khi’var is a crystalline key to a giant Granolith. Seeth Sia Ova also informs Grey that following the defeat and murder of Khi’var, in the ancient fastness of Eqbatana, architectural plans were found concerning the construction of Bone Hill House, indicating that Khi’var had dealings with it prior to the arrival of Max. Unclear exactly where the Granolith has been hidden, and anxious to prevent it being made operational for either temporal or spatial travel, Seeth Sia Ova charges Grey with the task of looking after the key. Grey suggests however, that the time paradox implied by Khi’var’s knowledge of Bone Hill House, has already happened and that they will fail to prevent it being activated.

The two agree to keep this a complete secret, known only to themselves; and set a careful watch. Grey trusts Seeth Sia Ova, but is bemused to find the Seeth often wandering about the vast House on her own, looking for something. He is also surprised to find Wilcox often wandering the great halls looking for something as well. Grey is further troubled by a discovery that Seeth DNA appears to be proto-humanoid, implying that the Seeth originated from Earth, and he is also bothered by a sinister painting he discovers in a high, abandoned gallery of Bone Hill House, which he believes depicts an abandoned tomb.

RC I ends with Max, Om, and Grey returning Antar to begin the reconstruction of the planet. On Earth, following a global summit held on the Bone Hill Estates, various Earth governments recognise Antar and sign a series of Protocols. The Shalloth agree that the Seeth can restore themselves through cloning Om, but after this, the genetic technology that was used to make such work possible will be dismantled. Earth agrees to act as guarantor of such a deal.

RC II (Antarian Conspiracy) begins again in 2055, and follows the immediate consequences of the publication of the Codex. The Codex has caused some concern on Antar, and has resulted in Julian Evans, now Earth Ambassador to his father’s Home World, returning to discuss with President Sayyid Quarishi, how to assure the Antarians, especially the Shalloth, that issues concerning the race wars will be dealt with sensitively.

The publication of the Codex has also once again excited rumours that Max was involved in some sort of conspiracy before he vanished. Julian also informs his President (and ex-lover) that the Shalloth are unhappy about the restoration of the Seeth, fearing it will lead to their own re-enslavement. The President is further troubled by a strange question by the Antarian Ambassador to Earth, Heleq Marva, who after reading the codex, asks her whether Seeth Sia Ova, present at Grey’s death in 2018, ever gave anything to him before the end? The Ambassador seems quite insistent, and investigations reveal that the Ambassador has made several unofficial visits to Bone Hill House since Grey's death.

The President asks Julian to look into the matter. In the meantime, she contacts Michael, who was also with Grey at the moment of his death, and Michael informs her that just before he died Grey asked for a painting from an abandoned room. He alleged he wanted to see if the painting `had changed’. Ordering the surviving Roswellians (Liz, Maria, Kyle and Michael) to Bone Hill House (which is now a museum) it is discovered that the painting, long guarded by Grey, is none other than a picture of Tess’ departure to Antar. The President is deeply shaken and puzzled by this revelation. Shortly after this visit Liz and Om go missing. Forensic evidence from the painting reveal that it contains finger prints of Max and Om, but since Max and Liz lived on in Bone Hill House after Grey’s death, it is not clear exactly what this means.

Meanwhile, in the course of his investigations, Julian travels back to Antar to seek an audience with Seeth Sia Ova. Now very old (even by Antarian standards, nearly 1.000 years), Seeth Sia Ova has retired to Eqbatana. Despite initial difficulties with the Antarian authorities, Julian gets permission to see her, and is informed by her that just before his death, Grey handed back the key to the Granolith as well as a complete copy of his codex, both of which Seeth Sia Ova has kept hidden. Shockingly though, Julian is also informed that a raiding party, appearing inside Eqbatana itself, has recently stolen the key and activated the Granolith and gone back in time. Julian is also informed of the true nature of his father’s disappearance – Max has travelled back in time, following the discovery of a secret laboratory on Antar which contained temporal weaponry designed by the Shalloth during the late war. The laboratory also contained further evidence that a conspiracy existed to either kill Liz or somehow prevent the birth of her children. The story of the crash was a ruse.

On the edge of death, Seeth Sia Ova futher reveals that there is a conspiracy on Antar, implicating Henry Maitland and other members of various US administrations, as well as Heleq Marva and members of the Shalloth. A series of intercepted transmissions reveal that Maitland was involved in a number of bribes to prevent the codex being published, but once it was clear that the Supreme Court would force it to be disclosed early in 2055, he received detailed instructions to remove – to edit out – specific passages of the Codex on the grounds of security. These constitute the omissions that Maitland made allegedly in the grounds of privacy.

Now with Grey’s original in his possession, Julian is made aware that the published version contains merely a third of the original material, and that what has been removed is an entirely different account of the events of 2006, in which numerous attempts were made to change the original time line to prevent the birth of the children. In this additional account, it transpires that Wilcox was indeed Max – Max sent back to defend the time line – and that it was Wilcox who advises Jesse to contact Max in the first place to seek out Grey to help with Liz’s pregnancy.

Numerous other time paradoxes emerge as well. Desperate to return to Earth to warn his government, Julian is befriended by the newly hatched Seeth, Maraq, who after presiding with Julian over the burial rites of Seeth Sia Ova, takes Julian to a pair of mysterious doors set deep inside Eqbatana, which, when opened, reveal a room in Bone Hill House on Earth. They show the room continuously in 2006, and Julian realises he is looking at the room through the mysterious painting that Grey asked for just before he died. He also realises that he has seen the doors somewhere before – the entry to the Library in Bone Hill House. Julian is also aware that Seeth Sia Ova has hatched a vast army of male Seeth in Eqbatana for some undisclosed purpose.

Julian returns to Earth to discover that the Shalloth have formed an alliance with the European Federation against the Americans and are bringing in war ships to prevent the truth being exposed. Julian and Maraq brief the US president, and then Maraq reveals himself to his former friends, and to Jesse (who is now Attorny General, following he escape of Maitland) as none other than Max. Max further reveals that Liz and Om have also been sent back in time to prevent the time line being undermined by the conspirators. Maraq then announces that they must all go to Bone Hill House where he will show that Maitland is none other than Zan, Max’s son by Tess, who joined in with the Shalloth to conspire against him, and assist in Khi’var’s attempts to prevent the birth of the children that would lead to the restoration of the Seeth by having constructed the Granolith inside Bone Hill House in the first place (thus confirming the time paradox identified by Grey in 2006).

Maitland’s motive is presumed to be revenge against his biological father for having him adopted, and for neglecting him following the birth of Om and Julian. The Shalloth are motivated presumably out of fear of the Seeth Restoration – but other motives are suspected, if not fully understood. It is not clear what role the painting played in the conspiracy. Nor is it clear why, just before his attempted escape, Maitland tried to remove some of Grey’s original genetic research from 2003-6, catalogued in the archives at Bone Hill House, documenting the origins of the Seeth genome.

RC II ends when the Shalloth warships threaten to destroy Bone Hill House – and presumably the Granolith it contains – even as Liz and Om come back through from the past to the present. Max and his companions find them in the library, with the dead body of Maitland, his son, even as the Shalloth open fire and war breaks out. Max then instructs Liz to leave and activates the Granolith one last time, just as the Seeth army produced by Seeth Sia Ova turn up to assist the Americans.

The story `returns’ to 2044 – the eve of Max;s departure for the Antar system that led to his original disappearance, and despite the initial report of an accident, Liz and the Roswellians are asked to go to Bone Hill House where, amid a winter snow storm, they see the library doors open to reveal Max and Om. Max is transformed into a Seeth with shape shifting abilities, and as they stand enjoying their reunion, Bone Hill House vanishes. On ordering the arrest of Maitland, ten years before the Codex is published, Max prevents the conspiracy and also the horror of killing his own son. It thus seems that the crisis has been avoided…………


Then comes Haulden in Roswell….
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Post by Patroclus76 » Sun Mar 18, 2007 4:03 pm

In Roswellian Codex III (Haulden in Roswell) Jamie Ralphs is the only child of a military based father and a somewhat psychologically disturbed mother. In 1999 his family is posted to an army base in Roswell, where Jamie, gay, geeky and with a massively overactive imagination, becomes an `inmate’ at West Roswell High School. As such, Jamie is placed at the beginning of the CC Roswell story, falling madly and hopelessly in LUST when he spies Max on his first day, alone in the gym and then later, with Michael, in the locker room.

Later befriending Liz Parker and Alex Whitman, Jamie becomes obsessed with the fact that Max and Michael are secret gay lovers, his conviction based on an overheard conversation in the can between Max and Michael just after Liz is shot in the Crash Down, and later confirmed when he manages to steal Liz’s journal that Michael has stolen from her to see if she is reliable. Reading Liz’s writings both metaphorically and through his own desire, Jamie sets out on a string of disastrous adventures in an attempt to win Max over, save him from Michael, and win his love only to realise eventually – in the wake of substituting his blood for Max’s following the accident in the Jeep with Liz – that he really IS an alien!

Following this revelation, Jamie and the Roswellians then make a truce, and Jamie is co-opted into the CC story, following a show of `metrosexuality’ by Max, when he presents him with a pair of very tight (worn and warm) lycra pants. Jamie also realises that, apart from wanting sex with Max, he has fallen seriously in love with him.

The story then cuts to January, 2006, when Jamie is a graduate student at the University of Washington, working at the Human Genome Institute on base sequences in human DNA. Jamie’s doctoral supervisor is Louis DeMarr, former student and collaborator of Professor Julian Grey who is, as we know, living not far away in Bone Hill House, and is an Emeritus Professor to the institute, despite the rumours associating him with the scandal in Boston.

Jamie left Roswell in 2001, just prior to the death of Alex, and although he went back for the funeral, he has not been in contact with Max and his companions since 2002. He is aware of the events that surrounded their graduation from West Roswell High, but sensing Max was changing in the wake of Tess’ arrival, and unable to sooth the evident pain of the one man he loves, Jamie throws himself into his research work, stimulated in the main by his adventures with the gang while at Roswell and encouraged by Liz’s interests in genetics.

Lying in bed with his new jock boyfriend, Jonathan, (who he met up with just four days ago at a party) Jamie dreams of Max, and then is surprised to actually see Isabel `dream walking him’ while watching a news flash about some sort of terrorist incident at the University campus. Equally surprised that he can see her, Isabel informs Jamie that the Roswellians are in trouble and in need of his help. Jamie goes to University as normal, waiting for Isabel to make contact, and runs into Wilcox, who is parked outside the Human Genome Institute, waiting for Professor Grey, who is visiting the newly appointed Director, Davies.

Jamie admires Wilcox’s car – a 1937 silver phantom – and in conversation with Wilcox, feels he has met him before somewhere. He then walks into – and knocks over – Professor Grey who is storming out of the building, and destroys his mobile phone in the collision. Wilcox, who calls him James, although they have not been introduced, hands it back to him. Later Jamie gets a message from someone he assumes is Isabel, to meet him that night in Old Possum’s Wine Bar, the sole gay outlet on campus, and run by Jamie’s gay gym partner, Daniel, the guy who introduced Jamie to Jonathan.

Jamie arrives to find that it is not Isabel, but Wilcox who is meeting him. It then transpires that Wilcox is Max, from the future, and that he has come to recruit Jamie to help the Roswellians, by getting Jamie to introduce Max and Liz to Grey. As in Roswell Codex I, Grey is necessary to help Liz with the unusual pregnancy, but something has gone wrong – Liz is not yet pregnant, and Max and the gang have decided to ask Jamie to introduce them to DeMarr (who they have confused with Grey) to alter their DNA to make them human. Wilcox urges Jamie to talk Max (his younger self) out of the plan, since if Max is altered before he impregnates Liz, the children will be human, the Seeth child will not be born, and the Earth-Antar alliance will not occur. Wilcox then gives Jamie a copy of the original codex – the disk kept by Seeth Sia Ova in RCI – and asks Jamie to examine it. Jamie experiences a series of premonitions and also dreams the word `Illuvatar’ – an Antarian Seeth word for destiny.

Meanwhile on returning home, Jamie is confronted with the possibility that Jonathan is a SKIN (or Shalloth), finding an amount of dead skin in his bed. It occurs to him that Jonathan may well have been planted on him to get at Max. Next day, amid a freak snow storm, Jamie meets Max at a pre-arranged place. Jamie is shaken at first by the change in Max, and after an emotional reunion, Max asks Jamie if he can share his thoughts with him, and through a series of flashes, reveals all that has befallen the Roswellians since Jamie left. He also tells Jamie about Tess and his child by her, as well as the true horror of Tess’ departure and her planned betrayal. For his part, Jamie once again realises the depth of his love for Max, but also begins to suspect that something more mysterious is at work.

As foretold by Wilcox, Max then asks Jamie to use his expertise and access to the Genome Institute to manipulate Max’s Antarian genes, as well as his sister's and Michael's, to in effect switch them off and make them all human. So changed, Max plans to challenge the Feds and expose the whole Roswell story as a `hoax’, having destroyed any physical or genetic evidence that they are indeed alien. Jamie is struck by the apparent sophistication of Max’s argument – who and in what way did he come to know of such a thing?

Max insists that he will never have a family until he can settle down and live a normal life with the woman he loves. Jamie assures Max that, so far, no technology exists to modify the genome of a living organism, and invites Max and his companions to stay with him at his apartment later that night – planning to somehow assist in their pregnancy and then introduce them to Grey regardless of Max’s resolution.

However, as he departs from Max, Jamie discovers that there has been a break-in at the Human Genome Institute and that someone has downloaded a paper containing a massive genetic `break-though’ claiming to make `gene switching’ possible. Jamie runs into DeMarr, who is suspicious of the incident, and also suspicious of the new director of the institute, Davies, who he believes is implicated in the break-in. DeMarr reveals that the data is genuine, although so advanced and novel as to be highly suspect. He also reveals that he overheard an argument the previous day between Grey and Davies, in which Grey accused Davies of stealing his own research, despite the fact it is securely locked up in Bone Hill House. DeMarr recognises that there is some link between the download and Grey's original and mysterious work at Boston.

Following a further intervention by Wilcox, it become clear that Davies is Henry Maitland, Max’s son by Tess, and the future Attorney General, and that he has been responsible for insinuating into Max’s head the idea that he can be so modified in order to prevent the children being born. The so-called gene switching technology is later revealed by DeMarr to contain a virus lethal to Hybrids but not humans and to clearly come from the future. Despite the original conspiracy that aimed at merely preventing the birth of the children, Davies clearly aims to kill Max.

Before Jamie can deal with these matters, Jonathan, who is indeed a skin and working for Davies, tries to kill him in order to prevent Jamie talking Max out of his plan. Jonathan reveals that he is one of the original SKINS who came back in time with Maitland, following the raid on Eqbatana in 2055, along with Heleq Marva, the future Antarian Ambassador to Earth, a Valaen Antarian, and that it was Maitland (Davies) who took the key to the Granolith from Seeth Sia Ova.

Michael, who overhears Jonathan’s confession about working for Davies, and a great deal of strange talk from Jamie, saves Jamie but demands a full explanation as to what is going on. By way of explanation, they both read the original codex, which imperils the time line since Michael is now aware of whom Wilcox is, as well as the conspiracy involving Davies. Joining forces, Jamie and Michael are whisked off by Wilcox to Bone Hill House, where a captured Jonathan confesses that the Granolith constructed by Khi’var is not in Bone Hill House, but is the House itself, the main operating portal being situated in the library. Jonathan also refers ominously to an Antarian prophecy, which implies a greater motive for the conspiracy that merely Maitland’s hatred of his father, and the Shalloth’s fear of a restored Seeth genome. Again the term Illuvatar is used, although Wilcox is not very forthcoming as to what it means.


Jamie also meets Future Liz, who has come back in time (following the revelation in 2055 concerning the nature of the painting in Grey’s House by the US President in RC II) and she mysteriously assures Jamie that Max has `enough love for both of them’. Wilcox reveals a plan to get Max and his companions to Bone Hill House as quickly as possible, and lure Davies to them in such a way that will still restore the original time line. Only if he is dispossessed of the key, can the conspiracy finally be ended and the Granolith destroyed. Yet Michael points out that soon two versions of the same key will exist: the one Davies has brought back from the future, and the one that will soon be on its way to Earth hidden inside the head of Khi’var. Jamie fears however that, just as the original RC I time line has been altered on Earth, it may well have been altered in Antar. Will Seeth Sia Ova come to Earth as the emissary to take Om back to Antar as before?

Returning to their apartment, Jamie arranges for DeMarr to come over and meet Max and the gang as a preparatory move to introducing them to Grey. He also believes that DeMarr will finally dissuade Max from seeking to be made human without revealing too much. Yet things go further astray. Unfortunately, the earlier meeting in the grounds of the Bone Hill House between Wilcox, Future Liz, Michael, Jamie and a repentant Jonathan, is overseen by Grey, who now believes that Wilcox is working for the Feds and has something to do with Boston. His suspicions are intensified when he finds an `old’ photograph in Wilcox’s bedroom, showing Jamie, Michael, Max and Isabel, which according to the date stamp on the back, has yet to be taken, while appearing to be a gift from Jamie to Max from AD 2035. Grey also notices for the first time that the doors to the Library are strangely disproportionate and elaborate, and seem too lavishly carved for mere decoration. He also believes that they have moved themselves. Frightened, he calls DeMarr, and arranges to meet him at the Woodland Park, Seattle’s zoo, telling DeMarr that he has evidence of a conpiracy.

Jointly informed of this meeting by Wilcox (who is confronted by a cold and hostile Grey prior to leaving to Seattle) and DeMarr, who confirms that Grey wants to meet him urgently, Max, Jamie, Michael and Jonathan head off to the zoo, to find not just Wilcox (disguised convincingly as a woman), a handsome black youth named Brandon, but also Davies himself, who intercepted the call from Grey to DeMarr. During a struggle, Brandon is revealed to Jamie and Michael as a Seeth, Seeth Sia Sevak, but Jamie later realises that he is Seeth Sia Om, Max’s future alien son by Liz. Davies tries to kill Max, but ends up killing Jonathan instead. Grey witnesses this all, and terrified, flees back to Bone Hill House with DeMarr, convinced that the perpetrators are the same people he encountered during the Midwich Cuckoo project.

To reassure him, Wilcox reveals himself to Grey as Future Max, and explains the conspiracy and the nature of time travel, despite the fact that Grey has not yet met Max. Earlier, Jamie, Brandon, Michael and Wilcox discuss ways in which Liz could get pregnant. As they speak, the library doors of Bone Hill House appear to show visions of Antar. Again, Jamie believes that there is some power at work here other than the Granolith, while Brandon begins to suspect that Jamie appears to attract the doors attention.

Meanwhile, despite an elaborate attempt to keep Max in the dark, he is increasingly suspicious of Jamie and Michael, aware that they are involved in something, and also aware that they are both increasingly encouraging him to have unprotected sex with Liz. Finally, sensing that Jamie knows something of the future, Max and Liz have sex and, as in RC1, Liz becomes pregnant and the foetus develops rapidly. Jamie and Michael in effect reveal the necessity of going to Grey, and as such, Brandon reveals himself to the Roswellians as a Seeth Lord (although not yet as Max’s son). He whisks Liz and Maria off to Bone Hill House, while Jamie, Michael, Isabel, Max and Kyle pick up the van (long moth balled during a protracted stay in Seattle) and decide to drive to Bone Hill House, aware that Davies is watching them and hoping to lure him with them……..

Before the revelation that Daniel, Jamie’s former gym partner, is in fact an alien, a Valaen, (one of the races of Antar made by the Seeth) as well as a mind warper, Jamie is conscious of a growing sense that somehow Earth and Antar are joined together, and that someone the prophecy discussed by Jonathan may account for what is happening and what has been continuously happening to his friends. Like Grey in the original codex, Jamie begins to suspect that the Earth-Antar alliance has long been foretold, and that moreover, Max is more than just an alien king, but some sort of divine being that, through his son, has some mysterious part to play in the satisfactory conclusion of these adventures. Also like Grey, and based on his reading of the original codex, Jamie believes that the Seeth came from Earth, and that the prophecy may relate to their point of origin, containing either a warning or a message.

Michael, for his part, also believes that the prophecy links up with the library and the mysterious doors, as well as the painting to the tomb that they have yet to find and explore, the picture that Grey will ask to see when he dies, and the picture that so shocked the future President. Before Jamie can think through his ideas, he is thrown literally into the arms of Max, and then, experiences a bizarre mind warp in which it transpires that Daniel is not just an alien, but Khi’var himself…………Max appears in the vision as a divine being, set between two worlds, and the doors to the library again manifest themselves as somehow deeply bound up in the mystry that awaits them on `returning' to Bone Hil House......
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Post by Patroclus76 » Tue Mar 27, 2007 6:46 am

The Diary of Julian Grey. 2nd February 2006.
-----------------------------------------------------

I returned to bed but could not sleep. The image of the door buckling in, groaning, trying to open, haunted my thoughts, insinuating itself into my imagination. Every time I closed my eyes I saw them, ornately carved, profoundly mysterious, shouting out to me. Why was it that when I heard the word Illuvatar my heart seemed to stop? I sat awake, propped up in bed and waited for the morning, unable even to read.

At one stage Brandon (Sevak, or whoever he is!) called in on me to see if I was alright: a tall, somewhat shy young man, his face and hair made him seem hard and streetwise, but when he fixed his eyes on me, I saw a bewildering, extraordinary beauty that made my stomach tighten and knot. He asked me if I needed anything and then, before parting, he advised me to stay away from the library. My own Library! A place that had, until recently, been my main solace and comfort! He had sat on the end of my bed with a gentle familiarity, as if he has known me all my life. As he closed the door his eyes scanned across my room, affectionately, as if he is was reminiscing, seeing a place he never thought he would see again.

`Brandon?’ I asked, my voice dry; reedy. He turned back momentarily, his long sedge of hair swished against his shoulders.

`Professor?’

`Is this all going to end well? I mean, is it going to end as before? With your birth? With the coming of the ships from Antar? ‘

`That is our plan, and if not exactly as before, then as near as we possibly can get it! But already so much has changed – and I sense that more will change before we are through with it!’ He smiled, cautiously, to console, to reassure. It was a smile I would probably recognise from Max, if I had met Max yet.

`Do you want me to stay with you?’ he asked, touchingly, as if he was perfectly happy to stand sentinel like all night, or curl effortlessly on the floor and sleep.

`No, Brandon – that’s very kind of you – but no, really.’ I felt embarrassed for some reason. `I am sure you are best needed with Liz and Maria.’

`My father is looking over them.’

---

Eventually, sometime before 5 am I fell asleep and dreamed of my father. It was not surprising that I should dream of him now, in extremis, as my old life flaked away, melting into another, impossible adventure. My father had dedicated his entire life into proving his own alien abduction theories, in linking them to his own research, in demonstrating that aliens and Earth were long in association. It destroyed his career and his life, but in the end, he had evidently been right.

My father had always been right. When I married Dorothy he had said simply, apologetically, `You will never have children, Julian. Your marriage will be barren, and she will resent it in the end.’ In the dream we are sitting on a bridge holding hands, both looking down into the black icy water as it threaded its way through weeded, cold banks. Suddenly I see the small white bodies of babies, dead, like dolls, drifting by in the current. I look up in horror and see that I am not holding the hand of my father, but the hand of a man with jet-black hair and the dark luminous eyes of a King. I hear the same word uttered by the doors – illuvatar – but Max says this to me, carefully, as if he thinks it might be my name. At 6.30, exhausted, I wrapped a dressing gown over me and went in search of coffee.

---

I found Liz and Maria talking and laughing with Wilcox in the kitchen. Liz, dark, slightly impish, incredibly striking with her long (still wet) hair and glowing complexion, looked at me questioningly. Maria, more conventionally feminine perhaps, more chic, was draped over a chair, and sighed as if she had finally arrived in heaven. `Professor Grey, you have no idea how much I needed a night in a proper bed with sheets! And a shower!’

`Julian, please Maria, you must call me Julian! I am glad the showers worked – sometimes they can be – temperamental. Wilcox smiled and handed me some coffee.

`Any more break-ins?’ asked Liz. She looked at me with steady, knowing eyes.

`Not that I know of, and one was quite enough! Wilcox?’

`No – the library has remained silent since our last visitor!’ It sounded like we were ghost hunters – which in some senses we were, of course. Maria actually said `God it’s like that movie, The Haunting!’ and then stopped abruptly for some reason. There was a momentary silence.

`What did the letter say, Julian? The letter left in the novel?’ Liz fixed me again with that intensity of purpose she seemed to possess. I sensed a keen, mature intelligence.

`It asked me to hand you all over to the FBI or to suffer the consequences. It also warned me that I was dealing with something utterly beyond my imagination?’

I put my hand into my dressing gown pocket and retrieved poor Wyndham. I handed Liz the note and the novel.

`Have you read it? The book I mean.’ I asked.

Liz picked it up and opened it. She seemed surprised to see the West Roswell High School library plate inside.

`Yes – I’ve probably read this very copy? Isn’t that weird, Wilcox? What does it mean?’

She looked up as Brandon appeared silently at the door, wearing a white shirt, half undone, half untucked over tight blue jeans. Dazzling against his black skin, the white material made him seem utterly exotic. Either by design or accident, the unbuttoned garment drew everyone’s gaze, with its tantalising glimpse of knotted, grooved muscles; a dark luxurious warmth.

He nodded at Wilcox, as if he had been undertaking some secret mission. Wilcox then turned to answer Liz.

`My guess is that our visitor last night was the same individual – Daniel – that Jamie saw in the park on leaving Seattle. It would appear that he needed to come back and remove some of Grey’s papers, but why now is unclear. The book – well – once upon a time, in a different time line, this book was left for Julian by you.’ He looked at Liz with radiant affection.

`Me?’

`Yes! You left it behind in the library because you knew by then that Julian’s experiments in Boston had been code named the Midwich Cuckoos, and you thought you would get his attention, and his scientific curiosity, if you planted it in his library! In the novel, one of the key characters is a doctor who sets out initially to help the children, because he thinks one of them is his daughter.’

`My god, so I stole this from West Roswell High? It figures – the book is about a series of children with special powers, planted on earth by aliens?’ her voice slowed. I had felt a sense of chill spreading over me.

`Actually, you bought it from a second hand bookshop in Wenatchee, called The Good Companion!’ Wilcox looked pleased with himself. `The same place I expect Daniel bought it!’

`My god – that’s my bookshop!’ I said, in amazement! We all laughed.

`So why has Daniel deliberately copied the move, but this time not as an invitation to help us, but as a threat?’ finished Maria.

`Again, I am rather clueless. Perhaps there are multiple meanings in the text. Perhaps the clue is aliens and children, or perhaps Davies too, is trying in his own way, to keep certain aspects of the time line the same? Remember who Davies is, Maitland edited the codex from –‘ he looked at me oddly, `from Julian after his death!’ His voice trailed away.

`So what research papers were stolen last night?’ Liz looked innocent enough, as if she had tried to change the subject, but the question was loaded, and a good one. It caught me slightly off guard. Wilcox looked at me to answer.

`It looks like he went after my early research, from the late 1990s, before I assumed the directorship of the Boston Institute. I had been studying redundant gene sequences on chromosome 19 and 22, as part of the Human Genome Project.’

`Did you find anything interesting?’ asked Wilcox. I thought I sensed Brandon look up sharply.

`Hmm, well, I was beginning to put together a series of hypotheses. These two chromosomes in particular contain redundant genetic material, sort of ancestral debris, markers that allow us to follow the route of evolution. There were some unusual remnants there, especially on 22, that I had not noticed before’ I paused, sensing I was boring them. Surely Wilcox knew what I had found – since he was almost, like Merlin in The Once and Future King, effectively born backwards?

And then I had a really, really strange feeling, a sort of intuitive hunch.

Brandon coughed slightly, and everyone looked at him again, a little self-consciously perhaps. Maria seemed particularly distracted, and unable to avoid looking at his chest any longer, said delicately. `Brandon, your shirt, man, it needs –‘

`Oh, sorry.’ He looked down, coyly, unassuming, and with long fingers stretched the fabric together. They looked at me as if I was about to resume a lecture but I too had been distracted by Brandon.

`God you sounded so like Max just then!’ said Liz. `When Max and the others get here, we must have a summit of some kind, share all this information together! Jamie and Max work well together!’ Liz smiled, touching my hand. She somehow managed to sound excited. `Your student Jamie is very clever!’

`He is not, alas, my student Liz, but DeMarr’s! Indeed I have only met Jamie once so far, and that is when he ran into me outside the Institute.'

I paused, my memory vague. How long ago that seemed! I had been involved in a heated argument with Davies about my research, and had stormed out, short of breath and flushed. A young man, blonde curly haired, and wrapped in a long scarf, had materialised out of nowhere and winded me! He had been heavier than he looked.

`I am looking forward to meeting him. I am also looking forward to meeting Max, actually.’ His name emerged like an incantation.

`Well he is very much looking forward to meeting you!’ said Liz with a radiant, dazzling smile. I glanced down her slim body, looking discreetly for visible signs of pregnancy. As yet there were none.

Brandon had started making some tea, a curious green brew, producing some green pellets that looked suspiciously like drugs to me, but it turned out to be peppermint. Maria was watching him intently as he poured the hot water. She frowned at Liz but I sensed she was trying to get his attention. They had clearly been discussing something earlier.

`How long do you think it will take for them to get here? Can’t you go and, well, sort of fetch them?’ Liz asked, addressing Brandon, sounding slightly plaintive. He lifted the teacup to his mouth, and as he did so, a curious streak of blue light caressed his face and shot down his neck.

`What was that!’ Maria sounded alarmed, indignant, as if the tea was to blame. I was suddenly reminded of the doors, the surreal horror of the alien voice. Wilcox took Brandon’s hand – another shimmer of light passed between them both. They frowned at each other.

`It’s Jamie!’ said Brandon, his face alight with excitement, wide eyed, `He’s thinking - oh wow!’ Brandon laughed loudly, a great flash of teeth, and looked at his father in frank amazement. `He’s thinking of me!’

Wilcox too was laughing at some private joke or some shared vision.

`So typical of that boy! Such a vivid imagination, but’ Wilcox paused and Brandon grew serious. There was a curious blue wave over Brandon’s outline, a sort of tremor, and then Brandon was gone.

I had seen many strange things in my life, and I was braced to see even more. Seeing Wilcox turn into an alien king was bad enough, and being shown a photograph from the future was also mildly disturbing. On top of that, my library doors were apparently alive, and now, in front of my very eyes, Brandon has gone, vanished.

`That was not a voluntary act, I take it?’ I said rather needlessly. Wilcox seemed genuinely alarmed. `Wait a moment!’ he said, his voice different, enough to make Liz screw her face up in half recognition, and then he too vanished – only to reappear again almost immediately. A soft green light irradiated from his face momentarily before dissipating.

`Wilcox?!’ asked Maria and Liz together, both looking at me in genuine consternation! I suddenly realised that this was the first time they had realised that Wilcox was an alien!

Realising his mistake, Wilcox looked suitably shocked.

`You’re, you’re an alien!’ Liz said softly, open mouthed, looking across at me.

`I’m not! I mean, not yet – ‘ my voice stopped. `He’s a good alien, I mean, he’s on our side – your side – I mean, mine as well.’

Wilcox seemed to gather himself together.

`I’ll explain everything Liz when we find out what is happening – Jamie somehow called Brandon – and there is something around him, something that prevents me reaching him, something incredibly powerful!’

`Jamie called him? How?’ Liz walked towards Wilcox. I noticed he was anxious that she did not touch him. `Who are you? Where are you from!’ It was more a challenge than a question.

`I am a Seeth, I am Brandon’s father.’ Said Wilcox slowly, weighing up something in his mind. I sucked in my lips nervously.

`Oh my god! This is all so fucking weird!’ Maria sat down heavily on a nearby chair. `Are they ok, Wilcox, are they safe?’

No, they are in great danger!’ Wilcox drew a deep breath, and ran his hands through his white hair. `Wait. Let me have another go!’ Again he vanished, again he reappeared.

`They are fighting now – I can sense the energy discharges!’

I frowned, in part because I was not sure that such snippets of information were actually helpful. We sensed are helplessness and stood for a while.

`How far are they from us?’ said Liz suddenly, with determination. Maria had meanwhile tried calling Michael. `The cell’s dead.’

`They’re about fifty-sixty miles away, just off the interstate.’ For one awful moment I sensed that Wilcox had no idea what to do. Then he seemed to feel something. His eyes closed momentarily and a strange blue light seemed to hover over his head like an aura.

`Hold it – good god!’ he said, the surprise in his voice was almost shocking. He started to fade. `Grey – stay here – stay away from the Liiiiiiiibbbrrarrrrrry’ and then he too, was gone, his voice shifted as if he had been snatched at great speed.

---

We spent several hours in pointless confinement. Liz put a brave face on but stuck to what had now become her rooms, situated above the conservatory on the first floor. I went to speak with her, but felt there was little I could say without giving away Wilcox. She asked me endless questions about him, about Brandon, about Boston. It was if such constant questioning was the only way she could deal with her stress. I went off and wondered about the great house with its vast and impossible secrets. Had it really been built by a timber merchant? Was it not rather something constructed by aliens? What an absurd thought, and yet how frightening was the prospect. I drifted through huge halls and galleries, keeping the central well of the House (and the library to my left).

I visited rooms I had not seen since my wife and I had arrived in 2003. By early afternoon I was up somewhere near the roof, in a long gallery devoid of furniture, a sort of elaborate attic, and with a strange tree growing across the window, its roots latticing the glass like lead fretting. The room was full of bright late winter sunlight, low angled and dazzling. I walked aimlessly, trying to concentrate on what I was to do, how I was to do it. I was excited about meeting Max, incredibly anxious as well. As I took to examining the tree (it was a common Buddleia) I was aware that there were several paintings on the wall, all very dark and drab looking. Distracted, I thought of one of my earlier pet projects to catalogue all the artwork and to check if any of it was at all valuable. I suspected I knew the answer already.

I dug out my glasses and wiped them on my dressing gown. There was a particularly large canvas on the main wall, just at shoulder height. It was of a dark, brooding landscape, with a series of high mountains and what appeared to be cave. The room was almost silent: bird song strayed in from outside, and an occasional gust of wind sent the branches of the buddleia rapping on the window. I was aware of someone coming up towards me from the hallway. I half turned, somewhat un-nerved, and to my surprise saw Liz, deep in thought, walk in and start with surprise!


`Hello Liz! Fancy you finding this place – I am not sure I have ever seen it before? Are you alright?’ She was evidently worried sick. I tried to comprehend what it was like to love someone so much that being parted from them, even for the shortest time, brought unbearable, inconsolable pain.

`I am sure Max will be fine – after all, he has Brandon and Jamie, not to mention the others!’ What did I know of this? I knew least of all!

Liz sighed. `I know, I know I am being unreasonable. I know that I would sense something horrible if it was to happen, but I so miss him. Every moment we are apart is a sense of,’ she struggled for words, `of irretrievable loss!’

I patted her arm uncomfortably, unused to demonstrating empathy. What did I know of love?

`What was this place? This room?’ She glanced at the painting in front of us.

`I’m not sure – I think it's part of the old servants quarters, but frankly, only Wilcox understands this House, especially since, as I now understand it, it is not always the same!’

I was about to suggest we made a move, when I noticed that Liz was looking intently at the painting. Her eyes were wide with disbelief, fear and recognition.

`Oh my god! I know this place! I know where this is – and god – there I am!’ Startled, I followed her gaze and saw that in the bottom left hand of the landscape, in the shadow of an outcropping rock, were a group of six people. They were looking towards the cave and to what now appeared to be either a great storm or an explosion. They were indistinct, darkly shaded.

`I don’t understand, Liz –‘ she pointed to a woman, leaning against a young man, looking back like Lot’s wife towards two high peaks. I felt a chill creep over my face and neck. If it was not Liz, then it was a curious likeness. And the figure holding her in his arms was very like Max.

`It’s the entrance to the Pod Chamber, where Max was born, the moment that Tess leaves to Antar!.’ She said softly. Incredulous, but no longer surprised, I looked over the whole painting. There was no date and no signature.

At that moment Liz’s cell phone rang. We both jumped and, catching our breath, laughed with embarrassment. She seemed reluctant to answer it. Eventually I heard a deep, soft male voice and from the way her eyes and face revived, I guessed this was Max.

`Max! Oh god, oh thank god, where are you!’ I felt a huge sense of relief.

`Ok, ok – what? How? Is he alright?’ she ran her hand through her hair and left it on the top of her head, looking away from the painting towards the window, taking in great reams of information.

`Sure, of course – we’ll get ready – Max, I have to show you something when you get here, its it's really, really weird, although probably not quite as weird as Brandon!’ she clicked the cell shut.

`There are on their way back – come on!’ she grabbed my hand.

`Is Wilcox alright?’ As I turned to walk with her I had the most curious sensation that someone was looking at me, watching me from the other side of the painting.
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Post by Patroclus76 » Thu Apr 05, 2007 12:21 pm

happy holidays my friends!


----------
The van pulls up amid a reassuring, aristocratic crunching of gravel. Above us Bone Hill House towers theatrically like a Boris Karloff film set: I have never seen it from the front and from so close – it is massively, darkly impressive. A huge towered central block looms over a gothic doorway, set with two long mullioned windows. Its stonework is laced with a massive, gnarled Wisteria. To either side, the east and west wings stretch over a broad, weathered, terrace, and the wing nearest to us is partly occupied by a long glass and wood conservatory. I have never seen so many fucking windows in my life! They look at us blankly, as if they have waited patiently for our arrival. All we need is a flash of lightening and opening film credits and we’re made! Even without aliens, it would be spooky!

Max and Michael step out, like astronauts, gawking, I half expect Michael to produce a small Antarian flag and stick it in the driveway. `I claim this for the Antarians.’

`Jesus H Christ!’ he says instead. It is almost dark, a red stain of sunset bleeds into each glass and pane, and the wind moans above the forested chimneys and honey yellow buttresses. Max is speechless, his mouth slightly open. The wind snakes his long inky black hair about him, as if he is intangible, made of shadows. He draws up his leather collar. Brandon – shouting `Yeah!’ like it’s Christmas day or something, runs off towards the entrance, sending small white stones flying in all directions. Max’s eyes follow him affectionately.

Then Isabel appears on my right, adjusting her hair. `Well?’ she looks at us in turn, as if we are about to go on some secret commando raid. I feel weird, as if I am in a dream, or rather like I have been dead and brought back to life. We have arrived, again, at the beginning. Or rather they have. I wasn’t in the last version! Kyle slams the van door. `I hope Liz has been cooking supper!’

`For a Buddhist you can be a selfish bastard!' jokes Michael.

At that moment the great entrance doors open and Liz and Maria run forward, followed by DeMarr. I see Max transform as he sees his wife. It is like watching the sun finally clear thick deep cloud. For a moment his radiance is almost palpable, and then his tall dark body leaps forward, sleek and fast. I watch him flash past Brandon and as he throws himself about Liz I feel a strange, disconcerting pain in my chest, a sort of stab. I bite my lip and focus on DeMarr, but I see Michael looking at me out of the corner of his eye.

`Do you want to bite on my hand?' he asks helpfully.

Liz looks momentarily down at Brandon who waves at her, all cute and precocious, and then she looks at her husband and looks at him for a long time. It is as if they have been away for centuries or as if they are searching for some sort of code. What is wrong with me? I try to compose the right sort of face, but I feel weird, like my lips have gone numb.

Michael pats my shoulder as if I am a giant labrador and then joins Maria. Perhaps I should run up and make out with DeMarr! It might make me feel as if I belong? I feel curiously left out and in a brief moment I am afraid I am jealous. The idea that I might be panics me. And then I see Grey, walking gracefully, slowly through the doors. He is wearing a long blue checked dressing gown over a grey suit, and looks different somehow, not so much the slightly eccentric academic, but more a sort of guardian, a man already burdened with what is to come.

He has his hands in his trouser pockets, and a pair of glasses shoved up onto his forehead. He peers out into the thickening gloom, searching for Max, his whole posture tense with excitement. It is as if I am watching a ceremony, something long rehearsed. I walk forward, with Isabel and Kyle, watching Max as he looks away from Liz, towards the doors, towards Bone Hill House and his dazzling future. I see him catch sight of Grey. It is almost biblical. Meanwhile Brandon saunters past the Professor, who frowns at him. Brandon waves again, as if he is on fucking spring parade, and then runs inside, his laughter brittle on the cold air.

Everyone is looking at Grey.

Max has his back to me, but I see him tense as Liz and DeMarr step aside. Max slowly walks up a broad flight of stairs that cut through the terrace to the entrance, to where Grey is standing. I walk up quietly behind Max, trying to be inobtrusive. Liz slips down the steps to stand next to me. She swings an arm around me, and kisses my cheek.

`Hey Jamie.’ She whispers. She brushes my hair away from my eyes. I avoid her eyes, kissing her forehead. She smells fresh, of lemons.

`You OK?'

I smile bravely and kiss her in return.

`Where’s Wilcox?’ I ask.

`He went looking for Brandon? Is he not with you?’ There is a note of caution in her voice. I look up towards the doors, where Max is extending his hand to Grey. I hold my breath. The wind has died down and we are enveloped in utter silence. I wonder, fleetingly, what is going through Grey’s mind: was he thinking of Wilcox, of the photo, perhaps even of Boston? Does he have any premonitions as to how important Max will become to his life! Then Grey does something that I do not expect, nor Max for that matter, judging by his reaction. He kneels before Max and lowers his head in supllication.

`Everything I have is at your disposal, Max and I will serve you all as best I can.’

Max places his hands quickly on either shoulder, and lifts him up, as if he has just be knighted!

`Julian!’ the use of his first name is startling, I feel a fucking great lump in my throat,

`I know you will! You are - you are destined to help me!'

They speak together, a wind roars in the park behind, moving the trees and clearing the evening sky of cloud. Michael smiles, a small triumphant smile, while above us, a great V shape constellation glowers in the darkness.

------------

As we walk through into the dark vast hallway, I hear some discussion of Wilcox. `Did he join you?’ Maria asks Michael. There is now growing anxiety that he is missing. At the entrance to the house, DeMarr and I have an emotional reunion. He babbles on about Brandon and in the end I have to try and calm him. He is worried about his parrot and then, he too, asks about Wilcox. In the kitchen, Brandon is standing on a chair and helping himself to a big glass jar of oats, which he is proceeding to eat raw, scooping them up with his hand.

`Brandon!’ I say instinctively. `You’ll choke!’ He looks at me with the curious intense intelligence of a child.

`How is this possible? How has Brandon reverted to the physiology of a juvenile?’ Grey asks no one in particular. Max and Liz are embracing again, Max resting his head on the top of hers. Everyone looks exhausted and hungry but massively relieved.

`Krill?’ say DeMarr, thoughtfully. Grey looks at him, and his eyes fall on me briefly. Again, there is a strange sense of expectancy. I smile at him and then go and to try and sort out Brandon, whose face and lips are covered in fine white powder.

`Look at you!’ I whisper, wiping his mouth with a tea towel. He pouts and then grins, raising his eyebrows. He holds my eyes with an adult intensity. I look at his face. It is curiously shaped, and there is a fine line of bone, like a tierara, running just at the top of his forehead. For some reason I start to blush, thinking of him as an adult. I mumble something, incoherent, and the incorrigible child is soon covered in dust again.

`Krill?’ Grey puts the lights on. The kitchen, a long series of rooms, springs out of the gloom. We are crowded around a long low table. There is some warmth, and the smell of food. Given the vastness of the House, this space is comfortable, inviting, domestic.

`During the Antarctic winter, krill reduce in size as they deplete their energy reserves under the ice – they revert to juveniles until they can feed on algae. Perhaps Brandon has discharged an enormous amount of energy?’ De Marr removed a red woolen hat that has been perched on his forehead.

`Hmm, he is a little larger than krill!’ Grey pours Brandon some water.

Isabel sits down, signing, having been embraced by Maria.

`I agree, he is hardly an invertebrate, but often the principles are the same!’ insists DeMarr, as it he is arguing in the common room back at the Institute and we are having a pleasant discussion on biology! Max turns around and smiles at the boy. As if to encourage us all, Brandon nods emphatically.

`The rest of you must be very hungry and tired?’ finishes Grey, as Brandon pulls my coat.

`Jamie, man – I need nuts! Lots!’ I roll my eyes, although I had guessed this would be the next demand.

`Professor Grey, I need a ready source of selenium? Have you any brazil nuts?’

Grey, frowns majestically. He looks at me intently, as if I have just asked a ridiculous question.

`Selenium? Ah – why yes I do, Jamie.’

His use of my name surprises me.

`I have a lot of food stored in the cellar. Wilcox ordered a lot of nuts for Christmas, which we never ate incidentally, and which I now suspect he needed for something else – how curious?’

`Selenium?' asks Isabel.

`He needs it to produce metabolising hormones, to keep his appearance I think, or to restore it?’ I add this to sound clever, stupidly and Max smiles at me, raising his eyebrows fleetingly.

`Wow - isn't selenium used for the production of thyroxine?' Liz asks, intently.

`Wahoo!’ shouts Brandon and jumps off his chair. `You are all so clever!' he says in a sing song voice.

`Brandon, where is your father?’ Liz asks this. Brandon turns before darting off to the cellar.

`He is on his way! He’ll need nuts as well!’ Liz laughs, and we sigh with relief. I have been thinking of the angel, the vision of him falling between us, his wings spread. Earth and Antar. I look at Max. Did he see himself in the vision?

DeMarr is, unexpectedly, laying the table, an act of such normality it looks almost comical.

`We have prepared one of my emergency stews!’ he says in all seriousness. Maria nods in agreement. Kyle beams with relief and elbows Michael.

`It took my mind off the nightmare of waiting!’ Maria adds. `So what happened to you guys? Tell us and we’ll tell you what happened here!’

`After we’ve eaten!’ added Isabel.

Suddenly there is loud buzz. Everyone jumped.

` It's okay’ says Grey, ` it's only someone at the gate house.’ As he passes by, he takes hold of my arm.

`Jamie, come with me and let’s see who this is – Michael, Max, if it’s the feds you had better be prepared, although I doubt they would ring the bell!’ I suddenly have a sense that Grey is rather enjoying himself.

Slightly overawed by Professor Grey in his fucking dressing gown and his specs, I am carted off down a long, cold corridor into a vast gloomy hall and brought to some sort of ancient intercom. At close quarters Grey looks ever so slightly mad, with watery blue eyes and a strong smell of peat.

`A very informed guess about Selenium, Jamie. Brandon is ingesting enough to kill a horse!’ Grey is looking for his glasses.

`There on your forehead, sir’

`Ah, quite. I would get one of those chains but they make me look, well, old!’ He raises one eyebrow as if to defy any further observations. I feel a glow of satisfaction at having already impressed DeMarr’s mentor.

`Well, Brandon was well into his Brazil nut fetish when I first met him!’

`A fetish?’ queries Grey, as if this is not a word he uses a great deal. He thinks about it and then turns to something else. The buzzer goes again, like a large insect trapped in a bottle.

`We are going to need to work together closely, you and I! If I understand Wilcox correctly, you have already read my Codex, and are acquainted with my –‘ he pauses, looking slightly amused, `with my future work?’ he smiles ironically.

`Yes – I am in deed!’ Can this conversation get any fucking more weird!

`I have various ideas that we need to discuss, like the origins of the Antarian Seeth for a start!’ I venture.

`Really? Excellent. You must advise me how I managed things `last time’ and ensure we do the same again, more or less? I have several theories of my own.’

Before I can answer Grey presses the buzzer. `Who is it?’ he asks, looking at me still, as if he can’t quite work out how to deal with me.

A familiar voice says `Julian? Julian – It’s Wilcox, in the gatehouse – you’ll have to send Michael or Jamie down here with some –‘

`Nuts?’ finishes Grey. The voice on the intercom is Max’s!

`Exactly How did you guess? Oh and bring me some clothes, I lost mine!’

`We’re on our way!’ I say, already turning around and running back towards the kitchen. I hear Grey and Wilcox conversing a little. DeMarr, Maria and Liz are serving up supper. Isabel has gone off to freshen herself up having been given a brief map by DeMarr and warned against wondering off. Max is slumped in a chair, talking with Michael.

`Hey Michael – duty calls, Wilcox is at the gatehouse – he needs me and you to fetch him!’ I say this under the full gaze of Max. I have to use careful intonation to get spaceboy to pick up the subliminal message.

`Do you want me to come?’ asks Max with such earnestness that my eyes water.

`Jamie, we’re just about to eat!’ Michael complains, visibly pouting! Maria remonstrates with him. I grab several bags of Brazil nuts and throw more at him.

`What the fuck?’ Michael frowns and flashes his eyes. Max shrugs and looks at me with mock suspicion.

`Wilcox has regressed like Brandon. He needs to –‘ what was the word `Regenerate?’

`It’s worse than the fucking Borg!’ Michael complains again, but Maria assures him she will put some food aside. We walk briskly towards the entrance. `I need to regenerate as well!’ He shouts back.

`Take the van!’ shouts Kyle and throws the keys that, in true Jock fashion, Michael catches while looking the other way.

`How the fuck do you do that!’ I hiss. He winks at me.

--------------
Outside it is dark and cold again. Thrown high across the sky, a cipher of stars arch to show the hub of the galaxy. Michael swings the van around and creeps back towards the road. The great tree lined driveway now seems sinister, watchful. The lights from the van throw fleeting shadows about, the complex patterned branches seem to be faces, eyes, hands. I move instinctively into Michael’s thigh.

`What?’ says Michael.

`Nothing – I was just – well, apprehensive that’s all!’

`Ah baby!’ he says sarcastically and slaps my knee.

`Ouch! Hey what was that!’ I shout. Michael pulls a face and stops the van and we both peer through the windshield. Two wood pigeons clatter away, startled from their early roost.

`Stop trying to spook me!’ Michael blows on his hands and starts the van again.

`Sorry!’ We resume, and the gatehouse appears, lit by a small lamp in the lintel next to the gates. There is someone sitting, crunched up on themselves, shivering with cold.

We climb out cautiously.

`Wilcox? You ok?’ Michael peels out an overcoat from the back seat. I run forward. In front of me, shivering, is Max, naked as the day he was born. Max looks 17 or 18 years old, the Max I first met, dark and silent.

`Jesus! Max – I mean Wilcox – what the fuck happened!’ I thrown my arms about him protectively. His skin is mottled with cold, curved and hard. A memory stirs of Max naked in bed next to me, his arms locked around my waist. I fight aside the feelings the image brings, the sheer desire.

`Can this get any worse!’ says Michael. He sits down on the other side of Max and drapes the coat over him like a cloak.

`Don’t start!’ Wilcox says. I hug him to me. He smells like Max smells, like smoke and wild thyme. Like he’s been running over wild country. Unable to contain myself I kiss his cheek and pull him towards me. The idea that Max is younger than me is strangely, disconcertingly erotic.

`How long is this state going to last? Can you no longer maintain Wilcox’s outer form?’ I ask. Max nuzzles into my neck and kisses my throat. There is a familiarity to the way he does this that sort of shocks me.

`About 12 hours – we’re pretty useless until then – how is Brandon? Have you got the nuts?’

`Yeah, here!’ Michael, not to be left out, hugs him as well. He pulls a face at me over Max's head and then adds `So what the fuck are we going to do? Can we keep you here until then?’

`No’ says Max plaintively. `I need some warmth. Do you still have the healing stones, are they still in the van?’

`Yes, somewhere. Why?

`They may speed up the process a little. I am worried about Brandon, he might go into statis.'

`Statis? I ask. I am smelling Max's hair shamelessly. I am prepared to sit here all night.
`But Brandon is still in human form?' and then I think of the bone line on his head. `Oh shit, he was looking a little boney when I last saw him!'

`Exactly. He might incubate himself, re-pod!' said Max between chattering teeth.

`Fucking hell! What like form a pod? On his own!' Michael sounds incredulous.

`Yes, like a cocoon!'

`Ok this just got massively fucking worse! `Hey Liz, hey Max, here's another Max to keep us company, well it was Wilcox all a long and hey, Brandon is upside down in the wardrobe in chrysalis form!'

`Michael!'

There is a sound behind us, near the gate. A sort of click. Michael swings around. I sit holding my breath. Fearlessly Michael gets up and looks about. After a while he comes back.

`It’s just the wind – ok – look let’s smuggle you into the House, it’s big enough for fuck sake – here, eat your nuts!’ We sit, listening for a while, and then we help Max to his feet. We all walk towards the van. As we do so, we all hear something - someone - snap a branch in the tree line to our right. Michael, alert, walks forward, peering into the darkness.

`What is it?’ I help Max into the van. He is shivering violently. I am thinking about the park in Seattle, the curious sight of the doors.

`I am not sure.’ Michael whispers. He turns to walk back. As he does so two things happen almost simultaneously. Behind us, coming from the opposite direction to the house, back towards the road and the perimeter wall, a soft white pulse of light appears. It stabs and then fades. At that moment I am aware that there is something cold and metallic in my pocket.


[/i]
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Post by Patroclus76 » Tue Apr 10, 2007 3:45 pm

------------------------
Many chambers, many doors
Many lines and many wars
One Key, One King
In the land of the Lizards
The warmest blood of all
Where did the Seeth end?
Where did they begin?
Om (?) (Bang?)

- translation of an inscription from the upper left panel of the library doors, facing the cartouche, written in Ancient Seethian, by Sevak.

Hello, hello!
I’m at a place called Vertigo
It’s everything I didn’t want to know
But you,
You give me something that makes
Me feel.
- A song played on Jamie’s iPod just before he has sex. (U2 Remix)



Michael drove with great deliberation, careful not to stall the van. Max was vibrating gently on my shoulder, like a cell phone on silent, and despite the obvious signs that all was not well at Bone Hill House, I could not stop thinking about who I was holding, and how I was holding him! Oh god and how he felt! I shifted discreetly, trying to maneuver a hardon, and felt once again the metal disk of the codex near my groin. Michael smirked knowingly. I looked furtively behind me, to see if there were any more signs of pursuit. Of worse came to worse, I could shake my penis at them!

`You sure it’s the codex?’ asked Michael, `or are you just very pleased to see Max!’

`Funny! Yes, of course I'm sure! It’s the same disk – it’s got the same markings as the last one! But why has it just reappeared?’

`You sure it wasn’t there all the time?’

`Michael! For fuck’s sake!’ I ignored his ironic eyebrow moment, and the way he momentarily pouted his lips.

`Be careful Jamie, don’t open or access it until I can look at it!’ Max said sleepily. Michael nodded in agreement.

I stroked Max's head and made a completely un-necessary baby sound. Michael, impatient, leaned over.

`Max? Any ideas who might be visiting us? Is Khi’var really dead, Wilcox? The headless alien? Was it Khi'var?’ Michael asked this as if Max-Wilcox might have gone deaf or no longer speak English.

Max fought through his exhaustion. `Yes, Khi’var is dead – I had no idea he was here all the time – Brandon removed the head. He sent it back.’ His voice drifted away.

`Baby!’ I said.

`For fuck sake, Jamie! Why don’t you breast feed him while you're at it!!’ He leaned over again and raised his voice once more `then who’s flash was that? Just now?’ The drive widened and the expanse of gravel opened up in front of us. Bone Hill House sprang up like a cut out in one of those 3-D kids' books. You know, the ones with big windows and bats stuck on the towers. There were some lights on, but all clustered around the ground floor.

`Flash?’ said Max. He was wet and hot to the touch, like scolding metal. I looked in alarm at Michael. `He’s burning up!’

`Max – is this about the balance?’ Michael looked at his friend, intently now, stroking his cheek in a sudden unlooked for moment of affection. `Hang on, man.’

`The balance - yes – use the stones – use them on me and then I can help Brandon.’ He seemed to be losing consciousness. The van pulled up with a start.

`Jamie, help him out, I’ll find the stones, there here somewhere, once he’s in–‘ but Max interrupted him urgently.

`Take me to my rooms, on the ground floor, take me round the outside, across the terrace –‘ he sounded delirious.

`Sure – Max, it’s ok. Come on!’ We climbed out and, with difficulty, marched Max unsteadily away from the great entrance, under the windows of Grey’s study, and then, more perilously, around under the kitchen windows. They were steamed up lightly. Through them I saw Isabel, Kyle and Max listening intently to Liz, who was drawing something on a napkin. DeMarr and Maria were cooking something. I heard Kyle say `But how can that be, Liz? How could anyone have painted us!’ Grey was nowhere to be seen. Nor was Brandon.

After scrambling around in the dark, through a series of strange flagstone cloisters, we got to a set of French windows that were, predictably, locked. Michael was about to give them a persuasive zap with his powers when a dark figure loomed up suddenly on the other side, and there came the reassuring click of the lock. Grey’s head emerged, with his glasses stuck up like antenna.

`For fuck’s sake! Julian!’ said Michael closing his eyes, `You scared the shit out of me!’

`Sorry!’ he whispered. `I thought you might come this way – quickly – the others are eating!’ I heard Michael sigh at the mention of the word. But he turned and headed back to the van. `I’ll go and get the stones.’

`Stones?’ echoed Grey.

`They are from Antar. They were given to Max back in Roswell, years ago, by an native American called Riverdog.’ I said carefully. Grey said nothing but helped me haul Max inside. With some difficulty, we positioned him onto a simple, wide bed. Grey clicked on a bedside lamp and then gasped in amazement.

`Good god! Wilcox! I mean, Max – oh dear!’ Max lay, his coat open, his body dappled in sweat. He looked sublime, beautiful, like some exotic creature dragged from the deep, sleek and wet. Mentally I contrasted him with the older, harder, post-Tess Max in the kitchen. His short hair made him look extraordinarily vulnerable. I peeled the coat off his arms, lifting his neck, his stomach folding into an eight pack.

`What’s wrong with him, Jamie? What can I do?’ Grey sounded intense but calm.

`I’m not sure but I think the struggle with Khi’var has disrupted his energy. It happened to Michael once. The stones will help.’ I rolled Max over, pulling back the sheets and then rolled him into the bed, placing his arms over the top of the covers. His broad curved chest shone with perspiration. Unable to contain myself I kissed his cheek, and brushed his hair.

`If he retains this appearance, we are seriously compromised!’ said Grey, as if Max was a battle tank or a secret weapon. Before I could answer, there was a movement at the window and Michael reappeared with a bag.

`Found them, and all present and correct – but we’ll need more people? Max, sorry I mean Wilcox, what shall I do?’

Max struggled to focus his eyes.

`No – no you three should be enough. You are stronger than before, Michael, and Jamie is beginning to change – hurry!’ he convulsed and suddenly I realised his eyes had whitened over, like pouched eggs. It made him seem blind.

`Change? Am I? Shit Michael, look at his eyes! ’ Michael handed out the ambers stones calmly. At moments like this my love for Michael almost overwhelmed me. He was indefatigable.

`Yeah, he’s changing' Michael joked, `he’s going straight. Max, – he is starting to think of women!’ I scowled at him, embarrassed for Grey, who seemed a little lost by the conversation, but I knew Michael was making light of something that was worrying him, helping himself keep his nerve.

Meanwhile, Grey was holding his stone as if he might be asked to eat it.
`No, no. No like that - like this!' Michael held Grey's hand upright, palm open, and beamed a huge radiant smile at the poor man. We situated ourselves one on either side, with Grey at the foot of the bed. Michael then outlined what was involved. I thought Grey looked a little sceptical, like he has just been asked to join a séance. But he was a game old bastard. He closed his eyes and tried as best he could.

Many years ago I had seen this done in a cave near Roswell. I had seen Liz stand back, afraid, afraid of her feelings and I had seen Maria first acknowledge the love she felt for Michael. I cleared my mind. How odd my life was, how curious the continuities. Would my love for Max be revealed here as well? As Liz’s had? As Maria’s had?

`Shit, we need water!’ said Michael suddenly. We all looked about frantically. Next to a row of Tabasco sauce bottles I spied a water flask and a glass. Then my eye caught a picture frame, the photo inside having slipped down slightly. I looked carefully. It was the picture that we had taken early that day – but with one curious, magical difference! There was no snow, and it was clearly taken later in the year. And yet apart from that, everyone, everyone’s posture and expression, was exactly as I remembered it!

`Michael, no way! Look!’ I handed the glass to him and the photo. He looked suitable spooked.

`So if we alter a time line, we can’t physically alter artefacts brought forward from the future?’ I raise an eyebrow. The disappearance and reappearance of the codex was even more of a mystery.

`So unless Wilcox and Brandon return to their future, they are trapped here even if we change the time line completely? Does that make sense?'

I felt that Grey was getting impatient. Michael made one of his classic, minimally dismissive gestures, passed around the glass and we started.

What happened next was especially weird. I say especially because frankly everything was now so weird I had to introduce categories of weirdness, like storm or hurricane strengths. This was definitely F-4 on the hurricane scale of stark raving madness. And what Freudians would make of it, well - I can sort of guess! Anyway. We did the chanting thing. I am sure Grey was thinking `What the fuck am I doing this for - I nearly WON the fucking Nobel prize for god sake and here I am chanting over my fucking butler!!' but then things began to change.

As before, long ago, the stones began to pulse and glow. The amber light reflected in Grey’s glasses, making him look owl like. Unlike before, when I remained in the shadows, next to Liz, consoling her, this time I went on my own vision quest. It was, not surprisingly, all about Max.

The stones whirled and circuits of light moved over Max's face. Grey kept squinting through his eyes like someone cheating at a kid’s game or during a magic trick. Suddenly I felt as if I was fainting, a horrible panic and tightening of my chest. I went to break my fall and suddenly felt sand in my face. Max was standing naked outside the original pod chamber, his body covered in runes, strange curled lines from an ancient language. Michael was somewhere, a mood, a color, but I could not see him, it was as if he was the landscape itself. Moreover, when I focused on Max, I noticed that his head was covered with snakes, and that he had a long tail wrapped about his thigh. I was stunned! Oh yeah and he had wings as well – fucking enormous wings –embroidered with the blue-black sheen of the raven – I have never seen anything so frightening or so beautiful - or so horny in my life.

I contemplated screaming but since I had a massive erection I decided not to. (In my experience a boner it's usually a good sign that there is no immediate danger, you know, flight, fight or mate, but not necessarily in that order!) Max moved towards me and the language tattooed on his body seemed to weave and thread itself about him, over his muscles and sinews, like banners in wind, blood hot, alive. It reminded me somehow of prayer flags. I tried to stand, but as I did so, I saw that on either side of my hands, exposed half buried in the sand, were what appeared to be skulls – everywhere – like pebbles unearthed at high tide. Startled, I looked about me, and then with relief, I realised that they were eggs.

Millions of eggs.

And they were beginning to hatch!

Then I felt a great stab of heat in my groin.

`Shit!’ I shouted as I was snatched – dragged – stretched? – back into the bedroom. Grey and Michael were standing as before, Max was in a deep peaceful sleep but still around 17, and I had shot a load in my pants!

`Jamie?’ said Michael, slightly suspiciously. Thankfully Grey's eyes were still closed.

`Hold it, hold, I have to go – hold it – wait here.’ I ran, my face red with embarrassment, until I realised I didn’t know where the toilet was. Sheepishly, I returned and asked Grey. He looked puzzled but directed me about three blocks away to a rest room.

As I resumed my journey I heard Liz scream.
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Post by Patroclus76 » Mon Apr 16, 2007 4:00 pm

There were several plausible reasons why Liz could have screamed. I was midway through trying to towel down what appeared to be an enormous amount of egg white dribbling from my groin when I heard her. It sounded about twelve miles away, but the curious thing about Bone Hill House was that everywhere seemed very far away, and then, suddenly, surprisingly close. I stuffed some paper tissues down my boxers and tried to ignore the curious sensation of a wet patch working its way down the inside of my jeans. I was somewhere at the back of the House, on the ground floor, with a long service corridor and several halls running parallel to where Wilcox’s rooms were situated. Or so I thought. For one moment, for one black, clawing moment of panic, I thought I was lost but the smell of DeMarr’s stew, heavy on the cold air, led me back to the kitchens. When I arrived, Michael had just arrived, his hair thrown back. We almost collided as we sprinted from differing directions.

`What’s wrong! What’s happened!’ I shouted randomly. As I turned into the main kitchen, I expected to see half a dozen Feds waving revolvers about and shouting for helicopters. Actually all I saw was Liz et al. all cluttering around the doorway to the cellar, their faces depicting a series of expressions ranging from sheer horror to profound curiosity. I guessed – as did Michael, by the way he sighed – that the current drama was Brandon.

`It’s ok, he’s ok – he’ll be ok!’ I said, pawing my way in like a bouncer trying to disperse a fight.

To all intents and purposes, Brandon looked far from ok. In fact he looked dead. He appeared fossilised against the wall, half crouching, his hand in a nut bag, seemingly glued into place by a white resin. Whatever had happened to him had taken him by surprise. He had a rather puzzled expression on his face as if one of his brazil nuts had tasted odd. He was no longer a child, he was probably about 17 – and his body seemed distorted. Liz and Max were closest to him, Max touching his face. Liz had her hand over her mouth as if she might well scream again. Brandon was evidently not conscious.

`What’s happened to him?’ asked Maria, looking at me, and then reaching out to pull Michael towards her. Max turned to look at me intensely. As he did so the image of the other Max, the dream, the incredible orgasm, all hummed about my head like a swarm of bees. I think I might have looked vaguely `shifty’ as my mother used to say. Max frowned at me and I felt a small point of red started on each cheek.

`The shock of our encounter with Khi’var has sent him into stasis – it’s an emergency form of regeneration. Wilcox is in a similar, if not as severe a state – Michael and I have just used the stones. They helped Wilcox, they will probably help Brandon.’ I sounded especially geeky saying all this as if it had all just occurred to me. And since it evidently hadn’t just occurred to me, I felt the intense heat of Max’s eyes on me, weighing my every word.

`The stones from Antar?’ asked Kyle.

`Yes – Wilcox suggested it – sorry Max, I didn’t have time to explain.’

Michael said this, managing to sound vaguely defensive. Kyle and Isabel looked in amazement at Michael and then at me. Max’s eyes narrowed.

`Wilcox suggested using the stones? How did he know about them?

`Yes’ said Michael and I together, our heads ever so slightly downwards.

`Wilcox? The butler?’ said Isabel in case there might still be some room for confusion, amid all the other fucking Wilcoxs flooding the place.

`Wilcox is an alien, Isabel. He is the father of Sevak.’ To my relief Liz said this, calmly and carefully. She put her hand onto her husband’s arm.

`We only just discovered this today, when he went off to rescue you, along with Brandon. But I remember Jamie telling me, the day I discovered I was pregnant. Have you brought Wilcox inside yet?’ She directed this question at me.

`Yes, we took him around the outside of the house, it was quicker from the van and we didn’t want to attract attention.’

I looked at Max helplessly, as if I had been lying to him again. Again, unexpectedly, Liz came to my rescue.

`We have so much to tell you Max, Isabel! And Wilcox appears to have killed Khi’var?’

`Yes.’ Max’s voice was very far away, as if he was remembering something. `We, we went into space, or something – we shared a vision – ‘ he looked at his wife, his face haunted with a surreal, dark beauty. Coils of black hair hung about his face. Through them his eyes glinted softly. `When we came too, Khi’var was dead, with his head missing, and Brandon was a child. I did not see Wilcox, but I would not recognise him!’

There was a strange, ominous silence.

`Michael, fetch the stones.’ Max said eventually. He did not sound angry or even bemused, but extremely tired. As Michael left Isabel said ironically

`So who isn’t an alien?’

Max’s mouth flickered with a faint smile. He turned to look at Brandon carefully. I stood close by him and looked as well.

-------------

Brandon looked almost like a carved relief. I noticed that his shoulders and neck were covered in bones, as if his skeleton has ruptured out of his young body. Yet they were laced over his shoulders and neck. I looked down to where his thighs and buttocks had flexed as he crouched, and noticed – without undue alarm but intense interest – that Brandon had a tail. Max followed my eyes down and gasped audibly. Again I saw the powerful image of Max on my vision quest.

Michael returned with Grey, who was looking slightly flustered, with his dressing gown flapping about, and with his glasses right on the end of his nose as if he had been pulling nasal hairs out with tweezers. He seemed both startled and intrigued as he stood next to Max and examined Brandon – there is no other word for it. In fact he looked a little like an antique dealer about to run off with a valuable mummy. Michael was handing out the healing stones to people as Grey took Brandon’s wrist.

`Never a dull moment!’ said Grey to himself, and then smiled at Max, patting his shoulder in a rather paternal way.

`Wilcox is an alien.’ Max said softly, his voice velvet, embossed with irony, a deep sensual trap for the unwary. `You knew that?’

The Professor looked up, momentarily distracted from feeling about Sevak’s throat.

`Yes, I did Max. But I only found it out quite recently. He is an alien hybrid not unlike you. He appears to have been at Bone Hill House, waiting for me to buy the property, waiting to guide me, waiting as I have waited to meet you.’

Disarmed, reassured, Max looked at Grey with sudden affection, then he looked at me and then asked:

`He was your special friend, the man you loved, who met you the same day that Isabel dream walked you?’ I felt him perilously close to the truth.

Again, Grey touched his shoulder. `He is on our side, as I am sure Jamie has explained. And all will become clear when we can sit down and exchange all the various bits and pieces of information we have about Antar, the babies, the plot to prevent it. It is complex, but subject to rationality – I think.’ Grey returned his gaze to Brandon.

`And he will be fine. Wilcox warned us this might happen – ‘ Grey took in everything, nothing was missed. I could see the attention in his face. He touched Brandon’s neck bones like a doctor feeling for a fracture, then he examined the neck plating, and then pressed his fingers together, tacky with the resin. Behind us DeMarr was itching to get through, but the press was too much.

`So what does this mean? Are you an alien as well’ Max asked Grey gently. Whenever he spoke to the Professor now there was a note of tension, of excitement. Grey looked up and smiled.

`I haven’t the slightest idea what it means, Max! And no –I am not an alien!’ He said this while peering very closely at Brandon’s butt, and feeling up behind it as he had lost his keys or something. `Hmm, there is evidence of some sort of exoskeleton. You see..’ he twisted his head back to Max who was looking slightly bewildered. `Brandon is not a hybrid like you, so this is what an Antarian Seeth might look like, in their natural form? His pulse is about three beats per minute, and his body temperature is extremely low. Hmmm interesting.’

`Why are you taking his pulse down there?’ asked Maria suspiciously.

`He’s counting the vertebrae’ I said breezily. `At least I hope to god he is!’ Only Michael laughed, loudly and then fell quickly silence.

`Look at that!’ I said, touching Brandon, improvising over an awkward moment. `There is something almost lizard like, about the neck and upper back – and the tail? ‘

Max breathed in deeply and evenly, and looked down to where the tail appeared to emerge from the lower back, extending out of the bottom vertebrae. Everyone was now looking at it.

`Balance, perhaps?’ queried DeMarr, standing on tiptoe and craning to get a closer look.

`Display?’ chimed in Liz, `like for courtship or fighting?’

`Possibly’ Grey’s voice was muffled, his head down, looking for all intents and purposes as if he was inspecting an engine. The image of him giving Brandon a blow job materialised in my sordid imagination and then dispersed on the high winds of my natural cleverness. To my relief the Professor stood up, removed his glasses and sucked on an ear piece.

`Sorry Maria, I was looking to see if there were reproductive organs at the base of the spine, and an opening into the digestive tract, as in large cats. for example. It seems entirely residual – Brandon’s genitalia are human, and in the usual place I imagine, so this feature is especially odd!’

`Aquatic?’ guessed DeMarr, as if we were playing charades.

`Possibly, that might explain some of the other features. Do you swim?’

Grey asked Max, suddenly.

`Yes, but not very well?’

`No, no my dear boy, I mean do the Antarian Seeth swim, a lot? Are the amphibious?’

`I wouldn’t know, Julian. All I remember is that the water on Antar is very viscous?’

`OK, so that's the end of Guess the Alien!' said Michael, impatiently. `Sorry to interrupt gentlemen, but we’re ready and I think weshould try and help poor Brandon?’ Kyle had filled several cups with water and was passing them about. There were not enough stones to go around. Afraid of further embarrassment, I made my excuses and walked back into the kitchen. To my surprise, I was joined by Michael, who went straight for the stew pot bubbling on the stove.

`There’s more than enough alien power down there! And I might collapse with hunger!’ He started spooning himself great lumps of meat and dumplings.

`I’d go easy with that, Michael. I’ve eaten a DeMarr emergency stew once before – I was constipated for a week, along with the entire science club!’

`Yeah? I’m always as regular as clockwork, both in terms of time and consistency! A regular dump is the key to a successful metabolism!’

I had just spooned a large piece of stew into my moth as Michael imparted this invaluable information.

`That’s really helpful advise, Michael, thanks for sharing!’

`Anytme Jamie. And talking of sharing, what's with the freak orgasm?’

I thought about denial but it was too obvious that Michael had not missed a trick.

`I’d rather try and forget it, at least for now – ‘ and yet as I started to eat I suddenly realised that we had left Max next to his son, and that the secret of Brandon’s identity would most definitely come out as the stones performed their function? Typically in everything we seemed to do together now, Michael must have had the same thought at exactly the same time.

`Holy crap!’ He jumped up, but by then the cellar doors were humming and flashing in a yellow, orange light and it was too late.

`Perhaps it is better this way, perhaps he needs to know?’ I said. Michael rolled his eyes.

I wanted to laugh.

-----------

The effects of the stones on Brandon were different from Wilcox. Perhaps it was because Wilcox – as Max – was a hybrid. In effect, Brandon simply vanished under a white, gelatinous seedcase, or pod, stuck to the cellar wall. Liz called us down, just in time to stop Michael taking a third helping of stew. Her voice sounded high and excited. `Jamie come and look at this!’

`Should that have happened?’ asked Kyle moments later as we climbed down the stairs. Grey seemed unperturbed although he seemed to be measuring Brandon's legs.

`Yeah, I think so. Wilcox implied that he might re-pod?’ He said eventually. Oddly Grey looked the most awake and refreshed of us all.

` Should we get Wilcox?’ asked Max. Had he seen anything to imply who Brandon was? It didn’t appear so. I looked at him bashfully. In recognition, he brushed my face.

`No, not yet. He’s in a very deep sleep!’ Michael stammered. He had a spoon in his mouth. He went to scratch his eyebrow but I managed to stop him by shaking my head slightly.

`Michael, we can’t leave Brandon like this?’ pleaded Liz. `He might be in pain or something!’ Did she know? Had a vision quest revealed anything to her? She looked at me blankly.

`He’s fine Liz, really. Think of it as a giant chrysalis. The question is how long he will remain in this stage. We will need to protect him from outside danger, but inside there he is quite comfortable!’

`Is Wilcox also in this state?’ asked Isabel. She seemed to be thinking of something unpleasant, like insects of moths, because there was a slight grimace on her face.

`No – he is just asleep.’

`Very deeply asleep.’ Added Michael.

`Ok. Look we need a meeting to discuss everything!’ said Liz suddenly. I frowned, wondering whether she had detected something amiss, but realised it was Liz just being determined. `I am completely confused! And we need a plan! Grey is right, we have bits of information we need to share and put together while there is still time!’

`Can’t it wait until the morning? I’m exhausted!’ said Michael. As if on queue, Max yawned deeply.

`Julian?’ Max turned to where Grey was lost in thought, still chewing on his glasses.

`Max?’

`Tomorrow we must get up early and have a summit – I’m too tired to focus now – and yet we remain vulnerable, given the state of Wilcox and Brandon. Are we safe here?’ We started to return to the kitchen. although we left the light on for Brandon. It seemed a bit thoughtless leaving him in the dark.

`More or less’ said Grey without conviction. `We have to wait for Wilcox and Brandon to join our summit, they evidently know a great deal and have much information to give us. If I have understood things correctly though, we still have Davies to worry about – presumably he is on his way here with the Feds?’

`Jesus, I’m dead tired’ said Isabel, `It must still be an after effect of the attack on the van. Michael’s right – we have to rest. If Khi’var is dead, then all we have is Davies who is human, right? But then no one tells me anything!'

Max shot her a look of appeasement. Grey interrupted.

`Yes. I believe so. Although he too is in the thick of this plot. As you know from your conversation with DeMarr, Davies worked for Clayton Wheeler, so he knows a huge amount about you.’

`This is all so weird!’ whispered Kyle. `It’s like we've lived through our life missing something, something under our very noses!’

`Indeed Kyle.’ Grey stood up and readjusted his dressing gown. `But soon, like a giant jigsaw, we shall put everything in his place. If Khi’var is dead, I would certainly give Davies food for thought – it might slow him down? It might change his plans altogether?’

Max seemed to make up his mind. `Ok. Then we had better rest up, and take turns to guard Wilcox and Brandon until the morning and try and keep guard on the House as best we can. How many entrances are there, Julian?’

`Three main ones, excluding the library ehich is the main threat to my mind. All three are alarmed – but someone will have to fix the system though?’

`I can fix the House alarm.’ said Max efficiently. I looked at Michael.

`There is one thing we ought to know.’ Said Michael quietly, removing the spoon from his mouth. `Jamie and I thought we saw something when we went to fetch Wilcox!’

`Something?’ said Max. His voice sounded taut.

`A light, a flashing light – in the trees?’

`Like in Seattle, in the park – when you saw the library doors?’ asked Isabel urgently. Liz and Maria looked at me in amazement.

`No – it seemed different. Like a flash light or something.’

There was a tense silence. Eventually it was DeMarr who spoke.

`Well, we have been preoccupied for some time, and nothing has happened yet. If they’re from the Federal Bureau they would have been here by now? Perhaps they were trespassers, or that woman with the feather boa who tries to shoot your herons?’ He asked, looking at Grey.
`Remember her?’

`Oh god, she does use a flash light – it dazzles the birds!’

We all looked at DeMarr and Grey as if they were quite mad.

`Ok, on that surreal note I am going to bed’ said Michael. Maria took his arm knowingly and led him away.

`DeMarr, myself and Jamie will take first watch’ said Grey carefully, as if he was quite worried about his herons. `Later, if the need arises, we can be relieved by Michael and Kyle.’

`I’ll help’ said Max, with a slight trace of stubbornness. `I want to meet Wilcox.’

I felt myself wince involuntarily.

`And I want my husband in bed with me!" Liz took Max’s hand and led him away. As she walked passed me I noticed that her stomach was already swelling with pregnancy. SHe paused and said good night. I nodded. Max swung his head down and kissed my mouth fleetingly, in full view, unabashed. `Good night Jamie.'


`I need a drink!’ I said. Grey, preoccupied, pointed to a large bottle of what appeared to be cooking sherry. He was drawing something on a piece of paper next to the unwashed dishes.

`I was thinking of claret?’ I ventured. He seemed impressed with either my nerve for asking, or my choice.

`Quite, there is a a decent bottle in the pantry'.

I leaned over and noticed he was drawing what appeared to be a small velociraptor.

`Let's go and sit astride Brandon and theorise my dear boy!' he beamed at me. He looked considerably younger than when I had first knocked him over outside his Institute.
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Post by Patroclus76 » Wed Apr 25, 2007 3:27 pm

We walked to Grey’s study, book lined, intimate, and in contrast to the rest of the house, surprisingly warm. He left one of the double doors open, and having brought the claret with him from the kitchen, fished about for a corkscrew in his desk. Rain was now lashing the windows, white chipping the panes, and a rising wind was moaning about the chimney. How could one guy live in a house this size? Fucking hell – creepy or what?

I sat down on a green, worn chesterfield and felt the soft buzz of exhaustion in my ears. Reassuringly, the lights flickered. There came the abrupt popping of a cork, and the thick, pleasing glug of wine. Transformed from Emeritus Professor to a sort of pleasantly dotty Uncle, Grey handed me an immaculately cut crystal glass filled with deep, blood red Bordeaux. The smell was enough to get me high. Grey drank his with real relish. He seemed momentarily distracted, as if he was recalling something.

`A premier Cru! A 1961 Margaux. I was keeping it for when I won the Nobel prize, but now that seems rather unlikely. ‘

`Well’ I said, diffidently, `The night is young! And don’t forget I have seen your future! Or rather a version of it!’

Grey laughed and I drank a mouth full of a heavy, mellow vintage, indescribably smooth.

`Fucking hell – sorry – I mean, that’s amazing!’ It was! It was what expensive red wine was supposed to taste like and yet so rarely did. It made your feet curl. On a half filled stomach it still went straight to my head.

`It is amazing! A sophisticated wine from –‘ Grey paused, ruefully, `from a more civilised age. I am afraid I rather dislike the French, a fact of which I am ashamed. So I indulge in various aspects of French culture – secretively you understand – at the risk of upsetting my English ancestors! It constitutes a form of atonement!’

`I’m sure your ancestors will forgive you, Professor, and after all, most of Bordeaux was English wasn’t it, until poor Henry VI threw it away!’

He looked at me in that way of his, his eyebrows knitted together, bushy.

`What an incredibly knowledgeable young man you are!’ he said eventually. I thought he looked rather guarded at moments like this. He leaned forward and raked up the fire. The wind sent smoke and ash out into the room.

`So how did you meet Max?’ he asked casually, placing a log on the glowering embers. I told him briefly, as the wine numbed my mouth, working my caution lose and filling my cheeks with that awesome glow of oblivion. I tried to sound as if I was describing something mundane, but Grey was no fool. He sensed my love, the precise moment at which I knew myself to be alive, the explosive trauma of seeing Max. That unknown, remembered moment. We sat in silence, watching yellow flames eating into the wood.

`He does seem an extraordinary man – well, not that I know your Max – I know of course the older version!’ Grey laughed, momentarily struck by the absurdity of the idea. `And the others are impressive as well – Liz is very sharp, and so is Maria. I have yet to meet Isabel!’

`They’re all pretty impressive! Michael is fantastic as well, although he can be – well - difficult. But they complement each other.’

`And you, my young friend, you are also impressive. Louis tells me you are one of the brightest graduates he has ever taught!’

There was a movement at the door and DeMarr appeared, humming loudly to himself.

` Speak of the devil!’ Grey gestured him in, theatrically.

`The devil?’ said DeMarr as if the devil was real and he had just inadvertently walked passed him. He saw me.

`My dear Jamie!’ he stammered, `what an eventful few days we have had! Good god – what a semester!’ He helped himself to a glass of wine.
`Gosh, the Margaux!’ he said, absent mindedly. He peered at the drink with one eye closed, as if he was looking through a telescope. And then he said, `To Science, my dear friends, and the unfolding of logic!’

I felt totally drunk already and said loudly `Sure! To Science!’ at which Grey refilled my glass. DeMarr took a big swig from his and then sat down, rolling it about his mouth. Grey starred into the fire and then said, impishly:

`So, disregarding the shape shifting abilities for now, any clues as to the likely genus of Brandon and Wilcox?’ I thought I heard a clock strike a nameless half-hour somewhere in the depths of the Hall outside. A clatter of rain hit the window, making me start.

`There is no possible way to tell, surely! I mean we are not dealing with a terrestrial life form –‘ DeMarr said. He seemed excited.

`Aren’t we?’ I said. I thought my words were slightly blurred. They felt blurred to me. DeMarr looked at me intently.

`Jamie these people are utterly alien! Even if they have been hybridised with humans, why should they compare with Earth based life forms at all!’ he clicked Dolphin like for a moment and then fell silent, swirling his wine about the glass so it left concentric rings of viscous fluid about the rim.

`I think they share a point of common origin with us – don’t you, Professor?’ I said. I tried to sound convivial but the tone was slightly conspiratorial, as if I was challenging Grey to come clean about something. He looked at me carefully, arranging his face to convey a sort of professional disinterest. Yet I saw his eyes glint with surprise. He took his time answering. DeMarr, sensing the mood of his old friend, fidgeted on the sofa.

`Let’s try a few thought experiments – to pass the time – although we must keep an eye on our charges!’ Grey stood and listened at the half open doors. God knows how he could hear as far as the kitchens, let alone where Wilcox – Max lay slumbering. My chest tightened at the thought of him. I thought of Liz too, I thought of my conversation with her – my opening gambit - `Liz, I need to talk about Max…’ I was aware that Grey was speaking.

`Well – in the light of our own experiences, it now seems reasonable to assume that many of the abduction stories are true, and so it is fair to assume that the Antarians have been coming to Earth for some time.’

There was something meaningful in the line of Grey’s mouth, something he could not quite hide. `There must be a reason for that? We also know, although Jamie knows a great deal more, that the Antarian Seeth are threatened with extinction.’

`They breath oxygen, and they can cross-breed with humans, which is obviously significant. Perhaps they are stealing body parts?’ speculated DeMarr without the slightest sense of horror.

`Well, they do appear to be stealing DNA.’ said Grey ruefully. He narrowed his eyes as if wracking his brain. I suspected he was thinking of the Midwich Cuckoo experiments.

`Is that what you found in Boston?’ I asked, although it sounded as if I had asked it backwards! Fuck, I was really hanging! I should have eaten more stew to soak up the alcohol!

`Yes.’ Said Grey, looking at me seriously, as if I were an adult, a fellow scientist. It rather frightened me since I was drunk, and thinking of Max, the way his hair fell over his back, the way the grooves of his shoulder muscles tapered into his chest. The joy of tasting him.

`In Boston, in the children from Phoenix, I discovered several new DNA base sequences. They had to be extra-terrestrial. And yet, by the same score, I realised that several of the extra-terrestrial gene sequences were not new, and that I had seen them before, in humans.’

`Really?’ exclaimed DeMarr, almost spilling his wine. `My dear, dear Julian, where had you seen them before!’

Grey looked momentarily pained, as if he has been caught lying to his own mother.

` It came to light coincidentally. In 1999, on mapping chromosome 22 for the Human Genome Project, I had come across remnants of something that lay buried deep in the genetic matrix. From it, I managed to identify three new DNA bases, which appeared to have been atrophied, very old – from the fossil record of early humanoid life. I thought nothing of it until I came across the same bases in the Boston several years later. There was no doubt in my mind – they were the same. One ancient, buried in the human genome, the other alive, contemporary.’

`Good god!’

`You will find the same evidence in Max.’ I said suddenly, the moment of Grey’s revelation as recorded in the codex suddenly clear in my mind. It leapt out at me like a still from a movie. `The cross-breeding is complex, and endless attempts by the Seeth have failed. Indeed Max is a product of a bizarre accident, a unique opportunity to impregnate a human and produce not just two hybrids, but a pure alien and a pure human. The Seeth are looking for their buried genetic treasure!’ Was it an accident – or was it – was it prophetic?

`Then we do share a point of common origin?’ said DeMarr. `Did we come from space, or did they come from Earth?’

I felt spooky and suddenly scared. I saw the twin planets, Earth and Antar, spread out on either side of the opening doors. I saw Max, falling between them.

`I'm not sure, but the theory will be further substantiated when Grey heads up the investigation team that briefs a panel of scientists after Liz gives birth to Om – Om being of course Brandon.’ I said this without thinking.

Grey looked startled, `You know that as well? Does Max know that Brandon is his future son?’

`Not yet, but god knows what happened in the cellar, the stones make a connection to enable the transfer of energy, and that in turn makes it possible – well, to see things! It’s likely that Max suspects. He doesn't yet know that Wilcox is his older self! ' I shifted uneasily in my seat, feeling my own semen hard and dry on my lower stomach.

`What do I tell these scientists? What do I write in my codex?’ asked Grey softly. I thought back to the bizarre scenes in the codex where Om, hatched from the pod, is examined and scrutinised by a group of leading geneticists, with the Seeth standing by watchful, attentive. Again, I had the strangest sense that I was trying to recall actual memories of a life I had led.

`Well, you speculate why Om manifests several curious features – we’ve seen some already – but apart from the bone cuirasses, and the tail, you also note evidence of bio-electrical luminescence in the skin pigments– and that his bone tissues is very strong but light.‘ I am clear that I have Grey’s entire attention focused on me, like the beam of a massive lighthouse. There is a silence.

`Evidence of some sort of pelagic origin?’ Grey says, his voice almost inaudible. He clenches his teeth together and then he asked me directly

`In their natural state, how do the Seeth procreate, Jamie, do you know? And do they lay eggs?’ I was taken aback by the intensity of the question and by the coincidence btween it and my erotic vision with Wilcox. Grey poured himself more wine and then stood for a while, listening attentively at the door.

My mind raced forward and backward over this extraordinary odyssey. my life in the alien chaos. `I’m not sure. Max, Michael, Isabel and Tess were left in pods, buried in Roswell New Mexico, deep under ground. They were part of the infamous crash in 1947, and yet they were only `hatched’ in 1989, when they appeared as six year olds, wandering in the desert. So, I guess, the pods were like maturation chambers for already existing embryos, not really eggs. These were hybrids, crosses, already containing Human DNA, so I don’t know how they would have been born if they had been pure alien.’ I shrugged, half apologetically.

`And the human DNA was taken from abductees?’ queried DeMarr. who seemed to be a little lost.

`Yes. In a rather random case, we actually found out who Michael’s donor was. It’s a complex story.’

`Who is Tess?’ asked DeMarr, digressing again.

`Tess is dead’ I said, as economically as possible.

`How is Om born? Is a pod involved in his birth?’ Grey was not letting this go. For some reason he had eggs om the brain.

`Yes! Om is born alongside his human brother in the normal mammalian way, but then the child is placed in a pod, a pod constructed by the Seeth, and later Om hatches, having undergone massive cellular acceleration. He emerges as, in effect, a teenager – a young adult!’ I feel about my pocket and touch the cold disk of the codex. Ought I simply to give it to Grey – to show Grey his life?

Yet Grey was pacing about, flushed with excitment. `Well, well, well!’ He was unable to contain his joy. `So that explains the rapid aging and cellular decay! The rapid aging of the clones from the Phoenix children! It is a natural feature of part of their life cycle! Some how the cloning must have mutated the process and generated uncontrollable cellular division!’ he was speaking to himself. He then looked at me with urgent eyes.

`I wonder, I wonder if in their natural state – or rather in their restored state – the Seeth lay eggs? It is possible that the maturation pods were a compromise between two different modes of reproduction?’

`I can’t remember – well, actually I don’t think you knew at the time of the codex! Only the Seeth would have known. ’

`What is it, Julian? What are you thinking?’ DeMarr sensed the end game drawing to a close. Grey picked up the piece of paper he had been working on in the kitchen, the drawing.

`Come with me!’ he took off suddenly. DeMarr scurried after him. I stood up one way while the room stood up in an entirely different direction. The result was a jarring sense of vertigo until I managed to find the door and run – up hill – towards the kitchen. Fucking hell! When I reached the kitchen I fell over a chair and then couldn’t find anyone until I heard DeMarr and Julian in the cellar, talking in whispers and looking at Brandon as if he was a cave painting.


The white husk had turned opaque, and we could see Brandon clearly now, looking more like his old, alien self. We could also see his chest rising as he managed to breath the clear fluid inside the pod. The distortion of the liquid exaggerated the bones on the neck and shoulder, and made the cheeks long and especially narrow. He was curved in on himself, embryonic, but also like a reptile.

`Gentleman, look at Brandon – look at him in a different way.’ said Grey mysteriously. He had the paper rolled up in his hand like a baton. `Look at him as if he was, say, well – as if he was a fossil.’

`A fossil?’ I asked, a chill moving down my spine.

`Yes. Try to imagine that we have excavated this creature from the Earth itself.’

DeMarr was concentrating hard as if he found this particular exercise difficult.

`I don’t quite see what you’re getting at’ I said, slurring my words, and yet I did.

`How old is the fossil?’ asked DeMarr quietly.

`About 70 million years old? Give or take a few million years.’

And then I knew. I knew and so did DeMarr. DeMarr laughed, a sort of incredulous scoff.

`A dinosaur! But Brandon is not reptilian, he is –‘

`Warm blooded? So too were some of the dinosaurs! 70 million year ago – the eve of the Cretaceous Extinction, when all life on Earth was almost entirely destroyed! Think of it. The Seeth came from Earth, and they escaped to Antar to avoid extinction, and now they are returning to avoid the same fate!’ Grey looked triumphant.

`But how? Were they advanced – did they have technologies?’ I mumbled.

`No’ said a voice behind us. `They had the Granolith.’
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